Are you interested in spending 16,000 more hours with your children? Consider homeschooling! We discuss this and many other insights in this chat about homeschooling:

  • Their own journey of homeschooling
  • Escaping hivemind thinking
  • Criticism of ‘school vouchers’
  • Building up your child’s agency
  • Do you need curricula?  
  • Modelling behaviour
  • “Socialisation”
  • The culture war



Stephan Livera links:

Podcast Transcript:

Stephan (00:01.942)
Hi Jonathan and Adriana, it’s a pleasure to speak with you. I had the pleasure of reading your book, Kids Don’t Need School, and I’ve been enjoying some of your opinions on homeschooling as well. I guess, you know, cards on the table, I am a libertarian and pro homeschooling myself. I recently had a son, my son is very young though, he’s only seven months, but I intend to homeschool. And so I am definitely in the same camp with you guys, but I like the perspective that you have to share.

and I’m interested to dig into that a little bit more. So welcome to the show.

Homeschool Life (00:36.19)
Thank you very much. Congratulations. Yes. Yes, thank you for having us.

Stephan (00:38.638)
Well, thank you, yeah. So look, let’s start, yeah, thank you. And so let’s start with you guys. I wanna hear a little bit of your story of how you got started with homeschooling for yourselves. I guess, well, I guess were you, were you guys personally homeschooled yourself or did you actually start with your child?

Homeschool Life (00:58.88)
Okay, I’ll do a brief little thing on that. We started homeschooling when our daughter was very young because we discovered she started reading at a very early age. She started reading her first words at 10 months old. And so that was, we’re both engineers. And so we realized somebody’s going to have to stay home. Because this is what they call asynchronous development.

where you have a child showing an incredible advancement in something, but everywhere else in their development, they’re just right on cue, or sometimes even a little behind. We saw that there’s public school can’t handle this, private school can’t handle this, even tutors were completely out of the question.

At the time we lived in Houston and it was a metropolitan area, so we should have been able to find somebody that can handle that. But then we said, you know what, we’re both engineers, we can figure this out. Yeah, so because we’re both engineers and we were both working at the same time, which is something that most parents…

find themselves doing and they have to think about, okay, we have a child, what are we going to do with the child because we got to work. So we did do a little bit of Montessori preschool with her and that’s how I got informed and started to understand what Montessori was all about. And I really, really like her method and as a matter of fact, you can implement that method at home and it’s really great for young children.

But the problem with the Montessori schools is that they have a limitation on age. And for example, early childhood, they have a school up to age six, and then you have to think about the next step and so on. And of course, our child was showing a high level of certain things that we thought she’s not going to be fit in a public school system. She’s not going to fit in that environment. And they’re not, and the teachers are not going to know how to help her.

Homeschool Life (03:16.088)
achieve more to what her gifts would be. And so we explored homeschooling and with homeschooling, we said one of us has to stay home and it started with me staying home. So that’s how we got into homeschooling. And also the fact that I grew up in Saudi Arabia, okay, next door to you. And so my father was an engineer and he worked for a Ramco for many years. And so I grew up over there. And then.

That is, there’s, Aramco schools are only up to ninth grade. Well, I stayed further than that with special permission and was homeschooled by my mother. And so I got an exposure to homeschooling. And also we both have a very extensive, you know.

amount of different types of schools that we’ve gone to. She’s been… Yeah, I’m from South America, so I went to very high-end international schools, private schools. So I had that experience, and then I immigrated to the US and had a little experience on the public school system, which is really the biggest joke. But that’s what they have here. But we did have…

those experiences, we know what the education provides. And we’ve been to university ourselves, and we have been very successful engineers, and we see that there’s a problem. The world is changing, and this model doesn’t work anymore. It didn’t really work well to begin with, but it’s working less as time progresses. Right, and that’s one of the reasons why we wrote the book, is to help people transition into homeschooling.

And we were already had a coaching business prior to the pandemic, helping parents transition into homeschooling. And then we said, we have to write a book because basically we’re repeating a lot of the same concepts to people. Yes. So as engineers, we have explored a lot of different concepts and explored different things that may be hard for people to find and understand. And we compiled into something.

Homeschool Life (05:36.752)
so that we can make it more efficient for people to learn it more quickly. We deconstructed and demystified a lot of things that people asked about, like socialization and about what’s the transition between homeschooling and university and everything else like that. So that’s why we basically wrote the book.

Stephan (06:02.094)
Great. And one, okay, so there’s a few themes that came out to me when I was reading the book. One interesting one is this notion of the hive mind mindset. Like there’s this kind of hive mind that the way society, at least normal, quote unquote, normal people or more status people, let’s say, they sort of have this perception that sending your kids to the government schools or to government controlled schooling,

That’s just the way. And where there’s just kind of this hive mind and you sort of have to, you have to sort of pull yourself out of that. And one challenge that I noticed that you were speaking of is that some parents, even when they try to pull their kids out of that, they end up just recreating government schooling just at home, as opposed to genuinely looking broadly at the possibilities that are available to a homeschooling family. So can you just elaborate a bit on that idea? Why are people…

doing this hive mind thing.

Homeschool Life (07:01.808)
Well, we analyze what society is today. How do we get here? And the biggest…

The biggest complaint is we don’t have enough independent free thinkers. And so we have to raise them. We have to raise independent free thinkers with that thirst to innovate and to also be able to solve problems. But they have to be taught that way. And if you keep them in the school system, that’s four walls. They’re not going to be able to practice that free thinking, that different way of going about learning.

something. The reason why parents defer back to the old method of public school is because public school, private school, any type of school environment all leads back to the Prussian model of education. And the reason why the Prussians invented that system was because they were shamed by Napoleon.

because the people who were the conscripts, the poor conscripts, who were told to go be cannon fodder for Napoleon’s cannons, they ran away because they wanted to go back to their families. So they said, and this is completely abbreviated history, but it’s generally accepted that they developed, that Prussia developed a system with, uh, with the

that would take people and honor the state, listen to instructions. Without question. They would obey all the rules and stuff like this. So these, the Prussian system is what we have now. So whenever you have people who are saying, oh, I want to homeschool, I don’t have a template.

Homeschool Life (09:06.296)
So the template actually is the oppression system again. But children can learn way different methods. Yeah, people, adults underestimate the abilities that children already have naturally. If you hone that early on, as opposed to the school systems, which they kill that spirit, they kill the spirit that children normally have to discover, experiment, and learn on their own.

And when you kill that spirit, they don’t want to do it anymore. And this is when you have teenagers who are not really that excited about school, right? They’re not excited about learning. Oh, they, and a lot of times those kids say, oh, is this going to be on the test? Because that’s the only reason I’m motivated to maybe study this, right? And studying means memorization. They’re not really learning to keep any of this that is beneficial to them in the future.

Stephan (09:59.554)
Great. And I.

I’m curious as well about some of your critiques of the school vouchers movement, because I know in the world of libertarianism, there are, let’s say, I think prominent individuals, people like, for example, Corey DeAngelis, who’s very big on this kind of idea of, don’t fund systems, fund the students, and there’s this idea of trying to maybe…

Maybe he might argue that, oh, it’s incrementally sort of stepping towards what might be more free in terms of schooling. I know you have a criticism of that idea and you’re more focused on actually homeschooling is really the freedom pathway and actually the libertarian approach as opposed to a school voucher system. Can you elaborate? Why do you believe that?

Homeschool Life (10:47.592)
Sure. Well, first off, let’s give you I’ll give you a libertarian answer. Okay. Freedom is not found in a in a government program. Yes. Okay. That’s that’s a slogan you can put on your bumper sticker. So you’re not going to you’re not going to get a choice with the government because their interest is.

is power and control. And it’s whatever benefits them. Yes, it does all benefiting us or the child more importantly, you know, the what is what is a Reagan’s famous quote about, I’m, you know, the most scariest words are I’m from the government, I’m here to help. So, so yeah, you have you have that which is ironic that right when children were brought home from the pandemic,

And parents started seeing, why is my kid walking around like he has PTSD? Okay. Why, why, what’s, what is this? I haven’t noticed this before because I’ve been busy going to work myself. And why are my kids now, now that I’m home and my kids are home, they’re, they’re meant, they’re mental. Um, the mental damage has already been done and why is this happening? So they said, okay.

I can do this better, okay? I recognize that the problem is the school system and I can educate my children better. And so, Corey DeAngelis comes along, which almost out of nowhere, he’s the poster boy for Newt Gingrich’s voucher system from the 1990s. Now, I remember when Newt Gingrich introduced

the voucher system back then, and one of the major issues with that and one of the major arguments back then was once the government is able to fund something, they can dictate the rules of that program. And so what the argument back then was is these private schools…

Homeschool Life (13:14.832)
We, like private religious schools, we don’t want the hiring practices that we are being forced to do because that goes against our religious beliefs. So that was the argument back then. And so then the other argument then was they get to dictate the curriculum. Nowadays, it’s still the case.

What’s interesting is there’s another dimension to the Voucher of School Choice movement and that is we have UNESCO involved, okay? And with UNESCO, it’s called Supply Side Funding. And Corey DeAngelis is a fellow of UNESCO. He’s a, what does they call?

a policy expert. And so although he has taken down that UNESCO page of him lately, but he was up there and I have a screenshot of that. So the question is, who is this person who, you know, at the beginning of his campaign for school choice, he was in his 20s, no children and stuff like this. So

It’s highly suspicious to me that he would be, you know, chosen and earmarked as the spokesperson for school choice. Well, and as engineers, if we were to say, okay, let’s say we have the voucher system, what does that do for us? Right. You explained about the amount of schools that we actually have, what would that do with the people? Sure. I mean, typically, we…

the average spending per student nationally is about $13,000. Okay, some school districts like in New York states, they spend up to 30,000 per student per year. Then what happens is… I’m talking about the voucher. What would it do if we actually had vouchers and families had that money with them and they would have to choose…

Homeschool Life (15:35.304)
which school to put the kid into. Oh yeah. So what happens is you have maybe a private school that everyone thinks is the best. So everyone’s gonna sign up for that school and they’re gonna be full and then they have a waiting list of students that all wanna be in that the best school. Right. And so it doesn’t fix the problem when you have a limitation like that. And then you’ll have family say, oh, maybe, you know,

there’s something going on, they’re discriminating us, you know, for not being able to go to school. So from that creates an even bigger problem. Right. Basically, you’ll start getting lawsuits against private schools saying, you’re discriminating against us. And when actually it’s an issue of we just don’t have the space. So if everyone got a voucher in hand, where do you go? Yeah. So, you know, so I could either go to another public school.

or a private school, but if the private school is going to be full or I can homeschool and then it’s like So if I use the voucher for homeschooling Number one, how much am I going to get and number two? How much do I need? Because the average cost to homeschooling is eight hundred dollars a year for a student. Yeah, and it

Stephan (16:54.354)
I see. So there’s like an overpayment factor here because as tax on the tax side, on the revenue side, you’re probably paying in all this money far more. And so I guess you’re pointing out this idea that homeschooling parents would be, quote unquote, paying in a lot more into the system than they’re really taking out of it. On the other side on the school vouchers side. And so that might be a question of justice, of, you know, fairness, whatever you want to call it. And I think another angle that I see you

I believe you raised this in the book, is that there’s a property taxes angle to this also which is that the dynamic today is, at least in America, as I understand, it’s very much about, oh, what area do you want to live in? Because that’s where you want to be in the right, in the quote unquote, right catchment zone to get into the good schools. And that’s what drives a lot of property values. And then because most state or many states have property taxes, then…

That’s like another angle of government involvement and again, government taking basically people’s money. And so there’s kind of a dynamic around that also, right?

Homeschool Life (18:03.4)
Right. So, let me go back a little bit on the voucher again just to finish up because it would actually open opportunities for government to not also put regulations into homeschoolers if we say we’re going to accept the voucher to fund our education. And that’s no good. So, going back to the taxes, most people don’t even know where their taxes go to because a lot of the things say, well, how are we going to pay the roads if we don’t have proper if we don’t pay property taxes? It’s false, you know?

Stephan (18:17.643)

Stephan (18:30.21)
Classic libertarian question. Yeah, go on.

Homeschool Life (18:32.168)
Yes. Go ahead. You want to talk about the proper taxes? Yeah. So, so what we say is, okay, if you want to, if you want to change the dynamic, okay, you want to basically starve the beast. And so the beast, the Leviathan, the huge government program is, is of course education. As like during the pandemic, they paid.

200 billion dollars extra on top of their bloated budgets Into the school systems what they do with the money It’s like 200 billion. That’s more than they they sent to Ukraine That everyone’s screaming about how much money that they’re supporting to Ukraine So so it’s a mismanagement of money and they and it’s never enough they have to ask for more and for more and So will we will we?

you know, try to analyze this, what if we didn’t have to pay those property taxes? Because then every family would have that money. Because when you look at the new schools that they’re building, it’s a monstrosity. And it’s all this money. You can see it. They’re even incorporating technology where every kid now has a tablet, you know, and a Chromebook or whatever you want to call it. And things that don’t really promote their learning experience. And they’re taking out the textbooks. Yeah. And so we’re spending money.

but not really getting the results. So here’s it. Go ahead.

Stephan (20:03.83)
we’re seeing gone. Oh, I was saying, there were funnily enough, I think just today or yesterday, I saw on Twitter, someone was sharing a TikTok video of this massive public school. And I think they were like a well rated school. But obviously they were getting a lot of funding because they had like this stadium and that room and this gym and this and they just had like an incredible facility, incredible range of facilities.

But and you think about, well, how is this being funded? And then you sort of start to think, well, OK, property taxes. It’s just big government all over again.

Homeschool Life (20:40.008)
Of course. So better than the voucher system, you know, it’s better to not have to pay property taxes and have those funds back with the families. But go ahead. We are, to make it concise, we are for the privatization of education, not necessarily for corporations necessarily. We want families because what we say is that education is part of parenting.

uh… when you homeschool you get sixteen thousand more hours with your children and that’s significant at that i think it’s hurt i heard it said that uh… the amount of time that you spend uh… with your children up until age eighteen but let’s say they teen years cuz you’re always they’re always there with you but after they leave the house that cumulative time that you’re going to spend with your children is about one year

So for the rest of your life, and having adult children, the total amount of time you’re gonna spend with them is a year. Now, you have to, as a parent, you have to improve your relationship with your children. And so I want more people to homeschool, because what that does is it not only starves the beast, okay, it frees up property taxes. Because in the United States,

the majority of property taxes goes to education. And so if we can take their justification for taxation away from not having the head count, and they’re already screaming about it right now, they’re worried, they’re even blaming fertility rates on why there’s no people in the schools anymore. And so what we have now,

And this is absolutely brilliant. There are five million homeschoolers now in the United States and increasing. And that equates to a full 10% of all K through 12 population. Homeschooling is mainstream now. And because it’s mainstream, it’s becoming an emerging market. And there’s tons and tons of entrepreneurs out there

Homeschool Life (23:06.824)
that gap of need for parents to homeschool their children. And it’s an awesome time right now. Yeah, parents get so intimidated by academics. As if as professionals, as if we didn’t know what was really useful to us. We know how much math, how much English, this is normal information that we already know and should be.

we should be able to naturally be able to teach it to our kids because a lot of homeschoolers who have been doing it for many, many years say, this is so natural to homeschool our children. We are naturally teachers to them as soon as they’re born because we teach them many things. We teach them how to eat, how to walk, and all these things. And suddenly, we’ve been indoctrinated to think we need to outsource them now for babysitters

teach them academics. And it’s a really silly idea when it’s really not that big of a deal, but yet this is what the schools have been producing is people being intimidated of academics as if we couldn’t teach it.

Stephan (24:21.554)
And as you do say in the book, I think there’s a section where we might summarize this idea where people have this concept in their mind. And maybe it comes back to the hive mind idea we were talking about. There’s this idea of, oh, but I’m not a qualified teacher, right? I need to be a qualified teacher and somebody needs to sort of bestow this blessing upon me that now I’m a qualified teacher and now I’m allowed to teach my children instead of just recognizing that you already do teach your children and it’s just not that much of an extension.

Homeschool Life (24:35.944)

Stephan (24:51.382)
to really take that extra step. Maybe you get some curriculum, maybe you get a tutor if it’s a special thing, maybe you just go back and learn something yourself so that you can teach it. I think there’s all kinds of approaches, right?

Homeschool Life (24:54.44)

Homeschool Life (25:02.792)
Right. Of course, and in our book we outline the 10 most basic and most common homeschooling methodologies in our book, gives the pros and cons of each. But you don’t even have to do that, okay? Because what we say that curriculum, if we were to analyze what curriculum actually is, it’s…

it’s actually just information you want to share. And even some curriculum would add the instructions on the approach on how to deliver that information. Right. But that’s all curriculum is, is information and the approach to deliver it to the student. And sometimes they will include something extra for supposedly the student to be able to do on their own. But that’s basically all it is. And even if you have, like by a

If you buy a turnkey curriculum, you are, it’s not tailored to your child. It may be superior in many ways, but there’ll be some things that you will see in there and say, well, I don’t really want to teach that in this way. Let me change it up. And then you say, okay, well, it’s not really fitting now anymore. My child is a little older.

and so you buy another one and then you buy another one and you try to mix and match things and what you’re actually doing is you’re learning yourself, your children.

and how they learn. Yeah. And that’s when the planes of development come into… Yeah, and these are tools. We present different tools, including understanding the planes of development because what we want parents to understand so that they can feel confident in this choice of homeschooling is you become an expert in your children, something that no other teacher, no matter how certified they are, they’re not trained to be experts in your children.

Homeschool Life (27:08.714)
children. And not even to teach a curriculum, but to pretty much deliver that curriculum that school accepted as the curriculum for that school year. So it’s very limited, but becoming an expert in your children allows you to give them exactly what they need developmentally. And you don’t have to be a teacher, okay? Because a teacher goes to school and they’re supposed to learn how to manage groups of people.

Right? That’s the majority of the time that they spend in the school is managing lots of children. Right? And so, basically, that’s their logistics. So, that’s what makes homeschooling far more efficient is because whereas in the public school, you may have five to ten minutes of actual learning. In homeschool, you can go directly into…

the subject matter. You know, you don’t have to sit there, okay, everyone sit down, everyone be quiet, all this other stuff. You know, and go by the bells and stuff. So if the children want to learn, okay, mom, dad, I want to learn this this morning, you know, or no, I don’t wanna do this, let’s do this. So you can mix and match, and that’s what makes it more efficient.

Stephan (28:32.03)
Another topic, and I think this is a big one, is this concept you talk about of agency. It’s this idea that instead of, let’s say the conveyor belt model, it’s more like child led or child interest that then drives what ends up being taught. So can you elaborate a bit on this idea of agency and this idea of pulling with persuasion instead of pushing?

Homeschool Life (29:00.04)
Yes, agency, the psychological definition, is the degree in which an individual has the ability to make decisions about their life. And this is a skill that’s learned, are supposed to be learned growing up. We get practice on making decisions and we get the freedom to make decisions.

Homeschool Life (29:30.088)
people who micromanage their children, people who always tell them what to do and stuff like this, to the point where they are afraid to do anything because that might upset someone. And so that’s a very big problem because then children grow up and they are agreeable to a fault. They freeze when they have to make a decision.

And that is very common, and you see that all over in public school system and in the Prussian model. And, hence, why you see that lack of confidence in parents, because they are a product of that system. Yes. And so, the thing about agency is we have to let our children develop it early, because when they develop it early, they can now learn independently. So this big job that us parents think is a big job of having to teach our children,

All we have to do is let them develop that agency because they will start learning on their own. You don’t even, you can even take yourself out of the equation because sometimes parents can hold kids back. And if the kid is interested and excited, we just have to let them go at it with that information. See, a child will develop agency a lot of times in spite of the micromanaging.

whatever they can control, they will gravitate towards. And detrimentally, a lot of times children will start gaining weight and overeat and everything because that’s the only thing in their life they can control. And that’s due to trauma. And so I don’t wanna get into too much into trauma, but whatever, it’s like, oh, the kid wants to play video games all day, all right?

Well, that’s the only thing that they can control because then, you know, the parents says, Oh, well, he’s quiet. I don’t care. You know, he’s, you know, doing his own thing. And in reality, that’s an escape for the things that really would benefit him. Our job as parents is to tell, is to teach the child that the things that they’re doing

Homeschool Life (31:54.056)
are of value. And in other words, the answer the question, what’s in it for me? And that’s one of the keys of motivation. And I think I’m jumping ahead a little bit to one of your questions. But the key to motivation is to answer the question, what’s in it for me? In other words, if you’ve had a child say, why do we need to learn all this stuff? If you’re not able to answer that question in a way that satisfies it, you’re not ready to teach it. Except.

And I want to add about the micromanaging. Nobody likes to be micromanaged. I don’t think I’ve heard anyone say, I like to be micromanaged at work or in everything that I do. Actually, it kills creativity and it kills motivation. So this is why when you have kids in an environment like the schools being micromanaged, every step of the way, they don’t get to practice their agency.

they’re a bit lost in their teenage years. They’re not excited to be there. And they don’t even know what their career path is gonna be. So it’s kinda like we have generations of lost children. Right. And so when you train agency, and it’s okay for them to make mistakes along the way in learning agency, when you train agency, then what happens is they become self learners. They…

they develop an idea of, I want to do this. I want to do this. I want to be a baker. I want to be an engineer. I want to be a nurse practitioner, or whatever they want to do. And they’ll discover those things that they really start gravitating to for a career. And that’s what agency will buy you.

If you tell your kids, oh, you’re going to be this, you’re going to be that, that’s your path, then you’re not giving them a chance to exercise their agency. And so they feel trapped.

Stephan (33:57.994)
When it comes to applying this notion of training agency, what can that look like in practice? I think some examples you give are if the child is interested in XYZ topic, that they could then go find books on that topic or play some kind of video game that’s related to that topic or maybe go and take an external class on that topic. What does it actually look like in practice where the parent is trying to support that child?

in agency, what does it look like in practice?

Homeschool Life (34:30.76)
I’ll do one for small children. Yeah, because it’ll depend on where they fall in their age. And the plane of development. The plane of development, there’s four, and so it depends on where they fall, but go ahead and take a look. Right. Like here’s one thing that is, because you’re training from birth the idea of agency, and so instead of saying, you know, here have some apples for a snack.

Instead of that, saying, would you like apples or banana slices for a snack? So you give them a choice, and they feel like they made the choice. And remember, the definition is to a degree in which an individual has the ability to make decisions. So the act of making a decision should be practiced. So you direct that.

and then expand more and more as they get older what their decision making is. So when they finally decide what they want to do for a life, they’re not frozen. They’re not frozen trying to figure out what they’re going to do because in public school, at the time of graduation, they’re asking them, what do you want to do for making a living? And two weeks prior,

They had to ask for permission to go to the bathroom. See, they’re not teaching agency. No, the thing, again, for agency is the freedom of choice and the freedom for children to speak out their thoughts and feelings. Because they, you now are letting them feel confident that they can speak out whether they want, they think differently about something. You allowed them the chance to.

Stephan (36:01.798)

Homeschool Life (36:28.456)
debate you on, you know, do you wanna read the book or would you rather work on a dressing frame? That’s something that they learn how to close buttons. It’s a way for them to learn how to dress themselves. But you give them choices on what they wanna learn and that way they feel like they own that decision. Or they can say, well, I don’t wanna do any of those things. You allow them the freedom to say, okay, so we got, let’s.

what did you have in mind? You know, it’s being able to have those type of conversations that develops a confident child. Yep.

Stephan (37:06.206)
I’m also curious, and maybe this is a bit of a nature versus nurture question, but when I think about, let’s say, the way my dad thinks about certain issues, I’m not that far away from him. And I wonder, maybe my son won’t be that far away from me in terms of how he thinks about things as an example. So I wonder how much of it is just kind of genetically driven anyway, like regardless of how you’re taught, whether you’re homeschooled or status schooled, I’m curious, where does that play into your view?

Homeschool Life (37:18.312)

Homeschool Life (37:36.52)
Well, let me ask you something. Do we do we ask these questions about nature versus nurture when having a friendship?

Well, you know, I mean, they’re all relationships. You know, whether you have a relationship with, you know, a co-worker, your father, your mother, whatever, or even with your children. A lot of times we start looking at children as this, you know, a Petri experiment, a Petri dish experiment. And it’s like, well, we have to figure out how we can mold them. Well, how about you just like connect with them?

You don’t want to make the mistake of treating them like a second class. You know, they should be… Actually, we should be treating children like kings and queens, like, you deserve a better education than what they’re giving you elsewhere. I would say future kings and queens. Basically, give them the best quality of things, you know, better than what we had ourselves. And most people want to do better for their children, you know…

than they had themselves. Yes, because that’s how we improve our future generations. We give them better opportunities, things that we didn’t have so that they can grow. And we have a lot of evolving that we still need as a species. So if we can’t break free from that mentality that we are free to make these certain choices and free to educate ourselves, we’re not going to move forward. So.

Stephan (39:11.598)
Let’s talk a bit about the importance of the love of reading. Now, this is another thing I noticed you mentioned in the book, where as I read the book, my understanding was you were saying, try not to have that child be getting themselves addicted to things like cartoons with the bright, you know, colors and everything. Maybe that’s overstimulating the child. And actually, what you want to do is try to…

get them to enjoy reading and learning in that way. So why is that? Why should we focus on that idea of reading as opposed to like cartoons or things?

Homeschool Life (39:48.968)
Well, there’s many answers, but…

This is one of the reasons why we talk about the planes of development or understanding how children develop and understanding how children learn because when children are young, they really want to explore the world. That’s their natural state. They want to touch anything. And you know that babies will put everything in their mouth. That’s their way of learning about what’s going on around the world. So how they learn or how they prefer to learn is they want to get their hands on things.

Homeschool Life (40:21.802)
the concrete materials, instead you give them abstract things like TV, that’s not going to satisfy them developmentally. It’s actually going to harm them because then they’re going to be addicted because with technology it just starts a different path that is not positive. Do you want to add to that? Sure. I mean, there’s plenty of studies out there talking about the detriment of electronics at early ages.

it’s it’s it is over simulating as you say we we even have anecdotal stories about how Steve Jobs said he’s not gonna you know give his kids Apple tablets for you know until they get way older and there I mean it’s full of full of those things and the thing is is we have to develop the connections in the brain

that where you’re not, help me out here. I don’t know where you were going with that, but I was just saying that kids, kids are like primitive people. They wanna learn things from scratch, how to build a fort from scratch with pillows or whatever they find nearby. They don’t want a kit that’s already pre-made. And then, you have to let them,

evolve as like a human species in other words they they want to build things from scratch and then later they want to say Okay, how can I make this better? Maybe present in the more advanced kit that they’re ready for what one of the things I saw and this is in the book also is you know, I was driving and I saw a father with his son and they were both jogging and so What I gathered from that is enough. I’ve seen him a couple of times

And what I gathered from that is we are the model for our children’s behavior. We are the model for the virtues that we want to instill in our children. And so when the child will develop a desire to go jogging, if the father has a desire to go jogging or whatever the father or mother

Homeschool Life (42:51.496)
are involved in, they will generally gravitate towards those things. That’s why you have, you know, the sons and daughters of doctors generally become doctors, sons and daughters of engineers become engineers, and etc. So that’s very, very common. So when we want children to read, what are we modeling for them? What template are we becoming for them?

Because sure enough, if we are a bad template for our children, they will mimic that as well.

So the thing is technology is very detrimental because it’s a distraction and the fact that it’s naturally addicting. So it takes away children’s focus and attention when they should be developing other things like reading. And if we read to them all the time and develop that template, they’re gonna want to read. They wanna even wanna learn to read on their own without us having to put that stressor of, you need to learn how to read. They will just pick it up naturally.

in the way of things, it kind of, you know, doesn’t allow you to get to the point where you can give them other type of resources outside of technology.

Stephan (44:10.494)
I see. So on the technology question, how do you strike the right balance then? Because as an example, you might also want to use Khan Academy as an example, right? And for that, obviously you need a computer. So is the question then more about the right timing? Like it’s saying don’t introduce computers to them too early and then wait until a certain age. And then that’s where you start introducing computer learning tools.

Homeschool Life (44:22.92)
Sure. Okay.

Homeschool Life (44:28.68)

Homeschool Life (44:37.224)
That’s exactly right. The thing is, as engineers, actually we love technology. We think it’s an amazing thing, but we also know the bad things about it. And so it is an age thing because, again, the planes of development, you have to satisfy ..

the needs so that they can develop in a healthy way and not deter them from their natural learning progression. And for reading, it can start off really simple. It’s like with your three-year-old every night before you go to bed, you’re all in the living room, you get together and you read a story. Mom reads, Dad reads, and then.

you know, our daughter was reading at the time. But the thing is, and of course they get older and so they can take a turn like at five, six, seven.

reading certain things. And it doesn’t have to be a big book, just interesting. Yeah, and we kind of, we kind of, sorry that I interrupt you. No, no, go ahead. So the thing is, we know how user-friendly technology is now. It’s like anyone can learn it in a few minutes. It’s not that difficult to pick up. So that that fear of, oh, my child won’t have the exposure they need and know it. And that’s false because they’ll pick it up like nothing, even if you delay that exposure.

Homeschool Life (45:56.074)
was already reading at a college level, even though we didn’t give her college level texts because they’re not appropriate, they’re adult material, but we kind of knew it’s not going to deter her from continuing reading because she really loved to read. So around age eight, I did introduce a very simple laptop, and the first thing I did was

basic tools like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Paint. So as tools to further her education. So again, very basic things. I don’t give her programs that do it all for her. I give her programs where she uses them for her own satisfaction. So interestingly enough, the one program that really, really took her to like further along with her.

studies was PowerPoint because all of a sudden she’s making presentations in PowerPoint at age eight.

about any subjects that she could think of. And that was like the most interesting thing. So she learned a tool to further her education and something that would be useful for her in the future. Instead of giving her games or things that just, again, more of a distraction and stuff like this, you want to give them tools. That’s the best way to use technology because technology are tools first, not a way to, not entertainment where it takes away your time from doing,

will work anyway.

Stephan (47:30.486)
Yeah, great. And another big topic, and of course this comes up pretty much every time anyone even talks about homeschooling, so I’m sure you’ve heard and answered this question a thousand times, the socialization one, right? Of course, I’ve even had to answer this question, but an interesting angle I’ve seen you take in the book is this idea that kind of what people are talking about when they call it, quote unquote, socialization, is really more like social conditioning. So can you explain a bit about that? Why is it?

Homeschool Life (47:43.816)
Uh huh.

Homeschool Life (47:58.44)

Stephan (48:00.326)
social conditioning and social engineering rather than socialization.

Homeschool Life (48:04.904)
Well, a lot of times there’s a misnomer that the average person thinks they understand what socialization is in regards to public education. They think it’s, oh, about having friends and socializing. That’s not what socialization is.

In psychology, there’s two types of socialization. There’s primary socialization and secondary socialization. Primary socialization is what they get from their families, and they learn things about values and virtues and right and wrong and morals and that type of thing. And those are supposedly the family rules of society, because everything goes back towards the family.

Okay, as the center of civilization. What the secondary socialization is, is think of it more like a corporate idea, a corporate socialization. Once you get a job, there’s things that you have to do in the company you work for, right? This is how we should conduct ourselves. These are the rules of, and they have nothing to do.

with morality. It’s just the way you do things for that company or a school. So when they say the children need to be socialized, what system are you socializing them to? And when you’re talking about school, you’re talking about secondary socialization, a socialization to a system rather than socialization to civilization.

where they, where people generally say is, okay, well, actually what I mean is, uh, my kid is not going to go to prom. They’re not going to go to play football and stuff like this. So that’s a different, that’s a different conversation, but you have to make that distinction is when you talk about socialization, what socialization are you talking about now for the socializing of children? That’s important.

Homeschool Life (50:19.304)
we have in homeschooling a lot of communities have I mean, let me stop you for a second. Sure. Sure. Okay. So the the reality of socialization is the proper solace socialization for for you know Incorporate yourself into society. It’s not really learned Well in the school system because you have all these kids same age So that all these kids are inexperienced

I was going to get to that. Go ahead. And they’re put together to supposedly do that, and they’re not going to learn how to do it correctly. This is why we refer to schools as the Thunderdome, because they’re ruthless with each other. They have the cliques, you have the bullies, and all these other things. And then you have teachers that say, we’re not here in school to socialize. So again, they’re not there to learn those skills. So the better teachers are the parents, because we…

as you know, like in homeschooling, when you have your kid with you, they’re observing you how you engage society because now your classroom is the whole world. Wherever you go and your child’s with you, they’re seeing you engage with society, people of different ages, different generations, and how you go about being polite and asking for things and stuff like that. And because homeschooling has become so mainstream,

And what homeschoolers do is they do have their own clubs and co-ops and things like that that they do get together. So people when they think, oh, but the kids who are homeschooled do not get those experiences. They actually do. And the better.

Stephan (51:57.502)
Yeah, one area I want to look so I mean, I agree with you, obviously. And I think another interesting topic in the same area is this idea that really, it’s about and this is maybe a bit subversive, but it’s really about accepting the state as the authority and the center of society, rather than the family, which obviously, I think we all agree that it should be more about the family, not about the state, but obviously, libertarians would have that view.

Homeschool Life (52:16.936)

Stephan (52:23.466)
Now, I think one other area that a libertarian maybe would challenge you guys on this is maybe they would say, as an example, if we believe in the free market and division of labor, specialization of labor, why isn’t it that we would want to put our kids with a specialist teacher as opposed to every parent or at least one of the parents having to go and be the teacher or the guide or the mentor for the children?

Homeschool Life (52:27.848)

Stephan (52:53.346)
I mean, I guess I have my own thoughts on this. For me, my answer would be something like part of it is because of the way the status schooling system kind of touches all even the quote unquote private schools. And maybe, maybe hypothetically, if we lived in a truly libertarian world with actually private schooling, maybe that would be different to today. But I’m curious how you would answer that, right? Like obviously a free market libertarian could come back to you and say, well, hang on, don’t you believe in specialization of labor? Why should a…

Individual parents who maybe that your competence might be in something completely different to teaching and being a guide, right?

Homeschool Life (53:25.736)
Absolutely. Here’s the libertarian answer. There will always be schools. Okay. My thing is why do we need a megalith, a leviathan of a state school that we spend billions on every single year? Okay. That’s the libertarian answer. The thing to really think about is

the free market. Now, going back to vouchers, they say, oh, well, this will do the vouchers will do this and that and the other thing. And then I was like, no, no, vouchers are just an accounting methodology. Okay. And that’s, and they actually say that in the, there’s a publication, a UNESCO publication, I mentioned it before about supply side funding for schools. And so, but the thing is, is

there is no free market in state programs. It’s the antithesis of free market. So if you want a free market, you’re going to have to talk about privatization. Now, what’s his name? The economist, the famous economist Freeman. Yes. A great guy. And what he said about vouchers is, okay.

Stephan (54:44.083)
Milton Friedman.

Homeschool Life (54:52.552)
you can have vouchers as a stepping point to full privatization. But then he mentioned and alluded to, but you’re going to have to deconstruct vouchers. And we know how easy it is or how difficult it is to deconstruct any government program once it’s initiated.

Stephan (55:18.154)
Yeah, of course, there’s a famous saying, there’s nothing so permanent as a temporary government program. And I think that actually was Maitland Friedman, I think, who said that, ironically.

Homeschool Life (55:22.888)

Yes. Yeah. I was going to add something, and it’s a little, it’s a different answer, but it’s something that we need to be cognizant about is we’re not just having a crisis where people are not learning. In other words, we’re saying we have a very dumb society, or dumbed down society, but we also have a problem with relationships, you know? And that’s the key that I think we need to also focus on is the relationships.

We need parents and children to be more connected. And so that in the future, we don’t have these issues of mental crises, because that happens, it’s connected to family. We also have less divorces, things like that that affect society because of relationships. And that’s the only way to fix that is for us parents and children to be more connected.

Stephan (55:59.18)

Homeschool Life (56:20.168)
And that’s part of when we talk about our subtitle of our book, Kids Don’t Need School, is a radical new homeschooling plan to teach anything, promote independent learning, and prepare children for an uncertain future. And one of the elements of that radical plan is the improvement of the parent-child relationship. And if I was to drive anything home, it would be that fact together. We need to take back our families.

Stephan (56:20.577)

Homeschool Life (56:49.256)
because there’s so many forces that are against the family as an institution. And I’m not just talking about what people have called the nuclear family, which some people would say, well, the nuclear family is kind of like a PSYOP, right? Where really what we’ve given up is what they call the corporate family, which is the nuclear family with an extended, you know, grandparents and cousins and uncles and that sort of thing.

And that’s the strength of the family, is a clan idea. And the thing is, is if you look at some immigrants that come to the United States, Asians or Indians and stuff like this, and they bring their family over, everyone works for a certain goal. And in one to two generations, they’re wealthy. I mean,

That’s the power of that corporate family model. And that’s why our communities are not working, even though they exist, we’re not working, because we have disjointed, disconnected families. We don’t have the strength of families to build a better community. Yeah.

Stephan (58:00.126)
Right. We’re atomized.

Yeah, and that’s a sad trend. I think part of that is, you know, culture. Part of that is fiat currency. Obviously, many of my listeners are Bitcoiners. We’re focused on Bitcoin, but many of us are also libertarians. So, you know, I think many of them are probably in an age bracket where they might have children and they’re either thinking about homeschooling or some of them are doing homeschooling already. And so there is maybe an element, and you’re touching on this, this idea of…

homeschooling as a bulwark in the culture war, let’s say that this idea that if you don’t want the state and other political influences to be influencing your child, whether that’s the woke staff or the, you know, whatever, or other things, homeschooling is a way to sort of push back and actually tip the scales back in favor of freedom. So I think that’s actually a really important angle, you know, for those people interested in the libertarian freedom aspects of this.

Homeschool Life (58:51.944)

Homeschool Life (59:00.488)

Stephan (59:01.502)
Right? Because it’s not just about what’s more efficient at teaching your child maths and English, but it’s also about what kind of society do you want to live in.

Homeschool Life (59:08.584)
Yeah. Yes, it’s the it’s homeschooling is the largest, I believe it’s a largest return on investment politically that you can ever do. Okay, because the thing is, is you can spend, you know, 20, 30 years fighting the school board.

or campaigning for whatever school program or something like this. And you may get a little bit of headway, but to remove your children and teach them and basically take your values and virtues and instill it into your children, that is a huge benefit politically.

And also, of course, for your legacy, passing on those things for your children. But as far as like a housewife can do more politically than an activist by just homeschooling.

It’s a brilliant tactic we should all embrace. Yeah, I mean, the thing is we don’t want to use the infrastructures, any infrastructures that will enslave us one way or another. And the schools is the main one that starts with enslaving our minds from the very beginning. So why would we continue using those infrastructures when we are more than capable of doing a better?

you know, a better way to, you know, be in control and teach our children.

Stephan (01:00:47.994)
Yeah. Okay. So look, we’re coming to time. So I guess this is the final question or topic. Let’s talk a little bit about how on a positive note, as you’ve mentioned, it seems like the momentum is shifting, right? In these last few years with this, you know, fake scamdemic that we’ve all lived through, I think we’ve seen a lot more interest in genuine homeschooling and not this kind of just do your public school on Zoom kind of aspect. Can you talk to us a little bit about that? What are the prospects there?

Homeschool Life (01:01:04.232)

Stephan (01:01:16.938)
What kind of numbers are you seeing and hearing about in terms of the growth of homeschooling?

Homeschool Life (01:01:22.696)
Well, there’s actually quite a bit of numbers on the growth of homeschooling, but what we see is, as I mentioned before, five million homeschoolers now. Out of 50 million K-12 population, there’s five million that are homeschooling, and that’s significant. Any political movement over 2% is a significant political… Mm-hmm.

movement on but we have 10% and then again the nice thing about that is once it becomes mainstream and it is already mainstream you have an emerging market and you have people who are now more accepting of homeschooling. I think I saw recently and I’ll probably botch the numbers here

But it’s like 37% more approving of the idea of homeschooling than it was like in the 90s. And so what’s interesting about what I was going to say, sorry. I can’t get into your mind. There’s so much there that’s amazing what’s happening in that. Oh, I remember.

It’s getting so mainstream that the University of Arizona is now offering classes, homeschooling classes from grades 6 through 12. And so the colleges are now getting into the market of providing education, homeschooling programs for homeschoolers. So that’s…

Stephan (01:03:17.974)
Well yeah, that’s certainly an interesting development.

Homeschool Life (01:03:20.904)
So opportunities are opening up and even more so. I mean, when we wrote our book, we reached many parts of the world, even in places where homeschooling is actually illegal to do. We sold in Germany. But the message that we’re sending is, we wanna live in the world where we are free to learn how we see fit. That’s really how we wanna live. So the thing with our book is,

We teach you how to be that expert, and we give you that confidence. And maybe in the future, you may wanna develop something to help other homeschoolers. But with this influence of let’s do homeschooling, because it’s really easier than you think, it’s gonna help us in the long run. Of course. And we’re here for coaching too, as well. We have our website.

Stephan (01:04:05.214)
Fantastic. Well, yeah. Go on.

Homeschool Life (01:04:10.856), you can join up if you read the book and you still have questions, there’s coaching available. There are soon to be classes online. We’re developing our class structure for parents. So but if you want to, if you definitely need a very like crash, crash, not a crash course, but a crash start.

and to getting the right path for your children where they can actually be 10, 15 years ahead of their peers, definitely schedule coaching with us because we’ll get you on the right path. We’ll get you to where you can be efficient and give you the confidence that you need and it’s a brilliant thing. Right.

Stephan (01:04:53.302)
Well, that’s great. I mean, like I said, I’m a fan of homeschooling. I’m a promoter of the idea myself. So best of luck to you guys. I hope listeners, you check out the book, check out the site. I’ll put all the links in the show notes. And yeah, let’s, let’s leave it there. So Jonathan and Adriana, thank you for joining me today.

Homeschool Life (01:05:11.176)
Thank you for having us. Take care.

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