Archive for the ‘Podcasts’ Category

Podcast: Raising Neurodivergent Kids with Debbie Reber

Brave Writer Podcast

Debbie Reber knows firsthand how to navigate the journey of raising a neurodivergent child. As the founder of Tilt Parenting and author of Differently Wired Raising an Exceptional Child in a Conventional World, she shares her personal experience of homeschooling and helping other parents. Debbie’s goal is to provide support and resources for parents, caregivers, educators, and professionals.

Debbie Reber
Debbie Reber

Join us for today’s Brave Writer podcast as we discuss the different forms of neurodivergence and how they affect your family.

Show Notes

Debbie Reber shares her personal experience of homeschooling her son Asher, who is now an adult, and how she created her own website and podcast to help other parents navigate the journey of raising a neurodivergent child.

In the homeschooling community, many parents choose home education specifically for their differently-wired children. This was the case for Debbie as well. She believes that homeschooling chose her family, as they struggled to find a suitable educational environment for her son Asher, who is twice exceptional and has ADHD and other neurological differences.

Despite initial reluctance, Debbie began homeschooling Asher in third grade and found it to be a transformative experience for both her and her son. It allowed her to get to know him as a learner and as a person and helped her reframe her thoughts around neurodiversity. Debbie’s experience highlights the importance of finding an educational environment that truly fits the needs of differently-wired children.

Rethinking what it means to be a parent and family

Being a parent can come with a lot of societal expectations and pressure to conform to a certain mold of what a “successful” family looks like. For Debbie Reber, the founder of Tilt Parenting and author of Differently Wired, moving to a foreign country helped her strip away these expectations and find freedom in creating her own unique family vision. She found herself surrounded by families in Seattle participating in after-school sports, camps, and traditional family vacations, and she felt pressure and frustration when she couldn’t replicate that for her own family.

Moving abroad allowed her to break free from the comparison and expectations of others and make up her own rules for what works for her family. This included creating new rituals like going to the coffee shop and playing Minecraft together, and not worrying about what others thought. Debbie’s experience highlights the importance of finding what works for your own family and not getting caught up in societal expectations.

The value of diagnoses

Diagnosis can be an important tool for understanding and addressing the unique challenges faced by neurodivergent children. Diagnoses provide context and can help adults understand areas of challenge and strength, it also can give an individual sense of understanding about themselves and their challenges. It is important to remember that a diagnosis should not be seen as the solution, but rather as a way to provide better support for the child. In addition, in traditional school settings, a diagnosis can also help in getting support and services that can help the child in the classroom. Overall, evaluations and assessments can be a great tool for parents to understand their child’s unique needs and find ways to support them.

Giving kids a place to feel seen and heard

Finding a support group and community is essential for neurodivergent children, as they may feel isolated and different from their peers in traditional environments. Debbie suggests that it’s important for neurodivergent kids to spend time with others who are neurodivergent, so they can feel like they belong and understand that there are others like them. She also suggests that open communication and understanding about neurodivergence is important, as it helps to break down the idea that there is a “normal” group and an “outlier” group.

It is important to acknowledge that everyone is unique and has different strengths and weaknesses and that neurodivergence is just one aspect of a person’s complexity. By creating a more open and understanding environment, children can feel more comfortable being themselves and not feel like they have to fit into a certain mold.

When it comes to raising a differently-wired child, it is important to take a step back, trust your intuition, and not feel pressured to have all the answers right away. It’s important to give yourself time to process and not feel rushed into making any decisions. It is also important to remember that a diagnosis is just information and your child is not broken. Rather, it is a chance to get to know your child better and understand their unique strengths and challenges. Trust your intuition. Don’t feel pressured to conform to societal expectations, but rather support your child in a way that is aligned with your values and what you know to be true about your child.

Resources

Connect with Julie

Brave Writer Podcast

Podcast: Modern Miss Mason

Brave Writer Podcast

On today’s Brave Writer podcast:

  • Meet Charlotte Mason—who she is and why her method of education was so revolutionary.
  • What constitutes living literature and where do we find it today?
  • Meet Leah Boden—Modern Miss Mason. How has she helped bring Charlotte’s teachings into the 21st century with our iPads, movies, and video games?
  • What’s a short lesson? Why are they important?
  • What does it mean to bring your own “breath” or “spirit” to the home education you give your children? There’s a word for it that Leah shares!

Leah Boden is a wife, mother, homeschooler, podcaster, writer, and speaker. She has four children — one who is an adult and the remaining three that are still educated at home. Leah is passionate about bringing learning to life and is committed to modernizing the Charlotte Mason method of education.

Her new book, Modern Miss Mason, is published by Tyndale (a Christian publisher), and has wonderful resources and supportive information for any parent. Leah is known for her wise, warm voice in the home education space.

Leah Boden
Leah Boden

Charlotte Mason was an education reformer and pioneer. Her method of education relies heaving on immersion in living literature, history, art appreciation and nature study. She established an open and expansive vision of learning, and Leah Boden has done an excellent job of modernizing that vision and applying its spirit to the world we live in today.

If you want to read more of what Leah shares, purchase a copy of Modern Miss Mason.

Show Notes

Who is Charlotte Mason?

Charlotte Mason was an English educator and philosopher in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. She developed a method of education that focused on developing a child’s character and imagination by teaching them living ideas, rather than rote memorization. Her approach to education has had a lasting influence on education and is still used in many schools today. Her approach was made popular in homeschooling through the re-publication of Charlotte Mason’s Original Homeschool Series, a six volume set released in the 1980s.

For over 20 years, Leah has been a parent and practitioner of home education and the Charlotte Mason philosophy. When she first began her homeschooling journey, she found the vast majority of information about Charlotte Mason’s work was from America. After doing extensive research, she discovered more material from the British archives and Charlotte’s original work. Leah was immediately drawn to Charlotte’s philosophy on childhood, education and motherhood. She tailored her philosophy to fit her British culture, time period, and the individual personalities of her children. Now, her goal is to help other people find freedom in Charlotte’s teachings.

It was only near the end of Charlotte Mason’s life that she began to see the results of her work taking shape in the world — now it is up to a new generation to carry on her legacy.

What does it mean to be a Modern Miss Mason?

Charlotte Mason’s philosophy of living education emphasizes getting to know the people behind a subject, rather than just reading old books. She encouraged her readers to discern for themselves what a living book looked like, and to find modern authors who could bring that same energy to their work. Leah’s book, Modern Miss Mason, encourages readers to educate themselves, stay intellectually alive, and bring their own energy to their children’s education. 

The power of short lessons

Charlotte emphasized the power of short lessons and how they have helped her with her family. She believes that keeping lessons short helps to develop the habit of attention and that knowledge should be celebrated rather than focusing on the quantity of what is retained. While longer lessons or hitting bigger milestones such as reading a certain number of books may seem impressive, the end result is often inferior. Charlotte Mason’s focus was on giving children the opportunity to dig for their own knowledge and to make the associations that are most meaningful to them.

Charlotte Mason established an open and expansive vision of learning, and Leah Boden has done an excellent job of modernizing that vision and applying its spirit to the world we live in today. If you want to read more of what she shares, purchase a copy of Modern Miss Mason.

Resources

Connect with Julie

Brave Writer Podcast

Podcast: Becoming a Parent-Coach to Your Child with Elena Aguilar

Brave Writer Podcast

Parents often don’t see themselves as educators or coaches to their own children or communities. And yet, that’s exactly what they are — or at least what they aim to be. Coaching is a set of strategies you can use when you want to help someone learn and grow. Our role as parents is to enable our children to make good decisions once they are on their own.

Elena Aguilar
Elena Aguilar

Elena Aguilar is a writer, leader, teacher, coach, and podcaster. She’s the author of seven highly-acclaimed books, including The Art of Coaching, Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators, and The PD Book: 7 Habits That Transform Professional Development. She’s also a frequent contributor to Edutopia, ASCD’s educational leadership, and EdWeek Teachers, as well as the founder and president of Bright Morning Consulting, which helps individuals and organizations create the conditions for transformation.

On today’s Brave Writer podcast, Elena shares with us the ways we can use coaching strategies to help raise independent, critical thinking children.

Show Notes

The importance of coaching through emotional development

Being able to talk about or process emotions does not require specific spaces or a certain degree. Human beings all have emotions, and we all need to be proficient at processing them and moving through them. As parents, it’s important that we acknowledge emotions — both those that we are feeling and those of our children — and offer space for reflection around what those emotions mean.

The difference between learning and skill building

Continuous learning is not about consuming information. Learning goes beyond acquiring new knowledge — it requires skillful implementation and regular reflection, evaluation, and course correction. It requires deliberate, ongoing practice. 

When we are learning something new, there is a “knowing-doing gap” between our understanding of a concept and our ability to perform it. One way we can close that gap is by practicing, getting feedback, and paying attention to what that feedback says about your progress.

Elena’s practical tools and breadth of experience give us the courage to be parents who coach our children to lead effective lives, to enjoy their educations, and to be prepared for life beyond the family.

Resources

Connect with Julie

Brave Writer Podcast

Podcast: Finding a Homeschool Philosophy that Works for You

Brave Writer Podcast

I am recording some of my Tea with Julie emails for the podcast for those of you who prefer to listen. These are brief messages of support for parents and educators. If you’d like to receive the weekly emails, they are free. Sign up at bravewriter.com/tea


In our attempts to find a philosophy of education that works for our families, we can feel batted around by the strong gusts of:

  • the latest curricula,
  • the current trends in home education,
  • the program that solved whatever schooling issue over which we’d agonized.

And whenever we seek out advice, it always comes with a mixture of inspiration and guilt.

On today’s Brave Writer podcast, I’m going to share some strategies on how to integrate all of your aspirations without feeling overwhelmed.

Listen on Spotify. Also available on Apple Podcasts.

Show Notes

Complete Tea with Julie notes can be found HERE.

Resources

Connect with Julie

Brave Writer Podcast

Podcast: Making the Ordinary Sacred with Bonnie Smith Whitehouse

Brave Writer Podcast

Content Advisory: The speaker is a Christian and this show features her book that teaches families how to celebrate the liturgical calendar.

Bonnie Smith Whitehouse is a Nashville-based professor at Belmont University and writer. She calls herself a pilgrim not only because she loves to walk, wander, and contemplate, but because when she read Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek her life was forever changed. She’s a mother of spirited boys, a lover of bird song, a baker of bread, and an amateur painter and hand-letterer.

On today’s Brave Writer podcast, we discuss her latest book, Seasons of Wonder: Making the Ordinary Sacred Through Projects, Prayers, Reflections, and Rituals: A 52-Week Devotional.

Show Notes

Why “Seasons of Wonder”?

Wonder is not discussed enough. We lean heavily on certainty, which is like oil to wonder’s water. When we look at nature, we see wonder everywhere. We are a part of the earth, and with each season we invite a new energy to our life. Seasons of Wonder gives a methodical and creative approach to delving into our curiosity and sense of wonder.

What is a devotional calendar?

A devotional calendar is a guided structure for deepening your study and understanding of a religious faith. Typically in daily or weekly increments, they present a passage to read and invite you to explore what it means.

Seasons of Wonder is not your typical devotional. In fact, Bonnie didn’t approach writing it as a devotional until her editor pointed it out to her. But this is her own personal twist on the genre: A book full of devotion, and how love, wonder, and courage all come from being devoted.

In Seasons of Wonder, each section is named for a month, and contains a practice for each week that makes up that month. For example, January starts off with the theme of “Transcending Dualities,” and the four weeks are titled:

  • “Gather and Resolve,”
  • “Stargaze,”
  • “Wrestle,”
  • and “Set the Table.”

Along with each devotional guide is paired a “wonder moment” and something to try.

To wonder is to tell some stories together, to explore ideas, and to listen and discuss. After you’ve had some time to wonder, listen, and discuss, you move into trying and taking those ideas into something concrete. When you can physically manifest that idea of wonder, something magical happens.

Resources

Connect with Julie

Brave Writer Podcast