Archive for the ‘Podcasts’ Category

Podcast: Critical Thinking for Toddlers with Susie Allison of Busy Toddler

ritical Thinking for Toddlers with Susie Allison

As we talk about critical thinking, the conversation tends to skew towards teenagers and high schoolers, but you’d be amazed at the powerful wheels turning in the minds of our little ones. We can prime the environment for them to be quality thinkers at as young as preschool or even toddlerhood.

Susie Allison has a lot of insight into this age group. She runs the popular Instagram account, Busy Toddler, and she’s created a wealth of experiences for her own children and other families. Busy Toddler has grown up to become a worldwide brand, with Susie authoring “The Busy Toddler’s Guide to Actual Parenting.” She has a degree in Elementary Education and is currently earning her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education.

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Show Notes

Activities for Critical Thinking

Everything that toddlers do is designed to acquaint them with the world, so that they can discover, learn, and grow. That all requires critical thinking, which is something we can encourage through specially designed activities.

One of Susie’s favorites is “the pouring station.” You put out a large empty container and various cups of water – potentially in different colors – for kids to pour into. They learn pouring skills, they have the sensory experience of the water, and it requires barely any equipment to set up. They’re also learning hand-eye coordination, capacity, volume, and cause and effect.

Another great accessory for toddlers are pom-pom balls. Believe it or not, they actually survive being wet! Putting a kid in the bath with some wet pom-poms invites so much play and sensory exploration.


Podcast: Thinking Critically, Aging Gracefully & Being a True Influencer with Lyn Slater, Accidental Icon

Brave Writer Podcast

A couple of years ago, I was introduced to my next guest on the Brave Writer podcast through Instagram. I was taken in immediately by her sense of style and yes, her age. As someone heading into my senior years, she instantly gave me hope that I could find the next right thing to do with my life—and to do it looking fabulous! Clothes have always been self-expression for me (at least when I leave the house!). And my guest has that talent of using her personal fashion sense to express attitude, passion, and all sorts of personalities.

Suffice to say: I’m a huge fan! I see today’s guest as a role model for my future. She’s got nearly a million Instagram followers, and has even been featured in television commercials for GoDaddy.

Please welcome my new friend Lyn Slater, the Accidental Icon (@iconaccidental). She has multiple degrees and lives in New York where she taught social work at Fordham University for 20 years. She’s a fashion icon, true, but what really got me even more interested in her was her career in the field of social work and academics—a true critical thinker! Throughout her teaching career, she balances creativity with thoughtfulness for learning and education. She’s also a person of integrity and depth.

Lyn started Accidental Icon when she had trouble finding a fashion blog that offered an urban, modern, and intellectual aesthetic for women who live what she calls “interesting but ordinary” lives in cities. Women who – like her – aren’t celebrities, but are smart, creative, fashion-forward, thoughtful, engaged, and comfortable with who they are.

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Show Notes

How Social Work Shaped Lyn’s Thinking and the Importance of Context

While working with young women from a criminal justice perspective, Lyn realized that, so often, their issues were not about crime, but trauma and abuse. These women weren’t criminals; they were victims. This led to her shifting into social work and taking a more clinical approach to the work she did. Being a social worker allowed Lyn to see glimpses into a world that people who come from privileged backgrounds, like her, never get to see.


Podcast: Preparing Your Homeschooled Kids for College with Dr. Adam Clark

Brave Writer Podcast

Is university a rite of passage or merely a means to success? Or is there even more to it? Could college grow our young adult’s minds and hearts in addition to their thinking and practical skills?

Dr. Adam Clark is a professor and theologian at Xavier University. He’s committed to the idea that 21st century theological education must equip and inspire students to live according to the St. Ignatius dictum, “Go forth, and set the world on fire.”

During his tenure, Dr. Clark has received many distinctions and awards for his work. His courses contribute to the Jesuit practice of educating students in the service of faith and the promotion of justice. He currently serves as the co-chair of Black Theology Group at The American Academy of Religion, and he is frequently in demand by news programs for his comments on issues related to social justice.

On this episode of the Brave Writer podcast, Adam speaks from the fullness of his personal, Christian faith as he discusses critical thinking. His concepts, however, are life-giving – no matter which belief system you hold.

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Show Notes

Typically, when one thinks of critical thinking, it’s centered around evaluation or persuasion, but Dr. Clark thinks of it more as “below the surface” thinking —  pursuing the “why?” Usually, when asked a question, the first thought that comes to mind is not the honest answer. If you keep pressing that, you start to get to the source of the solution.


Podcast: How Enneagram Types Think Critically with Leslie Hershberger

Brave Writer Podcast

What a treat I have for you today!

On today’s podcast we’re talking about the enneagram, a tool for self-knowledge. It’s a hot field of interest in the world of personality, temperament, and raising kids. A lot of what I find online, however, focuses more on the idiosyncrasies and caricatures of each type (because, let’s face it, humor!) than parsing the way we can use our self-awareness for depth and growth.

Today, we’re going to deep dive into the way our drives and motivations influence how well we think. In fact, you’ll get a much better idea of how to work with your “different-from-you” kids too!

Leslie Hershberger is one of my dear local friends and also an internationally renowned master teacher of the enneagram. I have participated in her panel work and her conferences. She’s awesome!

Because this area is new to many of you (and because some of you are uber-fans of the enneagram), Leslie is offering us a SWEET deal for her most popular course. Take advantage of it while you can!

And be sure to listen to our podcast episode together (listen below). We had fun!

For the discount code go HERE.

Use coupon code: bravewriter

Get: 25% off

The Enneagram can be a useful tool for understanding the different ways in which people perceive the world, but how can it apply to critical thinking?

Leslie Hershberger has a unique blend of wisdom, practical training, and insight. She has worked with the three-centered Enneagram approach for over 20 years as a consultant, master teacher, coach, spiritual guide, facilitator, and mentor. She’s certified in The Narrative Tradition and in Enneagram in Business and has served on the board of the International Enneagram Association.

On this episode of the Brave Writer podcast, Leslie talks about how critical thinking shows up in each of the nine Enneagram types. Some of this conversation gets into the weeds of the Enneagram system, but if you stick with it you will come away with a greater understanding of the ways people sort the world.

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Show Notes

What is the Enneagram?

Every time we walk into a room, we apply a filter to the information we receive. The Enneagram is an examination of how we use that filter to sort and make us of this knowledge. It comprises nine different patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior. The brain can’t process all of the data available at any given time, so the Enneagram acts as a way to provide some predictability.

Every child has a different temperament from birth. It dictates how they start to look for power, control, connection, affection, security, and a sense of safety. Their natural Enneagram personality type shapes their entire personality.

The Nine Enneagram Types

First are the body types, oriented towards power and control:

  • 1: The Perfectionist
  • 8: The Protector
  • 9: The Mediator

Next is the heart center, oriented towards connection:

  • 2: The Giver
  • 3: The Performer
  • 4: The Romantic

Lastly, the head center is oriented towards security and safety:

  • 5: The Observer
  • 6: The Loyal Skeptic
  • 7: The Epicure

How Critical Thinking Shows Up Through the Three Centers

The Body:

Body types feel things strongly in their anatomy. They are defined by what they do and don’t like. They often hold a defensive position when it comes to power and control. When dealing with children who are body types, don’t push your agenda. And if you are a body type, pay attention to how your automatic and instinctual preferences come up in the present moment — and how you defend against them. Have some kindness for yourself because you’re protecting something that matters for you, and once you’ve acknowledged that, you can start to make room for other viewpoints.

The Head:

Head types can get so wrapped up in their thoughts that they miss what’s happening to others. They get so locked into their thoughts and ideas that they can even dissociate from the information. The first thing head types need to do to open up to other viewpoints is to ground themselves in their bodies. Head types need to get in touch with their feelings, otherwise they can be overwhelmed by trying to find meaning in the world.

The Heart:

Heart types focus on the “doing.” They shapeshift in order to connect with other people. They are primed to be conditioned by their environment, and they often lose their connection with how they feel inside. Understanding their past can allow them to trace their experiences forward, giving better understanding of the present.

The more you learn about your style of thinking — strengths, weaknesses, and blindspots — the more you can adapt and course-correct where necessary. There’s a reason it’s called “critical thinking:” it’s not automatic and it’s going to take work, but if we think actively and consciously call out our biases, we can all become stronger critical thinkers and better people as a result.


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Brave Writer Podcast

Podcast: Homeschool Unrefined with Maren Goerss & Angela Sizer

Brave Writer Podcast

Homeschooling should be an option for everyone. That doesn’t sound like a controversial statement, and yet many of us struggle to make our homeschool right for us and our family.

Maren Goerss and Angela Sizer are the dynamic duo behind Homeschool Unrefined, an inclusive and non-sectarian podcast and community all about keeping homeschool simple, real, and fun.

These friends of more than 20 years carry a breezy chemistry that bleeds into every topic they touch. They are both former public school teachers with master’s degrees in education and they want parents to know that homeschooling can be less about lesson-plans and more about nurturing the inherent, natural love of learning already within our kids.

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Show Notes

The Mission of Homeschool Unrefined

Maren and Angela had a vision for homeschools that redefined the way people were approaching their family’s education. Their goal was straightforward: keep homeschool simple, real, and fun. With their educational background, they understood how kids learn and they wanted to encourage people to support that. A student-led philosophy is a better way to learn than a parent-led one.