Archive for the ‘Podcasts’ Category

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.

Listen to the Podcast

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.

Listen to the Podcast

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.


Podcast: The Educational Value of Video Games with Ash Brandin

Brave Writer Podcast

Raising five kids during the internet era, everyone is dying to know what my thoughts on video games are! How many hours, how many minutes, how many days? Are they too violent? Is it okay if they love Minecraft? Will they lose all motivation to work? Let’s discuss all this and more!

Ash Brandin (they/them) is a middle school teacher from Golden, Colorado. After researching the use of video games in classrooms, Ash found that there was very little research about how games compel people to play, and how this can be brought into the classroom — or any educational environment.

Since 2016, Ash has spoken across the country about how academic spaces can mimic game structures to make learning compelling, motivating, and engaging. They believe games, specifically entertainment based games, can help us create better teaching, more engaged learning, and motivated lifelong learners.

Listen to the Podcast

Show Notes

How Much is Too Much?

When your kids are away at school for several hours of the day, there is less potential for video games to take up a large portion of their time. But when they are home most of the day, how much gaming time is acceptable?

With how many games being mobile, it can be tough to monitor and micromanage. In general, when kids are engaging in screen time, we need to be asking ourselves:

  • What is the quality of engagement?
  • What is the purpose of this activity?
  • Do we see this creating a problem somewhere else?

Podcast: Practicing Psychological Flexibility and ACT with Dr. Diana Hill

Brave Writer Podcast

The podcast has been dark for a few months… and for a good reason! I just wrapped up writing my newest book (out February 2022). Now that it’s in the hands of publishers, I’m ready to get back to the business of podcasting.

The theme for this season comes from the topic of the book: Critical thinking. Let’s peel back the layers and get a closer look at what it means to be a critical thinker.

Dr. Diana Hill is a psychologist and podcaster with Off The Clock Psychologists. At the beginning of the pandemic, when so many people unexpectedly had their children at home with them, Dr. Hill discovered Julie’s book The Brave Learner. She used the ideas in The Brave Leaner to become a home educator herself.

In today’s podcast, Diana talks about how to create a better relationship with ourselves. She has co-authored a therapeutic personal journal that features a practice called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). ACT is cutting-edge, evidence-based psychology that helps people develop psychological flexibility. Psychological flexibility is one of the best indicators of effective parenting, and recent research shows that psychological flexibility reduces the impact of pandemic stress on families and kids.

Psychological flexibility involves directing yourself towards your values — even in the face of difficulty and challenges. It takes skills in acceptance, perspective taking, values, being present, stepping back from thoughts, and commitment to become psychologically flexible. The ACT Daily Journal breaks psychological flexibility into an eight-week program that helps people in each of these skills to get present, identify their values, and take committed action in the direction that matters most to them.

Listen to the Podcast

Show Notes

Psychological Flexibility and the Six Core Processes:

  • Acceptance
  • Cognitive Defusion
  • Being Present
  • Self as Context
  • Values
  • Committed Action

Why do we need psychological flexibility?

Humans are designed to avoid pain and move towards pleasure, which can work well in the external world but leads to issues under the skin. If something matters to you, there is likely a degree of discomfort associated with it because our values are closely related to pain and discomfort. Psychological flexibility is required for critical thinking because it allows us to move outside of our comfort zone.


Podcast: The Complete Season Six

Brave Writer Podcasts

Did you miss an episode from the sixth season of the Brave Writer Podcast? Did you want to listen to an episode again?

Not to worry!

Here are the episodes from season six of the podcast in one convenient place so that you can listen (or re-listen) to them whenever you want.

Tune in to the Brave Writer podcast on Apple PodcastsStitcher (or your app of choice), and here on the Brave Writer blog.

Season Six Podcasts

S6E1: Celebrating 20 Years of Brave Writers

S6E2: Love + Collaboration in Learning

S6E3: How Do You Balance Being a Parent and a Teacher?

S6E4: When You Have No Energy to Do Any of It

S6E5: To Parent or Not to Parent

S6E6: What Do You Do When Your Kid Has No Passion?

S6E7: Finding Common Ground in Homeschool Community

S6E8: Tips for Suddenly-at-Home Schoolers

S6E9: What are the Risks of Homeschooling?

S6E10: Out of the Classroom: Brave Schooling

S6E11: Marriage, Divorce, and Homeschooling

S6E12: Healthy, Diverse Homeschool Communities

S6E13: Joy-Centered Learning for the Reluctant Learner

S6E14: Creativity in Teaching

S6E15: Growing Minds

S6E16: When You Worry about Public School Standards

S6E17: Rigor vs. Relaxed Alertness

S6E18: That Pernicious Topic: Chores

S6E19: What’s Worth Fighting For?

S6E20: Overturning Overwhelm

S6E21: Teaching Your Children Shakespeare with Ken Ludwig

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Help a homeschooler like you find more joy in the journey. Thanks!