Check out IIN to see if Health Coaching is meant for you!
Main website: www.buildingheroesacademy.com
My book: www.homeschoolgetitdone.com
My curriculum funnel: www.3homeschoolsecrets.com
Building Heroes Academy Homeschool curriculum - homeschool all the kids in an hour a day
Book: How to Get Everything Done: How to homeschool AND clean the house AND stay sane
I LOVE encouraging homeschool moms. It's overwhelming to so many because it's such an unknown and goes against what most the world is doing. I love teaching principles to help shift your mindset from overwhelm to enjoying life! I love to talk about "How to get everything done" and "how to build heroes in your home - and why you need to."
In today’s episode with Molly Christensen, listeners will get to know about the tools that Molly uses for homeschooling, tips on how to avoid procrastination and get past the overwhelm, and habits that moms should practice to be the best models for their children.
[00:00:00] Intro: Hello, true health seeker. And welcome to another exciting episode of the Learn True Health podcast. You are going to love today’s guest. Now, Molly Christensen specializes in working with moms, especially ones that are overwhelmed and doing homeschooling. However, I think everyone could benefit from listening to today’s interview because Molly shares some amazing tools that help everyone.
So enjoy today’s interview. Please share it with busy moms. Share with all the busy mom friends that you have. And all the homeschooling friends you have. Because they’ll gain benefit from it as well. Because she does share specifically some information about that. But she gives amazing advice for those that would love to master their mindset and no longer allow procrastination to stop them. So really, really, really great nuggets of gold in today’s interview.
And I want to let you know something really special. If you are a stay at home mom and you would also like to have a career in helping people, you can become a health coach. You can go to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. It’s 100 percent online. I did their online program. It’s actually designed for busy moms. Now, dads can take it too. But the program is designed for women who are so busy that they’re taking care of a family. And even moms that are taking care of family and a career, but basically we’re so, so busy that they designed as you can fit it in in the evenings, maybe 20 minutes a day. That’s about how much I did, 20 minutes a day for an entire year and I became a certified health coach. What’s really exciting is that in 2020, it’s going to be covered by healthcare. It’s going to be covered by insurance. So it opens up the doors for so many people who maybe in the past couldn’t afford a health coach, would now be able to. Which is really exciting for you as a health coach and also exciting for people who want to hire a health coach that you can use your insurance which is really, really exciting. Give IIN a call. Just Google IIN, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Give them a call and ask them for more information. You can also get a free module of the course by going to learntruehealth.com/coach. That’s learntruehealth.com/coach. They give you access to a module and you can see if it’s right for you.
Now, I got a special deal for my Learn True Health listeners. You get $1,500 off. It’s a huge chunk of the tuition is taken off for mentioning the Learn True Health podcast for being one of my listeners. They also have lots of great specials throughout the year. Sometimes they include things like a tablet or an Amazon gift card for additional books, because of course we love learning. So you know, call them up and ask them what kind of special is going on right now especially through mentioning the Learn True Health podcast and all of the great discounts that they give us as listeners. And please share this information with those in your life that you know would make an amazing health coach. It is the fastest growing field in the health field – n the health space. I think that we’re going to get to a point where health coaching is a household name and that it’s as common to go to a health coach as it is to have a certified trainer when you go to a gym. I’m very excited about that because we need to turn this around. The rate of disease is just increasing every year. We need to turn this around. We need to give the chance for everyone, give the education and the chance for everyone to have true health. That’s exactly what I’m here to do is to help you learn what you can do mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, to optimize your health.
Thank you so much for being a listener. Thank you so much for sharing the podcast to help as many people as possible. Enjoy today’s interview.
Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is Episode 398.
I am so excited for today’s guests. We have on with us Molly Christensen, who is an expert in homeschooling and supporting busy moms. Helping them to no longer be overwhelmed. I came across — my husband actually came across Molly’s work. And as we were watching one of her videos, my husband said, “You have to have her on the show.” And I was like, “You’re right.” She has so much wisdom to share. I thought this is awesome. Even if you’re not a homeschooling mom, I think you can still take away some amazing gold information from Molly. Because nowadays, even kids that are in the public school system come home with, like, over an hour’s worth of homework and it’s overwhelming. And even if you’re not a stay at home mom and you have a career and then you come home and then you have to help your kids with homework and then you have to manage the chores.
So I just think that Molly even though your expertise is helping homeschooling moms, I still think that all parents could take away great wisdom from you because you teach that how to have balance with your children, with the chores, and with your own emotional state as well. Which if our emotional state is not in order, if our mindset is not in order, everyone in the household suffers. You know what I mean?
[00:06:00] Molly Christensen: For sure. Absolutely. If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Right?
[00:06:04] Ashley James: Nobody happy. That’s right. Oh, Molly, welcome to the show.
[00:06:09] Molly Christensen: Well, thank you so much. I’m super excited to be here. And thank you for inviting me. This is exciting.
[00:06:15] Ashley James: Absolutely. You have three websites I want to let listeners know about. Your main website is buildingheroesacademy.com. Your book is homeschoolgetitdone.com. And your curriculum funnel is the number three, 3homeschoolsecrets.com. Of course the links to everything that Molly does is going to be in the show notes for today’s podcast at learntruehealth.com.
I want to dive right into your story because, man, you’ve got — like, I just want to, like, be a fly on the wall and absorb all the wisdom that you emanate from your years of experience. I only have one kid. I don’t know how in the world you’ve done it. You’ve done everything you’ve done. How many children have you homeschooled?
[00:07:09] Molly Christensen: Well, I have seven children.
[00:07:13] Ashley James: And you look amazing by the way.
[00:07:15] Molly Christensen: Thank you.
[00:07:15] Ashley James: So you definitely are doing – you are managing your stress levels. You’re managing everything really well. And I know it’s been trial and error. And now you love teaching people and teaching homeschooling moms how to do that. How to do just what you’re doing. But to take us back to your story, what happened in your life that made you want to homeschool your children?
[00:07:39] Molly Christensen: Okay. For sure. Yeah. So when I was growing up, I actually was kind of an angry child. So people who know me now are like, “Yeah. Right.” So the good news is that you can change that. I was always mad and blaming other people for things. And you know, my siblings now will say, “Yeah. We’re kind of scared of you.” But I was also a very determined person. And luckily, my mother also could see potential in me. She could see that if I put my mind to something, then I could do it. I would do it. But still growing up, I kind of thought, “You know, I’m a mean person. Nobody really likes me.” I remember when my mom came to me – let’s see how old was I? I was probably 14 or so. And she was very brave. She came to me and she said, “You know, if you smiled every once in a while, people might not be – they might want to be in the same room as you.” Okay. She didn’t exactly say that. But that was kind of the gist of it. Of course, I hated hearing that and I was mad at her. But I did take her words to heart and I decided to practice smiling. So I started smiling. And you’re like, “Wait. What does this have to do with homeschool?” Don’t worry, it connects in.
But I did start to smile and I did realize that it was better to be happy and to smile and to have people not be scared of you.
So when I was in high school, she actually started homeschooling my younger brother and sister. And let’s just say I still wasn’t that great at being happy about things. And I thought, “Why in the world would anybody want to do that?” And they even asked me, “Do you want to be homeschooled too?” And I’m like, “Heck no.” I thought it was the worst idea ever. Why would I want to be home with you? Which is really sad in retrospect. But I did get better. So this is good. So that’s why it was kind of interesting that when I started having kids of my own, and my oldest son was about four, I started thinking about homeschooling. And my brain was like, “No way. You can’t do that. Because not only are you a disorganized mess, It’s weird.” People think you’re weird if you homeschool. And what about socialization? Your kids, they’re going to be weird.
[00:10:29] Ashley James: Yeah. We all know that one weird that came in to, like, maybe junior high or something that was homeschooled. Like, we all know or someone told us. Someone told us, “Oh, yeah. I knew a homeschooled kid and they were just weird.” And so it’s, like, you hear about this one person or a rumor gets spread about one person, maybe you never even met them. And then everyone thinks that it’s like the stigma that all homeschooling kids are just weird, and unsocialized, and awkward, and they don’t know how to communicate. Oh, man. I’ve met some more schooling kids that are so brilliant. And they look you in the eye and they have wonderful conversations. And they’re so on and so connected. That is one of those stigmas that it’s just not true.
[00:11:18] Molly Christensen: I know. But everybody worries about it. And actually I can address that later if we want to go into that. Like, why it’s not even a problem. But I didn’t know that then. I was sitting there going, “I can’t do homeschool.” I don’t even know how. And seriously, I am the most undisciplined person ever is what I thought, you know, because I kind of was. I was kind of a mess. So I didn’t do it. I sent him to kindergarten. And I did not like that, actually. Because part of what I was seeing was he was bringing home some bad behaviors that I did not teach him. And he was learning things like, they had a whole two month unit on saving the rain forest. And I’m like, “You know, I am all for saving rain forest. But when you’re five, shouldn’t the focus be like learning how to clean your room first? Why are we putting all this pressure on him?” I don’t know. That just really kind of bugged me because – and I was thinking, “If you were home, that’s what we could focus on.” And I started looking at what was going on in the classroom. And I was like, “You know, this isn’t really rocket science.” Although, rocket science actually would have been easier for me because I graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. I was like, “Yeah. I think maybe I could do this.” Only because I was seeing that it didn’t look quite as hard as I had been picturing it to be.
And so the next year in first grade, I decided that I was going to homeschool him. And I asked my husband about it. And he was like, “I don’t care.” He’s just like, “Yeah. If that’s what you want to do, that’s fine.” But he didn’t really understand what homeschool is all about either and neither does I at that time. So I pulled him out in first grade. And by then, I had another kid and she was four at the time. But I didn’t think about the fact that she might want to learn too. So I tried to send all my energy to this one kid, my oldest son, who’s six mind you. And we would go from, like, 9:00 a.m. to about 4:00 p.m. and still not get all the stuff done that I had planned for the day. Because I was thinking, “Hey, if I’m going to homeschool, well, then you’re going to be way ahead of everybody else. And I’m going to make sure that happens.”
Why are we laughing?
[00:14:07] Ashley James: Well, I’m laughing because it’s funny –
[00:14:09] Molly Christensen: I’m just kidding.
[00:14:09] Ashley James: – how much pressure we put on ourselves and also put on our children. On one hand, children really can excel in homeschooling because they’re getting one on one. If they went to – even if they went somewhere else and it wasn’t you that was teaching them and they had a teacher, a tutor, teach them one on one for a whole entire day, they would have learned more in that day than they would in an entire week at a school. Because a teacher that has to manage 15 or 30 kids is not going to be able to give your child the amount of attention. And also cater to where they are and their learning style. So I’m laughing because they can – and children, when kids are really young, their minds are like sponges. They can really take on and learn so much. But at the same time, I think that as parents, we can put too much on their plate. And I’m talking from my experience. I’ve noticed that with our four year old. I’ve put too much pressure on him. And then I backed off and realized, “Okay. Maybe I need to -” there’s got to be some balance. And I definitely want to talk to you about that.
But continue with your story. So here you have your six year old and you have, basically, created a college level curriculum for a first grader that he’s getting the best tutelage in the world. And what’s happening with the four year old? Is the four year old jumping in and wanting to learn also?
[00:15:38] Molly Christensen: Right. So this is what happens. It is kind of funny because so many of us homeschool moms think, “Oh my gosh. I’m going to make my kid be a genius or something.” And then reality hits and you’re like, “I can’t even get him out of bed in the morning.” Because there’s no place to go. So what happened was, my four year old would just kind of tag along. But I didn’t really include her much, which was kind of silly of me. But she was listening and she was soaking everything in. She would actually go off preschool, which is kind of funny, so that I would have free time to work with my other son during that time too. And then when she was home, I would let her do a little bit of stuff here and there. But I was mainly focused on this oldest child. And I was trying to get through this list of, like, 25 different subjects every day. And I was trying to have him do writing assignments that would be things like, “Write three sentences to describe this pencil.” And now if there was anything that was going to ignite passion in a first grade boy, that’s not it. Right?
So it was pretty miserable because I was trying to follow all those curriculum that said this is what I had to do in order to get him where I thought he should be. And it was a nightmare because we would end up crying every day. Because I’m like, “Oh, I can’t do this.” And he is like, “I don’t want to do this. I just want to play.” Because he’s a six year old boy, which is what they do. And they do learn a ton from playing. But I didn’t know that. And so I just started searching for answers. And I finally had this thought pop into my brain, which was, instead of trying to get him through all these checklist items and then rewarding him by reading aloud at the end. Why don’t you start off with just reading aloud at the beginning of the day? And I was like, “I can’t do that. That’s the fun part.” But I tried it and actually that made life so much easier when I just put read aloud first. Because what it did is, it was so fun and we had loved it so much to learn and hear different stories together. That what it did is it built our relationship, made us grow closer together. And we have this common learning ground here that was fun instead of miserable. So it was then that I was like, “Okay. If I’m going to homeschool, I got to figure this thing out.” Because it’s great to put the reading first. But how is he supposed to learn everything else? I can’t make him because we’re in power struggles all the time. And it’s miserable. And so that’s kind of when I really just started my journey to figure out what it was that I needed to do. And also at the same time when I’m trying to homeschool, I’ve got these two kids and we are a disaster at home. Because I was spending all this time trying to homeschool all day long that I didn’t ever get around to cleaning the house or actually preparing meals. I just go the fridge and say, “Hm. What’s not moldy in here? Let’s see what I can pull out.” Because they always keep getting hungry, strangely enough. They want food.
And I kind of as a free spirit, I’m like, “You know, I just want to be spontaneous and free.” Except for when you can’t find your shoes. You can’t go out anywhere to field trips. So it was one of these really kind of defining moments in my life rose just like, always – so I had started smiling. And so that’s how you could actually get married because I wasn’t so grumpy anymore. And I could have kids. But what I learned was that in my heart, I was still very grumpy. And I was still blaming people. And I was still complaining about everything. And I didn’t realize that it was me causing most of my problems. And so what I had to figure out was that If I really wanted to make homeschool work, I was going to have to change. I was going to have to do things differently. I was going to have to think differently. And so I started reading all the books I could. Because that’s what I do. I’m like, “I got a problem to solve. I want to solve it.” I’m going to start reading. I’m not a quitter. I’m determined. I am pretty stubborn. I have a stubborn card in my back pocket. I can pull it out when I need it. So I started reading all these books. I started learning all these things. But what I found is that I could hardly even ever implement anything because I really was that undisciplined. And I wanted my kids to be able to say they’re going to do something and then be able to do it. Just even with no one nagging them. I always wanted my mom there. Well, I don’t have my mom here to nag me to do the stuff I know I should be doing but I can’t make myself do.
[00:21:01] Ashley James: It took it took me many years of personal growth to get rid of that little nagging – my mom’s nagging voice in my head telling me I’m not doing enough.
[00:21:11] Molly Christensen: Well, I just wanted her told me to do it. You know, sometimes because I couldn’t make myself do it. But yes, we do have our moms that they love us so much and they wanted this so much for us. But I was like, at some point I just got to figure this out for myself. I’ve just got to do this. Because I do not want to ruin my child’s life by homeschooling but I felt pretty strongly that I was supposed to do it. So that’s when I had it turned to me. And what is really funny that happens first for most homeschool moms and probably just moms who are parents, they’ll do is too. They’re always looking for the magic bullet. And this happened to me too. We go through every single curriculum out there. We buy all of them because we want the one that’s going to work and solve all of our problems. And the same thing with moms just who aren’t homeschoolers, we’re trying to find things that will fix our kids, really. When really, it’s us as a mom who is kind of creating a lot of the issues in our own lives. So I did that. I went out and bought a ton of different curriculum and none of it worked, surprisingly. Not really. But that’s because I didn’t even have the discipline in the first place to be able to teach my kids good character. And this is not against my parents, by the way. Part of is just my personality and my mom’s personality. And my mom was just struggling to get through raising these kids mostly by herself. I do have a dad, who’s a wonderful dad. But she felt like a single mom because he was an international airline pilot and he was always gone. Always gone. And when he was home, which I didn’t even think about until I was an adult, was the fact that he was jet lagged when he was home. So they were doing the best they could. But somehow some of the training kind of slipped away. And I didn’t get it mostly just because I did whatever I wanted kind of a free spirit. I got away with it.
So as I started reading all these self help books and taking classes and all this stuff, I was just getting more and more discouraged as I went along. Because I’m like, “I am a reasonably smart person. I should be able to figure this out. Why is this so hard? Why is it so hard to actually homeschool my kids, and to keep my house clean, and to just stay sane? And as I was reading all these books, I was getting different bits and pieces here and there. And so I was improving but it was pretty slow. Pretty slow improvement. But as I did get through this, I did finally come up with some key things that really changed the way I thought about things. And how I could actually homeschool my kids without completely failing them and ruining them. And how I could actually have a house where I wouldn’t be completely embarrassed to have visitors come over. And where I could be happy and not always feeling like a miserable failure.
And so that’s kind of what the message that I want — well, that is the message. That is the message that I like to share with people because there is hope. Like, if me, Miss Super Disorganized can figure these things out, you can too.
[00:25:05] Ashley James: And you’re no longer super disorganized is the point. You have really conquered these issues because – and so much so that you’ve mastered them after homeschooling seven children. And now this is what you do, you teach others how to do the same.
[00:25:23] Molly Christensen: Exactly I mean some people say your mess is your message. Which I love because, yeah it’s the mess that I had to deal with and figure out how to get over. And that’s why I want to share that with other people because it’s all about having hope. And the other thing, too, is I have not mastered everything in my life. Which is actually pretty awesome because it just means I get to keep learning. If I had mastered everything, I’d be done.
[00:25:55] Ashley James: We are never done.
[00:25:55] Molly Christensen: I’m not done yet. I am not done yet. And I am still homeschooling as well because I have these seven kids. So that takes a long time to get through them all. But I have my three oldest who have graduated from high school. And actually, the two oldest have graduated from college. The third has gotten his associates degree and high school degree. He’s 18 now. So I still have four left at home. So we’re still doing this project.
[00:26:26] Ashley James: Nice. Man, by the time you’re done with the last one, all your kids are going to turn to you and hand over your grandchildren to you. And say, “Mom, can you homeschool our kids too?”
[00:26:39] Molly Christensen: And I’m going to be like, “Nope. That’s your journey.” That is your journey. But I’ll help. I would love to help and encourage and support you along your journey. That’s what I do.
[00:26:51] Ashley James: That is what you do.
[00:26:53] Molly Christensen: Uh-huh. And actually, that is the key to what really changed my mindset. So this is actually probably a good time to share that. So when I started homeschooling, I thought it was all up to me to make sure that my son knew everything. And my poor son, being my guinea pig, number one. Let’s just say he actually turned out really, really awesome. And he doesn’t remember all the hard things those first few years. I was like, “Yes. He’s forgiven. And he’s awesome. It’s so good, it works.”
Anyway, so I want to share with you – is this a good time to do that? Should I just do that? Share with you this pattern that I had come across that actually really changed the whole way that I thought about homeschooling my kids and just raising my kids in general.
[00:27:50] Ashley James: Yes. Oh, I’m so excited. Absolutely.
[00:27:53] Molly Christensen: Yeah. Okay. So I heard about this pattern of the Hero’s Journey, probably a good 10 or 15 years ago now. I don’t remember exactly. But I had heard about it and I thought, “Yeah. That’s pretty cool.” So what the Hero’s Journey is this this pattern that was discovered – or I don’t know if discovered is the right word – but noticed because you notice patterns, right? It was a pattern that was noticed by an Oxford English professor. And of course, right now, his name has slipped my mind. But he wrote a book called The Power of Myth. Anyway, he studied all this mythology of the world, you know, Greek mythology, Egyptian mythology, all the different cultures. And he noticed there was a pattern to all these myths. And he called it the Hero’s Journey, because while the details are different, you have this basic pattern. And then he also noticed, too – well, okay. We’ll go here.
The basic pattern is this, you start with an ordinary person or at least a person who thinks they’re ordinary, who gets a call to action. A call to do something bigger than themselves and they don’t know how to do it. And so the next thing is they refuse. They’re not going to follow up on that call to action because they can’t do it. But then something happens and they decide to commit to the action and dive in and do it. Along the way on their journey, they will have mentors that will help them. They will have friends and allies who are on the same path with them. They also have enemies who try to stop them or tell them it’s stupid. And they’ll also run into test traps, trials, and temptations that may stop them if they’re not aware that they need to get around it. And that they need to continue on this journey because that call to action was so important that they need to finish the journey. And then as they get to the final conflict that’s really big and they finally get around it, they have success. And they are transformed and they are changed as a person, but also just as part of the journey and whatever it was they set out to accomplish has been accomplished.
So when I learned that pattern, I started noticing it everywhere because it is. It’s in every movie that we like, so many good books, and it’s everywhere. And I thought, “Oh, yeah. That’s pretty cool. That’s a pattern. It’s everywhere.” But when it really became powerful for me was when I realized it was a pattern for our own lives and the lives of my kids. And so what it did for me is it made me realize that I cannot just fill my kids up with all the information that they need. Because that’s not the purpose of learning and education.
[00:31:05] Ashley James: Yeah. And it’s not how we really learn it.
[00:31:09] Molly Christensen: It’s not.
[00:31:09] Ashley James: I mean, school is really good at filling us up with facts that we can regurgitate. Like, when was the war of blah, blah, blah, blah, right? It’s like, “Okay. Great. You memorized that fact. But did you learn to think?”
[00:31:22] Molly Christensen: No. And I didn’t know how that knowledge applied to me. In fact, when I was in school, I hated history because it was so boring memorizing all the facts. It wasn’t until I started teaching my own kids about history where I was like, “Holy cow. History is amazing. Because it’s all just hero journey stories. How do people overcome.” And it’s telling us how to live life, what the success principles are. That’s what it’s all about. But we didn’t know that growing up in my AP – well, I didn’t take AP History. I took AP English. But whatever. In my history class, it was very boring because we didn’t know the stories. It’s all about the stories. And so the Hero’s Journey is the story of our own life. And most of us don’t know that. We don’t know that we are potential heroes who can go on the journey. We get calls to action do you think is greater than us but we listen to the refusals and then do nothing. And that’s why we don’t go on the journey of our life. And that’s why people feel discontent because we’re not doing what we should be doing.
[00:32:31] Ashley James: Yeah. Yeah. And you know, one thing I’ve noticed parenting is, I have this urge to jump in and fix things for my son and do it but I don’t. It is an uncomfortable feeling to watch my son struggle. And I consciously pull back and I just encourage him. He will get it. Encourage him. Let him do it himself. So like, we’re doing arts and crafts and he’s got to paint something. And if I just let him do it himself, it’s not going to be perfect. It’s going to be messy. Because he’s still learning how to do that. And it’s also going to be his own creativity. And I hold back and I let him figure something out, like how to tie that knot or how to – whatever he’s struggling with. But that look on his face when he triumphs, when he does something he didn’t think he could do, he has now learned. And he had that moment where he was struggling, he was failing. I was encouraging him. And then he figured it out. It clicked and it works. And that triumphant on his face, that neurologically set that lesson in place. He now has that. Whereas, if I just did it for him and like, “Look what I’m doing. You do it this way.” There would be no emotion of triumph associated with the lesson for him. When we set up circumstances for them to have a challenge that they get to rise to, and struggle, and then learn from that, and then succeed, that has so much more emotion involved invested in the learning that it really solidifies the learning inside their neurology.
[00:34:18] Molly Christensen: Absolutely. Absolutely. And so that’s exactly why it changed my whole perspective of raising my kids because I realized that I am not here to control them. It doesn’t work anyway. You can try it. You get power struggles.
[00:34:36] Ashley James: I definitely want to talk about power struggles because setting boundaries and getting kids to do their chores and what happens when the kid says no to you? Like, I definitely want to go there.
[00:34:48] Molly Christensen: Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Let’s go there in a minute. But I’ll finish this thought. So what I realized is my role is not to be the bucket filler. But my role is to be the support team, to be the mentor, to be the trainer, to be the coach. So I heard this quote – well, I don’t know if it’s a quote but it’s kind of one of those things. But a pastor got up in church and he said to his congregation, “Are you preparing your kids for the path? Or are you preparing the path for your kids?” And I said, “Yeah. Wow.” There’s a big difference there.
[00:35:33] Ashley James: Because we can never- we won’t be around their whole lives. So we can never put padding and safety, whatever, make it safe for them. We can’t just go around and keep preparing the path for them. We have to give them all the tools because we want them to be independent.
[00:35:54] Molly Christensen: Right. And also, we don’t even know what their path is. They have a totally different path than mine is. It’s their own path. It’s their hero’s journey. And the hero’s journey is just full of things they need in order for them to learn to become the person that they are meant to be.
So the other part of why that pattern was so powerful for me was not only did it shift my role, but it shifted how I thought about them. Because I think sometimes we think that people are intentionally mean or naughty or whatever. And you know, “You’re bad. You’re bad boy,” or whatever. But really, every human being was born with greatness within. Every human being desires good. Every human being has that inside of them. And when you shift your focus to believing that and focusing on the good intention rather than how it comes out, then it changes things. Your kid accept and this is, maybe, where we can go into more obedient stuff. It’s not because they’re horrible people or you’re a horrible person. It’s just because they are human. And they are learning how to become better and they just haven’t gotten there yet. And that’s actually a really good thing to remember for teenagers, especially. Especially when they start going, “Mom, you just don’t understand. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” And they get a little grumpy and all those hormones are going around. It’s not because they’re bad. It’s only because they do have all this hormone stuff coming up. They’re confused. They don’t always know how to manage themselves at all. They haven’t learned it all yet. But they are good people. They want good. They want to be kind to other people. But it doesn’t always come out that way. And so it’s always really good to keep that vision of who they are. They are potential heroes. I mean, they are. They have the goodness inside. They can go on the journey to get to the greatness but only if they choose not to listen to all those negative voices in their head that tell them why they can’t do it.
[00:38:13] Ashley James: So how do you help them to not hear the negative? How do you help them to focus on what they want – the positive and create the positive behavior?
[00:38:27] Molly Christensen: So it really had to start with me first. Because I was so sucked into that negative thinking. I had to learn how to start listening to calls to action and acting on them. Because the Hero’s Journey is a pattern for your whole life but you’re also getting calls to action all the time. You don’t even hear most of them. Because you rationalize them away. And when I say you, I mean me too. It’s a learned skill there. And so to get out of the negative thought patterns I had to lead the way in. And the beautiful thing about having kids is you love them so much that you actually change for them. Because you want to lead the way for them. I figured that if I’m not willing to go there, why would I expect them to,? Even though it’s hard. So I started working hard on me first.
And so what I did one year, I had this thought pop into my head that I should make this blog called Kindness Daily, where I would do something kind every day. And I would blog about it. Now, the funny thing about that is, I’m not a disciplined consistent person. But my oldest son and I were just talking about how, with marketing or with a business really, people are attracted to people who can be consistent. Very consistent in their message, right? And so I blurted it out one day, I’m like, “Oh, you know, this would be kind of cool.” And he’s like, “Yeah. You should do it.” I was like, “Oh man, why did I say that out loud?” And as soon as I got that call to action to do this for 365 days, to write a blog, my brain immediately came up with all the refusals. And I sit and I said to myself, “I can’t do that. I don’t even know how to make a blog. And what if I can’t think of anything kind to do and I’m not consistent, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah” And, then I was like, “You know, I think I’m just going to try it. I’m going to do it.” I decided I was going to do it because I was at the point where I was like, “You know what? If I’m not going to do hard things then why are my kids?” So I thought, “I’ll give it a try.” So I started it. And the first few days, I was worried because – well, I wasn’t too worried. I just made cookies for the neighbors.
But after like three or four days that I was just like, “You know what? I really cannot make cookies every single day. I’m not that kind of mom.” And it’s going to get out of control. So I’m going to have to come up with different things to be kind about.
And I realized that I was getting thoughts to do kindnesses that I didn’t want to do. So I didn’t do them. So like one day – I know, right? One day, I had my neighbor’s kids over because she had to go to a doctor’s appointment. And I had this thought, “You know, you have to make dinner. Why don’t you just make her some dinner too?” And I immediately got these refusals in my brain that said, “Well, they’re not going to like what we’re having. I don’t think I have enough ingredients. I probably don’t have enough time.” So then I went, “Wait. That was a call to action with refusals. Oh, I should do it.” I did. I committed to doing it. And it turns out, I didn’t have enough gradients and I did have enough time. And she was – I don’t know if they liked it or not but it doesn’t matter. Because when she came home a lot later than she expected, I said, “Hey, I knew you’re going to be running late and you’re not going to have time to make dinner. So I just made it for you.” And she was just delighted. And she felt just so loved. So I learned from these experiences when I was doing these kindnesses every day that if I get three refusals, I darn well better do it. Because that’s part of my hero journey. I need to act on those things to become better to develop the character that I need to become the example for my kids. To go through this hero’s journey. To do the hard things that I’m asked to do.
And so I did do this blog where I recorded a lot of my kindnesses. Some of the days were super – I mean, they were so uninteresting to write about. But other days were really awesome. And I was like, “Wow. This is cool stuff.” And I actually ended up – I told you I wasn’t consistent, which was actually true. I was not consistent. And I did not do it for 365 days. But I did do it for 180 days out of the whole year. And I thought, “You know what? I have a choice here.” So I could look back at the year and I had a choice. I could look at it and think of it as a miserable failure because I did not do what I set out to do. I did not get 365 days. But I also could look at it and say, “You know what? I did do half of it. And I did learn so much just from the process of that.” I learned so much about how my brain worked, and how I was refusing calls to action, and how I could learn what calls to action I actually needed to follow. And so you asked me, “How do we teach this to our children? And then I went off on this big long story about how we have to lead our way – lead the way and figure it out ourselves first. And that’s actually what I did.
So after I did these kind of daily challenges – after I started doing them, I introduced it to my kids. And I had them do the similar thing. I said, “Here’s a jar. And here’s a bag of pompoms. Whenever you think of something kind to do and you actually do it, you can put a pompom in the jar. And when the jar is full, we’ll go do a fun family activity or something like that.” And they started to realize that their heroes on this hero journey. They get calls to action and sometimes they really don’t want to do it. They get refusals. But they can listen to those and not do them. Or they can listen to the call to action and then hear the refusals and then say, “No. Those are not true. I’m going to do it anyway because it’s a good thing.” So that that’s been huge in teaching the kids how to overcome those negative thoughts. So that’s an awesome tool right there is really – because heroes – this is probably one thing I didn’t say earlier, but heroes are not in it for themselves. They’re not going on this journey just for all the honor and glory. Maybe some of them are in some of the movies. But they’re doing it because it’s for a cause bigger than themselves, is to serve other people. That’s why we’re here. And so that’s why – I’m sorry. I totally neglected to say that earlier. That would made more sense. But that’s why this little smaller scale hero journey works out so nicely and it preps them for the real thing. It’s a good training.
[00:46:04] Ashley James: Can you give us an example? Like, when working with your kids, an example where they did some – they came up with an idea and they heard the refusals in their head. But you encouraged them and they then did it anyway. And it was a project that served others.
[00:46:22] Molly Christensen: Yeah. For sure. My 16 year old daughter just the other day, she said, “You know, I had this thought that I should text this friend that I hadn’t talked to for a while and just say something nice to her.” And she said, in her brain she heard, “No. That’s weird. You haven’t talked to him forever. And besides, what would you say if that’s a bad idea?” And then she’s like, “Wait. I got to do that.” And so she did. She texted this friend anyway. And it turns out that friend had been feeling really down that day. And when my daughter texted her she just felt so loved.
[00:47:03] Ashley James: I love it. Because when you first started sharing this, I immediately went to health related topics. So we’ve had Naturopaths on the show. Naturopathic doctors share that our body has a language. It speaks its symptoms. The symptoms of the body are the language that it speaks. So if you have a headache, don’t just go take a medication for it. Or if you’re tired, don’t just go drink coffee. But that’s the body actually speaking to you and saying, “Hey, there’s something I’m missing. Help me.” This is how it speaks to us. So when we think to ourselves, I want to run a marathon or I want to go to the gym. And then there’s these little thoughts that come up, like, “You can’t. That’s going to be too hard. You can’t do it.”
[00:47:53] Molly Christensen: I got a story about that one. No, it does. It’s the goodness inside of us that’s speaking. Because we are good. We do get those good thoughts. I got a call to action to run a half marathon. And I can tell you some of the refusals I got. My husband and my two sons had actually run it the year before. And I got the call. I was like, “Well, why don’t you run it within them the next year?” That was in my own brain. They didn’t say it to me. And my refusals were, “No way. I do not run. I am not a runner.” The last time I really seriously ran was when I was in high school, which was like 20 years before. And I had run a-mile-and-a-half for the PE test, you know, to show that you’re fit. And I passed it. But then I pretty much felt like I was going to die afterwards because I found out later that I actually had bronchitis. So I probably shouldn’t have run it. But they told us to. So I had that thought in my head that I was going to die if I ran more than a-mile-and-a-half for 20 years. And it was actually right around this time where I started experimenting with controlling my thoughts and my brain with the calls to action and everything that this call to run the half marathon came up. And I thought, “You know what? This will be a really good test. Let’s see if I actually have power of my thoughts in my head.” You know, can I actually do this? And so I had all these reasons not to. And I thought, “You know what? I’m going to do it anyway.”
So the first day I get out there and I go running like half-a-block before I feel like I’m about to die. And my brain kicked in. Because our brains are there to keep us comfortable. When you’re trying to change, that is not comfortable. And so it’s going to give you all the reasons to pull you back to where you used to be. That was more comfortable for it. So my brain starts going, “This is a really dumb idea. You can’t do this. What are you thinking? You’re about to die after half-a-block.” So what I did was I just told my brain, “Thank you for sharing that with me because that’s good to know. I’m on the right path.” I’m getting refusals, which means that if I keep going, I’m going to grow. So thanks for sharing but we’re going to keep doing this. So I did. I kept running. And I kept going slightly farther every day until I got to a-mile-and-a-half. And what was really funny is I didn’t realize I was doing this to myself. But for about two months, I only ran for a-mile-and-a-half until I was like, “Wait a second. I can run a-mile-and-a-half and I don’t feel like I’m about to die. Well, why don’t I just go farther?”
[00:50:41] Ashley James: You had to bust through a belief system that you unconsciously created in high school.
[00:50:46] Molly Christensen: Totally did. Totally did. And so I just kept going. And I did run the half marathon. I did post a pretty good time for somebody who was never runner before. I mean, I was just over two hours. I was like, “Holy cow. Look what I did I could do that.” That is what you’re talking about, it’s that feeling of triumph, which is awesome. But I would have never got there had I not failed along the way.
[00:51:13] Ashley James: Yes. And listen to the first voice. I really love that you have deciphered this. The first voice is your authentic self. The first thought happens really quick. And sometimes it’s actually quieter than the refusals that come after. They can be pretty loud. But the first voice like. “I should go to the gym. I should do a juice fast. I should eat more broccoli.” Like whatever, right? The first voice, that’s your authentic self. That’s the part of you that wants you to grow, that wants you to live a healthy happy life full of lessons and learning and just joy. That is the authentic self. But that’s the self that wants you to go up against the wall and push yourself and to really grow. And then the refusals –
You know, it’s interesting because I’ve had different interviews on about self-talk. And one Naturopathic physician, the whole episode was about self-talk. And she talked about how this voice, as you call, the refusals. She calls it self-talk that it is part of our survival mechanism because the pessimists are the ones that survived. All of our ancestors were the pessimists. If you think about the ancestors that were like, “There’s no bears in the woods. Let’s go frolic.” They were all eaten by the bears. It was the ones that were very pessimistic. And was like, “Fire burns you. Don’t touch the fire. Don’t go in the woods, the Bears are over there.” The pessimists looking for all the bad things that could happen were probably the ones that ended up surviving. So we just have this genetic predisposition to looking at conserving our energy as much as possible, which is talked about in the book, The Pleasure Trap by Dr. Lisle and Dr. Goldhamer. He talks about the evolution of our brain and what motivates us in an unconscious level to survive, which is to procreate, conserve energy, and consume food.
So we basically want to be lazy as possible. Consume as much calories as possible. And we’re motivated by procreation. Because that’s just genetically what all animals do to survive and to carry on the species. So that little voice inside of us is like, “Don’t run a marathon. That would not be conserving energy.” That would not be part of fulfilling the genetic – this genetic programming. So on one level, it’s genetic programming. On the other level, it’s this voice in our heads that tries to keep us safe. But safe is not – there’s no happiness in safe. There’s no growth in safe. If being safe is being stuck in the gray zone of just – what’s that? – purgatory. It’s like purgatory. You’re just stuck. And that is where depression sets in. That’s where people end up self-medicating with drugs and alcohol and sugary foods. Because their life is so safe that they bring a pint of ice cream home. Because it’s like that’s the only joy they’re going to get. So that’s like when we’re feeling stuck in life, that’s because we’re listening to all the refusals and not the first voice.
[00:54:31] Molly Christensen: Right. And we also don’t realize that a lot of times we get stuck because we hit a wall or a tract or something on our journey. So when you start feeling stuck in the muck, that’s part of the journey. It’s got to happen. But if you can see in the perspective of the Hero’s Journey, you’re like, ” Oh, wait. I’m stuck. I don’t have to be stuck here. This is a journey. I can get out.”
[00:54:55] Ashley James: Like a Disney Princess. This is just the middle of the movie, right?
[00:54:59] Molly Christensen: That’s right. It’s just part of the journey.
[00:55:00] Ashley James: Right. I’m just hitting the wall. I need to overcome it. On an esoteric level, there’s a consideration that the refusals are the devil or the negative spiritual energy that wants to keep us down. Which it has no power over us if we refuse it. If we go, “No. I’m not listening to those voices. I’m not listening to that. That’s not me.” You know that t-shirt, Not today, Satan? It’s like, “No. That’s not me. Thanks.” But I like that you think it. Because that’s actually what the Naturopath that I interviewed does. She says, thank that voice. “Thanks for letting me know I can’t run a marathon because I’ll probably collapse. Thanks. I take that into consideration but I’m going to prove you wrong.”
[00:55:50] Molly Christensen: Well, and I think it because it’s letting me figure out where my blocks are, where my walls are, what’s keeping me stuck. Because now that I see seen it, I can do something about it. Talk about empowering.
[00:56:03] Ashley James: Yes. So when you hear the refusals, you go, “Hey. Thanks for letting me know where my blind spots are and what’s keeping me in purgatory.”
[00:56:12] Molly Christensen: Uh-huh. Yeah. Exactly. I mean, the whole journey is all really just a battle in your brain. Because it’s a battle about whether your bodily appetites are going to control your brain or if that goodness, your soul, your spirit, whatever you want to call it, is going to control your brain. Because it’s much easier to sit on the couch and watch TV. Not that I’m knocking that. Sometimes you got to do it. But it’s much easier to do that than it is to get up and go wash the dishes.
[00:56:46] Ashley James: Choose your hard.
[00:56:48] Molly Christensen: Yeah. I mean, so your bodily appetite is the one that’s dealing with easy. Your goodness is getting up and doing what’s right. Which one’s going to control your brain?
[00:57:01] Ashley James: I love it. I love it. So this is how you – you took this and designed your entire homeschooling curriculum around the concept of the Hero’s Journey.
[00:57:10] Molly Christensen: Yes. That is what I did. Because what I realized is knowledge right now in the internet age, anybody can get knowledge. It’s free all over the internet. You don’t even have to go to school, really, you could just Google if you just want to get knowledge. And what I did with my homeschool curriculum is I feel like, “You know, there’s a lot of great knowledge out there.” But unless it is relevant to you, unless you can connect it to you, it’s not really helpful. So knowledge is still important. I’m not saying it’s unimportant. But it’s knowledge that’s applied wisely that really makes your life better. And especially with little kids, they love to learn. They love to learn new things. But sometimes they get crushed down because we’re trying to force feed it to them. And so they’re like, “Well, what’s the point? Why are you trying to make me do this?”
So what I did with my curriculum is I went through and I got all the basic knowledge in the different subject areas, you know, topics. And I created it so that you can just sit down with your kids, your family, however many you got. And then you just learn together but then you connect it to yourself through principles. So you’re using it as a vehicle to teach principles, like for success in life and for good character. And that’s how it makes it relevant. So we’re not learning it just to learn it to pass the test. But we’re learning it because it brings us together. It’s exciting. We can love learning because it’s so interesting. And then we can make connections. Because when you make connections, it sits those neurons firing off in your brain. And it’s like, “Oh, this is so cool.”
A funny example is when one of my little daughters figured out that green beans and re-fried beans were both beans. Oh, my gosh. She made that connection herself. And she was so proud. And the more epiphanies you can get – and you get those from when you make connections – the more exciting learning is going to be. And the more excited you are about learning, the more you’re going to do it. And the more you’re excited about learning, the more excited you are to go on that hero journey, too, because you’re going to hit the obstacles. And those are all about learning. In fact, I call the obstacles, learning opportunities. Because that’s what they’re all about. And so we want to love learning but some of the learning is hard when you get stuck. But you have to look and go, “Oh, this is a learning opportunity. Isn’t this exciting.” So that’s the feeling I want – it’s more important to inspire this feeling. That’s the feeling I want to inspire. Rather than, “This is miserable and I’m not doing what mom says because it’s stupid.”
[01:00:10] Ashley James: So then they get really excited about their homeschooling because they’re taking charge.
[01:00:18] Molly Christensen: Yeah. I mean, you’re setting the environment by learning with them and showing them what it’s like to make connections and to just love it. And then they can take that off into the other parts of their lives, too, when you’re not there actively learning with them.
[01:00:37] Ashley James: Since you have so many children of different ages, you’re homeschooling different grades, right? Your different levels at the same time. Can you give us an example of what a day looks like?
[01:00:53] Molly Christensen: Yes. And it’s kind of funny because I actually did a Facebook Live on my day on Monday. And everybody felt very validated because it did not look as perfect as they were picturing for what my day might look like. So I can tell you the ideal and then I can tell you reality. Okay? So we do family style homeschooling because people are going to learn at whatever level they are on. They don’t have to learn at whatever level some expert says that they should learn on. Because it’s their own journey. If they’re not ready to learn something yet, then why am I trying to make them? So we do family style learning. A big part of our homeschool is actually training with learning how to be consistent. Probably, I might be – I’d like to focus on that just maybe because it was such a big struggle for me. For some of my kids, it’s not as much of a struggle just because their personality type is just different. My husband is excellent at being consistent at things and disciplined with himself. Every kid is different. They all have different personalities. But we do work a lot on consistency. They do a lot of chores. Or at least they think they do. I don’t. I want them to know how to work.
And we also have a family economy system where my kids, when they turn eight, they have to purchase their own clothing. Which is interesting because they don’t get an allowance and they can’t really go out and get a job so they get creative. I will pay the minimum wage though. But this is probably a whole other talk. But I will let them work extra money for me to earn money. And people wonder how I afford it is because I don’t have to buy their clothes. Anyway, so we have systems in place where they can learn from real life skills that are going to affect them when they get older. And big ones, big challenges for people, for adults, for most adults are time and money. So that’s why we have those two systems in place for the work because that helps with being consistent with time and then for the money. So that’s a big part of our homeschool is just life, just living life and doing that.
So we do, do like a morning devotional in the mornings most of the time. And we will have breakfast. And we will clean. And then if we haven’t gotten all distracted like, we will sit down in the morning and we will just learn together as a family for about an hour. Now, sometimes my older kids who are in high school and have other – when I say they’re in high school, they’re not really in high school but high school level. But they’ll have projects and stuff that they have to work on their own. And Austin, my older kid, will be in Co Op. So they’ll have classes that they need to take. So they’ll have homework. And so they start just self studying themselves. And so me and, usually, the younger kids and, sometimes, the older kids will join it, too, we will learn together. So we will read aloud and we’ll just learn things together. And there’s no pressure. There’s no homework on that. It’s like we just do activities. Today, we drew drafts. So that was fun. Some of them want to do it. Some of them didn’t. And that was fine.
And we also usually eat a snack. Because snacks just make life better. I don’t know.
[01:04:39] Ashley James: Yeah. They definitely keep kids engaged.
[01:04:44] Molly Christensen: Yes. And it keeps their mouths full so they can’t talk as much if you want them to listen. I like them to talk but not when I’m reading aloud. So we always try to have a shared learning experience. Then in the afternoons, my kids play. I work so hard to protect my schedule so I don’t over schedule them. I want them to be able to play. I want them to run outside. Because play is such an important part of their development. And a lot of people think, “Oh, they’re just wasting time. Nuh-uh.” No. They are learning so much through play. And in he afternoons, if they do have classes, they’ll usually take those then. So that’s kind of the basics of it. That’s kind of the ideal day to kind of flow through that. Because, really, homeschooling is just life. But it’s not a free for all. It’s structured. But sometimes it might look like a free for all. And what I mean by structured is, I’ve thought a lot about how to set up the environment of my home. Like, what feeling do I want there and how do we get that in here and how do we flow. And I always got it adjusted because it never just stays that way. I’m like, “Wait. The feeling I want is not chaos. So how do we fix that?” You know what I mean? So there’s always things you can keep adjusting. But for me, it’s more about creating this environment of learning where they know that they are heroes and that they’re meant to have a mission in life where they’re doing good for other people. And so instead of me constantly telling them what to do and how to do it, it makes my life so much less stressful. And in fact, that’s how I get everything done is because I realized the only one I can control is really me. And I can control the household feeling and the environment. But I can’t control them. But I can love them.
[01:06:46] Ashley James: So what happens when you need to control them? Like they’re defying house rules, like, power struggles? And of course it depends. Obviously, a 16 year old and a four year old are going to be treated a little differently, I imagine. But how do you handle disobedience or power struggles?
[01:07:05] Molly Christensen: Yes. Okay. So the thing here is I’m still not controlling them. I’m training them because they’re heroes. I am training them for the journey. And that’s how I had to reframe it. And it’s the same principle whether they’re four or 16. I, here again, have to realize they are good. I have to remember that they’re good. And they’re not acting up because I’m a failure. They’re not acting up because they’re bad. They’re just acting up because they don’t know another way yet. So it just simply means that they need a little extra help in training and learning how to obey.
Now, sometimes when I talk about obedience, I know there’s two extremes here. You got some people who just don’t even believe in obedience at all. Because they’re kids. Let kids be kids. And then you got other people who believe in very strict obedience. I’m hoping that I fell somewhere in between. I expect that my kids are going to obey when I ask them to do something. And it’s not like I’m asking them to do unreasonable things. But I have to be very careful with what I’m going to ask them to do. And I’m going to also usually train more on obedience with chores rather than education. Because education, I want them – if I require it, then they’re going to do the bare minimum. You know what I’m saying? So, I want them to get inspired and want to do more. So I have to be very careful with what I require and what I ask them to do. So I do have to train them to be obedient. But I do it from that perspective that they are good and I am just helping them to become better. And I’m doing it because I love them and I know they’re good. But I just know that sometimes it’s hard to be obedient because you don’t want to do it. So I don’t get into a power struggle because I don’t get mad. And I set the expectation up front. They know, if you don’t obey, then we’re probably going to have to do kid training. And once I’ve done the initial kid training, they sometimes slip a little bit. And all I have to do is mention, “Oh, I’m sorry. You don’t obey right now. Do we need to do some extra kid training right now?” And they’ll be like, “Nope. I’m going to go obey.”
So it also helps with teaching emotional regulation as well .Because if they’re going to throw a fit, that’s not obeying. Because they got to obey when they’re calm. So basically, when they’re younger, ideally three, four, or five, sometimes it goes into six and seven, it depends on the kid, I will just be very intentional about training them in obedience. And sometimes that’s what my homeschool days would look like is all I did was train in obedience. And I would have to keep myself very calm. And then sometimes go in my room and give myself a timeout.
[01:10:31] Ashley James: Mama needs a timeout.
[01:10:34] Molly Christensen: Oh, yeah. Yes. So I’d be very intentional. And if I ask them to obey and do something, I would expect them to go do it right away. If they didn’t, I would say, “Oh, I’m sorry. Just now I asked you to obey and you didn’t. So now we’re going to have to go into – now, you’re going to have an extra chore.” And if they scream or yell or whatever, I would have to say, “Oh, I’m sorry. You’re not calm enough to do that chore. So we’re going to have to go into level two where you’re going to get another chore.” And lot of times they still scream and yell until they know you’re really serious and that you’re going to actually follow through. And so we’d get to level three. And they’re still screaming and yelling. They don’t want to do it. And they got three extra chores. So you can’t blame them, right? It’s usually just little things that I could think of on the fly that they could do based on their age. And they can do
fairly easily. They just have to be obedient to do it. If they got all three levels, I would just say, “Well, I’m sorry. We’re doing this kid training so you can learn to obey because it’s a really good skill to have in life. So right now you’ve lost all your privileges for the next day. So that just means you can’t watch any shows. You can’t have any snacks.” Just whatever you decide were privileges. You can only have the basics. You can’t play with friends. After doing that a couple times, although it depends on the kid, like some kids it only takes one time of getting that far. Other kids would take me like ten times because they’re very stubborn. But it was it was mostly just me, where I would just have to stay calm and consistent, which was really, really hard for me to do at first.
But I just realized, “You know what? There’s no sense in making them feel like they’re bad.” You do it all in a loving way. Because they’re not. They’re good. And they have this journey. And it’s not like I’m a failure if they’re acting up, because this is just part of the journey. This is just part of what they’ve got to learn. It’s okay. And it’s really all about that consistent training at first. But it takes – your mind thinks it takes way longer than it does once you do it. Initially, it doesn’t take as long. But, like, maybe a week or two of just intense training. So it’s a lot more intense maybe than your mind thinks of it before you do it. But it doesn’t take nearly as many weeks or days or months as you might think. You know what I’m saying? So that’s how I deal with the obedience part. Because you do still need obedience in there. They need to know how to obey and how to make themselves obey. And they also need to know who to obey to and why.
[01:13:20] Ashley James: So you’re making it to be a lesson in obedience. Like you’re training if you’re training a hero, you’re the coach, or the trainer. And if they don’t obey, they get more and more chores until it’s like strike three. And then they have all their privileges removed. How do you get them to calm down though from that? I mean, if they’re in a power struggle and they’re really upset and they’re maybe throwing things or they’re just very upset at you and upset of the situation. How do you get them to the point where they’re like, they’re happy they’re learning the lesson of obedience?
[01:13:57] Molly Christensen: Their time doesn’t start for the loss of their privileges until they’re calm. So it’s their choice. I just tell them that, “You know what, buddy? It’s your choice. When you want to get out of this, I’ll be so excited when you get your privileges back. But we got to do this. We can learn how to obey.” And then I also teach them, too. It’s like we’re learning how to obey those voices in our head too. It’s the same principle there. Because the obedience pattern, it starts with learning how to obey in your family. You got to be your parents. And then you’ve got to learn how to obey the good. Your conscience, really. You need to learn to obey your parents first. Because that’s kind of the physical thing that they can see. And then you learn how to obey the more spiritual aspect of your brain. You got to learn how – right?
[01:14:58] Ashley James: So you’re teaching them obedience not because you are like a general and you just want some good soldiers. And children should just do what we say without question. You’re not coming from that at all. You’re coming from you want them to learn the life skill of self-discipline.
[01:15:17] Molly Christensen: Exactly. Yeah. It’s not because – yeah. It’s not because I’m so lazy that I want them to do everything for me either. Sometimes they’ll say that but no.
[01:15:27] Ashley James: Wow. That’s harsh.
[01:15:30] Molly Christensen: I know. Well, it’s just because that’s what their brains come up with as a reason why they don’t want to do it. You know what I mean? I’ve thought that before. So it’s not that. It’s not that I want to control them. It’s because it’s a life skill. It’s because we grow up as adults and we don’t know who to obey.
[01:15:53] Ashley James: I love it. You know, we weren’t taught how to listen to the first voice and how to deny the negative thoughts that tell us not to follow through. No one taught us the self-discipline or how to foster it. And I love that you made, like, manners and following the rules and obedience be a lesson in how they can listen to their authentic voice and then follow through with it. That’s really beautiful.
[01:16:36] Molly Christensen: Yeah. Isn’t it though? They don’t always understand that when they’re kids. But as we keep repeating it, they’ll get it when they’re adults.
[0:16:46] Ashley James: Are you seeing that now and your three oldest children?
[01:16:49] Molly Christensen: Oh, yeah. Yeah. They’re awesome. They’re really awesome at self-regulating. And following their consciences.
[01:17:00] Ashley James: Now, I’ve seen videos where you’re talking more about this. Is this part of your training as well? The training that you sell? Do you also teach this, how to discipline and ideas for different age groups?
[01:17:17] Molly Christensen: I haven’t got a specific program for this yet. But what I do have is I have a program for moms who want to learn how to become disciplined and create habits for themselves. Like even the habits they’ve never even been able to do before. Because a lot of times those habits that we wish we had, that’s a big call to action. But the refusals are so strong. And they’re just so hard to do because we tried them so many times and failed that we can figure out how to do them anymore. So I do have that program for moms and then a lot of moms take it and teach their kids how to do that. It’s really how to – like for me for example, I was such a night owl. I could never get to bed before, like, 2:00 in the morning. And I would rationalize that away. And whenever I would think about changing it, so I had the call to action, “I should go to bed earlier.” And then I’d be like, “Oh. But the kids are in bed and I’m getting all this stuff done, blah, blah, blah.” And I finally realized – well, I finally came up with all these different keys of how my brain works partly by doing that kindness daily blog. I learned so much about how my brain works and how it’s not just my brain that works like this. So I teach a lot of those brain principles from that. And also from reading other books and mentors and stuff, too. But I teach moms how to listen to what’s going on in their brains so that they can lead the way for their kids too. So if you want something that’s just going to fix the kids that way, I don’t have that program yet.
[01:18:54] Ashley James:Yet.
[01:18:55] Molly Christensen: Yet.
[01:18:57] Ashley James: But we have to be the example. Like you said, we have to be the example.
[01:19:00] Molly Christensen: Right. We have to lead the way.
[01:19:02] Ashley James: So as parents, we need to learn how to do that. And then we can be the example but also teach our kids.
[01:19:08] Molly Christensen: Exactly. And that’s what I encourage the moms – and I have some dads too – of how to do that, how to get control of your brain. And we do it with the vehicle of creating some of these good habits that you wish you had but could never figure out how to get.
[01:19:28] Ashley James: I love it. I love it. So I watched some of your videos and they’ve got lots of free content as well that people can absorb and learn from you. And I did one of your webinars where I was – and even there was like a link to watch some videos on your curriculum. Because you teach a homeschooling – you sell a homeschooling curriculum that can be taught to all ages. Because the parent would then adjust it for the age level. And I loved it. I got so excited about it. Actually, I really want to do it with our son. You were showing how like day one, they’re starting reading about Egypt. And so they’re getting excited about learning about the cool things about Egypt. But they’re learning about geography and history. And then they’re learning about architecture. And it’s all kind of wrapped into one, which I love that whole learning where it’s not – they could be drawing and then writing at the same time. And it’s like art and language and science are all wrapped into one. It’s not like, “Okay. Well, put down your pencils now we’re learning math.: It’s like math could be part of that, right? So it’s all wrapped into one. And that’s how the brain learns so well when it’s a whole lesson learning.
But I looked through your curriculum and I was inspired by it. And there’s so much of it as you turning to the child and getting them to share their creative ideas and to come up with new ones. And then they’re so excited about the lesson that they’re not bummed out about writing something or doing a writing assignment because they were so inspired by it.
[01:21:21] Molly Christensen: Right. Right. And that’s what the whole idea is, is because it’s all connected, they can make connections too. It’s like subjects are a new invention of the modern age. And we do actually have it broken up into subjects. Kind of funny. But even though I know it’s so much better when it’s all connected. But we do it in subjects just because that’s kind of – well, for one reason, the reason why I came up with subjects for industrial ages was just because it made it more systemized. And so that’s one reason why I just kept it that way. But all the subjects are interconnected.
[01:21:53] Ashley James: That’s what I meant. They’re all connected so that they get the connections. My husband and I are both very creative and smart. Not to toot my own horn. But we both struggled in school because we’re the kind of learners that need to know why do I need to know this. Before they’re just like, “You have to learn this”. And I’ve always found it so frustrating in high school when – I loved science. And I was in physics. And they hadn’t taught us the type of math that I needed to know yet to do the physics work. And I went up to my physics teacher, I’m like, “I haven’t learned this yet in my math class.” And he’s like, “Oh, we’ll go talk to your Math teacher.” And they’re like, “Oh, yeah. We’re doing that next quarter.” And I’m like, “You are just all not talking to each other. How is this possible?” And then I was writing my first history exam in grade ten. And it said, “Write the answer in essay format.” Never ever in my life had I heard of the term essay format. And my history teacher was so upset for me. And he advocated for me. I remember him grabbing my hand and storming into my English teachers office saying, “How is it possible she’s in grade ten and she has fallen through the cracks and she has never learned how to do an essay. This is not okay.” And it was like how many children are falling through the cracks that we’re learning these different – the separate subjects?
Whereas, if you are doing homeschooling, for example, you’re talking about the middle ages. And then within that theme, then you’re learning some math, and then you’re learning some geography, and then you’re learning some history, and learning the science. But you’re using a theme that connects it. And that maybe even a project like, “Okay. We’re going to make a castle out of popsicle sticks. But we have to do the math and we have to do the architecture.” So it allows them to apply it and understand why they need to know all these things. And then they end up coming up with all their questions that they want to have answered. So it makes sense to their brains and then it solidifies the learnings.
[01:24:24] Molly Christensen: Absolutely. And also, if you think about the famous men and women of the Renaissance. They did not just limit themselves to going deep in one subject. They need all the different subjects. When you call a renaissance man a renaissance man is because they are well read in all the different areas. And that’s the kind of person that’s going to come up with the most creative ideas because they can make the connections. And that’s where they come up with the new things. So like our industrialized age, we go really deep and specialized, which is great if you’ve got somebody who’s a heart surgeon or something. I want them to be specialized. But if you’re going to be creative and come up with new ideas, you want to connect everything. So what I did in my curriculum is I just used history to connect everything. Well, not just. We used history and principle.
So each month, you have new principles that we call the superpowers. Superpower principles, and they’re just like success principles, leadership principles. Because that’s what I wanted my kids to learn the awareness they’re getting until they’re a little older, especially. So I wanted to put it in my family style curriculum because that’s what makes life worth living is knowing how to go on your journey. So when you connect everything with history, it’s awesome because it’s the story of why and who we are and why we came up with things. So I loved the math part, especially because a lot of times we’re just throwing in all these calculations, which is boring.
[01:26:03] Ashley James: There’s no story.
[01:26:04] Molly Christensen: There’s no story.
[01:26:04] Ashley James: There’s no reason. And the thing is, when you get out into the real world as an adult, there is a story. I am balancing the family budget, there is a story. Because if I messed that up, we don’t have food on the table. So there’s an emotional – when we’re out in the real world or doing math for our job, like doing payroll or something, there is a story. There’s always, always in the real world an emotional component and a story behind math. Or if you’re doing math for NASA, like people could die because you’re flying out to outer space. And that math needs to make sense. So there’s always a reason why we’re doing math in the real world. But when we’re learning it, it’s like just figure these situations out.
[01:26:50] Molly Christensen: Just do it.
[01:26:50] Ashley James: Just do it. Just do it. And that’s just not how math – that’s not how we do math. I the real world, we do math with a reason with our emotional component. So I love that you’re including that because it helps us learn and really solidify that learning.
[01:27:03] Molly Christensen: Well, and also, you look at, let’s say, 12 years of math, right? It took mankind 6,000 years to learn most of that math. So they had to figure it out for a reason and why. And so that’s the stories I’m including in there. It’s like, “Well, why did they have to figure this out? Where did this come from?” So it’s pretty fascinating that way. And it really does make kids pretty excited because it brings in the music of math. I mean, you still have to learn the calculation skills. But that’s just something that I use to practice consistency and discipline. Because that doesn’t require thinking so much once you got it – once you understand it. So it’s all about inspiring them to love it, to love it more so they think. But then also training them so they get the skills. And the training is just the stuff that they don’t have to think about. But just practice.
[01:28:06] Ashley James: I love it. Oh, it’s so cool. So in all of this because you, after seven children, have developed a really amazing curriculum that now you sell. And so many, many other families are doing it and sharing with you their success. Can you tell us a bit about that? Like, what had you – because you told us your story but you didn’t get to the part where you then sat down and taught yourself how to create an internet course. And how to make this replicatable. And it is so – it’s so good looking, by the way. It looks like you hired a company to put it together. It looks so good. It’s like a textbook. It looks so good. I could tell you really put a lot of work into it. So I’m congratulating you on the hard work because I know what it takes.
[01:29:00] Molly Christensen: Thank you.
[01:29:00] Ashley James: I know what it takes. But you thought, how can I then make this replicatable so other families can do it? And now you have had other families do it. So can you share a bit about that?
[01:29:12] Molly Christensen: Yeah. Sure. Okay. So another big part of my journey is the entrepreneurship journey, which anybody who’s an entrepreneur knows is a journey. But I mean, that too, is just another hero’s journey of life. I was always kind of entrepreneurial when I was a kid. But I also got tons of refusals. Like, “I don’t like to talk to people. People think I mean.” So I kind of just hobby entrepreneured. Entrepreneured, I don’t know if that’s a verb. But I tended to set it down because so many people think that entrepreneurship is bad. It’s a lot of people losing a lot of money and they’re kind of crazy and all this. I had to really just shift my mind said about entrepreneurs. But as I started developing this program, because I wanted this program for my own kids. To systemize it because you can follow rabbit trails if you want. But my brain, we get so distracted that I would never come back to earth. And I just wanted a simple easy system that I could sit down and just cover all the basics in an hour a day.
I actually had a friend who said – well, where this really came up? I should back up a little bit. Is that I thought, you know, when our kids are teenagers and are Co-Ops, we do a really good job of teaching them leadership principles. Because we created that culture of teaching them that. And I thought, why don’t have something like this for the whole family and especially for the younger kids. Why not introduce them earlier to these principles? And I said that to her. And she’s like, “Oh, that’s a great idea. You should do it.” And I was like, “No. No, no, no. I don’t have time for that.” And then all the refusals came in. You know how that goes, right? Now, you’ve seeing this pattern. And I said, “I do have a lot of experience though. Maybe I could do this.” I own every single curriculum out there since I bought them all in my days when I was insecure and thinking a curriculum would solve all my problems. But I thought – you know, I have researched a lot of curriculum and I’ve noticed there’s not anything like this out there. And so I just thought, “Okay. I will do this.” But as many homeschool moms are, I’m a real DIY-er, you know, do everything yourself. And one of the big things I knew I was going to learn on this journey was that I was going to have to allow other people to help me, which has been fantastic. I’ve done a ton of it myself, for sure. But I have had other people come in and help me with this. And I did have a graphic designer. I don’t know how to do that. Thank goodness.
[01:32:04] Ashley James: Well, it looks so professional. So good job. Good job.
[01:32:07] Molly Christensen: Yeah. Yes. So she came up with kind of the ideas there too. But I was like – we’ve been writing the content. I write the math and the science. My sister came in. She homeschools too. And she’s wonderful. And she’s been writing the history and the language arts. And as we keep growing, I’m hoping I can bring more people on to help with it as well. But it’s really been a wonderful journey to learn all this stuff and to learn how to let other people help you too. Because guess what? That’s another huge chunk of the hero’s journey. Because when I was describing that hero’s journey to you, I said, the journey includes mentors. It includes friends and allies who are going on the path with you. It also includes enemies sometimes. Sometimes you hear things that are just aren’t so nice. And you don’t worry about it because you just know it’s part of the journey. And you feel compassion for the enemies because you think, “Oh, I’m so sorry that you haven’t found your path yet.” And maybe they have. But it’s just different.
So yes, really, it’s been an amazing project to do. And I love that I can share this with other homeschool moms so that they can see that, really, you can cover all of this basic knowledge in just an hour a day and to conspire them to want to go learn more. And to become the person that they’re meant to become. And to travel on their hero’s journey.
[01:33:38] Ashley James: So you just spend an hour a day homeschooling?
[01:33:43] Molly Christensen: Essentially, yes.
[01:33:44] Ashley James: And the kids are doing other things throughout the day like reading, and doing projects, and playing, and doing art, and stuff like that. But you sit down and you basically have a classroom for one hour a day. Is it seven days a week?
[01:33:59] Molly Christensen: No. We have a couch. Not a classroom. And the kitchen table. And no, we actually usually only do it about three or four days a week. Because the other – I definitely wouldn’t do it on the weekends. But I say three or four days because sometimes we’re going to go on a field trip or maybe we’re just running errands or something, you know. So yes, it takes surprisingly a lot less time than one might think to teach your kids because of this, we think it takes 9:00 to 3:00 like the public schools, but they’ve done all these studies about how much time is wasted there. But also, it’s because of the teaching style is different. I’m focusing on the feeling. If they have the right feeling, they’re going to learn it so much faster because they want to. Public schools, because there’s so many kids in there – and I’m not knocking public schools. It is what it is. And it’s a good option for many people. But they have to focus more on repetition. It does not take six years of grammar worksheets to learn grammar. It just doesn’t. If they’re ready and they have something they want to say, they can learn it really fast. And if they’ve been read really good books to, they have it in their brain when they read. A lot of the stuff they just pick up. I don’t even have to teach them because it’s like osmosis, you know. So it really is not as – it’s not rocket science as we think.
[01:35:31 Ashley James: There’s this type of school – is it called the Sudbury School? The type of school? Yeah. So I was looking – when we were pregnant, my husband and I – well, I was really motivated too. Because when you’re pregnant, you’re like – or at least with the first baby because I only had one – I was trying to consume all the information possible about my child’s future. Like, you know what kind of schooling and all this stuff. What are we going to do and how are we going to discipline, and what kind of birth are we going to have. And I came across this type of school called the Sudbury School. And it completely blew my mind. It is totally – I don’t know. I feel like I’ve entered – I’ve gone into a time warp but entered like 1969 and we’re surrounded by hippies. Because it’s basically a kid commune where you drop your kid off on a place with buildings and a few acres. And you leave your kid there and there’s no formal classrooms, there’s no teachers. There are adults and they’re called coaches or something. And the child is just allowed to do whatever they want. Of course, actually the children come up with their own rules. Because they come up with their own government. And the kids get to run the place. And the kids could actually vote to fire one of the adults should they want to.
And so the adults really who are there because they love to share and teach. And so the kids, if they’re interested will go to the computer room and ask the adult to teach them how to do – how to make a video game, how to code. Or the child would go to the music room and say, “I want to learn how to play the guitar.” And I’ve watched a lot of videos of graduates of this system. And the they go on to college. And they say, for the first year, you might just – the kids might spend the entire time playing video games. And he says, “Yeah. They do.” They kind of get it all out. They get it out of their system. They do whatever they want and they get it out of their system. And then they start to look around and go, “How does this work? How does that work? Oh, man, I really want to try this. I really want to do this.” And they start getting inspired by things. And then they go ask the adults for help to learn those things. And then if they decided they want to – because they get so inspired, they go, “You know, I really want to become an engineer.” Well, they have to ask, “What do I need to do?” “Okay. Well, you have to learn this, this, this, and this. And in order to pass this test to go on to college.” And then they want to and then they’re constantly asking for help because they’re learning. So it’s like the Wild West there. And there are children who don’t excel in that environment because – for whatever reason. Bt there are children who excel incredibly well because their learning style is just, “Leave me alone and let me come to you when I’m ready. And I want to completely have my education be based on my motivation.”
And that blew my mind. I think it blew a circuit in my brain. Because I was raised in the system of you, you shut up, you sit down, don’t talk until you’re spoken to. Children are seen and not heard. Raise your hand if you need to go to the bathroom. You have to have a hall pass. And really made to feel afraid of adults and afraid of the teachers. And education is not supposed to be fun. That was the system I was raised in. And I was always – I always had a belief that I was stupid because that was the system I was raised in. But then as an adult, I’m like,” I want to learn how to code. I want to learn how to make a website. I want to learn how to video edit.” And I found myself picking things up so quickly that I realized I am a really good learner. But it has to be something that I love to do, which is how our brain works. So that’s why – and so I think Sudbury is the type of that schooling or unschooling is this one end of the extreme. And then military school would be the other side of the extreme.
But I like that what you’ve done is you’ve picked mindset and teaching them how to be the best versions of themselves as the core of your curriculum. So you’re building – like you said, you’re building the their character but you’re also building your own character as a parent, which is really beautiful.
[01:39:56] Molly Christensen: Yeah. You nailed it. That’s exactly what I wanted to do. Because I love the idea of Sudbury. But part of me wonders where does the character coming in especially if they’re being sent away all day. Plus, I don’t want to send my kids away all day. You know what I mean?
[01:40:12] Ashley James: Right. I imagine it like Lord of the Flies. You just get a bunch of kids together –
[01:40:16] Molly Christensen: That’s kind of what I would do.
[01:40:18] Ashley James: Oh man, Lord of the Flies. It just scares me. But it did open my mind and expand my mind to this idea of there are aspects of this unschooling that make a lot of sense or child led learning that makes a lot of sense. Not 100 percent of the time for me as a parent. But it opened my mind up to, “Well, how do we learn?” And I really want my son to want to learn and get excited about learning. And he is. And I don’t want to thwart that, which we do. By the time we send our kids to school, a lot of the school system thwarts their desire to learn because –
[01:40:55] Molly Christensen: Absolutely. And the comparison culture to. I mean, you even said you thought you were stupid. It’s like, none of those kids are stupid. They all have their own unique abilities. And they all have goodness inside. They just have different journeys. I’ve had some kids learn to read when they were four. And I have another kid now who’s eight-and-a-half and it just hasn’t quite clicked yet. It’s just about to though. But because I can let her go on her own journey, I can just keep saying, “This is awesome. You can keep working out. You’re going to get there.”
[01:41:30] Ashley James: Beautiful. Now, let’s talk about socialization. Because I think that’s on everyone’s mind. I mean, the fact that you did have seven kids so those kids are all working together so they’re not alone. But there’s a lot of parents that just have one or two kids. And so if they’re at home all day, how are they going to be amazing adults to connecting with people and knowing how to communicate if they’re those oddball kids who are isolated at home as we often think or that’s the mainstream media’s idea of homeschooling.
[01:42:03] Molly Christensen: Right. Well, what I learned really quickly was that basically children they model their parents. So if you feel like somebody else unsocialized, it could come from the parents. Sad to say. And we got unsocialized kids at public school too. The outcast. The social outcast. So for me, because I was worried about that, I was like, “Well, I guess I better lead the way.” So I am a total introvert. I went through high school and was I socialized? Did I learn how to communicate with people? No. Not really. I felt awkward all the time in high school. Like, why do we think that’s a good environment to learn how to communicate with people? I just mostly just felt awkward. And so I just decided I just need to learn how to love and serve other people. And I figure if we can do that, hey, we’re going to be socialized. We’re going to know how to get along with other people.
So I just remember some of my first few Co-Op activities I took my son to. What I really want to do is just go sit in the corner and hide and he did too. In fact, he didn’t even want get out the car. But I just made myself go introduce myself to other people and get to know them. You know, what, people are amazing. People are great. And it was really like, as I practiced my socialization skills, they followed suit as well. I was a little worried at first when he wouldn’t get out of the car ever. But he figured it about. He’s an amazing kid. And so, really, what socialization is all about is just loving and serving people. And you can absolutely do that in your home. You can absolutely do that and take your kids to other places and just love and serve people. And there’s so much of the other socialization stuff that comes from sending your kids to school that I didn’t want. Like, I mentioned that my son was bringing home some bad behaviors. I was like, “Why would I want that?”
[01:44:15] Ashley James: Bullying. And it’s really sad that the number two cause of death between the ages of 10 and 24 suicide right now. That it raised up to, I think, it’s 56 percent in the last ten years. I mean, suicide is at an all time high, basically, with our youth.
[01:44:38] Molly Christensen: Yeah. It’s horrible.
[01:44:38] Ashley James: And that’s something we have to stop and say there’s something wrong with our system. And I don’t think there’s only one thing. I don’t think you can only say that it’s the school system. Or you only say that they all have cell phones or social media. I think it is -and we have to look at everything. We have to take the shotgun approach. We have to look at everything and go there’s something wrong with how we’re addressing mental health, with how we’re addressing bullying, with how we’re addressing online bullying, with how we’re addressing it in the schools.
There was a child – this is such a sad topic to bring up. There’s a eight or nine year old child just this week that committed suicide because he was knocked unconscious when beaten in his school. And it was filmed by one of the students. And the school tried to suppress it and deny it. And I don’t know what kind –
[01:45:31] Molly Christensen: He didn’t feel heard.
[01:45:31] Ashley James: So he didn’t feel heard. And then he killed himself. And that is so wrong and so sad. And we should all feel very angry and want to take action to fix this problem. I think that we all need to fix the problem. That we all need to take – we need to take personal responsibility because we can only change ourselves. So we need to figure out what can we do as individuals to make this world, to make this society, to make our community, a place where mental health can be addressed and what is the root cause of bullying. What is going on? The root cause of bullying and figure that out. We have to figure it out. And then we have to address it with our children, with our children’s friends, with all the parents that were around. We need to take action as individuals. Because we can’t wait for the government to fix it or the school system to fix it. If we just wait it’s going to just get worse and worse. And so that’s my little soapbox about this that we need to take responsibility for our own actions. And the first voice, the little voice that everyone just heard in themselves go, “That is wrong. And I want to help stop this. I want to help turn this around.” That voice was our authentic self. And then all the refusals that came after, “Well, who am I to do that? And I’m just one person. And I don’t know anyone -“
[01:47:08] Molly Christensen: What to do.
[01:47:09] Ashley James: “I don’t know what to do.” All those little refusals, that’s the party that wants to keep you safe. But we need to go. “Ah. Thanks for pointing out where I’m stuck in life. I’m going to break through that. And I’m going to prove those voices wrong. Listen to the authentic voice.” So all of us could just do one thing like you did your blog. You did 180 beautiful acts of kindness in a year. And what if we all just did one act of kindness dedicated to lowering the suicide rate among youth? We don’t have to know what it looks like but just start. Just start by saying, “I’m going to do something and be part of this change to turn the world around.” And I don’t know what it looks like yet but I’m declaring it. I’m declaring it right now. And then I’m going to go and talk to other parents. And maybe we’ll create a little organization or get them all together for tea and just brainstorm what can we do as individuals to turn this around. Because this is our mission. As long as we’re in service of others with love and service of others and being an example for our children, then we will have a positive impact.
[01:48:21] Molly Christensen: Well, absolutely. And I actually think that so many elements of the hero’s journey address this as well. Because I think our nation is a nation with an identity crisis. People do not know who they are. They don’t know that they have goodness inside because they have no purpose. They don’t understand so many of these principles. And I think this as long as we’re doing these kindnesses and we see people who are lonely. We reach out and we teach people and love people. That’s what we can do.
[01:48:54] Ashley James: It’s so beautiful. Molly, thank you so much for coming today and sharing. This episode would help anyone. Although the formal topic was on homeschooling, you addressed some principles of personal growth that I find to be so beautiful and so, so, so helpful to everyone that wants to break through and to grow. So thank you so much for coming on and sharing. Of course, the links to everything that Molly does is going to be the show notes of today’s podcasts at learntruehealth.com. Your main website which is buildingheroesacademy.com is fantastic. Also, your book is homeschool get it done.com. And then your curriculum funnel is the number 3homeschoolsecrets.com.
Molly, is there anything that you’d like to say to wrap up today’s interview? Is there anything left unsaid or anything that you want to make sure that you’ve got to share?
[01:49:52] Molly Christensen: Yeah. Thank you so much for inviting me. This has been great. And I love that you are sharing your message. And that’s actually another thing that many of us are called to do is to share our messages. But we have fears and we shut ourselves down. So I guess really what I want to end we’re with is just that, to remember that you are one of those heroes that we’ve been talking about on this hero’s journey. Everybody listening to this and Ashley, for sure. Because just knowing that just makes such a shift in your life. And I love the visual that that can bring to you so you can remember, when you do get down, when you do hit obstacles, it’s just part of the journey. And it’s a great thing because it just means that you are on the right path, that you are just going to be learning and growing. And as you’ve learned how to get through those obstacles and you’re changing so many lives as you go through because you are doing what you were meant to do. You were called to the action that you did it. And that’s really what life is all about, it’s just doing that so that you can serve people. So thank you so much for having me on. And I hope to talk to you again sometime.
[01:50:58] Ashley James: Absolutely, Molly. This is not our last conversation. This is just the first of many. Thank you. It’s been such a pleasure to have you on today. Thank you so much.
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Teaching from Rest by Sarah McKenzie
Leadership and Self-Deception by the Arbinger Institute
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien