Episode 337 | September 26, 2023

Busting Myths About Homeschooling with Mary Resenbeck

A Personal Note From Orion

Welcome, stellar listeners! I’m thrilled to share our latest Stellar Life podcast episode, where I spoke with veteran homeschooling mom and educator Mary Resenbeck about busting myths and taking charge of your child’s education.

Mary Resenbeck is an experienced Montessori classroom teacher, theater instructor, educational manager, and homeschooling parent of three. She recently authored an amazing book, Take Charge of Your Child’s Education, which explains how to take a personalized maverick approach to homeschooling.

Our conversation unpacked so many preconceived notions about homeschooling while providing concrete examples and tips to customize your children’s learning journeys. Mary’s wisdom and experience shine as she empowers moms and dads to fully embrace their roles as their children’s educational guides.

I know you’ll find immense value in our discussion. Listen to this myth-busting episode to gain insights on how to overcome your fears, deal with bullying, and keep education positive! Share your biggest takeaways from the episode. Without further ado, let’s dive into the show!

In This Episode

  • [03:31] – Mary Resenbeck shares her experiences as both a mother and an educator, delving into her children’s struggles and the hurdles they encountered within the confines of traditional schooling.
  • [11:12] – Orion engages Mary in a conversation aimed at debunking common misconceptions surrounding homeschooling.
  • [14:24] – Orion shares her experience about how she left a homeschooling pod and the challenge of socializing her child, prompting Mary to tackle homeschooling options, such as enrichment centers.
  • [22:48] – Mary highlights various homeschooling approaches and emphasizes the importance of following the child’s lead and making learning a lifelong tool.
  • [27:29] – Mary discusses the benefits of homeschooling, including being able to address bullying immediately and finding a teacher who aligns with the child’s needs.
  • [33:02] – Mary reflects on the education system’s failure to address mental health issues in children and the importance of not rushing their education.
  • [38:37] – Mary delves into the challenges faced by working parents when attempting to balance their jobs with homeschooling and offers various solutions to address these hurdles.
  • [44:47] – Mary emphasizes the necessity for parents to actively participate in their children’s education and make changes to ensure their safety and growth.
  • [46:03] – Mary shares her top three tips for living a stellar life.

Jump to Links and Resources

About Today’s Show

Hi, Mary. Welcome to the Stellar Life podcast. Thank you so much for being here.

Thank you so much for having me. It’s a pleasure being here.

I’m very excited to be talking to you. Before we begin, can you share your origin story? How did you get involved with homeschooling?

When I was a young mother, I knew my son was struggling with reading. My husband had a history of dyslexia. Immediately, I was very worried about him entering the traditional school setting because I, too, have had issues academically in school. I was worried about him being in a position where he was not going to get his needs met, and with that, he could get bullied by his peers.

So, I entered education. I actually got a position at his school. I began as a theater instructor, and then I moved into Montessori. I began teaching Montessori in the Montessori school, which was also a performing art school. I could keep close tabs and see how my son was going through his educational journey. 

Throughout that journey, I had another daughter. Her name was Alexis. She exhibited the same signs as my son did. She had a little bonus with Math. It was called dyscalculia. Basically, that’s math dyslexia. It is what they like to call it today.

Things were great in elementary school because I was a teacher there. I was able to work directly with colleagues. I got kids tested through the district. We had a clear plan of what those modifications and accommodations would look like. They were also tested as gifted, so we had to make sure that they were being challenged academically and able to follow through with traditional expectations.

Everything was going nicely until middle school. My son entered a public school system which was failing him academically. Because he was gifted, he began to be bored, but at the same time, he was falling behind academically with reading and writing because the expectations were so high. Yet, the accommodations through his IEP were not being met.

I had teachers during IEP meetings say, “He’s bright. He’ll figure it out. We have a lot of kids in our class, and we have behavioral issues that we have to pay attention to. He’s great, and he’ll be fine.” That’s unacceptable.

I understood being an educator as well what that looks like, testing expectations, having 30 kids sometimes in your classroom, and things like that. I could empathize with that, but just because they’re unable to handle the situation doesn’t mean that your children have to be collateral damage behind all. 

If the academics in the classrooms aren't aligning with you and you're not comfortable, or if the teaching lessons aren’t what you want for your children, take control of their learning experiences. Click To Tweet

I brought him back to the private school where I taught, and my daughter also joined me. But as the high school moved on, that little tight-knit bubble I had created with my colleague popped.

When they entered high school, they had no IEP at all. It didn’t matter how many meetings I had. It didn’t matter that I showed them different paths to be successful because they had it in their mindset that because they were so bright, they were faking it; they didn’t have time for this, and I was coddling them.

It was hurting their self-esteem. Their self-esteem was high because they were talented and gifted in many areas, like theater. My daughter is in fine arts. That self-esteem was crashing fast.

When educators are pointing out students in the classroom and say, “There’s a problem. They’re not trying hard,” peers align with that. Their peer groups started changing. They started losing friends. This became such an impact that I pulled them out, and we jumped in with our feet first, began homeschooling, and never looked back.

I’m currently homeschooling my nine-year-old. She knows no different. She’s only been homeschooled her whole life.

If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not learning.

What was the most challenging moment of your homeschooling journey, and what was the most rewarding one?

The most challenging was not quite knowing how to navigate it. I wanted to make sure that they were getting a quality, personalized, and individualized education. I noticed that when I entered my children into public school homeschooling, that did not work well. I felt like I was at a loss because homeschooling—for us, this is not for everyone—through the district became the same attitude as it was in the brick-and-mortar. I wanted to get away from that.

I didn’t know because I had been in the traditional setting for so long that there were different avenues to take. I just really researched. What I found was that there are private umbrella schools that will help you through different curriculums that you want to choose, but you truly are the teacher and the one that manages each of your children’s educational needs. There is no overseer. That worked well for us. 

The kids at that time were in high school, so they were also worried that what I was doing was not going to be right or, in the long run, they were going to find out that it didn’t work out because it wasn’t accredited in this way or that way. What I had to do was to tell them, “Trust me. Just trust this journey we’re on. We’re going to do this together. I promise you, I see a light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s just move forward.” 

They totally did. They trusted me. The first thing I did, which was the positive, was to let go of all of that traditional mindset I have had since I went to school, “It has to be exactly this way. If it isn’t done this way, then it’s wrong. If you don’t go in this direction, they have no future. You’re setting your kids up for failure if you don’t follow the district or the public schools’ traditional mindset.”

Everyone is unique, but when you find that journey that works for the entire family unit, everything falls into place.

I had to throw that in the garbage. When I threw that in the garbage, everything changed for the better and in an extremely positive way. That is when I could look at my children as individuals, see their passions, talents, and gifts, build on that, pay attention to life skills, and build on their self-esteem. Things that were difficult for them were now manageable because they were not stressed out.

It all fell into place when education worked for the family. Everyone is different and unique, but when you find that journey that works for the entire family unit, everything falls into place—family relationships, friendships, and thoughts of their future profession and career goals.

What are some common misconceptions when it comes to homeschooling?

There are so many. I am a mythbuster when it comes down to that. Usually, I highlight kids with special needs and gifted children. The first thing that I’ll hear is, “Oh, you’re not qualified for that. You don’t have a degree for that. You don’t understand exactly what’s going on with the child. Only experts know what’s going on and are the only ones who can help them.” The experts I had to work with were not helping them at all.

I had to change that mindset, especially with friends, families, and fellow colleagues. Through that, I listened to my gut. I listened to my children. For the first time, we did deschooling, which means I took away all of those in-the-box types of thinking for them. 

That was unbelievable because they were free now, and everyone’s like, “Oh, so now they’re learning nothing.” That was myth number two that had to be broken. Not only were they learning, they were experiencing.

My son is now a technical director at the local community center for performing arts. My daughter is already taking two college courses that are perfecting her art. 

Everyone said, “You’ll never get into college being homeschooled. No college will ever accept you.” That’s the other myth. In fact, more colleges are looking at homeschool applicants because they see their diversity under their belts, whether they’re world schoolers, traveling around the world, or experiencing different cultures and avenues.

All of those scare attacks that people have and misconceptions about homeschooling, I just nipped them in the bud.

The two colleges were their top choices—my son was looking to go to a performing arts school in LA, and my daughter wanted to do a fine arts school with digital animation and other facets of art in Laguna Beach. They got in right away. They have their bachelor’s degrees. 

My daughter is now looking into getting her master’s in Ireland, and my son is in Nashville. He’s an executive producer for a restaurant and is also opening up his production studio.

All of those scare tactics that people have and misconceptions about homeschooling, I just nipped them in the bud. But there’s always one famous one that comes up, the number one, “They’ll never socialize. They’ll never have a friend.”

That is the biggest misconception in the world. In fact, you find your community in so many different ways, and that’s what I do. I help people find those communities. Once you do, you are socialized in a better way because you are working with multiple ages and sometimes with younger kids all the way up through adults. There are so many different avenues, so they’re well-rounded socially. It’s not only with their age.

While homeschooling my child, I found that my biggest challenge was socialization because we don’t live in a community. We live in a private house in a neighborhood. I don’t see kids here. 

He was part of a homeschooling pod, but since their values and my values did not align, I had to leave. When I left, he was leaving his friends. He didn’t have that many friends there, too, because there was some age gap, but my challenge, which still is every day, is socializing with him. That’s why I will sign him up for school next year for four hours a day. It’s a pre-K because he was born in September. If I didn’t have that challenge, I would probably homeschool him more.

You talked about that. When we first dove into homeschooling, the place we chose didn’t align, as you said. It just didn’t align with our values and what we were looking for as a cultural influence and everything like that. You just keep researching and looking.

Where are you located?


You’re in Florida. I could look up places for you to explore, but a lot of times, enrichment centers are the way to go because it’s a place where you can pick and choose the different classes that they take. It’s like an ala carte situation. 

You have to let go of the traditional mindset in order to see your child’s passion, talent, and gifts, so you can collectively focus on life skills and build your child’s self-esteem. Click To Tweet

It’s not a school, though. It’s an enrichment center that goes into a campus that the director has rented for this purpose. You can pick and choose which classes you’re looking for. That way, you can find your people and the community right for your family and child. You do have to research that sometimes and explore it.

Your son is so small right now. For me, he would benefit from a pre-K in a preschool. My daughter did go to a pre-K, so I retract that she has never been in a school setting. She went there from 3–5. It was a wonderful little experience where it was a perfect little school aligned with us. It was when she went into kindergarten and up that changed for me.

We went into a charter school that was district-based, and that went okay. It wasn’t horrible. It was great. I work with the district all the time, so I don’t have anything against the district. They’re fabulous. There are times, though, that they are overwhelmed and overloaded, so that’s why students fall through the cracks.

It didn’t work for us in the long run. Now, she’s back at her private homeschool umbrella, but she doesn’t take many classes from them. They helped me with maintaining attendance. I give them her grade. They keep all of that record keeping that I don’t personally want to do. 

She goes to a whole different campus because they have more of the things that she likes. She likes a lot of theater and arts. You can be at one place and get one service and then at another to get that socialization and enrichment classes. There are those options that people often don’t know anything about.

How do you look for it? Do you search on Google for enrichment centers?

Homeschooling is constantly growing and expanding.

Search for homeschool enrichment centers. If you go on and just search enrichment centers, you’re going to get after-school care and after-school enrichment centers, which are also great places to be, but you’re looking more of a homeschool enrichment center. I know that this is how this works here in San Diego.

Off the top of my head for Florida, I don’t know what their homeschooling policies are. I know that it is legal to homeschool in Florida. They would have some of the same types of services that California offers. 

That’s what you would be looking for, though. You would Google homeschool enrichment centers, and then there would be centers providing different classes and teachers. Depending on the laws in your state, you might even get funding for those classes if you did go through your district. I don’t choose to get the funding because I do it privately with her as I discussed, but many of the students I teach in my enrichment classes get the funding. It’s significant and helps many families with different financial situations.

Is it cheaper to go to public school, or is it cheaper to homeschool?

It’s the same. Many say, “Oh, you must be rich to homeschool properly.” A lot of times, I hear that too. That’s not true. If you have a ton of money to spare, you can get all these bells and whistles, but that’s not necessary to homeschool.

Socialization is key. You do want to keep your kids socialized.

Sometimes, people will stop homeschooling because they’re like, “I’m not qualified to teach Algebra.” I am not, either. I promise you. I am not qualified to teach Algebra, but I can find a qualified teacher that you can make into the schedule and fill in those holes that parents are sometimes scared of dealing with because they’re fearful.

A lot of times, it’s because of money. “What about my job? How can I maintain a workplace where I’m still bringing home money? I need to do that.”

You can hire an educational manager, consultant, and someone who can take your high school child and give them a very good schedule based on their needs. There are so many different avenues that you can take to get that.

Socialization is key. You do want to keep your kids socialized, of course. We don’t want to isolate children, but there are avenues. As I said, I didn’t know or even heard of them until I found them like umbrella schools and terms like enrichment centers. Always put the homeschool in front because you will get other information for more traditional schooling.

What I like about homeschooling is that you follow the children in what they are interested in and what they need. Because when you put kids in mainstream education, not everybody fits into that way of learning.

I don’t think it’s normal for a child to sit on their butt for 6–8 hours a day. The way we do education is not normal.

It’s 200 years old, and we’ve not changed anything. We’re doing an interview where we have all this technology and these changes in the last 50 years, but school has remained the same. 

That is a problem. The structure of how the school is delivered has primarily not changed for at least 150–200 years. If it’s a one-room schoolhouse or a big campus, you go into the classroom and sit down, and you’re expected to stay still, listen to a lecture, paper and pencil it, and then, the test. This is dinosaur stuff.

In homeschooling, children simultaneously learn and experience. Click To Tweet

I remember it’s made to create good soldiers or citizens who follow the rules. From a very young age, you have to follow the leader. What the leader says is the whole truth. Don’t think for yourself. Do what everybody is doing. Wear the same uniform. You are a part of the whole.

You also think about all the kids going from high school straight to college because they are told to. They don’t even know what they want to do, so they float from one major to another major to another major. What do they have for it? They have debt and still don’t quite know what to do.

I know that my children knew exactly what they were going to do. They knew exactly the field that they were going into. That’s a different situation. But just to flounder just because you need this degree to what and to go where. We also forget about vocational schools. We forget about technical school. We forget about asking the child what they want to do. 

That’s why I’m passionate not only about homeschooling but alternative learning in general because learning has to change. The way we deliver learning has to change. Homeschooling does that for you. It provides you with many different methods like I mentioned deschooling—when I deschool the unschooled for a long time.

When people have a misconception about unschoolingmeaning that they’re not doing any schooling—that’s wrong. You’re following the child’s lead. You’re following exactly what their passion and talent is.

Worldschooling is about getting a lot of socialization and cultural experience.

Then, there’s worldschooling. I did that with my little one, my youngest right now. Talk about getting a lot of socialization and cultural experience and being able to not just look at the food and the picture in the book or have somebody tell you about it, “Taste it, feel it, and be a part of the community.”

There’s also a Montessori type of schooling and enrichment center that you can look into. There are all kinds of different methods and techniques that homeschooling allows you to explore. That is extremely important to me, and I’m passionate about it because when you find that perfect journey that the child goes on, education never becomes something that they go, “Oh, I don’t want to learn.” 

You want to make learning a lifelong tool that they’re excited because, honestly, when you don’t want to learn anymore, living becomes very dull. 

A lot of times, kids aren’t turned off by learning. They’re turned off by sitting down and, “Come on, let’s create this,” or, “Read about this,” because they’re not up to par with what the system is saying they’re supposed to be. That self-esteem drops, and peers start making that a problem, so learning is now a bad thing. It’s not a good thing. It doesn’t resonate as a wonderful experience. That’s what homeschooling allows you to do.

My friends homeschooled their children until they were 9 and 11, and they had no problem getting into school. They knew everything. Honestly, they are the most well-behaved and intelligent kids I have met. Seriously, the oldest one reads a book a day; she reads a lot. They both are so unique and such good kids.

They’re well-rounded. That is what you’re allowed to do. You’re allowed to teach the whole child so that the child is well-rounded. They’re experiencing things that other children are trapped in a classroom with the same age range and with one person or even multiple people doing the same thing day after day. You’re missing different aspects of that child’s individuality.

What I am really afraid of in schools—something I’ve experienced cliques between kids. I wasn’t the popular kid. I had a very heavy accent. My clothes were different. 

You’re allowed to teach the whole child so that the child is well-rounded.

There was specifically this one girl there that was the leader. She had some guys around her all the time, and she would always say mean things.

I never want my son to experience this in schools, but it’s common. How do you protect your kid in any environment? 

Even in the homeschool environment, things like that can happen. When kids come together, it depends on their background, parents, and something they watch on TV. You never know where the influence comes from. These things can happen. 

Have you ever encountered bullying? You have because you had the teachers telling the other kids that your kids are not good enough, so the other kids are bullying them in a soft manner.

Sometimes, it wasn’t. They were just really chastising them more than anything else. My daughter took it to heart. She got sad about it. My son just got meaner. He just got angrier about it. That’s how they were handling it. 

But, like you said, bullying can happen on the street. It can happen anywhere, and homeschooling is one of those places. If you go to an enrichment center or a different place where you guys gather and come together, there is the possibility of bullying.

But the great thing about homeschooling is you’re right on top of it. You’re right there. You can acknowledge it right away. You can go to the parents and talk to the parents. Sometimes, they’re not open to talking to you, so you can just turn, walk away, and not be a part of that.

Sometimes, in a public school situation, the parent feels trapped, and the child feels like they still have to go to school even if they’re being terribly bullied. You go to the administration, and it’s falling on deaf ears. 

Sometimes, in a public school situation, the parent feels trapped, and the child feels like they still have to go to school even if they’re being terribly bullied.

Now, the family is stressed, and the child is scared to go to school. Now, we have a tummy ache and anxiety-based illnesses, “I can’t go to school, I’ve got a sore throat, and my tummy hurts,” and a parent doesn’t quite know what to do.

In a homeschooling setting, the parent knows what to do. “Bye,” and then you go find an entirely new community. That’s the same with enrichment teachers, too. Sometimes, you’ll fall on the teacher that maybe it’s just not the right fit. It’s not something like you have to go to the administration now. “I have to get my child taken out of that class now. Is there a new teacher?” No. It’s, “Bye. That’s it. It’s over,” and then you can move right along.

I had a situation where I had a client. Her daughter had special needs. The public school system was not only not giving her accommodation. They were basically giving up on her. She felt that, so some depression and some serious mental health issues started happening.

My first thing to do was protect and build her self-esteem. That’s what we did. We deschooled just like my other two kids. I went into unschooling weather, and then we gradually went into enrichment programs. 

There were moments when teachers were not listening to me. They were not adhering to me. Instead of worrying about it, I just went, “Bye.” I would get out of there before anything would happen, and then I would find another teacher that would align with what I needed from them to make her successful. With that, she didn’t get any self-esteem hits she would have if she went to a traditional school.

If a teacher didn’t get it or wasn’t being proactive, you just remove it. You can just say, “Bye. That teacher will not be your teacher anymore, and here’s a new teacher who will follow what you need to make you go through this subject matter. We’ll be successful with it.”

She graduated in 2022. I was with her all through four years. Then, she rolled over and got a job as a TA because she also took college courses and got her teacher’s assistant certificate. She began as a TA and is now moving into adult care. It’s been very successful but could have been a complete tragedy.

With homeschooling, whether bullying from peers or bullying from an educator, you have complete control to remove that immediately, so the damage is very limited.

With homeschooling, whether bullying from peers or an educator, you have complete control to remove your child immediately, so the damage is very limited.

I just did. I took my little one—he’s almost four—to gymnastics classes. It’s a Russian school. I like Russian people. They’re cool and straightforward.

In their education, though, they can be rough. 


But I don’t mind rigid. He liked her, and she gave him little presents after every class. When I was watching the class every once in a while, I had this uncomfortable feeling that she was manhandling him a little too much and dealing with him in a rough manner. He didn’t seem to be hurt. He seemed happy after every class, so I just pushed it aside.

But two weeks ago, I was with my back to the window, but God was like, “Turn your head right now.” I turned my head, and he was running around and not standing in a perfect line. I don’t need him to be going to the Olympics. I just need him to move his body.

I saw her grabbing his arm. I couldn’t hear the sound, but she grabbed his arm and pulled him to the line. He looks at her with big eyes and says, “Aw.” He’s holding his hand. I was like, “What?” Honestly, I didn’t feel that giving feedback would change the situation because she doesn’t speak English, and there was broken communication anyway, so I just stopped taking him.

That’s the power.

It may not be a big deal for somebody from that culture, but for me, I’m like, “I’m paying you to teach my son, not to hurt my son.”

That’s right. You have every right. That’s what I love telling parents. Sometimes, they feel too scared to dive deep into their child’s education. I always tell them, “No, that’s part of your plan as a parent.

That’s why I wrote the book Take Charge of Your Child’s Education! The title alone is advice that I give every parent I speak with because many times when parents call me, they’re in tears because it’s usually the start of a new year, and they already know their child will not have their modifications.

Many times with these kids, even if gifted, they get labeled ADHD. Not that they might not have that, but it’s because they’re bored. They want to go on and do other things, but the educational system stops them from where they’re at, where they have to be, and where everybody else is at because they don’t have time to even really look after the gifted kid unless they want to push them forward which is another problem because they’re still chronologically their age.

Many times, kids will already feel defeated before the school year begins. They come to me like, “Help, what do I do?” The first thing I say is, “You have the power. I just show you the way to guide you through it to be able to navigate it. I’m your liaison.”

Let kids be kids. They have their whole life to get book smart.

100%. You have a lifetime to learn, and you want that lifetime of learning to be positive and something that is a good feeling.

You look at kindergarten when I was a kid. Kindergarten was when we were coloring. There was a kitchen set at kindergarten. It was a lot like what you would call preschool today.

Now, kindergarten is like, if you’re not doing second-grade work by the time kindergarten is, it’s like, “Why are we rushing? What is the point? Why can’t a child be a child?”

Take Charge of Your Child’s Education! by Mary Resenbeck

My coach told me that teaching kids earlier came from the UK—3–6 or something like that—where they need to develop more of their intuitive side. When you bombard them with logic, numbers, and letters, they don’t develop that part.

Lately, they have seen many kids who have gone through this system. When they get to university, they have a part of them that was not developed at that age, so they deal more with depression, socialization, and addiction. 

Here’s what I noticed, too. The last time I taught in a traditional class, I had a combined class of 3rd and 4th graders. This was back in 2018. I had never experienced a 9-year-old coming to me and telling me they were so depressed that they were thinking of taking their own life.

That threw me for a loop. I had never experienced that. As time went on, I realized that there were a bunch of these little tiny kids. Thinking about it for a second is unusual to me. He was deeply depressed. I did jump in, and he’s fine now.

But I actually quit the school. I got so angry that nobody was paying attention to what was happening that I ended up quitting. After I made sure he was safe, I quit. That’s when I ended up taking my client, the one I just told you about, and moving her into homeschooling and starting my business.

That was disturbing to me. That also told me that the education system is failing our children in such a large way. This is very serious. To me, that’s 911 when a child speaks that way because children are not wired that way. That’s not something they’re wired to think about at that age.

Now, after puberty and all that stuff, this is pre-puberty, no hormones, nothing, and that’s got to stop. That’s got to end. He was getting chastised by the other teacher that he had before me. She was bullying him, so I had to take care of that. That’s a whole other story.

Looking back at the last almost four years with my son and homeschooling him, I will never want to do it any other way. I’m privileged enough that I have a flexible schedule, so I can do it.

You have a lifetime to learn: Ensure that your learning experiences are positive. Click To Tweet

The great things are those memories, going to museums, doing many very experiential things with him, and traveling with him. Today, we were drawing together. It was really fun.

Most days, I feel exhausted. It’s tiring. If you want to do it right, it’s a big commitment. For somebody with a full-time or part-time job that is not flexible, what practical tips can you give them or me to make this easier where you can find time to yourself?

There are many different options. If you work part-time and you want your child to be socialized, and you want them to take a class or two, but you need to be able to get your hair done, need that ‘me’ moment to recharge and be able to feel like, “I’m a human and not just a mom and a wife,” and all that stuff, then those enrichment centers may have (not all) drop-off plans. Those drop-off plans can be for the hours that you want. 

In the enrichment center I teach at for homeschoolers, this director has a drop-off plan for half-day. You can drop off your child from 9–12 AM and then pick them back up, or 12–3 PM, or do a full day. Sometimes, parents work from Monday through Thursday or Monday through Wednesday. They work at a place, so they drop them off there, and then they can pick them up and do the remaining of the homeschooling, maybe on a Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

There are a lot of different avenues where families can still maintain their jobs and still have a homeschool-hybrid feel where they are the ones in control.

There are so many different ways to go about it. What happened with one of my clients was she worked full-time, and I had to find all these opportunities for her. She worked 40–60 hours a week. There was no way for her to do any of that, but she was able to hire an educational manager. That’s somebody who manages them but also takes them, drives them, takes them to the places they need to go, and ensures that if they’re going to be strictly online, they’re getting it done. It’s an accountability kind of a person.

It depends on what you want, but there are a lot of different avenues where families can still maintain their jobs, maintain their work, and still have a homeschool-hybrid feel where they are the ones that are in control of the classes, the places that they’re going, and how exactly personalized that look.

What is the difference between a full day of school and a full day at an enrichment center?

A lot of people ask that. These classes that you’re taking, you can do them any way you want. Some people only use the enrichment center for reading, math, and writing to take that off their backs. Some people use enrichment centers to get quality teachers who can teach those subjects that they don’t have the knowledge for.

There are a lot of times that parents want enrichment centers to do things like theater, dance, and karate. You can take all of those requirements for PE even. You’re taking art classes. You’re taking classes that are not sitting in a classroom being lectured to. Curricular is what they would call them in a traditional school setting, but you can infuse it into the curriculum that you were doing.

I know many parents that work Monday through Wednesday, so their kids go to enrichment classes sometimes half-day or full-day. That might consist of a theater class, a cooking class, a sewing class, a dance class, and a PE class, which could be karate.

That sounds like a place I want to go to now.

It’s fun. They do mechanics there. They have a car out there. You see the kids working on a car. This year, they’re going to have a woodworking place. It moves a bit like a traditional school because they have lunch together. They have breaks together. There are aids on campus. I’m a teacher.

I’m just seeing the different avenues created that give us different roads with personalized and individualized needs as families, children, and students.

What’s so interesting is I’m not hired by the director. I’m my own business. So I’m a vendor. Each of our teachers is our own business. Again, you don’t have to worry, “Oh, Johnny didn’t like the Kung Fu teacher.” That’s not going to spread amongst the colleagues. That doesn’t matter. She will just leave that business model and go over to a new one. It’s a whole different way to look at education.

That’s beautiful. Where do you see the future of homeschooling?

I don’t see it slowing down. I only see it growing and expanding. I also see a lot of educators wanting in because of many reasons. They like freedom. They don’t particularly like somebody over their shoulder telling them how to teach.

Ninety percent of these people slapping down these scripts that they’re supposed to read and not waver from have never been taught anything. They’ve never even been in a classroom. They’re frustrated with that, so they’re interested. Low pay?

Now, I have a 16-week class. The parents pay me $255 for 16 weeks. I get paid way more than I did in a traditional setting.

It’s a business. It’s really interesting. Somebody might accuse me of trying to privatize education. I’m not trying to do anything like that. I’m just seeing the different avenues created that give us different roads with personalized and individualized needs as families, children, and students.

Especially in the last two or three years, I’ve heard about schools doing things behind their parents’ backs and sending crazy things at a very young age. The school doesn’t even have to share anything with them.

Absolutely. Many homeschoolers are about paying attention to what is being taught and told to their children.

We are parents. These are our beautiful babies that we love with all of our hearts and souls. We are never the enemy of our children. We are only there to help them grow, become productive citizens, and make this world better.

Don’t let fear consume you.

Anytime a person comes to me and says that they are unhappy with what the academics in the classroom are saying, what they’re paying attention to, and what they’re delivering, I always tell them, “If it isn’t aligning with you, if you’re not comfortable with it, and if it is something that you don’t want your child to experience, take charge of it. You have the power. Your hands are on that steering wheel. Don’t be scared to make those changes and to make sure that your children are as safe as possible and growing in the manner that you see your child growing in.”

That’s beautiful. I love that. What are your three top tips for living a stellar life?

The number one thing is not to let fear take hold. Sometimes, fear can take hold of an individual. It happened to me. It stops progression and moving forward. Sometimes, when you’re able to do that, you revolutionize.

The other important in life is being able to admit your mistakes. Don’t be stubborn about making mistakes; take those mistakes and always learn from them. I always tell my children and students that if you’re not making mistakes, you’re not learning because that’s the basis of growth.

Show up for people where they’re at.

My third one is to show up for people where they’re at. That’s been very positive for me to do. If somebody’s throwing me junk, I don’t take it personally. I look at where they’re at and understand that there’s something that they’re going through, but it doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with me.

In other words, people are talking about me behind my back. It’s none of my business. I have to take the bull by the horns, and that’s life. Those are my three.

Thank you. Where can people find you, and what services do you offer?

I am a homeschool parent coach and liaison. I also am an IEP advocate for families that have children with learning differences—ADHD, autism, and gifted children. I also work with traditional families to find different and exciting educational paths, especially through homeschooling.

You can find me on my website, maryresenbeck.com. You can also look up Mary Resenbeck and see me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you want a quick read, I have a book, Take Charge of Your Child’s Education. You can find that on Amazon or my website.

Beautiful. Thank you so much, Mary. This was a pleasure. I appreciate it.

Thank you. It was an absolute pleasure speaking with you. Again, thank you so much for having me.

Thank you, and thank you, listeners. Remember, don’t let fear take hold of you, be able to admit your mistakes and learn from them, show up for people where they are, and have a stellar life. This is Orion, until next time.

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

{✓}Explore alternative education options. Consider alternative educational approaches such as Montessori or private umbrella schools to cater to your child’s unique needs and interests.

{✓}Advocate for your child. Don’t settle for an inadequate education. Be an advocate for your child, especially if they have special needs or are gifted. Ensure their individualized educational needs are met.

{✓}Trust the homeschooling journey. If you decide to homeschool, trust the process and your ability as a parent to provide quality education.

{✓}Consider enrichment centers. Look for homeschool enrichment centers in your area to provide your child with a well-rounded education and opportunities for socialization.

{✓}Embrace deschooling. Allow your child to experience “deschooling,” a period of unstructured learning, to help them discover their passions and talents.

{✓}Seek socialization opportunities. Find diverse socialization opportunities for your child through homeschooling pods, enrichment centers, or extracurricular activities.

{✓}Consider consulting with educational experts or managers to help create a customized curriculum and educational plan for your child.

{✓}Ensure that your child’s education fosters emotional well-being and social growth. Look for opportunities for your child to interact with peers and engage in activities that promote healthy development.

{✓}Create memorable experiences. Make the most of homeschooling by creating indelible experiences with your child. Visit museums, engage in hands-on activities, and travel together to enrich their learning.

{✓}Visit Mary Resenbeck’s website, maryresenbeck.com, to access valuable resources along with insights on homeschooling and alternative education.

Links and Resources

Connect with Mary Resenbeck


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Further Resources

About Mary Resenbeck

Mary Resenbeck is an experienced Montessori classroom teacher, theater instructor, educational manager, and a veteran homeschooling mom of three beautiful children. She has recently authored a book, Take Charge of Your Child’s Education, discussing how parents can take an Individualized and personalized Maverick Approach to homeschool their children successfully.

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