#42 Alex Wildrising | Communication, Trust, and Partnership in Unschooling
🗓️ Recorded October 15th, 2023. 📍Coma Ruga, Spain
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About this Episode
Unschooling enthusiast Alex Wildrising joins us for this episode. Have you ever considered unschooling but grappled with doubts and skepticism? Together with Alex, we guide you through our journey, pointing out the significance of relationships, open dialogue, mutual trust, and understanding in reshaping perspectives, especially of skeptical partners.
Navigating through the podcast, we unravel the art of managing unschooling alongside partnership. Together, we underscore how generous communication and allowing each individual to trust the process are quintessential. Not only will this establish a well-functioning dynamic where everyone is aware of their role, but it also nurtures a relationship built on trust, making the transition to unschooling smoother and more rewarding.
Closer to the end, we delve deep into the essence of building strong relationships and trust in parenting. Alex illuminates the journey of letting their partner partake in their children's educational development, allowing a unique bond to form. We also discuss the art of breaking down the learning process into manageable steps, mitigating the consequences of parental anxieties on a child's learning.
So, tune in and let us inspire you to consider the beautiful world of unschooling!
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Watch the full interview on YouTube
0:00:00 - Jesper Conrad
Welcome to Self-Directed. We are your hosts, cecilia and Jesper Conrad, and now it's time to welcome this week's guest. Today we are together with Alex Weigrising, and the reason we are that is actually that we got an email from wonderful, wonderful Sandra Dodd, who said, jesper, for your podcast, you should really talk with Alex. And I said yes, man, and reached out to you. So here we are and I look forward to unpack what it was that wonderful Sandra Dodd thought we could get a good conversation going about. I'm pretty sure the subject would be unschooling. So, alex, if you could tell a little about your own backstory and how you ended up in the world of unschooling, that would be wonderful.
0:00:54 - Alex Wildrising
Sure, and I had the same experience. Sandra reached out to me and said that she had a good experience chatting with you guys and she thought it would be great for me to connect with you as well. So yes, thanks, sandra, for bringing us together.
0:01:11 - Cecilie Conrad
Yeah, that's lovely. Thank you, Sandra.
0:01:13 - Alex Wildrising
And thanks so much for having me and for putting your trust into well. We both put our trust into Sandra, but for putting your trust into me and having this conversation, I think it's good that you're doing this. I'm really grateful that you both are willing to put your time into creating this podcast, because it really is so important to people who are new on the journey to have the conversations fresh right. So I'm glad to be a part of it, and part of the reason why I did decide to speak with you guys was I've been unschooling now for 10 years and I wouldn't be on this path if not for the podcast that existed 10 years ago and Sandra's site and Sandra's forum on Facebook, and I would like to give back a little bit. So if our conversation helps even one person a little bit, then it's all, then I'm happy.
So, yeah, so my kids are 15 and 12. So, and they've always been homeschooled, they've never been to public school in a classroom, and I think that's important to unschooling because I think primarily because my son my oldest, was he had a lot of really big emotions when he was, you know, three, four, five and required a lot of support for me and when it came that time to put him in school, I wasn't ready to let him go. I wasn't ready to take the risk of putting him in a classroom that might not have been able to support him the way that I knew that we could support him at home. And it was funny because there were so many people around me who were saying things like you know, put him in school, it'll be so much easier. Just just you wait and see.
0:03:05 - Jesper Conrad
Just get rid of him.
0:03:07 - Alex Wildrising
Yeah, just get rid of him and and, and, while sometimes, when things were really overwhelming, I mean, you might, I might have had that thought every once in a while of like, oh, if I just could get a break. But that was only a small part. The much bigger part and the wiser part of me knew in my heart that when things were difficult I needed to lean in, not push away. And that's what I did. And there was no way I was going to risk him not having a supportive classroom to be there for him, and so that's kind of that's how I got into the mindset of homeschooling.
0:03:44 - Jesper Conrad
But but how did you hear about it? Because I know for our sake it was. We were so lucky that that lived a mom down the street. Then we had our kids in a playgroup together and she started talking about it and I remember thinking, okay, she's weird, definitely weird. But we listened and talked and you know how you just keep asking questions because you're like there's something there it interests me. But I think she's weird. What is it, what? Why? Why are you doing this? So, so, where did you meet homeschooling or unschooling in your world?
0:04:23 - Alex Wildrising
So there was a couple of families in my town that I didn't know very well. I knew them through other people and I was reading about homeschooling, and I was reading about homeschooling and all the different types of homeschooling and homeschooling was just one of the things that was kind of like in a small blurb, along with like classical or project based. So I'd heard the word and I'd understood that the focus was on natural learning or learning in the real world. But what I ended up noticing with a couple of the families who were unschooling was how connected they were with their kids. So I would watch and just be in awe and amazement Because, even though I knew I wasn't there yet, I didn't quite have the emotional connection skills myself. There's a lot of unprocessed things that I was going through. So, even though I didn't know how to do it, I knew by watching these other families what was possible and what could be and I just I paid attention and I asked questions on the side, like through Facebook Messenger, like there were people I didn't really know very well, but I just I risked it and I put myself out there Because I'd heard them talk about unschooling one way or the other. I can't remember. I think they might have talked about it on Facebook and I just went to the side and was like what is unschooling? What is this thing you're doing? You know typing, typing, and and I got really good answers and one of the things I liked about the response to was it wasn't like unschooling rah, rah, rah, it was just. It was just an honest account of what it was, what it looked like, how it was different than school, how it was based on relationship and and yeah. So that's kind of how it started.
And then there's a couple other families not too long after that that were also unschooling and they were more like the radical unschooling and it was the same kind of thing where I just became really attuned to how they were with their children and I just wanted that, if that makes sense. So I was just oriented towards them and it there was something qualitatively different with the way that they were with their kids. Then all the conventional stuff I'd been seeing and all the stuff that I'd been, that I'd been raised in, and again it was, it was scary and it was confronting sometimes, because there are sometimes things that they said where I was like like you said, yes, but you're so weird. What do you mean? There's no bedtime. What do you mean?
They play video games all the time, like that's not right. But, like I said, I could have that chatter kind of going on in the one part of my mind. But my back to what we were talking a little bit before about, like the nervous system and attunement. I just oriented myself toward them because I knew there was something there that I wanted to have for my own family.
0:07:24 - Cecilie Conrad
So yeah, one big difference is that you're in the state, I suppose. Oh, I'm in Canada. Okay, but still, you're in a and it's not the same, not saying that but you're in a country where homeschooling is much bigger than because, for us, even the idea that you could homeschool. The first time we met that idea, we were like what, what it was just such a radical idea in and of itself and then, let alone on schooling, was, yeah, in the beginning we thought it was completely insane, to be honest.
0:08:05 - Jesper Conrad
Yeah, we actually didn't knew it was an option and that it was even legal.
0:08:10 - Cecilie Conrad
We didn't know if people did it on purpose. I mean we, yeah, but you come from a place on the planet where there would be a few families in your town, and that's just not how it's changed now. Yeah, in Europe, but back then we were like five or eight families in the entire country, so that was that was crazy, it was really a whole new path, yeah it was incredible.
I can't even fathom that I should know how lucky we were that in our street there was a woman. She was not technically homeschooling because she just had a baby, but she had a friend who was homeschooling. So the it was just with one level between. We knew someone who was homeschooled, one of the five at that time, five families, and then we have, we have, I think we had five families and then maybe 20 families who homeschool for religious reasons. But that's like a different ballgame. But five families where it's more like a philosophical choice or like, yeah, yeah, educational choice, yeah, yeah that was just stroke of pre-unlock.
It was yeah, or the universe calling yeah.
0:09:27 - Jesper Conrad
Yeah yeah, yeah.
0:09:29 - Alex Wildrising
Well, you were in the right place at the right time, and so what drew you, what made you pay attention, then?
0:09:36 - Cecilie Conrad
So it was our son basically. This lady down the road became our friend and the boys are the same age and they became friends and we in the beginning we had ours in nursery and kindergarten. Then I had cancer and once I survived that we took them out, because it sort of opened the curtains. And after we took them out the boys spend even more time together and we, well, we've had our third child at that point and the lady down the road, no, oh no, not at that point, no no.
And the lady down the road also had a second child. So we had two, a boy and a girl, both of us at home together at the same time, almost same age, and they played together. I mean, we was three houses down the road, so I got to spend a lot of time talking about unschooling because that was what she wanted, and also we went to the playgroups with the unschooling and homeschooling families the very few there were at the time and Copenhagen and um but we have a long we also have an older daughter who is seven years older than this son, who became friend with that other son and she was in school.
She was in a radical free thing, but it was a school still, and when our second child reached the age where he was supposed to start school, he said I don't think that school thing really is for me. And yes, we really thought, when you always say you want to share this part of yeah, I'm much more comfortable about sharing my own stupidity than my wife sharing it.
0:11:18 - Jesper Conrad
It feels more. It feels like I'm not being bashed but just can be honest about. I know you're not, but I'm talking about my feelings. I rather show my own.
0:11:31 - Alex Wildrising
And I'm not saying that side.
0:11:33 - Jesper Conrad
No, for me that whole thing was a little weird. First hour grown up now grown up daughter. When she started in school it was a this free school but it was a private school. And I come from a place and then my where the children on private schools were like the rich kids. You know it was not a pedagogical choice where I came from. So I was like why should we have a daughter? And this and private public school was good enough for me and I'm not totally messed up and you know the whole shebang you go through as a maybe. So when he was going to start it was actually a very wonderful school. It was based on Sylvester Fronni, who is a French reformist. It's kind of Walter wish and kind of no, but it's more democratic, it's nice.
0:12:20 - Cecilie Conrad
It's very self directed. Yeah they show up Monday morning, they make their own plan they evaluate it on Fridays.
0:12:27 - Jesper Conrad
They age makes the kids teaching.
0:12:30 - Cecilie Conrad
It's a great thing if you want to school.
0:12:33 - Jesper Conrad
So when our sons should start, he should actually be in the same group with his big sister. And I mean like if you are going to school, that's just perfect to start in the security your big sister is always around and all that. And so I tried to push it and I was like, come on, let's try. And we have some funny stories about it where the, the teacher, stone, clearly didn't want it, but I enforced that we should try. We should try to put him there. And Cecilia tried a couple of times but didn't want to leave him there, and he was just, he was playing a little and then he wanted to go home and he went home.
0:13:16 - Cecilie Conrad
So he said we have to try. And I knew if he's not on board I'm not going to homeschool the kids. So we'll have to go through this process. And okay, we can try, but I'm not leaving him. I'm not. I mean, I can take him there, but until the day he says you can go home, mom, I'm just saying so. That was the compromise. That never happened. We went three times a week Tuesday, wednesday, thursday in the morning, and when he said I can't take it anymore, we would go home.
0:13:48 - Jesper Conrad
Yeah, and the teacher at one point said to Cecilia and I say that I was the one that will put us actually to a theme.
0:13:57 - Cecilie Conrad
I know we want to talk about attachment because attachment is, and relation is, the core of unschooling base. In many ways there's so much misunderstanding about attachment, especially within the system and this teacher, whom I actually really like. He was the teacher of my daughter. She chose to stay in school, even though, you know, as we have learned about unschooling, we realized that we believed in the freedom of our children and we told her if you don't want to go to school, you can just stay home, and she could do that on a daily basis or quit entirely as she wanted. She liked it and she stayed and he was her teacher.
He's a great guy in many ways, but he did tell me after four weeks of trying to help our second child to start schooling, he said he sat me down, we had a conversation, Jesper had picked up the child and now we needed to evaluate the process. He told me your child has too much attachment to you. Wow, I'm a trained psychologist, so I actually studied attachment. I know what it is and this guy clearly didn't. There is no such thing. It just simply doesn't exist. He didn't know and he said my child had too much attachment to me. If the dad would arrive in the morning with the child, that might help the process. I agreed on that point, though, but that was the process that I wanted that would be helped by the dad arriving in the morning. Also, he said your child has been at home with you since you beat the cancer. He's been living in paradise and now he needs to exit paradise.
And all kids, the first year or two they walk with their backs to the wall and they are a little bit freaked out about starting school. That's just how the game is. I start back with why would I? What? If you can guarantee that being in school is better, it's the better choice, it's the best choice. It's the most fun and amazing day my child can have. That makes the most sense now to date for him. Why would I take him there? It made me completely know. I was just smiling and saying, yeah, okay, Well, next Tuesday the dad will come with the kid, because I thought maybe he actually needs to see what's going on. I knew because I was there, but bringing the story home about how the whole thing unfolded was not easy. Not that you did to be fair, but he could always question how hard are you really trying? Oh, yes, Because he was not there. In many ways that point was right, but just from other reasons.
0:17:02 - Alex Wildrising
The teacher probably had such authority, and he probably really believed his words too. Attachment is a bad thing.
0:17:10 - Cecilie Conrad
It was real that a child could be too attached to his mother when he's six years old. There's no such thing. There is the safe attachment, the insecure attachment and the distorted attachment. That's the three versions we have. There's no wrong attachment. Too much attachment Like you love your child too much Is there too much.
0:17:29 - Jesper Conrad
You love your husband too much.
0:17:31 - Cecilie Conrad
Love. No, yeah, that's fun yeah well, it's like you said.
That is actually the end of our school story. Might as well tie the knot and then we can move on to talk about relations or anything more interesting. So he agreed, obviously, to take the child on the Tuesday, but within the weekend a friend of mine died of the disease that I had just beaten, and we went to the funeral on the Sunday yeah, maybe even Monday and driving back it was clear to us why would we push our child to do this thing that he clearly doesn't want to do? Every day is precious and he doesn't like it, and it makes no sense. You had a whole like.
Tiffany and the car back from that funeral.
0:18:21 - Jesper Conrad
So he never showed up with us. And then we did the normal dead thingy of let's try it for a little while.
0:18:28 - Cecilie Conrad
We will. Yeah.
0:18:33 - Jesper Conrad
But it's the normal. I mean, and to all the mothers out there who is ready to get your husbands to slowly understand all partners to slowly understand this Don't tell them it for life. It's a big. It's a big chunk to eat. If you are more used to these boxes. And also, honestly, about being a dad and being a dad in a family where you have decided that one person is staying at home, you have less time with your child. It's just a simple hour to hour. You do not know your child as well as the person staying at home does. So you have and you cannot argue with that. So if the person using all the time staying there and knowing the child in depth is believing in dialogue with the child that this is best, you should listen. But for the partners out there, for the women, for the moms, take the whoever is responsible for the child in the house Don't tell them it's for the next 10 years. Just say let's try this out.
0:19:43 - Cecilie Conrad
That's the advice I usually give people to tell their mothers.
0:19:46 - Jesper Conrad
Yeah, but also the husbands.
0:19:47 - Cecilie Conrad
It's a little bit manipulative, I would say, in a romantic relationship.
0:19:51 - Jesper Conrad
No, it's not, it should be manipulative. But it's also unfair towards the child, towards the whole self-directed thing to say, ok, the next 10 years we're doing this. It's actually OK to just say, hey, let's try it out, let's do it now For half a year to a year, because three months is maybe too little. And then you try it out and I haven't met anybody I have given that advice of the dads I have talked with who was like, oh, my wife want to try this. And then they came home to us. We opened our house to people who wanted to homeschool and unschool and invited people in and we talked and I often ended up with the husbands just saying, you know, I just try to have a year or a year. And then I was like, yeah, yeah, I will see them next year and five years later, they were still coming to our house.
Yeah absolutely. Yeah, no, so that's how it ended.
0:20:42 - Alex Wildrising
I think when we, when we do break it up in chunks for our partners, any, any time there's a big perspective shift, that's going to happen, whether it's unschooling or anytime someone needs to make a big change in their life, whether they're, you know, trying to overcome say they're trying to overcome addiction. I work in addictions and mental health. So one of the things that we try to do is is not we don't try to encourage people to to look at the entire mountain, because that almost seems insurmountable right, it's and and we can't know what the future holds. So if we can break it up into smaller, manageable chunks in the case of unschooling, let's try it for a year, even if the mum or the primary person at home knows that in their mind they want to shoot for longer. I think if we want to make it something that's more easily digestible and processable to our, our partners, it makes more sense to, to, to be more realistic, because we actually don't know what's going to happen. You know, we don't know what kind of what our life is going to look like. I mean, things could drastically change.
I've told that to my kids throughout. Every once in a while I'll just say you know, this is the life we live now, but we never know what's going to happen in the future that might, that might change things, Right? So I think it's wise and it's a lot nicer to our partners If we look to ours, the one when we're the ones at home, when we say to our partners, let's try for a year and let's give it our all for for a year and then see what happens. Because we know, like we, we moms at at at home, know that if we do a really good job of showing the joy and the lust for life and and all that that Our parents are, I mean, our partners are going to be on board with us, right? Like, if we do our work as the moms to show how wonderful and how sweet life can be with our children at home, why would any partner turn around and say, well, let's put them in school. It doesn't make sense, right?
0:22:48 - Cecilie Conrad
Probably not, but I would say a year is a bare minimum. Yeah, especially if the child has been in school.
Oh oh yeah, absolutely Just to be. You know there could be someone out there with a different situation than you know. You started at some point to not school by not doing it. But if you've already been in the system and you're used to that, there is so much clearing up to do. Yes, maybe even if you are at that first year where all the other kids learn to, you know, leave the house at eight with their backpack and sit still for five hours and fill out workbooks and and sing the alphabet and all these things and you embark on on schooling, maybe one parent has more time to dive into it because the other parent is running fast to make all the money.
This is usually what happens. It's. We just talk you recently to a guy where they had found out to both work part time. I find that must be so much easier for the whole process of understanding what's going on. But very often what happens is that the one who makes the most money stays in the job and the other one stays at home with the kids and that other one will listen to podcasts like this and will read the books and will talk to other unschoolers and have this whole process of reconstructing the entire idea about what is childhood and what is what is a good education for a younger child, let's say younger than 16. And then, after a year, what if the child is not reading that?
could very easily happen and if you haven't had all these conversations with the other adult in the house, the other parent, and they are not totally on board, they might see the happiness but they get afraid of the not reading. Yes, it takes really a long time to reconstruct these ideas and what happens very often is they don't read. Some of them read, some of them don't, and you have to have really peace with that. And the reading really is a key if you're trying to evaluate after a year and if that's after a year from six to seven or even from five to six, to very easily be that the child is not reading. Yes, so I'm just saying it actually needs a lot of patience to learn to be an upskuler. It does.
0:25:29 - Alex Wildrising
It does require a lot of patience. And there is this it's really tricky to be the primary parent at home because on the one hand, you're trying to protect this learning environment for your child and if you are interested in keeping your marriage, you're also trying to. You're trying to convey in whatever way makes most sense to your partner and for everyone it's different. You're trying to convey to them that learning is happening right. There's this.
It is an awkward place. I don't think there's any way around it. Actually I don't know, because because if you there's, I've seen moms or primary caregivers be a little bit strident and try to push too hard, and I remember Sandra wrote somewhere about like unschooling doesn't stand a chance if there's a divorce. So that's like the one extreme and then so somewhere in between that extreme and the other is finding a way. We need to find a way to be sweet with our partners that are the ones out working and find ways to demonstrate the learning and also support them somehow, because oftentimes the dads or the working parents weren't really on board. It's like us primary parents at home we're kind of dragging them along. You know, I laugh about it now because I'm through it, but it was. It was tough for years.
0:26:55 - Jesper Conrad
It was tough, it was.
0:26:56 - Alex Wildrising
0:26:57 - Cecilie Conrad
I had to face. So I had the first child that we have is seven years older than the guy who didn't start school and I had her on my own and later, yes, we adopted her. So for the first five years I was a parent, I was a single parent and for the next year I was it was mostly my child.
0:27:21 - Jesper Conrad
Yeah, it was a terrible relationship. Six times my child.
0:27:25 - Cecilie Conrad
And I had the final say. Basically, even though he did enter the step that roll very, very quickly, instantly, it was still my final say. And with my second child I had to learn this sharing yes, I don't have to, it's not fair. This child has two parents and I might have opinions. They might be strong and they might be strong.
0:27:50 - Jesper Conrad
And I might be smarter. Which?
0:27:51 - Cecilie Conrad
I'm yeah, but I have to respect that. We are two parents and that was actually a challenge for me with the school About them might be smarter.
0:28:05 - Jesper Conrad
I would present it in another way. A good friend we met at a world school meetup in France when we stayed wonderfully in a castle together. I talked with one of the moms and she told about how their family had a crisis during the whole lockdown thing. It because everybody came home and were not used to being together and home so much of the time. It was actually difficult for them and a lot of other families to interact every day at the same time. And then she asked everybody to come in, sit at the living room and then she went in, took all the books about moms and families and all this stuff that she have read and said this is all I've done besides all the people I've talked with. This is what I've done to try to understand this parenting thing better. Show me your books. Those just dead silence. And what it said to me was, after I met her, I've been. It's actually among one of my inspirations to that.
I've decided to start something I called the better dad institute, Because we dads, we do not prepare very much on becoming dads. There's not a lot of books, there's not a lot of podcasts, it's not something my dad told me a lot about how it is to become a dad and all that, so might be smarter. At least a lot more research on the subjects of being a parent on. I mean, women have naturally normally use more time on saying, okay, I have a child, what's going on? And the we dads are like, okay, she looks good, I'm still happy, Perfect.
0:29:58 - Cecilie Conrad
You actually have a great habit. When I open a conversation with a question like we have this situation, what do you think about it, he has the great habit of saying I haven't thought about it at all. Please share what you thought, because you probably thought about it for like three or four hours already she's asking me stuff like I do.
And he's like on what? Yes, but I think there are many things that I don't take responsibility for. It's not like I'm the big smart thing going on here. I don't even know the license plate of our car or what insurance company we use, or what we paid in tax last year.
I don't know, I don't care, because we have like this is just the diversion of the jobs and I do more of the parenting. It's changed, obviously, as he works from home and we travel now, but but I think we it's. If I got one good piece of advice about marriage from my mother, it was you should share and be clear about how you share. Don't discuss who's doing the dishes every day. Don't discuss these things. It's very nice and you could. She was a radical feminist and so was I used to be, but still she said you know, there could be blue jobs and pink jobs, doesn't matter. Just, you know, make sure you talk to your spouse about what's your job and what's my job. And then there are obviously the shared space where you might argue a little bit, but you might just fucking do it.
I mean it's not a big deal and having this shared workload and trusting I trust that he's got it the tax thing I don't have to think about it, he's doing it right. There will not be a big bill next year and you trust that. You know, you probably thought about that for three or four hours and you probably thought up something smart, so let me in on the whole circus and then we can discuss it.
0:32:05 - Jesper Conrad
I think that's just a pretty way of having a relationship, I would put one more thing on it and then I would really want to ask you a question. But I'll just say for every dad out there, try to stay at home at least a year. I've been now home, living in the family, for five years where we have worked from home and travel, because I remember coming from work and it's like now it's time to relax.
Now opportunity and I cannot see, if you have lived in a home and being at home for a full year, to see all the things going on all the time you don't think your wife do nothing.
0:32:49 - Cecilie Conrad
You thought that I was chilling and having coffee all day. Yeah, you did say that as well. You checked out with your friends all day.
0:32:59 - Alex Wildrising
So many dads do, so many dads do. Oh man, but to go back to you.
0:33:05 - Jesper Conrad
How was your progression on the getting your husband into the home, schooling, unschooling?
0:33:15 - Alex Wildrising
It's so hard to tease out what happened when I think I made the mistake that a lot of unschoolers do at the beginning with their partners, where I got really excited about what I was doing. I saw all this potential. I was really motivated because I was the one that was there all the time and at first, when he wasn't getting on board as fast as I liked, I was starting to get impatient or I'd get grumpy or I'd have all these expectations and that was difficult. And I remember reading Sandra's page about marriage and, like I said, if you want any chance of unschooling to work, you pretty much need to make this marriage work. I mean, unless there's abuse or something going on. But if there's no abuse going on, it's worth it to be to find that generosity that we've cultivated for our children and cultivated for our spouse. And it is gonna look different in each family, but it's really important to that partnership that we've developed with our kids and that we're working so hard on with our kids is to develop that with the partner. And I liked what you two said about over time. When you develop this trust, when you know that each person is doing this or this person's doing this, and you have this well-oiled machine. And then I also think another thing that's really important to think about is not counting, not keeping track of who's doing what, just like we're not counting and measuring what our children are doing. It's good not to be in the habit, or at least not to default, to counting and who's doing this and what, but rather, over time, when trust develops, you have this partnership. So it's such a big topic. But I do think that if I wanted to get one message out there to people transitioning and going through their de-schooling process and maybe frustrated with their other partner, is to step back to breathe and to afford them the same generosity as you would with your kids. And sometimes you do have to meet halfway, sometimes you have to compromise.
There was a time when my husband did get a bit freaked out and he was worried that our youngest wasn't I can't remember what it was, I don't remember if it was reading or math and I was farther along in my de-schooling journey, whereas if he'd brought that up at the very beginning, I probably would have been very reactive and I probably would have been like you're not doing this, and then we're not unschoolers anymore and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. But I got the presence of mind and I said that's fine, if you want to bring this book out, you can do it. I encouraged him to pay attention. If you see a lot of resistance, if you see the flow of learning is not happening, then you need to pull out for a bit and wait and see. And he was fine with that. He was like okay, I just need to try.
It was kind of like when Jesper was like he's just got to try the school, or you know what I mean? They almost just need that assurance because they can't develop the own trust in the process if they're not allowed to experiment a little bit. I wanted my husband and my daughter to also have their own relationship and I did trust in him to be aware and to pay attention. And it did happen. I mean, they had a lot of fun for a while and then she wasn't into it and he was able to see it himself that it wasn't worth it. And he was the one that was like, okay, yeah, you're right, but if I had brought up my big mama bear and completely walked all over him and made him feel bad for wanting to try, I don't think that would have been a better outcome.
0:36:57 - Jesper Conrad
Oh, I ruined the joy of reading for our oldest son by me putting my anxiety about what my colleagues and mom and people around us would say about that. Our first homeschool child hadn't figured out the reading part, so I was like you need to make him read. And she was kind enough to ruin part of her relationship with our son by trying to enforce him to read. And he was strong enough to kind of just so, instead of something that naturally could have occurred over a year, where he might have found it, he waited till he was like 12 or 13 to become a, to start to read, because he just didn't want it.
0:37:40 - Cecilie Conrad
Anybody can. He decided early on. He told us later he decided early on. I'm never going to learn to read.
0:37:48 - Jesper Conrad
0:37:49 - Cecilie Conrad
0:37:50 - Jesper Conrad
And then after I have to learn this?
0:37:52 - Cecilie Conrad
I'm never going to learn it. I'll not learn it.
0:37:54 - Jesper Conrad
And all the pain I have had by trying to get Cecilia to enforce it and see how the backlash was. I have kept that very long. I have removed my. They need to do this after that. It was terrible.
0:38:11 - Cecilie Conrad
Yeah, my heart goes out, it's quite awful, but that was the situation we had after that funeral thing and Jesper saying okay, let's not do the schooling. We pulled him out, we gave up on the school. We said give the slot to someone else, we're not using it. He said you can do this for six months. I think you saw.
0:38:32 - Jesper Conrad
0:38:35 - Cecilie Conrad
But you need to teach him what they learn in schools. So in the first years it's primarily math and reading. So I sat down and did that and that was my. I have to respect the way your two parents and then I can do this in a loving way and I can also share with the child. This is it is what it is. I don't believe in this.
0:38:58 - Jesper Conrad
No, but it's important for that. If you want someone to learn something, just try. No, no, no, that's right.
0:39:07 - Cecilie Conrad
Violence might be efficient if you want obedience. Yeah, yeah, it's never the ethical choice, but it's I mean in politics wars are really efficient. They work, but I'm not sure you know that's what you want.
0:39:20 - Jesper Conrad
No, no, no, no.
0:39:21 - Cecilie Conrad
He said that in the beginning and I sat down with a child very early on, decided I'm never going to learn to read. I don't want to learn and, to be honest, I didn't really do it.
0:39:36 - Jesper Conrad
Enough to ruin it.
0:39:38 - Cecilie Conrad
Enough, I didn't fucking ruin it, no, no but the first year ruined it. Yeah, yeah, that's what I mean.
0:39:43 - Jesper Conrad
Okay, just don't put it on me, I'm not putting it on you.
0:39:46 - Cecilie Conrad
Yeah, I didn't really get around to it and I felt guilty for not getting around to it. And then sort of every fifth Monday I would pull myself up by the bootstraps and say, now, this week we're doing every morning and then I'll do like it through Wednesday, and then I'd give up again. And it wasn't very systematic, it was very traumatic and Right yeah. And then you want to say something.
0:40:15 - Jesper Conrad
Yeah, I would like to get back to a question. Yeah, but it means love talking. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, my question is talking about this anxiety I had of what the surroundings, the society, would say if our son didn't read. Where have you had, if you have had, any own insecurities on your travel as an on-school mom? What were you afraid of in the start?
0:40:44 - Alex Wildrising
So what I was afraid of in the start is different than what I'm afraid of now, I think. But yes, in the start, in the start. So I went like this and put my hand on my heart when you were talking about the trauma around trying to get him to read. So I had a lot of that when my son was four or five. It wasn't just with reading, it was life in general. I was just anxious that he was not going to be this, that or the other because I told you he had all these emotional things going on.
And so when I first learned about unschooling and then started my de-schooling process, what was really painful for me was worrying that he would never overcome or he would never be able to get over the trauma I caused from being too anxious, like trying to push things. Like I pushed piano on him, I pushed gymnastics Like I think about him as a five-year-old and I remember him holding the banister like I don't want to go to gymnastics and I'm like you're going to gymnastics because you're not going to be a quitter. You know what I mean. That's why I'm like, oh, I totally know what you guys were talking about, right?
0:42:00 - Cecilie Conrad
Well, we all screwed up at some point.
0:42:01 - Alex Wildrising
We all screwed up and we did it because we truly thought we were doing the best for our kids, because we didn't like for me. I didn't want him to be afraid of things. I didn't want him to succumb to fear and then never do anything with his life. So I just figured, if I drag him hard enough, I'll get. Yeah, you know what I mean. And so at the beginning, when I started to realize how wrong that was, I was really worried that he'd never get over that. And I went through years of just like wincing every now and then well, not every now and then usually daily of like I fucked up, oh, my God, I fucked up Like he's gonna be screwed up forever.
There was the other worries, too, like, oh, how will he learn math or how will he learn to read, but I had enough confidence from everything that I'd read from Sandra Dodd and Joyce Federal and Pam Seroushian and Pam Lurikian, amy Childs those were like the five big ones for me that I knew that they would both eventually learn those things, because, if all, in the worst case scenario, in my mind it was like they can go to night school when they're adults if they need to learn that stuff. For me, it was a large part of like will they overcome all the stuff? From my own anxieties? I found, though, that as years went by, and I had more distance from that time and they had more distance from that time, and we did. We built a new relationship built on trust and mutual respect, and they have moved on largely. I mean, we don't know, maybe when they're adults they'll be in therapy. I can't really speak for them, but from my perspective, our relationship is much different, and so I think we're gonna be okay.
But, yeah, that haunted me Like I don't know if I can express how deeply it haunted me about all the ways I tried to force, especially my oldest. My younger one got a less anxious kinder mom but I was so worried that he wouldn't. But he did and we moved away from this adversarial, controlling kind of relationship to more of a partnership. And it's actually been amazing to see him now, at 15, if you met him you'd have no idea the struggles that we had. He is so solid now. He so knows who he is as a person and he still will have anxiety and things come up, but his ability to deal with it.
0:44:49 - Jesper Conrad
I'm like who doesn't?
0:44:51 - Alex Wildrising
Yeah, it's inspiring, like there's things I've learned from him now where I'm just like wow, like how do you know this? And it's so, so cool. So if there's any new unschoolers hearing this and dealing with some of that inner pain that comes when we start to realize that what we were doing wasn't ideal and wasn't right, and we're in this awkward phase of knowing that this wasn't right and knowing that we wanna move to something better, but not sure what it is and it is painful Just muster all of your self-compassion. Use whatever difficult emotion comes up as fuel for doing better. So I had coaching from Amy Childs back then. I don't know if she has her name attached to her podcast anymore, but it's the. I think it's the unschooling life. I think it's still available for people to listen to.
But one of the things she said to me was, when you notice, this guilt come up because I would get so overwashed with guilt and shame. And she said, like, let that guilt find the wisdom in that guilt. That guilt is there not to make you feel like a bad person, but that guilt is there to tell you actually how caring you are and how big your heart is and how much you want to do better. So finding a way to transform what we usually consider intolerable or difficult emotions if we can just shift our thinking around it. It's actually this call to action of I wanna be better and I have this moment right now to start.
So, and sometimes you do wallow in the past, especially in the beginning, of all the things I did wrong, but we have this new moment. Every moment we have a new moment to try something new and to use those difficult emotions to propel us forward and be better. And I can say that, like eight years later I mean, I've been doing it for 10, but eight years is when I've been really in a groove it does get better. So I feel like I went on a tangent I can't remember what they were doing.
0:47:00 - Jesper Conrad
I liked it.
0:47:02 - Cecilie Conrad
It's very important because most of us a few very lucky people know they want to be on schoolers before they even have kids, and I mean they should consider themselves with a lot of oranges in there. What is the word?
0:47:18 - Jesper Conrad
in English? We don't. It's not in English.
0:47:21 - Cecilie Conrad
Yes, because it's from 119th grade, so it must be a story anyway. They should consider themselves very lucky. And I think we all make mistakes and if we come from a more mainstream or less just less reflected way of parenting into something that we really think about, then we've made mistakes along the road. One of the things that we've spent as a sort of light in the darkness has been you can only control what you can control. I cannot change what I did. I can be honest with my children about what was my perspective at the time, what was my reasons for reacting the way I did. But that's even for them. It seems usually quite irrelevant. What's most important is today I'll be a really good mom. Today I will be really present and I remember how, in the beginning, when I was listening to unschooling podcasts and reading the books and having the conversations, how everyone talked about relation all the time and I was like, but what about the education and what about the practical life? I mean, do they or do they not wash their hands before they eat? It was a very restricted, narrow-minded perspective I kind of had, but really and truly, that is what it's all about.
Is it a good attachment? Do you have a good flow of communication? Do you truly know each other? Do you truly trust each other? Will you be there? Do you spend at least half an hour a day talking about nothing? Yeah, I mean it's. Do you allocate the time for the relation, do you make space for it? And if the relation is there, even though you screwed up a thousand times when they were smaller, there is a lot of healing that can happen in a very short time and that's the only thing we can do. So why would we bash ourselves with all the things we did wrong? There's nothing we can do about it now. And even with the story about reading, where we really screwed up because of the pressure and the whole, he even had like almost anxiety attacks about reading, and not only he had it was a very traumatic experience, the whole reading thing.
And then one day he decided he listened to audiobooks, and a lot of them. So he was very literate. Actually. He was discussing literature with people who read a lot of books on a very high level. He just couldn't read. And then one day he realized that one of the books that he'd been listening to, part three was not available as an audiobook and, by the way, it was not going to be translated into Danish. So he would have to learn to read, and he would have to learn to read in English to get the rest of the story.
And so he decided I need to learn to read and within three weeks he was reading. Yes, it literally. He took one book series of easy reading but good quality for older kids. He found a really nice thing to read. He read that and it was interesting because it was really seriously slow In the beginning. It was reading 10 words would take him half an hour and he was just being so stubborn about it. I'm doing this. And after two days and three days he could read an entire page, which would be like four sentences, because you know it's this read thing.
But then the next thing was a real novel, just a real one, just whatever a fantasy novel and it's right in the moment when we moved into the bus. So he got this Kindle and he's worn down two or three Kindles since it's always in his pocket, he's reading all the time and now he's reading mostly in English. He did it. He did it the moment he decided to do it.
0:51:52 - Alex Wildrising
Yeah, and I think it's good for new unschoolers to know that the building blocks of reading are happening. It's just that we often can't see it, and so you know, over the course of the years and, by the way, both of my kids were late starters at reading. They were both probably well, no, my oldest was probably about 11. And then my youngest was probably nine, 10-ish, before they could pick up anything and read and comprehend. School has this way of trying to make it look like kids are reading when they're younger but they're reading the pre-prescribed things, like. It doesn't necessarily mean they understand what they're reading. It doesn't mean that they enjoy what they're reading.
0:52:41 - Jesper Conrad
And they can't necessarily.
0:52:43 - Alex Wildrising
they couldn't necessarily pick up a magazine and be able to read it, right, but schools brainwashed us all into believing that reading is, you know, the primary readers when they're five and six, and then the easy abridged versions of whatever when they're eight or nine. And so what I would say to new unschoolers is as long as you have lots of print available you're talking a lot, you're you know allowing them access to audio books and or regular books, or or even letting them watch hours and hours and hours of TV, like all of it's contributing to acquisition of language, and it happens subtly and slowly outside of school. And then, like you said, when they're ready, and especially if the environment puts pressure on them like volume three is not going to be available audio book then as long as their sense of learning is intact and and, and they are developmentally ready, it is amazing what they can learn really quickly.
0:53:50 - Cecilie Conrad
They learn really fast yeah.
0:53:52 - Alex Wildrising
Really fast and I had two nieces who were one of these kids that learned to read very quickly by age five and and their parents did all the. They did all the things that most loving parents do provide a lot of reading and all that but they learned to read at five and that was because they were. They were really, really ready and my kids learned to read later. But at the end, when it all comes out on the wash, it doesn't matter. So I have two kids who love to read. My daughter consumes book after book after book and loves it. She also watches a lot of TikTok and she watches a lot of YouTube and she watches a lot of Netflix and she reads a lot Like it's all of it is literacy, all of it is appreciation of story, all of it is getting is communicating with others via through someone else's imagination.
0:54:48 - Jesper Conrad
It's all really lovely, the having the trust and the patience. That was super hard. It is, it was. It was super hard Then with the child three and four. I'm like, oh yeah, okay, it will happen. I didn't care because I had seen it.
0:55:08 - Cecilie Conrad
Well, let's face it, child three read several years before child two. Yeah so her third child, our daughter. She's three years younger than her brother and she could read when she was four, so at that time he must have been seven. So she read seven years before he read. Yeah, I mean, it was not like we were waiting for her after him because he was an adult.
0:55:34 - Jesper Conrad
But I remember the anxiety will he ever learn to read? And the whole trust in us unschooling actually work. And then when time is, when you see it happening, when you see them wanting to understand the thing and then just to go down a rabbit hole or just invest a lot of time in it. Now he's 17 and he's just been like bit by a crazy mad box and he's using normal.
I mean seriously studying math six hours a day and he loves it and he's learning so much and he never studied math in any organized way, and now he's doing a level. Yeah, yeah, have so much fun with awesome. But it's the thing is, it is just a matter of being able to trust.
0:56:26 - Alex Wildrising
0:56:27 - Jesper Conrad
That it will come and but also they can. You cannot trust it will come if you haven't got the trust in your child.
0:56:36 - Alex Wildrising
0:56:37 - Jesper Conrad
And that trust can only come through the relationship.
0:56:42 - Alex Wildrising
Yeah, so yes that it's something you enforce. How did you do it then? Like, how did you move through the anxiety and the worry as a dad? Like, how did you? How did you cultivate?
0:56:53 - Jesper Conrad
that In many ways.
0:56:56 - Cecilie Conrad
You kicked out pretty often.
0:56:59 - Jesper Conrad
Yeah, I had periods. I had periods. I was like, oh, it's good, it's good. And then I have you must do something. Well, if this is not, I don't try.
0:57:07 - Cecilie Conrad
I don't know, I was a child girl with a year, so the years I learned to tell him you back off now.
0:57:14 - Jesper Conrad
0:57:15 - Cecilie Conrad
You've done enough damage. The kid gets real anxiety if we push him about this. Yeah, it will come, but he needs space.
0:57:24 - Jesper Conrad
Yeah, and what we do learn that. But also actually what's going on is that I am a person who didn't go to university. I just went. I had fun the most of my life. So I like when I was finished with the gymnasium, high school, the kind of years then I just had fun, made some animated feature movies and wanted to do different stuff, and just that stuff I had fun with ended up in the media industry and things happened. So for me there was not a goal of my children needed university degree, because I had been very fortunate in my career just by being creative and having fun and after many, many, many hours of talking with my wife. That's one of the things to all who wants to unschool oh man, you talk a lot.
0:58:25 - Cecilie Conrad
You can unsubscribe.
0:58:26 - Jesper Conrad
Netflix. You just talk a lot and you're listening to your wife and you think that she's an idiot. But then you think you walk around, think about what she said and you're like, okay, yeah, maybe she's right again, yeah. But one day Cecilia asked me I think it was like what do you actually want the children to learn? And I went around and pondered around it and I came up with what I really want my children to learn, when they are no longer living with us, is know who they are. I really want them to know who they are, because I was very outwardly but insecure and it was like a fence towards the society.
I was like a happy guy. So if they knew who they were, they could figure out relationships with other people and they didn't try to act out to people. If we just release them into the world, with that I'm happy. I mean, that's number one. And then number two is I would love for them to be able to know how to make some sort of living, so they are not necessarily need to be in a system of some sort to have money or they, if they can make a living, happy. And I think number three was if they can, if they can find something they're passionate about. I'm thrilled. But number one and two is good, it's good enough. And when I reach but that's actually what I want to teach them Then I didn't see any subject there. I didn't see, like it's not academia that I think it's most important that my children get, because that will come if they wanted.
1:00:17 - Alex Wildrising
Yes, yeah, that part about really knowing themselves like the number one, I don't think that that's talked about enough. In general in the Western world you know like they have the standardized tests to measure your math and your comprehension and your, your all, your ability to write, but nowhere does anyone ever ask how well someone knows themselves or knows how to cope in a complex, stressful world that's no, they're triggers. And no other triggers, and know who to ask for help and how much money.
1:00:53 - Cecilie Conrad
That in the unschooled community, what's that? Anyone ever asked that question? And I think in the unschooled community that's, and you're right One little.
1:01:04 - Alex Wildrising
Yes, you're right, but out in the out in the world, where 99.8% of the other kids are, that's not the question people ask. And and like you say, like when you really think about it and you really sit down and you think about what do I really want for my kids? Math homework just isn't the thing that really just arises, right.
1:01:29 - Jesper Conrad
Oh, I want them to be able to find love and can you? Find love if you're totally broken. I mean, if we can leave them a little unbroken, less broken than I was, then I'm happy.
1:01:43 - Cecilie Conrad
Even with tools to fix themselves when yeah, because we can, we can. That's another thing. To circle back to around the did we do some damage? Maybe we did. I think we all go through this life and things happen and sometimes you don't really have the time to to mend the wounds in the moment, so you have to just tape it and forget about it for a while and go on. Sometimes life can be really cruel and well, sometimes it just happens too fast and when no one moves through this life with no scars. So I think, knowing how to handle pain, how to handle drama, how to overcome moments of anxiety and security, how to find courage and and how to ask for support when needed, we all need that and I think, very often as mothers, maybe as parents in general, we just want to do perfect.
We want to leave them as they were when we got them that first moment, untouched and perfect, with no trauma, no scars, no, nothing broken. But I think about the, the movie I don't know what is it in English, maybe.
1:03:10 - Alex Wildrising
Finding Nemo, yeah.
1:03:12 - Cecilie Conrad
When, when, when, the clownfish says I don't want anything to happen to him, and then this little blue thing says wouldn't that be boring If nothing ever happened in his life? Yes, it's just a great turnaround, because things do happen in life, and one of the things that I find really important that our kids learn is how to cope with stressors and how to how to live with yourself if you made a mistake, and how to handle things if they have been really complex and and maybe even rough. And in that context, math makes no sense. It's not relevant at all.
1:03:56 - Alex Wildrising
No, not the school math, although, on the topic of math, that was my favorite thing in school. I could get lost in the flow of math homework. I loved it. That was actually one of the reasons I wanted to home school was I never wanted my kids to hate math. I mean, I was fine if it wasn't gonna be for them. But if it wasn't gonna be for them, I wanted it to be not for them because of their own self-knowledge or whatever it might be. I didn't want it to be because they had adopted some idea that they couldn't or they were dumb or stupid, and in fact it's.
Maybe it's a bit of a paradox, but there's so many things I love, like I love reading and I love math and I love learning, and that's what I really wanted to protect in choosing to unschool, which people who don't understand unschooling will think that you're depriving your kids somehow, but in fact it's the opposite it's. I want to protect that love of learning. I want them to dance with math, because it's a beautiful thing, right, and so yeah, and I wanted them to not see it as a subject. I didn't want them to see it as something separate from the rest of the world, because it's everywhere. I didn't want them to appreciate that beauty, so, yeah, that's I totally hear that and I also hate.
1:05:20 - Cecilie Conrad
Math is one of the things in school system that makes real damage, makes real trauma. Yes, because if you miss one or two history classes you can sort of get the picture anyway. But if you miss one or two math classes and you didn't get it maybe you weren't even there, but you didn't really get it and then it moves on. Because math has this structure of being pure logic. Basically it's when you get it, it's so clear, it's that clear, it's like obviously, but until you get it it's dark, it's pitch dark, like the night underneath the ocean. You don't get it at all and that makes you feel really stupid. And if everyone around you gets it, you don't get it, and then you don't get the next thing and you don't get the next thing, you don't get the next thing. The child will feel very stupid and it will be treated as if he or she is very stupid. And we also hold math as this sort of I don't know key inside the idea of the smart child. So those who get math and get more than 80% and all the tests, maybe even 95% and all the tests, they're considered the three of the sharp smart ones. But maybe they are just the ones who didn't miss a class two months ago and the others they will feel like idiots because you know, in a way, you know it's a lot, it could be clear as day, but there's no light inside your mind. So you must be stupid.
I've worked with this. I call it the math trauma. It's been years, but I did work with it for people basically just studying for the exam, and you have to work with the psychology to get over this trauma Right To even start to understand the math, because there's just this shutter. It's. It can be really traumatic and that's one of the things I didn't want my children to experience. Yes, and I see so clearly now with this child who is now studying math voluntarily. He's just having so much fun, he's so excited, and then he comes out of his bedroom six hours later, exhausted because he's used all his brain juice. Yes, I'm happy because he can do it in his own pace. He can do it when it makes sense to him and he can stop when he's tired, which is after six hours sometimes, whereas you know in school it would be 15 minutes.
Yeah, and while I have the talking stick, can I say one more thing, I'll shut up. I'll try. Of course no, but I think it's important because if we're trying to service the community, I think we should circle back to reading, because we say that these things are not important and it's relation and it's how you hold yourself and how you overcome stressors, and it's true. But obviously we all want our children to know how to read and we talk about it as if that doesn't matter. It does matter. Yes, the thing is, I think it's very, very hard to stop a child from learning to read. I actually, if the child is not deprived of food, water and daylight and if the child is not going through severe trauma, talking abuse here. Yeah, if that's not the question, all children in a reading society learns to read.
You cannot stop it. Yeah, just like we're not rehearsing, walking really they will all get up and walk at some point.
Yeah, they do it, all of them the same thing with reading. There's so much text around them. At some point they read. And I have four children. I taught the first one to read. I failed teaching the second one to read. I didn't notice that the third one was learning to read by herself while I was failing teaching the second one. Yeah, the fourth one, I sort of I didn't forget about him. I didn't pay any attention to reading because at this point I was 95% educated on school. He's 13 years younger than the first. There was some time between and suddenly one day he could read in three languages. It just happened, wow.
I just wish that I had known all the ways to time the first one. We had fun, she just wanted, we just played around with it. It was fun, but I did feel the responsibility. I felt I had to do it. We had fun, there was no stress. She was young, it was before school, there was no problem, but still I thought this was like a parental job, like brushing their teeth. You have to, yes, don't have to. They all learn to read 100% of them. Just like, just don't stress about it. That's my best reading advice.
1:10:26 - Alex Wildrising
Yep, and we do. We live in a very different society now than the society that existed when reading was important in school. So if you think about like well, I'm thinking about Canada, the United States and new colonies, and people didn't have access to books, so school was the best place to go because that's where the books were. We're so different now. Like we have, there's books everywhere you can go to a dump, and there's books everywhere. There's books on the side of the road, like there's.
And people don't realize that reading is a form of communication and we humans are motivated to communicate. If nothing else, kids are going to want to be able to text their friends. They don't want to be left behind in that. And as long as there isn't pressure from the parents or school that you have to do it by this time, in this way, like you said, you can't stop them. I mean, parents can screw up and stop them, but if they're allowed to just flow with language and they have the books and their shows, and people are talking and parents are engaging in meaningful conversations with their kids, you can't stop it. The only thing that's anxiety provoking for people is that it doesn't happen at age five or age six. It's really quite personal and that's where people get kind of freaked out. But but no, you're right. Like, humans want to communicate, especially in this world where communication is just that much more important.
1:11:59 - Cecilie Conrad
Yeah, and they all. There is so much text, written text, around us that it's just like you learn to speak because you hear language. Yes, it's like soaking a towel Just takes time to absorb all the water. It's not necessary all these systems to learn to read Many of them. If you dive into the history of it, they are made for dyslectic, which is another question we could discuss. But let's just say many of the systems, you have to do it in this order. You have to start here and then learn that and then move on to this. It's all made for after you fucked it up, after it's wrong, or for pushing it down the throat of kids too early. If we leave it be and leave them be, they will all read all of them.
I've heard about one unschooled. Yeah Well, let's just be honest about this. There is you can probably find him on YouTube a guy in the first summer, hill school, I think who actually didn't learn to read a shot, and he was something in his twenties when he realized, okay, now I need to learn, and then he sat down to learn. But that's the only way. This is one person out of the whole story of this. Yeah, one else learns, and most of them before they're 15.
1:13:28 - Jesper Conrad
Yeah, yeah, alex. I have a subject which is one of the joys I've and one of the gifts that I think come with the whole being an unschooled, homeschooling parent is the time and being this now. I've been a stay at home dad for the last five years, as we have been traveling the world work at home, then work at home. Yeah, and also anyway, anyway.
but but having that luxury of time as an adult or as a person in the whatever year we have now, I find it so giving and I find it so wonderful that I have time for my interest and stop. So what, what is it? What have it given you? Is there something where you have got gotten back to saying, oh, this is interested me when I was young, this, I really want to do this. I have the time now.
1:14:30 - Alex Wildrising
Mm, hmm, mm, hmm. Yeah, part of the process of of valuing time, and that didn't come naturally, because I did come from a family where the environment was produced be productive, no idle time. So through de-schooling I started to really see the value in large swaths of unstructured time, if for nothing else because in that time there could be something that just bubbled up that might have never had the opportunity to bubble up, whether it's a conversation with your child, or it's an insight that you have, or it's a moment of connection with whomever you're spending that unstructured time with. Part of the de-schooling process allowed me to appreciate that. Also, I learned that where there's joy and pleasure, there's often a side effect of just learning spontaneously, because often, I mean, we do learn in difficult psychological states, sure, and we learn during trauma, but we also we learn really well and really seamlessly and really joyfully when we are feeling at peace. And so it took a while to get there. That was one of the things that I let go over time was that idle time wasn't necessarily a bad thing and there was all these connections being made and I saw it in my children and then eventually I was able to turn it around and afford that for myself and my husband, and so both of us are voracious learners, always have been really curious, but we started to actually afford that for each other and to create space for each other to have that time. And that's been a huge unforeseen benefit of unschooling for me and for him is having trust that when there is joy and when there is curiosity some of the best connections are made.
And so during the pandemic when, like you had someone of you mentioned earlier that the pandemic was really stressful on a lot of families because all of a sudden all these people were in a small space and having to figure that out, we were already a well-oiled machine at sharing our space and giving each other space, and what I mean by space is respecting the learning process for everybody. And so during the pandemic, I got really into dancing. And so prior to the pandemic, I'm a high active person like me. Sitting for this amount of time is actually very uncharacteristic for me.
I don't do this, I'm very I'm active and I used to run around, or I used to be in a running group Sorry, I was in jobs that allowed me to run around and all of a sudden the pandemic hit and there was nowhere to run around to or to run, and so I got really into dancing. On social media there was these tutorials. You know, there's all these people at home who you know were needing something to do and I got really into dancing. And that's a bit of a shift, because when you're a 41 year old woman that starts dancing and making content online, a lot of people will kind of side eye you, like what is wrong with you?
1:18:00 - Jesper Conrad
need to be 17 and 17 year old. Yeah.
1:18:04 - Alex Wildrising
Yes, you need to conform to this body size and you need to have this much explosive energy and you need. You know you it's. You must have a lot of time on your hands to be able to do that. You know there's all the, all the judgments and everything but yeah.
I don't think I would have done it if not for the pandemic, and then between the pandemic and then also having this perspective shift around pleasure and learning it. I'm having some of the most fun I've had in my entire life, learning to dance and posting content online, and it's all at once. It's a creative outlet, it's a physical outlet. The creativity is boundless when it comes to video editing, creating dances, learning to freestyle, and one of the other things that I feel like I learned during de-schooling was the idea that we can learn from all different ages. So you learn.
As a parent, I'm sure you can relate that you learn so much from your children, whether they're two or five or seven or older. I learned that I can learn a lot about dancing from people in their their early 20s and so like. Just there's so many shifts that happen when you de-school and when you open your mind to possibilities that were, at least, were never available to me prior, and so I've I've gone all in, I've traveled around, learned from young people, overcome some of the stigma in my own mind about being the old lady in the dance club class.
Right. In the past I never would have done that ever. It would have been too scary and and I would have felt like I didn't belong or I didn't fit in or all the all the chatter in the mind about this is not what a woman in her 40s should be doing. But my daughter is a competitive dancer and part of our culture in our home is that we travel long distances for her to dance. So last year I just like well, I have the time, I'm able to get the time off work. I do work part-time and I was like I'm just going to do it, I'm just going to go, go do this and go do the big scary thing. And in unschooling you do learn to see failure a little bit differently. So it was like well, if it doesn't work out, what's the worst that could happen? You know there'll be something to learn from the situation. But there was no failure. There was only connections to be made, confidence to be gained, fun to be had.
Fun to be had and and no shame around that, right, right, and we do, we. We have another unforeseen benefit of unschooling is this culture within my family that we have for each other. You know like we've learned to really embrace my son's gaming. We treat his gaming the way a lot of families treat hockey in Canada, so hockey is a big thing in Canada, so we, we take his equipment requirements seriously. The amount of support we've done over the years for his gaming has been has been so wide and expensive compared to what it would have been if we had old thoughts about how kids should spend their time.
Yeah, you know, I I dove right in. I learned to play Fortnite years ago. I was able to hold my own Meanwhile while I was able to play with him. I was able to sort of be supportive to him emotionally, which wouldn't have been available to me if I had just been like no, I'm not doing this, he's not doing this right. And like I said with my daughter, professional or not professional, but competitive dance is what she does and we've we've all learned how to create the space to support her to do that.
My husband loves to learn. He's learning about all kinds of subjects right now, that he's actually able to take all these connections of all the learning he's done over the years and put it together in his job, which is so cool. Not a lot of people can do that right, and and it's. I mean, I can't attribute it all to unschooling, because life's far too complex to to narrow down to one thing, but I can say for certain that the unschooling journey and the de-schooling journey was a big part of that perspective shift that's allowed us to get there. So, yeah, unschooling, it trickles into other areas of life, including the parents life, and, and when joy and connection is priority, it's actually amazing what, what can come out of it.
1:22:51 - Jesper Conrad
I have something with dance I want to talk to you about. I can hear.
When I was young I ended up by one of the big streets in Copenhagen and there was these street artists dancing and I ended up becoming really good friends with them.
And then we're like breakdancing electro boogie crew did a lot of locking and popping and I I ended up filming them, went to New York with them.
We made a dance theater play I wrote together with one of the guys, but and I might be wrong, but I have a little difficulty with the word break dance and it is I don't think they dance, I think it's high level gymnastics to music, because for me dance need to be rhythmical, where you are hitting something with your movements to the the music. It needs to be a dialogue with the music and I know I might be approved in my understanding of dance, but sometimes also when I see on tiktok or YouTube or whatever, people making what is it called, when it's a choreography, then I'm like you're not tight, you're not doing it to the music. It's actually just movement Judgment, absolutely, absolutely. And I I'm okay by being proven wrong, I'm okay by being proven wrong, but it's sometimes I'm like, I'm annoyed, I'm like I like what you're doing, I like the movements people are doing and I'm like, but if it's not in dialogue with the music, I'm like man.
1:24:29 - Cecilie Conrad
I think you have some interest in a work to do right there. I might have and I can give you a little clue, being your wife and psychologist.
1:24:39 - Jesper Conrad
Do you want to? No, no, it was a question for us. Yeah, yeah. So how do you look at dance with that statement I came up with?
1:24:52 - Alex Wildrising
Well, I don't know how to break dance. I don't break dance. And yeah, there's a lot of people dancing online that aren't in beat with the music. I do notice that. I do notice that.
1:25:08 - Jesper Conrad
But it does make it less impressive what they're doing. It's just in my mind it's like it's a choreography and that's nice, but it's not a dialogue with the music.
1:25:18 - Alex Wildrising
Right, so you're thinking about choreography itself as being disconnected from the process, maybe of dancing, is that?
1:25:28 - Jesper Conrad
Yeah, maybe I just.
1:25:29 - Cecilie Conrad
Just being just mental. Yeah, that's basically it. This is the one pointing the finger. It's something you can see that it's a little bit wrong. And I'm not good enough Right and you're not good at it, and the thing is, you're very envious of these guys who are lean and strong. They can stand on their head and jump backwards, and then you find this little tiny thing and then you talk about that, so we don't look at their.
1:25:55 - Jesper Conrad
Hey, hey, I like that you thought these marriage and little psychologists are not.
1:26:01 - Alex Wildrising
Well, this is actually I'll just take a minute. This is actually a big dividing thing within the dance community. I've seen it in different genres. So in shuffling, which is what I do, there is a pretty significant divide between the people who are very committed to freestyling and then the ones who like choreography. And the freestylers will say, kind of, what you're saying, like, if it's a preplanned choreography, you're not really in touch with the music. That's what they'll say. I'm not saying I agree either way. I think there is a place for both. There is definitely an art form in choreography for the people who are creating the choreography, because ideally you are tailoring the moves to the music. But there is something beautiful about freestyle as well, because if you're really in tune with the music and you're creating movements based on what the music is kind of telling you, then that is a beautiful creative process. So I just wanted to put it out there that this is a debate already within the dance community.
1:27:04 - Jesper Conrad
Yeah, I will not really turn this podcast on, right you?
1:27:11 - Cecilie Conrad
No, no, no, Cut it out.
1:27:13 - Jesper Conrad
No, no, no, I don't mind, I did it. Funny, I did it, yeah. So what do you freestyle? Which you, and how do you? What do you do when you freestyle? You just put on something and then connect with the music and then what is the dance? Kind of type.
1:27:36 - Alex Wildrising
There's, I mean there's different kinds of freestyle. I suppose there's the tourist form of freestyle where someone is their body is just being compelled by the music, but much like improvisation in jazz. When you're, when we're watching it, it looks magic, it looks like they're creating things spontaneously. But in fact it's based on a lot of basic training. So like when when I personally freestyle, I can only speak for me. When I first started shuffling at the beginning of the pandemic, I got a pretty solid. I got some pretty solid muscle memory around some of the different standard moves. And so now what I'm looking for when I do a freestyle and that's pretty much what I do now. I just don't have as much time as I used to, now that life's back to normal, to to do some of the other things. So most of my content is free styling. Now I look for layers within the music. So, especially in electronic dance music, there's patterns that exist.
We want to talk about how math exists everywhere.
Almost everything happens in patterns of eight, and usually at 16 beats there's a bit of a change, Usually at 32, there's a bit of a change, and then at 64 beats there's usually kind of a major change.
And so when you become accustomed to the patterns within the music, you kind of know where you can play, and so if you have a good, solid muscle memory around the moves, and then you also kind of know how patterns and math works within the music, it looks really magic to the people who are following, but in fact there's a whole level of processing that's going on and then even within music there's obviously variation, but you do, you start to pick up to know when certain changes are, or when the music producer has added in some unique sounds, and and then there's different parts of the song where it's like really quiet and it gets a little bit louder and you allow that. That's where the improvisation comes into and where the spontaneity comes in is when your body isn't it's not just the footwork but it's your body responding to certain elements of the music. So a lot's going on in a freestyle. So I call it freestyle and it is, but it's also based on a lot of intentional practice and work.
1:29:56 - Cecilie Conrad
But my step dad he used to say that you can rehearse to become more lucky, which is like a contradictory thing If you just say it like with no context. But what you meant was exactly what you explain about freestyling. It makes me think about this how, if you, if you train something, if you have muscle memory, if you've done it a thousand times, then chances are, if you, if you throw the ball with your eyes closed, you hit the mark. If you, if you did it with your eyes open 100,000 times, and I think just, oh, this is a little hard to put into words, but what you're explaining so dancing, like playing music, you have to be it's something that happens in the moment. If it's freestyle dancing, it's something that will put you right there in the present. You listen to the music and in the exact same moment, your body is doing something. It's not like you can think about it for a while and then do it.
Yeah, and this is how we're. We, we have to live our life. Yes, right here in the moment. Yes, and we often we live a quite amazing life and people very often tell us that we're very lucky and we usually respond it's not luck. We work, we worked for this, we rehearsed for this luck. We've been working on our mindset. You spent used the word de-schooling many times in this conversation and de-schooling pulling out everything that is not me from from my mind and letting go of all layers that actually has nothing to do with me and really putting my attention to what I find important and to what I hold as truth, and repeating the focusing on how I see the mechanisms of life work and putting it into words and having discussions with people about it is the rehearsing.
To get lucky, yes, and I can't that gives me goosebumps, but that's what you're doing when you're dancing. If you're just doing it and we can call it dance, and here we can sort of comprehend that everybody knows what dance is and you can make a video on YouTube and you can call it my dance channel and we know what that is. But it's the same skill and the way we use for life, and it becomes more soft in the edges and a little more foggy when we try to talk about it. But this is exactly what unschooling is, isn't it? Yes, that let our children and ourselves grow up and live our lives in an environment where real life is happening and the reality of life happening in relations and communications and with emotions that we can actually put words on and express and understand and passions that we can follow, creates a space where we can be lucky in our moments.
1:33:26 - Jesper Conrad
Yes, and hit the beat of the music yeah.
1:33:31 - Alex Wildrising
Yes, oh, I still have goosebumps. It's so true because people, on looking on an unschooling family maneuvering through the world, not knowing at all it took to get there, could very easily come to the conclusion of well, they're so lucky, they must have had a really good life. You know, their children are easy.
1:33:53 - Cecilie Conrad
I hear that their children are easy and you're smart.
1:33:56 - Alex Wildrising
That's why you get out of school Exactly, and I would say no, and it's the same with shuffling, people will say, like the shuffle dance, they'll be like well, it obviously just comes easy to you. You know, you're just a very talented person. But it's a thing to say, it's if you didn't work for it, it's if it didn't work. And that's a common fallacy and thinking that a lot of people have. And I'm so glad that you bridged that because it's so true to get to a place where you're thriving in unschooling. It comes after repeated coming back to the self, repeated examination of thoughts, coming back to ourselves, coming back to each other, going to the unschooling forums or getting feedback from people further down the path, coming back, trying, experimenting, like the and, like I said, the dark black, horrible, horrible days of doubt.
That's exactly what I was just Okay, sorry, no, it's exactly it, and I don't want to glorify suffering, but at the same time there is a dark night of the soul that does go on when you are in that messy place in between leaving behind what you don't want and moving toward what you do want. And that is a difficult time to get through, and it's not for the faint of heart and it's not for people who want things to come easy. But it's so, so worth it Because, like with the muscle memory, with the dance, once we are in the habit of genuinely creating an environment where learning can thrive which is one of Sandra's definitions once we're really there, we've primed that pump and everything's just flowing. It does seem like magic on the outside, but underneath there's a lot of hard work and there's a lot of intention.
1:35:59 - Jesper Conrad
Really, and, I think, some of the self doubt. It would be unnatural not to have it actually because as parents of home, school or on school children, we do not outsource the responsibility of our children to someone else. And it becomes clear it became even clear for me after I started to work from home that level of responsibility that you normally have just outsourced. I remember a shift because our oldest daughter was in this free school. She sometimes asked me about stuff when she was small and she still asked me about stuff, but about something she wanted to know and I still does that she still does that.
But back then my answer was when I didn't knew. It was like go ask your teacher tomorrow, because it didn't take on the responsibility, because in my mind there was already someone who had the responsibility of teaching her stuff.
1:37:13 - Cecilie Conrad
But that is I mean. It was also the fact it was the fact. Nowadays, when the kids ask us something, if it's late in the day, I'll say let's look it up tomorrow because right now I'm too tired yeah.
1:37:26 - Alex Wildrising
1:37:27 - Cecilie Conrad
So I mean she was going to be in the school the next day, not with us.
1:37:30 - Jesper Conrad
Yes, yes, it was not like you being irresponsible. No, no, it was also a problem. It's my problem now if they ask me about stuff. I mean, what was the problem?
1:37:43 - Alex Wildrising
You're in the habit of now, as long as it's not, you know, as long as the timing is not really terrible, you're in the habit now of looking up an answer with them which is, which is, which is a? It's a different shift. It's a different mind shift.
I've I worked with youth up until last month.
I just switched positions last month, but I worked with teenagers in a substance use treatment center and because of homeschool, because of unschooling and homeschooling, I'm in the habit of of partnership and learning, and so whenever the kids had questions for me, even if it seemed completely irrelevant it never seemed irrelevant to me but if on the outside it would have seemed irrelevant, my instinct and and response unless you know, we're in transition and going somewhere was let's find out together.
And with that excitement, because I'm genuinely excited to learn something with them, because I just I know the possibilities and and I have so much experience with learning with kids now that I've also learned that when we do follow their interests, I'm usually quite curious and and I learn a lot too. So, and I've actually had some of the youth that I worked with tell me that, like you're just, you're cool, that you, that you will learn with us, you know, and to them it's so foreign because a lot of adults don't. It's either. The adults, like you said, are in the the. They're accustomed to saying well, your teacher, you can talk to your teacher about it, or you can, yeah, you have. So it's the responsibility.
1:39:19 - Jesper Conrad
Yes, it's a wild feeling to take it home actually. Yeah, to be to be acknowledged. Yes, yeah, and follow this. Yeah, and follow this.
1:39:30 - Alex Wildrising
I just need to go back to the dance thing.
1:39:33 - Jesper Conrad
Yeah, I love what you said about stuff happens on different places. I love dancing and after this I think we should go out and dance more. Cecilia, I love this when you, when you're in the flow with music, and sometimes you're like, okay, now I'll do this, and then it hits a beat. You can just be so happy.
1:39:51 - Cecilie Conrad
Yes, we're called to Mexico Thursday.
1:39:54 - Alex Wildrising
We're supposed to go to dance the next four months.
1:39:55 - Cecilie Conrad
Oh, that's going to be so fun.
1:39:58 - Jesper Conrad
I just love it when you are standing in your own flow and like, and the beat is there and you're like oh, I knew that I'm magic.
1:40:04 - Alex Wildrising
Yeah, it does feel that way, I think. Yeah, I think dance is is a benefit. And where I live, which is in Western Canada, dance isn't really something that people do unless they're enrolled in a school or they're at some type of old time fiddle dance or some kind of country club or something. But there's like no dancing at least for us, isn't a big thing. So it was such a joy and it has been such a joy to find a way to bring that back into my life. And I think, man, if, if, people dance more.
1:40:40 - Cecilie Conrad
I think, I think there's something really true about that, because I think you have a very restricted sense of our bodies.
Really, it has to do well with many things that happened when we were growing up, one of them being sat down in school and being in a context where we didn't have unconditional love all the time, which we need when we're small, which we need all of our lives. But it's really devastating for a six, seven year old to not have it. 24 seven. We're not physically close to each other. We are not used to being touched or in touching because we live this segregated life. We come back, maybe we get a hug in the afternoon, maybe we snuggle a little bit on the sofa, but it's not like a consistent thing and we have to move in this actually freaked out way where you can get judged all the time by how you, how you behave inside your body, and I think it's the sentiment, the feeling of staying within your own skin as a relation to what if I did something embarrassing.
1:41:56 - Alex Wildrising
What if it?
1:41:57 - Cecilie Conrad
looked weird. What if I yawned or farted or something in school.
You know, you get really restrictive and try to hold it all and the kind of dancing you just invited me to is basically let's find the concert and just whatever, not hit the beat, just stupid. And dance is letting go of all that. And maybe the teens do that sometimes when they party, but it's not part of the general habitus of the body. And that's where I mean, when you learned all your muscle memory things, you must have made a lot of mistakes. Oh, absolutely Inside your own home, when everyone could see you and being comfortable with doing that, even if no one saw you just doing it. You know, close the doors to your room and even there it can be hard to let go and do dance moves that you can't really do.
But I think it's very, very, very, very healthy thing to learn to stay inside our bodies and do crazy stuff with them.
1:43:10 - Alex Wildrising
I've had so many people online in the comment section, but even acquaintances that I just know around town who've said to me like Alex, seeing you dance and I'm pretty real online kind of what you see is what you get. They've said that when I see you do this and I see you learning, it's given me permission that I can do this. That's part of what feels me to keep going, because if it, it's not the only thing, you can't sustain it on just that. But that's one of the fueling factors is when I hear adults around me saying like I see you learning and growing and putting yourself out there and now I think I might be able to do it too. That's beautiful. It's so satisfying to me in the culture where I live, where it really just isn't a very accepted thing.
1:44:04 - Jesper Conrad
So traveling around with this break dance electric boogie group that I got to learn I didn't dance, I was like the guy filming, but I remember standing in the supermarket line together with them and there's some music on and they actually they didn't think about it, but they were standing there popping, exercising in the line in the supermarket, because what else should you do, waiting five minutes in a line in a supermarket, and it helped me a lot back then and it has helped free me to see these people, like you said, people you have met online, who have been liberated through that. Another thing that I can see I still want to be more liberated around is singing. I don't do it. I don't do it public, I'm for some reason, oh yeah you do sometimes.
Sometimes do it at home, but I'm shy about it. But then I have a son who loves to listen to music and he at one point in his life he was like you know what I like singing. Maybe I'm not good at it, but so what? And he of course has gotten a lot better. But you can just sometimes he's with his headphones on and he just sings along and it's so freeing.
And I would love to have that gut to do that. And I'm like come on, I'm 48. I'm, on pretty many levels, don't give a flying about what people think about me, but I still don't just go out and sing. I do it in the car together with my wife, when we play songs and know by heart.
1:45:48 - Cecilie Conrad
But, man, I have some social anxiety about that and songs you make up about yourself that you still can sing Songs where I'm on my self. Raising songs about myself. It sounds like there's everyone else. You're not that shot. Nobody would be shy.
1:46:13 - Alex Wildrising
It sounds like there's a there's a singer, though that wants to come out and wants to be heard a little bit more.
1:46:19 - Jesper Conrad
At least not be a social, have some social anxiety about it. I mean, other people like to sing. Why shouldn't I also just free myself of that burden? But it comes from somewhere.
1:46:35 - Alex Wildrising
It does. And the very first time I recorded a shuffle video I was shaking, like I was visibly shaking. It was so scary to do and now I don't even think twice. I still get nervous. If I'm recording out in public and people walk by, I will do it. I'm a bit more inhibited and I get a little bit more in my head, but just, I'm just going to keep doing it and just keep keep pushing through, because it is amazing how many people will look at that and think, wow, I could never do that. Maybe I could one day. You know what I mean. Like even if there are some people criticizing you in their mind like, oh, he thinks he can sing or she thinks she can dance, there's almost always this other part that's like, hmm, they're really brave. I wish I could do that too, you know.
1:47:30 - Jesper Conrad
And I know after our conversation I will dance some more with my ones, yeah.
1:47:37 - Alex Wildrising
I hope so.
1:47:38 - Jesper Conrad
1:47:41 - Alex Wildrising
That would be lovely.
1:47:47 - Cecilie Conrad
Should we round it?
1:47:48 - Jesper Conrad
We should round up. It was in there, wonderful talk. So, alex, I would like for people I bet some of the listeners out there they're like this shuffle dance. What's going on? What's that all about? I thought we talked about unschooling. It is part of the whole de-schooling, it's part of giving yourself allowance to be who you are, but they probably want to see it, so where could they go if they want to see you dance?
1:48:15 - Alex Wildrising
I'm on Instagram and TikTok, so I think if you look at Wild Rising, on both of them you'll find me. And I think on Instagram I'm Alex Wild Rising and TikTok I'm Wild Rising, but I'm pretty sure if you look that up you will find me.
1:48:31 - Jesper Conrad
And I will put the links in the show notes.
1:48:34 - Alex Wildrising
Yes, that would be great.
1:48:38 - Jesper Conrad
And it has been a big pleasure talking with you.
1:48:42 - Cecilie Conrad
It feels like it's gone for hours and hours.
1:48:45 - Alex Wildrising
1:48:47 - Cecilie Conrad
Maybe we can do a round too, yeah we can do that.
1:48:50 - Alex Wildrising
Yeah, I'll just say this is the first time I've ever talked publicly about my homeschooling life. I don't even talk about it with friends or acquaintances. Barely my family understands it.
1:49:02 - Cecilie Conrad
Wow, what an honor.
1:49:04 - Jesper Conrad
The first time ever.
1:49:05 - Alex Wildrising
Right. So yeah, I've been listening to your podcast and I loved the way you present and your voices really speak to me, and that's a big thing for me is when I hear some level of peace or something I don't know in people's voices, it speaks to me. So I'm really honored to be here and grateful that this is the first place I've talked about it. Maybe I'll be willing to talk about it more, especially as my kids get older and there's more people wanting to learn.
1:49:39 - Jesper Conrad
So yes, thank you. I think, as you started out, there has warped someone before us before you that have shared part of their lives, their experiences, which made the path you have taken and the path we have taken possible. So that is the reason we are doing the podcast. So I'm very honored also that you wanted to share with us your journey. But now it really is time to say goodbye, it is.
Thanks a lot for your time. Thank you for listening. We hope you enjoyed today's episode and if you liked it, then please share it with all your friends and family. We would also love it if you gave our podcast a review. Thanks, and if you want to support our podcast and work, then you can find us on patreoncom slash the Conrad family. We will continue to travel full time and if you want to tag along, then please follow us on Facebook and Instagram at the Conrad family, and you can also read more than 100 blog posts on our website, theconradfamily. Until next time, make a wonderful day, thank you.
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