This Golden Hour

28. Patty Marler and HSLDA Canada

November 30, 2023 Timothy Eaton
28. Patty Marler and HSLDA Canada
This Golden Hour
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This Golden Hour
28. Patty Marler and HSLDA Canada
Nov 30, 2023
Timothy Eaton

In today’s episode, we get to spend time with Patty Marler from Alberta. Patty was a homeschool mom of four, and all her children experienced their entire education without the public system. Initially, Patty wanted to homeschool to teach her children to read, but over time homeschooling became the way her family wanted to live life. Patty strongly believes that parents are best equipped to help their children learn, teach them how to think, and grow the mind. She shares much wisdom and many tips about how to view curriculum, creating an environment of learning, and preparing our children for their futures. After all her children graduated, Patty decided to work for HSLDA, the Homeschool Legal Defense Association in Canada, to which she already had had a membership for years previous. She brought to HSLDA her extensive experience as president of AHEA, Alberta Home Education Association, talking with government officials, like ministers of education. Patty and those who work with HSLDA continue to advocate for homeschooling families and for parents to maintain their rights as the parents of their children. Perhaps most homeschool families in the United States and Canada do not realize how many freedoms they presently enjoy to educate their children how they choose due to the work and advocacy of HSLDA. For their ongoing efforts to secure these liberties I express my personal gratitude.

Connect with Patty
https://hslda.ca/

Websites
https://hslda.org/
https://homeschool.today/
https://www.aheaonline.com/
https://cche.ca/introducing-dr-joseph-woodard/

This Golden Hour
Free eBook Course
thisgoldenhour.org

Show Notes Transcript

In today’s episode, we get to spend time with Patty Marler from Alberta. Patty was a homeschool mom of four, and all her children experienced their entire education without the public system. Initially, Patty wanted to homeschool to teach her children to read, but over time homeschooling became the way her family wanted to live life. Patty strongly believes that parents are best equipped to help their children learn, teach them how to think, and grow the mind. She shares much wisdom and many tips about how to view curriculum, creating an environment of learning, and preparing our children for their futures. After all her children graduated, Patty decided to work for HSLDA, the Homeschool Legal Defense Association in Canada, to which she already had had a membership for years previous. She brought to HSLDA her extensive experience as president of AHEA, Alberta Home Education Association, talking with government officials, like ministers of education. Patty and those who work with HSLDA continue to advocate for homeschooling families and for parents to maintain their rights as the parents of their children. Perhaps most homeschool families in the United States and Canada do not realize how many freedoms they presently enjoy to educate their children how they choose due to the work and advocacy of HSLDA. For their ongoing efforts to secure these liberties I express my personal gratitude.

Connect with Patty
https://hslda.ca/

Websites
https://hslda.org/
https://homeschool.today/
https://www.aheaonline.com/
https://cche.ca/introducing-dr-joseph-woodard/

This Golden Hour
Free eBook Course
thisgoldenhour.org

Patty Marler:

Education isn't about an institution or formal methods of teaching or specific curriculum. Education is about a growth of the mind. It's about a desire to know, a desire to learn, a desire to come closer to truth and understanding and really, we are the best equipped to do that with our kids. We can use material to help us just like, you know, a carpenter is going to use material to build a house. We as educators use material to help build our kids, but we still are the architects of that education.

Tim Eaton:

Hi, I'm Timmy Eaton, homeschool father of six and doctor of education. We've been homeschooling for more than 15 years and have watched our children go from birth to university successfully and completely without the school system. Homeschooling has grown tremendously in recent years and tons of parents are becoming interested in trying it out. But people have questions and concerns and misconceptions and lack the confidence to get started. New and seasoned homeschoolers are looking for more knowledge and peace and assurance to continue homeschooling. The guests and discussions on this podcast will empower anyone thinking of homeschooling to bring their kids home and start homeschooling. And homeschoolers at all stages of the journey will get what they need and want from these conversations. Thank you for joining us today and enjoy this episode of this Golden Hour Podcast as you exercise, drive, clean, or just chill. You're listening to this Golden Hour podcast. In today's episode, we get to spend time with Patti Marler from Alberta. Patti was a homeschool mom of four, and all of her children experienced their entire education without the public system. Initially, Patti wanted to homeschool her children to teach them how to read, but over time, homeschooling became the way her family wanted to live life. Patty strongly believes that parents are best equipped to help their children learn, teach them how to think, and grow the mind. She shares much wisdom and many tips about how to view curriculum, creating an environment of learning, and preparing our children for their futures. After all of her children graduated, Patty decided to work for HSLDA, the Homeschool Legal Defense Association in Canada, to which she already had had a membership for previous years. She brought to HSLDA her extensive experience as president of AHIA, Alberta Home Education Association, talking with government officials like ministers of education. Patty and those who work with HSLDA continue to advocate for homeschooling families and for parents to maintain their rights as the parents of their children. Perhaps most homeschool families in the United States and Canada do not realize how many freedoms they presently enjoy to educate their children how they choose due to the work and advocacy of HSLDA. For their ongoing efforts to secure these liberties, I express my personal gratitude. Welcome back to another episode of this golden hour podcast. We are so excited to have with us, Patty Marler, and she's coming to us from Nova Scotia today, visiting some families. So thank you very much for being with us, Patty.

Patty Marler:

Thank you for having me.

Tim Eaton:

And Patty, just so the the audience knows Patty is a homeschool mother, but also works with HSLDA, which we're going to talk about throughout this whole podcast and she does government and media relations. So soon we'll talk about that. But before you jump into HSLDA stuff, can you just tell us a little bit about just your own personal bio, anything that you'd say about yourself? Just give us a little feel.

Patty Marler:

Sure. Like you said, my homeschool experience really is my bio. So I'm a homeschool mom of four kids. We homeschooled our kids all the way from kindergarten through grade 12 and into post secondary. Wow. The bulk of my life has been homeschooling. And I also was the president and government liaison for the Alberta Home Education Association for a number of years.

Tim Eaton:

Wow. I didn't know that.

Patty Marler:

Yeah. Yeah. So I have a lot of experience interacting with government, speaking with ministers of education, really advocating for homeschooling in my home province, which is Alberta. And I worked really closely with HSLDA during that time because HSLDA has the legal expertise to be able to support provincial groups, to be able to provide that legal information so that when we go in and chat with ministers of education, we have some real solid backing behind us. So I worked really closely with HSLDA for many years, and then when I was done homeschooling, I started working for HSLDA, and I really love still continuing to support homeschoolers, to advocate for homeschooling just to walk alongside people and be involved in homeschooling.

Tim Eaton:

Wow. Thank you. Well, That's I that was some stuff I didn't know there. So I might, you and I talked before, but I might switch up what the order of things, if you're okay with that, because now you've intrigued me a little bit. And just so that everybody knows HSLDA stands for HomeSchool Legal Defense Association. And so maybe the first thing I want to ask about is because when I was doing my doctorate degree, I wasn't even aware of the Canadian. Part of that, because I just was very familiar with Mike Ferris and Mike Smith, like in the States. So when did, how did it come to Canada? And I know it was 1991 or somewhere around there but how did it come to Canada? Like what was the, is this a branch of what Mike's the two Mike's started?

Patty Marler:

Yeah, so H. S. L. D. A. was in the United States and actually in Alberta, there were some situations that were arising where there were some families who were being charged with truancy, there were actually some families who potentially going to be deported, some who were going to go to jail. At that point the provincial association called up HSLDA in the United States and said, we need some assistance here. We need some help making this homeschooling legal. We need to know what we can do and we need your help in doing it. Mike Farris came up to to Canada. And very soon after H-S-L-D-A started and began representing people across Canada. And, we've gone from that situation where people, in the late, early eighties, in the early nineties were literally hiding from people. They would hide their kids in their home. They wouldn't go out to the groceries store because it wasn't legal in, really anywhere in Canada. And we have moved that to where homeschooling is now legal in every province and territory in Canada. So it's really been a significant amount of work and wonderful achievements have happened.

Tim Eaton:

No kidding. And what again I'm just, things are coming to my mind as you say things. So what is your understanding? Why was that ever the case? Until the. Late 1800s, this like homeschooling was what you did, like it was, I'm saying there were schools but but like it was an agrarian society and like this conventional traditional system that we have now is very new in the history of the world, like very new, but that's not how people look at it, especially today. And so what happened that it would ever, that parents assuming the primary responsibility of their children's education, when, why would that have ever in our history in US and Canada? And anywhere for that matter, like, why would that have been like a thing that was seen as like truant or crazy? Like, why is that in your, and I know that's a huge question, but in your view. Why did it get to that point just because it became so culturally and traditionally something you did once the factory system came into place?

Patty Marler:

Oh, that, that's a really good question. And I you know what, there are some people who can speak really well to some of the ideas around this. I don't think I do justice to that to that question. I don't think I can answer that extremely well. I think some of it is comfort something that we hear, now to Is things can't be that bad, right? Things aren't that bad with the school system or things that are brought in. They're not that bad and things were good for me. So why have they changed? And so I think there's, it's that slow frog in the pot thing, right? I think so. Yeah. So people have just become very culturally comfortable with. School very comfortable with that's the way we did it. That's the way our grandparents have done it. Totally. And so we're just going to continue with that. So when people choose not to go back the way people have done things for millennia, it seems so odd. That's a great answer. It's actually funny that it's become, that what happened for Millennia is now the odd thing.

Tim Eaton:

Yeah. And, some could make the argument like yeah, because we've progressed and we've gotten to it and I would just counter that with, we have, and there, there are definitely some good things that school systems have done, but but it is not a surprise to anybody that there are problems within all school systems and and there's problems with homeschooling for that matter, but that that parents have the primary role. And if we abdicate that, then we literally lose freedoms. Yeah. And so anyway I'm so grateful that HSLDA exists and I love that it's in Canada and that and like you said, those are huge like milestones to be able to say we're in every province, every state. Every territory like that's a, that's some great progress.

Patty Marler:

Yeah, it really is. And just one of those success stories, in, in okay, in my in my home provinces legislation while working in conjunction with HSLDA, we actually got it's called section 32 enshrined in the Education Act, which says parents have the prior to and responsibility for the education of their Children, right? And that was placed in there as a result of the advocacy work that H. S. L. D. A. And he did and that benefits all parents and all families. And that's what we do across the country is, we advocate for our homeschool kids, but in, in doing that, you're actually advocating for the freedom of all parents to parent their kids, to educate their kids to to, um, You know that it's not them taking back this responsibility. It really is their responsibility and they choose not to relinquish it to someone else.

Tim Eaton:

Excellent. And whether you send your kid to school or not, the responsibility stays the same. And I love that. And Patty just referenced AHEA, which is the Alberta Home Education Association. And I love the work they've done. And even we'll talk about funding here in a minute. But I think that's another huge milestone. So just, on behalf of homeschoolers, thank you to you. Thank you to all those who are allowing for these freedoms. I'm wondering as you were talking about that, I'm wondering about like in, in recent years with COVID and all that went down with that. Have you guys seen like a bump in the interest in your work? And I would just assume people are going, man, how do we make sure that we secure these rights and freedoms that have been threatened in a lot of ways, even in recent years?

Patty Marler:

Yeah, for sure. So a part of of our work is advocacy, and so we want to make sure that there is good research on home education as well. So our sister organization, the Canadian Center for Home Education has done, taken a look at homeschool numbers across the country and how they changed through COVID. And homeschooling just generally speaking, pretty much almost doubled across the country.

Tim Eaton:

And we're talking legitimate homeschool. Cause I, that's one thing that I was always, I was finding problematic during COVID was. People that are compelled to do it because of, what happened with online and everything else but it doubled legitimately. That's crazy.

Patty Marler:

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, If we're talking about the number of people who schooled at home, it way more than double, but if we're talking about actual, government homeschool numbers.

Tim Eaton:

People who registered with a school authority.

Patty Marler:

And elected home education. Yeah. So each province does it different. That, that sort of terminology that's consistent with one province, but the terminology is different in other provinces. But yes, those who were legally homeschooling those numbers pretty much doubled across the country.

Tim Eaton:

And so that would be like what ish what's the approximate number then in Canada?

Patty Marler:

We are

Tim Eaton:

Cause I remember when I finished my dissertation in 2018, Oh I forget the numbers now, but like in the U S it was between, it was all, it was approaching 3 million or something.

Patty Marler:

Yeah. We're not there. I'm yeah. I'm just gonna get that number for you because I don't want to throw out a number. Oh, no, that's okay. That's inaccurate. But no problem. Yeah. So we'll, I'll come back to that. No, that's fine.

Tim Eaton:

There's no rush on that. That was just more of an interesting that just to see the growth because I studied that quite a bit too. And to see that develop. So within HSLD in Canada, Is it similar in that, like the break, like the the different kind of departments of that is like protection, like legal protection and then homeschooling support. And then, like you said, there's an advocacy portion as well.

Patty Marler:

Yeah, we have those three components. Now okay, just we're close to 200. Students across the country. Yeah. HSLDA does those three things. We provide legal protection, homeschool support and advocacy. When people are a part of our organization, they have the legal protection on any homeschool related issues. They have access. to a lawyer 24 seven. It doesn't matter if child services shows up at your door in the middle of the night, you can, contact a lawyer and have access to one of our legal counsel at any time. And so that's a bad situation though. That's a really scary situation. And they're real, unfortunately, they are real, they do happen. Our lawyers are always working on cases.

Tim Eaton:

So what would be an example of that? I'm trying to, I'm trying to think what would be a scenario where someone would go. What like, the services is coming to somebody's home.

Patty Marler:

Yeah, so sometimes, family doesn't, think someone is doing a good enough job, so they will report them to child services. Sometimes a neighbor will report people to child services. There are times when people see a doctor and a doctor may not understand. Understand what's going on and they'll do the reporting. Sometimes when families have some kids in school and some kids not in schools, right? Those are actually really high risk situations for homeschoolers because you're not in the home, in the ed the brick and mortar system, people still see you and they, wonder why are your kids out during, school time, they'll spontaneously quiz them on stuff and go, they're not, they don't know the grade three social curriculum, even though you may not be touching on that.

Tim Eaton:

They're not studying it.

Patty Marler:

Yeah. So the. The calls like the child welfare, child protection services calls can come in from anywhere. There's lots of places where they can come from. They can come from school boards that are overreaching and with coven there's actually. Been a lot more of that because because so many new people are homeschooling now, yes, there's a lot of schools that have lost kids. And so some of these. These schools across the country don't really understand the legislation in their own province around what they can do what they can't do. And they're contacting families. They ask them for things that they really don't have any legal authority to ask for. So this is, has been going on more and more in the last few years.

Tim Eaton:

I can see that, I can see that with that influx and you have so much, not as a negative word, but so much ignorance around it whereas we families that have been researching it on our own, we've had to learn to get around things and not get around things legally, but I'm saying you'd had, you had navigates the better word. We had to navigate. For example, when we moved to Southern Alberta. A lot of the like our kids play school sports and, but they didn't even know that they were allowed to and that they could. And so a lot of times you're educating or having to like, just say and as a kind thing, you're just saying, oh. You probably just aren't aware of this because there's not a lot of homeschool families that are doing this, but no, they totally can participate if there's not an adjacent school that offers something and anyway, there's lots of so that you're right. It's a matter of educating the institutions and to know like what the actual legality is regarding homeschool.

Patty Marler:

Right. And, it used to be too, that when new people started homeschooling, there was a huge community around them to support them. With the doubling of homeschoolers and with COVID where, the contact with people was limited, the new homeschoolers. Didn't have had that sort of support or mentoring that many other homeschoolers have had. So what sometimes you see is you see new homeschoolers connecting with other new homeschoolers, which is great. But they don't get the advantage of all the years and years of experience and expertise that come with joining groups with joining support groups, with connecting with the homeschooling community with connecting with us and using our resources and support. So I feel that many new homeschoolers have been somewhat at a disadvantage because of all

Tim Eaton:

this. No, that is. And that is, that's actually, you said that so perfectly. That's actually where I'm seeing that because we've had so many friends and people that are considering it or starting, but they have so many questions. And like you said, it's such a it's like this, like not abrupt, but like this kind of sudden change that that people are making. And so they, like you said, they don't have the advantage of having. A, an older homeschool mom from whom to glean so much information and wisdom and so many are overwhelmed and they don't, there's such a, there's so much curriculum out there and there's so many things that they're overwhelmed and they certainly don't know about the legal implications. And so that's a really good point. So one thing I was going to ask you is does somebody have to be, a member of HSLDA to like, how does somebody tap into the resources that HSLDA offers?

Patty Marler:

Yeah, HSLDA is membership based. You have 24/7 access to a lawyer and that costs money. So there's a yearly membership fee that's associated with it. But if you put it like in perspective, like the fee that we charge. Were you to consult with the lawyer would probably be less than a half hour consultation in most cities. We've heard from some lawyers who say your membership fee is ridiculously low to give people, that sort of access to legal counsel. It's unbelievable that you can do that. But we also do this because we feel it's important, right? And our lawyers have that perspective as well. So we try and keep our membership fee as low as we can. But you still have access to the, that legal service 24/7. Yeah, so it is member based. Yeah. And so our legal team is really big on preventing any interactions.

Tim Eaton:

Which means education.

Patty Marler:

Yes. Yes. One of those things that we were just talking about was curriculum. And one of those questions that I often get, or I see from people, it, one of the most common questions that I see on Facebook is. What's the best math curriculum? What's the best science curriculum? And when you come out of the school system, it seems like a very logical question. But when you come from a homeschool perspective, where you go, I'm not limited by one curriculum or two curriculums. So what I can do now is I can figure out how my child learns. I can figure out, what their skills are, what their, some of their challenges are. I know how I need to build them. I understand how they learn, right? Maybe I have a child who can listen really well, but maybe struggles with reading or someone who excels in reading but doesn't want to do, a lot of hands on. You can choose material that is specifically going to be specifically. Taylor, maybe not designed for your child, but will is targeted for that sort of learner. And so when families say what's the best curriculum, I can always, I always say there isn't a best curriculum, which is. Which is why at HSLDA, one of the services that we have is we have a yearly free curriculum consultation with, one of our curriculum consultants. So every year you can have a free consultation. We also have an exceptional needs consultation. So if you have an exceptional needs student, they're going to need very, Different sort of services, different materials, different approaches, and we have, an exceptional needs expert who's, a homeschooling mom all the way through who's a NILD expert, who can help. Provide you with information, ideas, support all of that. And just, I'm going to throw this out. Yeah, do it. The Canadian, the all in one Canadian curriculum that people buy from Costco, that is not a sufficient curriculum to meet the needs of your student. And that's one thing that we have seen a lot is people we buy the titles. It's an all in one, everything I need for my kid. And they're done by January, wondering why. And it's because this really is a supplemental book. This isn't designed to be a robust education for your child. And that's what we want to do is we want to educate our kids well. That's why we're doing this.

Tim Eaton:

And as if something like that is, is particularly tailored to your child. I don't even know about that actually, until you just said that I, I'm not even aware of that curriculum. So I'll...

Patty Marler:

That's one of those concerns that have come across our desk a lot in the last few years. So that's why I'm asserting.

Tim Eaton:

I'm glad you, I'm glad you let us know about that. Like this, just like the homeschool support side of HSLDA in Canada. So if, let's just say my, let's say my son or daughter has dyslexia and I'm trying to figure stuff out, that would be like one of those, that would be like a relevant consultation that I would have with one of your consultants.

Patty Marler:

Oh, yes. Oh, yeah. Our exceptional needs consultant can help give you, guidance, give you material, help give you some methodologies that may work for your child. Oh, yeah. That's one of the things that we do for sure. Yeah. That's awesome. Yeah. And we have, experts expert homeschoolers who can just chat with you about, some of your needs, some of the, yeah, some of the yeah, who can talk to you about that as well. Our members, some, another huge resource that we have is our digital library. So we have a homeschool digital library that has over 3500 homeschooling books handpicked by our HSLDA team for homeschoolers. So these are books for homeschooling parents. These are books for homeschooling kids. These are, you can. Organize it by grade so that you can pick by grade. You can organize it by subject. We've really been expanding our French section because finding French curriculum is very difficult because most curriculum across the world is actually done in English. Yes. Most countries teach in English. Finding material in French is a little more difficult. So we have been expanding that component but 3, 500 books.

Tim Eaton:

And that's throughout, that's through all the subject areas. Is that correct? Yes. Yeah. That's great. That's amazing. Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt your thought.

Patty Marler:

Yeah. No, that's okay. That's okay. I the library really is an incredible resource and for parents sometimes. So when I started homeschooling, I really wasn't that much of a reader. You know how people can throw off book names and author names. I was not that mom I didn't know, I knew Charlotte's Web because I'd seen the movie, but I had no idea that E. B. White was the author or that there was even a book to go with this. Let's be honest. And so I had to figure out, how do I choose a book? I didn't even know how to choose a book for my kids. Yeah. And a part of this digital library is that you don't have to worry that you're getting books that maybe you don't want your kids to read. These are really wholesome books. They're really great books and I want to encourage parents to that, that's where I started, but I'm now one of those book snobs that is able to, Speak about, some of the classics and some of the books and who the authors are. And that's not from any training other than being a homeschool mom, because that's what we do is we just dive in and we learn with our kids. And, all of a sudden, books off the top of your head.

Tim Eaton:

Oh, that's awesome. No that evolution is inevitable when you just homeschool, like it just happens. So with the idea of the homeschool support side and the digital library resource, how cause there's, there's. To me, it's like futile to try to compartmentalize homeschool families. Sometimes people want to claim I'm a structured homeschooler. I'm an unschooler. I'm this, that, which is cool. But how, there are philosophies out there. There's a very Charlotte Mason type way Thomas Jefferson education. There's, there's just, there's so many like how, so how does HSLDA amalgamate all that into into appealing to so many different families that kind of take a different route.

Patty Marler:

The methods that we use to teach our kids are going to be different. I'm going to throw in just another resource here for homeschool families. Homeschool. today. So that's homeschool With a period today, homeschool dot today actually has a list of various homeschool methods. And you can take my homeschool style quiz that, says, okay, I like to do this. I like to do this. My kid likes to do this. I don't like to do this. And it's going to plop out a suggested homeschool method that might work for you. And if you go I wasn't sure about that question. You can take it five or 10 times. And you can find those suggested methods that might work for you. And you can also read all of the different methods on that homeschool.today website. Now, having said that, many of the books that people use, no matter what method you or approach you take to homeschooling, you're still going to read great books. You're still, You're still going to use awesome materials. And there's a lot of overlap. Our Library doesn't have, like a hard and hardcore curriculum, right? It's not gonna, it's not a curriculum. It's. a resource. It's a library resource is what it is. So...

Tim Eaton:

Where do people access that? By the way, sorry, where do they...

Patty Marler:

On the member site at HSLDA. So once you're a member, you log into that member site. Once you're on the member site, you have access to the digital library. Documents for from our legal team, we were talking about the protection and prevention. Our lawyers have created a lot of resources to help people to protect their homeschool. So things you can do now that will help to secure your homeschool. So you don't ever have to contact them in an emergency situation. If you do call, always call right away. That's what we say. If you're wondering, call now. Don't wait till tomorrow. But but lots of the information our lawyers produce is to help prevent the chance that people will have to call us. And that's always better. Cause we don't want to be involved in a legal situation.

Tim Eaton:

How are you guys making homeschool families?

Patty Marler:

Some of this is, podcast, media. I speak to media across the country. We speak, we have there's conferences. That's another thing that I encourage homeschoolers to do is to get involved and to go to their provincial conferences. And if your province doesn't have one. Go to a different province that's close to you that does really, that can help you to to connect. I lost my train of thought and forgot what your question was.

Tim Eaton:

Don't worry about it. You just basically, how do people, how do you make your services known to homeschool families? Like how do they, cause we've homeschooled a lot and I haven't heard a lot of people, talk about it that much, but I've always known that it existed, but.

Patty Marler:

Yeah, a lot of it is, when people see what we do, they tell other people.

Tim Eaton:

Yes, I was gonna say word of mouth must be.

Patty Marler:

Yeah, and that advocacy that we do, we do a lot of work and even right now we are and we are talking to specific provincial leaders like ministry and department staff in some provinces where, things are getting a little bit, some of the things they're doing are a bit questionable. And so we are doing a lot of work behind the scenes that people don't even see. So we do a lot to protect homeschoolers behind the scenes so that you never ever know. So some people will say I'll never need a lawyer. And it's yeah, that's what we hope.

Tim Eaton:

Yeah, we hope that but that's not always the case.

Patty Marler:

Also, we also do a lot of work so that you're right, you won't need it because we've already done a lot of stuff behind the scenes. So when you even if we have a lot of members who actually just support us because of the advocacy work that we do because they know that we stand for homeschool across the country. We work with governments. We work to make the legislation good for homeschoolers so that you don't ever have to think about that.

Tim Eaton:

No. And again and sincerely thank you because that's huge. And it's the kind of thing that's we're like the beneficiaries of something. We don't even know how we have these freedoms and these abilities. And so that, that leads to another question. And that is the question of funding when in the United States I don't think any place funds better than Alberta, like as far as I understand, I don't think there's a, like in North America. I, in my research, Alberta gave the best funding as far as for homeschooling but still it's compared to a kid in the traditional system it's hard to, it, you can't go that far right now with, it used to be a little bit better, but anyway, so talk about funding. Do you guys have any role in that in determining funding and working with ministries and...

Patty Marler:

Well funding is a double edged sword, right? Yes, accountability. Yeah, the more we ask for the government from the government, the more they want from us too. So we always have to, we always have to remember that.

Tim Eaton:

That's I was just gonna say that's definitely good to remember.

Patty Marler:

Yeah. Some provinces ask for funding and some people think, I pay my taxes. Why shouldn't I get funding? And, that's the way some people think. That's fine. But yeah, you always have to remember that when you ask for stuff, you will be required to give stuff to.

Tim Eaton:

Yeah, like hands, now hands can get into your stuff and, but I guess I, a very fundamental question I've always had with this and I'm actually having a, an interview at the end of November with I don't know if you No, Jeff Park, but he does him. Yeah. And so I, and I don't know exactly the right way to say it, but basically that I wish that we looked at it more like, these are just the, these are just the children of our country. You know what I mean? If we're going to put that much into education and then some try somehow try to justify that being tax. Dollars, from, I mean, it's a huge, it's a huge expense. It is a huge part of the federal budget both in the U. S. and Canada. And yet there, yet it's fraught with problems and issues and it's just, I don't know. It's I agree that we, be careful what you ask for because now the hands are in there. But, on the other hand, you have these moms, and principally moms that are working so hard. And they're not able unless they come from a fairly wealthy, home situation, they have to operate on a quite a small budget, but they're willing to do that if it came down to it, obviously, they'd prefer that than having hands on and somebody dictating curriculum or some kind of, other legislation.

Patty Marler:

Yeah. Yeah. And an interesting thing is that most provinces across Canada are, do not have any funded homeschooling. Most families don't even think about that when they start homeschooling. It's not even something that, that comes across their radar because no one they know receives funding. So it's just, we just homeschool and we do it because we know that it's Right. Totally. It's no. We know what it, what we want. Homeschoolers come from all ranges of social economic status. Oh, yes. The top, the middle, the bottom, and interesting, the provinces that tend to be most wealthy, have funding. So the wealthiest people. Okay.

Tim Eaton:

I shouldn't, track. No, I see what you're saying. They're on that, they're the ones getting the funding. Yeah. Yeah. I see what you're saying.

Patty Marler:

Yeah, But I'm, that's that is not to underscore any family who's having financial struggles or anything. Canadian center for home education actually has a financial finance. a Component where we help people who have significant struggles, maybe something really significant has happened in their life. And so that's another kind of support that the Canadian center for home education does.

Tim Eaton:

No, thanks for I wasn't aware of that. So like basically some kind of a grant system or.

Patty Marler:

Yeah. Yeah. So it's, when there's extreme needs for some families. Like we need to lift people up and I know different provincial organizations do that across the province because our heart is for people who homeschool. And so many provinces, provincial organizations will do that as well. So we do that and provinces do that? Yeah.

Tim Eaton:

I appreciate the what I would say is that maybe is the caution around that because the last, what homeschool families are wanting is the ability to teach their children and without interference. And it's just nice not to have that interference, but but it's, it can be hard. Sometimes you just go, man the money that goes to the taxes and we want to be contributing citizens. It's just. It's just it's, I don't know, it can be hard, but I totally appreciate the caution around that subject. One thing on the hslda.ca website, it says, We believe all parents should have the right to choose home education as the best option for their child. And then it talks about, the mission is to equip new families, empower existing families, and protect all, which I really like. I think that's so well put together. And I really love that it says, The right to choose home education is the best option for their child. And I love the word option because I think that's what it is. Homeschool is another option for people to consider. And so I just love that's on there. I just wanted to highlight that. Is there anything else that you want to talk about as far as H S L D A and like your work, especially with government and media relations. Cause I do want to transition a little bit to your own experience homeschooling.

Patty Marler:

Sure. I Can just tell you that our lawyer has said that the people who she one of our lawyers has said the people that she deals with I'm going to quote actually, she says nine times out of 10, the people who call seeking legal assistance are not people who ever expect to have to speak to a lawyer about homeschooling. That's really thank you. Yeah. None of us ever think that it is going to happen to us, and we hope that it doesn't happen to anyone, right? That's what we want. Yeah. Our passion is protecting homeschooling supporting homeschoolers. Advocating for homeschoolers. This really isn't a job, just a job for any of us. No. But it really is a passion and a heart's desire to do this.

Tim Eaton:

That's awesome. No, I appreciate that. And on that line, maybe when people call do you have a sense of like the members, homeschool families that join as a membership? Are they most, I know it's a combination of all three, but are people typically like, Oh man, I'm in it for the support. What are they, what is their principal interest in being a member of HSLDA? Is it more, do you have a sense of its protection or support? Because like you said, such a great resource for the books and the library and then homeschool support, but also the protection that they don't know that they're going to need. Did you have a sense of that?

Patty Marler:

Yeah, we have some people who join just for the advocacy. They say, we know what you've done. We know what you've done since 1992, since you've been incorporated here in Canada. We know what you've done and we've supported you since that day, or since we started homeschooling because we see the value in it. Some people join because they say, I just think I need the legal protection. And so they join for that. And then they can homeschool with that peace of mind, knowing that they have that. And then there's other people who say, what. What do I get from my membership? And there, there's a lot that people get in addition to that as well, that things that help protect their homeschooling that actually really enriches their homeschooling as well. So everything that we do is about protecting your homeschooling. But a rich homeschool environment does help to protect your homeschooling well.

Tim Eaton:

And I would just encourage any listeners, on this pod, on this episode to go to hslda.ca and then just explore the website. I love how you guys have broken down preschool, primary years. The, high school years, post secondary, like it is an amazing resource that that, that can be utilized. And so it's much more than just legal protection, which is amazing and advocacy. And so again, thank you. It's just amazing to have this resource.

Patty Marler:

You're welcome. And what you're seeing there is the public site. Once you become a member, you log in and there's a whole other website. That has, information, countless resources.

Tim Eaton:

Yeah. Yeah. Excellent. Yeah. And then again you keep saying sister company, Canadian Center for Home Education. What is the relationship between the two?

Patty Marler:

So the CCHE is the charitable arm of is a charitable organization. So CCHE does a lot of work; building, researching supporting homeschoolers in ways that HSLDA just can't because all our funds come from, our membership. So when we get when people want to donate money to help homeschooling, they can do that through CCHE. And we've created, the homeschool. today website that, interesting, the timing of that. It came out just before COVID. Wow. And one of the exceptional components of that website is helping people to get started. Anyone who says to me I'm just getting started in homeschooling and that could be, one year to three years or, for, I say go to that website, go and dig into that website. There is so much there. CCHE has also hired a PhD, Dr. Joseph Woodard. Who does home education research and so he's able to provide solid research on home education that is good for, the provincial organizations when, government say tell us about this, he, he's been able to provide research. He provides exceptional information on, classical books and some, there's just a lot there. So that's but when we look at that component, homeschool. today is really the website that I say people should go to. And even if you've been homeschooling for a long time, there's free resources. There's resources for people, who homeschool through high school, some of the different, I don't want to pick out different organizations, but you can go there. And then there's also resource providers. So when we say, Buy your curriculum from a homeschool resource provider. People go, where are they? Well go to homeschool. today and there's a whole list of them. And resource providers ship materials all across the country. So they don't have to be in your neighborhood for you to access them. And you can call them and or connect with them. There, it's really important that we that we use those resources because they're solid homeschool resources. And these people have a lot of experience with curriculum. I've homeschooled for a long time, but I am not a curriculum expert. Yeah.

Tim Eaton:

I don't think we would say that either. Like we've, this is 15 plus almost 16 years and we have, like you said before we've really customized and tailored things to our children, but I would be really reluctant to say, get this math curriculum, get this and that, there, there are some things we really love. But I'd be reluctant families have to find that out and just know what resources are available.

Patty Marler:

Yeah. So our curriculum consultant will help you, with your family to do that. The resource providers have all that material that you can browse through and take a look at it and try and. Weed through. So that's great.

Tim Eaton:

Yeah. Thank you very much. One thing you were saying with who was the researcher you referenced?

Patty Marler:

Dr. Joseph Woodard.

Tim Eaton:

Yeah. And I was wondering cause I found that when I was finishing my dissertation and at the university of Alberta, cause I did it on home education. And I found that a lot of the um, kind of like the opposition research to home education was saying that the samples were always. Like they really had a problem with homeschool samples because a lot of homeschoolers don't make themselves known. And, the ones that do are the ones that are more high performing families. And they, anyway, I, so anyway, I'd be interested to look at what Dr. Woodard is is doing because. That was always such an issue in in samples that you were taking your home education information from, but.

Patty Marler:

Yeah it really is interesting. And that's a whole other subject that I could delve into because research I love, but I'll just leave it maybe just with one blanket statement, do it. There, there has been research that's been done, across decades and, that, how do kids do academically and it's been tested in a variety of ways over and over again across states, across countries and the results are pretty consistent that homeschoolers who use a structured homeschool program should on average score in the 80th percentile. So what that means is that the average brick and mortar educated student would score on the 50th percentile because they're right in the middle. That's the average home educated student scores in the 80th percentile.

Tim Eaton:

So That was exactly my findings as well. Like the 80th percentile compared to a 50th percentile. And like you said, I think it is. It's not a knock on other ways to homeschool, but it's typically and what people would consider a more structured homeschool way to facilitate that kind of learning. But go ahead, finish that thought.

Patty Marler:

Yeah, no, that's okay. And I think part of that, even in schools, you hear that an engaged parent is one of the best indicator of success. You can't get more engaged as a parent than homeschooling. So it doesn't matter. It actually doesn't matter. The education level of the parent, interesting though, not statistically significant parents who actually have less than a high school. Yeah. Education, their kids actually score slightly higher. So it's interesting. It's that really engaged, passionate parent who makes the difference. That's, I think, and.

Tim Eaton:

I do too. And I think the I think the, what that reveals is one, the environment over curriculum, which so many homeschoolers understand, like the, it's, it is environment and it's the learning environment. The curriculum is important and it's great, but it it, it pales in comparison to what is the environment of learning and what is the encouragement and what is the feeling of love and support. And anyway, so I appreciate that. I really think that makes sense. Before we get to your stuff, did you want to say anything else about just homeschool through high school, or can we just tie that into your personal experience with that?

Patty Marler:

No, one thing that we have noticed in the last year, and we've actually reached out to people from other countries, other jurisdictions, and asked if they're seeing this trend as well. But what we've discovered is that people who are homeschooling through high school has increased significantly, and not just people who. Have come through junior high or elementary school and are moving up, but there are people who are actually starting to homeschool in grade 10 grade 11 grade 12 in those final years of brick and mortar education. They're jumping ship and saying, no, we're homeschooling and feeling really confident. I think, that's one thing that COVID did was it allowed parents to see that their kids could really do this be dedicated, committed, they have the resources, they can do it and their parents can support them in doing this. So this has been a huge trend. And so then a big part of that as well, something that we're seeing at HSLDA, is people talking to us a lot about how do I get my child into post secondary. And now we can transfer into mine.

Tim Eaton:

Yeah and that's where, and that's where I feel passionate too, because when I started my doctorate degree, that's what I was looking at. Our daughter was about to, We had a few years before she would enter grade nine freshman year. And so I, my wife and I were going, okay we love the primary years. We feel so confident and love it and would tell any family to do that. But the, here was this unknown territory of the secondary years. So I started studying it and we wanted to do that kind of personally, for us, but then as soon as we studied it and then we practiced it, we were like, Oh, this is and my wife says now she'll say, man, a lot of people will enter, finish the primary years and they go, Oh, secondary or high school years are scary. And they put their kids in school, which is fine, but it's man, that's the time where you start to really unleash those principles and those patterns and those habits and then see them flourish through high school, which is the best preparation for university because they've, they're such self directed learners, which is exactly the learning. And that's why so many and I would say it this way, not, I'm probably biased, but I would say that's why enlightened universities are seeking out home education students because they go, Oh, here are the people that know how to dig deep and they're self directed. And they know how to do that because they've been doing that since grade nine, grade eight, and so they're seeking that out. So anyway, I appreciate that. And then can I just pose one thing to you and then we'll, and then I want to carry on with that idea. Am I like, I find this so profound, but I feel like when I say it to people, it just sounds like big deal but just like you said earlier, and I'm not looking for accolades. I'm just saying, like I, we homeschooled our, like our first two kids are. Done with, they went through all homeschool through the whole thing and two are in university age and have gone to schooling and gotten into schools, that kind of thing. So am I, is it anticlimactic just to say to people like you can take your kid from birth to university. Without the school system doesn't that say something like, and I'm not saying that everyone's going to go, Oh, cool. Now I want to homeschool, but isn't that like just profound that, there's so many things around the education system. And there's a lot of well meaning things, but doesn't that mean something to you that I can do that? Totally without the system and a lot of, and most of these moms have no education degrees. They just love their kids, man. Anyway, that's a lot of stuff now. You speak to any of that.

Patty Marler:

No, I think you're absolutely right. Education isn't about an institution or formal methods of teaching or specific curriculum. Education is about a growth of the mind. It's about a desire to know, a desire to learn, a desire to come closer to truth and understanding. Thank And really, we are the best equipped to do that with our kids. We can use material to help us just a carpenter is going to use material to build a house. We as educators use material to help build our kids, but we still are the architects of that education.

Tim Eaton:

Oh, that's definitely that could be, I think that needs to go on like some kind of a black or something. That was well said. Excellent. Is, are there cases, I keep saying we're going to come to your thing, but, and we are, but you just keep saying good stuff. Are there cases where it's no, that parent should let their kid have somebody else do this, sorry, that, that parent should allow, do you get what I'm saying? Cause I agree with that. I, as a principle. Parents are the best equipped for their children. They know them the best. They love them the most. They care the most about their future. So I guess, are there exceptions?

Patty Marler:

What I'd say to that is, sometimes people struggle, right? They struggle with knowing what material to use, with knowing how to approach homeschooling, with knowing how their child learns, with knowing how to structure their environment, with understanding how to organize your time, and what What we can do and what we do at HSLDA is we equip people. And so I, I think that most people who desire to homeschool can be equipped to do that. I agree if they have struggles.

Tim Eaton:

I agree. Absolutely. And a lot of times it's just direction, but I, and I even am audacious enough to say that even if parents don't have the, the exact right direction just by loving their kids and helping them learn and helping them read good stuff and get outside and, minimize screen use. You're going to do well and your kids are going to do well. And and a lot of it is beginning with the end in mind. What is it, what is your objective as a family? What are the ultimate results or what are the results that you really desire to see with your kids and then work backwards from there. And then just be true to those values and be willing to be flexible and change as you go, but that's awesome. So coming back to you, when did you start homeschooling and why did you start homeschooling? It went like, what was your first exposure?

Patty Marler:

When our youngest was, oh, I don't know, two I heard someone who was homeschooling and I had never heard of it before. And I went to my first homeschool conference when our youngest was, or our eldest was three. I was like, okay, I want to find out about this. And I thought, yeah, I'm in. The initial reason was because I thought I want to teach my kids to read and I don't want them to fall through the cracks. That was my initial impetus. But as we, we grew into homeschooling, it became much richer. It became a way of life where We could, learn in any situation we could stop and watch, the construction work that was going on outside for two hours and not have to stop. We could, follow worm paths or, see, where the mice had did things and done things under the snow and figure out what was going on. And we could do those real life things and we could do it as our. family and our family life was amazing now. Don't anyone ever imagine that you're going to have a perfect family because that's not possible. So you're going to have kids who do things that kids do, and you're not going to have a perfect family. And you're going to have, you're going to do things you don't want to do. And so life isn't perfect homeschooling but you focus on your family. We could. Use the materials we wanted. We could, focus on our faith. We could focus on all the things that mattered to us and we could grow and flourish. And it was incredible. And those high school years that you were talking about, to me, those are the gravy years. You slog through teaching them to read, learning, multiplication tables, all that kind of stuff. But in high school, they're really motivated a lot on their own to do stuff. But the discussions you have are these massive, huge discussions talking about really important things and sharing, and you're the one. Talking about important things with them. You're not leaving that to some teacher who you know, I believe that many teachers have a passion for kids Yes, but when they get the next class, they have the same passion for those kids I have a passion for my kids that goes way beyond that. Yes and so I could you know have those real discussions and real life And then a real ironic thing which is real fun is that one of, teaching our kids to read for some of our kids wasn't that easy. So we could continue to just do that in a wonderful loving environment that held. Our kids self esteem intact, held their confidence intact. We could have them develop skills that they had, like they they could use their listening skills and memorization skills to, to grow because maybe reading was a challenge. And so they were able to advance just as fast as the other kids, but in a different way.

Tim Eaton:

Yes well, and the thing that I keep thinking as you're saying all of that is, and you have the time to do that, because the fact is your kids could have come home from school and you could have done a lot of those things too, but it would have been so different. The moods would have been different. The reprogramming that has to go down, the you have to set a culture and set an environment. And so you have the time to do that. And that's the decision of homeschooling. And I love that you called it a way of life, a lifestyle, because it is a, it's a unique way of life and it affords a family, a closeness that you, I don't think you can get it any other way. And to each his or her own but man, I like it. I like it a lot. And how did your did you see a, first of all, I was going to ask you what was your husband thinking when you guys started and how did, was he on board or was he, were you guys just as excited about it together?

Patty Marler:

That that's an interesting question. Honestly it's been a while now. We've graduated four kids from our homeschooling. I can't even remember what he, what he was thinking. He must have gone, okay she's crazy. And we're just going to do this. But what, one thing that I do remember chatting about was, thinking that as a homeschool mom, I was doing immersion homeschooling. My husband was doing part time classes. So in terms of maybe that homeschool perspective, I got it because I was immersed in it and it came fast and, and developed and grew stable.

Tim Eaton:

And you were experiencing it every day. You were, your conversion to it was just increasing daily. Whereas husbands, a lot of times, or whoever the partner or spouse is, that doesn't do it full-time. You just don't get, I just find that me and other dads that I know of are slower on the conversion because. They're like going is this going to turn my kids out weird? Or is this, are they going to, are they going to get into university and all those things? And the moms have to put up with that and they're going, would you just relax

Patty Marler:

Yeah. And that's why, that's another reason why I loved conferences too, is because it could bump up that learning, when dad came, even if he didn't come to the whole conference and just, poked in here or there. you could glean a lot and gain this broader understanding. But I would say we are definitely on the same page and have been for a lot of years just because for our personal situation my husband worked shift work and so he really wouldn't have our Children all that much. But because we homeschooled, he saw them a lot like an awful lot. And it was really wonderful. It really was wonderful.

Tim Eaton:

Where were you going for support where, you said the conferences and that and I know that they offer that because you have this community that you can connect with and you make friendships and relationships. But when you were just starting, where were you getting material? What were you, how were you deciding what to teach? Did you have any mentors that were aiding you?

Patty Marler:

Yeah the conferences initially helped me to grab onto that concept of learning that this was in Alberta where you were. I was in Alberta. Yeah. So I had this understanding already that I didn't have to, sit at the table and do a lot of book work in order to be educating my kids that we could do real life learning really well. And so I grabbed onto that. Really soon, but in terms of support, you are absolutely right in bringing that up because the support I had was extremely important to me. And all that needs to be is maybe two other homeschool moms. Where you get together and you can talk, you can share ideas. You can cry on these shoulders, you can go out together one night a month, just to get away from the kids. Cause honestly, that's the hardest part about homeschooling. In my opinion is being with your kids 24 seven. But but yeah, we had a, a local support group where our focus was not discussing things that we were doing events, field trips, all that kind of stuff. It was really just about connecting as moms, homeschool moms, to be able to support and encourage and build each other and share ideas. So that was extremely important was that local support. tHere's multiple levels of support. And were you,

Tim Eaton:

Were you getting, were you doing much online at that stage? Were you like, like there wasn't like Facebook groups and stuff like that. Like, when did your kids, when did your first kid graduate from your kids went all the way through homeschool?

Patty Marler:

Yeah. So they started. The first time they stepped in a brick and mortar school to be educated was in university or college.

Tim Eaton:

And, when, like when was your first, when did your first kid graduate? The from the homeschool homeschool, high school age?

Patty Marler:

Oh my goodness, that's a hard question. I can tell you when he started, but,

Tim Eaton:

I guess what I'm wondering, the year means less or, is less important than just how did you prepare them for university because now there's so much support and help. You guys didn't have the same help. You didn't have the same knowledge. Today we have so much. We have so many resources and help to go in there and universities are more open to it now. How did you guys navigate that?

Patty Marler:

You know what, we advocated for it. And sometimes I feel like I wasn't one of the founding homeschooling parents. I still had people who went before me and I'm very thankful to them for. Being those founding parents, but we still had a lot of work to do, you know Everyone asked us, how come your kids aren't in school? And what about socialization and all those kinds of things everywhere we went, you know Why are you grocery shopping during the day and i'd have to tell them about the math we were doing while grocery shopping or something and so but preparing them for university was Easy, because you taught them to think. One thing that I discovered was someone said to me there's going to be gaps in my child's education. And I'm like, sure there is. Because there's gaps in everyone's education. Absolutely. And what kind of a world would it be if when we turn 18, we know everything we need to know? Yeah, that's a pipe dream. And I had a friend who said to her daughter were there things you didn't know that you should have known? And she said, when you started, university, and she said, yeah. And her mom said what did you do? And she said I learned them?.

Tim Eaton:

Yeah, I know that's funny because those are the kind of things that like I asked my wife and she's you just figure it out. Like you learn it like so that, and it is, it's empowering to hear that people just are like not intimidated and they have the confidence and the assurance that things work out and that you could do it. So if this is too personal, don't, you don't have to answer, but how did your kids do in university? And because a lot of people are like, yeah, how does it work out? And that's such a hard question before. I want to preface that because so much of that is because what are people after with that question? Are they after academic results? Are they after character results? Are they after did they land a good job? So people have to qualify that. And I think when we are asked those questions, it's worth it to ask people like what do you mean by that? Because there's this assumption. what success looks like, but if my objective for my kids were, or for example, I want them to be kind humans who serve others, their math score in, on the ACT isn't gonna, isn't going to say much about their character development. And so I'll let you take that question. How you want, how was university for your kids and how has, how are things been, what, how do they look back on their experience?

Patty Marler:

Yeah, I'm going to start by saying my kids are regular kids. Okay. In my eyes, they're incredible. Yes. And they're over the top amazing. To the eyes of the world, they're regular kids, right? They're just your average Joe. aNy parent who's never had their kids tested we didn't use any provincial curriculum at all. So all of, advocating for our kids to get into whatever post secondary they were in required work for us to advocate, to demonstrate that. While they may not have learned the exact same stuff, they had an equivalence of knowledge and a very strong mind to be able to learn.

Tim Eaton:

And was that basically a transcript portfolio type thing?

Patty Marler:

Yeah. And a lot of one on one meetings with a lot of people.

Tim Eaton:

A lot of phone calls and meetings.

Patty Marler:

A lot of in person meetings and time and effort and all that. Yeah, for sure. So my kids are regular kids. And the list of scholarships that my kids have received in their post secondary education has absolutely blown me away. Wow. It just it, it astounds me because they're regular kids. One of my kids, I said, you had a 4. 0 average in this class. And he just, just said to me, Mom, everyone has. And I said, no, they don't. No, they don't No, they don't. And that's just a regular kid. And I'd like to list some of those. I'm going through them in my head. No, that'cause I'm so proud of them. No, I love to hear them. But. They, I don't know that they need to be said, okay, one of my, I don't.

Tim Eaton:

Say a couple.

Patty Marler:

One of my kids got the a Canadian the Canadian collegiate academic and athletic award across Canada for for high academic achievement and the highest sports achievements possible one of, three or four in the country for his sport and it's Oh, wow. A child who was. Considering whether they were going to go on an Olympic team for the sport they were involved in or become a nurse. And another child who went overseas to study music because she got a scholarship to do that after her degree. And I have a, a child who, Wasn't sure what they're going to do. So worked three jobs, not because, it's necessary, but because has such a work ethic and desire to do well and be busy and be productive that. continues to have three jobs. And and families and I'm a grandma and, and just so many rich things. And again, we have our problems as a family, my kids aren't perfect. I'm not perfect. And we can't expect that of anyone. But Man, I wouldn't change a thing about homeschooling.

Tim Eaton:

And what I love about all of that and that is so impressive is I could hear people saying something like that's just because you're a tight family and you've done things, it's hard to attribute that to homeschooling. And I would say whether you attribute it to homeschooling or not, they were homeschooled. And so what it says at least is that you can achieve and accomplish those things through this option and through this method of education and through this way of living. And so to me, that says something. And so I don't know if we have to tie it. To homeschooling or not, although as a homeschool parents and I would guess that you would say something similar is that because you were afforded that much time and nurturing and that way of doing things, it is, it has the potential to enhance where other things don't because. You have the time like my kids have excelled in music and it's because they have the time that allows them to practice daily, which everyone practices. I'm saying people that are, performing or using an instrument may practice daily, but they can practice a lot daily. And so it's it has its advantages. And so I really love your description. How would your kids. It'd be hard to speak for them, but like, how do they look at their homeschool experience differently or do they, how do they view their experience being homeschooled?

Patty Marler:

They're each different. They all love their life as kids, and they thought they had a great, it, it was great. They really en enjoyed it. Will all of them homeschool? I don't know. Maybe not. That it's quite possible. do You have maybe.

Tim Eaton:

Probable that some of you have honest, strong feelings about that though?

Patty Marler:

mY strong feelings are that they're the parents of their children, and they have to make the best decisions for their kids. And that's what we did. We had pushed back from, people around us, but they were our kids, and they were our responsibility, and we had to do what was best for them.

Tim Eaton:

That's, thank you. That, I love that. I love that. That's really good. I, oh, this could go on a long time. I, but I wondered especially with your vantage point in HSLDA and working there. How long have you, when did you start working with HSLDA?

Patty Marler:

2020. August or so, 2020.

Tim Eaton:

And how did that come about? Like, how did you?

Patty Marler:

I really wanted to work at HSLDA. I just, I, it was just such a, to me, it just seemed like a very natural transition based on what I was, what I had done in my homeschooling, what I had done in my role as government liaison and president of the Alberta Home Education Association. It just seemed like it was a really. It was the place I wanted to go. And I was fortunate that it happened and just really thankful to be there. And I feel like I, I have good things to offer.

Tim Eaton:

I Can tell that for sure. Your experience is extensive. And then the other your colleagues in the office and HSLDA very similar passion for this work.

Patty Marler:

Yeah, everyone in the office has homeschooled in some capacity, everyone has homeschooled to, to our legal counsel. One of our, one of our lawyers currently homeschools, she has a quiver of children and is homeschooling and provides legal advice. And so that's one of our, one of our lawyers. So we're all very passionate about homeschooling because we all do it. We all see the benefit of it. We've all, yeah, we've all benefited from it.

Tim Eaton:

Yeah. Yeah. I, This has been a great conversation. Can I ask one final question and then and then maybe give you a final word if you want after that, if you had somebody come up to you and they go, Hey, I know your involvement in homeschooling, you homeschooled your kids all through like today, what would you tell new homeschool families that are just thinking about giving it a try? What would be your counsel? What would be your advice? Where would you direct them? So on and so forth.

Patty Marler:

I would say, go for it. It's probably, it's going to be, it was the best decision our family made for our education, for, our family, for uh, you know, so much. And if I just encourage families to do it. Do your research, contact, I do, I always encourage people to become HSLDA members. I've been a member for, I don't know how long, so I just, I think it's important because I think it's important to have. Like when you're building a house to have a strong foundation, right? When you have a strong foundation, you can build great things. When you start stumbling, it's harder to build. So start solid, connect yourself with good people around you figure out how to do this well. And we can help you do that at HSLDA. And then just. Continue love your kids. Sometimes there's a transition period, especially for people who pull their kids from school, there can be a transition time and they should expect that. So expect that it's hard. And when people say, but I'm not a teacher, I often say teachers often have the hardest time homeschooling because they think in a more brick and mortar type of thinking and they are very successful homeschoolers, but it takes them a while to transition out of that way of thinking into a different way of thinking. So you don't have to be. Educated as an educator to educate your kids.

Tim Eaton:

Amen. And like you said, I'm an educator too. I teach currently and you have to de school and you have to be open minded and humble and really let shed some of the things that you thought learning was, and then allow yourself to. To be open to other things. And so I really appreciate that for educators and for all parents, everyone has to go through, and especially if you're transitioning from school to the home, you really do need a kind of a de schooling period where you and again, it's not a negative thing. It's just a shifting, it's a shifting, it's a paradigm shifting, and you have to see it differently because if you're trying to transfer the school to the home, I think it. That's not all too bad because if you have to evolve that way, that's fine. And that's where you're comfortable, but eventually you do evolve out of that. I've seen family after family, I've seen them start with that structure and then they go, Oh. Because they start to learn about their kids more and they start to observe them and they go, this is what my kid needs. I'll give you the final word and then we'll wrap this up.

Patty Marler:

I think as you were saying that I think one thing is that's important is to not compare yourself to other people, never compare yourself to other homeschoolers. It's easy to say, but it's something that we need to really be passionate about. Don't compare your kids to other kids, even other kids in your own family. You just build, you build one step at a time, and you do what your family does, and people like to present the best of what they're doing, and don't forget that the worst of what they're doing isn't shared. You're comparing the worst of what you're doing to the best of what they're doing, and that's not a good comparison.

Tim Eaton:

They all, those are great words to end on. And so wise. Thank you so much again to Patty Mueller for being with us today. And thank you to your family for taking time. And so appreciate it. Good luck with everything.

Patty Marler:

Thank you.

Tim Eaton:

That wraps up another edition of this golden hour podcast. If you haven't done so already, I would totally appreciate it. If you would take a minute and give us a review in Apple podcasts or Spotify, it helps out a lot. And if you've done that already, thank you much. Please consider sharing this show with friends and family members that you think would get something out of it. And thank you for listening and for your support. I'm your host, Tim Eaton. Until next time, remember to cherish this golden hour with your children and family.