This Golden Hour

44. Rebecca Zipp and A Humble Place

January 17, 2024 Timothy Eaton
This Golden Hour
44. Rebecca Zipp and A Humble Place
Show Notes Transcript

In today’s episode, we get to spend time with Rebecca Zipp from Colorado. Rebecca is a homeschool mother of two children and creator of the blog, A Humble Place, which she started in 2012. Her first exposure to the homeschool world began when she became friends with a girl who was homeschooled when they were youth. Rebecca admits that when she started homeschooling it was partially driven by fear, but she evolved and does not regret her initial motivation, even if it was not the healthiest way to begin. Spending time, learning with her children, and escaping the conventional system that tends to develop cogs, are a few of the benefits Rebecca has observed through homeschooling. However, Rebecca acknowledges the challenges that accompany homeschooling, like dealing with negative attitudes at times, and navigating the roles of parent and facilitator for her children. Much of what the Zipp's do for learning and living is tied to principles espoused by Charlotte Mason. They use a Charlotte Mason curriculum, Ambleside Online, for much of their learning, and Rebecca's wonderful blog, A Humble Place, focuses on beautiful Picture Studies emanating from the Charlotte Mason philosophy of learning about art. Like so many homeschooling mothers who align with Charlotte Mason, Rebecca dove more fully into Charlotte Mason principles after reading the book For the Children's Sake by Susan Shaeffer Macaulay.

Connect with Rebecca
https://ahumbleplace.com/

Curriculum
https://www.amblesideonline.org/
https://www.alveary.org/
https://www.bfbooks.com/The-Genevieve-Foster-Collection

Books
The Story of the World Series
For the Children's Sake: Foundations of Education for Home and School

Resources
Yoto Player

 

Rebecca Zipp:

I think the first benefit that I think of is that I get to be with them, every day for these. limited years that we have together. Our education should be about growing us as people and finding the things that we enjoy, the things that we find joy in the things that interest us and learning more about this world that we're part of. It's just a beautiful thing. And I think when you are able to do that with your kids because you know them. And you know what their interests are things that just, spark joy in them.

Timmy 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 Rebecca Zipp from Colorado. Rebecca is a homeschool mother of two children and creator of the blog, A Humble Place, which she started in 2012. Her first exposure to the homeschool world began when she became friends with a girl who was homeschooled when they were youth. Rebecca admits that when she started homeschooling, it was partially driven by fear, but she evolved and does not regret her initial motivation, even if it was not the healthiest way to begin. Spending time learning with her children and escaping the conventional system that tends to develop cogs are a few of the benefits Rebecca has observed through homeschooling. However, Rebecca acknowledges the challenges that accompany homeschooling, like dealing with negative attitudes at times and navigating the roles of parent and facilitator of her children. Much of what the Zips do for learning and living is tied to the principles espoused by Charlotte Mason. They use a Charlotte Mason curriculum, Ambleside Online, for much of their learning, and Rebecca's wonderful blog, A Humble Place, focuses on beautiful picture studies emanating from the Charlotte Mason philosophy of learning about art. Like so many homeschooling mothers who align with Charlotte Mason, Rebecca dove more fully into Charlotte Mason principles after reading the book, For the Children's Sake, by Susan Schaefer McCauley. Welcome to this Golden Hour podcast. Today we have with us Rebecca Zipp from Colorado, and Rebecca is the homeschool mother of two, and she is also the creator of A Humble Place. And we didn't talk about this, but my wife has been doing your picture studies for a long time. And we love that. Like we have six kids and I haven't told you that, but they've been. They've been using those for years now. And so I come home from work and I'll see them strung on a string, like on our walls and then and all the kids know so much about them. And so we'll definitely talk about that. So thank you for being with us. Yeah. Thank you for

Rebecca Zipp:

having me.

Timmy Eaton:

Appreciate it. And can you just give our listeners a little biography of yourself about you and your family or whatever you'd like to say in that bio.

Rebecca Zipp:

Yeah, sure. I have two children. My oldest is 13, and we're currently using the Ambleside Online curriculum with him. And he's in year seven, and my youngest is nine, and she's in year four. And we've been using Charlotte Mason's principles in our homeschool since we started homeschooling in 2016. And my husband and I have been married for 19 years. And we live in Castle Rock, Colorado, and we both Awesome. Run our own little businesses, so our lives are very

Timmy Eaton:

busy I bet. Yeah. No kidding. Oh, okay. So yeah. So we're, yeah, like we gotta go through some of those things. That was a lot of good information. And we have fairly parallel lives'cause my wife and I have been married around the same time so tell, talk about like how you got exposed to homeschool or the decision to homeschool and then we'll, and then we'll talk in and out of of the business and how that all works in.

Rebecca Zipp:

Okay. I think really the first time I heard about homeschooling was like little house on the prairies, just hearing about people used to do that a long time ago. When I was in seventh grade, my dad enrolled me in a private Christian school and the same year that I entered, there were several other kids who also enrolled who had been homeschooled up to that point. And that was the first time I heard that anybody still did that, but that was a modern thing. Yeah. And I got to know them. And then when I was 15, we moved to Colorado. And some of the kids who were homeschooled in the area came to the school for the science classes. And one of them ended up becoming one of my best friends. And so I was able to see what that was like firsthand through her. And it was an idea that stayed in the back of my mind I didn't really think much about it, until I had kids, but I knew other people who were homeschooling their kids even before I had my own.

Timmy Eaton:

Okay. Wow. So you did, you had quite a bit of exposure

Rebecca Zipp:

then. Some, yeah. I never, I didn't do it myself, but I did know quite a few people who did. Yeah. And

Timmy Eaton:

you definitely went to public school growing up and in the Midwest. Is that right? Yeah, I went to public school. Until

Rebecca Zipp:

that private school. Yeah, I was in public school from first to sixth grade and my husband was in public school first through twelfth grade. So he graduated from public

Timmy Eaton:

school. Oh, okay. Yeah. And that, and my wife and I as well. Yeah, that's interesting. And then and then, so when you guys, how old were your children when you decided to start homeschooling?

Rebecca Zipp:

It was a natural thing. I don't know that we ever really, at least I didn't really consider any other options. My husband might answer that differently. My son had been home with me. My daughter too, but he was my oldest since the day where they were born. We never did any sort of daycare or preschool or anything like that. And so when he got to school age at about five or six, I couldn't comprehend dropping him off, at a building with people I didn't know and with kids I didn't know with families I didn't know and not seeing him all day. And so when he got to six years old, cause we waited until he was six to do kindergarten. It just felt natural to just, let's just do it at home and we'll see how it goes. Yeah, exactly. And I think a lot of people when they're first homeschooling, they go into it thinking we'll just take it year by year and we'll see how it goes. And that was our thinking too. Yeah, that's how it happens.

Timmy Eaton:

Yeah, that, so that, that sounds a lot like my wife. And to be honest, that sounds I would say the vast majority of the homeschool moms that I've interviewed on this podcast have said the same thing where they it was more, it was less of a. Negative thing as far as we, they didn't want to let them go more than they just wanted to keep them. They just like being with them. And so the idea when you said I couldn't comprehend, taking them somewhere where I wasn't with them. That's what happened to my wife. Like our first two kids did like about a month and a half each of kindergarten. Like we did one year and then the next year we did it again. but in both cases We didn't really know why and we were just and my wife was like I don't they're just missing out on all the stuff we're doing at home and so She didn't like that. And so I understand that. And why do you think that is do you think that's just you either have that or you don't as a mom, like where you just, cause there's definitely some moms that are just Oh man, the summer's over. I can't wait for them to get back to school. Do you think that's just just is,

Rebecca Zipp:

I think it's what's expected in our society. As my kids were getting older. And they came to preschool age. A lot of people were asking us like when are you going to enroll them in preschool? And when are you going to do this? And when are you going to do that? And we were just we just aren't going to do that. And so I think that's a common, like those types of things that they're going to go to school that you're. I don't know. I don't want to say that it's to be expected that you don't want to be with your kids, that you can't wait till school starts again, because that's not the way it should be. But maybe that is. Subconsciously how we're trained. I don't know. Yeah, it's just,

Timmy Eaton:

it might be a cultural reality. Cause to be honest, when my wife started asking the questions 18, 17 years ago, cause we've been homeschooling for about, almost 16 years. And when she started asking the questions, I was just like. I was totally planning our kids going to school. I just didn't, I hadn't thought of any alternatives because that's not the way that I, like you said, I wasn't nurtured that way and I didn't think that way. But my wife naturally is going, she just asked the questions and I'm so grateful that she does, because again, I would have just followed suit and said of course they go to school. What else, what other options are there?

Rebecca Zipp:

Yeah. Yeah. And I think, for us, I'll say that there was quite a bit of fear in it in the beginning. Of what, cause the experiences that my husband and I had, there was bullying, there was peer pressure, there was being exposed to things we shouldn't have been exposed to at the ages that we were exposed to. My husband feels like to a certain extent, he got a subpar education. So there were all those things in there. And I feel like, yeah. There was that aspect where I really just want to be with him every day, but also the aspect of we want to protect him from these things. But as we've progressed on this homeschool journey, the benefits of what we have with them now outweigh all of those fears so much. And, where you're saying that your wife questioned things. I'm thankful that, even though we weren't, we, I guess we were questioning things and even though we were choosing to homeschool sort of out of a fear mindset. I'm still thankful that we did it because, I don't think that's necessarily healthy, but we did it. And now I can see the benefits of being able to teach them things that they wouldn't learn in that situation. If that makes sense. Yeah,

Timmy Eaton:

that totally makes sense. And talk a little bit more about the benefits. Cause you, you've said that a couple of times. So when you, like what, what comes into your mind when you're saying that, like the benefits just totally cancel out any fears or any anything that you might've been doing, even if it was for the wrong reasons at the beginning or whatever, not wrong, but reasons that are, not necessarily the ones you would. Yeah, not ideal. So what are those benefits that you point to when you're talking to people about

Rebecca Zipp:

it? I think the first benefit that I think of is that I get to be with them, every day for these. limited years that we have together. It's only, generally 18 years about, yes. And I'm experiencing education with them. It's not just them that is learning. It's also me. There's so many things that I've read with them and to them that I didn't learn when I was in school. And experiencing that, going on that sort of journey with them has been priceless, being able to have those conversations with them. But also I feel like the way that the modern school system is set up is that it's really conditioning kids to just become like cogs, we're just meant to fulfill a role in society or fulfill a role in a business. And that's what our education is for. Whereas in reality, our education should be, obviously it does prepare us for a future profession, but it also should be about growing us as people and finding the things that we enjoy, the things that we find joy in the things that interest us and learning more about this world that we're part of. It's just a beautiful thing. And I think when you are able to do that with your kids because you know them. And you know what their interests are things that just, spark joy in them. You can pursue those things. You don't have to fit to anybody's schedule or whatever their lesson plans are or curriculum or whatever you can do what they want to do. Obviously to a certain extent there's certain things

Timmy Eaton:

you have. There's some parenting involved.

Rebecca Zipp:

Exactly. Yeah. But just being able to show them that the world is an interesting place, and it's interesting just on its own, it's not interesting because we have to pass a test, or because we have to write a paper, or answer a question, it's just interesting. And that has been a huge benefit for us. And also, of course, sharing our values with them too.

Timmy Eaton:

Yes. Thank you very much. Like the word that kept coming into my mind as you were talking and then often in, in these episodes is the word curiosity. when I look back to my own educational experience, I feel like I would say I had a good education. I wouldn't have known to question that, but that's probably just my nature again. But when I do think back, I don't think that curiosity was the main focus or like trying to help me to become more curious and to really look deeply into my interests. But as you were talking there, I just thought, man, she's talking about curiosity and developing that and cultivating curiosity. And then the other word that came into my head was the word deliberate. I feel like the homeschool option in most cases. Is a very deliberate proactive approach to the education of our children. And research shows all the benefits, but people don't really care about that until it's just their child, and they like the information and it's encouraging because it can be overwhelming when you're starting, but it is. And so I like that idea of curiosity and being deliberate. And and pursuing it that way. What would you say have been some like real challenges as you've homeschooled? Cause it's been what it's been eight, nine, seven or eight years

Rebecca Zipp:

now. You're in the middle of our eighth year. Yeah.

Timmy Eaton:

So what would you say have been some real challenges? And I think that is what a lot of people that listen to these episodes they're trying to find some help and some hope in. In situations that are difficult and I, so I think it's really helpful to, for people to hear that. So what would you say? What's been difficult? What's been the worst part or anything like that? Get negative for a minute.

Rebecca Zipp:

Okay. If we'll be negative. I think sometimes it's hard not to take things personally. When you spend a lot of time putting stuff together, making plans and things like that, and you've got bad attitudes. To, have to face that with grace and patience is sometimes very challenging. I think another aspect to it that I never really thought about before was you're not only trying to fulfill the role of parent, but also teacher. So there's two fold there and those are to a certain extent have to be different roles. I don't question, whether or not. School teachers care about their students, but I know that I have a much deeper concern and a much deeper love and a much deeper understanding of my kids than anyone else could possibly ever have. Yes. And when they show reluctance to learn or they're making mistakes that I know they shouldn't be making or there's a bad attitude or there's laziness or whatever. It's hard for me not to panic a little and think, okay, I'm raising a hoodlum. I don't know what's going to happen. What are we doing wrong? What, how can we do things differently? And to just go to that place of is this the right thing? Are we doing the right thing and really second guessing that, and it doesn't happen often, but it does happen. And that's challenging. That's hard. Yeah.

Timmy Eaton:

And I think that is like something that's common among homeschool mothers and fathers because you care so much, you're constantly concerned and you want to make sure you're doing the best for your kids and you take it more personal, just like you said, that's, I think that's totally, and I feel like people should just know that's okay. And that's a part of it because it's your children. You've talked about like the benefits what is your, what are maybe even like maybe defining moments? Can you think of defining moments that you're like, Oh yeah, this is why we do this. I don't if you can recall that on the spot, but I at least want to give people the chance to think of

Rebecca Zipp:

that. I think it's when I see them making connections between things that, maybe we studied like three years ago. And I didn't think they got in at all, and then we'll bring up something and they'll say, Oh, remember when we read this or remember we talked about this and I'll be like, Wow, that really did stick with you. Or sometimes I won't remember it and they will. And that's really gratifying. Also seeing their interests come out, this term, which we just started. We're studying weather for science. And I picked up some extra books at the library. Just, free reads. I'm not requiring anything from them. They're just there if they want to read them. And my son immediately picked up one of the books, big, thick chapter book about weather and just started reading it on his own. And. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to ruin that moment, but I was really happy about that. Just taking charge of his own education and just pursuing something that interested in him.

Timmy Eaton:

Yeah. And I know on your website, you talk a lot about Charlotte Mason and you mentioned it at the start and her idea of laying it out, laying the feast and feast. And I was the dad in the beginning years that was just always saying, why are there? Stacks of books everywhere. Maybe. And I wasn't probably listening close enough when my wife was explaining that, the strategy behind all of that. But over the years, I love it. Every time I see stacks of books and I just, we, I don't even know if we consciously did this, but we just don't, we don't have a television in our home. Like we just don't have one. And so they don't have that option. And so the books are what they go to a lot of the time. And more and more it's become audio books. I don't know if you guys have, do you guys use a Yodo? No, I've never heard of that. Yeah. You should look that up. It's awesome. Especially for it's we struggled with the like using a phone and other devices to listen to things. Yeah. And we didn't want to prematurely introduce. Things that just weren't, they didn't need to have that. They don't need to be burdened with that yet. And so the Yodo was like the best solution. And so we've used that for years now.

Rebecca Zipp:

Y O D O Y O T O T O. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. I'll look into that. Cause we feel the same way about electronics.

Timmy Eaton:

Yeah. I would highly recommend it. It's in our kids. We're talking, have listened to. I couldn't even tell you how many books, now the interesting thing is they listen to it on really high speeds and can understand it and I don't understand that, but yeah, I can't do that either and I don't know if that's good or not. I think the future will tell us, but yeah, but they do cover a lot of material and it's a. It is educational. And then how did you get into the Charlotte Mason? Like how you said, you have I aligned with those ideals? And we have to actually, as my wife has looked into many influential homeschool philosophers and thought leaders, Charlotte Mason is really who we probably connect with most. Why is it, why was that for you guys?

Rebecca Zipp:

It's an interesting story. I actually, when my son was very little and we were first thinking about homeschooling and exploring that, I had a curriculum all picked out and I thought, this is what we're going to do and I don't need to keep looking. And at the time I was doing virtual assistant serve services for bloggers. Okay. And all these bloggers were talking about this lady named Charlotte Mason and I was like who is this and why is everyone talking about her? So I started looking into her and one of the bloggers recommended Susan Chafer McCulley's For the Children's Sake. Yes. And. I think what I loved about it was just the naturalness of it. It wasn't like, I think up to that point I'd really been looking into Maria Montessori, and she had all of these planned environments for children and, As far as I understood it I didn't go too deep into that philosophy. But with Charlotte Mason, it was more like, get them outside and help them develop relationships with the natural world and relationships with other things and don't do anything too heavy or scholarly before they're six years old, which I was 100 percent on board with. And as the more that I read about her ideas and thought about them, because I think. When you first start exploring Charlotte Mason at first, it's just oh, you just go outside a lot, but it's more the ideas of exposing our children to ideas rather than facts and statistics and things like that. The more I mulled that over, I thought, wow that's really deep. That's really great. I love that. But ultimately what kind of tipped the scales for me in her favor was picture study. I have a degree in art history, so art has always been important to me. And. It wasn't, it wasn't like I wasn't on the fence before that, but that really did help. Okay, this is what we're

Timmy Eaton:

going to be doing. Yeah, man. If somebody speaks to your interest, that just puts you over the edge. Yeah. And that's how we started. That's how we, I think that's how my wife was led to you because she had really aligned with Charlotte Mason and we had done picture study stuff before, but just loved the resources that you have. I've created and made available. And you're oldest is 13. What is your thought process been approaching the youth years? Continue to homeschool. How do you do that? What how are you learning how to approach that?

Rebecca Zipp:

As far as where our plans go, we planned to homeschool through high school. In the beginning it wasn't that way. Like I said, we were thinking just take it year by year, take it a year at a time. Yeah. I'd heard of people who homeschooled, especially boys homeschooled up to high school and then. In high school, they enrolled them in a school, but it's just worked so well for us that it just doesn't seem like, why change what's working and, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. That sort of thinking. And so being able to talk to people who have gone before me in this path. So I have several friends who are older than me. We were in a Charlotte Mason homeschool co op several years ago, and most of the moms had kids that are older than mine. So being able to see their journey has been really helpful in getting advice from them and then just encouragement because they didn't enroll their kids. They've continued with homeschool and just seeing. Not only what they've done, but how their kids have been is incredibly encouraging. Just because their kids are amazing. And I remember when I was pregnant with my son, for some reason I would focus on the teen years and think, I have to be a mother to a teenager and, thinking he hasn't even born yet. That is scary. I was scared of the teenage years. As we've gotten closer that fear has still been there to a certain extent, but in some ways I'm excited about it because there have, I've also had friends who've said they've had some of the best conversations with their kids, the older that they get and when they get into those teen years. And that part of it has been encouraging. And then just my son himself, seeing how he has taken charge of his education and kind of letting go of more of it and allowing him to do those things he's managing his time. He's showing that he can be responsible with his learning. And those are life skills. That's not just about getting the assignments done. That's. Can you manage your time? Can you be, disciplined with yourself and what you need to get done? So those have been encouraging things to me and just again, just taking it step by step. We're not at that point where we're saying we might just enroll him next year, but we're saying like, okay, if this isn't working for us, then we'll try this other thing and just being open to what works best for him.

Timmy Eaton:

Well Said like I coming from our experience because so that's what we were approaching to when our oldest was approaching the youth years. We were that was our concern and I actually was approaching doing a degree. And so I made as the point of my study was to really research the homeschooling and secondary and how it prepares you especially academically for post secondary. And it was just so quickly if in the research and then our own experience and now in hindsight, like my wife has said recently, Man, it's a bummer when people say let's, okay, let's put them in school now. Cause they've just been nurtured and given all these skills and abilities. And this is what the time to flourish and to really take off, like you said, in a very self directed. Way, which is what universities and careers are looking for. Like more and more, we keep, I keep saying this in these episodes, but more and more employers are not looking for, did you do this well on a test? But they're looking for who knows how to learn and who knows how to adjust and because they've been learning like university students from, freshmen on or earlier, they have that skill and they carry that into their university career, whatever they're doing post a graduate. Yeah. So I encourage people for sure to strongly consider it because it's awesome. And that's where you see them employ so many things that they've been learning.

Rebecca Zipp:

Yeah. And that's maybe another area where we do have to ask those questions, like it's you get to the high school years and for some reason, suddenly we feel like we're not qualified to continue to educate them. And just like your wife did, with your kids, you have to ask why? Why are we thinking that? Why are we saying that? Maybe we need to reframe that and think it's You know, it's been working for us so far. Why can't it continue to work?

Timmy Eaton:

Excellent. Yeah, exactly. What would if you had I'm curious about one thing you said about the children of your friends that are in a stage ahead of you, which has been, isn't that so awesome to have somebody a step ahead of you? That's one thing, one of the first things I try to tell people who are just starting, especially is make a friend with a homeschool mom Who's older than you and make sure that you really listen because there's so much wisdom that they impart and you're going to adjust it how you will with your kids because they're different but what were you noticing about your friend's kids that you were like, Oh man this gives me confidence. I really like what I see. What are the particulars? There is

Rebecca Zipp:

a specific story. When we first joined this homeschool co op my son was in first grade and we had a, the end of summer, beginning of the school year get together so all the kids could get to know each other. Yeah. And they had been together in the co op before we were new. And my son had just turned seven. And we got there and one of my very good friends, her oldest was 14 at the time, and all the kids were in a field playing a game and we ran down and my son just stood there and her son came immediately over to my son and said, would you like to come and play with us? And he came, he brought him over, he explained the game to him, and my son is very shy, so he just clung to this boy this whole time, and he never implied that he was annoying, he never made fun of him or anything like that, and that was not my intention. And I'm going to be talking about the experience with teenagers. And in fact, I was a little intimidated when I knew that there were teenagers in this call because I thought, okay, this is, I need to protect my son from them. When in reality, I loved that he was around them so that he could see what they were like. They were amazing. And that is, it was like, okay maybe the teenagers won't be so bad when I saw that. And even now we, our co op plans a retreat, a Charlotte Mason retreat every year. And one of our events is having all of the kids from the moms who plan it have tables and they talk about the things that they've learned and they talk with the parents and things. And we've gotten so much feedback from that, from other parents with younger kids who are like, this is amazing. Like just being able to see teenagers who have been homeschooled and how they are has been so encouraging. And I know that firsthand. Yeah,

Timmy Eaton:

thank you for sharing that. I think that's encouraging to hear. And again it's not like it's foolproof, but to me, it's a matter of likelihoods and it really does depend on the kid, but because they've been nurtured in that way, it increases the likelihood that they are going to exemplify some of those attributes that are really not always, but mostly discouraged in a public system where there's a true pecking order and there's other things that are just difficult. And so it can be really encouraging. What else are your kids involved in extracurricular? Do you guys do any kind of extracurricular involvement that, that provides some more social interaction and just skill development, that kind of thing.

Rebecca Zipp:

We were in the co op for a long time and then that ended and now we're part of a group that meets about an hour south of us every other week and it's called a nature group, but we just go and play. Basically we meet at parks and usually parks, with natural settings. So they climb trees and they build dams and things like that. All the kids are homeschooled. I think all the families are Charlotte Mason families also.

Timmy Eaton:

Like how many people are we talking about?

Rebecca Zipp:

It can vary. It's very casual. I don't know. Maybe there's usually three or four or five families that go on a regular basis and they have about, four kids average for each family. So it's a good sized group. Sometimes it can be larger, especially in the summertime. And that's been really great for us just because it's a time for them to just, go and be with kids their own age. We go on a lot of hikes. We have a family that we hike with quite often and they have kids who are our kids ages. They're also homeschoolers. And then for other things We took an archery class this last summer and my husband travels a lot for his job. So we've been waiting, but we're going to be taking more archery classes this winter. We just look for opportunities where they can come up. But for the most part, we try to leave our schedule open because we don't want to, over schedule. And because of the fact that my husband and I Run businesses. We can't do a lot of stuff.

Timmy Eaton:

Yeah. No, I understand that so in and where you are in Colorado, is it like are there quite a few homeschoolers or do you know or?

Rebecca Zipp:

I would say there's quite a few in this area. Yeah, we're about an hour north of Colorado Springs 45 minutes and so that's a large homeschooling community there I think there's quite a few up in Denver as well. So it's nice to have

Timmy Eaton:

that Yeah, like I just can tell I mean you hear it and you read about it But then i've had The the opportunity to talk to people in so many states now and in provinces here in Canada, and it is just spreading and there are, like you mentioned, there's co ops and there's just so much community, whereas, the people before us, the generation before us, they, they really trailblazed this for us. And I do, I feel grateful because. I was just editing one of these episodes with my son. And that was, we were interviewing this woman from the HSLDA here in Canada. Oh, okay. Okay. I was one in Canada. Yeah, I didn't either until I was interviewing. Homeschool Legal Defense Association. And just to hear how many people are homeschooling now, but like what they're doing, the work they're doing to allow us these liberties. And we just don't even realize how much is going on in behind the scenes. And so it makes you feel grateful for sure. What if you had somebody come up to you? They thinking about homeschooling, maybe you've had this experience and they've got questions and they're overwhelmed. What counsel do you give new homeschool families? What do you tell them? Like, Oh, this is what you really need to focus on or be worried about or whatever.

Rebecca Zipp:

I think what you said earlier was probably one of the first things I would say is if you can find somebody who is already homeschooling and has kids who are older than you cling to that person if you can and ask questions and, use their wisdom. Tap into that, I would say also stay off social media if you can, because comparisons are really hard in homeschooling. You will always feel like you are not doing enough. If you are looking at other people's pictures of what they're doing,

Timmy Eaton:

that's a common one I get from people. I'm surprised cause I don't. Do that. I'm, and I'm not, and I, my wife obviously is the principal homeschooler in our situation, but that comes up a lot. So I know that is real. Yeah. Yeah. And one, one person said, sorry to interrupt you. One person's advice to me was, or not to me, but was advice to homeschool families is remember that what people are conveying. Is the best of what they're doing, even when you're talking to people and so it's not like people are putting forth always the worst things. And so a lot of times what we're comparing, which isn't even accurate, is our worst with somebody's best. And so that's even worse. So yeah,

Rebecca Zipp:

and often they have an agenda. In sharing and anytime you have an agenda, it's not going to be pure, it's not going to be helpful for, some people may find it encouraging, but I think for the most part it's discouraging, at least for me. I don't know. That's my personality.

Timmy Eaton:

I think that's real.

Rebecca Zipp:

I would also say. To keep it simple. I think it's really hard, especially for young new homeschooling families to want to dive in and just do everything all at once and it gets completely overwhelming and you can't do everything. So keep it simple. And if it starts to feel overwhelming, look at where you can cut back and look at things that maybe don't need to be part of it. And really focus more on that relationship. And what I feel, education is really about is growing their character and focusing more on that and what's going to help grow that character rather than, doing unit studies and art projects and things like that. Yeah.

Timmy Eaton:

Excellent. Yeah. That's one of the principles that comes up a lot is character really focused on character and what is remember your purpose and why you're doing this and really pursue that and weigh things against that very clear purpose and then be flexible to adjust that as you move on. But, and I really liked the idea of environment over curriculum and really facilitating an environment where people, where children learn and want to learn and have their curiosity stroke. Yeah. What I wanted to try something with you and you tell me if you're okay with this But I wanted to do about 10 questions rapid fire and then just have you answer the first thing that comes to your mind Okay,

Rebecca Zipp:

try it. Is that cool? Yeah,

Timmy Eaton:

so I haven't done this yet except with one other person and that was my last episode So I want to try this so Favorite your favorite few books or authors

Rebecca Zipp:

Oh boy, for my kids or for me?

Timmy Eaton:

For you.

Rebecca Zipp:

For me. Oh boy. I like Jane Austen.

Timmy Eaton:

And that's a lot of

Rebecca Zipp:

books. Yeah. Yeah, I guess I'll just say rapid fire Jane Austen.

Timmy Eaton:

Excellent. Best book to read to your kids aloud?

Rebecca Zipp:

Understood Betsy. Oh,

Timmy Eaton:

okay. Yeah, a few One or two curricula that you recommend.

Rebecca Zipp:

AmbleSide Online, it's the one that we use. And so

Timmy Eaton:

people know, any listeners know AmbleSide Online is Charlotte Mason based curricula and

Rebecca Zipp:

yeah I only have experience with Charlotte Mason, I've also heard that the Alveari and the CMEC are really good ones also, but I don't have any personal experience with

Timmy Eaton:

them. Worst part of homeschooling, we kind of did this, but just.

Rebecca Zipp:

Worst part of homeschooling complaining when anyone complains me to

Timmy Eaton:

best part of

Rebecca Zipp:

homeschooling being with

Timmy Eaton:

them every day. Amen. Favorite subject to learn with your kids.

Rebecca Zipp:

History actually. Yeah. And what do you

Timmy Eaton:

use

Rebecca Zipp:

for that? Just Ambleside their book lists.

Timmy Eaton:

Okay. Have you ever read the story of the world? That's

Rebecca Zipp:

actually one of the books that we read. Starting in year four. I think the very end of year four, and I really enjoyed it a lot in the

Timmy Eaton:

Ambleside curriculum.

Rebecca Zipp:

Yeah, that's one of the books listed just that one, none of the other ones in that series, but I've enjoyed it so much that I've actually wanted to look into the other books also.

Timmy Eaton:

I've read through all four volumes many times with our kids over the years and I love them. It's just so like you mentioned earlier about learning with your kids. Yeah. That's been so fun for me. Obviously my wife does a lot more, but

Rebecca Zipp:

Yeah. And that's the series, Genevieve Foster too. That's a really good one too. That's like George Washington's world. Oh, Lincoln's world. Those are really good books. Genevieve

Timmy Eaton:

Foster. Yeah. I'll put that in the show notes. Thank you.

Rebecca Zipp:

They saw him from beautiful feet books.

Timmy Eaton:

Cool. Thank you very much. What's your go to breakfast and then snacks during the homeschool day?

Rebecca Zipp:

We don't really snack during homeschool, which I know is weird, but breakfast, we always have eggs, or my daughter has an egg allergy, so I make her chicken sausages yogurt muffins, I have a banana, and I think that's really That's pretty much it. Yeah. Breakfast.

Timmy Eaton:

Yeah. I do want to talk to you about real food. Cause I'm with you on that. And I saw that you definitely are into real food and I love seeing that. How would you describe your bedtime routine with the kids?

Rebecca Zipp:

Usually they

Timmy Eaton:

alternate or the night routine, whatever

Rebecca Zipp:

the night routine they alternate nights taking a bath and then afterward my husband will be with the kid who didn't take a bath and I'll be with the kid who didn't take a bath and we read together. And then they go to bed and they do their chores before all that. And yeah it's not anything complicated, but it's nice. And are you guys

Timmy Eaton:

late night family or are you guys pretty disciplined

Rebecca Zipp:

usually they're in bed by nine 15 that with the lights out. We leave their rooms at about a quarter to nine and then they have about a half hour to read on their own. Oh,

Timmy Eaton:

Oh, I love those. Favorite field trip or travel with the kids?

Rebecca Zipp:

We really like living history museums. There's one here in Colorado. We like to go hiking in the mountains. Recently we just went out, we took a road trip out to California. And there were lots of mishaps. But otherwise, we have good memories from it.

Timmy Eaton:

Yeah. Just mishaps on the trip or what?

Rebecca Zipp:

Yeah, Yeah. Just things that went wrong. But overall, it's good memories. We got through it.

Timmy Eaton:

Sometimes I, it's funny because this summer we went to Have you been to Hiawatha Trail in Idaho near Coeur d'Alene? No. Anyway, it's a bike, it's like a 15 mile bike trail and you go through these train bridges and it's, or tunnels and it's really cool, but anyway, we had this really Difficult experience but those are the ones you look back and then you just smile and laugh and enjoy. And

Rebecca Zipp:

that's what people tell me. Yeah. Yeah. You need a little time. Yeah.

Timmy Eaton:

Okay. The last one on the rapid fire is how do you replenish and fill your own bucket? It's a busy, it's a busy thing to be homeschooling your kids. So how do you replenish yourself and fill your bucket?

Rebecca Zipp:

Good conversations with friends. Hiking really does help me a lot in reading. I just really, I recharge from reading.

Timmy Eaton:

Awesome. Excellent. And what's your husband's role in your replenishing?

Rebecca Zipp:

He's one of my friends that I have good conversations with. So after the kids are in bed at night, we can, we have that time to talk and, just be together. Yeah.

Timmy Eaton:

Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. That will, that was my rapid fire a little experience. I wanted to ask you. Yeah, no, you did. Awesome. Thank you for being one of the first to do that. I just wanted to talk to you some about a humble place. Can you tell us like when you started that and how, what was the impetus for that? And, tell us, give us some background on a humble place. And I just, while you're saying that I encourage people or while you're thinking of that, I encourage people to check it out. It's such a, I really like your website by the way. It's so clean. And easy to follow. I really appreciate when it's a like aesthetically pleasing website. So it's good

Rebecca Zipp:

to me too. I've had websites since about 1996. But this particular one, A Humble Place, I started in 2012, and I've written on blogs and stuff since the late 90s but when my kids were younger and I first started exploring Charlotte Mason, I started writing about it. homeschooling more. And our little journey and just sharing what we were doing. I wasn't planning to offer advice or anything like that. I was just talking about what we were doing. Just keeping a record. And I shared the kindergarten plans that I had in 2016. And it became more like helpful to people and, People found that interesting and used it parts of it in their own kindergarten. And then I was looking more into the picture study aspect of Charlotte Mason. And when I started doing picture study with my son, he started asking me questions about the paintings and some of the questions I could answer just because of my education. Some of the questions I was like, I don't know. I don't know what that is. So I had to look it up and I thought I can't be the only one running into this problem. And so I thought what if I put together, a little guide or something to help people or started talking about art more. And so then I started offering the picture study aids and it just morphed into this thing where I was talking mainly about homeschool and sharing that since it's such a huge part of my life. And because I know that when people are first starting, they have a lot of questions. So I wanted to offer it this is how we did it. And take it or leave it, if it's helpful, I hope so, if it's not, that's okay, you don't have to do it that way. So that's just how it's been since the

Timmy Eaton:

beginning. Wow, that's really cool. And you, since 2012?

Rebecca Zipp:

For this particular, yeah, iteration of blogging

Timmy Eaton:

for me, yeah. And then can you describe to people I know how my wife does picture study with our children, but like how, describe to people what that looks like and what that is.

Rebecca Zipp:

Picture study. So Charlotte Mason has this idea that education is a science of relations, and that's where your child or you develop relationships with ideas or with, historical time periods or science things or music or whatever picture study is where they develop relationships with art. Specifically, individual pieces of art and picture study allows for that relationship to be made. It's just a time where you intentionally set aside for your student to quietly look at a piece of art for three to five minutes on their own with no talking. They just look at it and notice the details and really study it until they can see it clearly in their mind's eye. And then you flip it over, take it away, and have them narrate that and tell you what they saw, and that's it. It doesn't, I mean, you can add more to it. I add more because that's, what I do. Yeah. It's a passion of mine. But in its purest, simplest form, that's all picture study is. It's just allowing them to get to know a piece of art. Yeah.

Timmy Eaton:

Yeah. And I liked it. It really is that open as far as like you basically, I love the idea of this. They behold it, they experience it, and then they just express whatever it is that they, see or feel or whatever. And in a lot of times people don't even necessarily go, Oh, that here's who that was, here's the artist. And, but we've liked to do that though. We've liked to say, here's the artist and even a little details because that makes it a little bit memorable. And we go through a picture study pretty. Pretty frequently with the kids. And I think I was telling you before we string them along a little string and hang it on the wall and love that. And it's actually beautiful art just to have in your home.

Rebecca Zipp:

Yeah that's a benefit to it. I think it makes our homeschool area really appealing to have fine art hanging up there. Yeah. Like I said, I'm biased

Timmy Eaton:

though. And how have you been able to navigate the homeschooling with the business? And how do you attend to all of that?

Rebecca Zipp:

It helps that my business is related to homeschool. I can, I homeschool in the morning and then I work in the afternoon and it all blends together. Being able to work from home has been such a benefit because I don't have to leave the house. And so I can homeschool in the mornings. And I've been very thankful for that. My kids have started helping in some ways with the business, which has been kind of helped me with both my business and my husband's business. So it's challenging at times, but my husband and I have also been able to help each other in ways like, if he needs time, I can give him time. If I need time, he packs up all of my orders for me for my business. Anytime anybody's got a package from us, it probably came from him. Oh, no way. Yeah it's become a family endeavor.

Timmy Eaton:

Yeah, that's good to employ them that way. I was telling you about my son edits these podcasts. And so it is, it's good to employ them in that way. Can you describe a typical day you said in the morning you do the homeschool and then you work, but I'm saying. What's a typical day for your guys family as far as the, cause they'll be doing stuff while you're working and stuff like that. So what, typical day from what they do in their morning routine and then through the day.

Rebecca Zipp:

We get up and they have chores that they need to do first thing in the morning. I'll have a quiet time and. Then I'll get breakfast ready and we'll all eat together, which is another nice thing. So that's something that I didn't experience growing up. I

Timmy Eaton:

always call it unrushed mornings and I love,

Rebecca Zipp:

yeah, exactly. Yeah. So we have that time together. We clean up from breakfast, brush teeth, wash faces and all those. Hygiene chores. And then we head into our family room, which is where we do our homeschool. And from that time until about usually about 1230 or one o'clock we're doing school and alternate with them and, go through all of our routine and then we'll eat lunch. And then sometimes we'll go for a walk right after lunch, or if we have something planned out of the house, that's when we leave, like we go on a hike, or we meet our nature group, or whatever. In the afternoons that we stay home, that's when I start to work. And so they they're 13 and 9, so they don't need me to entertain them or anything. They'll go in the backyard, or they'll read, or they'll work on Lego projects. Sometimes my son works on his schoolwork. My daughter has Some readings that she does on her own, but not many. So she usually just does them during her school time. And yeah, it's basically, they just have the afternoons to pursue their own interests and we don't do screens. They get some computer time. We don't, we have a television, but we use it for movies and things like that, we don't watch TV or anything, so they're not on screens in the afternoon. I take that back. My son likes to program. He has a Lego Mindstorms set. So he programs that he gets a half hour to do that in the afternoons, but otherwise they're doing, like reading books or whatever they're interested in at that time.

Timmy Eaton:

So would you consider your guys, would you consider it like a structured homeschooling or do you feel more unschooling or what's. How would I, and I hate to categorize because it's impossible, I think, but what would you describe yourself

Rebecca Zipp:

as? I would say it's more structured because we have a rhythm too. So we have a morning time where we do certain things and I have certain things that we do on certain days. So yeah, it's definitely structured.

Timmy Eaton:

Yeah. I would have guessed that and that, and it sounds very similar to the way that my, my wife goes about it too. And then, but I do like the variety. Like some people really do have a different way of doing it and it's still like the principles are still there. But I, yeah. Our personalities definitely prefer a more structured kind of way to do it. And then, and I like, and I love the free, the open time, the free time that your kids have in the afternoon and to be able to explore what are their main interests? What are they into? You said programming for your son.

Rebecca Zipp:

Yeah, he's really into electronics and my daughter it varies. She was really into falconry for a while and she made little dresses and hoods for all of her stuffed animal birds of prey. She made little cages for them. She wanted to, she was starting to sew things like clothes for her dolls. Like I said, reading. Sometimes they just go in the backyard and play, like pretend different things. We had gardens in the summertime, so they were busy doing stuff with their gardens. And sometimes she comes downstairs and says she's bored it just varies.

Timmy Eaton:

Yes. Yeah. And I've had so many guests say, don't be afraid of the boredom because that's where all the innovation and the creativity is. Is born. So thank you very much. I really appreciate you taking time. I wanted to just ask a final question if I could, and then give you a final word. But what kind of information or what kind of things would you look forward to listening to on a podcast like this about homeschooling? What would you tune in for?

Rebecca Zipp:

I think where I am right now, my oldest is in seventh grade, so we haven't gotten to the high school years yet. So just hearing more about how it goes in the high school and, I guess tips, I don't want to use the word tips, but strategies, maybe, I don't know, approaches or right principles. Yeah, for the high school years. And again, like I said, I think for me and for people who have kids who are younger than me, it's really encouraging to hear. Like your story with your son where he's helping you edit your podcast. That's really neat to me just that you have that time together. He's doing that with you and he's also learning a skill. So that sort of stuff I guess the overall idea of just encouraging people that yes, you can do this. That homeschooling is possible. It is a really great path and you should really consider it. Those are, I think those are, that's a message that needs to be repeated no matter where you are in your

Timmy Eaton:

journey. Yeah, because it is, it's hard and it's it can be scary, but I like what you said early in this episode about like you, you only have them for a few years and that is what's behind the title of this podcast. This it's this golden hour. And I actually have a little, very short episode coming out of just me saying here's why I named it this golden hour. And my wife was really integral in that and choosing that name. But but there was an experience that I had playing catch with my son when he was about six or seven with a baseball and just going, man, he's going to be 18 soon enough and he is he's 18 right now and he's off. He's in San Diego doing. Submission service, but it fulfilled itself. It went so quickly and I am so grateful that no regrets in that decision, and it wasn't I say in that podcast, it wasn't like rainbows and butterflies the whole time. But it was so worth it. And it really comes down to the issue of time. You just don't have the same time if you choose another route, whether that be public school, charter, private, whatever it is, right. And you get to behold all those things as the parent. And that's the beautiful thing that

Rebecca Zipp:

you get to know about your kids that you otherwise wouldn't know.

Timmy Eaton:

Yes, exactly. I'll give you the final word and please let us know where people can connect with you and where they can find your work.

Rebecca Zipp:

My main source of where I am is a humbleplace. com and I try to post once a week there. Sometimes I, I don't, and I have a newsletter that goes about once a week I'm on Instagram, but again, social media. I'm not on it a lot, so I'm there, but I'm just putting that out there, but mainly the blog, a humbleplace.

Timmy Eaton:

com. And maybe give us a little bit of background on the humble place as far as the name. It's

Rebecca Zipp:

based on a quote from Camille Pizarro who was an impressionist and post impressionist painter. And I saw it on the side of a building on my 31st birthday. And I thought, Oh, I love that. It's comes from the quote is blessed are they who see beauty and humble places where other people see nothing. And I feel like that's just a goal in my life and hopefully an idea that I can express through what I

Timmy Eaton:

share. Yes, indeed. And I see that on the bottom, that quote on the bottom of your different pages. Thank you so much. I really appreciate you taking time. Thank you to your family for Letting us have you for an hour. And so grateful for your time and for being with us.

Rebecca Zipp:

Yeah. Thank you so much for inviting me to be here.

Timmy Eaton:

It's been fun to have this discussion with Rebecca zip and we'll see everybody the next time. Thank you. 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.