Shattering Homeschooling Myths: The Truth About Opting Out of the School System with guest Christy Faith

About this Episode

On this episode of the Brainy Moms podcast, Dr. Amy is joined by Sandy and Teri—who have both been homeschool moms—to talk with Christy Faith about homeschooling. Christy shares topics from her new book, “Homeschool Rising: Shattering Myths, Finding Courage, and Opting Out of the School System,” and her flourishing online community of homeschooling families. You’ll hear how homeschooling has changed significantly over the years to evolve into a truly diverse and sustainable undertaking for all types of students, regardless of income, religion, setting, and individual needs. Learn how and why the American school system was launched and why so many families are now turning to this growing movement to educate their kids. Christy shares statistics from her research to dispel the myths many of us have heard about homeschooling, from socialization and sports to getting into college and going to prom. If you’ve ever considered homeschooling but thought it would be too hard or that your student would miss out on too much of the traditional schooling experience, tune in for this truly eye-opening conversation from someone on the front lines. 

About Christy Faith

With over 20 years of extensive experience in K-college academics and administration, Christy-Faith has worked in and instructed every level of education in a professional capacity. She achieved remarkable success by establishing and managing a private educational center and consulting firm, alongside her husband Scott. As their family expanded along with their center, Christy-Faith embarked on a personal exploration of homeschooling, an experience that profoundly transformed her perspective on educating children. Today, Christy-Faith spends her days advocating for homeschool on social media, advising moms within her flourishing membership community, Thrive Homeschool Community, hosting her podcast The Christy Faith Show, and writing. She’s the author of the book, “Homeschool Rising: Shattering Myths, Finding Courage, and Opting Out of the School System.”

Connect with Christy Faith


Instagram: @Christy_Faith_Homeschool

TikTok: @Christy_Faith

YouTube: @Christy-Faith

Twitter/X: @Christy_Faith_1

Facebook: @ChristyFaithHomeschool

Podcast: The Christy Faith Show –

Book: “Homeschool Rising: Shattering Myths, Finding Courage, and Opting Out of the School System” (on Amazon)

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Read the transcript for this episode:

DR. AMY: Hi, smart moms and dads. Welcome to another episode of the Brainy Moms Podcast brought to you today by LearningRx Brain Training Centers. I am your host, Dr. Moore, and I am joined by two of my co-hosts today. Today, Sandy Zamalis and Teri Miller. And the reason why I have two co-hosts is because our topic is so relevant to both of them that they both felt really strongly about being here to welcome and talk to our guest, Christy-Faith.  With over 20 years of extensive experience in K through college academics and administration, Christy-Faith has worked in and instructed every level of education in a professional capacity. She achieved remarkable success by establishing and managing a private educational center and consulting firm along with her husband Scott. As their family expanded along with their center, Christy embarked on a personal exploration of homeschooling, an experience that profoundly transformed her perspective on educating children. Today, Christy spends  her days advocating for homeschool on social media, advising moms within her flourishing membership community, Thrive Homeschool Community, hosting her podcast, the Christy-Faith Show and writing. Christy is here today to talk about her new book, “Homeschool Rising; Shattering Myths, Finding Courage, and Opting Out of the School System.” Welcome Christy.

CHRISTY: Thanks for having me.

SANDY: Oh, we’re so glad you’re here. So, listeners, for those of you who have been listening for a while, you know, I’m on TikTok and Christy-Faith and I have been mutuals on TikTok probably since before COVID. So quite a few years. I fell in love with her content and I knew we had to get her on the show so that we could talk about homeschooling as a topic for you guys. So, let’s start off, we love it when our guests talk about how they got interested in their specific area of expertise, yours is homeschooling. Can you share a little bit about how and why you got interested in homeschooling and how you develop the thrive homeschool community? 

CHRISTY: Sure. Well, many, many years ago when we were running our center in Los Angeles, our center was empty for the majority of the day. And then kids started funneling in and all our staff was funneling in around 3:30 and we were going and we were going strong till midnight and we were paying rent on a very large space that was empty largely throughout the day. Well, we just didn’t know what to do. We’re like, “ah,” and then people started to ask us, “Hey, actually the first child we ever had was expelled from his private school.” A wonderful family. The kid had some struggles in school and was expelled. And the mom called us up one day and said, “Can you homeschool him until we can find placement?” To which we said, “Absolutely.” We hired a credentialed teacher just for him, and that really started our homeschool within our center. But I will say that the homeschool that we did back in the day, and it ended up flourishing and thriving, the homeschool that we did was more utilitarian so it expanded beyond temporary placements into, we were in Los Angeles so we had a lot of kids who were pre- pro athletes and child actors. So it wasn’t a philosophical reason why parents were choosing to homeschool their kids at that time. It was utilitarian. We had, for example, our surfer, she had to go to Australia one time and had to be gone two full months for competitions during season there. She needed to have a break. Where anywhere else she would go, she would be getting truancy. But we were able to educate her very well based around her scheduling with that flexibility. So, as our homeschool started to grow at our center, I started to investigate, well, this is kind of cool. I know there’s a whole world out there about homeschooling that I don’t really know about. Again, this is before. I was not pro homeschooling. At this time, I was more about temporary placements, or this child has a career already, we need to take care of this child. It wasn’t about, “Is this the best thing for a child?” I just assumed that traditional schooling was the right thing for every child, whether it be public or private school. I was planning to put my own children through private schools in the area at that time.

Well, I got my hands on some of the homeschool intellectuals in our space, and I started going to some homeschooling conferences. The reason was I wanted to grow that aspect of our own business and see if there was a new market that we could tap into or anything like that. Or also I would I am always interested in making my own endeavors better and growing. I am a growth-minded … I’m obsessed with a growth mindset. It’s probably something wrong with me actually maybe. But yeah, so I just love if I’m not getting better, I’m not happy. So it’s something that I will always pursue. I still always pursue. Well the problem is, I went to a homeschool conference in Texas. I flew to Texas, went to a homeschool conference, sat in one particular seminar, and there was a woman there who’s, and by the way, I have a master’s degree in history. So she was one of the first workshops I went to because it was all about history.  So I plopped down, I sit there, I have my notes ready, and she opens her mouth and starts talking about living books. And I’m thinking, What? What is a living book? What does this have to do with history? From that moment on, my jaw was dropped. I could not believe, could not believe that there was another way more compelling way, more living way, more exciting way, to hit our kids’ hearts regarding history. And what I mean by heart is I mean less about memorizing the facts to do well on a test, but more about the true purpose of learning history, and that is to change us for us to learn. That is why we learn history in the first place. And I knew that and I felt it and I have that experience with myself, but ultimately through graduate school, I was taught how to make history boring for kids in my classroom. So, I was blown away. That was the first time, now that my entire career was in education, that was the first time I had ever heard of different pedagogies here. I am hearing Charlotte Mason classical unschooling eclectic, which is the combo of all of them. You know, there’s nine different styles. I didn’t know that back then. I was completely blown away. I soaked everything up for those three days. I came home and I said, “Scott, whatever we do, we are going to homeschool our kids. I don’t know if we’re going to do it here at our own center or if I’m going to do it by myself at home, but we are going to do it.” Well, that was kind of the big epiphany moment that started to shift everything. Keep in mind, we are running a center that is supporting … we were making our living off of the school system essentially, actually the failures of the school system because we were doing interventions reading remediation tutoring test prep, all of those things, helping kids who struggle. I was reading IEPs every single day. We were making our own for like we call them something different, but we were making our own IEPs. We had hired specialists that were implementing them. We were the ones communicating with teachers, principals, all psychologists, all of that, putting together plans. So, deep breath. We started after that moment, when I went to that conference, I started to ask myself bigger questions. I started to ask myself, “What is an education? Is this what we want for our kids?” I started to ask myself, “What should a childhood be? What should a childhood look like? What do we want?” And that also, I will say, and I’ll conclude the answer with this one. I’ll also say that that was combined with kids at our center who were really struggling. So we were, we were helping kids of the extremely wealthy. There was not anything they couldn’t pay for. Their kid needed reading intervention, they did it. Their kid needed a private football coach, they did it. So wouldn’t you think that outcomes would be better? I often relate it to dieting, right? We often say, “Well, if I could afford a private chef, I’d be skinny too.” Right. When we look at someone else and say who’s wealthy and maybe can afford the private chef. I think sometimes analogies outside of our space, help us understand our space. And so this would be an example of people who could afford everything. Wouldn’t you think the kids would be happier? Wouldn’t you think the outcomes would be better? And the reality is, they were not. We saw kids riddled with mental health struggles. It is a pandemic right now in our society. Teenagers with mental health. Dangerous self-destructive behaviors. Kids struggling with learning disabilities and not getting the help they need through accommodations. Those poor kids having to come to us just to spend more hours on end, working on stuff when all you want this kid to do is to go out and play and to work in their giftings and find out what is in their toolbox. So we just started to deconstruct. We really did. And when we asked ourselves those bigger questions, it led us to feeling like we loved our center, we loved what we were doing, and we knew we were helping families, but we also started to feel like we were enabling a system that we no longer believed in. And that eventually led us to sell the company. So that was in Los Angeles. We are now in Colorado. We have been here for six years. And we moved to Colorado, we sold our company and I was a homeschool mom and loving my life. And one day I went on TikTok to see who else was on TikTok doing the homeschool thing and I was extremely disappointed because it was a lot of moms complaining about homeschooling. And the other piece is it was a lot of moms playing defense. “My kid is socialized” or “No, we do get into college too.” And I was thinking, Wait a minute. Our decision to homeschool was based on a lot of data, a lot of data, which you will find that data in my book.  We don’t need to be defensive. And so I thought, well, TikTok is kind of a place where you can say whatever you want. So I went on there and I said, told Scott, I said, “I think I’m going to make a TikTok. Someone needs to play offense here. Homeschooling is great. We need people saying how, what an amazing opportunity it is.” And that’s what I did. And I think it landed really well with that particular audience. And the side note is I was not on any social media before, not even on Instagram. So I went from zero social media to all of a sudden I have a team putting me everywhere. So it was kind of a funny story, but that’s the, that’s the history of how it all started and I’m thankful. Because I think it’s an important message to share with America. 

TERI: Absolutely.  Well, hey, I would love to hear a little bit from your book. You open your book with a story about your own childhood, about being motivated to get straight A’s and how the current school system made you question what makes great education. And it’s kind of what you’re getting at, which you were talking about. But so talk a little bit more about why mass education is failing our kids and that story from your childhood.

CHRISTY: Sure. Yeah. Well, mass education is failing our kids because it never was intended for their best interest in the first place. That is the answer. So I go over the history, I debated whether or not to put the history of compulsory schooling in my book, because it’s like snooze fest, you know, and I am a historian and I didn’t want to bore people. But I actually do think I tried to tell it in a more compelling living way through story. I tried my best. But the reality is, is that the massive compulsory schooling experiment that we are currently in, in our country is new. It’s about 150 years old. It was not created. Someone didn’t say, sit in a room and say, “You know what, how things, it’s not really working right now. We need to come up with something better. Let’s do mass schooling, government sponsored.” That’s not how it happened. It happened because governments needed more compliant citizens. And I know that might come off as a little abrasive to the audience, but it is actually the fact. It was in Prussia, they had lost the war, they were trying to figure out why they had lost the war. And the reason when they looked into it that they lost the war was because all of the soldiers were acting as individuals and they did not know how to obey commands and they did not obey commands well and they had a lot of self-governance. The government freaked out. We can’t have this. So they devised a compulsory schooling education. Now it was not for the elites. Keep in mind the elites have always been privately educated. This was for middle class and lower and that and the government decided that all of the children in their country would go through this system to be, for lack of a better word, indoctrinated. And it worked. It worked so well that Nazi Germany took notice. Later on, adopted by them. Our intellectuals, educational intellectuals in the States, were, they were visiting Europe, examining the success, and I’m going to use success in air quotes for those of you listening, the “success” of the system. And they thought, Wow, we need this here. We need this here. And that is how it was a couple of progressives who pushed through compulsory education in America. And that’s how it started in Massachusetts. And then it kind of spread like wildfire from there. But the message behind that, no matter where you stand politically or not, it really doesn’t matter. The reality is, and this is what I try to point out in my book, is that what you need to know is that compulsory state-sponsored education was never created for the best interest of a child. It was never created to better fit how their brain works, how boys and girls learn, none of that was taken into consideration. The research wasn’t even done on that. We know a lot more now and that’s why it exists.

DR. AMY: Okay. So what I’m hearing you say, and that’s fascinating history. Actually, I didn’t even know that. But what I’m hearing you say is, as we’ve learned more about the brain, as we’ve learned more about how children learn and the ways to kind of diversify our instructional methods and diversify the ways that we allow kids to show what they know and what they’ve learned, we’re still doing that within confines of this archaic system. So no one is actually pushing the boundaries in mass education on that system. They’re just trying to work within something that has been in existence. 

CHRISTY: Correct. 

DR. AMY: Since the beginning of time. That’s almost unbelievable.

CHRISTY: It’s, and I will add, it has not changed. We are living in an archaic system that we think is preparing our kids. For the real world, but the world that this system is preparing our kids for does not even exist. Think about it for a second.  Think about what jobs our kids will have in 10 years. We can’t even fathom, based on what’s happening with AI and all of that,  we, how could we possibly imagine what we would, will need to prepare our kids for in their future? So, when we shift our mindset to, “Okay, what is an education? What actually will prepare our kids for this fast, demanding, changing world?” It is not rote memorization of the water cycle and the periodic table. Do those things have their place? Yes, they do. But we already know from research that it is other skills, a lot of soft skills, that better prepare our kids for real life. And I think that’s why we’re seeing the statistics roll in on how well homeschoolers are doing in their adult lives. If you’re curious about any statistics, you can, of course, check out my book, but also NIRI is a great website to go to because they are our major think tank right now that does a lot of the research on how homeschoolers are doing. And we need kids who adapt really well who are self-starters. It’s more important to know, and I know you guys have probably said this on your podcast a million times, it’s more important to know how to learn something new, rather than a static piece of facts that you then regurgitate and get an A on a test. So what our schools are doing is so outdated and archaic. It’s kind of unfathomable that American families are duped into thinking that this is preparing our kids for their futures. It’s mind boggling to me. 

SANDY: Yeah. So we’ve, we’ve all homeschooled, here on the podcast today, at some point, and I think everybody enters it differently. You know, I started from the get go. So my kids were in preschool. I could see my son was ready to read and they were just learning colors in preschool. And I was like, “Well, that’s lame. We’ll learn to read.” And it just kind of went from there. And I know my driving desire was always, I wanted my kids to love learning. That’s what I wanted. And I would say from personal experience that school took that away from me. I kind of regained my love of learning in homeschooling my kids. And Christy, would you probably agree? I feel like the pandemic really amplified homeschooling. I know in Virginia where I am, we work really closely with our, statewide homeschool association and their numbers just tripled during the pandemic, not because, you know, kids had to stay home, but people who came home and then stayed home. And so, resources and demand really increased. What are some different things that you work with parents, for lots of different reasons who are entering this homeschool journey, what are some different things that parents are looking at when they’re bringing their kids home? Is it things like yours of, you know, I want, you know, I want to re-engage learning. Is it, you know, special-needs issues? Is it, you know, bullying? What kinds of things are you hearing about why people are bringing their kids home?

DR. AMY: Safety. 

CHRISTY: The data is showing us that the number one reason why parents are choosing to homeschool in America right now is school environment. And so that does encompass safety. It encompasses bullying. What’s funny is I think that we have a stereotype that it’s religious.  And those are vestiges that we need to own from the 1990s. You know, homeschooling actually started by hippies like Peter Gray in the 1960s. It did not start as a massively Christian fundamentalist-ish movement. But I will say that in the 80s and 90s, as homeschooling was becoming legal in all 50 states,  that’s when Christian conservative families were starting to be very dissatisfied with what their kids were learning in the schools and pulling their kids out. So we have that stereotype for a reason, but one thing we need to acknowledge is that is not the case anymore. The statistics regarding the amount of secular families who are now homeschooling is astronomical. Black families are increasing tremendously, Spanish speaking families.  So many women in my Thrive Homeschool community have found a safe haven because we are non-sectarian. We have Muslims. We have people of the Jewish faith. And yes, of course, we have Christians too. And we have people that are agnostic and atheist. But we are a place where they can find a haven because there is so much we do have in common because we all want the best for our children. And to answer your question, what are mamas looking at and what are they needing? Well, here’s the thing. And I’m sure you guys have realized this along the way, especially with the brain training. What people think they want right off the bat often isn’t actually what they need. Have you guys discovered? Yeah, I’m sure you have, especially when it comes to brain training stuff. I just want my kid to memorize their math facts. And then you say, “Well, this is how we can help a lot more than that. And the math facts.” And then it’s like, “Wait a minute. I just want them to know their math facts.” Homeschooling is a lot like that, too. “Christy, just tell me what curriculum to buy.” To which I often answer, “Well, let’s take my five-minute homeschool style finder.” Which is free, by the way. You can just go to my website and take it. Let’s find out what you want for your kids. What are your dreams? And yes, I can help you with curriculum choices, but there are so many out there, so many curriculum choices. How do you narrow it down?  So, that’s something that we do in my community is I have a process for curriculum selection on how to narrow stuff down to dream for your kids what you want. We also have a lot of, I have a lot, I’m passionate about helping kids to have special needs. So it’s very important to me that we catch things early. So I have through my processes and I have an eight-step home school success framework in there. We are constantly assessing … Here’s the thing. I’m going to be a little bit controversial here in the home. It’s a thing in the homeschool space I disagree with.

DR. AMY: We love controversy!

CHRISTY: Well, then good. So something I disagree with is, “Don’t worry. Your kid will read when he’s ready or she’s ready.” And the other thing that I disagree with is that there is no behind. I actually do think there is a behind. I think that there is a, there is a certain age and developmental level where if your child is not reading, it’s an emergency. And so I think there is damaging, not only damaging advice in the homeschool space, but I also think there is some damaging curriculum that I have looked at. So I think that it’s important that we have educated people in the space who have voices who can help women catch what they need to catch. Now I’m not saying this stuff would be catching the system. Half the time it’s not catched there either. So, but I am passionate about making sure that we are setting our kids up for a successful life. And I think there are, there are some things I don’t care so much about. When it comes to math skills, literacy skills, comprehension skills, it is a hill I will die on till the day I die.

TERI: So yeah. You gotta get those basics.

CHRISTY: Yeah, you have to. 

TERI: I just, yeah, I think it’s, it’s interesting. We’re just talking about, Sandy, you were kind of talking about the reasons why you get into homeschooling and I’m just thinking about our listeners. A lot of times there’s, there are just many, many different reasons why you would step into that. And when I stepped into homeschooling, I actually had a little blog back at, this was like 15, 16 years ago, had a little blog called The Reluctant Homeschooler.

CHRISTY: Oh, how fun.

TERI: Because when I stepped into the homeschooling circles, um, yeah, it was all these, uh, you know, hippie, dippy women, you know, granola, long skirts, Christian or not, whatever. And I did not fit. They were all like, “I love this. It’s so great.” And I was like, “This is so hard and I want to get out in the world and I’m stuck on with my kids all day.” And it was really challenging. And I homeschooled because my son had a medical condition. And so I homeschooled him all the way through till he graduated high school, because that is what was required. And so that brought my other kids into that homeschooling scenario, umbrella, because for me, it was difficult to protect his health while then having to take my kids back and forth to public school. You know, just different schools, brick and mortar schools. But so I think there’s many, many different reasons why we step into it. And then fast forward. I have nine kids. And so I have kids that have learned in many different ways. They have different levels of needs to be with other people. It’s just vastly different for each child. And I think one thing I regret, that I think our listeners could hear, is that it’s okay to homeschool one kid and have one kid in a private school or one kid in a public school. You can do what your kid needs and it may look different. You may homeschool one kid with a more structured curriculum and homeschool another kiddo with a more unschooling perspective. So I think we don’t need to keep our focus really narrow. Let’s open our minds and think about lots of different perspectives.

DR. AMY: Yeah.

CHRISTY: Because every kid learns differently. And one thing I made sure to say in the very first chapter of my book is that not everyone can homeschool, not everyone should homeschool. And I think that’s important to say because there are children in our country where the safest place they could be is in the public schools because of their home environment at the same time. I also believe that there is no better place to educate a child than in a loving home with a motivated parent. I have so many mamas in my Thrive Homeschool community that are not homeschooling every single one of their kids. Some are placed in different places and they’re homeschooling one because that child just doesn’t fit in the box and they can’t find a place where he or she can fit. So homeschooling it is. And I think that’s fabulous. Absolutely fabulous.

TERI: And for the record, that reluctant homeschooling perspective, that kind of shifted.

DR. AMY: So yes, I talk about behavioral activation all the time, Teri, right? Like once you start doing it, it creates a positive mindset and then you want to keep doing it, right? So I have three kids. My middle child never was never homeschooled. He went to public school the whole way through and thrived. And my first child, I, we homeschooled him for a year and that was out of anger. And so, you know, at the end of sixth grade, the final day of the year, the night before I got an email from the school saying he had so many missing assignments that he was going to fail a class. Well, he was on an IEP and a 504 plan and part of that 504 plan was that the teacher communicated missing assignments to us. The night before the last day of school? And so I was there when the doors opened that day, demanding to see the principal. And in that hour ended up pulling my kid, disenrolling my kid from middle school and saying, “You can’t do this. You can’t do this.” And they looked at me and said, “Yeah, I think he fell through the cracks.” You think?! You think?! And so I ended up pulling him and my husband and I have always worked full time. And so I said, “I don’t know how we’re going to do this, but we’re going to do this because the school can’t do this for this kid right now.” And we ended up doing an online curriculum and so it was able to work out for him and he ended up going back to school and thriving. And then you know my youngest kind of fell apart during COVID.  Like a lot of kids did. And so we ended up unschooling him. He was, he was involved in so much that we were able, here in Colorado, to say, yeah, you get credit for that internship. You get credit for it, you know, that sport and that music participation. And so it was actually a very beautiful experience to have that freedom. And I guess what I want to share or ask, not every state has an unschooling option, right? 

CHRISTY: So homeschooling is legal in all 50 states, and then we have low, medium, and high regulation states. There are unschoolers in every state because even when you unschool, there are ways you can prove to the state what your child has learned. So, and there are Facebook groups and things like that, that help you figure all of that out. I do know families that have moved states to have a little bit more freedom to homeschool in the way that they want. But one question I get all the time, all the time. It’s such a huge misconception is, but you need an accredited transcript. How on earth are you going to get into college? And the truth is, is that it’s actually discrimination to discriminate against homeschools in our country. And I want the mamas to hear that here because they cannot invalidate our private schools in our home simply because we did not file to become some institutionalized school. And that is something that HSLDA has fought for. And I think it’s valid. But what I love about that particular piece is that homeschoolers actually perform better in college. Homeschoolers finish college at a higher rate, meaning they don’t drop out. They drop out at lower rates. I have a cousin who is a college professor and every time I see him, I think he, I hope he’s not listening because he forgets, he shares this story every time I see him, but I let him tell the story every time because I love hearing it and this is the story. He says on the first day of class, he can spot every single homeschooler in his class. He’s a college professor and he shares it’s because they are engaged. They are sitting in the front. They are raising their hands. They are engaged learners. And so it’s so funny because people say, and I do want to get into socialization, but your kid won’t fit in your kids, the weirdo to which I say, “Yeah, probably.” Because we want, if we’re going to homeschool and we want our kids to love learning and to value that type of intellectual life and that growth mindset, they are going to look and present a lot differently than the average public school kid in America. Because what school does to the average public and private school kid in America is disengages their learning, demotivates them. I remember, I love reading now, but when reading was assigned to me in school, it was just a job. It was a tick. I had to just tick it off the box. I wasn’t engaging, flourishing, discussing with my family and my friends what I was reading. It was a job. Where we have an opportunity to reclaim that. So does that mean our kids might present differently in the neighborhood? Yeah, it absolutely does. And it’s a difference that I gladly embrace. And going back to the high school piece, it’s so fun to coach mamas through doing the high school transcripts. There are so many resources now, even free. If you go to, there’s templates to build your high school transcript. And you can flourish your child, your teen can pursue what he or she wants, and you can turn it into credits and classes that actually make them stand out on a transcript. And yes, do you still have to fulfill all the requirements for the schools that you want to go to for college? Of course you do. We have to take the SAT and ACT if it’s required as well. We are still meeting all of those benchmarks. But what I love is how different homeschool transcripts look because our kids look really unique because their learning experience is extremely unique. And I think that’s great. 

TERI: So I’m going to, I’m going to jump in and just real quick, Sandy, cause I know you want to say something, but just to say, yes, I did that. So listeners, I did that. I homeschooled my son all the way through. Lots of medical problems. He worked hard what he was able to do. He worked very hard. He was very dedicated. He would have been that front row paying attention kid. Right? But so I created when he was like in middle school, went online, found that, that, uh, template. And so I called, we live in the mountains in Colorado and an Aspen stand. And so I called our school AVA, Aspen View Academy. So Aspen View Academy was his school. I had a transcript all the way through. I kept, you know, records of his grades and, you know, had some paper trail of the things he had done. He applied and he had pretty good, okay, ACT score, lousy SAT, but that didn’t matter because he had a good GPA. Applied for UCCS, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, which isn’t a lousy school. And he got in and he thrived his first semester. It was an incredible experience. Now he wasn’t able to continue with it because second semester he ended up with a huge surgery and we lived in the hospital for a month, but that’s beside the point. 

SANDY: Well, I’m glad we’re talking about teenagers. You know, I know when I start, when we were thinking about homeschooling our kids, my husband’s like first concern was, you know, my son was four, mind you. “What are we going to do about calculus?” was his question. That is so far from today. But that is the biggest concern people have because it’s overwhelming, right? But I do want to talk about how homeschooling can affect teenagers. One of the statistics that you share in your book is that teenagers are the most stressed, anxious people in America with 83 percent citing school as a cause. What specific things are causing this anxiety that you’re hearing from parents?

CHRISTY: Well, there’s a lot. The fact that they were citing school was fascinating to me because I would have automatically think social media it’s because they’re on social media. But I think that school, what we have done in our country with specifically, I can give a lot of examples, but I’m going to give one, with the giving of letter grades is we have taken away the love of learning and replaced it with achievement and defining success by a letter grade. And at least if, I know a lot of people, kids, were like I was where I thought if I got a B, my entire life was over. Because I didn’t have the emotional maturity or the cognitive development to be able, and I kept a lot of that private from my parents as well. So I dealt with a lot of those pressures completely alone. And I think that when we can  reclaim and redefine what an education is, that’s the first piece. But the second piece is more of the nut and that is to be confident in it. Because a lot of moms, they know that the school is not working, they know their kid is not thriving. They’re seeing their light grow dim. But they have no idea if they were to homeschool, what it would look like. Am I equipped? I’d probably mess this up anyway.

They don’t see a vision for what it could be and what it could provide their child. So they keep their kid in the system, knowing that it’s really not the best place for them and that they are drowning. So I think that it’s a major problem. Just the grades alone comparison with others is just terrible. Bullying is, quite frankly, I believe that we have normalized childhood trauma with what is allowed in our schools with bullying. If you read a really great book, one of my favorite books I’ve read, there’s a couple in the last 10 years, I love Kim John Payne’s “Simplicity Parenting.” And in that book, he talks about how he did research overseas in war-torn countries and was studying children with PTSD. He came back to the States and was seeing the same things in children in America. He was seeing PTSD symptoms. And wondering, why is this? These are middle class kids. They are not wondering if they’re going to get a meal. They’re not wondering if their dad walked off today and will be killed in a skirmish. This is what he was studying overseas. But these kids were displaying the same PTSD symptoms. And what he discovered in his research is it’s like the death by a thousand cuts. Where constant trauma  creates trauma and that our kids are growing up where they are traumatized. Not every kid, you guys. Not every kid. Some kids thrive in school . But a lot of kids grow up every day they spend their entire school day in fight or flight  That is trauma. That is not healthy. That is not how a child should be growing up and we, in culture, in our society today, we accept it as normal because, partially because there isn’t really anything we can do about it, and even administrators’ hands are tied. They don’t want it, and there’s all these initiatives against bullying, but the fact is they’re on the back of the bus, there’s one bus driver driving, who cannot monitor the kids, and the classrooms are just, the sizes are too big, and there’s a lot of reasons why bullying is rampant. Basically the argument that I make in my book is rethink socialization. Rethink what socialization is. I give 13 characteristics of a healthy, socialized child based on research in my book. And what I found fascinating about that is not a single one of those 13 items requires a school environment. Not a single one of them. And I think it’s time that parents stand up. Whether you stand up in your school if your kid is going to stay in school, that’s great. But it should not be tolerated. And unfortunately it is. Did I just go off on a major tangent?

DR. AMY: No, it’s actually a perfect segue for where we want to take this conversation. But first we need to take a break. Somebody needs to read a word from our sponsor. And when we come back, I want to talk about some of those pervasive myths and socialization is one of them. But I also want to talk about things like prom and sports participation, right? When we come back.

TERI: And if we have time, I would love to take a few minutes and talk about what about working parents? What about single moms? So when we get back, let’s talk about that.

CHRISTY: Let’s do it. 

SANDY: Austin was struggling so much in his junior year of high school that he worried he wouldn’t fulfill his dream of getting into the agricultural program at NC State. He would study for hours, only to get poor grades. His mother, who was a teacher at a school, tried everything she could to help, but nothing stuck. Then his family found LearningRx. The LearningRx team created a brain training program tailored to Austin’s unique needs and goals. The next year, Austin could focus more, keep up taking notes, and remember what he studied. But best of all, Austin was accepted into the agricultural program at NC State. While your child may or may not achieve these same results, LearningRx would be happy to work with you to get answers about your child’s struggles with learning. Get started at or head to our show notes for links to more helpful resources.

DR. AMY: And we are back talking with our guest, Christy-Faith, about homeschooling. And so, Christy, you spend some time in your book busting those myths, right, that we automatically associate words, right? And so when we hear the word homeschooling, a lot of people automatically think socialization, question mark. So talk a little bit about why we don’t need to be so worried.

CHRISTY:  Well, we don’t need to be so worried because homeschoolers are probably the most healthy, socialized of any population in our country. 87 percent of peer-reviewed studies show that homeschoolers are healthier, happier, both socially, emotionally, and psychologically. So the question really is, “Why do we have this?” I think there’s a lot of reasons. I think history. Back when homeschooling started, there were not nationwide co-ops and all of these things. So I do think families were somewhat more isolated than they are now. Do I think that would, okay, I may be wrong. I don’t think that’s necessarily a problem. I think they figured it out just fine, but the resources were not as available as they are today with us able to be a part of almost too many options, honestly, of the groups that we can be a part of. So I think there’s reasons why we have that stereotype, but also I think the most important thing to recognize and acknowledge is that the reason why people don’t think homeschoolers are socialized is because homeschoolers generally do present a little bit differently. Their academic experience is entirely different than any conventionally schooled kid and their social life is completely different than conventionally schooled kids. Homeschoolers are not age segregated. We could do an entire episode just on the travesty of age segregation and how much kids miss out because there isn’t age mixing and learning. I think that is so important. It’s something that there isn’t even enough research in the homeschool culture. I think one of the reasons why we are so successful is because of that. My children can actively engage, and have, and people have commented about them regarding this actively engage in a conversation with a grandmother at a birthday party, the child, child’s peers, and then go and then play with a baby that’s on a blanket at the same birthday party.

TERI: Absolutely.

CHRISTY: We don’t do age-segregated learning. When our kids are invited to a birthday party, the whole family is invited. That’s just how we work. It’s kind of our culture. But our kids are not reading the same books. My kids are learning Latin. Kids in conventional schools, unless you’re in a classical school, they’re not learning Latin. Another person might think that’s weird. And so I think that there are reasons why that is a concern for people. But when you actually ask yourself what healthy socialization is, and I go into this in my book in chapter seven, I actually think if socialization is something that you’re really hung up on, or maybe some family members are hung up on, buy my book and just read chapter seven. Because what I do in there is not anything anyone else has done. Everyone is always playing defense with socialization and trying to argue that their kids are really just like your kids too. And my argument is, “No, they’re not. This is why, and this is why it’s better not to be.” And I go into the difference between fitting in versus belonging—a lot of Brene Brown’s research with that. And then also I go into Gabor Maté and Gordon Neufeld’s research that is documented in their fabulous book, “Hold On to Your Kids,” regarding peer orientation. And they actually call it a disorder, peer-orientation disorder. And we generally, as a homeschool culture, just because of the way we’re raising our kids, we avoid, by accident, those two things; the fitting in versus belonging and the peer orientation. And it’s exciting now that there is data to back up where areas where we’ve already seen success to kind of explain why we’re seeing that success, why 87 percent of studies are showing that homeschooled kids are happier socially. So I find that extremely fascinating.

DR. AMY: Can you explain for our listeners can you just define for our listeners what peer orientation means.

CHRISTY: Yeah, peer orientation, as defined by Mate and Neufeld, is basically where you have … the argument is based on attachment, attachment theory, that children need attachment to a safe person in their life, really through the teen years. Often people think at around 12, oh, their kid doesn’t need to be raised anymore. They actually studies actually show that our kids need that orientation to a safe, loving center, a compass well through the teen years. What has happened in our culture, in this fight for, we want our kids independent, we want this, we want that. It’s not that they’re detaching from their parents, because the innate need is attachment. They are reattaching to an unhealthy group for their center and their unconditional love and they’re turning to peers for that, which is an extremely unsafe group because they are not grown up themselves. It’s kind of like, think, this is a very raw example, but it will help the audience. It’s sort of like Lord of the Flies, And I know that’s fiction, but that’s kind of where they’re going with a very rudimentary explanation. But if that piques your interest, definitely buy that book. It’s called “Hold On to Your Kids”. Very well researched. And this is what they argue that we need to reclaim our kids if we want them healthy, emotionally healthy. And they coach parents on how to do that. What I love about that book, my favorite part, is they only mentioned homeschooling, I believe once and not in a positive light. So, I love it when non homeschooling books argue for homeschooling. I just think it’s fabulous.

TERI: That’s awesome.

DR. AMY: That’s awesome. So quickly, for those listeners who are not currently homeschooling but thinking about it, bust the myth that they can’t participate in prom or sports or clubs.

CHRISTY: Yes. Okay. I love it. Yes. So, I have a whole myth-busting section of my book. Number one is I literally got an invite from CHEC yesterday about homeschool graduation and homeschool prom. Every state has an organization that you can be a part of. I think I pay a hundred dollars a year for my family to be in Colorado’s state organization, and I have access to attending a prom, attending a full-blown graduation where they wear the cap and gown, and all of that. Most of the homeschool organizations in our country are offering those services to us. We have all of them. Also, what I think is funny about the sports piece is I know so many families that homeschool because of sports. So yesterday, I interviewed a gentleman who was a homeschool graduate. I interviewed both him and his mother. It was so fascinating. But one thing that came up in my interview is, they moved a lot growing up because I believe the father was in sales. And he was an accomplished fencer. You know, with the sword. And because they homeschooled every state they moved to they were able to get into the best fencing academy ones that even had two-year wait lists because he could take classes during the day.

TERI: Oh yeah.

CHRISTY: And he ended up fencing in college. I know families who they are golfers. And they travel a lot. That is the reason why they homeschool. I have yet to see a situation where homeschooling prevented what they wanted for their child regarding sports. I’m open to it and then that’s a decision that you would have to make. That is a reason … if you think your child’s gonna get a D1 scholarship in college and they should go to that local school for the last two years so that they get that, go for it, girl. Right? But generally speaking, I really haven’t seen sports be a hang-up. Same with prom. We worry about all of those things. That kind of leads into, what do you do about those advanced classes? I know moms who have a 5-year-old and they think, “There is no way I can teach calculus. I can’t homeschool.” And the reality is, for most of us, when our kids get to that age, it’s really parent-directed education by that point. They, often the kids, we’ve taught them to be self-directed and we are sourcing well. We are providing them with in person co-ops. There are so many retired college professors who love and participate in teaching homeschooled in person co-ops. There are so many online academies. Our Latin teacher, our current Latin teacher, she got her degree in classical languages from Stanford. We have access to world-class educators because we homeschool. We are not limited by whoever’s available in our area or whoever is available at our local school. We can get the best of the best if we so choose. And I work full time. You guys. You guys work as well and let me tell you the resources that we have now where I can choose a combo, the flavorings of a couple online classes, some self-paced, we do a self-paced writing class where they watch the video. So basically, I’m just grading the paper at the end of the week and monitoring it. The subjects I want to teach, I do teach myself. I have two categories for that. If I want to teach something, I teach it. And if my kid needs me to teach it, I teach it. So I taught all my kids to read, for example. And by the time they get older, and you guys can testify to this as well, because we want our kids to have self-governance, they start to take—we try to, I have a 12-year-old, so it’s a little challenging right now—but take responsibility for their own work. And I think it’s exciting. And when they are motivated, they can finish their school day so quickly and probably complete double of what they would have completed if they were attending a high school day.

DR. AMY: That’s cool.

SANDY: Let’s bust the myth of kids with special education needs.

CHRISTY: Oh, yeah.

SANDY: While we’re at it. So, what are some myths that you see about kids who need extra support in math, reading, writing? 

CHRISTY: Well, just like there are kids in our school system, both public and private, that need extra help, there are homeschool kids who need extra help. I think that with a mother’s eye, a caring mother’s eye, we can catch things a lot earlier. The system is designed where the child needs to fail first, and fail BAD, before they get any type of intervention, any type of accommodations or testing. So what’s exciting to me about homeschooling is that we are students of our children. We have a very low teacher-to-student ratio. We know if they’re struggling and there’s people that we can ask if we’re like, “I’m a little worried about that. Can I ask you about it?” Regarding special needs, something that infuriates me, and I hear this story, versions of this story, every day. Where a child is tested, diagnosed, maybe a girl is diagnosed with ADHD and they go to their regular pediatric check-up. And the doctor at their check-up sees the diagnosis and says, “You’re not qualified to teach your daughter. She has ADHD. She needs to be in school where there are specialists.” That infuriates me to my core. Because if you read the back of an IEP, everyone listening, if your kid is on an IEP, pull it out of that file, go to the back of it, read those accommodations. And I want you to highlight any accommodation you can’t do yourself. Your kid needs a quiet work environment. Okay. Homeschool. Your kid needs frequent breaks. Homeschooling would be a great fit for that. Your kid needs extra time on tests? I mean, I could go on and on, with the exception of therapies. We can accommodate pretty much every accommodation on there. And who’s going to fight like a mom for their child to learn? No one’s going to fight for a child like the child’s mother or father. So, and yes, does that involve, I coach a lot of families where part of their homeschooling journey includes occupational therapy and speech therapy and reading interventions and programs like LearningRx. Absolutely. Absolutely. But it does not, we are not disqualified for homeschooling our kids simply because we don’t have a degree in special education. It’s just, it’s not true. And it makes me mad.

DR. AMY: Actually, we’re probably the most qualified.

TERI: Yes.


DR. AMY: Because we know them so well. And we love them and we want to make sure that they’re successful, right?


DR. AMY: And I’m not saying that public school teachers, which I was one at one point, don’t want your kids to be successful. I’m not saying that at all. But it’s very different when you are trying to help 26 to 30 kids be successful and trying to help the one that you birthed or adopted be successful. Right?

CHRISTY: And I never, this is something, there’s two things I never do on social media: I never mom shame and I never throw teachers under the bus. Because a lot of us got into that profession because we care and they are trying, they are trying their very, very best. At the same time, the amount of teachers in my comment section that say, I am a public school teacher and I advocate for homeschooling because they are the canary in the mines, they see, they see. And so many public-school teachers, private school their kids. It’s fascinating because they won’t put their kids in the system. And I think that families who aren’t in education don’t really know what is going on ultimately.

DR. AMY: Absolutely.  Hey, we got to wrap this up. This has been a phenomenal conversation, uh, with you, Christy. Could you let our listeners know where can they find you?Where can they join your community? Right? Just tell them where they can find you.

CHRISTY: Just go to my website, Christy-Faith. com. Don’t forget that dash, ladies.  It’s Christie dash faith. com. That’s where you will find Thrive Homeschool Community. My book is on Amazon. If you just Google, put in the Amazon search bar, “homeschool, rising, Christie Faith.” You can even misspell it. It will pop up. And thank you so much for having me on your show. This was so fun. 

DR. AMY: We loved having you too. And listeners we’ll put a link, uh, to Christie’s website, to all of her social media handles, and even the link to buy her book, “Homeschool Rising; Shattering Myths, Finding Courage and Opting Out of the School System. Hey, thanks so much for listening today. If you liked our show, we would love it if you would follow us on social media at the Brainy Moms. Do it now before you forget. If you liked our show, I would love it if you would rate us on Apple podcasts. And if you would rather see our faces, you can find us on YouTube, all of that at the Brainy Moms. Don’t forget to check out Sandy’s TikTok channel at the Brain Trainer Lady. So look, this is all the smart stuff that we have for you today. So we’re going to catch you next time. 

TERI: See ya.