More Than Enough (a video interview with Kara Anderson)

Kara Anderson More Than Enough

More Than Enough: Grow Your Confidence, Banish Burnout and Love Your Homeschool Life is the newest book by Kara Anderson. She joins us today for a cozy homeschool mom chat. How do we navigate all the expectations we face as homeschool moms, both from within and from without? How can we pursue joy in the homeschool journey with confidence in our own unique family’s way of doing things? You’re going to love this Homeschool Conversation!

Watch the video, read the show notes, and share with your friends!

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More than enough book; homeschool interview Kara Anderson

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Who is Kara Anderson?

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Kara Anderson went from newspaper reporter chasing down cops in heels to unexpected homeschool mom of 2. She writes online, co-hosts the Homeschool Sisters Podcast, and is podcast manager at the Read-Aloud Revival. Together with 3 of her friends, she co-founded the online Kindred Homeschool Conference and community. Most recently, Kara Anderson has written a book for homeschool moms: More Than Enough. Her passion is to help homeschooling moms find joy and magic in their days with their kids.

Watch my video interview with Kara Anderson

Show Notes {with video time stamps}

Kara’s journey to homeschooling, to quitting, and then back {1:20}

Kara loved her job as a newspaper reporter and never thought she’d be a homeschool mom. She got laid off when she was 9 months pregnant, however, and it turned out to be the best blessing in the world!

Her kids are now 13 and 16. Kara has been married to her husband for 23 years. But when the kids were little, homeschooling still seemed so new and different. And maybe even kind of crazy.

At 3 years old, they sent their son to a local preschool. He was an early reader, very precocious, and he kept getting in trouble because he would not sit on the masking-tape line.

The next year they gave homeschooling a try, but in December she made a desperate call to the local Montessori preschool and enrolled him for that spring semester. Over the summer, the preschool wanted to move him up into the 6-9 classroom because he could already read. They were supposed to work on handwriting over the summer, but his fine motor skills were just not ready (he was only 5).

They tried homeschooling again, it stuck, and now they’ve been doing it for almost 12 years!

“That same little boy that wouldn’t sit on the line? He loved books and he loved stories; he just needed to be able to move while he listened to them. He was taking it all in, but he was very active. And I think he kinda needed to be active to take it in.”

More than enough book; homeschool interview Kara Anderson

Kara’s homeschool personality and philosophy {5:30}

Alongside her book, Kara has created an audio companion, in which Kara interviewed 3 of her homeschool mentors and asked them the same set of questions.

While talking to our friend, Pam Barnhill, Pam brought up something that changed Kara’s mindset. She used to think labels boxed us in and kept us to artificial standards. But Pam helped Kara see that these labels are helpful ways that we can communicate to people.

(Normally? People just want to the short answer; they’re just being polite. They don’t want a monologue.)

Kara’s short story: they started out as very Waldorf-inspired homeschoolers, but it didn’t work for their family.

“It’s ok to take what works from a philosophy and hold on to that and then leave the rest,” Kara reflected.

Now? They’re relaxed, interest-led homeschoolers who love to dive deep into passions.

More than enough book; homeschool interview Kara Anderson

Kara says, “It’s hard to change opinions. It’s much easier to change your own mindset.” {8:00}

“What we’re doing is not the traditional path, so you cannot expect general approval from people. Right off the bat, they’re confused,” Kara pointed out. People want to know the grade and the favorite subjects… and sometimes our kids aren’t quire sure how to answer that question.

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We only have so much time and energy,” and Kara encourages moms not to spend that time and energy on the dentist or the great-aunt, but to focus it on our own kids.

Investing in our own families (instead of trying to convince everyone around us about how our family is running our homeschool) is a better choice.

Kara says, “Don’t let the method boss you around.” {12:31}

A lot of methods were created a long time ago or were created for classrooms, Kara noted. It may not be possible to perfectly recreate them in your dining room with the toddler and nursing infant.

You don’t have to follow a method 100% because it wasn’t created for your unique family. We’re all different with different strengths and weaknesses.

As we pursue any method, Kara encouraged that “we have to realize if we’re part of a group … where we’re feeling like we’re not “x” enough, that probably isn’t the group for us. And that’s ok.”

“It’s better to not have a group at all than to have the wrong group,” Kara said.

Kara’s words encouraged me to consider my own conversations with other homeschoolers. As we talk to other homeschool moms, we can be the person who accepts other moms and families even if they don’t do the homeschool method in the same way that we do. We can ask open-ended questions and really care about other homeschool moms and their families, instead of just caring about the homeschool methodology.

“To build relationships with other homeschool moms, find the things we have in common rather than just focusing on the things that make us different.” Amy Sloan

Amy Sloan, Homeschool Conversations, Video Interviews

How do we find true, helpful mentors in the midst of all the noise? {16:59}

There is lots of noise online. All the Instagram, Facebook, and blog people telling us that we’re only homeschooling correctly if we do things their way exactly.

Hopefully Kara and I aren’t adding to the noise here. Don’t turn us off; this is going to be helpful, I promise. 😉

Just because someone has a million followers doesn’t mean they know everything. Kara encouraged, “If you’re following someone online who is routinely making you feel bad or less-than? Unfollow. Even if it’s just for a little while, because that is not helpful to you in any way.”

“We see these little squares of perfection…and it can be really easy to feel like if our life doesn’t look like that all that time…that we’re getting it wrong,” Kara noted.

I (Amy) think it’s important to remember that there’s only so much input you can take in without getting overwhelmed. We can all grow and change. But some random person on the internet who doesn’t know you and your kids? Maybe they aren’t the best choice for getting input.

I love my friend, Dawn’s, post about the “perfect” composite online homeschooler…the mythical perfect homeschool mom we’ve created in our heads, where we’ve combined the best strengths of everyone and put them into that one perfect person we’re supposed to be.

Kara’s best tips for finding joy and magic in the day to day of homeschooling {23:48}

Does this surprise you? Kara’s answer is: “Do less.

You have to slow down so you can find the joy and magic. If we’re running around all the time, we don’t have time to sit and enjoy the moments with our kids.

“Build in a little margin into your days,” Kara encouraged.

Find Kara Anderson and More Than Enough Online

More Than Enough by Kara Anderson
Homeschool Conversations Video Interviews

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