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#265 Homeschool Graduate, an interview with my son

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Hello, you're listening to Called the Homeschool episode #265 an interview with my son, Josh Thomas, a homeschool graduate.

So those of you watching on YouTube, you know, I'm not set up with two mics.

So we're going to be sharing a mic, but that is how I roll.


So I am excited to have my son here today.

This is Josh.

You can say hi.


Josh is kid #4 the true middle child.

He's smack dab in the middle of the seven kids and he is done with his home school journey.


So he is 17.

He if he were in traditional school, he would have been a junior this year, but he has decided to beat him.

So he's going to be doing some really fun things we'll talk about in just a little bit.

But I love having my kids on here and interviewing them because first, I love my kids and I love showcasing them.


But it's also fun for you to kind of get a peek into my home school because sometimes people romanticize what they think my home school looks like or that they think it's perfect, that everything just runs perfectly smooth and there are no issues.

And we definitely, that's not it.

We know how to solve issues in our home school.


We know how to figure things out, but it doesn't mean that things are perfect because perfection does not exist.

So why don't we just start with Josh telling us a little bit about yourself, and then I'll start diving into some questions.

Yeah, I'm Josh.

Obviously I'm the middle child, so usually that's the forgotten child.


I I've been homeschooled my entire life.

I love playing sports.

I did flag football my entire life.

I also did rec league, junior jazz, basketball, Love playing sports.

I love following sports.

I hope to be a sports analyst after I serve a mission.

And then if that doesn't work out as a backup plan, fail, say I'll be a chef there.


You go, OK, so yes, Josh was born when I started homeschooling, but he was one, I believe.

So he was one of the babies.

He was right on the verge of one, almost two.

So his birthday, he's a September birthday.

So he might have been two by that point.

But so his when we started homeschooling, I had the three kids older than him, then Josh and then Tess right after him.


So those are the five kids I had.

And Josh was naughty.

I don't know.

Is that the right word?

So he would break eggs for his sister while I was home schooling and would climb in her crib.

He loved her and you were so sweet to her, but you would break eggs for her.


You would cover yourselves in Aquaphor.

I cut the crib one time because she was in it and I was mad that she was there so I got scissors and I cut her free.

That's right, because one of our homes was really small, so she slept in a pack and play and so he got says I forgot about that.

That was funny.

And then we went like for bedtime, we had to switch it towards the wall so she couldn't just climb out.


That's funny.

I forgot you did that.

So I want you to kind of talk about your homeschool, like your thoughts on homeschool, and then I'll get specific of things you liked and didn't like, but just kind of telling about your homeschool journey.

Yeah, the earliest memories I have of us doing homeschool was about tennish years ago.


And I remember thinking it was fun because I, you know, obviously when you start out with kids, you want to teach them with games and whatnot.

So I thought homeschool was super fun.

When we moved into our current house like 9 or 10 years ago and I had to start reading more books.

I'll be honest, I didn't like homeschooling at first.

I thought the the books I was being.



Yes, once it once it got to being harder and instead of just being all games I, I had a really hard time with it because it just wasn't as entertaining.

The I felt like the things I was reading just wasn't useful.

Obviously I was 9 or 10 so I had terrible foresight, but I didn't like it at first.


But as I grew to read it and grew to understand that was to help me grow, rather than you just having me read it, all of a sudden it became more enjoyable and more applicable to me to see how it could grow from what I was reading.

You know, what's interesting is I've actually watched some of the books you've read post homeschool, like these are the required books for mom and the types of books that you've study and that you read are so much more advanced than I would have given you.


So what made you decide to start just diving into studying things that you enjoyed and reading some hard these harder books you've been reading?

I think it was, I think homeschool still the passion, heavy passion for learning and me wanting to know more because of the types of interesting books I would you would have me read.


There's typically books of like contrasting opinions and opinions people didn't normally have and that you didn't normally hear.

And then when I joined speech and debate, that made me want to study things even further.

So that's what got me.

I started reading philosophy books, Emmanuel Kant, Socrates, Aristotle, all of those Confucius.


I started reading those just 'cause I wanted to know everyone thought about things so I could try to find truth.

And so that's why I started reading those more difficult books.

Yes, so I know speech and debate's one of your highlights of home school.

So you started, it would have been your 9th grade year 'cause you did for three years.


I don't know grades very well, so I did three years, yeah.

No, it would have been 9th.

Grade yeah, we always have to do the math, so tell a little bit about your speech and debate journey 'cause I know you really enjoyed that.

Yeah, so I started speech and debate when I was 15.


I joined on ulterior motives.

There I there was a girl I liked and she did speech and debate.

So naturally I was like, mom, I need to do speech and debate strictly for the educational purpose.

Yeah, I joined and I thought it was great.

My first year was super fun.


The speech and debate tournaments were a blast.

And then my intermediate year, that was that was the year in homeschooling and speech and debate that I felt like it was like my biggest jump that I had.

I just felt like I was able to understand things better.

I wanted to learn more.

And then this last year in speech and a bit, it was by far my most fun year and probably considered placing veteran at the tournaments, But it, it felt like my mind was open that I could think whatever I wanted that I wasn't, I wasn't, I wasn't constrained to think a specific thing.


It was think whatever you want and then talk about it with others who disagree with you.

And I do this frequently.

I all, all my jobs, I talk about people and I, I'm a stana, I'm a homeschooled Mormon.

So naturally people are confused why I'm the way that I am.

And so I get to talk about it with them.


And I think it's been so great for me.

And speech and base helped a lot with that.

Does it helps you to do it in a way that is respectful?

Is that why you've liked it?

So that you can have a different opinions without you're wrong, I'm right.

Yeah, I used to struggle a lot with that, just like if my siblings and I had a different opinion.


It was like, no, you're wrong.

You're you're so wrong.

There's no way you could be right.

But my speech invite teacher Sam Martino, fantastic teacher.

He was always talking about how he wished if people wanted to change things in the world, they just need to be chivalrous And that if you want to talk to someone, it doesn't work to say you're wrong.


It it's never worked.

It's, oh, here's what I think.

Oh, here's what you think.

Oh, I could see how you think this.

Oh, maybe you could listen to me and, and it's mutual respect.

And I think learning that from speech and debate has been super helpful and has gotten me farther than just as to as opposed to what I used to do.



I I found it interesting.

I didn't.

So kids number one through 3 didn't do speech and debate.

They didn't really want to try it and but then the next three have been doing it and I personally love it.

Just a plug for them.

The Wasatch.


I think they're called the Independent Education League now, right?

Independent education program.

OK, there we go IEP.

So they have more classes now, but what I love to is your ability to perform public speaking in such a confident way to be able to teach a lesson.


I think it's helped you in your communication skills.

I just love when he's given a couple church talks and he just goes up there.

He's, he's quite tall as well.

He's 62.

So he just has this commanding presence of, of I don't know of this confidence.


And I, I think it's really neat.

And then your sister also tricked you when doing mock trial this week last year.

What are your thoughts about that?


So what happened was she she was at a mock trial practice in Eagle Mountain.

She didn't have her license at the time.


She was far away, so I had to go pick her up from a mock trial practice.


And when I got there, she asked Josh, do you want to be our bailiff?

And I knew at the time that a bailiff was a time keeper.

And I thought, like, right then they needed me to time something.

So I said, yeah, sure, I'll be your bailiff.

And then I go upstairs and then her coach is like, you want to be our bailiff?

And I was like, yeah, sure.

And she was like, great.


And so I signed a couple things and then she tricked me and didn't tell me that the commitment was I had to go 45 minutes north and do four different trials.

We went all the way to semi finals.

And then I ended up our team ended up going to nationals.


So it kind of ended up paying off.

I was a bailiff, I kept time.

And so I didn't really, I didn't contribute much to my team, but I think mock trial is a great thing for people to try.

It's just so funny, 'cause so I, with my kids, want to sign up for things.


I don't want to be obligated into driving them everywhere.

And so Tess knew that I wasn't going to drive her, so she used her sisterly.

What's the word, Sister Lee?

She tricked him.


There's no better way to say it, but she tricked him because she didn't have her license yet.


So now she has her license.

And so she can just keep going next year because Josh won't be living here.

So that's kind of funny.

OK, so you also decided to get your associate's degree, and people always want to know about that.

So he did it through Southern New Hampshire University, through a program in Utah called My Tech High, And they do direct pay.


And so he's technically enrolled in a charter school, and that paid for his college.

So he started that.

It would be 9th grade, so it took three years to do it.

So just give people an overview of that program.

Likes, dislikes, all those things.


So the program it's not done by classes, it's done by projects.


And each project is a business scenario and you have to figure out something, write a presentation to show whatever with made-up companies.

And then it's a pass fail system.

You'll submit it and they'll say whether you mastered it or you didn't master it.

And each project is worth 1 college credit.


And when I started I had a really hard time doing it to find I personally struggle with in internal motivation.

I I thought it was kind of boring at times the first couple years.

So that that was really hard for me.

That's what I didn't like is that it felt boring.

It felt like I wasn't actually doing anything useful.


When I would do the projects.

It was like, why would I do this?


Why would the person in the scenario do this thing if they could do it another way?

Yeah, I will admit it really wasn't that difficult or mentally challenging.


And I'm not doing that to like toot my own horn, to say how smart I am it I had help from my parents, I had help from all the SNHU instructors.

You can e-mail them at any time and say, hey, I need help.

A lot of homeschool kids around us, we made a group chat and if we needed help with a project, we would just text each other and people would help each other.


So as far as being able to master the project, I liked that it ended up towards the end.

I was able to figure out a system how to systematically master projects with help.

So I like that aspect of it and I liked how it wasn't too difficult.

Some of the instructors, I will admit they were frustrating and it felt like they were giving confusing feedback.


But overall I would recommend SNHU to someone.

I have my associates at 17 and it wasn't that difficult, wasn't that time consuming.

You can do it on your own time.

You just need to master 6 projects a semester I believe and that's it.

That's all you need to do, and you get a.


You can get a ton of college credits before you can go into college.

So do you want to keep going with college after you serve a mission?

That depends.

I think if I just get a, if I land a good job pretty early on, I don't think I will because more college won't necessarily equal more money, which is what I want to do, right?


So that that's just dependent on if I can get a good job quickly.

And I think that I could be able to do that.

So I'm leaning on the end of no more college after the mission, unless I can't find a good job, then I'll go to college so that I have a bachelor's, then I can land a better job.


Just so you know, our church, we're members of the Church of Jesus Christ, the Latter Day Saints, and they asking men about 18 to go and serve a mission for our church for two years.


So that's the mission he is talking about and he has submitted his papers to do that but does not have the destination of where he will go and be going yet.

So make sure to be following along.

So you can.

I will definitely share that on Instagram.

I'll show that story.

So that's what he's talking about with this mission.


OK, so let's talk about now some highlights and then low lights of homeschooling.

So you can have it be anything.

So if like speech and debate, it doesn't have to be something that I taught.

So anything with highlights first.

Yeah, I don't know.


Have you talked about Battle of the Brains?

It's been a while but yes, but give a quick overview.

So for those who don't remember what Battle of the Brains is, it was at every semester, every term.

We would do it like a whole family competition where a mom would quiz us on science, math, a physical test, sometimes grammar, sometimes grammar, a geography thing.


And it changed, but that was typically what it was.

And then she would score us each round.

And those battle, the brains were so fun.

But I remember the best experience was when I first won because my older brother Porter, he had won four years in a row and I was sick of it because he kept winning everything.


And I finally beat him when I was like 11 and he was 15.

It was, I still remember what I was wearing, where I was and how I reacted.

It was great.

So that was definitely highlight low light I had.

I had a couple really boring books that I would read.


I remember there was a one history book and I still don't.

It was 600 pages and I would read it and I would just zone out and I was like, this is the most boring book I've ever read.

I don't even remember what the type of was called.

No, I, I don't remember anything.

I tried to walk it out of my memory.

Yes, I definitely feel like my book selections get better and better because like now I can't.


Now I have time where I can read, pre read a lot of it or read it right with them.

And so I feel like I've gotten better with picking our books, but definitely in the beginning, especially when I was doing more strict Charlotte Mason, a lot of those books I found have been, no, I love Charlotte Mason.


So before I say this next sentence, but some of the books recommended were so dry and so boring that I thought, oh, I'm so sorry.

These are real bad.

That's funny.

OK, let's talk about living in the Thomas household.

Oh, I do want to say Battle of Brains.


Part of the reason I don't really do it anymore is because I don't have as many people at home and so it would just be my 13 year old against a 7 year old.

And so it, it lost the fondness and became angry.

So I don't do it anymore.


I that was something that was very, very fun in our home school when I had so many little kids here living here.

So that was a good time growing up in the Thomas household.

What do you think of family meeting levels of liberty?

All of the things that I why I do in our house and then I teach other people to do.


So let's hear it from your perspective.

I definitely had a rough time with all of that like the roughest out of all of the children by far.

I I fought my mom on everything and that might sound hyperbole to some of you.

I'm not kidding.

I I'm being dead serious.


Everything, every rule I put into question, I still, I still remember when we started levels of liberty and I came in and I was put like on a on a lower level to start.

And that from that point on, I was like, levels of liberty is the worst thing that anyone's ever created.


I thought the restrictions were dumb.

I thought to advance was it was too much to ask to pick up my room every day to clean up.

I, I remember I had easy choices like pick up the smallest room in the house and a couple other things.

And that was it.

That's all I had to do to have a later bedtime.


More privileges, more everything.

And I thought it was so dumb because what I was getting at was I wanted the instant gratification of the privileges that my older siblings had.

And I thought they were cool and they had all that and they always seemed to be having fun.

But I couldn't get that.

And to get it, it seemed like it was unfair and not a good way to actually get it.


Do you remember when we let you have your liberties without earning them?

What happened?

Do you remember that?

Yeah, yeah, no.

So I fought them enough to where I was like, OK, I have a great idea.


I think you remember you were saying you don't trust me.

You guys just don't trust me and you were pretty hurt about.



Yeah, I was Yeah.

No, I'm remembering this now as you're saying this.

I didn't.

I thought you guys, I thought they didn't trust me or you didn't trust me because if I didn't have the privileges, that meant you just didn't think I was, you know, responsible enough to have them.

So I was like, hey, just give me the privileges and I'll prove to you that I'm trustworthy enough.


And then I screwed up big time.

And I just, I, I, I butchered it.

I did.

I wasn't responsible.

I wasn't doing what I was supposed to do.

I was abusing my privileges.

And it just didn't work because I just couldn't see the point of levels of liberty.

It just didn't make sense.

And I don't remember the exact moment that it did.


I was just going to ask that because this last year you've been dreamy with it, so you don't remember what changed.

There wasn't a specific moment.

Oh no, no, no, sorry.

There was a specific moment, but it was the, the small simple events that led up to that moment.

I don't remember where I was, but I remember realizing that the, the point is that when I get older, I don't have to struggle with those things and I can be good on my own.


I can learn responsibilities and then I can do those fun things.

Like this past six months, I, it's felt like I've been the most responsible and it hasn't been that difficult, but it's 10 times as as much as what you had asked of me previously.

But it doesn't feel that hard.

And I have way more privileges and way more things that I can do.


Yeah, you just he got to go to nationals with his mock trial team and so he was back east.

He got to do all those fun things.

He got to go to Costa Rica with dad.

He's actually leaving this afternoon to with mock trial again.

He's going with a friend on vacation.

So he's had has all of these bigger liberties that he's able to do all these fun things.


So just in case moms are like, it's like my kids fighting me.

Well, that's OK.

This guy fought for a really long time.

I remember there was a family meeting where Porter, because Porter loved levels of liberty pretty quickly.

Like it made sense in his brain of all I have to do is like, do these chores and pick up after myself or show up in a certain way.


And so I remember in a family meeting, you and your older sister Bella were like, this is so dumb.

And Porter goes, you guys are so dumb.

Like it's not that hard.

Do X you get Y.

Do you remember that?

I vaguely remember that.

And you would have.

Been younger, yeah, I, I was definitely younger.


I believe I was like 12 or 13.

But it just Porter.

Porter's a do getter, right?

He he wants something to do it.


And so like obviously we're similar in ways, but that way I, I, I've grown into do getter more.

But I do remember him saying that and I just, I was like, no, it's stupid.


I just need these privileges right now.

And I just, I didn't understand it.

And I think it was like my own insecurities of thinking that it would like it would make me happy if I could have those privileges that cause at the time I was very depressed.

And so I thought if I have these privileges, then it'll make me happy.


But working for them, that won't bring me any joy.

That's just anger and sadness, yeah.

So would you implement like from your own childhood?

What things would you take on for one day when you have your own family?

What things would you recreate and and what things would you avoid?


So I would definitely, definitely use Levels of Liberty.

I'm going to charge you so much money to use my program.

Yeah, she does not offer any discounts for her children.

No, I would definitely do levels of liberty and the the way my parents are doing it right now, like I know my mom early in this podcast said nothing's perfect, but honestly a system that accounts for has a margin of error.


It's lenient, it's flexible to me, that's perfection.


So good to me I I didn't even pay him to say.

This No, you know the yeah, I'm doing this for free.

This is a rip off.

No, I would definitely do levels of Liberty.

I think as far as family meetings go, they can get really boring sometimes, but I think they're absolutely useful and I will use them with the same calendar my mom has.


As far as things I would take out, I think something that I I struggled with personally was it felt like like if I was to get hurt or something were to happen to me, it felt like it would get brushed off somewhat.


This was more like, like when I would play with dad and I would get physically hurt, I was like, oh, walk it off, don't cry, don't cry.

And he would, he would say, don't cry a lot.

And that actually led to a lot of emotional trauma for me.

It was very difficult because I thought because I wanted to be super manly, because, you know, my, my brothers were big, my dad was big, but I was this tall, skinny, weak kid.


And so like, don't cry.

I was like, oh man, I'm not manly enough.

And so that aspect of parenting of like, like, go, go, go, go, go, like get these responsibilities.

I think I would just lighten up a little bit and implement what's in debate.

The 24 hour will rule where it's let.


Like let yourself be frustrated and mad for 24 hours and then get over it 'cause it felt like at times that I didn't, I couldn't be that like that or else people would get mad at me.


Do you care if we dive into your oratory that you do OK.

OK, so Josh is, I know we're laughing and joking in here, but one of the things that Josh has taught me is he helps me single handedly learn so much more about parenting than all the other kids.


I owe me money.

Yeah, I owe Josh money.

So my oldest is a typical whatever you say kind of kid like that that first born.

I'm just going to Yep, Mom, you want me to do this?


I'll do this.

So we didn't really have any issues and stuff with him.


Then the next two, they just needed to see the purpose and the why and they I think they could have been really rebellious if we tried to control them, but we figured their personalities out pretty quick.

So I'm feeling like I am on top of the world, like I am such a good mom.


Like, wow, I like people should pay me so much money.

But I was really thinking high of myself.

And then that's when God gives you something to humble you.

And I gave me my Josh that I love so much.

So Josh came just as his own, his own guy, his own personality.


And what a beautiful personality it is.

And it's funny because we're actually quite a bit alike.

And I know that's what a lot of moms would or parents dads struggle too, when a kid has a lot of their personality.

And so Josh has a lot of my personality, which is, well, why do I need to do that?


What's the reason why?

And so it's funny because I've even noticed when I say, hey, it's time to go to bed instead of just like, hey, go to bed.

I say, why?

Like it's 9:00, it's our bedtime, so it's time to start going downstairs.

Or why do like we, we brush our teeth because your teeth will get taken out of your mouth because they're rotten.


Speaking for somebody's experience.

So Josh had, Josh really taught me a lot and taught me how to have a why.

And if you are in my program, I, I say that so many times, why, why do you need your kid to do this?


Why are you teaching that subject?

And part of it is this kid like I had to have a why, Like why do we need to do this?

And I thought I, I don't know, I don't have a why.

And Josh is also taught me.

So he was, is a brilliant pianist and when he was really young, he was doing fancy trick piano playing.


Do you remember how cool it was he could play upside down, hands crossed, was doing all the stuff.

And I got incredibly overzealous and super excited and I started forcing piano.

And I remember the last time when I let you quit, I insulted you.

Like come on, this is so stupid.


Like why are you being such a baby?

Something like that.

And then I just thought, what am I doing?

Why is piano more important than the relationship with my kids?

So bless our children's hearts that we get to learn and practice on.

So thank you, but Josh really struggles with anger a lot.


So I'm going to have you just give a brief summary of your from your point of view of struggling with anger, struggling with trying to figure out who you are.

And so this was a he won his with this oratory in the last speech and debate tournament.

So take it away.

No, you don't have to do your full order or OK, it is brilliant, but just kind of your experience with that anger of trying to figure out who you are and then what you kind of send up in your own oratory.


Yeah, so I, I, I've never super struggled with knowing who I am personally.

I felt like I had a strong personality that like I could pinpoint obviously I struggled with anger and I don't think that's really a part of someone's personality unless they choose to make it so.


But the anger aspect, it was for some reason I don't, I just, I struggled with it and I still remember from a very young age, people would do things and it would just frustrate me beyond belief and I would lash out like physically and verbally, even if you suck and try to hit them.

I, I still, I still obviously struggle with it, but I'm, I'm able to control it.


But it was, it was getting to the point where people didn't want to be in the same room as me, not because they didn't love me, that that was a big thing.

It was I'll.

Just say this from a parents point of view, you were a little scary.


No, I like, why would you want to be in a room with someone who, if you did anything but that you thought thought was fine, but I thought was horrible, I would attack you.



Like, why would you want to be in the same room?

And then that led to me being super depressed and then in my oratory when I the title of the oratory was what is love?

And everyone says, oh, baby, don't hurt me.

But fun fact, I hadn't heard that song before my oratory and I just called it what is love?


But the point of the point of the speech was trying to pinpoint what love is exactly.

And people have all these different things about it. 100 million songs have been created as expressions of love, like what they, what people think love is.

And I just thought those can't all be right.

And what everyone says love is, all these different things, they can't be right.


So I tried to pinpoint it, but the point of my oratory is that the idea of love stands outside the human comprehension because the change that is wrought in a person cannot simply be explained with words.

And what happened to me can't I got because I was angry and people would lash out and they would leave.


I saw that as they didn't love me.

And if I wasn't loved, why should I exist?

And so I, I got suicidal and I made plans to take my life.

I wrote suicide notes and whatnot.

But then I still, I don't remember where I was standing, but I remember there came a single moment when after I fought you on everything, I fought you for years.


And it was constant everyday non-stop, you and dad and I got to a single moment I thought I fought them.

I've not showed them any respect.

I haven't truly showed them that I love them and that you guys still love me unconditionally.

And I couldn't deny that.


And to deny that would be to deny truth.

That was enough for me to not take my own life and it changed me.

And slowly I started to learn that levels of Liberty was about love.

It was you loved me so you wanted to see me grow.


And so that was the point of the oratory, is that love is so strong you can't put it into words because of the change it brings into person.

It was so good I got to hear it like the what was the last round called the.


Round, oh, championship round, you can come and in the the final speech and debate tournament, you can come in and sneak in and watch.


And so I got to watch it.

I'm totally crying, which made Josh cry, but it was so good.

But it was so interesting because I remember when he was young and feeling angry, I didn't know what life Country even was.

And I had gone to an energy work girl and my girl.

And it was interesting because she talked to me about this story I had about him and how I'm like, he's my angry kid.


And I had labeled him with this.

I would always and, and that, you know, I've said this, but like, if I, I would say if I had to put money on a kid who'd kill me in my sleep, my money would go Josh because it was like he was just kind of dark and brooding and he was a little scary.

And so I remember my energy girl was just like, why don't you have a better story about him?


Why are why are you putting him in the story?

Why can't you have a better story?

And so I remembered like, oh, wow, OK.

And I remember like always, obviously you love your kids, but showing your kids you love them by being patient with them, by being understanding with them and just giving him a different story.


And it's funny because I don't think anybody who would meet you now would ever think you're dark, angry, scary, right?

He's super well spoken.

He's tons of fun, he's very, very helpful.

He can help.

He's helped a ton with George.

When George was would get angry, Josh was the one who could connect with him.


And so the the message of his oratory about love, how love helped him to see his values, see that that he did have worth.

I mean, as a parent, that's everything, right?

And I know for my own self with I've been very open with my own journey of the Super depressed and suicidal and very dark stuff.


And then I married somebody who loved me unconditionally and even when I was a stinker and I'm not very nice wife and see what I could get away with and he would love me unconditionally and watching that own change within me.

And so, I mean, we're kind of going off on a tangent right now, but that if anybody who has a kid you're really struggling with, that's why this love and connection piece is so big, because it would have been easy to say, get really mad at you or punish you and discipline you and like, knock it off, Josh, you've got to do this.


And you're making yourself sound like a monster.

But it's not like you were like hurting me at least.

Like you're making yourself sound a lot worse than I think you were.

I know you put holes in the wall.

Yeah, that was a common problem, that I'd get mad and I would just kick my wall.


I remember the first time I did, it was an accident.

Like I didn't mean to do.

I just meant to kick my wall.

My heel got stuck in it.

But the other times I would just get so mad.

I wanted to just, I just wanted to destroy stuff.

And I like, I don't know how much, you know, like I would just, like, hurt Bella and Brigham.


Brigham got the worst end of it because we slept in the same room together.

But I would just like hit them, get mad at them anytime.

I one time fell down a basket in the stairs if you're doing that and then they tried to help me and I snapped it all then scared them off.

So I was not great.


Yes, but I think the natural mountainous wants to punish that and just saying cut it out, quit being a stinker.

Don't do these types of things.

And so that's why I love teaching you to ignore, ignore those things and start seeing like, why?

Why is he putting holes in the walls?


Why is he getting mad at his siblings so much and why is he doing these types of things instead of looking at these external like symptoms instead of looking at what the actual underlying issue is?

And so it's just like the parenting and homeschooling Josh has been an absolute challenge and an absolute joy.


And hands down, without this kid, like a lot of my program wouldn't exist, right?

And so that's when people are like, I have a kid and I was like, I have a kid who did that or I have a kid, I'm like, I had a kid who did that, right?

And I think the good Lord gave me seven such unique individual personalities because it helps me to connect with so many of you because of just different issues of different things that they've popped up.


So just from your mom, I'm so glad you're still here.

I'm so glad you figured things out.

And I will say the book that really one of the books that really changed.

I'll have you tell what your favorite book was that really helped you on your journey.

Yeah, and it was cool because my mom, I, I didn't tell her about my suicidal stuff until I think a couple years afterwards.


And so she didn't know I was even struggling.

And she gave me a book called The Four Agreements.

It's one of the best books I've ever read and I would recommend it to literally anyone.

And the book talks about how in your head you make little agreements with yourself.

You know, I agree that I'm going to do this something like when you walk into a room and you see that it's dark and you turn on the light switch.


What happened was you agreed with yourself that you wanted to see better.

So you went and you turn on the light.

And I realized I had I had agreements in my head that I wasn't loved.

People didn't like to listen to me that I was angry 'cause I would, I remember, I would actively choose to be angry.


I have specific memories of me having a good time and being like, oh, I need to be angry at that to assert my dominance.

That's what I would do.

And I realized I didn't want to have, I wasn't happy.

There was, there was not one part of me that was happy in any way.

And it at that point, it was a single moment.


I was like, I'm going to be happy.

And from that and that point on, I realized I didn't want to be mad.

And I can control what's in my head.

Well, sometimes I still get super frustrated and it like immediately I want to do something and I have to calm myself down.

But I just actively choose to be happy now.


And it's a choice I make every day.

And it's because of the book for agreements that's.


I know some people will don't love that book, but I liked it.

Josh liked it.

He tries to get everyone to to read it.

He's a missionary for the book, but I think it was 'cause it was the first book that helped you to have that aha moment.


And so that's why it's been so powerful for you.

So I hope that this episode has been very helpful.

I know it's fun to kind of get a glimpse into the Thomas Family home school and to see what my kids are doing.

But I hope with this one, specifically with Josh, I was actually going to have him at one time when after I heard his oratory, I was like, you've got to do your whole oratory.


So I was going to have him come on and even just talk about feeling sad as a kid and depressed and and then I was like, and do I actually have him come on?

And then I talk about moms.

This is why it's so important to be connecting and loving with your babies.

And I'm just grateful for the outcome we did get.

I'm grateful for the tools that I've had so that I can connect with you.


Yell, not yell.

I would.

That is funny.

Do you remember the last time I yelled that you were yelled at?

Here he is Well if.

I'm going to be honest, as far as being yelled at in anger, there was one time when we were cleaning a couple years ago and all of us, like every one of the kids, like even Ethan, you know, like everyone wasn't doing it right.


We were all screwing up.

I don't when like if when I think of yelling, I think if like stop that, stop doing that, you screw it up or whatever.

You did raise your voice, but it wasn't yelling.

Obviously you and Ed have yelled out of safety and that's happened numerous times.

That's a yeah, no, that's happened a lot, but I don't think you or Dad have ever yelled at us in anger.


That I can think of.

Go me.

It's a win.

No, yeah, cleaning definitely was a trigger for me.

That was I still have to like go to my happy place before we clean.

But yeah.

So hopefully you've enjoyed the sneak peek with my with seeing a kid.


And I don't want to say I hate labels.

So I don't want to call you like whatever, like a negative label, but the kid who taught me the most by pushing me the most.

And so allow your kids that push your buttons or question you on things, allow them to be your teacher.


Because had I just told Josh, like, knock it off, don't do these things, you would have just totally pushed yourself away from the family.

You would have just gone down with friends.

And I think we would have a very be you wouldn't be on my podcast.

We would be having a very different lifestyle.


So I'm super proud of him, super duper proud of him.

My heart has been so tender with him moving out this fall because I'm going to be down to three kids.

I've talked about that a little bit.

I'm going to be down to three kids living at home.

And I'm like, I don't like being like a heart can take this because I love my kids so much.


But he's super awesome.

I'm proud of him.

All of his hard work he's done, everything he's accomplished.

And I cannot wait to see like you're just getting started.

So thanks for being on here and I love you, kiddo.

All right, thanks so much, friends.

And we'll talk to you next week.


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