Daniel Louzonis and Ashley James
- Zoochosis and the school system
- Eat math for breakfast
- What to do with a defiant child
- Importance of cursive handwriting
- Importance of math, reading, and writing
- All education is self-education
- Einstein Blueprint
More parents are now turning to homeschooling because of the new vaccination policy in the US. Recently, parents have also been forced to do some form of homeschooling because of the coronavirus. There are many approaches to homeschooling, which one should we follow? Should we be letting our kids learn from computers and cellphones? Daniel Louzonis is back on the show with us, and he gives us some tips on how to homeschool successfully.
[00:00:00] Ashley James: Welcome to the Learn True Health podcast. I’m your host, Ashley James. This is episode 425. I am so excited for today’s guest. We have back on the show, Daniel Louzonis. Daniel was in episode 258. That was a really impactful interview. After I did that interview, I went and listened to it three times because I listened to it with my husband, I listened to it with my mother-in-law, and then I can’t remember who else I listened to it with, but I listened to it with other people. We would pause it, and have a discussion about it, and then play it again. It’s one of those interviews that really sticks in my mind because I have a child, because I’ve thought about the impact of homeschooling versus having my child be in a school system, in a schoolhouse with 30 children and 1 teacher. I’ve been thinking about that for a long time. Interviewing you was really eye-opening. Then I heard from other listeners that it was also very eye-opening. When the COVID-19 thing started to happen, they shut down the schools in my state—in the state of Washington. Now, it’s basically summertime. They started summertime in March, and the children will not go back to school until September. Because I’m friends with a teacher that teaches public school, the teachers are worried that they’re not even going to be able to go back to school in September. That this is going to keep going.
There’s mass panic with parents because they’re sitting at home with their kids and doing distance learning. Crisis schooling is what I’ve heard this new term being thrown around. Many parents are now turning to homeschooling. All the homeschooling Facebook groups I’m in are flooded now with new parents wondering what curriculum should they follow, should they join an online school, should they just let their kids have a summer. So many questions are being thrown around. You are an expert in homeschooling. I definitely recommend listeners to check out episode 258 with Daniel to get his amazing, amazing story.
I want to jump right in. First of all, I definitely want to hear what you’ve been up to since I had you on the show because I know that you’ve been up to a lot. I also really want to speak to the parents that are going through this crisis right now. Many of these children, their school year ended abruptly, and they’re at home. The parents have to figure out how to do some form of education with their children because of COVID-19. There are other reasons why people are choosing to go to homeschooling. Some parents didn’t choose to, it was thrust upon them. Some parents have chosen to go to homeschooling in the last year because of vaccine laws, for example.
There has been a very large shift, a very large movement towards homeschooling especially in this digital age it becomes easier. Daniel, welcome back to the show. I can’t wait for this very enlightening discussion. I hope that we’re able to empower those parents who feel that they’re in a crisis right now.
[00:03:47] Daniel Louzonis: It’s great to be here. We’ve been talking, you and, I have been talking back and forth about when I was going to come on next. We have a crisis reappearance. The urgency came. Everybody is now a homeschooler. Everyone now is a remote learner, and a distance learner, and a homeschooling parent. You put that in the context of all the other things going on. Transitioning to homeschooling is difficult. Oftentimes, the kids are reluctant. The spouse may not be supportive, grandparents, in-laws do what in-laws do and they’re just always unsupportive. In peaceful times, it’s difficult for most people to transition, and now you have the economic, and financial stress, and the fear that people have of—at least where I live—basically everyone. Everyone that walks within 6, 7, 8, 10 feet of you. By the way, now you have to figure out how to educate your kids.
Yeah, crisis is the word they are using. Nobody wants to hear the positive spin on it, but I will say, right off the bat, that this is not homeschooling. Homeschooling, you can actually go to the park. You can actually go to the museum. You can actually travel. We were trying to go to Florida a few weeks ago, and we weren’t going to go because the beach was closed, and the hotel pool was closed. I hope your audience doesn’t do what some people are doing is conflating what’s going on now with actual homeschooling. I’ve heard people say, “Well, I could never homeschool because my kids are crazy at home,” this, and that, and all these other reasons, all these other complicated reasons. This is not homeschooling. This is not even living as far as I’m concerned.
[00:05:37] Ashley James: This is captivity. We’re getting a taste of what the animals at the zoo feel like.
[00:05:43] Daniel Louzonis: Zoochosis, is that what they call it? Are you familiar with that?
[00:05:49] Ashley James: No.
[00:05:51] Daniel Louzonis: Zoochosis is something that anybody listening should go google and just get the dictionary—standard dictionary definition of it—and maybe even click on a couple of links. All these animals in the zoo, it’s well known that they’re miserable. What do animals taken out of their natural habitat—any animals—do when they are miserable? They mutilate themselves. They get depressed. All these zoo animals, this is a well-established fact, these zoo animals are getting injected with Prozac and the like all over the world because they need to sedate them. They have trouble getting them to mate.
Zoochosis, when I first read about this I said, “OMG. This is school. These kids don’t want to sit still in school. They’re medicating them just to pound that square peg into a round hole. It’s an unnatural environment. It’s not natural to have kids wearing shoes all day when they’re five and six, and sitting all day, and being indoors. This is not natural. What you see in school is just a human form of zoochosis.” It’s definitely worth checking out looking into.
[00:07:03] Ashley James: Very interesting. I’m from Canada, we call it cabin fever. Cabin fever is serious. If you’re snowed in for a few weeks, man, you want to tear the paper off the walls. You need to get out. We’re meant to be out there, and children are definitely meant to be out. I can’t remember what country did this, but they were able to cut ADD rates and ADHD. They were able to cut it so significantly it would blow your mind. They increased recess to two hours a day and ADD went down significantly, that was one. Then there was another study where they increased sleep by—and this is my friend who is a first-grade teacher—increased sleep in children by 30 minutes. Just going to bed 30 minutes earlier, and 60% I believe is what he told me, they were able to cut down the ADD symptoms.
It’s like sleep and exercise people. We’re making children sit in a room all day. They’ve cut down recess in a lot of schools. They get to medicate the children because the children are going crazy because they’re stuck indoors, they get zoochosis.
[00:08:30] Daniel Louzonis: We’ve already got huge overlaps here with everything. The other study talks about—and there’s an actual movement afoot to get schools to have later start times. It’s a little bit of fool’s gold. They’re finding that if they have the high schoolers start later, because basically, in school districts, the high school kids are expected to go to school early because they can get earlier. Then the buses, they want to use the same buses for the middle school and the elementary school. They don’t all start at 9:00 AM. They don’t all start at 8:30 AM. It’s a staggered start. They’re finding that once they delayed the start of school, that not only in these schools has academic performance gone up, but school suspensions have gone down.
That’s just one study, and I don’t think it’s actually tenable because anyone who has teenagers know, they sleep in later they’ll stay up later. They’ll just spend more time, they’ll have more energy at midnight to be on social media. With ADHD, homeschoolers, I’ve known this for over a decade. I can’t tell you how many parents I’ve heard this say, “My kid needed the ADHD medicine when they were in school. Once I pulled them out, they didn’t need it.”
The other thing about fidgety kids in school outside of their natural environment, they’re finding standing desks are going a long way towards behavioral control, focus, and all that. You can google the guy in California, Kelly Starrett. He’s got a whole movement about trying to get schools to have more standup desks. They’re also finding that if you say a seven-year-old kid is anxious, if they let him lay on the floor in his stomach, that he’s totally fine. If they force him to sit in a chair, his behavior is off the wall. One of the reasons I’ve heard bandied about is it’s something about core strength. These kids, they can’t sit or whatever.
There’s a huge overlap between physical health and academic performance. Physical health and what goes on in the brain. It’s so underappreciated. If you asked Richard Branson, the billionaire, why he’s so successful, he says, “Because I workout.” He said, “Because I workout, I have an extra hour a day of energy, and leverage, and all that.” Every single one of these high-performance experts is hacking their body to almost an extreme extent. You touched on already, they have removed recesses from school.
When I was a kid, we had three recess in school. Before you know it, it was down to two, then it was down to one. Now, I hear some schools don’t have any recess whatsoever. Even beyond recess, kids used to walk to school. There is research that shows that kids who walk to school have better grades. Wow. Oxygen flowing to the brain. A little bit of movement. It doesn’t matter whether they’re rich or poor, walking to school is highly correlated with academic performance. Not to say that academic performance is going to set you up for life. I can tell you firsthand that having an Ivy League degree, it doesn’t guarantee you anything in this world. There’ll be so many cans of worms opened up here, so many Pandora’s boxes that we’re going to be on air for about 24 hours straight if we don’t focus ourselves.
[00:11:58] Ashley James: Yeah, let’s do it. Let’s do a marathon, so a 24-hour marathon about homeschooling. I think we could do it. I’m just remembering all the grades where I walked to school or biked to school. I was about a half an hour for me to get to junior high, for me to get from grade 5 and up was about a half an hour I’m thinking. Then I was about a 15-minute walk for me to get to grades 1 and 2. Then high school was only about a seven-minute walk, but for me, those walks to school woke me up.
I remember the walks home helped me destress, especially the long ones. Even though I’m like, “Oh man, I wish I’d be home right now.” I would either ride my bike, or rollerblade, or walk, depending on the weather. It really helped me. It was just the solitude, it would help me to decompress from my day because I had a lot of social anxiety, and I was bullied, and it would help me just to work it out. By the time I got home, I felt refreshed, I felt emotionally recharged.
That time, to be able to just move your body really helped me. Then in college, I drove to college. I remember just feeling sleepy the whole morning because I just wake-up, get in my car, and go. I miss that. I miss that—moving my body in the morning, having to walk there. Yeah, that does make a lot of sense.
[00:13:35] Daniel Louzonis: Cars are killers. If you think about it, and I’ve heard people say this, television passive video consumption in the car. Those two innovations—if we can call them innovations—what they’ve done to the human body is pretty bad. You could almost get rid of all that stuff. If you turn off the TV, or throw it out, and don’t get in a car—I moved to London five years ago, six years ago and I was already pretty thin. I lost 26 pounds because I didn’t have a car. I wasn’t sitting at 90 degrees with my stomach disengaged for two to two-and-a-half hours a day. People used to be really thin. They used to walk everywhere. They used to walk to school uphill in the snow both ways. They used to walk. Nowadays, the kids are getting chauffeured to school—door-to-door.
The bus used to drop kids off at bus stops where kids would walk to a quarter of a mile whatever. The buses started picking up kids right on their doorstep, especially in wealthier areas like where I live in New York area. There are reasons for it. People think it’s safer, it’s less of a liability, but these kids are going from a bed, to a chair for breakfast, to 90 degrees sitting on a bus, to sitting in a desk all day long. They’re never ever getting that chance to decompress in nature, never getting a chance to exercise their body and be in nature at all. It could be for a month or two. It might be by accident.
[00:15:13] Ashley James: It’s such a shame. You, over the years, have become an expert in teaching parents how to homeschool in a way that best supports their child in their education. I don’t want to get too much into your bio because I want listeners to go back and listen to episode 258, but your experience with your two children’s wonderful. You’ve been coaching for a long time. Even parents who say, “I don’t know if I can do it. My child is too hyper. My child is this, or my child is that.” There’s a way to shape homeschooling for each individual child, but before we get into talking about this crisis and what we can do now, I’d like to just catch up. What has happened, what has transpired since we had you on the show in episode 258?
[00:16:12] Daniel Louzonis: I was trying to figure out what date that was, but I will say that—
[00:16:17] Ashley James: It was about two years ago.
[00:16:19] Daniel Louzonis: The last two and a half years, we’ve lived in Manhattan. Two and a half years ago or two and three-quarters years ago, we’re living in a 3500 square foot home in suburban Long Island. I knew there was something missing. It was suburban life, it was driving all day to homeschooling activities, and driving around to the community activities, the soccer, the dance, the karate, and I was going nuts. My kids were about 10 and 11, or 11 and 12 years old. They were at that stage where they needed some autonomy. I did this radical thing. There were other reasons too, health reasons.
My wife was commuting to Manhattan. She was getting up at 4:15 AM to go to CrossFit for 5:00 AM, to get on a train at 6:50 AM, to go into Manhattan—an hour commute there, just about. Then coming back late at night. I just knew that that wasn’t good for her body, it wasn’t good for our relationship, anything.
There were about five reasons that were all pointing towards me selling this big house. Another reason was I believe the stock market was going to crash. The real estate market was going to crash. It was an aggressive financial bet. I sold the house for an insane amount of money, and we moved three minutes away from my wife’s office, right next to the World Trade Center. Her commute went to three minutes—two elevators. If it rains, she just doesn’t even grab an umbrella. She’s a risk-taker. She thinks she can duck under and make it as she did this morning. My kids, like I said, they were like 10 and 11, 11 and 12. I wanted them to be able to walk places.
We moved into Manhattan next to the World Trade Center, a place that 10 years ago, I never would have thought I’d moved next to the World Trade Center especially seeing how my wife was downtown when the towers fell. Things change. Your mindset changes, and your approach toward certain types of risk changes, but my kids could walk to playgrounds. They could walk to Barnes & Noble. They could walk to the deli and buy something that they shouldn’t be eating. Soccer practice is 9/10th of a mile away right up the Hudson River. At 11 years old she was riding her scooter up the river with a bunch of her teammates, every single day, four days a week.
I said, “Try to put a value on me not having to drive my daughter to soccer.” I was literally talking about health. I was literally ready to blow my brains out at all the driving and the chauffeuring that I had to do. I killed so many birds. I killed a whole flock of birds with this one move, and it was the best thing that I did. Of course, we’re living in an expensive tiny apartment, it has its own challenges. But even in New York City, I wanted my kids to work. I could already see that there was more work in New York than there is in the suburbs.
There’s this expression, if you can make it in New York you can make it anywhere. I actually disagree with that. I actually think it’s easier to make it in New York. If you want to work nine days a week, 30 hours a day in New York, you can do it. A one-bedroom apartment, here in my building, a one-bedroom is $4000 a month. You could even pay $5000, but that’s a one-bedroom. The reality is, you could walk dogs just in this building and more than pay your rent. Even though the cost to be here is high, the opportunity is even bigger.
My kids, they’ve been working, let’s see, since we last spoke my son wrote a book titled Kid Trillionaire: How a Little Kid Can Make a Big Fortune. It’s just that. It’s about how kids can make money. What’s the template? What’s the process? What do they have to start doing, stop doing? Who they have to follow? All these things. Terrific, terrific book—Kid Trillionaire. We didn’t put it on Amazon. The only way he was selling it was he was standing on 6th Avenue with a table. I wanted him to stop heads, talk to people, figure out how to deal with whoever would talk to him. He spent many, many hours over the last couple years on the streets of Manhattan selling his book hand-to-hand, and he sold, I believe, over 1200 copies of his book now, not only that, he also got all sorts of media attention.
He was instantly on several TV stations, he had a full-page article about him in the New York Post. This is what is possible when you operate with extreme flexibility outside the system. You can literally move where you want to move. How many times have you heard somebody say, “I don’t want to move to disrupt my kids’ social life,” or “We moved into this house because of the school system.” We’ve never been beholden to any limiting beliefs like that. We moved to London for 15 months and our school goes with us. We go to Florida in the winter for a month or five weeks or so. Our school is totally uninterrupted, nothing changes.
They have libraries down there. We’ll bring the piano keyboard. We’ll do our math, and our chess, and our reading. We’ll go to the park at 2:000 PM, 3:00 PM when all the other kids are out of school. We go to the beach or whatever. Something I want to point out here, I might have pointed out in the last episode, is that I had two young kids. We go to Florida in the winter from Boston. It takes a massive bite out of the winner. For three years, with two little kids, they didn’t have a sniffle or a cold between them. I attribute that to a couple of things. One, being able to go down in Florida and get out of the stale indoor air of frigid New England. Also, they’re not going to school, which people are seeing more and more now that they—
[00:22:19] Ashley James: Petri dish.
[00:22:21] Daniel Louzonis: They’re a petri dish. They’re germ factories. Somehow, nobody knew that six weeks ago. That’s a little bit of what we’ve been doing. That’s John. Let me just say, Christine, she’s 13 years old now. She’s a little hustling entrepreneur herself. A year ago, she said that she wanted to go with her soccer team to France. There was a summer trip during the Women’s World Cup in the summer. Now, going to Europe in the summer is expensive, World Cup tickets, and they’re going to mark this thing up because that’s what they do. Nobody organizes trips for free. Four thousand dollars, we said, “Sure, if you go make the money you can go.” What do you know, in about a few months, she put ads up on the building forums. “I’ll babysit, I’ll mother’s help. I’ll teach your kids piano.” She made that money within, I would say, four or five months. That was just the start of it. Since then, even though I’m against all the smartphones and stuff, she bought her own for $800 with her own money.
My kids now, they are semi-fully launched entrepreneurs. I don’t have life insurance or more than, I don’t know, $50,000 worth. My life insurance, my wife’s life insurance, is that we’re arming our kids, we’re making them future proof, we’re making them socially intelligent, resourceful. At this stage of our homeschooling with teenagers, our focus is strictly on entrepreneurship. They’re not going to go to college. I’m not paying for it. They’d have to pay for it themselves, which I don’t think they would do.
What makes my homeschooling philosophy very unique is how aggressive we start out. We started out with up to three-hour math sessions when they’re four years old. That’s what I did with my kids at least. Very aggressive early on, very strict with the screens like no TV, no video games. Then at the end, an aggressive start and also an aggressive end. The end game is where a lot of homeschooling families lose it. They have 18-year-old kids who are well-rounded, and smart, and have hobbies, and this, and that, but they don’t really have any vocational skills.
They don’t really have any interest in the economy, and therefore, college becomes like a default choice. They just get sucked in. They’re more well-rounded, they’re more mature or whatever, but they’re still getting sucked into the college system. Look, I went to the University of Pennsylvania. I have an Ivy League education, and I didn’t major in impractical things. It was math and economics. I was trading derivatives and futures right out of college in 1995. I can tell you, they don’t really teach you anything about business even in the top schools.
I’m very pro-parent, very pro-education, I’m very anti-outsourcing it. There are certain things that you can’t outsource that you have to do yourself. Far too many people believe that they can outsource the raising in education of their kids. It would be great if I could punt my kids out the door and they came back mature, and well-rounded, and civilized, but unfortunately, what goes on in the schools has gotten so bad. We can talk about this, the last 10 years, it is escalating.
[00:25:40] Ashley James: It is so bad.
[00:25:41] Daniel Louzonis: It has gotten so much worse. With the iPhone, it has gotten so much worse. On the other hand, with the internet, with podcasts, with the bounty of the Information Age, with the ability to connect with anybody on the planet, with the ability to get chess lessons from a grandmaster in India for $10 an hour. The chasm between going in one direction and in another, going to college, going the traditional route versus going hard on entrepreneurship like Gary Vaynerchuk style. Mark Zuckerberg was a dropout, Michael Dell was a dropout, Steve Jobs was a dropout, Bill Gates was a dropout. People are missing it that the most successful people on this planet cannot attribute their success to education. There’s a whole new breed of people out there. The next Bill Gates, and Zuckerberg, and Michael Dell, they’re not going to be kids who went to college for a year and dropped out. They’re going to be kids who never even went to school in the first grade.
I have a good friend and she’s homeschooled her kids for years. Her son applied to MIT and Stanford, got into both, didn’t even think about going to them. The only reason he applied to those schools was because grandma, for years, was saying, “You’re not getting education,” nagging mom and dad. They should be in school. So MIT and Stanford actually applied to him. It wasn’t the other way around. They applied to him and he rejected them. I have stories. Because of what I do, I have stories and anecdotes like this one after another after another after another. Nobody’s really put them all together. It’s always between the cracks. People aren’t seeing it.
The kids who are educated outside the school system are dominating basically everything. In terms of chess, for example. Half of the top youth chess players in America are homeschooled—half. You literally can’t compete with the kids who were sitting home all day playing 11 hours a day and using chess engines. Spelling bees have been dominated by homeschooled kids for ages. Writing contests, you name it. The school system is proving to be an assembly-line from a bygone industrial era that is no longer compatible with the goals. It really never was compatible with the highest goals the parents have for their kids. It doesn’t have any chance or it precludes any chance of our kids discovering, no less reaching their full potential.
In the last 10 years, there’s a whole new reason to home-school. I’m not even going to get into corona. I won’t even put that one in there or the force vaccination schedule that’s going to come. You can’t control the technology in your kid’s lives when all their friends have smartphones. If you were to go back in time 20 years and say, “Hey, we’re going to give every kid, every 12-year-old boy, a device in their pocket. 24-hour television. 24-hour video game consoles.”
[00:29:00] Ashley James: No way. Absolutely not. We would say, “No way.”
[00:29:03] Daniel Louzonis: It also has a stack of porno magazines that goes to the moon. Go around and try to count how many parents, even if you don’t give your kid a phone, their peers all have it. It has become pretty much the dominant social force. There are 20 reasons to homeschool your kids, whether they’re getting bullied, or whether they’re going to be a tennis prodigy, or whatever. Any one of these 20 reasons to home-school is sufficient all by itself. The new one is now you can’t control the tech in their lives, and therefore, you can’t control a lot of other things. Go ahead.
[00:29:39] Ashley James: Their lives are at stake. When we look at ages, I believe it was, 10-24, this range that suicides went up by 60% in the last 10 years. It’s the second leading cause of death in that generation. Basically, in school-aged children, suicide is the second cause of death. I don’t know what the first one is. That’s ridiculous. Suicide is on the rise so much, and these are children who shocks the parents. They’re able to be constantly bullied. I was bullied as a child, but like I said, those walks home I could decompress. Then when I was home, I was away from the bullying, and I could call my best friend, and I could go escape into a book, or I could turn on the TV, or do my homework, or talk to my parents, and I could go bike riding with my neighbor. I could escape for hours until the next day. Whereas now, children are bullied 24 hours a day because they all have these devices, and it’s nonstop for them.
That’s just one reason why the environment of school is completely different than when you and I, because I went to school in the 80s, I’m 40. I’ve talked to some teachers. They said that in the last 10 years, the children are different. One of my friends who’s been a teacher for 20 years, and he has three kids of his own. I’ve talked to other teachers who have been teachers longer, and they said that the children are different. Maybe it’s because they have tablets. Maybe it’s because they don’t have the recess. They have the tablets. They watch way more TV. They’re way more sedentary. They have the ability to constantly chatter with each other through cell phones and through devices. It’s like the key latch kid of our generation.
I’d come home. I had a key to the house. I’d walk home, and I’d be 10-13 years old, somewhere there. No one was home until my parents got home later in the day. We had to learn how to make our own snacks, and do our own thing. We were independent at a very young age. These children are also independent because, in a way, the kids are going off and using these devices the parents aren’t part of it. There isn’t an adult looming over them monitoring the situation. We’re just seeing in the classroom there’s way more bullying. There’s way more backtalk. There’s way more defiance. The children are just rude. They’re becoming violent. It’s crazy.
[00:32:45] Daniel Louzonis: Let me jump in here for one second. You’re going to have people listen to this, listen to me. I’ve been me for a long time. They’re going to hear things like three-hour math sessions when they’re young, aggressive. You’re going to hear them, “Let them enjoy their childhood.” I’ve heard a lot without going into how I want them to enjoy their adulthood too or that whole argument. People say, “Kids aren’t developmentally ready to read until a certain age.” I completely disagree with almost everybody who says it. They have their mind made up.
[00:33:18] Ashley James: My son, when he was 18 months old—18 months old. This is when most children don’t form sentences. They can say words like car like, “Ca, ca.” “Oh, it’s a car.” My son, at 18 months old, knew the entire alphabet backward and forwards. We could pick random letters and he would pick it up, and he’d be able to say, “This is a C. This is a D. This is a Z.” He could say all of them, uppercase and lowercase. We weren’t doing three hour English sessions with him. We were just actively playing with him with letters. I was just blown away that an 18-month-old knew all the letters, and then was able to start recognizing more than letters—was able to start recognizing words.
By the time he was two-and-a-half, he was writing his name. He was holding a pen and writing his name. Then I met a four-year-old, a friend of mine has a four-year-old, who at age four did not know what an A was, did not know what a B was, wouldn’t recognize any part of the alphabet. She was just waiting to put him in public school. If every child has the potential to know the alphabet at 18 months old—he was having fun, it was play. He wasn’t suffering. If every child could know the alphabet at 18 months, could start to read and write by two and a half, and love it, and enjoy it, and it’s fun for them. Then by the time they’re three or four reading complete books and enjoying it and loving it, why not? What are we doing wrong that children are suffering? All of a sudden they start hating learning, and they start pushing back.
[00:35:10] Daniel Louzonis: Those are huge, huge great topics. First of all, the next time someone says the kid’s not developmentally ready for reading—to read now—why don’t you say, “Well, they’re not developmentally ready for the iPad or a television but that’s not stopping you either.” Those are dangerous, dangerous things. But about loving to read and loving your letters, my daughter, she had her letters and she’d carry them around with her all the time. I definitely fondly remember those years 10 years ago. If anybody hates exercise and nutrition, what does your body going to look like? This is just so obvious. People understand the health analogies, and I always go back to them.
If you hate healthy food and you hate to exercise, you’re going to hear people say, “I hate to run. I hate this. I hate vegetables.” Well, what’s your body going to look like? Well, what if you hate to learn? What if you hate to read, and write, and think, and focus? What is your whole entire life going to look like? Unfortunately, that’s the essence of education, right? You’re never going to achieve anything in life, you’re never going to even scratch the surface of your potential—your God-given potential—if you hate to think, and learn, and read, and write, and meet people, and experiment. You don’t even have a chance, but what school does is it makes kids hate to read. It makes them associate reading with coercion, with obligation, with sitting inside, with conformity, with all these stifling activities.
This isn’t proven, this is just like internet stuff. They say that 40% of college graduates will never read another book. When I first read that, I said, “Well, that’s true. After I graduated college, I didn’t read a book until I was about 29 or 30 years old.” Luckily, I actually discovered reading on my own, and I discovered that books were extremely fascinating. They could solve all my problems and open doorways to every path of abundance on this planet. Life’s treasure really is in books, but sadly, these kids are leaving the educational system with not just an unwillingness to read but active bibliophobia.
Stand next to my son on 6th Avenue, and when people say, “Hey, what’s going on? Hey. Who are you?” or whatever. He’ll say, “Oh, I have a book here.” You will see them actually take two steps back. The concept of a book is scary to people. In my world, Satan has won. What worse oppression can you will upon someone than making them think that they’re not intelligent, making them think that effort won’t be rewarded, and closing their mind? They don’t have to be in prison. They’re in a prison. They’ve got their hands cuffed. They’re in a straightjacket forevermore, unless something shocks them into a resurrection, or some type of reincarnation, or invigoration.
[00:38:16] Ashley James: Wouldn’t it be amazing if we all picked up a book? Most of us are isolated at home. We don’t have much to do. The parks are closed. The movie theaters are closed. The restaurants are closed. We shouldn’t go visit anyone. If we all picked up a book and reinvigorated the love of learning and love of reading. It might make it worth it. This whole—I don’t know. There’s a lot of bad going on, but let’s focus on the good because we can’t control. It’s out of our control, so instead of feeling helpless, let’s focus on what we can control. What we can control is the environment right now that our children are in and also our own mental environment, our internal environment. If we could all do things like pick up books and remember how much reading is fun.
I know that in the last year or so your business has really taken off because of the vaccine laws in your area, some states. It was because of the measles, right? That parents took their children out of school for multiple reasons. Some they’re not for vaccines, but some parents they had to because their children would be harmed from the vaccine because they were known to be susceptible. They had no choice other than to start homeschooling. Tell us about that journey.
[00:40:05] Daniel Louzonis: I believe it started in California where they—I think California got rid of the religious exemption for vaccines. In other words, kids go to school, they have to get punctured. I don’t know how many dozen times, how often. There was always a loophole that said if you have religious reasons to not get it you could still go to school. New York followed suit. I believe it was in August this year, so school in New York starts in September. In August, this law came out and there were all these families that under no circumstances we’re going to get their kids vaccinated and sent to school. It was public school and private school. There was a little bit of tyranny. There was nowhere to hide except in homeschooling. They are all reluctant homeschoolers much in the way that all COVID-19 parents have become reluctant homeschoolers.
The number of homeschoolers in Manhattan, or New York City, it doubled. We usually grow 5% a year, whatever. There’s a lot of organic growth every year in homeschooling, and it has been since the 1980, but it doubled. I mean a 100% increase in the number of people homeschooling in New York City.
[00:41:29] Ashley James: Because of the measles? Because of the removal of religious vaccination?
[00:41:35] Daniel Louzonis: Yes, it doubled. What you have was you have all these people who were reluctant homeschoolers. They didn’t actually want to homeschool, they just didn’t want to go to school. There are really two types of homeschoolers.
[00:41:47] Ashley James: They didn’t want to homeschool, but they had no choice because they didn’t want to have the vaccinations for their children, either because they’re against vaccinations, or because their children would have been harmed by them because they knew that they were susceptible.
[00:42:04] Daniel Louzonis: Yeah. Let me get into that. It was a culture clash to start out with. I even did a podcast, are they pro-homeschooling, or are they just anti-vaccine? Anytime you get an influx of people, a bunch of them move into the neighborhood, some people are welcoming, some people are not, some people are saying, “They don’t look like us. They don’t talk like us.”
[00:42:24] Ashley James: The culture changes, right?
[00:42:26] Daniel Louzonis: Right. There’s been an ongoing assimilation process in New York City for—the change is more for them than for us. Homeschoolers, they know how to self-quarantine. They know how to draw boundaries. No one’s forced to really do anything with anybody. I did get to meet some of these new people. Like I said, they were in nooks and crannies. You didn’t realize how many. I was astounded by how many people it was. It turns out, there were tons and tons of people and when you talk to them—I always ask people, it doesn’t matter if you’re sitting at the bar, or sitting next to me in church, or I bump into you, I’m always going to ask you, “Where you’re from? What’s your story?” I’m just interested. I will always ask people why they’re homeschooling. Nowadays, you can just almost say, “Do you have vaccines?” And half the people, it’s yes.
When you hear their stories the reasons why they’re homeschooling, they’ll talk about their sister who was in a coma for three months after this, or their son who had eczema so bad, all these things from vaccines. You and your people probably know, you might even know more about this stuff than I do, but it’s the vaccine injury Club that’s not publicized. That if you talk about it on TV you’re going to get audited and thrown off the air. You’re going to get delisted by Google and all this stuff. There’s a huge community of people out there that were just trying to get by and send their kids to school normally without the vaccine, and all of a sudden they couldn’t do that.
The worst thing now that’s happening is that this virus is going to probably—and I’m sure you have a lot of strong thoughts on this too—it’s probably going to make the vaccine enforcement even more militant. They’re talking about medical martial law and how you can’t go anywhere without showing your papers that you’re fully vaccinated, that you’re up to date.
[00:44:19] Ashley James: Yeah. They’re saying it’ll have an RFID chip, you won’t be able to get your driver’s license, you won’t be able to pay your due taxes. There’s just talk. It’s just talk at this point, but it is infringing upon our freedom and our rights especially when you understand the complexities of vaccines. Even people who are pro-vaccine. Again, I try to stay neutral because I’m not here to—I don’t know—fear monger. I’m not here to tinfoil hat anyone. I’m just asking people to please question things.
[00:45:02] Daniel Louzonis: Do their own research.
[00:45:03] Ashley James: Please, do your own research. Please, just question. I had someone message me once after a really great interview about vaccines. She’s like, “I’ve been listening for a while. I really love your show, but I’m really confused. Why isn’t the flu shot great? I thought it was the best thing in the world.” It’s just people believe what they’ve been told by their doctor, or by some TV commercial, or by some news broadcast, or by what their mom said. I remember, the last time I got a flu shot I was 18 years old. This is back in the 90s. I remember my chiropractor was giving them. She thought it was the best thing in the world. My mom said, “This is a new thing out. We can get vaccines,” this is in Canada, “We can get a shot and we won’t get the flu.” The thing is, my mom and I saw Naturopaths. We ate non-processed foods. We ate, it was like a Paleo diet at the time. They didn’t call it Paleo, but we didn’t eat processed foods.
We got a lot of sunlight. We took our vitamins. We never got sick. I mean never. I have no idea why my mom was so excited about the flu shot, but she was told by her chiropractor that it was the best thing in the world and we’ll never get sick if we get this flu shot. We both got it, and we got so sick from it. We were sick for two weeks. We were so violently sick from this flu shot. My mom and I just turned to each other and we’re like, “What were we thinking? This is ridiculous.” I had no idea that there were heavy metals in it. That there was a fetal tissue in it. That there was DNA from other animals in it. Just the list, you go down the list of ingredients. I had no idea, but it definitely didn’t make me healthier. That had me just a little back in my mind like, “Oh, wow. Interesting that that could happen,” because it was sold to us. They only talked about how it’s healthy.
My thing is when someone tries to sell you a man-made drug or treatment, and they only tell you the good, and they don’t tell you the bad—because everything has a side effect—and they only tell you the good. If you just question. If you just go, “Hey, that sounds great. Can you tell me about the bad?” or “Hey, can you tell me about the ingredients?” or “Hey, can you tell me about the studies that prove that it’s safe?” All of a sudden, people come at you and attack you personally. “Oh, you’re an anti-vaxxer.” You start getting attacked personally just by asking questions. You weren’t attacking the drug or the treatment, you were just wanting more information. If someone is attacked for asking for information, then you know that there’s something up. There’s a culture that’s been created that it’s not safe to ask questions around vaccines.
[00:48:07] Daniel Louzonis: It’s the expert culture.
[00:48:09] Ashley James: What do you mean?
[00:48:11] Daniel Louzonis: You can’t get on TV unless you’re somehow seen as an expert. They have a degree from here, a Ph.D. from there. Just because someone’s on TV—I’ve been on TV, that doesn’t make me an expert. What makes someone an expert is the results that they get, and who needs experts? “Oh, people who can’t think for themselves,” or who can’t think for themselves? Well, people educated by a system. People who never even planned out their own day until they were 22 years old, if ever. The school system is an obedient system. It has lobotomized brains where people can’t think for themselves. We all have friends and family members, but if you ask them their opinion on something, every single word that they say you’ll know is straight from a certain publication. They literally can’t form their own opinions. It’s called received opinion. This is what experts need. This is what people in power need. They don’t need or want anybody who can think independently.
Going back to what type of kids are we going to raise? If we don’t teach our kids to be able to think critically and understand that people on TV, people in the media, politicians, that they have an agenda. If they don’t see that, then they will take a lot of things at face value. The flu shot you’re talking about. Do you know that they actually pay you to take to get the flu shot now? Did you know you get a $25 Amazon gift card?
[00:49:40] Ashley James: Oh my gosh.
[00:49:42] Daniel Louzonis: They started out saying, “Oh, it’s only $60.” Then it was only $25 or $30. Then it was only $17 at CVS. They got it into the retail establishments. Now, if you get a flu shot, they will give you a $25 gift card. That started I believe this year. Your viewers can google that. Yeah, they’re literally paying you for this loyalty oath, and it is a loyalty oath. It’s a faith in science, faith in doctors. It’s its own pseudo-religion. Meanwhile, what they know about the body is still zero.
The body is a mysterious thing and nobody should ever speak with certainty about a treatment, about a medicine, or anything because they really don’t know. This is—my brother taught me this term years ago—a god complex. I had to look it up. This was before Google, but a god complex is a belief in infallibility. If you go to a doctor and say, “Hey, well what about this, this, and this?” Not only are they going to call you an anti-vaxxer, are they going to call you a Google mommy. There are a lot of complicated reasons.
First of all, that doctor has been giving that vaccine to thousands of people. In his own mind, he can’t one day think, “Maybe I’ve been hurting people.” When a person’s income, and their livelihood, and their ego depends on them doing a certain thing, they’re not going to be easily moved or easily encouraged to reevaluate that. It’s just human nature. We all kind of dig ourselves in, and so there’s that too.
A friend of mine in Florida, in Naples Florida, his son got a round of vaccinations when he was really young. His son came home and started staring at ceiling fans and just dazing out. He says, “Oh boy.” He didn’t know what it was. He’s googling. He became a Google Daddy. He found out that it looked like his son—he saw him, he’s craving carbs. I’m just telling you what he told me. His son got a diagnosis out on the edge at the autism spectrum, okay, whatever.
Daughter comes along next year-and-a-half, same doctor. He says to the doctor, “I want to pass on this round of vaccinations.” The doctor started dropping f-bombs on him, and told him to get the bleep out, and go find a new bleeping doctor. You talk about being called a Google mommy is one thing, but trying to find a doctor who will take you, that’s a whole other. The homeschoolers in New York have had a hard time finding doctors who will even take them on, finding pediatricians. Even before they started ramping up the forced vaccinations, they were going up to doctors and saying, “Well, we’re not going to give you insurance if you don’t have a 98% or 99% vaccination.
[00:52:33] Ashley James: Premera actually pays a bonus. In certain states, Premera pays a bonus if they have a certain percentage of vaccines. It is such a good bonus that it keeps the lights on. It’s the difference between profitability and loss for these pediatricians. I’ve had this covered in an interview, but it was covered a little bit in The Truth About Vaccines, which is a docuseries. I have had a few interviews worth that went into detail. I think Dr. Paul Thomas talked about it, off the top of my head.
Listeners can go to learntruehealth.com and type in Paul Thomas. He’s a great pediatrician in Portland who wrote a book called Safe Vaccines. He’s not anti or pro. He’s actually pro-informed consent. He wants to give you all the bad. You’re told all the good, here’s actually all the bad, and you should know. You should know both sides, and you should know what to do instead. Half of his practice chose not to vaccinate or actually maybe a bit more. During flu outbreaks, when I interviewed him, there was a massive flu outbreak. The hospitals in Portland had six-hour wait times. This was about two winters ago, I don’t know if you remember.
[00:54:00] Daniel Louzonis: 2018.
[00:54:01] Ashley James: There was a big flu scare, and all the hospitals in all the cities were just completely slammed with influenza. His clinic has four doctors and a few nurse practitioners. It was a big clinic. They have thousands and thousands of patients, over 10,000 patients. Friday afternoon, they’re expecting because they called around. They found out that every hospital in Portland was like a six-hour wait because of influenza. They said they went home early Friday. They got zero phone calls from the parents. None of their patients were sick with influenza.
They actually went home early because they were just like, “Okay, we can wrap it up. Everyone’s fine.” Whereas they were expecting to be slammed also, but he said he attributed that to the fact that the children take vitamin D, they get plenty of sunlight. He educates his patients on how to eat healthy, not junk food, but how to eat healthy, real food, and they choose not to vaccinate, and they choose to do alternative things other than vaccinations. He just saw, he sees it in his practice.
You say expert opinions, he sees it in his practice that the children who get to run outside, who are homeschooled, who get to eat real food, and who aren’t put on a ton of drugs, they’re the ones who have really healthy immune systems.
[00:55:36] Daniel Louzonis: What about stress too, right? How much does constant stress reduce the immune system? I’m not an expert on it, but I’m pretty sure that there’s a high correlation between vulnerability and the amount of stress that kids who are studying for math tests every week, and being woken up early, not getting enough sleep, who are on devices all the time, and who are just constantly being pushed, poked, and prodded.
Stress is a big deal. I tell my kids all the time, I could yell my head off at them all day long and they wouldn’t experience the natural organic stress of being in school, being under a microscope having kids. I’m 100% serious. Always worrying about, “Are my pants a little too purple? Or this, or my hair. Do I have big zit on my face? What’s this person going to say? Is this person going to…?”
The constant accumulate micro stresses of being in school. Look, every personal development expert knows the concept of a mastermind is that you go join a group of other entrepreneurs or other social circles where people are operating at a high level, and just by being in that group of fast-charging achievers you level yourself up. They level you up. What happens in school on so many different levels is that because it’s age-graded, the students all pull their ignorance.
[00:57:12] Ashley James: It’s the lowest common denominator. It’s the Homer Simpson model. You look at the Simpsons. I choose the Simpsons because I learned the idea of the lowest common denominator back when the Simpsons were really popular.
[00:57:31] Daniel Louzonis: Wait, not in math class?
[00:57:33] Ashley James: Its ideas that why is it that Fox, for example, or whatever, or CBS, why do they put out shows that are so dumb? They’re funny but they’re really dumb. It’s this idea that they need to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Let’s dumb down everyone down so that everyone can participate in the entertainment that’s dumb instead of trying to raise people up. This idea that’s like, “Let’s get everyone like Homer Simpson where we’re all dumbed down together instead of challenging people to and pulling them up.”
[00:58:24] Daniel Louzonis: What’re low expectations, right? I think it was Condoleezza Rice. I think she was working with Bush—the Bush two. She’s talked about an expression or she bandied about an expression, “The bigotry of low expectations.” If you have low expectations of people they will never break through that ceiling. You have to have high escalating—even if you’re a parent. If your kids were doing the dishes and making their bed this month, well, what can you add to that next month? You have to be pushing people. They have all this potential. They respond to it. They feel respected when you ask more of them. It’s not just the TV. The newspapers, I remember years ago them saying that, going back into the 80s at newspapers were now written at a fourth and fifth-grade level.
Online, they say, “Oh, keep your videos short. Use one-word sentences. Use one-sentence paragraphs because nobody has any attention span.”
[00:59:25] Ashley James: My shows are two hours long. I probably could get more listeners if it was like a five-minute show, but it would be, again, appealing to the lowest common denominator. I want to raise people up. I want to dive deep into these discussions, and pull information out of the brains of the guests, and enrich the listener as much as possible. We have to challenge ourselves so that we can rise up.
This brings up my question for the practical application. My five-year-old son, back when he was two and a half he loved doing this—picking up a pen, start writing, but now he’s fighting me. This idea and I’m watching my friends’ kids who don’t want to do chores. You’re saying, “What could you add to the list next month?”
What about the children who are defiant, or the children who don’t want to do that? They don’t want to sit down and do math work. They don’t want to do the dishes. They don’t want to do their bed. How do you get to the point where they’re excited to do it, and they want to do more, and they feel that the responsibility is you respecting them, and they’re excited about the responsibility? How do you flip it so that they go from defiance to excitement?
[1:00:45] Daniel Louzonis: Some children are actually that ODD, that oppositional defiant disorder. There are some children who feel so uncomfortable doing anything that they’re told, that if you say, “Up,” they’ll say, “Way down.” If you say, “Yes,” they’ll say, “No way.” Even to their own self, like destruction. This will be hard for you if you do it this way. They don’t care. They really have trouble. The good thing about those kids is that they will not just listen to the authorities. You probably heard the expression, “The strong-willed child.” I’m sure there are books about, “the strong-willed child.” One thing we say about my daughter because my daughter is in this category.
My kids are the opposite. My son will do anything that you ask him, but only what you ask him. My daughter will do nothing that you ask. I actually have two polar opposites. He needs to be a little more self-motivating, and she needs to be a little more receptive to people who are wiser than her and even people who pay the bills. Maybe you should do this one thing. What we say about her is that, euphemistically, “Well, she has leadership qualities. She’s not a follower.”
To answer your question specifically about Brave, some kids don’t like math because of the curriculum. Some kids don’t like math because they’re just testing whether or not it’s optional. You get tests, they get tests, you get tests. Sometimes, the kid may, this is like a 5% chance, they may have dyscalculia where they have trouble seeing three fingers is three really quickly. But in my experience, there’s a lot of things you can do especially if you have the ultimate leverage and flexibility that is homeschooling. There are a lot of things that you can do with him.
For example, if he’s five—I’ll even walk you through specifically what I would do with him. I would have him count by twos. He can count, I’m sure. The first thing when you start with young kids—count to 30, great. Count to 60 by 2s, great. Now, count by 3s to 90. Count by 5s to 150, 10s to 300, and we just skip count over and over and over and over again. This is a karate kid drill that can be done verbally in a car while you’re driving, when you’re walking, it can be done on paper, and we can add many, many layers of complexity to it. We would say, “Well, how do we add 10? 17 plus 10, well it’s 27. The kids can pick that up. Well, how do we add 9?” Well, we go up 10 and we come back 1, great.”
“I want you to count by 9s to 270.” We start with 9 and we say, “Well, it’s not 19, we come back 1 is 18. It’s not 28, we come back 1, 27,” and they learned to count by 9s up to 270. Then they learned to count by 8s, and then we learned to count by 7s, and 11s, and 12s, and then we count backward. We say, “Count from 270 to 0 by 9s. We do these same self-mastery drills over and over and over and over again. We time them. There’s a time component. To count by 9s, it took them 4 minutes you write it down. They can see. Now it took them three minutes. Next thing you know it’s a minute and a half.
They feel good about what they’re doing. They can see their progress. They know they couldn’t do it. They remember they couldn’t do it a week ago, and now they’re starting to own the numbers. This is all without word problems. It’s all without common core, and it just keeps it very simple. Math is very, very important. It’s become lost on the public with the common core mishandling of it that math is a foundational skill.
My whole life was built on math. I was captain of my math team in high school, and we won the New England championship, which at the time, one of the most competitive leagues in the country. I look back—my kids, everything I’ve been able to do with them: read thousands of books, win chess tournaments, play multiple instruments. All these things that we’ve been able to do build entrepreneurship. It’s all built on math. Like I said, school is ruining kids for reading, it’s also ruining everybody for math.
The homeschooling world does not do a good job with math because they don’t know what to do. They don’t know what’s different about school math. They tend to use a lot of manipulatives and stuff, but the rigor of school math is important. We have to infuse our homeschool math with some rigor. The number one tip I have for infusing rigor is to do it every day first thing. If you try to do math at 3:00 PM after he’s been running around all day, or 8:00 PM after you’ve been working all day at night, it’s not going to happen.
My top tip for, not just everyone else but myself included, is you get up and you do math right away. The first academic subject you do is the toughest one. Even if it’s 30 minutes, or 40 minutes, or 20 minutes, you just do it right away, and then the rest of the day will run downhill. I can definitely give you all these—what would we say? I can give you some videos to watch on this skip counting, and I can even give you a link so that your listeners can see exactly what I’m talking about. It might not come over the ear so expertly.
We do basic drills with paper and pencil, and this skip counting drill will teach your kid addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and even factoring all in one swoop. It’s the most powerful drill that I have all my little four and five-year-old math genius students doing and really enjoying. That’s the building block that I have for math before we even go on to algebra and stuff. We have this one thing here. What else do you want to know? What else can I help you with? Is it the pen that he doesn’t want to touch, the pencil specifically?
[01:07:06] Ashley James: Oh, no, no. It’s the act of now sitting down and doing it. It’s like he would rather be doing something else. We’ll do one page of schoolwork and as we’re going through he goes, “Can we just do one page?” I’m like, “No, we’re going to do more.” He’s halfway through the next page, “Can this be the last page?” It’s just the constant, “When’s this going to be over? When’s this going to be over?” Any time I go, “Okay. It’s time to do schoolwork.” He’s like, “No,” and he runs away from me. It’s funny though because he started out really loving it, and then something shifted, and now he doesn’t like it.
I see it in other parents and other kids. I thought it’d be great in general, especially parents who are now stuck with their kids at home because of the COVID-19. They’re not used to getting their kids to sit down and do work. Then they’re finding that their kids are, “I’d rather watch TV. I’d rather go play my video game. I’d rather chat with my friend. I’ll do that later. No. I don’t want to do that right now.” Instead of punishing them, because the thing is I started saying like, “You’re going to get a timeout.” I started bringing out the stick instead of the carrot. Now it’s a punishable offence to not do school work so now school work is punishment. It’s like, “Geez, how do we get this to be fun again?”
What he loves doing is leave him on his own. He’s like, “I’m going to go do a science experiment.” All this morning he was playing with baking soda and vinegar. He really, really wants to make science experiments, and he wants to make things explode, and make elephant toothpaste, and stuff like that. We’ve got the ant farm. He’s all about finding bugs and worms. He helps me in the garden. He’s really about learning about insects. If it’s something that he’s really excited about, we could do that for hours, but when it comes to the things that he isn’t excited about. He’s just fighting me on it, which I think it’s kind of normal for some kids.
If other parents are struggling with that, how can we turn it around? How do we help the parents go from crisis schooling to homeschooling where it’s really getting the child excited and motivated about their education?
[01:09:39] Daniel Louzonis: Look, all that stuff he’s doing with science experiments, that’s awesome. You have a lot of currency to play with, and there are a lot of people who could never get their kids to show such enthusiasm, and such curiosity, and focus. That’s good, but I maintain that if you add in the rigor of the math, and I’ll give you a couple of tips on how you can get it in, that that stuff will go to the next level. This goes back to what I was saying, math is incredibly important.
All of our life we’re trying to figure out problems. We have to put them on paper, we have to deal with abstract issues, and try to identify variables, and solve for unknowns. Math is actually a powerful tool. Actually, doing algebra itself is not, but the mindset, the discipline that you need to have to do that, that’s transferable into everything. Again, in the morning, I call it math for breakfast, you do math right away. With some kids, they say, “Well, you’re not eating breakfast until it’s done or until half of it’s done.”
For some kids you only have to do that once, and they realize it’s a lot easier to do it. I understand your reluctance to use punishment, but the reality is that the world punishes our lack of discipline. We’re preparing our kids for the outside world. The real world is going to be way harsher on our kids than we could even ever—I mean, you’re 40 years old too. You know the real world will chew you up and spit you out a million different ways. Having your kid do 20, 30 minutes, an hour of math, that is not going to destroy their love or learning. What that’s going to do is that’s going to say, “Hey, in the real world, sometimes you guys do things you don’t want to do.” Again, you would use incentives.
With my son John, we have a Lego set on top of the refrigerator when he was young. I said, “When you finish these three workbooks you could get that Lego set with Star Wars or whatever,” so he had some little thing to work towards positively. Negatively, if my kids didn’t do like I say, “We’re going to do four pages,” we’re on sixteen, I turned the page, I circled the fourth page. Any lip whining, bad job, distracting the other kid, whatever, “Now we’re doing five pages.” You just do it like you would do all disciplining. The way that all these experts teach. Just do it dispassionately. You do an extra page, that’s it. If they complain, it’s another extra page.
You have to let them know that they can’t go out into the real world and complain about things that they don’t want to do. You’re raising your expectations every week, every month, or whatever. 20 minutes, 30 minutes of math, he can handle it. He sounds like he’s very bright. As a homeschooling parent, math is a major pain point because it involves a lot of stress. People feel like they’re failing their kids if they don’t do math. Math is the one subject that you have to generate momentum in because everything is built upon that which comes before it. You can’t take a month off from math.
In school, they take two months off in the summer from math, and every year, the kids slide back 2.4 months. This is why if you buy a Kumon book, or any of the math workbooks, if you buy a 3rd-grade math book, you’ll see the first 15%-20% of it is review. They assume you’re going to constantly slide back. Math is my only thing. If I would say there are two things you can’t do without, it’s math early on, it’s for the kid as a building block, it’s also for mom and dad to generate some self-confidence, and then they can do whatever they want the rest of the day. I’m sorry, math and then reading, and they can do whatever they want the rest of the day.
If they just sit an hour of math, and an hour of reading, and or writing — like writing, like freewriting, transcript of writing —from 8:00 AM-10:00 AM. If they just did that, they would probably be qualified to almost get into Harvard. Just those two habits, but you can’t take the summers off. You can’t take weeks off. We’re on spring break this week, “Well, look, mommy’s not on spring break. Mommy has to do dishes.” You don’t get breaks, just two hours a day, and it’ll be automatic. They wouldn’t even know that it was optional to not do it. A fish doesn’t know that it’s wet. It’s just normal to get up every day, and read, and whatever.
The reading thing, look, not enough people understand that reading is like the homeschooling parents’ secret weapon. I used to drive to Florida from Boston in New York with two little kids in my car and my wife wasn’t with me. We wouldn’t put a movie on or anything. They would read the whole way. The homeschooling families who have done the complete screen detox and have turned their kids into raging bibliophiles, they have so much leverage because they can take their kids anywhere. I used to take my kids on consulting gigs. I would sit and I would work with other families, and my kids would sit on the couch for 3 hours, 10 feet away, and not move. My client just couldn’t stop looking at my kid like, “How do you get your kid to sit like that?”
What parent doesn’t want their kid to be able to sedate themselves, to fire up their imagination, expand their vocabulary, and all those great things with a book? They’re sedating kids with devices and with over-scheduling.
[01:15:05] Ashley James: Dumbing them down.
[01:15:07] Daniel Louzonis: Over-scheduling too. Some sign them up for activities. It’s two days off from school. It’s one day off. “It’s Martin Luther King Day, I got to sign them up for something.” Really? One day?
[01:15:20] Ashley James: I love it. I love that idea that the children are jumping into books instead of jumping in the screens, and that’s enriching them. What do you think about learning from screens? Because I see in some homeschooling groups, “Oh, ABCmouse is so great. My son is doing a lot of tablet learning.” What do you think about that?
[01:15:45] Daniel Louzonis: It’s not good. It’s definitely not good.
[01:15:47] Ashley James: Can you cite studies or what’s your experience to show that it’s not good?
[01:15:53] Daniel Louzonis: It’s that books are so much better. It’s that moving their bodies is so much better. Anything that gets between a child and bibliophilia I want out because books are so, so important, right? I was just telling my wife this yesterday. Someone was saying, “Oh, my kid. I was showing him the flashcards, and they were identifying numbers 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, and when it came to the 11th number they said pause.” They thought 11 meant pause. They’re saying at kindergarten, they come in, they give them a real book, and they don’t know how to turn the page. They’re trying to swipe to turn the pages of a physical book.
Look at a child who’s on a tablet, look at their posture.
[01:16:40] Ashley James: Oh, it’s horrible.
[01:16:42] Daniel Louzonis: They’re not going to blink. They’re not going to be moving their bodies. We haven’t talked about it but this is a health podcast, and I should definitely bring it up. Fine motor skills. Fine motor skills is something that people don’t have any clue about. I honestly had no idea either. I thought that cursive handwriting was utterly useless, and then I saw some guru talk about how it’s been proven that nothing fires up the brain like cursive handwriting. They put the electrodes on the head, and they show that when you write the cursive handwriting—ideally cursive handwriting on a blank sheet of paper—is a very powerful intense brain exercise.
I saw this guy, and then I went down into this rabbit hole of hit the guru behind the guru. Not only did I start changing my homeschooling approach and incorporating more writing in cursive, but personally, what I do every day is a form of active meditation is I do cursive handwriting. What I’ll do is I’ll write out famous quotes by Einstein, or Lincoln, or Oprah Winfrey, or whatever. I’ll write it out with my best cursive— right-handed—and then I will take the pen and put it in my left hand. I will write it out going from the right side of the page back to the left in reverse mirror-image cursive.
What I’m doing when I do that is I’m using both sides of my brain, and I’m cultivating ambidexterity. The gurus behind the guru, they’ve basically proven that all these geniuses—like going back to Leonardo da Vinci—were ambidextrous. That the rest of us are using half of our brains when they’re using their whole brain. I think it was Michelangelo when he was painting the Sistine Chapel for hours and hours and hours, paintbrush overhead, hoisted up there, when he got tired with his right hand he would just switch to his left hand.
Leonardo da Vinci could write with one hand and draw with the other one. Some people consider him to be smarter than Einstein, but he could write with one hand and draw with the other simultaneously. Lost in what’s going on with this shift to screens is that kids don’t get enough time wielding a pencil. You and I took it for granted. How many times did we get a piece of paper and write our name and our date and just go? Nowadays, with Khan Academy, and with all these online classes, and with millennial teachers who are giving kids forms, and multiple-choice stuff, bubble tests because it’s easier for them to grade, the kids are not using their hands. They’re not using their hands to knit and sew, and they’re not exercising their fine motor skills whittling things. They’re just not using their hands.
The net effect of that is that they’re not developing their brain with the most powerful tools they can. Like I said, it’s been proven that cursive handwriting is like the best thing, best exercise you can do. I started teaching math, I don’t know, 10 years ago—officially—to other kids, and I started noticing their pencil grips. They had these caveman grips. You couldn’t even understand how they could wield the pencil that way. This was my introduction to it, and I started to see. You don’t notice anyone’s a parent until you’re pregnant and have a kid yourself. You don’t notice anyone has a Toyota Camry until you start shopping for Toyota Camrys. I didn’t notice anybody’s pencil grip until I started doing this, and it’s gotten worse and worse over time.
One of the reasons is these kids aren’t getting enough time with paper and pencil. One reason is not getting enough reps. The other reason is that the hyperstimulation of video games, and Spongebob, and TV, actually fries the part of the brain that controls fine motor skills. The video games are making it so these kids, not only can’t use a pencil or a pen properly, but they hate it. You think they hate books? They hate writing like you would not believe.
Then they get to math, and there are a lot of kids, and I’ve had a lot—especially boys and girls who are good at math. They know that 8 times 7 is 56. They’re just good with it, they understand it, but then they get to pre-algebra. In algebra, they have to write out step-by-step. You have to use scrap paper. You have to do a lot of work—multi-step calculation and computation. Because they hate the pen and the pencil so much, they won’t write 3x + 7 = 85, 3x = 78. They won’t do it because, again, they have this weakness. It’s almost like somebody who has no wind, no stamina, they’re out of shape. They can’t play soccer if they don’t have the cardiovascular training to move to get to the ball.
These kids that can’t wield a pencil or a pen, they don’t have the fine motor skill cardio to be able to sit down with paper and pencil. There’s a reason why the top—I wonder if you know this or not—but the top-selling book categories on Amazon are adult coloring books. The reason is, it’s a form of active meditation. You’re forced to focus. It’s taking you out of that multitasking, a hyper-distracting state we are where we have inbound on social media, text messaging, and whatever. It’s really, really good for the brain.
I’m dead set against all this fake tablet education. I have yet to see a kid, and I’ve met a lot of kids who were super accelerating geniuses who were on the device a lot. I have never seen one. All my kids who were at super high levels four, or five, or six grade levels above normal, they’re not on screens at all. I know they’re not necessary, and I actually believe that they’re pretty bad on several fronts. Hopefully, in that long-winded answer, you could catch wind of a couple of those fronts where I see it’s risky, right? You’re opening a Pandora’s box.
You give a kid an iPad, and they tilt it away from you, and your friend shows them how to do this or that. Their ability to be sneaky on that is it’s like sending letters by rabbit. It’s not going to get there. If you’ve seen this at the airport where you’re going through airport security, and a kid has a device, and they have to put the device through the machine. I’ve seen it multiple, multiple times where they have to take the device from the kid, and the kid has an absolute meltdown because they don’t want to put the device through the metal detector for a minute. I’m a little bit of, I don’t know. Your viewers can put their own label on me, but I will go up to people in public where I have done it and I’m like, “Why are you giving that kid the iPad? They’re two years old. Why do you have a mounted iPad on the stroller?”
[01:23:36] Ashley James: It drives me crazy when I’m at the grocery store that parents give cell phones to their children and young—young children. I’ve never handed my cell phone to my son to sedate him at a grocery store. I don’t hand my cell phone to my son, but I’m just saying, it’s an opportunity for learning. The whole time I’m talking to him. He’s sitting in the cart. He could walk but it’s a lot easier to have him—he could walk now. Sometimes he helps push the cart, but I actually prefer him to be—him and I can look at each other, we can talk, he can see what’s going into the cart, and he can help pick things out because he can see all the produce because he’s above it all, sitting in the cart facing me.
We’re talking the whole time about what’s going in the cart, and about what we’re going to make for dinner, about what he wants, and we’re having a discussion. He says, “Oh, what’s that?” I said, “You want to try this? What kind of new vegetable do you want to try? Do you want to try a new fruit?” Sometimes he’ll just start eating the kale raw before we bought it because it’s not weighed, it’s by a bushel, like $2 a bunch or whatever, not a bushel. He’ll just start eating it, so he’s engaged.
I remember, this happened recently, him and I are talking, and I walk into the produce section with him, and there was a mom with a kid. Maybe about a year, year and a half younger than my son. That kid was just hunched over, neck totally hunched over, playing on a phone, and the mom was not talking to the kid at all. It just blows my mind because no matter how hyper your kid is, you can get through to them, and you can have this really meaningful conversation with them when you’re doing things like grocery shopping. It can be this incredible educational experience.
My son points out things that—he goes, “Oh, grab a turnip.” I’m like, “Which one’s the turnip?” He knows which one the turnip is. I always get them mixed up with the rutabaga. They all look the same to me, these root vegetables. He knew which one the turnip was, and so I grabbed it, and then I had to google it. I pulled out my phone and I’m like sure enough. My husband and my son and I, we all go grocery shopping together because it’s a fun family experience. We were guessing which one’s the rutabaga, which one’s the turnip, which one’s the parsnip—I know what a parsnip looks like. The rutabaga and the turnip I always get them mixed up and my son doesn’t. He knows. He learned it once and he figured it out. He was the one that got it right. The three of us were having a bet like, “Okay, who’s got it right? Let’s all guess which vegetables these are.” He wanted us to buy it. He goes, “Can we make pancakes out of these?” He comes up with these crazy recipes.
If your child is on a cell phone, they’re not making meaningful connections. They’re not learning about the world. They could be learning about food and how that nourishes the body. He’ll actually point to stuff and he’ll say, “Does that have sugar in it? What’s in that? Can I have this?” I’ll read the ingredients, and he’ll tell me, “Can you read the ingredients of this?” I’ll say, “Oh, no.” I’ll list off the ingredients and he goes, “No, I can’t have that.” Because he knows. He doesn’t feel good when he eats certain things, and he wants to feel good.
We don’t do foods that are high in sugar or any sugar. If it’s fruit, that’s one thing. There are natural fruit roll-ups and that’s a treat for him. There’s no sugar in it, it’s just fruit concentrate. He gets those kinds of treats, but he knows to ask to read the ingredients. I show him. I’m like, “Do you see the word sugar?” I’d show him the ingredients, and he looks through, and he tries to read it. He’s getting word recognition, and he’s also allergic to weird things like garlic. We have to really be careful, and I’ve shown him the ingredients. I say, “Do you see the word garlic here?”
Going to the grocery store is learning. Even now, this is the only place we can go is the grocery store, but we can use every time we go out the door. Even at restaurants. We look over and there’s an entire family on their cell phones, the kids included. I always look at them, I’m like, “How is it that every child in that family, plus the parents, all own a cell phone? These things are expensive.” Whereas you can be having a meaningful conversation.
We were given to it for Christmas by a friend. It’s all these magnets that you can put together to make a robot. Just a little stuff. You could bring these puzzles. You could bring word games. You could bring things to the restaurant, or to wherever you’re going, or you can have the kid read the menu with you, or you can just talk about what you want to eat, or talk about what you want to do next. Just want to engage with your child versus the children that are just glued to the screens. They’re not learning how to communicate and how to engage.
I don’t want to shame the parents who do that because I know that they’re doing it for a reason. Maybe they feel that it’s made it easy for them, or they’re stressed out, and it gives them a break. I get that, but I think what gives us a break in the short-term—kind of like drinking a glass of wine every night to calm down. What is helping us in the short-term is harming us in the long term. “Oh, I just need this alcohol to relax. Oh, I just need my son to hold a cell phone to relax, to have a break.” It’s the short-term gratification that actually creates a far greater long-term problem.
[01:29:54] Daniel Louzonis: Well, here’s a quote for you, “Talking to children is as important as feeding them.” When you think about that, we didn’t get into language skills and language acquisition. One of the huge predictors of kid’s success in life is what their vocabulary is when they’re four, or five, and six years old. You almost can’t change it. Here’s the data point. I might have given it to you way back when, I’ll give it again. I think it’s 1950, the average working vocabulary by this one study of a five or six-year-old kid was 4,000 words. Today, it’s not 4,000 words anymore, it’s closer to 1,000. There are only two things, two reasons.
One is actually preschool, daycare, and the other is the change since the 50s is television. The problem with preschool, daycare, and television is that they crowd out conversation. There are no adults talking to kids. There are no kids asking questions. Everyone’s on a device, or everyone’s being sedated by a device, or three-year-old kids are off at daycare amongst other three-year-old kids. You can’t learn any new vocab words from one of your peers. You learn vocab words from somebody speaking directly to you personally about something you can relate to or put in context and that has a bigger vocabulary than you.
We didn’t even talk about language acquisition. A lot of people meet homeschool kids, and they can’t believe how mature they look, and act, and sound. The maturity thing is because they’re not being raised amongst kids their own age. They’re spending a lot of time with adults, but the rest of it—the rounded out education—is books, and it’s the vocabulary that they are acquiring from being around complete sentence wielding people. People who don’t speak in emojis and illiterate YouTube comments.
Now that iPad, everybody has to understand that that iPad was designed to be addictive. The people who design it are Harvard psycho whatever neuropsychologists. They are watching, and trying to figure out, and trying to hack what makes an app addictive. They did this Sesame Street back in—
[01:32:27] Ashley James: Gamification.
1:32:28] Daniel Louzonis: Back in 1970, Sesame Street actually pioneered this. They would have three groups of kids, and they would have one in this room, and they’d be watching them like lab rats. They would have music, and sound effects, and a purple graphic versus a blue graphic. They would figure out what they had to put on the screen to keep the kids more glued to the screen. Spongebob is considered to be the worst. It was rated the worst cartoon for kids because of the number of rapid scene jumps and the overall anti-intellectual level of what goes on.
Spongebob was built on Sesame Street. It was built on an industry that has figured out that getting you addicted to watching it is money in their pocket. They don’t get you addicted, they actually don’t have a product. That’s what’s going on with this iPad. Even the marketing. Go look at the marketing for all these apps. They’ll tell you that it’s been proven to advance, teach kids reading, and this and that. It’s all baloney. It’s all hogwash. I don’t see any kids coming off apps doing anything great. If anything, you’re introducing massive, massive risks into their future. I consider that personally, and it’s a little bit harsh. I consider giving a child an iPad an act of child abuse. Just like when the doctor tells you if you don’t give your kid 900 shots that you’re abusing that child. I think giving a kid an iPad is also setting them up to struggle in school, in terms of their personal self-esteem, and all of that.
What you’re doing with Brave is awesome, but imagine if you had eight kids, right? If you have eight kids—and I know people who can handle eight kids with no screens, and no crutches, and whatever. I only have two kids, it’s a lot easier. Some people, they could be a single parent, they could be working a job and a half. It’s not so easy to resist the call of these screens. It gets very hard to fight with your kids and have them be the only one that’s not playing video games, the only one that’s not on the devices, the only one that doesn’t know what happened on Friends last night. Because I don’t know if you know, but apparently, Friends is a new show according to the 13-year-old kids who found it on Netflix. Did you know this? It’s been resurrected?
[01:34:51] Ashley James: That they what? Did they come up with a new Friends? I don’t know.
[01:34:56] Daniel Louzonis: Walk around New York City you’ll see all sorts of young kids wearing Friends t-shirts. There’s a location up here in lower Manhattan that has all these people standing out in front. I guess it’s where the Friend’s apartment was scened and these bus tours. Because in Netflix, Friends has been rejuvenated. The Office has been rejuvenated and so is Friends. All the young kids.
[01:35:24] Ashley James: Are into it. That’s funny.
[01:35:26] Daniel Louzonis: If they’re all talking about that, and look, I have a 13-year-old daughter. All her friends are talking about that stuff, and there’s no TV, there’s no Netflix here. She’s like, “Why can’t I watch it, this, that?” “You know, it’s not good for you. It’s inappropriate.” But it’s very hard. I’m a very tough person, but not everybody can fight and win that battle or has enough bandwidth to do that. Life is hard. Let’s go back to entrepreneurship and homeschooling education like our whole overall mission. What I’ve discovered is that life is really hard. It gets more complicated. Problems multiply and they compound.
The things that you don’t know—what you don’t know about your career, or your body, or relationships, these grow. They grow, they metastasize in our lives, and we end up with kids, and aging parents, and financial difficulties—possibly or not. We’re trying to figure out all these things for ourselves when the root of all of it is that we didn’t learn about these things. Brave probably knows what xanthan gum is. I still don’t know what it is. We didn’t learn about these things when we were young. There’s no reason why you can’t learn about personal development and nutrition when you’re young. There’s no age minimum. There’s no reason you need to go out into the corporate world and burn out in order to learn about entrepreneurship, no. There’s just a crooked path that everyone else is following basically to nowhere, and we’re all just like going along with it. I remember I was 10 like it was yesterday.
You wake up, you’re 40-45 years old, and you’re playing defense, you’re playing catch-up, you’re trying to read books, and learn things. It’s not good. I don’t want that for my kids. I want them to be playing offense from early on, like aggressive early offense. I want them to be future proof.
[01:37:24] Ashley James: When is it a good time to introduce a computer? I’m sure someone’s thinking, “Well, we’re only moving away from pens and paper, moving more online, moving more digital.” We just bought a car a few months ago. It was 100% digital. They had just transitioned. It was Volkswagen. I love our GTI, by the way. It’s the best car I’ve ever owned. I love this thing. If you’re looking for a cool car, man, it’s so great. It’s so great. I’m really happy with the purchase, but the entire experience was online, it was digital. We sat there at the dealership for a few hours signing papers on an iPad, and walking through everything on an iPad. They said, “Yeah, we just transitioned. All of Volkswagens transitioned to digital.” I said, “Well, what if there’s a power outage?” She said, “We can’t sell a car.” Maybe they’ll break out the old papers for that, but basically, the whole world’s going digital, so are we doing a child a disservice by not having them learn how to use a mouse. Having them learn at a young age how to type on a keyboard and use a mouse. At what age should they learn how to use a computer since their entire future is going to be on a computer?
[01:38:51] Daniel Louzonis: Did Jeff Bezos grow up on a computer?
[01:38:54] Ashley James: No.
[01:38:56] Daniel Louzonis: No, he didn’t, and he still figured it out when he needed to. He grew up with a very strong traditional academic background in a massive work ethic. The idea that they’re going to fall behind—this is a fallacy. These kids, they have these neuroplastic brains. You could be five years ahead of them on say Adobe Audition—I don’t know if you use that for your podcast. You’d be five years ahead of them, they could catch you in like three months. There’s no risk of them falling behind. In fact, they will get further ahead because they can sit down and they can operate with paper and pencil.
I have a great book recommendation for your audience. It’s called The Revenge of Analog. I can’t remember the author’s name, I’m not going to look it up right now, but The Revenge of Analog. You can put a link to it. Apparently, if you go to Google headquarters, everyone’s walking around with a Moleskine notebook. The idea that these people aren’t using paper and pencil is absolutely untrue. Jeff Bezos, if you work at Amazon and you want to call a meeting, I believe he demands you write a six-page paper to hand out to everybody before the meeting. You have to have writing skills to work for him. What do writing schools require?
Well, you need to have some clarity of thought. He doesn’t want you calling a meeting with some random agenda that might or might not be based on a good idea. The idea that these kids—they need to be on a device otherwise they’ll fall behind is absolutely misplaced, so don’t let that enter your mind. When should you put them on a computer? When should you give a child a gun, right? Say you’re on a frontier 200 years ago. Your child needs that gun to hunt, to protect the family. Even if they’re 11 years old, your 11-year-old needs to know how to use that gun in case pa is off a field doing something. When that 11-year-old learns to use a gun, pa is right behind him —like right over his shoulder. It’s a dangerous weapon. He’s really not developmentally ready for all it entails.
If you’re going to use computers, I strongly believe you should use PCs, desktops. That’s my first choice. If you saw my house, back when we had a house, we had three PCs in a row, and I sat right next to my kids. They couldn’t turn the monitor away from me. It wasn’t a laptop, they could disappear into the basement or anywhere, but I was right next to him the whole time. My son learned Adobe Audition. They played chess online. They did Khan Academy math and IXL math. My kids both have blogs. Now, my kids, they work online. Right now, Christine is running an online book club. A new business she started about two weeks ago where she has a bunch of kids read a book or first five chapters of a book, and she has a slide show, and she’s doing it over Zoom. You can’t keep them off the computer. It’s very hard, unless you want to go ultra-Amish or whatever. When they’re on it, they’re not on it with free-range. They’re not just googling randomly, they’re not watching cat videos, and you are in the room with them. It’s a must.
The best is a desktop PC next to mom or dad. The second best is a laptop, but I don’t like those either. Then the iPad and the iPhone, they get to where you’re just playing with absolute fire. They can learn coding on a PC. There’s nothing that they need an iPhone or a tablet for that they can’t do on the computer.
[01:42:48] Ashley James: Now we have online as the best way to—especially because of all the libraries—I mean, I don’t know about every state in every country, but where I live, every library is closed right now for the foreseeable future. It was like until May 4th but we might extend it longer. They’ve been closed for well over a month. In some places in the world, we can’t just go take our children and go do homeschooling in libraries and in public, so the best resource for a lot of people is online. What subjects work best online? You talked about interacting with math, but you also just mentioned Khan Academy. You’ve mentioned, in the past, people can take music lessons online or play chess online. Of course, the parent is looking over the child. What should we do offline, and what are some really good online resources?
[01:43:53] Daniel Louzonis: Let me just tell you, math is good online in the sense that if your child filled out a worksheet—just say addition or multiplication—they could get all the answers wrong, and they can be doing it incorrectly. Someone has to manually correct it, and then come in and say, “Hey, you did it all wrong. Redo it.” If you do math online, the major benefit is what I call instantaneous negative feedback. You get corrected right away, like ooh, the buzzer goes off. That is definitely good.
If you have multiple kids, you kind of have to use—if you have five or six kids, they’re all at different levels—you can’t have one math class. Some of my drills, you can use simultaneously at different starting points, but you have to use the computer when you have a lot of kids. Math lends itself well towards that. Khan Academy is—anything that’s got Bill Gates money in it is always a little bit messed up. There are sections to skip and best practices. If you use it incorrectly you can end up thinking it’s stupid, but guess what, it’s free and it’s not stupid. It’s not fatally flawed. It’s just imperfect like everything else on this earth. I have almost all my students, except for my super high-level math genius students on Khan Academy. There’s no risk to using it.
If you were a chess teacher, and you went and hired someone, and they met you, they would be constantly moving pieces and setting the board up back and forth. It’s very labor-intensive to create all sorts of positions to get the child to study or to think about what would happen here, or what’s the benefit, or the risk here. On a computer, they can preload all sorts of positions in. They can hit the forward button and the back button. Chess actually is way better. The teaching power of chess online is far superior to anything that could ever be done online.
One-on-one instruction, not necessarily apps because I don’t really like Duolingo that much, but you can hire somebody overseas to teach your kids a foreign language very, very cheaply. Ten dollars an hour you could do really, really well. My brother hired a Ukrainian professor to teach him Ukrainian for something like $3.50 cents an hour. You’re not using it like ABCmouse. You’re using it for one-on-one lessons. I would even encourage parents to use it for research. How often does a kid ask you something and you say, “Well, let’s google it.” Google image is the coolest thing in the world for kids. I had them make up flashcards. You can go to Google Slides, and you just drag a picture of a huge rock—a quartz rock— and the next slide it says quartz. You can create your own flashcards.
I actually had my kids blogging when they were 4 and 5 years old, and they were just sharing what they were learning. They had to Google one thing a day. You don’t need the apps. The library, we suffer from the closed libraries here too, but you probably have books in your house that they can read and that Brave can read. Everybody has books in their house or their neighbor has books in their house. You know what, not long ago, people used to have one or two books, and they used to read it over and over and over and over and over again. Real bibliophiles, which my kids are, they read the same books over and over and over and over again without any loss of enjoyment.
It’s like everything else, you got to make do with what you have. You’re camping for a little while. You can’t get to the libraries, and that does stink. Personally, I’m looking at my bookshelf right now. I have a lot of books on my bookshelf that I bought or someone gave me and I haven’t read yet. Just work through what you have. Resourcefulness, right? The confinement, there’s a virus, whatever you want to call it. This is a constraint. Even Jeff Bezos is a big believer in constraints. He’s like, “You got to have constraints around you so that you can invent your way out.”
[01:48:08] Ashley James: This. I love this. I love this because I read this amazing article about Dr. Seuss that he was challenged to write a book. I’m sorry. I don’t remember his actual name. His name isn’t actually Dr. Suess. He was challenged to write a book with I believe it was 50 words?
[01:48:32] Daniel Louzonis: Yes, you’re right.
[01:48:35] Ashley James: The 50 most common sight words for children and the constraints of that led him to write the number one bestseller kids book ever. He actually talked about how the constraint of being given 50 words, “Okay. Here’s the list of 50 words. Write a book.” And write a good book. That actually improved his creativity. That in constraint—so imagine if I were to only give you two colors. I said, “Okay, paint a masterpiece. Here are two colors.” If I give you a constraint, and I love these challenges when chefs are given a mystery box. There are only five ingredients. “Make a three-course meal with these five ingredients.” I love that. I do that all the time in the kitchen. It’s my favorite thing, I love opening the fridge, and grabbing some ingredients, and just making a totally new dish with mystery ingredients. “What’s about to go bad that I need to cook?”
Give someone constraints and it can improve their creativity. That’s the thing though that I find that parents—and maybe I’m experiencing also—is that we don’t have any constraint. As a homeschooling parent, we’re left with this endless possibility. I’m in this overwhelm—we have this huge miasma of just there are so many things we could choose from. We could choose all these apps, all these things online, all these things offline. You google homeschooling kit or whatever and you could buy hundreds of dollars-worth of different curriculums. There are just too many choices, which one’s the right one, which one’s right for my child, which one’s right for me as a parent? There isn’t a constraint necessarily.
With the COVID-19, we do have more of a constraint because I can’t go out and meet up with other homeschooling groups in person and also go to the library. I think we have too many choices and that leaves us feeling like the grass is always greener. No matter what I choose, there’s probably a better program out there. Am I doing this right? Could I be doing it better? I know that there’s sometimes this feeling that there’s too much. You have so much experience. You not only homeschooled your own children—who are doing phenomenally well—you’ve coached other families to homeschool and dial in their homeschooling. You’ve created a program to teach parents how to do it. You’ve created a package for the listeners. The link is going to be in the show notes of the podcast, einsteinblueprint.com/lth. That link is going to be in the show notes.
Can you address this, this idea that there are so many choices? How do we know as parents we’re on the right track, we’re making the right choice? Should we do this free schooling, or should we go buy a curriculum somewhere? Should we go buy an online curriculum, or a physical curriculum where there are 20 books and textbooks mailed to us? I’ve seen this. You join a few homeschooling Facebook groups and there’s always some of them trying to sell their curriculum like this giant box. I’ve seen this, oh my gosh, this one parent had a room full—a room full of textbooks. They homeschooled all their kids and now, they’re selling all of them. It’s overwhelming. That might be out of date. Is that the right program to use? Maybe common core, not common core. We just end up having these millions of questions, which one’s the right program for us? I’m sure you’ve been asked this before.
[01:53:08] Daniel Louzonis: Sure. First of all, the book is Green Eggs and Ham the Dr. Seuss book.
[01:53:14] Ashley James: That was the first book I ever read, by the way. I remember it clicking. Remember when you were riding a bicycle, and you’re falling off, and falling off, and falling off, and then you remember that moment you got balance? I remember because I was a late bloomer. I was about seven years old. My husband was riding a bike at age three so he thinks it’s crazy that I couldn’t ride a bike until I was seven, but I had my training wheels on until I was seven because every time we took them off I just fall over, fall over, fall over. Then one day, I got balance and it just clicked. I went, “Oh, that’s what you wanted me to do,” and I never fell off a bike again.
The same with reading. It’s like I didn’t get it, I didn’t get it, it didn’t click, didn’t click. I was holding that book and all of a sudden everything fell into place, and I could read full sentences. I went from not knowing how to read to just everything clicked. I remember that moment. I was sitting in the car, we were on a two-hour drive up to the cottage, and I was holding the book, and it was a sunny day. It was a sunny morning on a Saturday morning, and everything clicked. I read that book. I was like, “Oh my gosh. Sam I am. I got it. I was so excited.
I’ve been looking back on my childhood analyzing it—now that I’m a parent, obviously, we do this. I now realize I wish my parents had given me more books and less TV. I was put in front of the TV so much as a child, and I wish I was put in front of a book because I loved reading.
[01:54:54] Daniel Louzonis: Let’s talk about that because I had the same parents that were just a couple years ahead of you. The TV was the iPhone of its time. My kids don’t understand this. If you missed a movie at the theater, you could never see it again. They would actually come back three years later. You’d see Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back comes back at the theater, so you couldn’t see it. The movie theater was magical, and the TV was limited. Then there’s this new thing called cable TV, and it had a couple of movie channels. They had this thing called Home Box Office, and they had the movie channel. You could actually see movies that you couldn’t see before.
Our parents, your mom and dad, my mom and dad, they were fascinated by this thing. It’s the iPhone of its time. They didn’t have any manual. They didn’t know that that color TV that started out with 32 cable channels was going to go to 57, and then 200, and 1000. They didn’t know that it was going to lead to obesity, and it was going to lead to bibliophobia, and it was also going to create distortive narratives about men and women, and what to expect in life, and defer to [inaudible 01:56:06]. They didn’t know. Technology is always disrupting society at the frontier, and nobody knows what the effect is.
Let’s go into the curriculum question about what do you do in the face of all these options. When most people start homeschooling, they say, “I don’t know what to do. What do you do? What do you do?” That’s a little bit of a joke where it rapidly becomes a joke because pretty soon they get in there and they said, “There are all these great things I want to do, I don’t know what to cut out. I don’t know what to cut out.” The reality is that when we’re 12 years into our home school here, we have to cut out some really, really important good things—carefully chosen things—in order to do anything new. That’s just how it goes. It’s an embarrassment of riches on some levels, but it’s just also very hard. I said to my son at one point, “All right. No more hour a day on the piano. You’re down to a half an hour.” I’m like literally cutting him down on the piano, but that’s the type of real currency and leverage that you have to play with once you get going.
Pinterest is what I call fake homeschooling. You see all these pictures of these beautiful homes and no mess in the background. That is not a successful or a real homeschool. That is staged, and I understand why people do it, the same reason anybody stages anything on deep-seated insecurity, marketing, whatever, fear of what other people think of them, or some type of conformity, “This is what it’s supposed to look like.” No. You try to create this beautiful homeschooled that’s ripped from Pinterest, I guarantee you that it will stress you out. You will never feel like you’re doing it right, and it will be contrived. It won’t be real.
What you’re doing with Brave, and having a real conversation, and doing experiments, that’s homeschooling. That’s homeschooling at its absolute best. So no, stop thinking the grass is greener, the homeschool is better somewhere else. It’s easy for me to say, “Stop looking around,” but practically, what you want to do is you want to generate a lot of self-confidence and a lot of security in what you’re doing. There are a couple of ways to do that. So that when you look around there and you look at Pinterest— I look at Pinterest and it doesn’t move me because I know that it’s actually not true, and not real, and those kids aren’t on a steeper track than mine as if it’s a competition in the first place. How can you get that confidence?
This is why I strongly advise parents to get their kids accelerate with reading and math right away. Nothing gives a kid self-confidence, and nothing gives a parent self-confidence like seeing their kid go vertical very, very quickly. That is something that the parent—that’s confidence that the parents can build on. Then people are meeting your kids and they’re like, “Whoa, whoa. What am I doing wrong? What are you doing? Can you help me?” Be more aggressive with what you’re doing. That will help you worry less about what everyone else is doing in any field.
Look, in terms of buying a curriculum, everyone, when they start at homeschooling, says, “I need a curriculum. I need a curriculum. I need a curriculum.” The reality is you don’t. You need a library card, and a little bit of discipline, and you need a philosophy. You need an understanding of what education is, what it’s not, what your goals are, and then it’s very simple. When I meet with coaching clients I said, “Well, what are your goals? We’re not going to talk about math, or reading, or college, or anything without having some goals. What are your goals?” A lot of people just don’t have any goals.
My goal, when we started out, was raising academically accelerated kids. Now, they evolved. At some point, I said, “You know what, I want to raise extremely well-rounded kids.” Then they evolved again, and I said, “You know what, I want to raise kids who are entrepreneurs. This way that they have maximum time and money leverage in their life, and so that they can really do as much as they can possibly do.” Your goals will evolve, but you’ve got to have goals. You have to set your own agenda. You can’t look at what everyone else is doing. No matter what that boxed curriculum says, no matter what those testimonials say, they never work.
I call them curriculum hoppers. People would rather buy a curriculum than actually read a homeschooling book and learn about the principles of effective homeschooling. They would rather buy a curriculum than sit down with mom, and dad, and the kids, and say, “Well, what are our goals? What are we afraid of? What do we want to do? Where do we want to go?” They’d rather just buy something as almost like a placeholder, as almost like fake work—fake effort. People do the same thing with fitness, “Oh, I’m going to join a gym. I’m going to buy $100 Lululemon pants. I’m going to buy Peloton bike.” We’ve got a lot of Peloton bikes coming into my building here in the past couple of weeks.
At its root, all education is self-education. It’s all going to come down to reading, writing, and arithmetic. It’s all going to come down to what Albert Einstein said that imagination is more important than knowledge. Everyone wants to complicate things. Usually, when people complicate things, that’s the lazy way out—saying something is complicated. No, it’s not complicated, and you don’t have to make it complicated. Pinterest, you can pull that up and you can definitely feel inadequate, or you can feel like you’re going down the wrong path, but you have to judge people by their results. This is what I talked about earlier with these experts and these doctors.
Who do you want to take fitness advice from? From somebody who used to be hurt, and is now 50 years old, and ripped, and overcame all sorts of problems, or do you want to take exercise advice from some doctor who’s never run a quarter marathon? You have to look at the results. It’s very, very important to have models to see, “Hey, look at this family over here. Look at how well-behaved those kids are. Look at how,” if they’re religious, if they got God first, “I want a family like that. Look at these kids over here. Look at how helpful they are around the house. Look at how advanced this one is in math. Look at how advanced these people are with getting their kids selling lemonade on the street and hustling and grinding. I want that.”
Pick and choose, find people that have achieved what you want manifest, and then just plug into them. That’s the whole philosophy behind having mentors and role models. It’s way, way more effective than trying to purchase stuff, right? It’s hard to do. You could just go to my website. All these people have told me, “I wish I met you 10 years ago. I wish I met you 10 years ago.” I hear it all the time. “Had I known that you could be homeschooling that way I would have done it five years ago, but I didn’t meet you.”
Look, I had nobody at all to guide me. Google was very underdeveloped 12 years ago. A lot of homeschooling parents don’t put what they’re doing out on the web, they don’t share it, and so you don’t even know. You can’t even plug into them, but now, there are lots and lots of people out there homeschooling and sharing. Just find the ones who have teenage kids, who are college kids, and plug into them. Ask them for advice. Read their books. You’re better off as a homeschooling parent reading a book on the philosophy of homeschooling than you are at buying any ABCmouse, or math curriculum, or complete curriculum. That’s the ultimate magic pill. “I’m going to buy a complete curriculum for my kids with a day planner and this and that. We’re going to check all the boxes and all the subjects.”
It doesn’t work. Ideally, as a homeschooling parent, you will cobble together a curriculum. You will have a philosophy, you will have goals. You will have do’s and don’ts, you will have habits, you will have role models just the same way if you’re running a business. It’s the same success. The success principles are the same whether you’re talking about trying to run for a marathon, training for the Olympics, run a business, or run a family. You have to use eclectic resources.
The more work you do on it, the more work you do in terms of gathering research, in terms of reading books, in terms of experimenting, the more work you do on your own mind, and unpacking the mistakes you made, the mistakes our parents made, the regrets that we have. The more work you do on yourself—in research in general—that’s all leverage for what you can do with your kids. That’ll give you confidence and clarity on what you’re doing.
If you’re suffering from confidence, you’re suffering in confidence or a little low on that, it’s because you’re not getting the results that automatically give you confidence. Then, it comes down to like, “All right. Well, how can we improve our tactics?” Not what else can we buy. Is that a good enough answer or scratching the surface?
[02:05:19] Ashley James: Yeah. I like it. I really, really like it. I like it. You mentor people and you also developed a program. When listeners go to einsteinblueprint.com/lth, tell us a bit about the different programs that you offer so that they can understand the resources that you provide.
[02:05:39] Daniel Louzonis: Okay. Well, I have a homeschooling consultation, which if you consult with me for an hour and you buy that, I give you basically the skeleton—the overview—of I think I have about five or six hours-worth of videos and content. I just basically tell you everything that I’ve done. That’s at the lower level. I have that introduction to homeschooling, but it’s still powerful because more than half the people who buy it have been homeschooling already. They get stuck. They hit an obstacle. They hit a ceiling. Homeschooling is like marriage, it should get better every year, you should get closer to your spouse every year. If it’s not, you’ve got leakage. You’ve got dangerous, dangerous leakage.
I also have my overall—my flagship product—is called the Einstein Blueprint. It’s not the Dan blueprint, it’s the Einstein Blueprint. It’s what would the ideal education look like? Well, what did Oprah Winfrey say about what was key to her success? What does Abraham Lincoln, what wisdom has he bequeathed to us? Einstein, da Vinci, Michelangelo. The whole point of the Einstein Blueprint, it’s broken down into 116 modules, is reverse engineering extreme success. That’s it.
What does Jeff Bezos say about writing and about constraints? Things we touched on. How can you incorporate that into the education of your children? Literally, within the Einstein Blueprint, we have our kids brainwashed, inculcated in what did Tony Robbins say about momentum? “People who succeed have momentum.” If you say to your 11-year-old kid, “People who succeed, blank.” Brave knows what xanthan gum is and all this other stuff, you want him to know that he needs to have momentum in whatever he’s doing in life. You want his operating system, you want him to be pre-programmed with all the wisdom of all the most successful people so that he can accelerate, he is going to be totally hyper-accelerating on every front.
Again, it’s not the Dan blueprint, it’s not even what I did with my own kids because quite honestly, I didn’t know this stuff when I was flying by the seat of my pants with my own kids. I’ve learned this over the years, and through copious research, and extensive work with a lot of families. All sorts of economic and financial, I mean, I’ve had billionaires that I work with, and I’ve had single moms. Guess what, the single moms do a better job, you might suspect. It’s not money that people need. It’s grit. It’s really constraints. It’s focus. I’ve worked with a lot of people.
My Einstein Blueprint, it’s powerful stuff. I read it. Even though I’ve been doing this for years and years and years, I read my own blueprint. I go back constantly to my own blueprint, to my own like—I wouldn’t say ten commandments because there’s about 116 of them—but that’s what I use on an everyday basis. Someone asked me, “Why is there so much personal development for the parents in the Einstein Blueprint?” Well, parents are teaching their kids. More is caught than taught. Whether you’re homeschooling or not, you’re setting an example. You’re letting the technology in the house. You have the expectations. Honestly, we know a lot of parents who spend more time helping their kids with homework than some homeschooling parents spend with their kids overall.
Look, your moms and dads are responsible for their kids’ outcome no matter how bad the teacher is, how bad the school district is, or Common Core, or whatever. Principally and ultimately, we’ve been given these children, and we have a responsibility to give them more opportunities than we were given. I think it’s a very exciting thing. A lot of people meet me and they get depressed. I overwhelm them. Well, yeah. This is a big deal. At the intersection of the big three categories—the big three marketing categories: money, relationships, and health. They tell you, “Oh, pick a category, and then pick a niche within a niche. Don’t try to do it all.” Guess what, if it was a Venn diagram, at the intersection of money, relationships, and health, at the very intersection would be education. This is where the Einstein Blueprint resides. We cover everything.
Everything that we have and don’t have, everything we can do, can’t do, haven’t done it, we can all trace it back to something that we learned, or didn’t learn, or were misinformed about. Education is everything. Lost in all these complaints about common core, and in vaccines, in college, the price of college, and what everyone else is doing, lost in all that is the sheer power, the atomic, like nuclear, power of what education can do for kids. What’ll happen if they don’t learn? If they become lobotomized in any way, shape, or form.
[02:10:43] Ashley James: You had mentioned in our past interview—definitely recommend listeners check out if they’re interested in homeschooling or improving their homeschooling—episode 258. You said that you experience this and then everyone that you coach experiences this. Every year you do homeschooling it gets easier. You’re less and less hands-on. A four-year-old obviously needs your undivided attention, although you can leave them alone with a project. A two-year-old definitely needs your undivided attention when they’re learning math, and writing, and stuff like that.
A six-year-old who’s reading on their own, you can hand them something to do, teach them something new, hand them something to do, they can go, like you said, write a blog, they can make a slideshow, they can read a book, they can write a book, they can build a science project, whatever. They’re more independent. You obviously are monitoring them especially, like you said, if they’re on a computer and they have access to the internet, they should absolutely be monitored. You just find though that as they get older and every year that you do homeschooling—and you should do homeschooling even during the summer, even on weekends. It should be a 365-day thing that you don’t take breaks from, but you also don’t have to do it six or nine hours a day.
If you do it two hours a day every day until they move out of the house, until they’re at the point where they’re old enough to move out, they’ve actually gotten an accelerated education because you don’t have to spend those two and a half months, like you mentioned, before catching up from the summer. They accelerate much faster because it’s an immersion. Every year that you do homeschooling, it’s less and less hands-on as the parent because they can pick stuff up and go do it by themselves like go read that book over there, good do that project.
I think the fear for some parents is, “Well, I don’t have the time to do that because I work from home now. I can’t spend six hours a day with the children. I can’t spend six hours a day with each child.” Before someone even gets into homeschooling, they put up a brick wall. “I can’t do it because. I can’t do it because I don’t have money. I can’t because I don’t have enough time. I can’t do it because I don’t think it’s going to work for me.” They come up with these limitations, but now, we’re at the point where they have to do it, they literally have to do it. That’s why they’re calling it crisis schooling. People have to do the homeschooling either from mandatory vaccine laws, or from the COVID-19, or for other reasons.
They’re at this point where this restriction has been placed upon them will actually increase their creativity. They’re going to start problem-solving. The light at the end of the tunnel is that the first year is probably the hardest, and which is what you expressed in our last interview. The first year or two is the hardest, and if you buckle down and get disciplined, especially learning from the Einstein Blueprint, which I love your program. I love the personal growth in the program and the discipline.
If we as parents buckle down with the principles you have in your program, if we buckle down now—it’s the marshmallow test. It’s the emotional intelligence for the future because if we can really invest now for the first one or two years of homeschooling, then it actually gets easier, and easier, and easier because we’re handing off the education to the child. Because a child is able to take on more, and more, and more, and more by themselves.
Like you said, right now as we’re having this interview, your children are in their rooms doing their own entrepreneurial homeschooling programs. You don’t have to stand over your child for six hours a day per child to do your homeschooling. How much time would you say you actually are with your children instructing them on homeschooling in any given day?
[02:15:15] Daniel Louzonis: Right now, it’s 4:49 PM and I haven’t done anything with the kids. John taught a chess class this morning. He produced and edited a podcast for one of his clients. My daughter is actually not in the other room. She’s at my wife’s office, on the 42nd floor, across from my wife. While my wife is working, she is doing her work—her math, and she’s running her book club. I texted her and I said, “Don’t come home. I’ve got an interview here.” I haven’t spent a minute with them. Now, we have expectations. We say, “You’ve got to have four hours of math done this week for Christine, and John has books to read.” He has deadlines with his clients. He has clients that he actually has to answer to as well.
We have structure, but the structure is like say you had a business and you have the business, and systems, and a virtual assistant, and all sorts of processes in place. The goal is not for mom to go from teaching her 3-year-old phonics to teaching her 18-year-old whatever. The goal is to teach him to fish. Like I said, you want them reading because when you can throw books at them—big, ugly, nasty, books written in Old English, or written in science, or about things they don’t even want to read, if they can read, you can just throw a book to them.
Just to give you an example, we don’t teach history or science, we just throw books at the kids—book, after book, after book, after book. It’s a far superior education—science and history education—than anything you’d get with a common core textbook, and questions at the end, and quizzes, and the stress of quizzes and tests. You want to get it running on autopilot, and this is why these single moms and stuff—these people, they have constraints on them—they do a good job because they crack a whip and they say, “Look, you got to do it. I got to work, you got to work.” There’s nobody lounging around.
The goal is to unlock their full potential, but also, the sign that it gets—I wouldn’t say it’s easier every year because I think life, in general, gets more complicated every year. As we age, we thought it looks so simple back when we were 25 and doing one-and-a-half things. Homeschooling is not—going back to the limiting beliefs—people think it’s a lot of work upfront. It can be, and even if it was, it’s way worth it, right?
My kids are not going to college so that’s going to save me whatever college is. It’s almost $600,000. Between the two of them, we would have to earn $1 million in income to pay for them to go to college to learn stuff that’s irrelevant. We have the confidence to not send him. We have the option to not send them. I could have been earning more money when my son was four or five if I did something else, but I was investing just the same way you’re investing in Brave when you have long conversations with them even if you’re tired.
Homeschooling parents are investing in their kids early. You don’t want to buy Microsoft in the year 2020, you want to invest in Microsoft in 1992. You need to invest early. Starting early is one of the core components of the Einstein Blueprint. It’s a concept that doesn’t go away. I’m going to introduce logarithms to kids who are eight, nine years old. Why? Because when they learn when they’re 15 on Monday what a logarithm is and have a test on Friday on logarithms, it’s extremely stressful. They could have been introduced to that concept way back when.
Kids can learn about marketing, and the stock market, they can learn about social intelligence, and shaking hands, and making eye contact, and writing thank-you notes. They can learn all these like powerful tactics early. We’re just pulling everything forward. Like I said, instead of waiting until someone’s 45 years old and burnt out in the corporate world, I’m going to go find Tony Robbins. Go look at Tony Robbins. You’ll see all sorts of bald people in the audience, which is awesome that they’re still learning, but you should also see kids there because there’s no age minimum.
We’re just accelerating the learning curve. Get them to travel sooner, get them to learn about xanthan gum sooner, and all other things, and is there sugar in that, huge, huge things. I didn’t know how to read a food label until I was in my 20s. I didn’t even think they had food labels until my future wife pointed out to me. I still didn’t know what it meant. I didn’t know what it was.
[2:20:05] Ashley James: My husband keeps asking me to make a course on how to read food labels, and I keep saying, “Everyone knows how to read this.” He’s like, “No, they really don’t.” You’re just affirming that I really should just sit down, and make a course, and teach people how to read labels because I guess I just assumed that everyone is a food detective like I am. It’s really important.
If you’re going to eat processed food, you need to know what’s in the processed food. Don’t put your head in the sand, man. That’s like every molecule that goes into your mouth is building healthy cells or cancer cells. As far as I’m concerned, reading a food label is detecting whether there’s cyanide in the food like. Seriously, it’s that important to me.
My husband jokes because I’ll go into the grocery store for one item, and I come out half an hour later. He’s like, “What took you so long?” If he’s in the car like our son would be taking a nap, and he’d have to stay in the car because we don’t trust to leave our son alone napping in the car while we go inside. He would just be like, “Oh, you read the labels.” It’s true. If I go to the grocery store, and I’m buying anything that’s just one ingredient like there’s broccoli, I’m going to read the labels. To me, it just makes so much sense, but to other people, it doesn’t even occur to them.
You have that same mindset around homeschooling. It’s just like it’s second nature. It’s like you just wake up and start breathing oxygen. It’s just like you said, the fish doesn’t even question water, but for other people, it’s very foreign. It’s very, very foreign this idea of homeschooling. I love your program because you get into the mindset because the first thing we got to do is handle the mindset. You keep hedging Tony Robbins.
I was surprised to find out some people don’t know who Tony Robbins is. He is a personal growth guru, a great guy. I do recommend following him. He has a podcast too and lots of YouTube videos and stuff out there. Some of his stuff though—he swears or brings up sexual references, so I wouldn’t say it’s PG. You’d have to watch it first before your children can watch it. He does that for shock effect to break up someone’s pattern.
If they’re stuck neurologically in a victim state, he’ll say something shocking to do a break state, which neurologically interrupts the synapses so that we can start to reprogram the person. They stop going to that old problem and start actually coming out of it neurologically into a new solution. It’s called the behavioral pattern interrupt, and it’s part of a neurolinguistic programming method. Unfortunately, a lot of times, he uses foul language, or sexual references or things that can really—it’s a shock-and-awe effect. Of course, there are lots of videos where he’s PG, but you have to monitor first before children can watch it.
This has been wonderful having you on the show. You mentioned that we could have a 24-hour marathon. I’m pretty sure we could easily go six hours without blinking. Einsteinblueprint.com/lth. You’re creating a special page for the listeners. I want you guys to go there and check it out. You have these wonderful resources. You’re very passionate. You’re, obviously, well-educated and well-versed in this subject.
For parents who want to improve their homeschooling and for parents who are now stuck homeschooling because of the world events—the current world events—you really are going to help cut through so much of the BS. I’m watching some of my friends sit back and wait for the public school system to come up with an online way to distance educate the children. It’s very tedious and slow.
They’re trying to do Zoom calls with the children. They’re trying to implement something. It’s up to each state to come up with a system. For the children who are like in Washington State had to leave school, the children are not going to get the last half of this school year. If we just sit back and wait for the public school system to come up with a way to handle it, it is like the Homer Simpson effect. It’s like the lowest common denominator. We’re just sitting and waiting to dumb ourselves down to the lowest common denominator.
We can’t leave our children and leave our children’s futures up to this broken system. That’s why I love the work you do because you’re going to make it so easy for us. We don’t have to get overwhelmed with the millions of homeschooling programs and curriculums out there. Like you said, we can get really distracted by all those online programs, or just throwing our children in front of a tablet. “Here, learn whatever Khan Academy on this.” We need to get really clear on our goals, on our philosophy, and create a schedule that we do every day with our children in a way that is motivating and encouraging, in a way that enriches them and strengthens our relationship with them. We encourage them as they grow, it will motivate the whole family.
The work that you do at einsteinblueprint.com allows us to cut through a lot of the chaos and dial in the right program for the individual family. You have this program that we can do as parents, and then you also do coaching with children, and you have, like you said, about five hours of educational videos as well. You’re going to compile all of that with a special for the Learn True Health listeners when they go to Einsteinblueprint.com/lth.
Daniel, it’s been a pleasure having you on the show. I know we touched on a lot of stuff, and I want listeners to follow you. Your kids do stuff too, which I love. I love following your kids. Your son produces podcasts for clients. Your daughter has a book club for children. How can listeners plug into what your children are doing as well?
[2:27:28] Daniel Louzonis: If they listen to my podcast the Einstein Blueprint podcast, I’m always talking about and sharing the links for those. John has a podcast right now. It’s the second podcast. It’s called the kids get rich podcast. It’s very good. We’re always letting people know what we can do to help them. We’ll put a link to it on your LTH page.
One thing I didn’t mention is I do have a dedicated math program, which is nearly 100 hours of me teaching math to my students—one-on-one instruction. It has all the drills I use, and it basically is an extremely low price. We’ll have a link to that. We call that 100x math program. We’ll have that because math is a pain point, and everybody needs it. I haven’t met anybody who doesn’t need my math program. We’ll have a link to that. It’s currently closed, but we’ll put a link for your listeners to get in on that. It’d be at a negligible cost too.
[02:28:27] Ashley James: They can’t buy it if they go to your website, but if they go to Einsteinblueprint.com/lth, they’ll be able to get it?
[02:28:34] Daniel Louzonis: Yes. I closed it. I launched it. I always launch things at a very low price, and then I build them up, and work intimately with the group that’s there, and then I add more value, and I raise the prices. But yeah, they can get in on that at the price that I launched today, which is very negligible. It’s like $80 a year or something like that. We’ll have a link to that.
The last thing that I want to say is—the reason this is such a big deal—parenting—when we were in high school or whatever, it was popularity, it was sports, it was all these things going on, boyfriends and girlfriends. But right now, at this stage of our life, our past—our entire past—our whole present, and also our incoming future, it’s all wrapped up in our kids. This is why it’s such a big deal. There’s an expression, “No other success can compensate for failure in the home.” I believe it was David O. McKay. He’s a Mormon who said it. I’ll say it again, “No other success can compensate for failure in the home.”
We could do all these wonderful things, and have a great marriage, and whatever, but if our kids are going to struggle in this world, it’s going to haunt us to our last days. At the same time, being a parent and having kids, it sheds a light on so much of what went wrong, or let’s call it our imperfect past. All these things come to the fore. I hope that none of your listeners are getting stressed out by anything that we’re talking about here.
We’re talking about it with such passion and with such certainty because it’s so, so critical. It’s not, like Ashley said, to condemn or to shame anyone. If you saw me when I was in my—I call it—deformative years, I was very far off course. This is the wonderful thing about human potential and about life is that we can break bad habits, that we can tap into our inner genius. I never thought I was creative for a minute my whole life. Now I have more ideas, more creative self-confidence than I even know what to do with. I grew up in a box.
This is an exciting thing. Having kids and being in control, being able to listen to a podcast is something that our parents couldn’t do. Having the internet, being able to buy things on Amazon Prime, being able to work from home. We are so blessed in this day and age to do so many things. It’s only right that we channel all these assets into our kids today, this very minute.
[02:31:15] Ashley James: I love it. Thank you so much, Daniel. It’s been such a pleasure having you on the show. I know you’re also active in our Facebook group, Learn True Health Facebook group. If any listeners have any questions for Daniel about his programs, they could ask it in the Facebook group. I’m sure we could have a discussion about it there. Of course, we can go to einsteinblueprint.com/lth.
It’s been a pleasure having you on the show again. I can’t wait to see what the future holds, especially I love following your children. I love watching their success because it gives us hope that our younger children are going to be as awesome as your kids are because you gave them such a wonderful opportunity of homeschooling. Now, they’re able to grow in such a beautiful way, that they’re not constrained. I love what you do. I love what your children are doing. I’m really excited to see how it grows over the years. Please, please come back on the show every few years and continue to teach and share with us.
[02:32:21] Daniel Louzonis: I look forward to that. Thank you for having me.
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Recommended Reading by Daniel Louzonis
The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto