Can you hear that? It's time for another school year! Mahala Landin sits down with Jill Cassone, Founder of Success4School on a NEW episode of Making Moves. There are so many wonderful schools and learning opportunities in the Triangle, but what is best for your child?
Succes4School specializes in helping students and their families learn in a way that makes sense to them so they can thrive in an ever-changing world. Check them out here: https://www.success4school.com/
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Hey triangle lovers. Welcome to Making Moves hosted by The Rachel Kendall Team, where we will explore together the top restaurants, community hotspots and events in our area. Let's make some moves. Hello, everybody. Welcome back to Making Moves. We have a really great topic today. It's one that's a hot topic. It's all about schools. We are so lucky to live in the triangle and have such a wide variety of options for our kiddos. And especially if you're moving to the area can be extremely overwhelming to navigate our massive school system, and all the options that are included in that. And so I've brought in an expert in this field. Her name is Jill casone. And she is the owner of success for school and Holly Springs. So welcome, Jill. Thanks so much for having me. I'm glad to be here we are excited. So first a little bit about you. You're not a native to the triangle, you are one of the many, many transplants that have moved here. So tell me a little bit about your background and what brought you to Raleigh. So I grew up in Long Island, New York, probably like a lot of people that are here in the triangle. And I was like kind of the last of my family to move to North Carolina, my my youngest sister Margaret, she actually like moved in the middle of high school when my parents moved. And then I taught like inner city and other types of settings in New York for about two years, my beginnings of teaching and then kind of moved to North Carolina and took various positions. My backgrounds in special ed and I have a degree in math as well. I dabble in lots of neuroscience and nerdy types of things. I taught in Wake County for a long time and our company, we started back in 2001. And our focus is really to empower families, whether that's through parent coaching, or doing school referral types of consulting, homeschool consulting, we do quite a bit of that and a lot of turnkey homeschool services. We, myself, my sweet spot is really helping kids that kind of have that special brain wiring where, you know, they kind of that sassy, spunky, smart but scattered type of kid the witty but worried type of overcomer. That seems to be like my area, I kind of fell into that niche accidentally, but kind of love that type of kid. And so we do, we are a firm that's like very focused on neurodiversity, and using neuro practices to kind of help kids work on their executive functioning, which sounds like a business thing. But really, it's those frontal lobe type of skills that everybody uses, you know, to shift tasks and stay organized. And those are kind of those skills you use when you are in school. That's your main work as a kid. So we do specialize in that. So we'll get a lot of really gifted kiddos and a lot of kids that have ADHD, or anxiety, children with learning disabilities, really anybody that has a need to booster those types of skills. And we provide one on one services, coaching for students for that. And also we do kind of one on one tutoring, we don't call it tutoring, we call it kind of academic support, but it's short term things that you're working on filling in gaps. Yeah, but the primary focus for us is really anything that has to do with empowering families to kind of take their kids where they are, and really the whole family because let's just be real, you know, when you have kids that are struggling, or kids that you haven't really found exactly, you know, what fits them best. It feels like they're the sun and everybody's the planet just rotating around them in the family. So you're kind of in that whole situation. So, you know, that's kind of the area that we specialize in what a great holistic approach to support. And I want to go back to an area, before we go to our main topic and talk about the parent coaching. I think as a parent myself, one of the biggest revelations is that sometimes you really don't know how to teach your children when it comes to academics. And they think differently than you think they process information differently than you process information. And what a struggle that can be. I had a I have a daughter that has a little bit of a hearing deficit. And she definitely struggled at the beginning before we knew that she had that hearing deficit with reading and you know, as a passionate, you know, avid reader growing up and like Why don't you love reading? So what is uh, what is parent coaching look like? What kind of support do you provide the families that are coming to you not only with the academic assistance with the children, but what are you doing for the parents? So for parents, you know, our coaching model is really focusing on getting parents to shift their perspective and kind of shifting their mindset. There are a lot of firms out there, I know and so many self help books and you'll find families have probably gone through sheer volumes of books before they've called us, you know, they've tried all these systems self help, yeah, all these different types of things. And, you know, I basically explained to them, you know, our approach is really the opposite of what you'd see in a self help book. You know, we we are more like teaching, you know, little nuggets that you'll take away in Make your own, rather than, like, here, follow these 10 steps, and you'll have a new kid by Friday type of approach. So for us, you know, for instance, parents will be like, Well, you know, I've been talking to my kid and I can't get them to, you know, I say, oh, what do you do today? And everyone's like, Oh, it's fine. This is fine. You know? So a parent coaching session around that might be to talk about how do you ask open ended questions so that your child feels like they're not being interrogated? Right? Instead, you're, you're trying to partner with them, and really teaching parents that giving their children a chance to really practice the skills that they need to maybe even failing? Yeah, and maybe get them wrong, like, they will have a productive struggle, you know, and I tell parents all the time productive struggle that's like your new BFF word, it's like, it's gonna be productive practice for your kid, but a struggle for you. Because, yes, we can walk over and you know, tell a kid like, Okay, well, thank you so much for folding these towels, and now I'm going to finish them for you. But it's a struggle for us as parents to let that practice be in place, you know, I try to, you know, explain to parents in different contexts, you know, stay away from the question, why, for instance, you know, why is just not a really helpful question, it automatically makes that child feel like they have to defend themselves. So really, you know, it can gauge from young children and how to kind of create self monitoring and other types of things are going to help you have more harmony in your house, let's say for homework time, or whatever. But also, like older children, like how do you talk to your teen, because disciplining teens is really different than how you would approach discipline for, let's say, a second grader who didn't comply or, or wasn't really very helpful with some things that you're trying to do in your family and how to get kids to take ownership of that. Yeah. So parent coaching, starts off with just parents coming in, and really having like, what I call like a mind dump, like, here's everything that's totally not working in our house. And they're exhausted when they're done making the whole list and then saying, Okay, well, what things can we work on right now, they'll make some real change, you know, and really helping parents find that, you don't need to follow a set of rules, you just need to put something in place. So we might teach a principle instead. So creating that vision plan, creating a mission about how you're going to work with your children, right. And then once that goal is in place, I try to have them have like a visual that they could use, that they'll make their actions flow through like a filter, like a lens. So I'll say okay, well remember, you know, discipline supposed to feel like cool web, no one is supposed to feel like they suffer, you know. So it's like cool whip is like this really cool thing you can eat and not have terrible guilt. Right? So that's what I want you to do when you're done. And you do you look like you got ran over by a truck? I hope not. Because then that discipline really wasn't, wasn't working, because the kid didn't learn anything. And you didn't learn anything. And everyone looks like they just seem burnt out. Yeah. So we try to teach these like principles where they can remember them. And then their life will go through that principle, like a lens, rather than what you'd see, like I said, in a self help book, or a, you know, a kind of systems Facebook, where parents feel like, Oh, my God, I can't do this. Yes, 15 rules. And now I have a sticker chart and 14 points I'm adding and right. Those are really great in thought and theory, but in a real life, family. They don't work. I don't know how many of them I bought for my kids trying to get them to do chores. And they are all ended up in their like toy room. Yeah. And they look like us. Yeah, they're cute. Well, I think every parent felt this during the pandemic, they were like, Oh, my God, I'm dealing with my work from home situation. And now I'm also a teacher. And not all of us were designed to be teachers, we can all say that out loud. So talk to me a little bit about what you're seeing right now and homeschooling and what parents are reaching out to you for in order to evaluate homeschooling options. We get a lot of calls for school referrals we always have, but I think now we're just I think that's a lot of phone calls. You know, a lot of parents are like, Do you know anything about this private school? And, you know, I don't even know if my child's you know, what type of curriculum is is what does this mean? When it says this is a knowledge based curriculum? What does it mean, when it says, This is this, you know, families will come and say, Oh, I really want my child to go to a school that's faith based or stem? Yeah, common. Steam. I mean, there's like, I mean, instead to right, yeah, um, steam, totally word of acronyms, you know, and they're just like, what is this? And what's that? And then you also have families that have other real struggles that are already tied to like, their child's world of academics like, Oh, my kid has an IEP or a 504 plan? And does this school gonna honor that? And, you know, so they have a lot of questions like that. And so our process is to have that child come in, and we'll do like, some very small assessments and kind of get a clear at the moment snapshot of like, Okay, this is how this child presents, and then looking at what school environments fit. You know, one of the biggest things that I tell parents, the number one question they'll say, is like, well, is this school good for my child, you know, and I really will tell them A special nugget, it's like you're not going to find that perfect school. I mean, they parents really go on a big search, you know, they're like, Oh, no, it has to feel perfect, right? It's a big decision that we all feel like if we don't make this decision correctly, then we're setting them off on a chart that is not going to be success. Right? Right. And kids are really resilient. Like I I tell parents, I understand ideally, it's not great to move your kid around to like 10 schools, but you can ask any, like Navy or army brat, and be like, hey, change was like my biggest agent for my life, you know, so. So it does have its advantages, but you know, seamless and more consistent structure and relationships and how kids relate to an environment. Of course, that's super important. So you want to find that right fit school, but there is no perfect right fit school. So I tell parents some little tricks, you know, when they go and look at a school, I tell them first, don't bring your child with you the first time you go, because your child is going to get caught up in the environment and the look in the building. But essentially, when they come home, when they're actually enrolled, they're the outside the inside the floor, and the choice of doorknob and handle and cool poster, that means nothing to your child anymore, because they're now wrapped up in the people of the actual school and kind of their phrase, a teacher. And so I tell parents, you know, think of when you walk around a school, like you're in the matrix, you know, take the blue pill, like ignore all of the outside like this is like you haven't been released, you're still held up to the mainframe. And you need to ignore all of those things. So schedule your school tour when school is going on. And you know, ignore all this really fluff that's is made to cause a distraction, like the really awesome, impressive, super perfect work that hangs outside in the hallway. So, so many parents have heard her, say to me, as a real estate agent, I want to go to school because it's new, right? Yeah. Well, I mean, I remember in elementary school, I went to a school that was built in the turn of the century 1900s, you know, so I can see that we are all enamored by the bright, the shiny, whether we're five or 45, we love new, bright new things. Of course, yeah. And I tell parents all the time, like you can fill any hole that a school doesn't have. So if you're if the school is known for not having the best writing program, but as everything else you want, well, then awesome, then that's perfect school for you. Because then you can support your child's creative writing or their need to have more greater writing mechanics. If that's not an area that comes to them, like really well, then you can fill that in in another way, you know, but you're going to find a hole in every single school. If that school doesn't offer sports, well, then guess what? We have really awesome community center sports, every single town municipality has them, and really be surprised they have state championships and all the things that feel similar to when your job and they're really not very expensive, you know, and if your kid is into competitive sports, well, that's great. We have the triangles filled with all these really cool, competitive teams. So I have to do this because we've done this on Making Moves. We actually have a whole episode go back and tune in, it was with Kyla bronto. And she, we went through all of you that let x and the triangle and you're right it there's so much to offer. But you know, in evaluating public versus private, I've heard people say, Well, I want my child to be able to play sports. And the private school doesn't have that. But yeah, you're right. There are supplemental programs all over the place. Yeah. And I really encourage parents to separate those pieces. It's like anything that you feel is like enrichment based or extracurricular, you can totally fill that in. I mean, there are some more rural places in the country, right, that aren't going to have those. But we have these resources right here. So I typically say please don't use that as your like, one of your little tick boxes, so to speak. And I want parents to go to a school and I tell them, find the kid in the hallway, who looks like they're having a private chat with a teacher, what does their face look like? Are they looking like, you know, they're getting the wrath of God at door? flags? Or do they look like things aren't going well, but someone had the dignity to pull them out and have a conversation with them. And you feel like that kid is having this real reciprocal, what we would call ping pong type of communication. And that's the type of school that if you have a sensitive kid, you really want them to be able to be in an environment where they feel like the teacher is their partner and they can express how they feel. If that's not important to you, then it wouldn't matter what the face of that child looks like. But I do tell them to try to concentrate on the kids the component like that's your little kind of your litmus test so to speak, you know, is to focus on that and really ignore like our own we have a private Academy and we are right now home at the point church in Holly Springs. And so that building is like the oldest building in Holly Springs, that education building that we rent and, you know, yeah, you have the little light plug is the light electrical outlet is in the light switch. So how old it is. Yeah. So you know, I tell parents all the time, it's like, please pardon this appearance. But if they had seen we're kind of in transition because we had bought land, but if they had seen what our previous space looked like, it was beautiful. But it to didn't have a lot of things on the wall because our program and our culture is about not having distractions and extra stimulus because a lot of gifted kids really don't need that. So parents need to understand that some of the things you're going to see in buildings are part of the culture or you know, so what does that tell you, if all the work outside of the hallways perfect, you know, that could be that those kids killed themselves. And in fact, the work is perfect, right could be that that teacher will only put out certain things that is, you know, that she feels is work that's completely polished. You know, there's something to be said for kids being able to present work that they did with no adult help. And if you value that as a parent, then you know, you want to find a school that has that? Do they have an exhibition day where you get to see raw work, as I call it? You know? Or are you a parent that you really only want to see everything where it's been waxed and polished up, and every family has their reasons, you know, for what's important to them. And so I guide parents who really try to focus on that the other piece is really, curriculum. And I tell parents don't get wrapped up in the actual curriculum itself. What you should focus on or you have a real opportunity to focus on as a parent is, what type of learner will my child become or grow into? Yeah, based on this curriculum, so if someone says, Hey, is the knowledge base curriculum, then I will tell the parent Well, that's awesome. And if you feel like you want a kid who can walk around and regurgitate facts, and you feel like, like process is not as important as an overall product, and that is the perfect school. So I have an anecdotal story about this. I, my second daughter, I feel like there was this big buzz in the preschool community about Montessori, right. Montessori learning Montessori learning. And so I chose a preschool daycare that was Montessori based, we lasted we barely lasted six months. And I never realized that it isn't a it's not a one size fits all. And, you know, I realized that I am a very structured parent, and I liked centers. And that's where I guess I had already started working with my kids that way, like, okay, the kitchen Center, the doll Center, the whatever center, and I took her to a Montessori school and she was miserable. Because there was no structure. Yes, open word is open. And, and so yes, you're right. Like, sometimes it works out where they don't process things differently. But in that situation, I was like, Oh, that is my kid. Because you don't know what to do. Yeah. And you know, you could like buy like personality, like my own daughter, you know, when she was really young, she was reading through through no help, right? My husband and I, and we even tried to do it. So you have like kindergarten reading our second grade reading level. That sounds awesome. But believe me when I tell you it's like real suffering. And you know, because they're sitting around a circle time. And she's she's like, you know, usurping the teacher reading the book, because no one else can read. So she's talking about the picture or whatever. And there's, you know, my daughter calling out, that's what it says, you know, oh, yeah. And so, you know, when you have, like a kid's personality that's leans towards, you know, they're gonna tell they have no filter, you know, my child had no filter, maybe from birth, but then, you know, she's mine. So maybe she also doesn't have a filter. So I chuckle a little bit, because I say, you know, I don't think she really would have done well, right. Like in a, in maybe a private Christian school where reverence and listening and having more of an obedient. Yeah, there's a lot of cadences. Yeah, yeah, and just a lot of that, of a lot of that type of situation wasn't bad or good. But for her, it was really a negative because she would come home every day and feel like she couldn't speak her mind. And you know, or you have kids that they might really thrive in a science program where it's textbook base, and every maybe once a month, they do a science experiment, but mostly, they're, it's really like high level science, reading and comprehension. And then for my daughter, you know, when she went to sixth grade, she was like, Listen, all we're doing is reading and I'm like, a super breeder. So this is really not science. And my husband, feel it and yeah, and all his, you know, military background, he's like, well, it's, you know, this just an act of compliance, you know, you just have to do it. And her response was, so what happens when my whole day is an act of compliance? You know, so yeah, I really have to pay attention to your kids personality and for us as parents, I think, I think to myself, okay, yeah, that is really important, right? Because then, and that's hard. Like, I only had one, but my sister has two kids. And I, you know, when you're choosing schools, there is this real reality that a school you pick might be the perfect school for your first child and not the other. And you have to find that happy medium. So like I said, you know, when you go into that building, it's like, you got to take the blue pill and just tell yourself, you know, I just have to ignore all these other things. What are the things that are super critical for us as a family, and then everything else you can, you can figure out a way of working around so this is a whole counseling session that you could work on with a with a family as they're going through, either moving here and picking from The wide variety or entering into the school system with their first or second Yeah. And we go through a process where we ask a lot of questions and try to find these data points ahead of time. And then I'll try to point them to different schools. So not often, well, I recommend like the Waldorf Emerson school, for instance, in Chapel Hill, but when I do, I usually know that that family is going to walk in and love it. If I make a recommendation, and I didn't collect enough data points, then that family is going to walk in and be like, what is happening here, right. And it's not that the school is not amazing it is, but it's not for everyone. You know, every that school is amazing for so many reasons, resources and campus and, and people who move up with each group of kids, but a parent who doesn't really subscribe to this interconnected relationship with a teacher and a set of children is going to find that part of the culture really odd, right? And they're just going to feel like they were sent to the wrong school to look at, you know, yeah, so that's really important. You know, the friend school is a Quaker school, and they have some moments of silence, which is very appropriate for Quaker school. But there might be families that feel like, wow, I'm not sure that this is the type of thing that I want my child to well, and even on the public school side, you know, you can still tour I would say this to parents, when they're picking communities, you go tour the school, go meet the guy meet the faculty, find out what the culture is, because just because you're in White County, or Durham County, Orange County doesn't mean every school is run the exact same way, they might have the same curriculum, the same guideline, same testing, but it's all about the people. It's all about the faculty. Yeah, and especially when you have you're throwing in the mix of the magnet schools. And each school then is having, you know, this program that's based off of their magnet mission to, you know, you can't go to a baccalaureate school and then say, Oh, I don't really like this, this and this about it that's actually intrinsic to the school. So if you don't agree with that, or that you don't feel like that's a fit. I tell parents, it's so foolish to go there and think that you could join the PTA and make a change, because that's actually what the whole school is about, right? They've made that they've made that go to the partnership school for the Montessori and actually say, Oh, yeah, it's just the whole Montessori part that I'm not getting, because that's actually the point of the school is everything I'm listening to and when talking to you is that you really have a good pulse on the availability and the options that are in the private and the public sector. And having a partner that also can be a little bit objective about it with them, is what helps make good decisions. Yeah. And I think also, it's a good sounding board, some families will come in, they'll be like, well, I heard terrible things, right, the school or good, great, schools.org, terrible, or whatever. And I read all these things, and then I remind them, okay, well, even for my own business, you know, you can get your really big fat cheese heads to go on Google and felt these really awesome. You know, tell me a lot about your reviews. And yeah, it's only been with you since their second grade. And, and that's awesome, because we've changed their life. But it's really hard to get somebody who's like, Yeah, I know, we had a good, it was a good experience, their life might be busy, and they may not have gotten out there and said something. And you know, some schools, I think, you know, when they have when people are reading those reviews, or they're listening to their neighbor, say, Oh, well, I heard this or whatever. I think it's really important to have a consultant be able to say, Well, let me explain a little bit about why you might be hearing that because, you know, there was this happening, and actually their building was bought out. And so they raised their tuition, and it's actually only a temporary time for being raised. And this is why and, you know, they had a big town meeting and all these parents that were legacy families made this, you know, agreement, so so that parents are not going off just the sheer chatter that they hear I do your research. Yeah. And I think that's, if you go to a school's website, and you immediately feel like this isn't a fit, I tell parents, okay, well, then that good is probably pretty real, because all the imagery and the writing, they're coming right out and telling you something about them. So if it doesn't fit you, then don't try to make it fit. You know, look, you can look elsewhere. If you feel so strongly that whatever you had when you walked away, didn't fit, then that's not chatter, that's not your neighbor. That's your gut talking. And so try this little clause or you. This is the this is the Doctrine of the Faith based school or something, and it doesn't jive at your family then. I hate to say, but it's just never gonna jive right family. So you know, and there's options. Yeah. And there's other things to look at. And so instead of feeling really solid, like, Oh, I wanted my kid to go there, because so and so goes there. And I really love this, this and this about it. Well, no one saying you can't you just either go to the school and then change your perspective up on these other things and let that go and shift your mindset or you just decide to have a moment of rigorous honesty and say, I wanted to have this experience, but maybe what I really wanted was I want her to be in a small environment where she stood out and maybe I can achieve that through this school instead. So sometimes parents you know, want they have in their mind and experience that they had when they were in school walking to school riding our bikes. Yeah, things like that don't exist anymore. Yeah. And I think it's fun. I went to an all girls College Preparatory School, and you know, the school was built like an 18, whatever. So, you know, hundreds of girls have been through the tradition of that, you know, Academy and boarding school. And I just find it interesting. Because when people say, Oh, I can't have my child go to that school, they don't even have a football team. There's no pep rally, right? And they're like, don't you agree? And I was like, I don't know, I've never been to a pep rally. So I went to an all girls school, but I had really other cool things I'm sure you've never experienced either. So I think, you know, I think I try to remind families that the memories that you have, that you want your child to have, as long as your child actually has memories, those are the ones they'll rely on when they're older, and they're making decisions and thinking back fondly of their childhood. So I don't think it's really about the specificity of what the experience was, but that there actually was an experience Exactly. So well. So homeschooling is something that I'm sure you're getting asked a lot about, and what has this last year done for how homeschooling is regulated. What are you seeing in terms of how that works here? Because I still think that's a real, a lot of parents just shifted to that, you know, because just the volatility of what was going on? Yeah. And it is a real option for families in North Carolina. I think it's always surprising when people move here, let's say from like, Connecticut, or Florida, or New York, and they're like, you know, wow, there's so many homeschoolers here. There are, there's so many charter schools here, too. So I think it's really important to understand that the culture of the state of North Carolina is that really the state itself has always embraced this personalized approach to education being an option for families, you can see that in school choice and public school, you can see it, because we really have a lot of charters, there's also all of the programs now that I mean, I would have loved this in high school, early graduation, early college acceptance. Yeah, high school athletes that have you know, the option to be able to manage their talent and athletics and also be able to graduate and have that same high school experience. Like there's so Yeah, and I think that's really important. So homeschooling, I think, before this whole mass exodus of whatever the nonsense was, that was going on with the pandemic, I think, parents, there was a traditional kind of, almost, I think, Old World stigma to homeschool that is totally not there anymore. So any parent who's thinking about homeschooling now, they really should shift their mindset away from Oh, well, really, it's, it's really just kind of like a bunch of kids who can't socially interact. And by the way, they're doing it for religious reasons, or whatever, whatever. Yeah, and I think that has completely shifted. And you can see that clearly by the state, because they're asking, like, why are you choosing to homeschool. And now there's like an option that says, like, I don't, you know, non religious reason. And you'll see, you know, when you see these numbers, and they're all public record, you can go to the Department of non public education and kind of see how much homeschool has grown. I think it's really important that parents who are thinking about the idea, realize, first of all, the paperwork is like, very, very easy. We are any super friendly home state, homeschooling state. And we have very little requirements. And there's a purpose to that it was done that way, again, because North Carolina has this kind of this flavor of allowing parents to make that educational choices for their children. But what I'm seeing now is like, not just parents who are shifting because, oh, my child is gifted or my child has a sport, or my child is in TV commercials or other types of things where that maybe would have been the other reasons that people would choose homeschool. They're choosing them now. Because they saw how their child learned. Yeah. And they they saw right then and there, this teacher is there talking and presenting just as they would in the classroom. And my kid is completely zoned out. And while many people from maybe standing on the sidelines could be like, Oh, it's because your kid teacher was in a box, you know, like your kid staring at a screen. That is true, maybe that is a reason. But so many of these kids, that wasn't the reason and their parents were like, Wow, I didn't realize there was that much suffering or floundering or boredom going on. And so now we're just seeing a lot of homeschool parents making choices, you know, to, to take their kids out of the public school or the private school they're in, and then having that self governance to like lay out their own curriculum and lay out their day. In North Carolina. There are some very non negotiable requirements for homeschooling, such as keeping attendance records and having your immunizations on, on site, your records for immunization on sight. And then in addition to that, having a standardized achievement test each year, while your kids may be in public school, taking the end of grade tests in private schools, which is also governed by the same division of non public education. The private schools can do testing only in third, sixth or ninth grade if they want, okay, they can't have other ones but they can do those but a homeschooler has to do it every year. And that's kind of the only difference between a homeschool and a private school from a standpoint of the state's take on like how That's governed. So that gives families so much flexibility. So when families are making these choices, and they want to pull their kids out, you're seeing, like groups of families getting together that I've never seen before, like pods of communities, homeschool University model types of approaches to education, you're seeing more and more, whereas those really lived mostly in Chapel Hill and really in Durham now, like, Wait counties, like, almost as equal in the offerings that you would see it's become a community. Yeah, totally our own, like our own Academy, even though our company is fully accredited, and our academy is accredited. Consequently, we, our program is not a private school, our families are homeschoolers. So they actually attend our academy. And, you know, parents are still providing some instruction at home for other types of things, electives, or, you know, possibly their, you know, teachings on physical education, health, human sexuality, those types of things. But, you know, we're providing like a core curriculum and that type of thing. So we're accredited as a specialty School, which is great, because then if they want to return to the public school system, you know, they can use their credits and such, but at the same time, it's a similar model that's really been in existence for a long time, for homeschoolers, but just more structure. Yeah, in that regard, and we're just seeing so many people finding that, that approach, a welcome change for them, because their families couldn't manage, as it was, I think the most critical thing during the pandemic is, once families, the parents, the adults are going back to work. The younger children, you know, they were finding other things to do. But you have pockets of middle schoolers and high schoolers that were really lost. Yeah, they, they weren't young enough to require supervision, right. But they were left alone, all day, all day long. And, you know, I can my own daughter being 15, I got to watch that, you know, even for myself, and I think the the stress of the kid not being able to have the language to explain how they were feeling and not not really what a foreign Yeah, it was, like, all new, like, they couldn't, they couldn't, they wouldn't go to their family and be like, Oh, I'm depressed, because I don't think they really, they didn't relate it to like, what they knew depression was or what they knew. But we're just, you know, many of my friends are pediatricians and neuropsychologist are saying, you know, gosh, you know, the impact is humongous. And I actually saw that firsthand, you know, when we had, we went back live, and some of our high schools would come and we'd only 10 high schools, let's say, at a time, come back. And you'd have eight of them not being able to go upstairs, because they were like, stressed out that they were around other people, it was a very odd sensation, you know, and I think families are shifting to homeschool, because they realized, okay, well, first of all, my kid doesn't need to be in school all day long for six hours, right? If I my kid has a really strong after school type of community extracurricular activities, and that's a healthy option for them. Yes. And then they were like, Oh, well, then I can get three solid hours of real instruction. And I can create what is very well known in the industry and used in some alternative schools as compact school day. So you're removing all these things that are typically used for like larger scale management, like morning work, or Bell routine and shifting classes. And parents don't realize there's so much of the day that yes, that has a social component. But it's also like, from the standpoint of academics, yeah, it's wasted. So well, it probably nerd out and talk about the history of school too, but it's one of the last things I wanted to get to was, how do you how do you help families prep for getting into colleges, universities, and that kind of component? Is it because we've gone full circle, we've gone from admissions all the way into the next phase of admissions when we're letting them go. So how do you help families with that? So right now, there's so much change and controversy around the college entrance exams, you know, recently we've heard like, you know, the essay t test will now not have an essay. And so there's there's all these components, but right now, you know, homeschooling is no longer looked at as like a strange thing anymore. So you have a level playing field kids from public school, homeschools private school, private schools, they're being accepted, you know, with no difference looked upon as go difference. Yeah, which is great news. And you have schools like local schools in the triangle, like Meredith, for instance, saying, Hey, we're test optional. And by the way, if you're homeschooled, we'll see you for an interview. If you don't have all these components, we'd like to talk with you. And so you just have colleges that are going out of their way to meet different needs of wherever the kids are coming from. So you're seeing that change. That's a really impactful change. You know, from growing up in North Carolina and and going through the college admission process, hearing that there are things that might have impacted a parent from homeschooling because of college admissions, or might have impacted public private, whatever, because of college admissions. So this is really a nice change and you're seeing the shift from Pushing kids through like Kaplan and Princeton Review prep for tests. And now you're seeing the shift to things that we've done for years, which is like more of prepping for college college consulting, like taking a kid, you know, like one of our first sessions would be sitting down with that teenager and being like, Okay, let me hear about like, the type of environment you want to be on and Okay, let's say a kid went to see UNC Charlotte, for instance. And they tell you all about the campus and like, Okay, well, let me tell you some facts about UNC Charlotte. And then next time you see another school, you can use that to like, figure out, is this school bigger or smaller than UNC? Is this school? You know, so I tell the kids Okay, well, you saw UNC Charlotte, great. That's 1000 acre campus. So if you go to another school, and you ask them how big that school is, now, you have a reference point. Yeah, by the way, they have, like 24,000 students. So now you see, you know, how many kids you saw on campus that you were there? Well, now that's a thing, you know. Yeah. So the distance from the dorm at that school to the first building is this? Well, now you have that. So, you know, you kind of start off with things like helping kids understand what type of college environment do I want to be in? Yeah, and, you know, we kind of progress through, let me help you set up your common app, you know, and your coalition.org application, because now, it's not like when I went to college, aging myself ailing things that I read every application and you're like, Oh, my God, did I put this down on this one? No, right? They put everything in one. And then they can figure out what supplemental essays there are, Oh, my gosh, every August 1 common Apple release there. I mean, June 1, will release their essays. And so then August one, the new applications can be started. I encourage parents, you know, like, Oh, yeah, get on there. But don't start it before I was born, because then it erases. But you know, there's some tricks of the trade, but we have a system where like, will in a few sessions, we can get a kid all the way through helping them write their college essay, and making sure they're reminding their families to get a cfnc.org account, right? You can fill out their FAFSA and all these other, you know, things. It's funny when parents call up, they're like, Oh, my God, what type of like, college help do you offer? And so we'll say, Well, do you want academic coaching? Like, while your child's in class, we offer support for the student? No, we're dying. And we're just getting, like, I can't even talk to my my child won't even discuss Wake Tech, right? You know, and I was like, Okay, well, he doesn't want to talk about Wake Tech, because he doesn't understand the value, the value of that. And also, I always tell parents, you should not start talking about a two year school, until you're going to talk about what the experience will look like for them if they continue to stay home, while they go to your school, because the kid doesn't want to feel like they're in 13th grade. So that's why they're immediately saying, I'm not gonna ask, but if you say something to them, like, Hey, you can get a roommate and you can get an apartment at university this and live across the street, and then they start to realize, Oh, yeah, my life will be different no matter where I go. And I try to remind parents, like, that's what your child wants, they want to feel, I feel like women graduate, I have a level of independence I didn't have before, right. And I just want that rite of passage, right. And so a lot of parents forget. And they're so obsessed with getting through all the tech checkboxes that they're not having like these authentic genuine conversations. And so those types of sessions are really important because we become a slight little mouthpiece to help the kid kind of find some common ground, and then they leave the session and they get in the car. And then their parents are like, Oh, thank god they saw so and so because at least now they're they're having they're talking with when we, when I sometimes interview new agents, that's something I realize is like, they don't know, the questions to ask you to be able to even evaluate the decision of where they want to work and what you're providing them. Is that, that expertise to say, Hey, have you thought of asking this, you know, and let them learn how to make their own decisions. And then parents, I tell them all the time, I was like, Listen, you know, we're just also good at this. Because like, we know how to deal with teens. You know, it's like, I can teach you some tricks. And it'll take you three times to talk to your teen in the car. Yeah, I said, but like, in five minutes, I can gauge you know, like, what their communication style is, and what questions I'm not going to ask because that's going to be a trigger for them. And every kid does, I think, especially seniors, they're already on like this weird emotional roller coaster, you know, they're afraid to graduate. But then it's like, you know, your itis is a real deal. And parents are like, that's fake. I'm like, No, this, this is so real. Like, that's not fake that you have to pay. You have to like, not barbate, you know, like, really make them feel like they're getting interrogated. That's not what they want. So I think parents, they're so stressed about getting everything done, that they don't realize that there is a real cadence to like, going through and getting things done. Like when someone calls and it's August. I say to them, Well, normally in June, we would have suggested blank, and they're like, Oh, my God, you know, but everything's fine. Because the schools you've mentioned there, the applications Don't even start till November, right? And so then they're like, Oh, well, Why didn't anyone tell us this? Well, it's on their website. If you you know, it's just like they're freaking out. I think every parent needs a partner and a lot of different avenues of raising children. It sounds like you are able to fill that niche for a lot of different phases in a family's life. So I completely appreciate the perspective that you've brought. And it all boils down to the fact that we are very lucky to live in North Carolina lucky to live in the triangle. lucky to see all of the great momentum that our education system continues to have to improve from the beginning all the way to the university systems. So I appreciate it. How do people reach out to you? How do we how do we find out they can go to our website, which is success, the number four and then school.com. Or they can just send an email to info at successful school Comm. We also have a really short a website that they can go to S for s dot info, if they want to do that, as well. They're Welcome to like, we are an appointment only center. So they're welcome to call and schedule an appointment. Or if they go to our website, you can they can just click on Set up a free chat and you know, they can schedule it. Like if they're really tech savvy, they could just schedule it through our calendars. Awesome. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate it. You know, I'm so passionate about just really talking about the continuum that families go through, you know, I think my biggest closing is to remind families that sometimes we're in a rush as parents to be like, done with the phase that arcade is in like, we feel like, this is the one that's going to kill me, I don't know which one of us is gonna survive. And I try to remind parents like, Yeah, but when it passes, it's never coming back. So while you're in the moment where you're complaining, also take a moment to take a deep breath. And remember that this this phase only has this one little moment and then all the nuggets that are joyful, that come with that to those two will be gone and you'll have new ones. So relish both the things that you're struggling with and and also the things that you really love about that age of that child. So awesome. Well take a breath. Thank you, Jill. I appreciate it. Well, thanks for having me. And we'll be back with Making Moves next time. Thank you for joining us on this episode of Making Moves. We want to deliver the highlights of the triangle that you want to hear. Let us know your feedback, comment on our social media like and of course subscribe to continue and discover why we love where we live until next time with making moves hosted by The Rachel Kendall Team.