342 | The Whole and Healthy Family (Jessica Smartt with Jodi Mockabee)

342 | The Whole and Healthy Family (Jessica Smartt with Jodi Mockabee)

Show Notes:

In this episode Jessica interviews Jodi Mockabee and they discuss the best hiking spots in the US, whether kids need to go to public school to experience "the real world," the first step to declutter your house, attachment issues, and so much more.

About Jodi

Jodi Mockabee is a photographer, writer, blogger, speaker, social media influencer, and homeschooling mother of five living in the Black Hills of South Dakota. With a passion for health, wellness, parenting, and more, Jodi blogs her family's journey and shares tips for a healthy and active lifestyle. She also writes curriculum for creative and artistic learning in a homeschool environment. Find her at JodiMockabee.com.

About Jessica

Jessica is a wife, homeschool mom of three, author, and blogger. She lives in sunny North Carolina on a big family farm with chickens, goats, cousins, and lots of mud.


The Whole and Healthy Family by Jodi Mockabee

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Show Transcript:

Jessica Smartt Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Homeschool Solutions Show. My name is Jessica Smartt, and I'm one of the many hosts here on the podcast. Each week we bring you an encouraging conversation from this blessed journey of educating our children at home. While the title of the show is Homeschool Solutions, we do not pretend to have all the answers. It is our hope that this podcast will point you to Jesus Christ and that you seek His counsel as you're raising your kids. We are so glad you've joined us for today's conversation.

Jessica Smartt Hey, everybody. This is Jessica Smartt. I am so thrilled to be with you today. And I have a very special guest. I have Jodi Mockabee with me today. She's one of my homeschool heroes, I'll be honest, and I'm super excited to talk with her. But before we jump into that, real quick, I want to tell you about something. This is new coming out from me. Are you a new homeschooler? Are you looking for a homeschool mentor? Are you looking for tips on how to balance homeschooling with everything else? Do you have a difficult child? If any of these things are true, you definitely need to check out my very reasonably priced brand new course Homeschool Bootcamp. So I'm going to throw the link in the show notes. It's essentially a series of videos and resources and you can watch them on demand forever once you purchase. So again, it's called Homeschool Bootcamp, and I'm going to throw that link in the show notes. So excited about that. And yes, so on to today's interview. I'm so honored to have Jodi with me. I know that many of you are probably familiar with her, but a little bit about Jodi. She's a photographer, a writer, a blogger, a homeschool mother of five. They're currently living in the Black Hills of South Dakota, which I'm excited to hear more about. Jodi, welcome to the program.

Jodi Mockabee Thank you so much for having me. I'm just honored to be here.

Jessica Smartt Oh, awesome. There are so many questions that I have for you. I feel like I really would rather book like a 10 hour session, but they really only gave me 30 minutes. So you have— it's your first book, correct? The first book you've written coming out soon.

Jodi Mockabee Yes, it is.

Jessica Smartt Yep. So it's called The Whole and Healthy Family. And I love this book. It is very well done. So congratulations on this book coming out. I feel like I am pretty well read in motherhood, self-help books, and I tend to be a little bit critical. And this book is really fantastic. I can tell that you worked very hard. And you know, as an author, like there's a word limit. You know, they usually— whatever, it's 60,000, 50,000. And sometimes when I'm reading, I feel like I think, "Did you just sort of add that part because you needed word count?" And I never, ever thought that with with your book. Every paragraph, every chapter was really informative and thoughtful and gracious. And I can't wait to jump into it. But thanks for writing this, and I would love to just hear a little bit about what prompted you. I saw on your Instagram, you said it's kind of been a long time coming or you'd put it off for a while or whatever. How did the topic end up being this?

Jodi Mockabee Yeah. Well, first of all, just thank you so much for your feedback. That's super encouraging to hear. Honestly, parenting is really just what sparked it. And like you, I blogged in the early years of parenting and just really enjoyed parenting my children. But with children come problems and we look for solutions and I— it was just always— I feel like the early years, you know, like I call them the trenches. It seemed like there was always an issue in one way or another, whether it was my child not sleeping or whether it was a health issue or whether it was a family that was sick for an entire week and we couldn't leave the home. You know, whatever it was, there were always these little problems that came up. And with prayer and discernment, I would also just research kind of what caused the problems, what potential solutions were out there. And it kind of just became a part of my mothering journey is just researching kind of the cause of a lot of the issues that we face, which I know many parents face. It's not like we had a ton of unique issues. So just kind of researching that and becoming a student of my children and kind of learning how they work physically, mentally, spiritually, how God created them. That all was a process. And so somewhere along the line, I really did feel like the Lord was leading me to write a book about the process of figuring these things out. But I also didn't feel like the time was right until I was able to really see some true fruit in our family. You know, parenting is so experimental that to be preaching or teaching about methods or philosophies or ideas— I just didn't feel like it would be really beneficial unless I could see fruit in my own family. And so that's why it came out now versus years ago as I was going through it was because I really wanted to see did this really shape our family culture? Is there fruit in this? Can I look back and say, "I'm so glad that we did some of those things"? Or "I'm really bummed that I didn't handle that correctly"? And so I kind of wanted hindsight involved in writing this book. And so that's why it is written now versus years and years ago. A lot of the research I had to re-discover because you're in it when your child is two, and you're learning about ear infections, but when they're 12, they're less likely to get ear infections. So I had to go back and research a lot of the research that I had learned then. And so, yeah, that's kind of been the process of the book and why it's released now versus earlier.

Jessica Smartt That is so smart. I remember someone telling me, "You should not release a book before you're 40." I don't know how old you are, but I sort of broke that rule a little bit. But there's a ton of wisdom in that, just waiting and proof is in the pudding a little bit.

Jodi Mockabee Yeah, that's super interesting. I'm 42, so that would align.

Jessica Smartt You made it. So, I mean, this is like a big picture question, but I do just want to get it out of the gate. So I feel like you guys did a lot of things right. As you're reading along— and you're very humble about it, and you did share mistakes that you made and how you learned things, but you did do the smart thing of as a young couple, really setting it before the Lord, being intentional, being conversational, doing all that. As we get into the depth of what's in this book, let's say I'm a mom listening and I'm 35 or I'm 40 and my kids are a little bit later. And in these three areas of mind, body, or spirit, in one of them, I'm super behind. You know, I'm sure as you were writing, you were thinking about that mom, and what would you say—as we're talking—if somebody feels like they missed the boat or has maybe some guilt about what they haven't done? Do you feel like these ideas are things that anyone can implement at any point in their parenting?

Jodi Mockabee Absolutely. I remember reading this book a few years ago because I was super concerned with the fact that my kids were not joyfully doing chores or things that we asked of them.

Jessica Smartt So weird.

Jodi Mockabee I know, huh? And I was so concerned like, man they haven't had enough adversity or grit in their life to just like go out there and work hard. And so I read this book. I was trying to— this this will open you up to my method of trying to figure things out. But so I looked up a bunch of books on grit and adversity and children and how children succeed, and I read this book How Children Succeed, and it actually kind of blew my mind because the premise was basically attachment and accountability are what give children the upper hand in life. And it's never too late to bring that into their lives. And so it was giving examples of these children who lived in Chicago and had a really rough upbringing. But if a teacher can come alongside of them for just six months, that statistically allowed them to jump up into a higher pay rate for the job for their job field. So it was super fascinating to learn how important attachment and accountability were, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it needed to happen from birth. So if a mom feels behind on these things, I think the encouragement to find there is that it's never too late to add different elements in there to improve the outcome for your child and for yourself. So I would just highly encourage you: don't let this book be a discouragement. Tomorrow's a new day, and we're new every morning, and find that as a way to just encourage yourself to maybe make one decision that may help your family a little bit better.

Jessica Smartt Yeah, I love that. And one of the most touching stories—to me—in your book was towards the end when you share about your daughter and kind of noticing some things in terms of attachment. And that was later. I mean, that was maybe an example of kind of what you're saying. Right? Would you share a little bit about that?

Jodi Mockabee Yeah, absolutely. So we have five children. They were born fast and furious. At one point, we had five under five. We were blessed with identical twins at the very end, and so that kind of brought an extra element of chaos.

Jessica Smartt I bet.

Jodi Mockabee And just kind of shock into being thrown into parenting with a lot. And during— when the twins were born— they're my closest in order with my daughter. So I want to say they're 20 months apart. So you have three babies under the age of 20 months when they were born. And their pregnancy was really, really difficult. I was sick all the way up until giving birth. I was on the couch for probably four of the months just because any time I stood up I would throw up. So it was a really difficult pregnancy. And you know, in hindsight, looking back, my daughter was a baby. She was a toddler while I was pregnant. And I wasn't able to give her all this love and affection and attention that a mom that's not pregnant or not sick would be able to give. And so a lot of times I remember just sitting on the couch and she'd be playing with my other son, Everett, on the floor right in front of me. And that's all I could do is just basically supervise her. And I had other children, but they were older. They didn't have the same needs as a baby. So she was a very independent little girl from the beginning because she kind of had to be, and I didn't notice it. And I actually thank the Lord that, at the time, I wasn't aware of it because I think the guilt and the burden of that would have been just so heavy, being unable to tend to some of her physical needs. But the Lord definitely opened my eyes to that after the twins were born and once we kind of came up for air, you know, once they started sleeping more and were a little bit more— I don't know—easier to take care of.

Jessica Smartt Yes.

Jodi Mockabee I started realizing she wasn't like my other children. She couldn't hug me the same. She didn't even actually really know how to hug well. She was awkward if I was affectionate with her. And she was only three or four at the time when when I started noticing these things. And I think the Lord truly just opened my eyes at that time because, before that, I wouldn't have been able to do all of the things that I started practicing. So I spoke with a family counselor that was in our church and just asked her, "Tell me what is going on here. Why can't she hug me? Why does she kind of stiffen up when I put her on my lap and cuddle her?" And she said, "I think there's some attachment things that have been missed." And she was so gentle and gracious about it and just kind of shared with me. You know, they saw us have five children very quickly and she said, "Likely you haven't been able to do as much as you were able to do with the older children. And so I would start reintroducing some small exercises into the day with her that will help rebuild that attachment." And the exercises where everything that become innate to you as a mom with a baby or a toddler. She was just four at the time. So I carrying her like I would a baby. And I started putting her on my lap and playing patty cake. And I would hold her. And even though she was very verbal and could process everything and could recognize many things, I would start to say, "Hey, there is a bird. See the little bird?" You know, like you would a baby or a toddler. And she said, "All of those things are building together these connections in the brain that she may have missed out on." And so let's work on rebuilding that. And so it was difficult. You know, I still had two babies, and she didn't necessarily want it all the time. She physically was taught to be on her own and independent. And so she didn't always want to be coddled and carried and played with like that. But over time, it started becoming more and more apparent that that is physically what she needed, even though her body was telling me she didn't. And so slowly over time, she started becoming more affectionate. It started becoming something that she wanted. She started needing me more when she wasn't feeling good or when she fell. And they were little subtle things that I noticed that weren't there prior to that, to all of that work that was put in. And so I will say she is still very independent. She doesn't love hugging. We just had a funny conversation about this because she wanted me to show her where in Scripture it shows that we should hug.

Jessica Smartt Oh, that's so funny.

Jodi Mockabee So she is definitely kind of independent, and I'm actually very similar like that. You know, I was like that with my mom and other family members. So it's not like it's this bad thing that she's independent. But I did have to rebuild some of the attachment there. And I saw the fruit of that throughout the years. And I'm just so grateful that the Lord brought that to my attention, because otherwise I just can't imagine where we would be at relationally without that intentional time.

Jessica Smartt It's so wonderful how the Holy Spirit actively helps us in our parenting. That's so encouraging to me. And the reason— I mean, I love that story. It's so sweet, but I feel like it kind of is like, in a nutshell, a lot of what your book is is—like you were saying—so there's a problem. And a lot of times the Holy Spirit, I think, kind of nudges in our heart and gives us like a "Hey, something's not— something's off here." And it's so easy to dismiss that, isn't it? That we're busy. We don't have time to deal with it. There's a million other hot burning fires that we don't want to take our eyes off of, but the Lord brings something to mind. And then you sought wisdom and counsel. You prayed about it. He gives you the steps. Important note is it's not easy. You actually have to do work that's frustrating or inconvenient, and then you see the fruit, and you look back and you're like, "God, thank you so much for caring for my children in this way and kind of giving me that wisdom." And I feel like— does that describe kind of what you feel like your process was a little bit?

Jodi Mockabee Absolutely. And I just look back and I'm just so grateful that—like you said—he cared enough.

Jessica Smartt But that's just one story. You guys have to get this book. I mean, every paragraph was like, oh, that's a really cool. I can see the fruit of you waited a long time in your parenting because you have so many good stories. And so again, it's mind, body, spirit are different areas. And they're all really awesome. I wanted to talk through a couple that just stuck out to me. When you talk about mind— I think is simplicity under that? That was really powerful to me. When I look at your Instagram, that's really powerful to me. And so let's say somebody struggles with clutter or— which I'm not like, totally, but my house does not look like your house in the pictures. I love the way you describe how it brings peace to— well, you talk about, especially children that maybe have sensory issues. But all of us, like the stress of the visual calming of things. What would you say to somebody who's actually already living in a house that has a lot of stuff in it? Hypothetically? How do you— like what are some steps you could get there to simplicity? Because I think we all know intrinsically that that is a good thing, but it's like, what do you do now when you're maybe overwhelmed, and you're not young, little happy newlyweds? You have a bunch of kids and they have a bunch of crap. Like, what do you do?

Jodi Mockabee Right? I would just say start from an operations perspective. Maybe don't look at it as taking over the entire house and getting rid of every single thing. But look at it kind of from an operation perspective as far as start with the walls, and that might be kind of easier to start with. And just think what is on these walls that is not necessary or purposeful? And decorations have a purpose. But sometimes things come into our home and we just feel like we have to use them. Or you see something at a store and you like it, but you don't have a place for it and you end up throwing it up on a wall haphazardly or something. That all is visual clutter. And if you don't have— so I kind of teach in that chapter you have to have a yearning desire to fill a corner or a spot on the wall before you bring home anything. So that's— to me— like I would start just removing everything off of the walls and then slowly add back as you see fit. And the walls alone will kind of bring peace to you. Because if you think about it, wherever your eyes— whatever level your eye level is at, that's what you're going to see first. You're actually not going to see the corners and crevices of your home as much as you're going to see eye level. That's where you're walking all throughout the day— in and out of bedrooms and the living room and the kitchen. And so I would just start with eye level. Remove everything, get used to that just nothingness, and then kind of ask yourself what needs to be brought back. And I would just—before you bring anything back—spend some weeks with emptiness on the walls, and I can guarantee you things will settle a little bit for you. The more you walk by and there's nothing, you might not notice it right away, but as soon as you throw something back up there, it will be a little jolt to your senses. And so if you can imagine just how many little jolts to your senses are brought into your home every single day, that adds up to traffic— visual traffic, mental traffic. And so I kind of talk about taking inventory of your home, decide what's necessary, what's not. There's just a lot that comes into our home that has no purpose or adds to the chaos versus adding to the comfort and peace of your home.

Jessica Smartt That's so good. I love it. So after that, you get into nature, and that's one of my favorite parts of your book. I know nature and hiking is really important to your family, and that's probably one of the things I am most proud of that we have done as a family is to start hiking and getting out and stuff. It's hard. I feel like I always want to give the disclaimer of you think it's going to be like this amazing experience, and you did such a good job of capturing like people get grumpy, they're hungry, they're tired. Here's how you can bribe them. So this is just a random question, but I I'm like, I have you on the phone here. I need to ask this. You guys are in South Dakota, correct?

Jodi Mockabee We are. Yes.

Jessica Smartt So I'm on the East Coast. This summer, we went out to the Rockies and it was the most amazing— my husband was like, "That was the most amazing trip I've ever been on in my life." And so we've got the bug. We want to go. If somebody— because half the country is on the other side. Where are the— what are some of the most amazing places you've been that if you have a family with young kids— your kids are like extra. So maybe think like a step down from your kids, like maybe a little bit younger, but they want to go hike. What are some of the places that you would say you've got to experience with your kids?

Jodi Mockabee So for my own kids, Yosemite National Park— the immigrant wilderness. That is absolutely their favorite just because of the vast amount of untapped land. And of course, it has been discovered. But the further you get into it, you won't see a person in sight, and you'll have waterfalls and granite and creeks, and just it's really beautiful. But I will say from a homeschool perspective or even just a family that wants to go on vacation, Mammoth Lakes, California i probably my absolute favorite place to bring the kids because there are such a large variety of different types of hikes. So you can have shorter two-milers or you can do long 20-milers. And the scenery is just as beautiful on the two-miler as it is on the 40-miler.

Jessica Smartt Oh, wow.

Jodi Mockabee And you also have a variety of geothermal activities. So you have hot springs and hot creeks. And that's just really fascinating—from a learning perspective—to be in an environment. Kind of like Yellowstone; it's like a mini Yellowstone. But it's less traveled, so you feel like you have those places to yourself, which is really special. And it's in a small town, and so there's just something really special about being in an area where mostly just local people live and you get to explore the mountains. And there's a ski resort there as well. So that's probably my hidden jewel that I would share with people is Mammoth Lakes, California because there's a lot to do in a small area and you've got some geology stuff that's really fun to learn with your kids. And it's just a really different— it's like high desert, but you still have the beauty of mountains and pine trees as well.

Jessica Smartt That's awesome.

Jodi Mockabee Yeah, it's just a unique spot. So that's what I would encourage people to do if they have their eyes set on going somewhere unique that might not be as common as Yellowstone or Yosemite.

Jessica Smartt Now I know from kind of following your story and you mentioned a little bit in the book, you guys were in California and then moved to South Dakota, and I gathered— is that right? California to South Dakota. So I gather that that was a hard decision for your family. And I'm just curious. I don't know what you guys kind of share, but I'm sure it touches on— everything you do is intentional. So I'm wondering if it kind of touches on some of the themes or goals that you had for your life as to how that move came about?

Jodi Mockabee Yeah, that was a really, really difficult decision. We lived in an area that I was born and raised in, and my dad was a pastor at a church there that was a larger church. And we just had a huge community as a result of that. Both parents lived there; some siblings lived there. So everything foundationally was there for our family. But ultimately— and this was just what's so hard— we love California. We love the diversity there. We love how you can drive two hours and have the ocean or you can drive 30 minutes and have the mountains. There's a lot of diversity there, both in terrain and in people and cultures. So it was so difficult to leave all of the good parts of California, but the bad parts of California are what ultimately drove that decision.

Jessica Smartt What a sacrifice. That had to be incredibly hard. I really feel for you.

Jodi Mockabee It was really, really hard. But ultimately, the responsibility of knowing where our kids end up and where they raised their families— this wasn't just a temporary decision. This was a generational decision for us.

Jessica Smartt Man, I love that. So, our time is running. I can't believe it's gone so quickly. I have two questions I absolutely have to fit in. And one is kind of related to what you said. I just would love your advice on this. I've heard a lot of people say one of their critiques of homeschooling—particularly through high school—is that their kids need to get out and experience the real world and the temptations while they're living under their own roof so that they can process those things with their parents. Because later on—I guess this is the theory—they meet these challenges. They don't have the ability to deal with them. Therefore, you need to go ahead and dump them into the real world. How does that hit you, Jodi? And what would you say to somebody who is processing through that reasoning?

Jodi Mockabee I mean, I can understand that reasoning, of course. I grew up thinking the same thing. I also see a little bit of that happening naturally with our teens as they are working in the real world. And they both are on sports teams in a public school setting. They're on the public school sports teams in our local high school here. And that's another reason why we actually moved is because homeschoolers have more opportunities here than they do in California. So I understand that statement. And I would say ultimately, whatever that parents feel deep in their heart, whatever the family conviction is on that issue should be their own conviction to work through. And every family has such a unique path. But I will say that is kind of naturally happening with our high schoolers now. They are getting a taste of the real world through work, and they're also getting a taste of the "real world" through participating in these public sports. And it has actually been a fantastic way to walk through all these issues that they're being exposed to. But it's in such a small— it's a small part of their day.

Jessica Smartt Yes.

Jodi Mockabee We have them nine hours during the day, and they go and practice for an hour and a half, and then they come back and they discuss with us what happened during practice or what conversations were made. Both of them have traveled with their teams to different places to play, and so they've stayed in hotels with these kids and different things like that. And I am grateful for that because I am grateful to be able to walk through. And I would say one of the most impactful thing that my boys have noticed is they can pick out a believer on their team within the first day or two of practice.

Jessica Smartt Wow.

Jodi Mockabee The believer doesn't even have to say they're a believer. They just know. And so that has been some really great conversation around that of just, "Well, how did you know that that person was a believer?" "Well, he doesn't cuss." "Okay. Are there any other things?" "He doesn't participate in these conversations about sex or this or that." And so it's been interesting to see, like, "Do you see how evident it is when you've got God in you? Like, it's evident enough to where within one day someone can spot you out as different." You know?

Jessica Smartt Yeah, that's amazing.

Jodi Mockabee And different in a non-offensive way. It's not like these kids are being crazy loud and trying to change everyone on their team. They're just— they have a higher standard for language and content, basically. And so I love that they have been able to integrate and see and learn, and then we come home and talk about it. But I think if they were surrounded for nine hours a day in that environment, it would be pretty difficult to maintain those standards.

Jessica Smartt Yeah, that would be the influencing pressure of their life versus the atmosphere you've created where there are smaller opportunities to experience. Because I kind of feel the same. It's inevitable. They are going to see it unless they're literally in a bubble, which I just don't know that many people are actually doing that. They are going to have opportunity to see the real world. It's just how much of it do you want them to see at what age?

Jodi Mockabee Exactly. And even I think homeschoolers specifically, they're so intentional about getting their kids to apprentice and have access to all these different experiences. And not all of those experiences are going to be from a biblical perspective. And so our kids are getting access to the real world. It's just in smaller portions. And so I think it's just beautiful that we have the opportunity to walk through all different types of situations with them while they're under our home. And somehow they even come up when we're reading together and a child will say, "Oh, that actually happened to me the other day." You know? So it's been yeah, a really beautiful thing. I don't think necessarily dumping them in a school system is going to prepare them for real life. I think the push and pull of letting them leave the home and work or leave the home and play sports and then come back and discuss it, that's going to kind of prepare them moreso.

Jessica Smartt Yeah, totally. You just have so much wisdom. And thank you for being flexible and kind of going off topic here. And I have one more, but I'm like, I'm not getting off phone till I ask this because you have so much wisdom. When you think about this theme and then college— and I know I feel like a lot of us identify with your concerns as you're looking at educational systems and patterns and the culture shift as you're raising up these boys and girl and you're looking at college, how are you viewing that decision? Because I think for me, I look at some of these universities and think, how can I send my dollars to build up some of this ideology that I really don't agree with. But at the same time, our kids— you know, well, practically that that may be the best option available. And we can't completely hide from culture. So as you're actually beginning to make college decisions—in two minutes or less—what are some of the guiding themes that you and your husband are prioritizing?

Jodi Mockabee Well, I think the biggest priority for us is certainly to understand that college is not for everyone.

Jessica Smartt Yes, 100%.

Jodi Mockabee Just because your child goes to college, doesn't mean they're going to be successful. And just because your child doesn't go to college doesn't mean they won't be successful. Culturally, that's something that we're going to be fighting against. But we've also seen the other side of that with my husband being an employee and always being in positions that require degrees. And so we see, sadly, it doesn't even matter what quality of education you have. That degree is necessary for so many different job opportunities. And so we kind of are dancing with that tension right now because if it were our choice, we would encourage all five kids to be entrepreneurial and skip college and have a different path. But our children are all made very differently. Our oldest has the brain of an engineer. He has a very specific goal in mind to contract out for the National Forest and be a bridge inspector, which requires a civil engineering degree. And so he has to get a degree in order to be able to do the work that he wants to do. So we have been—kind of how we've discussed with sports and work—having him take three classes at a time to where he can come home and discuss. And so that was last year's plan. He took some units at a local engineering college, and it was mind blowing just to see how much agenda was added to these classes, even though it had nothing to do with the subject that he was taking. And so he would come home and just wrestle with these ideas that were being presented to him, and they had nothing to do with the subject that he was taking. And so we prayed about it a lot. We thought about it. We learned that locally there was a Christian classical college here. And so we decided to this year send him to the classical college. I don't think all of the units will be able to transfer over for a civil engineering degree. But he is taking classes such as rhetoric so that he can kind of learn to distinguish between truth and not truth and that he would be able to maybe hold an argument should he have to. But ultimately, we know the path for him through college is going to be upstream and he's really just going to have to kind of master the system to get through. And I think there is some value in that, too. I think that every part of our society has some sort of system that you have to understand in order to work in and thrive in. And so he'll have to figure out how to be a believer, how to ignore the stuff he doesn't believe in, how to respond in order to get a good enough grade, and how to stay in truth in the Word of God and just build himself and renew his mind every day. And those are good skills to learn, too. So we just didn't feel like he had the maturity yet to dive into that system entirely. So we took a year off. And so now he's under a Christian based school and just kind of developing those muscles so that he can go back to the engineering college and feel confident in who he is, what he believes in.

Jessica Smartt And I think this is probably touching on why so many people are longing for the kind of wisdom that you're sharing, because this just shows such sacrifice and also just a willingness to look at the situation for what it is and then pivot. And I think that's hard to do as parents because we're like, "Well, he's in this school. What are we going to do?" And maybe homeschoolers are better at that than others, but just being able to think innovatively and not be afraid to switch things up and take a different path, even if it costs more, takes longer, is inconvenient, is annoying, looks different. I love that. And you're just setting such a wonderful example, I imagine, for the rest of your kids, too, of like, "Okay, the world is ours. We make our decisions. We don't let the world tell us what to do. We're going to decide." So thank you so much for sharing that. I think that will be helpful to a lot of people.

Jodi Mockabee Absolutely. And I hope so, too. And I think that's how we approach homeschool every year, too, is every year is an assessment. Is this good for our family to do this this year? Are there other options? And the world kind of frowns upon that, the idea of changing because everything is so systematic. It's like the industrial revolution. Everything is laid out as some sort of assembly line, you know? And I think homeschoolers really mess with that.

Jessica Smartt They do. Yes. I can't believe that we are out of time. And I— you guys have to just get this book. I was hoping that we would talk about the fitness and the health. I think that is one of the coolest things about this book, because I haven't read a lot of books that say kind of what you're saying. I mean, I've read a lot of medical books, but it was super cool to hear a mom that's not necessarily a medical professional, but just saying, "Here's how we have began to adopt a holistic approach in our family." And this is gold, like how you talk that through. I loved hearing about the adaptions that you've made and the ways that it's brought healing in your family. I don't know how you have never used antibiotics on any of your kids. I'm like, wow, you guys are super human. But anyway, there's just— and it was just very timely for me. The gut healing, I think, will be really helpful to a lot of people. I'm already motivated to go— guess what? I've done so many things since reading this book. I've already drank kombucha and I am making sauerkraut.

Jodi Mockabee Oh, that's amazing.

Jessica Smartt I know, right? So you're super inspiring. And the sports— I just absolutely loved your perspective on kids' sports. I think anybody that has kids right now that are doing any kind of organized sports, you just have such a wonderful approach to that. And that's the same kind of story we've experienced where you get into it and you're like, "This is actually eating into a lot of what our family values." And so I love the choices that you laid out there. Thank you so much for being with us. Is there anything else—because we've just touched on so many different things—that you would say to someone entertaining this book or about any of the other ideas that we've talked about? Anything else you want to add?

Jodi Mockabee I don't think so. I hope if you choose to pick up the book that it will just be an encouragement to you. And yeah, just maybe open your eyes to something that maybe you haven't seen before or something like that. And ultimately, I just want the Lord to do His work in it. So whatever He wants to do with that book, I'm trusting that he knows what's best and what's going to happen as a result.

Jessica Smartt I think that it will change a lot of things. I think there's so many good little tidbits in here. Who knows all the millions of ways that will impact families? I would describe it as convicting. I definitely would say it was convicting, but in a really good way and worth reading. So thanks again for being here, Jodi. It's just been an honor. Guys, you can pick up The Whole and Healthy Family on Amazon or wherever books are sold. It should be available now when this episode is live, and as we're approaching fall, that's a great time to pick up a copy of my first book, Memory-Making Mom: Building Traditions that Breathe Life Into Your Home. Super fun for fall and into the holiday season as well. So Jodi, thanks again for being here. May the Lord bless your work and may he bless your family and this book. Thanks again for being here.

Jodi Mockabee Thank you so much for having me. It was really a pleasure.

Jessica Smartt Thanks so much for joining us this week on The Homeschool Solutions Show. You can find show notes and links to all the resources mentioned at Homeschooling.mom. If you haven't already, please subscribe to the podcast, and while you're on there, leave us a review and tell us what you love about the show. As you know, this will help other homeschooling parents, just like you get connected to our community. And finally, tag us over on Instagram @homeschoolingdotmom to let us know what you thought of today's episode. Have you joined us yet at one of the Great Homeschool Conventions? The Great Homeschool Conventions are the homeschooling events of the year, offering outstanding speakers, hundreds of workshops covering today's top parenting and homeschooling topics, and the largest homeschool curriculum exhibit halls in the U.S. Find out more at GreatHomeschoolConventions.com. I hope to see you there.

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