Home Schooling Education : Learning Success Institute
Living Green
Meredith Medland Sasseen

Episode 40 - Home Schooling Education : Learning Success Institute

Home schooling -- all the web links, resources and how-to's of getting you and your child prepared for an exceptional educational journey of a lifetime.  You'll learn how to transition your child from traditional schools to home schooling and what easy steps you need to take to make sure that the process is legal and prepares your student for success at the college level. You'll experience the vast depth of knowledge provided by Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis, co-founder of LearningSuccess(tm) Institute, and co-author of Discover Your Child’s Learning Style. You'll understand why home-schoolers generally have more confidence in themselves, believe they can go for what they want, and become motivated, life-long learners.

Mariaemma believes that green communities and homeschooling are made for each other - learn how your child can get “school” credit for anything he or she is passionate about. Families who live green have thousands of topics that fit under various subjects: history, cultures, science...even reading, writing, and math. Plus, environmental projects or normal daily routines centered around living green can themselves be counted as subjects, electives, community service, or even work experience.  Home schooling, you'll learn, is incredibly easy, creates a stronger bond with your children and truly prepares them for the future in a way that will have them be able to navigate our changing social, political and spiritual structures.

This podcast will educate you and literally give you all the resources you need to start homeschooling your child immediately.  You'll even enjoy $5 off a $25 learning skills assessment by typing code "RLGREEN" at www.learningsuccessprofile.com, after you click on Purchase. Take it online today or subscribe to Living Green by clicking here!



Announcer: This program is brought to you by PersonalLifeMedia.com

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Meredith Medland: You’re listening to “Living Green: Effortless Ecology for Everyday People”. I’m your host, Meredith Medland, and you can follow along today on our episode page at www.livinggreenshow.com. Today you’ll meet Mariaemma Willis. Mariaemma is the co-founder of Learning Success Institute and co-author of “Discover Your Child’s Learning Style” as well as “Mid-Life Crisis Begins in Kindergarten”. In this episode, Mariaemma will explain how to prevent mid-life crisis from beginning in kindergarten when you honor each child’s unique gifts and passions. She is going to tell you why homeschooling is the best way to do this and why homeschoolers generally have more confidence in themselves, believe that they can go for what they want and become motivated life-long learners. Mariaemma will also share why she believes that green communities and homeschooling are made for each other. Here are some highlights from today’s show.

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Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: Well, the most important thing that I think is going on is that we are just labeling too many kids. Really, the majority of kids are tactile-kinesthetic learners, and they’re movers. Actually the majority of the population…When kids are not reading or writing right away, at kindergarten or even starting them in preschool now a days, it’s not because there’s a dysfunction or something wrong with them. It’s because the majority of students aren’t supposed to be doing that…Oh, it’s not their fault. They have a learning problem. They’re smart, but they have a learning problem….But there’s the freedom of finding all that out, and it’s really a learning to learn so it’s life-long. And it stays with you. And it’s fun. And it’s positive. And it’s motivating because you’re successful and then you want to keep going. You know, you even want to reach for things that might be hard for you, whereas in that other model, you don’t because you are too afraid of failing…We treat visual-picture learners as if they were visual-print learners. That is the root of dyslexia. Most people who are diagnosed dyslexic are picture learners.

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Meredith Medland: Welcome to “Living Green”. I am your host Meredith Medland, and I am here with Mariaemma. Mariaemma, one of your specialties is working with homeschoolers. You love to coach parents and help everyone get involved in homeschooling so that’s our focus of the episode today. What’s the most important thing happening in the space of education in our world?

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: Well, the most important thing that I think is going on is that we are just labeling too many kids. Really, the majority of kids are tactile-kinesthetic learners, and they’re movers. Actually the majority of the population. You know, this is not something that we made up. It’s been in literature for years. So here are all these students being labeled ADD, ADHD, dyslexic, unmotivated…oh, and just average. That’s a terrible one. I think that’s the worst one of all. Just average. So we’ve got all of these people growing up, from the beginning, kindergarten and even preschool sometimes, already with messages that they’re not good enough, there’s something’s wrong with them, they’re not smart enough, they can’t get it, and then you become an adult who believes all of those things. So that, to me, is the biggest tragedy of all that is happening, and my mission is to prevent that with as many kids as possible.

Meredith Medland: You’ve done an amazing job at both documenting your work on your website, which is learningsuccesscoach.com and you also have a few other URLs, learningsuccesshomeschool.com and then powerofyounow.com. There’s also many more that we have listed on the episode page, and we’ll talk about those in a little while. Just so our listeners know, today we’re gonna talk about homeschooling and what’s the best way to bring out the star in your child and then we’ll also talk about the connection between green communities and homeschooling. So, first of all, what kind of student were you in school? Which label, which label applies to you?

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: Well, I had the “smart” label, so it’s not like I’m, you know, all upset about what happened to me, but in a way I am. I was an A student from the minute I started school. I had the magic formula. You know, in our learning styles profile, there’s the, like the parts that make you that perfect formula for the way schools teach.

Meredith Medland: What is that perfect formula?

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: So, well…

Meredith Medland: Let’s talk about those styles.

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: Okay, well, I am Producing Disposition, which means I’m the organized, be ready on time, have everything ready to go, plan ahead for months, you know, have your planner…It’s the being able to sit there and do workbooks, and finish, and get your star. It’s almost syndrome you know. It’s what makes you an incredible executive secretary, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The problem is that we teach everyone as if they are all Producing Dispositions, and in every classroom there are only three to five of those. So that’s why so few people get all the A’s. Not because they’re the smart ones, but because they are the ones who learn in that way. So I was Producing, and I also had a language talent for print learning. I could read and write really well. I mean, I did that since, I don’t know, since I was five or six. Immediately I picked it up. When kids are not reading or writing right away, at kindergarten or even starting them in preschool now a days, it’s not because there’s a dysfunction or something wrong with them. It’s because the majority of students aren’t supposed to be doing that. The majority aren’t ready until they are eight or nine years old to begin to start to learn to read, or to hold that pencil. And even physically, their muscles, their eye muscles aren’t ready for the tracking, their wrist muscles aren’t ready for the writing. And so when we make them do that, what happens? They fail, they’re having trouble, there are labels that are put on them immediately, and then it spirals downward from there and keeps going, so…

Meredith Medland: Your institute offers an opportunity for parents to receive education about how to educate their children more effectively. And particularly in this time, we’ve got lots of industries and companies benefiting from the labels that are put on children. So let’s talk about how you started this institute, how you saw the need, and then if you could distinguish for me please the difference between Waldorf schooling and homeschooling just real briefly so that our listeners get a chance to decipher those.

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: Well, let me see, the first thing was how we got started here. I’ve been interested in this subject for the longest time. When I was in the school I remember thinking around seventh or eighth grade, well these kids in my class that are getting D’s or F’s are smarted than I am because they know science and just all these things that I had to memorize to pass the test, but I knew that they really knew it. So I got really interested in what was going on. Why am I getting A’s and they’re getting D’s and F’s? And very early on, and so in high school I thought, “Okay, I’m going to become something that helps these kids because they’re not dumb, and I don’t know what’s going on but I’m going to figure it out.” And then I learned about this whole idea of learning disabilities, so that’s really how I started. Oh, it’s not their fault. They have a learning problem. They’re smart, but they have a learning problem. So I decided to become an educational therapist, which I did, and I have a Master’s in Special Education and I have teaching credentials for regular and special ed in California. And I started working that way. Oh, let me fix all of these poor children that have something wrong with them. And after eleven years of doing that, I could no longer follow that model because once again I was thinking, “Okay, this can’t be right. They’re not dysfunctional.” So I went on a quest and I found this whole field of learning styles which is never taught in teacher training except for about 20 minutes of saying, “Some people are, you know, auditory, some are visual, some are tactile.” And even that, that information we use in the skewed way ‘cause what we do is we say, “Oh”, and yes, we have found out that they’re more visual, more tactile, but you know what, really what we’re meaning is that means special ed because if you were normal and you could really learn from the normal way you wouldn’t need all these old tactile things, you wouldn’t need pictures. You know, you would just be able to do it by hearing it and reading it. That’s the normal way to learn which is ridiculous. And so, I then started experimenting on my own with taking in private students and it was magical. So then I met my business partner Victoria Hodson when I was doing a workshop on this whole subject, telling parents, “Look, we’ve got something else here you know. This is really helpful and valuable for you,” and she attended one. And from that day, we started talking and got together, and then we developed our own learning style profile which is very comprehensive and met all the needs that we thought were not being met. And that’s it. We started working together. We wrote a book, “Discover Your Child’s Learning Style”. We started our institute. We have a homeschooling program. We work with teachers and schools and really anybody who’s interested in changing this whole model to success rather than failure. That’s what we’re here for.

Meredith Medland: So when we come back from the break, we’re going to talk a little bit more about the offering that you have for parents and educators and what they can find on your website. But before we do that, let’s make clear the distinction between homeschooling, Waldorf school systems, schooling, and then public or private education.

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: Well, public education is a one-size fits all. Somebody has decided, and it’s been years ago now and we never changed it, that oh, when you’re in first grade you’re supposed to do this, and second grade this, and by the time you’re in this grade you ought to be able to do fractions, and so everybody is learning the same thing at the same time. There’s no customizing, and we don’t care about your interests or talents or anything. So I mean, really, that’s in a nutshell. You learn what the teacher tells you or hope to and then you take the test and you move on. And if you didn’t get it, it’s gonna to keep going anyway, whether you got it or not, and so you get further and further behind. Programs like Waldorf, Montessori and some others, they are based on the inner, sort of the inner strength of each individual person. So what they’re wanting to do is bring out the strengths. And really it is kind of a learning styles of each person. And they do have, well Waldorf, Montessori really is into let’s just let the child figure out what he or she needs at the moment. It’s very child-led and child-centered. Waldorf has more, I guess I’m going to call them more sort of rules because they have a program that they think will allow all, every child to bring out what’s inside. So they do a lot of art and movement, drawing activities, different things like that which is also fabulous. What we do and what homeschooling can do goes even further than that because you can learn exactly how your child learns. You can get that information from a learning style assessment and from talking to a child and from continuing to experiment with it so that that child is learning along with you, the parent or teacher, “Oh, this is what makes me tick. Oh, this is what works for me.” And it could be different. Like for math you might need pictures, and for writing you might need something else, so it isn’t even that you’re just, oh, this kind of learner all the time, every minute. But there’s the freedom of finding all that out, and it’s really a learning to learn so it’s life-long. And it stays with you. And it’s fun. And it’s positive. And it’s motivating because you’re successful and then you want to keep going. You know, you even want to reach for things that might be hard for you, whereas in that other model, you don’t because you are too afraid of failing. So is that what you were going for?

Meredith Medland: Yeah, that’s perfect. We’re gonna take a break to thank our sponsors, and when we come back from the break, we’ll talk a little bit about assessing learning styles and some of the opportunities that you have for both parents and educators. Thank you so much. My name is Meredith Medland. You’re listening to “Living Green: Effortless Ecology for Everyday People”, and I’m here with Mariaemma Willis and you can learn more information at learningsuccesscoach.com.

[Sponsor Break]

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Meredith Medland: You’re listening to “Living Green: Effortless Ecology for Everyday People”. I’m your host Meredith Medland, and I’m here with Mariaemma Willis, and she is the co-founder of Learning Success Institute, and today we’re talking about her book, “Discover Your Child’s Learning Style”. So, let’s go into those learning styles, Mariaemma. Can you explain those for us please?

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: Sure. In our system, we have five parts to our learning style assessment. The first part is dispositions, like your learning personality. And then we have modality, which means how do you best take in information, how does your brain work best. We have interests, talents, and we have your preferred learning environment. Those are all equally important. Often when people hear “learning styles” they think, “Oh, I know about that. It means, you know, are you visual, auditory, or tactile?” And you know, even that, even the modalities, there’s more to it than just visual, auditory, or tactile. For instance, with visual, there are visual-print learners and visual-picture learners. And here’s a big problem that we create: we treat visual-picture learners as if they were visual-print learners. That is the root of dyslexia. Most people who are diagnosed dyslexic are picture learners. They are not going to learn to spell writing their words over and over again. That’s never worked, but we still do it. They’re not print learners; they’re not writing learners. It’s not going to work to write. They need something else like pictures. So I wish we could show that on the internet somehow ‘cause we’ve have tricks that we can do and then they learn it. So this is just an example of that. Auditory, we’ve got auditory-verbal and auditory-listening. Some people actually need to talk it out, talk out loud. Well, we discourage that in the classroom. Once again, in homeschooling, you can encourage it. Talk it out. And then tactile, we’ve got hands-on. We’ve got whole body, where you’ve got to really experience the whole thing. We’ve got sketching, which kids still get in trouble for, doodling and sketching on their papers where they intuitively know they need to do that. And it helps them to listen or process or even to like, say, figure out a math work problem ‘cause they’re drawing it out. We want to encourage those things, not take them away. And then there’s the writing learner, which that’s part of the magic formula. You’re gonna do good in school if you’ve got print learner, writing learner, producing disposition like I was saying before. Those are some of the things that contribute to you getting all the A’s. And then in the dispositions, this is so interesting because people who are diagnosed ADD/ADHD, those are usually the inventing learners and the thinking-creating learners. And right there, those words tell you the whole thing. You know thinking-creating learners, inventing learners like Einstein and Edison and all of our famous inventors and scientists. The performing people, those are the quote “hyperactive” people. So if you’re performing and, say, inventing, then you’re ADHD ‘cause the “h” means hyperactive. It’s just crazy, really, how we do this. Instead of looking at their style and nurturing it, and going, “Wow, you’re a performing person. Let’s make, you know, get the best out of that for you and let’s see, what can we do with that. What does that mean for you?” Interests are so important. They are the biggest motivator. And yet what do we do? This is another thing that comes up a lot. Parents, in wanting to do the best they can for their kids, are taking away things that their kids love until you get that good grade. You know, like no horseback riding for you, or no more riding on the skateboard, or whatever your interest is that you really love, a lot of times it’s taken away because you need to spend more time working on those math or those spelling or whatever because you’re not doing well. And yet if we could tweak that a little bit, we could use their interests to actually improve those areas instead of taking them away. Talents or your natural gifts and abilities that you’re born with are so important. Again, we can use those to help in all these other areas that there might be a difficulty in. But it’s even more than that, it’s looking at what’s right about you and not what’s wrong with you. We do this in business. We do this in the world of sports. I don’t know, you know, all the names and stuff because I’m not really into sports, but I do know that if you have, say, a quarterback or somebody in football and his left side is his good side, do we try to teach him to use his right side? No. You train everybody else to work, you know, with that guy’s left side. And in business we do that. Use your strengths. Use your strengths. And there are books out, tons of books for adults. Look at your strengths. Look at your strengths now, so let’s start when they’re kids.

Meredith Medland: Exactly. Well, this is really helpful information. And I got a chance to review your book before I came here to interview you, and I want to share with our listeners. So, we’re here in Ventura, California, and this is, we’re at the Learning Success Institute doing our interview right now. And Mariaemma has actually given me a special code to offer to all so you. So if you go to learningsuccessprofile.com, then you type in the special code “RLGreen”. So all you need to do is type in special code “RLGreen”, and what that will do is that will give you $5 off each profile that you purchase. The profiles are $25 each or you can do three profiles for…

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: 20

Meredith Medland: Twenty dollars so you can learn about how your child is learning, and that’ll give you a great opportunity to get more connected with them and really figure out what the next steps are. So, I want to talk about those ‘cause I know there are some parents who have these really beautiful, creative children that are incredibly intuitive and smart, and they’re coming back home with grades that aren’t so good, and that’s one of the things that is happening with having kids being homeschooled, or shipping them in to a different school system. And there are five common ways that parents have of handling poor grades that do a little more harm than good, and I’d love to ask you about those.

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: Sure. Well, let’s see. One of the things that parents – now I want to say that it’s always good intentions because you think that you’re going to help them get over this, you know, and start getting good grades. So, the first thing is you give them more of what they’re having trouble with. So for instance, let’s say that they’re having trouble memorizing they’re multiplication facts, so you just do that constantly. You’ve got to memorize. You’ve got to memorize. You’ve got to spend two or three hours a day on this. I mean, it’s real. Some people really do that. And, often it’s at the advice from the teacher. You’ve got to spend all this time with them. Well, that just does more harm because you are forcing them to do something that they are not being successful at and not giving them a way to do it that works for them. So they can’t win. And what I want to say here is learning doesn’t have to hurt. And that’s what happens when we do these kinds of things, we make learning hurt and then who would want to learn more after that, you know. You just don’t want to. Take away interests. That’s another thing that often happens. So it’s like, “Oh, well, you can’t do horseback riding lessons until you bring this grade up,” or, “Well there’s no time for you to do skateboarding because you’ve got to, you know, do this spelling thing and you’ve got to get your words right.” Well, again, that’s just going to make kids angry and resentful and sad and it won’t do any good. It’s a success that brings more success, not failure. You tell them that if they don’t shape up, they won’t get anywhere. Again, it’s with the best intentions, and we think, well, if we tell you that, you’ll shape up. But it doesn’t work because it’s not a positive message. And they just go in deeper into their upsetness about the whole thing or they might think, “Oh, well I’ll show you,” you know. “I will fail then.” “I’m not getting anywhere.” It’s just the way things work. Or, you might tell them that they’re smart enough to do it if they would just apply themselves, and that is a really negative message because kids get really scared about that. It’s like, “Okay, but I can’t do it, so that must mean that I am really not smart. I must really be dumb. You keep telling me that I could, but I can’t,” and they don’t know how to get out of it. And then paying them for grades. Yes, it does sometimes work in the short-term. With some it doesn’t ever work at all. With some, they kinda start bringing their grades up so it looks like it’s working, and you might think, “Oh, good.” But you know what? It’s not coming from the inside. It’s physics. You know, externally put upon them. And again, they’re just, they’re giving it their all just to get this reward, but it’s not real learning, and it won’t last.

Meredith Medland: Yeah. Precisely. So I’m imagining that a lot of our listeners who are parents are fairly progressive, and it’s quite possible that they may be ready to take that next step into homeschooling. So for the rest of our show what I’d like us to talk about is how you transition your child out of a regular school system or a Waldorf or Montessori school system into homeschooling, and literally step-by-step, what can our listeners do. So if they go to learningsuccessprofile.com and they assess their learning style, they learn more about the offerings you have on the web. Maybe order the book, love the first of the two books that I’ve gotten a chance to look at. What do you do?

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: To start homeschooling, it’s actually pretty easy. I know it can seem like it’s so intimidating, like, “I’m not a teacher. I don’t know what to do.” But you, really you’ve been teaching your child since your child was born, and so many things are intuitive, you just know how to teach your child. You probably taught your child how to ride a bike or at least facilitated that, tying shoes, all of that. Getting dressed, using a fork. So it really is the same thing. Now if you had trouble in school yourself, then that might really be upsetting to you because you think, “Oh, I wasn’t good in school. How am I going to help my child?” Again, it’s pretty simple, so yes, if you find out just some basic information, you can certainly go to our website. And I just wanted to make it clear how they do that when you go to learningsuccessprofile.com, you have to click “Purchase” first, and then you’ll see the field where it asks for the code, the discount code, and that’s where you put in “RLGreen”. And then you’ll get $5 off each profile of the regular prices. So you’ll end up paying $20 instead of $25 or $15 instead of $20 if you’re getting three or more. So that’s a great way to do it, and the results, if you yourself are not a reader, and you’re not going to get our book, which is you know a full book, then this is excellent. The whole family can take these profiles online. It scores it automatically for you immediately when you’re done. You can print out the results, and you can print out all of the recommendations and the correlations that go with the results that tell you how to study, what will work better for them for studying, for memorizing, what kinds of assignments they might enjoy, what kinds of even material and topics they might enjoy. So it’s all laid out. And if you are a reader and want to get our book “Discover Your Child’s Learning Style,” there’s even tons more information in there. Of course, you could use the two together. A lot of people like to use the book and the online profiles. But our book does have the profiles in the book, so you can make copies of those profiles that are in the book for each member of your family to take, and then, of course, you just read how to score them and so forth and then look up the information. So, you know, that’s the basic. If you know how your child learns and you’re okay with that, that’s it. You relax. “Oh, he’s a mover. He’s gotta go outside and dig in the dirt,” and, “This one loves workbooks so let’s get some workbooks for her,” and, “This one’s very artistic so we want to do maybe history through art,” and see, ‘cause you can gear everything for that child. And it’s not the case that you’re, like, babying them and what will they do when they get to the real world. It’s the opposite. The more you acknowledge and honor how they learn and what they love, then the more they’ll be okay when they’re adults because they’ll be so grounded in who they are and they’ll have confidence in believing in themselves. So, you get a little bit of that kind of information, and then you decide, if they’re in elementary, it’s pretty easy because, you know, you’re covering some history, some geography, some science, and you pick topics that they might enjoy. And there’s so many books out there for homeschooling that you can grab a couple of those, you know, from the internet or at a bookstore. But basically it’s putting together a fun program for your kids, and I think just about everybody can do that, if they could just get out of the mindset of, “Oh my gosh, am I doing it right?” and, you know, “I’m not doing what the school’s doing,” because you don’t need textbooks, you just need fun stuff around.

Meredith Medland: So if we have, let’s say, a student who’s 12-years-old, two parents that work from home, what’s the process from the moment there is a realization of, “I’m ready to homeschool my child.” When do you pull the child out of school, and what are, what do you need to do legally to make that transition? And how much time is required on the part of the parents to make that transition?

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Okay, well, it’s probably a little easier if you’re doing it at the end of a school year and decide to start, you know, the following September, but I do know that some parents just, finally they just make that decision. They’ve been thinking about it and it’s the middle of the year or quarter through the year or whatever, and they just can’t stand the school situation anymore and they pull out. And that can work as well. So the first thing that you do is, you either need to sign yourself up as a private school, so you have to go to the, you know what? I don’t have it memorized so maybe you could put it on the website?

Meredith Medland: Sure.

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: You go to this particular website and you sign yourself up as a private school. You fill out a little form. So that’s one way to do it. Another way to do it is to sign up with another homeschooling program which we do have. We are registered as a private school in California, and we actually work with people all over the country. So we can do it by phone as well.

Meredith Medland: So they can literally call you and talk to Katie and that’s, she’ll set everybody up?

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: Absolutely, yeah. And then there’s a consultation that’s part of the enrollment. We have an hour and a half that we spend at least, sometimes it’s a little more, going over the profile because everybody that comes in to our program, it includes a profile of course, the parents and the kids. And we go over that, what it means, and we customize a program for you. So if you don’t want to do it by yourself, you don’t have to. Here we are, you know. We’ll customize it. We’ll talk to you, of course, as part of that whole interview. Will this work? And what do you think about this? And we come up with the most exciting, I wish we had pictures of the kid’s smiles and the parent’s smiles when we do this and they’re just lighting up. “You mean I can watch movies for literature?” and “You mean I can do this or that?” It’s just so exciting. I just had somebody here yesterday  that’s in high school, and she’s gonna be doing the history of fashion because she just love that. I mean, starting with Ancient Egypt, wouldn’t that be cool?

Meredith Medland: Wow! Now how much does it cost to participate in homeschooling programs with you?

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: In our program, the enrollment fee for the first child is $375, and that includes the profile and doing that hour and a half consultation and coming up with a program. And then the tuition for the year is $850, and you are assigned a coach that stays with you throughout the years if you, you know, are working together well, and you meet once a month either on the phone or in person if you’re close by. And that coach is there to coach you through everything. So then the second child is $300 for enrollment and it depends on whether you want a whole other appointment for your second child or sometimes we have a whole family appointment, and so it’s really not expensive at all. And we set up payment plans for you.

Meredith Medland: Fantastic. So just so I’ve got this right - so you’re in the state of California, they can give you a call, you establish the learning profiles, and you register because you already have the homeschooling certification that parents can go in under your umbrella…

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: Mm-hmm.

Meredith Medland: And you set them up with a coach. What else needs to happen in order to get a parent prepared, particularly from a time investment standpoint?

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: If your kids are younger, it’s probably more, a little more time, you know, if they’re six, seven, eight, I would say ‘til ten or eleven because you do need to set things up for them and guide them if you’re teaching them reading, with certain subjects, I mean with a certain program. Obviously you have to be there to be doing that.

Meredith Medland: Sure.

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: So it’s, but I would say, say three or four hours a day. It’s not like full-time unless you get in to this and you see how really easy it is. That’s the biggest comment we get. [Gasp] “We never knew this was so easy.” We even have kids, families sometimes who’ve been homeschooling through a public school because you can do that as well. It’s free. You can hook up with a local public school that has a homeschooling program; however, you do have to follow their rules, and it’s almost, it can be almost like actually being in public school. So we’ve had people come to us who have been homeschoolers already, and then we show them how to relax and work with their kid’s learning styles and it’s just like night and day. They’re just so excited. So anyway, that, now if your child is older, it depends. If you just pulled them out and they’ve had a terrible time in the school, they might need some direction from you. Just to lay things out to show them how easy and fun they can be. So, even high school, they might need you there as their coach, so I would say two to three hours a day. Really that’s all it takes ‘cause you know in regular school that’s about all you do. You might be there all day, but with the breaks and the recesses and all the lunch and all that, you’re doing at the most maybe three hours solid of school. It doesn’t take that much. And once your, once your older kids get it and they’re having fun, they really kind of go off on their own. And not that you’re not, you’re still their main coach, but you don’t have to be sitting next to them, you know, every minute.

Meredith Medland: Oh, great resources, great opportunities. Thank you so much. We’re going to take a break to thank our sponsors, and when we come back from the break, we’re going to talk about the impact of having your child homeschooled means on the future education, the university education. We’re also going to talk about some of the other websites that Mariaemma and her company has, and we’re going to continue this exciting dialog. So remember you can go to learningsuccessprofile.com and remember when you get to the purchase area you can type in special code “RLGreen” to receive $5 off each profile taking that from $25 to $20 or from $20 to $15 when you order three. So thank you so much Mariaemma, and we’re going to take a break to thank our sponsors.

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Meredith Medland: Welcome back from the break. My name is Meredith Medland, and you are listening to “Living Green”. You know you can go to www.livinggreenshow.com and you can learn more about Mariaemma Willis and all the links associated with this podcast as well as  more information. Mariaemma, the most important question is how do we our kids then from high school into college and how does the grading system work?

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: Okay. That’s a great question. And first of all I hope to in two seconds relieve your fears about the fact that any homeschool child can get in to any college really. I was saying to Meredith before that there might be a handful of colleges across the country that will not take homeschoolers, and if they don’t want you, you don’t want them because they wouldn’t be the kind of school you’d want to be in anyways. Everybody else does, and even Harvard, you know, is actively seeking homeschoolers because they realize that those kids are more focused. They know what they like. They know what they want to do, and they want to go for it. So it’s not a problem at all.

Meredith Medland: How do the children choose that they’re going for that are ultimately the grades that rare going to get them into a college or university. Let’s talk about that.

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: Sure. This is a really fun thing that we do and especially for high school. Now you can do this for elementary and junior high, but especially for high school because that is when you do actually need grades on paper for the collages. If you are doing homeschooling on your own, you can do this and, of course, if you come to our homeschooling program we do it. And it’s called depth of commitment. What we do is we ask the kids what they want to earn in each of their subjects. So let’s say they are doing American history. “Okay, what do you want? A C, a B, or an A?” And we believe that it’s okay if somebody pick a C because you’re not as excited and devoted to every single subject in the world. I mean, we just can’t do that right? We want to give our energy to the things we really love. And that’s what brings success anyway. So let’s say American history you say “I want a C.” Well great, what will that look like? And what’s interesting here is that because we’ve given the kids permission to just choose what they want, often when they get into it, they go, “Oh, you know, this is kind of easy. I think I’ll go for a B.” And of course you can change it. You can say great, or I want to go for an A, and they say, “Can I add this?” or, “What do you think about this?” “If I do this will that be a B or an A?” And we talk about it. Also we sometimes have the reverse, not very often, but somebody might start out saying they want an A and they realize that they have other subjects going and it’s just too much work and they say, “You know what, on this one, I really think I’m just gonna go for the C.” And for us, that is fine ‘cause isn’t that what we’re teaching adults? You know, back off and figure out what are you priorities and you can’t do everything. So here they are learning a real life skill. Anyway, here they are doing their own grading, so it isn’t even like you gave them this grade. It’s just so effortless, and it builds even more confidence in them because they’re seeing themselves succeeding. They’re seeing that, it’s like they’re learning goal-setting as well. They’re going, “Okay, I’m gonna get a B, and for that I’m gonna do this and this and this,” and then as we go through they’re checking, “Yes I did it,” “No I didn’t,” “I need to add this,” or “I decided to lower my grade or raise my grade,” and it’s all up to them. And at the end, we say, “Okay, what did you earn?” “Well, I did everything, so I my B,” or “I got my A,” or whatever. It’s an amazing thing. Again, it frees up everyone, kids and parents.

Meredith Medland: Indeed it does. Amazing art of accountability. I am so, I just love it. Let’s go over, there’s about five different websites that you have. Before we wrap up the show I want to make sure our listeners have this information and just know a little bit about each one, knowing that they can go to the episode page and find them as well. So let’s start first with your personal website which talks about what you’re up to and just so we have the spelling right it’s MariaemmaWillis.com. So that’s your personal one, what can we find there?

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: Yes. Well, you’ll find my picture there and a little bit about me and basically the different programs I’m involved with. So you’ll see a little bit about a “Learning Success” program, a “Power of You Now” program we have for adults, and some other work I do called “Spark Your Life” because I’m a certified Strategic Attraction™ Coach as well so I do those kinds of things, workshops and retreats and working with people individually. So it’s a broad spectrum of everything that I am involved in.

Meredith Medland: That’s the all-about-you website. Now you also mentioned you have a website for this, this is www.powerofyounow.com and this is really about the personal blueprint for your success. Why would we go to that site? What’s there?

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: Now that’s for adults. That’s for you because people have grown up with messages, whether from school or home or whatever, and here they are adults, and they still think they’re not smart enough, they’re not good enough, they could never go for that promotion, they can’t start their own business, and there we are. There’s a, the “Power of You Now” website has the personal success profile which is for career and life success. So you find out more about who you are and how that relates to time management and getting money and what you do with money and your characteristics and your best work environments and things like that.

Meredith Medland: I really want to thank you for putting all of these systems and structures in place ‘cause I think that’s what a lot of us are looking for. Now, also you have www.aselfportraitonline.com and that’s where the learning styles profiles are, right?

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: Yes. You can go to that one. That one actually is, well learningsuccessprofile.com will take you to the same place.

Meredith Medland: Right.

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: And it’s easier to remember. But our full name is “A Self Portrait Online Learning Style Profiles”, so that’s what that is.

Meredith Medland: Fantastic. And then, for those of you who are definitely interested in customized programs based on your child’s individual learning needs, you can go to learningsuccesshomeschool.com. So that’s where you’ll find all of that, and really, what’s the umbrella site if we’re gonna choose one site, where do you want everyone to go to?

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: That would be learningsuccesscoach.com.

Meredith Medland: Excellent. And that has everything that we’ve talked about right?

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: It has everything and more, and it also has our whole idea about mid-life crisis beginning in kindergarten, and why it’s so important to use these things and prevent that from happening to your child.

Meredith Medland: Fantastic. Alright, thank you so much. So that’s learningsuccesscoach.com, and I’m here with Mariaemma Willis. And I just want to make sure before we wrap up the show that we all know that you are living a pretty eco life, living a pretty green life. I know that you reinvent new uses for worn out items and you’re buying fresh produce from the local farmer’s market and using beautiful herb garden with your compost pile, non-toxic cleaners, so you’re definitely walking the walk as well as investing in socially responsible companies. So first thank you for that. And secondly, as you look forward to the year ahead, what does it mean to you to be “living green”?

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: Wow! It means just, you know, connecting back to nature really for me. Personally I’m doing more and more standing in the garden, in my yards and staring at the flowers and taking it all in. We grow a lot of our own vegetables, my husband and I. We have fruit trees and it’s just being part of the whole cycle of nature. And I just hate it, I’m trying more and more to get rid of plastic and all of these things that they’re becoming more and more, I’m becoming more and more aware of how much we really do have ‘cause sometimes I think, “Oh yeah, I’m doing pretty good,” and then I’m going, “Wait a minute, I have all of this plastic stuff and I’m not even drinking out of plastic water bottles. I’m not even buying those, you know, little water bottles anymore. Not, well for several reasons. First of all, the plastic itself I think is toxic to the water that we’re drinking and then we have all of these little plastic bottles all over the place. And, you know, what are we gonna do with them? There’s just millions of them. So I’m, that’s I guess what it means to me this coming year of just becoming more and more aware of all of this and then jumping on it, doing something about it. Not just going, “Oh, gee,” but actually doing something about it.

Meredith Medland: Mm-hmm. Taking action. That’s what this is all about. Well, we hope that today’s episode has given you a few points that makes ecology a little more effortless for you, and as we wrap up our show today, just want to ask you one final, final question which is as you think about leaving a legacy, if you had three minutes to wrap up your thoughts on life, on education, and on furthering the success of the connection on our planet, what are those words that you would leave as a lasting legacy?

Mariaemma Pelullo-Willis: Wow! You know, I believe that everybody is brilliant and that it’s our job as parents and adults who work with children, or are around children, to make sure that they realize that. And I’m not saying that, I’m not talking about that word “gifted” that we have in the school system, I’m just talking about that everybody comes into the world with a natural brilliance. And they have something to contribute to the world and if we mess that up by, you know, having them believe that they’re not worth anything or that they’re not good enough or they can’t do this and they can’t do that, then they will never reach that potential of what they’re supposed to be doing in the world. And when people think that they have nothing to contribute, they shrivel up. I mean, that’s just been known with psychology and even in education, but we don’t act on it. So that’s my passion – I want to spark everybody, to bring out their stars, so my final message I guess is spark your life or spark, you know, your child’s life. And be your child’s learning success coach because it starts there with you. Success starts there. You can put them on that path to success and they’ll have it for their whole lives.

Meredith Medland: Thank you so much Mariaemma. My name is Meredith Medland, and you’re listening to “Living Green”. For more information on this broadcast as well as written transcripts, you can go to livinggreenshow.com. And if you’d love to help me out, you can go into iTunes and in the customer reviews area, you can write up a five-star review for this show and what that’ll do is take this show in the realm of all the green shows that are in the podcasts of the iTunes Environment and it will start to bring it to the top. So if you’d like more shows like these available to you with great sponsors, please go ahead and do that. If you’d like to email me, you can do so by emailing [email protected]. And if you want to dig just one notch deeper, you can always go to the blog which you can find at personallifemedia.com. Thanks again for listening to “Living Green: Effortless Ecology for Everyday People.” I’ll see you next week.

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