Your Child's Learning Mojo Membership
What's the biggest difference between a young adult who 'checks all the boxes' of A grades and a place at an elite college but who feels adrift and directionless...


...and one who can still get into that college, but who has an intrinsic love of learning, curiosity about the world, and a drive to achieve their own goals?
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I want this NOW!

If you guessed their grades, you'd be wrong.

If you guessed the number of extracurricular activities they've done, you'd be wrong.

And if you guessed...

...whether they went to private school,

...whether their parent bought flashcards and workbooks and curricula to teach them

...whether they had the best wooden toys colored with natural dyes and sourced from sustainably managed forests as toddlers...

You'd still be oh-so-terribly wrong.

Each of these things may make some contribution to the outcome of a child who simply loves to learn, but many of them actively work against this goal.

If you’ve ever had a friend or family member comment on something their child can do and you’ve thought:

“Ugh, my child can’t do that…”

while you were saying:

“Oh, that’s great!” (with a gritted-teeth smile),

you’ve probably wondered if you’re able to teach your child now the days of learning to feed themselves are long past.

You might be trying to imagine the universe of stuff you don’t know you even need to know to make sure your child is well-prepared for the future, and wondering whether you’re equipped to teach them anything, never mind actually be their teacher for the foreseeable future.

I get it.

About four years ago I was in exactly the same boat.

By then I had a Master's in Psychology Focused on Child Development, and had another in Education underway.  As I was writing a thesis on what motivates children to learn, I was shocked to find that psychologists have known for decades that children don't learn best the way they're taught in schools.

And most of what's taught in the textbooks is about how teachers can get children to learn something that doesn't interest them.

I was lucky.  I had two years to figure out what parents are now trying to do in the space of a weekend: understand how they’re going to be the confident leader of their child’s education - when they can’t even make sure their child has the same skills as the neighbors’ kids.

Even with a Master’s degree, it still happens to me every once in a while:

I hear about kids in robotics, or judo, or French, or gymnastics, or swim classes and my daughter isn't in any of those and just for a second I worry:

Is she missing out? 

Is she going to be 'behind' in the future because I didn't put her in the right class now?

And in that same second my sense of worth as a parent plummets faster than my daughter can wash her hands for dinner ("I did use soap, honest!").  

I spend a moment desperately thinking about all the things she can do that their child can’t, like accurately using the concept of percentages, and knowing the difference between translucent and transparent, and what are potential and kinetic energy.

And maybe, in the olden days, I would have gone home and done some searching for gymnastics or judo or French classes just to see if any of them are offered at times when we’re free.  

You know, just to see.

But the difference between me then and me now is that now I know how to recover.  Instead of being something that actually sets me off researching classes, I’m able to pause.

I notice my instinct to think that my child is missing out because of something I failed to do, and I allow myself to feel it, and then I set it aside.

Because now I have full confidence that my child is learning exactly what she needs to know.  

And the best part is that I don’t even have to teach her.  

In a little bit, I’m going to show you how to do it with your child, too.

I did well in school too.

I was second in my high school class (turned out the girl who graduated first was having a highly inappropriate relationship with our English teacher) and, after an unplanned break I graduated with two degrees from Berkeley and a Master’s from Yale.  

I know how to learn.

But what I really know how to do is read a syllabus, and see how to divide up my time to get the maximum return (in the form of a grade) from the minimum time investment.

I know how to read an essay question and understand what the teacher wants to see in the response.

I know all the test-taking strategies.

So I did well...but I also wasn’t learning for the sake of learning.  I was learning for the grade, and for the degree at the end, and for the job this would bring - at one of those big-name consulting companies that a parent can look at and say: “If my child can get a job there, my work here is done.”

And after a decade of that, I found myself in the same position as many other parents my age: looking around and wondering:

Is this it?

Is this what there is to life?  

There’s some kind of a sense of loss.

That life could have (should have?) been about different things than just following the well-worn path from high school to college to career, and that it seems like you never actually made a choice to do any of those things anyway - each one was just the next logical step to take, and the only reason to take it was because everyone else was doing it...

You want to raise a child who loves to learn,

and who doesn't feel this sense of loss that you feel

about what life could have been like...

So now you find yourself in a bit of a bind.  Maybe it feels like you’re alone playing the old game of The Blind Men and the Elephant, where a group of blind men who have never come across an elephant before each describe the part of it they’re touching, and can’t fathom the rest of the picture - except that you’re playing it by yourself...

You see how you did well in school and that it was the ticket to ‘success’...
...and yet that ‘success’ hasn’t necessarily led to a sense of fulfillment in your life.
You know that a college degree is a key step on the path...
...and you can’t imagine how any approach to learning that doesn’t involve school could end  at college (and a good one, too).
You want your child to feel fulfilled...
...but you also don’t want to cut them off from any opportunity they might want to pursue.

You see how you did well in school and that it was the ticket to ‘success’...

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...and yet that ‘success’ hasn’t necessarily led to a sense of fulfillment in your life.

You know that a college degree is a key step on the path...

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...and you can’t imagine how any approach to learning that doesn’t involve school could end  at college (and a good one, too).

You want your child to feel fulfilled...

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...but you also don’t want to cut them off from any opportunity they might want to pursue.

You know that in 20 years young adults are going to need a dramatically different skill set than we needed when we graduated college...but it’s hard to know exactly what skills those will be.

So you try to cover the bases with all the wooden toy subscription kits, and sports/music/coding classes, hoping that somewhere in all that you’ll manage to cover the set of skills that will allow your child to get ahead.

And you hope that they don’t wake up one day at age forty wondering “how on earth did I get here?” and “Did I really make the choices that got me here?”

But how will you help them to avoid that, while at the same time pushing them through the same system that created this feeling in you?

We DO know what skills children need to succeed in the future.

Collaboration

Working in teams; being part of a community

Communication

Making your wants known; engaging in dialog; truly listening

Content

Ideas and facts

(the core focus of school)

Critical Thinking

The way we understand and make meaning out of content

Creative Innovation

Putting things and ideas together in new ways

Confidence

Knowing when and how it's appropriate to take calculated risks, and when to go 'all in' even if it might fail

Now you know what these skills are, I’m guessing your brain is churning on all the ways you can make sure your child has them.

Surely there’s a toy subscription kit out there that addresses these skills, right?

But what if you didn’t need those at all?  

What if you already had the vast majority of what you needed at home, and the main thing that needed to shift was the way you see learning?

Here's the big secret about making sure your children have these critical skills.

There are two ways to build them:

The first is through play.

Check out the ‘creation’ that my 6-year-old built in our backyard earlier this summer.

It started when the neighbors were having a fence built; she requested the scrap wood, and I showed her how to safely use the hot glue gun to attach them.

It ballooned when I started bringing groceries home in cardboard boxes (because reusable bags were banned in our grocery store), and then encompassed almost the entire contents of our plastic container drawer and those of our neighbors as well.

Now, you might be looking at this picture and thinking:

“That’s cool, but I could never cope with that mess,”

or:

"That’s cool, and she probably had fun doing it, but was she really learning anything?”

Well, let’s see.  Here’s how some of the things she had to do to build this map against the 6 Cs:

Now, you might be looking at this picture and thinking:

“That’s cool, but I could never cope with that mess,”

or:

"That’s cool, and she probably had fun doing it, but was she really learning anything?”

Well, let’s see.  Here’s how some of the things she had to do to build this map against the 6 Cs:

Collaboration

Working with me during our daily ‘play time’ as I helped out on her project, sometimes following directions but at other times working collaboratively on part of the project she couldn’t do by herself

Taking responsibility for shared tools (other aspects of community were necessarily limited during this time)

Communication

Accurately describing to me the ways she wanted me to help with the project

Using manners to request wood scraps from the fence carpenter and empty containers from our neighbors; thanking them afterward so they might consider helping us again in the future

Sharing her creation via video chat with relatives and friends

Content

Learning the safe use of tools

Which types of plastic melt at what temperatures

How to measure

How to take measuring shortcuts by using one measured piece as a model

Using numbers and estimation

Recognizing and making letters and words

Critical Thinking

How to make a plan

How to form a hypothesis about how things will work

Developing a spatial sense

Observing and making patterns, predictions and logical connections

Solving problems; recognizing that an answer may have more than one part

Using knowledge, logical thinking and intuition to find an answer

Understanding how long things take (sense of time)

Creative Innovation

How to use the resources available to achieve her vision

Identifying people who might be able to connect you to needed resources

Seeing relationships between objects

Balancing the need for an overall plan with the adaptability to change it as circumstances (materials, time) change

Confidence

Having the courage to try something even though it might fail (e.g. building something audaciously tall and seeing if the glue will hold)

How to see that ‘failure’ is an inherent part of learning which has value

So you can see that she gained an enormous number of skills from this project, and it didn’t take thousands of dollars of private school tuition, or even a home-based curriculum, to achieve this.

She basically did it herself over a period of three weeks with about an hour a day of help from me, and $3 worth of hot glue sticks.

Our role here as parents is to take a step back and see learning where it’s already happening.

But there’s another necessary step as well.  Our children won’t gain all of the skills they need in life through self-directed play and when we recognize that, it’s tempting once again for us to step in with our curricula and workbooks and ‘educational visits.’

This is a key point: it’s possible that these very things we are doing to try to support our children’s learning are actually backfiring.

Virtually all parents have had the experience of a preschooler who won’t stop asking questions.  

Granted, there are times when they ask the same questions over and over and aren’t really looking for an answer as much as a connection with you, and they’re still learning how to do that.

But there are also times when they ask really insightful questions about how the world works.  Things like:

This is just a small sampling of the kinds of questions my daughter asked between the ages of 3 and 4.

Play can help children to express some ideas about these topics.  But there’s so much more to be understood - and our role as parents is to help that process along.

Sure, it can feel ‘safer’ to retreat into the order and structure of a curriculum, where all the answers are provided and if you cover the ‘correct’ number of pages each day then your child will be doing ‘what they need to do.’

But if we can get over our own fear of not already knowing the answers and see ourselves not as the ‘sage on the stage’ who needs to teach our child everything, but rather their ‘guide on the side’ who helps connect them to resources, an amazing world of potential possibilities starts to open up.  

We find our (young!) children interested in concepts that we might normally think are far out of their reach.

Here are some ways that we started exploring these questions:

How do things move?

We revisited a children’s science book on energy, but used the correct terminology - and almost three years later she can connect these ideas to the Rube Goldberg machines she’s recently learned how to make, and see how potential energy needs to be replenished at several points in the system to keep the kinetic energy going.

Why do ships float when metal coins sink?

The question on ships led us to an exploration of the density of different objects from around the house, as well as of ship designs and uses.

What's under the house?

We went to look under the house to see what we could see there (dirt, mostly), and then checked an old college-level geology textbook to find what was under that, and under that, and under that…

How do things move?

We revisited a children’s science book on energy, but used the correct terminology - and almost three years later she can connect these ideas to the Rube Goldberg machines she’s recently learned how to make, and see how potential energy needs to be replenished at several points in the system to keep the kinetic energy going.

Why do ships float when metal coins sink?

The question on ships led us to an exploration of the density of different objects from around the house, as well as of ship designs and uses.

What's under the house?

We went to look under the house to see what we could see there (dirt, mostly), and then checked an old college-level geology textbook to find what was under that, and under that, and under that…

"My children's creativity and excitement over learning has been exploding. Until last week, my only concern was that we would never get to all the projects we thought of based on their interests.

Here my sons are comparing the number of vertebrae on a T-Rex skeleton with the number on a human skeleton.

Now home because of the coronavirus, we have no shortage of meaningful activities to fill our days for weeks or even months to come. The membership has put me in a position where I can turn lemons into lemonade."

- Sara N.

The 5 myths that are leading you to think you can't support your child's learning” (and 5 reasons you actually can...)
Myth #1: You're not qualified to teach your child

Teachers receive training on how to be a teacher.

This training gives people the knowledge they need to teach.

You're not a trained teacher.

Therefore you can't teach.

Myth #1 Busted: You don't need a teaching credential to support your child's learning

You might be surprised to learn that a decent amount of what teachers learn in teacher training is how to control a classroom - a necessary skill when you’re trying to get thirty kids to do something they don’t really want to do.

You’re working with one or just a few children, with whom you already have an established relationship. You’ve already taught them how to do things like eat, brush their teeth, and function in the family. The skills you used to do that are the skills you need to support your child’s learning now.

Myth #2: You need to know everything your child needs to know

In school the teacher stands at the front of the classroom and tells children what they need to know. So even if you don’t have a classroom, you’d better know what your child needs to know or how will they learn anything?

Myth #2 Busted: You don't need to know everything. In fact, it can be better if you don't know anything.

When we know something about a topic, we tend to find that we can’t help ourselves from telling our child everything we know about it.

Think about the last time your child asked you something you know a lot about...were you able to just answer their question, or did you launch into a multi-paragraphed explanation that went far beyond their level of interest? And did their eyes glaze over and did they lose interest?

This is why it can actually be an advantage to not know anything about the topics of your child’s interest. You know how to look up information, find videos, and use a library. These are the skills you need, not any specific knowledge of a topic. When you’re discovering together, your child gets to lead the exploration - which sustains their interest and passion for the subject.

Myth #3: Learning involves curricula, workbooks, and tests. And it’s difficult and frustrating.

If you’re going to effectively teach your child you’ll need to find a way to convey what they need to know (hence all the frantic “What curriculum are you using for [subject]???” posts that I’m seeing floating around on Facebook lately).

Parents are spending thousands of dollars on curricula and workbooks, perhaps not realizing that using these is going to be about as difficult as getting their child to do work sent home by the school for exactly the same reason: the child has no inherent interest in doing the work.

This is why it seems so hard.

Myth #3 busted: The curriculum is for the parent’s benefit, not the child’s

As we’ve seen, children have an insatiable appetite for learning. We make our work infinitely more difficult when we say: “It’s great that you’re interested in ladybugs/dinosaurs/baseball. Now put that book away, because it’s time to do math.”

In the real world, mathematicians don’t just learn math for the sake of learning it, they learn it for the sake of solving problems. Math can be learned through explorations related to ladybugs, dinosaurs, baseball, and a thousand other topics that catch a child’s interest.

We don’t need a curriculum to tell us what to do and in what order. Our child will tell us perfectly well, if we know how to listen.

Myth #4: If my child isn’t following a curriculum, they’ll ‘fall behind’

Because schools follow a set progression of learning, and we’re perpetually told how much work there is to do in how little time, it can be impossible to see how we could actually get off the treadmill and not ‘fall behind.’


Myth #4 busted: Your child will catch up (if you, and they, decide they need to)

The idea of ‘falling behind’ is based on the idea that there’s one right sequence in which to teach, and if you don’t do the activities in the right order, you could never catch up.

But children move from one school to another; one state to another; one country to another all the time - and somehow manage to catch up. This will be especially true over the next couple of years, as teachers will need to make accommodations for children who were simply unable to do any school work for an extended period of time.

And the real question here is: fall behind what? We’re worried the child will fall behind because we perceive a finite number of well-paying jobs, which are dependent on getting one of an even more finite number of spots at an elite university. And if your child falls behind, one of those coveted spots will go to another child.

But parents who allow their children to chart their own learning path tend to find that their children become incredibly invested in their interests. Sometimes those paths don’t lead to university when the child finds they have the skills they need to start their own business before they turn twenty.

When they do go to university they may even find they are specifically sought out as having an intellectual vitality that makes a unique contribution to campus life. And rather than seeing professors as gatekeepers to good grades, they will see professors as their intellectual equals - and students like this become ones that professors find joy in working alongside.

Myth #5: We need to spend a lot of time on learning activities

Our children spend around six hours a day in school so we must need to teach them for that length of time, right? How could we possibly fill six hours with activities - and still have time for work (and life!)?Myth #5 busted: You need about an hour a day

When you count the amount of time that children spend at lunch, recess, getting ready for recess and coming back from it, taking roll, packing up at the end of the day, getting activities out and putting them away again, managing students’ behavior, and time spent daydreaming we see that children spend a massive amount of the time they’re in school not learning.

In fact, when you add it all up, you can see that they might only be learning on average for about an hour a day. Could you spend an hour a day with your children on deep learning about a topic that interests them? If so, you do have time.

The truth is...

You have the skills, subject knowledge, and time you need to support your child’s learning.

What you’re missing is knowledge about how children learn, and how to actually support them in engaging in deep learning about topics that interest them.

The

Your Child's Learning Mojo

membership

It’s hands-down the most important thing you’ll ever purchase to help you support your child’s intrinsic love of learning. 

Grounded in scientific research on how children learn most effectively

I got a Master’s degree in Education and have invested thousands of hours learning how children learn, all so you don’t have to do those things yourself.  And I’ve been in the trenches with your fellow parents, who are at all all stages of this journey:

Parents who were interested in child-led learning but had no idea how to implement it with their child.  It was a complete black box.
Parents who have started following their child’s interests but find themselves not being able to resist trying to teach their child “stuff they need to know.”
Parents who are turned off by highly academic, curriculum-driven learning but also aren’t willing to just leave their child to their own devices.  They sought a ‘middle ground’ on supporting their child’s learning.
Parents who are committed to school-based learning, but recognize that they’ll need to do something outside the classroom to develop their child’s intrinsic motivation to learn.
Parents who see that traditional school was not working for their child, and who sought an alternative approach with someone they trust holding their hand.

They saw the Your Child’s Learning Mojo membership and realized: this is what they had been looking for.

They had finally found the ‘middle way’ between the frustrations of curriculum-driven learning and completely unstructured approaches, that’s backed by peer-reviewed research and with someone they trust to guide them down the right path for their unique child.

When you join the Your Child’s Learning Mojo membership, you’ll immediately begin the journey of supporting your child’s learning that you can start to implement right away (but that you’ll continue using for as long as your child is living with you and asking questions!).

The Core Modules (The "Balance Bike" option!)
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Module 1: Getting Started

In this module you’ll get started with the foundational knowledge you’ll need to be successful in supporting your child’s learning.

Remember, the main reason the idea of supporting your child’s learning seemed overwhelming in the first place is because you don’t currently have a solid understanding of how children learn so you can see it when it’s happening.

By the end of Module 1 you’ll know how children learn so you can feel confident that you’ll see it happening as your child is engaged in play or a Learning Exploration.

By the end of this module, you’ll know:

  • The different stages of learning that happen in a child’s brain when they engage with a new topic, and you’ll understand your own role in this process.  The content is written clearly and concisely so you can get the information you need quickly, but there’s ‘extra credit’ reading available for those who want to dig deeper
  • What materials you’ll want to have available around the house for young children to express what they’ve learned; for the most part these are probably things you already have or can buy cheaply at thrift stores
  • How to set up your Learning Journal to record your child’s Learning Explorations.  I’ll give you a shopping list of everything you’ll need (both an archival quality and a ‘gimme the Amazon basics’ version), and also show you a video walk-through of how we use our own Learning Journal
Module 2: Your First Learning Exploration

Now you’re all set up, we’ll walk you through your first Learning Exploration, which is how we'll actually work with our child to explore topics that interest them.

Virtually every parent who first uses this new method of learning stumbles at some point: they aren’t sure how figure out what might interest their child, or how to select a topic for the exploration that’s likely to be successful, or what to do when the child’s interest flags.

This module will be a massive learning experience for you as well as your child: you’ll see what worked, what didn’t, and what you’d like to try differently next time.  And you’ll be working alongside other parents who are doing exactly the same thing, learning from their wins and celebrating their successes, as well as offering (and receiving!) support.

By the end of this module, you’ll know:

  • The best techniques to identify your child’s interests (and why ‘just asking them’ doesn’t usually work)
  • Why strewing / provocations / boxed learning sets don’t usually yield good Learning Explorations
  • How to record the child’s initial ideas, and form hypotheses about their question
  • Initial resources to establish a baseline level of knowledge, from which further interest may develop
  • Ways to extend the topic of inquiry, potentially into side explorations of questions that come up in the course of working on the main project
  • How to engage external experts to get high quality answers to your child’s real questions
  • A multitude of ways for your child to demonstrate their learning
  • How to overcome challenges you’re likely to face

Module 3: Using Nature as a Muse

Here’s where we really start putting your new knowledge to work!  You’ve established a solid foundation of your own with your new understanding of how children learn, and you’ve done your first learning exploration. Now we can start exploring a place that can yield endless potential Learning Explorations: the outdoors.

You might be a parent who is happy wading into a creek after your child to see what slimy thing they’ve captured and want to bring home.  Or perhaps both you and your child prefer to experience nature from your balcony.  Or from behind a window.  Whatever your comfort level, we’ll help you to see the natural world with fresh eyes and a sense of wonder.

By the end of this module, you’ll know:

  • Basic activities that both you and your child can do to increase your sense of awareness in nature
  • How to start a nature journal of things you notice outdoors to heighten your observational abilities, built on a few key skills to help you draw and paint what you see in the natural world (even if you ‘can’t’ do these things!)
  • Ways to deepen both your and your child’s learning about the natural world (even if you know (nothing about nature right now!)

great question!

This is what you'll find inside the Your Child's Learning Mojo "Starting Out on Your Balance Bike" option:
3 Core Modules

Whether you prefer to read, watch, or listen, we've got you covered!  Watch with your spouse, listen while walking the dog, or read in bed - you'll learn how you learn best.

3 Months of Small Group Support

Join a Small Group for more support where you can relate, engage and connect with other members, and make continual progress toward goals that are uniquely tailored to your child's learning needs

3 Months in our Private Community

Access to an exclusive members-only community full of like-minded parents waiting to support you when you stumble and celebrate your successes as well

Pre-recorded Answers to FAQs

A library of questions parents just like you have already asked awaits you...if your question hasn't been answered, a new video will be recorded just for you

Help With Your Most Pressing Parenting Problem

Experience 1:1 coaching on your most pressing parenting problem with an opportunity to be coached by Jen.  I'll listen to you in a way that possibly nobody has ever listened to you before.  You'll leave the session with answers as well as powerful mindset shifts that help you see the 'problem' in an entirely new light

And if you need more support, we're here for you with the
"Riding with Confidence" option:

Once you've laid the groundwork with the "Starting Out On Your Balance Bike" option, you're ready to deepen your relationship with your child's learning on more topics...

The Complete Your Child's Learning Mojo Experience ("Riding With Confidence")

You get:

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The core modules from the Balance Bike option (Getting Started, Your First Learning Exploration, and Nature As A Muse) > These skills form the backbone of your approach to the deeper topics
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Additional 9 modules of content to address all aspects of your child's learning (2 immediately available and the remainder added once per month)
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9 modules of pre-recorded Q&As - 2 immediately available and the remainder added once per month (and the ability to submit more questions to be answered via video)
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12 months of Small Group support to make continual progress toward your child's learning goals
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12 months of support in our private community
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Ongoing opportunity for 1:1 coaching through the 12 months

9 additional modules of content to address all aspects of your child's learning:

Module 4
Deschooling

  • Begin shifting your ideas about what learning in through deschooling
  • Align your approach to learning with respectful parenting
  • Supporting multiple and differently abled learners

Module 5
Listening

  • Understand how our 'image of the child' impacts our view of their learning
  • The eight types of listening, and specific uses for each one
  • The one appropriate way to use provocations to extend learning

Module 6
Documentation (available Oct '20)

  • Reasons to document a child's learning
  • See how the process of documentation can change the child's experience of learning
  • Use documentation to enhance learning and discussions about learning, rather than just record what happened

Module 7
Scaffolding (available Nov '20)

  • Understand the processes that happen between you and your child during learning
  • Learn how to 'scaffold' your child's knowledge effectively
  • Know when it is not appropriate to scaffold and instead allow mistakes to stand 

Module 8
Place-Based Learning (avail. Dec '20)

  • See why the sense of connection to place is critical for children's love of learning
  • Develop the foundation for a connection to place and to community
  • Challenge your child to view the world through political, economic, & social lenses

Module 9
Critical Thinking (avail. Jan '21)

  • Support your child in conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information 
  • Raise a child who can make difficult decisions and find solutions to problems that haven't been imagined yet
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Three more modules to be selected and developed with members' input

AND you'll get even more great bonuses!
Learn Critical Reading & Math Skills

Learn the essential building blocks of reading and math skills with these two fridge-worthy 'cheat sheet' infographics

Discount on the Finding Your Parenting Mojo membership

The Finding Your Parenting Mojo membership is the companion to the Your Child's Learning Mojo membership.  Together, they form wraparound support for you and your child's learning and development

33% Discount on 3-Session Coaching Package with Jen

Over three sessions, I'll gain a deep understanding of your struggles related to supporting your child's learning, and will help you formulate a plan that makes you comfortable and propels your child to success

Trusted by thousands of parents

Since 2016 we've helped parents from around the world

 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Over 1 million podcast downloads and 300 reviews averaging 5 stars

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Learning About Animals

Laura's daughters found scat in their garden, and brought out a book on animal tracks, scat, and sign to identify it.  They were pretty sure it was raccoon scat, and identified the culprit through the window two days later!

Now they're patiently waiting for a butterfly to emerge from its cocoon, and understanding its life cycle while they wait...

Skills learned/used:

  • Close observation
  • Making and testing a hypothesis
  • Recognizing available resources (e.g. books) that could help
  • Finding needed information within those resources
  • Reading
  • Building vocabulary
  • Logical reasoning
  • Communication
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Understanding History & Gardening

Sonya's five-year-old loves to learn about history, especially related to wars.  Here he is recreating the Normandy landings at Juno Beach before a trip to the Canadian Museum of War where he'll dig into questions about what war really means, what is the experience of war for the people on the ground, and who gets to write the stories of what happened.

Meanwhile, her seven-year-old is nature journaling about blackberries, observing that some leaves are darker than others, many of the leaves are turned one way, and the fruits seem to change colors.  Any of these topics could form the basis of a rich learning exploration. 

Skills learned/used:

  • Planning
  • Design
  • Using available resources
  • Representing knowledge using appropriate media
  • Sorting
  • Understanding one-to-one correspondence
  • Close observation
  • Stillness
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Building models

One of Lucinda's children has had a long-running interest in tree trimming, starting with the tools they use.  Here she is climbing a tree while pretending to be a tree trimmer, wearing a homemade belt to contain her tools.

More recently the interest has shifted to the vehicles associated with tree trimming.  She took a picture of the vehicle with Lucinda's phone, printed it out, glued it into her Learning Journal, and then made a model out of cardboard.  

Here she used an existing dump truck, collected scraps of paper to be wood chips, and made a wood chipper out of cardboard and tape.  This led to an exploration of ways to get the chips to go up the chute.  They have previously discussed gravity and she has experimented with the idea so she knew she needed some force to move the chips up the tube.  Her sister joined and they worked together on different ways to make it work, with one child eventually poking from the back side with a stick while the one on the dump truck side guided and instructed with words.

Skills learned/used:

  • Planning
  • Design
  • Using available resources
  • Perseverance
  • Cooperation
  • Communication
  • Innovation
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Observing the Life Cycle of Birds

In this Learning Exploration shortly after joining the membership, Nicole's daughter wondered: What birds can we see from our yard?  They made a list of ones they knew, and she created a chart to record her observations.

Then they realized that one of the robins was making a nest!  She sat patiently and tallied and then summed how many of each type of material (grasses, leaves, flower petals, and sticks) that the birds carried to the nesting site.

They found out how to tell the difference between male and female robins, and how long the babies stay in the next.  After seeing two of the babies 'fledge,' they made chocolate nests to celebrate!

Skills learned/used:

  • Forming questions
  • Recording initial ideas
  • Close observation
  • Tallying and summing
  • Patience!
  • Places to find answers to questions
  • Following instructions (recipe)

And who is your trusty guide on the learning journey that you are about to undertake?

If we haven’t met before, I’m Jen.  (And that's Carys)


When I’m not tidying up the ever-expanding whirlwind of stuff that Carys seems to create wherever she goes, figuring out how my own issues from childhood are impacting my relationships, and checking social media from the bathroom, I’m neck-deep in research papers preparing for a podcast episode, or helping parents to have the ‘aha’ moment that shifts their whole way of thinking about a particular struggle they’re facing related to parenting.

I have a Master's in Psychology (Child Development) and another in Education.
I draw on research from across the spectrum of related topics: from child development to motivation; from reading to innovation; from listening to scaffolding.  Then I translate this into tools you can put to use immediately to support your child's learning - and have fun at the same time!

The

Your Child's Learning Mojo

Membership

"Balance Bike"

Use the core elements of child-led learning: doing your first learning exploration, understanding what learning is happening during it, and documenting it for yourself or for the school district

Yours For Just One Payment of

$250

  • 3 Core Guides (audio, video, PDF)
  • Pre-recorded Q&As for All 3 Modules
  • 3 Months in our Private Members Community
  • 3 Months of Small Group Support
  • Opportunity for 1:1 Coaching

Upgrade to the Riding with Confidence option later for $800 - or save $53 and do it now!

"Riding with Confidence"

Profoundly shift the way you think about learning by both understanding and practicing the skills you'll need to be the most effective teacher your child will ever have, and raise a child who LOVES to learn

Yours For Just One Payment* of

$997

  • Everything from the Balance Bike Option
  • 9 Additional Modules of Content (2 available immediately; remainder following 1 per month)
  • Pre-recorded Q&As for 9 Additional Modules (2 available immediately; remainder following 1 per month)
  • 9 Additional Months in our Private Members Community
  • 9 Additional Months of Small Group Support
  • 9 Additional Months for 1:1 Coaching
  • $200 discount on the Finding Your Parenting Mojo membership
  • 33% Discount on 3-Session Coaching Package 
*Payment plans are available for this bundle.
Click here to choose from 4 monthly payments of just $277, or 12 payments of only $97.
The "Feel Confident About Your Child's Learning in 90 Days" Guarantee

I’m so sure that you’ll fall in love with the intentional community of parents inside the Your Child’s Learning Mojo membership, and that you’ll learn what you need to start feeling confident about your role in supporting your child’s learning in the first 90 days of your membership that I’ll guarantee it.

Take a full THREE MONTHS to work through the first three modules of content (but go faster if you’d like to!).  If after working through the content and getting your questions answered in the support groups and in our private community you don’t feel like you have the insight, clarity, or next steps you need to truly feel confident about the ways you can support your child’s learning, then just email support@yourparentingmojo.com and we’ll give you your money back.

It’s that simple.

Why am I so confident doing this?

Because I’ve seen the results for myself, in my own family and in the families that I’ve coached.

Parents become less stressed about helping their child to ‘keep up’ and engage with learning that’s boring and frustrating and doesn’t engage the child’s interests.  And when they shift their own approach, their children’s response is just incredible.  I want this for your family, too.

Questions your fellow parents have asked before diving in with the Your Child’s Learning Mojo membership
1. I’m working full-time, and I have 3 (4/5/+) children. How can I possibly find the time for this?

I hear you:-)

I hear you! I’m also working (more than) full-time, cook all of our meals and do at least half of the work around the household, and I’m the parent primarily responsible for supporting my daughter’s learning.

It’ll take about an hour a day of working with our children to do about as much as they would be learning in a whole day of school - but if they’re currently not in school, you’d be doing that anyway. And it doesn’t have to be a separate hour with each child - you can spend an hour with one child mostly engaged by themselves while you focus on another, and then switch the next day. This doesn’t have to be a hard-and-fast rule; it can be more on some days and less on others. And it can definitely be less if you’re also using other methods of learning that are more curriculum-driven (although you may find yourself wanting to spend less and less time on those moving forward;-)).

And it will take you a couple of hours a month to read and digest the content of the written Guides; perhaps half that if you choose the video/audio route instead or you’re a fast reader. Add on 30 minutes each week if you join a support group to help you keep taking tiny steps forward on this journey, and you’re looking at 3-4 hours of work for you each month, plus the time you spend directly with your child (which you’d be doing on some aspect of learning anyway).

But if you’re using a curriculum-based approach right now, what you’re probably finding (or will find within the first couple of weeks of using it) is that your child is going to resist some aspect of that work. They won’t want to memorize the words, or they won’t be interested in building an earthquake-resistant structure out of toothpicks and marshmallows with arbitrary rules about how high the ‘building’ must be, but instead they want to invent their own experiment about what it might feel like to be in an earthquake. When this happens, learning gets frustrating - both for you, and for your child. They disengage from a topic that once interested them, and you find you spend most of your time cajoling (or bribing) them to do whatever activity you spent so long setting up. That just creates more stress for both of you.

And what this membership really frees you from is the worry. Worry that your child is ‘falling behind.’ Worry that they’re missing out on some critical opportunity or some critical window during which a certain skill must be learned or the chance to do it is gone forever. Worry that you aren’t doing enough, and that you should be researching gymnastics or judo or French classes right now.

And once these distractions aren’t sucking your mental time and energy, you’ll find you have so much more of those to spend with your child, and on things that are actually meaningful to you.

2. I’m getting bombarded with ads for curricula and homeschooling programs. How is this different?

Well for starters, this isn’t a curriculum :-) What we need to be sure to understand is that curriculum isn’t written for the child’s benefit; it’s written for the parent’s benefit. The child will learn what interests them, whether or not a curriculum tells them to do it. The curriculum really only exists so the parent can point to activities the child has done and say ‘yep; we learned that.’

The same goes for the boxed learning subscription kits, which show up each month with a new project that is completely unrelated to the child’s interests, and teaches them how to build something when all the parts are already pre-cut to the correct length and when precise step-by-step instructions are provided - a skill that’s of limited use in the real world, where we must navigate the limitations of the materials we’re working with and our own individual needs for the project’s outcome.

Other products take an approach that relies heavily on ‘provocations’ or ‘strewing,’ which usually involves setting up Pinterest-worthy activities in the hope that we somehow spark an idea. But as you’ll learn, this approach is highly unlikely to result in much meaningful learning, simply because the provocations aren’t connected to something that already interests the child. (Imagine waking up to a provocation completely unconnected to your own interests that your spouse had set up for you after you went to bed!)

Our child doesn’t need that process. When we can listen sensitively and help the child to form connections across ideas we’ve considered in the past, and help them to evaluate the quality of resources they’re learning from, and know how to consider multiple perspectives, and see how failure is actually a good thing, they will learn the important “6 Cs” skills from your joint explorations of their own interests.

Simply put, there is no other resource available that’s based on such a deep knowledge and vision of children’s learning, and translates that into practical tools that real parents just like you are using to support their own children’s learning.

3. My partner really (really) is not on board. And they don’t think it’s worth spending the money on this.

I hear you. Mine wasn’t at first either. We were both raised using traditional parenting methods and he has had a hard time using approaches that don’t rely on bribery and implied or actual punishments.

If this is happening in your house, I would find a time when you’re not (especially) stressed about something else - so not right after a time when your child has refused to do something your partner asked them to do, but maybe later that day.

You could say something like: “Hey; I love you and it’s really important to me that we feel like a team in parenting. It seemed like you were having a hard time when [describe difficult event] happened. Can you tell me how that looked from your perspective? [Listen. Summarize and reflect your understanding back to your partner.]

It seems like we’ve both been having a hard time with the kids lately. It doesn’t feel like we’re a team as a family. I’ve been learning about some new methods to work with the kids that would invite them to work with us more, without us totally giving in to everything they demand. I’d like to give it a try. Would you be willing to learn more about it with me?”

If cost is an issue, then the holidays are coming up - could there be a better holiday gift to each other than a more smoothly-running family life?

4. I just found your work. Who are you, anyway?

Hello and welcome! I'm Jen, and I host the Your Parenting Mojo podcast (that's me - and my daughter Carys - in several of the pictures on this page). The podcast is a resource guide for parents of toddlers and preschoolers based on scientific research and principles of respectful parenting. I created the membership when I realized that many parents listen to the show and are on board with the ideas in it but struggle to apply the principles in their real lives with their real families.

Unless I explicitly tell you something is my opinion (which I do do sometimes), everything I say in the podcast and in the membership is backed up by scientific research.

I also have a strong commitment to social justice. I'm a white parent raising a mixed-race (but mostly white-passing) daughter, and I call out where research indicates different outcomes for different groups of individuals, and where the research might not even be relevant at all. The membership is a safe and welcoming space for all.

I strongly believe in respectful parenting: in treating a child as a whole person deserving of respect from the earliest age. I believe (and research states!) that children in our culture have better outcomes when they are treated with love and respect; when parents set and hold reasonable boundaries (with the child's input), and when the child is trusted with real responsibility.

But this isn't to say you have to be doing all of these things already to join the membership! Far from it...the only thing you need to join is a goal to parent in this way. I (and the other group members!) will help you with the rest.

5. Is there going to be anything here that I can’t find for free online?

Well, yes and no. Some of the peer-reviewed research I use to answer your questions is available online, although most is locked behind paywalls that cost thousands of dollars to bypass.

Lots of information and advice on parenting is available for free online. I don’t mean to sound facetious, but if that free advice was working for your family, you probably wouldn’t be here.

The problem with free advice is that you don’t get the support you need to implement it. As soon as your child says something that isn’t in the script of whatever you read, you’re lost. You can’t find a path forward. So you fall back on old habits, figuring that it’s just too hard to do things differently.

It isn’t too hard. I KNOW you can do it. You just need the right support.

6. Do you offer any kind of discount?

I experimented with offering hardship discounts when I opened the group last year and the one thing that I have learned since then is that the people who pay a deeply discounted rate rarely participate in a way that allows them to really get the benefits that the group offers if you are fully engaged. I think you need some ‘skin in the game’ to see the value that doing this kind of work can bring.

That said, having studied inequality for a couple of years now, I would never want the group to be truly inaccessible to someone who feels it will really benefit them. If joining the group would strongly benefit you but the price would take meals out of your children’s mouths, then please email me at jen@yourparentingmojo.com to (briefly) explain your situation and I’ll do what I can to accommodate you.

7. Who will benefit most from this membership?

The membership is geared toward parents of children who are between 12 months-7 years old. If you’re on the earlier side but like to feel prepared, come on in! If your child is on the older side but you don’t have a vision for parenting (and you’d like one), and you’re struggling with tantrums, power struggles, setting boundaries, and the like – you’ll definitely find a home here.

8. I’d like to join with my spouse / co-parent / grandparent / nanny. Do I have to pay the monthly fee twice/multiple times?

No! The monthly fee covers you and any other member of your family/caregiving team who regularly interacts with your child/ren. After you sign up, please send an email to jen@yourparentingmojo.com giving me the names and email addresses of the additional individual(s) who will need access and I will set up user accounts for them, which will also get them access to the Facebook group.

9. What’s your approach to parenting? How can I know that your ideas will fit with the way I’m raising my children?

Great question! My approach is grounded in scientific research (although I’m not a slave to the research) and principles of respectful parenting. This means that I read all the research on a particular topic related to parenting and child development and try to understand what it says as a body of work (not just what the latest study with the clickbait title says).

But I also look to anthropological literature to understand how parents and children in other cultures deal with these issues to see whether our problems are of our own making (and thus we can also look to other cultures for potential solutions) or whether parents and children everywhere face this particular issue.

I view everything through a lens of respectful parenting. In general, I find that the research tends to support respectful parenting methods (e.g. not using rewards to try to motivate children; modeling emotional regulation rather than saying “You’re OK!”, not forcing a child to eat vegetables...). But I don’t get hung up on whether I’m perfectly aligned with any particular philosophy – I pick and choose what works for my family.

Finally, I view learning and development as interconnected. Sometimes development leads learning – and sometimes it’s the other way around. If we ask a child to do something they aren’t yet developmentally ready to do, we’re setting ourselves up for trouble. But sometimes we can scaffold their learning, and thus their development, if we decide that’s something we want to do. This intertwined push/pull is part of the dance of parenting.

Still not quite sure if the Your Child’s Learning Mojo membership is for you?

You're ready to be your child's learning guide if:

Your child is attending school or will definitely return to school at some point, but you see the limitations of the school system.  

If your child is already in school, you’ve probably noticed that they’re asking fewer questions and the ones they are asking are related to how to do a task that they’ve been set, or whether they need to do something.  You’re seeing a heavy focus on memorization of content, and not much on any of the other 6 Cs.  

If you’re looking to supplement your child’s learning in school, the membership is a good fit for you.

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You’re starting to see the potential for a truly exciting and transformational shift in the way you view learning, and the outcomes your child will achieve when you begin this work.

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You can invest 5-6 hours per month on your own learning to be assured that you can make the progress you need, and around an hour a day with your child/ren if this will form their main source of learning right now.

You’re working in a Pandemic Pod or you’re already committed to homeschooling, and you’re looking for a system that will support your child’s learning that isn’t a curriculum.  

Welcome!  You’re in the right place.

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You’re just getting started in learning about methods of supporting your child’s learning that aren’t driven by a curriculum, and you need someone to hold your hand as you find your footing.

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You’re already investing several hours a week in supporting your child’s learning and you’re wondering if there’s more you can/should be doing.

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You’re already a seasoned homeschooler and you know what metacognition is and can name three or more educational philosophies - but it’s all kind of swirling around in your head like jello that won’t congeal, and you’re still feeling like you’re being pulled around by your family’s, and by society’s expectations. 

You need help fine-tuning your approach and boosting your confidence.

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You feel confident grabbing your access details knowing you have 90 days to test it out. 

It’s simple.  Either you do the work in the first 90 days and you start to see how you'll be able to support your child's learning moving forward, or you just email support@yourparentingmojo.com and we can just hit undo on this whole “let’s make sure your child grows up with an intrinsic love of learning” experiment.

Did you catch yourself nodding your head?

So... if you already know that you want to raise a child who can get into college

but who loves to learn for the sake of learning...

who has an insatiable curiosity about the world and wants to work on important challenges...

who is driven to achieve their self-chosen goals... 

then the

Your Child's Learning Mojo Membership

is for you.

If you're ready, then I'm so excited to work with you to make this dream a reality.

Still not quite sure if the Your Child’s Learning Mojo membership is for you?

You're ready to be your child's learning guide if:

check_circle

Your child is attending school or will definitely return to school at some point, but you see the limitations of the school system.  

If your child is already in school, you’ve probably noticed that they’re asking fewer questions and the ones they are asking are related to how to do a task that they’ve been set, or whether they need to do something.  You’re seeing a heavy focus on memorization of content, and not much on any of the other 6 Cs.  

If you’re looking to supplement your child’s learning in school, the membership is a good fit for you.

arrow_drop_down_circle
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check_circle

You’re starting to see the potential for a truly exciting and transformational shift in the way you view learning, and the outcomes your child will achieve when you begin this work.

arrow_drop_down_circle
Divider Text
check_circle

You can invest 5-6 hours per month on your own learning to be assured that you can make the progress you need, and around an hour a day with your child/ren if this will form their main source of learning right now.

arrow_drop_down_circle
Divider Text
check_circle

You’re working in a Pandemic Pod or you’re already committed to homeschooling, and you’re looking for a system that will support your child’s learning that isn’t a curriculum.  

Welcome!  You’re in the right place.

arrow_drop_down_circle
Divider Text
check_circle

You’re just getting started in learning about methods of supporting your child’s learning that aren’t driven by a curriculum, and you need someone to hold your hand as you find your footing.

arrow_drop_down_circle
Divider Text
check_circle

You’re already investing several hours a week in supporting your child’s learning and you’re wondering if there’s more you can/should be doing.

arrow_drop_down_circle
Divider Text
check_circle

You’re already a seasoned homeschooler and you know what metacognition is and can name three or more educational philosophies - but it’s all kind of swirling around in your head like jello that won’t congeal, and you’re still feeling like you’re being pulled around by your family’s, and by society’s expectations. 

You need help fine-tuning your approach and boosting your confidence.

arrow_drop_down_circle
Divider Text
check_circle

You feel confident grabbing your access details knowing you have 90 days to test it out. 

It’s simple.  Either you do the work in the first 90 days and you start to see how you'll be able to support your child's learning moving forward, or you just email support@yourparentingmojo.com and we can just hit undo on this whole “let’s make sure your child grows up with an intrinsic love of learning” experiment.

Did you catch yourself nodding your head?

So... if you already know that you want to raise a child who can get into college

but who loves to learn for the sake of learning...

who has an insatiable curiosity about the world and wants to work on important challenges...

who is driven to achieve their self-chosen goals... 

then the

Your Child's Learning Mojo Membership

is for you.

If you're ready, then I'm so excited to work with you to make this dream a reality.

I know there are a lot of competing pressures on your time right now.

Those Facebook ads for curricula are calling you saying:

"You need to be sure you have every hour of every day planned out for the rest of the school year!"

But remember those lists of 100 Activities to Keep Your Child Busy that were getting tens of thousands of shares on social media at the beginning of COVID lockdowns?  

We all thought “Phew.  Now I know I’m covered.  Something on that list of 100 activities will work for my child.”

And then you realized that you didn’t have time to wade through a list of 100 activities, or the 200 companies that were offering free education-based services to see which would work with your device, and would actually teach your child something useful, and didn’t require you to sit with your child showing them how to use every step of it.

You thought you needed those resources when actually they barely ended up helping at all.

The same is true here.  You can buy a curriculum and you’ll feel prepared right now, until school actually starts.  And maybe even the first week of ‘school at home’ won’t be too bad.  

And then your child will start wheedling and whining and resisting doing this work, because it doesn’t interest them.

So if you don’t want to be The Enforcer who spends most of your ‘learning time’ cajoling, bribing, and threatening...

If you want to equip your child with the skills they’ll need if and when they do return to school…

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If you want your child to love learning, and to be intrinsically motivated to learn, and to know how to learn...

then you're ready for Your Child's Learning Mojo.

The

Your Child's Learning Mojo

Membership

"Balance Bike"

Learn the core elements of child-led learning: choosing a topic for a learning exploration and carrying it out, understanding what learning is happening during it, and documenting it for yourself or for the school district

One Payment of

$250

settings
Join Now!

Upgrade to the Parenting Insurance Option later for $800 - or save $53 and do it now!

"Riding With Confidence

Profoundly shift the way you think about learning by both understanding and practicing the skills you'll need to be the most effective teacher your child will ever have, and raise a child who LOVES to learn

One Payment of

$997

settings
Join Now!
*Payment plans are available for this bundle.
Click here to choose from 4 monthly payments of just $277, or 12 payments of only $97.

© Jen Lumanlan 2020 - All Rights Reserved

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