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Meaningful Life Lessons: What are you teaching?

This is the premiere episode of "What Are You Teaching?" where we explore how every child is a homeschooler. We will be exploring different aspects of home-based learning, featuring discussions with parents, caregivers, and children. These insightful interviews uncover the valuable life lessons that children learn outside of traditional schooling. 

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Tatiana and her mother Dawn discuss the valuable life lessons that Dawn has taught her children, with a focus on how these lessons have influenced Tatiana's development as an adult. 

Who is Tatiana and why kicking off this series interviewing her mom, Dawn, is so special? Tatiana is the founder of SOL Learning Center (@SOL_LearningCenter). Tatiana pioneers a holistic approach, offering tutoring, enriching classes, and transformative workshops tailored for homeschoolers. For Tatiana, SOL Learning Center is more than an institution; it's her "Soul" work. 

She envisions a community-driven educational landscape where every child is nurtured within a community, through support, opportunity, and love. Tatiana believes in a learning experience that engages the head (mind), heart, and hands.

Tatiana’s mother has been the foundation of Support, Opportunity, and Love (SOL) that has allowed her to accomplish all the things that she sets out to do. It is Dawn’s passion for children and healing her community that has shaped the woman Tatiana is today!  

This interview emphasizes the importance of storytelling, individuality, and self-acceptance in parenting, and the value of instilling a positive mindset and promoting emotional wellbeing in children. Tatiana and Dawn highlight the significance of building a strong relationship with children, creating a safe space for them to be themselves, and the importance of reflection and sharing experiences as parents grow and learn alongside their children.

Please Enjoy! 


What Are You Teaching? Transcript: ES1 Meaningful Life Lessons

SOL Learning Center owns the copyright in and to all content in and transcripts of the What Are You Teaching? podcast, with all rights reserved, as well as their right to publicity.

Tatiana: Okay, welcome to the Every Child is a Homeschooler series, where we showcase the importance of home-based learning and highlight valuable life lessons that children learn outside of traditional schooling hosted by me, Tatiana, the founder of SOL Learning Center.

Tatiana: Each episode will focus on a different aspect of home-based learning, featuring interviews, real-life examples, and discussions with parents and children. Today we'll go on a journey of reflection and insight as we uncover the meaningful life lessons that children learn

within the sanctuary of their home. And I'm so excited because today we will be talking with my mom. Mom. I'm so excited to welcome you to discuss the valuable teachings that have shaped my life. So, Mom, please introduce yourself. Share how many children and grandchildren that you have and anything else you'd like to share about our family structure and your children's educational journey.

Reflective Journey: Dawn's Life Lessons for Tatiana

Tatiana, the founder of SOL Learning Center, welcomed her mother Dawn to discuss the valuable life lessons she has taught her children at home. Dawn, who has four children, including Tatiana, as the eldest, shared that she has five grandchildren. Tatiana and Dawn then embarked on a reflective journey, discussing the core life lessons that Dawn has taught her children, with a focus on how they have contributed to Tatiana,'s development as an adult.

Dawn: Well, first of all, thank you for having me. I love to support you on your journey. And you know, talking about kids is one of the things that I love to do. But my name is Dawn. and as everybody knows, I'm Tatiana's mom. I have 4 kids, and Tatiana is my eldest. Yes, and yeah.  what else was there?

Tatiana: Talk about your grandkids.

Dawn: Oh, my grandkids! Oh, my pride and joy! Yes, so 5 grandkids! I have 3 boys and 2 girls.

Tatiana: Yes.

Dawn: Yes, and my grandmother once said that grandkids, love is different, and it's definitely different. It's like at another whole nother level. 

Tatiana: Yeah, I love that. And you know what the beauty of the series is that it’s all about, what are you teaching? And I would say that my children learn a lot from their grandma and you help with shaping their learning at home. So  I appreciate you, and I give you your flowers.

Tatiana: There are so many life lessons that I can think of that have that have stuck with me, and that have brought me to this point. So thank you, mom, I love you.

Dawn: I love you too, babe.

Embracing Diverse Personalities Through Storytelling

Dawn and Tatiana, discussed the importance of storytelling in shaping their children's life experiences and values. Dawn emphasized her approach of exposing her children to different experiences and scenarios through storytelling, which helped Tatiana and her siblings develop a sense of confidence and individuality. As a parent of four children and five grandchildren, Dawn shared her experience of not attempting to conform her children to any one mold, but rather accepting and nurturing their unique personalities. She underscored the value of letting everyone be themselves in a world that often pressures conformity.

Tatiana: Alright. So let's get into it. This topic is all about like those core life lessons. I think we'll just talk back and forth because they're definitely like lessons that I feel that have contributed to who I am as an adult, and I think back on them, and I reflect on them, and I remind myself of those lessons that you've taught me. But I wonder what stands out for you, for any of your children? Can you share a memorable life lesson that you've taught your children at home?

Dawn: Yeah, I mean, there's so many. But one that comes to mind now is I always remember and reflect on how you used to follow me everywhere. And I always felt like, you know knowledge for children is a part of that it is exposure and what they're exposed to. And you know, back then, when you guys were little, I didn't have a lot. So I couldn't expose you guys to things physically. But what I did try to do was, I tried to take you there, by talking to you about experiences and scenarios, and letting you guys have a voice. And you know, just talking about life, just life experiences, and how it relates to the things that you do.

Tatiana: Yes.

Dawn: Yeah. And anything that you guys would do, I would attach it to a lesson. And it would almost be like a story. But you know it would be a real thing.

Tatiana: Yes, you're a great storyteller.

Tatiana: It’s funny that you said that because that's immediately what I thought about like you always told us like stories, but it's like we would be immersed in that experience. So one thing for me that stands out as a memorable life lesson is one time we were little when I was younger, you were like, you've gotta walk with confidence. To walk in confidence is like walking, and the wind is in your hair. I would tell people that this was my Beyoncé lesson. Before Beyoncé had her fans blowing her hair. My mom told me that I had to walk with confidence in any space, and I know for me a lot of my confidence comes from those mini-stories and lessons.  We used to practice that l, walking into the room, and we would do that. It was silly as a kid. But it's something that stuck with me. It's like, okay. When I enter somewhere, I have to show up with presence. So I share my Beyoncé moment. Where the wind is blowing in my hair. I have confidence.

Dawn: And.

Tatiana: I have arrived.

Dawn: Yes, yes, yes, that's what it was about. That's what it was meant to do.

Tatiana: Yeah, so there are so many things just like you said. You did a lot of storytelling. You tell us stories and even us, the siblings, will get together like, Oh, here goes Mom, with her stories, but it’s so important. Because we reflect on them now as adults, they really have stuck with us. 

Parenting Lessons and Journey Embracing

Dawn and Tatiana, discussed the importance of parenting and the lessons they have learned. They emphasized the significance of self-love, forgiveness, and acceptance in parenting. They also discussed the importance of teaching children to be confident, independent, and to appreciate learning. They stressed that parenting is a journey and that mistakes should be viewed as learning opportunities rather than failures. They agreed that love and support are essential in helping children navigate life's challenges.

Tatiana: the next question is, how do you approach teaching important life lessons in a way that resonates with each of your children, because you have 4 children and 5 grandchildren, and every single one, every person is so different. So how do you teach individual lessons for them that really resonate?

Dawn: you know, when I had my kids, I realized that, you know, you don't know these things at first, but they're all different. They all have different personalities. So I try not to change who people are born to be, like who they are, and not make you guys conform to any one thing. So that when you look back on your childhood it's a yes, it was me. And it's still me. You know what I mean. I think a lot of parents might break their kids trying to conform them to something that's not them. But in doing so I gave you guys, the ability to accept who people are. Accept that people are different. “Oh, yeah, well, you know that’s just who they are” and have no attachment to that.

Tatiana: Yes.

Dawn: Yeah, I think that's important in this world to let everyone be themselves. And in doing so you can also feel free to be yourself. Love who you are.

Tatiana: Yeah, I feel very strongly about that. I think about my interactions growing up. And people would be like, “Dawny, Tatiana is not your friend” , you know like you're treating your kids like your friend, or when I see those memes like “I’m not your little friend”. I'm like, no! Growing up, my mom was my friend.

Dawn: I'm your best friend!

Tatiana: Yeah. And a lot of that comes from like, you want a best friend who's just accepts you right? Who sees you.

Dawn: Yeah.

Tatiana: (someone who) Let’s you be who you are, who's not putting you down! You’ve definitely shaped that for me. I know I don't need a lot of friends, but I know what quality friendship looks like, because I had that with you as a little person, and now as an adult, that relationship is so important to me. Knowing that I can show up as myself. For me to be exactly who I am and not feel you know, not feel bad about it, just be confident about that. So that's wonderful. And yes, also realizing, like teaching all of your children, like even your brother is different and your sister is different. And like this is just who they are, and you get to learn how to be in community with someone who's not exactly like you.

Dawn: Yes, yeah, yes, this love is unconditional. Love is free.

Tatiana: Right. Okay, what advice would you offer to parents who want to impart meaningful life lessons to their children?

Dawn: Like. I said, talk to them. Talk to your kids a lot, share information and not only share information, be engaged. Show them that you’re really engaged in what they have to say, and encourage them to speak as much as they can. You know, 'cause kids can say a lot of outlandish things. But it's okay, cause they're learning. And it's okay. And just being a space where yeah, you can talk to them, and y'all can have that dialogue where you know they respect what you're saying. And know that you know. Okay, yeah. So I'm here for you to teach me their blank slates. you know. So everything that you do, every motion like and even children, are born with, like inherited traits and that comes with. It comes full circle with the, you know, accepting who you are, and understanding like your history, your journey. You know. So I would say, and the best thing that I could say for parents would be to forgive yourself.

Tatiana: That's so good!

Dawn: Yes, cause every single day we can make mistakes.

Tatiana: Yeah.

Dawn: And mistakes. I don't even feel like they're mistakes. They're like lessons.

Dawn: You know. Just keep repeating the same thing. You're the one that's gonna suffer. You know what I'm saying. So we need to like, yeah, like, make sure that we forgive ourselves. So we preach a lot of forgiveness, throwing it out, throwing it out to others. Forgive yourself every day is a learning. It's a lesson every single day. So if you didn't get it right this day, this hour, this minute. You’ve got another minute, and yes you can still change the outcome.

Tatiana: I love that. I think a lot of parenting. As I became a mom, I realized that it's an experiment like, you have 4 kids like I was the first one. You tried things with me. And then you realize, like, okay, I got the hang of it. Then the next one comes with a completely different personality.

Dawn: Yes, yeah. You have to shift.

Tatiana: Time again, you're shifting. You're constantly growing as a parent and yeah, I agree. It's like, be forgiving and just be willing to learn and grow with your kids because they'll teach you about yourself.

Dawn: Yeah.

Tatiana: Yeah. And then the other pieces. I always remember as a kid, you’d talk a lot about like what you wanted as a kid, and we've all been children. I think that's so relatable like you can relate to your kids because you've been a child and thinking about the type of parent that you wanted. And then how are we showing up in our stage of parenting?

Tatiana: You know, parenting ourselves? Because ultimately our kids are little little versions of us. I laugh because you always say “You're like a version of me” like “You like all the things I like”. you're like an evolved version of me. So.

Dawn: You are.

Tatiana: Love that idea of like forgiving yourself and knowing that you're nurturing an evolved version of yourself. So like, give your kids what you wanted as a kid.

Dawn: Yes. I mean that's what life's about. I realize that, you know, if we were to consider that they are actually us. It's us. You know. If you think it over in that respect, then it's like you get a second life, I get to do it again. Yeah. So then again, the next generation. And then again, because it's me. It's me. It's me. But you know, still understanding that not in a way like you're living through them. I hate it when they say that, but because it's like. Yes, I am I I'm living on through you.

Tatiana: Yeah.

Dawn: You know things, so my dreams are your dreams.

Tatiana: Thats what a legacy is, right?

Dawn: Yeah.

Tatiana: And then yes, everybody says that like, I want my kids to be. You know, better off than what I had or have, like the next level up from what I had. So yeah, it's an evolved version.

Dawn: Yeah, yeah. But not only that. I think about more as in a in a mental capacity. Because I didn't have a lot of physical things to give. But I felt like, if your mental is right. you can face anything.

Tatiana: I love that.

Dawn: The rise of it. So I tried to do that. Yeah, I feel like, that's just very important.

Tatiana: That is a shift like it's not about the the material things. How are we helping our children to evolve mentally and spiratually, you know. To be prepared to face life, like that's a core life lesson. Life lessons are not just about providing material things, or like about obtaining material things in your adult life. But, like, how are you gonna be able to use these skills and stay connected, and you know, know yourself. So that's so important.

Dawn: Yeah, and loving yourself, forgive yourself. It's fine.

Tatiana: I love that. That's such a good one, too. For me growing up like “I'm dark skin”, and that, you know, like all the all the things.

Dawn: Yeah, yeah.

Tatiana: You taught me that, “love yourself, we're beautiful”. You're so right. Yes!

Dawn: Because I knew what you were gonna face. I'd been through it already.

Tatiana: Right.

Dawn: What was coming, and I felt like we owe our kids that, to teach them how to be kind, how to be, understand and how to stand in their own space and understand that. Yes. This is my world. Okay, around you, that's your world over here. It's me. Yes, it is me. And it's okay. And I'm setting boundaries.

Dawn: I was teaching you boundaries. Yes, yes, yeah. So. And it's crazy. I like to see you say things to me that I taught you. I'm like this is wild. 

Tatiana: Reverse, Uno! 

Dawn: Yeah, I was like, it worked. It worked.

Tatiana: That too, because. We are experimenting. We do, we do! We can kind of predict what's coming for our kids. And we can be intentional about “you know what I want, I want my child to be confident.”

Dawn:  Letting them be. Yeah.

Tatiana: But then also letting them be. And then, when you let be they are able to live, I remember I was the teenager who's like, mom, yeah. I hear that story. Well, let me do it, let me go out there and live, like let me go do it. But then, when you give your child, this freedom to do that. That has to be amazing. I can't wait. I'm not there yet, my stage, but I'm looking forward to the time when I can just observe them living and see them using their skills.

Dawn: And see what impact that you had. Yeah, yes, it was the right thing, because now I feel like we just look at like, oh, we messed up. But you never say like, yes. yes, it it was okay, cause I there's no messing up. It's about lessons. And it's about what you want. You can get it how you like it. Yes, you could have it. How you like it! Yes.

Tatiana: I love that that, too. That's another lesson. My mom always says that. So when I go about thinking of all the things that I'm going to conjure up and do. Yeah, I remember my mom.

Dawn: Yes, yes, that's that's your legacy. So. Just make sure it's it's good cause. It's it's a lot better. But it’s coming from a good place. Yeah, that's important. So just be human. It's okay for your kids. You don't know. Ask Google. Let's go find out what.

Tatiana: I am big on that! My kids know that something that is really important for me, as a  home schooling mom, or just a mom in general, it's like, I want you to be able to figure things out. I see myself as a learner, like I love to learn. I want to instill that anything you want to know. You can figure out. In the day of technology, it's so much easier. You don't have to go to a library, like it's right there.

Dawn: Yes, yes, definitely, yeah. And we get more time. We get more time now to do other things. So that's important. We gotta understand. These are technology babies. They're moving very fast, cause their world is faster.

Dawn: Yeah, you know. So we have to be forgiving, like I said of ourselves. And in doing so we be forgiven. Have forgiveness for others.

Tatiana: Yes.

Dawn: And that's important. Anything you do. You have to forgive yourself. The pressure is off.

Dawn: It's okay. Let's do it again. We're gonna get this done, doesn't matter how many times.

Dawn: you know. And that's one thing I tried to teach you as well that I I feel like it came through is that, you know. Don't give up.

Dawn: you know. Sometimes on the journey. You might not take the path that you had in your head. But there's another way to get there. There's another way, and when I see you do that, I'm like, yes, it worked again.

Tatiana: Yeah, I have a lot of resilience.

Core Life Lessons and Parenting Experiences

Tatiana and Dawn discussed the impact of teaching core life lessons at home. Dawn emphasized the importance of instilling a positive mindset and promoting emotional well-being in children. Tatiana appreciated Dawn's insights and reflected on her own experiences as a child. Both agreed on the significance of building a strong relationship with children and creating a safe space for them to be themselves. They also highlighted the importance of reflection and sharing experiences, especially as parents grow and learn alongside their children.

Tatiana: When people ask me, How are you able to do this? This and this and this and this and this and this and this, and it has occurred to me through support, opportunity, and love. And you have been a provider for that in my life. So through that support. You're like, Yeah, I got you. You need some help. I got you. You could do this.

Dawn: Yeah.

Tatiana: It allows me to take the opportunities that I need to take, to do the things that I want to do, and just that love, knowing that no matter how hard it gets, or if I have to pivot, I know that I'm loved and is possible, right. That just makes all the difficult things that much easier, knowing that.

Dawn: And knowing it you’ve been there. You've been there already. You've already climbed mountains. You know what I'm saying when you start, everyone gets that point, even kids, where you’re just like, Oh, I just can't take it anymore. I can't.

Dawn: And you like, hey, remember, you know, a few days ago you did so and so and so so actually, you can. I'm like, Oh, yeah.

Dawn: But yeah, I got that. And then just teaching them that that's okay. You know, things happen. Now as long as you. You know you're forgiving. You're remorseful.

Tatiana: Yeah.

Dawn: And you know, and and make learning fun!

Tatiana: Yes, I love that. Learning needs to be fun. But one thing, I think that's important, too, is that we have to be available to give our kids perspective or to help them, like you said, to see other perspectives.

Dawn: And you, yeah.

Tatiana:  As a young person, you're kind of just seeing things in your way, and it's helpful, that as we're reflecting on the things that we're doing and the mistakes that we made to share that with our kids just provide insight for them to make their own choices down the line. It's like, Oh, I remember that my mom said this or so my grandma said this, that's helpful. 

Tatiana: So lastly, what's one insight that you like to share with parents and caregivers about the impact of teaching core life lessons at home?

Dawn: The impact. I mean, it's huge because we're teaching them their view of the world. The main thing is, you know. We need to understand that we need to smile. Do a lot of smiling makes for happy babies. But yeah, just that they need us. I mean, that's they. They're essentially born. They might have personality and everything. But they don't know how to get there, and they don't know what's gonna they're gonna be facing

Dawn: good, bad, and different. I mean, those are all words. But you know it's about The energy behind those words. The energy behind those words are important. What you say. You need to understand that it's it's really important to them, because we plant seeds. We're just out here sprinkling seeds, sprinkling seeds. If you consider that we're just sprinkling seeds. Then you're gonna want these seeds to be nice later.

Tatiana: We want them to germinate, we want them to grow!

Dawn: Later on. Yeah, you see it. So if you're sprinkling good, nice things.

Dawn: then that person has a chance, and they need that. They need that because they're defenseless and they need the structure.

Dawn: They need a balance. They need you to sometimes. take the emotion out of your tone like, I'm serious right now, and but they also need you to smile.

Tatiana: Yeah, they, need you to smile.

Dawn: Give a smile. Show them that it's okay. You're happy. One thing I started doing with my grandkids, is that I started asking them, Are you happy?

Tatiana: Yes.

Dawn: Because if you're not happy right, I need to know, and asking for help, teach children to ask for help.

Dawn: Ask them if they're happy because it's okay to need help. You can't just need help when you're, you know, in a bad situation. It just doesn't happen automatically. We have to teach them from young that's okay to ask for help.

Tatiana: Yeah, you’re so right, even as adults, it's good practice, start the practice as a child because even adults need help and to be able to ask you need to be comfortable with it.  You always ask the kids that, so now I ask them that like, are you happy? Because sometimes those sad moments, they're so big that they can overshadow when you're happy.

Dawn: Yeah.

Tatiana: You are happy like you need to know.

Dawn: Yeah, we need to know. But yeah.

Dawn: I think back to my childhood. And a lot of people are like, What is happiness? Okay? But if you get it from young. And you're like, Oh, you're really happy still, like hopping around. It's like, Oh, then they know I'm hoping that later on these sees that grandma has planted that they will understand what happiness is, you know, saying, Yeah, so.

Tatiana: Simulated. They know the things that make them happy.

Tatiana: I love that. And they they know the feeling because they've called it out enough times like, let's call out the times that we were happy, and that we did things that we enjoyed. Let’s not only call out the bad stuff.

Dawn: Okay, yeah, you'd have to know where you're happy because then you realize around your day. Oh, I was happy. Yes, it's momentary. It's not every second. Nobody's happy, happy, happy, happy every second! Right? Even if you get tickled too long. Your stomach starts hurting.

Tatiana: Exactly. No, that's that's true, but you know to, you know, acknowledge like I am happy. Sometimes you can dwell on just being sad.

Tatiana: knowing how to stimulate that in your own life. That's good.

Dawn: I'm very. I'm I'm so proud of you.

Tatiana: Thank you, lady, thank you so much. Yes, this is awesome. Such a wonderful, interview, you know you're such a great mom, and I wanna be able to talk to people about like the experience that I had as a kid. And these are good lessons just like you said, Talk. Talk to your kids. People like to have connections with their children, and then they don't say little for long. You know.

Dawn: They don't. Yeah, don't forget you're planting seeds.

Tatiana: Plant, you know, plant those seeds, provide that perspective for them, because eventually, sometimes it doesn't germinate right away but it will.

Dawn: It will. It will take time. Some plants start right away and some do it later.

Tatiana: Yeah. So I love that. I believe so.

Dawn: Okay.

Tatiana: Keep throwing out the seeds.

Dawn: Do the best that you can Yes. With support, opportunity, and love. Yes.

Tatiana:Yes withSupport, Opportunity, and love. That's really it.

Dawn: Yeah.

Tatiana: And that's that. That's what I have received from you. And that's what I'm providing to my children and to my community. And I appreciate you for that, and then also just parenting. If anything it teaches you like.

Tatiana: you're showing up differently for each kid. You know they're.

Dawn: Yeah.

Tatiana: Like being yourself, loving compassion.

Tatiana: Creating space for your in a safe space for your children to just be themselves so important because this world is like hectic. And sometimes you're performing in different spaces, you know, to get things done. But it's important to have that good sense of self. So I thank you. I thank you for nurturing that in me, not dimming my light, and not, you know, letting anybody else do that and equipping me with the skills to like advocate for myself.

Dawn: Okay.

Tatiana: To be proud of that. And to me those are the important life lessons that you've got to start early with our kids. We can't wait till they're graduating from high school like, Oh, my gosh! You need to know this.

Dawn: No, it's too late then. I mean, they've already been learning from people who are just born yesterday like that.

Tatiana: Yeah. And that, too. It's like, you've gotta build a strong relationship with your kids now, because there will be a space where their peers are so important, and you don't want them. Learn everyone who just just around.

Dawn: Okay. But you were both born yesterday.

Tatiana: Yeah, it's like, Come on, but that's a great life lesson, great reflection. And reflect with your kids. 

Dawn: Yeah.

Tatiana: I think that's a lot of what I received. As the oldest of the bunch is like I was present in those years where you're just reflecting as you're learning, and you're like having your Aha moments. You're sharing that like, you know what else.

Dawn: Yeah.

Tatiana: You're sharing that. And I feel like I've had so many core experiences with you. That's like, Oh, I remember that I remember my like as I get these stages in my life. I was like, oh, I remember my mom was going through this, and, like, you know, I saw the toll like you said just

Tatiana: what's happening in the world, but also emotionally.

Dawn: Yeah. And you saw that I was human, and that you saw me grow.

Tatiana: Yes, I know we've we've grew together. Yeah.

Dawn: Yes, you sound like that.

Tatiana: Even now, as my oldest is 12. And he's thinking, like, I remember when I'm like.

Tatiana: Wow, you've been around for a while.

Tatiana: That’s growth! Yeah.

Dawn: Yeah.

Tatiana: And like, Oh, that's nice. And when your kids can have that connection with you is so magical, yeah.

Dawn: That's important to share yourself.

Tatiana: Well, mom, thank you so much. I really, really, really appreciate you. I love that share yourself. That's such a good one. Yeah.

Tatiana: And lastly, to the viewers of the series, I challenge you to answer this question, what are you teaching when it comes to the intentional and unintentional lessons that you, your children, learn at home. So until next time, peace of love. Thanks, mom.

Dawn: Thank you.

Dawn: see you later. And what are you teaching?

Tatiana: Get into this.

Dawn: Yes, very.

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