“If I could set even a handful of other kids free, if I could be the thing that gives even a handful of parents courage to go and homeschool their kids, what an incredible gift that would be to somebody. That’s inspiring to me. That’s why I want to talk about education.” Hannah Frankman on why she is working to build rebelEducator
In this episode of The Pathless Path, hosted by Paul Millerd, Hannah Frankman dives deep into her homeschooling journey growing up, and her work in alternative education since.
Hannah has had an unusual educational and working career. Her agency over her life began very young, at the age of six, when her parents decided to homeschool her.
Hannah was the eldest child, so her homeschooling journey was even more experimental, as her parents were learning how to navigate the educational world right alongside her.
Hannah had been fascinated by the idea of college early on in her schooling life, and it was some time before she realized the discrepancy between what she imagined college to be like and what it really was. Once she came to this realization, she started working for a variety of companies in the alternative education space, in what she described as “her dream job.”
Eventually, Hannah left “her dream job” to start and grow rebelEducator, in order to create the most easily accessible alternative schooling resource hub in the US.
Hannah’s journey has a lot of interesting takeaways, and those looking to explore out-of-the-box career paths may derive some useful insights from her own approach to her career.
This conversation covered:
- Preview of episode (0:00)
- Intro to Hannah (0:43)
- Growing up homeschooled (1:46)
- The “guinea pig child” (7:23)
- Learning a sense of agency (12:19)
- Realizing she’s on a different path than the others (13:48)
- What does it mean to love school? (15:58)
- Unschooling (18:00)
- Skipping college (24:54)
- The four-year experiment and the hard first year (31:28)
- Looking back – what would Hannah change? (39:16)
- Working remotely (41:11)
- Taking an 8-month sabbatical (48:57)
- Learning to trust your gut (55:25)
- New project: rebelEducator (1:04:16)
- What motivates Hannah? (1:09:16)
- Rapid fire questions with Hannah (1:12:30)
Hannah mentions the following resources in this episode:
- Three Reasons Homeschoolers Often Become Entrepreneurs
- No, You Don’t Need To Be “Qualified” To Homeschool Your Children
- Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto: Hannah recommends reading this book for those who haven’t been sold on the idea of alt schooling yet. While this book doesn’t necessarily make a case for alt schooling, it paints a great picture as to why the traditional public education system has been failing.
“I always had an entrepreneurial streak, in retrospect. I was just a creative kid, I loved making things, and I realized pretty early on that adults thought it was impressive/cute. At eight or nine I thought adults think this is Impressive now I just think they thought it was adorable!”- Hannah Frankman(3:32)
“In retrospect, my parents did a fantastic job equipping my sister and I with an environment to go and explore. There were books everywhere, there were crafting supplies everywhere, there were art supplies everywhere, and my dad was building something in his shop and we were welcome to go and have look. There were ample opportunities to go out and try things, and that’s where a lot of these crazy ideas came from.”– Hannah Frankman (6:15)
“I think the positive side of traditional education is that there are some heroic teachers that do find you, and do support you. But the sad thing is that they’re the exception, and not the rule.”- Paul Millerd (23:59)
“I realized quickly, that I had been so excited about Praxis. It had been so clear to me that was the thing for me to be doing. And I didn’t want to jump into anything unless I felt about it that way again. I had thought I would take a couple weeks, maybe a month of sabbatical. It ended up being eight months before I found something like that again.” (On finding work she was excited about doing)- Hannah Frankman (48:53)
“For me, doing less than what you set out to do in a sabbatical is important. I think a sabbatical is about unlearning all of the things you had been learning before, and part of which includes this hyper- bias towards productivity.” -Hannah Frankman (50:30)
“When my parents were homeschooling me, there were so many people talking about their homeschooling experience that helped my parents have the validation that this path is going to work. I feel very strongly that I need to add to that canon, of people talking about successful educational alternatives as a viable path too.” (On why is she working to build rebelEducator) -Hannah Frankman(1:04:55)