Acorn to Tree LLC was created by NYS certified teacher and mother Patrice Badami.

I wanted to create a website that included many great resources in one place to enhance the lives of families and individuals.”

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Patrice Badami

About Me

Patrice Badami has a Masters in Elementary Education and Special Education. She has advocated for families of special needs children as well as for her own children with special needs.


Acorn to Tree Learn and Grow was created to help all children and their families have access to free educational and recreational resources.

Acorn to Tree Family Podcast

Podcast with Camille Kirksey –


Camille Kirksey is a  Homeschool Expert and Mindset Coach. Her Instagram is called the Intuitive Homeschooler. She discussed how she supports families about to embark on the homeschooling journey. She explains that to become a homeschool facilitator to children begins with having confidence in oneself and mindfully thinking and preparing yourself internally as you navigate the homeschooling process.

Camille Kirksey

The intuitive Homeschool


Blog: ⁠www.theintuitivehomeschooler.com⁠Social media: @theintuitivehomeschooler on Instagram and FacebookAcademy: ⁠www.homeschoolu.academy⁠Holiday: ⁠www.worldhomeschoolersday.com⁠

Here’s the link to Camille Kirksey’s book and companion workbook: ⁠https://homeschooluacademy.podia.com/homeschool-books⁠

Full Episode Transcript:

Patrice Badami 0:02 

Hi, this is Patrice Badami with Acorn to tree family podcast today, I have Camille Kirksey she’s an intuitive homeschool homeschooler who is a homeschool expert and a mindset coach. And she has a lot of insight for us today concerning homeschool. How are you today? Camille? 


Camille Kirksey 0:18 

I’m good. How are you?


 Patrice Badami 0:20

 I’m so glad you will join us because I want to learn more about homeschooling. So we will have some notes for the listeners to Camille’s social media so they can learn more about homeschooling and the projects you are working on. Camille has a book she’s written; she has created an academy to help parents and caregivers of children with more information about homeschooling.  To begin with, we’re going to talk about the four core reasons why parents choose to homeschool. 


Camille Kirksey 0:47

 So first, thanks for having me. I’m glad to be here. When it comes to homeschooling, there are as many reasons as there are families for why. But I’ve been doing this for almost ten years now. And I’ve noticed a pattern when it comes to homeschoolers. So the four core reasons I found through my journey were coaching and working with families worldwide. Our freedom is one of the big reasons for individuality, connection, and more time. And those are straightforward things. But there are essential things to so many families. And when you homeschool, these become an extension of just your lifestyle is how you move in the world. 


 Patrice Badami 1:33 

So yeah, I completely hear that. And I’ll explain where I’m coming from. I have a daughter who was born premature and has ADHD and some other issues.  She doesn’t get as much time on things, and her processing speed is very slow. So right there, that’s a perfect reason. Because, you know, a caregiver of a child knows where the child’s weaknesses and they know where to focus their energy. And they know where the child is succeeding and where they’re struggling. So that’s a personalization of education, which is. So, what inspired you personally to begin this? 


Camille Kirksey 2:18 

Well, homeschooling was off my radar. I didn’t grow up knowing anything about it, and homeschooling wasn’t something done in my vicinity of have as an option for educating children. So my oldest, now 15, went to a pre-K, and I thought I needed to find the best school. That was my goal. And so he was there. And it was no problem. I wasn’t one of those parents that had issues with schooling, I still don’t. I think every family, every kid is different. But I noticed something as we were getting closer to the kindergarten because this was pre-K, he went, and I saw how rushed the kids were in the morning and how like, you know, the teachers, and I love teachers, but it’s a stressful position. And so they were really kind of barking orders at the kids. And this is the beginning of the day. So that was kind of my first moment; I don’t like that. And then I found I was up on Facebook at two o’clock in the morning. And I found this woman in Colorado who had seven children and was doing something called homeschooling. I had never; it never crossed my mind; I had no clue. And she was black too. And this was just something I had never seen in my community. And I watched her, and I reached out to her. And I talked to her, and she was so encouraging. And I said, Well, he’s going to kindergarten; how hard can it be? If it doesn’t work, we’ll send him to school. And he never went to school. And now I have two other kids. So three total. And we’re all homeschooling, and it’s just been how we live. It’s just it makes so much sense for our family. So that’s kind of my journey.


Patrice Badami 3:54 

I hear that. During COVID, I got so much more done with her as far as preparing her for school. And I still and then what ended up happening in when she went to preschool pre K, she happened to have a teacher who, again, it was not covered by it’s not something you get through taxes you pay yourself. So they’re more forthcoming with areas of discrepancy that your child may have or areas of weakness they see them struggling with. They want you to know because they want you to address it. So I ended up holding her back in here. And I work with her home, and some areas still need to be addressed. And she could have done better this year. It was hard for her. So I’m considering homeschooling myself. I want to learn as much of it as possible because I want to; she has that spark, and we don’t want them to lose her desire to learn in her own home. You can choose, and you can follow them, follow their lead, follow their interests, and it’s just a perfect great concept, and it’s popular since COVID; I’ve noticed many more people coming out with the idea of homeschooling. So what are some things parents need to consider before they begin homeschooling?


Camille Kirksey 5:12 

Well, the first thing, and the main thing I always tell parents, is it’s more about you than it is to kids. Homeschooling has a narrative of, oh, it’s all about the kids and the academics and, you know, all these beautiful things. But at the end of the day, it comes down to the parents’ mindset, flexibility, and openness to do things differently than what they think might be the right path. And to honor where their kids are and not feel like they’re behind or they’re not doing enough, it comes back to their mindset. So that’s part of my book. And we’ll get into it, preparing your mind, home, and heart for homeschooling because it’s a lifestyle, not an EQ, just not an academic choice. So I encourage primarily moms, but I call any parent or caregiver the facilitator, whoever will lead the child, depending on the age and stage, to look to themselves first. And then go from there, which differs greatly from how I learned to homeschool. Everything was external. But that’s my main advice to consider how to be open and learn with your kids. It’s a partnership.


Patrice Badami 6:28

But here I’m, just wondering because this is just one question that comes to mind. How does it work when you’re trying to homeschool? And I don’t; I don’t know. So when there’s like, for example, New York state curriculum, New Jersey, where Michigan, whatever your state curriculum has things from health to junior high age, and then, you know, later how you deal with the New York State or whatever your state is testing. It’s like, how does that transpose, like, how does that work?


Camille Kirksey 7:04

So every state doesn’t require that. I know, New York is one of the stricter states and when it comes to homeschooling, but they’re like, I’m in Michigan, we don’t have any kind of oversight, we don’t have registration, we don’t have to take attendance, we don’t have testing. So that’s one of the things, when we start to talk about the practical side of creating the homeschool, you have to take, you have to check out your state laws to see what’s required, there’s still a lot of flexibility, as far as how you do things, there isn’t a set curriculum you have to follow regardless of what state you’re in. But you do have to make sure you’re checking off those boxes to make sure that you’re, you know, in alignment with what’s required. But it just depends on the state.


Patrice Badami 7:43 

Right, so you could use local, you know, contact your local agency concerning your education; what would it be? 


Camille Kirksey 7:52 

So it’s just like the Department of Education regarding whatever state you’re in; they will have something for homeschooling. So if you’re in New York, you look up homeschooling in New York, and it won’t lead you to the laws. And that’s going to be everything you need. Patrice Badami 8:06 is available for everybody. So it doesn’t have to be daunting; you just check, you know, check and see what it is, make sure that you’re doing something that aligns with their guidelines. That makes sense. Um, what unique experiences did you and your children have experienced?


Camille Kirksey 8:24,

So many are just little things like, for me, when they get it, like those moments, and it doesn’t always happen. But you see that connection, or you see how, you know, you may be studying history, but something happens in science, and they make the connection on their own. Those are the best things for me or just life skills. I’m a big person about character and building life skills. And so when they get to do stuff that maybe I wouldn’t have called to do, as soon as they, my one son, started to volunteer at a place. And I never had, and it’s a place where he got to go behind the scenes, work with many professionals, and do presentations and all types of stuff. And I was like; I wasn’t doing that at 14. So I love that opportunity for them. My kids; have so much freedom and autonomy to hard how it works for them. And we take a lot of field trips and do a lot of just things with the family. And it’s so typical for them to just be at home, make their schedule, and have a say about what they learned and how they learn. So it’s no big thing that we’ve done. It’s just the everyday little things that we get to enjoy together. 


Patrice Badami 9:30 

Right, and I am going to say, I like the life skills emphasis because that’s not always happening in the public schools, having worked from I worked with 18 months up to 21 years. So it’s not always something, for example, balancing, you know, your budget, working, you know, working with your, you know, financial goals for the future and things like that, but also the social skills, that is I mean, learning to get along with your siblings. Can you do that? Yes, work together to make sure everybody’s facilitated understanding that this is my brother, this is my sister, I want to make sure they get their time with our, you know, whoever’s teaching like you told caregiver, it’s essential for them to learn, because then they develop this the bond that is unbreakable for the future. That seems like a beautiful, incredible thing. And just emphasizing the family, having them understand that. That’s a great foundation; it is. Can you tell listeners about the great content they can receive if they visit your website? 


Camille Kirksey 10:41 

Sure, thank you. So I have a few different websites. So if you are looking for, like, the how to homeschool, like how to get your mindset together, things that I’ve done over the years, I’ve had a blog since 2014, so it’s a lot of information out there. And it’s not the typical, you know, type of homeschool. There are more practical types of stuff. It’s the stuff that I came across. And I was like. I need to figure out where to find, like, I don’t like a traditional schedule, what else is out there, that stuff on my main website, intuitive homeschooler.com. I have a blog there. And you know, you can learn a lot about me and my family on my page. And over the years, what I’ve done, I have my academy that it’s still in a soft launch mode. But there are courses and workshops out there. I have a main class called empowered beginnings. And that’s for potential homeschoolers up through year three; I call them new homeschoolers up to and through year three because your three is where you start to get your groove; it takes a while. So that’s where you’ll find like the beginner course, and many other kinds of supportive kind of courses, mindset courses, how to be an authentic homeschooler, stuff like that, that is homeschool you the letter u dot Academy. You can find that kind of stuff there. Then I have an international holiday that I started, and it’s coming up on June 2, called World homeschoolers day. And it’s just my homeschoolers.com. And it was just something that I noticed we don’t have a holiday. There’s so much stuff about, like how to homeschool. 


Patrice Badami 12:19

I mean, they have holiday cookies. Let’s say Camille Kirksey 12:23, the holiday date is National Donut Day. And I was like, what if you’re going to do nothing else, buy some doughnuts and celebrate that way? Patrice Badami 12:33 Everything that Camille mentioned, we’ll have that in the end notes of the podcast. You’ll be able to grab all those links because it’s hard to write everything down. So that’s why we have the show notes. You know, I’m like taking a step back. What are some things just basic things that you think people should get? Or set up in the home like a specific area of the house? What items should people add to get things started?


Camille Kirksey 12:59 

This is something that I cover in my book more in-depth, but I’m a minimalist; I keep things very simple. And I know people first want to go out, buy something, and set up, but you don’t need to do that. If you have a space, I always encourage just in general, as a family, to declutter; make sure you have space like a set bookcase, a shelf, or even a rolling cart designated for any basic homeschool supplies. As part of my course for new homeschoolers, I have a list of what I recommend and their basics. A lot of stuff you’ll have, you know, anybody with kids is going to have, scissors and glue and things like that. So it’s not, it’s different than you have to have a classroom, you don’t need a dedicated room. But it’s more so than more. So declutter, really be intentional about the space. Don’t have all this other stuff there because you don’t want them to be distracted, and you want everything to be together. Because once you leave, especially when you have littles, when you get up, I’ll have to run and get a pencil, then you lose them. So we have, yeah, you want to have a library shelf or a bag to separate your library books. That was one of the things as a homeschooler you’re going to be at the library a lot. And you don’t want to mix that up, lose books, and be late. So yeah, these are fundamental things. It comes down to what works for your family. But the least amount of stuff, the better to start, and then you can build as needed. 


Patrice Badami 14:30 

Yeah, I was going to say for us here. I have these two cabinets. They’re just white cabinets. Everything’s in there. And so if she needs something, she knows where to get the glue she has. It’s in the same room, though. But it’s right there, and it makes such a big difference. And yeah, if it’s too cluttered and you have a child, for example, who has ADHD and it does cause them to have a distraction, you want to have, as everything said, think about it beforehand, you know, have things planned a couple of days. is ahead of what happened. Yes, I understand the whole decluttering thing because we have a thing with books. She was surprised to find out what was in 1000 books. Before Kindergarten, she did that when she was three. And I teach her respect for the books from the library and the books I know about. So she’s always more meticulous and puts it in her library than they should. Because, you know, it teaches them the respect of other things, other people’s things, and just in general, you know, so Okay, so you’re going to, the people are going to go, they’re going to check out your resources, and they’re going to find things like tips and advice you can offer. They’re going to find out information that’s on your Instagram, it’s on your websites, on your social media. But here’s a question. Are their people who helped you begin the journey, and if you feel, you know, you’d like to offer that to us, too. That’s a great collaboration; you can provide some other people you’ve spoken to that might also provide insights into other Instagram accounts and whatnot or whatever website; I’m sure you’ve created a list of different places to go and check out. In general, what, what do you how do you coordinate? The Homeschooling with working in the housing, creating dinners, and whatnot? Like, how are you able to help have the children even help? Which is another skill they can use? But how do you coordinate preparing meals as well as homeschooling?


Camille Kirksey 16:29

It’s probably a bit easier because I’m just really organized. And I don’t like a lot of extra. I’m very, not a minimalist, but I’m very, I prioritize things. So it happened over time; I’ve only been a stay-at-home parent since my daughter came home. So she’s eight. So I didn’t start; I started working outside the home. And the one thing that you know, juggling, too, so it’s not something that happens overnight. It has to be customized to your family; one of the things I talk about in my book is that we’re in an age where you can do, you know, order online, pick it up, and have it delivered. You know, delegation is a big thing that I try to do, or elimination, like some stuff just doesn’t need to get done. But I do make sure I have certain things required daily. Like homeschooling, you may not get to all the different subjects. And I don’t recommend people do that. It’s too much. But if you do a little bit daily, you’re consistent about certain things that will get done. So, for instance, my boys they’re required a month at a time to do dishes at night. So there, you know, they know we don’t have to sell. Whose day is it? This is your mouth, all the stores. So it’s like developing systems and routines that don’t require too much thinking and too many decisions to be made in delegating and letting go of things. It’s a lot; isn’t it something that has to be personalized to your family? We’re at your time right now. So it’s hard to say, Oh, this is what I’ve done for a long time. Right now, you know, we do Patrice Badami 18:12 because it’s imperative that every teacher every day, we call it table-top. Or if we’re working on it, we switch it up because she gets bored. So I have floor-top bed-top means we’re doing work in bed when we’re getting ready for bed. We’re doing different workbooks, whatever it is. But concerning the cooking and the food, what we do is we cook all the stuff on Sunday and Saturday, we make all the vegetables, everything. And so we label everything in the refrigerator. So we were reheating a lot at the time. When we keep the pot, not necessarily the microwave or toaster oven. It makes it so much easier if you do that. Because then there’s always food there and we can order out sometimes. Yeah, when you’re shopping. You know.


Camille Kirksey 18:57 

Convenience. Yes, convenience is the name of the game too. And I love the idea of meal prepping, which is just not happening. It’s just not happening. I don’t want to do it. They don’t want to, and that’s okay, but we have our system and buy things weekly. I’m developing a pantry so it’ll be easier for them, like an enormous pantry so they can get it. So autonomy is essential. But yeah, I’m like, we got to eat. So it’s going to happen one way or the other. 


Patrice Badami 19:26

Sometimes, it’s just too much. It’s too much going on. We’ll just have yogurt and banana, and that’s it, just have that ever. I understand that. But having said all of that, since I mentioned this before, Mrs. COVID people are now because they’re there. They started during that time to work with the kids. They saw how frustrating it might have been for some families to work remotely online, rather than and then they started just taking on working with their children. Forget about the classes. We’ll just do it at home. And they do it as a supplement to the online instruction. Because when you have a child, whether they’re younger, or whether they have, you know, learning issues, it’s difficult to have just that, naturally, every supplement to get home at this point, for that reason. If you’re supplementing, why not go entirely in, go all in, and consider how homeschooling can help your family bond, help them get the attention that they need for these specific subjects, and help them develop those essential bonds, like we had said, between each other the children, they’ll learn the social skills, as we had said, one other thing, what are the things that concerning your book? How is your book set up in a sense that what you have listed, how they can parallel the curriculum in some areas, and what other things in your book would be great for the listeners to hear about?


Camille Kirksey 20:54 

So the one thing about my book is that it’s, it’s step zero when it comes to homeschooling; my course is where you get that practical knowledge of how to do it, where the resources are, how to apply it, how to make schedules, how to choose curriculum and stuff like that. What I found with my journey is that when I was looking for curriculum, and I was looking for all the things that we start with, I realized three years, five years in, that was not the right question. I had to ask myself, and like I mentioned before, where’s my heart? Where’s my mind at? How was my home set up? So the thing that I cover, those three things, is called coming home. And it’s all about empowering; I call it homeschool moms. Still, it’s pretty much universal information for how to get your mindset together, how to approach homeschooling, even how to deal with naysayers, you know, things like that, that play on your emotions, because the practical part of how to is the easy part is, people, other people, and really, it’s not even so much to other people are is you. And that’s why I said earlier; it’s more about you. Because once you find your rhythm and confidence, many homeschoolers are potential homeschoolers. No, newbies are not confident; they feel like I can’t do this, I need to be qualified, I’m not a teacher. But I tell you in my book; you don’t have to be a teacher, you’re not supposed to be a teacher, your mom, or your dad or your uncle and Grandma, you are the person that can show them the way you’re there with them to leave them in partnership with him for a reason. So many people are confused about my book because they’re like, Well, this is about homeschooling and how to do it; I’m preparing you for that. And so it’s a lot of practical information that’s doable, that can provide them the steps to make it easier to do homeschooling like the practical everyday type of task, but you got to start with yourself first. And that’s an adventure. 


Patrice Badami 22:51 

You have a lot of resources, like you had said, if someone like a Facebook group that you might know of that you might even have for people to be able to check in daily if they’re starting to get nervous if they’re feeling unsure that they can get that support as well. You also probably have a venture with no,


Camille Kirksey 23:10

I don’t do Facebook groups anymore, which has only sometimes been a safe space for me and others. So what I offer with my course is an integrated community of people. Yeah, because I think when it comes to homeschooling for the people that come to me, they’re looking for a particular type of camaraderie, and Facebook groups and Instagram, that’s just not where they feel safe. Now on my Instagram,  it’s a very safe space. It’s very inclusive, diverse, and I have a lot of good conversations. It’s tons of information out there too. But you know, a lot of the groups that I started in, it’s just, it’s just not the same, it’s, I don’t recommend those. 


Patrice Badami 23:53 

Okay, there you go. So that’s important. I brought it up because I wanted to know if you had one if you recommended one, or what your feeling was. So to keep it consistent with your website with, you know, understanding where you’re coming from, you offer a community, within your resources, where people can feel, as you say, safe, comfortable, they can all relate to each other, and they can refer back to the curriculum with questions and your resources. So that way, they get a better response than speak it has to do with, you know, the act, it’s more specified, if you will. That makes sense. And that’s a great thing. I love that. Okay, so once again, what we’re going to do is we’re going to have to you had you discuss it already, but we’re going to say you have to have courses, you have the book, you have your Instagram, and you have all these different resources together. We’re going to have this at the end of the podcast listed. Are there other things you’d like to share with the listeners now?


Camille Kirksey 24:54 

Um, one of the things that is intimidating about homeschooling is because you think you have to do at all, and no at all. And so if anyone feels that fear and lack of confidence, you can do it if you’re a parent. I always say homeschooling is an extension of parenting; there is no difference. It’s not like I have a homeschool hat and a mom hat. You want the best for your kids. And so you’ll go out of your way to do whatever, whether in school or at home. So if you’re considering homeschooling, don’t feel like I can’t do it. Because I’m not qualified. You have children; you’re eligible. I encourage people to understand that there is support. There’s real life; I have so many rules. You may see my reels. I make it funny. I make it relatable because it doesn’t have to be as scary as people think. 


Patrice Badami 25:41 

Right. Okay. All right. So everyone, once again, we have Camille Kirksey. The intuitive homeschool is that’s the name of her Instagram. She’s a homeschool expert and a mindset coach, and she’ll give me the support you need to begin this journey. As I said, we’ll also have all the show notes with anything she needs to share with you that she thinks will be helpful. Camille, thank you so much for joining us today. And I’ll tell you at some point in the future, when we get it all situated, I have a video series, and you can come back in a more relaxed environment and chat with us. What we do is we have like a little cup of tea or something. And we’re sitting in the kitchen and discussing something that may have happened that day that you wanted to share. Thanks again, everybody, for listening to the Acorn to Tree Family Podcast. Camille Kirksey, thanks so much for joining us. Thank you for having me. 

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