Special Needs and Lifeschooling – Julie Polanco

For this episode, I enjoyed talking with Julie Polanco about lifeschooling and how beautifully it has fit with her unique family situation of dealing not only with multiple food allergies, but also special needs!

Julie Polanco loves Jesus and leads worship for the women’s ministry at her local church. But, her job is a 16+-year veteran homeschooling mom of four children, all of whom have food allergies and special needs, including ADHD, Asperger’s, gifted, sensory/regulation issues, and anxiety disorder.

Over the years, she has served on her support group’s board and founded and led a new support group for relaxed homeschoolers. She also teaches middle school science workshops for a homeschool co-op. She has graduated two from homeschool and recently became a grandma. Julie is also a trained Master Herbalist in western herbal practice and is completing formal training in aromatherapy. She has managed her family’s health, food and environmental allergies, and her own chronic illness for more than twenty years using a natural and integrative approach. She loves fermenting food, urban gardening, finding ways to practice better stewardship, and all things that align with God’s gifts to us through nature.

Here are some of the questions we discussed on the show:

  • Julie, you and I met online not too long ago, actually. And when you sent me a copy of your book, God-schooling, I knew I needed to connect with you, which led to you becoming speaker for our 2019 Lifeschooling Conference!
  • Tell us more about your book and why you wrote it.
  • Many homeschoolers bring the school model home because we all tend to just do what we know. I imagine the food allergies and health issues really helped shape your more relaxed educational philosophy?
  • The definition of lifeschooling is “the individualized process of discovering your child’s God-given gifts and talents primarily through real life experiences that happen within the context of your family’s unique situations and missions.” Is there a part of that definition that particularly speaks to you and share with us a bit more about how your family lifeschools?
  • How has homeschooling strengthened your relationships with your children?
  • How do you fit homeschooling with your family’s unique situation and responsibilities?
  • Has your family ever been tempted to quit homeschooling and how did you navigate through that time?
  • What are some of the gifts that you have seen early on in your children and how have you tailored their education around the development of those gifts?

If you would like to order a copy of Julie’s book, God-Schooling, you can find it on Amazon. Be sure to visit Julie’s site at JulieNaturally.com.

If you enjoyed this episode, be sure to check out one of our most popular episodes, The Joy of Relationship Homeschooling with Karen Campbell.


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