Today, Emma and Brittany interview Katie Hague, homeschool mom and former social media manager for the Tuttle Twins podcast. Katie talks about homeschooling seven kids and practicing civil disobedience.
Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Brittany: Hi, Emma.
Emma: Hi, Brittany.
Brittany: So today we have a guest. We haven’t done an interview in a while, so this will be fun. One of my favorite people on social media and somebody who’s very closely aligned with Tuttle Twins, we have Katie Hague. Did I say that right, Katie? I hope I said that right?
Katie: Yes, that is right.
Brittany: So, Katie used to do social media for the Tuttle Twins. So she ran the Instagram account and she kind of created the whole thing. It started with a, you know, handful of followers and she grew the audience. She’s also what I call a professional libertarian facebooker, cuz she’s always, posting some hot takes on social media. And she is what I consider a supermom. She’s a homeschooled mom to how many kids, Katie?
Katie: We have seven.
Brittany: Wow. So seven kids. So Katie, welcome to the podcast.
Katie: Thank you.
Brittany: For starters, I always like to know this. what made you want to homeschool your kids? What got you into, to this whole world?
Katie: So I think I actually knew that I wanted to homeschool before I really recognized that that’s what I knew. I just, we, you know, we started out, our kids were in public school, and I just was constantly battling with the schools and I felt like that was just the way that it had to be because, you know, it was like we wanted to keep our kids home from school one day and we took them all. We were living outside of Atlanta and we wanted to take all the kids to the Georgia Capital building. So we took ’em all outta school that day. We took him to the Capitol building. We ended up being there at the perfect time where we actually, made friends with the governor’s secretary. She let us come into his office and play with his Turkey calls that he had on his desk, and we got pictures. It was so fun. And then like they went back to school the next day and it was this like, huge ordeal. and so I think that was the first moment that I realized like, I was not cut out for this. And then, you know, we were a military family, so we moved a lot. And so, we found ourselves next in North Carolina and our kids had just started, I think our oldest were in like, sixth grade. And we realized that the schools were teaching so much social education, like about, how you should feel about things. These like social topics and how you should react to dif to different, ideas and things. And there was hardly any academic teaching going on. They were spending all their time in, you know, assemblies about feelings and about bullying and about all of this other stuff, but they were coming home with mountains of homework every night. And we were sitting down at the table until like, dinnertime doing all this work with the kids that they weren’t actually doing at school. And so I think it was in that moment that we were like, this is crazy. We’re basically teaching them anyway because all their time at school is spent on just fluff. That doesn’t, like, that’s not what we’re, you know, we’ve essentially hired the school to allow them to teach our kids these academic subjects and that wasn’t happening. And so that’s when we really were done and we pulled them out of school at that point.
Emma: Yeah, that sounds like the right call to have made too. And I, feel like it’s probably only gotten worse since you pulled your kids out of school. Yeah. And started homeschooling. There have been so many people who have kind of joined you in that, especially in the last year and a half. Homeschooling has become a lot more popular, but I bet people would love to hear from your point of view, what were some of the challenges that maybe you didn’t anticipate that you faced when you first started off on that homeschooling journey? Or, some things that maybe took you by surprise and that you kind of had to overcome?
Katie: I would say really. I think that it’s just pride is the thing that you have to overcome the most. I, you know, I, wasn’t professionally trained as a teacher. I knew that I was qualified to teach my kids, but as we experienced different challenges, really for most of our girls, so we have six girls, and then our youngest is our only boy. And so for the girls, it really went pretty great. they, we decided kind of really at the very beginning that we weren’t going to use a curriculum. and so we kind of built our own curriculum and crafted our own way of doing things, which over the years, you know, I realized people were calling what we were doing like unschooling. I didn’t know that’s what it was at the time, but that is basically what we did. Very child led learning. But my son was the challenge of my life, because all of our girls, they loved to read and they loved to learn. You know, we had this environment where that was just something that our family did and we all enjoyed it. And Jack hated it, hated everything that had to do with any kind of structured learning. He had no interest in reading at all. So, I was, you know, panicking, thinking I’m ruining my kid, like that’s it. He’s gonna be, you know, 20 and illiterate because I can’t get him to read. And so, seeking out resources and people who were able to, kind of calm me, people who’d been doing it even longer than I had and say like, no, it’s okay. Like he’s going to develop at his own pace. And this is what I believed and what I was teaching my other kids and what I was telling other people. But when I had to face my own son, like really not reading till he was like, I don’t know, eight or nine, that was a real struggle for me. And now, I mean, he does great. He reads very challenging books. He’s 12. But that was I think the very biggest challenge of my whole philosophy, my confidence in homeschooling. I was so afraid that I was ruining him. And it turns out no, it’s just like everything else that was just something that he wasn’t interested in or ready to do yet. And he did it in his own time and it all worked out fine.
Brittany: You said he’s 12 now, right?
Katie: Yeah, he’s 12 now. Yeah. And he just, was he.
Brittany: Oh, sorry, go on.
Katie: No, he just, he does fine. I mean, he just read Ander’s game, and then was all excited and watched the movies and I mean, he’s fine, but I sure thought that I had totally ruined his life, for a period of time.
Brittany: So to switch a little bit, switch gears a little bit. One thing that I’ve noticed, at least in your social post is that you’re a very, you know, your civil disobedience, I would say is a theme in your life and that you stand up to authority when authority is, being abused. So I was wondering if you could tell us a little bit about how that’s taken a role in your family, specifically with your husband, if you could tell us a little bit about what happened with him recently when it comes to vaccinations?
Katie: Yeah. So my husband has been in the Army for 19 years. He came in through the ROTC program at the University of Georgia. He’s been in, you know, forever. He’s, he did one year as a reservist. So that means that he, basically has 18 years of active duty service towards his retirement, even though he’s been in for technically 19 years. And when he found out that the military was gonna mandate the vaccine, it was actually the day that the president first talked about it and talked about mandating federal employees and also anyone who worked at a facility that took Medicaid or Medicare funds. So our daughter is going through nursing school. She works at an assisted living facility for severe dementia patients. And, I think he really was convicted in that moment of how broad and harmful this was. Like, our daughter doesn’t want to get this vaccine. She actually had COVID.
Brittany: She’s got the natural immune.
Katie: She does. And she was, because she had already had it and recovered, she was, who took care of all of their COVID patients over the last year. And now she’s faced with being fired if she doesn’t, take this vaccine. You know, we’re not, I wouldn’t say that we’re like rabid anti-vaxxers. I believe in medical choice and informed consent, but we have made the choice to not vaccinate any of our children and our adult children have made the choice to continue to not be vaccinated. So, you know, this is crazy that we’re in a position where people are faced with having to abandon these, you know, beliefs that have always led them to healthy and prosperous lives, in order to, to keep their jobs, they have to like take a medicine that they don’t want. That’s crazy. And so my husband, you know, basically just decided that among a few other things like the withdrawal from Afghanistan and just a general kind of not good leaning that the military is taking, I mean he used the word Marxist in his resignation letter.
Brittany: Like our listeners are familiar with Marxism and socialism, so that’s yeah, that resonates.
Katie: Yeah, exactly. And, he’s really seen that. I mean, we’ve witnessed it over the last decade, just a terrible shift in the military. and so he did resign, from his commission. So he’s essentially walking away, in protest because of the way that things have transpired. He says he doesn’t feel like he can continue to serve even just for two more years, in this kind of environment and be part of this mission that he doesn’t think is, you know, a mission that allows him to uphold his oath that he took to protect and defend the Constitution and Americans.
Emma: Wow. Yeah. That’s, really powerful to hear you talk about that because I think there are a lot of people who maybe are in the same place where they’re not comfortable with taking the vaccine or maybe it’s not in their best interest health-wise cause everyone has different health needs and different priorities. so I’d be curious to hear what the response has been like, because I know a lot of folks are probably wanting to do something similar to walk away from a job or to, reconsider their situation, but they’re worried about blowback and I can imagine you guys got quite a bit of blowback, so I would love to hear, sort of h how that all played out after his resignation kind of went viral and started to make the rounds.
Katie: Yeah, that was crazy actually. So I posted it on my Instagram first and I have this, I don’t have like a huge Instagram account that I have, you know, pretty great little community that has built up over the years there. And the response was very supportive, very kind and uplifting. People, so many emails and messages from people saying, you know, I’m in the same position, I don’t know what to do. Lots of soldiers, younger soldiers emailed asking for, you know, is there any other way? Can you guys help us? What should I do? So the response was really good. And then, I had a friend who wanted to, share it on Twitter and I was not very active on Twitter at all. I think I’d used it like, twice to promote Tuttle Twins products or something. So, I posted it the same thing I posted on Instagram, I posted it on my Twitter and I went to bed and the next day,
Brittany: Ok, what’s that?
Katie: Yeah. I learned to never ever do that. Yeah, so I woke up the next morning and it had been shared, like, I think it had, I don’t remember like almost 10,000 retweets and like 12,000 comments and it had been picked up and shared by like all these blue check mark people like, I don’t know, you know, the actress Patricia Arquette? She was like.
Brittany: Yes. She like gave a whole gender wage thing. Right. I think it won the Academy Awards.
Katie: Yeah. She was super mad at us. I did not understand it. It was so weird. But yeah.
Brittany: What did she say?
Katie: I can’t remember something about, you know, hoping that my parents are vaccinated so that we don’t know kill.
Brittany: So you’re not killing your grandparents and parents.
Yeah. It was so bizarre. And so from the Twitter world, I think everyone there just really hopes that we die. Preferably from COVID is kind of the general, the consensus that we got from Twitter. It was really terrible. I’m grateful, I guess for the time that I did spend doing social media for the Tuttle twins because, you know, every now and then we’d have this like wave of far left people kind of come in and they just swarm and attack and are really terrible. And so I knew that that was something that could happen, but I was honestly surprised that it had happened with this. Like, I don’t know why people found it so repugnant when, you know, really, it’s just a person resigning because he doesn’t want to consent to something.
Katie: So, and they really didn’t like that.
Brittany: One more question, before we let you go. I know that you are working on, or not really question, but I know that you are working on a new project with, the Tuttle twins. I know we can’t talk about all of it, but if you could tell us, give us a little teaser for what you’re working on next.
Katie: Yeah, so, for years and years and years people have been asking like, when are you guys gonna put out a curriculum? We really, you know, we really want a Tuttle Twins curriculum. So I don’t think that there’s a, very broad covering everything curriculum coming out yet, but I can say that we’re working on, a Tuttle twins curriculum that’s going to be, very robust and be a really awesome value to parents who are homeschooling their kids. And even I think we’re going to make it so that, teachers can use it in their classrooms to supplement, a new book that we’re bringing out. So really exciting stuff coming.
Brittany: That’s awesome. Well, we are really glad you got to, come on here and talk a little bit. I know, I, just love talking to you in general. This was fun for me.
Katie: I know, I agree.
Brittany: Well, thank you for all that you do and we’ll link to some of your social media, if you don’t mind, in the show notes, get you some, some followers who wish you well.
Katie: That’s great. Thank you.
Brittany: Thank you. Well, it was wonderful to have Katie Hague join us today. She’s a friend of mine and she’s, been someone I’ve been following on social media forever and like we said, a friend and a somebody who’s involved in the Tuttle Twins Project. So very nice to talk to her.
Emma: Yes, she’s awesome. She’s been with the Tuttle Twins team way longer than I have. I’m not sure about you, Brittany, but yes, she has been around since the beginning and really helped get this thing off the ground. So we all owe her a big thank you. We will be sure to link her social media in the show notes so you guys can check her out and give her a follow if you’re so inclined. And maybe send her some nice messages to help counteract all the mean ones she’s been getting. Yes, please. But yes, we’re gonna wrap it up here, guys. Thank you so much for listening and we’ll talk to you all again soon.
Brittany: Talk to you soon.