A Podcast for Parents & Family

Reaching Roots

Hi, my name is Jaison Dolvane and I’m the host of “Reaching Roots”, a podcast with a goal to make life easier for parents and families – so, they can reach further. We’re talking to people who inspire us with their journey, tell us about the problems they are solving, and provide us insight that helps us and our children learn and grow. Reaching Roots is a metaphor for continuing to grow, reaching further, exploring new roads, and strength.

Linsey Kenarl, Homeschool Hacks from a Mother of Six

Linsey Knerl

Author, Educator

Knerl Family Media, Homeschool Hacks

“The five at home are 17, 16, 14, 11, and 7, all boys. My only daughter, 22, is now out of the house. My kids have never been in a school setting.“

Linsey Knerl is a mother of six, an author and freelance journalist whose own children learn at home.  In her book, Homeschool Hacks, Linsey shares stories of homeschooling families and dispels the myth that it’s only for religious or stay-at-home parents.  In this episode, we talk to Linsey about her experiences teaching 6 kids at home, how you can create your own schedule, curriculum and what tools you can access to navigate the world of homeschooling.

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Stephanie Ryan


Lets Learn About Chemistry

“STEM teaches a certain way of thinking and solving problems, so we can prepare kids for future jobs that don’t yet exist“

STEM-based education teaches children more than science and math. It focuses on hands-on learning and real-world applications to help develop broader skill sets, that include creativity, problem-solving, acceptance of failure, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Stephanie Ryan, author of Let’s Learn about Chemistry, wrote a creative fun book for young kids to learn science, using everyday objects and talks to us about how this can help your kids.

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Catherine O'Brien, Happy with Baby on Reaching Roots for Parents Podcast

Catherine O'Brien

Family Therapist, Educator, Author

“One of the big frustrations is the middle of the night negotiations of who's going to get up with our baby“

Couples experience added challenges to their relationship, once they become parents.  Between unwanted parenting advice from outsiders and no time for self-care, communication with your partner can halt to a standstill.  Catherine O’Brien is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the author of her book Happy With Baby. In this episode, we talk to Catherine about the advice she wishes she could have had when managing expectations of parenthood and relationships, and her guidance on how to build a happier and passionate relationship with your partner.

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Maria Luisa Montt & Zelmira Crespi

Maria Luisa Montt & Zelmira Crespi


Happy Mom, Happy Kid

“The problem is that we don't acknowledge or pay attention to being lost - you go through life taking care of your kids“

Maria and Zelmira, authors of the book Happy Mom, Happy Kid, say “Motherhood is a gift of unimaginable love and happiness. Motherhood’s nurturing responsibilities and emotions of anxiety and guilt can provide ample room and reason to occupy all your time, focus and energy. Today, we talk to Maria and Zelmira about what they learned from studying over 600 women who are struggling to achieve a balanced life, and why guilt, shame, and unrealistic expectations are robbing you.

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Holly Reid on Reaching Root for Parents Podcast

Holly Reid

Author, Speaker & Educator

The Master Playbook

“Parents have to start having money conversations with kids. In many households money is a taboo topic“

In this episode, we talk to Holly about her journey of ditching debt, creating wealth, and how she is helping other parents do the same. Holly Reid believes that, as parents, you can break the chain of poor money habits. That way, your child will never face mounds of consumer debt or the dreaded paycheck-to-paycheck living. Holly is the creator of The Master Playbook and the author of the book “Teach Your Child to Fish”.

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Mercedes Killeen. Coming Out as Queer on Reaching Roots for Parents Podcast

Mercedes Killeen

Author, Editor, Marketer

“I sort of knew very early. I feel like as early as four or five years old, but I didn't really know what it was“

Kids might be gay, lesbian, bi, trans or queer – but how do kids figure out what these feelings are? Mercedes Killeen, an award-winning author and social media marketer, talks to us about her struggles with coming out as queer and mental illness, with a view to informing parents on how they can support their children to a healthier and happier LGBTQ life.

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David Dodge, CEO of CodaKids

David Dodge



“Coding is on a lot of parents' minds right now. Schools are not able to teach the level of coding that will prep kids for success“

Coding is no longer something that we opted in to learn in computer class.   Instead, today coding is the basic literacy skill of the 21st century – it is the language that makes everything around us actually work.  The issue, however, is where and how do we start?   In this episode, we talk to David Dodge, CEO of CodaKid, and veteran game designer about the importance and the approaches we can take to help our kids learn coding.

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Pamela Liyanage, co-founder, Money Prep

Pam Liyanage



“With money, there are struggles & there are wins. Kids need to know how to manage both“

Kids like to spend money! But are they thinking it through?  As a parent, we all want our kids to do well in life; however, without a working knowledge of money, this can be hard. Pam Liyanage created MoneyPrep because as a mother of 4 she knew it mattered and wanted kids to benefit from learning about the universal language of money! In this episode, we talk to Pam about how we can prepare our kids to have a constructive relationship with money.

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Rejection - Janette Shearer - AvaToZoe on Reaching Roots Podcast for Parents

Janette Shearer

Founder, Avid Runner


“I hate crying. I do not like it. You can get up and do something about it.“

When people make you question your beliefs, decisions, or preferences in a way that causes shame, it is demoralizing. In this episode, we talk to Janette about her feelings on being judged, dealing with rejection, and how she channelled those negative experiences to make her a stronger person and a better mother.

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How to Make Your Teen Emotionally Intelligent?

Megan Saxelby

Educator, Consultant

Cultures of Dignity

“How do you coach yourself and regulate, even if what you want to do is yell at your kid and, like, storm off?“

If you have teens, you’ve probably seen anger, sadness, happiness, and other emotions. Getting to know our emotions better allows us to identify what we feel. Emotional awareness helps us create better relationships and recover faster. In this episode, we talk to Megan Saxelby. She discusses how teens can become more emotionally intelligent and aware. Megan is a career educator specializing in emotional intelligence, prosocial critical thinking, and dignity. 

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Krystin Godfrey, GrowingUpGodfrey

Krystin Godfrey

Mom & Founder


“We make homeschool work around our life, not the other way. There is learning in every single thing we do and people miss that“

Parents choose to homeschool their children for various reasons.  Usually, because they can give their child a better education than the local school can, integrate teachings on religion or there is some other reason that their child may not be able to attend school.

In this episode, we talk to Krystin Godfrey about the benefits and challenges of homeschooling.   Krystin is the owner and creator of Growing Up Godfrey — a family lifestyle blog.  She is also the mom and homeschool teacher of 4 children.

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Tizzie Nuss, The Spark Project Founder on Reaching Roots for Parents Podcasts

Tizzie Nuss


The Spark Project

“My parents didn't talk to me about lockdown drills and parents may feel the same today - how do we bring this up to our kids? “

Over the past 20 years since the massacre at Columbine High School, there are more than 248,000 children at 258 schools that have experienced these unspeakable acts of violence, according to a Washington Post database.  Back in the 1950s, students did “duck and cover” drills in anticipation of a nuclear bomb. Today, students in K-12 classrooms do regular school lockdown drills.  Tizzie Nuss, of The Spark Project, talks about what schools can do to protect children and her unique bullet-proof shield that is a school folder.

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Alexandra Eidens, Big Life Journal, Growth Mindset

Alexandra Eidens


Big Life Journal

“When you have a growth mindset, you believe that you are capable of learning and developing yourself and growing throughout your entire life“

As a parent, you want your kids to be confident and resilient with high self-esteem and ambition to achieve great things in life. People with Growth Mindsets understand the importance of persistence and realize that changing the way you think can help change the way you learn. This is not an easy task, and in this episode we talk to Alexandra Eidens about what it takes to create this growth mindset.

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Allison McDonald how to raise kids to have a love for reading

Allison McDonald

Founder & Editor

No Time For Flash Cards

“People think that if you just throw a kid in a room with books, they learn to read, and that's not true. Reading takes explicit steps“

In this episode, Allison discusses the importance of developing a love for reading early and provides us with easy-to-implement tips to create a literate environment and build your child’s early reading and writing skills.  Allison McDonald is a teacher, founder of No Time for Flash Cards, and the co-author of the book Raising a Rock-Star Reader for parents and a subsequent book as a resource for teachers to help develop young readers.

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Sara Olsher


Mighty And Bright

“I wrote my first book, cancer party, to explain my method of talking to my daughter about cancer“

In 2012, Sara Olsher, left her marriage with an 18-month old and was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017.   Life is not always happy times.   Every family has their challenges and struggles.

When we’re facing the worst times in our lives, it’s hard to know what and how to tell our kids.   In this episode, Sara provides us with strategies on how to talk to your kids about difficult situations like death, divorce, cancer.    Sara is the founder of Might & Bright, and author of six children’s books and a speaker.

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Safe Childcare with Liz Oertle on Reaching Roots Episode 21

Liz Oertle

Founder & CEO


“We connect parents with high quality, fully vetted sitters on demand – regular schedule, emergency or if you need to go shopping for 2 hours“

Every parent has been there before – you need to find a babysitter for date night, or you wake up one morning to discover your child is too sick for school or daycare.   You call around to find someone to watch the kids but strikeout.  Many parents find themselves unable to secure their regular sitters, due to short notice and other commitments. Liz Oertle is the CEO and Founder of Nanno, an app that provides parents with an easier way to find safe childcare with short notice, so parents can get comfortable and confident in who they leave their children with.

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Annette Laureau on Reaching Roots for Parents podcast Episode 20

Annette Lareau

Author, Professor of Sociology

University of Pennsylvania

“There is prolonged dependence by middle-class kids, where they give key decisions to parents, and sometimes resent it“

Does class and race change the course of our lives?  Annette Lareau studied African American and white families to understand the impact of how social class makes a difference in children’s lives.  10 years later, Lareau revisited these families to examine the impact of social class as these children became adults.   Find out what she learned.  In this episode, we talk to Annette about the impact, benefit and disadvantages that social class has on our education and life – who we will marry, where we will live and how we find jobs.

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Meg Jay, Author Supernormal, and Building Resilience in children

Meg Jay

Psychologist, Author

Supernormal & The Defining Decade

“It’s about helping kids use the strengths that they have to figure out what do they have to fight back with?“

Children can face significant childhood adversity: the loss of a parent through death or divorce, domestic violence, an alcoholic parent, sexual abuse, and bullying.  Meg Jay, in her book Supernormal, points out that these people are not abnormal, but beyond normal and extraordinary.  In this episode, we talk about the resourcefulness kids develop when they’re surrounded by chaos and trauma.  Meg Jay, PhD, is a Clinical Psychologist, an Associate Professor of Human Development and the author of the books “Supernormal” and “The Defining Decade”.

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Stephanie Cartin, Markid (SocialFly, Enterprenista Media) on Reaching Roots For Parents Podcast

Stephanie Cartin

Co-founder, Markid


“Think about how many items or things that you buy, people give you gifts, and they're sitting in a closet, no longer used“

Kids outgrow equipment, clothes, sports & baby gear rapidly.   You either clutter up your house, add to waste in landfills, or sell used items on generic marketplaces.  Selling used items involves taking pictures, meeting strangers, haggling on price and dealing with no-shows.   In this episode, Stephanie talks about why parents should recycle and provides a simpler way to do it while making money.   Stephanie Cartin is the co-founder of Markid, Socialfly and Entreprenista Media and the co-author of the book “Like, Love, Follow”.

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Chris Bennett, CEO Wonderschool - Micro School, Pandemic Pod, Early Childhood Education

Chris Bennett

Founder & CEO


“Montessori, Reggio or other curriculum is not better, but my research found that small classrooms are better than large ones“

Any current education system must continually adapt and change to keep pace with the needs of the future. For large schools with a “one-size-fits-all” curriculum, this change can be a struggle.  Micro Schools provide flexibility in terms of learning environments, schedules and curriculum and might do a better job teaching your children 21st century skills. In this episode we talk to Chris Bennett about the benefits and challenges of micro schools for your children.  Chris Bennett is a co-founder and the CEO of Wonderschool, a network of early childhood programs or micro schools.

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Dr. Ashley Miller, Children Mental Health during COVID

Dr. Ashley Miller

Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, Author

BC Children's Hospital

“Encourage play, safe social connections, and give kids tasks that they can feel some sense of competence“

In this episode, we talk about the positive and negative impacts of COVID on your children’s mental health.  Dr. Ashley Miller talks about practical tips for you to nurture positive growth and learning in your children during this time.   She provides ways for you to understand your kids’ behaviour and feelings, validate them, and support your children, so everyone feels better.

Dr. Ashley Miller is a child and adolescent psychiatrist at the BC Children’s Hospital, speaker, award-winning educator and co-author of the book “What to Say to Kids When Nothing Seems to Work”

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Michelle Icard, Author, NBC News Learn, Today Show Parenting Team, The Fourteen Talks for Teens

Michelle Icard

Today Show Parenting, NBC News Learn


“Middle school can be awkward & hard, but an amazing time of life. Your child's brain, body, and identity are changing and it means they have so much potential.“

Your Tweens and Teens face many challenges – figuring out who they are, more school work, peer pressures, social media, romantic interests and changing bodies.   In this episode, Michelle provides invaluable advise on how you as a parent, can help them navigate their coming of age and steer clear of issues that shut them down.  Michelle Icard is a member of the TODAY Show parenting team and NBC News Learn. The author of Middle School Makeover and FOURTEEN TALKS BY AGE FOURTEEN, her work has been featured in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Time, and People.

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Jessica Lahey, Gift of Failure - Resilient Kids through Failure

Jessica Lahey

Writer, Author

Gift of Failure

“We’re trying to snowplow the way for our kids - in the end, we're actually undermining their capacity to learn“

Overparenting has the potential to ruin a child’s confidence and undermine their education.  Parents who rush to school to deliver forgotten assignments, challenge teachers on report cards, interfere in children’s friendships and on the playing field, might be depriving their kids of important life skills.

In this episode Jessica Lahey talks about how parents can step back from their instincts and embrace their children’s failure.   She provides advice for handling everyday school & social situations and how, by letting our children fail, we can set them up to succeed.

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Leslie Josel. Reaching Roots Episode: Kids getting their homework done. Leslie Josel on Procrastination

Leslie Josel

Author, Coach, Founder

Order Out Of Chaos

“You know, overcoming procrastination is a life skill, not necessarily a school skill“

Leslie Josel, an ADHD-academic, parenting coach, award-winning author and a columnist for ADDtitude Magazine and recognized as a top 20 Time Management expert in the world.

Do your kids wait until the night before to do their homework?  Students don’t procrastinate because they are lazy, but instead due to deeper issues of fear and difficulty.   This can start a cycle of low self-confidence that sabotages success in school and life.

In this Episode Leslie Josel, author of “How to Do it Now Because it’s Not Going Away” dives into the deeper issues on why your child procrastinates and how you can help your kids overcome procrastination.

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teach your kids physical literacy melanie levenberg PL3Y wishslate podcast reaching roots

Melanie Levenberg

Author, Teacher, Founder


“Parents should think - what different environments can I have my child learn how to move their bodies in“

Melanie Levenberg is an author, teacher and expert in children’s fitness. In 2020 alone, over 1 million kids participated in PL3Y fitness programs that follow 3 rules: Be Positive. Be Fun. Be Yourself. Today, our ‘digitally distracted’ way of life creates a social disconnect, poor mental health, obesity and unhappiness. Basic movement skills, like jumping, running, skipping, throwing are difficult activities for some kids who don’t know how to move. This adds to issues of increased screen time and decreased outdoor free play.

In this episode, Melanie talks to us about teaching physical literacy in our children, which is a combination of motivation, confidence, and physical competence to be active.

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celebrate a zoom birthday party

Dawn Lopez

Award Winning Lifestyle Blogger


“If you get creative, there are so many ways that you can keep connected with people and celebrate moments“

Dawn Lopez is the owner of Cutefetti, an award-winning blog with over 300,000 members. Cutefetti provides practical resources that inspire families to celebrate life’s most important occasions.  In a pandemic year – your birthdays, thanksgiving and other occasions are very different. Who knew that large family get-togethers & group celebrations would be a risk to our health?

Online or physical – celebrations involve stresses of finding resources, coming up with ideas, figuring out online platforms, shopping, baking and gifting. In this episode, Dawn Lopez gives us ideas and time saving shortcuts for pandemic celebrations.

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Monica Tanner talks about intimacy in marriage reaching roots podcast by wishslate

Monica Tanner


On The Brighter Side

“Best thing you can do for your children is to make your marriage strong and lasting. How?“

Monica Tanner is a relationship and intimacy expert. There are lots of ups and downs in a marriage and it feels too much.  A study at the U. of California found that after children, couples’ marital satisfaction declines & there is a gradual increase of conflict, negatively affecting kids. As children grow, there is a cumulative erosion of satisfaction.   Complicating this further are the demands of work & everyday life that leave you feeling guilty, unsupported by your spouse or resentful.

In this episode, we talk to Monica about how you can navigate these, work on your marriage, make it wonderful, feel better and make your children thrive.

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Camille Walker



“Remember what makes you you. It is something that is difficult with motherhood unless you actively pursue it“

Camille Walker is the founder of MyMommyStyle.com and host of the “Call me CEO” podcast, and a champion to help mothers find their passion and creativity, while balancing motherhood and being their own boss. Beth Berry, of MotherWhelmed says “Motherhood heavily engages some aspects of self, while leaving almost no room for the growth of other essential parts”.

In this episode, we talk to Camille about how she is helping mothers put their skills to work in harmony with motherhood, while feeling fulfilled and doing it on their own terms.

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improve your kids sleep

Megan Copeland



“When kids are tired, It's really hard to learn or be available. They can be irrational and emotional“

In this episode, we talk about the dangers of kids not getting enough sleep and what parents can do to help their children develop healthy sleep habits.  Lack of sleep has serious negative consequences for your overtired child including unhealthy weight gain, bad moods, accidents, trouble in school and bad judgement. If your kids don’t sleep, you as parents don’t sleep – and there are consequences to this also.

Copeland is a certified sleep consultant and the founder of SlumberFeed, a company she founded to help tired parents and kids figure out how to improve their sleep.

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Gift-giving for the holiday season

Teresa Mears



“If you have not already bought gifts, don't buy them“

Teresa says: “as the holiday gift-giving season approaches, we often are filled with a sense of dread: How will we ever find the perfect gift for everyone on our list, the time to finish our shopping and the money to pay for all the stuff we need to buy?”  Her latest article “How to stop the exchange of useless holiday junk” was published recently and in this Episode. Teresa talks to us about holiday gift-giving and saving.

Teresa Mears has spent her career as a newspaper editor & writer for the Miami Herald and other publications including the LA Times, Boston Globe and The New York Times. Teresa is currently the CEO of LivingOnTheCheap.com – a network of hyperlocal websites across the USA that cover lifestyle, family and personal finance.

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Unfiltered: How to be happy on social media

Jessica Abo

Award Winning Journalist

Author & Speaker

“For anyone unhappy or with that less than feeling, I wanted to empower them the next time they go online“

Social sites like Instagram, Facebook have negative effects, especially on young people’s mental health – negative body image, bullying, depression. However, there are also positive effects of social media – self-expression, community & emotional support.  Jessica is a bestselling author whose book Unfiltered: How To Be As Happy As You Look On Social Media was named #1 by Women’s Health on its list of self-love books & was in the official GRAMMY Awards Gift Bag.  In this Episode, Jessica talks about how to identify what makes you unhappy, how to navigate toxic relationships, and how to build a more positive life on social media.

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Help your child choose a career path blog post wishslate reaching roots podcast JP Michel

JP Michel



“If all we’re doing is introducing career exploration through the lens of job titles, there’s no way we’re going to succeed“

JP Michel is the creator of the Challenge mindset and the founder of SparkPath, the company that helps kids answer the question “What do I want to be when I grow up?” A common answer parents get from their children to this question is “I don’t know.”. Now what.

In this episode, JP talks about how traditional career resources have failed young people by focusing on obsolete job titles. JP provides a better way for parents to help their kids understand themselves, what they enjoy, and figure out how to navigate the modern world of work, so our kids can have hope & confidence that the world needs them.

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Diana Graber talks about internet safety for kids on the reaching roots podcast

Diana Graber

Author & Creator

CyberWise & CyberCivics

“Kids will tell you they’re doing homework & they’re probably toggling between homework and Snapchat or TikTok.“

Diana Graber is the author of “Raising Humans in a Digital World”, a book about Helping Kids Build a Healthy Relationship with Technology. She is also the creator of the internationally recognized Cyber-Civics middle school program that is actively taught in schools across 47 US states and many other countries.

Today 1 in 3 children will use phones before they learn how to talk. Our average attention span is less than that of a gold-fish. Research tells us that a brain on games looks similar to a brain on drugs. In this episode, Diana’s provides guidance on how we can teach our kids to safely connect and collaborate with technology. Her Cyber Civics education reflects the true realities of what kids.

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