RIGHT NOW, THE AVERAGE AMOUNT OF TIME THAT KIDS ARE SPENDING OUTSIDE IS FOUR TO SEVEN MINUTES.
But the data shows that the amount of time they should be spending outside for their brain development, for their growth, for critical thinking skills, for leadership should be four to seven hours. And the average amount of time that kids today are spending on devices is four to seven hours. We have it completely backwards and if you’re an entrepreneur who is raising kids, this is an episode you have to hear.
This is one of my all time favorite interviews on this show. My guest today is a good friend of mine, Ginny Yurich. Ginny is the Founder of 1000 Hours Outside and the entire premise of Ginny’s movement, and her company is really propelling kids to get outside and experience all the beauty that nature has to offer and the benefits that it has on their growth and their leadership. In today’s conversation, we go over the birth of this movement and how it came to be so organically for Ginny and how the pain in her life as a mother really propelled her into where she was being led. Ginny also gives strategic, tactical steps on how you can do this too and explains the way she brought her kids into the business and the benefits of entrepreneurship for her family. So there’s practical wisdom in today’s episode, not to mention the fact that she’s just a wealth of knowledge around so many different things.
Can’t wait for you to hear this one!
IN THIS EPISODE, WE COVER:
[4:23] 1000 Hours Outside
Ginny explains that her idea for her company was birthed out of failure. When her kids were really small, there was a time where she felt like she was failing. There were too many needs, she was in a bad space as a mom, feeling depressed and discouraged. In conversation with one of her friends she heard about a woman named Charlotte Mason who said that kids should be outside for four to six hours a day whenever the weather is tolerable. And she just thought that was absurd. But her friend invited her to go with her to a park from nine in the morning to one in the afternoon. Ginny thought it was going to be a complete and utter failure but decided to give it a try. In the end, it turned out to be her best day as a mom. The kids played for four hours and she left feeling refreshed.
This experience changed how Ginny and her husband were doing early childhood. They started prioritizing these larger chunks of time with a small group of friends. A couple years in, they realized that they had not run into any other kids outdoors and it was very noticeable. She started digging into it and found research upon research about how outdoor play helps kids in every aspect of their development. As a former math teacher, she started adding up the number of hours the kids spent outside and it turned out to be 1200, 18 to 20 hours a week on average. So, she started to write about it back in 2013 and that is how her business was born. Today, their mission is to fill the year with 1000 hours of hands-on real life experiences.
[11:20] Your Business Is Your Classroom
As entrepreneurs, we have a unique, rare opportunity to bring our kids into the fray and to allow our business to become our classroom. And this is something Ginny does so well.
For many years she looked at her business as something that was taking from her family, so she wouldn’t put as much into it or she would feel guilty. But after reading a book by John Holt called “Learning All the Time” she realized that it is our job as adults to model to our kids step by step what adult work in the adult world is like. So she decided to shift her focus and to bring her kids into the business. At the very beginning, they helped pick out T-shirts and colors, and they sat in the meeting with the guy that makes them, they took notes and helped with emails. Then when COVID hit, they witnessed how their business kept another business afloat. They got to experience and witness the magic of entrepreneurship. Ginny explains that when she flipped her lens and realized that this was opening up opportunities for her children, for other people that she doesn’t even know who they are, for her friend’s kids, that changed the entire scope for her and that’s when things really started to grow.
Entrepreneurship opens so many doors for your kids, doors to new people, new opportunities and new relationships. It’s not always easy (it’s much easier to do your work in peace than to be bombarded with a million different questions) but it allows us to set your kids up for success and enhances our experience along the way.
In today’s world where technology is continuing to ramp up, the work Ginny and her company are doing is becoming a dire necessity, because our kids have to know what they’re up against. They have to know how important hands-on life is and how important real relationships are, not just ones that are through the screen. It gives kids an opportunity to be leaders and have a voice when we provide them with imposed balance in their childhood. Especially since our world is just becoming more and more enmeshed with technology.
Our kids have the internet so they don’t need to be stuffed with facts, what they need is to be prepared for the future by being flexible and adaptable. And that is what play gives our children, all the while it enhances their lives. They don’t need to have every minute directed to them, they need to be able to take their own time and do with it what they will and figure out what makes them come alive.
In Ginny’s own words: “We’re not anti technology, we’re pro-balance.” And we’re so out of balance if kids are on their screens for four to seven hours but outside for four to seven minutes a day.
[41:35] The Power of Failure
As entrepreneurs, we are taking the unconventional route and sometimes the enemy creeps in and the fear of failure takes over.
Ginny explains that she no longer fears failure because her story is one of a succession of failures. A whole bunch of failure brought her to where she is today. She shares that she didn’t feel like a thriving mother when her kids were little, she felt like she was failing on a day to day basis. Then, she started home educating and was planning on checking all the boxes, but her husband had lost his job and they also lost their home. She felt like a failure. But then she came across John Holt books and other things down the road about modeling which was really helpful.
Another example of a failure that led to where she is today was when she had a book deal come in where they wanted her to write an activity book. This really wasn’t her thing but she decided to give it a try. She put so much effort into it: writing, taking photos, editing the photos, including her children and her friends. All of that work, just to learn that her book was not going to be published due to Covid and the effect it had on the publishing company. Again, she felt like a failure. So, she decided to self publish and she was able to get her printed copies the day before going on the Today Show which allowed her to promote her book on the show, something that would never happened had she gone the company publishing route.
All of this just made Ginny realize that there are things that are out of your control, and all we can do is to try to keep the balance, keep our family first and to do the best job that we possibly can. And sometimes it’s those missteps that turn out to be what ends up making it special.
I hope today’s episode shows you how you too can strike that balance between your business and your family, allowing you to live up to who you are called to be and to model that for your children as you raise them up.
And if this episode spoke to you, make sure to subscribe and leave us a review! Come connect with me on Instagram at @elizhartke! If there’s a topic, a question or a guest you want to hear on the show, just reach out and share that. We do this for you so the more you tell us, the more we can serve.
RESOURCES FROM THIS EPISODE:
- Visit 1000 Hours Outside website
- Connect with Ginny on Instagram
- Connect with Ginny on Facebook
- Download 1000 Hours Outside Trackers
- Get your hands on Ginny’s new book coming out in December
- Learning All the Time by John Holt
- Balanced and Barefoot by Angela J. Hanscom
- The Singularity Is Near by Ray Kurzweil
- Your New Playlist: The Student’s Guide to Tapping into the Superpower of Mindset by Jon Acuff, L.E. Acuff, McRae Acuff
- Digital Madness by Nicholas Kardaras
- Glow Kids by Nicholas Kardaras
- Emotionally Resilient Tweens and Teens by Kim John Payne
- Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner
- Did this episode resonate with you? Help spread the message by rating and leaving a review for the show here!
- Connect with me on Instagram!