Hi there! I’m Zara.
I’m a research scientist who turned into a minimalist homeschooling mom of 4, wife, and business-owner. I am minimalist with my time and energy, so I’ll be the first to tell you that life balance is a sham; and I’ll be the last to glorify burning the candle at both ends. I am a solar-powered introvert, and recovering perfectionist. I may not survive without sunshine, something nourishing to drink (fresh juice or protein shakes, please), and some occasional silence.
How I ended up writing the book on Minimalist Homeschooling
I developed a system for minimalist homeschooling because I was tired of being overwhelmed, busy, and doubtful. When I realized that the same minimalism principles I had been using for our finances could be applied to my time and energy, the world opened up. By changing my mindset and focus, not only was I able to achieve great results, but I also gained confidence, space, and time.
In short, I maximized homeschooling while minimizing stress.
So, I wrote a book explaining the system that saved my sanity in order to help others struggling with how to “do it all.” The book is a step-by-step guide (with worksheets), because I believe that anyone can change their mindset to find peace, space, confidence, and focus in their life and homeschool. I love to encourage people to be awesome instead of being “it all.”
How do you pronounce your name?
I pronounce my name like Sarah (but with a Z at the beginning, obviously).
In what field did you receive your PhD?
I have a PhD in Neurobiology from the University of Chicago, and I am a science geek at heart. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE science! But nobody calls me Dr. Fagen; it’s always Zara… or Mom.
What did you study when you were doing research?
Ironically, my research was on chronic stress. Specifically, I was looking at its effects on the brain, and potentially, the effects of chronic stress on vulnerability to drug addiction. I did publish in prestigious biomedical journals (here’s one).
Why do you focus so much on natural health?
I’m halfway to hippie. I birth my babies at home, am governor-appointed to Indiana’s Committee for homebirth midwifery, follow the latest research on natural health options over at this other blog, and feed my kids seeds and berries. As a young student, I interned at the National Institutes of Health in their Office of Alternative Medicine (now the NCCIH), and I credit that experience with morphing me into this scientist swimming against the mainstream.
What is your business?
My husband and I do everything together, and I love it. Well, kinda everything – we do have separate roles. We partner in a wholesale flooring business, and a real estate business. I typically manage financial and operations aspects. My favorite is flipping houses together – I do the design, and we try to include the kids.
How can I connect with you?
I’d love to connect and share ideas. You can find me at the following links or by email:
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Wishing you all of the simple things,