Navigating the twists and turns of parenting and education can be daunting, but imagine the beauty of seeing those efforts bloom in one’s own child. As Davies Owens sat down with his daughter Hannah, they traversed the memories of her classical Christian education, the values it instilled, and the indelible mark it left as she stepped out into the world. This episode is a heartfelt dialogue between father and daughter, examining the potent mix of faith and academia, the protective yet challenging environment of a classical education, and how these experiences equipped Hannah to face life’s complexities with grace and confidence.
Learning isn’t confined to the four walls of a classroom; it’s also about the rich discussions over dinner and the life lessons passed down within the family. Hannah’s journey from exploring movie-making dreams as a child to becoming an articulate, faith-filled adult shows the profound influence of home life and a Christ-centered education. With candid reflections, they touch upon the balance of safeguarding innocence and igniting a passion for knowledge—a fine line classical Christian education walks with poise, shaping students to become curious, capable individuals ready to engage with the world thoughtfully.
Join them as they explore not just the intellectual, but the personal development that classical Christian education fosters. Hannah’s return to her Christian roots after a period of agnosticism and her thoughtful approach to modern womanhood and aesthetics offer a narrative that’s both uplifting and insightful. For parents and educators investing in the next generation, this conversation is a reaffirmation of the lasting impact of their guidance, and for anyone curious about the intersection of faith, femininity, and education, it’s a compelling glimpse into the powerful journey of one young woman’s life shaped by these ideals.
Biography: Hannah Owens Brusven
00:09 – Davies Owens (Host)
Over the years, we’ve had various alumni join us on the Base Camp Live podcast. It’s always encouraging to hear the stories of those students who went through the K-12 journey and have successfully launched into life, work, family, where they’re living out their education in the real world. Their observations and reflections are helpful, encouraging and inspiring and in this special episode I have the joy and privilege of interviewing my oldest child, hannah, who, as you will hear, shares many of the experiences from her classical Christian journey and her upbringing that have transferable life lessons and practical suggestions for your school and your home. Stay tuned for this episode of Base Camp Live Mountains.
00:47 – Tim Dernlan (Announcement)
We all face them as we seek to influence the next generation. Get equipped to conquer the challenges, some at the peak and shape exceptionally thoughtful, compassionate and flourishing human beings. We call it ancient future education for raising the next generation. Welcome to Base Camp Live Now, your host, davies Owens.
01:08 – Davies Owens (Host)
Welcome to another episode of Base Camp. Live Davies Owens, your host. Thank you for joining us on this journey that we have been on as a podcast for about seven years and if you’re a parent it’s a 13-year journey from those kindergarten years up until the senior year and then certainly well into life With that 18-year-old mark where most of our children transition out of our homes. I remember one of the earlier podcasts chatting with a family that had four children in school and they calculated out it was like 60-some years all told, of sort of doing the school thing and raising the next generation. So it can be a long journey and we want to be with you along that path. We want to encourage you. It’s easy to become discouraged as you read the news and you think about all the pressures around us. We firmly believe there is not much more that we could do that is of greater circumstance than raising the next generation. And when we come together as classical Christian schools and homes and churches with Christ at the center, we have a powerful opportunity of shaping the next generation, and not only shaping individuals but ultimately, I believe, really saving the world around us through certainly through Christ, but through that sense of we’re sending out young people that have the ability to think well and have civility and really the opportunity to save civilization with God at the center. So it’s significant work. That’s my point, and I really appreciate each of you on the journey with me on this weekly podcast. It’s always good to hear from you. Info at Basecamp Live is a super easy way to shoot an email and say hey, here’s where I’m listening from and here’s what’s on my mind. I want to give a shout out to Dr Richard Rapp, a parent and on the board of the Emago Day Academy. They’re in Ladies Smith, wisconsin, a classical Christian school, just in their second year with 31 students and K through 11. We appreciate all of you listening. We hope that God will continue to bless the important work you guys are doing there. There are schools like yours all over the country that are getting started and we just again want to be a part of the voice of encouragement and connecting you with other schools. So let me know where you’re listening from, always appreciate hearing from you. As we get into this episode a very special one with my daughter Hannah I want to say a special thanks to those organizations that we believe in that are sponsoring this episode America’s Christian Credit Union, classic Learning Test, gutenberg College and Wilson Hill Academy. Thank you for your support and encouragement.
I often make the comment that I remember well a number of years ago when I was ahead of school and I would stand up at an open house with prospective families and I’d talk about the wonders of classical Christian education, all the while inside thinking wow, my oldest Hannah is only in third grade. I really think this is a good form of education and this is really going places, but I didn’t really know what it was ultimately going to be like. Well, I’ve gotten a little bit older over the years and I can tell you all three of mine have graduated. Holly, my wife and I are blessed to see them go through that K-12 journey and doing very well in life and we’re empty nesting. So now I have a perspective I didn’t have before and I wanted my daughter, hannah, to have a chance to share her story.
My son, liam, was on about a year ago. If you go to the main website and basecamplivecom and you can type in conversations with my son, you can hear Liam’s story, which has garnered a lot of support and enthusiasm, and in this episode I get to be with my first born, hannah, who is a K-14 classical Christian educated student. I’ll let her explain that and more of her story. Let’s jump right into the interview. Well, welcome to Basecamp Live. What a joy and a privilege to have my daughter, hannah Owens-Brucefen here in the studio. How are you, hannah?
04:59 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Hello, it’s so good to be here. We’ve been talking about doing this for a while. How a long time. So it’s a pleasure to come in and be in person in the studio.
05:08 – Davies Owens (Host)
It’s so great to be with you. I think most of you will know there’s three of us three children in the family.
You’re the oldest, first born, hannah daughter and then two boys. My middle son, liam, was on Basecamp about a year ago and his interview with him, which is called Conversations with my Son, is now like in one of the top 10 of all time Basecamp interviews. So I was a little at taking this risk, like let’s interview our children. People are thinking it was a slow news day. I guess he went and did that and I think in all reality it is important to have a chance for people to meet my family and I am always championing classical Christian education. I used to.
I often say when I go around the country and speak, one of the first things I’ll say is you know, there was a time when I was a young head of school and I would stand up in an open house and I would say classical Christian education is the most wonderful form of education. And in the meanwhile, I’m thinking Hannah is like in third grade. I think this is going to work out well. I’m not really sure and I can honestly stand here or sit here and look and think back wow, I’ve got three children that have all graduated and moved out into the world and I think are doing really well and so, yeah, I want to so tell your story. I mean, you’re, you’re 25 years old, like I don’t know how that happened, like take a lot of pictures, but how?
did you get, yeah, a little bit of your story. What are you doing, what was the journey through and what?
06:24 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
do you do now? Well, I have had every level of classical Christian education that you could possibly have. I started in kindergarten, or E one as we called it, a heritage enrichment one In.
06:37 – Davies Owens (Host)
Atlanta, yeah, atlanta.
06:39 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
And then I went to classical K through 12, both at heritage preparatory school in Atlanta and then the Airborough school in Boise where I went to high school. And then I took it a step further and went to classical college. So I went to New St Andrews in Moscow, idaho. So I I went to college there, but then I went and got a state education at University of Idaho and then COVID hit and I went to Grand Canyon University online. So I’ve kind of had all three versions of college, both the classical Christian college, the state public college and then the supposedly Christian college and to explain it, you weren’t in college eight years, I mean you were.
07:22 – Davies Owens (Host)
You did two two year associates at New. St Andrews and then because of your interest in marketing Right, you kind of want to just specialize a bit, yeah, so she explained that real quick.
07:30 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Yeah, I can go into that a bit, but I went to New St Andrews college for really because I loved classical education. I wanted to think more deeply and I can tell stories here We’ll probably get into it about some of the other college tours that I went on that left me wanting a lot more. At one point I was left crying in the library at one because I just was so desperate for a world where I would be able to think deeply.
07:55 – Davies Owens (Host)
But I ended up in and that was a college that you said the person touring. I think they were all upset because they had to write a three page paper.
08:02 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Yeah, so I just did not see myself there. But I ended up going to New St Andrews. Through a series of several events, I felt like the Lord was calling me there and I was there for two years two and a half years, and at that point I really realized that I loved business and I would do my schoolwork. And then what I said was I would go to the University of Google where I was basically teaching myself business and reading books about business and marketing and advertising. So I really wanted to learn more and I ended up going to University of Idaho after getting my associates degree from New St Andrews, which I honestly thought that was perfect time. Two and a half years that was an incredible experience. But went to University of Idaho. I did a public relations and journalism major there. There’s so many stories I could tell about that. But, yeah, I was definitely singled out. And then irgendwo ни disent handful.
I COVID hit and I had to start doing online school and I was like, well, why don’t I just do Grand Canyon University, Christian University?
09:08 – Davies Owens (Host)
So you really did get, so we could turn the whole podcast into sort of Hannah’s critique of colleges, which again, for time we’re gonna keep it a little more high level, but so kind of. And then what are you doing now? I mean you, obviously you’re married, which is a big, and so talk about and I’m married to a classical Christian graduate as well. So Was that a requirement for?
09:27 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
you. Well, I had to have somebody that could have those deeper conversations with me and know what classical Christian education is. Because that’s hopefully part of our kids’ future. And we don’t have kids yet, but we wanna put them through that. So that was a somewhat of a requirement.
09:40 – Davies Owens (Host)
You’ve been married.
09:42 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
I’ve been married two and a half years.
09:43 – Davies Owens (Host)
That’s amazing. It’s just so crazy, yeah, and then what do? You do in your spare time.
09:47 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
It’s okay, In my spare time I’m the show producer for a YouTube channel. We have over a million subscribers and it’s in the broadcasting news conservative space, so it’s been fun. I was just at Mar-a-Lago a couple of months ago, met President Trump, been in the press pool, met amazing people.
10:08 – Davies Owens (Host)
So you’re not afraid of talking to microphone, I guess. Yeah, no, I do this weekly, so I and you’re doing this with, and so many people know, steve Turley, who’s a classical guy.
10:17 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Yeah, I had to stay in the classical world, I guess.
10:19 – Davies Owens (Host)
You still work in the classical world. Such a part of me.
10:22 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Yeah, so Dr Steve Turley. Yeah, I hope run that.
10:25 – Davies Owens (Host)
Well, let’s kind of a broad question, but if you think about the idea of classical Christian education, we often throw around this fancy Greek word paideia out of Ephesians 6-4, where Paul encourages parents to raise up our children. This word raise up really means to it’s paideia. It means to form the things that we love, to shape us. So if you think about what shaped you, I’m curious from your perspective. I’m sure a lot of folks listening are like, yeah, it’s good to know. Folks who’ve gone all the way through K-12 and on and beyond, and looking back on it, what really made the difference? I mean, was it wearing the uniform? Was it the great books Was it like?
what are the things that really made an impact in your life and formed you?
11:06 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Yeah, it’s definitely. Some people might say studying Latin. That was not the thing for me, although language is fascinating. Yeah, reading great books, of course was a big part of my story and having teachers that poured into me in a deep way, but really for me I think it fit my life and that might sound weird to say, but from the day that I was born I was in this world that you and mom created. That was already kind of a classical Christian world, and from the books that you read me since I was little, I kind of feel like I was raised British because you would always read these British books like Lewis and Tolkien and we have British humor.
11:52 – Davies Owens (Host)
Right, we have British humor 90s rom-coms.
11:55 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
I always thought that Keeping Up Appearances was keeping up which, by the way, is an old 90s show about a snotty British woman. I remember in fourth grade I was at my little classical Christian school and they were talking about keeping up with the Kardashians and how stupid it was. And I thought they were talking about keeping up appearances. I had no clue what Keeping Up with the Kardashians was, but it was things like that. That when I finally came to go to school at Heritage Prep, it was so normal, it just seemed to fit into my life and of course, you were the headmaster, so it made it a lot easier as well. But there’s so many things. If I think about what really made it made a difference for me, but I don’t think I knew that in the moment I’ll put it that way I didn’t think, oh, this is great, I should be here all the time. It was a hard journey, but a good one.
12:49 – Davies Owens (Host)
Well, you know we talk about. There’s an age or stage kind of the kindergarten to sixth, seventh. You’re kind of in a protectatory school and then you kind of wanna shift the school to more of a preparatory school. So you know, I think the fear a lot of parents have is that, well, we’re just, we’re so over protecting them that they’re never gonna be real world ready. And I’m curious to your reactions, because what you’re kind of mentioning, which is, I think the goal most parents would have, is that we unashamedly wanna protect you. We don’t really want you to know about the Kardashians. You know, as a young child and you know you’ve told me before like you know just some of the world didn’t crash and which then allowed you to be a, you know, an imaginative, creative child early on.
13:32 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Well, and I wasn’t only in the classical Christian world, although that was my foundation. I was a ballerina. I was with the Atlanta Ballet.
13:41 – Davies Owens (Host)
Dance the Nutcracker at the Foxes. Yeah, I did the.
13:42 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Nutcracker. I had friends there, we had all my neighbors went to public school. So I had an interesting balance where I knew I knew there was another world out there, but I also knew that classical Christian was what I was doing and that I had so many opportunities for imagination both outside of school and in school, and that was a big thing for me is learning how to use my imagination.
14:06 – Davies Owens (Host)
So do you think? Do you think things? I mean things kind of the obvious things that from the outside people look at and think, okay, well, like uniforms. I mean, do you have a quick? Was that? Looking back on it, you probably always loved that. Was it a good thing?
14:17 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
No, I loved it because I didn’t have to think about it.
14:21 – Davies Owens (Host)
14:21 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
I. It was interesting when I went from heritage to Ambrose in eighth grade. We moved out to Idaho and the uniform policy was much stricter at heritage than it was at Ambrose.
So it was different than the big city in Idaho, I think yeah we were getting in trouble for you know the hair scrunchies we were wearing in Atlanta, but out here it was like wow, you can wear different black shoes. It’s crazy, but no, I was very grateful for that. I think it really made us focus on the ideas rather than what we’re wearing and having competitions.
15:00 – Davies Owens (Host)
Well, we’re gonna talk later in the podcast about what you’re doing. You’ve got a podcast and you’re very interested in the current state of dress and women, and all these current issues?
15:10 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Absolutely. Yeah, I became more and more interested in that later on, partly probably because I had to wear a uniform.
15:15 – Davies Owens (Host)
But yes, before we get a break, because I wanna get in a few more like what were some of the formative shaping elements of the class Christian world, and then we’ll talk a little bit about home life because obviously I mean, there’s no question, I’m actually working on a talk and eventually a book right now that I’m kind of working titles, influence Zones, thinking about the 24 hours that you have, that we have all having a day and sort of where those times get allocated and the combination of the home and the school is the most formative influence. So we’ll talk about kind of the home aspect. But what else on school world that you felt like looking back, like that was really helpful to me. Are there any moments, any teachers, any specifics?
15:53 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Yeah, the teachers really, they really cared about us individually, but it wasn’t easy and so it was difficult for each of us in different ways and so for me, I loved I mentioned imagination earlier I loved reading and imagining back what we just read, and that was something that my teacher, ms Lily in third grade, did and that she really instilled that in me, and that’s something that I do to this day, where we’ll read a page and we’ll sit down and we’ll draw out what we just read or we’ll have a conversation about it, and I think it’s really set me up to be creative in a way that I probably would never have been if we hadn’t done those exercises or I remember similar things in first grade. But really creating what we talk about a lot is the moral imagination, and most kids don’t even know what that is. They don’t have the ability to Well.
16:50 – Davies Owens (Host)
It seems like you’re describing a world again, and especially as younger grades, that there was a protection of your innocence, you weren’t having to juggle the stresses of am I gonna get the mean girl’s gonna attack me as soon as I get out of the car, and you weren’t having to deal with a lot of the I mean again not to paint a picture that it was always just amazing that you did have some real social stresses along the way.
17:11 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
No, I absolutely did. But that’s a great point. It wasn’t that I was so caught up in the drama of everything, or I remember I think there was a rule at Heritage we couldn’t talk about pop culture. Do you remember? Was that the real thing? That is a very important rule yes, was that actually real?
17:30 – Davies Owens (Host)
Well, the spirit of it. I wish every school did it. It’s not a legalism, it’s just to say, look, if we have a choice of sitting around talking about the latest minion movie, or could we maybe talk about something we’re reading, I mean, let’s pick the higher things. That’s the goal.
17:44 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
But I remember in sixth grade I didn’t know what cuss words were, Even though I had been around all my public school friends and I been to Atlanta by like. For some reason I just hadn’t caught onto that because that wasn’t what I was focused on, but remember one kid came to me. He said I figured out. I think you thought it was a really bad word. He starts with the letter F and I was like I got a word, I know a letter, I figure out the rest.
Oh, dear oh no, but yes, I had the ability to think about things that mattered.
18:18 – Davies Owens (Host)
I wasn’t so hyper focused on those other things, which is really the point. Why don’t we take a quick break? We’re gonna come back, we wanna talk a little bit, a few more things about your perspective, on what shaped you, and then we’ll talk about home life and hopefully we won’t have any embarrassing stories about me. But we’ll be right back after the break. As schools and families, we engage with businesses every day and unfortunately, many of them are increasingly embracing more progressive ideologies and practices. That’s why Basecamp Live we’re proud to partner with America’s Christian Credit Union, a banking institution that only serves and invest in kingdom causes. So, whether you’re managing a school, a home, a small business, ACCU can meet your banking needs while upholding biblical values. Find out why tens of thousands of families and ministries across the country, including Basecamp Live, have chosen to bank with ACCU by going today to americacristiancucom slash Basecamp Live.
Over the past 2000 years, the West has developed a successful educational model that guides students towards mature, independent thought, but so many universities have abandoned that model and their responsibility to students. That’s why Basecamp Live is so proud to partner with Gutenberg College, a Christian great books undergraduate college in the Pacific Northwest that embraces this time tested approach At Gutenberg, students are encouraged to boldly pursue truth within a biblical framework. They do so with peers and faculty mentors and lively small group discussions. To find out more, go to Gutenbergedu. And when we think about the K-12 journey 16,000 hours, that’s a lot of time to have spent anywhere but in school. And you’ve mentioned a lot of great things that sort of shaped you and impressions you’ve had I mean anything else as you think back to some experiences that were really kind of defining.
20:03 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Yeah, I was on the mock trial team and that was a huge part of my life and we won state. Our school was always a runner up or a state winner actually, against the other singular classical Christian school my husband graduated from. But that whole you go ahead.
20:23 – Davies Owens (Host)
I always felt sorry because at those mock trials you started with ninth grade. With that, I always felt sorry for that. You get to the final competition. It was like I mean, it’s like it’s gonna end up being the two classical Christian schools, they’re gonna go head to head and one of the others is gonna win. I mean it’s always like that.
20:35 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Well, actually one year we went up against Mount Home, which is a public school, but it was so interesting to see other schools approach to rhetoric and logic because it’s so different than ours and I had started taking logic classes in eighth grade. Maybe it was seventh grade. Probably seventh grade, maybe it was seventh grade and I had a whole framework for how to approach trial law and I knew the other kids didn’t have that and we were quick. We were really, really quick and that’s why we won, but it was really-.
21:11 – Davies Owens (Host)
Is that because they were using more like debate, just sort of straight arguments?
21:14 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
I mean, one girl showed up in a cocktail dress. She had no impression of professionalism at all, like they just told her to dress nicely, like we had a whole different type of training.
21:24 – Davies Owens (Host)
Have you seen public school high prompts? I mean that’s-.
21:27 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Bates, I think she wore her prom dress.
21:28 – Davies Owens (Host)
21:30 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
But it was really interesting to engage and, in a sense, qualify ourselves compared to other people who are our age at that point. But for me personally, it taught me so much about rhetoric and being quick on my feet and being thoughtful and critical in a positive way, and we just had amazing coaches with mock trials.
21:53 – Davies Owens (Host)
That was definitely a formative experience for me. So you know, again, we’ve talked a lot about the positives. I mean there was also, I guess I mean we’re falling humans there’s times at which things you didn’t always have the perfect teacher. There were times where you had to press through things that were there, were hard. I mean it’s a harder education because you’re having you actually had homework to do and, like you know, maybe some of the neighbors in the neighborhood Well, I, of course, was a headmaster’s kid, a teacher’s kid, a pastor’s kid.
They have a syndrome for that. It’s called a PK or an HH. Head of school K. Oh, I don’t know. Yeah, it’s something.
22:27 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
So one of the questions that I would consistently get from my peers or other people in other grades was can you tell your dad to make school less hard? Genuinely, and I never really knew what to say to that, but it really did put an impression in me that this is much harder than anything else and I had a lot of classmates that would drop out and go to the other schools. But I think I’m grateful looking back that it was so hard, but in the moment definitely it was terrible.
What was hard about it was that the Well we were reading so much, there was a lot of pressure, and I think the pressure you could define in a couple of different ways.
I think one and maybe this is a different point to some extent but there is a pitfall to being a classical education kid, in being told constantly that classical education is the best form of education, because it can breed an elitism. And I will admit I think I struggled with that and I thought, well, just because I’m a classical ed kid, I’m gonna be totally fine and it’s hard. So it’s great that it’s hard because I’m gonna be better off for it, and I wasn’t wrong. But I do think I could have approached other kids who went to other schools in a better light and recognize that there are blessings in that too. So I think, in terms of the workload, when it comes to it being hard, it got even harder when I went to New St Andrews. It was like I think we read the city of God, obviously in the city of God in a week maybe. If you know that it’s 600 pages.
And I had to completely relearn how to read. I kid you, not like I thought I knew how to read, going to college completely had to relearn how to read. I’m very grateful for that now. But I had a teacher come in 10th grade and read a book about doing hard things and I think that’s when it clicked for me that this is a skill that I’m learning, about things being difficult, and I’m grateful for that now, but it was challenging in the moment.
24:35 – Davies Owens (Host)
Well, we’re gonna talk more about kind of your observations on the culture today. I mean, the culture’s going the opposite way. Where it’s, you know, edutainment, everything is even more casual and more, I think, resistant to anything. That’s hard. But before we get that, let’s talk a little bit. So we’ve talked about this partnership between the home and the school.
I mean, when you look at those who graduate with you and as much as I wish every school had a 100% success rate, there are a lot of folks that leave and maybe I mean Barna, 20 years ago said 20% of graduates out of Christian schools and Christian homes only 20% really pursue their faith once they get to college and so and I think it’s single digit at this point but why, you know, when you look at maybe influences that shaped you, especially from the home, I mean I think you don’t have to talk about. I mean your home is absolutely critical to that success. You can’t just drop your kid at a classical Christian school and assume you know that, you know it’s gonna compensate for bad parenting or weak parenting. Maybe say it that way and not that I believe I’m a weak parent. Let me just say I’m not looking back on it, I’m like wow, but for the grace of God, you know, you guys are all doing very well.
But go ahead. What are your observations?
25:50 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Well, I have a really difficult observation and maybe it’s a hard truth, but every single student that did not embrace this and ended up walking.
26:04 – Davies Owens (Host)
And is this the rah-rah classical Christian I’m wearing uniform and I read great books or is the rah-rah? I actually still love Jesus and I have truth, goodness and beauty sort of the frame of my life.
26:16 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
I mean, I assume that’s what you’re talking about. Yeah, okay, the second option. Every single one of them who then went on to walk away or not be the typical classical kid, their home life was a mess and I am beyond grateful that I came from a home that prioritized family time and read great books to me and really set me on a path to be an aspirational person. Since I was little, we used to make videos together. We would make movies, we would do stop motion. We would always talk about we would always recreate the island.
26:57 – Davies Owens (Host)
Oh, I mean, I dream of Jeannie.
26:59 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Well, you and I love 60s television, so that’s something that we share, and so we’d remake videos. And so I always had dreams. I always wanted to be someone or do something, or I wanted to be a movie director. That’s when I graduated high school. That was my plan, and in a sense, I guess you could say that’s what I’m doing now. God works things out, which is cool. But because technologies change so much but our home life is really what I owe everything to I would not be who I am.
27:32 – Davies Owens (Host)
So if you’re talking to a younger parent like I mean, what about the home life? I mean, you’ve mentioned that reading and making 60s videos like that. Maybe it’s not everybody’s thing, but-.
27:41 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
It really was my parents’ presence. They were there. They were asking me deep questions like heaven and earth questions, you would ask us Explain what that is, cause this is a fun thing.
Every night at dinner, we would all eat dinner together first of all, which a lot of families do not do anymore. We would all sit down together and you would say, okay, it’s time for heaven and earth question Heaven or earth questions. And we would have to ask you something about God or theological, or something about the world, and it prompted an amazing discussion and I think we would go around the table and say, okay, it’s Liam’s turn for heaven and earth questions, bennett’s turn, and so you know, my brother, liam, and I are very talkative, but it is a little quieter, and so it really helped us learn how to engage with one another and be thoughtful and also answer those questions that we’ve been thinking about And-.
28:33 – Davies Owens (Host)
As an earth question could be. Like. You know, I don’t know, you know, why does-.
28:37 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
What are? How do water pumps work? What or we used to. We had a cabin up north and we would go up there and we had like three acres and we would come in time and be like I found a frog. Can you tell me about frogs? This?
is so cool. Why do frogs have spots? And you don’t always know, but some of you may have an answer or something. But just teaching us how to be thoughtful, but also teaching us that we could always come talk to you and we always could be, even if we didn’t know the answer to something, and I think that’s something that’s backed up by our classical education. Like, just be curious.
29:11 – Davies Owens (Host)
How do you get curious with mine? And I think that is the essence of a classical education. I mean it’s so hard to explain it, but I mean you know we talk about all the time. I mean, why is it that the West, which gets such bad raps these days? But it was out of the West, where you know this idea of you know, a Judeo-Christian worldview framed up in an education that dealt with the great ideas. It created this innate desire for curiosity.
29:34 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
It’s where the greatest universities and medical discoveries the American spirit is at root curiosity, right, the American dream.
29:42 – Davies Owens (Host)
And it’s the idea of the Judeo-Christian classical model of education which is obviously being fully undermined in the government approach of education these days, which is very indoctrination oriented. But that’s a whole nother podcast. But yeah, go ahead.
29:56 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Let me add this one thing, because it’s probably disheartening to hear that a lot of people you know don’t maybe make it out, you know, and this is not a hundred percent success rate. But let me see, I’ve been graduated for five, six, seven, eight Is that eight years? Oh my gosh. What’s fascinating is to see the return percentage.
30:21 – Davies Owens (Host)
30:22 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
The prodigals, because there were people when I graduated high school that I automatically knew this is not gonna stick with them. They immediately went off and showed their true colors.
30:33 – Davies Owens (Host)
30:34 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
But eight years later they’ve come 100% back around again. Some of them are unrecognizable in an amazing way and embracing a Christian classical life and wanting that for their children, because they saw the value in it and the seeds that were planted in them years ago that they didn’t embrace. So I think if you’re listening to this and you’re just heartened or you’re not sure that’s gonna work like these things that you’re learning are written on your heart, I think that’s the Bible verse that talks about right these things in your heart.
And that’s what the education has done, and it might not bear fruit at that moment, but it might in years?
31:15 – Davies Owens (Host)
Yeah, that sounds.
31:16 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
There’s studies that are showing that people in my generation are returning back to their faith like never before.
31:23 – Davies Owens (Host)
Why don’t we take another break? Because I wanna hear a little bit more about your perspective on your generation and sort of the technology impact that it’s having on your generation and just sort of what words of encouragement would you have to families that I think a lot of times choose a classical Christian form of education for the grammar school age, kind of hey, this’ll be the safe, protected years, but when we really wanna prepare them we need to get them out there so they can really kind of experience the world while they’re under my roof. I’ve heard that so many times. I’m like, yeah, I’m not sure that’s gonna work out quite like you hope it is.
31:53 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Yeah, be salt and light.
31:54 – Davies Owens (Host)
Yeah and then the salt gets trampled. Well, it’s fine to be salt and light, but it’s you know, we don’t send our fourth grader to Afghanistan either.
32:00 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
I mean, so yeah, exactly, you gotta have training before the war.
32:03 – Davies Owens (Host)
And then get on out and be the salt and light. So all right, we’ll be right back. Sounds like a great conversation in just a moment. You choose a traditional education for a reason, so why use standardized tests that don’t reflect that? Basecamp Lab is proud to partner with Classic Learning Test, which offers online academic assessments that strengthen a traditional education. Clt’s assessments for grades three through 12 provide a meaningful metric of students’ abilities, equipping parents and educators and helping students pursue a fulfilling future. Explore CLT’s assessments by visiting wwwcltexamcom. Forward slash basecamp.
I want to take just a moment during our break and let you know about the great work that’s being done by Wilson Hill Academy. They offer a vibrant, rich and accredited classical Christian education available to families and schools almost anywhere. With a click of a button, students join master teachers and friends live online from all over the world to engage in deep and lively discussions, solve math problems, conduct science experiments, translate Latin, deliver thesis presentations and so much more. At Wilson Hill, students make lifelong friends and graduate well-prepared for college and beyond. Discover what’s possible for your family or school at Wilsonhillacademycom and we talked a lot about school world and what shaped you and home world and what you were impacted by.
I mean I don’t want people listening to this going like man. She had it great, because I know I am definitely not a perfect dad by any stretch. And my wife Holly, she’s pretty amazing. Actually she should be on this podcast. But I do think the natural trajectory for every parent is ultimately Baby Bird has to leave the nest. You have to go. Do you have to move out into the world?
God’s designed it that way and along the way, you have to own all of this. I mean, did you remember moments where you felt like I’m just not sure I want to go this way? In fact, I mean most you know pastors. Kids are called pastors. Kids kind of with a bit of a grimace when people say it, because a lot of them blow up later on because they were the pressure. I mean you talked about being a head of schools kid and people come to you and asking for stuff. I mean, did you hit a point of kind of crisis on the way At any point?
34:22 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
I definitely did. When I was in I was 16, I think I was 16, and my very best friend from middle school she’s classical educated as well she decided she wanted to strike off and get the full experience. What? Does that mean?
Well, go to the local quote, unquote classical or, pardon me, christian school, which you can just slap that on any school these days, unfortunately, because they have a Bible class. But they had the football teams, they have the big Friday night lights, all that kind of stuff. So she really wanted that experience and so she left and we grew apart and we reconnected a year or two later and she actually lived with me for the summer because she’d moved away, and during that time she told me that she’d become an atheist and that God wasn’t real. And I think she was also like vegan or something, because we needed to protect the animals, which I you know. That’s fine, but it really shocked me because I hadn’t really engaged with someone that I’d known.
Go through the same world as me and then have that experience. And so she started sharing with me all these resources and all these arguments for why God wasn’t real. God wasn’t real. And unfortunately it got to me and I really went upside down. I remember one night I was like, well, I guess it’s real, god’s not real, and it was the scariest night of my life because I was so confused about what was right and what was wrong, and so I kind of started at the beginning and I went into your library and I started finding books about what is truth and what is reality and how do we know God is real? And then, once you get to the point of understanding how it’s got real like, did Jesus actually die for us and how do we understand and apply that to our life? And librae is a huge part of our life. I ended up going there.
36:30 – Davies Owens (Host)
I don’t know if you’ve talked about librae at all Not in a while, I mean just real quick. People are like what is she saying? What is she saying, go ahead.
36:36 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Yeah, librae was founded by Francis Schaefer in the 60s in Switzerland. That you and my grandma your mom went to a fellowship in England. And I ended up going there after my first year in college.
36:54 – Davies Owens (Host)
It’s an international, it’s a Christian study center. I mean you live in community with believer. Schaefer was there in the high of the 60s, of people asking after sitting at the feet of an Indian guru and trying to figure out the meaning of life. They’re like what is this guy up in the mountains in. Switzerland and your grandmother, my mom, went through an agnostic period and read his books. And so no, I mean, we’ve had numerous experiences that you were just you’ve been there a couple of times in the UK.
37:18 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
My husband and I were just there last summer In the UK, but so go ahead.
37:22 – Davies Owens (Host)
I mean. So that was an you had to read. You had to own your faith. Basically, yeah.
37:26 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Well, and you and I had lots of conversations about it because my grandmother had gone through that and I was reading resources that she had explored during that time. And, yeah, I went to summit leadership but I also started like exploring. Well, I really want to make sure that this is also not just Christianity that I’m studying. I want to study other things. So I went through everything, all the big religions and I realized that Christianity is the only viable one. And I really don’t think I would have had the tools to logically come to that if I had not been classically educated.
38:00 – Davies Owens (Host)
And that’s, that’s my I mean again, it’s. I’m biased, obviously, but I think that you’re putting your finger on something really important, which is do you even have the tools to kind of self manage to investigate the curiosity? I mean it seems like that.
A lot of girls 16 today, especially with technology, which was you were definitely kind of a I mean you’re kind of a digital immigrant in the sense that you know, digital natives came right after you, meaning they grew up with a smartphone, yeah, but my point is, like you know, be very easy to be 16 and just bury your head in a Kardashian feed or whatever and then get depressed.
38:38 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
I mean, somehow you said it’s about being thoughtful and I think that’s always been a part of my life and, yeah, I could have just decided to be agnostic and I I was too ingrained in being a thought provoking person to be an agnostic. I had to know, I had to know.
38:57 – Davies Owens (Host)
And then you came. I mean, how long were you kind of exploring before you went? No, I’m back, this is making sense.
39:04 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
I was like I don’t know for real, probably like at most a year. But it was hard for me because I was like I’ll talk to the talk and I’ll know that, like you know, I’ll my dad’s a headmaster. Yes, god’s real, that’s great.
But I think internally I hadn’t really settled to the fact that like this is true, and that was honestly what put me on the path of going to New St Andrews, because when I finally came around and really took that as my own, I was like I have to have the right tools to do this. I can’t go through that again and so. I’m so grateful for New St Andrews and I ended up going back to LaBrie when I went through my feminist period, but there’s a whole nother conversation. But yeah, I would not have the tools to deal with that either. Well, listen.
39:43 – Davies Owens (Host)
I mean I want yeah, there’s a lot so much talking about and time is going to be short I want to kind of in the spirit of kind of what you’re doing now, what you’re passionate about, I mean, and I think that’s you know for folks that you never really became a feminist, but I think that there was definitely some discovery unpacking. I mean sort of the path to womanhood is very confusing. I think classical Christians sometimes can be confusing because certain segments within classical Christian it’s a very, very narrow, narrow, narrow idea and then in other cases there’s really no conversation about it and women end up sort of fumbling into sort of whatever the main world’s narratives are on that. So talk a little bit of why that’s interesting to you, kind of where you I mean you’re obviously you’re married, you’re totally into womanhood. I mean this is.
You know you don’t have shaved purple head sitting here. I mean you are a beautiful young woman, so I mean you’re clearly embracing your femininity, but there’s something that concerns you about that right.
40:40 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Yeah, well, I mentioned earlier that you and I are and I’ve always been really passionate about like 60s movies and TV, and Elizabeth Montgomery and Barbara Eden were like my idols and six right. Nobody knew who they were. People probably don’t even know what I’m talking about right now, but when I started recognizing and looking for people to emulate in my life, I realized how different the world was than that aesthetic and that the difference was also between aesthetics and values. There’s so many aesthetics that come and go. These days it’s six months, six months cycle.
41:17 – Davies Owens (Host)
because you know something trends you mean like styles. When you say aesthetic, you mean a style.
41:22 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Yeah like you know, tradwifes that was a trend last year, but now that’s kind of gone away because people were just obsessed with the way that it looked on their Instagram. But there’s values that are attached to the things that we wear and the things that we do. So, anyways, I was really fascinated by people like Audrey Hepburn, vivian Lee, jackie Kennedy. I’m a big fan of the Royal Family, something my mom and I are very, very into but I began questioning why do I actually like these people and what actually is different about them other than their clothes or their styles, and where does this fit into my view of womanhood? And so I started exploring that and I went through my.
You’re right, I wasn’t a full on raging feminist, but I remember having several conversations with you about how women need to be pastors. Biblically, women are exactly the same as men and you were like Hannah, what is happening? I’m gonna send you to Lafri. And I came back with a much fuller, more robust, healthy understanding, I think, of what that is. But I think young women today are stuck in that exact place and they don’t really have a framework for how to juggle these things, because they wanna be beautiful, they wanna be attractive, they want to be engaging. But there’s kind of two sides either. We don’t care about how we look, we don’t care about anything, we don’t care about aesthetic-wise.
42:50 – Davies Owens (Host)
So we just get kind of the frumpy, dumpy kind of conservative and I’m proud because I shop at Goodwill.
42:57 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Yeah, it’s almost like a poverty gospel to some extent. Or we fall into the world of the Kardashians and mainstream media, which mainstream women’s media today is trying to teach us lies. I mean, we don’t even know what a woman is. They’re trying to completely manipulate us and put us as pawns in their radical agenda game, and I want nothing to do with that. So I’ve been very passionate about this and I’m exploring these trends, traditions and lifestyles for an elegant, inspired life, and so that’s what I talk about on my show.
43:30 – Davies Owens (Host)
So you have a podcast called.
43:32 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
It’s called Swishify Podcast.
43:34 – Davies Owens (Host)
43:36 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
My company is named the Swish, like the onomatopoeia for a skirt which is the icon of womanhood. But you and I have always joked like, oh well, I think that person needs to be Swishified, or maybe we need to switchify this or switchify that. So when the podcast came about, that’s how the name was.
43:53 – Davies Owens (Host)
But I think there’s a lot of. So a lot of moms are listening, right, well, and in a lot of young classical Christian young women that are kind of again trying to find their way in this very conflicting world, and I think this is again worth a whole nother conversation on another day and folks can come listen to you talk about it. But just sort of being a creating that pathway which again I mean being classical sometimes makes you feel like I mean, without us saying anything about it, I could see a young girl coming through and saying, well, I guess I’m just supposed to again take a very narrow view of beauty and aesthetics and Well, what was interesting and kind of how this started was when I was at New St Andrew’s.
44:33 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
I had so many girls come up to me and say hey, something’s different about you. You care deeply about these things and aesthetically you’re different and I wanna know how I could be more like that.
44:45 – Davies Owens (Host)
And what were you different aesthetically?
44:48 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
I think I cared about. I don’t wanna say that I cared about makeup more than anybody else or something like that, but I think I had a different type of style. Every girl there kind of dressed the same for a time.
Although it was great, it was fine, I think maybe because I’m Southern there was something different there and, as a Southerner, we care deeply about tradition, and girls noticed that and they would pull me aside or take me out to coffee and be like, hey, I’m really trying to fix my style, can you help me with this? Or even deeper things about what’s my future, what is womanhood? And so I started pondering that and writing it on a website, and then I started a t-shirt store, and that, long story short, is how I ended up with my job that I have right now in the show production world, but now I just decided to start the podcast version of it. So I’ve been writing for a long time, but yeah, it’s a Spotify exclusive, which is exciting, yeah, right now. And so I’m really excited to dive into these trends. Like we just talked about bows.
Bows, hair bows yeah well, why is that trending? And I connect that to the bigger demographic trends and the return to womanhood that I think is actually happening here.
46:00 – Davies Owens (Host)
That’s pretty exciting. Well, I think there’s just such a need for that conversation to happen, especially for something that’s got context of our history and those how to think. Well, I mean, this is again. Really, as we kind of wind our time down, we think about just the future in front of us. I mean, it’s a very uncertain future, but it seems like you’re defining the shaping between the school and the home.
That’s really set you up well to adapt to what’s in front of what’s coming, and I think that seems like that’s. If you had a word of encouragement to parents that are listening and even educators that are in the classroom every day, I mean, what would you say? There’s a couple final closing words of just encouragement.
46:46 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Yeah, there’s such a long conversation. We could have such a good long time. So I think there’s this is a challenge. It’s going to be. It’s not an easy thing. My, anyways, I think people know that. But if you’re worried about somebody that is maybe not on the trajectory, you think they probably will come back. You’re instilling these seeds in their heart and the work that you do is so important.
47:18 – Davies Owens (Host)
Well, I think the question is just how I think for people to see the end I mean there’s a lot of again the 16,000 hours journey through a K-12, both the school world, the home world. It is hard and is long and I think every parent wants to get to the end and hear those words well done, good and faithful parent, and I’m grateful for where you are right now. But I think just giving encouragement it’s been a part of this whole conversation. It’s just stay the course. You may see folks fall off, but God is faithful in that process and so there’s a lot there.
47:52 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
And as much as you can instill curiosity in your kids and just being so intentional with them. I think a lot of parents think that the school is handling a lot of their creativity and their needs for imagination and their needs for Bible time and their needs for engaging socially, but that’s only a fraction of it and I’m so grateful that my parents instilled those things in me.
48:22 – Davies Owens (Host)
Which, again, is that we always talk about the impact of the screens, and so I feel like I’m always saying that, but it is the most destructive undermining of all of that. I mean, if you had been brought up with the screen, and I think that’s the fallacy Again, we can talk more about this and we’ll have more conversations here to come back to you, but I think I’d love your opinions on that because that’s definitely confusing.
It’s like, well, I’ve got all my kids have iPads. It’s great. They kind of keep some quiet and they’re reading, seeing great things. But I mean all of that.
48:54 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Are they seeing great things?
48:56 – Davies Owens (Host)
Well, that’s what’s touted out there. But again, what I hear you saying, which I’m grateful for, is that you had a lot of time just to read well, think well, have people around you, model well. And again, not perfect, not always easy, but in the end but I think it’s also teaching to your technology point.
49:12 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
I’m gonna address that real quick. It’s teaching people how to use it, set the example, and I had a Nokia flip phone in middle school and then got the iPhone in high school. But we’ve had a million conversations about what that looks like and how to use that properly, and I’m thankful that I did not receive those things until I really had my logical framework down, because if I’d been given that much earlier, I would definitely been gone astray.
I mean there were times that I wanted to leave classical education and go see the bigger world. I’m so glad that it didn’t happen. I stuck with it. But when it comes to technology, it’s a weapon, in a good way or a bad way, and I talk about this with AI all the time.
49:56 – Davies Owens (Host)
I don’t know if you want me to talk about that real quick, but like Just in a few minutes we may come back and do some additional recording we can make available. But just you know, I mean, what’s your quick thought on that?
50:05 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Well, I think there are. As I mentioned, it’s a weapon and it can be used for good or for evil. But I know we’ve had conversations about what do teachers do with AI? Are kids gonna plagiarize a paper? You know what they always could have plagiarized a paper? I actually think AI is leading the way for us to be more critical thinkers, because, okay, you’re not gonna write papers anymore. You need to tell me we’re gonna do. I did oral, oral final Evaluations.
50:35 – Davies Owens (Host)
Fun, yeah, absolutely Oral finals at New Saint-Eurus.
50:37 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
That was one of the best things I ever did, and I think AI is helping us more and more recognize that these are deeper issues and there’s moral imagination that AI can never connect.
50:48 – Davies Owens (Host)
Yeah, we did a podcast on this a couple of months ago and talked about, I mean, actually classical educated people are gonna be primed for writing the prompts to run AI. So I mean there’s some really interesting adaptability options that are coming out. So well, you know we’re at time there’s a lot more to talk about. It’s always great talking with you. It’s been so fun. What a blessing for me to get to hear your story, even though I know it pretty well, but I know other people have been encouraged by it.
51:18 – Hannah Owens Brusven (Guest)
Well, I’m so proud of you and this podcast is just growing so quickly and it’s so fun to see and it’s extremely important. It’s just beyond important these days. So I’m very proud and, to anybody listening out there, thank you guys for listening.
51:34 – Davies Owens (Host)
Absolutely All right. Well, we’ll have to continue the conversation. Hopefully, folks will check out your podcast as well. Yeah, yeah, All right. Thanks, Annette. Well, you’ve done it. You’ve made it through another episode of Basecamp Live and I sincerely hope that you’ve been encouraged along the way. Thank you for being such a faithful listener, and thanks again to America’s Christian Credit Union, classic learning tests, Gutenberg College and Wilson Hill Academy for sponsoring this episode of Basecamp Live. Be sure to give us a five star rating on Spotify, Apple Podcast or wherever you’re listening from. We would love to hear from you and let us know what’s in your mind, what questions you have. Email us at info at basecamplivecom. We really do appreciate you as a faithful listener. Take a moment and invite other parents and school leaders, anyone involved in raising the next generation to listen to the podcast, and we will see you back here next week with another episode that you will not want to miss. Thanks again for listening, Even though we have lost Robin. He went the next way.