Jane Kolonich (7) and her parents, Dave & Katie, live on a small farm in Hawesville. In March of this year, Jane and her dad began creating podcasts for children on various subjects she is learning about and is interested in.
In their podcast – “The Kids Podcast a.k.a. Jane is Cooler than Dave”, Jane talks about computer coding, math, movies, animals, farm life, history, Minecraft, science projects, technology, Artificial Intelligence, summer reading and back to school subjects.
“I’m interested in computer coding, music, animals, riding bikes, jujitsu, movies, acting, researching, reading, playing with friends, playing at playgrounds and watching computer animation,” Jane said. “I started my own business called Jane’s Country Store in 2022. I sold eggs, vegetables and painted rocks.
In my next podcast, we’re doing an episode on Halloween. We create the podcast in our house in Hawesville. I record it with my dad and we put music in and edit it. We have 7 episodes so far. You can find the links to the podcast on my dad’s Facebook Page.”
The platforms where you can find her very informative and fun podcasts are: Buzzsprout, Spotify and Amazon Music. The links are also listed on Jane’s website: janekolonich.com.
“The whole idea for the podcast,” Dave said. “We’d be driving around somewhere or talking about something and I listen to a bunch of podcasts and then Jane listens to some kid podcasts too. She thought, ‘Well, why don’t we do one?’ So that’s kind of what we did. We come up with an idea based on things she wants to talk about.
The first 3 or 4 episodes, I would kind of act like the host and ask Jane questions, and then through each podcast I’ve tried to talk less and less and just let her take over. I’m just there to kind of guide from topic to topic.
Her very first podcast had 154 downloads. The others are probably about the same. After the second or third podcast I put them on Spotify and Amazon Music too. We’ve had downloads from the U.K., Canada, and a bunch of different states in the U.S.
She does an online school and they do a Facebook group so I’ve posted podcast links on the group. Her friends and their parents all know about the podcast. She’s doing a school called Ignite Learning Academy. It’s a fully accredited online school.”
Jane attended kindergarten at North Hancock Elementary School and has since switched to homeschooling. She is currently in her second grade school year at home, and will be turning 8-years-old in December.
“What’s really cool about the online homeschool,” Dave said, “is after class they get together and do coding or Minecraft together. She’s made online friends like that. She does a lot of stuff with the Catholic Church here as well. We get her around a lot of kids in Hawesville too and try to get the best of both worlds.”
She also posts educational videos for children on her YouTube Channel: “Jane’s Wacky Learning”. In one of her videos, she tells all about the International Space Station using a large poster board with many details as a visual. She also posts some videos of her Scratch (app) coding projects, with games and animations she creates.
Dave said she focuses mostly on science projects on her YT Channel. “She’s done science projects and little science kits too. One was on infinity cubes. She’s done others where she teaches about different parts of history and things like that.”
Jane’s mom, Katie, grew up in Hawesville. She and Dave moved the family here in late 2021. Katie is a Financial Advisor at Edward Jones in Owensboro.
Dave is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. He is a registered nurse and was also an English teacher. During his time teaching high school English, he did online sports interviewing and reporting. He currently stays home with Jane and oversees her online homeschooling, as well as pursuing some screen writing.
“My hobby is, I’ve been trying to write screen plays the last few years,” he said. “Jane sees me doing it and she tries to write her own stories. I’m a big movie fan. I love older movies. Jane and I will have a movie night and watch kid movies. I’ve tried to show her some more classic movies too.”
They do movie commentary on some of Jane’s podcasts. “A good example,” he said, “is the old science fiction movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s one of my favorite movies and I talked about it with Jane and she said she wanted to watch it. I thought she would maybe make it through 20 minutes of the movie because it is real slow-moving. She watched the entire thing and has asked to see it again.
On the podcast, besides talking about the movie, there are some deep things in that movie that relate to today. If you look at AI today, and how maybe one day that could kind of take over things, that’s basically what 2001: A Space Odyssey, which came out in 1968, predicted.
That was the discussion – this came out 60 years ago and look what’s happening today in society. I just think it’s a good lesson. It’s cool to hear how she relates it to today. We talk a lot about that on the podcast.”
Jane also enjoys gardening with her parents and has her own gardening tools. Katie said that she has been gardening with them, “almost since she could first walk, and she loves it.”
In the woods on their property, they made trail signs when they were first trying to learn where everything was. Dave said he thought it would be a good idea to make signs to mark where they were going. He had some old pieces of wood and Jane painted them. They made up names for the trails, and attached them to the trees.
She likes helping her dad take care of their chickens and gather eggs. “We have so many chickens,” Dave said. “Probably more next year, we’ll get Jane’s Country Store going again. That’s something we want to keep doing.
She sold the painted rocks she made to a few places like Butter & Kei’s Sonshine Cafe in Hawesville. We’re hoping they do the Chamber Summer Market Day next year, and she can sell some stuff there again.”
Jane has 3 cats and a yellow lab named Henry. Her bunny rabbit for 4-H Club is named Jeffrey. She was the local 4-H Rabbit Club Reporter last year, and wants to be the reporter again this year. She also has a very calm, miniature horse named Buddy that she likes spending time with.
Check out this amazingly intelligent and creative young lady’s podcasts and YT videos, especially if you are homeschooling. They are a great learning resource. Keep an eye out for her booth at the next Hancock County Chamber of Commerce Summer Market in downtown Hawesville as well. Entrepreneurs as young as Jane are rare.
By Jennifer Wimmer