Dear Princeton University, I love you

We have spent the week in Princeton because when I realized that the chemistry tutor we had for the whole year knew nothing about AP tests. The chemistry AP went fine, if you don’t count all my screaming and my slow slip into alcoholism. So I decided to keep the same tutor for AP biology. One more week in Princeton.
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AP Tests are a racket but my son took them anyway

As a family we’ve been isolated from the community feeling that test takers get when everyone experiences the pressure at the same time. This round of AP tests was our first time. I found myself having similar experiences to other homeschooling moms and my son found himself having similar experiences to kids on Reddit.
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My favorite day of homeschooling

Have I written here yet about my favorite day of homeschooling? Because if I have, delete that post from memory, because today is my new favorite day.

My son is taking the AP chemistry test in Germantown, PA. It’s 45 minutes from where we live because public schools won’t let my son participate in their AP testing. (Because, in case anyone needs to be reminded, public schools do not have to serve their communitythey only have to do what the law says they have to do.)
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How much should I spend on tutors?

If there is chemistry PTSD then I have it. The tutor I hired for my son to get through the AP test has the same calm, soothing voice of my high school chemistry teacher.
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What’s your kid’s learning preference? Probably one you hate.

We live across the street from Swarthmore college, which I thought would be amazing, but most things at the university are not open to the community. Still, I walk past the art gallery each week to see if there’s anything new, I always check fliers to find interesting things for the kids. Which the kids always do not want to go to.
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Failures in homeschool curriculum development

My kids are old enough to have opinions on our socioeconomic status, and they don’t care that cello lessons and SAT tutors are accoutrements of the upper middle class. They see we live in a very small two-bedroom apartment. I tell them our apartment is nicer than some peoples’ houses. “We have Limoges china! We have crystal chandeliers!”
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What will replace video when it becomes old-fashioned?

Boy cellist going through puberty: “Mom! Listen! I woke up today and my voice was a B-flat!”‬

The deeper my son’s voice goes, the more hours a day he practices. And the more hours he practices, the more I worry about what he’ll do in a world where no one pays to hear a cellist play live.

The homeschooler in me believes my job is to create a loving, joyful childhood for my kids. And in that sense I am so happy to have cello music as the soundtrack to our lives. But the career coach in me thinks it’s a disservice to send a kid into the adult world with no marketable skill. I’ve seen what happens to those kids and it’s not good.
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Homeschool progression: first you question your judgment, then you defend it

Someone just called child services on me because I am not properly educating my kids. So here’s a pictures of my kids playing video games. At the time I took the picture because it was so nice to spend the evening with the boys sitting in the living room together. Looking so grown up. Now I’m using the picture to let everyone know I’m not backing down from the education I’m committed to giving my kids. And let me tell you: they are awesome at video games.
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Self-directed learning in teens is about focus

When my kids were young and I was new to homeschooling, self-directed learning was so easy for them. They played video games, had fist fights, and set things on fire.
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How to support a family while you homeschool

I love writing on this blog, but if I’m being honest with myself, I’m not sure I’d write here if I didn’t need to support my family. It’s true that I started writing about education because I wanted to figure out what to do with education for my own family. But it’s also true that writing a blog is a lot of work.
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