Time magazine did a cover package on the end of college. I tell you this because Time magazine is the pulse of American ideas. Something is mainstream when it gets into Time. Because those journalists don’t aim to frame public discussion so much a summarize it in a way to reflect the discussion back to us.

1. Accept that for most kids, there won’t be college. 
So go read that issue. The most memorable part for me was that in ten years, most colleges will be gone. They are just not sustainable institutions. They are too expensive for what they deliver. In ten years, what will be left is the top fifty schools and the schools like the University of Phoenix, that are relatively quick, cheap paths to getting a degree.

2. Don’t make your kids pay dues to an evaporating system.
I do a lot of consulting for companies about how to bridge the gap between Generation Y and Baby Boomers. And the biggest issue is that Baby Boomers paid their dues and methodically climbed corporate ladders, and now there’s nothing on at the top. There is no job security, there is very little hierarchy based on age, and young people are refusing to pay their dues—and getting away with it.

So Baby Boomers spent their lives following rules for a system that no longer exists. And they’re really upset.

This is what’s going to happen to the kids who spend eighteen years in a test-based education system. The kids will not have anywhere to put those gold stars for well-roundedness and high GPAs and going to school like a 9-5 factory worker. Those kids will not be in any better shape than the kids who were homeschooled, learning whatever they want to learn. Because aside from the very, very best applicants, there will not be a college sorting system that rewards going to school.

3. Make peace with the feeling of uneasiness. 
Smash and Peas has a great post about minimalist photography. The photos I have in this post are from Bernhard Quade.

I liked the idea of minimalist photography because I spend my twenties reading minimalist literature like Sandra Cisneros and Raymond Carver, and I loved how simple and raw it felt. But every time I think about using these photographs in a post, I end up choosing something else more familiar.

Now I realize that these pictures are a perfect depiction of what it feels like to homeschool. It’s beautiful and peaceful because there’s an inherent trust in your kids to be their smart, charming selves without going to school and being told what to. But it’s also empty and scary and hard to see what’s ahead, even though we know surely there must be something there.

So I’m posting these pictures today as a reminder that I need to face the scary part of homeschooling head on. I need to accept that I know things will change in education and I’m not totally sure how, but I’m not having my kids pay dues for a system that won’t exist when it’s time for them to cash in.

 

42 replies
  1. Daniel Baskin
    Daniel Baskin says:

    It’s hard for me to believe that colleges will start disappearing in 10 years. It’s easy to see why they would or should. But they may not disappear, due to die-hard traditionalists and those unfortunately influenced by them.

    The paradox is always that in no other time has college been so esteemed yet obsolete. Just as recent college grads are ramping down their post-grad career optimism, K-12 institutions are ramping up their push to prepare all (not just some) students for college. It’s a crash course headed for disaster.

    However, I do subtly imply to my students that while learning and hard work lead to success, college isn’t what makes one successful anymore. I think the newer generation of teachers are starting to send out this vibe to their students, which may hopefully become a strong enough influence at the K-12 level to create major policy alterations towards college prep curriculum. It’s so insane when I hear all of this stuff about college prep, especially since it is aimed so strongly at convincing / “helping” disadvantaged and students less likely to go to college to think towards college. The irony is so thick! (In trying to help the underprivileged, this aim will just throw them into the worst muck of the useless degree, college debt clusterfuck).

    • Tim
      Tim says:

      I agree, to say that colleges will disappear in 10 years is to completely ignore the inertia of large institutions, especially those supported by government,

      These universities have large endowments, and powerful bureaucracies supporting them. While the mode and method that they deliver education may change dramatically, and alternative institutions may emerge to compete and chip away at their monolithic hold on what we call “higher education,” none of these developments are likely to lead to their disappearance except on the margins.

  2. toastedtofu
    toastedtofu says:

    What if your kids want to be scientists? Will you tell them “no honey, you can’t be a scientist because I didn’t know how I’d pay for college so I convinced myself you didn’t need it”

    I get that with self directed learning and the internet you can learn the skills for most jobs, but most jobs aren’t things like architect, engineer, biochemist, molecular biologist, astronomer, physicist…?

    I know your husband left his science phd to be a farmer, but that’s because he realized he was already doing exactly what he wanted to do with his life.

    What if your son, at 16, gets really into physics…there are LOADS of way-cool scientific learning tools out there now, so it’s a complete possibility that he might…then what will you do?

    Here’s a secret of university financing…currently they take money from humanities students to fund scientific research. Universities already don’t care about the humanities, which is why many humanities departments (including the over-inflated business schools) might go the way of the dinosaur, but universities will not become obsolete.

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      The percentage of kids who want to grow up and be scientists, really, is like I don’t know: 2%.

      First of all, they don’t need a college core curriculum in order to be scientists. US science PhD programs are full of international students who are not well rounded. So in order to be a scientist a kid does not need to go through the US forced curriculum process for high school or college.

      Additionally, if you get a PhD in science, you do not pay for schooling after college, so it’s likely that the higher education system will end up funding pre-PhD level students who are aiming to get a science PhD.

      Penelope

      • redrock
        redrock says:

        From my own experience I would like to differ here: I have taught at universities in 4 different countries (several European ones, and the US), and for several years at each institution. Admittedly it was always in the sciences, chemistry, physics mostly and it included research at the undergraduate to the postgraduate level. International students (non-US) students have often a broader and better knowledge base than US students, more experience in basic skills such as how to put an experiment together and run and code a simple program. In order to succeed – with which I mean to be able to intellectually follow a course of study in the sciences – you absolutely need a solid foundation. If you get it in homeschooling, that is totally fine with me, but you do need several years of study. There are many basics you simply cannot get around, math is part of it – whether you can get it with the current US core curriculum followed at many high schools is a different question. I don’t think they do a got job at conveying and teaching science very well – hence many international students are better than the US students. But many of the international students have actually followed a much more rigorous curriculum in science and math than is customary at many US high schools. So, while I doubt the way science is taught in the US is particularly good, you do need a solid foundation of knowledge to become a scientist. The way to get there can be homeschooling, or another approach to teaching science in school. There are actually many projects often from professional societies which deal with this question on how to teach science. Check out http://www.nisenet.org/ for example. I clearly love science… so teaching it well is important to me – I realize that not everybody thinks science is important, and I can happily disagree with them.

      • toastedtofu
        toastedtofu says:

        46% of americans don’t believe in evolution, and 70% don’t go to university, so since your sons don’t fit in those categories, their likelihood of going into a science related field is much much MUCH higher than the general population.

        They also live on a huge biology experiment with a scientist for a dad and you have a son with Asperger’s, and like you say, microsoft knows their workforce.

        You might only need a Bachelor of Science to get 2% of the jobs out there, but there are a lot of terrible jobs out there to fill in that 98%. You clearly want your kids to specialize, and if they want to specialize in a science related field (which I’m arguing is totally possible) they will need at least an undergraduate, probably a post graduate degree.

        p.s. All the kids who want to be doctors or engineers or astronauts when they grow up are saying they want to be scientists when they grow up. You don’t have to study pure physics to be a scientist.

    • Jeanette
      Jeanette says:

      I would think that if you wanted to be a scientist or engineer, homeschooling would better prepare you to be courted by higher educational institutions. Universities will save spaces, and offer to cover tuition for people who are already doing amazing things.

      While examples I know and have heard of are students in high school doing amazing things (such as two teenagers discovering that nano-silver destroys RNA in aquatic micro-organisms), they did that in their spare time. Imagine what they could have done if they had MORE “spare time”.

      Someone who is forcing their child to do something they don’t want WILL need to figure out how to pay for college so their child can live the parent’s dream.

      But for those 2% who are enthralled with science, engineering and the like; give them the opportunity to show the world what amazing things they are capable of.

      • Caroline
        Caroline says:

        Historically, science was a past time for the wealthy. Some of these self taught tinkerers came up with with world changing results. Think Benjamin Franklin and many from the UK before him.

        The added benefit of this is that experiments come with no agenda and failure is an option. Corporate sponsored labs and funding requirements now guarantee certain results as well as encourage experiments that will be successful rather than push the status quo. Home schoolers may be the answer to catching America up to the rest of the world in science.

        According to Wikipedia, Thomas Edison’s “mother taught him at home.”

        • redrock
          redrock says:

          There was much less science to learn in Benjamin Franklins time – nowadays the amount of science knowledge out there is HUGE. And I agree that science for the sake of curiosity rather then results is unfortunately not very well funded. This is mostly due to substantial funding cuts, the fact that funding agencies bow to public pressure for results (so one can sell things to companies), and that one has to be accountable for everything which is done in a project. It does curb scientific curiosity – however, many scientist independent of schooling are very curious people but if you cannot get funding to do the work, your curiosity and inquisitiveness don’t get you anywhere. We are long past the time where significant advances are likely to be concocted at a kitchen table. The idea might come up there, but the realization usually is not.

          It has happened in several medical studies (mostly paid for by pharmaceutical companies) that the results presented were the results desired by the company – this is considered scientific misconduct and carries severe penalties. It actually does not help a company in the long run to have research only agree with want they want to hear.

          • Penelope Trunk
            Penelope Trunk says:

            Because of the vast knowledge we have in science, scientist specialize. They don’t learn everything. My brother is a theoretical chemist. There is a wide body of chemistry that he is not familiar with, let alone other sciences. So, like everything else, great scientists are specialized and don’t have time to learn a wide range of science because they are specializing. They learn what they are passionate about. You don’t need college to do that.

            Penelope

          • redrock
            redrock says:

            well, you do learn the basics of physics, and different chemistry, including inorganic, organic and physical chemistry, as well as some math in the first two years. Then you specialize usually in your third or fourth year. You certainly cannot learn everything, but then you can not learn everything in any topic.

        • Jeanette
          Jeanette says:

          @Caroline

          “Historically, science was a past time for the wealthy”

          I would argue that time is wealth today. The financial resources it takes to do interesting things has decreased dramatically since the time of Ben Franklin.

          I just got my 6yr old daughter a Raspberry Pi for Christmas. Her own computer for $35. She uses Scratch (free from MIT) to program her own computer games. I need my computer back.

          @redrock

          “We are long past the time where significant advances are likely to be concocted at a kitchen table. The idea might come up there, but the realization usually is not. ”

          I don’t think many homeschoolers sit around a kitchen table all day :p

          Science is simple: think of an interesting question and try to find the answer. The large body of knowledge that we have now would make it easier, not harder to do this.

          It may be different in Toronto, Canada then where you are, but the university libraries here are open to everyone, and you can get sign out privileges(for a yearly fee). So access to academic information is not a problem.

          Sometimes you need to get creative with the lab stuff. You might be amazed by how many professionals have equipment in their home and would love to tutor a child for free. Especially empty-nesters.

          My main point is, if your child really wants to do something (science, engineering, etc), there is always a way to make it work. Why wait until university? Helping children find that way is a valuable skill in and of itself.

          And when a child is passionate enough to do this, they will attract the attention of people already in the (narrow) field they are asking about. Universities will notice. Full scholarships are not just for sports stars.

          • redrock
            redrock says:

            Jeannette,
            yes, you certainly can do a lot of things with kids, but I was more referring to the discussion about college level education and science at the university level. The depth and intensity of science at that level is wonderful and exciting, but it cannot be compared to the average high school level science and projects, which is where all of us started out. The vast majority of kids you read about who do these great inventions of discoveries at age 15 have access to university labs or corporate research labs – often because their parents work there. Even Bill Gates had access to large computer facilities, at that point he was incredibly lucky to live close to one of the first large facilities in the US. What I meant to say with the kitchen-table metaphor is that thinking and getting ideas is not limited to sitting in a lab, but that their realization requires in 99% of the cases more then what you and the average person have and can afford at home if you want to push the envelope of scientific discovery.

    • Daven
      Daven says:

      “What if your son, at 16, gets really into physics…there are LOADS of way-cool scientific learning tools out there now, so it’s a complete possibility that he might…then what will you do?”

      Same as any family with little or no college savings. Community college classes, maker clubs, online classes. Maybe volunteer or for-pay work at a science museum. (Homeschooling offers an advantage there, since you can start all that stuff early.) Then use the college and experience portfolio to apply to four-year colleges — in particular small liberal arts colleges, who, if they want a student, will generally offer better scholarship packages than the larger state schools. Keep the grades up there, and then apply for grad school scholarships, same as anybody else.

      A relative of mine was an average high-school student. Just okay, average grades, nothing outstanding. Then he decided he wanted to be a doctor. His family didn’t have the money for a big state school, and he wasn’t scholarship material. So he graduated high school and got fast-food jobs and paid for his own community college classes. He did really well there, suddenly, because he was focused. From there he was accepted into a pre-med program, then won scholarships to grad school. He’ll be an M.D. in less than a year now! Any average high-schooler or homeschooler with the same goal could do likewise.

  3. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    Employers are entrenched in their workforce having some kind of degree. So — community colleges that teach some theory, some practicum, and use apprenticeships will thrive (I predict).

  4. CJ
    CJ says:

    Doing things the “not the beaten path way” can give us all a different take on this. I see your point on many schools becoming obsolete, would argue that most are already in fact. My children (really anybody’s can, not just HSrs, but most parents cannot break their minds of the. K-12 lock down) can utilize pieces of college at any point now, will likely be done with most undergrad college coursework long before they would had they been sentenced to public school name, age, rank, shove off at 18 model. Lots of the colleges offer classes at the college level for HSrs beginning at 10-11 yr old. I am an unschooler, yet my children love going to science classes, wilderness classes, nature center courses that combine everything from tree studies to dissecting bugs and environmental protection, etc. Demand dictates market. My kids dictate knowledge seeking. College/Univesity is just another place selling, sometimes, a good that we might want to purchase ro add to our exploratory-ness and sometimes learning is really fun in group environments! These institutions won’t likely evaporate, many of them will morph instead to fit our requirements. Children can do Stamford without having a high school diploma, MIT, Kahn, etc. are the rapid morphing examples already in motion. Like you, I think about this topic A LOT and the more time that goes by the less I worry because we are not in the bag with the zillions of parents that think if they just scramble their kids to be the perfect student in public or private then ship off to 4 yr degree will equal perfect life for grown up kid. That is in very large part mythology and becoming more so every year.

    Ps. This post has the PERFECT title! And the photos are amazing! Thank you!!

  5. Jenn
    Jenn says:

    As soon as I saw these pics they looked very familiar. This is all I saw in my early twenties. After years of doing what I was told, checking all the boxes adults told me to check, worrying about GPA’s, I started my first job. And I felt like I was in my own tiny boat with no oars or sails or cabin, and the big wide sea was all around me. Quiet, still and ready to swallow me whole.

    Now twenty years later I have rigged up some of my own tools, and have rafted up with a couple other small unprovisioned boats. But at times I still get pissed off at the sons-of-bitches that lied to me and then pushed me off from shore.

    • Pirate Jo
      Pirate Jo says:

      I didn’t grow up with anyone around who could offer any guidance whatsoever about a career. My mom didn’t work and thought I would dedicate myself to a life to knocking on doors to try and convert people to our religion, and that I wouldn’t go to college. My dad was a carpenter whose sole career advice was, “Get a job in a building that already has air conditioning.” The only other adults in my life were the teachers at school, a bunch of old people who didn’t work, and a handful of janitors. I didn’t grow up with a single adult influence who had interesting, challenging, fulfilling work or any idea how to obtain it.

      I did go to college, though, mainly just to get away from home, but also because I wanted to live alone and knew it would take more money to be able to pay all of my own bills by myself. I got a degree in accounting, which was hard and boring but employable, and then set out to try and find a job. Finding out what I want to do for a living has taken about twenty years and involved some job-hopping. Imagine that in front of you sits a buffet of Chinese food. You need to eat something, but have never tried Chinese food before and have no idea what you will like, if anything. So you try a little bit of several different things – some you like, others you don’t. Nobody tells you that this dish is really hot and spicy or that another consists of raw fish, so the only way to know is to try it.

      At 42, I finally know what kind of work I want to do and I am trying to find it. I get criticized by recruiters and interviewers for too much job-hopping. Most of my positions have lasted around two years, with the shortest being 10 months and the longest being 7 years. I don’t consider it excessive – it’s not like I’m some deadbeat who quits every job after two weeks and goes through ten a year.

      One senior recruiter said that looking at my resume, it looks like I don’t know what to do with my life. And I thought, ‘Bitch, so effing what?’ She’s had the same job for 25 years. Maybe she’s lucky enough to have always known what she wanted to do for a living. Maybe she’s just mediocre and banal and afraid to try anything new. Either way, SO WHAT if you don’t know what you want to do when you’re young? Even if I’d had a lot of guidance or advice back then, maybe it would have just been a lot of noise from all sides, adults telling me what to do, and the only way to really know would still have been to find out for myself.

      I wish the Baby Boomers had saved enough money to retire, then they could get the hell out of the way and I wouldn’t have to keep dealing with their antiquated crap every time I interview.

  6. Mark W.
    Mark W. says:

    It’s the people and the community of a college or university that will determine its’ future existence and sustainability. There’s no doubt that some colleges and universities will go by the wayside if they’re not able to adapt to the changing times. As an example, I’m going to give a shout-out to my University here. Here’s a video of Mark O’Meara talking about his experiences at AU and why it was and continues to be a great place to learn and experience – http://www.alfred.edu/alumni/giving/donor-stories/donor.cfm?PeopleID=52&SubcategoryID=3&subcat=Alumni . Mark is a great guy. He was a senior while I was a freshman. I knew him as a fraternity brother and the guy who stayed in town after graduating to open a sub shop. Like he says in the video, the AU community is wired and connected. So I’m thinking there’s also many other small and unknown institutions that can relate and point to similar stories. Each college and university will have to necessarily adapt to the changing times or they will fail. It’s that simple in my opinion.

  7. Adam
    Adam says:

    You should be proud that you possess the ability to recognize the trends of schooling as well as the tools to prepare your sons. You’ve also mentioned that elite schools are looking more for the homeschool model of achievement and specialization, is college the end game for you? Most of all, if you’re ever worried about your sons just remember Nature and that their mother is a world class entrepreneur and career coach : ) They’ll probably be fine.

    Adam

  8. Barbara
    Barbara says:

    There’s quite a lot of research that suggests that higher education makes a lot of sense as a financial investment. Even the link you provided shows a gap of what looks like about $15,000 a year between what a high school grad and a college grad earns in a given year.

    Here’s some recent research on the value of college education. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/10/going-to-college-not-just-a-good-investment-but-the-best-investment/263304/

    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      This is a great article for our discussion. The Atlantic is showing that on balance people with a college degree make a lot more than people without a college degree.

      However if you take out loans to go to a college that costs $40K/year then you don’t make up for the cost of college in the increased salary you get from going to college.

      And the Atlantic treats all college degrees equally, so, based on this link, everyone should go to the University of Phoenix: it’s the cheapest, and it gets you roughly the same salary benefits.

      Penelope

      • Mark W.
        Mark W. says:

        The Atlantic is merely reporting data from the Hamilton Project. The tuition source data for the Hamilton Project report ( http://www.hamiltonproject.org/files/downloads_and_links/September_Jobs_Blog_Technical_Appendix_v2.pdf ) is an average of four-year public and private institutions in the United States in each year going back to 1976 and are taken from the NCES. I don’t think institutions such as the University of Phoenix really figure into this data. What I think and see happening is colleges and universities instituting a combination of on campus and online learning within a flexible framework to meet the needs of its students.

  9. Bird
    Bird says:

    I love this post.

    Also, I’ve been thinking recently that Time’s a bit edgier than I had given it credit for. They’ve hired writers like Touré and Lev Grossman and given them room.

    Sounds like you are starting to let go of the college thing for your own boys? Good for you! Not easy.

    • Jeanette
      Jeanette says:

      I hope so too, but I think the point is that college is not necessarily a wise career (or life) choice for the majority of children.

      Yes, we can make arguments for a small percentage of careers that need it. But locking ourselves into a 2% chance of necessity (lets even say 10%) is absurd.

      So the question is then, what should we be doing to prepare our children to live the life that fulfills them, in a career of their choosing?

      Who better to be musing about this than a career coach like Penelope?

    • Mark W.
      Mark W. says:

      I looked over the link you provided, redrock. It’s interesting and I’m glad to see sponsorship for programs such as this one. What I’ve noticed, though, is that it appears many of these programs are directed at children attending school. It’s as if they’re not even acknowledging homeschooling or other private learning institutions/models. And to be truthful, it doesn’t really sit well with me. Is it because the homeschoolers are so diverse? Is it because they are so geographically scattered across the country? Is it because there are few or no really influential centralized organizations to represent them? I don’t know. Those are just a few questions that come to mind when I see school-centric events like this one.

      • redrock
        redrock says:

        As far as I know everybody can go to the science fair in Washington D.C. There is no formal admissions process or such, you can just go out and take it all in. The organizations often reach out to school, because the schools actually ask them to organize stuff for them or whether they offer anything. There is no reason not to get in contact with NISE as a homeschooler or a group of homeschoolers. I have been involved with NISE and the MRS Nanodays, and we got tons of requests from schools to do demo’s for their kids, so that is why we go there. The Nanodays are also coupled with a lot of open houses – a whole day of fun and demos and experiments. Totally open to anybody, no affiliation of anything required and it is free. We had many kids and families attend – and had activities for the smaller ones, and stuff for the older ones interested in engineering. There was no barrier at all – anybody could participate.

        However, NISE is an NSF sponsored program, so it runs as a starting point from science museums, and the initial partners were schools because it was possible to demonstrate contact and activities which would go one for a decade. There was no bias towards not including homeschoolers, apart from the fact that the majority of homeschoolers are still religiously affiliated and those are the more visible organizations, and usually the less science interested ones.

      • redrock
        redrock says:

        Mark,
        sorry I think I did not answer your question: the reason to focus on schools is certainly an organizational issue, and the drive to include as many kids as possible. Homeschoolers are geographically and otherwise widely dispersed and it is difficult (maybe impossible) to show continuity in an education effort for such a diverse group. Likely it will work in this case only if the homeschool parents, groups approach the organization (or their local contact) and I that works out well. NISE for example was planned as a proposal to establish a network – and there are many local contacts available and set up by now which was the goal of the proposal.

        • Mark W.
          Mark W. says:

          Thanks redrock! I do appreciate both of your responses. It’s helpful to me to understand this particular program and others similar to it.

  10. Annie Kip
    Annie Kip says:

    LOVE this. I love how you used the imagery of minimalist phtography to portray the experience of stepping into the unknown. I have expressed this idea – that college might not be necessary for everyone – to friends in my upper-class suburb and most people just look at me blankly. They do not seem able to process how this could be okay for our kids. It makes me feel like I am suggesting being negligent or denying them something they need to have to live a full and happy life. I don’t like feeling that I am the only one (i.e the only bad parent) willing to explore this idea. Thanks for this post.

  11. Amy
    Amy says:

    I love this post and the photos. You have captured that feeling so well – the freedom and the fear of the unknown existing together. I struggle with letting go of making my kids prepare for college in the traditional way. It seems like such a waste of time, yet I’m afraid. What will they do instead? I know there are a million paths for them to explore instead. Still, I’m afraid. Going against mainstream is hard.
    My oldest is 13, so I don’t know what will change in the next five years. I don’t know if she will choose to pursue the traditional path. She already feels the pressure (though not from me) to “get in to a good college” and to figure out what she wants to do with her life.

  12. Kristin
    Kristin says:

    Why so much talk about science and the necessity of college for such a career? It’s my experience that most people who go into science in college have it paid for. I am an ex-geophysicist and most of my friends are scientists and engineers and we all had tuition grants plus stipends. So why not goto college? It is free, fun, and delays that moment when you have to step out and be responsible. Ok, maybe I’m talking about grad school here. You still have to go to undergrad, but can attend community college for half of that.
    But my main point is that I was in California a couple weeks ago and a friend of mine who is a tutor and very involved in the educational scene there told me high school is more of a boutique shop now. Kids go to school for a few classes then get other education outside of school. They will take music, homeschool, art, math…whatever. They even have college classes on the high school campus. She says it is very popular. I predict that with this type of thing happening in California, other states will soon follow. Universities will have to do something to evaluate these types of students who follow the non-traditional path. Businesses will also have to be more accepting if they want to keep up because kids with this type of non-traditional education will actually be the best candidates. Businesses will not want to turn them down simply because they do not have a degree. Universities and businesses will be forced to change their admission criteria because homeschooling or boutique-schooling will become too popular to ignore. Pretty soon, all these parents who are scrambling to get their kids into top kindergartens and specialty schools will be the same parents quitting their jobs and pouring their heart and soul into homeschooling. And I can’t think of a better thing for our country than that. :)
    And enough talk about not being able to learn high-school level science at home. I mean, come on. My 9-year-old can solder his own circuit boards to create actual working systems and he knows what resistance and conductance are. He knows what typical insulators are and why a thin wire has more resistance than a thick wire. He is not a genius by any stretch. These are things that I didn’t know until I went to college.

  13. Taylor
    Taylor says:

    I have to disagree with what you wrote about Baby Boomers finding nothing at the top of the corporate ladder and younger adults not paying their dues. As a nation, the Baby Boomers are sucking us dry, and it is the younger generations who are obscenely in debt because of all the benefits they will receive from the government. I think the younger generations put up with much more than they should, given that there will be hardly any benefits for any generation after the Baby Boomers. I know that doesn’t directly correlate with your post about corporate america, but I think they Baby Boomers are making out just fine.

  14. K
    K says:

    My daughter just entered Duke University’s TIP program for gifted 4th-6th graders.
    She only got into it because she took the local standardized testing and was invited – but when I registered her it was clear they accepted homeschoolers. Except that as a homeschooler, you still had to have taken a test I think. ?
    anyway it’s a good program, the learning resources are excellent. It’s this sort of program that I think will lead her on the path she wants, I wish we could just homeschool and forget the 7-2pm crap.

  15. Kjerstin @ Homeschool101.net
    Kjerstin @ Homeschool101.net says:

    I’m so on the fence about college… I have a B.S. degree (that still makes me giggle) and feel that the overall education was worthwhile. HOWEVER, I was lucky in the scholarship area and graduated debt-free. I’d very differently if I still had loans hanging over my head. College was worth it for what I paid; college would NOT be worth if for the astronomical prices most universities charge. So… I think they’ll still be valuable institutions in ten years, but only if they manage to cut costs, rely on free/cheap texts (my school was great at this — most texts were written by professors and available free online), and minimize student debt.

  16. Beth
    Beth says:

    I like the part about not being afraid to buck the system and adapt/tailor your educational plans as it becomes obsolete. I’ve been saying what you said in a recent post for awhile: The public school system is the state’s subsidized babysitting service. I like the connection you hightlight between the public schools and the to the 9-5 worker drone. It’s a shame more parents don’t recognize this and aren’t willing to adopt a more avant garde method for educating their children! Thanks for documenting this! I love the photos, too!

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  1. 8 New Ways To Think About Financial Security | myvisionlink says:

    […] from online school so as not to be saddled with senseless debt. But I’d recommend your kid skip college entirely. Even if you have the cash for college – spend it on a franchise. Now that’s an education […]

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