The latest thing education reformers agree kids need that they can't get in school

Finally everyone is admitting what high-end private schools have been saying for years: The most important indicator of future success in kids is grit. Even the Obama administration has joined the grit bandwagon. Educators define this as the ability to keep trying hard in the face of very bad odds.

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School has created a national sleep crisis

Sometimes I look back at my life before I started homeschooling and luckily, and yesterday I came across this post, 8 Tips for anger management. It describes what was a typical morning getting ready for school: I try so hard, my kids fight and cry, I scream at them. There are 250 comments weighing in on the crazy morning rush to get kids out of the house.

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High schooler gives an inside view of a top-ranked school

This is a guest post from Thi Nguyen. She is 15, and she is the high school student I wrote about last week after she interviewed me for a class assignment. These are Thi's own thoughts about life in high school. 

I live in the Bay Area. I’m a sophomore at Amador Valley High School. It’s a highly ranked school, #171 in the nation, but to me it’s just a failing institution with a massive pot problem.

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3 Reasons your kids should not have school teachers

So many parents tell me they can't homeschool because they can't be a teacher. But kids learn much better without teachers, because teachers are largely there to restrict freedom. If you leave 30 kids alone, together, they will definitely find stuff to do. It'll just be chaos. And, of course, many kids would leave the classroom. Teachers are there to keep kids orderly. In a world of self-directed learning, there is no need for teachers.

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Deep engagement: the solution to education, dating, blogging and everything else

Digging up dinosaurs is not my first choice of what to do in my life. What I'd choose would look a lot less picturesque: locked in a room with wine and bagels and my computer churning out blog posts that my editor says are perfect and pure genius. But we're not doing that. We're in the badlands.

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I wish I believed in college because I named my kids for easy admission

My name is not Penelope. But Penelope is the name everyone calls me except for my parents. They call me Adrienne. It's hard for me to even write that name though—I get a sick feeling writing it. But maybe writing it is like forcing an agoraphobic outside—now things will be better? Here's the  story about how I became Penelope.

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4 Lies we tell ourselves about screen time

Screen time is a scapegoat for people grappling with parenting problems of the Information Age. Our kids would be better off if we started taking personal responsibility for our parenting difficulties. But this shift requires us to rethink the meaning of screen time in our lives.

I think about this topic a lot, because we have unlimited screen time in our family, so I'm constantly evaluating and re-evaluating the research on screen time to make sure I still think it's a good idea. Here are four lies we tell ourselves about screen time:

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Hold teachers responsible for participating in the system

I've structured my kids lives to find the very best teachers for them and I have so much respect for the adults in my kids' lives who know exactly what to do to help them grow into their best selves.

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What new SAT reforms mean for the future of education

The SAT is doing away with the essay test, finally acknowledging what free market economy has proven over the last seven years: That the more you pay for SAT tutoring, the higher your score is. Yes, there are exceptions: The kid who was going to get a perfect score no matter what. But that kid didn't even need the SAT, did she?

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Overcome the bias against creativity

My husband sent an email to me this morning with a link to Noa Kagayama's post Do We Have a Hidden Bias Against Creative People. My husband wrote: "This one was really good.  I don't know if Zehavi will be a happy productive adult, but I do think you are helping him have a chance. I think public school would slowly kill him."

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