Would you unschool if I did it all over again?

I received this email today: Dear Penelope, I had a coaching call with you last fall about closing my business and becoming a SAHM. I did close the business, and I’m now taking care of my daughter. My husband has been thriving at work, the family runs better, and I’m happier!  I’m also eight months pregnant […]

Unstructured time rather than structured time teaches self-discipline

I am constantly shocked by how much research there is to show that kids should not be in school. This is the reason I was able to so confidently unschool my kids through elementary school. Now, with kids who are teenagers, the research is not so clear. Too many variables.

How to teach a skill you don’t have yourself

I was a history major in college, and we memorized dates and people. But kids don’t do that anymore. They organize all the information into themes. We punted on textbooks and capitulated to AP study guides that teach to the test. The last chapter of AP history is globalization. (Note to overachievers: this topic falls […]

Pile on the excused absences in elementary school

 It’s hard for me to process all the crazy things I did while I was raising my kids. When I was in the moment, I couldn’t tell. Maybe because time was moving so fast. So I didn’t take pictures of the times I’d want to remember so much as I took pictures when I […]

Don’t encourage kids to change the world.

NYC sand volleyball courts function a lot like small towns, and in the small-town world of NYC beach volleyball, Lisa was a mayor. She made a huge stink about how men got more time than women. She closed down all the sand courts. She offended everyone. Then she asked me to be her partner. I […]

The most useless thing about homeschool advice: it’s all for young kids

If you have teenagers you know the the reason all homeschool advice is from parents with young kids to other parents with young kids is because that’s the time it’s easiest to delude yourself that you know what you’re doing. That’s why I have so many extra pictures of my kids as teenagers to sprinkle […]

Stop worrying about video games. Phones are the real problem.

The scariest article I read in all my research about homeschooling is about how far parents in Silicon Valley are going to keep their kids off of phones. A Dark Consensus about Screens and Kids Begins to Emerge in Silicon Valley. The article was from 2018. It was clear to me then that the parents in Silicon […]

A homeschooler’s sense of belonging is a measure of success

I talk with a lot of you so I know there are an inordinate number of people who homeschool their kids because their kids are training  for the Olympics, or are prodigies in chess or music…. the type of kids who are extremely specialized and do their thing all day and schedule tutors after their […]

New homeschoolers play video games nonstop.  It’s a phase.

 A lot of times when kids first leave school, they spend a few months playing video games. That’s all. Just video games. And the parents freak out.

Homeschool with autism. A 10-week workshop where we learn from my mistakes

The reason I have so much trouble writing about my homeschooling journey is that not everything worked. But I know if I don’t start talking about it, I’m not going to help people do it better than I did. The biggest issue was not my kids. It was me. I made a lot of decisions […]

© 2023 Penelope Trunk