New definition of bad school district: bad taste

I am aware that I have poor taste when it comes to clothes –– I just don’t have an instinct about what other people think looks sane. My younger son described my style as a “six-year-old with a sophisticated eye for taffeta.” I bought my older son clothes that I saw other kids his age […]

Early reading hurts social skills and academic performance

My son was in a preschool classroom with ten kids who could read by age three. The kids all had Asperger diagnoses because the correlation between reading by age three and Autism was widely known, even back then. The teachers permitted only books without words, and toys could not have any letters on them. The […]

Post-Covid evictions will be worse for education than Zoom

When the CDC placed a moratorium on evictions, 18% of renters had fallen behind during COVID and could be evicted. The CDC warned that we were on the edge of a homelessness crisis. Today that number is 14%. Yet the moratorium could expire this month, and renegade landlords are already pursuing evictions.

What I learned about homeschooling from applying to college

I know I bet my whole reputation on homeschooling. How many times did I tell people they DON’T HAVE TO FUCKING TEACH MATH TO THEIR THIRD GRADER? And how many arguments did we have on this blog about whether or not you have to learn grammar? Here are all the three big homeschooling arguments I […]

College application questions I never expected to answer

Kids who are applying to college this fall can’t find the same open spots that other years would be a sure bet. This will be the year of the phantom college essay: stories about what could have been and what was there once and poof gone. At least I’m hoping that this will be the […]

The school-to-prison pipeline infiltrates online education

I was thinking the silver lining in Zoom school at home is finally police would stop being involved in the education of Black students. So I was crushed to hear that police and judges were going after kids for not doing their online homework. Of course the kids the police are going after are disproportionately Black.

Punctuation is evolving too fast for curricula to keep up

Here’s the results most parents expect from a good English curriculum: being a competent speller being well read being familiar with the five-paragraph paper being conversant in the rules of grammar But just forget all that. That English curriculum is cancelled.

Let your kid have a messy bedroom

When I can’t cope I clean. And if everything is clean, I organize. Once I overheard my younger son giving a tour of the house and he said, “This is our bedroom. My mom makes us put our stuff in her boxes so everything is her colors.” I thought I was teaching my kids to […]

What I learned about homeschooling from applying to college

In a lawsuit fluke, a judge ruled that 800,000 students should have their student debt canceled. Researchers took the opportunity to compare outcomes of students with canceled debt to students who did not have their debt canceled. Canceled debt improved student outcomes in all sorts of unexpected ways. More of them got married and had kids, […]

Careful with that language arts curriculum. Its original purpose was finishing school.

The word doomscrolling appeared for the first time in The New York Times, in an Opinion column about coronavirus. The Twitter feed about the first appearance of words in the New York Times is fun because it’s about when a word goes mainstream. It’s the hockey stick growth equivalent for a word. (Hockey stick growth is the word for startup success […]

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