Decision fatigue (and homeschooling black kids)

I’m reading an article called Do You Suffer from Decision Fatigue?  The article is fascinating not only because it gives me a name for how I’m feeling, but also because of the examples: Poor people make worse decisions not because they are dumber or less educated but because poverty forces people to make more decisions all day (diapers or formula? I can’t afford both). A rich person has not had to make money decisions all day, so he has the mental energy to make a good decision when it comes to strawberries vs. M&M’s.

So, I think I’ve figured out that the reason I can’t ever make a decision about my web site is that I have too many decisions to make. And I get exhausted. And right now, I can’t figure out if I should put guest posts in my feed or not in my feed. So the guest post is not in my feed. This neurotic post is. The guest post is about why black kids should be homeschooled.

And this post is about why you should structure your kids days for homeschool or else they will end up like me: Writing short essays about decision fatigue.

9 replies
    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      Yeah. I think you’re right. It’s another decision that’s torturing me. Because I know the photos are inevitable, but I’m not sure I can take enough good ones. And I don’t want bad ones.

      (And what is good, anyway? I don’t even know. So that’s a week of obsessive worrying just right there.)

      So I am trying to decide when to start. I guess it will be next week. Thank you for the nudge. Yes. It’ll be next week.


    • Penelope Trunk
      Penelope Trunk says:

      I’m really glad you asked. An obsessive worrier loves to tell people their worries!

      I worry the guest posts are a totally different tone than my posts. But then I think that I really like the authority of the guest posts. It’s an authority I don’t really feel I have in the homeschooling realm.

      You know what? Just writing this I think it’s wrong. I think the posts should be in the feed. Maybe all my obsessive worrying would end if I could talk about it more. Maybe I need talk therapy to solve my blog problems.

      What do you think?


      • Karen
        Karen says:

        I think that the question you should be asking is what do you want the homeschooling blog to accomplish for yourself? Also, what do you want the readers of the homeschooling blog to get out of it? They answer to those 2 questions may not match up very well but you’ll need to find a balance.

        Don’t worry so much about sounding like an authority on homeschooling in general. I seriously doubt that anyone is. I am an authority on homeschooling my own kids. My expertise ends there; I have no idea how you or anyone else should approach homeschooling. It’s just such an individual thing.

        I think that you should consider this blog to be a constant work in progress that will grow and change with you and your kids throughout this process. Experiment – try new things with it. Keep the guest posts coming, and see what happens. Rest assured, I will keep reading as you figure it out. Just please keep writing it. I love it.

      • Lori
        Lori says:

        if you’re not going to put them in the feed, you need to put an immediate note in your feed telling readers that there’s a new guest post available, who wrote it, and what it’s about.

        i agree re: structure. a routine lets everyone know what’s happening when, so there are fewer decisions to make each day. (i remember when you said the farmer gets up every morning and knows exactly what he’s going to do, while you’re asking “what should we do today?”)

        and you can still schedule time to help them work on their interests and support them to work on their own projects — so schedule does not mean they can’t become self-directed learners.

      • Mark W.
        Mark W. says:

        I think the guest posts should be in your feed. I would make a decision which results in a simplified and yet effective,acceptable solution. I looked at some blogs for ideas and liked Susan Johnston’s approach to guest posts. She titles them – ‘Guest Post:xxx…’, lists the author’s name at the top of the post, and gives a brief bio of the author at the end of the post. An example of a guest post on her blog is . It’s just one example of a possible solution that may work for you.

  1. Carol Ziogas
    Carol Ziogas says:

    Decision Fatigue. So *that’s* why I’m such a space cadet sometimes.

    I hadn’t realized how much poverty affects decision making, despite being financially pigeonholed in the bottom left-hand drawer of life for the past 20 years. It makes sense.

  2. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    I hope you add the guest posts into your feed. I might have missed the one yesterday if I hadn’t seen your tweet. I ended up sharing it with several friends who really connected with it.

    I don’t understand the connection between structured days and decision fatigue. I rarely know what we are going to do each day, because what I want is usually not what the kids want. So we do a lot off the cuff. Let them make decisions for you :)

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