The boys were cutting words out of magazines while I was sneaking in reading time.

I landed on a piece in Harper’s magazine called Juvenile Injustice – photos of the juvenile prisons. They made me ill. There is no way you can look at those photos and not feel sick. I think the sickness comes from knowing I know and knowing I’m doing nothing.

Later I was reading about  slavery to my six year old. We read If You Lived When There Was Slavery in America. And I realized that slavery was, in some ways, better for black kids than juvenile prison is today. Because as slaves, the boys had monetary value, so someone had an interest in them. Right now no one has an interest in those boys in the juvenile prison. Also, slaves had to work every day, which, in almost all cases is better than solitary confinement every day.

These thoughts have stayed with me for a week. I think this is what people mean when they talk about the joys of learning with your kids. Real learning shakes you up. It scrapes your skin and makes you want to look. Makes you want to take action. And I think, in this moment, homeschooling did that for me.