I am watching how other people homeschool. I am noticing that while moms mostly say they try to pay attention to who their kids are and what their individual needs are, I think each family has their own homeschool style. And I think homeschooler parents can be divided into five groups according to their core focus:

1. Religious
The parents are fervently religious and homeschool centers around imbuing the kids with this feeling. These families usually spend a lot of time in their church community. They want their kids to grow up and “do the right thing” and there are clear ideas of what that is.

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Here is what I’m going to work on this year, as a homeschooling parent:

1. Spend less time trying to control outcomes.
Someone recently recommended to me the book Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, by Bryan Caplan. It’s a terrible title, but the gist of the book is that in the nature vs. nurture debate, nature is winning by a landslide – it’s just that no one likes hearing that, so it’s underreported. Imagine this cover of Psychology Today: “Nothing you do as a parent matters as long as you’re in the middle class.” That wouldn’t sell any magazines, would it? Actually, that’s probably why the book has such a terrible title.

Anyway, it’s a great book, full of quirky evidence (like parents do not affect the age a son has intercourse) and amazing studies (twin studies, sibling studies, DNA studies). I have never been so certain that as long as you are meeting a kid’s basic needs, parenting does not matter in terms of outcomes.

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