By now you must realize that I have a huge bias about the purpose of homeschooling: I think we should be raising kids to go out in the world and figure out what they want to do with themselves. It’s a skill that I see so many people missing because they spent their life being told what to be interested in. Read more

It turns out that August is Kindergarten Readiness month. To protest the absurdity of this, I am including in this post a photo of my son turning cartwheels in Las Vegas, which is what he did last year instead of going to school.

Here are some totally annoying links on the topic: Read more

For those of you who have not read the story of the courtship between me and my husband, it was sordid. I had just come from ten years in NYC preceeded by ten years in LA. He was still living on the far-from-everything farm he grew up on in Wisconsin. The culture clash was huge, and we pretty much broke up once a month until the kids and I moved into his house.

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I get a lot of emails from people who want me to link to their stuff. You’d be surprised how much of it I click on. Just to see. I am always scared I’ll miss something good. I often get emails from this place that specializes in making graphic representations of stuff. The company is great at knowing what people want to read about. They recently sent me one about video game addiction, which I care about because in our house we have unlimited video games. Read more

The life of a homeschool parent means spending a lot of time rejecting the school system, defending  counter-culture decisions to naysayers, and gaining self-confidence to be different in a very public way.

Yet after fifteen years of this behavior, parents make the irrational decision to send their kids to college when it’s clear that college is just a repackaged version of failing schools in the US.

In case you think you have some research that shows a college degree makes for a good life, here is a detailed retort against the people trying to prove the value of college still, somehow, exists. Read more

If you had $10,000,000 would you still homeschool?

Someone emailed this question to me.

It’s an interesting question. Because before I started homeschooling, I would have taken that money and hired a consultant at $10K per kid to get them both into one of those top NYC private schools. Then I would have bought a summer home in the Hamptons. It would have to be a cheap house, actually, if I only had $10 million. But whatever. I’d buy the house and spend summers there and send my kids to private NYC schools during the school year. Read more

In hindsight I see that my path to homeschooling was largely a math problem. In the process of making my decision I didn’t realize it was a mostly a math problem, but it was.

Here’s how it goes:

1. Good school districts are in expensive neighborhoods.
I had in my head what a “good” school district is. I want to New Trier, in Illinois. It is on anyone’s list of top high schools in the country. I wanted my kids to have that.

Then, when I realized that those brick-lined streets I grew up with are for the very rich. This photo, for example, is a tree-lined street in my childhood neighborhood peppered with tw0-million-dollar homes. And it’s the poor section of the New Trier school district. Read more

I think by now that you know I think you should homeschool your kids. And I think you should not use curriculum. And I don’t care that I am the stereotype of the recent convert who is an intolerable zealot.

Because you know what? I think it’s okay to judge people. I don’t think everyone can just do what they want and it doesn’t matter. And I don’t think most of us believe this, fundamentally.

I think moms who say “let’s not judge each other” are the moms who are scared of being judged. But if you believe you’re doing a good job parenting, then you don’t need to worry about being judged. Maybe they don’t know what you know about your parenting. But frankly, that’s unlikely. And it’s likely that if most people think you are sub-par then you are sub-par. I learned this from my blog. People criticize me in the comments section, and in general, the majority opinion has value. They don’t know everything about me, that’s true. But no one is unique. We are all pretty average, which is, of course, the definition of average. Read more

I am trying to be more conscious of what is different about my life because I homeschool and what would I be dealing with anyway even if I didn’t homeschool.

For example, last week I was at cello camp with my son, and I noticed that the place was split between stay-at-home moms (lots of homeschoolers) and moms who work full-time who took a week off of work to do cello camp. We were all doing the same thing: eating terrible food, wondering how to get the kid to practice better at home, and furtively checking email during lessons. Read more