My son is obsessed with fashion. He wakes up in the morning, tries on ten outfits, and when I laugh, he says, “Mom! Don’t laugh! You know fashion is really important to me!”

Just the fact that he talks about it like this blows me away. The rest of us barely even change our clothes. He quickly learned that buying clothes in the store is way more fun than online so now when we drive to the Chicago suburbs for cello, we also go for clothes shopping.

He buys an outfit, puts it on in the store, and then goes outside to create a fashion shoot. “Mom. Take the picture here! Wait. I need a serious face. Okay. Now.”

This nonstop fashion extravaganza is part of our homeschooling. It’s letting him be creative and express who he is.

A friend sent me this article from Time magazine that says that parental involvement makes a bigger difference in school than what school the kid goes to. My first instinct was, wow, this is so understated. I mean, the IQ your kid is born with impacts your kid way more than any classroom, so of course which parents you have matters more than which school you attend.

But I think the point of the article really is that parents have a big impact on how well kids perform in school. The problem is the underlying assumption that the goals of school are a good use of the kid’s time with the parents. Is is a nice childhood to have parents doing math homework with a kid who will grow up to be a poet?

Why should the goals of the time the kids spends in school be the same as the goals of the time the kids spend with parents?

My favorite thing about homeschooling is that people don’t tell me how to spend my time with my kid. We form our relationship based on what will be a fun, fulfilling childhood. I am still reeling from the book I read by economist Bryan Caplan: Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids. It’s about the the nature/nurture debate, and how overwhelming nature wins over nuture. The book, which is absolutely teeming with research to support the nature conclusion, shows that the only thing a parent can really do is to make childhood full of good memories.

And when Time magazine tells parents to help their kids meet the school’s testing goals, the researchers are not thinking at all about that.