I have a box of all the stuff my kids brought home from their time in traditional school that made me want to homeschool them. I wish I had known that I was going to have a blog about homeschooling, because when the box was nearly full, I started throwing stuff out. I worried that I’d become a bitter, depressed, and ineffective parent if I allowed myself to have a box full of stuff that makes me angry about school. Read more

We had a funeral for our goat. The goat was our favorite goat. For those of you who don’t know, in the goat cheese industry, which is very prominent in our area, the goat farmers kill the baby boy goats when they are born. The US imports goat meat, so there is no market for the farmers to raise boy goats for a profit. The boys are left to freeze in January. Read more

Most of us were not raised to think kids can learn on their own. But even if you were raised to think kids can teach themselves, you will be shocked to hear about the kids in Ethiopia. MIT chose a remote, illiterate community to send some first-graders a box of iPads. Unopened. One person in the community was taught how to recharge the iPads. That’s all anyone knew about the iPads. Within a month, the kids could read English and within three months, the kids had hacked the iPad to make the camera work even though someone at MIT had disabled the cameras. Read more

Here’s an email I received last week:

I began homeschooling in the 8th grade.

Right now, it’s my junior year (I’m 15), and I realize that I’m doing something severely wrong. I’m doing the college shuffle now (I still want to go to college), and it’s stressful and not how I want to learn. It’s frustrating. I’m a homeschooler, people who are known for being unique and different, and my application is starting to look like every other kid in public school who does the SAT’s, AP’s (I take AP online courses), and whatnot.  Read more

I am great at work. I was born to dream up big ideas and then sell them. I love a meeting—as long as I’m talking the whole time. So, actually, I love a lecture. But the only time it’s socially acceptable to lecture is in the context of work. So I really love work. Read more

School is designed to help kids succeed in the workplace. The genesis of compulsory education was to create effective factory workers. Today, enlightened schools realize they are creating knowledge workers rather than factory workers. But here’s the problem: most women don’t want to work full-time. Which means it’s overkill that school focuses so heavily on the workplace. What about home life? Why don’t we educate girls for home life as well? Read more

Time magazine did a cover package on the end of college. I tell you this because Time magazine is the pulse of American ideas. Something is mainstream when it gets into Time. Because those journalists don’t aim to frame public discussion so much a summarize it in a way to reflect the discussion back to us. Read more

Voting Booth

The kids were really excited to go with us to vote today because they have watched approximately 40 campaign ads each day for months. If you live in a swing state, all YouTube ads are campaign ads.

So the kids are conversant on a wide range of political topics. For example, “Mom, do we have gay friends?”

Me: “What?”

“Barack Obama says we need to vote because our gay friends can’t get married or serve in the military.” Read more

I hated school. And I often wonder if homeschoolers self-select because they wish they had not gone to school. So I want to tell you about the day in school that I would not have missed for any homeschooling agenda. Except it wasn’t regular school. It was Hebrew school. Read more

What is the point of parenting if you don’t get to force your own agenda? We start doing this early, by picking a mate. I picked smart, good looking, and Jewish. I didn’t pick good social skills. Believe me, I would have, if I had understood their importance at the time. But one result of not having social skills is you don’t know why anyone else needs them, either. Read more