It’s always tricky to pick the most popular posts of the year because ranking is based on sort-of-arbitrary metrics, and I mess around with the metrics when I don’t like the outcome, and the whole thing starts to smell like school testing.  Read more

This is a guest post by Lisa Nielsen. She’s in charge of technology and teacher training for the New York City public schools, and she is the author of  the book Teaching Generation Text. None of the opinions in this post reflect the views, opinions, or endorsement of her employer. 

There’s nothing the press likes better than a story that generates real parental panic…especially when it has the stamp of science to give a the panic an extra edge. Read more

I did not grow up on a farm, so I’m constantly marveling at how different my kids’ childhood is from mine. It’s like they are growing up in another country. Read more

I expected that homeschooling would make me militant. After all, I get asked all the time, “Why do you homeschool?” And the only reasonable answer is that I think school is bad/stupid/useless/dishonest/whatever so I took my kids out. Read more

My in box is full of links people send me when they have nowhere else to turn in frustration. Some days I think the failings of school are so predictable that I can’t believe people even bother to write about it anymore. Read more

In college I studied the history of political thought, and I found that by the end of four years, the only thing I knew for sure is that people come together because it’s human nature to come together. And people like to feel they are contributing to the good of the group. Read more

I remember the first time I read in the Wall St. Journal that it’s becoming common for parents to buy their kid a franchise so they don’t have to go through the trauma of looking for a  job.  And, for that matter, the kids don’t have to go through the trauma of entrepreneurship either. Read more

If you start with the premise that self-directed learning is best, then we have to assume you have a kid who is interested in looking at new things.

So you get excited, and want to show your kid Starry Night, probably, because every school across America is having grade schoolers reproduce Starry Night (with something that does not resemble the heavy oil paints that make the masterpiece what it is.) Read more

Understand Your Child’s Personality Type and Become a Better Parent -Featuring Two Special Guests

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My son buys new clothes almost every week. He is happy at the Gap or at the thrift shop. He just likes trying on new things. I would never wear yellow pants—I hate shopping. He is neither of those things. So I started thinking that I had created a monster: Materialistic! Shallow! Questionable taste!

Then I learned about his type—ESFP—and I read over and over again that it’s the nature of that type to want lots of outfits to choose from because clothing is an essential form of expression for this type. And it made sense to me that I wouldn’t understand him more instinctively because my type (ENTJ) is largely uninterested in the daily rituals of clothing. ENTJs focus on visionary, long-term thinking.

After I started learning about my son’s type in relation to my own type, I was shocked that we don’t learn this sooner so we can all be better parents. Read more