This is a guest post by Lehla Eldridge. Her blog is Unschooling the Kids. She lives with her husband and three kids in Italy.

Our son is nine and he has decided he wants to be able to read and write. He is frustrated that he can’t do either very well yet.

So I say, “How do you want to do that?”

And for a long time he has been saying, “The computer can teach me.” Read more

This is a guest post from Sarah Faulkner. She is a homeschooling mom in Washington state. She has five kids, ages 13, 11, 9, 5, and 2.

I have several special needs kids.  Not because I’m some hero, but because I wanted to adopt an unwanted child. Only, we are always paying for the choices of others. I pay daily for the fact my son’s birth mother was a Meth addict. My son pays a higher price than I do. Sometimes, my husband pays the price for when my Dad is mean to me, and I take it out on him. Why do we make other people pay the price for our choices? Read more

One of the parts of homeschooling that feels most risky is that the kids will miss out on opportunities school kids will have.

This question reminds me of the question, How will kids learn social skills if we homeschool? It’s one of those worries that is common to parents who don’t homeschool, and parents who do homeschool don’t ever worry about it.  Read more

This is a guest post from Kristin Hayles. I met her here, on this blog, and our sons started playing Minecraft together. Kristin and her son came to our house to visit, and I learned so much hearing her talk about her homeschooling decisions that I asked her to write a post. Here it is.

I decided to homeschool my son after third grade when my third child was born, using the excuse of maternity leave to start this new chapter in our life. I had grand plans of doing projects with my son, taking him places, following his interests. I had a math curriculum picked out, a history book purchased, and classes at the science museum scheduled—my head was overflowing with ideas for this poor child. But what I hadn’t realized was the same thing that made him hate school is the same thing that made him hate all my scheduled activities I had planned. Read more

I can’t believe how many examples you send to me of parents and teachers talking about self-directed learning.

Here’s the issue: It is pretty much uncontested that the best type of learning for kids is self-directed learning. The problem with self-directed learning is that the more restricted the environment, the less self-directed a child is. Self-directed learning is possible, then, on a spectrum, defined not by the child but by the child’s environment. Read more

This is a guest post from Amiyrah Martin. She lives with her husband and three children in New Jersey. Amiyrah owns the popular web site 4 Hats and Frugal.

“Sorry for the delay, Mr. and Mrs. Martin. This will only take a few more minutes.”

Our son’s guidance counselor seems agitated but appreciative that we were on time for our meeting. My husband and I have always loathed parent-teacher conferences, so having to wait even longer to have the last one of the night immediately frazzled us. Read more

For hundreds of years we have been telling children violent stories. Hansel experiences starvation. Gretel watches children being burned alive. Sleeping Beauty has a step-mother who is trying to kill her.  Read more

This is a guest post from Sarah Faulkner. She is a homeschooling mom in Washington state. She has five kids, ages 13, 11, 9, 5, and 2. That’s Sarah and her husband in the photo.

I don’t think homeschooling has made me poor, but it depends on who you ask.  For some strange reason I seem to have people in my life who feel like they must tell me how to live my life.  Over and over.  You would think after 9 years of homeschooling they would realize I’m not going to listen to them.  It always makes me wonder the intelligence I am speaking to when they lecture yet again.  Seriously, do you just not know me?  Why do you not shut up?
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In the last few decades there has been a huge push to develop an open floor plan in most offices. Yet now that the research is in, we know open floor plans are terrible for the workplace.

The same can be said of the classroom. There are no cubbies, cubicles, or private areas in a classroom, which is important for a teacher who is attempting to educate and discipline up to thirty kids at a time. And there is research to show that the detriments of an open work environment are not limited to one age group—young people dislike the open environment as well. Read more

When we talk about school reform, we never talk about the problems that are impossible to overcome. So often I hear people talking about opting out of tests, volunteering in the classroom, improving arts education—as if these things will make a significant difference. Read more