So many parents tell me they can’t homeschool because they can’t be a teacher. But kids learn much better without teachers, because teachers are largely there to restrict freedom. If you leave 30 kids alone, together, they will definitely find stuff to do. It’ll just be chaos. And, of course, many kids would leave the classroom. Teachers are there to keep kids orderly. In a world of self-directed learning, there is no need for teachers. Read more
I live in rural America, so it’s easy for me to find pictures of animals that would appall you. Because you are not used to seeing how people really treat their animals. You’d think people would hide their animals when they treat them poorly, but in fact, people convince themselves that what they are doing is ethically and morally fine. So it’s all out in the open. Read more
Okay, look. I love that everyone sends me homeschool links. One of the huge perks of being a blogger is that every day people send me links to articles about topics I’m interested in. It’s like a personal news tracking system. Also, sometimes I’m really touched when people send me wacky links that I love, even though they are totally off topic. Read more
The online schools that are popping up all over the country are there because of a loophole in education funding that allows companies to siphon money from school districts to create sub-par online learning systems. Read more
Culturally it is not okay to say that all children should be with a primary caregiver for the first 18 months. We have enormous data to prove that this is true, but parents don’t like to be told that childcare is not okay. So the media doesn’t say it. Read more
These arguments about public vs private school are so meaningless. Of course we can’t have a national public school system without forward mobility if we take out all the rich kids. The problem is that this argument distracts us from the core issue, which is that school doesn’t work for anyone, rich or poor. If school worked, then it wouldn’t matter if you have your kids in a private school or a public school because school works, and school is a method for upward mobility, and school is the right place for kids. Except it’s not. Read more
After leaving my job to homeschool my children, I hit a paradox in black middle-class culture. No one is questioning my decision to homeschool. Rather, almost everyone has acknowledged the horrible state of public education and how it is failing black kids. Many people have even applauded my decision to take my kids’ education into my own hands. But then everyone questions my decision to leave my corporate law job, leaving “all that money on the table,” selling the big house and moving into a much smaller house. The final blow is when I’m asked when I intend to return to work and how long we plan to live only on my husband’s salary. Read more
Eric Anderman, professor at education psychology at Ohio University, has studied cheating for decades, and he says that 85 percent of students admit to cheating. (The number is probably higher since some do it but don’t admit it.) Harvard recently had to have a public discussion about campus cheating, and Stuyvesant, a New York City magnet school that’s harder to get into than Harvard, had an incredibly organized cheating system that rivals best practices for productivity types in Fortune 500 organizations.
It’s completely ridiculous that schools are so uptight about cheating because what schools call cheating is what people in the work world call effective workplace behavior. For example:
You already know that everyone learns differently. You already know that each kid has different interests, and you know that kids learn at different rates. So you know, intuitively, if you set up school to be a competition, it will not be close to a fair fight. Read more
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