Kate Keyhoe is a professor of American literature and creative writing. With her husband, she homeschools her daughter.

I’m supposed to be writing right now – not this, some bloggy letter to Penelope Trunk but really writing, as in poems or lyric essays or a think piece on the last avant garde art installation I saw. Read more

I like this photo because it’s from when I was in preschool, and my experience of preschool was pretty good.

I went to a daycare center for families that had some sort of problem. This was in the early 1970s, when my mom was programming with punch cards and her job counted as a family problem. No one had a working mom. So we went to the closest daycare center, an hour and a half away from our home. 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. 

When the kids were little we had an official first day, and a last day of school.  It is a given that children learn all the time, and don’t stop learning, but for the sake of this conversation let’s assume everyone agrees with that simple logic shall we?  The real reason we had an official first day and last was because I needed to know that I was done.
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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

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

My brother is getting married to a woman who is so brilliant and kind and amazing that some days I wish I were marrying her.

We went to her dissertation defense. It was something about enzymes and I don’t know what else because I could understand about six words in the whole talk. But it was exciting to watch a bunch of scientists get excited about the discovery she made. Engaged people are engaging to watch. 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.

About every 45 days or so I go into a nice little panic that I am homeschooling wrong and am totally screwing over my kids. I know this is irrational, and that there isn’t a single “right” way to homeschool, but none of that logic matters in the moment. Read more

A school in New South Wales is giving parents the option to excuse their primary school kids from homework. Decades of research that shows homework before sixth grade makes no difference in how well kids do in life. The school in New South Wales points to a recent OECD report showing that kids in private schools do two hours’ more homework each week than their public school peers but their results were are no better once socio-economic advantage was taken into consideration. Read more

I’m not teaching my kids to write. It seems like this would be shocking, since I’m a writer. But actually, I’ve taught enough writing to know that you can’t teach people to write well. This is because good writing comes from practice and from a lot of reading. So I’m not teaching them anything because we are all good writers if we keep the teacher voice out of our heads. 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 like to hear about other homeschoolers. If you talk to my father, I am a complete failure.  If you just look at test scores, and talk to my kids I am doing just fine.  I have been homeschooling for 8 years.  I am an ENTP and have five kids.  My fourth has Autism/ADHD, and I think my third does as well (for ADD).

Honestly my life is hell, and I really don’t like homeschooling at the moment, but I feel public school is a long waste of 12 years.  Also, none of my kids wants to go to school.

Every time I get annoyed and find a reason to stop homeschooling, the kids step up so they can stay home.  They want to stay home because, “We don’t have enough time to go to school.  How would we get everything else done?”  My children highly value playing.

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