Lesson plan: how to suck it up and go

How do you know when to quit complaining and put up with the terribleness of life? We shouldn’t torture ourselves, but maybe some things should be endured.


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How much do elitists spend homeschooling?

It’s difficult to get a real number for how much homeschooling costs. The answer is: it depends. It depends on a lot of things: your income, family size, location, etc. But the real question parents are asking is “Am I doing okay?”
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Schools group kids by age, but scientists have a better idea.

Working memory affects how we process, retain and use information. Specifically it’s memorizing and repetition to retain the information. A common trait among prodigies  is having incredible working memory.
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Why are high schoolers still learning Cold War math?

Public schools in the US are a living history lesson about social class. Grouping by age teaches kids to be sorted according to birth. Sounding bells teaches kids to become factory workers. Our high school math curricula teaches kids how to win the Cold War. 
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Behind every high-achieving kid is a super-involved parent

There’s an article in the New York Times about the relentlessness of modern parenting. Americans love hearing about how hard parenting is because we all know it’s over the top. This article had some good statistics, though. For example, mothers today who work outside the home spend as much time parenting as stay-at-home mothers in the 1950s did. 
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The best part about applying to college is essay

My older son has ADD and OCD and if I leave him alone for more than 20 minutes he is likely to start staering into space. Or doing one of his million OCDism that he probably wouldn’t want me to write about even though I think his best bet at getting into college is doing some sort of experimental film thing about repetition and delusion. After all, colleges want to know what makes you different from everyone else whose applying.
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High school football is a model for parent activists

I get hopeful every time I see people pushing back on schools. I think schools have way too much power in our society and I’m shocked by how many parents put up with it. And right now the group of parents pushing back the hardest are football parents. 
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3 Things I’m on the fence about teaching

My new friend Amelia sounds like swift-footed Achilles or bright-eyed Athena or sensible Telemachus. I wonder how many of you recognize those epithets from the Odyssey.
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What happens when you don’t teach math

I started unschooling when my younger son was 5 years old. I did not teach him math or reading. This is because my friend who is a teacher in New York City public schools, told me that everyone in the school system knows that you don’t have to teach most kids to read — they teach themselves. You only need to teach socially or economically disadvantaged kids how to read.
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Summer programs that cement a high-schooler’s rich-kid status

When I was in high school I went to debate camp every summer. I distinctly remember thinking, when I arrived at debate camp at Bates College in Maine: wow, these kids are rich. They were from private school. I had never hung out with kids from private school. They were different. They had swagger. 
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