Science: Depressed teachers don’t impede student math achievement

We cannot wave a wand and change society, or schools, or what I’m about to tell you, which is that elementary school teachers get no respect in our public school system and that explains the high attrition, high burnout, and hundreds of thousands of unfilled positions.

I hate being the person with hindsight

Hindsight is so sucky. It was so much more fun to write about homeschooling when I was the deer-in-headlights parent who was so scared of making mistakes. In hindsight, I should have hired more people to give me advice. It’s so absurd that I didn’t. I notice that with things I’m great at —  like […]

Key skill for homeschooling parents: emotional availability

Today I sifted through drafts of posts I didn’t publish. This is from 2011. The picture up top caught my eye, so I read the post. Last Friday I spent the day in bed. Well, first I got out of bed, had the kids do chores, and then made breakfast for the Farmer and the […]

Should homeschool emphasize the family or individual?

I started homeschooling because it seemed like a total waste of time to send my kids away from me to do something that wasn’t working anyway. I wanted my family to be about being together, day in and day out.

Colleges want kids who leverage their resources.  What are they measuring?

Universities feel uncomfortable being a bastion for the rich and lucky. So colleges started screaming from rooftops (and courtrooms) about how admissions are based on subjective, hard-to-measure merit. But kids who are poor have much more difficulty displaying their merits, so colleges changed their language. Now colleges look at how kids have leveraged the resources […]

Three parenting situations that haunt homeschoolers

Two terrible parenting situations: Clingy little kids follow you everywhere in the house and want to show you everything, and literally tug on your clothes if you stray. Obstinate little kids loudly not doing what the teacher tells them to do at home – read a page, tie a shoe, draw a picture, anything that […]

Studying math gives homeschoolers a sense of belonging

So many homeschool parents say, “I can’t do math and I fit in fine.” But science has shown that’s probably not true. It turns out that math, more than any other subject, is one that kids cannot learn on their own and often need more than just a parent’s help with for homework. This means […]

How artificial intelligence fits into homeschooling

We can learn about teaching grammar from Grammarly, I read this from a writing coach giving advice to high schoolers: Grammarly rules. Get your parents to pay for the pro version and put everything you write until the end of time through it before you submit. I do! What works about Grammarly is that it […]

Well-rounded is the opposite of working hard at something you love

Parents stress about their kids studying all the right stuff until parents see a different path for their kids. We don’t realize that we think of well-roundedness as a way to hedge having failed to help our kids find what excites them. Stop asking yourself asking how will my kid learn xxx? Is your kid […]

My son’s five-minute foray into professional esports

As my kids got to be around age 10 I phased out my play-all-day approach to homeschooling. Instead, I considered anything homeschooling as long as there was a goal and a daily plan for meeting that goal. Playing string instruments fit neatly into this scheme, but here’s another thing that fit: esports.

© 2023 Penelope Trunk