Even though semantic bleaching, the evolution of a word’s meaning over time, is a natural process in language, it can sometimes create confusion, annoyance, and even protest (think of the ongoing media lament over the word “literally”). In homeschooling circles, the current buzz is all about the word “unschooling.” Weeks ago I wrote about it… Read More The semantic bleaching of ‘unschooling’
Recently I heard a national radio show host trying to wrap her head around homeschooling during an hour-long program on the topic. Many of her questions were of the “what if” variety. You know the type of questions I’m talking about. What if the kid doesn’t learn to read, what if the kid plays video… Read More Homeschooling: what if people stopped asking what if?
John Taylor Gatto has died. He was a brilliant, complicated man with a huge presence and heartfelt opinions. He won awards for teaching in the public schools of New York City, but those prizes mean little compared to the difference he made in the lives of scores of students. He was also a monumental influence… Read More The rich, complex legacy of John Taylor Gatto
Last week I saw an online discussion thread asking parents to share experiences of their kids learning to read without being taught. I thought about my two oldest children, who spent some time in school before being homeschooled. I had stories about their early reading, but none for my children who never went to school.… Read More Learning to read without being taught
What is unschooling? That question has been debated among homeschoolers for years, but what’s happened recently is something I never would have predicted. The word “unschooling,” originally coined by John Holt in the 1970s, has come to be applied to free schools and alternative schools, or, if you will, unschooling schools. That’s reflected in an… Read More Conscious homeschooling
In case you didn’t already know, it’s Banned Books Week. The top ten challenged books of 2017 include some that I let my kids read, like Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. In case you’re wondering why that classic coming-of-age story might be inappropriate, the reasons are violence and use of racial slurs. Although I… Read More Banned Books Week and the freedom to read
A friend of mine volunteers for an organization called Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. In a time when marketers have unprecedented access to children, I think it’s a worthy cause. I had occasion to think about this last night after running into a fellow homeschooling mom I hadn’t seen in a long time. Our kids… Read More A commercial-free childhood