One of the most disheartening things I came across during my years of homeschooling was the notion that children are helpless, incompetent, and will not learn unless they are instructed in a school-like manner. A recent post by Idzie Desmarais pointed out the folly of this viewpoint, and got me thinking. I was not unschooled… Read More To trust children, learn to trust yourself
An excellent article by Wendy Priesnitz has gotten me thinking about success. Most homeschooling parents, like Wendy, have experienced questions about whether their chosen path was “successful.” Many new homeschooling parents I meet look for “success stories” in order to reassure themselves that their choice isn’t doomed or foolish or crazy. Larger societal forces seek… Read More Homeschooling and the pursuit of success
boredom the state of being weary and restless through lack of interest For as long as I’ve been a parent the issue of how to deal with kids uttering the dreaded “I’m bored” has been a topic of discussion, articles, commentaries, and books. The conventional wisdom goes through phases. Bored kids are a sign of… Read More Boredom — it’s not all it’s cracked up to be
“Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.” — Mahatma Ghandi They say mistakes are hard. You know what’s harder? Trying to think of a single thing you’ve ever learned without making one. Which, of course, makes thinking mistakes are bad patently ludicrous. If humans can’t learn,… Read More The freedom to make mistakes
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