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
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