"My 5 year old son keeps asking to do more math, and I have to keep explaining to him that school is over, and it's summer vacation now!" Sorry, but you're doing home education wrong. Anytime anyone, of any age, expresses an interest in math, I'm happy to oblige. Home education requires very little "formal… Continue reading To Suppress Natural Curiosity – Or Not?
Over the past forty years of striving to make computers do what I want, I have gained a few hard-won truths. One is that we can be very poor critics of own ideas. We love those ideas; we poured our own blood, sweat and tears into them. Of course they must be right; of course… Continue reading You Are Your Own Worst Critic
Why are school lessons so bad? Perhaps we overlook the most crucial of reasons, discovered by Parkinson: work expands to fill time. Compulsory attendance laws mandate that children attend to something for ever-increasing parts of their lives, under the direction of professional educators, at ever-increasing cost. It simply wouldn't do to pay these educators to… Continue reading Makework Expands To Fill Time
"Let's bring this meeting to order," said the Mayor. "Order, please." He banged the gavel. Quiet emerged in the packed City Council Chambers. Cameras flashed. "All right, to begin, this is a highly informal meeting, at the request of a group which calls themselves the Freedom Zone. This group, and the area where they reside,… Continue reading Freedom Zone Confronts City Council
One of the most viral posts this year involved a parent humbly begging the Crown for permission to take their child on an educational trip without risking the threat of force. The post reproduced a letter to a parent. The principal who signed that letter thought this highly unfair, since her goals were allegedly aligned… Continue reading May It Please The Crown, Let Our Children Go
The most common question for home educators, by far, is "What about socialization?" I'm always shocked. Socialization was always the least of my concerns. It's a big world out there. Let kids out in the world, and they'll socialize with everybody. Humans are inherently social; socialization is as natural as walking and talking. Actually, socialization… Continue reading Socialization is Normal
Random comment from the 'Net: "I think a tax break for home schooled families is a great idea. However, you forget that we live in a community, and no man is an island. Those families do benefit from living in a community where others are educated." Whoa! This argument cuts both ways: the community arguably… Continue reading Home Education: Public Benefit?
A standard argument for government provision of education is that it would otherwise be under-provided. The theory is that, since one's education also benefits other people, one who purchases education for one's own self would only pay enough for the benefits to oneself. If we take this argument seriously, we must determine how much education… Continue reading Pedants: Converting Good to Bad
Do we really need the State to educate? Most people believe this to be the case, especially for the poorest among us. But E.G. West and James Tooley - and several others - have looked at the actual history of education, and found something startling: mass education existed before heavy state involvement. I highly recommend… Continue reading We Don’t Need The State To Educate!
My father taught me something wise. "When you hear somebody say 'blah blah blah but such-and-such,' the word 'but' is a signal. Everything before the 'but' is preamble, which you can safely ignore. After the 'but', that's the real substance, that's what they were leading you to. That's the important part." Whenever politicians speak, I… Continue reading Skip The Whereases