Things Parents Can Do

The Economic Policy Institute recently released a report:  Five Social Disadvantages That Depress Student Performance (Why Schools Alone Can’t Close Achievement Gaps). The EPI being what it is - a think tank which promotes government solutions - it behaves as if it has a hammer and everything is a nail. Leaving that aside, there are… Continue reading Things Parents Can Do

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Grandpa’s Tale

You know, I love to talk, and when my toddlers were young, I talked to to them about everything. Figured it would help build their vocabulary, and it sure did! Now, they're all grown up, and nattering with their own kids. But now my hair is grey, I shop alone, and I still keep a… Continue reading Grandpa’s Tale

Educating the Poor

Many people claim that government must educate, because otherwise the poor would not be able to afford education for their children. The only problem with this theory is the facts. There can hardy be any educator in America who is unfamiliar with the "achievement gap." No informed educator should be ignorant of the colossal failures… Continue reading Educating the Poor

Educational Freedom – a Disclaimer

I post often about home education, and will continue to do so. Some folks wonder if I am claiming that home education is the solution for everybody. Far from the case. I'm pretty sure I've written more than a few posts about free-market education. Click on "tooley" and/or "sudbury" in the tag cloud, for example,… Continue reading Educational Freedom – a Disclaimer

Can Ma and Pa Average Teach Their Own?

My previous blog entry, about my personal motivations for home education, revealed that my family and I are somewhat "above average" in math and reading skills. Does this mean that you must be some kind of freaking super-genius in order to help your children to learn? Not at all. Here is why: First off, who… Continue reading Can Ma and Pa Average Teach Their Own?

Until Then: When Homeschooling and Free Markets Are Not (yet) a Viable Option.

Many folks claim to "agree in principle" with home education, genuinely free-market schools, co-op schools, and complete separation of school and state, but also claim that "it isn't politically feasible yet." They said that about marijuana legalization and other positions too. Suppose you want to do better for your children, and cannot yet see how… Continue reading Until Then: When Homeschooling and Free Markets Are Not (yet) a Viable Option.

Building Scholastic Culture In The Family

Many people who talk about "culture wars" are like bulls distracted by a red cape: aiming at the wrong place entirely. They're looking for certain results instead of methods; at ends rather than means. This way leads to confusion. A growing body of research about education is finally paying attention to the crucial role of… Continue reading Building Scholastic Culture In The Family

Nuke Government Schools? A Thought Experiment

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry proposes a thought experiment: Imagine that omnipotent space aliens from the planet Zyrglax land on Earth and take control of the United States. But these aliens are somewhat bizarre, and they change only one thing: they teleport all [government] school buildings into the sun, and prohibit the government from any action or law… Continue reading Nuke Government Schools? A Thought Experiment

The Math Gap

Are you afraid of math? Many adults are. About 1 in 5 American adults are characterized as "innumerate" - they can't do basic arithmetic problems such as adding fractions, working with measurements, and doing whole number arithmetic problems, according to a study about how math skills develop. The standard for innumeracy is not high; Geary… Continue reading The Math Gap

What Are We, Chopped Liver?

The literature of schooling - self-styled "education" by its proponents - is a literature which at best ignores parents, and often disparages their participation. We parents are left asking "What are we, chopped liver?" There is a certain bitter amusement to read of the "30 million word" research, that educators spent so much effort trying… Continue reading What Are We, Chopped Liver?