Phi Beta Kappa

When I started college, there were a lot of things I didn’t know. I didn’t know how to sit still for an hour without talking, so I always talked in class. I didn’t know that other people thought talking a lot in class meant that you were arrogant or sucking up or just annoying. I didn’t know that people expected to be bored in class, or even that class wasn’t the point of college. I didn’t know what Phi Beta Kappa was.

There were a lot of frats on campus, and plenty of sororities, too, and sometimes I got notices from them in my mailbox, inviting me to parties or events. Spelled out Greek letters meant a frat, and I threw the notice away.

. . . → Read More: Phi Beta Kappa

We weren’t scared

Note: Thank you everyone for the amazing comments on Katie’s guest post! I am thrilled, reading them. I’m also kind of proud, because you guys are here, on my blog, being awesome and smart and eloquent. I know I can’t take a huge amount of credit, but I am pretty tempted… I want to write a response to the guest post, too, and to the question “what about everyone else?” But I’m running all over the country for three weeks, since Bear’s new job doesn’t start until the beginning of June, and we are trying to see all of the relatives we’ve missed, and some of the places we fantasize about. So that’s my excuse. I’ll do it when I get a chance. But for now, here’s a post I wrote while waiting for a delayed flight in the Columbus airport:

(view from the airport window)

No offense, Mom, but in a lot of ways, we were better homeschoolers than you. I know why. It’s because we weren’t scared.

As a kid, you aren’t scared of messing up all the time. At least, I wasn’t. I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about how I might not be acceptable, or I might fail, or I might not be as good as other kids at things. I knew I was awesome, and I had big goals, like playing Carnegie Hall at fourteen. I thought I was totally capable of that. I was going to publish a lot of . . . → Read More: We weren’t scared

What about everyone else? Is homeschooling elitist?

This is a guest post from Katie Traylor. She wrote to me a couple weeks ago with a concern about homeschooling. Her concern was so well articulated that I asked her to write this post. It’s a concern, after all, that comes up a lot, and requires some discussion. Here she is: Homeschooling my (future) kids was not even on my radar a year ago.

My public school experience was mostly good, and I’ve grown up to be a huge supporter of the public education system. It is the reason why a child born to a poor, uneducated family can grow up to become a leader for social change, a successful businessperson, or an emergency room doctor.

. . . → Read More: What about everyone else? Is homeschooling elitist?

I got interviewed in HEM

Click here to read my interview with Helen Hegener for Home Education Magazine. I had a really good time doing it. Thanks, HEM!

I want to write an actual post, but I keep looking over my shoulder out the window, and the sky is that uninterrupted blue that can’t imagine clouds, and the river looks almost unpolluted. So I think I have to go outside instead.

I may blame it on unschooling. I got to spend a lot of time with the sky, as a kid.

But then again, maybe it’s genetic. Maybe it’s just human. Like how good pizza tastes. That’s just human, too.

I don’t know why I have the urge to write about pizza so much.

Are homeschoolers idealists?

Peter Kowalke, over at (why is it that we all have the same blog name?! I really have to get around to changing mine), is asking the world if homeschoolers are idealists. He writes:

Are we a bunch of idealists? This really is a tweet and not an essay; I’m throwing the question out there more than feeling like I have an answer to it. But my gut says unschoolers are idealists.

We’re idealists in that we don’t accept human frailty and the ills of the world as unavoidable fact. We try to change things, to better ourselves, to live up to ideals. We want to actually BE our ideal, not just worship it, and we go out and make it happen.

Is this good, or are we spinning our wheels and fighting battles we can’t win? Do we ultimately come back to the status quo after a long struggle trying to be better than the norm, or do we somehow avoid being THAT kind of idealist?

I don’t know. Maybe we’re practical. We see another way to do things that makes a lot of sense, so we try it.

Often, people assume that the presence of homeschooling is, at its heart, a critique of a broken education system. You could make a pretty sturdy argument there. But on an individual level, and speaking as an unschooler myself, staying out of school seems more like having the space to make your own choices than a cry for revolution.

. . . → Read More: Are homeschoolers idealists?


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