Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Is Leaving School Best for Kids? - New Mommy Blog Investigates

I've been studying home education deeply this year, thanks in part to Kate Fridkis a writer, blogger, grown unschooler (she never attended K-12) and contributor to my blog.  From there I’ve connected with many other fascinating home educated adults (like Peter Kowalke and James Marcus Bach, author of Secrets of a Buccaneer-Scholar) and inspiring parents (like Vickie Bergman, Laurette Lynn, and Mystified Mom) who are home educating their children. I have learned so much from the home education community. I have also found a secret some home ed parents have and few are brave enough to reveal.  

As they embark upon this journey some parents are not sure doing a different thing (home ed) is the right thing. I can understand. When I bring this option up in some circles with family, friends, and colleagues, there have been times when people look at me like I’ve literally lost my mind and search for the nearest escape (from awkward conversation) route. And, I’m only “talking” about the option.  While I’ve been surprised by some of the visceral reactions, I’ve also been delighted by those who come up to me at a conference or after a meeting and reveal that they’re considering home education and that they’d love the opportunity to discuss this with me further. Whether you’re considering this option or you’ve taken the plunge, in today’s schooled world, parents who are choosing this path often need to be armed with knowledge and develop a thick skin.  

Trunk's son collecting the hay his goats will eat.

I’m beyond thrilled to share Penelope Trunk, author of a career advice blog and books like The Brazen Careerist is considering home education for her children and is going to be sharing her journey in a very public way via her new blog: Penelope Trunk Homeschool.  The blog will be about Penelope figuring out what to do with her kids’ schooling. Penelope reveals that she wants to be brave and homeschool. She believes she’ll be confident in her decision, but the reality is that she is terrified.  She admits she is scared it’s the wrong decision and her blog is an attempt to discuss it as a community.  She suggests that parents out there should be as worried as she is about the decision of whether kids can learn best outside of school.   

I believe she’s making the right decision and I shared some reasons why I feel this way in the guest post I contributed that is featured on her blog If the School Won’t Customize, Take Your Kid Out and provided her with ideas to get started with homeschooling here.  I’ve started reading her blog and she puts forth many provocative and compelling questions and ideas.  I look forward to reading, responding, and learning more.  I hope you’ll join me at Penelope Trunk Homeschool.


  1. I applaud you Lisa. You are in a world where home ed would normally not only be irrelevant to you but almost considered 'anti' what you do. I'm glad we connected and I look forward to doing more damage together :)

  2. Thanks @Laurette Lynn. We absolutely need to incorporate the lessons of home ed into schools if we want them to be effective. You are doing an amazing job of bringing these lessons to parents everywhere and educators like me. Thank you!!!

  3. I love, love, love that homeschooling is getting the attention it deserves. We home schooled from the end of 2nd grade on. And now that my kids are almost done, I get to see the benefits of that decision. They didn't lose their childhood and they gained the chance to realize what they loved to do. They have so much more direction than I ever had at their age.