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News Nov. 22-28

News Nov. 22-28

Number of homeschoolers in DC is increasing.

Same thing in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Radio Boston explores the growth here, in a fair interview which came out after this Boston Magazine article. The Boston magazine article asks a question which I think is interesting:

More and more of Boston’s smartest families are opting out of the education system to homeschool their children. Is this the new model for creating elite kids?

Helicopter Parenting is Really a Symptom of Underparenting.

Ms. Bateman argues that the term “helicopter parenting” is far too simplistic to cover the vast array and complexity of parent-child relationships. She says parents spend less time than ever with their kids today, and could be making up for that loss with over-involvement during the time they actually are with their kids.

Her theory supports anecdotal evidence from my circle of homeschooling friends who tend to let their kids take more risks than most parents. How does your anecdotal evidence weigh in here?

On the plus side, the stats support homeschooling:

Research shows that students who are raised and educated by their parents through home education are highly successful in their postsecondary studies. According to the National Home Education Research Institute, studies show that homeschoolers who go on to college outperform their peers.

But for those kids not being homeschooled, Bateman says “[We] must pay more attention to the caregivers who help shoulder the responsibility of making kids succeed or fail.” How can we help daycare, after school, and other providers help kids learn to take risks, learn from their mistakes, and thus reduce the rampant over sensitivity we’re seeing in millennials? It seems to me, this would include some revamping of parents’ thinking on liability law.

To end, Bateman describes a friend’s novel:

Michael Anderson’s “Provoke Not the Children” describes a daunting dystopia where parents are no longer considered adequate at raising children. Instead, at a young age, the children are turned over to child-rearing professionals. What a strange, disjointed world it appears to be.

College’s cost:benefit ratio way off

And some colleges are skewing the numbers to make it look like fewer of their grads are suffocating under student loans.

From 2005 to 2012, average student loan debt has jumped 35 percent, while the median salary has dropped 2.2 percent, according to the New America Foundation.

Child Development Expert Critiques Early Childhood Education

We all share a common vision: Education is a human right and every child deserves one. An excellent, free education where learning is meaningful – with arts, play, engaging projects, and the chance to learn citizenship skills so that children can one day participate — actively and consciously – in this increasingly fragile democracy.

These words from Nancy Carlsson-Paige, recent recipient of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing’s Deborah Meier award. You can read her speech here.

It’s always encouraging to me to see movement within public education toward humanizing our nation’s children. With, as the article notes, the Gates Foundation spending $200 million to mobilize Common Core and all the testing that has followed, we know it’s an uphill battle to reduce testing in schools. I choose to homeschool for many reasons, but one of them is how I know my high-anxiety kid would crumble under so much manadory testing.

For those public school teachers, administrators, and staff who remain within the system fighting for children (and fighting for the ability to treat children as children), keep up the good work, brothers and sisters. America’s families need you.

Eleven-Year-Old organizes shoe donations for Africa

What a great way to practice leadership and learn to be a servant of others.

Rhiannon Kutzer

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Nice to meet you!

I’m Rhiannon.

You can call me Rhi for short (as in “rejoice”). I’m a fiercely independent homeschooling mom of five, a Navy wife of 13 years, and a creator of various things: articles, a semi-regular newsletter, quilts, furniture, and the occasional knitted scarf. This is the site where I write about our homeschool journey and news and happenings in the homeschool world. more about me.


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Need a shot in the arm for your homeschool? Get Thrive Together, a monthly email that brings you:

--the best of the homeschool blogosphere,
--current homeschool news,
--and great quotes that will refresh your homeschool mama mind.

Latest Posts


  • PSA: Don’t let curriculum publishers and internet ads scare you into thinking you NEED to buy their products to get your kids a solid education. #askamom #momsmentoringmoms
  • #Homeschooling when you didn’t choose it:
I would feel totally overwhelmed and underprepared if I were in your shoes. Homeschooling is hard even when you did choose it. We’ve changed a little, too. Every meal is a reading meal these days if the kids want that. (They do🤓.)
So, please ask me all your questions. I and other HSing mamas in your community have YEARS of experience with this atypical version of education. How can we help you and your specific kids in your specific situation? We have learned a lot of things the hard way and we are happy to help make this time smoother for you.
What I desperately hope: those of you stuck in a situation you didn’t want AT ALL, might come to see education a little differently. It can be flexible. It can happen over the course of a whole day, with snacks, outside time, screen time, and play interspersed between lessons.
This type of education is more about LIFE and HOME than you might think. While your students may be doing the same work assigned by the school, the setting change from school to home will change almost everything else about their educational experience this semester.
Here are my two favorite tips to get you started:
1. Use short lessons. 
2. Alternate between types of work.
The younger the kids, the shorter the lessons. Ballpark: elementary should be 15-30min/subject max. Middle school 30-45min/subject max.
How does this look? Have your student read for 15 min, then do something physical for 15, then do handwriting for 15. That kind of a thing. “A change is as good as a rest."
Don’t expect elementary kids to complete the whole assignment in such a short lesson. Just expect focused attention for that time, no matter how far he gets in the work. That builds the habit of, “when we sit to do school, we focus on school.” If you have to do 5 or 10 minute lessons because that’s all he had the attention for, that’s totally normal. Build up to longer periods, but it’s not really reasonable developmentally to expect hour-long math sessions for very young students. Those lead to tears. Ask me how I know.
  • Some days are just “pull your big girl panties on and handle your business like a grownup” days. Cheers to all of you who handled your business today. #navywifelife #adulting
  • This is the best kind of helpful. 🥰💛☕️
  • Everybody loves bacon! Also, breakfast for dinner + wine + good tunes = a good, chill cure for a Monday. 🎶Man cannot live by bread alone🎶 @michaelbuble @thirdday @theweepies @ginnyowensofficial @norahjones #family #familydinner
  • Just in case you need this message today.  #suicideprevention #dontgiveupsigns

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