Schools Zap Kids' Motivation and Mental Health
Intrinsic motivation is the key to discipline, excellence, and happiness. But schools stamp out intrinsic motivation. Is it ever a good idea to send your kids to a conventional school?
How to Level Up At Anything: Using Science to Approach Mastery
When you're not improving in your skills or craft, you're miserable. We all need a sense of progression and competence in our work. Here's how to efficiently improve—using intentional practice and outside input.
How Do You Decide What Projects to Work On as a Scholar?
How do you know you're working on the right projects and not wasting your time? Here are ways to know whether you've taken on the right work, and ways to improve daily task management, too.
What You Gain From 2 Years of Writing a Weekly Blog (5 Key Lessons)
What makes writing a blog worth it—especially when you're starting out and traffic is low? How do you analyze your content, build an audience, and keep up the motivation to write every week?
A New Interest-Led Learning Initiative: North Idaho Sudbury Co-op
We're attending a new homeschool co-op on a local farm. It follows an interest-led learning or self-directed education philosophy. So what does that mean? And how does it play out in practice?
Why I Went to Graduate School
Ten years ago, I started grad school at the MIT Media Lab. Why'd I attend? Because it was going to be fun. Here's how I made that decision, and why you should consider the fun factor in your own decision-making.
Book Review: A Little Way of Homeschooling: 13 Families Discover Catholic Unschooling by Suzie Andres
An inspiring book of essays by homeschooling/unschooling mothers about their philosophies, approaches, and journeys, with an emphasis on natural learning and relationships, family, and faith.
Book Review: Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakeable Peace by Sarah Mackenzie
A wise, tranquil book that will appeal to Christians and non-believers alike, with solid advice on managing expectations, dealing with schedules, and reflecting on the goals of education.
Book Review: Hunt, Gather, Parent: What Ancient Cultures Can Teach Us About the Lost Art of Raising Happy, Helpful Little Humans by Michaeleen Doucleff
How can we better help children develop helpfulness, responsibility, confidence, independence, and emotional control?
How To Consciously Be a Role Model in Creativity, Curiosity, and Crafting for Children
I want my children to be creative and curious, to do projects and work with their hands. How do I deliberately and consciously inspire and encourage them? Here are some ways.
Book Review: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel H. Pink
Without external rewards and punishments, people wouldn't do much. Or would they? People are actually driven toward autonomy, competence, and relatedness.
How to Build Self-Discipline: Why Awareness and Intrinsic Motivation Are Key
Self-discipline is the ability to do what needs to be done, to stay in control, to accomplish your goals. How do you build discipline? Here are strategies I use.
A Poem for Identifying Ten North Idaho Conifers
Our topic this week at our forest co-op was trees! I wrote some verses to help us remember how to recognize ten of the most common North Idaho conifers.
Ten Things We Learned From One Year Writing Our Blog
We've been writing a weekly blog for a year! Here's what we've learned about meeting our deadlines, writing and editing, building readership, running a blog, and appreciating life!
Why You Shouldn't Teach to Students' Learning Styles
Learning styles have been popular for half a century, but they're not the amazing educational tool some still think. Here's why they don't work, and what you should do instead.
Brainstorming: Are All Ideas Welcome? Why You Shouldn't Discount Ideas Before They're Explored
Why I consider all ideas—not just the "good" ones—and how doing so improves my work, helps me find unique solutions in arguments and software, and leads to counterintuitive insights.
Why Watching My Parents Cook Means I Can't Share Soup Recipe—And How I'm Encouraging My Kids to Cook Too
Growing up, I spent many hours swiveling a barstool at the kitchen counter, watching my parents cook. Here's what I learned—and how I'm setting up my kitchen to encourage my kids to learn the same.
The Learning Edge: Independence Outside My Comfort Zone (Study Abroad #5)
To grow and change, we need to reach our limits and push beyond them. Being abroad was one big out-of-my-comfort-zone adventure—on campus, exploring Sydney, and beyond—and here's what I learned.
The Necessity of Solitude and Reflection in Learning (Study Abroad #2)
Learning can have a cyclic nature from experiencing, to reviewing and reflecting, to learning from the experience, to planning for future experiences. Here's how that cycle played out for me while abroad.
Seeking Growth: Why I Decided to Study Abroad in College (Study Abroad #1)
Vassar's campus was a happy green bubble—but a predictable bubble. Outside the bubble, the unpredictable heralded change, learning, and personal growth.
How Curiosity Helps Children Build a Habit of Attention
Want your children to engage deeply with the world? Here's how to help them build a habit of deep attention and keep their curiosity intact.
Book review: Homeschooling with Gentleness: A Catholic Discovers Unschooling by Suzie Andres
This book discusses questions such as: Is moral education separate from academic education? What are common objections to Catholic unschooling?
Why Outdoor Time Is Important For Kids
We spent a lot of time outdoors. Being in nature makes everyone happier—and allows our kids to have more freedom and independence.
Dialogue Takes Two: Why Sharing Ideas Matters
Friends have shut down conversations because they disagreed with me. But dialogue is important—for finding common ground, truth, understanding—and it's only possible if everyone in the conversation is willing to talk.