Protecting Brains

What would you give to ensure that a child’s brain is prepared to operate in the adult world? What would you sacrifice to ensure that it has all the knowledge and skills necessary for the child to live a happy and productive life? For the homeschooling community the answer to that question is “an awful … Read more

I’m Being Attacked!

It’s funny what students will tell you about their families. They often have less of a filter than their parents. I’ll bet that’s comforting to all the parents reading this article 🙂 As a debate teacher, one of the messages that I sometimes get through the teen grapevine is that one or both parents in … Read more

Teach Them Less

Because of the flexibility offered by homeschooling, parents and teachers in the community get to spend more time than usual crafting curriculum. It’s an exciting prospect to imagine all the great things that you will teach and that students will learn. It can be very freeing to consider that you have the opportunity to teach … Read more

The Greatest Shield

This past summer I led an educational/humanitarian trip of students and parents to Guatemala. While there we spent some time playing in Lake Atitlan with the option to jump from a high platform into the lake. The platform delivered a thirty or forty foot drop into the water. Not terribly dangerous, but still intimidating for … Read more

What Causes What?

Over the years, I’ve asked a number of students who are struggling academically what they think is causing their academic struggles. The answers are often the same. “I keep putting my homework off until the end of the week instead of getting it done right when class gets out.” “Procrastination. I have a big problem … Read more

Process Over Outcome

I had a conversation with a student recently in which he identified a key turning point in my class. He said he had prepared really hard for the first time for a particular tournament a couple of years ago. He had hoped that he would place well, and it turned out that he didn’t place … Read more

Creating a Culture of Responsibility

A core memory as I built up the Wasatch Independent Debate League, and now the Independent Education Program, isn’t particularly pleasant to recall. It was years ago and we were having a tournament at the University of Utah. We initially had something like a decent number of students registered for the tournament. Not as many … Read more

Freedom in Education is Good, Chaos is Not

I love teaching in the homeschooling community so much, because there is just so much to love. The students, the parents, teaching in weird places….. During my time in the homeschool community I’ve taught in two different barns (finished thankfully), two old industrial buildings, outside… a lot, a smelly old church, several not smelly churches, … Read more

The Most Important Thing You Can Do For A Student

As an educator, the most important thing you will ever do for a student has very little to do with teaching. It has to do with saving that student’s life. It’s not about classroom methods, it’s about being there in the right moment to play a part in preventing a suicide. Suicide can be a … Read more

How to Help Troubled Students

Some students will make you feel like a great teacher no matter what you do. Success lives inside them so fully, it seems to spill over to you as a teacher. Some students reveal to you how good you are as a teacher. They’ll drink if you bring them to the water, but they’ll make … Read more