School Choice Week: Why Homeschool Is the Best School

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National School Choice Week 2013, which runs from Jan. 27 through Feb. 2, shines a spotlight on the need for education opportunities for all. In only its third year, this bipartisan, grassroots effort features more than 3,500 events spanning all 50 states. This is a guest post from Steven Horwich, teacher, writer, director, and founder of Connect the Thoughts, providing resources and training for homeschooling. You can follow him on Twitter @Homeschoolcurr and Facebook.There is a great d … [Read more...]

Marriage Retreat: How to Plan a Weekend Getaway

Fifteen years -- and counting.I know. Ours is not the longest marriage on record. But it is the happiest.I have the certificate to prove it. Somewhere. It's right --  well, it's not important now. I'll look it up later.Right after we get the six kids to bed.Now that we've covered Why You Should Plan a Marriage Retreat, let's get practical and talk how to plan a weekend getaway. Well, it doesn't have to be a weekend getaway, as you'll see, but it would sure help.One excuse I've heard of … [Read more...]

Here’s a Quick Way to Destroy Your Kids

Our kids have never been good at following the crowd or "sheepwalking" as Seth Godin calls it. Or following the signs at local parks that read:"Stay on Prepared Trails"When I was a kid at the same parks, there were no signs. There were barely paths.The whole point of going was to get off the trail. Explore a mysterious cave. Jump across a tricky precipice. Race up the side of a cliff that was likely to cause a bruise or scrape or both. No, I didn’t wear a helmet.There was one thing I wa … [Read more...]

To All Those Who Want Safer Schools in Newtown

I get it. Really, I do.We're repulsed by the utter horror of the tragedy in Newtown. Our hearts ache at the thought of such insane bloodshed. I've already shared my own experiences with such issues and my prayer for them as a former principal who still knows and loves so many similar teachers and kids.And I have few little guys of my own. So I get our urge to make schools safer. I understand why we want to do all we can to make sure no one ever hurts like that again. But there is a subtle … [Read more...]

Self Esteem Test: How Would You Describe Yourself in Just One Word?

Annoying.My six-year-old son recently began describing himself with that one word -- annoying. He took some pride in it, in fact. Maybe it was because he'd been watching Dennis the Menace a few times too many. He does resemble Dennis a bit, come to think of it. More likely it had more to do with his siblings labeling him as just that on far too many occasions. You'll be happy to know he has now switched to another, more fitting word -- handsome.Take a simple self esteem test. How would you de … [Read more...]

Why Schools Should Get Rid of Almost All Homework

I hate homework. Not as much as I hate yellow-jackets, but that's another story. As a successful K-12 school leader and principal for a dozen years, I bring a unique voice of experience to this relatively new educational nuisance we call homework.Schools should get rid of almost all of it. It's evil.That's right. Evil. What else should I call something that robs us all of that most precious resource -- time --and often gives nothing but hatred for learning in return? Before too many of my fe … [Read more...]

Don’t Go Wireless with Your Teens

It’s the end cap to my hallway and a doorway to my heart. My grandfather was a pioneer in radio. He owned a radio repair shop in Wichita back in the 1920s. His radio stands in my home, a testament to his work and a by-gone era.Too heavy for my hands to lift, I open the cabinet and imagine his hands connecting tubes and adjusting wires. I see his weathered hands moving parts around for maximum signal strength. I envision him lying on his double chaise at night hand-in-hand with my grandmother … [Read more...]

The Question: What Are You Going to Be When You Grow Up?

"What are you going to be when you grow up?"When my children are asked this question -- and they often are -- I have taught them that they do NOT have to answer.Am I rude? I don't think so.I think it's the question itself that's out of place.Think about it. How do kids usually answer this question?  I think I used to pick chemist as my acceptable answer. My College Algebra teacher's laughing hysterically right now. At least now he knows I'm awake.Most children answer by conjuring up a … [Read more...]


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