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Kindergarten Rocks

Abigail is thriving in her school’s “hybrid” kindergarten program. She has a few advantages compared to her older siblings, which I mentioned before. First, kindergartners get to go to school in person 4 days per week, instead of just 2 days. Because of that, the teacher doesn’t have to teach […]

Mixed Experiences with the “Hybrid” Plan

I’ll be the first to say that for most students, distance learning can’t replace a great in-person experience. Pure distance-learning is suboptimal. Sal Khan, I Started Khan Academy. We Can Still Avoid an Education Catastrophe. Sal points out 3 shortcomings of distance learning: Kids don’t get the social-emotional experiences that […]

Lost Trust in the Teachers Union

I was raised by politically liberal Boomer parents (anti-Vietnam, “Clean for Gene,” and all that). Until his dying day, my father insisted that Jimmy Carter was the greatest U.S. president of his lifetime. My mother now drives around with an anti-Trump “Not My President” bumper sticker on her car. My […]

My 4-Year-Old Needs Preschool

Today, Zachary became the first child in our family to return to school during the COVID-19 pandemic. Zachary’s first foray into a formal early learning program was when he started preschool last year, in September 2019. (He was home until just after his 3rd birthday — 4 months with a […]

First Day of School Interviews

Today was supposed to be the first day of school. Instead, our local schools won’t open to students for 2+ weeks, in order to give the teachers time to prepare for “hybrid” instruction. At the same time, the school committee and teachers union still haven’t completed contract negotiations, and the […]

The Teachers Don’t Want In-Person School

Yesterday, our local teachers’ union issued a press release, stating that they will only begin the 2020-2021 school year remotely — thus unequivocally rejecting the “hybrid” plan that the administration put forth to the parents, the school committee, and the state department of education. What struck me is that the […]

Homeschooling Test Drive

I am a “look before you leap” kind of person, and my “looking” often involves thorough research and color-coded spreadsheets. I believe in trying on clothes in the dressing room, test driving cars, going on campus visits, and making home purchases contingent on inspection. Choosing between 3 relative unknowns — […]