Tag Archive | Radical Home Schooling


If you are a good parent, you are open to be learning as much as you might be teaching.  So it has been with Willow from early on.

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Willow, me and Hawina in Ithaca

Willow had been home schooled almost all of his life.  Some of his commune kid friends had gone to conventional school.  They did not speak well of it.  It would come up with some regularity, that their were people (like his grandmother) who really thought he should go to conventional schools.  Willow was not having it.

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A couple of years back my mother thought it would be fun for us to go to Cuba together.  Willow thought it would be good to learn some Spanish before he went.  There being no one at Twin Oaks Community who was willing to teach him, he decided to take a class at the local community college.

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Hawina and Willow in Cuba

I was stunned.  After over a decade of intransigence around the possibility of going to school he just suddenly switched.   I asked him about it.

“Willow why did you decide to go to school?” I asked

“Do you know the difference between community college administrators and high school principals?”  He challenged.

I knew I would not be able to guess, so i just caved.  “No i don’t know, would you tell me?”

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“Sure”  Willow offered.  “The principal is trying to keep everyone in high school.  The community college administrators are trying to keep the customers satisfied.  The difference is the principals are trying to keep the bullies in class.  The administrators are trying to thrown them out.  I don’t want to go to any institution that is trying to keep the bullies in.”

I had never considered such a thing, but clearly this made sense.

Willow is in his third semester of community college, pulling straight A’s, finishing his fancy Clonlara online high school curriculum early and thinking about summer school in video game design.  I am pretty excited and feel proud he made his own decisions to get here.

[As with all posts significantly about him, Willow has signed off on this one.  Thanks to Kelpie for proof reading]


The Eighth Wonder

“Why Egypt?” a number of friends have asked.  Well, you could claim it is part of the elaborate home schooling journey we have embarked on.  The fact is Willow has something of an obsession with the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  In case you have forgotten, these Mediterranean and Middle Eastern marvels are:
1.      Hanging Gardens of Babylon (now Iraq)
2.     Colossus of Rhodes (Greece)
3.     Statue of Zeus at Olympia (Greece)
4.     Temples of Artemis at Ephesus (now Turkey)
5.     Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (now Turkey)
6.     Lighthouse of Alexandria  (Greece)
7.     Great Pyramid of Giza (Egypt)
If you know your history, you know that the only remaining ancient wonder of the world is the Great Pyramid of Giza.  Also known as the Pyramid of Khufu, it is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in Egypt.  The Great Pyramid is also the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, predating the others by 2,000 or more years.  Last year, when we were discussing where we would go for a big family adventure, Willow was clear, “I want to see the pyramids.”  When I suggested we could see other things first, Willow pointed out that all the other ancient wonders have been destroyed.  When I tried to counter that the pyramids had been there for thousands of years and were not likely to go anywhere, Willow shot back, “Some of the other wonders were there for a thousand years and they’re all gone now.  Egypt is currently in a period of civil unrest. Anything could happen.”  I could not fault his logic, so i guess we have to go.
And so we go to Egypt.

The Eighth Wonder