Episode-2688- The Coming Home School Tsunami and its Economic Impact — 22 Comments

  1. To anyone who doubts this, try reading your local states ‘school reopening’ guidelines. Frankly, they are state sponsored child abuse, that will permanently impact your child’s mental and physical health.

    If you can’t find your local ‘plan’, chances are they’ll be based on the CDC recommendations:

    The ‘small groups’ change was added after complaints about 100% separation between children (solitary confinement). But try and figure out how this one is supposed to be enforced? Tags to indicate which ‘small group’ children are parts of? Color coded clothing?


    • Let’s teach children to divide into groups based on an assigned color. Wow just fuckin wow. My grandkids will NEVER be part of this, ever.

  2. Brookings started looking at this issue 20 years ago!

    Social distancing is not practical! That’s for damn sure. Child abuse is a new way of looking at it – but quite valid, seems to me.

    Public schooling does play a huge role in “daycare” these days. When I was in school we didn’t even think about that. I wonder how this will play out in terms of parents who don’t re-enter the work force versus those who feel they have to in order to stay above water financially.

    I hope these changes move us towards more interest in Study Technology. It basically works the way Jack suggests is a better model (parent is not teacher – but facilitator).

    BUT…there are things kids can’t do at home unless they find a way to get together with other kids and some skilled professionals: Group musical performances; Group dramatic performances; Sports; Group entertainment activities (like dancing). These activities used to be part of public schooling, I don’t know if they still are.

    Here in Sacramento we have a lot of wealthy people living in the city. But the city is doing very little as far as I can tell to keep those people here. If they can “work remotely” why should they stay here just because the commute is shorter? So they can go out to the theater and good restaurants? Uh…

    I really wonder how complicit the people mostly behind the extreme reaction to COVID were intending to cause this level of economic fallout. It looks like insanity to me. That’s nothing new to me, but that doesn’t make it right or good. That there are handlings for the situation does not seem that relevant now – it seems too late. I hope it isn’t.

    Last-minute thought, though, re: “join me today to discuss…” We aren’t there yet. You’re doing all the talking, we aren’t really discussing anything. I’ve even tried this with live chat and it doesn’t work well. A challenge for “online” that it may never overcome.

    • “I really wonder how complicit the people mostly behind the extreme reaction to COVID were intending to cause this level of economic fallout. It looks like insanity to me.”

      In the beginning even I gave our politicians the benefit of the doubt for this to be well intended even if wrong. At this point I can’t any more. I have to say this looks like coordinated and willful destruction of our economy. On the ed front I think the game is to get every kid issued a “device” which will fully control, direct and track their lives. I hope they over played it and people leave the entire system, not just virtual learn.

      • National chains can all stay open (essential – including fast food). Small/local businesses need to close.

        Western medicine is essential, every form of ‘alternative’ medicine needs to close.

        The destruction is ‘targeted’.

        Amazon = Walmart + Home Depot + Costco + Lowe’s + CVS + Target + Walgreens + Kroger + Best Buy + $370B (Another Walmart+)

    • Online Discussions :

      The challenge here is how to signal (without body language) that you’d like to say/add something. In person, you’re actively or peripherally scanning the other people in the group for social cues. Online you end up with a ‘group leader’ who has to acknowledge someone’s metaphorical ‘raised hand’, and then everyone sits there dumbly until they’re done & the ‘leader’ can pick someone else to speak, leading to a ‘top down’ sort of experience.

      So, not fluid, no organic evolution of thought & assumes a hierarchical organization (usually expert/organizer – followers).

      In person, ‘focus of attention’ (discussion leader) will fluidly change as conversation evolves. In gatherings, people will wander in and out of discussion groups based on changing interest due to overheard conversations.

      Difficult. Even a VR solution would require a completely different way to handle audio =)

      • Been heavily in online discussions going back to 1984 individual dial in message boards. This has never once been a problem.

        • I was thinking more in terms of video conferences.

          Text discussion lets you follow/develop/diverge ideas.

        • This works fantastically as well. Most systems have a digital hand to raise for speaking. I find if you have simple rules, no one talks for more than X and when someone wants to talk other holes close and listen that it works BETTER than in person meetings. The rules are easy to enfoce and dominant personalities are made to shut the fuck up for a time and less outgoing feel far more comfortable in expressing their feelings.

          If mouthy won’t follow the rules you just mute his mic.

          Unloose the Goose is going to be a case study in this BTW. 6 very dominant personalities all being required to listen and think before they speak.

  3. Google just announced they are partnering with Coursera to create certification programs in Data Analytics, Project Management, and User Experience. These can be completed in three to six months and will be treated as equal to a 4-year degree if hired by Google. Google won’t make any money from the courses, but there is a $49/month coursera platform fee. That’s your industry innovation.

    • And I know a friend who’s daughter is getting her “masters” in this from high level NYC school. Three years of paying to live in that shit hole and about 50K a year for total school costs. She was bragging as to how people who do that have starting salaries over 110K. I just shook my head.

      Her undergrad degree is unrelated by the way.

      Don’t worry I will cover post secondary ed soon enough. It is gonna get gutted even harder and hurt the economy even more.

  4. This was a great episode. We are pre-pandemic veteran homeschoolers and this really helped validate some of the reasons why we decided to homeschool in the first place. We love it and the freedom it gives us and our two girls. Jack I hope you enjoy it and do a show giving updates on how it is going! One of the things happening now since covid and schools closing last year were all the families saying “wow I’m a homeschooler now!” Uh, no. If you are doing public school at home that is not homeschooling. It was sad to see parents that felt like they knew homeschooling would be so hard have it actually be hard because they are trying to teach what the school requires. That sounds horrible. I wouldnt want to do that either. So these families still think homeschooling is the worst thing in the world. Hopefully those that truly decide to homeschool fall in love with it for what it’s meant to be.

  5. Jack what is the book you recommend towards the end of the show? Something trilogy? Another great show, my wife and I have decided to commit to home school since I am working from home for the duration. 

  6. One of the concerns my wife brought up when I mentioned this episode to her is “Great… if more families opt out of public education, then the state will create more laws to regulate how we homeschool, diminishing our freedom to educate our children in the manner we find best. I hope homeschoolers continue to be able to fly under the radar.” I told her we would just have to keep supporting organizations like Texas Homeschool Coalition that work to protect the rights of families to raise their children without state coercion.

    • The Texas decision was a 9-0 decision, that is very hard to reverse. You’ll see Roe v Wade flip before the laws about Texas and homeschooling.

      • We live in a county in which the mayor and county judge found a way to enforce their compulsory mask order despite the governor’s declaration that compulsory mask orders were not to be enforced. They found a loop hole that allows them to fine the business instead of the individual, but the end goal of forcing anyone to wear a mask in public was accomplished. The narcissist in government are very good at finding loop holes to legally enforce their will.

        The Texas Supreme Court included in its final decision a clarification that “Nothing in our opinion precludes the TEA from setting such guidelines for enforcement of the compulsory attendance law as are within its authority. Specifically, the TEA is not precluded from requesting evidence of achievement test results in determining whether children are being taught in a bona fide manner.” 

        Now, I’m now lawyer, I just play one when arguing with my wife, so, if my understanding is incorrect, I stand corrected.

        The Leeper decision doesn’t force compulsory attendance, but does require the homeschool to meet basic education goals of reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics and a study of good citizenship. The decision, however, leaves the door open for the TEA to require evidence those requirements are being met. So, in theory, the TEA could require all homeschool students to take the STAAR test to prove the student is being taught in a bona fide manner.

        Here’s my concern. We don’t start mathematics with our children until they are around the age of ten. It’s our belief that a young child’s brain thinks more concretely than abstractly, so learning multiplication tables at the age of eight is not teaching them the concept of what multiplication is, but forcing them to memorize a table by rote. We have decided to wait until their cognitive development has reached a point that they can understand the abstract idea that 4 x 8 is actually four groups of eight objects, and even that the symbols 4 and 8 abstractly represent the concrete reality of four groups and eight objects. Our curriculum for now consist of checking out over 200 library books at a time, reading to the kids everyday and giving them enough time to read and pursue their own interest. Until they reach preteen, they are by and large ‘unschooled’.

        If the TEA was to require STAAR testing to prove the child is being taught, our children would excel in the reading, grammer, spelling, and good citizenship portions, but be very below average for their age in the mathematics section. By passing legislation that requires a yearly test to verify homeschoolers are being taught reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics and a study of good citizenship, the TEA could in theory force parents to teach to the STAAR test the same way the public schools do. 

        Quite frankly, we homeschool because it allows our children to pursue their own passions and not the passions of a bureaucrat who dictates what is required knowledge for our children through compulsory testing, thus finding a loop hole around the compulsory attendance law but still enforcing their will on what a child should be taught.

        I’m quite convinced the state does not like a citizenship that is educated rather than indoctrinated, and there will be push back as more people choose to homeschool independent of state influence.

        • “If the TEA was to require STAAR testing to prove the child is being taught, our children would excel in the reading, grammer, spelling, and good citizenship portions, but be very below average for their age in the mathematics section”.

          More than half the students in the system test below average in far more than one category right now.

  7. We’ve home schooled from the beginning, this year will be our 4th.  The excuse we get the most in regards to not being able is usually some sunken cost fallacy, their retirement, they have some time invested, etc.  Some even go as far to say we’re privileged since I am self-employed and wife doesn’t have to work.  In all actuality what they refuse to realize is we designed our lives to be able to home school.

    I’ve been in process automation for almost 20 years now, the last 9 solo.  This morning my 10 year was helping me program, install and commission a wireless link to control a water well.  He talked with operators, learned about pumps, Ethernet, radios, PLC programming etc.  Right now he’s at jujitsu.  I sure hope he doesn’t become socialized.

  8. Jack

    been a long time listener. I run an online homeschool stem education program. Our teachers are amazing. We’d like to consider advertising with you and I’d be open for an interview if you were interested ever. Our school has served over a 1000 families in just 4 years families and growing rapidly. However, we take a cautious approach to marketing in this pandemic and I’d love to talk to you about why as I think it might offer a real twist to your audience (and have them nodding “yes” around individual responsibility and the parent responsibility and homeschooling. Even if you’re buying your kids online classes.

    either way we still love to advertise!!

    • Two things

      1. I have no ad space, totally open to this but the spots are full and do not open often. Pehaps we might consider an MSB discount.

      2. Interview one more time, if Jesus and Buddha both wanted to be on TSP, I would tell them to fill out the form.