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Learning is a whole experience of mind, body, and self in relation to the world. When you pick up an orange you feel its texture and weight in your hand. You breathe in scent emitted by the brightly colored rind. If you’re hungry, you peel and section it to savor piece by piece. A fresh orange has phytonutrients, fiber, minerals, and vitamins that promote health. And it tastes wonderful.

I’m not aware of any official Fun Theory in the field of learning. But fun shimmers under the surface of motivation and focus like a very big fish. And the fish named Fun shouldn’t be ignored. I lifted the term Fun Theory from an old Volkswagen campaign. One of their videos shows busy commuters choosing an escalator instead of a staircase. People are rarely motivated to do otherwise. But when the same stairs were transformed into a giant electronic piano 66% more people chose to hop, dance...

Photo: Simon Scionka   It is estimated that over two-thirds of the world’s population speaks more than one language. Although the numbers are trending upward, the United States remains the exception, where only about twenty percent of the total population speaks a language other than English at home. American culture, for the most part, still demands conformity. Because we pride ourselves on being a melting pot, we discourage those who come here from elsewhere in the world from...

Parents may worry about homeschooling teens. They wonder how they’re supposed to manage these hairy, gangly creatures they barely even recognize, let alone get teens to participate in schooling and family life. Parents may fear the weighty responsibility of homeschooling teens, of  preparing them well for college and career, and of readying them for the realities of adulthood.

Photo: Karina Wetherbee   Long before I had children, if anyone had asked me about my plans for their education, I would have given a typical answer... high quality public schools for the younger years, and by high school, if our circumstances allowed, maybe even the immensely challenging boarding school that I had the good fortune to attend. The future was blurry, as is its nature, but the concept of homeschooling had never crossed my mind. My husband and I were both creative types...

How much does it cost to homeschool? It’s hard to say for sure--there are likely as many answers as there are homeschooling families. It’s possible to spend quite a bit on curriculum materials, office and organizational supplies, lessons, and field trips. But what if your family’s budget is more limited? Can you still provide a good education for your children, especially if, like many homeschooling families, you are already living on a single income?

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