Kerry McDonald

Kerry McDonald

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Kerry McDonald is a Senior Contributor for Intellectual Takeout. She has a B.A. in economics from Bowdoin College and a Master’s degree in education policy from Harvard University. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts and writes about education choice, parental empowerment, homeschooling, and self-directed learning. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and at her blog, Whole Family Learning.

Recent blog posts by this author

Homeschooling Freedoms Are Under Threat. Will Parents Defend Them?

Homeschoolers today have it easy. Many of us were in diapers when, in 1977, educator John Holt created Growing Without Schooling, the first newsletter to connect and encourage homeschooling families. Holt and other social reformers provided the...

We Don't Give Our Kids Exams. But That Does Not Mean They Are Not Tested.

"If you don't teach them, how will they ever learn?" "If you give them freedom, how will they gain discipline?" "Without schooling, won't they just do nothing all day?" These questions are only a sampling of the typical unschooler's...

Utah Gives Parents the Right to Parent

For parents in Utah, it is now legal for their children to walk or bike to and from school without an accompanying adult. They can also let their kids play outside unsupervised, and be allowed to stay at home unattended. These newfound freedoms...

Creativity Scores in America Have Steadily Declined Since 1990. Why?

Prompted by my nine-year-old’s son’s emerging interest in photography, I have been introduced to the life and legacy of Ansel Adams, the renowned 20th-century American landscape photographer. As a curious and energetic child, with an innate need to...

Why Using the Turpin Family’s House of Horrors to Attack Homeschooling is Dishonest (and Unwise)

Horrific crimes and violent acts tug at our collective heart strings. When other humans are harmed, we rightfully feel empathy and anger. We should use these moments as opportunities for reflection and conversation, but we should be careful to not...

There's a Due Process Problem with Homeschool Regulations

At over two million young people, the number of US homeschoolers is comparable to the number of US students enrolled in public charter schools, and it is now considered a worthwhile education option for many families. According to the Department...

Uberizing Education

Uber revolutionized transportation. Airbnb transformed the lodging and short-term rental space. Netflix was pathbreaking in the field of on-demand entertainment. In all of these instances, innovative, agile ideas competed against existing, outdated...

What Happens When You Ask Unschoolers 'What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?'

My daughter is a baker. When people ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, she responds breezily: “A baker, but I already am one.” You see, with unschooling there is no postponement of living and doing. There is no preparation for some...

Psychoanalyst Author: Mothers Are the Best Early Caregivers of Their Children

What used to be a biological imperative is now a point of contention. Mothers staying close to their babies, nurturing and nourishing them in their early years, was how our species survived and thrived for millennia. Now, an author and...

Head Lice Epidemics Are Breaking Out in Schools Across the U.S.

Head lice in children are rampant in schools throughout the country. The CDC reports that an estimated six to 12 million young people get head lice each year, and there are indications that these itchy bugs are growing widely resistant to the...

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