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Homeschool Help!

Happy Friday!

I’m looking forward to checking out soon and heading home to spend some time with the family this weekend—not gonna lie, I’ve been hitting the popsicle stash hard this week. I’ll probably have to go restock tonight.

Oops.

But, before I shut things down for the day, I wanted to talk a little about some emails I’m getting and some comments and messages I’m seeing on our social media. It looks like a ton of people are going to be homeschooling this year. I read an article the other day that put the number of families considering homeschool at a whopping 82%! Crazy. And inspiring!

(Though when push comes to shove, I’m sure the number will be much, much lower. But still, the favorable attitude toward homeschooling has definitely surged.)

There seems to be a pretty wide range of what that’s going to look like—some people are doing their school’s virtual learning option, some are doing their own online programs, some are doing a hybrid charter/virtual model, and others are doing things independent of any formal program—but the one thing all parents seem to have in common is a desire to curate good and inexpensive content for their family to use.

I’m hearing from a lot of families who are overwhelmed. I get it. I totally remember being there. I guess this is an example of the market providing almost too well—parents have basically endless resources to choose from, and for those just starting out, it can be a totally overwhelming process. Add in the fact that they’re trying to choose curricula while learning about laws and restrictions/roadblocks that their state requires them to navigate, and everything can seem even harder.

I wish we had a full homeschool curriculum to offer. That’s the number one question we get asked—and maybe someday it’ll be something we can provide—but for now I can offer two really good resources:

If you’re looking for a non-denominational, creation-based curriculum, I recommend The Good and the Beautiful. Jenny Phillips, its creator, has done a great job putting together a really solid program. The best part is that she offers all of her Language Arts content (and some other stuff too) for free up to level 4. I think her system puts level four right around fifth or sixth grade, so that’s a ton of content that you can just download and print for free. We use a lot of her stuff for our kids, and although we supplement some of our own ideas when it comes to some of the political/historical lessons, overall it’s a solid program.

If you’re looking for something secular, you might consider the Ron Paul Curriculum. If you love the Tuttle Twins books, you’ll like a lot of what they have put together. It’s a little on the spendy side, but worth considering. Plus, it’s online and basically self-directed past about third grade.

A lot of veteran homeschool families have learned that even if a state has fairly strict requirements as to what homeschool is supposed to look like, or what parents are “allowed” or “required” to teach, there are virtually unlimited ways to work around and within “guidelines” and still craft the school experience that you think is ideal for your kids. I can’t stress enough the value of finding homeschool groups and co-ops within your own community (there are tons of Facebook groups facilitating this), and creating a support system through them. Homeschool vets are standing with open arms right now to welcome and assist new homeschoolers—regardless of how they’re choosing to homeschool.

With that said, there are always ways to create a curriculum for yourself without having to purchase one. It’s especially easy in states without a lot of government micromanaging, but even in tougher states, it can be done. I always like to remind new homeschoolers that Americans were doing pretty great before government-run education, and we’ll continue to do great now.

Our Free Market Rules economics curriculum is a one-stop-shop for teaching kids of all ages (and adults!) the principles of the free market. It costs only a few dollars a month, and one subscription covers the whole family—regardless of how many kids use it. You can check out samples of our content for kids, and our teen content, by clicking here. Another awesome thing about Free Market Rules is that it has information for parents included with each week’s content (and optional parent guides that go into lots of depth). We know that a lot of adults didn’t learn this stuff when they were growing up, so we’ve compiled resources for moms and dads to review so they feel better prepared to teach their kids.

One of the things we’ve always loved about homeschool is the ability for the whole family to sit down and learn together. I’ve never been a fan of the idea of compartmentalized education—it seems so weird to segregate kids by age group, and then separate life into “subjects” that we teach independent from each other and as if one has no bearing on the others. That’s a topic I discuss in my book Passion-Driven Education, helping parents figure out a more freeing and fulfilling way of approaching their children’s education.

We introduced our The Way the World Works podcast a few weeks ago, and it has been super well-received (thank you for that!). One of the questions I’ve seen a lot on social media when we talk about the podcast is, “What age is this for? Is it for adults or kids?” The answer is: All ages, and both! One of the most effective ways to teach kids complex ideas and principles is to sit down and talk with them. On the podcast, Brittany and I talk about all kinds of stuff, and when you and your kids listen together, you’ll be able to carry on some amazing conversations!

I hope that parents will realize that homeschool doesn’t have to be expensive, stressful, or even structured. It should look like what your family needs it to look like, and it shouldn’t matter what anyone else is doing. The pressure to “keep up with the Joneses” can be really strong—especially when we follow a bunch of seemingly perfect homeschool bloggers, or compare ourselves to people who have some superhuman knack for crafts and organization.

Comparison is the thief of joy, and nowhere is that more true than as a homeschool parent.

So if you’re feeling overwhelmed in your hunt for the “perfect” curriculum, or if you know someone who is, just take a deep breath and narrow your focus to your own home, and your own kids. You know them better than anyone else, and you are perfectly qualified to teach them. When you brought them home from the hospital, you knew what to do, and you know what to do now. Don’t get so caught up in all the trappings of curriculum culture that you forget that all your kids really want is your time and attention.

The most meaningful learning takes place when we just sit down and talk with our kids about things that matter.

— Connor

Why Globalists Love to Lie About American Prosperity

A few days ago, I went to the grocery store with the express purpose of buying some junk food. We don’t usually keep junk food in the house (my wife is a bit of a health nut), but the kids have been having friends over a lot this summer, and I think I got caught up in a wave of nostalgia—remembering what it was like to hang with friends, and how I always loved the houses that had tasty snacks that we got to eat our fill of.

Of course, those were the days before parents knew that sugar is literally like crack to a kid’s developing body and brain. Ah, the eighties and early nineties—when kids, including yours truly, subsisted on sugary, over-processed foods and neon-colored drinks. I think we turned out okay for the most part, but we’ve definitely been more careful in choosing what our kids consume than our parents were with us.

Every now and then, though, the dad in me just wants to cram the freezer full of unnatural colored and flavored goodies and sit back as my kids and their friends run through the sprinkler—buzzing on high fructose corn syrup, and sporting Kool-Aid-colored smiles.

As I stood in the freezer section of our local grocery store, I was floored at the variety of products. Dozens of brands and literally hundreds of varieties all vied for my attention. They competed with bright packaging, creative logos, and low prices. Some promised to be healthier than their competitors, and others played heavily on nostalgia—I see you, red-white-and-blue bomb pop.

The fruity popsicles and abundant ice cream options were surrounded by ice cream sandwiches, Klondike and Dove bars, and much more. I spent a while exploring all my choices, and finally settled on a pretty mixed bag of nostalgic, cheap, and chocolaty options.

The kids and their friends were thrilled, and I have enjoyed all the sprinkler mayhem and sugar-highs I anticipated.

This morning, I was reading an article on FEE and it reminded me of my popsicle adventure. It took to task a totally biased and purposely misinformed video the New York Times put out last year about this time.

The short clip, titled “Please Stop Telling Me America is Great,” aimed to convince its audience that America is terrible because it has fallen well behind Europe in many ways, and that it’s actually more akin “to a developing country than we’d like to admit.” They go on to say that, “America is the richest country… but we’re also the poorest, with a whopping 18% poverty rate—closer to Mexico than Western Europe.”

The whole video pretty much follows that narrative, and paints the U.S. to be a wrecked country—cold and indifferent to the suffering of its poorest citizens, and uninterested in rising above how terrible it has become. The only way to fix it, they imply,  is with more government, more social programs, and more “free money.”

Of course.

Thankfully, the folks at Just Facts saw red flags in the way the Times interpreted the data used to make their claims and put in the work to get to the truth of the matter. They looked at the economic data catalogued by several organizations and found that not only was the Times wrong, but they were reporting the actual exact opposite of what the data really showed.

The reality is that the poorest in the United States are actually more prosperous than most of Europe—not most of Europe’s poor, but most of Europe’s everyone. Here’s another way to look at it: if the poorest people in America were a country of their own, that country would be richer than most any European nation. The article notes that,

The high consumption of America’s “poor” doesn’t mean they live better than average people in the nations they outpace, like Spain, Denmark, Japan, Greece, and New Zealand. This is because people’s quality of life also depends on their communities and personal choices, like the local politicians they elect, the violent crimes they commit, and the spending decisions they make.

So while quality of life can’t be measured by income, or purchasing power—see: money can’t buy happiness—it certainly cannot be said that the United States is akin to a developing nation, or that our poor are worse off than the poorest people in Mexico like the Times claimed.

But why would they do that?

Why would any country’s media outlet put in so much effort to make their nation look less prosperous and less “great” than it actually was? I mean really—have they never been to the grocery store for popsicles??

The answers to this question are so numerous that we could probably fill a whole book with them.  We could talk about how the left hates self-reliance and entrepreneurship, how they hate the idea of poor people lifting themselves out of poverty and creating wealth, how they want a population totally dependent on politicians and the wealthy elite for every aspect of their lives from buying groceries to educating their children to paying their mortgages.

I think any and all of these examples feed the agenda of the Times and others of their ilk. I also think there’s a lot of truth to an agenda for a “new world order,” and a “reset” of capitalism and the “western” way of life. Our country, with all of its many flaws, stands in the way of a leftist, globalist agenda. The programs they have been trying to push by hook or crook for the last decade or more are the very reason that European nations rank below America’s poor, and that fact cannot be denied. The data has proven it time and again, and yet world powers continue to ignore it in their push for The Great Reset.

I believe that the powers that be are dependent on American’s ignorance of their own history. I think that they know that if they can keep us distracted by party politics and feed us on a steady diet of misinformation and economic illiteracy, then they can convince the rising generations that America is terrible, and in need of a total makeover.

The makeover, of course, will be a Marxist one.

Murray Rothbard, on whose, Anatomy of the State we based The Tuttle Twins and the Fate of the Future, is often quoted for saying,

It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.

I used to agree with Murray, but I think I might be changing my mind. Maybe it isn’t okay to be ignorant of economics after all. Maybe it isn’t okay to consider it a “dismal science” and leave it to those who would apply themselves to its study. We live in a world where we have the information of all the best minds the world has ever known at our fingertips and in our pockets every day. If we are ignorant of the way the world works, if we are easily led about by a deceitful media, and tricked into calling good bad, and bad good, then who—really—do we have to blame but ourselves?

How many people take the garbage the Times puts out at face value, and never look at the data for themselves? I’d venture to say most. Even those who don’t agree with it don’t do the research to be able to discuss with others why it’s wrong. They might say, “Oh the Times is garbage! It’s just a leftist rag,” but how does that help teach people that there is an actual anti-freedom and anti-prosperity agenda, that can be disproven with unbiased data, being pushed by that “rag?”

We have to do better. We have to stop allowing ourselves and our kids and communities to be dumbed down by the media, the government education system, and those with a special interest in fundamentally remaking the world into some dystopian marxist “utopia.”

It’s no longer enough to not be ignorant of economics and the way the world around us works; we must be actively anti-ignorant. 😉

Our books can help.

— Connor

Party Politics isn’t Our Game

Happy Wednesday!

Something I can appreciate as a side effect of all the shutdowns and delayed/cancelled school openings is the surge in families who are choosing to homeschool, or finding an education alternative for their kids. Microschools, school pods, unschool—you name it, people who have always sent their kids to government schools are having their minds blown wide open to all the awesome “alt-ed” options out there.

I certainly didn’t have that on my radar for things that would happen in 2020.

Another thing I wasn’t prepared for (but am thrilled with) is the surge in popularity of our Tuttle Twins books. These last few months have brought record sales, with no sign of things slowing down anytime soon. We’ve hired a ton of new staff just so that we can pack all the books people are ordering!

With this surge in new customers, we’ve also had a ton of new questions and comments on our social media posts—there are a bunch of people encountering the principles and ideas we teach for the first time.

One thing that has struck me as really important, and a little bit sad, is the frequency with which people ask, “Do these books teach Republican or Democrat ideas?” Before they even go to our website and look at our books, before they even read through the reviews, before they even watch an ad video all the way through, they want to know which party we support and, I’m assuming, they intend to make their decision on whether our product is “good” or “bad” based on the answer.

This politicizing of every single idea is intellectual poison. It makes people shut their minds to anything that hasn’t been pre-approved by some faceless collective, and it further polarizes an already highly polarized nation.

So many people have outsourced every bit of research and reason to some imaginary group that tells them if what they are encountering should be accepted or rejected. Gone is the curiosity that has propelled the best minds in history to discover for themselves the answers to questions that vex them. Gone is the introspective nature that compels a person to measure new ideas against principles they have already found to be just and good. Instead, people only want a one-word answer.

Republican or Democrat?

Depending on the answer, they are prepared to either gleefully whip out their credit card and purchase every product we make, or denounce us as a danger to society and propagandists for all that is wrong with the world. Sure, there are more than two parties, but in recent months (years?) there doesn’t really seem to be much of a distinction in the fervor with which all party loyalists use affiliation as the litmus for virtue.

The answer that we always give sounds something like this:

We don’t talk about party politics or politicians—the principles in our books are suitable for everyone concerned with protecting their rights and the rights of others, and with building a prosperous and free society. Our books teach principles of the free market. They teach about sound money, entrepreneurship, the consequences of central planning, the history of the Federal Reserve and what it has done to our money, the dangers of cronyism, protectionism, and bailouts, and why government has a tendency to become predatory instead of protective. They teach about self-reliance and the responsibility we have to help and care for others in our community. They teach how protest and community activism can bring about changes in government, and that kids can do big, and real, and important things.

 

This response has a strange effect on a lot of people. They kind of short-circuit.

Most people (especially on social media) are so conditioned to see everyone and everything in such “them v. us” terms that they really don’t know what to do when someone opts out of using party affiliation as their selling point. Even medical “experts” and their guidance are sometimes accepted or rejected based on their perceived political allegiance! Partisan group-think has poisoned every facet of our society.

How’s that for a crazy “new normal”?!

So what do we do?

We keep teaching sound principles that stand independent of partisan tidal changes. And we spread the word widely to others, with your help—because the masses need to hear this message.

We can also teach these principles in our interactions with family, friends, and strangers. We can encourage our kids to be critical thinkers who listen and reason and learn in every situation regardless of who is presenting them with new information. We can hold ourselves and others responsible for individual actions and beliefs and not for the actions and beliefs of others.

If we can succeed in raising the next generation to demand more of themselves than mindless submission to a collective set of ideas—or mindless judgements of others by the same standard—then we will have won the war.

It’s hard in a label-obsessed culture to simply say, “I am me. And this is what I believe,” but just imagine a world where everyone sees themselves and others as precisely what they are, and not as the same as everyone else who looks, or loves, or worships, or lives like them.

Collectivism kills. It kills creativity, it kills peace, it kills curiosity and reason, and it kills the spread of good and virtuous and moral principles.

So let’s endeavor to reject it in all of its ugly forms.

— Connor

 

Are Schools Essential?

Happy Friday!

President Trump held a press conference yesterday in which he outlined his vision for the 2020 school year. Some points highlighted from his address are now available online and include these that I think might be of interest:

“It is vital that parents be allowed to weigh both the benefits and risks of sending their child back to school, including the level of community spread and the makeup of their household, especially for multi-generational households.”

“If schools do not reopen, funding should follow students so parents can send their child to the private, charter, religious, or home school of their choice.”

“Under the President’s vision, students and parents will also be offered support to allow them to choose the school options that are best for them.”

I know that a lot of people (myself included) were thrilled to hear the President advocate for school choice and funding following the student instead of being locked into a government school monopoly. This is something a lot of us have been advocating for a long time now.

But just as education-choice advocates began celebrating these remarks, the CDC quietly updated their guidance on school reopening. They gave some pretty good statistics on transmission from children to adults (spoiler alert: it’s practically non-existent) and also compared the lethality of COVID-19 to children with that of other illnesses, saying that COVID-19 appears to be less deadly to children than the regular flu.

The best available evidence indicates that COVID-19 poses relatively low risks to school-aged children.  Children appear to be at lower risk for contracting COVID-19 compared to adults.  To put this in perspective, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of July 17, 2020, the United States reported that children and adolescents under 18 years old account for under 7 percent of COVID-19 cases and less than 0.1 percent of COVID-19-related deaths. Although relatively rare, flu-related deaths in children occur every year. From 2004-2005 to 2018-2019, flu-related deaths in children reported to CDC during regular flu seasons ranged from 37 to 187 deaths.  During the H1N1 pandemic (April 15, 2009 to October 2, 2010), 358 pediatric deaths were reported to CDC. So far in this pandemic, deaths of children are less than in each of the last five flu seasons, with only 64. Additionally, some children with certain underlying medical conditions, however, are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

I know the CDC has lost credibility for many, many people because of (among other reasons) the back and forth throughout the whole COVID experience, but these statistics are actually pretty promising. Even if they were only released for possibly nefarious reasons…

The whole post is worth reading because it gives a pretty good window into the thinking of those in government about the role that they should have in the educating and upbringing of children. I’m going to shock precisely zero of you when I say that they appear to envision themselves as the sole providers of all that is necessary and good to children.

The conclusion was that,

Schools are an important part of the infrastructure of our communities, as they provide safe, supportive learning environments for students, employ teachers and other staff, and enable parents, guardians, and caregivers to work.

Schools also provide critical services that help meet the needs of children and families, especially those who are disadvantaged, through supporting the development of social and emotional skills, creating a safe environment for learning, identifying and addressing neglect and abuse, fulfilling nutritional needs, and facilitating physical activity.

School closure disrupts the delivery of in-person instruction and critical services to children and families, which has negative individual and societal ramifications.  The best available evidence from countries that have opened schools indicates that COVID-19 poses low risks to school-aged children, at least in areas with low community transmission, and suggests that children are unlikely to be major drivers of the spread of the virus.

Reopening schools creates opportunity to invest in the education, well-being, and future of one of America’s greatest assets—our children—while taking every precaution to protect students, teachers, staff and all their families.

A lot of that sounds so much like the things that John Taylor Gatto tried to tell us about the government education system, and that we cover in The Tuttle Twins and the Education Vacation.

I have a lot of trouble with the idea—so casually presented—that schools exist to enable parents to work, fulfil nutritional needs of children, and facilitate physical activity, among other things. I also don’t know that I believe that we would suffer negative societal ramifications if children aren’t in the daily care of the state. For a long time, people like me have bristled at what seems to be a never-ending list of ways that the government education system attempts to infringe on the rights and responsibilities of parents and families. It’s so common that it’s just accepted as the norm.

A lot of parents—even those who don’t like the idea of homeschool for their family—really dislike assertions like these that without the government education system, the world would somehow fall into disrepair. I tend to believe that even if the public education system disappeared entirely, new programs, schools, and services would take their place. I mean, we have already seen this happen in response to the shut downs of the last several months.

And I have a feeling that it’s only just beginning.

I guess all we can do at this point is stand by to see what schools decide to do with the information put out yesterday by the President and then by the CDC, and in the meantime continue making the decisions that best serve the needs of our families.

I know a lot of parents are hoping for a reopening of schools because their lives have been totally upended by the prospect of having to somehow teach their kids and also work to support their families. I know that other families are really hoping that their dreams of school choice will finally become reality—with funds following students instead of being tied to services they don’t use.

If nothing else, it’s encouraging to see school choice getting some (positive) national attention. There are as many ways to educate a child as there are children, and the ideal situation would be for parents to hold control over deciding what education looks like for their kids. Monopolies always increase cost and decrease quality, and that’s true of a compulsory “education” system as well.

Which reminds me—did you know that a lot of people use charter funds to buy our books? Something to consider as you’re encouraging friends and neighbors to snag a set of their own Tuttle Twins books!

— Connor

Elizabeth Bartholet has Found an Ally as the Anti-Education-Choice Crowd Attempts to Rebrand Themselves

Check this out:

“Parents have rights, but I believe children have rights, too—to an environment free from exploitation and to a meaningful education.” — Katherine Stewart author of The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism

There’s a new article making its rounds in which Ms. Stewart, an activist, attempts to brand those of us who took on Harvard’s anti-parent’s rights campaign against unrestricted home education as “abusive” and “extremist.” The article is full of zingy one-liners and broad-stroked dismissals of those who feel that the rights of parents trump the “rights” of government as it pertains to the raising and educating of their children.

The first thing Stewart does is tell her readers that she’s prepared to be brutally and unfairly attacked by extremist zealots the way that Bartholet, the Harvard professor who preceded her, allegedly was.

Bartholet told me she was immediately inundated with many hundreds of angry and threatening messages and was the subject of a series of negative articles posted on the website of the Home School Legal Defense Association, or HSLDA, a home-schooling advocacy group with hyperconservative leanings founded in 1983, whose founder, Michael Farris, is closely allied with other religious right leaders.

In a way, the abuse proved one of Bartholet’s central theses: that much of home-schooling advocacy right now is in the hands of a small but belligerent minority who believe that parents have absolute rights over their children and that any form of regulation amounts, in the words of some home-schooling families, to “tyranny.”

So now parents who think that it’s tyrannical for government to not only take their money to pay for an education system that they’ve opted out of, but who also believe it is their job and not the state’s to educate their kids, are being painted as somehow crazy and belligerent? Last time I checked, forcing people to pay for things they don’t want (or use), and attempting to significantly limit their natural rights (like the rights of parents to oversee the upbringing and education of their own kids) is a pretty accurate definition of tyranny.

We live in an upside down world, don’t we?

None of this is particularly new, but as you continue reading her article, you realize that what Stewart is attempting to do is rebrand the anti-education-choice messaging as being not anti-homeschool per se, but rather anti-religious-zealots-who-ruin-it-for-everyone-else. She essentially says, “Look, I like homeschool. I might even want to homeschool my own kids. But any reasonable person who isn’t a total zealot will see that I, and Ms. Bartholet, are right here. Anyone who isn’t secretly defending the rights of parents to abuse and neglect their children will obviously agree that homeschooling needs to be regulated and programmed by the state.”

She ends the article by saying,

I appreciate that little of this will bring along the parents’ rights absolutists. But that’s OK. Parents have rights, but I believe children have rights, too — to an environment free from exploitation and neglect, to a meaningful education and to a chance to make a positive contribution to the world. Those of us who share these convictions should consider how to make homeschooling work for the many it can help without risking harm to the defenseless. And we must not allow the far-right faux-outrage machine to derail the conversation.

This messaging is a classic tactic of statists when their first angry and loud demands aren’t met with acceptance. The next step is nearly always the painting of those who don’t accept what they want as extreme, violent, abusive, or by attaching them to a group that is already viewed as one of those things. Once you know that this is the game, it’s easy to see through it—and to help others reject it as well.

I will say this: I am actually encouraged by this article. It tells me that we advocates of education-choice and the rights of parents to raise their own children without permission from the state are winning. The fact that millions of families are already homeschooling (or choosing some form of alternate education), and that up to 40% of non-homeschool families are considering making the switch to homeschool, has people like Stewart and Bartholet shaking in their boots. And now, instead of claiming that children who are homeschooled are somehow disadvantaged when their parents aren’t regulated, they’ve resorted to making emotional pleas and claiming to be victims of abuse themselves.

It’s more important than ever that we continue to spread the messages of education-choice and the protection of individual rights—and, particularly, the rights of families to make choices without heavy handed government regulation. I know that homeschool isn’t for everyone, and I know that some families are in a really tough place right now because they liked the way life was before all of this craziness started—they’re feeling backed into a corner and they don’t really love any of the choices they have right now.

All any of us can do is make the best of the situations we are in, and use the resources we have at our disposal to meet the financial, educational, and emotional needs of our families right now.

If you are looking for resources to help navigate the 2020 school year, I suggest you get in touch with local homeschool Facebook groups (you might be surprised at how many people are experiencing the same concerns and doubts as you). There are also microschools such as Prenda where skilled teachers and tutors host in-person and virtual classes for kids whose parents may have to work, or who want to homeschool but still keep a lot of the things they saw as perks of public education. There’s also Unschool.School, a network of experts in their fields who teach online and in-person classes on a broad range of topics. Their motto is, “Parents decide. Educators provide.”

That sounds like a pretty ideal setup to me. 😉

Of course we also offer a ton of resources for parents who want to take a hands-on approach to educating their own kids. We’ve got our award-winning Free Market Rules economics curriculum that delivers weekly, ready to teach, age-specific lessons for kids age 5-17 (with loads of extra content, and a parent’s guide, to help parents brush up on their free market knowledge). We have books for teens, books for grade school age kids, a card game for the whole family, and a brand new podcast that covers tons of topics that parents and kids can listen in on and discuss as a family.

And… more content to come in the months ahead!

It seems like for every article by some anti-education-choice advocate that starts making its rounds, a dozen new resources for alternative education come available—and that’s a really beautiful thing!

It’s almost as if the market has a way of providing exactly what the people want and need.

Crazy.

— Connor

The Great Reset

Happy Thursday!

So, not to sound alarmist or anything, but… have you guys been following what’s going on at the World Economic Forum and the IMF?

It’s almost too much to explain in a simple email or blog post, so you’re probably going to want to spend some time over the weekend digging into this stuff, but I’m going to include a few recent tweets from the heads of the IMF and the WEF to get you keyed-in to what I’m talking about and why you should be concerned:

170 countries are going to finish this year with a smaller economy than they started. And we are projecting more debt, more unemployment, more inequality and more poverty. Unless we act. #TheGreatReset — Kristalina Georgieva (Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund)

We need to use all the strength we have to make history show this time as #TheGreatReset, not the Great Reversal. The IMF is stepping up, including with $1 trillion in financial capacity. —  Kristalina Georgieva

Thrilled to join HRH The Prince of Wales and @WEF Founder Prof. Klaus Schwab for the “Great Reset Dialogue.” A conversation on how to emerge from the #COVID19 crisis with an inclusive and #GreenRecovery. http://ow.ly/MJ4950zXAMy #TheGreatReset — Kristalina Georgieva

The Pandemic represents a rare but narrow window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world. — Klaus Schwab (Founder and Executive Chairman, WEF)

So what are they talking about?

It looks like talk of The Great Reset started back in 2010 when a guy wrote a book called, The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity identifying two previous “resets” in the world economy—the first was during the industrial revolution and the second was after the Great Depression—and envisioning a third, which he calls “The Great Reset,” coming on the heels of a worldwide economic collapse.

It looks like things have gone from theory to top-down global agenda really fast.

The WEF has done us the favor of consolidating a bunch of information on their plans for The Great Reset and posting them here. You should probably take a minute and click the link—you’re going to want to see the dystopian propaganda video they’ve chosen to greet visitors to the site.

Here are a few key takeaways they’ve put together to give a quick at-a-glance style view of the vision for their brave new world.

The Great Reset: A Unique Twin Summit to Begin 2021

– “The Great Reset” will be the theme of a unique twin summit in January 2021, convened by the World Economic Forum.

– “The Great Reset” is a commitment to jointly and urgently build the foundations of our economic and social system for a more fair, sustainable and resilient future.

– It requires a new social contract centred on human dignity, social justice and where societal progress does not fall behind economic development.

– The global health crisis has laid bare longstanding ruptures in our economies and societies, and created a social crisis that urgently requires decent, meaningful jobs.

– The twin summit will be both in-person and virtual, connecting key global governmental and business leaders in Davos with a global multistakeholder network in 400 cities around the world for a forward-oriented dialogue driven by the younger generation.

“Social justice”, “social contract”, “societal progress”—it’s like they threw a dart at a board full of leftist doublespeak for “socialism” (ahem… communism) a few times and just built their narrative around whatever words they hit.

They go on to quote world leaders in business, finance, and politics to further explain their plans:

“We only have one planet and we know that climate change could be the next global disaster with even more dramatic consequences for humankind. We have to decarbonize the economy in the short window still remaining and bring our thinking and behavior once more into harmony with nature,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

“In order to secure our future and to prosper, we need to evolve our economic model and put people and planet at the heart of global value creation. If there is one critical lesson to learn from this crisis, it is that we need to put nature at the heart of how we operate. We simply can’t waste more time,” said HRH The Prince of Wales.

“The Great Reset is a welcome recognition that this human tragedy must be a wake-up call. We must build more equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies that are more resilient in the face of pandemics, climate change and the many other global changes we face,” said António Guterres, Secretary-General, United Nations, New York.

“A Great Reset is necessary to build a new social contract that honours the dignity of every human being,” added Schwab “The global health crisis has laid bare the unsustainability of our old system in terms of social cohesion, the lack of equal opportunities and inclusiveness. Nor can we turn our backs on the evils of racism and discrimination. We need to build into this new social contract our intergenerational responsibility to ensure that we live up to the expectations of young people.”

It’s hard to even know where to begin here. Do you remember the study last year that showed that a full 70% of young people planned to vote socialist, and that nearly that many had a “favorable” view of communism? The group that conducted the survey, The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, concluded that,

“The historical amnesia about the dangers of communism and socialism is on full display in this year’s report,” said Marion Smith, Executive Director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. “When we don’t educate our youngest generations about the historical truth of 100 million victims murdered at the hands of communist regimes over the past century, we shouldn’t be surprised at their willingness to embrace Marxist ideas. We need to redouble our efforts to educate America’s youth about the history of communist regimes and the dangers of socialism today.”

Kids aren’t learning about the history of Marxism—they haven’t been learning real historic or economic principles since at least as far back as when I was in school—and now the global elite are inviting them to help craft their proposed new world order. Those who don’t learn from the past… well, you know how the rest of that saying goes.

Look, I’m not usually one to don a tinfoil hat, but this whole thing is creepy.

For as open as the IMF and WEF are being about these plans—I mean, they’re literally hashtagging #TheGreatReset—I’ve heard very little in the way of voices of warning. It’s almost like conflicting and inconsistent information about a deadly (or not so deadly?) virus, fights over face masks, murder hornets (what happened to those guys, anyway?), and plague-carrying squirrels have kept everyone distracted and divided to the point that they haven’t noticed that the most powerful men and women in the world are openly planning an entire collapse and remodeling of the world as we know it.

We should probably be talking about this. And we should definitely be teaching our kids the principles covered in the Tuttle Twins books. It’s entirely up to us at this point to inoculate the next generation against the Marxist agenda of the world’s leaders.

— Connor

As More Parents Decide to Permanently Homeschool, We’re Helping Make it Easier and More Affordable

Here we are, almost halfway through July in what has definitely been the strangest year of my life. As August approaches, a lot of states are starting to make announcements about their plans for the next school year. I’ve read articles and seen stories from across the country that show a pretty varied approach to “keep us safe” this next year.

Some places, like Cherokee County, Georgia, have voted to resume school in about two weeks with very limited “COVID-19 precautions.” They have said that they will not be requiring masking for their students—a move that some parents support, and others do not.

The state of Utah has started publishing its school reopening plan, with our governor making the announcement yesterday that masking will be mandatory for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors—even in rural areas where there’s no evidence of coronavirus.

As a lot of us have anticipated as we’ve watched the continuing COVID-19 reaction, there seems to be a strong response from a lot of parents who feel that they simply can’t put their kids in an environment that they don’t think would be in their best interest. Kerry McDonald recently noted that,

According to a recent USA Today/Ipsos poll, 60 percent of parents surveyed said they will likely choose at-home learning this fall rather than send their children to school even if the schools reopen for in-person learning. Thirty percent of parents surveyed said they were “very likely” to keep their children home.

While some of these parents may opt for an online version of school-at-home tied to their district, many states are seeing a surge in the number of parents withdrawing their children from school in favor of independent homeschooling. From coast to coast, and everywhere in between, more parents are opting out of conventional schooling this year, citing onerous social distancing requirements as a primary reason.

A friend of mine who lives in North Carolina recently shared a screenshot of what local parents saw on the state’s website when they tried to file their Letter of Intent to homeschool this year. So many parents were trying to notify the state that they crashed the site!

Spencer Mason from North Carolinians for Home Education said that a recent study revealed that a whopping 40% of North Carolina families intend to homeschool their children this year!

Incredible.

Another person worth following on the issue, Corey DeAngelis, recently said in a Reason article that,

Between the complete closures of some schools and the poor performance of schools that have implemented distance learning, taxpayers are paying a lot of money for inadequate education for their children. Nor was the status quo before COVID-19 anything to celebrate. The U.S. has increased inflation-adjusted per-student spending by 280 percent since 1960, and we currently spend over $15,000 per child each year. Meanwhile, the Nation’s Report Card shows that only 15 percent of U.S. students are proficient in U.S. history and 2 out of every 3 students are not proficient in reading.

Reasonable people can argue about whether we are getting an acceptable return on investment. But why should anyone have to continue paying the same amount for schools that aren’t even open?

The American Federation of Teachers claims that government-run schools across the country need over $116 billion to reopen safely. That’s an enormous amount of money. It’s about twice the total amount the federal government allocated towards K-12 education in the most recent school year. It’s also close to the amount the U.S. dedicated to the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after World War II. What’s more, the federal CARES act has already provided over $13 billion to assist in reopening schools. Only 1.5 percent of that money has actually been used by states. Where is all of the money going?

The debate thus far hasn’t taken the preferences of families—the customers who are actually paying for all this education—into consideration.

He went on to propose that the money allocated for each student should actually follow the student—regardless of what type of schooling the parents decide is best—rather than tax dollars continuing to fund the public education system that is clearly floundering in its ability to provide quality educational services to families. He argues that rather than focusing on ways to teach effectively this next school year, teacher unions are more concerned with protecting their monopoly on education—essentially holding our kids hostage to their demands.

Already, teachers unions have made it hard for parents to enroll their kids in quality distance learning programs. The teachers union in Oregon successfully lobbied to prevent families from enrolling in virtual charter schools. The Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators similarly lobbied to prevent families from accessing virtual charter school options in the spring.

More recently, the California legislature just passed a bill that prevents education dollars from following students to virtual charter schools this school year. And it’s not like they’re demanding to do the teaching themselves. The Los Angeles teachers union struck a deal with their district that prevented teachers from being required to work more than 4 hours each day during the lockdown.

None of these efforts make any sense unless the purpose is to protect a monopoly from competition.

I think Corey makes some good points. We all know that competition always benefits the consumer, so schools having to compete for students (and funding) could prove pretty amazing for students!

A lot of us have been talking about this for a long time, but now that everything within the education system is so upended because of government responses to COVID-19, it seems more possible than ever before to actually see something like this become a reality.

Could the chaos of the last four months have a silver lining after all? I think that lays largely in the hands of parents and education-choice activists—but I’d say we definitely have a chance to bring about changes that six months ago seemed nearly impossible.

We rolled out our Free Market Rules economics curriculum one year ago, almost exactly, and parents seem to be thrilled with it. We’re always adding new content, and are loving the feedback we are getting about kids—and their parents!—who are learning tons about the free market, and how the world around them works. They seem to especially like our Dinner Conversation Starters and the activities that accompany each lesson. Parents have been thrilled with the extra content meant to help the adult teaching the lesson delve a little deeper into topics that they might not know much about.

We’ve been putting out more digital content the last few weeks to help those who might be just starting homeschool build their curriculum without forking over a fortune buying duplicate books and workbooks for their large families, or having to build a new room onto their house to store all the books. I see some of you. 😉

We offer all of our books in audiobook format so that the whole family can listen to our books whenever they want—this is especially good for families with both younger and older kids so that younger children can listen to the books while mom or dad help older kids with work that requires more hands-on instruction.

We also offer all of our workbooks—we’ve got one for each of our eleven books—as printable PDFs so that parents only have to purchase the workbook once and can print them as many times as their need for as many children as they have.

This week, we’ve added four new ebooks that were previously only available as bonuses for special sales we’ve run. With titles like, Subtle Ways Your Kids are Taught to Embrace, Socialism, 13 Questions to Level-Up Your Family Dinner Conversations, 10 Tips for Raising an Entrepreneur, and our newest, 10 Important Facts About the Declaration of Independence, we’ve given parents a bunch of new content to expand on the lessons taught in our original series and in our weekly curriculum!

Despite all the bad in the world right now—and believe me, I know there’s plenty of it—I can’t help but feel hopeful and even a little bit excited about all the new possibilities for education choice and for parents being able to really craft the experience that best reaches the unique needs of their kids.

We’ll keep cranking out content for you guys to use to teach your kids the lessons of a free and prosperous society if you keep spreading the messages of liberty to everyone who will listen—and maybe encourage your new-to-homeschool friends and family to check out our work!

We can do this!

— Connor

“If You Try to Stop Us, We’re Coming for You!”

Happy Wednesday!

How about a little mid-week insanity to reignite your passion for the cause of liberty?

I stumbled on this tweet and have watched the video a half-dozen times thinking surely this can’t be real? But it is! And it is scary.

Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant went on this unhinged rant about the future she and her ideological ilk envision for the United States:

I have a message for Jeff Bezos and his class.

If you attempt again to defeat the Amazon tax, working people will go out in the thousands to defeat you.

And we will not stop there.

Because you see, we are fighting for far more than this tax. We are preparing the ground for a different kind of society and if you, Jeff Bezos, want to drive that process forward by lashing out at us and our modest demands then so be it.

Because we are coming for you and your rotten system.

We are coming to dismantle this deeply oppressive, racist, sexist, violent, utterly bankrupt system of capitalism. This police state.

We cannot and will not stop until we overthrow it and replace it with a world based instead on solidarity, genuine democracy, and equality.

A socialist world.

Thank you.

Wow. She leaves nothing to the imagination, and we can no longer claim ignorance about the intent of those whose voices are getting louder and whose goals are being achieved at a shocking speed.

We’ve gotten a few emails and comments over the last year or so saying that maybe we are being too alarmist in our messaging—they’re just kids books, after all, and “democratic socialism” isn’t actually the same as Venezuelan socialism. Maybe just soften the message a bit so we don’t scare people off, some have said.

I actually think that the opposite is true. Most liberty-loving people have been busy building businesses and raising families and minding their own business. They work hard, they go to church, they serve their communities, they teach their children important values—they’re just doing life.

But in large cities across the world, people like Ms. Sawant have been working just as hard at building their futures. And the future they envision—and have been crafting—is not the future that we want. They’ve been patient and careful. They push one piece of anti-freedom legislation here, and one new anti-liberty curricula there. They run on campaigns of vagueness and platitudes and promise changes that only those who are like-minded pick up on. They have been carefully “preparing the ground for a different kind of society.”

And now they’re comfortable coming out of the shadows, in a time of crisis (as is so often the case), to speak clearly about the plans they’ve made and the purpose of their mission. I don’t think it’s too late for us to combat what they’re trying to do, but I think a lot of us need to become a lot more aware of what has happened, and activate ourselves in whatever capacity we can to fight it.

We recently launched a new ad campaign on social media that specifically targets the kind of messaging Ms. Sawant is spreading. I’m not gonna lie—it was a bit of a risky move because we pulled no punches and took a very clear stance against socialism of any kind. I thought it would be well received (although we have gotten the anti-capitalist trolling that we anticipated) but none of us were prepared for just how well people have responded.

Our book sales have skyrocketed.

We sold 49,290 books over the weekend.

We’ve hired several more people just to fill orders and even that hasn’t been enough! I spent part of the Fourth in the warehouse myself, stuffing boxes because the orders were coming in faster than we could keep up!

People are awakening to a sense of just how close our country is to being changed in such a fundamental and lasting way that it may never recover.
We’re proud to be at the forefront of education against socialism and all of its dark and sinister trappings. We’re working hard to put out new content to help parents and kids learn the truths they need to preserve and protect their liberties.

To that end, we just launched a Tuttle Twins podcast called The Way the World Works; we’ve got new books—and even a new series of books—in the works; we’ve got a set of boardbooks for toddlers coming out soon; and a Tuttle Twins cartoon in production! We are giving families all the content they could need to help slow the spread of a virus far more dangerous than anything this country has faced before.

Join us, and spread the word! The future is still bright, and it’s still ours for the making.

— Connor

 

It’s Pretty Hard to Learn from Angry Teachers

Well, we’ve arrived at the end of yet another weird week.

I hope someone is keeping track of the events that have transpired every week since the first of the year—2020 is one for the record books and I’d love to see some kind of chart that gives us a week-by-week breakdown of the crazy.

I’ve been busier than ever this week. We have a ton of awesome new Tuttle Twins content coming down the pipeline in the next several months, and as I was working on one particular project today, I got to thinking about the way that we treat people and how we are exercising our stewardship of the knowledge that we’ve gained through experience, hard work, and study.

I’m pretty comfortable making the claim that most of the people who subscribe to these emails know a thing or two about the way the world works, and have some really great ideas about how to make it work better. I’m fairly sure that just about any random sampling of Tuttle Twins readers and their families could solve most of the problems we are facing right now without resorting to the use of force or coercion.

I like to think about the exercise that the twins and their friends and families do at the end of The Tuttle Twins and the Fate of the Future—where everyone divides into teams and tries to imagine a society that is governed in a more peaceful and prosperous way. I wish elected officials and activists would do that in real life.

As I was thinking about good men and women who have overcome difficulty, or showed strength of character or changed the world for the better (that’s a pretty big hint about one of our new projects) I was thinking that one of the traits that they all share is that they try to show compassion and kindness to others—even, often, their enemies.

I remember a few months ago when I felt troubled by how divided people were—boy was I naive! I had no idea how much worse it could get!

We’ve now allowed fear, media manipulation, and differing interpretations of data to divide us into so many categories and subcategories that people who once would have considered themselves mostly philosophically aligned are now hardly recognizable to one another.

I’ve always known that fear is a terrible motivator, and that government and media have mastered the art of using it for their gain—heck, I even wrote a book about it—but these last few months have shown me just how bad it can get.

I’m a natural problem-solver. For as long as I can remember, finding ways to fix things that aren’t working properly or efficiently has been important to me—it’s part of why I got into the line of work that I’m in. The world sure doesn’t seem to be running efficiently or properly right now, and my mind often dwells on what I can do within my area of influence to make things better.

Today I’ve been thinking that we could all benefit from the lessons of the world-changers and problem-overcomers of the past. We know a lot of really important stuff. A lot of us understand the things that are happening right now much more clearly than most people. So how are we sharing that information with the afraid and uninformed?

Are we leaving disparaging comments on social media threads? Are we making up rude nicknames for people who don’t hold the same opinion on wearing face masks as we do? Are we teaching? Or are we just angrily assuming that everyone who doesn’t think like we do must be choosing to be on the wrong side of the debate?

As I’ve observed and engaged in social media conversations for the last few weeks, I’ve become certain of something that I’ve suspected for a long time—people really know nothing about the way that government works. They don’t know what the limits on their elected representatives are supposed to be. They don’t understand anything about economics. They don’t even know what their rights are—much less how to defend them. They don’t know anything beyond what they’ve heard growing up in the public school system, or what they’ve learned watching the news.

But we do. And I keep coming back to the idea that no matter how angry we are with the current state of affairs, or how unbelievable and frustrating it is that the general population is so woefully ignorant to things that they really have no excuse to be ignorant about, we know things—real, life changing, important things—that other people would be better off knowing also.

And so I think we need to teach them.

Even when we are really angry with them.

Even when we see them as part of the problem.

I chose to write The Tuttle Twins and the Golden Rule because I thought it was important to teach kids about the dangers of aggressive foreign policy and the reality of blowback. But there’s another lesson in the book that is more traditionally understood: being mean or hurtful to people is never the right thing to do.

A lot of us didn’t always know the things that we know now. Imagine if we were just getting mentally prepared to experience our “awakening” at this time in history. Would we be more likely to align ourselves with those who disparage and demean us for the things we don’t understand, or with those who welcome us and teach us ideas we’ve never before encountered?

Times of great upheaval can also be times of great learning. We could potentially miss out on a lot of opportunities to change people’s hearts and minds for the better if we aren’t able to push past the anger and frustration we feel and instead adopt the role of patient teacher.

I will always remember when the folks in South Carolina “booed” Ron Paul for talking about the Golden Rule in one of the presidential debates. I don’t ever want to risk being someone who gets so caught up in my beliefs that I forget about my humanity and the importance of treating others with respect and kindness.

There aren’t many things the average person can do right now to make things better aside from continuing to focus on our families and educating those within our reach. But maybe if we started looking at our neighbors and strangers online more as people within our reach and less like our enemy we could make things just a little better.

It’s hard, I know. Especially when their ignorance feeds the fire that seems to be consuming so many things we care about right now. But on the other end of every online exchange is a real person who is probably pretty afraid and confused. Behind every masked—or unmasked—face is a person who thinks they’re doing the right thing and who has fears and worries and confusion about this weird time we’re all suddenly trying to navigate.

Maybe just a little more kindness and a little more patience wouldn’t hurt right now. A little more Golden Rule and a little less booing. What could it hurt?

— Connor

Teaching Independence and Self-Reliance in an Age of Appeals to Authority

Happy Wednesday!

I have a question for you.

When you were a child, was it considered a good trait to be self-reliant, independent, and capable?

I know that when I was a kid—I grew up in the eighties and early nineties—parents and leaders in school, church, and the community considered these traits to be good and noble. It was pretty generally accepted that these were among the traits everyone would want to nurture and develop in themselves.

Kids were often encouraged to figure things out without the help of an adult. In fact, we were praised when we solved our own problems or figured out our own ways to get things done. I look back to movies like The Goonies, and The Sandlot and I totally relate to the freedom that those kids had to make trouble, cause problems, and then find their way through it with little to no adult supervision. Movies like those give me a sense of nostalgia, but I suspect that a lot of kids growing up today would just view them as fantasy—no more realistic or relatable than Harry Potter.

I don’t get the impression that a lot of parents, teachers, and leaders praise their kids for independent thinking and self-reliant behaviors anymore. It seems to me that somewhere in the last thirty or so years the traits that we all once agreed were “good” are now viewed as those possessed by “selfish kids,” or “troublemakers,” or maybe even those with some type of disorder.

I sometimes get critical emails or comments about The Tuttle Twins series that point out the fact that Ethan and Emily are allowed to take on so much responsibility on their own. They ride around town on their bikes without any supervision. They get involved in community efforts, and start businesses without their parents doing all the work. They go off to summer camps where all kinds of troubles arise, and they’re largely left alone to figure things out for themselves. Some people think it is unbelievable—or even irresponsible—that I portray childhood this way.

This portrayal of childhood seems so normal to me, and I suspect it does for a lot of you as well. But there has definitely been a shift in the way that parents view the capabilities and independence of children. I know the term “helicopter parent” is overused, so I’ll refrain from exploring that route, but something has definitely changed—and I don’t know that I think it’s entirely innocent or accidental.

What I’ve observed in working with kids, and even entering classrooms on occasion for book readings, is that the traits that seem to be universally promoted as “good” today are those of obedience, submission, and appealing to authority for guidance. It seems that children are told over and again from the time they are very young that they need to look for an adult to help them in whatever difficulty they are experiencing.

I’m not saying that parents and leaders don’t offer valuable and vital contributions to healthy upbringings—of course they do! Involved parents and good role models are essential for children. But there’s a difference between kids knowing that there are wise and capable adults who are always there to help them and teach them, and children believing that they have to seek the help or counsel of an adult in order to solve problems or overcome tricky situations.

I look at the things happening in the country right now, and I can’t help but see a bunch of kids who have grown up believing that the only way to make things better is to appeal to government to create laws to try to force things to be “fixed.” I know that if I wanted to create a population that would happily submit to authoritarian government I would start by teaching them from the time they were young that they were not capable of solving their own problems and that they must always look to an authority to save them.

One of my favorite parts of all of the Tuttle Twins series is in The Tuttle Twins and the Golden Rule. The summer camp the twins are attending is inundated with rain and they’re faced with serious flooding. Despite some major issues between teams of campers marked by dishonesty, broken trust, and lots of hurt feelings and attempts at justifying revenge to make them feel better, the kids all have to unify and work together. They have to act fast to save the camp from the rising water.

Each team took a different task and got to work. The Bears and Turtles worked together filling sandbags. Shoveling over and over was hard work!

The Rattlesnakes and Eagles formed a human chain to move each sandbag to the water’s edge and stack them to build a wall. The counselors helped here and there, and made sure everybody was safe.

“They need some extra help,” Mrs. Miner said, seeing the children struggle. She began walking towards them to lend a hand.

“No,” Ron replied. “What they need is this experience of working together to solve a problem. Let’s let them do the work, and enjoy the benefit.

“When the children had finished, they were tired, hungry, and covered in mud. But they had achieved their goal! The group watched as pools of water came close to the camp, but were stopped by the wall of sandbags.

“We did it!” many of them exclaimed, giving high fives to one another.

“Wait until our parents hear about this!” Ethan remarked to some of his friends from other teams.

The kids all learned that they were capable of doing something really big, and really important—even working with those they had earlier viewed as their enemies. And best of all, they did it without adults holding their hands or babying them through a scary and possibly dangerous time. They felt empowered because the adult leaders trusted them to be capable of managing such an important task.

One of the overarching themes in all of the Tuttle Twins books is that kids are capable of understanding complex ideas and accomplishing big, important things. We consistently get feedback from parents who say that their kids like the books in part because they don’t treat them like babies.

I’m really glad that messaging comes through loud and clear for kids when they read the series, because it’s so important to me that kids feel empowered and capable of directing their lives and taking on the tough tasks that lie before them.

Our kids are facing a future we couldn’t have imagined when we were their age. There is so much gloom and doom in the news and media, and I worry that they are being influenced by it and feel like their future isn’t going to be as bright as those that came before them. I don’t believe that’s true—I think that our kids are going to do things that we couldn’t have ever done!

I just want to make sure they’re getting a lot of good encouragement and that they know that there are a lot of people who believe in the awesomeness and ability of kids to do important things.

Our futures are in their hands! I’m counting on them to be amazing!

— Connor