Weekly Review #15: One Thing I’m Afraid Of

Through a confluence of events this week I’ve been thinking a lot about homeschooling. To begin, my oldest daughter was home sick from school for three days, but not so sick that she wasn’t able to do her makeup work. It went quickly and smoothly. Then I talked with a friend about her homeschooling situation and how great it’s been. Then an online friend posted about why he does it. Then another person online chimed in. It was like the universe was sending me signals.

Homeschooling is something I’ve thought about before. It feels like it’s an advantage in the same way that Snap Circuits – which we just started playing with – are. Here is a cool learning tool that teaches not only circuits, but a way of thinking that the schools can’t offer. For as great as my daughters’ teachers have been – and they’ve been very good – there’s no way they can do better than me. It isn’t egotistical so much as a limitation of systems. A teacher with 18 kids, state standards, and core curriculum has too rigid a structure to really be great. Homeschooling drops all that away.

All that said, I still don’t know if I can do, because I’m afraid.

For all the great resources that exist, from curriculum to bloggers to the easy connections with other people, I’m still afraid. It’s like when I was afraid of doing work around the house. I didn’t know which electrical wires were which, how to turn off the power at the fuse box, or anything else really. Now my repertoire of home repair skills is a bit bigger than before and I’m not scared to do small to medium sized projects. Homeschooling would be just like that. I haven’t ruled this out and if you have a comment, please let me know.

What I’ve been working on.

Video diary “0” of writing a book is online and video 1 from week 1 will be up Sunday. I’ve spent a lot more time outlining this book and I think the quality will positively reflect that.

What I’ve been reading.

I finished the very short, but very good, How to Invest your Time Like Money by Elizabeth Saunders. I’ll post an actual review at Productivityist but here’s one of my favorite ideas; INO thinking. INO stands for- Investment, Neutral, and Optimize and Saunders suggests we apply it to things we spend our time on. Investments should be our highest quality work and get our highest quality time. Book writing is this for me. Neutral are things that are neutral, you don’t need to or can’t take action one way or another. Optimize are the things that you should choose to spend the least resources on to get it done. For example, weeknight dinners. We optimize the time spent cooking but invest in the time spent together. It’s more important what we say over the food than what the food is.

I finished Thunderstruck. Very good (as all Larson books are). One takeaway from this was our need to always be connected. The book climaxes with a certain news event (to tell would be to spoil it) but the event is followed around the world as radio waves begin to carry Morse code. Thinking that something like Twitter is ruining events is a bit shortsighted because people have been engaging in this type of connection for over 100 years.

I’m still reading Thinking Fast and Slow. It’s still very good. One nugget from this as well. In Chapter 19 Kahneman writes this about explanations:

The ultimate test of an explanation is whether it would have made the event predictable in advance.

Wow. How powerful is that? In a world of screens with people screaming about being right, this simple test can detect bullshit almost instantly. Like I said, it’s been a great book.

What I published this week.

Much less than last week. At The Waiter’s Pad I published an interview with Andy Weir, Tom Shadyac, and Dan Ariely. The Weir interview just came out and it’s incredible how he persisted in his writing career. I’ve been actively pursuing this for less than a year, part-time, but he spent three years of full time work on it and still failed. Only after many, many, many words did he succeed.

That means I need to get back to that book. My video diary will be up Sunday.

Mike – @MikeDariano


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