My History With Home Education

I’ve been posting a lot of big-picture ideas about homeschooling lately, especially on my Facebook Profile. Many people don’t know my background in homeschooling. Frankly, not until I thought through the last 20+ years of my involvement, I hadn’t quite realized how impacting Wendy and I have been.

Our wild and crazy history with homeschooling.

Our wild and crazy history with homeschooling.

Your Bus Ride

In the book Good to Great, Jim Collins writes an analogy that has stuck with me for years: the bus. I used to own one, pictured below. I built it for my growing family, and enjoyed a number of adventures.

I did own a bus once.* I'm inviting you to join me on a brand new one, set to leave the station in January.

I used to own this bus. I’m building a brand new one, and this time you’re invited to join me for an awesome ride.

In Good to Great, Collins compares the bus to the business, the big idea that is rolling down the highway. The business I run is a bus rolling down the highway, and each person on the bus serves a specific function to the ride. For years I’ve been driving the speech and debate bus. It’s an awesome bus to be on, and you may or may not have found a place on it.

I’m building a new bus, and no matter where you fit into the academic world, you’ll find a welcome seat in this brand new bus.

Come with me on this journey. This is a long post, but bear with me as I explain. It’ll be worth your time and consideration.

Why Women Hate My Polyphasic Sleep Schedule

I must say, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the Everyman Sleep Schedule. It’s a disciplined system of sleeping that attempts to maximize my sleep patterns to produce more hours in my work week. When strictly followed, I am able to create 28 more hours per week of which I would not have had.

My wise wife, Wendy, has an idea why women find my sleep schedule appalling.

My wise wife, Wendy, has an idea why women find my sleep schedule appalling.

Whenever I share my experiment with guys, they find it intriguing, even fascinating. They dream of how their life would change if they added 28 hours to their week, 60 days to their year. They consider the benefits and wonder if the lack of sleep could be overcome.

I have shared the idea with women, and I’ve received — in general — negative feedback. Sometimes hostility. Seriously! The idea disgusts them. One mom did a hefty amount of research and sent it to me to dissuade me from my experiment. When sharing this with a group of moms at a youth gathering, one mom told me to “keep it down” because the kids might hear what I’m saying. Another mom told me quite pointedly that this was contrary to how God created me.

These are generalizations, of course. I’m just observing a general trend: women tend to be appalled, men tend to be fascinated.

My Fascinating 4-Hour Sleep Schedule

I get only four hours of sleep per 24-hour cycle. Since February I have been on a strict sleep pattern that has (1) improved my sleep quality, (2) increased my productivity by at least 50% per week, and (3) made me less tired and more alert throughout my waking day. Sounds fascinating, doesn’t it?

There are several polyphasic sleep schedules, and I've adapted my own.

There are several polyphasic sleep schedules, and I’ve adapted my own.

A lot of people think so. Though I haven’t blogged about this more than a couple of times since I started, I meet readers along the way who will pipe up and say, “Hey! How’s that sleep schedule thing going?” Most people agree — with just a little bit of hesitation — what I’ve been doing these past months is fascinating.

Admittedly, this is one of my more radical productivity ideas. Michael Hyatt — whose podcast yesterday was all about the value of sleep (“Sleep and Your Productivity”) — personally expressed concern to me when I shared the idea with him last summer. I asked him yesterday if he still had reservations about it, and he replied, “I really haven’t researched it, Chris, though I was fascinated when you spoke about it.”

Why is getting less sleep so fascinating? Because I am able to increase my productivity up to 28 hours per week. Do you have any idea how awesome that is? That’s literally over 1,400 hours per year, like hiring a part-time employee for free. And I’ve been more alert and actually less tired than I was on a mono or biphasic sleep schedule.

The Back Story on the Webinar

Have you ever attended an online webinar where the room participants were hidden from view? I always wonder if I’m the only one there. The hosts talk as if they’re talking to an entire audience, but in reality, it’s just me.

Andrew Pudewa and I hid the number of participants from view when conducting last week’s webinar on the FOR ACTION CONFERENCE. We were ready for a room full of ONE, but we got 50. We think that’s awesome! We had 120 people registered, but 50 is still a strong showing. This tells us two things:

Our Newest ‘For Action’ Speaker

The For Action Conference is Tom Minnery, executive director of CitizenLink. I’ve known Tom since my 5-year employment at Focus on the Family from 2000-2004. He has quite a track record “for action,” and will be a wonderful contribution to January’s conference.

Tom Minnery

Tom is a public policy guy. He has led the Government and Public Policy division of the international ministry since 1988, playing a large role in shaping policy for family and religious civil liberties issues.

It took me a while to secure Tom as a speaker, and I’m happy to have him on board. There are two reasons that will resonate with you, plus one reason that is personal to me.

The Kill Zone

I’m heading up to the mountains again for another elk hunt, this time with high powered rifles in the hands of two of my sons, Isaiah and Noah. I love these refreshing escapes from the daily grind.

Hit the Kill Zone

I don’t like overuses of metaphors, but I think hunting metaphors work very well. I learn so much about real life. Though I like to say I “escape” to the mountains, I always come back with a deeper vision on life and my calling. Even if you don’t hunt or don’t intend to ever hunt, I suspect you’ll find the metaphors I come up with helpful in your life journey.

FREE For-Action Webinar Tonight

I’m hosting a free webinar with my friend Andrew Pudewa for a 30-minute explanation and Q&A of the For Action Conference. As you know, I’m quite excited for this new Training Minds Ministry event, and I hope you are too. Tonight’s the night to put it into perspective and get you the information you need.

Andrew (left) and I spent the weekend training teenagers for action. We are meeting tonight to explain how we're training young adults for real-life action!

Andrew (left) and I spent the weekend training teenagers for action in a debate round. We are meeting tonight online (and you’re invited!) to explain how we’re training young adults for real-life action.

Why Parents Choose Home Schooling

This is an article I published in the national teacher journal Educational Leadership in 1994, nearly 20 years old. Back then the article helped set the tone between the homeschool movement and a cautious status quo. I have some thoughts about where we’re at now (more on that another day), but for today, enjoy this article on Why Parents Choose Home Schooling.

Home schooling neither isolates children nor harms their academic growth; it does, however, come close to the true definition of education: the passing down of culture.

I'm at the home of Andrew Pudewa, a homeschool curriculum developer, who is hosting a debate camp at his ranch. This is a practice round at his dinner table.

I’m at the home of Andrew Pudewa, a homeschool curriculum developer, who is hosting one of my debate camps at his ranch. This is a practice round at his dinner table.