The ONLY thing that the conventional compulsory, drop-off school approach to education has over individualized, *outside the system* learning is a modicum of imposed self-discipline.

What I mean by that is, well, an early morning bus on one’s doorstep and mandatory attendance and classes at least force each day to start early and, theoretically anyway, be devoted to a range of subjects.

Without these obligations and perhaps with a more laid-back philosophy about academics, there’s always the risk that kids, whose education is overseen by their parents, I wouldn’t say “fall behind” because so little is learned in schools that this is almost impossible, but I would say they run the risk of at least falling far short of their potential.

Now bear in mind that I believe, and as far as I’m concerned have already proven, that the true mental capacity of children is well beyond what most parents and what society in general thinks it is. So it bothers me when I hear parents, who have the tremendous opportunity to accelerate, triumphantly say things like, “My kid is reading on grade level” or “My child is one grade level advanced in math.”

Not that I think that academic performance in college is THE yardstick for success in life or anything…

BUT I’ve read that *self-discipline* has been shown to be the most important factor – as opposed to SAT scores, IQ tests, and educational background – in determining GPAs.

At root self-discipline is all about getting more reps and more hours in. And as we all know by now – he or she who works hardest, wins!

So I strongly suggest that parents educating their own children, plan out each week (on Sunday night!), utilize alarm clocks, and hit the ground running each morning.

I know, I’ve tried the laid-back approach. Not only does it diminish the amount of learning that occurs….but it also puts everyone – i.e. kids AND parents – in a *less pleasant* mood throughout the day.

Get the kids up early; don’t let them spend more than 15/20 minutes on breakfast; don’t let them spend more than 5 minutes making their beds, brushing their teeth, and getting dressed. As we all know, without a whip cracking….these simple tasks can CONSUME hours of precious time.

All day long we’re setting timers, especially the online one –….and it helps. It really does.