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Astral Codex Ten Podcast

Aug 27, 2021


[Original article: Kids Can Recover From Missing Even A Lot Of School]


Many commenters shared their own stories of missing lots of school and bouncing back from it. For example, Rachel E:

I was unschooled until I was 15, I'm pursuing a PhD now. Catching up on the basics wasn't easy but only took a few months. There are still a bunch of random general knowledge things I don't know, but at most it's caused a moment of embarrassment in social situations (e.g., when I genuinely thought dinosaurs were mythical creatures). BUT I was motivated to catch up, which I think makes a big difference. I'd say most kids probably don't care too much about their education, so for them, missing school might matter more

And ral:

Hear, hear. I had serious medical problems in grade 5, needed a major surgery in grade 6, and was told I'd have to miss a year. My parents tried homeschooling, rigorously followed a bunch of curricula, and discovered I could finish *all* the assigned coursework in 2 hours/day and spend the rest of the time reading my favorite books. We were so unimpressed by the time wasted in "regular school" that we kept homeschooling another 2 years. I now have a PhD, but those were among the best days of my life.

And Pepe:

If you are interested in an anecdote: I did not go to high school (well, attended for two or three months) and now I have a PhD from a very good university. Not receiving any formal education between the ages of 16 and 23 does not seem to have affected my ability to do college (and later grad school) level work.