ENTROPY ACADEMY: HOW TO SUCCEED AT HOMESCHOOLING EVEN IF YOU DON’T HOMESCHOOL
BY ALISON BERNHOFT
When Alison Bernhoft set out to homeschool her six children, her grand plans were constantly derailed by the second law of thermodynamics: Entropy. Entropy happens. It enters our houses, spreads toys and dishes around, creates chaos throughout the day, and most importantly steals our time. But Alison discovered that chaos and education are far from mutually exclusive; indeed, suitably restrained, entropy can be the best teacher of all.
Entropy Academy reveals how you can train your home (even a messy one) to do half your teaching, while much of the other half can be taught “entropy style” – in the natural process of everyday life.
Marvel at the specialization of birds’ feet through your kitchen window. Recognize musical eras as you drive. Watch logic and Venn diagrams become crystal clear in a box of random buttons. Use raisins to introduce your kindergartener to algebra. Let the pages of Entropy Academy show how, with a minimal outlay of time and money, you can leave much of the teaching to the home while you relax with a cup of tea.
Anyone currently homeschooling, considering it, or simply wishing to be more involved in their child’s (or grandchild’s) education will find much to encourage, amuse, and inspire them in this account of the inner life of a highly unusual, unabashedly idiosyncratic family.
Building on entropy-style foundations, the Bernhoft children’s successes range from the traditionally academic-Stanford Phi Beta Kappa, Ivy League, and PhD-to the truly functional-her adult son with Down’s syndrome is one of the best-known and most popular residents of Ojai, California, the small town the author calls home.
Alison Bernhoft studied at Oxford and earned an MA at UCLA, but she considers the single most formative educational experience of her life to be homeschooling. Alison’s particular passion lay in making complex intellectual ideas simple, and she utilized every ounce of creativity and problem-solving skills she possessed to teach her own six children, as well as others who found the Entropy mix of laughter and serious education irresistible.
After a brief foray into the intoxicating world of public speaking, Alison’s desire to utilize her spiritual gift of exhortation to encourage other parents to find joy and fulfillment teaching their own was curtailed by atypical Parkinson’s. Her voice in the homeschooling community sounds through the pages of Entropy Academy, and her blog. beyondentropy.blogspot.com.