A free-wheeling education

Did any of you hear the NPR story yesterday about the Harvard graduate who was homeschooled by her trucker mom?

The kids and I were driving home from picking up our four (heaven help me!) bushels of peaches from the orchard when I flipped from our go-to country station to NPR. I do this occasionally, just to see what hot topics are being discussed, and the kids hate it. Over their energetic groans I heard the announcer say something about homeschooling, trucking, and Harvard, so I quickly shushed them: It’s about a girl who was homeschooled, guys. Listen!

Kerry Anderson, a new Harvard graduate, was being interviewed by Michele Norris. Anderson, who began college at a community school, was recruited by Harvard, something highly unusual for an Ivy League school. Norris questioned Anderson about her unusual pre-college education and how she made the switch from studying while traveling across the country to studying while sitting in a classroom. And, of course, there was the inevitable question:

NORRIS: So when did you actually hold classes? How did you actually complete your schooling while you were traveling from one state to the other?

Ms. ANDERSON: A lot of our schooling actually was integrated into what she was doing. When we know where we were going, Texas to California, for instance, we had to map out the mileage. We had to map out when we had to fuel, how fast we were going to be going, where we needed to stop, rest areas, all of that kind of thing, what our fuel mileage was going to be.

That’s how she got us going on a lot of it. And then there was a program that we mailed things in. So we did it at our leisure, basically.

Don’t you just love that? All the attention given to the details of learning to live and travel, with a casual, oh-yeah-I-almost-forgot nod to traditional schooling. So refreshing.


  • Margo

    eek – makes me feel jumpy about peaches around the corner. we're only now getting freestones, so i think i have a little time. and man: when peaches are ready, they do not wait. good luck! hope to see some recipes.

    that NPR story is wild. way to blow stereotypes.

  • You Can Call Me Jane

    I'm so far down on their list, I have no idea when my peaches are coming, but you're making me feel panic, too!:-).

    Great story. When I have time, I'm going to have to listen in to the interview. And, how fun for your kids to hear it. I'm curious about what they said about it:-).

  • Jennifer Jo

    25 bucks for a bushel. I'll can them, freeze some, make several batches of jam, and lots (and lots) of desserts. They look like they'll all ripen at the same time—I'm feeling a little panicky… Want to come help???

  • Suburban Correspondent

    4 bushels? How do you use them fast enough? I don't think I could even make preserves that fast. I buy them by the 1/2 bushel at our farmer's market for 20 dollars. I bet you get them cheaper than that!

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