Pro Tips: How to Learn Your Kids

image via Marian Doss
image via Marian Doss

Welcome to your September Pro Tips! Do you have a burning question or burning sensation? Either way, hit me up at and I’ll let you know what your problem is.

Dear Wayne,

Refugees are flooding into Europe, more than a quarter million people have been killed in the Syrian civil war and ISIL is a pervasive and persistent threat to the stability of the Middle East and beyond. How do you see this playing out?


Dear Donald,

The violent upheaval engulfing Iraq and Syria will pause briefly this spring when media outlets report Sunni moderates sweep every category of the X-games, confusingly becoming totally radical.


Dear Wayne,

My wife and I are considering homeschooling our children. They’re approaching school age and we’ve been reading all of these articles about terrible teachers and the horrors of public education, standardized test cheating schemes, teacher/student/janitor love triangles, ugh, the list goes on. In short, we’re terrified and frankly, we think we can do a better (and safer!) job. Obviously, this will be a big project, so we’d like to cover all of our bases before committing to a decision. Your input and advice is greatly appreciated.

Stacey and Leigh

Dear Stacey and Leigh,

I’m guessing you’ve already shopped this idea around some to your friends and family, so I’m sure I’m not the first person to tell you homeschooling is for absolute nut-jobs. I applaud your research (?), but I’m afraid you may be suffering from something psychologists call confirmation bias. It’s true, there is a surplus volume of shitty teachers out there, but that’s because very few people are actually qualified to serve as educators, even among those trained specifically for the task. If so many trained professionals are not especially good at it, what makes you think you two yahoos, without any training whatsoever, will manage to excel where so many fail? Never fear—I know why: it’s because you’re assholes! Probably, anyways.

Look, public education is one of the actual glories of the modern world. Even hundreds of years ago, America’s pioneer children risked life and limb to trudge their way to some frontier schoolmarm in a shanty in the middle of nowhere to get all learnt-up. Which is to say, even people who had good reason to actually consider teaching their kids at home found it preferable to have a professional do it. A professional, mind you, who was out in the fucking boonies because there was plenty of work to be had, because even crazy people who gathered up their families and left civilization knew schooling under the tutelage of an actual educator was preferable to the alternative.


Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV »

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.


$10/mo or $120/year
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.


$20/mo or $240/year
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.


$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW) connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.