Great, thanks, Holly!

I will also add:

1) teach your children how to think for themselves, and the best way to do that is to think for yourself;

2) rigorous STEM degrees are the only ones worth getting;

3) encourage selection of local or in-state school;

4) encourage them to live at home, if possible;

5) understand that graduate programs are often even more Woke; they truly believe that bull$hit.

I know Holly and others would disagree here, but the biggest reason that my siblings and I got through unscathed--and based AF--is our Christian faith. Our parents didn’t (couldn’t) give us a dime, but they showed us unconditional love and support through Christ. They didn’t care what we did, as long as we were living out our faith.

Expand full comment

Right now the plan for my 15 year old son is a bit different; I took him to Scotland, where I used to live, and mentioned in passing in Stirling that he could go to university in Europe. A couple of months after that he said that sounded interesting to him. That means he goes directly into a subject (no gen ed), takes three years rather than four, and he gets the experience of living in Europe, which he is extremely interested in. Also side steps all of the stupid woke campus life stuff and crazy status chasing of the US college admissions circus.

He’s also do an online virtual charter school and I’m heavily engaged with his school work (and so far other than some annoyances in AP Human Geography it’s been ok).

Expand full comment
Oct 27Liked by Holly MathNerd

Spot on, Holly. My two daughters (now 28 and 25), attended state universities, both STEM majors. The older one went on to a masters degree (kinesiology). The younger graduated with a BS in applied mathematics.

The older one is married, has two young children, and is mostly unaffected by woke indoctrination. She stopped working shortly before having their first child two and a half years ago. She chose her husband wisely, and they could easily afford to do that.

The younger one we lost to woke indoctrination. She moved 1,200 miles away from us and we hear from her a few times per year. Her value system is the exact opposite of how she was raised.

It’s exactly the situation you described in your essay.

Our son graduated from high school in May. He was splitting time between regular high school and technical high school. He graduated with OSHA and EPA certification in HVAC.

He now makes more money (with OT) working for an industrial HVAC contractor than either of his two sisters ever have. After he has two or three years of experience under his belt, he can move to any state in the country and immediately land a job making $65-$90k per year.

Between avoided student debt and the income he’ll make over the next four years, we figure he’ll be $250k+ ahead of his peers who are graduating from college in 2027.

Expand full comment

There is literally nothing I would disagree with here as a European except point 4. Generally the financial burden isn't as onerous in Europe.

Expand full comment

Another wonderful essay, Holly! My suggestion to parents is that they emulate 19thC British tradition: Send your kids on a Grand Tour of Europe, with appropriate tutors for every subject area. In the 21stC, I'd add Asia. I know 2 kids who did a short version of this, and they loved it.

Expand full comment

Teaching your kids to "do the math" (and how to "do the math") is one of the best things you can do for them as a parent. I once taught an introductory economics class to some college students, and, during one class, we "did the math" and demonstrated the power of investing in tax-deferred investment accounts early during one's career. I still remember the shocked looks on their faces when they realized how much money they would be leaving on the table by NOT maxing out their 401Ks as early as possible in their careers. Not racking up a ton of student loan debt goes hand-in-hand with the "invest early and often" strategy.

What do you recommend for parents of children who want to be doctors or lawyers or enter a non-STEM field where a graduate or professional degree is required?

Expand full comment