MAMARONECK, NEW YORK – “When you first said you were going to homeschool the children,” said Grandpa, “I didn’t think it was a good idea.”

How does Grandpa feel about this now? More below…

Quirky Homeschool Model

Greetings from Mamaroneck, New York…

My family and I are trying something different. We don’t have a house or any regular place to live.

Instead, we travel around, living out of a suitcase. And we educate our children on the road, using our own, quirky, make-it-up-as-we-go-along homeschool model.

We’re currently in the outskirts of New York City, staying with my father (Grandpa) in his one-bedroom apartment. We’ve been here seven weeks.

Before we got here, his friends told him he was crazy to let us stay so long.

“There isn’t enough room,” they told him. “You need your own space.”

But everything has worked out fine. Better than fine, actually… we’ve had an amazing time. We’ve been having so much fun, we’ve barely left the apartment.

We play with toy trains, we read, we play cards, we play pool, we play ping pong, we paint watercolors, we practice the piano, and we cook together.

Oh… and while all this is going on, Grandpa is battling cancer.

That means he has to drive to the cancer hospital every morning and get dosed with radiation. He has to do this for 38 days in a row.

Grandpa’s Change of Heart

The kids have behaved so well during this stay with Grandpa. They’re easy going and fun to be around. And they’re always offering to help with the chores.

Driving home from the cancer hospital this morning, Grandpa said, “Now I totally support your decision to homeschool the kids. They’re such great kids.”

This weekend, we put up the Christmas tree.


Helping Grandpa put up the Christmas tree

Last Days in New York

We’re leaving New York on Thursday… and hitting the road again.

Next stop: Idaho.

We’re going to recover our car and all our possessions from the Idaho Falls airport, where we left them in the spring… make some room in the car for all of us to sit… and then drive across America using only backroads. No highways.

Our goal is to be in Florida by Christmas…

We’ll send lots of photographs.

– Tom Dyson

P.S. The big difference between our homeschool and a regular school is that regular schools focus on teaching “hard” subjects like science, mathematics, and art. Meanwhile, Kate and I focus our schooling on the “soft” or “human” skills – like forming good habits, developing character, and a love of learning. We feel that if the children learn these soft skills well, the hard skills will take care of themselves later.

Like what you’re reading? Send your thoughts to [email protected].


A reader’s response to Tom’s words about narcissism… and kind words on the Dyson family’s days with Grandpa…

Reader comment: I’ve read some comments and your own questions in dealing with the idea that your letters may be narcissistic. Well, I want to say that my wife and I read your letters with great interest. We have a young family and just completed five years of marriage. We both lost our fathers very young and your letters, unexpectedly, have become an inspiration and reference guide for us in raising our family. As a husband and father, I’ve also learned from you and your journey to how important it is to spend time with your wife and children, and give them attention as a priority over all other choices.

So thank you for sharing your intimate life diary with us. Some may see it as narcissistic. I see it as very courageous to share so much of yourselves with people you don’t know personally.

Reader comment: God bless your heart for this time spent with Grandpa. I bet he loves it. Your kids are surely enriched by the experience.

Tom’s note: Thanks for all of your kind words. And as always, please keep your messages coming at [email protected], and I’ll answer as many questions as I can in a future Friday mailbag edition.