I connected with Daniel Louzonis in January 2017. He's one of the most ambitious parents I know, so I couldn't wait to ask him a few questions about his experience with homeschooling and (hyper)acceleration.
His profile on Parents.Community: @Daniel
You can listen to the podcast below, or read the full transcript.
First, a no-TV-screen policy is a must. Kids start reading books as a result. Listen to learn what Daniel thinks about:
- Kindergarten & Daycare
- Teaching kids to read at a young age
- Listen on SoundCloud
- or play directly below:
Michal: Alright. Hi there, I know that you are a very ambitious parent of two kids, you even write articles online and you even have the coaching for the ambitious parents especially focus on homeschooling. The articles you actually wrote were very inspiring for me, when I read it then, I immediately felt like this is something I want to try with my own kids. And eventually, I even started blogging about my own experience and then somehow we got connected recently. So I would like to get some of your knowledge and best practices to share with the community of other the ambitious parents that I'm connected to. So thanks a lot for having this call, I'm really excited about it.
Daniel: Sure! Anytime, I love talking about this stuff, I could talk about it all day long.
Michal: So it's 11:00 AM your time, so we have about 10 more hours.
Daniel: We'll see how much memory you have on Dropbox.
Michal: Maybe not that much. So I know that you do a lot of homeschooling with your two kids and you even share a lot of highlights online, but some of the people I'm connected to are actually not doing homeschooling. So I would be especially curious what the people who are not homeschooling yet, but still are very ambitious and want to do some cool fancy stuff with their kids at home, maybe in the morning, maybe in the afternoon, maybe in the evening. So what the parents could do, what would you say would be the first thing to actually do with 1 or 2 kids?
Daniel: Well the first thing is to do is never let them near a screen, never put them in front of a movie, never put them on YouTube to watch cat videos, and definitely never put them in front of a television. And this is multimillion dollar advice right here that less than 1 % of people will ever implement. And the thing is it's an easy button, there is an easy button for education and it's the off button on a device, and there's a lot of resistance to doing it and I can speak at length about the resistance. But let me just talk about why you want to do it and what will happen when you unplug your kids.
But, first of all, their brains will take off, they will get deeply involved in hobbies, they will get outside, they will move, they will make pretend play, and at some point they will be drawn like moss to a flame towards books, and books are really the basic unit of education, very few people... if you Google famous people who don't read, not many famous people come up, and if you listen to Silicon Valley, entrepreneurs, venture capitalist, if you start digging into US presidents and the most famous people that have ever walked this earth, they were all prolific readers. So the reason, its two fold reasons, actually, it's a many fold reason, but when you remove screens from children they will move towards book naturally. Because their minds crave an outlet for... they love stories and the drama of stories and of information will rapture them, so you cut the cord and they'll be drawn towards books, and if you don't cut the cord they will never read.
The people who design these screens they know how to create addictive content, they know how to push the right buttons, they know how to use sensationalism, they know how to do more than you can fight off. So the number one thing to do...and we can go deeper into this if you want on any particular point...number one thing to do is to do what less than 1 % of people do and just do it a zero passive video content approach, it's incredibly important for young children. Just getting back to the reading thing for a second. Books are naturally addictive and naturally... yeah they're naturally addictive, my daughter has read, and it's May second, she's read 70 books already this year.
Daniel: So through 4 months of the year it would projects to 200 books a year and she's 10 years old, and she's addicted to books. When I punish her I actually have to take away books and banned her from reading, confiscate night-lights in her room, and this is because I set in her the reading habit, and the main way I set that reading habit in her was by depriving her of television, she's never watched television just about her entire life. So the biggest thing that you can do, and again it's an easy button, anybody can do it, very, very few people actually do it. This goes towards phones and educational apps, all this stuff sucks kids into the screens and it pushes them away from books. And I like to tell people that, between their kids and their kids full potential is a mountain books, a mountain of reading material.
They're going to have to learn how to read music, read instructions, and board games, they're going to have to read their whole life, and if they don't have an extreme confident with reading they will only tap a fraction at best of their potential. So it's really the core understanding, and I didn't have this knowledge when I started out, when I had young kids it wasn't like I could have told you what I just told you, I had no idea and I didn't grow up a reader myself. So I discovered this through experimentation with my own children through screen deprivation, through experimenting with my students, my clients and getting them to implement deprivation and they tell me within two weeks, their kids are reading books, they're playing chest at 6 am and doing all sorts amazing things. The parents come to believe that I'm Zeus or some Greek God when they see the metamorphosis, the transformation in their kids all from unplugging. And again I can talk at length about this, I'll let you tell me where you want me to stare [06:20] direction.
Michal: That's super-inspiring. I imagined the stack of 70 books that your daughter read by May 2, it's super inspiring really. Imagine, actually, if you would know this a few years ago, but imagined you would know this 30/40 years ago and you would be actually the one who read the 70 books within 4/5 months, that would be super-cool, right. Now I have a personal target to read one book per week, but it's just nothing comparing to what kids can actually do within a year especially if they start...
Daniel: They don't have to work so they do have more time.
Michal: They can read a thousand book within a few years, that's just crazy.
Daniel: I will point out that, my son he reads lighting fast, we'll give him a book and say "You got to read this book on Marco Polo," and he's done it in a second. When he really was young we did not believe that he was reading. You have to understand and appreciate our disbelief, we are right next to him, we're watching him and he's going through it a hundred miles an hour and we're not even believing that he is reading. And so this one particular book, it was an 110 pages, it was on Marco Polo, we were taking the train home from Manhattan, we were at some educational event and I said read this book, we have always assign books and they also have pleasure books, but this one was assign and often times they just want to just blast through the books we assign them and get to the more kid friendly, the self-chosen books of their liking. And so he blasted through this Marco Polo book and I just didn't believe that he read it, again because it was a book that I assign to him. He was probably 8 years old, and I grabbed the book and I started quizzing him on the book, I open the book to middle of wherever and ask him about, I don't know, [08:18] whoever was in there in that book and he gave me a verbatim answer, in other words, not only did he read the book so fast that we couldn't believe he read it, that he had what we were understanding was a semi-photographic memory, so he could read fast and retain it. I use to when he was young, I would sit next to him on the couch and he'd read, he'd turn the page and I would start reading next to him or over his shoulder and I would get to the bottom of the first page and he would be flipping. So he would read two pages to my one. I think now it's even much beyond that. I watch him read a book he was reading less than 20 seconds per page, it wasn't a super heavy text heavy book, he's even faster now at 12 years old.
Again I didn't understand all this stuff about reading and I've done research subsequent to me being a young parent with young children, and I found Glenn Doman, I believe in his literature, his research, he asserts that children who read at a very young age can become lighting fast readers. Now as soon as he said that, I said, Ah ha, my kids they're been reading from a young age, not at 2 or 3 years old like some of these prodigy kids that you see maybe on YouTube or on infomercials, they were not in that category at all. But by 4 and 5 years old they were reading and the read tons and tons and tons, and like anything else the more you do it, I don't care whether it's juggling or putting a golf ball, the more you do it the better and faster you get at it and that's another reason why if you're a parent of young children you should get on this reading thing, one of the biggest mistakes you can make is say "Oh they'll read when they go to school, they can read once in a while," no I want them reading for hours a day and when they're really young, I want parents reading to them for hours a day, I want, books, books, books, books, that investment there in the children, in their long-term development, in their mind, in their bibliophilia is going to have unbelievable returns.
Now just think, Warren Buffet said, Warren Buffett is well-known that he reads about 500 pages a day, or for 8 hours a day, he just sits and reads and reads and reads. Now he's the richest man in the world and he reads more than anybody else. He values reading and what it's done for him in his life. He's also actually said and Bill Gates has said the same thing, they ask them if they could have one super power, they both said they wish they could be speed readers. I think Warren Buffet also has another quote elaborating on it ,and he basically says that he thinks he's wasted four years of his life or even longer, I can't remember what the exact number is you can certainly Google this, he's wasted years of his life because he reads slow or slowly [11:03] use correct adverb there. Speed reading is huge, so many good things happen when you start early and it doesn't matter whether you're playing golf, or anything else and reading, if reading is the most important intellectual skill, if it's in fact, cardio for the brain which is what I believe it is, it's not strength training, it's not flexibility, strength training would be probably hard math and hard chest, flexibility the yoga for the brain would be art and music, but reading is cardio, in other words, if you're going to play football or basketball, or any sport you need a baseline of cardio aptitude, you need to be able to run and that's what books do for young children, they give them that cardio that marathon, even really that ultra-marathon I would say level of training. And I've even gotten into attention span and these other things, but it's almost all talk about is, how to get kids to read, and how to remove everything that prevents them from reading.
Michal: I'm a big fan of reading myself; it's really great to see even little kids reading. I started as a Glenn Doman's program about how to teach kids to read and it's very interesting one. So we also printed out a lot of flash cards and we're going through it these days.
Daniel: The flash cards, let me jump in here, the flash cards I didn't know about that. Like I said I learn about all these things after the fact, and now I'm happy that I can point younger parent and parents of young children to these resources and if I had another kid, I would certainly have those flash cards and I would be holding them above the crib and I would be even...there's a lot of things I would do differently, people think that I can't improve upon what I did, I can guarantee that what I teach people and what I actually implemented, I only implemented a fraction of what I know today because I didn't know it back then.
And unfortunately my wife she can't have another child, she lost her uterus with my daughter, but if I had another child I would love to test out all these new things and I would do it differently for sure. I would still keep the core components of reading and math and workbooks at a very young age, and I would definitely have them screen deprived, I might even screen deprived them more than I did, let me just change the subject a little bit here because my kids, they're on the computer all day long, but they're on a desktop that's right next to my desktops, and they're doing math, my daughter was doing math today, my son be playing chess game he's preparing for a big chest tournament. My daughter is...and you can go if you're interested in this, you can go look online she has her own website, it's called homeschoolglobe.com, she has her own newsletter. So she's been learning Adobe and design which is very complicated, and so when she's on a computer she's learning Adobe and design, my son is doing is podcast, we're doing chest, we're doing math and these are all wonderful, wonderful things, but even now I wonder about whether it's too much screen stimulation. So again if I had a do-over, I would probably, probably, I would definitely do a lot of things differently, but I would leave the core things that I learn, I wouldn't mess with them at all.
Michal: It's actually funny as you said, because even with my wife we were joking that now we are learning these things about better parenting on the go, and at some point I think we already missed some of these ideal moments, for example, Glenn Doman recommends to start teaching kids at the age of 6 months old, which is totally crazy but with my [14:47] I missed it. So we were just joking recently that we need a third kid to actually do it all properly after we learn it on this these two kids.
Daniel: I read Glenn Doman and he can be scary if you read what he says to do. And I don't think you have to do it all, I think the idea that he teaches, that children's brains are growing exponentially and at the age of 0 to 6, because at 6 years old the brain starts to shrink, that these are neglected years and this is where all the opportunity for acceleration lays. Because even if I look back at my child, or both my kids, I don't know what was most important, what was least important, I don't know for a fact these things unprovable, they're inherently unprovable. But, I could probably die and when they're 6 years old and they would probably already have a massively steep trajectory in life or whatever because of that foundation.
So the idea that Glen imputes in his book is what's powerful, and I don't think you have to implement the whole thing by any stretch, so don't feel too bad about that, and there's things that he missed too nobody has it all. Are you reading about Bill Gates or Jet [Basso] and saying that they were Glenn Doman babies. And I've seen this in some of my circle where kids take a steep trajectory, but look if you play what we call soccer, but if you play football, they're kids who are really good through, age 11, and they pique and that's it. So you can pique out and other's can catch up, that's' the good things about life, a fast start goes a long way. The Little Engine that Could, the Tortoise and the hare, the plotter can catch up, it's just tougher, and I think life is hard enough as it is and if you're a parent of young children, you probably see this with your nieces and nephews, you might see how over schedule their lives are, you might see how unhappy some of their older kids can be and how difficult things can get. If you know you're going to walk a bumpy path, you want to take precautions and you want to give yourself a margin for error, you don't want to start late, you don't want to be out of shape when you have to go on that bumpy path.
So acceleration to me gives a parent a huge margin for error that is very much needed in life. I do not worry about my kids at all, my son is 12 years old, our friends are all worried about college which can cost upwards of $300,000 for a four-year degree now, and our friend with their multiple kids, they're all going to be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars for college and I don't even have to worry about that. And this is just number 622 things that I don't have to worry about because I invested in my kids early. When is the best time to plant a tree? Is 10 years ago.
Michal: So how do you [18:01] see this college education considering the new technologies new trends, do you even think that the colleges as we know them today have even some bright future or no they don't? How do you see this?
Daniel: No! They are a relic of the past, you'll go there and learn business from people who aren't in business, you will learn obedience which is not rewarded in life no less than the economy, you will learn conformity, same thing, conformity is an incredibly bad impulse, it's a very bad habit, college is antiquated and they can try to tweak it with technology and it's doom to fail. Learning is an individual endeavor; I think Isaac Asimov said "All education is self-education ultimately." He didn't say ultimately but I'll throw that adverb in there, all education is self-education and anybody can learn more from Googling and reading blogs than they can learn at Harvard for crying out loud. There is no reason whatsoever to send the kids to college. But when I speak to parents of young children I don't like to get into college conversation because it's a very, very sensitive area, in fact, everything that I talk about is very delicate, very fragile, very politically incorrect, and if we transition, say, away from screens and reading we can go into Daycare and preschool, that is a very politically incorrect thing to talk about.
The major publications, the TV shows, the radios, they'll never let somebody like me go on and talk the reality, the facts about preschool and day-caring, how bad that is, how it retards the development of children. So all this stuff it's all a long conversation, and we can speak again for hours on just, how to get a struggling reader to keep at it, or how to unplug, or why to do this or that, so these are all very, very big subjects and they're all important. And that's why it's critical a parent does research, that they think for themselves, that they are critical about their own, I would say, life. In other words they look at themselves and say "You know what, yeah maybe I have this job and this much money, maybe I've got this degree, maybe I've got this lifestyle, but I want my kids to have 10 X of that, I want my kids to have so much more." And that's a starting point, if the parents want more for their child, then they will dig deep and do research and they will experiment, and they will read Glenn Doman who's crazy, and they'll be able to do it with an open mind and without getting offended and they won't get offended when they hear somebody like me, pretty much a witness test.
If I offend you, if I offend somebody it's unfortunate, it really upsets me, but that's a limiting belief for that parent, that parent...I think it was Tim Ferriss who said that "Your success in life is proportional, directly proportional to how many difficult conversations you want to have," and so this is what parenting is, it's an active endeavor, and doesn't matter whether you're building a business, or trying to win a sports championship, you're going to have to suffer through some pain and you're going to have to push yourself. And that's what I did with my kids and that's what I advocate for everybody because what do they do, we're talking here about what parents can do with their young kids [21:31] acceleration. Less than 3 % of parent actually do it, they all invest in their kids at the end, and this I actually gave a speech on this yesterday about why parents should invest in their kids early, it seems like captain obvious saying this "Yeah invest early, buy Microsoft in 1988, don't buy it in 2017." We can see that in hindsight, but parents aren't actually investing in their kids, and the ones who think they need to invest in kids they're buying organic food and they think that if they put a mobile in their kids crib that that's going to make their kids smart, or they might play classical music once in a while.
That's kind of like putting one green bean or one vegetable on your plate meanwhile you're eating a mountain of French fries and chasing it down with a coke. It's just not enough, it's the right idea, but it's not enough, when I was a young parent I had no idea what to do, so I get it, we only come into this world with our based knowledge and our school experience and quite frankly an unenlightened understanding of education. So one of the best things parents can do especially in your circle if these parents have their own businesses or if they're entrepreneurial, if they've traveled a lot that's another good sign, a sign of an ambitious parent, a parent who moves, you think about it, these parents who've never moved anywhere outside their hometown, they're not interested in new things and that's a limiting belief that their children will inherit from them right away. We all talk about what we inherit parent when they die, they're inheriting everything from you from day one. My parents never travel; they weren't entrepreneurial when I entered the real world I had to learn all of that stuff from scratch. There's no reason why somebody has to wait till they're 35 years old to find Tim Ferriss, 40 years old and finding Tony Robins. So one of the things that I do and I have many [framework] through which I try to inspire parents to take action, I say "Hey look, everything that Tony Robins and Tim Ferriss teach you can teach the young children."
My kids get up and they write their goals down, and they have check list and they're self-directed. All these things are available to kids at a young age, there's no reason to wait until you're 35 and get burnt out from the corporate environment before you have to find yourself and really start your own path in life. There's so much wrapped up in education and parenting and the baggage we bring, the ignorance we bring, we don't know what to do and I think that one of the best things that you can do is study successful people. This is what I do with my own brand Einstein Blueprint, is I try to take what Jeff [Basso] says, what Steve Jobs says, what Abraham Lincoln says, what Nelson Mandela says, and Helen Keller and kind of crystallized that into a blueprint and say "Look! You should be raising your kids based on the wisdom, the collective wisdom of the most successful people on earth, you should not be raising the kids based on how you were raised, you should not be raising your kids based on what institutions and schools say you should do, or a TV commercial say you should do. You should just go straight to the most successful people, think of it as like an apprenticeship right, you're in a mastermind with Bill Gates and with Isaac Newton, and all that's going to inform how you parent.
Michal: These are very inspiring, actually, you mentioned so many really great topics starting with Universities, Daycare, I have two little kids now in pre-school and this is also a topic that I would be really interested in. You were talking about parents who should do their own research, and also some of these blueprint business kind of best practices that they can again just connect to from the business environment. And there're so many golden nuggets today cannot even keep up with the notes.
Daniel: Let's go into the Daycare for a second and Preschools. When you're trying to, say you have a business, and you're trying to level up your personal productivity or you trying to market more aggressively and differently, and you're trying to level up your business game, what do you do? You join a coaching circle, you join a mastermind. That's what you do as an adult and you try to get in one with what? Not people who are beginners, you want people who are more successful than you right.
A school is not a mastermind, adults have masterminds, ambitious adults have masterminds for themselves, but school and even going preschools is not a mastermind for young children. 3-year-olds cannot learn anything from other 3 year olds, however, they can learn from 5 years old, they can learn from 7 years old, they can learn from teenagers, and they can certainly learn from adults. But when you take a bunch of 3 year old and you lock them in a room, it has the opposite of a mastermind effect, instead of leveling each other up they kind of push each other down. One of the authors online said that kids in preschool and daycare they pool their ignorance, they make a mix of medley of the dumbest things. Think about it, in school they charismatic kid, the joker, they had a lot of influence, but if you change the environment, if you go into a more mature environment that person will get flick away, they will be marginalized, but not in the school. So when you take your kid...I'm just speaking broadly here I'm going to get more specific in a second. When you speak broadly about 10, 3-year-olds is there anything educational being about 3-year-olds? Every parent says to me, it's good for my kids to get out of the house for social reasons, kids needs to go to preschool because they don't want their kids to play by themselves.
Now, go out through history, I challenge you to go out through history and find adults who will not socialize because they didn't go to preschool or they didn't go to daycare, you just can't find them, that is just created out of [27:51]. Parents send their kids to preschool for a variety of reasons, some of which can be non-negotiable, but then they justify it afterwards and they well it's good for them, well it's actually not. There's this study about... well they have counted the vocabularies of 6-year-olds, and in 1950 in America, the average 6-year-old had a 4000-word active working vocabulary. So 4000 words at 6 years old in 1950, today it's down to 1000 words, why is that? This is when people they started getting confrontation, what's that study let me see it. Look, I can't verify this study, somebody did it and maybe it's half has many words, I don't know, and you have to look at this study or even listen to what I'm telling you now with your own open mind, because you can't let someone else do your thinking for you. So why would vocabulary of 6 year old in only about 50 60 years, why would it drop so drastically 50 %, in this case 75 %, why? There're only two different things, one is television, and two daycare and preschool, and those are the two things that are retarding language acquisition in reducing vocabulary acquisition.
Because when a child was nipping at the heels of mom in the kitchen, mom is speaking to that 3-year-old, she's not saying "Goo goo, gah gah," she's using big person words at a minimum, and she may be wheel articulate complete sentences, and that's how kids were raised since the beginning of time, they weren't shipped out when they were 3 years old in this time frame which we've already talked about. When their brain are growing exponentially, when they could actually be learning monsters, we're not taking them and putting them in a dissimulated environment, but that’s what pre-school and daycare are. There's not enough personalized communication, so when the teacher in a daycare says everybody clean up, that's not the same as when mommy says "Jimmy you need to clean up you made a mess." It's not the same and they're getting deluded communication as well in a preschool or daycare. Kids who go to preschool and daycare, their vocabulary acquisition is much lower, now I'm talking about in generality if they're in preschool if they are in preschool and daycare all day. My son went to preschool I think 2 and a half hours, maybe 2 days a week for a couple months, and you can see that it didn't do him in. But there are people who put their kids in daycare at 6 weeks old, and they're in daycare full-time care until they go to Full-time School.
And these kids they have retarded diminished vocabularies, and they also have much worst levels of maturity. Their potty training is later; their ability to control their emotions, and control their behavior is far lower than kids who are not daycared and not preschool. So, again this is a very, very, very sensitive subject and I know a lot of people send their kids to school, preschool and they get offended at what I say. But look, going back to what Tim Ferriss said, these are facts I have no vested interest in stating this, I am just reporting what I see on an everyday basis. I have students, I've worked with over a thousand students over the years and I'll tell you, if these kids were daycared full-time, their maturity level is much, much lower. And I have a great study on it that I can...the master study on the development of kids who preschool and daycare, and the results say that daycare and preschool are really, really bad for children. And it makes tons of sense, children at 3 and 4 years old, and 2 years old and 1 year old, they need their parents, this is an unnatural detachment from their parents and anytime you fight nature you're going to have consequences.
There's even another study that I want to throw out there, In England, in London, they tested two different groups, they look at the children of ultra-wealthy people who were nannied, and they compared them with the children of women who were mentally retarded and convicted felons in prisons. What they did was they let these women who were in prison spend daily times with their babies and they compared the, let's say the intellectual and development progress of these children of mentally retarded felons with the development of these nannied children of the ultra-wealthy, and the children of the retarded felonious parents, they were light years ahead of them, this is what attachment does for development of a child and this is what you are giving up when you put your child in full-time daycare. It doesn't matter what that daycare is, it's not the same as the natural bond of a parent.
Michal: That's very, very interesting; I guess we need to discuss this with my wife then.
Daniel: Well you don't need to stop it; you just need to be aware. You need to be aware you need to do as little as possible. So say somebody says "Yeah you know I hate daycare, my kids in it, I was thinking about cutting them back, I'm definitely going to cut them back now." Whatever it is it's incremental progress, these things aren't life or death, but you also have to understand why. If you start Googling truth about daycare, you will find so much propaganda saying that children who go to daycare are healthier and smarter and I can tell you its complete bunk, this is outright propaganda.
And in America you're considered to be anti-woman if you say anything negative about daycare or preschool. Some woman I just read online submits an article on daycare to Parent Magazine which is the biggest Parent Magazine in America, and they said that "We can't run that, parents have enough guilt about daycare already." You can find it if you look online, if you Google the drawbacks of daycare and preschool and all this stuff, you will find what I'm saying, but you're also going to find ten times as much outright lying propaganda saying how it's good for kids, it's absolutely is not. So this is what we're up against and it makes intuitive sense, get the kids out of the house, what could be wrong, they come back with a little bit of art work, they're around other kids their age it seems innocuous.
But all these things seem innocuous, smoking seemed innocuous to people 80/90 years ago as well. But there was a ruminant, there was a select few, they were selected people who say "You know what, this stuff is toxic, this is not good." That's who's interested, that's who's interested ambitious parents, the 3 % of people who get it and who aren't going to get sucked in all the propaganda and who are willing to look at things critically. A lot of people have sent their kids to daycare and they don't want to hear it, so they don't close their minds to everything that I say if their hear me mention how daycare is not good for kids developmentally. I can't help them and I feel bad, again this is not an ego thing, there's no money at stake here, my kids are already launch into the stratosphere and I'm trying to get as many other kids to come with me because it's not the kids fault. There's a lot of negative inertia out there and there's a lot of people doing the wrong things just because that's the way things has always been done. If we went back to screens, one of my big things with the screens is that people who watch TV don't think, and once an individual stops thinking, once a nation or a society or a generation stop's thinking, they become close minded and it sets off this vicious cycle of non thinking and stupidity. And that's kind of what we see now in pretty much in any direction you look anywhere out there and it's a shame. I will offer one book recommendation, I don't know if I have given you this one "Amusing Ourselves to Death, by Neil Postman." And that is a book definitely worth reading and it looks at the damage that screens or that television brought on thinking.
Michal: I have not read this one yet.
Daniel: You can even find it online for free if you Google Amusing Ourselves to Death PDF, people put it up online for free. But it is an unbelievable book, unbelievable [prescient] book because the guy thought in 1983 now that they were 32 cable channels, he thought that was it 1983 intellectual dialogue, was completely dead in America 1983 because of cable TV. And he didn't live to see thousands of channels and devices in the pocket of 7-year-olds, but he thought it was dead back then, and I challenge anyone to read his arguments.
Michal: He would get crazy now I guess. It is actually so true, when I interview people [37:17] quickly and I ask them what do they do in their free time, they say usually like, hey I'm watching some movies or TV or whatever, then I don't even hire them because as you say these people are not really used to learn, or read books or do some things that actually progress in their lives.
Daniel: Ask them what they're reading, ask them what new thing they're working on, you're going to thin the heard real fast. It's how young ladies who are looking for boyfriends or husbands, I say you better find a guy who reads because if it's a guy who doesn't read he's not going to grow.
Michal: It's true; sometimes I even ask a question from the other angle just because you know, what is the last book you read? It's easy to fake or you can just say, okay I read a book but you may have read it 3 months ago. So I actually ask it from different angles, I usually ask, what was the last movie you watched, and then people say "Oh my God, I'm not watching movies," then it's a good sign, or if they say like "Oh the last movie I watched yesterday and then the before," so that's usually a red flag.
Daniel: And tomorrow I’m going to watch…
Daniel: I don't even know what movies are out, because...
Michal: Me neither, and actually, we also cut the TV cord half year ago and it was really, really great thing that we did, because our kids now focus on books, as you say, pretty much that was an act of 2/ 3/ 4 days, after the initial screaming, they somehow survived it and after 2/3 days we were reading books together. And now actually funny part just because they also go to the kindergarten, sometimes they're kids who ask them about this Frozen or whatever movies are out there for kids. Now, actually, my kids don't know this, so even when other kids are singing this soundtrack, then my kids actually don't usually know what it is about. So it's a little bit awkward when we visit some birthday parties for kids, these things are u actually quite difficult to explain, so it's a little bit awkward.
Daniel: No, awkward is good and weird is good, Steve Jobs was pretty weird, Bill Gates was pretty weird. When I first started down the road with accelerating my kids my wife said, I don't want them to be too weird, too different, she said too different. This was probably 9 years ago that she said this; I still tease her about this because now we want our kids to be as different as possible.
Michal: So when was actually the tipping point for you to start home schooling?
Daniel: Well there was no point, there was a realization. My son was, after 18 months, after a year and a half because I went back and looked at the calendar he was 5 and 1 eight years old and it was a January, and he was 9 months away from kindergarten and we finished 6th-grade math’s so he was starting algebra. So he's nine months away from kindergarten and he's starting algebra and I could see that there was no way he was going to go to school. And so if you accelerate your kids to the max, they will not fit in any school, I don't care if it's the best school in Manhattan and I have students who go to this supposed best school and what they expect of those kids is maybe 10 % of what those kids are actually capable of. So if you do hyper-accelerate your kids, there's no school that will be appropriate for them just to give you an example, so the kindergarten my son would have started in 9 months after he started algebra, they said their goal for the end of the year was that children know how to hold a book, not write a book, not read a book, but hold a book, that was their goal.
Michal: Hold the book. Wow!
Daniel: To hold a book. So yeah it would just be a waste of time. So, a lot of people they get scared of the idea of accelerating their kids and there's even a lot of people that say, "Don't teach your kid to read," and I've heard this dozens of times "because they'll be bored in kindergarten." Now can you imagine, don't teach your kids to read because they'll be bored. That will be like my grandmother, that was like my grandmother who use to go to the casinos and she was telling me how she almost hit a jackpot, but it's a good thing she didn't hit it because just think of all the taxes she would have to pay. I mean this is a math thing, you're only paying a fraction of it in taxes, yeah I'll pay a fraction of $200,000 in taxes. I like the taxes analogy and I tell people that when you accelerate your kids, it's like having to pay a lot of taxes. I work for a guy when I use to trade stock options and he said he couldn't stand people who complain about taxes, not the actually tax rate, but he say's "I want to pay as much tax as I can every year in the sense that I want to earn money. And so it's the same thing, if you want to hyper-accelerate your kid, and when you're at that birthday party and they don't know what movie the kids are talking about that's good, that's what you want, you don't want them to be stuck in that thing, those are not your people and trust me.
A lot of people said to me "I don't want my kids to be different, if I home school them they won't be any greater in the community." I can tell you right now that my kids are like Rock Stars celebrities in their local community because they're different from everybody else, they're into books, my son can solve 20 different [42:54] cubes and they play chess and they're happy and they play instruments and the other kids love them. So just because you're different doesn't mean you're going to be left out, yeah they're some people who won't want to be around you if you are different if you make them feel inadequate, but that can happen anyway and those are people you don't want to be around. Being different should be everyone's goal, it seems crazy but I think...even when my wife was talking about the fear of her kids being different, I think deeply embedded in her brain is the school mindset which we all had, you can't go to school like we all did for 12 years through high school and then 4 years at college without knowing that the kid who is different was pick on, the kid who was different was left out, and we didn't go to school with Bill Gates and we say "Ahh man we wish we were like him." We just know that being unaccepted in a peer group in school can be difficult. But school is not life, in the real world if adults don't want to be around each other then they just aren't around each other, bullies and conformities those are not facets of the real world but they are the defining facets or characteristics of group education.
To get back to your original question, I knew at that point that my kid was never going go in school, and so when I'm at a 100 % or at a 120 % my wife maybe still at 30 %. There's always a process, there's never an Ah Ah moment when you're talking about with young children. There are kids who go to school who get pulled out of school and they can have probably more discrete or distinct Ah Ah moments here, my kid got bullied or the teacher did this or whatever and we've had it, we're pulling our kids out. But for me it was more of a process and I think even with the people who pull their kids out midstream there was always stuff building up to it.
Sometimes it takes years, I've had people watched me for 4 years and then pull their kids out of school. And others who were probably already there and they meet me and BOOM, they jump all in, they read all my stuff, they pull their kids out without even blinking an eye. So it's different for everybody, homeschooling is I see it as an acceleration to the max, I see it as a way to hyper-accelerate kids, but not everybody sees it that way, some people see it as a way to make sure that their family can travel, some people do it because they want their kids imbued with their own religious morals and that's really only 40 % by the way, it's not a 100 % or 90 % it's 40 %. Some people pull their kids out because their kids have special needs, some people their kids have allergies or dyslexia or whatever, and they want to give them a customized education. It's impossible to generalize about homeschooling and it's a different journey for everybody, and I keep hearing [45:54] stories all the time. I've heard a kid, one kid was in our group and I finally got the story of how he became home school, and he hated school he didn't like the kids he was with and he started Googling, 11 years old homeschooling, he talked his parents into homeschooling himself. So there's another path [46:12]
Michal: Yeah I like these stories, actually show us how many different directions we could have of this discussion, like what you mentioned about your wife not being totally on board, I can also see in our household too. Actually, my wife was very supporting in the act of cutting the TV cord pretty much from day one, but then with this homeschooling thing she's not totally on board yet, so maybe that could be a long discussion also about how to actually convince your spouse to...
Daniel: Here's what you do it's very simple, you sit down and you do work books with your kid and you put yourself in the same position I was in, and when your 5-year-old is doing multiplication, she will say...
Michal: I see but there's no way back, no way back.
Daniel: But what's the point of school, the point of school is to get your kid to know multiplication right. So why do you have to go, it's like these pro-athletes, I'm sorry, these college athletes who are going to play basket ball or football professionally, if they can get drafted as a freshman or soft-more and go play and make their millions, there's no reason for them to stay in school, they're only there so they can play sports in the first place. We only go to school to learn and ultimately to be able to make a living, and if we can take shortcuts then we would be crazy not to take them, especially when the long way there're no benefits. We can talk a little bit about homeschooling here, what I tell people is there's no tradeoffs, they think oh we're socially, actually it's better, it's more expensive, no it's actually cheaper. Homeschooling maybe you're patient, I'm not patient enough, so well people who aren't patient make the best homeschoolers actually. And so it's really one of these things where everything that most people assume about it is completely wrong, oh it will make my kid weird, well you actually want to have your kid weird you haven't thought that through yet and you'll see.
Daniel: So it's an amazing thing how people convince themselves, convince their spouses, but I have a bias towards acceleration honestly because there're 20 valid reasons to educate your child aggressively as a parent from a young age outside the system, they're 20 reasons for doing it and I do it for all 20 reasons. I do it so we can travel, I do it so we can raise moral kids, I do it so we can have tighter family bonds, I do it so that my kids can become entrepreneurs, so all 20 reasons I do it. But if you only do it for a couple reasons, say you do it just to get away from bullies at school, then you're setting yourself up for a little bit of frustration down the road. And again the reason I hyper-accelerate my kids is because life is difficult and I want to have a margin for error. I don't know how you grow up Michael but I grow up in...we didn't have much money growing up, and so my kids now they're growing up so much wealthier, multiples wealthier than I grew up. So they're not going to have the same burning ambition that I have, it's just impossible, they've already been to Italy, they can't dream about going to Italy their whole life, they've already been there a few times. And so that's a disadvantage that wealthy parents have raising their kids, but what we can do to compensate for that disadvantage is hyper-accelerate them as best as we can. So maybe they go out there and they don't have the same drive that we had when we were young, but you know what they have the skill set to fall back on when maybe they do see the light. So there's a lot of things going on here with education and with parenting and it's a ll about the end game, what do you want your kids to be like? Don't you have a loving responsibility to give them every advantage in life, I think every parents does whether they want to hear it or not, I think they do and I think your kids will appreciate whatever you do for them in furtherance of that.
Michal: Wow! There's so many great insights, I totally I can see how we could travel more if it would be homeschooling, just because now we're bound to the holidays and now we cannot really travel anytime we want even [50:44] quickly, we have very, very open policy, like we are not really bound to be [50:51] but still as both kids are going to the kindergarten so we cannot really travel. I can see there's a huge benefit to start homeschooling.
Daniel: Well let me just talk about that for a second because I talk to a guy and his income is a $100 million per year and he has two kids in finishing up kindergarten last year, he got homes in London, California and where he lives in Midwest of American, and he had to be home on Sunday night, didn't matter how much money he had, didn't matter how many homes he had, didn't matter the he had a $13 million private jet, he had to be home. So I actually convinced him to pull his kids out of school just for that reason, so what are mom and dad working for? They're working so that they can have money, what's that money for?
That's money is to buy them freedom and experiences, if you can't exercise that freedom, if you can't have those experiences especially when you're young it's meaningless, it's worthless, it's like having a winning lottery ticket that you don't cash in. And so that's what school does, it tethers people to that schedule and you may as well...if a parent is going to send their kids to school they may as well take out 10 years worth of calendars and just start Xin out entire months and see how narrow their windows are for travelling. And those school vacation weeks even worst, it's expensive to travel, it's crowded to travel and you're going to have to go places the kids want to go, you're going to have to go to Disney World especially if you're in America, or they might even have a soccer or football tournament that week that they have to go to. And so you're just forfeiting years if not decades of your life by thinking that my kids have to go to school and this is just what you do, no! They don't have to go to school, they should go to school and you wouldn't be successful in life if you settled, so don't settle for your kids. I have that article I wrote on LinkedIn, "Hey entrepreneurs 10 X of your kids too," and that to me is one of my core pieces, my core messages, my core...it's core content, a core message from me because I really believe that what we do our kids is so hypocritical, we tell our kids they have to, they have to learn math and go ask the parents if they know the quadratic formula, they don't even know it. But why are you putting your kids through that meat grinder that way, not to say that they don't need to know, I love math, but where parents telling kids you got to pay attention, you got to do what you're told, when maybe they're entrepreneurs and they don't pay attention to do what they're told in any way shape or form.
Daniel: So it's really about getting consistent with our kids and getting farsighted with our goals and that involves a little bit of a brain enema, and a little bit of flushing out of all the nonsense in life, most of the nonsense in life. And I can even argue that so much of society's problems, not to make this like a geopolitical statement or anything, are rooted in school. If you see people who are antisocial towards one another, I can guarantee you they had unhappy childhoods, and I can guarantee the unhappy childhoods is because they had no freedom when they were young, because they weren't allowed to spend time with their hobbies, they weren't outside enough, they were sitting too much, they were forced to associate with people in the school that they don't want to be around all day.
These things have long [permanifications] on a collective scale and also more importantly for your own kids, you can't take your child and force him into this meat grinder 18 years for a degree because that's what everybody else did and think that there's no collateral damage, there's going to be collateral damage and it's going to happen fast as well. Most of our friends have kids who are 10 and 13 years old and these kids are miserable, they have no attention span, they have no free time, they might play one instrument, they might practice 15 minutes every 2 or 3 days, my daughter plays 3 or 4 instruments well. These are the types of opportunities that you're forfeiting, like I said, you're forfeiting most of your calendar, you're forfeiting freedom, you're squandering your money, you're money is worthless if you can't spend it. You’re squandering your time with your kids, that's the other thing you're kids, you're going to blink your eyes and you’re kids are going to be 10 years old, you blink again they're going to be 18 they're going to be gone, and they're going to go out into the world, or they're going to be prepared or not, what's the most important decision your kids will ever make outside of religion if that's a... it's whom they marry, we haven't even talked about that. Our kids once they leave at 18 years old, parents all they get to do is pray that they don't marry an idiot or a dead beat, they don't get marry into an abusive relationship. And it happens, look at the divorce rates its massive.
Our kids are precious, their early years are precious, and that's the last thing I think I want to leave out there, is that their precious you have to acknowledge that you have to treat them like they're your most valuable long-term investment and your time with them is the most important thing you can give them. And so I would encourage everyone out there to do what Michaels doing and take a look at my stuff and think hard, long and hard about what’s going on. And to do that they might have to unplug themselves. We weren't raised to be farsighted enough, I think that's one of the things that, I think I was always naturally farsighted and that's led to me making some pretty good decisions when I was young, and it's led to me avoiding some pitfalls when I was young as well, but I could have been a lot better at it. My son is learning things at 10/12 that I learned at 40, and I think you can do the same for your kids as well.
Michal: Yeah I so often be sure that I would know something already 10 years ago the life would be so much different, but at least now we can teach our kids better. And I really like the things you talk about and there's so much more, you just mentioned masterminds and hyper-acceleration, chess, entrepreneurship, there're so many things we could discuss, but I want to be also mindful about the time, we agreed on 1 hour so maybe could wrap it now and we can have some follow-up session later about some of these other cool tings especially the hyper-acceleration and entrepreneurship, I know that you are very passionate about that and meanwhile maybe people can read more about what to do on your book.
Daniel: They can find me, you can Google me lots of stuff comes up, I write for a website call HSBA Posts, you can find me on LinkedIn, if you're interested you should connect with me on LinkedIn, you can look at einsteinblueprint.com, you can look at homeschooldad.com, you could even go to my son's website kidsgetrich.com and see what my 12-year-old son is up to.
Michal: That's a good one.
Daniel: Or he's got one homeschoolson.com, we're out there you can find us and I respond to phone calls and emails as much as I can and surprisingly very few people ask for help, I am somebody that most people like I said, want to avoid and this is why when you reached out to me Michael, this is the type of stuff I get really excited about, I get excited when I find my people and when my people find me because as you know, you're going to learn whatever percentage you think are really interested in accelerating their kids, or whatever percentage of people you think are ambitious parents, that number is only lower as you do more field work, you will see that it's lonely. But this is reality, we can't change this we can help people, we can put our stuff out there and what they do with it is up to them and I actually do pray for people because I see some of the ... I pray for some reality to sink in, and again we only have a small window of opportunity with our kids and it's tragic what's going on out there now with as Neil Postman said prophetically in 1983, people are literally walking off a cliff, society is walking off a cliff staring at their so-called Smartphone, and as parents and children alike and they're not aware of it because they just don't have the, how do you want to say, they don't have the intellectual machinery to look at things objectively and that's all because of how they're educated, it's not because people are born dumb, I think people are born geniuses, I think we all have infinite potential, but it can be squandered. That's it for me, Michael, thanks for having me.
Michal: Thank you very much.
Daniel: You can call me back anytime; I look forward doing this with you real soon.
Michal: Sure, I enjoyed the talk thanks a lot, fo your time, have a wonderful time in New York.
Daniel: Take care
Edited by Michal Juhas