Natalie’s Posts

Natalie McDonald—the “happy guinea pig” who was homeschooled for 7th and 8th grade—graduated with honors from Pomona College in 2019. She continues to love learning as much as she did when studying in her backyard schoolhouse ten years ago.

The Happy Guinea Pig
Natalie McDonald

Learning Should be Fun; Laughter Helps!

“Humor improves student performance by attracting and sustaining attention, reducing anxiety, enhancing participation, and increasing motivation.” Brandon M. Savage et al., Advances in Physiology Education 2017 (41:3) This is a photo of sixth-grade me. I’d been sitting at the kitchen table puzzling over my pre-algebra textbook, which had a penchant for asking ridiculous (but supposedly

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The Happy Guinea Pig
Natalie McDonald

How I Became the Happy Guinea Pig

“[Learning] is the only thing that never fails… the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting.” —T.H. White Ten years ago, I began middle school in my family’s backyard, in an 8- by 10-foot garden shed that would be

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