Elizabeth Y. Hanson teaches parents the secrets and skills to raising brighter children with a focus on getting the early years right. She is the founder of Smart Homeschooler™ and has been a consultant and researcher in children's education since 2001.
A Story of Fate
A long time ago, I was at the beginning of what would have been a great career in Chinese medicine, but I was diverted by Fate.
You see, around the same time, I had started homeschooling my daughter but three days later, I quit. That was 17 years ago. I had started because that's what everyone was doing, so I figured it was the right thing to do, and I quit because I sensed by her four-year-old response that something was wrong.
She was excited about learning to read: after all, it was something she saw me doing and she figured it must be enjoyable. But, it soon became clear to me that she was struggling to understand phonics, and she let me know, on that fateful third day, that she preferred to play with her brother.
Something was off, and I was determined to understand what. That's how I tumbled deeper and deeper into the bewildering world of children's education. What followed were years of research, mentorship, and teaching as I gradually unraveled an understanding of how children learn best and the subjects that are worth teaching.
Good fortune led me to meet a man who became my education mentor, John Taylor Gatto. John was the catalyst in my decision to leave a career in medicine in pursuit of discovering the finest methods in childhood education.
My professional training in Traditional Chinese Medicine proved invaluable because it helped me understand the neurological and psychological components to child development in relation to learning, most importantly, from a holistic perspective.
But the biggest influence throughout my life was a renaissance man and classic scholar, my late father, David J. Hanson, who, when asked (and I often did!), could lecture on any one of the many classical subjects.
I've done my research, I now have 17 years of experience, and I'm here to help you avoid what I call the "public-school-at-home" syndrome, by showing you a smarter way to homeschool.
Classics • Liberal Arts • Charlotte Mason • John Taylor Gatto
As homeschoolers, we've got the best shot at doing things differently, of giving our kids a better education.
P.S. In case you're wondering what happened with my daughter's reading lessons, I taught both my children to read by age seven, based on the advice of child developmental psychologists, and they were both reading Shakespeare with comprehension (largely influenced by their grandfather) by ages 12 and 10, respectively.
What People Are Saying About
Elizabeth Y. Hanson
"I know Elizabeth Y. Hanson as a remarkably intelligent, highly sensitive woman with a moral nature and deep insight into differences between schooling and education. Elizabeth's mastery of current educational difficulties is a testimony to her comprehensive understanding of the competing worlds of schooling and education. She has a good heart and a good head. What more can I say? I wish my own children had had such a mentor during their own growing up times.”
—John Taylor Gatto, Distinguished educator, public speaker, and best-selling author of Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
"I found Elizabeth's perspective on education inspiring and refreshing, and it has given me the confidence to take on the adventure of educating my own children. Her voice is an important one during a time of great uncertainty regarding the future of education in this country." —Maureen M.
"I've been using Elizabeth's homeschool planning services and curriculum recommendations since my now 11 year-old was preschool age. It has made all the difference! When the voices of doubt crept in, Elizabeth's guidance was there to reinvigorate our decision to homeschool. Not only that, delving into a classical curriculum has enriched our family life and created a culture of reading in our home." —Shannon S.
"Elizabeth’s advice was caring, customized to our child, and consistent with what we had been learning about gradually over the many months of research. There was a great blessing in her bringing everything together for us, with simple, effective advice. Her experience was immediately apparent, especially in simplifying what can seem like the very daunting prospect of deciding and starting to homeschool. We are looking forward to more guidance from her soon." —Aarif R.
"In a cloud of confusion and with little support from others, my husband and I struggled to understand how to take responsibility for our children’s education. We then found Elizabeth, who became our guide in leading the path to fresh and rich teaching methods. Her experience and knowledge accompanied with a real sense of commitment in bettering our children’s education has made the impossible, not only possible, but also very easy and delightful." —Yousra M.
"I am so grateful to have found your recommendations! I look forward to to our future homeschooling years and using your website as our spine. I too felt very intimidated by classic literature, especially since I never had any exposure to it before. We need to remember that exposing our children at a young age to these masterpieces will enrich their education and their childhood. —K. Lynn
"Elizabeth has given us counseling and guidance to help us succeed with our home school planning. When I feel overwhelmed, scared, or lose my confidence, she offers words of wisdom and support. She always reminds me that children learn best in a loving environment and to enjoy my children while they discover the world." —Sherry B.