“Alternative Schools for Your Kid That You CAN Afford,” by Lisa Beyer

Dec 5th, 2018 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

Waldorf Salad School. From tots to teens, they’ll be chopping apples in no time! And did we mention mayonnaise? That squirty lemon thing? Big glass bowl? That’s about it. All day, every day. For a whole fucking year. Until Her Highness gets so tired of salad that she straightens up and goes back to the perfectly good school you moved to the suburbs for in the first place.

Forest Preserve School. Meets in the parking lot of that forest preserve where the dead girl was found last year. “Enrichment activities” include sneaking into the morgue and visiting vape shops to check out their selection of CBD oil. Run by forensics dropouts from Phoenix University, the top for-profit college currently under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.

Unschool. Just send your kid floating down the river in a raft, Huck Finn-style. If he comes back to you, he’s learned valuable life skills. If not, at least it was free.

Scandi School. The Finnish educational system is great and all, with its hourly recess and free and equal education for every child, but this is America. We want cozy pics of our stockinged feet framing a simple white mug for Instagram. Most requested classes are Advanced Steam Techniques in Photoshop and How to Wear Chunky Knits Like a Norwegian Sailor. Not much educational benefit to your child, but she’ll be the first kid at Build-A-Bear to pronounce hygge with confidence. Reindeer socks provided.

Democratic School. With no teachers or curriculum of any kind, this school gives kids the illusion that they have control over their lives, when in fact their lives are constructed for the sole reason to make their parents look if not feel good. Upon graduation (no actual diploma is awarded), they’ll be proficient in mandolin, underwater welding, and butchering chickens in a non-FDA approved open-air slaughterhouse.

Hogwarts. Imaginary school, imaginary tuition. Score!

Montessori School. Nancy Montessori, not Maria. Like her famous sibling, Nancy advocates multi-age classrooms and two-year-olds doing “egg work” with a Zyliss slicer from Target. Unlike Maria, Nancy doesn’t give a crap about whether kids follow their interests or not. Nobody ever asked what her interests were when she was a kid. It was always “Maria this” and “Maria that” and “Why can’t you be more like your sister?”

Lil’ Buddies K-5. A successful GoFundMe campaign dreamed up at a Starbucks by two stay-at-home dads who secretly resent their wives for making more money than they (previously) did as novelists/dog walkers. After failing to score points with the barista by demonstrating how feminist they were, they launched the school in the Sackler Room of a Unitarian Universalist Church after the NA meetings were discontinued because everybody had died.

School of Fish. Learn with a thousand friends who look so much like you it’s scary. Could you even recognize yourself in a mirror, if you had a mirror and your eyes faced forward? Areas of study include include Sharks and their Big, Big Teeth; Tilapia and Other Fish that Nobody Used to Bother; and The Water’s Fine Once You Get Used to It.

Uphill-Both-Ways-in-the-Snow School. This school is taught by your grandpa, who lectures you on how everything was harder and simultaneously better when he was young. UBWITSS is non-accredited, because, in his day, your word was your bond, like the Knights of the Round Table or Jimmy Goddamn Stewart. Now it’s all retina scans and people stealing organs in the hospital. Extra credit for helping Grandpa hack his 2007 Macbook, whose password Grandma changed because of that problem with the little hussy from Slovenia.


Lisa Beyer is a prolifically underemployed writer who spends an awful lot of time on Instagram not building her brand, unless by “brand” you mean amateur dog photographer. She has an agent, but don’t ask her when the book’s coming out. That’s not her job.


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