Why I’ve Chosen Siri to Homeschool My Child


God bless teachers. They’re underpaid, overworked, and have an inexplicable fondness for lanyards. Teachers do the Lord’s work, but as a mother with a degree in marketing and a lot of opinions, I know what’s best for my child and it is not the current American education system. That’s why I’m pulling my wunderkind Sarah out of Feddleton Middle School to homeschool her.

“But Janet,” you shriek. “Aren’t homeschooled kids…eccentric?” Yes. Normally, they’re total freaks, but my particular brand of homeschooling won’t turn my prodigy into some antisocial shut-in. “But Janet,” you shriek again. “You’re a successful career woman who leans in with the best of them. Why give it up to homeschool your tiny genius?” Thank you for your concern but I have no plans to quit my high-powered job in marketing clean coal.

You see, my whiz-kid won’t be homeschooled by me or anyone as fallible as a human for that matter. Not when there’s a smarter, more dynamic, non-human teacher at the end of my fingertips. Siri: The intelligent personal assistant.

Last month, after berating Feddleton’s principal for requiring mandatory fire drills instead of mandatory viola, I knew I needed a change. I turned to my iPhone 7, held down the home button, and pleaded, “Hey, Siri, how do I find a teacher who can live up to the specialness of my Sarah?” And then it hit me. Everything I needed had been in my hands this whole time.

When my little Einstein asks a question in school, do you think her teacher can respond in French, German, Mandarin, Japanese, or American, Canadian, British, and Australian English?

Do you think anyone at Feddleton can compare the Dow Jones and the NASDAQ? Not since they had to lay off the economics teacher due to statewide budget cuts.

Do you think I would rather my junior savant develop a grating Midwestern accent after prolonged exposure to her English teacher, Mrs. “Doncha Know” McLaughlin, or a generic standard accent that is pleasing to every ear?

Gifted children need a gifted teacher and Siri is that teacher. Homeschooling via a disembodied voice may seem scary but is it any scarier than the Common Core? I still don’t understand the Common Core but I’m a Chief Marketing Officer with a lot of opinions, so I’ll say ‘no.’

Siri may need a teensy-weensy bit of priming to ensure my brilliant Sarah reaches her full potential, so I’ve preprogrammed it with a few questions to help my virtuoso develop into a mature and engaged adolescent, including:

  • What’s the big deal with climate change anyway?
  • What’s your favorite tax loophole?
  • Women are equal so why is feminism still a thing?

Detractors may snark that homeschooling my daughter via robot will turn Sarah into a maladjusted sociopath addicted to her phone. But as far as I can tell, that just means she’ll make a great President someday. Hey, Siri? Thanks!


About the Author

Jessica Besser-Rosenberg is a Chicago-based writer, comedian, mom, and admirer of all the women on every Real Housewives franchise ever. (Except D.C. That one sucked.) Her work has been featured on The Second City Network, the iO Comedy Network, and the RedEye. Follow her on Twitter at @JessGBR.