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Thoughts Online Magazine
Collected Articles on Culture & Politics
The Reason for Home Schooling 
13th-Oct-2009 05:08 pm
It's a mystery to many people: there are local schools with certified teachers provided at taxpayer expense. Why should people in economically straitened circumstances nonetheless opt to home school their kids?

Religious reasons? Not for several couples I know. Why are they doing it, then?

Because the public school system is too dumb, and they don't want their kids revering stupidity. The most popular answer: "Can give the child a better education at home."

One example from this week is this article.

NEWARK, Del. — Finding character witnesses when you are 6 years old is not easy. But there was Zachary Christie last week at a school disciplinary committee hearing with his karate instructor and his mother’s fiancé by his side to vouch for him.

Zachary’s offense? Taking a camping utensil that can serve as a knife, fork and spoon to school. He was so excited about recently joining the Cub Scouts that he wanted to use it at lunch. School officials concluded that he had violated their zero-tolerance policy on weapons, and Zachary was suspended and now faces 45 days in the district’s reform school.

You'd think this was an isolated case, wouldn't you? Sadly, it isn't. It's one of an embarrassment of riches scattered across the land.

All of these zero-tolerance rules are wrong. I know that many were invented by the school district to get around lawyers for parents who sue because young homicidal Henry was choking a schoolmate for the second time that day and was suspended, and the lawyer wants to portray Henry as a deeply misunderstood saint. I understand that lawyers and judges are temperamentally brain-damaged and can't understand reality. But here's the point: just because they are, doesn't mean that we should shape reality into forms that they CAN understand. The schools are not here to teach the judges and lawyers. They quit learning years ago. They are not here to teach the parents whose view of the school is that it's a free babysitting service to get Henry out of the house.

Along those lines, would you care to listen to a favorite message, from a school district in Austrailia?

Sounds like the right approach to me.

UPDATE: It never rains but it pours.
14th-Oct-2009 02:34 am (UTC)
Yeppers, while I have my religious reasons for homeschooling, it's also about the cubs actually learning something. Both my lioness & I went to public school; most of what she learned she taught herself outside of classes, while my parents made it a point to live in the best available school district and kept close watch on my grades. We figured we'd just save ourselves the trouble and teach our own ourselves (it helps that we both enjoy teaching).

Apropos of private solutions to education, I think you'd enjoy James Tooley's The Beautiful Tree ... Amazon link here.
14th-Oct-2009 04:44 am (UTC)
I know I read the script for that YouTube a long time ago on Snopes.

Ah, here it is.
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