Update From Kansas: A Data Point on Education

(Another post salvaged from the Drafts folder. This is from 3 months back. And I found 1 to throw away – down to 69!)

On the road in Atchison, where we visited the Amelia Earhart home of birth and ate at local restaurants – and attended the graduation of our lovely and beloved and good Daughter #1 of Renown and Honor. Education data point, and, yes, I am bragging: we have been told that we ‘ruined’ our daughter and her siblings by not making them go to a real school – we sent them to a school where they were free to hang out, play video games, watch movies, sleep – whatever they wanted that didn’t interfere with what others wanted or risk the wrath of the Law. After 10 years of this horrible, ruinous schooling, this daughter went to college. To repeat: she took no classes in reading, writing or math in grade school or high school. She was assigned no homework. She wrote no papers. No one watched over her or directed her educational activities in any way, until she decided to go to college.

Yesterday, she graduated magna cum laude from Benedictine College with a double major in music and theater.  She will be attending an acting program in LA for the next two years, and then plans to pursue a master’s, either in theology or classics/Great Books. Anybody want to bet against her?

The point here: K-12  is a waste of time at best, a tool designed by our self-appointed betters to make our kids stupid and easily managed. It works great. Just don’t do it! You will be reviled and threatened by family, friends and state, but just say NO! Your kids will be happier, smarter and saner for it. As a side benefit, our family life was free of arguments over homework or grades, and free of parent-teacher conferences and all other busywork and insults to our intelligence.

Is my daughter a genius? Yes – but as John Taylor Gatto said after decades of teaching in public school, often in impoverished areas, genius is a common as dirt. It is the opportunity to develop and use it that is denied most people.

It doesn’t matter if your child learns to read at 4 or 14 – It. Doesn’t. Matter. It doesn’t matter if they learn algebra when they’re 15, or 6, or – gasp – never. They can always learn it when they need it, if they have learned that they can learn. The whole idea of ‘grade level’ is a tool used to keep kids – and their parents – in line. Grade level is a evil fantasy that didn’t exist until our betters decided people needed to be graded like so many eggs or so much lumber. How about we help people learn what they want to learn when they need to learn it? You don’t need graded classrooms for that – even the greatest scholars did without them until 200 years ago – and, I’d wager, the greatest scholars today found them more hindrance than help.

Our next two children, raised and educated in exactly the same negligent and ruinous manner, have joined us in Atchison from Thomas Aquinas College and Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, where they each just now successfully completed their freshman year – Latin, Euclid, heavy reading and writing loads. Both ‘A’ students. Both never took any reading, writing or math classes in grade school or high school.

So, who here is crazy? Me, who claims all that compulsory graded classroom education crap is as stupid and harmful as any objective analysis reveals it to be? Or the millions of parents who have been cajoled and threatened – and patted on the head and given gold stars – to make them think they needed to send their kids to school or they would be ruined? Ruined, I say!

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Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

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