Monday, December 05, 2011

Book Review - Homeschooling, The Right Choice

A father and son at the foot of Mt. Rushmore:

Boy - Hey Dad, do you think they’ll ever make a monument to homeschoolers?

Father - You’re looking at it, son!

That was a comic/cartoon in Homeschooling: The Right Choice by Christopher Klicka.

Written by one of the founding (sort of) members of the HSLDA - Home School Legal Defense Association - it was unlike most other books I've read in this genre.

It was really a historical, legal, and moral perspective rather than another how-to-homeschool guidebook.

Klicka argues that all self-identifying devout Christians ought to be educating their own children. So if you fall into this category the book is DEFINITELY something to borrow from your library or buy on Amazon.

Basically, homeschooling has only recently been re-legalized - and Klicka and his organization played THE major role in reclaiming the educational rights enjoyed by 3,000,000 homeschooled kids today.

Here are my book excerpts:

The students attending teacher’s colleges and pursuing education degrees are, on the average, below average on SAT scores. Consistently, these students who are planning to major in education scored below the national average. Such students’ average verbal score is 406 (out of a possible 800; national average is 422) and their math score average is 441 (out of a possible 800; national average is 474). (p31)

In fact, a U.S. Department of Education study demonstrates that public school teachers are more likely to send their children to a private school than any other group. (p32)

The College Board "recentered" its test adding 80 points to individual scores on the verbal section of the SAT and 30 points to scores on the mathematics section....a numbers game to lift the average SAT score from 424 to 500. (p34)

Horace Mann quote,

"What the church has been for medieval man the public school must become for democratic and rational man. God will be replaced by the concept of the public good....The common [public] schools....shall create a more farseeing intelligence and a more pure morality than has ever existed among communities of men." (p82)

John Dewey, author of the modern public school system...

"I believe all education comes through the stimulation of the child’s powers by the demands of the social situations in which he finds himself....Education is the fundamental method of social progress and reform [religion being bypassed]....Every teacher should realize the dignity of his calling; that he is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of proper social order and the securing of the right social growth....In this way the teacher is always the prophet of the true god and the usherer of the true kingdom of god."

"Faith in the prayer-hearing God is an unproved and outmoded faith. There is no God and there is no soul. Hence, there are no needs for the props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, the immutable truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or moral absolutes."

Dewey also emphasized "social unification" as the goal of public schools in order to promote "state-consciousness."

"The American people is conscious that its schools serve best the cause of religion in serving the cause of religion in serving the cause of social unification; and that under certain conditions schools are more religious in substance and in promise without any of the conventional badges and machinery of religious instruction than they could be in cultivating these forms at the expense of state-consciousness." (p84)

In the late 1980s Dr. John Goodland wrote a report for the National Education Association arguing that one of their goals is to re-educate children to turn away from the values of their parents. He said:

"Our goal is behavioral change. The majority of our youth still hold to the values of their parents and if we do not resocialize them to accept change, our society may decay." (p85)

In 1923,....J. Gresham Mecham, sounded the alarm concerning the direction of attendance at the public schools becoming compulsory:

"...Freedom of thought in the Middle Ages was combated by the Inquisition, but the modern method is far more effective. Place the lives of the children in their formative years, despite the convictions of their parents, under the intimate control of experts appointed by the state, force them to attend schools where the higher aspirations of humanity are crushed out and where the mind is filled with the materialism of the day, and it is difficult to see how even the remnants of liberty can subsist. Such a tyranny, supported as it is by a perverse technique used as the instrument in destroying human souls, is certainly far more dangerous than the crude tyrannies of the past, which despite their weapons of fire and sword permitted thought, at least, to be free.

"The truth is that the materialistic paternalism of the present day, if allowed to go unchecked, will rapidly make of America on huge ‘Main Street’ where spiritual adventure will be discouraged and democracy will be regarded as consisting in the reduction of all mankind to the proportions of the narrowest and least gifted of the citizens." (p95-96)

Many families are turning to home schooling as the solution to the decaying public school system. However, home schooling is not a new idea - it is the restoration of an old and successful idea. It is not only a return to effective, parent-directed education; it is a moral and spiritual reformation. (p103)

...the national average of parents spending approximately seven minutes a day with face-to-face contact with their children, according to a study from Stanford University. (p125)

Academically, the home schoolers have generally excelled, but some critics have continued to challenge them on an apparent "lack of socialization" or "isolation from real world." Often there is a charge that home schoolers are not learning how to live in the "real world." However a closer look at public school training shows that it is actually those public school children who are not living in the real world.

For instance, public school children are confined for at least 180 days each year with minimal opportunity to be exposed to the workplace or to go on field trips. The children are trapped with a group of children their own age with little chance to relate to children of other ages or adults. The children spend their time pooling their ignorance. They learn in a spiritual and moral vacuum where there are no absolute standards. They are given little to no responsibility, and everything is provided for them. The opportunity to pursue their interests and to apply their unique talents is stifled. Actions by public students rarely have consequences, as discipline is lax and passing from grade to grade is automatic. The students are not really prepared to operate in the home (family) or the workplace, which comprise a major part of the "real world" after graduation. (p127-128)

For example, DuPont de Nemours surveyed education in America in the early 1800s and discovered nearly a 99 percent literacy rate:

"Most young Americans...can read, write, and cipher. Not more than four in a thousand are unable to write legibly - even neatly....the Bible is read; it is considered a duty to read it to children...In America a great number of people read the Bible." (p153)
Sadly, even within the homeschooling world there are many people (militant anti-Christians) who bash the poop out of this group that won educational freedom FOR THEM.

But whatever...

I've got too many things to do to worry about other people.

See also - Hired A Homeschool Legal Posse.

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