Thursday, February 28, 2013

One hundred good reasons

Reader Terry in Florida sent me a link to a fascinating article out of American Thinker entitled One Hundred Reasons to Abandon Public Education Now.

All one hundred reasons are extremely valid, of course, but I thought I'd pull out my particular favorites:

(8) Psychiatric branding and drugging of non-compliant children.

(16) Public school teacher certification requires "successful" indoctrination in government-approved pedagogy.

(17) Public school teachers belong to powerful unions with radical leftist leadership and agendas.

(18) Rare talented, earnest teachers are completely hamstrung by government/union social and academic goals.

(20) Obama Youth singing "Yes We Can." [This one gave me shivers.]

(25) Socialization: a progressive catchword which means learning how to mold oneself to the shape of any presiding majority, i.e., conformity.

(34) "Wherever is found what is called a paternal government, there is found state education. It has been discovered that the best way to insure implicit obedience is to commence tyranny in the nursery." -- Benjamin Disraeli

(37) "Peer pressure." The moral intimidation of a child whose character is not yet firmly established, by an ever-present group with the power to condemn with ostracism.

(38) 12,000 hours (counting only mandatory class time) of wasted opportunities for family guidance and conversation, practical skills development, remunerative employment, apprenticeships, reading, exploration of nature, and musical training.

(43) The entitlement mentality.

(44) Natural attachment to the "provider." Abstract state replaces concrete parents as the object of future obligation and duty.

(46) Unceasing Marxist critique of Western civilization: sexism, systemic oppression, capitalism is racist, the rich get richer, etc.

(47) Public education requires lowest common denominator approach. Stifles natural intelligence.

(48) Discouraging female modesty.

(49) Discouraging male admiration for female modesty.

(69) "From my cold, dead hands." As I have said before, if you stand proudly against state confiscation of your firearms, how can you not feel at least as strongly about state confiscation of your children?

(71) Feminism.

(79) The moral ratchet: Yesterday's vice, today's "experiment," tomorrow's "basic right."

(85) The push for public pre-schools. The trajectory: universal, compulsory government raising of children from the beginning of language use to the completion of character formation and thought process habituation.

(86) "The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother's care, shall be in state institutions at state expense." -- Karl Marx

(92) Genuine education breeds self-reliance; public school breeds dependency.

(97) "I can undo the school's damage at home." If the government mandated that your child be force-fed rotting "state food" for each meal, would you say, "No problem -- I can feed him healthy food on weekends"? Then how do you justify allowing the state to force-feed its spiritual rot to your child's mind?

(98) "I can undo the school's damage at home." All of it? Are you completely certain? Children indoctrinated under totalitarian regimes go home after class, too. Their parents probably tell themselves the same thing -- but they, unlike you, have no choice.

The author of this piece, Daren Jonescu, concludes with these words: There is my list. Please add your own ideas. Who knows? Perhaps every hundred reasons will persuade one family to withdraw a child from a government school. One soul rescued from irreparable harm -- that seems worth the effort.

I urge you to go read his entire list, then post your own reasons for homeschooling.


  1. I haven't been in a school for a third of a century-it wasn't all that bad when _ went, but to a certain extent, I was home taught in parallel with public school. I learned to read prior to going into kindergarten..and was self taught to a larger extent( once you learn to read, you can take off from that point and go anywhere you want).
    I couldn't have chosen better parents-they taught me everything from reading to what scale speed meant, and everything in between..

  2. 6 more reasons:
    1) Government school kills curiosity!
    2) Age segregation breeds pride of the older, snobbery toward the younger, which carrys on into our culture & churches. (Where exactly do you find "Sunday School" in the Bible? Oh Yeah! We got it from our failing school system.) It also prevents developing love and empathy for your parents & grandparents and younger children, which leads to putting those folks into daycare, nursery school, preschool, retirement homes, assisted living places, etc. Rather than taking care of our own.
    3) Logic is not taught. Why would we want students to think?
    4) There is no "Leadership Education" in our country anymore, only "Mangement Education". This has been the problem with our last 40yrs of presidents? 100 yrs? True leadership education seems to require mentorship and a "wilderness" experience. See "Thomas Jefferson Education" by Oliver DeMille - he has some great fresh insights.
    5) The missed opportunity to improve your own education by teaching everything to your children.
    6) The missed opportunity to develop patience, fortitude, and try new things. I am a better parent because I am a home educator.
    DWLee3, homeschool Mom for 16 years. Bend, Oregon

  3. (40) "The children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming, where everyone would be interdependent." -- Dewey

    Children are drilled for doing tests. Everything is built in favor of the stupid kids leaving the smart kids bored (at best), because that is where the funding comes from. Also some teachers are intimidated by smart students. I remember a substitute teacher in history class arguing vehemently against me that General George Armstrong Custard (!) was defeated at Little Bighorn.

  4. #86 -- The Karl Marx "suggestion" made my throat close up in blue rage. And fear.

    Just Me

  5. As a fully credentialed
    Public teacher I have no desire to go back into the classroom! I am even thinking of homeschooling our daughter next year especially when I saw her history book, 40 pages (not full) for early explorers and missions... From one of my friends who teaches gate she said "at least she is getting history cause our kids are not! Don't get me wrong her school does science, history and choir, but I hate the issues the schools are having both academically, socially and behaviors.

  6. I am retiring in May after teaching 33 years in Oklahoma, 32 of which have been in public schools. We are still somewhat insulated here, at least in the rural areas, from many of the trends and philosophies that have permeated large schools here and probably most public schools in the East. It is still OK, and even expected in some districts, to be a religious person, or at least to subscribe to basic morality. BUT, that is changing quickly. In the urban and suburban districts, homosexuality is not only tolerated, it is praised. There are "gay" clubs at the large high schools with teacher sponsors!

    I agree that for the most part public education is broken and cannot be fixed. If my wife and I were starting over with children, we would definitely homeschool.

    In my rural district where I've taught for 8 years,
    teachers still have almost total control over what is taught in their classes. My biggest gripe is the time wasted in the school day. Yesterday it was state playoffs in basketball, and ANYONE who brought a parent permission note could attend and miss class. This is NOT unusual. Students get out for almost anything- Ag classes take them out numerous times in a quarter for shows, etc., even to WASH their pigs to get ready for a show.

    The major problem I see is not with the schools, however. It is the breakdown of the home AND lack of ANY religious instruction- read MORALITY. I guess that is the one huge change I can see from the time I began teaching in the '70s until now. Even in rural areas, it is common to accept ANY lifestyle as OK. Out-of-wedlock child bearing is praised and even encouraged- by parents.

    I don't see any good signs on the horizon about public education. My recommendation to anyone is to GET YOUR CHILDREN OUT OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Teach them the basics, and share with them, in word AND by example, the good news of Jesus.

    I know I've rambled, but I feel so strongly about this. Thanks for your excellent blog.
    Jeff in OK

    1. This is too true. I know many young teens with kids as their parents don't spend time with them. Instead for themselves. What's worth more to you?

  7. I never knew homeschooling is an option in the US until recently. I stumbled onto your blog and have learned so much.

    I do not have kids yet, but if I ever do, my hubby and I will not be sending them to daycare or public school.

  8. Patrice,

    You HAVE to post that cookie recipe OR invite all of us to your next neighborhood potluck (and bring the dessert)! :))

  9. When I taught in a public high school I gave a type of test that mixed both objective and subjective questions. The students wanted tests to consist of only true or false questions--fast and requiring only a guess. They didn't get more than 10 points worth of that from me. Along with other questions that required some knowledge of the subject (how cruel of me) I included bonus questions (1 or 2)that required thinking. The majority never even attempted them. Some gave answers that could be considered incorrect but that showed enough thought to qualify for some credit. Others really thought out their answers and showed good skills. It was not always the usual students that had the good thinking skills. I was very happy to see that and reward it accordingly. Some students complained about others getting higher grades due to the bonus points. My answer was always that they had the choice to doing the thought work or not. Students need to do more than rote learning.

  10. I strongly disagree that homeschooling is the panacea that you make it out to be. The background to Karl Marx's quote in #86 and the origin of Sunday School have more to do with bringing up literacy rates, esp. among women and the poor. My family homeschools our children, and my wife and I are both college educated (BS in Chemical Engineering and BS in Chemistry), and I would support State or County licensure of homeschool curriculum and teachers as well as semi-annual standardized testing of the students. In order to be a credible alternative to public school, we homeschoolers must be responsible and objective with ourselves and our children. We need to know that us well-intentioned parents are in fact producing a better than average young adult. If we cannot, we should not have reservations about using the professional resources that are available to us, including full enrollment in public schools. (IMHO)

    1. I agree with this writer. You (Patrice) have posted pictures of texts you use for homeschooling that are of the "-- for Dummies" series, which are to education what the "Chickensoup for the --" are to philosophy. What exactly is the message homeschoolers send their child/ren with such texts? I collect old school books, and high school math books from the early 1900s exceed in rigour those that are now used at undergraduate university level. My other problem with homeschooling is the indoctrination into the parents' religious beliefs that is almost always concomitant. Why is such brainwashing Marxist in the public school system, but perfectly OK in homeschooling? The Jesuits reject that implicit hypocrisy altogether by claiming openly that given a child's education before six, they (the Church) possess that individual's soul through life. Is any ideology not freely chosen worth having? -- and if you truly believe in the sanctity of your beliefs then what's the problem in giving a child a rigourous education in religion and philsophy and allowing each to find God as he/she will? There's only one route to God for any individual and each individual has to find that way -- her/his way -- himself, or else it's the very indoctrination you scorn in this post. All that being said, if I'd had kids I would have home-schooled them, insisting on basic literacy and numeracy, and then giving them complete freedom of an extensive library, the latter admittedly of my choosing -- but also early familiarization with the whole Western and world canons at a university level library. I heartily agree that any education but a self education is no education at all. Compulsory indoctrination is spiritual degradation, and shameful, any way you try to whitewash it.

    2. Don't knock it until you try it. It may free you from your own chains. I have had more than one teacher tell me I have done exceptionally well, and I am only a "well intentioned" parent with only a GED and three kids who score in the 90th percentile.

    3. To the first anonymous comment (to the anonymous comment) above: I take issue with several things you brought up. Number one, the idea that you judge Mrs. Lewis’ homeschooling by a few pictures is not too bright for such a well-spoken person. Do you suppose that's all they have? Really? Most home schoolers use a wide variety of resource. If I find a bit of useful info in the encyclopedia or the Weekly Reader, I'll use it. I hope no one gets a picture of my homeschool desk f I have a comic book nearby. Shamey, shamey if that's what you meant.

      Number two: comparing books you have collected from the early 1900's to homeschool would be understandable if first, you knew that Mrs. Lewis wasn't using something like that herself, and secondly, if you were making some point by mentioning it. Why did you bring up the older books, exactly? Are you saying homeschools should be held to undergraduate university level? Public schools certainly are not, nowhere near it, yet I don't see you raising that issue. Was that an oversight? Maybe your thought was incomplete as written? Or did you mean to exclude public school from your critique of children’s education? Is it only home school that troubles you?

    4. And also, for this same anonymous poster as well as the anonymous poster they were responding to: we are parents, not only teachers, and we are allowed, no-- required to influence them morally, spiritually, and in character as well as educationally. Among other things, I believe it is critical to teach my children how to learn, and when they are older and prepared, they can study whatever they wish and decide whatever they want to believe.

      If I don’t “fear” them being educated, I simply choose the sequence. Do I start math with calculus? No. Do I start reading with Shakespeare? No. I start with basics. If I should let them “rigorously” study anything in any way and at any time they choose, they would have letters in P.E. and recess. No, I think structure and order are necessary, and I, as the parent, am the one responsible for that, not the state or the county or the neighbors or you. I will establish a good foundation as I see fit.

    5. My job, given to me by the God that you seem to want us to reserve for a backseat someplace, is to raise my children right in His sight (no matter to me what Marx or some Jesuit priest says. )Is it better for me to obey God or men? (Acts 5:29) What's more, it's not the job of the state, county or nation to decide what they think is "good doctrine" and then subject me, my family and children to it through some testing process. I will not have my feet held to the fire by a bunch of bureaucrats who are part of the reason I don’t want to participate in public education in the first place.

  11. Dear ChubblyWubbly, To know more about homeschooling in America and internationally, go to This is Home School Legal Defense Association. They can direct you to homeschool organizations in 50 states and internationally. The state homeschool organizations all have an annual convention with many seminars on "How to Homeschool" and with an exhibit hall selling loads of curriculum - usually at a discount.

    To Mr. Anonymous (with a BS in Chemical Engineering or Chemistry), Do you know that public & private schooled students average at the 50th percentile on standardized tests, but Homeschooled students average at the 80th percentile on standardized tests? Do you know that colleges specifically recruit homeschooled students because they are better prepared? Do you know that businesses who employ a homeschooled student ask if they have homeschooled friends who would like a job because they have a better work ethic and manners? Do you know that it does not matter if the parent only completed high school or if they had higher education at any level, the students still performed at a higher level? (And why would they not, a person who will sacrifice to serve their child will do the very best they can for them!) Homeschoolers have a proven track record, and are doing far better than the government school system. So please leave them their freedom! Please don't support state or county licensure - it will only impose failing standards on an education system that is working very well!

    Sincerely, DWLee3

    1. This is "Mr. BS" (pun intended), I know that licensure and testing is a touchy subject and both sides have valid arguments. In my state (Florida), there is controversy in the public schools regarding the over-reliance on standardized testing (called the FCAT) that occurs every four grades, or there about. As an engineer, I suppose I am more prone to supporting such standards as the only means available to objectively compare "apples to apples" against the stated goals both of the public education curriculum and also of alternative education methods, including homeschooling. While I am concerned about politically correct muzzles being place on me, I also want to concretely know that I am producing the 80th or 90th percentile pupil that you and others describe and not just passing along "generational ignorance".

  12. I home school some of our children, and some attend a private Christian school. The reason they are not in the public school system is because I used to work in the public school system and know what it's like. Yesterday I wrote a post on my own blog about how I had to participate in an activity with another teacher than pushed boys into taking on feminine roles, and the boys hated it. I don't want our children socialized to view their God-given gender roles as somehow defective.

  13. If we don't stop government indoctrination in our schools, all the rest of the fussing and fuming we do about losing our rights is for naught. In a few more years these kids will give them whatever they ask for. Please, please, please, please, please keep talking about this. It is SO vitally important. I throw in blogs about it often, but I doubt I have a dozen readers. Can I link to your blog from my blog?

  14. Thank you. :) I took an older picture of your banner from the internet. I hope that's alright. I couldn't figure out how to get one from your sire. I'm not very tech-y, but I like to have some kind of graphics. Anyway, here's a link:
    I hope it passes muster. I don't claim to be a great writer. lol
    Thanks for your blog!

  15. #1 best reason ever... I learned my daughter will always be a successful preschool teacher (hopefully for a co-op like mine, or for her own kids), a great public speaking job, or a fabulous dog whisperer/walker! And #2, she will always have the most self confidence of any child I know!