If you pull the average American off the street and ask them to describe what they think the average homeschool family looks like, they’d probably paint the picture of a bunch of children and adults wearing pleated khakis, button-downs with sweaters, socially awkward children, sheltered and overly-structured in their lives (or, oddly enough, totally unstructured in their lives and constantly causing chaos).
In Europe, homeschoolers face even more scrutiny. Seen as cultists by the media at large, they are treated even worse than domestic terrorists in some central and western European nations.
Even people who are more libertarian in terms of education would likely say, “sure, I don’t think it should be illegal, but I’d never do it myself. … How would the children become socialized? … I wouldn’t want to spend that much time around my children. …” and the list goes on.
Continue reading “Some Bad Arguments Against Homeschooling”
There are practically as many philosophies of education as there are schools in the United States. There are the Prusso-American schools of Horace Mann’s age, there are the public schools of the No Child Left Behind era, there are parochial schools of varying denominations, there are different types of military, boarding, and prep schools, there are Montessori, Waldorf, and Classical schools, and there are even major differences in philosophy of education for styles of homeschooling.
Continue reading “Hayek and Camus Walk Into A School”
Childhood is a stage of life primarily defined by being a student in most developed nations. While the concept has at least three components — legal (i.e., being less than 21 years of age in most states in the US), biological (i.e., being at a stage when most of the body is still developing — until about age 26), and social (i.e., studentdom) — it’s social component is the one by which we think of most children.
Continue reading “Let’s Abolish Childhood”
The average child spends eight-to-ten hours in school every day of the week — getting up before dawn, standing in the cold, getting on a bus, and sitting through learning materials that have been pre-determined to be necessary for their success as students. The average American elementary schooler spends 934 hours in school per year, and many spend much more time at boarding schools, after school programs, and after-school detention and suspension.
To what end?
Continue reading “What Is The Purpose of Childhood?”
I was publicly schooled all through my upbringing (minus a Montessori pre-K that I attended) and I am — by all conventional measures — fairly successful so far in life. I can read, write, and do calculations on the right-side of a normal distribution, I was accepted to an Ivy League institution, I’ve worked on a growing startup, and I’ve written and spoken publicly. “Why then,” it is sometimes asked, “are you so opposed to the schooling that did so well for you?”
Continue reading “In Praise of Laissez-Faire Teachers”