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Free Minds & Free Markets

Don't Homeschool Your Kids, Unschool Them

Homeschoolers are increasingly ridding themselves not just of schools but of traditional notions about schooling.

Many families leave traditional educational institutions because they value individual freedom and recognize the ways in which compulsory mass schooling can halt creativity and deter originality in the name of obedience and conformity. But too many wind up replicating the same systems at home. They import the same packaged curriculum and testing, the same gold stars and check marks, the same coercion and control inherent in the brick-and-mortar holding pens where so many children spend the bulk of their early lives.

Today, homeschoolers are increasingly ridding themselves not just of schools but of traditional notions about schooling. These so-called "unschoolers" allow children to explore topics they are passionate about, while being supported by the abundant resources of both real and virtual communities.

For California mother Heather Greenwood, this balance means encouraging her children's interests while instilling values of personal responsibility and perseverance. "For us, unschooling doesn't mean un-parenting," Greenwood says. "Our kids still have responsibilities in the house. We see much of our children's learning happening through conversation, play, and experiences. They read, listen to interesting podcasts, watch documentaries, and volunteer in the community."

Greenwood took a winding path to unschooling. Her daughters, now 17 and 12, spent time in public schools, Montessori schools, and a public charter school that offered a hybrid homeschooling option with a state-sponsored curriculum. Because she and her husband wanted more autonomy and flexibility for their kids' learning, they began independently homeschooling while following a classical curriculum, but they still found it too restrictive.

Frustrated, Greenwood began reading more about the philosophy of unschooling, including pioneering books by A.S. Neill (Summerhill), Ivan Illich (Deschooling Society), and John Holt, the educator who coined the term "unschooling" in the late 1970s. The radically different approach resonated with Greenwood, who jettisoned the curriculum and fully embraced unschooling. "When our focus was based less on the curriculum and became centered around what the kids wanted to learn about, everything changed," she explains. "I saw them take ownership of their learning and, more importantly, their life. They lead a very rich life, full of curiosity."

It can be difficult to take the leap from controlling a child's education to creating the conditions for self-education. But more parents seem to be trying. One in five homeschoolers surveyed by the National Center for Education Statistics in 2016 indicated that they "always" or "mostly" use informal learning practices, up from 13 percent in 2012. Some accept help from local self-directed learning centers and "unschooling schools." Millions of children now participate in online learning resources, including free options like Khan Academy, MIT OpenCourseWare, and Lynda.com, which is available through many public library networks.

The Open School in Orange County, California, is one such organization that makes unschooling ideals accessible to more families. Modeled after the Sudbury Valley School in Massachusetts, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018, The Open School has no set curriculum, no grades, and no testing. Young people from 5 to 18 learn together in a multi-age setting where they're free to explore or seek help from adult mentors when needed. All members of the school community, adults and children alike, have equal input in establishing and executing policies and procedures.

"Some people think that self-directed education, or 'kids doing whatever they want,' means zero responsibility," says Open School educator Aaron Browder. "In fact, the opposite is true. Kids in conventional educational [settings] have very little responsibility, because ultimately the school, the teacher, or the curriculum designer is given credit for kids' success or failure. In self-directed education, the learner is making all the decisions, so they get all the credit for their own success or failure. That is responsibility."

Photo Credit: Eugene Valter/iStock

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  • MarioLanza||

    This is as dumb as sending them to public school. Boundaries and regimen are good for kids. External motivation is good for kids.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Public school is dumb?

    Do you prefer (1) homeschooling, (2) nonsense-teaching schools, or (3) nonsense-based homeschooling?

  • Eddy||

    I know a faith-based guy like Artie isn't interested in boring facts, but here's an article from Business Insider:

    ""The high achievement level of homeschoolers is readily recognized by recruiters from some of the best colleges in the nation," education expert Dr. Susan Berry recently told Alpha Omega.

    ""Schools such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, Stanford, and Duke University all actively recruit homeschoolers," Berry said."

  • Eddy||

    Not being homeschooled myself, I messed up the link:

    https://read.bi/2MGBu8i

  • beteille||

    So even after 12 years of homeschooling, the idea is still to get into traditional universities?

  • ||

    Yes, I'd explain, but the point would be lost on anyone who didn't understand the difference between university and childhood education.

  • Jickerson||

    Well, our university system is also a disaster, but it's a disaster that results in a piece of paper that many people feel they need. That's the difference.

    We as a society need to reject credentialism and stop requiring degrees for jobs that don't need them. Self-education is more possible than ever in the 21st century, as people have easy access to reliable information and scholarly sources. We should encourage these forms of independence, instead of foolishly insisting that people can only learn from Approved Institutions.

    If things continue the way they have been, more and more morons will go to university and cause standards to plummet even further and prices to rise. That's not a good situation for anyone.

  • No Longer Amused||

    Ironic, but essentially correct.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Harvard is no longer about education. It is about socializing with other people who got into Harvard, according to a Bloomberg interview with the head of Harvard.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    So it is just a club, then.

  • markm23||

    A club that kids too young to know better will go into six figure debt to join for four years.

  • markm23||

    A club that kids too young to know better will go into six figure debt to join for four years.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    This comment is so good it was worth reading twice. Thank you!

  • Eman||

    This comment is so good it was worth reading twice. Thank you!

  • Oli||

    There's nothing wrong with traditional universities, "traditional" being the main point. Today (at least in Europe), universities become more and more like schools. 10 years ago, they were a place of free thought, high requirements and lots of responsibilities.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Dr. Susan Berry, "education expert" and Breitbart columnist?

  • Harvard||

    Nice head shot on that messenger.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    She is not a messenger. She is an opiner. A substandard opiner who didn't show her work.

  • grips||

    It's amazing how you don't mind literally demonstrating your ignorance in a vain attempt to hide your ignorance.

  • grips||

    " who didn't show her work."

    Admission that he doesn't know how to use Scholar.

  • JoeBlow123||

    A lot of public schools suck. This is not even debatable. They especially suck if you live in a big city or live in a poor area. The only places where public schools are good is where everyone is rich or Mormon or Asian or Jewish (kind of a joke but not really).

    As a parent I would never send my kid to nearly all of the public schools near where I live in a rather large-ish city. They are all uniformly atrocious and likely all infested with drugs like my schools were growing up.

  • CE||

    And those schools aren't good because the teachers are much better, they're good because the parents are much better.

  • susancol||

    Having had experience with a few public and private schools (and vicarious experience with more), I would say that the schools are good because the teachers are much better and the teachers are much better because the parents are much better *and* the school's success depends on pleasing the parents. There is a *world* of difference in the responsiveness to parent concerns between public and private (hey, when my 14 year old can tell that the teacher doesn't know how to properly use commas and other standard punctuation, it *is* time to discuss the qualifications and abilities of the English teacher)

  • Fancylad||

    How about charter and independent schools? They're not for rich kids only, and they blow public out of the water. Mind you, everything blows the public systems out of the water.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Some independent schools are strong. Others are pathetic.

    Until every child possesses the opportunity to attend a strong public school, our society is failing our children. Those who work to degrade public schools are lousy people.

  • Cloudbuster||

    It just needs to be a strong education. It doesn't have to come from a public school, or what you conceive of as a school at all. Don't confuse the source with the outcome.

  • JoeBlow123||

    This.

  • VinniUSMC||

    Artie is easily confused by many things. Likely due to his public school education.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    So teachers' unions are lousy people.

  • grips||

    "Until every child possesses the opportunity to attend a strong public school, our society is failing our children. "

    Funny how you didn't show your work...

    "Those who work to degrade public schools are lousy people."

    Those who steal from others to support a substandard institution, then defend said institution out of defensiveness and vanity are much worse.

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    Some independent schools are strong. Others are pathetic.

    Until every child possesses the opportunity to attend a strong public school, our society is failing our children. Those who work to degrade public schools are lousy people.

    Preach it sibling! Next election we will dump the pathetic clingers and then this country will take off! We just need to have the right people in charge!!!!

  • Les||

    External motivation is good for some kids, terrible for others. Kids, like adults, are individuals with their own, different personalities. And unschooling doesn't mean no boundaries and no regimen.

    We have 50 years of experience of this method working very well for most who try it.

  • ||

    Exactly, just as "permissive" child-rearing does not mean the absence of boundaries or regimen, neither should unschooling. The difference lies in how those things are applied.

    The children you see acting like feral animals in restaurants and other public spaces are not the product of permissive child-rearing, they are the product of no child-rearing at all.

  • LarryA||

    Unless they're junior-high age. Then it's the product of hormones. ;-)

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Sounds great, when parents have advanced knowledge in STEM, literature, philosophy, economics, and art. And stay dedicated to helping kids learn.

    Sounds not so great, when parents are math-phobic, think electricity comes out of the wall, and can't balance their checkbooks. And, when they remember, think that telling the young 'uns to quit playing around and do some learnin' on the computer is enough.

  • Lowdog||

    How many parents like this are homeschooling their kids?

  • Ben of Houston||

    Don't forget this little thing about homeschooling: people who do it are either horrible (sometimes at near-cult levels of isolation) or excellent, intelligent people themselves.

    If you are able to decently teach a child their entire gradeschool education, you are pretty much guaranteed to be quite intelligent. After all, the primary predictor of a child's intelligence is the parents' intelligence (irrespective of the nature vs nurture debate). You can get some extremely high performers that way.

    However, some "home-schooled" kids are practically unable to read. When the "stupid teach the ignorant", everyone loses.

    Averaging these two groups gives a completely skewed result, which is why every small child knows that averages aren't useful for everything.

    The problems of our standardized testing regime are well known. However, their purpose is to insure that we don't graduate kids who are nearly-completely illiterate and innumerate. They are actually pretty good at ensuring we get the basics.

  • Sevo||

    It's almost as if home-schooling could be as bad as gov't schools!
    (from someone who was "taught" algebra by the Spanish language teacher)

  • bvandyke||

    There are many places that help homeschoolers out. They offer classes, laps, guidance, etc. It gives the parents lots of choices for their kids education.

    Have to remember "homeschool" doesn't have to mean that the parents do 100% of the teaching.

  • Agammamon||

    You know that almost no K-12 teacher has those qualifications either. Most schools don't even consider knowledge of the subject matter to be of importance - as long as the teacher has his education degree and completes his ongoing education requirements. They certainly aren't *committed* - and they're getting paid to do it.

    Reason covered one school that considered it apprpriate to assign a teacher that couldn't speak or write Spanish to teach high school Spanish - under the theory that an education degree makes you qualified to teach anuyrjong.

  • dan'o en barrel||

    I home-school my kid for the sake of his mom (who is severely immuno-deficient.)

    Though I didn't do it for his benefit, benefit he does. He sets the pace based on his understanding of the material (standard CO curriculum) rather than the classroom standard of the slowest kid. We often complete the week's work with 4, 4 hour days. If he's interested in a topic we dig deeper. If bored we move on when he understands what he needs to know. He's a couple grades ahead in math and language arts and still has a shitload of time for play and hobbies.

    Importantly, when a lesson is of the indoctrination variety I get to clarify (eg- last week his Social Studies book said that the first amendment protects speech so long as it isn't "hurtful.")

    This also frees us up to travel at will. Since I work from home we typically spend half of our time at the beach in Mexico. I've become a believer in homeschooling.

  • Robert||

    Theory, nothing! They just grabbed a warm body who was legally qualified as a sub.

  • CE||

    Teach a kid to read and half the job is done. Throw in some logic and math and get out of the way. If you can't teach logic or math, find someone who can.

  • GlenchristLaw||

    The fact remains that most homeshcooler parents are not interested in enriching their kids, but rather the exact opposite: redacting the curriculum to make sure there is no mention of evolution, contraception, multiculturalism or teh gheys.

  • Eddy||

    I'd love to hear more about all the studies you've read on this subject, not to mention what you learned from all the homeschoolers you know.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Everything he knows about it he saw in a Michael Moore movie, so you know it's true.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Homeschooling parents tend not to be high-achieving, properly educated, socially adept adults.

    Their children need outside influences, not more anti-social backwardness, insularity, superstition, and risk.

  • Palatki||

    Spoken like a true slaver. Fuck off.

  • Cyronic||

    This homeschooler's parents are social, well-off, and highly (doctorate-level) educated.

    Still, that's a really nice, broad brush you've got there...

  • No Longer Amused||

    Please go back to your strike for higher wages in whatever school district you "teach" in...

  • Fancylad||

    Actually, the vast majority of homeschooling parents have at least a bachelors.
    You really just pull your 'facts' out your ass, huh.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    high-achieving, properly educated, socially adept

    Rev, your expectations are immeasurable, much like the invisible entity you charge people to hear stories about. Ah, the irony of the Religious Left.

  • ravenshrike||

    Given that no public school teachers are high achieving and few are socially adept, the only thing they seem to qualify under is "properly educated". Of couse, education degrees are by and large a fucking joke.

  • CE||

    Their kids don't need to be locked up 7 hours a day with a bunch of kids their own age.

  • grips||

    "Homeschooling parents tend not to be high-achieving, properly educated, socially adept adults."

    There you go not showing that work again...

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    Fine. Now examine the typical public school and explain to me, in small words, where those beneficial outside influences are going to come from.

    Rather, translate your first sentence as "Homeschooling parents tend not to be Ruling Class, properly indoctrinated, politically correct adults."

    And please go pound sand.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Simply untrue. Homeschooled children on average perform in the upper quintile compared to public school children.

  • Ben of Houston||

    Only the Homeschoolers that you like.
    The "cult" homeschoolers that he's talking about do exist. They homeschool to ensure isolation of their kids.

    These are essentially two completely separate groups. The qualified homeschoolers are at the top. The cults are bottom-of-the-barrel.

    Averaging these groups is meaningless.

  • Cloudbuster||

    I don't have a problem with the small amount of "cult" homeschoolers, to the extent they exist. I've homeschooled for almost 30 years and know homeschoolers in urban, rural and Mennonite and Amish communities. All cared deeply about their children. Do you actually know any "cult" homeschoolers?

    I would rather trust parents to raise children as they want, even if it is not in the mainstream, than support a coercive government bureaucracy that thinks it knows best how I and my children should live.

  • vek||

    Except homeschoolers SOMEHOW continue to have vastly higher test scores than people that go to public schools... So how do you figure that one out? I dated a girl who was home schooled her whole life once. Her parents were religious... Her and all her siblings were also a lot more educated about history, and almost everything else, than any of the morons I knew in guvmint schools.

  • bvandyke||

    "The fact remains.." - You are f'n idiot. Way to stereotype and generalize!

    As a home-school parent I have seen those that are exactly as you mention. But it is not "all" and actually from my experience a small fraction.

  • Cyronic||

    And yet, despite my disadvantage as a homeschooler, I somehow managed to score in the 96th percentile for the SATs, graduate college with high honors as an engineer, and I'm currently making six figures. Oh, if only my poor, inept, backwards parents could possibly have known the damage they would cause!

  • Grumpa||

    As a homeschool parent of two now very successful adults in their 30's, I'm responding to homeschooling misinformation, originated by the NEA, reflected in GlenchristLaw's post. My sample of the homeschool community, was the polar opposite of "parents are not interested in enriching their kids". All parents I met in the homeschool community cared about their children and were motivated to homeschool so their children to become successful adults.
    GlenchristLaw is wrong, the statement "most" is not a "fact", at best it is an uninformed opinion. I didn't encounter a single parent in a sample of ~ 100 who had these characteristics. Say it loud enough and repeat as often as possible and people start believing it.

  • Robert||

    Homeschooling in the...
    ...1960-70s: hippies
    ...1970-80s: holies
    ...1980-90s: yuppies
    ...1990-2000s: preppies
    ...2000s-2010s: the other meaning of preppies

  • Grumpa||

    As a homeschool parent of two now very successful adults in their 30's, I'm responding to homeschooling misinformation, originated by the NEA, reflected in GlenchristLaw's post. My sample of the homeschool community, was the polar opposite of "parents are not interested in enriching their kids". All parents I met in the homeschool community cared about their children and were motivated to homeschool so their children to become successful adults.
    GlenchristLaw is wrong, the statement "most" is not a "fact", at best it is an uninformed opinion. I didn't encounter a single parent in a sample of ~ 100 who had these characteristics. Say it loud enough and repeat as often as possible and people start believing it.

  • Cloudbuster||

    I've been homeschooling pretty much straight for about 30 years (the gap between my oldest and youngest is 20 years). It's funny to see non-homeschooling magazines writing about ideas that were hashed out ad nauseam thirty years ago. The arguments between the unschoolers, educating in the classics enthusiats, early American traditionalists and the recreate-school-at-home types were raging way back then.

    The thing about unschooling is that it requires a specific type of motivated kid. We had some unschoolers in our homeschool group back in the day and I saw a lot more unruly monsters than I did budding geniuses who were pursuing their passions.

    Some of my five kids were good with informality and directing their own interests. Others would have spent all day watching TV and playing video games if we'd let them.

    I'm all for questioning traditional schooling methods, but I think parents who are lucky enough to have a child that takes to unschooling make the mistake of universalizing their experience.

  • vek||

    Meh. I think this is a matter of right thing for the right person.

    IMO, all the "traditional education doesn't work!" hype is bullshit. It does. But it only works for people that fall in a certain range. In short people who aren't really low IQ, and people who aren't really troublesome high IQ people. AKA it works great for most people of average intelligence+.

    Dumb people might need special treatment to coax them into learning stuff, but will ultimately not be very book smart anyway. Really high IQ people will do awesome under any circumstances, unless they're unruly and just get bored/rebel against rote learning. But for most people the traditional method works fine.

    I do think we need more actual critical thinking, logic, problem solving, etc in there as well... Not to mention more actual important stuff, and less indoctrination. But learning math is still learning math. Also, while standardized testing is not the be all end all of producing smart people, it IS a useful set of metrics. How can you tell if somebody can spell if you don't see if they can spell things???

    Bonus fun fact is that US test scores HAVE NOT actually been going down in recent decades... If you adjust for ethnicity in the numbers. White/Asian students are doing as well as they ever have by objective standards, and compared to foreign nations. We simply have more ethnicities that consistently do poorly in testing.

  • Les||

    There is as much evidence that traditional education "works great for most people of average intelligence" as there is to support the idea that Moses got all those animals onto that boat.

    Besides, what does "works great" mean?

  • TLBD||

    It was Noah, not Moses you tard.

  • Left ± Right > Hihn||

    Thus proving his point that there is just as much evidence that traditional education works great for most people of average intelligence as there is evidence that Moses got all those animals onto that boat.

  • TLBD||

    That interpretation of his meaning is far too much of a stretch.

  • TLBD||

    I was just breaking his balls, I agree with his point otherwise.

  • vek||

    Well, I suppose one could say that what I meant by "works great" is that it invented the steam engine, the airplane, the nuclear bomb, the computer, landed men on the moon, the internet... Need I go on?

    I don't mean to say there is nothing to be improved. I'm sure there is plenty of stuff to improve around the edges. However the basic system of education in the west has existed for at least a few hundred years AFAIK. It may have been in one room school houses back in the day, but there was still an instructor instructing, students with books etc. University systems have been in place even longer.

    In short, it gets the job done. Much of the "It's broken!" hype is centered on lowering scores in K-12... Which as I said is not quite right. White/Jewish/Asian students are doing as good as ever. We just have more students from other ethnicities that don't do well in school. So that whole argument that we've been getting worse is wrong, despite all the things working against education, like federal involvement, teachers not being accountable, etc.

  • vek||

    So comparing our standard educational regime to hypothetical perfect regimes is, uhhh, unproven? As OUR model of education was adopted in other countries, they have seen vast improvements in educational achievement. So while our system probably isn't perfect, because the universe isn't perfect... Classrooms with teachers got us to the moon, so seems good enough to me.

    We can and should fix issues around the edges, but the overall concept works well enough. As I said I would concede that problematic students on either end of the extremes of intelligence are probably not well served, but the standard system needs to be based on the normal person, not the exceptions to the rule. Giving those people other options would be wise, but the normal method is probably fine for most people.

    That make enough sense for ya?

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    That you are stupider than I thought even after reading the dumb shit you continuously spew makes even more sense now.

  • vek||

    And how's that? There's not a single thing that's factually incorrect.

    I don't think our school system is perfect, but it gets the job done. There's nothing incorrect about that. The basic model HAS been in place for a long time, and it's what saw us through the industrial revolution, the space age, computer age, and still seems to be moving us along okay now. I know of MANY flaws in the current system, but they're mostly nuanced issues. They're not problems with the idea of kids in classrooms with teachers instructing.

    Ultimately it's nothing but a basic foundation anyway, one which some people will stop after completing, and others will go on to get real educations about more complicated things via universities or self education.

  • Cloudbuster||

    Steam engine: If you think the education experienced by people such as Thomas Newcomen was anything like our modern public school system, you are simply wrong.

    Airplane: Both brothers attended high school ( very different thing in the 19th century) but didn't receive diplomas. Orville was prone to mischief and was once expelled. They were essentially self-taught in aeronautics.

    Nuclear bomb: Many people involved with this, many public-schooled, but Oppenheimer was educated in private schools. Einstein, of course, was educated in Munich, but he taught himself algebra and Euclidean geometry over the course of a single summer.

    Computer & Internet: It's development was primarily after the calcification of our public school system, so most people involved attended. But early PC and internet innovators and entrepreneurs, like Steve Wozniak, were notoriously college drop-outs. Wozniak didn't get his BS until 1987 -- well after he was doing groundbreaking design and development work. Charles Babbage had a very eclectic education consisting of private tutors, a country school and high-end British aristocratic schools such as Exeter and later Cambridge. Again, something far, far different than our public school system.

  • vek||

    Cloudbuster, I wasn't implying they all attended a 2018 style public school. If that's what you thought I meant, you interpreted my post wrong. This article is about a lot more than that. It's basically bagging on the idea of classes of kids with teachers teaching them.

    Our modern public schools have a millions flaws in them. I'm just saying the idea of teachers teaching stuff that they're choosing to a class of kids is not a worthless thing. That's the concept I am defending.

    We need more charter schools, vouchers, and all kinds of weird outside the box setups to to educate the odd ball kids... Both the really dumb ones who need extra help, AND the geniuses who aren't served well by the factory style system we have.

    That said, I think the factory style doesn't work that horribly for probably 80% of the population. It's really all they ever need, or are interested in pursuing. The truth is many people just don't WANT to learn, no matter the way it is presented. No system will help those people.

    Basically all super achievers go on to teach themselves most of the extra awesome stuff... That's why they're super achievers... But you can't design a system to serve 100% of the population off of what works for maybe 1-2% of the highest achievers.

  • Jickerson||

    The people who invented those things were anything but average, so what are you even talking about? Our school system certainly did not invent those, so it cannot get credit for them.

    Also, how could a system which so strongly emphasizes rote memorization over understanding possibly do well in educating people? Those test scores you speak of are worthless, because the tests themselves mostly test for rote memorization. Anyone who can memorize information and regurgitate it can do well on them. This has always been the case.

  • vek||

    You also missed my point. See my above posts. Not saying our system is perfect, it's horrible. I'm defending the concept of classes + teachers.

    Super achievers create themselves. The school system CANNOT create geniuses. And that's why my argument wins... Most people aren't geniuses, and never will be. Half of people don't even want to learn basic stuff, and you have to fight them tooth and nail to teach them basic math, history, English, etc.

    For a system that serves the needs of THE BULK of the population, classes with teachers works well enough. It is not meant to be the be all end all of education for people with ambition... It's just the foundation to build on. I went to public school, and I leaned how to read, write, do math, basic history (slanted of course, but that's a separate problem), and so on. Anybody who pays attention in school will be prepared to go on to whatever next step they choose, be that university, self learning, or being a slacker that works as a waitress forever.

    No matter what system we have, we will never turn low IQ people with no interest in learning into Einstein or Newton. But we can and should teach those people basic math, English, etc so they're not completely ignorant. Even our borked system kinda-sorta gets that job done.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Are homeschooling parents interested in serving the "right kind of kid," or instead in shielding their children from science, modernity, reason, and the American mainstream?

  • grips||

    No.

    Glad I could make you slightly less stupid.

  • Migrant Log Chipper||

    That's sadly un-possible wrt artie poo.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Home schooling, home farming, home crafting, home birthing. What's next, home mining and smelting? Home organ transplants? Let's undo 5000 years of technical and social development.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    Yes, we certainly wouldn't want anyone operating any sort of business from their home. Where might that madness lead us?

  • Sevo||

    Did you carry that straw man all the way from home?

  • Left ± Right > Hihn||

    Well why the fuck not?

    Why not do home mining and smelting? If you can find people willing to try it, why not do home organ transplants?

  • TLBD||

    Home schooling, home farming, home crafting, home birthing. What's next, home mining and smelting? Home organ transplants? Let's undo 5000 years of technical and social development.

    So, robots and other machines, virtual reality, 3D printing, etc are going to bring us backwards 5000 years?

  • bvandyke||

    How about home government? Do you live at home? With that attitude I think you probably should live in a tent camp in Seattle.

  • CE||

    Home government sounds like a better and more affordable alternative.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Cause you can't eat cake unless a professional bakes it in a bakery that, by law, serves all potential customers?

  • CE||

    Home surgery. Home banking.

  • Echospinner||

    Home banking, accounting and finance can as is done very well from home or remote workspace.

    Medicine very much so. Telemedicine is a big field. Surgeons use it as well to review cases, consults, labs, imaging and other things without needing to be at the hospital or office for all that.

    In corporate work same things happen. You can do much more from home than you could in the past.

    Education same deal.

    We are far more connected by the internets thingy than the past. Libertarians should applaud. It is a victory for individuals to choose their own work and workplace.

    Technology is the most liberating force ever.

  • Tony||

    These so-called "unschoolers" allow children to explore topics they are passionate about

    Great. When future aliens discover the remnants of our civilization they will find that, try as we did, we couldn't sustain a Pokemon-based economy.

    (I don't know what the fuck kids are into these days.)

  • ||

    (I don't know what the fuck kids are into these days.)


    This doesn't stop you from writing a stupid comment,however.

  • Tony||

    The whole point of school is to force kids to learn stuff they either wouldn't be interested in or didn't know about.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    The whole point of school is to force

    We know, Tony. We know.

  • Tony||

    I'd prefer if we didn't have to unleash a generation of uneducated morons on America before you guys are convinced that forcing people to do things has some utility.

  • perlchpr||

    The problem is, your folks policies mostly have unleashed a generation of morons on America. So, I remain unconvinced that your policy solutions are correct.

  • Tony||

    My folks haven't been making much policy in the better part of a century. Obamacare. Woohoo.

  • bvandyke||

    Who do you consider "your folks"? I think you have a huge disconnect someplace.

  • ||

    My folks haven't been making much policy in the better part of a century


    Ummm..., since the 1916 election the Democrats have controlled the House 32 times versus Republicans 18 times.

    Since the same 1916 election Democrats have controlled the Senate 32 times versus Republicans 18 times except that some of those times have been ties.

    I'd have to say that "your folks" have been making policy for pretty much the most part of the last century since the Republicans, when they have been in power, have done little to reverse any of your really stupid policies (Social Security, anyone?) and have enacterd plenty of their own stupid policies.

  • ||

    This, in addition to the fact that Democrats have controlled most of the big (and medium-sized) city political machines for about the same time and we have a situation when anyone like you claims that "My folks haven't been making much policy in the better part of a century" is a joke.

  • Get To Da Chippah||

    If you were better educated you might have a greater knowledge of US history than the most recent 10 years.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Obamacare. Woohoo.

    Yep, the pinnacle achievement of progressives in this century is a law forcing everyone to buy a financial derivative. That's like a conservative bragging that he got gay sex added to the sex education curriculum of his local school.

  • Sevo||

    "I'd prefer if we didn't have to unleash a generation of uneducated morons on America...."

    "We" already have; you're the prime example.

  • TLBD||

    I'd prefer if we didn't have to unleash a generation of uneducated morons on America

    We already have, you're the prime example.

    (I know this has been said already, but I thought it worth repeating)

  • Left ± Right > Hihn||

    I'd prefer if we didn't have to unleash a generation of uneducated morons on America...

    Past Me, quit being the prime example of an uneducated moron unleashed on America.

  • Tony||

    An insult so weak and obvious you had to say it thrice.

  • Dariush||

    "An insult so weak and obvious you had to say it thrice."

    But so delightfully true!

  • Jickerson||

    If you don't like the sound of a generation of uneducated morons, then you must not like our school system very much.

    Hint: It's not homeschooled/unschooled people who are the problem.

  • grips||

    "I'd prefer if we didn't have to unleash a generation of uneducated morons on America"

    Because as a socialist, you hate competition...

  • Kivlor||

    Tony isn't exactly wrong about making kids learn things, even if they hate it. Like it or not, if you want your kids to be advantaged rather than disadvantaged they need to know stuff like financing.

  • ||

    Children do not need to be forced to learn things "like financing", they need to be shown that those things are important.

    Getting people to understand that things are important is better done through demonstration and persuasion than through force.

  • Shirley Knott||

    This.
    Oh, so much this.

  • Kivlor||

    Isaac, I agree that it is important and better done through demonstration and persuasion. But pretending that there won't be kids who just hate it or have no interest in it seems wishful thinking. That few will be better served by being made to learn it.

    I've considered homeschooling my kids, and particularly I've considered "unschooling" them. But in the end, if you can't find methods that they like, they will have to be made to do it. Just like making their bed, cleaning their room, brushing their teeth, taking a bath, etc.

  • vek||

    Yeah... Some people just don't care. By some, I mean LOTS.

    There are probably double digit percentages of people who would literally decide NOT to learn math beyond basic addition and subtraction if they weren't forced to do it. I mean I knew people like that in school.

    So while we should TRY to persuade people to have interest... I think there is value in forcing people to at least learn the BASICS of math, reading, writing, history, etc. Because if you don't force them many people will just not learn any of it. With those kind of people 90% of it is in one ear and out the other anyway, but at least they end up with that 10% that sticks. With how ignorant most people end up after being forced to learn stuff, I shudder at the idea of how ignorant they'd be without even the half ass education the public schools force upon them.

  • bvandyke||

    Too bad public education doesn't teach anything like personal finance or economics.

  • No Longer Amused||

    Not true. Most teachers in public schools are well versed in Marx and Keynes....

  • Kivlor||

    I'm actually in agreement with this. My point was not in agreement that public schools are good, or the better/best method for instructing, but that in cases where someone absolutely just is not interested in learning an important subject to their development, they very well may need to be told "This is something you have to do, even if you don't like it. We all have to do things we don't like."

  • vek||

    Seriously. People have no clue about personal finances, and it's mind boggling. I know people that learned a single technical skill, make good money... And have ZERO clue about anything. It's crazy. So they just make these horrible financial decisions left and right, and then wonder how/why they're broke when they make good money.

    This is how people who make modest $50K a year salaries end up millionaires and retire early, and guys who make $150K a year end up broke and still having to work at 70.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Tony, the knowledge economy was Clinton's idea back in the 1990's. According to the strategy, we didn't need a manufacturing sector, because we would all earn a living planning each other's weddings. How is that more practical that making a living playing Pokemon?

  • vek||

    Shhh! Don't bring up the fact that there is a difference between a true productive job that produces NEW value out of thin air, and a job that merely shuffles money from one person to another. That stuff is anathema to people who think we can throw basic things like manufacturing, mining, etc under the bus.

    There is surely a place for wedding planners in the world, AKA most of the service industry, but it DOES NOT produce new value. It merely shuffles it around between people. The fewer truly productive jobs in an economy, the more fragile the entire economy is.

  • Echospinner||

    The goal of education is to create individuals who are capable of teaching themselves. The actual body of knowledge you get through high school age is not much. What you should have are the tools to further your goals and learn throughout life.

    The Open School is an interesting idea, past Montessori even. My wife was a Montessori teacher for years and has always agreed that it works great for some kids but not all of them.

    There are a lot of education systems that rely on strict curriculum and rote memorization. Egypt and Iran for example. Yes they produce people with degrees including STEM fields but very little in innovation and original research.

  • ||

    Rote drills like the times tables are useful in the education of small children. But it is also easy to make them fun for small children. It is important, however, to add to such exercises an explanation of the theoretical underpinnings of multiplication as the child becomes capable of understanding them.

    OTOH, it is not required that every child becomes a mathematical genius, there are many other things that are useful in this world. But, the virtually automatic knowledge that 9X7=63 ot 7X5=35 is immensely useful, no matter what life pursuits he or she pursues.

    In fact, it is not required that every child becomes a genius of any kind whatever.

  • Jickerson||

    People don't need to be geniuses, but if we're going to have (for example) math classes, they should be able to understand the material that these classes are supposed to be teaching. Rote memorization does not impart understanding upon people. In fact, oftentimes, rote memorization impedes understanding, because it places the focus in the wrong places (regurgitating information) and makes the subject seem intolerably boring.

    Times tables are not actually a good argument in favor of the general use of rote memorization; they are more of an exception than anything. Additionally, times tables are more about really basic math, and this falls apart when getting into more advanced material.

    So, while memorization is needed sometimes, we use it too much. Due to that, our standards are pathetically low. It's to the point where even an A+ math student rarely has a deep understanding of the material, because that simply is not required to get a high grade.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "There are a lot of education systems that rely on strict curriculum and rote memorization. Egypt and Iran for example. Yes they produce people with degrees including STEM fields but very little in innovation and original research."

    I appreciate that.

    I'm wondering how high school age kids get to the point where they're ready to enter a STEM field in college without a parent (or teacher) making them sit down and do homework--sometimes when they don't want to.

    I'm also wondering how a young elementary school kid comes to memorize his multiplication tables--if he doesn't want to.

    The option to enter a STEM field in college needs to be there. Kids don't always become interested in the things they need to know. They're not always interested in doing other things they need to do, too, like cleaning their rooms. Parents are there to make them do that stuff, and if kids resent it, that might be part of growing up to be independent. Maybe resentment against parental authority is the beginning of all libertarianism.

    Evey kid is different, and I'm sure more flexibility for "unschooling" benefits different kids in different ways, but I'd be hard pressed not to insist on teaching him at least Math.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Take your kid hiking up a mountain at an impressionable age. Point to the neighboring mountain and say, "See that mountain? STEM courses will teach you how to move it. Social Science and Humanity courses will teach you how to organize an annual festival on the top of it where you smoke weed and talk about how great it is to let the mountain stay natural." If that doesn't motivate him to earn a STEM degree, encourage him to move somewhere with a low cost of living when he gets older.

  • Jickerson||

    There are a lot of education systems that rely on strict curriculum and rote memorization. Egypt and Iran for example.

    The US is another example.

  • n00bdragon||

    Turns out, as we always knew, that the key to getting a good primary education is to have a competent and motivated full-time teacher. It doesn't matter if you get that at home or in a public education system, or if you get it on a curriculum, or not. Given that people who currently homeschool their children are among the most competent and motivated in America (who can afford to give up working a job in order to work as a tutor for their own children) it shouldn't be any surprise how homeschoolers perform on standardized tests (even if there is a noticeable and entirely-within-their-rights-but-still-stupid anti-science agenda among a large percentage of them).

    People who think the solution to American's education problem is expanding the number of homeschoolers are wrong though. Since only the most motivated and competent currently do it, the expansion of homeschooling can only expand to less motivated and less competent parents who are less able to afford to live on a single income. What really needs to be done is kill off the public school system, freeing tax dollars that can then be spent on private education. For poor people, that education is probably going to suck, but since those people are getting an education little better than daycare until age 18 today the deleterious effects on society would likely be minimal.

  • Tony||

    Well-put first paragraph, absolutely unhinged second paragraph. The whole point of public institutions is to mitigate the prevalence of social Darwinism. And then there's the cynicism. Public schools, deliberately underfunded via the efforts of rightwing ideologues trying to prove themselves right.

    Like any other public service, the point being to include everyone rich or poor, the metrics will average lower than a selective system, as your first paragraph so aptly explains.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Social Darwinism? Who came up with that idea? Please cite your sources, Tony.

  • CE||

    Deliberately underfunded? Since when? More like deliberately overstaffed with administrators.

  • vek||

    Sorry Tony, schools have more money than they ever have. In recent decades it has mostly gone into administrative bloat though unfortunately. The Teachers Unions should get pissed about their lowish wages, and lack of autonomy in their classrooms, and demand useless administrators be fired so they can all get raises and be more free to do what works for their classes!

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Underfunded? Tony. Hang your head in shame.

  • grips||

    "The whole point of public institutions is to mitigate the prevalence of social Darwinism"

    No actually, it isn't.

    How are you so stupid?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    People who think the solution to American's education problem is expanding the number of homeschoolers are wrong though. Since only the most motivated and competent currently do it, the expansion of homeschooling can only expand to less motivated and less competent parents who are less able to afford to live on a single income.

    Perhaps, or perhaps not. I wonder what percentage of unmotivated parents would have used birth control if homeschooling was their only option.

  • Hamster of Doom||

    Talking pets are a lot more effort when society stops promising permanent subsidized daycare.

  • C. S. P. Schofield||

    This all sounds very swell and inspirational, BUT it is important to remember that much the same "let the kids study what they are patio mate about" mantra was used to support Progressive Education, Open Classrooms, and the like...and they degenerated rather swiftly into the mess we have today.

    It is important to remember that there are some basic skills - spelling, reading comprehension, basic math - which are not really subject to the 'learning should be fun' incantation. At core they are repetitive and tiresome to learn. They are also crucial to being ABLE to learn the fun stuff on any serious level.

    HAVING a basic education is a great deal of fun; it allows you to study pretty much anything that catches your fancy, though you may not have the talent to go far with it. ACQUIRING a basic education is a slog. Worth it, though.

  • Brian||

    Just drop your kids off in Mexico City with nothing but the shirt on their backs.

    They'll learn more over a few months than they ever would in a decade of school, including Spanish.

  • LeaveTrumpAloneLiberal-tarian||

    While we're talking about schools: I think it's actually been more than 48 hours since the last mass shooting in America so it's now officially not too soon to comment.

    As a red-blooded Trump supporter I think the best way to address school shootings is to drop kindergarteners in Mexico City with a gun and let them figure it out. The ones that come back will probably be well-equipped to handle something as piddly as some teenager off his anti-depressants. Good idea?

  • Left ± Right > Hihn||

    Hey, Yellow Tony, did they try this in your universe? If so, how'd it work out?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    In some communities, it's traditional to slip lethal dosages of stimulants in the coffee of someone's relatives until he figures out that his actions are taboo. If all the cousins of the Pulse shooter started dying one at a time on the first of every month, well ... we probably would get fewer mass shootings.

  • Sevo||

    OT
    When do you quit being a refugee and turn into a resident?

    "Palestinians condemn US ending funding for UN refugee agency"
    [...]
    " The Palestinians on Saturday condemned the U.S. decision to end its decades of funding for the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees,..."
    WaPo and plenty of others.

    Pretty sure it's some time well under "decades".

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Yeah ... I'm still waiting for progressives to demand birthright citizenship for UNRWA refugees in the countries they were born in.

  • Sevo||

    No criticism, just not understanding; how about a better description?

  • sharmota4zeb||

    The UN has 2 refugee agencies. One called UNRWA that helps Palestinians and another that helps all the other refugees. Funding for each agency is based on the number of refugees it handles. All other refugees only count as refugees if they fled the land they were born in. Efforts are made to settle these refugees in new host countries. UNRWA considers a Palestinian to be a refugee if he or his ancestors fled Israel. This greatly increases UNRWA's caseload and, consequently, its funding.

    Many Muslim majority countries that contain Palestinian refugee camps refuse to grant birthright citizenship to the Palestinians born there on the grounds that they want Palestinians to maintain ties to the country they came from. They also single out Palestinians with laws that restrict their economic and private rights. Birthright citizenship is important. A few days ago, Reason accused Trump of ignoring the birthright citizenship of children born to immigrants in the USA. Imagine the outrage if America, France, or the UK decided that families from a specific area would not get birthright citizenship even after living in their new country for 70 years.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    Make that, "All other refugees only count as refugees if they fled the land they lived in."

  • Echospinner||

    Well said.

  • No Longer Amused||

    Anyone that actually succeeds in gaining an education while in public school did so in spite of the school system, not because of it.

  • What's that smell?||

    This may be true for urban schools but there are top notch suburban public schools that are conduits for top, even ivy league, universities.

  • Jickerson||

    It's true in the vast majority of cases, actually. People seem to rely on test scores to determine whether a school is "good" or not, but that breaks down when you realize that the tests require little more than rote memorization to solve. Thus, doing well on the tests is not actually an accomplishment at all.

    When standards are pathetically low, meeting or even exceeding those standards is not necessarily impressive.

  • vek||

    I'm sure it's worse than when I went to school, but I think there is plenty of education to be had. I lived in a not affluent suburb, an affluent suburb, and a small town while in K-12. I learned plenty. Especially with the three Rs (readin', 'rightin', and 'rithmatic) I don't see where one could ask for much more. History and the like could have been better, and was certainly very slanted politically, but gives a decent broad overview to anybody who is paying attention too.

    The only people I know who came out of government schools totally ignorant still were really unintelligent people, or people who simply had zero interest. I don't know that there's a lot to be done for those people anyway.

    Getting rid of the indoctrination portions of PS would probably be the biggest thing to fix IMO.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    If I could do it over again, I would have lead my high school students on walks through the neighborhood and let them fail the regents instead of expecting them to reach an academic level that was unreasonable given their prior education and current living conditions. After a certain point, a teacher can ignore the curriculum set in the state capital until the municipal leaders make life bearable enough for the kids to focus on learning.

  • Eddy||

    From the New York Times, of all places:


    Defending Pope Francis, Allies Help Make a Critic's Case

    Oops!

    Without getting into the weeds, a couple former Vatican spokespeople, trying to defend the Pope, ended up contradicting Francis' account of a Papal meeting with "anti-gay" Kentucky clerk Kim Davis. Yes, Kim Davis.

    Personally, this is like the alleged secret punishment meted out to McCarrick - if it had been out in the open there wouldn't be room for these bitter quarrels about what happened. Likewise if the Pope had met Kim Davis publicly rather than sneaking her into a private room like he was smuggling in his mistress for a nooner, then we wouldn't be having these bitter quarrels about the meeting.

  • sharmota4zeb||

    "You never told me that she had four husbands," the pope protested, Archbishop Viganò told them, they wrote.

    That is so sexist. I can't imagine the Pope ruling out a meeting with a religiously motivated conscientious objector just because he has has four wives. The second amendment guarantees the first amendment.

  • Eddy||

    What happened to outreach to divorced-and-remarried persons? So judgmental.

  • NoVaNick||

    I would homeschool (or unschool?) my sons if I had the energy to do so. Probably would have to switch to working part-time, too, which is not really an option given the cost of living in the DC metro area. The public schools where I live are mediocre and private costs as much as tuition at a private college. Even if the public schools were excellent though, I think homeschooling really provides a unique opportunity for a child to develop into an independent thinker. Parents have to be extremely motivated to do it, just like anyone who wants to create a start-up, otherwise, it won't work.

  • Sevo||

    NoVaNick|9.3.18 @ 12:07AM|#
    "I would homeschool (or unschool?) my sons if I had the energy to do so. Probably would have to switch to working part-time, too, which is not really an option given the cost of living in the DC metro area. The public schools where I live are mediocre and private costs as much as tuition at a private college. Even if the public schools were excellent though, I think homeschooling really provides a unique opportunity for a child to develop into an independent thinker. Parents have to be extremely motivated to do it, just like anyone who wants to create a start-up, otherwise, it won't work."

    I got 'guidance' from my folks after I got home from school, sometimes at dinner; it corrected a lot of BS. Sit down with them and talk. You don't have to be the 'primary' teacher to make the difference.
    I don't know you, so the "you" here is generic, but if you're too busy gaming or such, you prolly ought to take a look at your priorities

  • Harvard||

    I read a report on some study, by somebody, from somewhere once. Lost to memory. At any rate the study posed that the most effective and least expensive factor parents could do to improve their parenting was to establish early on a family dinner time, where ALL members are present. And be rigorous and faithful in implementing this practice, above ball practice, golf league, etc. of course, this implies an intact family and responsible adults, so those are factors that come first.

  • Echospinner||

    I am not, but one thing I give credit to Orthodox Jews is the Sabbath (Shabbat).

    One day a week, the phones, TV, gadgets are all put away. The family sits down for meals together. Nobody goes to work or school and you can only go as far as you can walk. They spend time as a family without all of the distractions.

    At least we can learn to set aside some designated time together as families each week like that.

  • SIV||

    One of the worst widely held opinions I frequently hear is "that should be in a museum, it's not right that it is hidden away in a private collection, that belongs to all of us". God how I hate that. Don't even get me started on what happens to out-of-scope donations to public museums and that prohibitions/restrictions on de-accession results in the destruction of so much of our culture. Our cultural patrimony is best held in fucking private collections and when they are broken up the right thing to do is put them up for public sale to the highest bidder. The Louvre, the Uffizi ( I think that's still "private"), the British Museum and even the Smithsonian generally do a pretty good job of preserving our culture but the flipside is this.. Sure would've been better if all that shit was dispersed in a couple of dozen rich mofos living rooms who didn't appreciate it for anything more than a signal of wealth and status and culture or as a way to bang smart chicks now wouldn't it? Fuck government and fuck everyone who supports it.

  • Eddy||

    That's funny, after clicking on this article I started getting an ad from the National Education Association.

  • Sevo||

    Eddy|9.3.18 @ 12:31AM|#
    "That's funny, after clicking on this article I started getting an ad from the National Education Association."

    There are times, when I thought I clicked on an article, where Reason's steam-powered server jumped and it seems the click was on 'funny T shirts' or some such bullshit.
    Welsh, that's one of the reasons my contribution over the last several years went from some decent number to this one:
    Zero.

  • Echospinner||

    But at least the t shirt models are attractive.

  • Kivlor||

    For anyone interested in a lengthy but very worthwhile discussion on education, I highly recommend John Taylor Gatto. His interview titled "The Ultimate History Lesson" is really good, but be warned it is 5 hours long.

  • Kivlor||

    A much shorter, but very succinct and worthwhile video is his "14 Principles of Elite Boarding Schools" where he discusses what the best schools in the US all have common in curriculum / requirements / goals for growing their students. These are the schools that people like Zuckerberg and many presidents attended.

  • Kivlor||

    He ID's these as:
    1.) Confer a theory of human nature attained through the study of History, philosophy, theology, literature, and law.
    2.) A strong experience with the active literacies: writing and public speaking.
    3.) Insight into the major institutional forms (Political, Military, Corporate)
    4.) Repeated exercises in the forms of good manners and politeness, based on the fact that these things are the basis of future relationships.
    5.) Independent work.
    6.) Energetic physical sports are not a luxury, but are rather the only way to confer grace on the human presence.
    7.) A complete theory of access to any workplace or any person. (ie privately meet with your governor)
    8.) Responsibility as an utterly essential part of the curriculum. Always grab for responsibility when it is offered, and always deliver more than what is expected.
    9.) Arrive at a personal code of standards. Standards of production, behavior, and morality.
    10.) Familiarity with the master creations of the arts so that you are at ease within all the arts.
    11.) Realize the power of accurate observation and recording. (ie keeping a journal with drawings)
    12.) The ability to handle challenges of all sorts. Challenges are different for different people.
    13.) A habit of caution in reasoning to conclusions.
    14.) The constant development and testing of judgments.

  • Kivlor||

    This should have been under the 14 Principles comment... Sorry about that

  • vek||

    Mostly seems pretty reasonable.

    The thing with elite private schools is that the kids that go there are all "elite" too. People like to ignore that people are born with an IQ, and that largely limits how well somebody will do with basically anything they try. IQ in individuals is mostly heritable (69-70% being the kinda middle road consensus), so rich smart parents have smart kids. If you sent randomly selected kids from the ghetto to those schools, they would probably only do marginally better than the kids back in the broken ass public school. So while these methods would probably improve average to above average kids results a lot, it would likely be to more limited effect with the not so bright kids.

    This is one of those things some libertarians don't like to grapple with... Because it is accepting that people ARE NOT all equal... But it's true none the less.

  • Kivlor||

    Yeah, it wont work much for kids below a certain IQ (my guess is below 75, but that's a guess) but fortunately the overwhelming majority would benefit from it. Obviously some will benefit more than others.

  • vek||

    Yeah, as I said it would probably improve things for a good chunk of people, AKA they'd do better than they would have. However it would not bring them up to the averages currently achieved by these schools.

    My state growing up had a program called GATE, Gifted And Talented Education. I went into that program for awhile before I got myself kicked out because I didn't want to work that hard... Bad call on elementary school mes part, but by junior high I could do advanced classes in a regular school anyway... But I digress. If you only looked at the scores of the 25ish kids per grade in GATE, my city's test scores would look insanely good. We had a slightly smaller class size, and more attention... But giving those things to all students would still only have increased their outcomes very slightly, because they didn't have the capacity that the kids in GATE did.

    Same deal here. It's not that we shouldn't improve the system for everybody, but realistic expectations need to be kept in mind.

  • Echospinner||

    " People like to ignore that people are born with an IQ, and that largely limits how well somebody will do with basically anything they try. IQ in individuals is mostly heritable"

    IQ is not shoe size. It is just one more subjective thing put out by, people of higher IQ.

    Taller people achieve higher income.

    Yes some preople have better intelligence than others. What we call intelligence is not one thing. LeBraun James does not just have amazing physical abilities he has a photographic memory for every basketball play and insight into basketball strategy and tactics. That is intelligence in the game of basketball. I bet quantum physics not so much.

    That is not to say that there are not people with more or less ability in life. Far from it.

    Libertarians do not value outcomes. We should value opportunity for each individual.

  • Kivlor||

    Let's be real, Echo. There's room for ~300 people in the NBA. In all of pro-sports, there's less than 4,000 such positions available in pro-sports in the USA. 4,000 LeBron James can get a well-paying job, making them outliers. The US Military won't take you if you have an

  • vek||

    Echo, IQ is NOT all. But IQ is the single best predictor of life success we have. It is a better predictor than socio-economic status of parents, where you were born, race, sex, anything. High IQ people simply do better ON AVERAGE. There are exceptions to every rule, but IQ is a solid proxy for what most people mean when they say "smart." It also predicts criminality, likelihood of divorce, rates of drug/alcohol abuse, etc. High IQ people do better than average on all those things.

    So whatever it measures, it's something really fucking useful!

    People have other types of intelligence, like James. or Beethoven, or Picasso. But most of those other types of intelligence have limited applications in the world. There are only so many pro athletes, musicians, painters, etc. There are ENDLESS jobs for people with that generic "smart" thing people talk about.

    People should do what they like, and people with those odd types of intelligence should be lauded when deserved, but generic smarts are what make the world go round... And IQ measures that very well.

  • CGN||

    The only problem I have with the above is that many parents themselves are not fit to teach their own kids. In addition, a ton of social benefits are learned by kids who go to a traditional school. The best approach would be to home school your kid(s), if you are fit to do so, and then send the kid(s) to CHAT (https://hsrchat.weebly.com) for social learning. I am a licensed teacher, and I would no more send my kids to public schools then poison their food.

  • Kivlor||

    Fortunately there are often homeschool groups you can get into, where people who are more capable can and will assist in educating your kids. I highly recommend anyone looking into homeschooling their children seek out the homeschool groups in their area. If there are none, consider starting one.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    What are these social benefits?

  • Homeschool Documentary||

    There's a documentary that is highly relevant to this article. Class Dismissed explores both homeschooling & unschooling & interviews of many experts. More info at http://classdismissedmovie.com

  • ||

    Reason has been frustratingly slow to accept the complete package of youth rights, but this article is a big step in the right direction. From unschooling, it's only a few steps to, let's say, letting children vote.

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  • macsnafu||

    Anything to shake up the "traditional" ideas of public schools. Let's not forget that the purpose of schooling, any kind of schooling, is to educate the kids.

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