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Author Topic: Of Schools and Socialization  (Read 4263 times)

dervish

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Of Schools and Socialization
« on: April 11, 2005, 05:04:59 am »

Hey!  I finally got around to posting this.  The below is a lengthy response I did to people who wondered how parents could "hurt" their children by homeschooling them.  (I have only changed this a little by taking out the personalized parts and editing and polishing it to a more general view.)

Many of them had said, "Children need socialization."  I pointed out how socialization occured outside of school, but it just wasn't penetrating.  They couldn't imagine it.  If all the kids are at school, then the homeschooler must be one lonely kid who longs for others to share his/her life with.  No boyfriend, no extracurricular activities, no prom.  The very thought moved them to tears.  

I finally made this lengthy response as it seemed necessary to explain how it was possible to have a social life outside the school system.  Some of the points I made are in  response to other things said (such as homeschooling parents were a bunch of crazed fundamentalists teaching their children that Earth is only 5 thousand years old, or something like that).  

As many of them call themselves liberals, I tailored it to a liberal mind.  This includes my suggesting the book below, Dangerous Schools. This book offers many solutions I disagree with, though I think they document the problem pretty well.  But it's a book written by liberals for liberals, and I chose to list  it as the bulk of those I was addressing would be more inclined to respect such a book.

I don't know if I made any sense to them, as the topic died almost right after I posted it.

Anyway, here's the response I shared:



You should not be concerned about a growing child's socialization skills if the said child does not attend a public or private school.  Julie Webb researched homeschooled students, and found that their socialization skills were often better than their peers. Since she did her research for 1989 Educational Review, I consider it unlikely that she came to her conclusions out of a desire to "create propaganda" for the promotion of homeschooling.
 
Furthermore, plenty of people dropped out of school, or did not go to school at all, and grew up to become famous politicians (including many of America's founding fathers), inventors (like the Wright Brothers; even Einstein had difficulties with school), and actors (like Whoopi Goldberg).  Such people could hardly be called socially or academically retarded.
 
This makes sense, as getting kids out of that dysfunctional atmosphere would do wonders to reduce tensions between adults and other kids, both.
 
Furthermore, many kids are damaged socially within the schools.  Many of them don't even survive it as they turn to suicide to escape the bullying and shunning by their fellow students and by their school faculty.  Everyone not able to fit in, and fool themselves as well as everyone else at doing so, is at risk.  The gay boy, the pagan teen, the intellectually gifted girl are just examples of those that can't fit into the system. They are too different for the school to be able to homogenize them into an easily controlled, comforming group.  Worse yet, the faculty often ignores (or even encourages) the abuse the popular (especially jocks and cheerleaders) dump on the unpopular (especially the obviously defiant, such as goths).

However, all of this is well-documented and explained in many books, sites, and other sources.  In particular,  Dangerous Schools : What We Can Do About the Physical and Emotional Abuse of Our Children by Irwin A. Hyman and Pamela A. Snook explores the emotional (and sometimes) physical damage done to students on an ordinary basis.  (This even includes undercover police officers that get teen girls pregnant and get away with it.)

Luckily, a school is not necessary for socialization, any more than it is for an education.  My experience suggests that schools are actually harmful to both socialization and academic achievement.  One thing I learned in school is that you can be surrounded by hundreds of kids and still be lonely and alienated. Schools don’t make friends for you, after all, or even provide a good environment for making friends in. With all the rules, there’s hardly any time to make friends at all.

A healthy social life requires much more than indifferent daily contact with a few hundred people born the same year you were. It doesn’t come from compulsory herding but from a healthy sense of self-esteem. This is something many schools actively destroy, and from more than just their forced "socialization."

A healthy social life also requires a sense of self-awareness. I suspect school is harmful here too, since so many "socialized" kids seem to be idiots who wish they were people on TV because they don’t seem to know who they are themselves. They also don’t seem to know how to do anything without being told, by their peers or by their teachers.

Friendships are more likely to be formed when no one is forced to "be socialized." Friendships require conversations and helping each other. In most classrooms this is against the rules, as such socialization is considered disruptive, or even "cheating." What is approved by school rules is sitting still, doing repetitive tasks, and suffering bullies silently.

Relationships are not limited to being in a building full of chalk dust -- though it may seem so if this is the only place you ever met people -- but are found everywhere that humans are found. Out in the real world is where people like me and people who have homeschooled or unschooled their entire lives have made friends. Sometimes, they make A LOT of friends (as I did).

Many also become friends with those who are schooled more conventially, especially if they used to go to school themselves. The world is FULL of romance and friendship and intimacy and passion just waiting to happen. This doesn’t require school. It requires other human beings, and friendships happen even easier outside of a school than within it. Why? Because you can find people who share your interests (rather than just the same birth year) and you aren’t restricted from talking and genuine socialization as you are in school the great majority of time.  Nor are you constantly hounded by bullying kids and adults obsessed with making sure their supremacy is acknowledged.

If the thought of making friends outside of a school stuns you then you should broaden your horizons. As I took my life and the lives of others for granted, having experienced relationships outside of school firsthand, what I’m about to share seems perfectly obvious to me.

So what goes on then? Other friends (possibly those in a more conventional school setting) visit as always, and you can do your homework/academic projects together (they don’t have to be the same thing, either). Or you could work on a project together  such as building something, working on a novel together, or making a video together. Skateboarding, surfing, and cycling (including all kinds of interesting stunts and tricks)  are popular activities that can count as good PE (except that it's fun). Of course, simple friendship with some shared music is good enough. You can always set up more formal projects later if you want.

I found that many didn’t apply to work at McDonald’s the way highschoolers often will, but started their own biz. This could be the standard lawn care individuals and groups, but also includes cleaning services, automotive repair, custom-painting skateboards or tye-dying clothes as just a few examples. This leads to further contacts, further socialization, and to more relationships, as well as teaching responsibility and a good work ethic.

Many like to join clubs including (but not limited to) the Society for Creative Anachronism, the Sierra Club, Amnesty International, Greenpeace, and many smaller organizations. I knew some who were tree sitters (the ones that hostile critics say were skipping school? Nope, many of them were homeschooled or unschooled!) There are also many groups devoted to just about any kind of hobby or interest or endeavor including frisbee teams, performance guilds, outdoor programs of universities, drumming circles, mountain search and rescue, and even city planning committees.

Natch, there is always the YMCA/YWCA, the 4-H Club, and plenty of religious organizations (not restricted to Christianity or even monotheism), sports teams, scouts (uh, don’t ask, don’t tell!), youth symphonies and garage bands, and teen support groups and hotlines. Community leagues, colleges, private schools, and church leagues often have groups and sports teams in which unschoolers can participate. (In some places, nothing stops unschoolers or homeschoolers from forming their own teams.) There are plenty of museums, science organizations, and other groups that accept volunteers. I knew some homeschoolers that formed an environmental club (based on books like Fifty Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth). Various activist groups also form connections for many young people to have a life with.

Unschoolers and homeschoolers also make their own groups (have I mentioned that?). Btw, here’s the Not Back To School Camps:

http://www.nbtsc.org/

Some even travel the world and become involved in international affairs. You can find books written by or about unschoolers who did just that.


In addition to forming contacts and friendships just about anywhere you go, we are not barred from the standard hangouts. I met plenty of kids at the movies and malls and beaches. It’s hard NOT to form friendships! I wasn’t shunned for being outside of school, either (or if I was, it was a lot less than when I was in school). Many kids thought my unschooling was cool, whether or not they had any interest in leaving school themselves. Nor was I angry and bitter the way I had been in school (and this might’ve helped me to make friends, too). There was also more time to spend with friends who shared my interests. In a way, I had my cake and ate it, too, like so many others.

I had more friends once I left school than I ever did before, too. I think I got invited to more parties outside of school (including by those who still went to school) than I ever did when I was a part of school. I also formed many pen pals and internet connections and have met a few of those people since then, too. This is also a common practice among those who get an education outside of school.

Overall, homeschoolers find their self reliance and esteem enhanced, while the negative effects of peer pressure (including bullying, shunning, etc) are almost completely eliminated. Younger unschoolers (like 12 to 14) find it wonderful not to be expected to be saddled with a boyfriend/girlfriend (or to have sex or do drugs) in order to be accepted.

In an informal group hosted by a few sympathetic adults (including a school teacher disillusioned with public education), we often found our highschool peers immature, inexperienced, and uninteresting. I admit that many who came to our group were sent there for extra credit (which they needed), but having reviewed some sources I see that our perceptions are shared by the majority of other homeschoolers and unschoolers.

One former unschooler adds that unschooling allows teens to stay "young" as long as they want, but also to "grow up" as soon as they are ready. (I would also add that unschoolers have a lot more practice being adults by the time they really are adults, which is no small advantage over highschoolers that suddenly find themselves 18 before they know it, and almost no experience at being an adult.)

Unschoolers can also keep up with any former (or new) relationships with conventional highschoolers (though the fact that highschoolers have a lot less time can be frustrating). They tend to grow closer to their families and start liking their parents and siblings more. While they tend to have fewer casual friendships, they generally develop stronger and closer friendships with those they like. They also don’t have to spend time around those they don’t have a lot in common with (no more than the average adult). Their friends include children younger and older and many adults. They get over any former feelings that they can’t talk to adults. Most unschoolers (including myself) find plenty of adults to act as role models and mentors. Apprenticeships and internships are common. For the first time, many of us form healthy relationships with adults.

Here are what some homeschoolers and unschoolers have to say on the matter (as shared by The Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn):


"My confidence has grown immensely--I am not judged for reasons such as clothes, money, or my looks.... My social life is better than it ever was at school. I meet people at the YMCA, ballet class, and I have adult friends."

    --Suzanne Klemp, YMCA ballet teacher, age 15


     

"My social life is much more rounded than school kids’; I talk to anyone and everyone the same. I’ve noticed that most kids will talk to anyone younger than them but only superficially, and hardly talk to adults at all except when spoken to. I don’t believe in that and make a point of showing that I’ll talk to anyone about anything. On the track team there’s all ages and I’m friends with all equally. I don’t make a point of talking someone just because of closeness in age. For example, I talk to the little boys in kindergarten because we share a common hatred of the rock group New Kids on the Block. And the coaches ask me quite important things such as make sure so-and-so is standing in the right lane, and sometimes they get so mixed up I have to remind them what they are suppose to be doing (they are grateful for it).

"I have about thirty pen-pals and they range in age from about ten to fifty. I consider these my friends and my social life because you can be social through the mail. I may not have as many friends and acquaintances as other kids but it is not the amount but the quality of friendship that counts."

    --Anne Brosnan, 13



     

"I am friends with the adults who live in the house next door to us....Dick is interested in bicycling and philosophy and Crunch is interested in word games, movies, and sports. These are all things that I am interested in, which is one of the reasons I immediately became friends with them. The other reason is that they take me seriously and respect what I have to say about things. They are a few things that I talk to them about that I don’t talk to most of my friends who are closer in age to me (I’m 13)--for instance, politics and education.

"I don’t think my friendship with them is very different from my friendships with other teenagers, except for the fact that we have better conversations. We often fool around with each other the way I would friends my own age. I think that they are many things I can learn from them, but that doesn’t make me feel that they are necessarily superior to me. They are probably things that they can learn from me also. I do think that we have a very equal friendship, most likely because they respect me in the same way that I respect them."

 --Jeremiah Gingold, from GWS (Growing Without Schooling) #74





That’s why I don’t agree with the assumption that people who do not go to school are socially damaged--simply because they’re not. I find it sad that some people can only imagine people making friends in a place that they are forced to go to and often aren’t allowed to talk to each other most of the time. If this is the only way you could make friends, you have led a very sad life.

I also wonder how many homeschoolers and unschoolers commit suicide, become pregnant, or addicted to drugs when compared to regular schoolers. I would think the number is much higher among more conventional schools.  I have yet to hear of a homeschooler or unschooler who shot anyone as a student, let alone take out a library or family.

To me, asserting that we must send children to our outdated and outmoded schools so that they can fit into society sounds too much like the idea that we must mutilate the genitals of young girls so that they can be accepted into their society. (We wouldn’t want to ruin their "socialization" now, would we?)

Furthermore, the idea that only "They" can teach us how to deal with other human beings (despite the heavy toll on our young people it takes and despite socially retarding policies) sounds as superstitious (and so wrong as to be a sign of insanity) to me as the idea that only the Christian Church (despite its holy wars and teaching that unbelievers, gays, pagans, and sometimes even women are to be pitied or hated) can teach us to love one another and treat each other right.

Some people have come down upon Christian fundamentalists as typical homeschoolers wanting to foist Creationism on their young (stereotype much?).  But you’ll find more of them at a casual glance because they are so much more aggressive in this as they are in getting themselves onto PUBLIC school boards or getting Creationism--or what they like to call Intelligent Design-- into the curriculum at public schools.

But they provide at least as many opportunities for learning and socialization as any public school.  They just think that schools have become too secular. (Amazing when you consider all the counselors that seem to be looking for signs of satanism in youth, and even kids expelled--I kid you not--for casting curses on teachers.)  And I feel compelled to add that religious schools often provide superior academic achievement for their students while such things as school shootings almost never happen at one (as opposed to the 98% of school shootings that take place in a public school).  Some homeschoolers I know that were raised in a Christian environment were also more responsible than your typical highschooler.

I will agree that everything bad that happens in school is not the fault of the schools.  But as school should not be blamed for everything, neither should they be praised for everything. Life--inside or outside of school--is what you make of it, not what someone else makes of it for you. It is wrong, IMO, to shift blame of anything bad that happens in school onto the student and parents while at the same time make the claim that everything good happens is not because of the parents or student but because of the school. It is not that people learn and have a life in spite of themselves thanks to school, but that people learn and have life despite schools.

This becomes even more apparent as you look at how many teachers, including those who win awards, are heavily involved with the homeschooling and unschooling movements. This is understandable when you find out how the famous teachers that have had movies made about them or showed up on Ophrah have failed to change the school system despite the methods proven to work by these these teachers.  

One famous teacher named Jaime Escalante even went so far as to show how schools could be improved, but the real lesson is what the school system did to him as a result:

http://reason.com/0207/fe.jj.stand.shtml



I realize that sharing this with those who have already made up their minds on this (whether to sympathetic to my view or not) is pointless, but for those who are wondering, a social life does exist outside of the walls of a school. EVERY problem and objection anyone can think to raise in regards to homeschooling and unschooling has been dealt with. Teachers that help in both the homeschooling and unschooling paths have written many books that explain how kids can have a social life, have an interesting and active life, join a sports team, gain an internship, and go to college (even Harvard). All you have to do, if you’re interested, is learn about it.

(But if you’re unable to learn without some authority figure putting it in front of you and assigning homework over it, then I guess you’re pretty screwed and should just follow orders. You should also sit up straighter as you read this, too. Now. Should you ever lose your vaunted position as a wage slave, remember the military can always use new people now, and is full of new friends for you. Which is important to keep in mind as you’ll never have friends outside of the military. Hey, I told you to stop slouching! )

It’s possible that my experiences aren't typical (though they are common enough) and that all schools aren’t as toxic as I think they are. But I know for a fact that homeschooling and unschooling aren’t as toxic as others make it out to be. They are perfectly healthy and viable alternatives. IMO, until schools radically change, homeschooling and unschooling will continue to be a better path in learning and in making friends.

I apologize for the length, but it seemed necessary for pointing out the obvious.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2005, 09:51:39 pm by dervish »
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David

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Of Schools and Socialization
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2005, 05:19:35 am »

Dervish,
I take you are home schooled?
Your post is excellent.
 
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dervish

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Of Schools and Socialization
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2005, 05:44:33 am »

Ty.

Right after the 1999 Columbine shooting I had to leave school and take up unschooling (after a period of "destressing").  It's a completely different world.  I wish I had been unschooled from day one as I learned so much more that way.  

I'm 22 now, so I'm technically not a student.  Yet I still actively learn using the methods of unschooling, and I've had a college professor tell me I had more brains (and the ability to use it) than most of the students that take his class.

I'm still in touch with one former homeschooler  who now goes to highschool after homeschooling for 16 years.  She's very glad to be getting out of her public school this year as she says it's an asylum that causes her much despair, especially as many are now adults just like her and yet act like overgrown children.  She also says if anyone was worse than the highschoolers, it was her teachers.  She doesn't know which is more appaling in all too many teachers and highschoolers--their lack of maturity or their ignorance.  She's still shocked by how she was facing a weapons charge on her first day to school for having her knitting needles......

Anyway, I do think that schools could possibly be fixed (if it were ever allowed), but for the time being parents are better off homeschooling (or whatever).  
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debeez

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Of Schools and Socialization
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2005, 09:53:30 am »

dervish-

Well said, well thought out post.

I will always regret not taking my daughter out of school sooner.  The damage that was done seems irreconcilable at times.  

She now has two main friends, from the large group that she ran with while still in school.  I figure the rest of the group were just fairweather friends, they hung out together because they had school in common and nothing else.  The two that remained have more of a connection, intellectually, spiritually, and interest-wise.  They are good kids, honest, peaceable, and love to come over and spend their weekends at our house.  One is gay, both are Wiccan, and they struggle to stay in school, wishing it were just over with and they could get on with their lives.

They have told horror stories about counselors who were supposed to help them and only targeted them for wearing black and getting bad grades.  And having had our own horror stories with the same counselors I can only commiserate...I know how bad those people are.  

Homeschool is not an option for either of them, which is a shame, for I really question whether either of them will graduate.  They have been beaten down by people who profess to care about kids and instead tell them what losers they are and how useless of human beings they are.

We often have discussions about major and minor issues and, despite their negative experiences with "education", they really enjoy learning and listening to the three of us (the boyfriend, kiddo, and I) discuss whatever nugget of info we have learned recently.  They refer to my daughter as a walking encyclopedia and absolutely love to spend time with the boyfriend and I (to my daughter's chagrin and annoyance).

It is a sad and poignant reminder though, of the little story in the beginning of Grace Llewellyn's "Teenage Liberation Handbook".  When it comes to school, they have lost their love of learning, due to it being rammed forcefully down their gullets.  I try and wake it back up again, and hopefully encourage them to keep learning, albeit, in their own way and independently of the the public school system.

I talk to them about what I've learned, or what interested me in the past week.  Sometimes they just nod politely, but more often, they jump into the conversation and contribute their own thoughts.  I've slowly come to view them as my part-time kids...and I hope they will survive and thrive in adulthood.

I particularly liked your allegory to female mutilation.  In our culture that is completely unacceptable, but in some, it is essential if a woman is to marry well.  Yet how horrifying is it to think that our assumptions, our basic understanding and culture, may be so damningly flawed?  I grew up and was 28 years old before I had ever even HEARD of homeschooling.  And my first question was, "Is that legal?"

I've come a long way from there.  I think that there are some who can benefit from a public school education.  But I haven't met anyone yet who really did.  

Socialization...what a crock.
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RagnarDanneskjold

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Of Schools and Socialization
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2005, 01:04:54 pm »

Quote
You should also sit up straighter as you read this, too. Now. Should you ever lose your vaunted position as a wage slave, remember the military can always use new people now, and is full of new friends for you. Which is important to keep in mind as you’ll never have friends outside of the military. Hey, I told you to stop slouching!
:lol:  :lol:  :lol:
Great post. Well worth the wait and please don't apologize for the length (Elias doesn't  B) )
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RagnarDanneskjold

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Of Schools and Socialization
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2005, 01:12:51 pm »

Quote
Anyway, I do think that schools could possibly be fixed (if it were ever allowed), but for the time being parents are better off homeschooling (or whatever).
Not as long as they remain government indoctrination centers. The only way to "fix" them is to get them into the private, free market.
I like the way the ancient Greeks did their "schooling." Teachers would basically just set up shop where they could and start teaching. "Students" could sit in on the "lectures" and decide if they wanted to continue or not and how much they thought it was worth to learn from any particular "teacher." If what they had to teach and how they taught it had no market value, they could continue doing it for free, figure out what needed correcting in order to make it worth something on the free education market or find something else to do with their time.
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The Mayor is the Problem
The flagpole is the answer
We hung the first one
We can hang another one

The Firesign Theatre - from the album Boom Dot Bust

Dear Government
You are a ass shit.

A note from my younger son when he was 3.

When rights are outlawed, only outlaws will have rights. - Me


Round up everybody who can ride a horse or pull a trigger. Let's break out some Winchesters.  - John Wayne (Chisum)

Ian

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Of Schools and Socialization
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2005, 02:51:55 pm »

Great post, dervish. If you haven't read John Taylor Gatto's Underground History of American Education, I can't recommend it enough. He's a bit wordy at times, but gives a great background of what our public schools are and how they got that way.

I wish I'd had the presence of mind to get out of school earlier. It took me until my fifth semester to figure out that I wasn't getting anything important from public school (be it high school or college), and my seventh semester to actually do something about it.
 
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Junker

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Of Schools and Socialization
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2005, 11:01:15 pm »

Dervish,

Good writing. You hit many points that all show up the same thing-- schooling does more damage than good.

> ...what I'm about to share seems perfectly obvious to me.
> ... but it seemed necessary for pointing out the obvious.

And that is a central problem is this, our educated culture. Not only is it obvious that their were millions 'socialized' before schooling came about, it is also obvious that today's schooling produces ignorant people unable to think very well. This is shown by the great majority of people not taking their children out of school.

> Furthermore, plenty of people dropped out of school, or did not go to school at all, and grew up to become famous....

Not to mention the millions who were successful before formal schooling even started.

> This makes sense, as getting kids out of that dysfunctional atmosphere would do wonders to reduce tensions between adults and other kids, both.

A lot of the time we learn that adults (normally our parents first) are helpful and interesting. Then we get into school. One adult and thirty kids going for the attention of that one 'helpful and interesting' creature. Exposure to competition, fighting, and betrayal. And that one adult must maintain order and make the kids do the 'work'. Adults are not just 'helpful and interesting', they are also 'holders of the whip'. So much for a good relationship with those 'helpful and interesting' adults. Now its 'us against them' putting peer pressure in the number one spot. Sick making. We now emulate our peers rather than adults. We used to do what are parents said, but not now. It's us against them, even when it might seem stupid.

> Furthermore, many kids are damaged socially within the schools.
> My experience suggests that schools are actually harmful to both socialization and academic achievement.

It used to be that the world was one big, enjoyable adventure of figuring out what did what. Now, if it's not being taught at school, it's not important. And school is figuring out how to beat the teacher and the system, i.e., how not to learn anything. Meanwhile the competition, fighting, and betrayal continue, but now the goal is your peer, Mr. or Miss Cool, rather than the one adult.

> I suspect school is harmful here too, since so many "socialized" kids seem to be idiots who wish they were people on TV because they don't seem to know who they are themselves. They also don't seem to know how to do anything without being told, by their peers or by their teachers.

And so many adults whose life is TV and beer.

> ...are popular activities that can count as good PE (except that it's fun).

Normal life is full of PE and fun, until school starts.

> ...but started their own biz. ...lawn care...cleaning...automotive...custom-painting...tye-dying... ...as well as teaching responsibility and a good work ethic.

Trading baseball cards or comic books, making gunpowder, cannons, go-carts, etc. fill life with a great number of things that are 'learned'. It's too bad schooling takes so much time away from learning.

> (I would also add that unschoolers have a lot more practice being adults by the time they really are adults, which is no small advantage over highschoolers that suddenly find themselves 18 before they know it, and almost no experience at being an adult.)
> In an informal group hosted by a few sympathetic adults (including a school teacher disillusioned with public education), we often found our highschool peers immature, inexperienced, and uninteresting.

Another part of learning that's missed.

> Some even travel the world and become involved in international affairs.

Rebuild their own cars, build their own houses, travel, and, and, and.

> Nor was I angry and bitter the way I had been in school.

Unless there's a war going on or the crops fail, there's no reason for a human to get angry and bitter. We've done this to ourselves. We should stop. Kids not required to do any schooling will grow up healthy and probably learn more on their own than current schoolers.

> They tend to grow closer to their families and start liking their parents and siblings more.
> Their friends include children younger and older and many adults.

In other words, they grow up fine and healthy like most everyone used to do before formal schooling.
- - -

> I'm 22 now, so I'm technically not a student.

Yup, an unstudent like the rest of us. And we unstudents keep learning till we run out of time.

> Anyway, I do think that schools could possibly be fixed...

Really? I don't think so. It might be that free market schools do better than the current bunch, but that doesn't get the kid out of the school box. I'd be real careful about sending a youngling off with strangers.
- - -

But anyhow, good posting, Dervish. Thank you for your thoughts and experience.
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Astra

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« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2005, 07:02:18 pm »

Unstudent... lol. I like that.
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dervish

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« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2005, 02:16:26 am »

Quote
Quote
Anyway, I do think that schools could possibly be fixed (if it were ever allowed), but for the time being parents are better off homeschooling (or whatever).
Not as long as they remain government indoctrination centers. The only way to "fix" them is to get them into the private, free market.
I like the way the ancient Greeks did their "schooling." Teachers would basically just set up shop where they could and start teaching. "Students" could sit in on the "lectures" and decide if they wanted to continue or not and how much they thought it was worth to learn from any particular "teacher." If what they had to teach and how they taught it had no market value, they could continue doing it for free, figure out what needed correcting in order to make it worth something on the free education market or find something else to do with their time.

(keep in mind I was originally tailoring this for liberals.)

Grace Llewellyn talked about making something similar to this.  This is the kinda idea I like.  I figure if schools are good enough, you won't have to force someone to pay them.  Besides, some groups operate on a suprising small amount of money and yet outperform the public schools around them.

I find the ideas of schooling in Ecotopia intriguing, too.  Seems easy enough to adapt those ideas to a free market system, too.

Still, it seems other schools in other countries do a much better job than our own.  New Zealand in particular has had some impressive results.... at least when compared to other "public"  schools in the world.  I think part of that is the size of the country though.  

I've met more than one person who took post-grad college courses who said that all their former schooling was a waste of time and just taught people "how to jump through the hoops" (that is, obey orders).  They wished someone had just taught them to read and turned them loose in a library.  And when you're not forced, it's real hard to drive the love of learning out of someone.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2005, 02:18:51 am by dervish »
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dervish

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« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2005, 02:20:25 am »

Ty for all the other comments, too, everyone.    :)  
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Pagan

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« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2005, 03:22:44 am »

dervish, I think the people who promote public schools as ‘the only way for kids to become socialized’ are those who *want* the schools to be the only socializing influence in kids’ lives. This active group of people includes everyone from the local PTA up to the Federal government itself. They do not want the parent or the neighborhood involved, and they certainly do not want the child to think for himself.
   
Yet in most every case of homeschooling, the child DOES socialize more *because* he has been encouraged to, he is not afraid to, and he has taken his own initiative to get out into society and interact with others. This makes him a happier, more self-confident person, and in the long run, a better ‘citizen’ (though I hesitate to use that word because it implies a dependency on government and that isn’t what I mean).

Your paper is a good summary of the conditions in the school world today; it presents both a good argument for homeschooling and a great reason to stay away from the public schools.

When the subject “died” after your post, it was probably because 1) they had no argument against it, or 2) they just wanted to hear from those who agreed with them.
 
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debeez

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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2005, 08:50:09 am »

Now this is off-subject, but...

Dervish, you are making me feel real old 'cause I can't figure out what "Ty" means, or even really what "Natch" means.  Now being that I'm gonna be 35 in a month or so, I really could use a boost, so be good to me and explain what those words/slang mean.

p.s.  Actually, turning 35 doesn't bother me, I figure I'll have my mid-life crisis when I hit 50 or so.
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byron

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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2005, 09:05:14 am »

Quote
Now this is off-subject, but...

Dervish, you are making me feel real old 'cause I can't figure out what "Ty" means, or even really what "Natch" means.  Now being that I'm gonna be 35 in a month or so, I really could use a boost, so be good to me and explain what those words/slang mean.

p.s.  Actually, turning 35 doesn't bother me, I figure I'll have my mid-life crisis when I hit 50 or so.
It is even more difficult as one gets older to know or even think you have a clue what some slang means. I find myself using old slang from younger days and fret it will be taken as a slight of sorts.

When it comes to midlife crisis, don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today. One's 50's will be filled with weird physical conditions....no time for crisis in your 50's!
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debeez

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« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2005, 09:08:48 am »

Byron,

I know what you are saying.  I mentioned once to a younger crowd (early 20's) that I had nicknamed my mother "Imelda" because of all of her shoes and handbags.  They just looked at me blankly.  I tried to salvage the situation, you know, jog their memories, "Imelda Marcos, wife of the Philippines dictator who had hundreds of pairs of shoes?"  They all just kept looking at me like I had lost my mind.  It was the first time I had ever felt old.
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