Utterly Meaningless » Blog Archive » FLY, STUDENTS, FLY

    Filed at 4:50 am under by dcobranchi

    The founder of USATodaythinks” that the g-schools teach kids to try out their wings and that home education clips their wings.

    My concern about our educational system is for those who aren’t part of it — these home-schooled:

    * An estimated 1.7 million to 2.5 million will be taught at home by a parent this year.

    * They are tied to their mother’s apron strings or father’s bootstraps.

    Not letting kids try out their own wings after we’ve provided the right roots will disadvantage them later in life.

    I actually agree with two-thirds of his statement. There are indeed approximately 2 million HEKs and, yes, kids need to gradually be given more independence as they prove they can handle it. But can 1st-graders fly? Does the mama bird push the babies out of the nest a few hours after hatching? So why should we?

    His second statement is a non sequitur, and he provides no support for it. None. Is there any evidence anywhere that home education turns kids into servile automatons? Because that’s what this is about. This Op/Ed is Rob Reich but written at a 1st-grade level. By a C-minus student. On a bad day. It’s hardly worth a response. Except that it appears on the editorial page of the paper most often thrown away unread in hotels across the nation.

    I think Laura Derrick’s excellent one-sentence response is really all that needs to be said:

    “Children can’t fly if they aren’t free, and they aren’t free if the conformity of a classroom is the only acceptable path to education.”

    — Laura Derrick, president, National Home Education Network

    One other thing– Reg Weaver is an idiot.

    UPDATE: My old boss 🙂 Helen Hegener chimes in here.

    9 Responses to “FLY, STUDENTS, FLY”

    Comment by
    August 17th, 2007
    at 5:54 am

    It’s Back-to-the-Institution season, which means open season on homeschooling… Still it’s irritating when a mindless rant like that gets prominent print space. Thanks for the heads up, Daryl.


    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    August 17th, 2007
    at 10:05 am

    Their solicited response format is 25-words-or-less, Laura told me, so I wrote one in that sized box, just to see if I could.

    “Unschooling the Public in 25 Words or Less”

    And then like Daryl, I said a whole lot more, about teacher unions and media bias and the difference between schooling and real education . . . gotta love blogging! 🙂

    Comment by
    Lisa Giebitz
    August 17th, 2007
    at 11:15 am

    Are there really people who argue that public schooling gives more freedom to kids than homeschooling? I mean, REALLY?

    Have they been to a public school lately? Most kids can’t sit where they want (even at lunch), wear what they want, go to the bathroom when they need to, or learn about things they’re actually interested in. Their free speech is severely limited (thanks to a Supreme Court decision just this past session – the “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” case). They can’t leave when they want, even to pursue work or an apprenticeship.

    Well, maybe they have more freedom if you’re using Rudy Giuliani’s definition of ‘freedom’.

    Otherwise it just seems like the only freedom that author cares about is the Freedom To Not Respect Or Learn From One’s Parents.

    Comment by
    August 17th, 2007
    at 11:35 am

    Why do they assume that home educated kids are tied to their parents more then public educated students are?

    When Lord Epa went to Boy Scout Camp he had a wonderful time. On the other hand his public school friend was miserable. He had never been anywhere overnight without his parents, and spent the entire week begging to call his Mom to come get him. And no I wasn’t there the camp leader begged me to take the kid home when I came up for parents day Friday (all the kids came home Saturday). The camp leaders all told me how impressed they were with how independent Lord Epa is, and how homesick his friend was. They were surprised because Lord Epa had never been camping before and his friend had been camping numerous time (with his Dad).

    They were also impressed that Lord Epa ate whatever the cafeteria served without complaining unlike the majority of campers who attended public school.

    Comment by
    August 17th, 2007
    at 12:13 pm

    Hell, as a homeschooler of multiple children, I’ve tried my best to turn them into automatons who will do their math and clean their rooms without constant nagging from me–yard work would be easier, too. It hasn’t worked. If any homeschoolers have successfully managed to create children who obey without question, please throw a few tips my way.

    Comment by
    JJ Ross
    August 17th, 2007
    at 12:13 pm

    This hidebound traditionalist newspaper icon actually is the namesake for the “Al Neuharth Free Spirit” scholarship! Can you believe it?

    I earned a top-five journalism college degree (without government or corporate sponsorship) and I know journalism as a profession believes this fanciful fiction, that free spirits are who they are and what they stand for. But it is not true and it’s not in the public interest for the MSM to believe a lie.

    Maybe we who really ARE free spirits should suggest that this newspaper founder lend his family’s wealth to the cause of truly free-spirited scholarship, meaning independent learning and thinking outside all government and corporate control??

    I once suggested in the NHEN legislative forums that as big defenders of freedom of information and the public’s right to know what the government would rather they not know, journalists should be big allies of home education and other private education alternatives, and that we HS advocates would be smart to cast the issues that way for them, so they would really get it at a gut level.

    If anything proves the relative value of that strategy, today’s sad example of UnThinking from Neuharth does . . .

    Comment by
    Nance Confer
    August 17th, 2007
    at 6:05 pm

    Well done, Laura.

    As always! 🙂


    Comment by
    August 17th, 2007
    at 10:55 pm

    Don’t you love people who talk when they don’t know what they’re talking about?

    Gotta getta grip, get a life, get a clue…
    “They are tied to their mother’s apron strings or father’s bootstraps.
    Not letting kids try out their own wings after we’ve provided the right roots will disadvantage them later in life.”

    Comment by
    August 18th, 2007
    at 7:01 pm

    Apron strings and bootstraps? Mix metaphors much?