John Stossel – The School Revolution (with Ron Paul)

I had seriously considered home schooling my kids, but was advised against it on the grounds that as an Aspie parent of Aspie kids, I would not be able to teach them the social skills they needed to get along with the mundanes neurotypicals.

This was, indeed, true – to a degree.

‘School’ did not give my kids ‘education’ as the educators would have perceived it.  Every day, I would tell my kids that even though they are not learning new ‘material’ in school, and that while ‘learning new material’ is the goal for most kids going to school, they, as Aspies, were in a slightly different category.  Obviously, the material would not be new to them, nor difficult to master:  their one and only goal in going to school was to learn how to ‘present’ their knowledge, how to PROVE to the mundanes muggles neurotypicals that they indeed have mastered that knowledge.

So, that is why my kids were not home-schooled.

Well, when I say they were not home-schooled, I do mean they attended actual official schools – from Montessori (I really, really do not recommend this for Aspies) to highly structured, incredibly expensive private schools, to public schools.  They still learned most things at home long before they encountered them in school because I firmly believe that many concepts cannot be fully assimilated and become ‘natural’ unless they are taught at a much, much younger age that at which they are introduced in any formal schooling setting.

The best results we have found were actually in the ‘gifted’ program in the public schools.

Having an Aspie kid go to a Montessori school means he will learn everything about his narrow field of interest, but his horizons will not have been broadened.

Having an Aspie kid go to the most expensive private school meant that he was bullied by really rich people’s kids – so rich and influential (from politicians to the Russian mob) that the school was afraid to tell the parents their kids were being bullies.  Sure, the classrooms were small – but that only meant that there were fewer kids willing/able to stand up to the bullies in defense of the Aspie.  And, it meant a much more intimidated faculty…

Having an Aspie kid go to public schools means that they can see there are kids with much greater learning challenges than their own and makes them protective of their teachers.  From other, less disciplined kids.

Actually, the ‘gifted program’ in the public schools has been the best, most accepting, environment for my kids.  The kids who were not in the ‘gifted program’ in grade-school would not dare to bully the ‘gifties’ because they knew these were going to be their future bosses.  As a matter of fact, girls from the non-gifted classes saw it as a status symbol to be seen with a boy from the gifted class…and it worked for the gifted girls, too. So, there was a lot of tolerance to accept the ‘differentness’ of the smart students by everyone else in the school and this worked to let my kids learn and grow to their best potential.

Sure, most new material was learned at home, years before it was introduced in the school.  It was the social aspect, the ability to present their work in a way that neurotypicals would accept and to interact with other neurotypicals on the school playground that was the important lesson my kids went to school for.

But, had they been born with  these neurotypical abilities, had I and my sons been more comfortable interacting with neurotypicals, I suspect I would not have wasted their time with the academically slow and questionable public schooling.

 

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8 Responses to “John Stossel – The School Revolution (with Ron Paul)”

  1. Jugg Says:

    as flawed as they are, i would still say public school is the best option (with caveats of course), unless the parent is famous, powerful or absurdly wealthy. the caveat being is that public school isn’t the main source of education to be rested on but an overall experience.

    people in public schools can be cruel and malicious, but kids have to learn how to deal with tough-shit and be normal young in life. all of the pain a kid might go through in public school, whether theyre popular or not, must be attended to by the parents on a daily basis. after all, it’s part of raising a kid.

    a scary thought about homeschooling is that parents can isolate their children from society and teach them subversive idea. one of my relatives is a conspiracy theorist and vows to do this to his recently born daughter, and it’s appalling. she will probably be totally out of touch with reality and an outcast her whole life if this actually happens. but, of course, not the government’s role to stop him.

    • Politicallycorrectandnotadumbredneck Says:

      Completely agree with your post.

      Learning how to deal with different types of people in the public school system is an important life skill. You need to know how to deal with the schoolyard bully who will turn into a workplace bully one day. Isolating kids from these experiences is a bad idea.

      Also, no one person has the abilities to teach all subjects and all grades. It is crazy to think you can.

      • xanthippa Says:

        Absolutely!

        As for the ‘one person teaching everything’: most home schoolers get together in groups where different parents and/or guest teachers tackle different subjects.

        Still, it is the isolation that is troublesome.

  2. CodeSlinger Says:

    Politicallycorrectandnotadumbredneck:

    The problem is, they don’t learn to deal with the schoolyard bully.

    They learn that they will be punished for dealing with the bully.

    So they learn to run to the teacher and squeal on the bully.

    They learn to think that ratting people out is the proper way to deal with them.

    They learn to think that sneaky, underhanded treachery is preferable to a clean, honest fist fight.

    In this way they are conditioned to cowardice, perfidy, and abject dependence on the progressively bloated, invasive, and totalitarian system.

  3. CodeSlinger Says:

    Xanthippa:

    I think the tipping point has been reached – some years ago, actually – and public schooling now does more harm than good. And it is especially harmful to boys.

    Public schools no longer provide an education, nor do they provide a healthy socialization.

    These days, they are geared to crush every last iota of independent, objective thought or curiosity, and replace it with codependence, intersubjectivity and receptiveness. Their goal is to purge students of any remaining vestige of courage, competitiveness or individualism, psychologically beat them into submission, and make sneaky, cringing collectivists out of them.

    The public school system admits outright that it has given up on educating children, has no interest in bringing out the best in them, and seeks only to make them well-adjusted.

    But, as Krishnamurti reminds us, there is nothing healthy about being well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

    • xanthippa Says:

      I have seen much of this – yet, my experience with private schools is that they are even worse than the public ones.

    • Politicallycorrectandnotadumbredneck Says:

      Yet American employers love to hire Canadians.

      The reality does not fit your rhetoric. We have a great public school system. It is not perfect but it works very well.

  4. CodeSlinger Says:

    Politicallycorrectandnotadumbredneck:

    Yes, schooling makes people employable.

    It does not educate them.

    To make people employable, what is required is training and indoctrination – neither of which has anything to do with education.

    A bona fide education teaches people to think for themselves, and therefore makes them unemployable.

    You’re right about one thing, though: the public school system works very well. It does exactly what it was designed to do.

    John D. Rockefeller spoke for the plutocracy when he said, “I want a nation of workers, not thinkers.”

    The public school system gives them exactly that.

    It turns people into workers.

    It turns human beings into human resources.


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