Education

I want to thank everyone for their comments on my post about homeschool. After reading them, I wanted to elaborate a little bit more on the subject. Well, not so much on why we’re leaning toward homeschool, but rather why we’re leaning away from public and private schools.

In my last post, I listed several reasons we don’t like regular school: homework (busywork), focus on grades over true learning, subject overload (too much at once), bad influences (from both material and people), and politics. In this post, I will go into more detail on the issue of the subject matter taught in schools. I’ll also try to define what a “good” education is and is not – whether I’m accurate or not is debatable. :)

Warning: This post becomes quite a rant about our current education system, so prepare for some negative and critical perspectives on my part.

Problems with schools

Both Jen and I went to public schools, and looking back, are very dissatisfied with the quality of our education. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, because we had some good experiences, especially socially, but we feel that much of school was a waste of our time, and a very inefficient way to learn. I’m not talking only about primary or secondary education, but even and especially up through college, where only one or two classes in our entire curriculum applied directly to what we intended to study!

I think it’s important to be well-rounded, and be able to converse intelligently on a number of subjects. But even with Bachelor’s degrees, Jen and I still feel completely inadequate in many areas, including subjects that we were taught in school, and passed tests on.

The problem is, we memorize facts, pass the test, and then forget what we learned. Very few things we “learn” in school really stick! What is the reason for this? It’s that the knowledge we’re gaining is at that time irrelevant for us. The adage “use it or lose it” applies well here.

How will I ever use this? And Cheating?

I think the question kids often ask in school really is valid and we should pay attention to it – “Why do I have to learn this?” or “How am I ever going to use this in my life?” Even if kids will use what they’re learning “some day”, if they don’t use it now, they’re going to forget and have to re-learn it again when they need it! At least that’s what happened to Jen and me. How about you? How much do you remember from what you learned in school about history, government and politics, math, science, and other subjects?

To further my rant and give an example from my own life, I want to ask – what’s the point of teaching kids algebra or calculus unless they’re going into a career where it’s used? How often do you use even basic algebra in your daily life? I’m a computer programmer, and I don’t even use it!!

Actually, I had to use it once (in over 7 years of programming), and had long forgotten how to solve that type of equation because I never have to. After trying to Google an answer to no avail, I e-mailed the smartest math whiz I know, my sister, who solved the problem for me in a matter of minutes. In school, that would be called “cheating”. That’s ridiculous! It’s utilizing your resources effectively – the very skill that is needed and often lacking to live successfully in the world. Isn’t it sad that schools discourage that? It’s not possible or practical to know it all ourselves. Maybe they teach it because it’s a good exercise for the brain?

In school, I had to take classes clear up past Calculus II, and learned differential equations (and passed my tests without cheating) and a whole bunch of things that I now have no idea what they even are now, even less how to solve a problem. Is that because I’m a poor learner? Maybe math isn’t my thing, or I wasn’t interested enough to keep the information in my brain. But I think the main reason is that I have never had use for such knowledge in my life. Sure, it would be “nice” (I guess) if I still remembered how to do that stuff, but I don’t have a photographic memory, and I’d rather spend my time re-learning things that are actually useful to me today.

How much of what you learned in school has been of use to you in your daily life? (Or even ever in your lifetime?) How much time have you spent learning things that you have forgotten?

I’m not necessarily saying that we shouldn’t learn anything unless it’s important and we’re going to use it right away. But I think too much effort is spent in school trying to get kids to learn specific things to pass specific tests, rather than learning simply for the love of it, or to better ourselves, or be able to contribute more to the world around us. The focus seems so much on facts and so little on application and relevance.

Is School Really That Important?

One of the main reasons people think school is important is so they can get a degree, so they can get a job, so that they can support their family. I have since learned that a job is not required to support a family (there are many ways to make money), and that many people who have been very successful in many areas of life actually dropped out of college, high school, or even elementary school!

Some famous examples of those who didn’t complete formal schooling, or dropped out somewhere, but were still successful include: Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein, Christopher Columbus, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Winston Churchill, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Bill Gates (Microsoft), Steve Jobs (Apple), Michael Dell (Dell computers), Warren Buffet (Billionaire investor), Ray Kroc (McDonald’s), David Neeleman (Jet Blue), Colonel Harlan Sanders (KFC), Dave Thomas (Wendy’s), Joseph Smith (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)), Jane Austen, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Hans Christian Andersen, Robert Frost, John Glenn, Peter Jennings, Frank Lloyd Wright, Orville & Wilbur Wright, Rush Limbaugh, Steven Spielberg, Julie Andrews, Sean Connery, George Gershwin, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, and hundreds more. (See http://www.collegedropoutshalloffame.com).

Obviously, success isn’t all about money and career. But the list above shows that school and degrees aren’t required to get a good education, provide for your family, or to be successful in life, however you define that. And think of all the people who would make the list, but who just aren’t famous or rich! Obviously, there are people who drop out who become losers and don’t make anything of themselves. I think they also need something besides school to get them on the right track. They need the kind of education that our current school system can’t provide.

At the risk of offending people (if I haven’t already), I will say that I think that many of the keys to being truly successful in life really aren’t taught well in school – things such as faith and determination, leadership and working well with others (they give you practice but little instruction), financial literacy (including business, real estate, and investing), emotional intelligence or self-understanding, and they completely leave out God (just because a few people don’t believe in him), which is the foundation for everything and almost every society since the world began. How can that possibly be a complete education?

So, as bad as this sounds, I don’t really care if my kids graduate from high school, or go to college. To me, that doesn’t automatically equate a good education. I care more about them becoming good and kind people who live according to righteous principles and values, have a firm grasp of language and a thirst for knowledge, financial skills to survive in the world, the ability to humbly follow and lovingly lead others, who learn from their mistakes and have a passion for pressing forward to be the best they can be.

Everyone is different, and my children may want to go a totally different route, and may really thrive in school (I did, in certain subjects – I loved choir and English, for example!), but I plan on giving them the freedom to explore whatever avenues they desire, while giving them the basic knowledge and skills they need to get along well in the world and in the home.

Well-rounded and contributing citizens

I can appreciate the attempt of schools to try to make well-rounded citizens, but a standardized curriculum in which everyone learns exactly the same things, in my opinion just doesn’t tailor enough to the individual talents, passions, and innate abilities of each person to enable them to fully live up to their potential, in the end, limiting how well they can contribute.

Knowledge is power. And we each have a responsibility to be good citizens of the countries where we live, and contribute to society through our studies and efforts. The more we know, the more we can help. But because each individual is so different, why not focus our knowledge and learning on the areas of our greatest potential to contribute? Maybe we don’t know where we excel, or what we’re interested in. Maybe we’re lost and don’t know what will bring us happiness. Or maybe we don’t care, and would rather just go with what everyone else is doing and follow the established system because it’s the easy thing to do. Maybe the standard system really is the best thing for some people. I really don’t know.

But I believe that schools are doing the best they can. There are a lot of influences that have made school what it is and I really don’t know much about them. I also have no idea what a good solution would be for what I believe to be an increasingly flawed system. I just know I don’t want to put my kids in it. :)

Now, I got a lot of things off my chest in this post. Some were well thought through, and others weren’t. I probably sounded very sure of myself and justified in my pessimism. But I also admit that there is so much that I don’t understand. I really have little experience to base my opinions on, and am always interested in learning how others feel about this subject, whether the same or different. So please leave your comments below. Are there problems with my logic, or do you think I’m on the right track? Am I overdoing it in some ways, becoming too extreme? Am I too idealistic, or do you feel the same way? Leave me your thoughts.


Brandon is a location independent entrepreneur, musician, traveler, worldschooling father, and the principal author of this blog. He's all about reaching his potential and enjoying life to the fullest in every moment while inspiring others to do the same.


Comments

  1. First of all, thank you for the compliment :)

    Second, I do agree with most of your logic. You have made some very good and valid points, in my opinion. The one thing I’d like to bring up, however, is this: Teachers. I learned to love math because of a teacher. I had one specific teacher, Mr. Tolman (and mom I’m sure remembers him- lol), who helped me realize how much I loved math. Then I continued to have amazing math teachers who helped me see math in different ways. And I don’t think a parent is able to supply all of that.

    Yes, there are teachers who are terrible and probably shouldn’t be in the school system- but then there are those who really connect with the students and introduce new ideas to them and help them learn and grow in different areas. And I have had quite a few teachers who really influenced my education. Hearing a parent tell you that you’re really good at something is great- but you might feel like they have to tell you that because they’re your parent. However, if a teacher tells you they think you’re really good at something, it could really encourage you to love and explore that subject.

    And you’re right- I don’t remember a lot of what I learned in History or other classes. And it’s REALLY beneficial to know where to find the answer. But wouldn’t it be easier if you already knew some of the answers? Some people retain information much better than others, it’s true. But I think it’s up to the student as to whether or not they want to really learn the stuff. The things I do remember from history are the things that interested me. And I may not remember every detail, but I remember enough about it that it is familiar. BUT if I wouldn’t have taken those AP History classes, I wouldn’t have even known some of that information. (And not just history, but science, math, english, etc. And like you said- knowledge is power).

    (I didn’t re-read my comment so there are probably a lot of typos. Sorry)

  2. @Your seeeester – Thanks for the comment, Ashley. You make a lot of sense. I had some teachers who really influenced me as well, and probably had a bigger impact that I realize on the person I’ve become. I’m glad you brought that up.

    And on forgetting subjects, yes, every student is different. And I guess I’m not saying so much that things like history shouldn’t be taught, but that they should be taught in an interesting way that makes learning fun and memorable – for each student. I actually love history, but I feel I could never really enjoy it in school because I was so worried about which facts and dates I needed to memorize for the test – I didn’t have time to go into more detail on the aspects of it that were more fascinating to me. Maybe other people didn’t have this problem, but I found it frustrating.

  3. I was listening to NPR the other day and the discussion titled “What Do We Need Algebra For ?” Arithmitic is think with numbers in general – sizes, measures, etc. In Albebra you’re thinking logically and reasoning WITH numbers. Two very differnt ways of thinking.

    Turns out, anyone who wants to effectively use an excel spreadsheet has got to know some algebra in order to input the proper requirements for the spreadsheet to provide the data you want. You can listen to the 6 minute interview here – it’s interesting:
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=101298505

    One thing I do believe is insufficiently taught in school is critical thinking skills. How to analyze evidence, context, determine relative criteria in order to make a sound decision or judgment – based on reality. Having well honed critical thinking skills minimizes a person’s chances of making false assumption, irrational leaps of logic – or from being scammed in life. Memorization doesn’t foster this. Nor does simply learning facts.

    God/religion isn’t left out of of public education because a few people don’t believe, it is left out because public government funded…. and we have a (valuable) separation of church and state in this country. Prevents us from becoming a theocracy. But that doesn’t prevent parents from teaching their children about God/faith/etc.

    Yes – it is true that many people are successful without a college education, and some without a high school education. However, it should still be your goal (particularly a high school dimpoma). While they may have great knowledge, without a dimploma your children will have limited choices for employment. Certainly they may find themselves happy doing something that doesn’t require it – but you are handicapping their choices without it. If they find themselves interested in a career that REQUIRES a diploma or a degree…. well……..

    I concur on Ashley’s comments about teachers. There are some that really stand out for me as well as having a big influence on my life and interests… my confidence, etc.

    Some not so great teachers as well…. :)

  4. I enjoyed reading this post and the comments. Such an interesting discussion and ideas. I really want to understand this subject better too, and work on helping Emily and Marie have the best learning experiences they possibly can. :) For example, I think bringing in other teachers, besides the parents, for certain subjects is a wonderful idea!

  5. @Allison – As always, you’ve made some good points. I guess I do use some basic algebra in the sense of using variables in the place of values, for doing arithmetic – just not more complex equations, usually. And I’ve never used calculus. :)

    I liked your comment about how diplomas and degrees do offer more opportunity. I suppose it is a worthy goal to strive for, even if it includes a lot of hoop jumping.

  6. I just went back and re-read my post. Good grief, I’ve gotten far too reliant on a spell checker to catch my slip ups. (I know how to spell, I’m just lazy with my typos it seems!)

  7. OK, are you ready?

    I agree with your mother. Surprised?
    Not to come on too strong, but from your recent posts it sounds to me like you are heading toward becoming a dropout yourself. Rather than facing society, dealing head to head with its faults and learning how to correct them, are you sure you are not simply trying to justify your desire to escape, and teaching your children to do the same? No society is perfect (not until the millennium, anyway) and we are no longer commanded to “flee unto Zion,” but to build it where we stand. Of course, “where we stand” is up to us, but I don’t think the Lord means for us to flee to an island where there is no trouble, where all the people are good, where the weather is calm and the air is clean. It may be a nice place to visit, but…

    I don’t want to take the space here to comment on specific points in your blog. Besides, similar arguments have been made and answered by countless experts since public schooling began. You can do the google search. But I want to urge you to be careful that you do not fall into a couple of logical traps that you seem to be walking toward.

    One is the “straw man.” Make certain you are tearing down something that actually exists. Does public education really have to be as bad as you’re making it sound? In some cases it may be, but is it inevitable? Do your kids HAVE to be exposed to the worst teachers, the most boring curriculum, and the most evil influences? Certainly there are situations and schools to which I would avoid sending my children. But in the US (at least in Utah) parents have a choice. If your child is not doing well in a certain environment, you are free to move her to another school. Schools are not created equal, nor are teachers. Nor are curricula. What to do about those differences is up to the parents in contact with their democratically elected government.

    The second fallacy I sense is that you are not arguing inductively, but deductively. Inductive logic is used mainly by researchers who (ideally) have no pre-determined theory to prove. Lots of data are gathered, theories made and tested, and conclusions are made based on the data. In deductive logic, the data gathering is directed toward the proving of a pre-existing theory. Data is sought that will prove the theory. Both of these methods can be valid as long as they’re used in the appropriate contexts. I think that in making a decision such as how to educate my children, I would want to gather as much rational and objective data as possible, analyze it thoroughly for fallacies and contradictions, and then get more data, before committing myself to a course of action that would be life-changing. You seem to be looking at the data through tinted lenses. Are you sure you’re getting both sides of this politically charged issue?

    Wow, I sound like a professor, don’t I? Sorry for the lecture. If you sincerely feel that you want to home-school, I will respect your decision (and drop my jaw. It makes me tired just thinking about it.) But do it for the right reasons. Remember, “escape is necessary when you know the battle is lost, but cowardly when in it is still in progress”. (Wow, I just came up with that one! Good, eh?)

    All my love,
    Dad

  8. @Dad P. – I was hoping you’d comment here, knowing that as a school teacher you would have a good perspective on this topic, and would be able to point out some loopholes in my logic. Thank you for doing just that. :)

    I can’t disagree with any of your points, and it does make me want to continue my investigation to ensure we’re making as educated of a decision as possible. I need to look more at the arguments for public school, and why it might be better than other options, rather than just basing my direction solely on my own experience and bias.

    Also, I know I came off strong on what I don’t like about public (and private) schools. But I probably shouldn’t lump them all together, as there are better schools than others, as you say. It’s not the “schools” I don’t like, it’s some of the practices that some of them follow. And maybe the consequences of those practices aren’t quite as bad as I’m making them out to be. Or maybe they are… I need to know. I do believe that the arguments for home school that I mentioned in my previous post are quite strong, however, so hopefully I can find a good balance of information.

    And however we choose to school our kids now, it doesn’t mean we always have to do it the same way. Like you said, Utah allows you to put your kids in whatever school you choose, including home. We can always change our minds if we don’t like how things are working out. This isn’t so much about escape as about doing what we feel is best for our family – and that can change as our family changes.

    As far as where to “stand” / live – after living on a remote island for a week, I honestly can’t see myself being happy doing so permanently. It is a nice place to visit, however. I do plan to continue traveling, as I love to experience new places and cultures. Who knows where we’ll end up. I could maybe see myself happily living in Utah for 3/4 of the year. :)

    Thanks for your input and love.

  9. Good Boy.

    Your Mom and I raised no dummies.

    Much Love

  10. Brandon, while you were here in Volcan, we had only a limited time to discuss your plans on educating your children. For that reason (and one other) I was really interested in what you had to say about your thoughts on home schooling. The other reason that your two postings caught my interest is because we also home schooled our three children to one degree or another. My wife, Nancy, has already addressed those experiences on your earlier thread and she has told you a little about how that has all turned out – at least so far. Two of those three young women are now at the age when they will soon be facing the same decision that you are – what to do about the education of their own children. The third young woman you have met and as you will know, she will be delayed for awhile in her child rearing and educating experiences – probably to be more in the celestial realm.

    And that brings me to my first point. Your children were given to you because Father believes you will try to do your best in preparing them with everything they will need. Not just for this mortal existence but preparation for what comes later. As covenant people of your Heavenly Father, you and Jen are uniquely equipped to make the best decisions for your children’s education. That does not mean that you will not need input from other experienced sources – you certainly will. But, I would submit that it does mean that you are the best ones to gather, study, consider, ponder, pray about and then decide how and in what manner they are to be taught. Father trusts you to do what’s best for those girls in preparing them for life (and beyond). In the short time I have known you, I can assure you that you are well equipped for that task. And if the decision takes you and your family in the direction of home schooling, I’m confident that you will ensure that it turns out well.

    Now, in a flowing stream of consciousness, I will read your blog entry on one screen and write my response on my second screen.

    I can certainly identify with, and to a great extent, agree with your conclusions about your government run education. One of the disingenuous concepts that we, as North Americans are subject to is the idea that the schools provided in most of our communities are ‘public’ schools. The use of the word public implies to me that they are pertaining to or are devoted to the well-being of the community with the implication being that they were also promoting my well-being as a student (and thus that of my parents). While that may have been largely true when I received my own public education in the 40s and 50s, it is arguably no longer the case.

    Today, in far too many cases, the schools of which we are speaking are not public schools but are government managed institutions run for the increasing benefit of the teacher unions who hold political sway over the government officials who in turn control the spending. In this incestuous relation between union and bureaucrat, the teacher is a distant third and the student is nearly completely left out of the equation. Please notice before I raise anyone’s ire with that statement that I am not referring in any derogatory way to the teachers themselves, who in most cases are stellar and dedicated people. I am referring to the self-serving unions that dominate the government schools today. I won’t attempt to take up space here to make my case but for those who have had to try to deal with anyone who administers the public schools will know where the problems that you experienced, came from.

    As I see the current situation, one of the biggest differences between the public schools of my own youth and those that my grandchildren can now be enrolled in has to do with the control of the curriculum and teaching methods. When I was young, those important decisions were determined by my parents (through PTA involvement and otherwise), by the teachers in the classrooms and by local government – with emphasis on local, as in a local school board. In far too many cases today, what your children are actually going to learn in the government institution is all determined by a far removed teachers union and by bureaucrats in Washington, D.C.

    So are there “Problems with schools” as one of your paragraph headings states? Of course there are and you are not imagining the effects as represented by the quality of your own education. The effects are real and, what’s more, are measurable.

    In one of your paragraphs, you wrote that “too much effort is spent in school trying to get kids to learn specific things to pass specific tests”. Teaching to the test has been a common complaint for quite a while now among both parents and teachers (and now from the graduating students too, apparently). This happens largely because the federal dollars will not flow if things are not done the way the central planners in D.C. say they must. Did some pinhead in Washington who wrote a regulation forcing your school in Utah to obey or lose funding, really know what was the best learning experience for Brandon and Jennifer in Utah?

    Your conclusions about the famous examples of those who did not complete formal schooling is really spot on. I have been aware for years of this apparent anomaly which the world-at-large seems to discredit. If that degree is so important then how is it that so many of the hugely successful, inventive and creative people could have accomplished what they have done without that certificate? I am not saying that such a paper is not useful, simply that it is not essential. And what might you be giving up that you could have had if you were to have a different and more individualized schooling experience? As Mark Twain (one of the notables on your list) is reported to have once said, “I have always tried to be certain that schooling did not get in the way of my education.”

    When you state that you “have no idea what a good solution would be for what [you] believe to be an increasingly flawed system. [You] just know [you] don’t want to put [your] kids in it.” Completely understandable. And there are valid and doable alternatives available to you.

    I, for one, wish you well in your quest to determine what is the best course for the family unit that Heavenly Father has entrusted to you. I’ll just bet that you do it really well.

  11. Wow Rich, thanks for the great comment. I wish we would have known you home schooled sooner so we had some time to talk about it while there – but I guess that’s what the Internet’s for. :) I appreciate your insights here – there was a lot I didn’t know. It’s also nice to see some other reasons why my comments might have merit. Thanks for your confidence in me to make a good decision.

  12. Nancy Young Says: March 11, 2009 at 7:38 am

    This has been a very interesting discussion with many valid points on both sides. I don’t know if your father is still teaching or what grade level he taught, but one of the contributing reasons we home schooled was the “social” problems created in the schools by students bringin in “outside influencs”

    We lived in a small community called Yelm near Olympia, Washington when our girls were little. This was a nice place and mainly middle class families. However, amongst the nice families were people preying on children and using children to inflitrate the schools with drugs. I am not referring to the high schools! There were several cases of tatoos laced with LSD given out at the elementary schools! I am NOT blaming the teachers. How closely can you watch a class of 25+ students?

    Another problem I have with the schools is the tendency to “classify” behavioral problems in such a way that they spend time wharehoused instead of taught. Why? Certainly a valid reason is to make things run better in the classroom, but the other side is that the schools get more federal money for each student thus classified!

    I happened to love school growing up. I am blessed with a quick mind and it was easy for me. I attended Cahtolic schools until 10th grade when I trasferred to the public high school. I mostly had teachers I liked, but no really horrible ones. I did have some super teachers in High school. They were super becaus they made me THINK!! The teachers were bascially allowed to choose their text books for the classes. In world affairs in 10th grade we were using the same book they used for the freshman class in Stanford University. That teach also taught Western Thought (one of my favorite classes) were we started out reading Plato’s Republic and worked our way up through Descarte! Mr. Sorenson would work hard to pull the ideas out of you. In English we read the classics, Shakespeare, Hardy, Austin, Homer, etc. I had a kind a wonderful drama teacher. I loved my biology teacher who was very laid back and made it a lot of fun. I think I was very lucky.

    College was a whole different story. Part of the problem was me. I was not doing what I really loved! What I wanted to do was go to England and ride horses and get certified to teach! My next idea was to major in Biology. Unfortunately, I did NOT have the math or Chemistry to succede. So I settled for a Major in Sociology with a minor in elementary ED. This was the mid 67 and the age of non-accountability! The sociology department was full of people who did not what to impose their standards on you and of course there was a lot of pot around! People can’t believe I went to college at that time and never smoked pot! You got a B just for showing up! I did have a handful of good teachers. When I did my student teaching I really enjoyed that until I found out that I couldn’t hatch baby chicks for the kindergarteners because they do that in 2nd grade !

    I wanted to say this you you understand that I had both postivie and negative experiences in school.

    Homeschool does not mean that you are isolated or that you rely simply on your own resources! There are many ways to approach home schooling. There are many curriculms available and it doesn’t mean that you are dropping out of society.

    I used a style of homeschooling that worked for me and my children, and we didn’t homeschool all the time. I am a laid back person and so our structure was loose. I used a variety of methods and texts to get my children started. There’s a book called How to Teach Your Child to Read. It worked for us and my girls were reading so well by the middle of the book we moved on to the McGuffy readers. I also read to them every night. We started with the Secret Garden and the Little Princess and did all of Alcott, all of Anne of Green Gables, Watership Downs, etc. At 6 they started suski piano. At 7 we started 4-H. I used what we were doing in 4-H a lot. They had to keep financial records, written accounts, give demonstrations, care physically for their animals and then show them at the fairs. They raise dairy goats, market hogs, sheep and guinea pigs.

    They had pleanty of paper crayons and pencils and could be as creative as they wanted. I think free play is greatly underestimated by many “educators”!

    when our oldest was in 5th grade she went half a day mainly so she could be in band. We then had a Benjamin Franklin Academy open which was wonderful. Dr. Cleon Skousen’s Son-in-law founded the schools. It was a great combination of homeschool and structure. The went 3 half days a week. the curriculum is still available (I believe) and is centered in including the Creator and teaching how our country was founded. They cover all subject.

    Our oldest daught went back to school full time for 11th and 12 grades. She then went on the college and got her masters in marketing. She know lives and works in Australia in marketing and will soon have a CD coming out in which she composed the music, wrote the lyrics, sings the songs and plays the piano.

    Our second daughter chose not the go to the public school but rather took her GED exams. She went to massage therapy school and she is an accomplished artist and sells her work.

    I guess this sort otruned into a “rant” too Brandon. :-)

    Homeschooling is not for everyone and not for every child. It is as personal a choice as home birthing or religon. There are some children who will thrive no matter where or how they are taught. There are others who will succede with only much encouragement and loving care.

    You will make the decision that suits your family and children best and it may change over time. Do you research and read a lot about your options. Dr. Raymond S. Moore has written some wonderful books about homeschooling and education. Look in to private school options I see in a google search there are several Benjamin Franklin Academies in Utah.

    Nancy

  13. Brandon,

    Nice to see you considering your children’s education, always an important topic. You have a smart family, I enjoyed your Dad’s reply.

    I have plenty to say about home school and the education system (problems with both), but in sum, I would generally recommend against homeschooling except in rare, necessary cases. That being said, there are plenty of bad schools out there and more than that, plenty of not-so-great teachers… so I am always very careful in selecting each child’s teacher each year. Even though the schools often don’t like you to have a say in what teacher you get, I always insist on it and so far it has worked out. It’s my tax dollars and I want to be sure the fit is right for my child. So I would say don’t just try to get a good school, but be sure to get a good teacher at the school. Not all “good” schools have all good teachers, if that makes sense.

    Take care and good luck.

    Aaron

  14. The Finnish miracle
    No shoes but plenty of service: The surprising features of the world’s top-performing schools.

    http://www.greatschools.org/students/2453-finland-education.gs?page=all

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