Please Give A Warm Swill Welcome

To the latest member of our blogroll: Careful Thought.
Poor guy is under assault by the Unschooling Army. “Unschooling” is homeschooling without the school, I think. Go look at the FAQ Section and see if you can figure it out. Look, I’m not a big fan of homeschooling, but I think it can succeed with the proper support network and recognition by the parents that it is a heck of a lot of work.
One thing that is clear from reading the comments is that the first thing that is unschooled is manners.

26 Responses to “Please Give A Warm Swill Welcome”

  1. Steve says:

    Thanks for the link! I had no idea when I woke up this morning what a rattlesnake pit I’d be walking into…

  2. Mr. Bingley says:

    It sure seems like your post hit them close to home, as the parents appear to be every bit as petulant as the kids will turn out to be.

  3. major dad says:

    Looks to me like they are a bunch of zealot nut jobs who don’t like standardized tests. I don’t know about you but kind of hard to tell if you understand say trig without doing a problem or two.

  4. (And ~ clever, clever me ~ I found him! HAH !!)

  5. (That means you owe me BIG time, Steve-o…)

  6. Mike Rentner says:

    There’s a big difference between this type of poltroonery and home schooling. I’m a big fan of home schooling, because it’s hard to be worse than public schools. Looks like these guys are doing just that, worse than public schools.
    But the important point is that it’s their children, they should be able to raise them as they see fit, so long as they are fed and safe.
    Someone has to sweep the streets and clean the toilets and these guys are perfect for keeping that type of occupation filled.

  7. NJ Sue says:

    Unschooling is Rousseauian idealism about children run amok. Children aren’t flowers to be cultivated, they’re beasts to be tamed. I also wouldn’t want to condemn my child to my own intellectual and experiential limitations, which unschooling effectively does. I can only see it working with highly gifted children and extremely well-educated parents.

  8. Mike Rentner says:

    I think you overestimate how much skill you need to teach elementary subjects. Reading, writing and arithmetic at the grade school level are very basic and pretty much any average adult can easily excel at teaching it. Which is good because our elementary school teachers, with many exceptions, tend to be about average or lower in intelligence.

  9. NJ Sue says:

    When I say “child,” I mean anyone under 18. I myself could probably teach any subject (if I had the time to bone up) to grade 6 level, but after that, I would not be able to teach algebra, French, chemical equations, or music theory, among other things. I also know that I personally lack the patience and objectivity to teach my own child well, as I would be too anxious and competitive.

  10. Mike Rentner says:

    Yeah, that’s true of a lot of people. but not everyone. Some people have the personality type, along with their children, where it works very well.

  11. Steve says:

    Okay, how come your posts are nice and civil while I’m living in rantburg???

  12. Dave J says:

    “Someone has to sweep the streets and clean the toilets and these guys are perfect for keeping that type of occupation filled.”
    Er, no. Even those jobs require you to 1) actually show up regularly; 2) engage in work; and 3) not be a completely unmitigated social retard. “Unschooling” could probably not produce people less qualified on all three counts even if it deliberately set out to.

  13. cullen says:

    We’re a pretty civil bunch here, Steve. And except for the occasional outburst from the livestock loving Mr. Summers, things go pretty well. It’s one of my favorite haunts.
    I am going to have to start spending time at your site also as the wife and I are in great debate concerning home schooling.

  14. Mr. Bingley says:

    Just out of curiousity Mike, have you taught elementary school? NJSue did for 5 years, so no, I don’t think she overestimates any of the skills required for the job because she’s actually done the job. While it is true in the abstract that the average adult could probably do a reasonable job in teaching elementary reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic to other adults teaching it to children is a different matter completely; I certainly know that I couldn’t do it, as I like completely lack the patience to deal with the little beasts for even a few minutes, let alone be in a room with 25 of them for 8 hours at a time. And I think you have about as much patience as I do (which, as the old joke says, is why we’d make poor doctors: no patients…).
    So no, I don’t think that any average adult can excel at teaching elementary subjects to kids. and if it turns out that the skill set to do so well is housed in the Forrest Gumps of the world than god bless ’em, and I’m thankful for them. The elementary teachers I’ve met have a range of ‘intellect’, but a ton of patience, and that’s what matters.

  15. Mike Rentner says:

    I’m sorry, I disagree. I am positive that I have sufficient patience to teach children at any age.
    I’ve seen too many teachers, elementary and high school that are drug users or dealers, who can’t spell or write full sentences, and have generally deplorable math and history skills to think that there is some magical quality that makes a public school teacher.
    There are good teachers. But I didn’t see too many of them when I went to school. Maybe about 20% were good. I know I could do better at home schooling than those 80%. I’d prefer to hire my own teachers and it’s been my strong belief for the past 15 years that the singlemost important political reform needed in this country is the destruction of the public school system.
    I’d much prefer one room school houses that teach to fancy gargantuan schools that spend all their money on football, gymnasiums, computers, and principals.

  16. Crusader says:

    Geeze, what a bunch of crap. I can’t read the lovely comments left for Steve, as his site is blocked here at work, but from the FAQ section on unschooling, it sounds a bit loopy. Look, we home school, but there is still structure and curriculum. Your mileage may vary, but I have to agree with Mike on this (sorry Sue). The schools here in Norf Cackalackie are pretty sad. The CAG used to, and her mother still does, work for the local school district, so this is not something we pulled out of our butt. We are home schooling Crusader II, and will probably do so with Crusader III. It is not for everyone, and it takes a great deal of work, money and patience, but don’t take these unschooling twits as the norm. They are not.

  17. (Oh, so we should infer that makes you normal?)

  18. Mr. Bingley says:

    No, I don’t think anyone thinks they’re the norm.
    Except I imagine in Derkaderkely Berkeley.

  19. And my humble opinion is that the problems in the school systems in general are parents who choose NOT to be bothered, OR held accountable, for anything their precious does or DOESN’T do, because they’re too busy with their own lives and/or too susceptible to pyschobabbelic tortures induced about children being ‘flowers’ who are really WEEDS. (Hence all this ADD bullsh*t, because it’s far easier to tell George/Heather to swallow a pill than tell them “no” and have to handle a fit ~ a whole ‘nother issue of a generation of druggies coming up that’s going to get tossed into the real world sans their behavioral enhancers and what happens then, when they’ve been told they’re flowers their whole lives. Is Mummy STILL going to storm down to the VP of Halliburton’s office to tell him to quit picking on you, you’re sensitive, when you’re 45? AND, thanks to the sh*tty school systems trying to accomodate the various neuroses of parents instead of EDUCATING everyone EQUALLY well, they’ll be barely functioning ILLITERATES when their prescriptions or Daddy’s health insurance expires by virtue of their advanced age.)
    So there.

  20. Crusader says:

    Abby-Normal, thank you very much. Just that I get to hear the same arguments ad nauseam against home schooling on a pretty regular basis. God knows that neither I nor the CAG are ideal teachers, but between the two of us we are able to cover the subjects. And I know enough of the teachers here locally that I have good reason to feel confident that we are doing at least as well as the local school would be doing, and in many cases, much better. As I said, it is not for every family, and I would be the first to vote to de-fund and gut the entire public education system. To much social engineering, not enough educating. They bus the kids all over Gods creation here, for no other reason than to make themselves (the educators and administrators) feel all warm and fuzzy, while poor Johnny/Tawana ends up spending 3-4 hours on a school bus. And not just in Char-Meck, they do it in the grimy gulch suburb we live in, too.

  21. (Bingley’s a SUCK UP.)

  22. Mr. Bingley says:

    Well, parental involvement is the other side of the equation, certainly. All too often that consists solely of “how dare you not give my precioussss an ‘a'”.
    Crusader, perhaps you might want to point out to the progressive bussing types how much all that bussing supports halliburtonbigoilglobalwarmingdamnyouchimpymchitlerstein…betcha they ixnay the bussing right quick.

  23. Crusader says:

    Very true Bingley. Parents tend to not be very involved, it seems.
    But , from what I see, part of the problem is that the whole system just seems broken. I work around mostly mid-20s college grads, while I never graduated college myself. But most literary references I make tend to go over their heads, and in political discussions, they are stumped by the least bit of deductive thinking, or even the concept of taking ideas to their logical ends. We have a greater societal problem, from what I see, but we are told that more money will make it better, instead of , as I said, just gutting it and starting form scratch, which is what we have in effect done by choosing to homeschool.

  24. John says:

    I think, Mike and Mr. B., you are talking about two sides of the same coin. Neither attribute is sufficient, and both are necessary. But the education schools are instilling such contempt for subject matter that it’s getting harder and harder to find new teachers who know their @sses from their elbows. As the older teachers (like my mom – 23 years in Elementary School) retire, the quality drops further and further.
    One reason is the ridiculously low standrads for getting a Ph.D. in Education. I blogged about this back in June, when I came across this little gem.
    Scroll down to the comparison table of mean GRE scores by major. By far the lowest is Public Administration (who’d a’thunk it?), but second-last is Education. People who are supposed to have communication as a core competency are scoring lower than Engineers on the GRE verbal! If the Ph.D.s teaching the teachers are the bottom of the barrel, what kind of quality do we expect from their students?

  25. NJ Sue says:

    I should make it clear that I do understand the distinction between unschooling and homeschooling. There must be a structure and a curriculum for children to learn well. I am not opposed to homeschooling on principle, although I would not choose to do it, as least under our current circumstances. The public school in our area does a better job of educating my child than I could alone.

  26. NJ Sue says:

    Interesting information, John.
    As a result of No Child Left Behind legislation, Education majors in New Jersey must now get a double major in another classroom subject. I teach English, and we have a huge influx of EN/ED double majors now. Unfortunately, many of them are not prepared. They don’t have any interest in or aptitude for the subject. They are only there because they have to be, and they don’t want to major in math or a science. The other “soft option” majors such as Psych, Social Work or Communications are off limits because they are not classroom subjects. Students with a GPA less than 2.75 are dropped from the Education major (another state law). I find myself in an unwelcome gatekeeping role because I have to give low grades to students who can’t write. Then they get dropped from their Education program, and they complain mightily that I have ruined their dreams.

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