Home Schooling Is Not a Crime – Michelle Malkin–Commentary

Done right, home schooling is a very low-cost, personalized educational option, conducted in a safe, non-violent environment—your home. Statistics consistently indicate that home-schooled students excel in higher education and go on to lead functional, productive lives.

There are, of course, a number of life’s little inconveniences and impediments that operate against successful home-schooling. First, the parent-child chemistry has to be there. Many parents have told me that it simply would not work for their Matthew or Emily. Home-schooling my own son would have been the ultimate test of my patience. Both parties have to be committed and emotionally in-sync with the program. 

Secondly, you all but have to have one fulltime stay-at-home parent. In today’s world, two-income households are pretty much the norm. A work-at-home parent with a flexible schedule or a parent who works in the evenings could also make home schooling a viable option.  A private tutor is also an option, but only if you’re Paul McCartney.

Bear in mind, if you home-school your child through the elementary-school years, and decide to send her to a standard high school, be prepared for “culture shock.” It may take a while, if ever, for the child to acclimate to an institutional setting. Fixed class schedules, lunches, etc., may not sit well with a child used to the more flexible home setting; not to mention the teasing, the bullying, guns, knives, and drugs, if you opt for public high school.  It’s all part of the complete government education package.  Students are shocked to learn that pleasing your mother is a lot easier than pleasing your peers. 

But if you are looking for a way to get your child out of the toxic, dumbed-down, PC, Common Core learning environment, home schooling may be something to consider. Home schooling isn’t for everybody, but public school isn’t for anybody.

Please enjoy this article by Michelle Malkin.

https://townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/2018/01/24/home-schooling-is-not-a-crime-n2438752

 

A VERY STABLE GENIUS

A VERY STABLE GENIUS

President Trump is quick to tout his intelligence, his wealth, and his accomplishments. Today, he called himself a “very stable genius.” At least half of America thinks he’s an obnoxious blowhard, even crazy. I think there is a method to his madness.

Millions of American kids have been brainwashed by the public education system and modern culture to believe that their intelligence and accomplishments, like those of their parents, are a function of “privilege.” Something to be ashamed of or feel guilty about.  Diligence and motivation have nothing at all to do with success. Students are now being tested across the country to determine their “privilege awareness.”

President Trump is taking on Political Correctness in subtle ways most social justice warriors are too blinded by hatred to consider. By openly and vocally expressing his pride in his own self-driven merits, President Trump is trying to send a strong message to today’s youth—Don’t be ashamed of your virtues. Virtue is the fruit of rational thought. Diligence and motivation are virtues. Do we want our kids to fail because some of their peers are failures? Are they to be ashamed of their accomplishments because others have none? Are they supposed to go through life with half their brains tied behind their backs because others are intellectually challenged?

Where would mankind be if it weren’t for the productive—the brain-i-acs, the hard-working, the creative, the entrepreneurs, the competent, who seek only an honest return for their efforts and the freedom to pursue their goals? In today’s America and elsewhere, competence is an unforgiveable offense subject to merciless derision by cultural marxists in our public schools, colleges and universities, and the media. If it weren’t for the competent, we’d all be hunter/gatherers living in stone-cold, fetid hovels.

There is work to be done, things to be invented, medical and scientific breakthroughs to be made. Are we to entrust our future to those who won’t get out of bed, crack a book, or fill out a job application? To be sure, there are millions of poor and destitute, through no fault of their own, deserving of our help and compassion. We must find a way to differentiate between those who cannot work and those who will not work. Our current welfare system has failed to do this.

That said, we must never criticize or subject to systemic condemnation the hardworking, the ambitious, and the intellectually gifted. After all, our future is in their hands. They must be encouraged to reach for the stars and play every game like it’s the seventh game of the World Series. Indeed, all of our children must be inspired to succeed to the extent of their abilities, and taught that failure is only a step away from their fondest dreams.

President Trump is right to take on this toxic mindset and warped value-system.

Student Accepted to Stanford for Writing Black Lives Matter 100x

This is such a sad commentary on our public education system and culture that I nearly threw up when I read it . I wonder how his application would have been received if he had been a volunteer for Donald Trump instead of socialist wing-nut Martin O’Malley. Or if he had written 100x, “Long live the Founding Fathers,” instead of Black Lives Matter. You can probably get into any college by sucking up to the liberal establishment, using the right catch phrases, singing the praises of Hugo Chavez, or being a member of any officially sanctioned victim group.

It’s not how you think that counts, it’s what you think.

http://www.nbcnews.com/…/teen-accepted-stanford-after-writi…

When it comes to college essays, one teen is…
NBCNEWS.COM|BY NBC NEWS

Ben Carson: Role Model – Cal Thomas

Doctor Carson is not just a role model for the black community, but everyone, everywhere.  He is truly, as they say, a gentleman and a scholar.  His soft-spokenness belies a high-powered intellect, a necessity in the upcoming national debate about our inner cities and the never-ended cycle of poverty and spiritual destitution with which it is cursed.  His arrival on the political scene could not happen a minute too soon.  He is “just what the doctor ordered.”  All of our youth should aspire to emulate Doctor Carson—on every level—personally, scholastically, spiritually.  He is deserving of our prayers and steadfast support.

http://townhall.com/columnists/calthomas/2017/01/14/ben-carson-role-model-n2271130

Critical Thinking

Not only is critical thinking extinct in the public sphere, but in the personal as well. Dysfunctional individuals and families clearly outnumber the functional. I think people had more sense during prehistoric times. Just when you think someone couldn’t possibly be any dumber, they out-do themselves. We’ve replaced individual responsibility with collective dependence. Nothing, absolutely nothing, demands more of us than liberty. Socialism demands we take care of others at the point of a gun. Liberty demands we take responsibility for ourselves, reap the rewards and suffer the consequences.

Education Reimagined by Salman Khan

The following is from “The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined” by Salman Khan, founder of the world famous, online-based Khan Academy, an innovator in childhood and ongoing adult education.

Testing out. What a concept. I’d had no idea that such a thing existed, though even a moment’s notice suggested that it made perfect sense. If a student could demonstrate proficiency with a certain set of ideas and processes, why not let him or her move on to more advanced ones?

Back at my own school, full of enthusiasm, full of hope, I approached the powers that be with the possibility of testing out of my math class. My suggestion was instantly shot down by way of a dreary and all too familiar argument: If we let you do it, we’d have to let everybody do it.

Since I was as self-involved as most people that age, I had no interest in what other kids did or didn’t get to do; I only cared that I myself had been denied, so I sulked and misbehaved (although I did have the therapeutic release of being the lead singer in a heavy metal band). Over time, however, a broader and rather subversive question started scratching at my mind; eventually it became one of my most basic educational beliefs: If kids can advance at their own pace, and if they’d be happier and more productive that way, why not let everybody do it?

Where was the harm? Wouldn’t kids learn more, wouldn’t their curiosity and imagination be better nourished, if they were allowed to follow their instincts and take on new challenges as they were able? If the student graduated early, wouldn’t this free up scarce resources for the students who needed it? True, this approach would call for more flexibility and more close attention to students as individual learners. To be sure, there were technical and logistical hurdles to be cleared; there were long and brittle habits that would need to be altered. But whom was education supposed to serve, after all? Was the main idea to keep school boards and vice principals in their comfort zone, or was the main idea to help students grow as thinking people?

Khan wrote his book to improve education for young people, not to make the case for the privatization of schools. Nevertheless, his book accomplishes both goals.

His successful methods for teaching children via a combination of online YouTube videos, self-directed/adult-monitored study and unstructured collaboration with other students in class settings, caught the attention of no less than Microsoft founder Bill Gates, who utilized Khan’s program to supplement education for his own children.

Khan started in a makeshift office closet of his house and became a million-dollar industry thanks to the effectiveness of his teaching techniques combined with the visibility he was able to quickly attain.

The central (and largely implicit) premise of Khan’s methodology is that only individual minds think.

There is no collective brain. As a result, children can only learn on the individual level. All education must respect, honor and adhere to the objective fact that each child’s mind (like each adult’s mind) is individual, with its own pacing, its own set of requirements and particular idiosyncratic needs and styles.

“Progressive” education, the methodology behind most education as we know it today (public or private), holds that children must learn as a group, and may only advance as a class or a grade, not as individuals, once the whole group is ready to advance. While this method might prove acceptable for the average child, it has the effect of creating profound boredom in the exceptional child, while creating extreme anxiety in the below average child.

Mind you, the concepts “exceptional” and “below average” refer to the individual child only in the context of the group. In his book and in his educational efforts, Khan brilliantly exposes the fallacy of this line of thinking. He found out, for example, that students performing below average in the conventional group teaching model ended up, in some cases, actually flourishing and outpacing the average students once they were exposed to his individualized approach to learning.

This finding suggests that in some respects there may be no such thing as “average” or “superior” children, at least not in the sense we have come to understand. While objective standards can demonstrate the superiority of some childrens’ abilities over others, when we remove them from the group context, many of those previously left behind soar as never before, because there’s no remaining sense of being “left behind” or getting “ahead.” There’s only a concern with learning.

Throughout his book, Khan emphasized that he was not looking for a one-size-fits-all approach to education. He wanted an education model that accepts and respects the need for individual autonomy and self-directed pacing. He did not claim that knowledge is subjective, and that all learning therefore would be completely directed by the child. That would be absurd. At the same time, his studies and experiences dramatically showed how children do not benefit from the grade/classroom model we have all come to know and accept as the only possible way to learn.

Grade levels are set arbitrarily by biological age. If you’re six years old, you’re in first grade. If you’re seven years old, it’s time to advance to second grade. What if you’re motivated, ready and able to be in fifth grade by the time you’re seven years old? Or what if you’re seven years old and need another half a year on first-grade material? Why should biological age dictate your pace of learning, against your own nature or actual capacity at a certain point in time? No answer is ever given. It’s shocking and unthinkable even to ask the question. “Why, that’s just how it has always been done.”

But as Khan points out, this whole approach to education did not always exist, not even in America. He entitles his book “The One World Schoolhouse” to advocate for the modern high-tech equivalent of a one room schoolhouse. His purpose is not “back to basics” as much as utilizing the flexibility afforded by modern technology to enable children, even when learning in group settings, to process and conceptualize information and skills on an individualized, while still objective and rational, basis.

Khan stops short of advocating for removing government from the management or funding of education. However, it’s clear his philosophy and model would get nowhere in our current federally run, government monopolized, single-payer system.

As his quote (above) all but says, today’s schools exist as much, if not more, for the benefit of school officials, teachers’ union demands and other requirements as they exist for the actual teaching of students.

When schools continue to underperform, we throw more tax money at them. When they underperform still more, we throw more tax money at them.

We raise property taxes, including on families of school-age children who can now afford private schools even less.

As long as teachers’ unions get what they want, and as long as school officials do not have to innovate – since that’s too much work and risks offending this or that parent or political pressure group – then all is well, as long as we all spend more money.

As Khan demonstrates in his book, his methodology can even help children in third world countries with few or no resources for funding public schools. Ironically, children in such disadvantaged settings are – in some ways – at a greater advantage, because they’re not burdened down with all the false expectations and commands from the federal authorities to match learning to (1) age level and (2) requirements of the school achievement tests, upon which public schools now rely in order to attain more funding.

Khan’s methodology frees the student by respecting the individuality and autonomy of the child’s mind. He’s similar to Maria Montessori in this respect. He does not claim to have all the answers, and he does not advocate for a one-size-fits-all approach to education.

But what he does understand is a fact that should have been obvious all along: Children are little adults. They are sovereign individuals with developing personalities. While they must be guided by adults and by objective facts and standards, they likewise must learn in their own way, at their own pace, and for the sake of learning.

Children and their schooling do not exist for the sake of pleasing anxiety-ridden parents; demoralized or lazy teachers unable/unwilling to provide innovation; political officials who care nothing except for power, or teachers’ unions who care for nothing other than early retirement pensions and medical insurance benefits.

It makes no more sense to herd children into age-based collectives, expecting them all to learn in the same way at the same rate, than it would make sense to herd all adults into communes or other collectives where everyone is expected to act, think, develop and perform the same.

In fact, whenever the latter has been attempted with adults (Nazi Germany and Maoist Communist China or Soviet Russia come to mind), they have been spectacular and tragic failures for this reason.

So why on earth do we expect it to turn out any better for children?

Michael J. Hurd, drhurd.com