Close the Schools in 5 years, Part VII – Families Prepare For The First Year Closures (Part I)Thursday, November 3rd, 2011
We are discussing closing all public schools through the use of a six year plan. The first year, as presented in earlier articles, will be used to prepare for the changeover. The next five years would see the closure of about 20,000 schools a year in the United States. This would continue for five years, until all public schools were closed and public schooling has been replaced by universal homeschooling and private schools operating under an enlightened agenda.
Let’s consider how the first year of actual closures might work. But let’s not start with the mechanics of school closures. Let’s start with the truly important people who will be most impacted by this change – families with public school children, and the transition they will need to make. We’ll talk about the transition schools and government will make in later articles.
I do not believe that, even given a full six years, every family with school-aged children in America will have figured out how to homeschool. Many will have done so and will be experiencing successful homeschooling. A few others will be struggling, and may not have made the transition at all. A failure to make such a transition would be harmful, as there’d be no education really happening. It would also be very lazy, I think.
I’m afraid the system would be oriented toward only a few options – enter private schooling, or start homeschooling. This is the essence of universal private schooling. And I believe, given the expense and the general inefficiency of private schools, given these options, anyone who can homeschool will do so. But many people will not be in a hurry to start homeschooling their children, and I thoroughly understand why.
There is a basic truth about homeschooling I believe many homeschoolers will agree with. Very few people know how to homeschool until they start doing it. How would they? Did you know how to do what you do for a living before you learned anything about it? I didn’t think so. And didn’t you need actual hands-on experience succeeding and making mistakes and fixing them, before you mastered the things that you do well in life? Of course you did. Imagine teaching homeschool in that same light. It needs to be mastered. (For those of you who already homeschool, you understand exactly what I mean.)
There is a learning curve to successful homeschooling, endured by parents and students alike.
The idea of learning how to do something new can be frightening. The idea that the thing one is learning will permanently impact the life of one’s own children is daunting indeed. It’s easy to “hand over responsibility” for your child’s education to others, far easier than taking on the full responsibility one’s self! If others are responsible and things don’t work out – well, it’s not your fault. It’s their fault. The fault is the school’s. (And of course, the school will blame the student and the parents for the student’s “failure”. Nice and tidy, all that.)
Let’s agree for the moment that homeschooling is the direction you’ve decided to go. There are numerous significant forces which must be handled successfully to transition from schooling to homeschooling. The first such “force” is the parent’s ability to learn and teach. Another has to do with logistics and legalities – creating schedules, locating and using resources, using or creating “the system”. Another key force is the student’s needs and wants, their desires, skills and interests.
The use by a family of each of these forces represents CHANGE, when considering moving away from schooling into a “new” approach to education for that family, homeschooling.
So I’d like to address the essential fear of change, and then look at each of these “forces” and how they will need to be controlled and used by the homeschool family or group.
We’ve had public schooling since the 1860s in America. We have become sadly, pathetically addicted to it as a culture and, in many cases, as individuals. We are told endlessly by teachers, by their friends, by politicians and others with a stake in maintaining the current system that public schools are our civilization and children’s only hope, even as schools systematically bankrupt the nation and virtually destroy generations of our young. Whatever those young people might have become, we can never now know. They were never actually educated. And parents, to a real degree, I’m unfortunately speaking about many of us. America’s declining position on the world stage as a respected leader in industry and invention, in creativity and entrepreneurship, all serve as undeniable testimony that our educational system has led our generation and those to follow us to the very brink of a terrible decline.
I know that many parents cannot imagine life without public school for their children. They “need” public school as it is “free” (a terrible lie, the average student costs the public treasury some $12,000 or more every year). Public school seems to be a great baby-sitting service that allows the parent to go about his or her business each week day. (It’s a pretty rotten baby-sitting service, actually, given how dangerous campuses have become.) And of course, we’re told that public schools provide that most desired commodity to our children, an education. (A lie.)
Change can be very frightening, especially if it requires that one elevate his own necessity level to meet new demands. Imagine – you are suddenly responsible for your child’s time and education! (You always were, you just chose to defer that responsibility to others. In the eyes of the world and of the law you were always on the hook, mom and dad.)
No more school! You can no longer drop junior off at 8:30 a.m. and pick him up at 4! He’s going to be HOME! All day! With YOU! And Junior will be expecting you to provide what his school never did – an education. (Gasp!) There will be no teacher to blame when Junior cannot read well. No administrator to point a finger at to make certain Junior is safe. The day would come to an end when educational decisions are made by others. The onus of all educational decisions; what to study, how to study, when to study, etc; would now fall upon the parent.
This represents change of an often frightening sort. I had been a teacher in public and private schools for decades when I started homeschooling my children – and the change was frightening for me. I do understand.
But here’s a reality. Nothing in this world or universe stays as it is. All things change. Put it in whatever way you are comfortable, it remains the truth. The only “constant” (unchanging thing) is change. All things change. Given that this is so, you could next say that since all things change, they each change for the better or the worse. They WILL change, they will not remain as they are. In changing, they will improve or they will degrade.
Your child changes every day. You probably are all-too aware of that fact. Usually, when placed in a schooling situation, the child degrades. That degradation may be so slow, so gradual as to be almost imperceptible in the short run. In the long run, however, the results are gruesomely easy to spot. The student grows less bright, less interested in their own dreams or in the world, less capable. They become apathetic, as their efforts have been “graded” and evaluated and minimized at every turn. They grow less valuable to themselves and to others. We know this is so as test scores, teacher scandals and the breath-stealing drop-out rate across the country all clearly attest to the ritual, steady degradation of our children. I’ve written in earlier posts about why this happens, about the deadly tools used to make this happen. (You can always read my book, Poor Cheated Little Johnny, to discover a lot more about this.)
Your child is changing every day, and not just physically. Change is inevitable. You have a decision to make, and there’s no avoiding it. Will you get involved in the inevitable, the change that your child is passing through? Will you help to make that change constructive and empowering? Or will you elect to not become involved, knowing that change is happening and will continue to happen? Will you just “hope for the best” – knowing that with public schools, that is truly a vain hope? (I won’t even discuss the third option, the destructive parent who does get involved, only to destroy the child. Such people are beneath contempt, since they are doing what teachers in schools generally do and to the same result.)
You may fear change and attempt to stand still, but the world will keep moving around you, and your child will continue to change. Or you may use change to build a better life and world. You may directly and actively “contribute to the motion” of your child’s empowerment and growth. This is a deeply personal call, but I would beg you to do everything in your power to embrace the changes in your child’s life and to become involved in them in as constructive a manner as possible. If you do not, you will not really by in an ethical position to complain about the results later, I’m afraid.
Each of the forces one must master to homeschool represents change. Again, they are:
– The parent (or homeschool teachers) ability to learn and teach.
– Changing logistics and legalities.
– The student’s needs, wants, interests and skills.
Change will happen. Change is happening now. The clock is ticking. All the more reason to homeschool.
We’ll cover these three “forces” in the next article.
As you probably know, I am an advocate for homeschooling. It’s my belief that homeschooling potentially provides a student with a vastly superior education than schooling in any form. This is backed up by a lot of numbers and research. I’ve taught for public and private schools, at the University level, as a private instructor in thousands of workshops, and as a homeschool dad running a homeschool group. Homeschooling by far works best for most students- and most families.
But I understand that many parents do not believe they can effectively homeschool. They’ve been told that they “don’t have degrees,” and that they “aren’t qualified.” This is all nonsense, of course. You’re legally not required to have any kind of a degree to homeschool your kids anywhere in the U.S. A lot of people who have degrees and who call themselves “professional teachers” are simply awful, and even destructive at what they do. A lot of parents…hundreds that I know of…have homeschooled their kids right into universities and careers.
In a serious effort to make homeschooling easier to do, and more commonly successful in terms of education received, I’ve authored my own curriculum. It took some 15,000 hours to write, over more than a decade of work, and is intended to replace the need for schooling a student from age 5-Adult Continuing Education. The curriculum is called Connect The Thoughts (or “CTT”). It has been used by over 20,000 students worldwide over the past 10 years. Hundreds of “success stories” attest to how well CTT works.
CTT courses are written in a way that gradually allows the student to take over his own education. Each course itself largely does the teaching, relieving mom and dad of that duty unless they wish to use our daily lesson plans in various subjects as springboards for family discussion and discovery – as many families do, every day. The parent has the job of making certain the student is working and has what they need to study. (And you’ll need to find a good math program for homeschooling as we don’t provide one. There are many.)
Below are links to our site discussing each level of curriculum, and every subject at that level that we offer. (You can start any level at any time. We don’t have “semesters” that start at a certain time, and each course stands alone well.) You’ll find free videos describing how every subject and each level works. You’ll discover free samples of every course we offer. Our site offers many other services and surprises, including numerous free courses you can download and try out.
Starter is for ages 5-6, and for preliterate students of any age. It focuses on starting to develop literacy skills, while teaching about various subjects. Starter includes full two-year programs in Reading, History, Science, Creative Writing, and Living Your Life, courses that develop life and study skills for the youngest students. Every lesson plan at the Starter level works to develop literacy.
Elementary is for ages 7-8, and for students who are developing literacy. It includes two-year programs in Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing (which also teaches the parts of language at this level), and Living Your Life courses which develop life and study skills in preparation for more advanced studies to come.
Lower School (ages 9-10) offers two-year programs in Study Essentials, Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing, P.E. Electives, and in various arts such as Animation, Music Theory, and Acting. At this level, students must read fairly well, and studies are progressively turned over to the student.
Upper School (ages 11-High School, and Adult Continuing Education) provides programs in Study Essentials, Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing, Current Events, Literature Guides, P.E. Electives, and in arts such as Animation, Acting, Music Theory, and Music History.
For parents who wish to teach at home, but are intimidated at the thought, and for parents who just wish to improve the homeschool experience, we offer a ten course homeschool program for homeschool teachers, as well as several books about education and homeschooling today.
We want you and your children to win with homeschooling!