Read It and Weep

The many negative aspects of public schooling are well reported in the daily papers.
Schools were also becoming seriously affected by social problems becoming in the worst cases mere baby-sitting services. Do you want your children to go to a school where social problems rule the programmes?
–Massey University vice-chancellor Dr. Neil Waters, Manawatu Evening Standard, 21 June 1991

CHRISTCHURCH: A 3rd- former at Kaikoura High School has been suspended after he admitted giving drugs to fellow students.
–Manawatu Evening Stnandard, 28 June 1991.

AUCKLAND: Hundreds of South Auckland school children spent a tense two hours confined to their classrooms as armed police hunted for a gunman after a man was shot near their school.
–Manawatu Evening Standard, 8 June 1991.

WELLINGTON: An average of 980 primary school children were killed or injured in road accidents each year during the ’80s, the Transport Ministry says. One third of all the casualties occured between 8am and 9am and 3pm and 5pm. Accidents were more evenly spread during holidays.
–Manawatu Evening Standard , 23 February 1991

SYDNEY: Children who go to child-care centres are more likely to get coughs and colds than those who remain at home, an Adelaide survey says. A research team has found the risk of picking up respiratory infections increases the earlier the child starts attending child-care and the longer the child spends there.
–Manawatu Evening Standard , 17 June 1991.

The School Trustees Association has warned schools to check job applicants thoroughly after a Christchurch language aide was convicted of sexually abusing his pupils.
–Dominion Sunday Times, 12 May 1991

WELLINGTON: Hutt Valley schools were more vigilant today after a man with a knife threatened a six-year-old at Eastern Hutt School yesterday.
–Manawatu Evening Standard, 18 April 1991

What I would like to see in the political debate about education is a recognition that public education is an exercise in social engineering by definition.
–Phillip Capper, PPTA, Dominion Sunday Times, 14 October 1990

CHRISTCHURCH: Unresearched government-decreed practices in schools could socially, emotionally and intellectually deform children, says Christchurch Teachers’ College principal Colin Knight. Dr. Knight said the education system placed children at risk by continuing to neglect educational research. “It is of serious concern to me that, despite the far-reaching effects of teaching on society, few educational practices have a sound research basis.” He said changes in what went on in schools were mainly brought about by politically initiated reviews and reports on questionnaires and Gallup polls, by parliamentary debate and political expediency.
–Manawatu Evening Standard , 4 December 1990

The Auckland Lesbian and Gay Youth group has been approaching schools asking to talk to staff and students about the difficulties that young gays and lesbians face and to suggest ways to make schools a more supportive environment for homosexual students.
–Dominion Sunday Times, 8 July 1990

Ad in Manawatu Evening Standard of April 1991:
Members of NZPPTA have voted to withdraw their labour for 24 hours on Tuesday, April 30, in accordance with the CTU day of action. The following secondary schools will be affected:
(nine schools listed)
Signed by:
Bronwyn Cross, Manawatu/Wanganui Regional Chairperson-NZPPTA”

WELLINGTON: About a third of Form 3 mathematics teachers are not qualified in the subject, a study of mathematics in secondary schools released yesterday says.
–Manawatu Evening Standard, 27 March 1991.

Only five percent of physics teachers in New Zealand schools were qualified in the subject.
–Massey University vice-chancellor Dr. Neil Waters speaking at SciTech 2000 conference in Wellington, and reported in the Manawatu Evening Standard , 21 June 1991.

Palmerston North’s Queen Elizabeth College Re-Invents the Wheel with “Achieve” Programme. Principal Alison Collett: “Teaching does not equate with learning when it is imposed on classes, and in one-hour slots in which students are controlled to conform, rather than empowered to learn.” (On the Achieve programme students) interact with each other in learning groups, which is unusual, as children at school ordinarily mix only with others from their own age group. Staff say this type of interaction results in improved interpersonal skills, by having children of not only different ages, but at different academic stages help each other. Co-operation is a big part of the programme.
–Manawatu Evening Standard of 23 March 1991 and 26 June 1991

Drug use among school-aged children is a major reason why achievement standards are slipping, according to Life Education national director Trevor Grice. Discussions with principals showed drug use was widespread in (NZ) schools and there were 500 drug- related expulsions last year.
–Dominion Sunday Times, 10 March 1991

TAURANGA: A playground game involving sinking teeth into an unsuspecting school mate’s bottom has left five students suspended. In the game, tagged barracuda, victims are forced to the ground and restrained while attackers bite a buttock.
— Evening Standard, 16 March 1991

During cross-examination, defence counsel Les Atkins QC played a rap tape made by the girl and her friend the same year as the alleged (sexual) offences (were committed against them). The tape contained obscenities as well as inferences about the girl’s current boyfriend’s sexuality. She said the obscenities on the tape sung by her had no meaning. Everyone at school used such language freely.
— Court Reporter, Manawatu Evening Standard, 19 February 1991

The School Trustees Association has warned schools to check job applicants thoroughly after a Christchurch language aide was convicted of sexually abusing his pupils.
–Dominion Sunday Times, 12 May 1991.

WELLINGTON: School insurance is proving too high a risk. Insurance of school furniture and equipment is proving too costly because of arson and vandalism.
–Manawatu Evening Standard, 22 Nov. 1990

Auckland: Detective Senior Sergeant Mark O’Connor said violence had been building up as one gang tried to move in on the other’s cannabis-selling territory. The gangs had been targeting schools in the area and the worst case was when they tried to sell drugs to 10-year-olds. Mr O’Connor said the gangs had caused problems for young people and their parents by peddling drugs in or around schools. Police knew that the dealers were waiting outside schools and in some cases getting into school grounds to sell to students.
–The Dominion, 16 Aug 1994

Author Alan Duff has questioned the motive of the primary teachers’ strike…(He) said (they) weren’t going on strike “for the kids, but for more pay. I have never known teachers go on strike in protest because there were no books in the homes, or because children were coming to school hungry.”
–Evening Standard, 11 July 1994.

Wellington: School Trustees Association deputy president Mark Farnsworth (said,) “I have a personal sympathy with them (teachers) over the issue, but I’m dismayed they have to go on strike, because once more children are the pawns of the game.”
–Evening Standard , 12 July 1994.

Invercargill: Six children were taken to Southland Hospital …after a school bus and a…vehicle collided near Nightcaps.
–Evening Standard, 22 July 1994.

Christchurch: Acceptance of school bullying as part of growing up, to build character, and teach survival skills, is no longer acceptable (!!!!!), says Commissioner for Children Ian Hassall. Bullying included standover tactics to get another child’s lunch, and serious physical abuse. Teasing on the basis of race, sex, and disability was also a form of bullying.
–Evening Standard, 22 July 1994

The bus left the road and landed in a ditch with much of its floor ripped out. About 40 Hamilton secondary school students were on board. Ten teenagers were injured and were taken to a medical clinic with grazes and bruises. A 15-year-old German exchange student was taken to Hospital with a fractured letg. It was the fifth bus crash in the North Island in the past month. Four have involved school buses. Police said initially fears were held for the safety of the students after an LPG tank in the dead woman’s car ruptured.
–Evening Standard , 23 July 1994.

New Zealand still lacked a quality education system, Education Minister Lockwood Smith said last night. “It comes as no surprise to me that the work of our Education Review Office has shown we have little idea just how effective our schools have been,” he said.
–Dominion, 3 August 1994.

Auckland: Two students at Auckland’s Mt Albert Grammar School have been suspended for four years after they were involved in a fight in which another boy received stab wounds.
–Evening Standard, 23 April 1994.

Auckland: Fires destroyed classrooms at two Auckland schools yesterday. Police blame arsonists.
–Evening Standard, 27 June 1994.

An Auckland boy who will be five in October has been refused entry to his nearest primary school, even though his two sisters go there.
–Evening Standard, 27 June 1994

Wellington: The Education Ministry has resorted to television advertising in its fight against truancy. Ministry communications manager M Deaker confirmed ??.that the ministry had begun a $300,000 campaign to try to boost school attendance.
–Evening Standard, 27 June 1994.

Wellington: Children are being used as pawns in the pay dispute… says School Trustees Association president Les Maxwell.
–Evening Standard, 9 July 1994

A book, Challenges and Change , was launched by the Family Planning Association yesterday. (FPA spokesman Ms Hughes said,) “Young people will make their own decisions to have sex or not, and it’s necessary they have the knowledge to make informed decisions. Abstinence isn’t the only option.” A course called Challenges and Change was launched last night at Auckland’s Penrose High School by Health Minister Jenny Shipley. The final session encourages heterosexual students (!!!!!!) to accept homosexuals and aims to build self esteem in gay and lesbian students.
–Evening Standard, 28 June 1994.

Wellington: Large increases in the number of pupils suspended from school showed the education system was failing to meet the needs of its consumers, (Youth Law Project education advocate Tim Howard said.) The high level of truancy also related to schools not being able to meet their students’ needs.
–Evening Standard, 5 July 1994.

Children as young as four were being banned from early childhood centres and schools because they were likely to kill themselves or their classmates if they stayed, Special Education Service Manukau North area manager Chris Hilton-Jones said yesterday….The case of a Christchurch eight-year-old being suspended from school for terrifying teachers and trying to strangle other children was “the tip of the iceberg”….Schools were “unsafe” and it was time teachers and principals stopped pretending violence did not exist….Some children….had been banned from kindergartens and kohanga reos because they were “severely dangerous”. She said pupils were….taking knives and bits of wood to school and using them as weapons. A survey of 960….pupils in South Auckland schools last year showed sexual abuse, serious assault and extortion were common….But the survey showed only half the cases were dealt with by schools when students did seek help.
–Dominion, 18 August 1994.

Parents, pupils and teachers of Feilding’s Manchester Street School….contemplated three classrooms destroyed by arson. A Ministry of Education property officer at the scene yesterday estimated the cost of repair or replacement of the block to be as much as $500,000.
–Evening Standard, 22 Nov 93.

Wellington: The Teacher Registration Board knew of some teachers, struck off the teaching register for poor performance, who were back in the classroom, director Peter Barlow said yesterday. There was a danger teachers with criminal records could be re-employed, he said.
–Evening Standard, 11 April 1994.

City pupils are turning to weapons to guard themselves against bullying. Senior constable Bob Filbee….is aware of the amount of bullying in schools — three-quarters of students normally put up their hands when he asks how many have been bullied.
–Tribune, 15 May 1994 ?

Auckland: A 12-year-old boy was punched unconscious during a gang initiation rite at a South Auckland intermediate school yesterday, police said.
–Evening Standard , 9 April 1994.

Allegations of physical abuse at Eketahuna School are being investigated by Palmerston North CIB.
–Evening Standard, 26 May 1994.

Rotorua: A former Rotorua school principal who indecently assaulted his pupils to satisfy his sexual appetite had disgraced his profession, Judge Fergus Paterson said in the Rotorua District Court yesterday. He jailed retired teacher Colhoun John Wiseman, 57, for three-and-a-half years on 11 counts of indecently assaulting young girls.
–Evening Standard , 9 April 1994.

Auckland: A strip-search of teenage girls at Otahuhu College in Auckland could result in parents suing the school, and an investigation by the Commissioner for Children.
–Evening Standard, 4 June 1994.

Poverty is having a far-reaching affect on Palmerston North’s schools…. Five schools are supplementing the diets of some students by providing them with food. And with truancy and violence on the increase, several schools felt their educational role was being undermined.
–Tribune , 12 June 1994.

Large numbers of people were unable to read when they left school — Common theme presented to Employment Taskforce’s visit to Palmerston North.
–Evening Standard, 18 June 1994.

Good NZ image masks “pockets of illiteracy”. Research by Auckland University education lecturer Tom Nicholson….showed poor reading levels were linked not just with Maori and Pacific Island students but also with other children whose first language was English.
–Sunday Times, 12 December 1993.

Wellington: About 10 percent of schools had “serious problems” and only 14 percent were up to standard, the Education Review Office said yesterday. Almost a quarter of schools were failing to consult the community on health education, particularly sex education.
–Evening Standard , 10 December 1993.

Common Objections

Obj: Our public schools can provide an education free from religious and political biases.
A: On April 19, 1987, the then Assistant Director, Resources Development, Dept. of Education, Wellington, met with a number of leaders of homeschooling groups in Auckland. This gentleman stated that his own idealism had been somewhat tarnished when, after years in the state education system, he had had to admit to himself that state education “was not only about children and learning, but also about money and politics.”
The Christchurch Press of November 5, 1985, had an article about the then Under Secretary of Trade and Industry, Mr. Neilson, and his 6-point programme to make Labour “the natural party of Government.” Point 3 of this programme called for the introduction “of peace studies into the education system to achieve this end.””
In a speech at Massey University in mid-1990, Finance Minister David Caygill was reported in the papers as saying that Governments should mould public opinion, not follow it. He said it was the politician’s responsibility to pursue policies that were in the public interest “even when the public disagrees.” (It would seem that both Mr. Neilson and Mr. Caygill have eagerly followed up the implications of a statement by Abraham Lincoln who said well over 130 years ago, “The philosophy of the classroom is the philosophy of the government in the next generation.”)
During the 1986 school trials of the draft programme Keeping Our Selves Safe , the Police Youth Aid Officer in Palmer son North, Frank Mault, chaired a public meeting to explain the programme to interested parents at Central Normal School. He was asked why the KOSS programme was targeting potential victims, school aged children, and educating them to understand and recognise perversions such as incest, sexual molestation, rape, exhibitionism, etc., rather than targeting potential offenders and educating them in self control. The constable answered with a shrug of the shoulders and the words, “I guess the children are easier to reach. They are a captive audience in the classroom each day.”
A few years ago Massey University Education Professor Ivan Snook said that the furore over sex education, morals in the schools, etc., was only a smoke screen. The real issues were power and control: whose are the children and who will control their education?
And it must be pointed out that Karl Marx identified free, compulsory and secular state education as one of the tools through which the proponents of Communism would take over the world.
One powerful force at work is the philosophy of humanism. Webster’s International Dictionary, 1926, defines it as “A system, mode, or attitude of thought or action centering upon distinctively human interests or ideals, esp. as contrasted with naturalistic or religious interests.” The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles, 1975, says humanism is “Belief in the mere humanity of Christ. Any system of thought or action which is concerned with merely human interests, or with those of the human race in general; the ‘Religion of Humanity’.” The Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1975, says, “Though humanism gradually became identified with classroom studies of the classics, it more properly embraced any attitude exalting man’s relationship to God, his free will, and his superiority over nature. Philosophically, humanism made man the measure of all things….In recent years the term humanism has often been used to refer to value systems that emphasize the personal worth of each individual but that do not include a belief in God…..The American Humanist Association publishes a quarterly magazine, The Humanist , and propagates the humanist point of view.”
This magazine, The Humanist , conducted an essay contest and published the prize-winning essays in its Jan/Feb, 1983, issue. One of them entitled “A Religion for a New Age” by John J. Dunphy, is startling in the openness with which it lays all the humanist cards on the table. Part of this essay reads as follows:
“I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being.
“These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the education level– preschool, day care or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new–the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of Humanism, resplendent in its promise of a world in which the never-realized Christian idea of “love thy neighbor” will finally be achieved.”
For anyone to suggest that our state schools are not politically influenced is to display a large measure of naiveté.

Obj: It is not legal.
A: It is most definitely legal. The Picot report of 1988 confirmed that it is a right guaranteed to parents.

Obj: Parents are not as qualified as teachers. They should leave it to the experts.
Unfortunately most of us are aware of cases where teacher certification has not meant the same as teacher competency. In addition, there is the almost unrecognised fact that classroom logistics can make even the best teacher’s efforts an exercise in futility: over-crowded classrooms, lack of discipline, unsupportive administration, inability to give needed individual attention, time restraints which force them to move on to new material before the previous material is comprehended. Teacher certification does not ensure a quality education. In fact, many students who do not catch on at school must go home and get their parents to help out. There are already many parents out there who do the real teaching at night after school while the certified teacher gets the credit. Even Massey University Education Professor Ivan Snook was quoted in the Manawatu Evening Standard of 9 July 1990 as saying that teachers cannot be held responsible for students’ learning because there are too many factors beyond their control. So it would seem that although parents have to make sure their children attend the schools, the schools do not have to make sure that the children learn to read or write.
Click here for more info about parents vs professionals

Obj: Home educated children will not be properly socialised. They will never have any friends if they are kept at home all day.
Home educated children will most definitely be socialised in a completely different way than conventionally schooled children. The whole question of what constitutes proper socialisation and who actually socialises whom is dealt with at length here:
socialisation (The present writer asked his own children, who have never been to conventional schools, to respond to the idea that they, being home educated, would not have any friends. The writer was not prepared for their answers. The nine-year-old son said, “It’s a lie. We’ve got millions of friends.” The six year old son said, “We’ve got heaps of them.” The ten-year-old daughter laughed, then stopped suddenly and said, “That’s about the dumbest question you could ask anybody in the whole world. Is school the only place you can make friends?” The three then came up with the following list of places and ways to make friends: walking down the street, in a playground, at the A & P show, at a fair, visiting the neighbours, at camps, at the supermarket, at Boys and Girls Rally, joining sports, at Sunday school and church, while travelling on the Wellington-Picton ferry, on the beach, at home education meetings and field trips, playgroups, your own cousins and brothers and sisters, bicycling down the street, at the BMX track, you meet your friends’ friends when you visit their house, and you get to know the children of your parents’ friends and workmates.)

Obj: Home educating children is being far too overprotective. It is like keeping them in a hot house.
A: Home educating children is most definitely one way of protecting them from the evils and dangers of NZ’s disintegrating post-Christian society. Virtually any parent would wholeheartedly agree that a vital part of parenting is protecting the children. Parents who take up the home education option often believe they need to protect their children from the falling academic standards, the discipline problems, the negative peer pressure, the wasted and potentially dangerous time spent travelling to and from schools.
And they aren’t the only ones. The Manawatu Evening Standard of 1 October 1990 quoted the Manawatu District School Trustees Association chairman Ruma Karaitiana as saying the threat of abduction or molestation of children on their way to school had prompted most primary schools to introduce a policy of ringing the homes of any pupils who had not arrived at school by about 9:15am.
If accused of keeping their children in a hothouse, many home educating parents would unashamedly and enthusiastically respond, “Yes, I am. That’s my job. Why? Aren’t you doing the same?” A hothouse is for growing young plants in an ideal environment until they are strong and healthy and mature enough to be transplanted out into the open. The objective of the hothouse is to prepare the young plants for life outside on their own. How can anyone accusingly charge parents with doing the same for their own children, as if there was something wrong with it? Home-based education is an endeavour to rear young children in an ideal environment until they are strong and healthy and mature enough to face the world on their own. The objective of the home education is to prepare the young child for life in the real world where they are responsible for themselves. Can anyone come up with a comparable commitment on the part of parents toward their children than the loving, sacrificial and vital involvement of home education?
Many home educators see their task as a 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week lifestyle. The spectre of a neurotic suburban-bound housewife whose tentacle-like apron strings entrap her pale deprived waifs indoors away from all contact with the outside world just doesn’t match the reality of the situation. Home education is a serious commitment, and the work involved would soon have those with phobias and neuroses happily sending their children off to school where someone else could worry about them.

Obj: What about those irresponsible parents who would keep their children at home with no intention of teaching them anything, but just using them as unpaid servants?
A: Such irresponsible parents would be just the people most likely to send their children off to school to get them out of their way. If not, their irresponsibility would surely keep them from going through the process of gaining the necessary Certificate of Exemption from the Ministry of Education. In this latter case, there are truancy laws already on the books to deal with such irresponsibility.
What’s worse is those irresponsible parents who send their children off to school expecting the schools to teach them everything, from toilet training to social graces. This is a logical result of over 100 years of compulsory schooling in this country: parents, having been relieved (so they think) of the education of their children, and in fact of the care of them for a huge part of each day, perceive themselves to have less and less responsibility toward their children. As they get more involved in their own personal pursuits, they actually desire to have less and less responsibility toward their children. The fact that the state seems to be eager to nanny us all from cradle to grave only serves to accelerate this process.
But the compulsory schooling isn’t educating the children. It is incredible that as much as 25% of children end up in reading recovering programmes. This is nothing less than an admission of total failure to teach the simple skill of reading, the most foundational and basic of all skills for an education. In addition an unacceptable number of students leave school in a state of function illiteracy. The prisons are full of conventionally schooled inmates, many of them illiterate.

Obj: Home educating children is sheltering them from the real world.
When you stop to think about it, it is the conventional school which shelters children from the real world. Schools segregate children by age and sometimes even by sex. Do you find this situation anywhere in that real world for which schools are supposedly preparing these peer segregated children? The home and family, the neighbourhood, the community, the workplace, the marketplace are all composed of integrated mixtures of ages and sexes. To be prepared for the future, children must learn to live within the age-integrated NZ society at large, not the age-segregated classroom situation.
Classroom logistics demand that instruction is in the form of theory and practical busy-work; there is rarely if ever any ultimately useful or value-creating function involved. Public education’s great philosopher, John Dewey, said as much himself: “The educational process has no end beyond itself….. (Education is) vital energy seeking opportunity for effective exercise.” On the other hand, home educated children observe and take part in the day to day routine of real life situations: a trip to the supermarket is a lesson in stock taking and stock control, menu planning, budgeting, evaluating price differentials, etc.; helping dad build a treehouse is a lesson in design options, architecture, measurement, spatial estimations, geometry, etc.
In fact home educators are ideally situated for turning their hobbies, crafts and special interests into cottage industries so that the children run their own businesses with practical experience in costing, production, marketing, banking, accounting, taxation and profit. When even 8-year-olds see that profit money sitting in their hands, money they earned by their own intellectual and manual labour, money which they can spend however they like, they are really motivated to relearn those old lessons and keen to learn some new ones.

Obj: Home educated students cannot enter institutions of higher learning as these institutions cannot assess what level of competency has been achieved.
A: It is a relatively simple matter of the prospective student chatting to the university’s or polytech’s admissions officer and gaining entry on a “Provisional Enrolment” basis. The student may want to bring along a portfolio of examples of essay writing skills, work records, character references. No paper qualifications of any kind are needed for such enrolment, which is virtually the same as one with impressive bursary scores. As long as they pass most of their chosen papers the first year, there is no longer any question of their enrolment status. If they fail most of their first year papers, they cannot apply to enrol again until age 20, when anyone can enrol without qualifications of any kind.

Pros and Cons of Home Schooling

Pros–Benefits of Homeschooling

  • 1.Spend more time together as a family.
  • 2.Spend more time with children when they are rested and fresh rather than tired and cranky from school.
  • 3.Superior academic achievement through individual tutoring.
  • 4.Parents can ensure that their children master the subjects.
  • 5.Children can be daily instructed and vitally involved in the realities and responsibilities of life in the everyday real world context of the home, the community, the workplace and the marketplace.
  • 6.The world is the classroom.
  • 7.Tutoring provides vast amounts of individual attention.
  • 8.Curriculum can be tailor made to suit child’s interests, learning style, aptitudes, special needs, etc.
  • 9.Quieter, more secure, loving and committed environment of home builds stronger foundation for child’s security.
  • 10.Builds stronger family ties as everyone is involved in a 24-hour-a-day project of great importance and vast implications.
  • 11.Parents feel more fulfilled in themselves, and are continually challenged to a higher standard of excellence. Their own potentials are more fully developed.
  • 12.Parents are most committed to the child’s success. No one else will spend the blood, sweat, toil, tears, time and money parents routinely invest in their own children.
  • 13.Children receive superior socialisation through the parents’ positive role models and consistent training. Parents’ standards are not constantly contradicted as can happen in the classroom and on the playground.
  • 14.The child’s learning, rather than the teacher’s teaching, is the focus of the whole exercise.
  • 15.The child’s education will not conflict with or contradict the philosophy and world view of the parents and/or the family’s church.
  • 16.Homeschooled children generally demand a higher standard of excellence in radio and TV programming, theatre, the arts, books, magazines, movies, etc. As more and more such individuals abound, they will not only create a market for better goods in these areas, but may also signal the demise of the NZ porn and sleeze merchants for lack of patronage.
  • 17.Independent, individual, original thinkers, as homeschoolers tend to be, may develop into NZ’s own Shakespeares, Einsteins and Beethovens. Consider the South Island’s own C.W.F. Hamilton, the inventor of the jet boat and revolutionary earthmoving equipment. He declared that his two years in school interrupted his education.
  • 18.Independent homeschooling is a must if we are to preserve our civil liberties from the totalitarian tendencies of the social welfare state. As the Presbyterian scholar of Princeton and Westminster Theological Seminaries, Professor J. Gresham Machen, warned way back in 1926, “If liberty is not maintained with regard to education, there is no use trying to maintain it in any other sphere. If you give the bureaucrats the children you might just as well give them everything else.”
  • 19.Children and parents are able to form deeper friendships and more intimate relationships with each other….the family unit is thereby drawn closer together and strengthened.
  • 20.Children learn respect for their parents as teachers in all areas of life. They will look to their parents and to those adults whom the parents respect for advice and guidance rather than to whatever teachers, social workers, and peers happen to be immediately available. The Generation Gap is closed.
  • 21.Your child is removed from a peer-dominated environment in which he or she is exposed to countless potential failure situations, damaging both self esteem and love of learning.
  • 22.The parents’ commitment to and intimate knowledge of the child, the individualised attention, the increased flexibility to even follow the child’s individual preferences in study and the parents’ enthusiasm and excitement about learning themselves will more than make up for any perceived lack of a paper teaching qualification.
  • 23.Avoid having to struggle to get children to do the tedious busy work that is so often sent home as homework.
  • 24.Allow children time to learn subjects not usually taught in their school.
  • 25.Allow children to have time for more in-depth study than what is allowed in school.
  • 26.Allow children to learn at their own pace, not too slow or too fast.
    Allow children to work at a level that is appropriate to their own developmental stage. Skills and concepts can be introduced at the right time for that child.
  • 27.Provide long, uninterrupted blocks of time for writing, reading, playing, thinking, or working so that the child is able to engage in sophisticated, complex activities and thought processes.
  • 28.Encourage concentration and focus – which are discouraged in crowded classrooms with too many distractions.
  • 29.Encourage the child to develop the ability to pace her/himself – this is prevented in a classroom where the schedule is designed to keep every child busy all the time.
  • 30.Spend a lot of time out-of-doors. This is more healthy than spending most weekdays indoors in a crowded, and often over heated, classroom.
  • 31.Spending more time out-of-doors results in feeling more in touch with the changing of the seasons and with the small and often overlooked miracles of nature.
  • 32.Children learn to help more with household chores, developing a sense of personal responsibility.
  • 33.Children learn life skills, such as cooking, in a natural way, by spending time with adults who are engaged in those activities.
  • 34.More time spent on household responsibilities strengthens family bonds because people become more committed to things they have invested in (in this case, by working for the family).
  • 35.Time is available for more non-academic pursuits such as art or music. This leads to a richer, happier life.
  • 36.Children will not feel like passive recipients of subject matter selected by their teachers. They will learn to design their own education and take responsibility for it.
  • 37.Children will realize that learning can take place in a large variety of ways.
  • 38.Children will learn to seek out assistance from many alternative sources, rather than relying on a classroom teacher to provide all the answers.
  • 39.A more relaxed, less hectic lifestyle is possible when families do not feel the necessity to supplement school during after-school and week-end hours.
  • 40.Busy work can be avoided.
  • 41.Children will avoid being forced to work in “co-operative learning groups” which include children who have very unco-operative attitudes.
  • 42.Children can learn to work for internal satisfaction rather than for external rewards.
  • 43.Children will not be motivated to “take the easy way out” by doing just enough work to satisfy their teacher. They will learn to be their own judge of the quality of their own work.
  • 44.Children will be more willing to take risks and be creative since they do not have to worry about being embarrassed in front of peers.
  • 45.Children will be more confident since they are not subject to constant fear of criticism from teachers.
  • 46.Peer pressure will be reduced. There will be less pressure to grow up as quickly in terms of clothing styles, music, language, interest in the opposite sex.
  • 47.Social interactions will be by choice and based on common interests.
  • 48.Friends can be more varied, not just with the child’s chronological age peer group who happen to go to the same school.
  • 49.Field trips can be taken on a much more frequent basis.
  • 50.Field trips can be much more enjoyable and more productive when not done with a large school group which usually involves moving too quickly and dealing with too many distractions.
  • 51.Field trips can be directly tied into the child’s own curriculum.
  • 52.Volunteer service activities can be included in the family’s regular schedule. Community service can be of tremendous importance in a child’s development and can be a great learning experience.
  • 53.Scheduling can be flexible, allowing travel during less expensive and less crowded off-peak times. This can allow for more travel than otherwise, which is a wonderful learning experience.
  • 54.Children will be less likely to compare their own knowledge or intelligence with other children and will be less likely to become either conceited or feel inferior.
  • 55.Religious and special family days can be planned and celebrated.
  • 56.More time will be spent with people (friends and family) who really love and care about the children. Children will bond more with siblings and parents since they will spend more time together playing, working, and helping each other.
  • 57.Feedback on children’s work will be immediate and appropriate. They won’t have to wait for a teacher to grade and return their work later to find out if they understood it.
  • 58.Feedback can be much more useful than just marking answers incorrect or giving grades.
  • 59.Testing is optional. Time doesn’t have to be spent on testing or preparing for testing unless the parent and/or child desires it.
  • 60.Observation and discussion are ongoing at home and additional assessment methods are often redundant. Testing, if used, is best used to indicate areas for further work.
  • 61.Grading is usually unnecessary and learning is seen as motivating in and of itself. Understanding and knowledge are the rewards for studying, rather than grades (or stickers, or teacher’s approval, etc.).
  • 62.Children can be consistently guided in a family’s values and can learn them by seeing and participating in parents’ daily lives.
  • 63.Children will learn to devote their energy and time to activities that THEY think are worthwhile.
  • 64.Children will be able to learn about their ethnicities in a manner that will not demean. Children will be able to understand multiculturalism in its true sense and not from the pseudo-multicultural materials presented in schools which tend to depict others from a dominant culture perspective.
  • 65.Children will not learn to “fit into society,” but will, instead, value morality and love more than status and money.
  • 66.Children do not have to wait until they are grown to begin to seriously explore their passions; they can start living now.
  • 67.Children’s education can be more complete than what schools offer.
  • 68.Children who are “different” in any way can avoid being subjected to the constant and merciless teasing, taunting, and bullying which so often occurs in school.
  • 69.Children with special needs will be encouraged to reach their full potential and not be limited by the use of “cookie cutter” educational methods used in schools.
  • 70.Low standards or expectations of school personnel will not influence or limit children’s ability to learn and excel.
  • 71.Children will be safer from gangs, drugs, and guns.
  • 72.Parents will decide what is important for the children to learn, rather than a government bureaucracy.
  • 73.Family will not be forced to work within school’s traditional hours if it does not fit well with their job schedules and sleep needs.

Cons–Drawbacks of Conventional Schooling

  • 1. Political motivation of curricula content.
  • 2.Susceptibility to radical philosophical overtones of pressure groups: relativism, feminism, mysticism, socialism, the worst of the Family Planning Association, homosexual activism.
  • 3.Bright children often bored and unchallenged.
  • 4.Slow, SPELD or handicapped children often left behind or under-attended.
  • 5.Many children subjected to bullying, teasing, victimisation, manipulation and the many negative aspects of peer pressure.
  • 6.The peer pressure often leads to peer dependency wherein a child will look to his peers for acceptance, standards, morals and guidance.
  • 7.Danger from dense traffic, kidnappers and perverts while travelling to and from school.
  • 8.Exposure to unhealthy, unrighteous and immoral lifestyles as well as infectious diseases, epidemics, head lice, etc.
  • 9.Some children suffer the insecurity of psychological rejection at being sent away from home by parents who often unwittingly give the children the impression they are glad to have the children off their hands.
  • 10.Because the children are away from home for most of the day, Mum or Dad may both tend to focus their attention and look for personal fulfillment outside of the family.
  • 11.Children often develop a split personality in order to deal with one set of authority, values and standards at school and a completely different set at home.
  • 12.The instruction tends to be like mass treatment of children on the classroom dosing strip. No time for individualised tuition.
  • 13.Classroom environment is artificial and contrived and shelters children from the reality of everyday life in the home, the community and the workplace/marketplace. The classroom is also often overcrowded, too cluttered, too noisy and unruly.
  • 14.Necessary academic subjects are skimmed over for lack of time. Unnecessary and sometimes controversial subjects are shoehorned into the programme wasting precious time.
  • 15.There is the added costs of fees, uniforms, committee meetings, transportation. There are hassles with timetables, personality conflicts with teachers, administrators, other parents. There is worry about the competency of some teachers, the influence of certain other students, and rumours of unsavoury “goings on” at school.

Cons–Drawbacks to Homeschooling

  • 1.There may be fewer opportunities for playing team sports.
  • 2.The house begins to resemble a research station rather than an immaculate showhome.
  • 3.Research and learning opportunities begin to spring up in your mind and can even dominate all other activities.
  • 4.There may be hassles in transferring back into the school system. Because you have been studying along a different stream, and even though your child may know a lot more about a lot more subjects, because he hasn’t done “Insects” and “Trains” as did his school peers, your child may be thought of as “behind” and the teachers will complain about having to spend extra time bringing your child up to speed.
  • 5.Parents may find they have less free time to themselves.
  • 6.Homeschooled students tend to miss out on the trendy and experimental educational philosophies and methodologies instigated by the MoE from time to time. They also tend to miss out on those units which are “pushed” into schools by government policies, special interest lobby groups, trustee boards, headmasters and even individual teachers.
  • 7.Homeschooled students may lack the stimulation which academic competition can provide.
  • 8.Homeschoolers tend to be less knowledgeable and sophisticated in the areas of swearing, dirty joke telling, finger signs, alcohol and drug abuse, illicit sexual activity and gang dynamics.
  • 9.Parents may face some opposition from relatives, friends, neighbours and school personnel.