Anthony Hopkins

I think children can be very cruel especially in adolescence and if you are slow, and I was (I was in a school which was quite competitive) you do get a lot of slamming about from the other kids. I don't know about girls, but I know that boys are very cruel and very tough. It built up a tremendous resentment in me because I was also bad at sport and athletics and all I could do was play the piano. So I always got the sense in my adolescent years that 'Oh, Hopkins, you know he's, well he's not worth much, or he's a failure.

Link for the Day:
By Zip - Jon's Homeschool Resources

Alan Thomas

The opportunity to develop and practise social skills in school is quite limited. Children spend nearly all their time in school with other children born during the same academic year as themselves, and a great deal of time outside school as well. In school, there is little social contact with younger or older children and even less with adults. It is easy to see how peer mores, values and codes of behaviour become entrenched, resulting in considerable pressure to conform and the threat of ostracism or exclusion from the group for those who do not. Moreover, up to one and a half hours a day in school is specifically set aside for social recreation in the playground, where children are thrown together with nothing much to do. It is not surprising that playground hierarchies emerge and bullying is rife.

Link of the Day:
Gentle Birth
Rabindranath Tagore

The consequence is that the 'social' skills acquired are those which may be essential for survival in school but have little applicability in the outside world. There is virtually no opportunity to relate socially to adults in school in order to learn wider social skills. Ironically, such skills can only be learned outside school hours. Teachers do, of course, set up social scenarios and discuss with children how to behave in given social circumstances. But these are no substitute for learning through real-life, dynamic social contact.

Link of the Day:

Concerned Businessmens Association of America
Daniel Guterson

For thousands of years, in thousands of places, families educated their own. This tradition changed not because a better method was found but because economic conditions required it. To work one had to lreave one's children; one's children, furthermore, had to be trained for tasks no-one in their purview could be seen doing. For these reasons institutionalised schooling was invented' and while it adequately addressed a set of economic problems it inspired a new set of human ones that are psychological, emotional, and even spiritual in nature.

I do not pine for a different place and time. I only point out what we have traded off. I think certain good things are recoverable, though without the life that once surrounded them they must inevitably take on different meanings. One of these is the tradition of parental and communal responsibility for the daily instruction of the young. Today this is denied us because teaching has been institutionalised, a convenience in a time of industry and profit when citizen-labourers perform economic functions more efficiently without children present. But for whom is such a state of affairs indeed convenient?

Learning theory tells us to teach children as individuals who learn in their own unique manner. The finest possible curriculum is precisely the one that starts with each child's singular means of learning. Instruction and guidance are best provided by those with an intimate understanding of the individual child and a deep commitment to the child's education. these principles derive not merely from the homeschooling movement but from contemporary research into how children learn. They are not merely adages fabricated by homeschoolers but precepts grounded in a science that should inspire us to reconsider both our roles as parents and the shape of public education.

Link of the Day:
Homeschooling in California
E.M. Forester

School was the unhappiest time of my life and the worst trick it ever played on me was to pretend that it was the world in miniature. For it hindered me from discovering how lovely and delightful and kind the world can be, and how much of it is intelligible.

Link of the Day:
L. Ron Hubbard, The Humanitarian - Education
Dorothy L. Sayers

What use is it to pile task on task and prolong the days of labour, if at the close the chief object is left unattained? It is not the fault of the teachers -- they work only too hard already. The combined folly of a civilization that has forgotten its own roots is forcing them to shore up the tottering weight of an educational structure that is built upon sand. They are doing for their pupils the work which the pupils themselves ought to do. For the sole true end of education is simply this: to teach men how to learn for themselves; and whatever instruction fails to do this is effort spent in vain.

Link of the Day:
Clergy Corner: Scientology
Howard Gardner

The single most important contribution education can make to a child's development is to help him towards a field where his talents best suit him, where he will be satisfied and competent. We've completely lost sight of that. Instead we subject everyone to an education where, if you succeed, you will be best suited to be a college professor... And we evaluate everyone along the way according to whether they meet that narrow standard of success. We should spend less time ranking children and more time helping
them identify their natural competencies and gifts, and cultivate those.

There are hundreds and hundreds of ways to succeed and many, many different abilities that will help you get there.

We should use kids' positive states to draw them into learning in the
domains where they can develop competencies....You learn at your best when you have something you care about and can get pleasure from being engaged in.

Link of the Day:
Welcome to My Site