“Accustomed to acquire information under the guise of amusement, young people will soon reject that which is presented to them under the aspect of study and labour. Learning their knowledge and science in sport, they will be too apt to make sport of both; while the habit of intellectual dissipation, thus engendered, cannot fail, in course of time, to produce a thoroughly emasculating effect both upon their mind and character. ‘Multifarious reading,’ said Robertson of Brighton, ‘weakens the mind like smoking, and is an excuse for its lying dormant. It is the idlest of all idlenesses, and leaves more of impotency than any other.’” (Kindle location from Gutenberg download, 4642-4646)The mantra of public education is “Learning must be fun.” While I will admit that there are some things that can be taught by cute songs, A B C D anyone, it is a little difficult to teach any kind of deeper thinking without real work. But since public education is not about developing free thinking citizens they go for the fun.
If you are a parent you know that you must be a father or mother, not a buddy. Of course, that is only true if you are willing to risk being unpopular with the little savages you have been entrusted with. I say that having mostly domesticated the two precious little savages that call me Dad.
I am somewhat amused by the air-time that home schooling has been getting during the lock down. For those of you invested in public education, never fear. It will not catch on. The amount of work and self sacrifice it involves is not for everyone. The problem with people who are interested in home schooling is that they ask people who still have their children in public school. It is like going to the local bar to ask about solutions to drunk driving.
If you think you can tough it out and know you love your children, seriously consider teaching them at home.
Smiles, Samuel. Self Help. London: John Murray, Albemarle Street, 1897.
homo unius libri