Monday, March 10, 2008

Why we educate children (at home)

The subject of history demonstrates on a grand scale the consequences of men’s ideas and actions; literature concretizes highly abstract values; science shows the power of man’s mind to understand and harness the natural world; math provides tools for grasping science and developing logical acumen; the language arts help children to develop the capacity to express themselves with clarity and eloquence.

This beautifully complete and concise statement by Lisa VanDamme in the Letters & Replies section of the Spring 2008 issue of the Objective Standard explaining the value of curriculum has provided me with immense homeschooling inspiration and confidence. Until and unless there is a VanDamme Academy near us (or another school which espouses these values ), we will continue to try to acheive these primary goals of education at home.


C. August said...

I've checked everywhere, and there is nothing like the Van Damme Academy anywhere in MA. All the private schools are either Catholic or $40k per year. Hell, I even checked housing prices in CA, on the whim of maybe moving there just for the school... (tip: the houses are even MORE expensive.)

My kids are still quite young - both under 5 - but I am already dreading their entry into the public school system. The older one is in a Montessori-esque preschool and is enjoying it. But it's a far cry from a MA public elementary school and the damn MCAS (No Child Left Behind testing, for those non-MA readers).

And I wish we could homeschool, but that simply can't work for us.


Lynne said...

I loved the Children's House part of the Montessori school my daughters went to. In fact, we had hoped that our youngest would continue her education there until the 8th grade. As it turns out, it was really a mixed bag after Children's House. Montessori herself didn't really develop a curriculum for children past age 9, and the enviro-pacifists really adopted and adapted her theories to suit their own needs. They're everywhere!

My experience with public school has not been a good one, but I know plenty of good people, including myself, who have gone through all or part of the system and have come out just fine.