arrow109 Comments
  1. R Gilbert
    Mar 22 - 11:38

    A little late to this fray, but here are my two cents:

    First, to quote Hillary Clinton, “It takes a village to
    raise a child.” Note that she did not say “It is the village’s job to raise
    your child” as so many modern parents have twisted her words into saying. (If
    you want to hate on Hillary, please don’t deny that the “village” could be just
    as easily interpreted as the World-Wide-Web, Sunday School, or Uncle Milt
    taking the kids for an airplane ride.) The village does not exist to do parents’
    jobs for them. It exists as a resource so that parents can do an even better
    job than they could had they only the average household teaching resources
    available to them. My wife, who does not have a teaching degree and no
    experience with math and English beyond high school, tutors children and
    college students in math and reading. Her biggest obstacle is parents who don’t
    parent but expect her to magically fix their kids’ learning problems.

    Second: in reference to the science involved in space travel
    and our current technological advancements, I would like to point out that
    ninety percent of the science behind the cell phone or computer on which you are
    viewing this was discovered before modern “science” began to revere evidence
    and statistical data with borderline religious fervor (the other ten percent
    was developed abroad). Since then we have seen study after study contradicting
    each other over every issue from dietary supplements to sub-atomic physics…but
    no real breakthroughs (of course, if anybody who reveres “Evidence” reads this,
    they will be challenged to heap their own flavor of agreeable statistics into a
    comment beneath this one). Still, with all those studies, what has changed? It’s
    like the joke I tell of Shroedinger’s wife (not his cat), who said “I have
    nothing to wear” and when he scientifically measured the contents of her
    closet, dismissed each blouse, gown, and skirt with reasons why it was not
    qualified as evidence (“can’t wear white after Labor Day,” for example).

  2. Susan Raber
    Feb 03 - 4:49

    Traditional schools could take a step in the right direction if they allowed children to progress at their own pace, instead of corralling them by chronological age. Making kids feel as if they are inferior because they aren’t moving along at the same developmental pace as other kids in their class who could be nearly a year older is obviously antithetical to everything we know about how kids learn and grow.

    I’m glad I have the freedom to educate my kids at home and let them move along at a pace that inspires and energizes them.

  3. Elementary School Student
    Jan 31 - 8:37

    I also think most students, especially in the United States, would not really discover such complex things on their own, but somehow it still makes sense. But I just don’t think that would really… yeah, you get the point.

  4. Elementary School Student
    Jan 31 - 8:35

    I happened to read this article today.
    I totally agree with this. Even though I love
    my school and it has a really great way of teaching and keeping kids safe, this
    article makes almost a complete amount of sense. I love my school as much
    (okay, maybe ALOMOST) as much as I love my home, but learning still has
    challenges, and most people in my class would probably agree that they are
    being pushed to hard to do work instead of out of their own curiosity.

    I was reading this excerpt for the first time, I found it hard to believe there
    are schools out there like Sudbury
    Valley. It sounded
    strange, not being taught like I am now. As boring as it can be sometimes, I
    think we need those times when we sit at our desks for hours at a time,
    listening to the teacher sort of drone on. Even so, we still listen because we
    know it will come up later, like in ugh, HOMEWORK.

    is not something I enjoy. If I wasn’t so “oh, school is too hard and so is
    our homework but if I don’t finish it I will get yelled at and have to mark the
    homework chart and be embarrassed and sad,” I would enjoy it if it was
    limited. But the one thing I can’t STAND is e-homework.

    I understand how tech is the new thing and all but in some cases, it is pure
    DUMBNESS. It’s bad enough that most schools have new ways to teach and are more
    focused on your work, but without the teacher who actually knows what to do and
    doing it for hours, as well as it is difficult and some students at my school
    don’t have available computers, it is really stressing and hard work.

    I still like my school as it is. I would just like it better if we all knew the
    best way to go through school, but this is not possible because people have
    decisions. And without decisions, I think our preferences, opinions and
    perspective wound not be as powered with no driven source.

    -Elementary School Student

  5. William cooney
    Jan 31 - 1:51

    It is essential for parents to create a healthy learning
    environment for their kids. it is imperative as it nourish urge of reading and
    learning in kids at early stage…i am a single parent having two kids. your article is very informative. my elder son has learn to read in early age n my younger daughter
    is in process. Homeschooling is important for enhancing positivity and
    creativity in kids. HOP is best program in this regard.

  6. richard40
    Jan 21 - 10:46

    I think these alternative schools work with some kids but not others. Some kids need structure, predictibility, and direction, while some need independence and autonomy. In the end private school vouchers may be best, and let the parents decide.

  7. rose528
    Jan 20 - 1:54

    if you research you will find that the nazi fascist party of NO(republicans) have been behind the reduction in the education of our children and if you research you will find a nazi fascist party of NO (republicans) governor in the states who continue to reduce the funds and education for our children

    • andycleary
      Jan 20 - 10:29

      You didn’t really read the article, did you?

  8. Okkenai
    Jan 19 - 11:47

    We homeschool our children. We have the flexibility & freedom to learn when & where we like. Anyone taking the time to teach a child knows that spark of interest is key for them learning, otherwise it is a waste of everyone’s time. Homeschooling allows you to take advantage of that spark of interest & run with it. One of our children has an interest in mechanics & math, he takes apart toys & redesigns his own. He can calculate the price of sale items at the store & price of items w/tax, in his head – he’s 10. Another son writes & illustrates his own stories & makes his own board games. He’s read all the Harry Potter series & the Hobbit – he’s 8. Neither of these children would have had time to begin developing their natural interests if placed in public school. We have many friends w/children the same age in various schools, they are plagued with struggles in every subject, social issues that prohibit learning, school policies that they are unable to address, the list goes on and on. We are at a point where we have proof that the public education system has become a glorified daycare that passes the child onto the next grade without caring what or if they learn. As parents, we have to decide if a double income to have more material goods is worth our children’s chance at an education that will carry them into a successful future. In public school, education is too hit or miss for my liking, we’ve sacrificed many things to make homeschooling our children a priority. The bottom line for many folks is they just aren’t willing to trouble themselves to teach their own children, they’d much rather blame someone else for their children’s failures than do what they know in their own heart would be the right thing.

  9. sukietawdry
    Jan 19 - 9:28

    In these free-style schools where there’s an “unlimited opportunity to play and explore,” do the children teach themselves reading, writing and arithmetic much like those children in India?

    Don’t get me wrong, we need alternatives to the failure that is public education, but this seems just a little too transcendentalist to me and as you know, that educational approach failed in the long run. Further, childhood is not a democracy. There is behavior that not only should be discouraged, but actually punished when necessary. And other behavior that should be encouraged. Children need the freedom to be creative, but they are children, after all. They also need discipline and a guiding hand.

    • andycleary
      Jan 20 - 10:28

      “There is behavior that not only should be discouraged, but actually punished when necessary.”

      Seriously, a little whipping now and then will leave some welts that will be good for everyone in the long run.

      “do the children teach themselves reading, writing and arithmetic”

      Not only that, but they learn that if they pull really hard on their shoes, they can actually start to lift themselves off the ground and fly!

      [Or maybe you should try understanding before forming an opinion. They don’t *teach themselves*. They *direct* themselves. They are taught by learning materials like the internet and books, they ask questions of adults and older children, they learn science by doing experiments…]

      • LP
        Apr 30 - 10:17

        Actually, math is a human invention and children will invent it. Reading on the other hand is like a language and must be learned from modeling. Writing is a hard one – most kid I know just teach themselves how to type – their writing is hardly legible.

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