Re: DSM: one more thought on SV model and home schooling

AR Gouin (
Fri, 13 Aug 1999 11:52:32 -0400


Dropped out of high(sic) school before they succeeded in killing my
desire to learn. I then went on to a MSc in Electrical Engineering. Now
retired for twelve years am still learning and loving it.

Joseph Moore's and Debbie Athos testimonies sadden me to have missed out
on such opportunities but I'm conforted knowing that three of my grand
kids are home-ed'ing themselves and the fourth is in a Montessori(sp?)
program. The oldest grand daughter tried going back to school this past
year and is leaving in disgust and returning to home-ed.

To all in home-ed (and SVS) my hat is raised.

André R. Gouin, P.Eng.

Joseph Moore wrote:
> Just personal experience, not a generalization:
> Meeting my first few batches of real live home schooled kids a few years ago
> lead me to start questioning the premises of public education, namely, that
> these kids certainly didn't seem any the worse for not having spent years in
> a desk, and many (heck, ALL in my nonscientific sample) seemed more
> comfortable around adults, more well spoken, and more friendly than any
> traditionally schooled kids I'd ever known. YMMV.
> Next, the thing that finally pushed me fully into the SV model camp was a
> visit my then 5 year old son and I took to Sacramento Valley School. A group
> of teenagers was woodcarving out front, and they not only acknowledged our
> existence, they were actually polite and solicitous. The first person who
> greeted us when we went in the door was a girl of 7 or 8, who looked me
> straight in the eye and asked if I needed any help. My son was welcomed into
> a group of kids of wide ages who were doing some art project or other.
> Everyone we spoke with that day was articulate and thoughtful - I took that
> as a sign that essential education was in fact taking place.
> The stress level was low, the friendliness and civility were high, and
> relations between people of various ages and interests were very
> comfortable. I wanted this for my kids.
> Now, my personal belief is that any parent worth the name is 'home
> schooling' regardless of where he or she sends the kids during the day. No
> 'model' is going to replace a loving and interested adult in the life of a
> kid, and it is the exceptional child who comes out whole without having been
> part of a real home and family for at least some portion of their childhood.
> I'm not some 'family values' nut - I hope I'm just stating the obvious: it's
> easier to grow up whole when there's a consistent caring group of grown ups
> showing the way.
> That said, what do you want out of a school? I wanted a place where my kids
> would be treated with respect - no raising your hand just to go to the
> bathroom, no bells to derail your train of thought, no condescending adults
> micromanaging your every moment. I wanted my kids to get a chance to hang
> out with interesting people of their own choosing and not be age segregated
> for the convenience of some bureaucrat somewhere. And I wanted my kids to
> get a chance to exercise their own minds and wills in a democratic
> community, instead of being treated like criminals until they were 18, at
> which time some miraculous 'good citizen' gene would presumably kick in and
> make them 'responsible' adults. Or doesn't it work that way?
> No reading classes? Doesn't matter. My wife and I read to the kids, it'll
> happen when it happens.
> No math classes? Doesn't matter. We cook and are building a treehouse
> together, so numbers and measuring come up all the time. It'll happen.
> No 'socialization'? This does matter, especially after reading a bit of what
> Horace Mann and his ilk had in mind, basically turning us poor folk into
> good factory workers who don't steal from their betters. Screw that. How
> about just learning to tolerate other's differences, and learning how to get
> along in a diverse group of people?
> While I get a bit rabid in support of the SV model, I'm not naive enough to
> expect it to solve all the worlds problems. Too much else has to change as
> well. But it's a great place to start!
> Cheers!
> Joseph Moore

"The end of labor is to gain leisure." Aristotle.
 -- Gouin, d'Ottawa ON Canada. Futurist-at-leisure NOW. --

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