(Again, excerpted from my book, POOR CHEATED LITTLE JOHNNY)
Ah, but you say, administrators have their bosses, too. There are school boards and State Senates, and the Federal Government. They are all there to police each other and to guarantee the best possible education for our children.
Did you really say that? You’re KIDDING, right?
No one polices school administrators.
School administrators are grandfathered in and protected by unions in so ironclad a manner that if an administrator burned a school down resulting in hundreds of deaths, he might get a slap on the wrist, but the unions would certainly protest such a foul punishment. He would not be fired. That would be “wrongful termination” and lead to lawsuits and embarrassment for the school district. I exaggerate, but only slightly.
And not to get too 1984 here, but who polices the school board? Um…supposedly, you do. You elect the members of your local school board. And I just know that you’ve each attended numerous meetings of your local school board to get a good idea of what they do, and how well each member does his job, and…
Oh. You’ve never been to a school board meeting? Or you went to one and got so bored that you started bleeding out your ears? Or you went to a few meetings and realized that nothing was going to change if it relied on the school board for change? You left and never went back? I can’t blame you, really.
Oh, well, then, no one polices the school board.
Of course, we do elect our State Senators and Congress People who make laws that impact our children’s educations. Sad to say, not a single one of them knows anything about what’s happening to your child, or even what’s happening in the school that your child goes to. Politicians know precious little if anything about the school district that your child attends. The laws that politicos write and argue over and pass have nothing at all to do with your child and his or her specific needs, though they’d sure like you to believe that they do. They are based on large samplings and abstractions. Their laws simply have nothing to do with Poor Little Johnny.
What’s the answer? Who should administrate your Little Johnny’s education?
Ah, you know the answer! It’s you.
You are the answer. Who would be the best person to truly administrate your child’s education? Well, you.
You are at least as qualified an educator as most administrators – who often have little or no background in education. In fact, you may be more qualified by far, having now read nearly this entire book! (If you have read all this, then I give you great credit for patience and tenacity, admirable traits for a teacher or administrator to cultivate.)
You have advantages that few administrators have with your students. You are on the ground, in proximity with the student, probably every day. (You may feel at times that you have far too much proximity with your child and long for a break to, say, visit Pismo Beach. That’s a personal issue and sadly not a part of the purview of this book. Good luck with that.)
You know your child. You know not only his name, but what he likes and hates to eat, his allergies, how much sleep he really needs, his favorite games, words that he may use or misuse, when he cleans his room and his teeth…things that no school would ever know or care to know.
What’s more, you understand fairly well your student’s educational needs and wants. Whatever you do not know or understand about his education, you are in the best position by far to find out about.
You have a golden opportunity if you elect to homeschool. You can wean your child away from “the system”, and indeed, any “system”. You may make an administrative decision to remove your child from schools and methodologies that have emasculated education for about a century.
Just to give you slightly less opportunity to accuse me of being some sort of radical, let me speak for a moment to the one or two administrators and “trained” teachers who may have hung in with this book to this point, perhaps out of a desire to themselves do a better job. (See, I can give the benefit of a doubt.)
I have already written in detail about the ways and means that schools and “schooling” might be improved. If you are wedded to the old system, then I have to say that you are the problem, or at least a part of it.
My advice to you is to not settle! You must have, at some time long ago, entered the education business with altruistic motive! Right? You did, didn’t you? Do not simply do what has been done in the past because that’s what’s done. Do not hide behind your position.
Administrator, take heed!
The world will have increasingly fewer uses for you under any of three circumstances: 1) When individuals regularly achieve a grander percentage of their potential, and become increasingly self-actuated and self-directed. 2) Education becomes more “at home” centric, focused on those nearest to the student, as described in this chapter. 3) When schools fail utterly, obviating the need for your job entirely.
Number two and three are happening, administrator! And as they do, we’ll see more and more of number one!
In fact, Sir or Lady Administrator, I fear that your only hope is found in a system where mediocrity continues to prevail, a thing known as the status quo. In that case, why, you’ll continue to fit right in.
Be a game-changer! Make yourself useful! Rebuild your schools in the image herein described. Or, if you just can’t do that, have the decency to quit. Get out of the way and let a newer and better world step through that door that you presently blockade. If you do not, rest assured that the growing masses of dissatisfied, readily discernible from the rapidly burgeoning homeschooling public numbering in the millions in the United States alone, shall not just push you out of their way, but that they will also bury you…as you have buried our children in your destructive system for decades.
When it comes to our children’s education, we are a tough and determined lot. You are with us or against us! Lord Administrator, decide where you want to stand.
Finally, parents and homeschoolers, take heed. Administrators almost always have little or no expertise regarding your child. Administrators are not experts on education, although they often parade about as such.
Be fooled no longer. Take back your child’s schooling! Restore your child’s educational years and efforts into loving hands that will care enough to do the hard work and find the best ways to provide a real and stellar education.
As you probably know, I am an advocate for homeschooling. It’s my belief that homeschooling potentially provides a student with a vastly superior education than schooling in any form. This is backed up by a lot of numbers and research. I’ve taught for public and private schools, at the University level, as a private instructor in thousands of workshops, and as a homeschool dad running a homeschool group. Homeschooling by far works best for most students- and most families.
But I understand that many parents do not believe they can effectively homeschool. They’ve been told that they “don’t have degrees,” and that they “aren’t qualified.” This is all nonsense, of course. You’re legally not required to have any kind of a degree to homeschool your kids anywhere in the U.S. A lot of people who have degrees and who call themselves “professional teachers” are simply awful, and even destructive at what they do. A lot of parents…hundreds that I know of…have homeschooled their kids right into universities and careers.
In a serious effort to make homeschooling easier to do, and more commonly successful in terms of education received, I’ve authored my own curriculum. It took some 15,000 hours to write, over more than a decade of work, and is intended to replace the need for schooling a student from age 5-Adult Continuing Education. The curriculum is called Steps (or “CTT”). It has been used by over 20,000 students worldwide over the past 10 years. Hundreds of “success stories” attest to how well CTT works.
CTT courses are written in a way that gradually allows the student to take over his own education. Each course itself largely does the teaching, relieving mom and dad of that duty unless they wish to use our daily lesson plans in various subjects as springboards for family discussion and discovery – as many families do, every day. The parent has the job of making certain the student is working and has what they need to study. (And you’ll need to find a good math program for homeschooling as we don’t provide one. There are many.)
Below are links to our site discussing each level of curriculum, and every subject at that level that we offer. (You can start any level at any time. We don’t have “semesters” that start at a certain time, and each course stands alone well.) You’ll find free videos describing how every subject and each level works. You’ll discover free samples of every course we offer. Our site offers many other services and surprises, including numerous free courses you can download and try out.
Starter is for ages 5-6, and for preliterate students of any age. It focuses on starting to develop literacy skills, while teaching about various subjects. Starter includes full two-year programs in Reading, History, Science, Creative Writing, and Living Your Life, courses that develop life and study skills for the youngest students. Every lesson plan at the Starter level works to develop literacy.
Elementary is for ages 7-8, and for students who are developing literacy. It includes two-year programs in Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing (which also teaches the parts of language at this level), and Living Your Life courses which develop life and study skills in preparation for more advanced studies to come.
Lower School (ages 9-10) offers two-year programs in Study Essentials, Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing, P.E. Electives, and in various arts such as Animation, Music Theory, and Acting. At this level, students must read fairly well, and studies are progressively turned over to the student.
Upper School (ages 11-High School, and Adult Continuing Education) provides programs in Study Essentials, Reading and Spelling, History, Science, Creative Writing, Current Events, Literature Guides, P.E. Electives, and in arts such as Animation, Acting, Music Theory, and Music History.
For parents who wish to teach at home, but are intimidated at the thought, and for parents who just wish to improve the homeschool experience, we offer a ten course homeschool program for homeschool teachers, as well as several books about education and homeschooling today.
We want you and your children to win with homeschooling!