Let’s Discuss Universal Private Education!

It’s been a while since I last wrote for this site, as you can see.  I’ve been very busy promoting children’s rights, homeschooling, and re-doing our own curriculum site.  But I’m very interested in writing more here.  The question is, what do YOU need?

This is a site dedicated to homeschooling, both the hows and the whys of it.  Further, it is about Universal Private Education, which is the idea that there are MANY forms of private education and homeschooling that one might investigate or make use of.

I WANT TO HELP YOU PRIVATELY EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN!  Through discussion here, and in my other sites, webinars and interviews, I want to do my best to encourage you to homeschool or privately educate, and then help you succeed at it.  This is the purpose of this site and of most of my activities in education.

By “private education”, what we’re simply saying is every form of education other than public education.   In other words, anything but public schools.  There are quite literally millions of families who today have this as a mantra where their children are involved; “Anything but public school.”  Needless to say, I agree.  But what does this leave as an alternative?  Most often, private schools, and homeschooling.  I’ve discussed both at great length in other places here at this site, as well as in my two books, and in articles.  Briefly, Private Schooling is okay for those who feel their child MUST have a “schooling” experience, and who are willing to pay the often very high tuition.  Most private schools adhere all too closely to the same methods, curriculum, testing requirements and other garbage that public schools use to destroy children.  There are private schools, however, who have moved away from what we have unfortunately come to accept as the “standard” for education, particularly in America, as seen in our awful, failed, abusive public schools.

If you must “school”, then I would strongly recommend locating a private school that a) does not assign grades; b) does not group kids according to their age, but rather according to their interests and abilities; c) assigns little or no homework; d) deemphasizes testing or does no testing at all; and e) places a real emphasis on discovering the student’s actual interests and encouraging their pursuit rather than insisting on a “standard” curriculum or cour5se of study in subjects your child may have little or no aptitude or interest in.  These wo0uld hold especially true for children old enough to have even a vagu8e idea of their own interests, certainly by say age eight or nine.  And of course, priority number one for any parent – WILL YOUR CHILDREN BE SAFE AT THE PRIVATE SCHOOL YOU’VE SELECTED?  If you have even the slightest doubt, I wouldn’t go that route.

There are variations of the private school, as well, including tutoring centers.  Again, I’ve discussed these at length.  I personally think that the more specialized a tutor or tutoring center is, the better.  Homeschoolers in need of academic assistance can then quickly home in on the right teacher and center to work with – one designed specifically to fill a need they have spotted.  Tutors and tutoring centers have an important place in education, especially where public schooling has failed, or where struggling homeschoolers have run into a brick wall.

And so, to homeschooling.  We tend to think of “homeschooling” as the one parent – one student (or more than one student, depending on how many children a family may have) model.  This is the old model, and it works for many people to this day.  I don’t necessarily think it’s the best or even the easiest way to homeschool, depending on the family involved.  There are absolutely children and families that thrive on this model, and you know the old saying – if it works, don’t fix it!  But there are many parents who feel uncomfortable “teaching” anyone, much less their own child, and children who do not want mom or dad as full-time instructor.

For these and other reasons, I’m a huge fan of HOMESCHOOL GROUPS.  These should overall be comprised of two to four families who are homeschooling.  They should live near each other.  Their children may not be around the same ages and have similar interests, but it certainly is okay if they are and do.  It is also important that the families involved understand and have an agreement as to how they will work together.  Such a group might have up to ten children in it.  The one I ran did, and we ran the group successfully for years.  Parents share responsibilities for teaching o0r at least “supervising”, often on a rotating basis so that most of the parents are off the hook most of the time.  This is a great plus for busy or employed parents.

Such groups offer many other advantages, including joined resources, and adults with varying interests and expertise of their own, which they can share with the students.  Such a group is inherently far safer than a school.  Curriculum and studies can be tailored around each students needs, interests and strengths, something no school can do.  And a group of four or more children generally satisfies the ridiculous argument in favor of “socialization”, I concept that is laughable at best and horribly destructive at its worse, as we see in public schools around the country who claim to have some sort of monopoly on “socialization”.  Few concepts are more disastrous in education, and I hope you reject it out of hand.  The monstrous and out-of-control violence in our schools, not to mention huge numbers of abuses against students by teachers, staff, and other students, should really speak for itself in this regard.

Anyway, there is the start of a discussion, and the basis of a question.  WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW ABOUT HOMESCHOOLING, or other forms of private education?  What information would you find useful, or helpful? Comment below!  Start a discussion, and I will happily take up your questions as I can, and try to use them to open the door to successful education practices in the private sector.

I WANT YOUR CHILDREN TO SUCCEED BRILLIANTLY.  If you are sane, then you do, too.  Let’s see what we can do about that.

Steven Horwich
educator for 40 years

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!


6 comments for “Let’s Discuss Universal Private Education!

  1. Russell Person
    September 13, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Hi Steven,
    We are looking into moving and are not concerned about the schools where we may move to because we homeschool. What is the best way to start (recruit) homeschoolers of the right age for our 6 year old son to share a learning experience and how should the group be structured. I’m assuming we have all turned in our affidavit for homeschooling in California.

  2. September 13, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Hi Russell,

    That’s certainly true, homeschoolers can live just about anywhere. They can move, and move repeatedly, and not have it seriously impact the child’s studies. So long as they adhere to the legalities of the state or country they’re in, as you imply. Glad to hear from you.

  3. October 6, 2012 at 9:27 am

    I’m a stay at home mom with a small business and am enjoying homeschooling my 2 small boys. (my 1st year homeschooling). I wish on those busy days when I 2nd guess myself that there was a better alternative to homeschooling and I like the idea of getting in touch with local homeschool groups. Interesting…

  4. October 6, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Hi Jennifer,

    I understand! Homeschooling can be a rough and lonely road when done using the traditional “1 parent – child” model. I’m a BIG fan of homeschool groups, as they solve many problems. Hang in there!

  5. March 31, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Do you know any examples of the kind of private schools you mentioned?

    • March 31, 2013 at 10:45 am

      Hi, Stacy. No, I do not. I hope they’re out there, and if they are not, they should be designed and opened to function as described – in service to families and children instead of some misguided self-serving idea of “education” – as we see in public schools.

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