Today I offer you a passage from Dumbing us Down by John Taylor Gatto. It is very important for homeschoolers to listen very carefully when someone criticizes public education. Why? Because if we don't we may end up reinventing these mistakes in our homes. True education should be an antidote to indifference. Children need to learn to meet deadlines but don't mistake that sort of skill with learning. Learning takes leisure. Isn't it almost impossible to wrap your mind around that? We are truly fighting an uphill battle.
Here is John Taylor Gatto:
"The third lesson I teach kids is indifference. I teach children
not to care about anything too much, even though they want to make it
appear that they do. How I do this is very subtle. I do it by
demanding that they become totally involved in my lessons, jumping up
and down in their seats with anticipation, competing vigorously with
each other for my favor. It's heartwarming when they do that, it
impresses everyone, even me. When I'm at my best I plan lessons very
carefully in order to produce this show of enthusiasm. But when the
bell rings I insist that they stop whatever it is that we've been
working on and proceed quickly to the next work station. They must turn
on and off like a light switch. Nothing important is ever finished in
my class, nor in any other class I know of. Students never have a
complete experience except on the installment plan.
Indeed, the lesson of the bells is that no work is worth
finishing, so why care too deeply about anything? Years of bells will
condition all but the strongest to a world that can no longer offer
important work to do. Bells are the secret logic of schooltime; their
argument is inexorable. Bells destroy the past and future, converting
every interval into a sameness, as an abstract map makes every living
mountain and river the same even though they are not. Bells inoculate
each undertaking with indifference."