Rambling and pointless post. Mainly I just want to point to a particular YouTube video as evidence of a phenomenon and not just for the information being presented.
Those without kids don’t tend to get as deeply emotionally involved with children’s education as those with kids. Zerointelligence.net (R.I.P. September 07) was identifying school silliness like Reason does for government silliness; the stories aren’t just occasional outliers as I’ve learned from people with kids in school. The homeschooling movement has gone mainstream, a phenomenon I first saw in Hawaii, where military parents can’t afford the cost of the few private schools, aren’t eligible for the racially exclusionary Kamehameha schools system and the public ones are to despair over (one place at which I volunteered had its playground condemned, for instance). EducationNation has been ranting for a while, and Kitchen Table Math is a conversation on exactly that, getting into the details of Singapore versus Kumon and all that stuff.
And the bad schools are bad. I don’t just mean the political indoctrination, or the violence, or the cost, or the all-powerful establishment–I mean the instruction. This video has been making the rounds. I think I get the general Good Idea that was behind the change back in the day–there are ways to manipulate numbers, and we have calculators. However, basics still need done, and not just for tradition’s sake.
Up in San Jose, cosmopolitan home of rich and ambitious folks, the magazine Bay Area Parent has many many listings for Christian schools, Chinese immersion schools, music instruction schools, you name it; right next to the full page ads for pony ride rentals or jumpy room rentals with face painting clowns. Apparently this is also a boutique thing. I should have known this, but didn’t.
Lots of interesting choices and tasks to deal with when you have a young’un. The local schools, though, are going to have to be occasionally avoided as Uncle moves us from place to place. I guess I’d better start looking into Kumon and all that…
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