Tuesday, March 25, 2014

More proof of the power of home...

I've been reading through all my homeschooling books. This is the time of year when we need a little gas in the car. It's tempting to quit early, so I need to remind myself of why we do what we do. I'm reading through the books not only to remind myself, but to then pass on the books to other parents who might need them more than me.

I'm reading John Holt's How Children Fail. This is his earliest work so it's focus is mainly on the problems with the public school system. It was soon after this that he became an advocate of homeschooling rather than school reform.

While not necessarily written from a biblical worldview, Holt's observations of children naturally lead him to some truths that resonate with Charlotte Mason and others. In particular, Holt was a huge advocate of the power of home in the education of a child. Here's a quote I love that he gave in an interview in 1980:

"I want to make it clear that I don't see homeschooling as some kind of answer to badness of schools. I think that the home is the proper base for the exploration of the world which we call learning or education. Home would be the best base no matter how good the schools were. The proper relationship of the schools to home is the relationship of the library to home, or the skating rink to home. It is a supplementary resource.

But the school is a kind of artificial institution, and the home is a very natural one. There are lots of societies without schools, but never any without homes. Home is the center of the circle from which you move out in all directions, so there is no conceivable improvement in schools that would change my mind about that." - John Holt

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