We are going to home school our kids, but that’s only because we hate education

First, I’d like to treat you to a look at a few snippets of some emails I received yesterday, after a certain “controversial” segment on my show:

“I never realized you were so anti-education…”

“It figures that a teabagger would hate education so much…”

“….so it seems you would rather have a nation full of illiterates…”

“….I get tired of your anarchist propaganda…”

“I’m sure Hitler would be very proud of you…”

That last one — the obligatory “you’re as bad as Hitler!” charge — is especially ironic, considering the subject that prompted these responses: public education. Specifically, my belief that government education is an unmitigated disaster, and can only be remedied by more and more families deciding to remove government from the equation and educate their children themselves. That last emailer is, predictably, a proud product of public school. But you already knew that, in light of his hilarious historical ignorance.

Contrary to his claims, Hitler would not have been very “proud” of my pro-home school rhetoric. In fact, he would have been quite displeased. In fact, he probably would have expressed that displeasure in a manner which would have left no room for interpretation. That’s because Hitler actually outlawed home schooling (a law that’s still enforced in Germany today, and passionately endorsed by our own Justice Department). The Fuehrer was a huge proponent of public schooling — and that’s not an attempt to compare modern public school proponents to Nazis.

But, you know, if anyone comes close to mirroring the National Socialist Party on this particular subject, it obviously isn’t the home schooling folks…

Every day, people send me stories about madness in the public school system. Recently, I’ve had a lot of folks asking me to rail against the Common Core Standards, and Zero Tolerance Policies, and the efforts to “remove God from education.” Of course, I find all of these things repulsive and I have ranted and raved about all of them countless times. I was actually in the process of writing yet another piece lambasting a school in Indiana for actively promoting eugenics and population control, and a few other schools for expelling or suspending students who “brought” imaginary weapons to class. I made it about three paragraphs into my spiel, and then I stopped. And then I sighed. And then I hit ‘delete.’

No more.

I’m done. Seriously. I’m not going to complain about these things anymore. I’m not going to complain about bureaucracy and propaganda in government education, for the same reason that I won’t write a scathing blog post admonishing water for being moist, or criticizing heroin for being addictive. I won’t criticize a thing for being exactly what it’s meant to be, and doing exactly what it’s designed to do. Instead, if it’s warranted, I’ll attack the thing in its entirety. See, when you take something that is bad, and you randomly chastise a few of its essential parts and properties, you have succeeded only in perpetuating the myth that said parts can somehow be removed from the sum.

They can’t. Sorry. It’s not going to happen.

Government education is designed to be an instrument of propaganda and bureaucratic control. This isn’t a side effect —it’s the whole point. If you don’t want your kid subject to government propaganda and government control, then don’t send him to a government facility 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, for 13 years of his life. Or go ahead and send him — perhaps you have no choice, I understand that — but confront the reality of the situation.

Many of us screamed from the hilltops when Obama set forth on his plan to seize control of health care. Yet we seem to have taken it for granted that the government ought to control education. We don’t want any bureaucrat telling us what pills to take, but we’ll sure let them tell our kids what thoughts to think. We don’t want them controlling what we put in our body, but we don’t seem too intent on disabling their ability to control what’s put into our child’s mind. This failure to fundamentally question government education, is, itself, a major victory for government education. It’s also brought us into this mindless, numbing state where we generally approach every issue by arguing about the color of the leaves, and the lengths of the branches; yet we never discuss the tree itself, or dig down to look at its roots. Perfect example: all of the well-meaning conservatives who, in light of recent news, insist that we must now “reform” the IRS. Reform it for what purpose? To take away its power to steal, manipulate, punish, bribe, invade, cajole, and blackmail? Well, seeing as how the agency was invented for the express purpose of doing all of those things, perhaps we ought to be instead insisting on it’s complete and total destruction.

The Prussians were on the forefront of compulsory government education. Horace Mann studied the Prussian model of education in the 1840’s, and came away quite impressed. In Prussia, State education was devised as a means to develop obedient soldiers, subservient workers, and subordinated citizens. Our own system works toward the same end, and with striking results.

Sure, take a look at your Facebook newsfeed and you’ll find that most of us can’t write coherently, or express a formed thought on any topic, but government education has still been enormously successful. Decipher these ramblings and what do you find? Not much, and that’s the point. Score one for Government Education. Now try this: write something really outside of the mainstream box. Write something that questions our cultural values and societal priorities. Post it, and see what happens. The trolls came out of the ground like Lord of the Rings to viciously attack, probably wishing death and destruction upon you, right? Score two for Government Education.

Oh, it’s working alright.

And this is why people hate home schooling. They hate it because it’s against the grain. It’s too far “out there.” Almost every human being was “home schooled” for most of human civilization, but now many can’t even fathom the concept. These people have no rational or empirical case against it. By any standard or academic indicator, home schooled kids outperform their public schooled peers by wide margins. The critics might babble about how public schools are good for “socialization,” but in the next breath they’ll complain of the bullying “epidemic.”

So I’ll send my child to public school during her formative years, watch as her attention starved peers attempt to tear her to emotional shreds for the next decade, and then, at the end of it all, she’ll be “socialized”? Really?

What’s next? Should I soak in a tub full of sewage and hepatitis for the sake of “health and hygiene”? Thanks, but I’ll pass, on both counts.

“Oh, but you don’t want to be too protective of your kids,” I’m told. “You don’t want to shield them.”

Yes. Yes I do. That’s my job. I will shield them and I will protect them, because they are my children and that’s why I’m here. Again, I understand that not everyone can home school, but it’s truly insane, and dangerous, and appalling to pretend that a child benefits from the sort of bullying and social torment that is rampant in modern public schools.

Good Lord, look around you. Are you surrounded by well adjusted, mature, “sociable” individuals?

Where are they? Where are these “socialized” people I hear about so often? I don’t see many of them, but I do see a lot of narcissists, and substance abusers, and people on psychotropic medication, and people who have never been in a healthy relationship in their entire lives. I see a lot of dependency and insecurity. I see a lot of desperation and confusion. I’m not blaming all of this on public schools, but public schools certainly haven’t helped matters.

It’s very chilling to think that parents are sending their children to government facilities for the express purpose of being “socialized” by government workers. It’s one thing to send your kids there IN SPITE of the social “lessons” he’ll learn. It’s quite another to send them specifically FOR those lessons. I went to public school, and my parents spent most evenings trying to undo the “socialization” that so many other parents seem to embrace.

In any case, education is really supposed to be about, well, education. Have you ever looked up the definition of “education”? I have. Here it is: “the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, and developing the powers of reasoning and judgement.” Only in America (and other Socialist nations) could we look at that definition and think: “Hmmmm, that sounds like something that requires trillions of dollars and millions of bureaucrats!” Only in America (and other nations where the family structure is disintegrating) could we decide that parents are incapable of helping their children “develop the powers of reasoning and judgement.” In fact, in more primitive times, folks would have been crazy enough to think that ONLY parents are suited for that job.

Good thing we’re more enlightened now. Here in Kentucky, we spend about 5 billion dollars on “education.” That’s enough to buy 17 thousand Lamborghinis, or 50 round trips to the moon; it’s enough to construct another Large Hadron Collider, or purchase 84 million tickets to King’s Dominion, but apparently it isn’t enough to teach half a million kids how to read and write. Our education budget was “slashed” by a whopping .005 percent, and that’s prompted the predictable apocalyptic reaction from left wingers and politicians. “AHHHH THE CHILDREN ARE DOOMED! HOW SHALL WE TEACH THEM WITH ONLY A SMIDGEN LESS THAN FIVE BILLION DOLLARS?!”

But here I am, doing what I said I wouldn’t. I’m complaining about the insane amount of money wasted on “education,” as if there’s any chance that government education could ever be anything but expensive and wasteful. It can’t. It won’t. It’s not possible. This is how it is designed.

The problem with the government school system is that it’s a government school system. There are many good teachers and honest people who work inside these buildings, but that doesn’t change the fact that the State shouldn’t be indoctrinating our kids. A public system for youth-indoctrination shouldn’t exist in a supposedly free society. Period.

You might wish to think that, with proper reforms, the schools could be prevented from indoctrinating; restricted, instead, to simply educating. But indoctrination and education are dimensions of each other. Indeed, indoctrination can be defined as “teaching or inculcating a doctrine, principle, or ideology, especially one with a specific point of view.” Doctrines and principles are inexorable parts of the process of passing on knowledge and information. The question before us is: who ought to be in charge of this task?

I know my answer to that question.

Or maybe I just hate education. Yeah, that’s probably it.

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1,232 Responses to We are going to home school our kids, but that’s only because we hate education

  1. Love it! I am currently homeschooling 4 humans. In the long run, they will be independent individuals of society, and not “my children”. I know this and I am grateful for every opportunity to experience them NOW. And homeschooling isn’t perfect. My humans listen too music, have friends, read books, use computers… They are exposed to many things that I do not condone. And thankfully so, because I know about all of it, and it makes for excellent opportunities to express what I feel is life appropriate.

  2. Becca says:

    I LOVE this post. Thank you for verbalizing so many of the reasons why we homeschool.

  3. 04petesake says:

    I think it’s so ironic when government schoolers make fun of home educated kids for being sheltered and unsocialized. I want to say, “At lease my kids don’t have to get permission to take a pee, or get in a line to go to lunch or the library!” When in your life would you have to learn to do those things? Oh yeah, if you’re in prison or maybe a factory worker on an assembly line who can’t go to the bathroom without permission. I would love to see a gvt-schooler try to just get up and go to the bathroom when they need to go or just go outside the building to observe something in nature etc. They’d be treated like a crazy person or a criminal and be expected to be immediately put on psychotropic meds!

  4. Scott says:

    This is why we homeschool. I have a Master’s degree in education from a highly conservative university, and even their education program teaches that the primary purpose of education is molding people into the acceptable or right kind of citizen. Our kids are doing just fine with us as their primary instructors, and with us as their primary examples of behavior. We participate in many activities to allow opportunities for HEALTHY socialization (4H, soccer – city and homeschool leagues, etc.). Socialization as defined by advocates of public schools is more akin to The Lord of the Flies.

  5. Maryanne Wazny says:

    well said.

  6. I think you actually LOVE education Matt. The right “kind” of education anyway. I invest a lot of time in advocating for quality education… somewhat of a contradiction in terms in you are involved with public schools. My children both have attended public school, however, they’ve been successful because my husband and I spend a lot of time working with them, teaching them, and knowing what is going on within the classroom. It’s a lot of hard work. I keep hoping we can turn public education around, but I keep watching as great teachers walk away from their profession completely discouraged, frustrated, and feeling unheard and unappreciated. I have already begun the process of encouraging my children to homeschool their children. You do however have to be good at it in order to be successful. You also have to find or create a strong homeschool network. I will continue to try to be a voice for change, even if I do feel like I’m banging my head on the proverbial brick wall.

  7. Andrew says:

    Love it! If only more people took a few minutes to think about what public school really is. I’m no conspiracy theorist, but what better way to indoctrinate a population than public school. Many parents do not think they are smart enough to teach their own children and in some cases they are right. But do not think just because school teachers are paid to teach your children, that they are any better or smarter than you are. I work in the public sector and I have hired a lot of school teachers that should have never been teaching children! There are programs, websites, and material, that I think anyone who is a semi-intelligent individual could teach their children and provide a better education than public indoctrination school! Research it!

  8. Johanna says:

    *claps* These are just the reasons why, when my husband and I have children, I will be homeschooling them. My husband wants to send our children to public school when we have them, but I don’t want them to suffer through those schools and I want to know that my children are everyday safe. I don’t trust the schools. I can’t, my brother and I were bullied so much when we went, and the school system made me such an angry child. When my mother pulled me out of public school, I hated that she did it for the longest time, but then I realized how much fun and how I was ACTUALLY learning something. My mother tested both me and my brother to figure out where we were in grade level, and turns out we were both still fifth grade level, even though I had just gotten done with the sixth grade and my brother with the seventh grade. Anyone realize how sad that is? My mother taught us to think for ourselves and how to process things better. Thanks to her, I can write full words and sentences. Sure, I get lazy on occasions, but if I’m writing a paper or a story, I will out write most of them. My mother found homeschool groups that my brother and I could be apart of, so we could learn more and interact more. It was fun πŸ™‚ Met a lot of my friends there. My brother and I even went to college early because of homeschooling. We had the time to take on classes and we had the mindset to do the work.

  9. Kati says:

    I cannot express to you how much I needed to read something like this today. We are in the process of pulling our 2nd grader out of public school because of horrible experience with the principal. This entire week I have been pondering why he was in public school to begin with….and so we have taken the jump to homeschool. This post was incredible…thank you!!

  10. Danna Lockerby says:

    Oh silly boy you crack me up with this 6 hours a day 5 day a week stuff…..The kids in my neighborhood get one the school bus at 7:35am and get off at 4:15pm (that’s the elementary school bus). It’s pushing closer and closer to 8-9 hours a day at school, but look how much that saves parents on day-care or having to deal with their own kids. We homeschool our 2 boys here in the Phoenix suburbs. They are 5 & 7. There are so many reasons that we homeschool. My stepdaughter is 24 and went to public school in the Seattle area when we lived there. In the 7th grade she had a group of 10 girlfriends that she ran around with. By the end of the year 5 out of 10 had either been suspended/expelled for backpack searches that yielded illegal drugs or had a pregnancy scare (these were 12 year olds). The next year she got to select all new friends. By the end of high school at no point was my step daughter EVER asked to write any paper longer than 5 paragraphs. But, she got into every college she applied to. So much for it being hard to get into college.

    With my boys it’s totally different. We study math, formal grammar, spelling, a phonics based reading program, science, music theory, appreciation and piano lessons, art (history, appreciation and technique) and PE. We also participate in a history co-op and so far this year have covered creation, Mesopotamia, Egypt (old and middle kingdoms) and are currently studying the ancient Hebrew society, we’ll move on to cover Babylon, Assyria, Prussia, and the Greeks by June. We use a 3rd grade science text book this year (my boys would be in Kindergarten and 2nd grade) which they find too easy, we also do the Magic School Bus Science club monthly experiments, monthly homeschool science classes at our local zoo, quarterly science classes at our local aquarium, monthly homeschool science classes at our local Science Center and 3 homeschool science classes a year through Arizona Fish and Game. We do weekly homeschool art classes and weekly homeschool PE classes. I lead a homeschool support group that does a weekly park play day and monthly field trips and we’re involved with 2 other support groups that do different activities. My kids have had speaking roles in Shakespeare plays for the last 2 years (in original old English) and have participated in 2 “Free Enterprise Days” where they had to develop a product or service to sell, market it, sell it and do the accounting on profitability. They did this in a large homeschool group setting. They’ve done spelling bees, Geography Fairs and Science Fairs. We attend 6-8 plays a year through a homeschool group that can sell out an entire theater and coordinates shows with 30 different performing arts companies in the valley. Just today we spent the afternoon with a bunch of other families at the Arizona Natural History Museum for their homeschool day program.

    If anything we have to chose carefully from the bounty of fantastic socializing and educational opportunities out there so that we still have time to study core subjects at home.

    We don’t deal with bullying, school shootings, “Lord of the Flies” style socialization, boys being punished for being boys (wiggling, moving and generally being more active) in an academic setting, & exhausted overly tired kids being asked to keep a schedule that is developmentally inappropriate (6-9 hours a day is too much for 5 & 7 year olds).

  11. jgenn says:

    I LOVE this! We have homeschooled our 2 children since kindergarten, and my oldest will graduate from high school next year. We have never regretted our decision. While I am thrilled that my children are incredibly successful academically, I am even more delighted when I see the young adults they have become. They are kind, thoughtful, and hard-working. They are confident in their faith. Most of all, they are happy. I would not trade these years with my girls for anything in the world. Homeschooling works.

  12. @educationfreedo says:

    Indeed. Long ago our enemies found the more effective – albeit longer – path to destroy our way of life, and that is “free government education.” It has worked much better than guns and tanks if for no other reason than we ceded all authority and a blank check “for the children,” in order to do so.

  13. momof8 says:

    You have said EXACTLY what I think but in a far more professional, ‘educated’ way. THANKS

  14. Christina Forsgren says:

    I love your blog, Matt. I usually agree with most of your posts. I believe the key here is parental involvement whether it’s with public education or home school. Whichever one chooses, it is VITAL for parents to be involved in the teaching and educating of their children. Obviously, those who home school are VERY involved in the education of their children and that’s awesome! I am raising 5 children in a public school system and I love it. However, I am very involved with our school and with the activities my kids are involved in. There have been times when we’ve had to be courageous and stand up for what we know is right. My kids have learned to do that very well. I appreciate that they have learned to voice their opinion although it may not be the “popular” answer. We talk about their day, we joy in their successes and help them become victorious in their struggles. Yes, every one of my kids has had issues with bullies but we’ve taught them how to handle those situations by researching ideas and role playing. They have become stronger because of it. We live in an area where we still present the Nativity in our public school system and say “Merry Christmas”. We say the Pledge of Allegiance with “One Nation under God”. I don’t see the “Indoctrination” of our kids. I see teachers and administrators who tirelessly work towards improving the way they teach and discovering how they can reach each individual child and help them be successful. I so appreciate the time and effort our teachers and administrators make each and every day to help our kids learn. I really like how you said, “Who ought to be in charge of this task?” because I firmly believe it is ultimately our responsibility as parents to oversee our children’s education whether it be at home or at school. πŸ™‚

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  16. theresa says:

    I first read this article, in October when you wrote it. I have been thinking about it in the back of my mind, since then. I can not stop thinking about it; so, I am going to share on a blog comment for the first time. I liked the article. But, yea, there is something I didn’t like. You said, “It’s also brought us into this mindless, numbing state where we generally approach every issue by arguing about the color of the leaves, and the lengths of the branches; yet we never discuss the tree itself, or dig down to look at its roots.” I don’t think it is mindless or numbing to argue about the color of the leaves, the length of the branches. Some people can not see the whole tree or the roots first, they have to investigate the leaves and branches. A real life kind of example is I know that some/many parents have discovered how really bad the “Common Core” math is in school(Call this a Leaf or Branch) this lead them to get to the root and now they are homeschooling all because they investigated Math, the Leaves. I am not speaking of myself, I am homeschooling two young kids, and decided this before knowing about Common Core. However, I sadly did not Homeschool my two older now grown children because I had to look at the leaves and branches and everything else the hard way to find the Root. I am disappointed that you do not write more against all that is “Common Core” because it could very well help people see the Root.

  17. Tom Martin says:

    Most of those folks who had issues with my wife and I homeschooling or kids would ask “But how will they develop socialization skills?” And I would always answer, well if we have a choice between poor socialization skills, or good socialization skills at the cost of having them subjected daily to illicit drugs, bullying, promiscuous sex, and the political indoctrination of views I disagree with, then I think I’ll go with the poor socialization skills”.

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