In the comments section of his blog post about home education, Rad Geek says something that brought back some old memories:
"My main memory of third grade is all the time I spent sitting around after having finished worksheets of division problems that I learned how to do in second grade, and multiplication problems that I learned how to do in kindergarten."
That takes me back. It's depressing to think of the hours upon hours wasted doing absolutely nothing because I always finished my reading assignments ahead of time and wasn't allowed to do anything else-and what we read in school was usually a dumbed-down version of something I had already learned from all books my grandfather had given me. I was lucky: my grandfather gave me dozens of history and science books, so I maintained a positive attitude towards learning despite my hatred of school. But it makes me wonder how many kids are soured on it forever.
At conferences, the teachers would tell my parents, “John’s such a bright boy; we don’t understand why he always seems so unhappy in school.” Well, the constant bullying (y’know, the valuable “socialization” public school advocates are always talking about) I faced because I was the class nerd/weirdo and the teachers didn’t really give a damn didn’t help, but above all there was the fact that I was bored out of my mind. Luckily, I was pretty good at escaping into my imagination, otherwise I would have snapped.
In a sense, I was lucky: my grandfather gave me dozens of history and science books, so I maintained a positive attitude towards reading and education despite my hatred of school. But it makes me wonder how many kids are soured on learning forever because of the way the educational system works.
In my more cynical moments, it also makes me wonder whether the architects of our educational system would consider that result a good thing, or a bad thing.