Wednesday, November 19, 2003


One of the continuing puzzles of the education world is how, without academic credentials, parents can possibly help their children learn.

News Flash! Parents teach their children many of life's important lessons in the years before they attend school. They obviously know SOMETHING about teaching.


Now, this is obviously not true of ALL parents. Some perfect chuckleheads bollox up that job so massively that their offspring arrive at the door of their first class as veritable savages, devoid of manners, morality, and common sense. Like father, like son.

But the overwhelming mass of parents have done at least a reasonable job. So why would they suddenly screw up when they continue that work beyond school age. Answer: they generally don't.

Furthermore, parents are focused. They don't have to teach with the assumption that children were raised by wolves; they can skip the "Now, Johny, how would you feel about someone hitting you?" crap, and skip to whatever has worked in the past, whether it's a simple reminder "No hitting," if necessary, followed by appropriate punishment. No useless lessons designed to help students "appreciate" art. Take them to the museum. And no constant monitoring to make the goof-offs get in line; these kids know how to behave in public. No "music appreciation" - these kids take instrumental music lessons. They listen to good music.

Face it - a lot of teaching is dedicated to corraling the stragglers. Unfortunately, unlike cattle ranching, we don't cull the herd. (Culls are the ones destined to hit someone's plate. No remediation needed).

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