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School Is a Zero-Sum Game for Children: Homeschool Your Children

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School Is a Zero-Sum Game for Children:

Homeschool Your Children


homeschoolContemplating this question, why should we homeschool?, I realized how vitally important a question it is. I daresay that for a parent in 2012, it’s a life altering question for your children.

Before today, I already had a list longer than both of my arms gathered as a result of watching what passes for “education” over the last few decades. (I gathered many of the reasons in the pages of The Art of Education: Reclaiming Your Family, Community and Self in 1995.) Since that time, the school environment has only grown worse: more toxic, more senseless, more dangerous to young minds, hearts, and souls with every passing day.

Homeschool and Help Your Child Avoid a Drugged Life

And now today, at least temporarily overshadowing the other reasons to homeschool, such as bullying, teaching to the tests, Race to the Top, cheating, teacher strikes, and child RFID tracking, a New York Times article titled “Attention Disorder or Not, Pills to Help in School,” has blown my mind.

When Dr. Michael Anderson hears about his low-income patients struggling in elementary school, he usually gives them a taste of some powerful medicine: Adderall.

The pills boost focus and impulse control in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Although A.D.H.D is the diagnosis Dr. Anderson makes, he calls the disorder “made up” and “an excuse” to prescribe the pills to treat what he considers the children’s true ill — poor academic performance in inadequate schools.

“I don’t have a whole lot of choice,” said Dr. Anderson, a pediatrician for many poor families in Cherokee County, north of Atlanta. “We’ve decided as a society that it’s too expensive to modify the kid’s environment. So we have to modify the kid.”

Dr. Anderson is one of the more outspoken proponents of an idea that is gaining interest among some physicians. They are prescribing stimulants to struggling students in schools starved of extra money — not to treat A.D.H.D., necessarily, but to boost their academic performance.

As many of you are aware, I have a recently renewed appreciation for the fine line between health and terminal illness, for the preciousness of another morning and evening with a loved one, for the reality of a fleeting time we have to be worthy stewards of the gift of life. 

A child drugged to “perform” better in school to receive better test scores that don’t matter one iota a decade down the road will lose touch with his humanity through no fault of his own. He will lose touch with the value of life because his needed to be drugged to be of value. What happens when these children leave school? The doctor will quit prescribing the drugs to which they have become addicted. If there isn’t another doctor willing to keep feeding the addiction, the now young adults will find other, illegal means through which to feed the developed habit, through no fault of their own. Please read the entire New York Post article. We are running out of time to save an entire generation from a zero-sum game set up for the children to lose, from the absurdity of politicians-as-educators, from believing that school behavior is more important than the sanctity of the human individual in his beautiful uniqueness. Please make fellow parents aware of what’s going on. Please.

Why should you homeschool? The state is not responsible for your child’s education. Because of this, no teacher, no administrator, no school board, no school district, no legislature will ever act with that responsibility in mind – or heart. It’s up to you, parent. Only you.

Now my dear friend, John Taylor Gatto, has additional important statements regarding this question for your family.

Why Should We Homeschool When I Pay Taxes for the Same Public Schools I Attended?


First, they aren’t the same public schools you attended, regardless of appearances. In every decade since the end of World War II, a complex, comprehensive social agenda has unfolded through the agency of public schooling. Each succeeding generation is much more “schooled” than its predecessor, making the movement of this agenda “progressive” through a process of simple addition. Each generation of parents knows less than the generation before it, and hence is less able to counteract the training of schools.

It’s impossible to fully analyze this agenda and track it to its source in 500 words or even 5 million, but all of us can see the visible effects it produces in our children: short attention spans; a dramatic inability to spin out satisfactory lines of meaning in their own lives; a profound weakening of family bonds; an indifference to concepts of duty, loyalty, sustained commitment, principle; a substitution of law for morality; and a massive stupidity, even among the bright with specialized competencies, about the great historical, philosophical, religious, political, and narrative contexts that give the details of everyday life their place in a tapestry of meaning.

What does it mean (do you know?) that 100,000 retreating Iraqi soldiers were instantly incinerated by the explosion of simple gasoline over their heads, dropped by an air fleet with full intelligence in hand that the war was over? What is the theory of human life that allows such a thing? Unless you know how unique and almost unprecedented such an action was in the history of warfare, you would be left with the notion such things happened every day.

The agenda of public schooling has been, for the entire twentieth century, to remove the power of most people to think for themselves. The methods by which this has been done were developed first in the north German states of Prussia, Saxony, and Hanover, the latter principality the source of the British kings our American revolution overthrew. A full analysis is impossible here; but you need to realize that because of the systematic, hierarchical nature of schooling, your local teachers, principals, superintendents, and the like have almost no say in this – they are pedagogues, which means practically that they administer routines made elsewhere far away. Whatever the facts of the case, the results are progressive, following a discipline created by the philosophical movement called Positivism.

If you cannot find ways to counteract what amounts to a mechanization of your children’s minds and characters, and a low-grade mechanization at that, they will surely cease to be fully human. They might even become people who think it a day’s work to burn 100,000 men to death. Break their marriage vows. Put you in an old age home.

Those are some reason you should homeschool.

homeschoolJohn Taylor Gatto joins dozens of other homeschool trailblazers, answering your vital questions about the practice in The Homeschooling Book of Answers: The 101 Most Important Questions Answered by Homeschooling’s Most Respected Voices.
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