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Old 05-25-2007, 04:38 AM   #21
Allen Yeh
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Originally Posted by Jamila Bey View Post

I have no faith at all in the American system of training up its young.

Have you seen this article? http://www.wesjones.com/gatto1.htm


Thought provoking, makes me wonder if home schooling would be right for our youngest.
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Old 05-25-2007, 07:18 AM   #22
Derek Simonds
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OMG, Dan John is impressed by my alma mater. That makes up for all the years of, "Where? Never heard of it!" I'm a member of the Center for the Study of the Great Ideas, but nothing will ever hold a candle to those seminar discussions around octagonal tables that continued around bonfires well into the night.

I did have to supplement what I learned with some basic first aid and wilderness survival skills, as well as home repair. Those have come in quite handy over the years. It's amazing how few people know how to make a fire, build a shelter, find water, etc. I'd probably add marksmanship in there as well.

And I guess this is woman stuff, but I am totally intrigued with books such as The Forgotten Arts and Crafts, particularly the "Kitchen Crafts" category (which includes salting and pickling, bottling and canning, etc.)... I've also been reading Home Comforts: The Art and Science of Keeping Home, and it is this incredible compendium of lost skills with a modern flare that are all but gone in the age of housecleaners and microwave ovens. And for the guys: http://www.dangerousbookforboys.com/
The dangerous book for boys reminds me of another book Wild at Heart. Wild at heart is written from a biblical perspective but is worth the read even if that isn't your cup of tea. Here is a bullet list from review.

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1. Our culture (and even our churches) has adopted a strategy that facilitates the feminization of men.
2. Masculinity, with its predilection to adventure, rowdiness, and risk has become a condition to be cured.
3. Consequently, boys are in big trouble. School systems and churches have not taken the unique features of masculinity into consideration when designing curriculum or programs.
4. Our culture, intent on emasculating its boys, has produced a huge sense of withdrawal and boredom from its men.
5. As disconcerting as it may be to mothers everywhere, masculinity can only be imparted by masculinity. In other words, a young boy is never really sure hes become a man until another man, or group of men, tells him so.
6. Sadly, many, if not most, men have abdicated this responsibility.
7. Every man needs a battle for which he can live and die.
Yael, I promise you that both of my kids (boy and girl) will be able to do all the stuff you mentioned in the last 2 paragraphs. Me and my family are lucky my grandmother who is in her 70's still practices the salting, pickling, bottling and canning skills she learned growing up on a farm in Rome GA. We camp, fish, build fires, cut wood, take stuff apart and try to put it back together. My kids think I can fix or build anything which BTW is the furtherest thing from the truth, but it gives them faith they can do the same thing.

I wish all of you success if you go the home school route. It is a tough road. At our gym we have home school gymnastics classes for PE. Out of the kids that attend I would say that half are truly learning and excelling while the other half would be better off in a public school. If anyone is serious PM me and I will hook you up with some of the families if you want to talk to them about the ups and downs.

Jamilla, I am sure that it is more difficult for a black boy in US schools because of many different factors. I also believe that it is in general more difficult for boys in the earlier grades period. My son is all boy, he is also pretty well mannered and usually well behaved. Unfortunately the expectation of most teachers is that boys should behave the same as girls, which does not happen. I struggled mightily this year with the curriculum at my sons school. He is first grade and they were taught and graded on cursive handwriting. Oh it made my scientific brain go absolutely nuts. How can you expect a 6 to 7 year old boy to have the fine motor skills needed for cursive. The first two quarters he got B's on his report card for hand writing and he didn't want a B so he really buckled down and practiced and got A's the last two quarters. I was impressed because if it was me I would have thrown in the towel.

My youngest sister went to Emory in Atlanta and at the time I thought the liberal slant to her education was a travesty, but she came out of there even more well rounded and intelligent then when she went in. If I had it to do over again I would have added Latin and what I consider liberal arts studies.

What a fantastic thread.
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Old 05-25-2007, 08:00 AM   #23
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First, instill a joy for learning and intellectual curiosity. Curriculum won't matter much if the student has no interest in exploring it. How do you go about this? Tell me please. I do have a theory from observing my 5 yr. old that the Xbox runs counter to my above advice.
Bingo! By the time students reach high school, or even middle school expectations are already in place and habits have been formed. You can't expect to get better students by simply teaching more advanced classes at higher levels. The students need to want to take those classes. They need to have the skills to think critically and apply what they learn. Otherwise it is all a waste of time.

No Child Left Behind is KILLING our education system. It has taken all of the flexibility and freedom away from the teachers (those who know best how to teach) and put it into the hands of our government which is making decisions based on statistical analysis. They don't call it pedagogy for nothing.

To that end I believe home schooling is a great choice, but it is a difficult row to hoe, however with its growing popularity it is getting easier. For my part I have two children (6 and 9 years old) and they are enrolled in a Waldorf school. It's very hands on, very creative and at all times shows a deep respect for the child. There is nothing magical about it and there is nothing particularly difficult (or expensive) to applying the teaching methodology but it produces students who are far more capable of continuing to learn then their public school counter-parts.

One other thing with regards to the XBox comment: TV and the computer are evil for children. I mean that. Kids need time to be bored, explore and seek out stimulating activities. Entertainment can't just be handed to them or they miss a critical part of their development.
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Old 05-25-2007, 08:14 AM   #24
Robert Allison
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The dangerous book for boys reminds me of another book Wild at Heart. Wild at heart is written from a biblical perspective but is worth the read even if that isn't your cup of tea. Here is a bullet list from review.
I've read a couple of books by John Eldridge, the author of Wild At Heart. He has some interesting ideas. David Deida touches on some similar themes, but probably more from a Buddhist perspective.

Eldridge's take on rites of passage, the sissification of males in our society, etc. are spot-on, IMO. For a look at these issues in the context of the education system, you might want to check out Why Gender Matters by Leonard Sax. I have read some articles by him, but not the book. However, a friend of mine, who used to be an educator, speaks very highly of the book.

Considering the state of education today, if I ever have children, I would strongly lean toward home schooling. While there are no doubt many good people who are teachers, the system is fundamentally flawed.
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Old 05-25-2007, 08:17 AM   #25
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This thread is precisely why I love PM so much.

Alan, this was a fantastic read and I've forwarded it to everyone I know. Thanks!

Derek, you are gonna get a lot of questions from me shortly. I'm a journalist, so I don't know when to stop - if I get annoying just let me know and I'll quit pestering you.

That feminization of culture read is deadly on point. It hurts boys yes, but also girls and women who don't fall into the typically feminine characteristics ascribed their gender. I was a girl who rathered play football than cheerlead, debate than join chorus, and be friends with anyone I pleased than subscribe to the social order of coolness.

I think the bottom line is that American culture is such that anyone who thinks for him/herself is persecuted. Any difference is seen as threatening, and children are coddled and told what to do at every moment instead of being able to learn, experiment and choose for themselves.

Self-actualized little hellraising autodidacts. That's my greatest wish for my children.
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Old 05-25-2007, 08:26 AM   #26
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This thread is precisely why I love PM so much.

Alan, this was a fantastic read and I've forwarded it to everyone I know. Thanks!

Derek, you are gonna get a lot of questions from me shortly. I'm a journalist, so I don't know when to stop - if I get annoying just let me know and I'll quit pestering you.

That feminization of culture read is deadly on point. It hurts boys yes, but also girls and women who don't fall into the typically feminine characteristics ascribed their gender. I was a girl who rathered play football than cheerlead, debate than join chorus, and be friends with anyone I pleased than subscribe to the social order of coolness.

I think the bottom line is that American culture is such that anyone who thinks for him/herself is persecuted. Any difference is seen as threatening, and children are coddled and told what to do at every moment instead of being able to learn, experiment and choose for themselves.

Self-actualized little hellraising autodidacts. That's my greatest wish for my children.
I thought it was really thought provoking and it made me question the heck out of my own belief system in regards to education. Just like things in the thread have, I have thus far not inserted any input because I have been mulling things over.
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Old 05-25-2007, 11:58 AM   #27
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I checked out the "Well Trained Mind" book that Yael recommended. I haven't gotten far into it, but there is some good stuff. They talked about how to use the book to augment the public education. I think that is the way to go for me, right at the moment that and hide the TV. I also think that I will take the oldest (5) to the German Oma (grandma) and spend time with her often. I suspect she will teach him German while spoiling him.

This thread is turning out great. If I do say so myself .
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Old 05-25-2007, 08:52 PM   #28
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Joe, The book I recommended was How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci.

Derek, I read that book (and Iron John, etc.) and also the book Captivating by his wife Stasi Eldridge. I really liked it but I got confused when she asked whether you would rather be known as "captivating" or as a "tireless worker." Do you really have to give up working tirelessly in order to be captivating, or give up being captivating in order to work tirelessly? I think not.

As far as rites of passage, there is a group that does very beautiful ceremonies to bring men and women into spiritual adulthood. I went through my ceremony two years ago and it completely changed my life. I would be more than happy to speak with people about it privately... I can only speak for the women's ceremony but can direct people to men who can answer any questions about the other one. Their webpage is down right now or I'd post the link.
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Old 05-25-2007, 10:00 PM   #29
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I got the Da Vinci book too. I am about half way through it. I like it alot. I am a learning geek. Thanks Yael.
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Old 05-26-2007, 10:05 AM   #30
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Have you seen this article? http://www.wesjones.com/gatto1.htm


Thought provoking, makes me wonder if home schooling would be right for our youngest.
Wow...very interesting...I liked
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School trains children to be employees and consumers; teach your own to be leaders and adventurers.
Being an entrepreneur I've noticed that all the people who are very successful, usually dont have some sort of impressive educational background, yet they were creative, took risks and pursued dreams with a passion...it may have taken them a long time, but they made it work because there was no other option. School does teach you how to become a great employee for someone, gives you skills for someone else to pay you for...which is fine...but I left that whole corporate world not feeling any daily satisfaction and wasting my life away....the millionaire next door is not an employee or consumer....
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