Critical Thinking and Homeschool

Sandra M. comments on an article by Elizabeth Scalia, the Anchoress, at PJM.

I see great hope for the future in the homeschooling movement.

My grandmother, a language teacher, taught me to read when I was 4. Obviously, she used PHONICS, not the epistomologically disastrous look-say method. Once I had that skill, there wasn’t much Manhattan’s Marxist Mafia, dominant in our schools, could do to destroy me.

I always had a first generation American’s intense love for this country, but It wasn’t until I was in my 60’s that I finally found an American History textbook that reflected my love for this country and it was written by a Brit, Paul Johnson, whose HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE I recommend to everyone.

Luckily, as a child I was prone to chronic bronchitis, so I happily shared my bed with The Count of Monte Cristo, (from whom I got my curriculum) , and Sherlock Holmes who imbued me with a desire to learn logic, which only intensified when I met Ayn Rand, the “sorceress of reason.” Her best gift was introducing me to the works of “The Master of Those Who Know” Aristotle.

I am not a great logician but I try. Decades ago, I used to work logic exercises in logic texts, the greatest text I found being LOGIC: AN INTRODUCTION by Lionel Ruby, which is especially good on scientific method and research which is very applicable to those with allergies and health problems. I also recommend his very entertaining THE ART OF MAKING SENSE, which resulted from 10 radio talks called “How to Think Logically”. Ch. 13 covers The Logic of Gambling and Ch. 17 The Logic of Sherlock Holmes. Enjoy!!!

I wish I had found John Saxon (former Marine) and his mathematics texts as a child. They are so good, that I once saw burly math teacher cry on 60 minutes because they were replacing the Saxon texts with books more profitable to Texas bureaucrats and teachers. Textbook publishers will pay and pay well to get their books selected.

I always hated the dingy public schools with barred windows, loud bells, indifferent teachers and a curriculum designed to baffle and dismay a child. John Taylor Gatto’s DUMBING US DOWN explained my loathing for school which co-existed with a real desire to learn.

Today, the homeschooling movement is so organized and powerful that when an idiot Congressman who knew how powerful the teachers; unions were spoke out on the floor of the House against homeschooling, the Congess was inundated with more angry mail than they’d ever received on any issue.

I deeply regret virtually almost every day I ever spent in school and this even includes a good part of 4 years of college and a year in graduate school Just give me the books and get out of my way. Let me learn at my own speech the subjects I want to learn and let me find creative ways of studying subjects of not much interest to me such as jigsaw puzzles for the states and countries of the world with capitols and other pertinent matters listed. I wish I’d known of CLEP and could have studied on my own and taken exams for college credit. It would have saved me a lot of time. Because of another role model, Bill Buckley, I did learn from debating in college and writing a column for the school newspaper. Other than these extracurricular activities, I learned from books not lectures. I’m an ADDer and start to think while someone is speaking so I miss part of what’s being said. With books I can underline and post tape the parts most important to me.

If vouchers were given to students and their families instead of money to schools, schools would immediately improve, which is why leftist bureacrats and teachers will fight to the death against school vouchers, lest parents destroy a system designed by the Prussians and adopted by John Dewey to produce obedient soldiers and workers.



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