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Author Topic: FSPer Preferences for a Private School  (Read 22122 times)

BlueLu

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FSPer Preferences for a Private School
« on: September 26, 2003, 06:54:42 am »

To FSPers who would send their children to a school, rather than homeschool, what sort of virtues and characteristics would you like to see in that school?  (And, yes, my wife and I, both trained to be educators, are hoping we will get a chance to help implement this.)

What would you want? Sound economics? Respect for others’ persons and property? Self-sufficiency : to the point of being capable of supporting oneself or going to college (or both) by, say, age 16?  Specific vocational training?  Contract services to homeschoolers?  Integration with, and services for, special populations, like the deaf?  Boarding in a rural setting?

Throw out some ideas.
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bookish_lass

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Re:FSPer Preferences for a Private School
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2003, 08:48:37 am »

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To FSPers who would send their children to a school, rather than homeschool, what sort of virtues and characteristics would you like to see in that school?

A strong background in the constitution and the history of what made this country unique/great.   Academic subjects:  math, reading, spelling, grammar, languages, history, literature, etc.  I think we've had enough of lessons in how to give a blow job, and how kids "feel" about their schoolwork.  Possibly I'm in the minority on this.

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And, yes, my wife and I, both trained to be educators

To be honest, that makes someone *less* desirable as an educator.  Current educational theory is filled with so much BS that it's actually better to have someone who's not steeped in it.  Possibly you don't buy into all the BS, I wouldn't know from what you've said here.  :)

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Sound economics? Respect for others’ persons and property? Self-sufficiency : to the point of being capable of supporting oneself or going to college (or both) by, say, age 16? Contract services to homeschoolers?

Those sound great.

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Specific vocational training?

Not interested.  I'm somewhat leery about this because of the government's school to work programs which seem to make schools into factories for industry to have good little workers.

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Boarding in a rural setting?

'Over my dead body' is the only way my child is going to boarding school.
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BlueLu

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Re:FSPer Preferences for a Private School
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2003, 11:21:00 am »

To be honest, that makes someone *less* desirable as an educator.  Current educational theory is filled with so much BS that it's actually better to have someone who's not steeped in it.  
I see your point.  My degree is in Political Science and Economics. I would not blame you for shuddering at that, either.  I shudder when I think about how worthless many of my college-level classes were in all 3 of the fields I have owned up to studying.  

I got a piece of paper from the state university to make me acceptable to the state.  I got my real education in economics from Murray Rothbard, Ludwig von Mises, and Henry Hazlitt; in political science from Thomas Jefferson, Lysander Spooner, and H.L. Mencken; in philosophy from Ayn Rand, Peter Breggin and Alan Watts; and in education from Erik Erikson, Jean Piaget, A. S. Neill, and William McGuffey.  One of these people, Rothbard, I even actually met.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2004, 04:31:15 pm by BlueLu »
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jeanius

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Re:FSPer Preferences for a Private School
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2003, 12:07:36 pm »

I'm going to stay with homeschooling but if you had things that augmented homeschooling I might partake.  If you had an elective class that would provide a social outlet that would be great.  If there were sports we might partake.  

One of the issues with community schools (a la Jason) is that a group of like minded people with say over how a school is run and taught get together and start a school.  I don't think one school will be able to cater to all FSPers.  Some are interested in Christian based education, some are not, etc.  I really like being flexible with respect to learning style and readiness.  Schools haven't been good in this area IMHO.
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BlueLu

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Re:FSPer Preferences for a Private School
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2003, 09:46:34 pm »

I am surprised that there are no more statements from FSP posters of what they would look for in a school. In another thread, there was talk of wanting a school to challenge the poster's children.  To which I would say that every student's situation has to be evaluated: you do not want to burn a student out by having EVERY teacher in EVERY subject challenging them ALL the time.  

The key is to devise an integrated plan that honors the parents' and students' wishes about how to proceed, but generally maximizes the student's learning of academic material, while keeping them sane.  This is in contrast to the public schools that I have been in contact with lately, where the undisguised purpose is to maximize school-wide standardized test scores, and to maximize documentation of student activity to the extreme detriment of time spent on coursework.  Oh, yeah, and also, to maximize administrative jobs.

Maybe the question I should be asking is how many FSPers would value a really PRIVATE school that taught from a libertarian perspective, enough to send their children there, rather than doing homeschooling or the sort of non-profit "community schools" that Jason has suggested.

All you have to do is respond, "Yes."  No point in responding, "No," unless you want to expound upon why not.
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Tony

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Re:FSPer Preferences for a Private School
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2003, 02:12:48 am »

I don't have any kids and hope I don't have any for at least a decade.  That said, I'd like to send any kids I have to a high-quality private school.
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silverfish

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Re:FSPer Preferences for a Private School
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2003, 05:52:34 pm »

as a parent of 4 kids going to Montessori, I would have to say Montessori is the choice I will make. There is some direction from a teacher, but it is up to the students to push themselves and develop their interests. The teachers give what are termed 'great lessons' and help to direct the students to certain subjects, and a bit more wrangling as they get older, but mostly the students own desire to learn is what keeps them moving forward. My oldest son, 9 yrs old, decided that he wanted to learn latin, so i got him a book, and he has a large dictionary, and he is going to town. He also has another student in the class who is learning with him. I was in his class yesterday and he and 3 other students were discussing the short horned grasshopper that my son had caught and has been keeping in a terrarium for the past month. They were looking up all the info they could on grasshoppers in the western US etc. No one was making them learn! Other students were helping a newer kid with some of the materials in class that are unique to montessori, teaching him math in the process. Nicest thing at their school, NO DESKS (the public schools tools of confinement, shackles with a chair and handy storage area!).

If I am able to make a move to NH possible (complicated family business politics) I will pursue more Montessori education either through existing schools, or by creating our own in the town that we choose to move to...
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LeRuineur6

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Re:FSPer Preferences for a Private School
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2003, 03:47:05 pm »

A "school" implies a compulsory education.  If children are being forced to learn anything, I want anti-freedom and pro-freedom subjects taught in their correct perspective.

Compulsory education was designed to make all children think alike.  If all children think alike, it would be ideal if they were all libertarians.

Everyone who realizes how ridiculous it sounds to libertarianize children by force will also see why compulsory education itself is a ridiculous concept.

...in my humble opinion!  :)
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Leonard

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Re:FSPer Preferences for a Private School
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2003, 10:15:16 pm »

Although I would kind of like to home school, I don't think it is immensely practical.  So I'd love to find some good secular private schools in the free state.  (No kids, yet.  But that's the plan.)

I'd want a curriculum that does the basics (reading and math).  Add to that a strong emphasis on writing - something barely taught any more IMO.  Then we start with the interesting stuff.

Want a solid practical education in computers, the internet, and how to use them.  This is the future.

Definitely want rhetoric, and debate in general.  Kids need to learn to express themselves, and how to argue clearly.  And they need to learn that their voice matters.  I want my kids sneaking onto internet argument groups and crushing lameoids.

Definitely want economics, including Austrian ideas.  I think there is a lot you can do with kids in economic by way of experiments to show them how it works.  In any case economics is absolutely vital IMO to understand our culture and our world.  I want my kids doing research projects valuing companies, trying to figure out if they are good stock buys or not.

Want solid history, of the world/all cultures, but also a strong emphasis on Western history from a more or less revisionist perspective.  I don't think kids need to memorize where George Washington was in 1778.   They do need to know why he was fighting, and why he did not become a Napoleon.  And they need to study the long term historical trends, as well as recent history and the present.  (My school-taught US history ended after about the progressive era.)  I want my kids doing a research project on whether or not Roosevelt really was a traitor.

Want solid biology from the perspective of evolution and what that means, with a strong emphasis on the fact that we are evolved too, and have an evolved human nature.  What that nature is, that men and women are fundamentally different in some ways.  Trying to understand people without knowing about evolution is like trying to understand prices without knowing about supply and demand.

Bottom line is: I want to introduce my kids to all the intellectual realms which enable one to really understand the world.  They are the same disciplines that backstop libertarian thought; and they are, not surprisingly, taught little or not at all in modern state schools.  Too controversial.
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jdavidb

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Re:FSPer Preferences for a Private School
« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2003, 10:46:26 am »

Definitely want rhetoric, and debate in general.  Kids need to learn to express themselves, and how to argue clearly.  And they need to learn that their voice matters.  I want my kids sneaking onto internet argument groups and crushing lameoids.

I want my kids reading message boards like this and listening to talk shows as a part of their (homeschooling) education.  I think the best way to learn politics/economics/government/etc. is to be involved in arguing about it.
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BlueLu

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Re:FSPer Preferences for a Private School
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2003, 08:37:37 am »

A "school" implies a compulsory education. <snip> Compulsory education was designed to make all children think alike. <snip> Everyone who realizes how ridiculous it sounds to libertarianize children by force will also see why compulsory education itself is a ridiculous concept.
I disagree that "school" implies compulsory attendance.  We call colleges "schools", yet the people going there are not being compelled to go.   Colleges, by and large, have desks, classrooms, teachers, cafeterias -- all the trappings of a conventional school, but they have more options: laboratories, performance halls, open format classrooms, instruction on the lawn, etc.  I advocate this sort of flexibility at all levels.

I am convinced that the conventional classroom setting, minus the compusion, is useful, and can be a place that people would choose to be.  There are changes in the volitional character around age 5, age 10, and age 14, which must be taken seriously by the people who care about those children.  A free society should tolerate parents and children who homeschool, unschool, and attend school to varying degrees, and at various times, depending on the choices made by parents and children.

I also do not think it is improper or unlibertarian for parents to compel their 5 year old children to go to a school and for the school staff to compel the children to stay there, but in my mind, a school in a free society would typically have a young person's mind ready for adulthood at the age which societies throughout the millenia have recognized adulthood, about age 13.
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BlueLu

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Re:FSPer Preferences for a Private School
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2003, 09:08:07 am »

Although I would kind of like to home school, I don't think it is immensely practical.  So I'd love to find some good secular private schools in the free state.  
I think that many FSPers will make the choice to send their children out of the home for training.

Thanks to all for the responses.  Keep them coming.  They are demonstrating what a wide range of preferences FSPers have.  This very preliminary and very rudimentary market research is demonstrating that the demand from parents may be for such a range, that more than one private school plan could be build around satisfying segments of the needs expressed.

I am trying to get a feel for a good offering of goals, coursework, and philosphy, that will best fulfill the needs and desires of just a large enough set of parents and students, to make a school viable.

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Definitely want economics, including Austrian ideas.  I think there is a lot you can do with kids in economic by way of experiments to show them how it works.  In any case economics is absolutely vital IMO to understand our culture and our world.
I currently moderate a monthly Austrian Economics discussion group in central Texas.  I cannot wait to start one in NH, and to see Austrian ideas taught in schools there.
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SethA

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Re:FSPer Preferences for a Private School
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2003, 01:45:32 pm »

When looking at schools in New Hampshire, you should check out the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy in Concord. They are very involved in the charter school movement, reducing property taxes, etc. They aren't strictly libertarian but are going in the right direction.

www.jbartlett.org
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crmallon

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Re:FSPer Preferences for a Private School
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2004, 11:30:32 am »

I would want my children to learn the basics (with stresses on writing and communications)... but I would also want them to be taught to think independently and to question things.  
I would be very selective in the school's teaching philosophy and practice. I would want to know how structured the curriculum would be, or if it would be more student-directed. I think it's important to give children a strong sense of empowerment and personal freedom, and I think a somewhat self-directed curriculum lets them have some responsibility over their own education.
I would want my children to be educated about politics early on. Not neccesarily specifics on middle-eastern conflicts or anything, but I would want them learning about the constitution, their rights, and how to be revolutionaries. I want my children to learn in an environment that would encourage them to examine everything, develop their own opinions, and then act of them.
I would want debate to be used in the classroom, and I would want to students to have access to many different resources... not a silly textbook. I want them to see the discrepancies and differences in historical accounts and scientific and philisophical ideas and theories.
I'm sure that when I do have children, I will probably have clearer ideas of how I want to educate them, but I wanted to add a little input, for what it's worth.
I plan to homeschool my children according to my own curriculum from the time they are able to start learning, but when I find a good school that shares my ideas and encourages the family to be active in their child's education, I will put them in school... when they choose to go, that is.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2004, 11:31:57 am by crmallon »
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Tracy Saboe

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Re:FSPer Preferences for a Private School
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2004, 03:52:26 pm »

Latin

Tracy
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