Are We Ready to Do Something Else?

Part 1: The Emperor really is naked.

The homeschooling movement was a great beginning. It was supposed to be an alternative form of child-rearing and education.

And, it was. In its beginning. Then it lapsed into the public-school-at-home mentality of many of today’s homeschooling parents.

I have been waiting my entire adult life for those “in the know” to finally step forward and admit that the world’s educational systems are actually hurting children.

That is one reason I so appreciated John Taylor Gatto’s writings. When a New York State Teacher-of-the Year tells you, “Find out what the public school does and do something else,” the ears of every homeschooling parent should perk up and parents should want to know more.

For years, John has seemed to be “a voice crying in the wilderness” for all but a few.

Until now…

Now, more and more internationally recognized educators are beginning to step onto the stage with stinging denunciations of what public schools are doing to kids. An example are the TED Talks by someone of no less stature than Sir Ken Robinson, Professor Emeritus of Education at England’s University of Warwick whose TED Talks have been viewed by over 34 million people.

Something of real significance is happening in educational circles when the most watched TED Talks ever are on the subject of education! If you haven’t yet watched them, where have you been? As homeschooling parents, these two talks by Dr. Robinson are important enough for you to spend a few minutes of your time: Do Schools Kill Creativity? and Education’s Death Valley

Another thing I have been waiting to hear is an honest response to the question of why high schoolers are forced to spend four years studying upper-level math. Of course math is helpful, even essential; but, four years of high school math! I am convinced that one day high school math will become the elective it should be for those who actually love the subject and want to become engineers or architects?

Aside from the fact that high school math harms many a young person’s self-esteem, we all intuitively know that most people will never use what they are being forced to learn (assuming they are learning it).

May I introduce a middle & high school math teacher whose TED Talk is stirring up a controversy I believe needs to be stirred up? His short talk suggests that high school math is not only not necessary, it is harmful to most students. He says, “At the end of Elementary School you have learned all the math you will need to know in real life so what the heck are we learning all this Middle & High School math stuff for?” He even offers alternatives for those who are not “math-minded” and who are not headed for a career that actually needs upper-level math. Here is his TED Talk:  Why Math Instruction Is Unnecessary

Next Post: Part 2 “Why homeschooling parents aren’t yet ready to Do Something Else (in spite of the overwhelming evidence that Doing Something Else is long overdue…)”

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IMPORTANT NOTE: At 7:00 PM, Central Time, November 3, I will be hosting the first in a series of online, interactive, homeschooling Q&A sessions. If you want more information on how to join us on the 3rd, send me your email address now at and I will let you know how. Don’t miss this time together!
You can purchase a copy of my newest book, Gifted: Raising Children Intentionally. Just click on the title and you will be taken to Amazon where you can purchase the book. If you would like a free copy of Chapter 1 of the book, go to the site where I have listed my favorite homeschooling materials and you may download the chapter for free. Go to: Chris Davis Recommends (also on Facebook).

For 14 years, I have taken homeschooling families to tour biblical Israel. Check out my travel site at Experiencing Israel (also on Facebook)

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