Recently, my father wrote a letter to the editor of what he calls (and I tend to agree) the “best written paper out there”, the Wall Street Journal. This is nothing new. He reads the paper everyday as well as our local Star Ledger (he’s cut back since retirement), frequently writes in to both and gets published occasionally (in the Ledger, at least; I’m not sure about the WSJ). I thought I’d share it on here, because it’s this, his philosophy of education if you will, that is largely responsible for my own.
What he outlines here is precisely one of the aspects I like best about homeschooling. We dig right in, as it were, and, once we’ve “mastered” a topic, we are free to move on. Now, for one child, this may take weeks, with a strict adherence to a set plan. For another, it may simply take the reading through of a couple of books on the topic. Still a third child may simply “get it” on the first try. Why exactly would one waste time studying and practicing, over and over, ad nauseam just because it is considered standard? I prefer spending our time actually learning over simply fulfilling requirements.
Dear old Dad points out that what should be obvious, but sadly isn’t: we need to base our appraisal of people’s abilities, especially where it pertains to performing jobs, on their demonstrated knowledge and not on the number of letters that follow their names.