VIA HOME SCHOOLING
PUBLIC EDUCATION DESTROYING OUR CHILDREN
By: Samuel L. Blumenfeld
The only effective group of citizens today in open opposition to big government
are the home schoolers. They are the only Americans willing to take on the public
education system that props up the entire statist enterprise of big, intrusive government.
Forget about conservative politicians. They are more concerned about conserving their
legislative privileges than rolling back increasingly intrusive government
Although President Bush has said nice things about home schoolers, he is
doing more to expand federal control over education than any previous Republican
president. His call for nationwide standardized testing is in reality a call for a federal
curriculum, which will be used by the establishment to continue dumbing down the nation.
Even with the multi-billion dollar literacy initiative attached to the No Child Left
Behind reform bill, it is expected that the educators who get the money will continue to
provide faulty reading instruction to Americas children.
In the last two months, Ive spoken at four home-school conventions in liberal New
England, and there is no doubt that those who attend the conventions are revolutionaries
in the true sense of the word. They have rejected the tax-supported school system, which
is the chief instrument the totalitarians are using to construct a socially controlled
society. The computers are already in place in Washington, and the data is pouring in.
Only by reasserting the need for educational freedom can this nation restore its
adherence to the principles of a free society. Leading in that fight is the Home School
Legal Defense Association, founded by Michael Farris and other home-schooling attorneys to
defend the rights of American parents to educate their children at home in accordance with
their own values. Two years ago, Farris founded Patrick Henry College to educate home
schoolers in Constitutional Law and train them to serve as aides to conservative
congressmen who badly need them. Aides that come out of liberal state universities know
little history and not much about our Constitution.
But the fact that parents can still legally take their children out of the government
schools and educate them at home is an indication that this revolution can be won
peacefully. What is important to know is that the home-school movement has reached
critical mass and cannot be destroyed without causing a civil upheaval, and no politician
can afford to let that happen. After all, there are more parents than teachers, and
politicians know how to count noses as well as dollars.
Why are so many parents home schooling? Because theyve come to the realization
that the schools are destroying the brains of American children. It all starts in the
first grade where teaching methods are used to deliberately cause dyslexia and reading
disability. The method is popularly known as whole language, or the sight method, in which
children are required to memorize a sight vocabulary. That is, they are required to
memorize English printed words as whole configurations, like Chinese characters. Sounds
harmless enough, unless you understand that that kind of memorization results in a
conditioned response, or a holistic reflex.
Whats wrong with a holistic reflex? It becomes an obstacle to learning to read
phonetically. An alphabet is a phonetic system in which letters represent language sounds.
To become a fluent reader, you must develop a phonetic reflex, not a holistic one. With a
phonetic reflex, achieved through systematic phonics drill, the reader can easily see the
phonetic structure of the words he is reading and discern the syllabic units that make up
a word. But a reader with a holistic reflex, who has been taught little or no phonics,
cannot see the phonetic structure of the words, because he has the automatic habit of
looking at and seeing words as whole configurations.
In other words, the holistic reflex and the phonetic reflex are mutually exclusive. And
it was Ivan Pavlov, in his pysch lab in Moscow in the 1920s, who proved that when an
animal is subjected to two mutually exclusive reflexes, it has a nervous breakdown. All of
this is known to American psychologists, for the results of Pavlovs experiments were
published in 1932 in a book, The Nature of Human Conflicts: Researches in
Disorganization and Control of Human Behavior, by A. R. Luria, professor of
psychology, State Institute of Experimental Psychology in Moscow. It was translated by an
American student of Pavlovs, W. Horsley Gantt.
And to prove the point, all we have to do is quote Dr. Walter Dearborn, professor of
educational psychology at Harvard, who wrote in 1940:
The principle which we have used to explain the acquisition of a sight vocabulary is,
of course, the one suggested by Pavlov's well-known experiments on the conditioned
response. This is as it should be. The basic process involved in conditioning and learning
to read is the same.
So there you have it. And now you can understand why so many American children are
becoming reading disabled. The other day, a mother called me on a radio talk show. She
complained that her son was having trouble with reading. It turned out that the school was
teaching phonics and also requiring the child to memorize a sight vocabulary. I told her
that her son was experiencing a collision of two mutually exclusive reflexes, which was
causing his confusion and difficulty. I told her to get my Alpha-Phonics program and teach
her child to read at home.
The literacy scandal is only one reason why parents are now home schooling. Other
reasons? There are over four million kids on Ritalin and other drugs; mind-repelling
academic chaos in the classroom; a Mickey-Moused curriculum of excruciating boredom;
pornographic sex education; school massacres; anti-American multiculturalism; depressing
death education; values clarification that leads to family conflicts; teaching techniques
based on Skinnerian operant conditioning (your child is an animal and being trained like
one); drug education that dare children to try it. In short, if you love your kids, get
Samuel L Blumenfeld is a regular columnist for Ether Zone. He
is the author of eight books on education including "NEA: Trojan Horse in American
Education," "The Whole Language/OBE Fraud," and "Homeschooling: A
Parents Guide to Teaching Children." His books are available on Amazon.com.
Samuel L.Blumenfeld can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in the May 27, 2002 issue of Ether Zone.
Copyright © 1997 - 2002 Ether
invite your comments on this article in our forum!