Monday, January 16, 2006

Hullo Clouds Hullo Sky

So what's the best UK children's book series ever to be set in the grounds of a private school? Harry Potter? Come on, we can do better than that. No, the only valid AngloAustrian answer has to be Molesworth, and the four books below:

  • How To Be Topp

  • Wizz For Atomms

  • Down With Skool

  • Back In The Jug Agane

Absolutely splendid, and for some bizarre reason still yet to become a Hollywood film franchise. (Remember, you read that here first if it does turn into a Hollywood film franchise. By the way, the name 'Hoggwart' itself appears twice in the 1950s Molesworth series, entering the franchise into the great range of books which may have influenced our very own welfare-fed chick, Ms Rowling; other such book series include the Lord of the Rings and Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. In celebration of this coincidence, you can read an inspired Molesworth-based pastiche entitled ho for hoggwarts.)

No matter how bad your own personal schoolday, it only took half an hour with Molesworth and his chums to sort you out, as they coped with Grimes the head beak and Sigismund the mad maths master. But schooldays are even worse, these days, especially in the state system. Endless exams for children, endless forms to fill in for morale-sapped teacher drones, and endless left-wing propaganda being pumped into sensitive minds by these same drones. Just to add a little spice there are also endless registers to cope with paedophile paranoia, which are cunningly taken by government-approved paedophiles; ah, the magical directing hand of the omnipotent panopticon state.

Bog standard comprehensives were bad enough to attend in the 1960s. But now with extra-added drugs, knives, gangs, and rampant bullying, many suicidal children feel like prisoners in a Gulag. Those parents who can afford it often try the private system, but because these schools have to exist under the same Gosplan as the state schools, you're often paying an awful lot for not much real educational improvement and the same moronic politically correct propaganda.

So what's the alternative? Well, how about home schooling? Mock ye not. Home schoolers currently make up 150,000 children in the UK, and Durham University estimates this will climb to 450,000 within a decade.

I know it is a crime to criticize state education, but just how bad does it have to be before anyone will do anything about it? There's the thick end of a quarter of a million children and their parents, who are so disgusted with the 'free' state system, that they're prepared to pay for it through taxation and still swap it for the logistical difficulties of home schooling. Tony Blair promised us 'Education, Education, Education', a phrase taken directly from a 'Bildung, Bildung, Bildung' slogan first devised by the communist party of East Germany. With his UK educational system also creaking on its Soviet-style knees, despite all his promises, can you imagine what would happen to the state system if all these children decided to turn around, next Monday, and reclaim their 'free' places? The whole thing really would collapse. But then who would notice? How much worse could it get?

Home schooling has been going a lot longer in the US. In research, home schooled children regularly perform better than institutionally schooled children. In apocryphal tales from various Austrian professors, home schooled children are of such greater intellectual caliber that it is beginning to breed serious campus resentment from their US government educated peers.

So what are the advantages of home schooling? (drawing heavily from the US experience):

  • Students work more productively at their own pace using techniques that fit their individual personalities and strengths, rather than that of the herd

  • Students are able to avoid the negative socialization inherent in schools, such as bullying, cigarette smoking, and drug taking

  • Home schoolers tend to be more mature than ordinary school children

  • Parents are able to control the curriculum and avoid political indoctrination

  • Family ties are strengthened

  • The family can move home without creating traumas

  • Because there is no school run twice a day, there is more time for children to study music and play sport, particularly if home schooling is strong in a particular area and different home schoolers can easily get together

And all this without the usual benefits of the division of labor usually found in the free market, because the state has the role of a professional teacher tied in knots of red tape so thick it would cut the blood supply of a rhinoceros.

Once a certain critical mass is reached and more home schooling parents can share teaching tasks with like-minded people in the same area, there could be an exponential explosion in home schooling in the UK just as there has been in the US. There are several million children in the US now home schooling. And unless our own Marxoid politicians wade in to cut UK home schooling off at the knees, to protect their pet teaching unions, I foresee it will go the same way over here.

And in this age of the Internet and broadband technology, why do we so slavishly stick to the labor-intensive schooling system anyway, first invented by the Victorians? With the endless growth in the money supply, created by government, which has so impoverished us that both parents in most families need to work all day to pay their bills and taxes, it is useful that schools supply a childcare service; but how good is the actual education?

From the government's point of view, schools provide pay-off salaries for hundreds of thousands of teachers, usually the biggest intellectual supporters of the state in any society. Schools are also a useful way of brainwashing children into the need for the state; if you can control the minds, you can control the society. However, does the growth of home schooling indicate that the days of traditional schools are numbered?

Perhaps not. If schools were freed from the state I think most of us, including many of the home schoolers, would once again take advantage of the usual capitalist division of labor and send our children to such freed schools.

But while the state continues to smother institutional education within the dead grip of the Guardian class, let's hope that this continuing growth in UK home schooling keeps growing, both to the great advantage of the children involved and to the great undermining of the state educational system.

To get a free country we need to help create an intellectual class of libertarians, many of whom will perhaps come from the home schooling movement. To get a free country we need to help remove the state from the realm of education, which will further enhance and leverage this ideological process. To get a free country, once we have a dominant intellectual class of libertarians supported by a freed educational system, we can then ridicule the entire political process to such a point that it implodes of its own accord. And then we will be free once again, and out of the Jug. At least, that's the plan.

To help this plan work I think it's time, once again, to take up the feverish cry of Nigel Molesworth, and Peason, his grate friend, which any fule kno. Come on, you know it already, even if you never read the books:

Down with Skool!


Anonymous said...

I am pretty sure (that's code for "too lazy to check just now) that Home Schooling is illegal in certain parts of the Frankenreich (EU to you, perhaps), and I fear that this anomaly will be noticed before long by the powers that be.

The anomaly being, of course, that in the UK it's legal to educate your children at home, rather than have them indoctrinated in state-approved institutions.

Expect an EU regulation some time soon making home schooling illegal everywhere in the empire. Perhaps it will be framed as a Health-and-Safety measure, to avoid the need for discussion in parliaments, etc.

But whatever method is chosen, it will probably happen. Will Blair resist it? What do you think?

Jack Maturin said...

As I said in the post, I think there's a chance they'll ban it, and you're probably right, it's probably a good chance. Already, I believe, there are laws in place to fine parents for the non-school attendance of their children. It would only take an extension of this to nail it home, or a court defence based on 'Sean wasn't skipping school, m'lud, he was home schooling a research trip on commerce in the Shopping Mall' to seal it.

But look at that number: 150,000 children, and rising. This is easing the numbers pressure on state schools. Imagine the sudden shock to the system if all 150,000 were compsulsorily frog-marched into institutional schools.

Some, let's guess 75,000, would attempt to get places in private schools, thus ramping up the costs in this area for all the other private school parents, which would cause a political backlash from people like Labour-lovies Lenny Henry and Dawn French, who send their children to private schools. The other 75,000 would be crammed into the state system, already falling around our ears. This process would hence accelerate.

I think the law of unintended consequences could help us here. Home schooled children are, I predict, much more likely to become libertarians than 'ordinary' school children. Hence I would like to see more home schooling. But if they do clamp down on it, this will help accelerate the demise of the state school, due to pressure of numbers and budget overspend and borrowing pressure at the Treasury.

Whichever way it goes, it is less good for the state.

Aside from the possibility of a FrankenReich ban, my guess is they'll let it ride until it becomes so big they can't stop it.

The wisest thing for them to do would be to accelerate a plan for school vouchers, and release some of the restrictions on opening private schools. Lots of new private schools would open, based on government voucher cash, the state schools would be privatized, to also exist on voucher cash, and many of the home schooler parents would move their children back into the school system.

The government could then later use voucher cash to introduce tighter controls into private schools. A mass of tax cash would be released from the end of the directly state-controlled system. Children would be better educated and therefore able to generate more tax revenues as adults, and because of voucher control the same brainwashing on the need for the state would still be in place.

This would be the smart Machiavellian thing to do. Watch this space and wait for David Cameron to announce the beginnings of such a plan, particularly after the next election if he wins it.

But this is all too neat. No doubt the government will cock all this up in some way and make the situation worse for themselves and better for us. Or at least that's my hope. I have great faith in the teacher unions to really make a big mess, as most of their otherwise unemployable members will be out on their ears if the voucher-controlled system was instituted.

The current state system may be many things but it is very good at pumping collectivist propaganda into the delicate minds of children. A voucher-driven control of an otherwise private system would lead to much more individualist teaching. So although the current private schools would have less freedom, under vouchers, than they currently have, a fully privatized but voucher-controlled system would create a greater general level of freedom. It would then be up to us to leverage this to help create the libertarian intellectual class that is required to shred Marxist ideology in the general population, and then bring down the state.

What's the betting? I think you've hit the future course. It will be a Frankenreich ban, which their lackeys in Westminster will institute without thinking through. The unintended consequence effect will then take over, taking us who knows where, but in a hopefully better direction for us than the state. It certainly couldn't get much worse.

With one in five UK adults illiterate, I think the time the state's control of education is definitely slipping. We were probably doing better in the 1880s before the introduction of state education. It's time is nearly up.

Julius Blumfeld said...

"Parents are able to control the curriculum and avoid political indoctrination"

Au contraire. I take every opportunity to indoctrinate our home-educated children into the virtues of libertarianism and the evils of the State

Julius Blumfeld said...

"Home schooled children are, I predict, much more likely to become libertarians than 'ordinary' school children."

I used to think the same but our experience has been that home-educating parents in London are almost invariably green-left-statist types. Whether their children will turn out differently remains to be seen, but sadly I have my doubts.

It may be, however, that things are different in the U.S.A. because of the link between home education and religiousity in that country (I tend to think that christian fundamentalist home educators, though misguided in their beliefs, are likely to tend towards the anti-statist side of the spectrum).

Jack Maturin said...

Au contraire. I take every opportunity to indoctrinate our home-educated children into the virtues of libertarianism and the evils of the State

Touché! :-)

Jack Maturin said...

our experience has been that home-educating parents in London are almost invariably green-left-statist types.

Hmmm. That's a shame.

The law of unintended consequences strikes again, at least in your part of London. Which is why I would never presume to force an educational plan onto anyone's children but my own.

Well, hopefully their children will at least be able to think more independently than they otherwise would have. And hopefully then being able to think more independently, they would be more likely to see through the banalities of leftism when they left home. We shall see.

I'll just have to hope that UK home schooling seriously undermines the state system education then, which is my number one target.

And as long as these parents aren't inflicting their leftism on other people's children, and only on their own, this is a slight step forward. Which I suppose gives us another question, is it Ok for you to inflict your own views upon your children? Who owns children? But I don't think I've read enough to tackle that one, just at the moment.

Julius Blumfeld said...

"is it Ok for you to inflict your own views upon your children?"

I don't see it as "inflicting views". I see it as teaching the truth, which must always be acceptable (assuming they are old enough to cope with the truth, emotionally)