I mention a bit of foreign legend/mythology and the soon to be 10 year old understands it. I ask her where she learned it. “Scooby Doo.” I gave up on the schools teaching her anything when after 2nd grade she still
didn’t know had not been taught what the Boston Tea Party was. (I make the distinction because it was something I had been asking her about, something she was paying attention for them to teach.) She’s now reading the Joy Hakim series on the history of the US (when she can tear them away from me). This isn’t a stupid kid. When she was 5 she learned the number one rule of life “never trust a lawyer” so quickly and so well that she surprised me by repeating it. She could pass Sean Hannity’s Man on the Street Thursday, because she knows who Dick Cheney, John Ashcroft and Condoleeza Rice are. (Granted, with Ashcroft he’s “Missouri’s greatest governor” and with Rice she’s “the next President of the United States”.) Anything that’s presented to her with the expectation that she remember it, she learns and about 95% of the stuff that’s just casually tossed her way she learns, too. Frankly, the schools are nothing more than a rather poor babysitter and it’s to a point where that’s not necessary – especially since they let the kids on the internet with minimal supervision which would not happen at home. She learns more during the summer reading than she does the other nine months of the year.
I’ve become pro-choice on education – let’s abort the public schools. Kids learn more from Scooby Doo.