Panel on Education

Exclusive Interviews, STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Video: How School Holds Kids Back. Retired Public School Teacher and Homeschool Parent Discuss
By Joe Jarvis - September 20, 2018

Do kids need formal lessons to learn?

Or do formal lessons stop kids from learning what is important to them?

Perhaps to excel in anything, the choice of what to study needs to be entirely up to the child, teen, and young adult. That is what we discuss in this video.


Education is important to my family. My mom Jaci was a 5th-grade public school teacher for 19 years, before retiring in June.

My sister Jen chose to homeschool her children in a “free-range” parenting style. Ironically, she was valedictorian of her public high school class. She got an academic scholarship to Providence College.

In contrast, my dad Harry never learned a thing in school. He taught himself how to rebuild cars as a teen. He dropped out of college. He got a job machining metal parts and eventually became self-employed in the same field.

When he wants to learn something, he reads about it. This is even easier now with the internet. He has recently built himself an off-grid cabin with no hired help. This includes an entire solar system, rainwater plumbing with a three-stage filter, and a composting toilet.

I’ve written several articles on education, and the rights of teens, linked below.

Watch the video above to see our discussion.

Mentioned in the video:

Hole in the Wall: Providing computer stations in poor parts of India.

Sudbury Valley School website.

Free to Learn, by Peter Gray

Free at Last: The Sudbury Valley School, by Daniel Greenburg

Jen Lade on Freedom Parenting

Note: Jen wrote a series of articles that analyze how freedom-loving people can align their parenting with their political philosophy, and how doing so will allow ideas about personal liberty to carry on to the next generation.

It starts with the following article:

Why Parents Owe Their Kids for the “Crime” of Creating Them

It almost sounds like Jen is saying you shouldn’t have kids. But the reality is that Jen is a happily married mother of seven.

Her article is about philosophy. It is meant to square parental obligations with the belief in natural rights. Rights are negative–you have the right to not be murdered, you don’t have a right to force someone to feed you.

So then why do kids have an apparently positive right to force a parent to take care of them?

Murray Rothbard said they don’t. Also diving deep into the philosophy of natural rights, he said parents have the right to abandon their children.

Jen disagrees and takes a different approach. Since consent is always required in a natural rights philosophy, and since you obviously cannot ask a child to consent to be born, this could be considered a violation of a child’s rights.

The parent’s obligation then is to take care of the kids they forced into the world.

Some commenters on the article seemed to misunderstand the point. If you don’t value philosophical consistency, the article will seem pointless to you. If you don’t have a firm grasp of the concept of individual natural rights, you will probably be lost.

The series then continues with:

The Long and the Short of Parenting: How to keep everyday parenting consistent with your long-term goals.

Six Best Ways to Raise Freedom-Loving Kids

5 ways schools destroy childrens’ freedom (and what to do about it).

6 ways children would thrive in a voluntary society.

3 Great Reasons to Have Children… and Four Bad Reasons.

Plus another article by Jen Lade on education:

Why Home-school Regulation Won’t Stop Child Abuse

Joe Jarvis on Education and Teen Rights:

7 Reasons to Shut Down Public Schools Immediately and Permanently

Why You Should Forget School and Let Kids Play

Working Teens Dragged Back to School By Bounty Hunters

“Teen Culture” is the New Imperialism, and it is Destroying the World

How Teen Suicide “Experts” Miss the Cause of Depression and Only Focus on Symptoms

Teenage Dystopia: The Cycle of Oppression and Resistance

How Government Created the Myth of Adolescence and the Terrible Consequences

Not All Teens are Begging for their Rights to be Taken

There is No Place for Compulsory Schooling in a Civilized Society

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Posted in Exclusive Interviews, STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS