100th Post

Well, this is the first one of hopefully a great many celebratory posts. Didn’t take us too long to reach this goal. In doing so we got about 1000 visits – not too bad either but obviously plenty of potential to increase that number!

Major problem: We still haven’t quite found what this is gonna be about.

Movie reviews? Did that, a couple of times.

YouTube Videos? Did that, too. Quite often, in fact.

Dan Mitchell? Just kidding, obviously, but looking at how often I’ve written about this guy one might become a little suspicious. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ron Paul got his fair share of mentions, too. Still, his time in the limelight is more or less over. Sure, we’ll still post about what his up to – not because the mainstream media cares but because we care.

Biggest success, obviously, was the whole homeschooling thing we had going for a while back in the beginning of April.

Personal favourite? Probably this one because I feel like it’s the one post where I added the most value.

So yeah, where do we go from here? We’re under no pressure to please anyone apart from ourselves. No need to regularly post either (though I try to do that whenever possible). This isn’t a commercial project and won’t be anytime in the foreseeable future (personally I consider the odds of this just dying slowly far higher).

Let us know what you liked best, of what you’d like more and of what you’d like less. ๐Ÿ˜‰


[Talk]: Homeschooling III

1. Teachers unions. Don’t forget teachers unions. Just look at the current mess that is California – won’t be too long until that’s sorted out, I guess – but it’s still largely due to teachers unions.

Now, as to why private schools might be better than homeschooling – let me indulge you with my not-so-limited-anymore BBA knowledge. From the top of my head, I can come up with the following reasons why private schools could be better:

  • Economies of Scale: Bigger is cheaper. You only need one building instead of one home for every child, you only need one maths teacher. I’m not quite sure how well this works – it’s mostly about saving money and reducing costs but specialization still applies. I’m not entirely buying that one either, though. From my own experience, I can say that it shouldn’t be too hard to get your kids up to their high school degree – anything afterwards, that’s probably impossible. High School should be doable though.
  • Economies of Scope: Use your skills from one area in another area. Not sure whether that applies here. That’s probably an argument that’s more supportive of homeschooling than of private schools – use what you taught your kid in Philosophy to illustrate something you’re currently teaching him in Biology. A specialized teacher can’t really do that.
  • Learning effects: The more often you do it, the better you get at it. This one would tend to lend support to private schools but then again you would also lose some of that energy you have when you’re doing it for the first time. Probably fairly doable to pass on these skills through books helping parents homeschool.
  • Experience curve: More often means decreasing costs. Similar to above.

I see quite a few problems with private schools that still remain.

  • The gains aren’t anywhere near as big as they are with university. Few (if any) people want to teach their children at university level – you simply don’t know enough to effectively teach your children. High school level – not that hard. We both got through grammar school which is – no offense – probably a bit harder than your average American high school. I’m absolutely certain I could teach my kid everything we learned there – and it would take me no more than 9 (instead of 12) years. And he’d have a much better experience, travelling the world and the like.
  • Teachers’ salaries are shit. You attract the wrong kind of teachers – and this especially applies to private schools without the luxuries that state funding brings. If you start paying decent salaries, your cost savings start vanishing pretty quickly.
  • Reducing costs doesn’t equal improving quality. You just can’t give a teacher more than, say, 4 students – after that, quality starts dropping real fast.

So yeah, in conclusion – specialisation effects aren’t that big and reducing costs doesn’t hold up that well to scrutiny.

[Talk]: Homeschooling II

I must say, Iโ€™m still undecided regarding this particular issue. I however find, that private schools definitely have the potential (at least in my opinion) to be better than homeschooling, because these people (ideally all of them) really know what theyโ€™re doing. This also concerns the decision what to teach.
As for a reason that parents should not be allowed to apply homeschooling – there is no reasonable one. People should be allowed to choose what kind of education their children are going to get.

I’ve now read quite a few people stating that homeschooled children tend to do better compared to children that went to public school, which is understandable because of two points:

  1. Public schools suck! (At least most of them) Now, don’t get upset and let me elaborate: Public schools are run by the government, which means, that there is less competition, less competition means less interest in employing good teachers, less interest in the performance of their students and less interest to spend their budget efficiently. In short: Public schools suck, as stated above.
  2. Who would homeschool their children? Well there are two types of persons I could imagine:
    1. Fanatics. They want to indoctrinate their children and therefore will control the education of their children (like every aspect of their lives) as thoroughly as they can. These kids won’t do better than students of public schools, but fortunately there aren’t that much fanatics out there.
    2. Concerned parents interested in the best possible education for their children: Well, studies have shown, that children of parents who find education important are significantly better in school than other kids.

But the interesting question is: Are private schools better than homeschooling is? What do you think?

Why Homeschooling Is Cool

[Talk]: Homeschooling

Let’s give this another shot…

Inspired by this piece by John Stossel, I felt like picking a fight (which I assume this is going to be).ย  I’m definitely all FOR homeschooling. I’ll try to keep this as short as possible and still get across the main points that I can think of from the top of my head.

  • Children get better education. Plain and simple. This is immediately obvious to anyone with half a brain – much easier for a parent to take care of one child individually (who also happens to be THEIR child) than for a teacher to take care of 20 or 30 ill-behaved, rude little bastards with no respect. Sure, private schools are an acceptable alternative – but then again, those aren’t exactly cheap either. Additionally, in some European countries (such as the one we’re from ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) the public school system is a lot better but nonetheless continuously declining in quality and will undoubtedly eventually arrive where other countries already are, i.e. in the shitter. Proof for this point can be gathered from all those tests where homeschooled kids score better – John Stossel points out this example.
  • Control over what your children are taught. Education is certainly about indoctrinating children, at least to some degree. Control the educational system and you pretty much control what all the drones will think when they’re grown up. I want to control what kind of indoctrination my kids get (hypothetically) (i.e. a libertarian one with plenty of opportunity to broaden their own horizones) – and so do many other parents. Sure, it means that some parents might teach their kids stuff I disagree with – so what? That’s freedom.

I’ll start with these two arguments. Try and come up with a reason as to why parents shouldn’t be allowed to do this.

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