15 October 2018

Home Schooling

Apparently critical remarks have been made about home-schooling by some participants in the Synod.

I spent most of my adult life working in a college which was part of a corporation of colleges devoted to providing a middle-class education in the Catholic Tradition as this was understood within the Church of England. It was known as the Woodard Corporation, and contained about thirty colleges.

You might suppose that Canon Nathaniel Woodard, the Founder, must have entertained an uncritical devotion to the project of educating the young in colleges.

Not so.

He once described the practice of the mass education of the young as like trying o get one's hands clean by washing them in filth. His provision of so many establishments resulted simply from his conviction that, since the system existed, its worst features should be mitigated.

It was his view that the ratio of priests to pupils should be 1:10; and he did his best to secure that every member of his colleges should make a sacramental confession (the Victorians used the phrase Auricular Confession to make it sound sinister and unEnglish) on every occasion before receiving the Blessed Sacrament. The Chaplain was to be senior to the head master.

For this, he was mercilessly and endlessly persecuted.

Perhaps today's Catholic Church needs a dose of Woodardian 'Clericalism'.


Dan Hayes said...

I understand that it is a crime to home school in Germany. The fact that some Synod participants think in this vein is very unfortunate and symbolic of their general outlook. In the United States the homeschoolers are a well-organized force who are unflinching and vociferous in defending their rights to educate their children. So far they have been successful in staving off education establishment attempts to scuttle homeschooling.

Bill Murphy said...

As Daniel Hayes has noted, it is a crime to home school in Germany. Or rather, it is a crime not to send your children to a school. This is the result of a 1938 law passed under the reign of the late Adolf H. But it has never been repealed and attempts to remove it have been rejected up to European level. Thus German homeschoolers have sought refuge in the UK and USA.

Of course, even German politicians cannot prevent parents teaching their children outside school. This was driven home forcefully to me in 2013 when I was on a train heading for Freiburg. A few rows behind me, a mother was teaching her little girl to count. In English. Never too early to give your children a head start before the teachers get their hands on them.

Christopher Boegel said...

The attack on parents who homeschool their children is a mark of the sinister mind.

Banshee said...

In the US, homeschool alumni are usually distinguished by being unafraid of public speaking, reasoned in discourse, knowledgeable in ways broad and detailed, and polite without shyness. They also tend to have projects and hobbies which lead to completed things and goals. They are also self-starters.

It is kinda scary how well homeschooling works, and it is sad to the rest of us who had years of wasted life, constant bullying, annoyance, and depression. (And that was in a good school with teachers who liked me.) They actually get to study and learn, not sit around waiting all day for help, or waiting years for the class to catch up.

I read two or three novels or non-fiction books in school every day, which was where I picked up most of my learning. Nowadays, a lot of kids surreptitiously write novels on their phones or tablets, instead of in their class notebooks as they did in my day.

Oliver Nicholson said...

The German ban on Fox Hunting also dates from Hitler. It was intended to enhance German marksmanship.