Quotations about Homeschooling and Education

I suppose it is because nearly all children go to school nowadays and have things arranged for them that they seem so forlornly unable to produce their own ideas.
Agatha Christie

...the truth is mothers - and fathers - exert far more influence over their children's intellectual development than is commonly realised. In fact, more than three decades of research shows that families have greater influence over a child's academic performance than any other factor - including schools.
Family Research Council, The One-House Schoolroom (Sept 1995 issue of Family Policy)

...we have come to realise that for most men the right to learn is curtailed by the obligation to attend school.
Ivan Illich

1. Confusion 2. Class Position 3. Indifference 4. Emotional Dependency 5. Intellectual Dependency 6. Provisional Self-Esteem 7. One Can't Hide. It is the great triumph of compulsory, government monopoly mass-schooling that among even the best of my fellow teachers, and among even the best of my students' parents, only a small number can imagine a different way to do things.
John Taylor Gatto

A child cannot be taught by anyone who despises him.
James Baldwin

A little learning is a dangerous thing; drink of it deeply, or taste it not, for shallow thoughts intoxicate the brain, and drinking deeply sobers us again.
Alexander Pope

A lot of fellows nowadays have a B.A., M.D. or Ph.D. Unfortunately, they don't have a J.O.B.
Fats Domino

A love of reading is an acquired taste, not an instinctive preference. The habit of reading is formed in childhood; and a child's taste in reading is formed in the right direction or in the wrong one while he is under the influence of his parents; and they are directly responsible for the shaping and cultivating of that taste. 
 H. Clay Trumbull,Hints on Child Training (1890)

A recent MORI poll, commissioned by the Campaign for Learning, found that 90% of adults were favourably inclined towards further learning for themselves.....The bad news is that 75% said they were unhappy and alienated in the school environment and that, therefore, they preferred to learn at home, in the local library, at their workplace - anywhere other than a school-type setting.

A tax supported, compulsory educational system is the complete model of the totalitarian state.
Isabel Patterson, The God of the Machine

A word to the wise, or even the unwise, is infuriating because it is insulting. When we teach without being asked, we are saying, in effect, 'You're not smart enough to know that you should know this, and not smart enough to learn it.

Accepting the key premise that the learner is the primary customer of schooling means others follow naturally. ... The core business of schooling is learning, and the quality of learning experienced by all learners should be the standard against which performance is measured.
David Hood, Our Secondary Schools Don't Work Anymore

All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education.
Sir Walter Scott

An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don't.
Anatole France

An eternal question about children is, how should we educate them? Politicians and educators consider more school days in a year, more science and math, the use of computers and other technology in the classroom, more exams and tests, more certification for teachers, and less money for art. All of these responses come from the place where we want to make the child into the best adult possible, not in the ancient Greek sense of virtuous and wise, but in the sense of one who is an efficient part of the machinery of society. But on all these counts, soul is neglected.
Thomas Moore

An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790 American Founding Father & Scientist)

An orchestra requires men with different talents and, within limits, different tastes; if all men insisted upon playing the trombone, orchestral music would be impossible. Social co-operation, in like manner, requires differences of taste and aptitude, which are less likely to exist if all children are exposed to the same influences than if parental differences are allowed to affect them.
Bertrand Russell

Another merit of home is that it preserves the diversity between individuals. If we were all alike, it might be convenient for the bureaucrat and the statistician, but it would be very dull, and would lead to a very unprogressive society.
Bertrand Russell

Architect Frank Lloyd Wright told how a lecture he received at the age of nine helped set his philosophy of life: An uncle, a stolid no-nonsense type, had taken him for a long walk across a snow-covered field. At the far side, his uncle told him to look back at their two sets of tracks. "See, my boy," he said, "how your foot prints go aimlessly back and forth from those trees, to the cattle back to the fence and then over there where you where throwing sticks? But notice how MY path comes straight across, directly to my goal. You should never forget this lesson!" And I never did, "Wright said, grinning. "I determined right then not to miss most things in life, as my uncle had.
Frank Lloyd Wright

Before there were television and video games, kids used to play outdoors, entertain themselves and work around the house in the afternoons. Kids don't choose television over people. They choose television because of lack of people interaction.
Brook Noel

Bless me, what *do* they teach them at these schools? 
CS Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe

By bells and many other similar techniques they (schools) teach that nothing is worth finishing. The gross error of this is progressive: if nothing is worth finishing then by extension nothing is worth starting either. Few children are so thick-skulled they miss the point.
John Taylor Gatto

Childhood is not preparation for adulthood - it is a part of life.
A. Neill (principal - Summerhill Natural Learning Center)

Childhood placed at a tangent to adulthood, perceived as special and magical, precious and dangerous at once, has turned into some volatile stuff - hydrogen, or mercury, which has to be contained. The separate condition of the child has never been so bounded by thinking, so established in law as it is today......How we treat children really tests who we are, fundamentally conveys who we hope to be.
Marina Warner, "Managing Monsters," The Reith Lectures, 1994

Children present the best evidence for a psychology of providence. Here I mean more than providential miracles, those amazing tales of children falling from high ledges without harm, buried under earthquake debris and surviving. Rather, I am referring to the humdrum miracles when the mark of character appears. All of a sudden and out of nowhere a child shows who she is, what he must do. These impulsions of destiny frequently are stifled by dysfunctional perceptions and unreceptive surroundings, so that calling appears in the myriad symptoms of difficult, self-destructive, accident-prone, 'hyper' children - all words invented by adults in defence of their misunderstanding.
James Hillman, The Soul's Code - In Search of Character & Calling

Children require guidance and sympathy far more than instruction.
Anne Sullivan (Helen Keller's teacher)

Concerns that homeschooled children are marginalised in terms of opportunities for socialisation are generally addressed by homeschooling parents and homeschool support groups through the provision of additional social activities. Not one report in this study suggested that a greater emphasis on social interactions would be beneficial.
ERO, "The Quality of Home Schooling," 1998

Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more thanwe can ever learn from books.
John Lubbock

Education ... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.
G. M. Trevelyan

Education has for its object the formation of character.
Herbert Spencer (1820 - 1903)

Education is a method whereby one acquires a higher grade of prejudices.
Laurence Peter

Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.
Oscar Wilde

Education is hanging around until you've caught on.
Jonathan Kozol

Education is helping the child realise his potentialities.
Eric Fromm

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.
William Butler Yeats

Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper.
Robert Frost

Education is the period during which you are being instructed by somebody you do not know, about something you do not want to know.
G. K. Chesterton

Education makes people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.
Henry Peter Broughan

Education means to lead out. We seem to understand this as leading away from childhood, but maybe we could think of it as eliciting the wisdom and talents of childhood itself. As A.S.Neill, founder of the Summerhill School, taught many years ago, we can trust that the child already has talents and intelligence. We believe that the child intellectually is a tabula rasa, a blank blackboard, but maybe the child knows more than we suspect.
Thomas Moore

Education's purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one.
Malcolm Forbes

Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equaliser of the conditions of man, - the balance-wheel of the social machinery.
Horace Mann

Education...has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.

English is not history and history is not science and science is not art and art is not music, and art and music are minor subjects and English, history and science major subjects, and a subject is something you 'take' and when you have taken it, you have 'had' it, and if you have 'had' it, you are immune and need not take it again.
 Independent' Editorial,  7/1/00,  "The Vaccination Theory of Education? "

Everyone, at present, is in favour of having students learn the fundamentals. For most people, 'the three R's', or some variation of them, represent what is fundamental to a learner. However, if one observes a learner and asks oneself, What is it that this organism needs without which he cannot thrive?, it is impossible to come up with the answer, the three R's.
Postman & Weingartner, "Teaching is a Subversive Activity"

Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other.
Edmund Burke

For all the most important things in education we have an inside track, since we reckon with the whole person, including heart and soul.
Ruth Beechick, A Biblical Psychology of Learning

For me, home education has been a terrific journey away from static forms of learning, institutional hoops to jump through, forms to please others, and a journey into a magical world of wonder and discovery. Not relaxing, but certainly an exciting process.
homeschool mom - Val, California

For thousands of years, in thousands of places, families educated their own. This tradition changed not because a better method was found but because economic conditions required it. To work one had to lreave one's children; one's children, furthermore, had to be trained for tasks no-one in their purview could be seen doing. For these reasons institutionalised schooling was invented' and while it adequately addressed a set of economic problems it inspired a new set of human ones that are psychological, emotional, and even spiritual in nature.
David Guterson, Family Matters - Why Homeschooling Makes Sense

Great spirits have always been violently oppressed by mediocre minds.
Albert Einstein

He is educated who knows how to find out what he doesn't know.
George Simmel, German Philosopher

He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.
Albert Einstein

He who knows how to teach a child is not competent for the oversight of a child's education unless he also knows how to train a child.
H. Clay Trumbull, "Hints on Child Training" (1890)

Homeschooling and public schooling are as opposite as two sides of a coin. In a homeschooling environment, the teacher need not be certified, but the child MUST learn. In a public school environment, the teacher MUST be certified, but the child need NOT learn.
Gene Royer

How is it that little children are so intelligent and men so stupid? It must be education that does it.  Alexandre Dumas

How much people can learn at any moment depends on how they feel at that moment about the task and their ability to do the task. When we feel powerful and competent, we leap at difficult tasks. The difficulty does not discourage us; we think:Sooner or later, I'm going to get this. At other times we can only think: I'll never get this, it's too hard for me, I never was any good at this kind of thing, why do I have to do it, etc. Part of the art of teaching is being able to sense which of these moods learners are in. People can go from one mood to the other very quickly.

I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built upon the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must taught to think. Whereas if the child is left to himself, he will think more and better, if less slowly. Let him come and go freely, let him touch real things and combine his impressions for himself, instead of sitting indoors at a little round table while a sweet-voiced teacher suggest that he build a stone wall with his wooden blocks, or make a rainbow out of strips of colored paper, or plant straw trees in flower pots. Such teaching fills the mind with artificial associations that must be got rid of before the child can develop independent ideas out of actual experiences.
Anne Sullivan

I am much afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labour in explaining the Holy Scriptures, and engraving them in the hearts of youth. I advise no one to place his child where the scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which means are not unceasingly occupied with the Word of God must be corrupt.
Martin Luther

I believe that school makes complete fools of our young men, because they see and hear nothing of ordinary life there.
Petronius, Satyricon

I didn't even dream it would be so good. But I would never let my children come close to the thing.
Vladimir Zworykin, age 92 on his invention, the television

I do not pine for a different place and time. I only point out what we have traded off. I think certain good things are recoverable, though without the life that once surrounded them they must inevitably take on different meanings. One of these is the tradition of parental and communal responsibility for the daily instruction of the young. Today this is denied us because teaching has been institutionalised, a convenience in a time of industry and profit when citizen-labourers perform economic functions more efficiently without children present. But for whom is such a state of affairs indeed convenient?
David Guterson, Family Matters - Why Homeschooling Makes Sense

I don't want my children fed or clothed by the state, but I would prefer that to their being educated by the state.
Max Victor Belz ( The Separation of School & State Alliance )

I hated school so intensely. It interfered with my freedom. I avoided the discipline by an elaborate technique of being absent-minded during classes.
Sigrid Undset, writer and Nobel Laureate (Literature)

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
Mark Twain

I have no patience with the stupidity of the average teacher of grammar who wastes precious years in hammering rules into children's heads. For it is not by learning rules that we acquire the powers of speaking a language, but by daily intercourse with those accustomed to express themselves with exactness and refinement and by copious reading of the best authors.
Erasmus, Reformation theologian and teacher

I have not done a full survey or review of education systems around the world, so that the views I express are based on personal experience. I would say that all education systems I've had contact with are a disgrace and a disaster.
Edward de Bono

I have not the least doubt that school developed in me nothing but what was evil and left the good untouched. Edward Grieg

I have prevented my kids from watching MTV at home. It's not safe for kids.
Tom Freston, President of MTV

I learned most, not from those who taught me but from those who talked with me.
St. Augustine

I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.
Albert Einstein

I remember that I was never able to get along at school. I was always at the foot of the class.
Thomas Edison

I say above all else don't let your home become [a] miniture copy of the school. no lesson plans, no quizzes, no tests, no report cards! even leaving your child alone would be better; at least they would figure out some things on their own. Live together as well as you can; enjoy life together as much as you can.

I sometimes ask myself how it came about that I was the one to develop the theory of relativity. The reason, I think, is that a normal adult never stops to think about problems of space and time. These are things which he has thought about as a child. But my intellectual development was retarded, as a result of which I began to wonder about space and time only when I had already grown up.
Albert Einstein

I suppose it is because nearly all children go to school nowadays, and have things arranged for them, that they seem so forlornly unable to produce their own ideas.
Agatha Christie

I think children can be very cruel especially in adolescence and if you are slow, and I was (I was in a school which was quite competitive) you do get a lot of slamming about from the other kids. I don't know about girls, but I know that boys are very cruel and very tough. It built up a tremendous resentment in me because I was also bad at sport and athletics and all I could do was play the piano. So I always got the sense in my adolescent years that 'Oh, Hopkins, you know he's, well he's not worth much, or he's a failure. 
 Anthony Hopkins

I'm sure the reason such young nitwits are produced in our schools is because they have no contact with anything of any use in everyday life.

If I were to label much educational material today, I'm afraid a large percentage would definitely be twaddle. How colourfully and scientifically our generation talks down to the little child! What insipid, stupid, dull stories are trotted out!'
Susan Schaeffer MacAuley, For the Children's Sake

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.

If the schooling system does not rapidly close the gap between what it does, and what it should do in response to the demands of the 21st century, it will simply become irrelevant.
David Hood, "Our Secondary Schools Don't Work Anymore," 1998

Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
Albert Einstein

In general the best teacher or care-giver cannot match a parent of even ordinary education and experience. Dr Raymond Moore,  Home Grown Kids

In the year 2000 an illiterate person will not be someone who can't read or write, but someone who is not able to learn, unlearn and learn again.
Alvin Toffler

Instruction, and advice, and commands will profit little, unless they are backed up by the pattern of your own life. Your children will never believe you are in earnest, and really wish them to obey you, so long as your actions contradict your counsel... Think not your children will practise what they do not see you do. You are their model picture, and they will copy what you are... will seldom learn habits which they see you despise, or walk in paths in which you do not walk yourself.
J.C. Ryle, The Upper Room

It appears, therefore, that some development of the capacity to be alone is necessary if the brain is to function at its best, and if the individual is to fulfil his highest potential. Human beings easily become alienated from their own deepest needs and feelings. Learning, thinking, innovation and maintaining contact with one's own inner world are all facilitated by solitude.
Anthony Storr

It could be argued that teachers are the best people to teach our children as they have been specially trained for this. But just as equipment is only of vale if the child learns through its use - it has no worth otherwise - the qualifications of the teachers are of little value unless the child is actually learning.
 Jean Bendell, School's Out

It has been said that the essence of teaching is causing another to know. It may similarly be said that the essence of training is causing another to do. Teaching gives knowledge. Training gives skill. Teaching fills the mind. Training shapes the habits. Teaching brings to the child that which he did not have before. Training enables a child to make use of that which is already his possession.
H. Clay Trumbull, "Hints on Child Training" (1890)

It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty. To the contrary, I believe it would be possible to rob even a healthy beast of prey of its voraciousness, if it were possible, with the aid of a whip, to force the beast to devour continuously, even when not hungry, especially if the food handed out under such coercion were to be selected accordingly.
Albert Einstein

It is hard not to feel that there must be something very wrong with much of what we do in school, if we feel the need to worry so much about what many people call 'motivation'. A child has no stronger desire than to make sense of the world, to move freely in it, to do the things that he sees bigger people doing.

It is nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction havenot yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicatelittle plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom;without this it goes to wrack and ruin without fail.
Albert Einstein

It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated.
Alec Bourne

It is tempting to impose our goals on other people, particularly on children or our subordinates. It is tempting for society to try to impose its priorities on everybody. The strategy will however be self-defeating if our goals, or society's goals, do not fit the goals of the others. We may get our way but we don't get their learning. They may have to comply but they will not change. We have pushed out their goals with ours and stolen their purposes. It is a pernicious form of theft which kills the will to learn.
Charles Handy

It seems to me that anything that can be taught to another is relatively inconsequential, and has little or no significant influence on behavior. I realise increasingly that I am only interested in learnings which significantly influence behavior. I have come to feel that the only learning which significantly influences behavior is self-discovered, self-appropriated learning. Such self-discovered learning, truth that has been personally appropriated and assimilated in experience, cannot be directly communicated to another. As a consequence of the above, I realize that I have lost interest in being a teacher.
Carl Rogers

Keep children as much as possible by themselves ... keep them from company, good or bad. ... It will be generally found that the most virtuous and the most intellectual, are those who have been brought up with few companions. ... in fact his mental resources may be considered entirely unknown and unexplored, who cannot spend his best and happiest hours alone.
Jacob Abbott (1850)

Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind. Therefore do not use compulsion, but let early education be rather a sort of amusement; this will better enable you to find out the natural bent of the child.

Learning theory tells us to teach children as individuals who learn in their own unique manner. The finest possible curriculum is precisely the one that starts with each child's singular means of learning. Instruction and guidance are best provided by those with an intimate understanding of the individual child and a deep commitment to the child's education. these principles derive not merely from the homeschooling movement but from contemporary research into how children learn. They are not merely adages fabricated by homeschoolers but precepts grounded in a science that should inspire us to reconsider both our roles as parents and the shape of public education.
David Guterson, Family Matters - Why Homeschooling Makes Sense

Men are born ignorant, not stupid. They are made stupid by education.
Bertrand Russell

More money is put into prisons than into schools. That, in itself, is the description of a nation bent on suicide. I mean, what is more precious to us than our own children? We are going to build a lot more prisons if we do not deal with the schools and their inequalities.
Jonathan Kozol

Most of us are tactful enough with other adults not to point out their errors, but not many of us are ready to extend this courtesy (or any other courtesy, for that matter) to children.

My idea of education is to unsettle the minds of the young and inflame their intellects.
Robert Maynard Hutchins

No one has yet realized the wealth of sympathy, the kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.
Emma Goldman

Nothing in education is so astonishing as the amount of ignorance it accumulates in the form of facts.
Henry Adams

Often it was not in school, but outside of it - in extracurricular activities or during time spent altogether away from school - that calling appeared. It is as if the image in the heart in so many cases is hampered by the program of tuition and its time bound regularity.
James Hillman, The Soul's Code - In Search of Character & Calling

One had to cram all this stuff into one's mind, whether one liked it or not. This coercion had such a deterring effect that, after I had passed the final examination, I found the consideration of any scientific problems distasteful to me for an entire year...... It is in fact nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of enquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom; without this it goes to wrack and ruin without fail. It is a very grave mistake to think that the enjoyment of seeing and searching can be promoted by means of coercion and a sense of duty. To the contrary, I believe that it would be possible to rob even a healthy beast of prey of its voraciousness, if it were possible, with the aid of a whip, to force the beast to devour continuously, even when not hungry - especially if the food, handed out under such coercion, were to be selected accordingly.
Albert Einstein

One's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Only the educated are free.

Our aim in education is to give a full life. We owe it to them to initiate an immense number of interests. Life should be all living, and not merely a tedious passing of time; not all doing or all feeling or all thinking - the strain would be too great - but, all living; that is to say, we should be in touch wherever we go, whatever we hear, whatever we see, with some manner of vital interest.
Charlotte Mason

Parents and families are the first and most important teachers. If families teach a love of learning, it can make all the difference in the world to our children.
Richard W. Riley, U.S. Secretary of Education

Parents give up their rights when they drop the children off at public school.
Melinda Harmon, Federal Judge, 1996

Public schools are the nurseries of all vice and immorality. 
Henry Fielding (1707 - 1754)

Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.
Christopher Morley

Real education must ultimately be limited to men who insist on knowing. The rest is mere sheep herding. 
Ezra Loomis Pound

Research ... reveals a significant advantage in social development for home schooled children. they are socially adept, possess a positive self-image, and are active in areas that devlop leadership skills. Thomas Smedley, in a 1992 controlled study, concluded: `... the home educated children in this sample were significantly better socialised and more mature than those in public school.'
Dr Brian Ray, HSLDA, "Marching to the Beat of Their Own Drum! A Profile of Home Education Research"

Research clearly verifies that the more people there are around your children, the less opportunity they have for the meaningful social contact ... Psychologists have found, as many parents know instinctively, that peaceful solitude is necessary for mental health and that the less cluttered your childrens routine, the more secure they will be.
Dr Raymond Moore, Home Style Teaching (1984)

School days are the unhappiest in the whole span if human existence. They are full of dull, unintelligible tasks, new and unpleasant ordinances, with brutal violations of common sense and common decency.
H. L. Mencken

School forcibly snatches away children from a world full of the mystery of God's own handiwork, full of the suggestiveness of personality. It is a mere method of discipline which refuses to take into account the individual. It is a manufactory specially designed for grinding out uniform results. It follows an imaginary straight line of the average in digging its channel of education. But life's line is not the straight line, for it is fond of playing the see-saw with the line of average, bringing upon its head the rebuke of the school. For according to the school life is perfect when it allows itself to be treated as dead, to be cut into symmetrical conveniences. And this was the cause of my suffering when I was sent to school....my mind had to accept the tight-fitting encasement of the school which, being like the shoes of a mandarin woman, pinched and bruised my nature on all sides and at every movement. I was fortunate enough in extricating myself before insensibility set in.
Rabindranath Tagore

School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.
Ivan Illich, "Deschooling Society," 1970

School was the unhappiest time of my life and the worst trick it ever played on me was to pretend that it was the world in miniature. For it hindered me from discovering how lovely and delightful and kind the world can be, and how much of it is intelligible.

Schools are designed on the assumption that there is a secret to everything in life; that the quality of life depends upon knowing that secret; that secrets can only be known in orderly successions; and that only teachers can properly reveal these secrets. An individual with a schooled mind concieves of the world as a pyramid of classified packages accessable only to those who carry the proper tags.
Ivan Illich

Shakespeare, Leonardo da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, and Abraham Lincoln never saw a movie, heard a radio or looked at television. They had loneliness and they knew what to do with it. They were not afraid of being lonely because they knew that was when the creative mood in them would work.
Carl Sandburg

Soap and education are not as sudden as a massacre, but they are more deadly in the long run.
Mark Twain

Spoon feeding in the long run teaches us nothing but the shape of the spoon.
E. M. Forster

Take away paradox from the thinker and you have a professor.

Teaching means different things in different places, but seven lessons are universally taught from Harlem to Hollywood Hills. They constitute a national curriculum you pay for in more ways than you can imagine, so you might as well know what it is.
John Taylor Gatto

Thats my own concept of my job - Arming her with the tools she needs to succeed on her own, and making course corrections along the way. When you think about it - if I taught my daughter only what I knew, no matter how knowledgable I was - I'd be limiting her severely.
Joan Taylor, homeschool mom

The Government's favourite formula for raising educational standards has the merit of simplicity. We are now top of the European league table in at least one respect: our children are subjected to more national school exams than those in any other country......Parents may comfort themselves with the thought that, however badly educated their children may be when they leave school, they will at least be able to do exams. 
Thomas Armstrong

The best education consists in immunizing people against systematic attempts at education.
Paul Karl Feyerabend

The child must think, get at the reason-why of things for himself, every day of his life, and more each day than the day before. Children and paents both are given to invert this educational process. The child asks Why? and the parent answers, rather proud of this evidence of thought in his child.There is some slight show of speculation even in wondering Why? but it is the slightest and most superficial effort the thinking brain produces. Let the parent ask Why? and the child produce the answer, if he can. After he has turned the matter over in his mind, there is no harm in telling him - and he will remember it - the reason why. Every walk should offer some knotty problem for the children to think out - Why does that leaf float on the water, and this pebble sink? and so on.
Charlotte Mason, Home Education (1935)

The consequence is that the 'social' skills acquired are those which may be essential for survival in school but have little applicability in the outside world. There is virtually no opportunity to relate socially to adults in school in order to learn wider social skills. Ironically, such skills can only be learned outside school hours. Teachers do, of course, set up social scenarios and discuss with children how to behave in given social circumstances. But these are no substitute for learning through real-life, dynamic social contact.
Rabindranath Tagore

The founding fathers in their wisdom decided that children were an unnatural strain on parents, so they provided jails called schools, equipped with tortures called education. School is where you go between when your parents can't take you and industry can't take you.
John Updike, "Connect," New York, October 1998

The home is the first and most effective place to learn the lessons of life: truth, honor, virtue, self control, the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life. Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children, and no other success can compensate for failure in the home.
David O. McKay, President of LDS Homeschooling in California

Some children are not ready to go to school at five as their motor, social and cognitive skills are not sufficiently developed.
Clinical Psychologist Dr Paula Barret from Griffith University, Queensland

The idea is to educate, not follow anyone's schedule about when something should be studied.
Ray Drouillard

The illiterate of the future are not those that cannot read or write. They are those that can not learn, unlearn, relearn.
Alvin Toffler (American Author)

The immediate case against compulsory school for adolescents is quite simply their barbarity: it is a triangle of hatred, humiliation and contempt.
Frank Musgrove

The majority of parents feel affection for their children, and this sets limits to the harm they do them. But education authorities have no affection for the children concerned; at best, they are actuated by public spirit, which is directed towards the community as a whole, and not merely towards the children; at worst, they are politicians engaged in squabbles for plums.
Bertrand Russell

The middle years should be so busy, so demanding, so active, so adventurous that adolescents should barely have time for introspection.
Michael Barber, "Taking the Tide at the Flood--Transforming the Middle Years of Schooling," 1999

The newer and broader picture [of language development] suggests that the child emerges into literacy by actively speaking, reading and writing in the context of real life, not through filling out phonics worksheets or memorising [lists of look-say] words.
Thomas Armstong, Ph.D., "Awakening Your Child's Natural Genius," 1991

The newer and broader picture suggests that the child emerges into literacy by actively speaking, reading, and writing in the context of real life, not through filling out phonics worksheets or memorising words.
Carlotte Mason

The object of education is to prepare the young to educate themselves throughout their lives.
Robert Maynard Hutchins

The only purpose of education is to teach a student how to live his life-by developing his mind and equipping him to deal with reality. The training he needs is theoretical, i.e., conceptual. He has to be taught to think, to understand, to integrate, to prove. He has to be taught the essentials of the knowledge discovered in the past-and he has to be equipped to acquire further knowledge by his own effort.
Ayn Rand

The opportunity to develop and practise social skills in school is quite limited. Children spend nearly all their time in school with other children born during the same academic year as themselves, and a great deal of time outside school as well. In school, there is little social contact with younger or older children and even less with adults. It is easy to see how peer mores, values and codes of behaviour become entrenched, resulting in considerable pressure to conform and the threat of ostracism or exclusion from the group for those who do not. Moreover, up to one and a half hours a day in school is specifically set aside for social recreation in the playground, where children are thrown together with nothing much to do. It is not surprising that playground hierarchies emerge and bullying is rife.
Alan Thomas, Educating Children at Home

The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done.
Jean Piaget

The problem with many materials for children is that they 'talk down' to the kids. Like many other home school parents, Michael and I have found that you do not need to talk down to your children in order to effectively teach them. In fact, they seem to respond better when they are given a bit of a challenge. Nor does artwork need to betray good taste in order to be captivating. As parents, we should strive to provide a nurturing environment that will help our children develop both a critical mind for detecting truth and a critical eye for appreciating beauty...
Susan and Michael Card, The Homeschool Journey, Windows into the Heart of a Learning Family

The purpose of education and the schools is to change the thoughts, feelings and actions of students.
Prof. Benjamin Bloom, father of OBE (Outcome Based Education)

The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.

The secret of education is respecting the pupil.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The single most important contribution education can make to a child's development is to help him towards a field where his talents best suit him, where he will be satisfied and competent. We've completely lost sight of that. Instead we subject everyone to an education where, if you succeed, you will be best suited to be a college professor... And we evaluate everyone along the way according to whether they meet that narrow standard of success. We should spend less time ranking children and more time helping them identify their natural competencies and gifts, and cultivate those. There are hundreds and hundreds of ways to succeed and many, many different abilities that will help you get there.
Howard Gardner, Multiple Intelligences

The things taught in schools and colleges are not an education, but the means of education.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The truly educated person has only had many doors opened. He knows that life will not be long enough to follow everything through fully.
Susan Schaeffer MacAuley, For the Children's Sake

Theories and goals of education don't matter a whit if you do not consider your students to be human beings.
Lou Ann Walker

There are times when even the most skilful learner must admit to himself that for the time being he is trying to butt his head through a stone wall, and that there is no sense in it. At such times teachers are inclined to use students as a kind of human battering ram. I've done it too often myself. It doesn't work.

There can be no education without leisure, and without leisure education is worthless.
Sarah Josepha Hale

There is one thing at least of which there is never so much as a whisper inside the popular schools; and that is the opinion of the people. The only persons who seem to have nothing to do with the education of the children are the parents. 
G. K. Chesterton

Therefore, teaching, talk and tale, however lucid or fascinating, effect nothing until self-activity be set up; that is, self-education is the only possible education; the rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of a child's nature.
Charlotte Mason

To confuse compulsory schooling with equal educational opportunity is like confusing organized religion with spirituality. One does not necessarily lead to the other. Schooling confuses teaching with learning, grade advancement with education, a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new. - Wendy Priesnitz

To paraphrase, No home schooling family is an island unto itself. Whether you want to be or not, you and your children are public relations representatives for the home schooling movement. ... Your good example can do more to promote the good reputation of home schooling than any other factor.
Clay and Sally Clarkson, Educating the Whole Hearted Child

To teach a man how he may learn to grow independently, and for himself, is perhaps the greatest service that one man can do another.
Benjamin Jowett

Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.
Roger Lewin

Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.
Mark Twain

Try not to have a good time ... This is supposed to be educational.
Charles Schulz

Trying to get more learning out of the present system is like trying to get the Pony express to compete with the telegraph by breeding faster ponies.
Edward Fiske

We are faced with the paradoxical fact that education has become one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.
Bertrand Russell

We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bellyfull of words and do not know a thing.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

We have never been so rich in books. But there has never been a generation when there is so much twaddle in print for children.
Charlotte Mason, Home Education

We live in a hierarchical world in which we defend ourselves ....from our eternal infancy and childhood by insisting on a graded, necessary elevation through learning and technological sophistication out of the child into the adult. This is not a true initiation that values both the previous form of existence and the newly attained one; it is a defence against the humiliating reality of the child.
Thomas Moore

We prefer that they [the children] should never say they have learned botany or conchology, geology or astronomy. The question is not, - how much does the youth know when he has finished his education - but how much does he care and about how many orders of things does he care?
Charlotte Mason

We should use kids' positive states to draw them into learning in the domains where they can develop competencies....You learn at your best when you have something you care about and can get pleasure from being engaged in.
Howard Gardner,  Multiple Intelligences

We're not trying to do School at Home. We're trying to do homeschool. These are two entirely different propositions. We're not trying to replicate the time, style or content of the classroom. Rather we're trying to cultivate a lifestyle of learning in which learning takes place from morning until bedtime 7 days each week. The formalportion of each teaching day is just the tip of the iceburg.
Steve and Jane Lambert, Five In A Row

What is essential is to realise that children learn independently, not in bunches; that they learn out of interest and curiosity, not to please or appease the adults in power; and that they ought to be in control of their own learning, deciding for themselves what they want to learn and how they want to learn it.

What is most important and valuable about the home as a base for children's growth into the world is not that it is a better school than the schools, but that it isn't a school at all.
John Holt

What use is it to pile task on task and prolong the days of labour, if at the close the chief object is left unattained? It is not the fault of the teachers - they work only too hard already. The combined folly of a civilization that has forgotten its own roots is forcing them to shore up the tottering weight of an educational structure that is built upon sand. They are doing for their pupils the work which the pupils themselves ought to do. For the sole true end of education is simply this: to teach men how to learn for themselves; and whatever instruction fails to do this is effort spent in vain. What we want to see is the child in pursuit of knowledge, not knowledge in pursuit of the child.
George Bernard Shaw

When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.

When I trained as a teacher I was introduced to two basic roles. One was that of a crowd control steward... The other basic role was that of crowd-instructor.

When freedom prevails, the ingenuity and inventiveness of people creates incredible wealth. This is the source of the natural improvement of the human condition.
Brian S. Wesbury (American Economist)

When they learn in their own way and for their own reasons, children learn so much more rapidly and effectively than we could possibly teach them, that we can afford to throw away our curricula and our timetables, and set them free, at least most of the time, to learn on their own.

When we make our laws and educational policies primarily for the parents who don't care, instead of for those who do, those laws are backwards. We urge that the burden of proof be on the state to show which mothers and fathers are not doing their job.
Dr Raymond Moore, Home Grown Kids

When you make the finding yourself - even if you are the last person on Earth to see the light - you will never forget it.
Carl Sagan

When you want to teach children to think, you begin by treating them seriously when they are little, giving them responsibilities, talking to them candidly, providing privacy and solitude for them, and making them readers and thinkers of significant thoughts from the beginning. That's if you want to teach them to think.
Bertrand Russell

Who does not recall school at least in part as endless dreary hours of boredom punctuated by moments of high anxiety?
Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence

I suppose it is because nearly all children go to school nowadays and have things arranged for them that they seem so forlornly unable to produce their own ideas.
Agatha Christie

...their ability to see the point in learning the darn thing anyway, the chances are that they will take in very little.
 Jean Bendell, School's Out

We prefer that they [the children] should never say they have learned botany or conchology, geology or astronomy. The question is not, - how much does the youth know when he has finished his education - but how much does he care and about how many orders of things does he care?
Charlotte Mason

We have a cultural notion that if children were not engineered, if we did not manipulate them, they would grow up as beasts in the field. This is the wildest fallacy in the world.
Joseph Chilton Pearce

Teaching does not make learning - - organized education operates on the assumption that children learn only when and only what and only because we teach them. This is not true. It is very close to 100% false. Learners make learning. 
Education Reformer John Holt