Having spent the past ten years in the private education industry, including owning and managing a Montessori preschool, I have a very low opinion of our public education system in America. We could enroll a child at 2 ½ to 3 years old and have them reading, writing, and doing four-figure mathematics by the time they were five, when they would normally just be entering Kindergarten.
Alas, only a very few public schools in America have adopted the demonstrably superior Montessori Method of education. Dealing with the anguish of the parents of those about to graduate from our program, with few alternatives in our community to traditional public education where teachers didn’t even hope to be able to teach them to read before the third grade, was always difficult.
Many were eternally grateful for the educational head start we had given their children, the behavioral problems that had evaporated in our program, and many times the nascent cases of ‘ADD or ADHD’ that we averted without (shudder) the use of drugs. Nevertheless, they were faced with the conundrum that their perfectly normal children would now be considered precocious and ‘difficult’ in the teacher-centered classrooms they were about to enter.
In our child-centered environment, they were allowed to progress at their own pace, and encouraged to do so as quickly as their minds were capable of absorbing whatever subject they took an interest in at any given moment. Now they were about to encounter the stultifying public school arena where subjects are taught in unison on an arbitrary ‘lesson plan’ schedule, whether a child is ready or interested in them or not, at the pace of the slowest student in the class; so “no child is left behind.”
This is no less than child abuse. Boredom is the mother of mischief, and unless these parents were willing to supplement their child’s education at home, if not provide the entire process there, they risked their children’s future in more ways than one. Peer pressure is insidious, and public schools are breeding grounds for out of control youth.
I have added a rant entitled Clueless Academia I wrote almost a year ago. You may be intrigued by the picture, if nothing else. Enjoy… or wince, as the case may be. ◄Dave►