Billy Beck pulled this out of The Corner:
I’d encourage your youngest one to abandon kindergarten altogether. Almost everything I learned was learned outside the classroom, and school itself interrupted my education. Moreover, school locks you in with your peers. That is a mistake. One’s social circle should never include one’s equals. From my earliest years I found children uninteresting and always preferred the company of adults. This was an advantage, because I got to know lots of folks who are dead now whom I never would have known if I had waited until I was an adult
Instead of school, children should spend some hours each day in hotel lobbies talking to the guests. They should spend time in restaurant kitchens and shops and garages of all kinds, learning from people who actually make the world workâ€¦.One day spent roaming through a real classical church building would be the equivalent of one academic term in any of our schools, and a little time spent inconspicuously in a police station would be more informative than all the hours wasted on bogus social sciences. Formal lessons would only be required for accuracy in spelling and proficiency in public speaking, for which the public speakers in our culture are not models, and in exchange for performing some menial services a child could learn the violin, harp, and piano from musicians in one of the better cocktail lounges.
The author of that is Fr. George Rutler. He’s writing to Peter Robinson, a most gracious man who once wrote speeches for Ronald Reagan.
My boredom with formal education was immense, but put the young me with someone who had something to say for him or her self, and I would light up like a Christmas tree.
I confess to having been a world class brain picker long before I knew what I was doing, to the point where I now put curbs on the habit, as pickees are sometimes overwhelmed.
Once upon a time, when I was editor of the SUNY New Paltz campus newspaper, I was fixated on The New York Review of Books and once got the editors there to let me re-run, free of charge, their long article by the late Ivan Illich that was either, I forget which, extracted from or the basis for the book Deschooling Society, which is online at that link.
Frankly, I didn’t know then what to think of Illich’s notion, as made emphatic by his title, but it sounded good. I’ve since forgotten the details of his argument, but we can all go to the link and discover or re-discover what they were together.
Beck’s take on Rutler’s comments is here.