029 - From the Easy Chair - Audio - RR161R31.mp3

From the Easy Chair

Home Schooling


Professor:  Rushdoony, Dr. R. J. 

Subject:   Conversations, Panels and Sermons

Lesson: 197-214

Genre:  Speech


Dictation Name:  RR161R31

Year:    1980s and 1990s


Dr. R. J. Rushdoony, RR161R31, Home Schooling, from the Easy Chair, excellent colloquies on various subjects.


[ Rushdoony ]  This is R. J. Rushdoony, Easy Chair number 120, March the 25th, 1986.


Tonight we are going to continue our discussion with Samuel L. Blumenfeld, our Chalcedon fellow staff member and Otto Scott is here with us tonight also. Our subject tonight will be home schooling.

Now before you get started, Sam, I would like to make a comment or two. I am an outsider to this field in that my acquaintance has been mainly through the courtrooms. I have been involved in a number of home school cases.  To me the very interesting thing is that the home school children test out ahead of the Christian school children who are ahead of the public school children. So the gap between the home school child and the public school child is a very, very great one.  And it became quickly obvious to me why this was so.  Before the trials and during the trials and after, I talked to the children. I talked to the parents.  The thing that came through was this. The parent knows the child. And while a child can sometimes hoodwink a teacher, it is pretty hard to do so with a mother.


Now, occasionally a teacher will tell an outstanding pupil as a mild rebuke when they are not doing too well, “Now you know you can do better than this.” Well, the mother can say that with authority. “I know you can do better than that and you are going to do it.” That is the attitude, so that in half a day the home school teaches far more, far more effectively than any other school. The results are dramatically superior. 


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes. There is no doubt about that, Rush.  As a matter of fact, you find that the home schooling youngsters are... are usually very good conversationalists and they... and they get along with adults so much better than do public school children.  They are able to converse with adults. They enjoy being with adults, because they are with their parents and they are being schooled at home.  Time, of course, is a factor and you get much more done in much less time in the home school. And also the children there are doing their learning  on their own a great deal of the time because all children are learners, are self learners.  Every child teaches himself to speak his own language from the probably at the type... from the time of birth.  [3:51]

And so they are constantly improving their auditory and verbal skill to a very high degree so that by the time they are six years old they have achieved a... a speaking vocabulary of between 5000 and 35,000 words and they have done this all on their own. So they have this enormous learning energy. And what the home school does is simply let that energy move forward at... at the highest possible acceleration because no barriers are put in front of him, no bells are rung to stop the learning process. The children can devote as much time as they want to and hey are not interrupted and ... and they are not made to do foolish time wasting things like recess and ... and having to attend all the ... all the kind of things that go on in schools.

I have taught in schools and I know what it is like when in the middle of a lesson the bell rings and the... the ... your entire train of thought is... it is interrupted and stopped and then the kids go outside and they play for a half hour and then they come in and they are totally a ... a different person because they have been energized and thy are all over the place. Well, you don’t go through that in a home school.  In a home school children learn the way adults learn, you see.  And that makes all the difference the world.

[ Scott ]  And isn’t also a tutorial system, a home school?


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes.


[ Scott ]   It is a one on one, which is always been considered the province only of the highly favored, the best advantage.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes. 


[ Scott ]   Because if you have to learn in a crown you are limited to the lowest or to the slowest in the crowd.  And if it is one on one you can go at your own pace.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes. Yes, as a matter of fact, as you know, royalty and {?} they use tutors the... the aristocrats always had tutors to train their children, to educate their children. And when you do it at home, of course, you are... you are more or less replicating that kind of a situation.


[ Scott ]   You are recall getting the... the most highly favored kind of education that it is possible to get.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes. [6:11]


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes, Otto.  You have stated it very clearly. And, Sam, you have said something earlier, too. Let me bring these things together in terms of something I have seen, not original with me, but it has been brought out in some of these cases.  One of the problems in our public schools today, among many others, is the fact that teaching has gone from the teacher to the students.  In other words, peer pressure prevails.  It becomes an environment in which it is the mob that governs.


[ Blumenfeld ]  Oh, yes.


[ Rushdoony ]   The other students determine the attitudes, the perspective of the child, peer pressure so that we have what very early in the 50s was called the group directed child.  But you said so very aptly that the home school child is oriented to adults. And it is from the adults that the child is going to learn. And the psychologists who have dealt with the home schoolers have found that the home school child is very quickly prepared for life in a world of maturity, not a perpetual childhood.


[ Blumenfeld ]   That is right. That is right. And... and the ... that is something that you notice that the ... the child is... is so much at ease with adults.  Then, of course, you know the... the emphasis put in the public schools on peer, group activity is really the attempt to socialize the youngster, because now the ... the aim of the public school is not really to educate.


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes.


[ Blumenfeld ]   It is not really to elevate, develop the intellect.  It is to socialize the child. And they want that peer interaction. They promote and encourage peer interaction which, which, of course, leads to all kinds of horrible things. It leads to influences that may be very unhealthy for the child. For example, one of the reasons why you have the terrible drug problems in schools and the sex problems is because of ... of peer pressure, tremendous peer pressure.


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes. Well, this is why I think it is so important that Otto Scott is a part of this, because Otto is less a product of the public schools and more a product of home education and self education than any of us. 


[ Scott ]   Well, yes. I also recall one of the things that I detested in school—and there wasn’t a boy in the world that hated school as much as I did... [9:16]


[ Rushdoony ]   Public school you mean.


[ Scott ]   Public school. ... was the fact that they had different teachers for different subjects, which meant that it wasn’t possible to establish any kind of a relationship with a teacher in an ongoing way.   You went... you went from the hands of one teacher who might be fairly sympathetic, to a teacher who was unsympathetic and then somebody who was apathetic.   And I recall ... I did have a tutor at one time who had graduated from Cambridge in England and he was abrasive. He was insulting. He called me a stupid little boy.  And he was the best teacher I have ever had, because he knew exactly what he was dealing with. He... he wasn’t in the least bit deferential or was he looking at a syllabus. He beat me into shape. And I detested him, loathed him. I have never liked anybody from Cambridge University since, but I look back at him as a wonderful tutor.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes.


[ Scott ]   And I was lucky to have the experience.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes.


[ Rushdoony ]   You spoke of teachers, let’s see, as sympathetic, apathetic and what else? 


[ Scott ]   Oh, I have forgotten. Antagonistic, whatever.


[ Rushdoony ]   You left out pathetic. 


[ Scott ]   Yeah. Right.


[ Rushdoony ]   Which fits some I have known.


[ Scott ]   Well, my impression is that they have no liberty.


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes.


[ Scott ]   That they are tied to a syllabus.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes, but... but also the... the important thing with the... the child and the... and the home school is the parent child relationship. I think that something happens there that the... the child does not get when the child is sent to school. For example, when your parent is the teacher you develop a ... a... a heightened respect for that parent. And there is one thing you notice in all home schooling children, a tremendous admiration, love and respect for their parents. You get none of this business of, well, you know, don’t know anything. My teacher knows more than you do or we are doing in school something you don’t know about, bringing homework to the parent and the parent saying, “Well, I don’t... can’t figure this out.”  That kind of thing.


The parents actually learn more than the children.


[ Scott ]   I am sure they do.

[ Blumenfeld ]   And this is the interesting part of the process, Rush, is that we are... we are creating a superior group of parents in America, because these are parents who are not only learning to teach, but they have to learn an awful lot before they can teach. And I have even had home schooling parents who asked me, for example, how to improve their children’s spelling. And I suggested that they teach the child Latin. And then they will answer, well, they don’t know Latin.  I say, “Well, why don’t you learn it, you know?”  [12:20]

The children ... you have to learn it together.  Those are the possibilities. They are endless possibilities with the home school.


Another thing about the home school is that it doesn't begin at nine and end at three. It is an ongoing process. You... you... it keeps going around the dinner table. It... it keeps... it functions on vacations. I know of a home school family in New Orleans that took a vacation by driving out to Los Alamos. They wanted to see the... the... the installations there, the atomic installations. And this young child I suppose was in his teens was very much interested in astronomy.  And they happened to find the address of the professor who had discovered the planet Pluto.  And they actually looked him up and visited him. And this youngster was so enthralled and this professor greeted the family. He was so delighted. He was in was in retirement.  And the world had forgotten him.

[ Scott ]   Yes.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Here he was this family that came knocking at his door because that son wanted to meet the man who had discovered Pluto.  That is the kind of thing that goes on in a home schooling that, you know, no... no public school and no private school can ever ...


[ Scott ]   I guess there is a point, though, if they start in home schools, I ... I can see where all this would follow, because your parents are your natural teachers anyway and even parents who don’t know that they are teaching are teaching because children, of course, follow the model.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes.


[ Scott ]   But I would imagine there might be a problem if you take a child from public school where they have already become acquainted with a separate outside the family authority, a counter authority to their parents, and then bring them in and start home schooling. What about that?


[ Blumenfeld ]   Well, you know, I have talked to parents who have had... who have done that.  They have taken children out of public schools and they have put them... and they have home schooled them.  And I remember one youngster who... who had many friends in the school and his parent was afraid that he might miss the peer action, the peer interchange, but he enjoyed homeschooling a great deal. That year went very well and at the end of the year they happened to be driving by the school and his mother asked him do you miss any of you friends there? And he replied that, yes, I do.  And then she asked him would you like to return to the public school? And he said, his replay was, well, I don’t miss them that much.  [15:15]


In other words, sure, he misses them, but he was. He prefers home schooling. I have known very few children who once they have had a taste of home schooling will prepare to return to the public schools.


[ Scott ]   Well, if you recall, I... I don’t know about your experience, but in the period... there was a period of about a year, a little more than a year I went to a public school in New York City and I think I told you earlier there were fellows that had mustaches that were playing handball in the courtyard and I used to feel nervous going past those fellows, because, you remember, that was when they held you back if you didn’t finish the... pass the exam. 


And the were... it was a mixed bag to go to a new school. I had that problem, too, because some of your class mates were pleasant and friendly and some were decidedly not.  And I think there has been too much emphasis in American educational circles, at least the ones I have read, about having the child become used to all kinds of different people.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Oh, yes.


[ Scott ]   We grow up in a society that is so polyglot that there is no way of escaping anybody.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes.


[ Scott ]   As soon as we leave the home we are... we are in a diverse society. So why should we push children into these difficulties prematurely?

[ Blumenfeld ]   I agree with you and... and, of course, that... that question is always asked or that comment is made that, well, you don’t... you want you child to know the real world.  So put him in the public school where he will rub shoulders...


[ Scott ]   It is more democratic.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes, with real people. The family is composed of fake people, you know.  The family is a very real world.


[ Scott ]   That is right.


[ Blumenfeld ]   As a matter of fact it is a... it is a... it is a microcosm of society and it is the best place to... to learn about the real world. As a matter of fact, you learn some pretty awful... you get some pretty awful distortions of the real world in a school room.


[ Rushdoony ]  Yes.


[ Scott ]   That is true.


[ Rushdoony ]   One of the common questions asked by a parent is: If I do not have a good education myself, can I be a home schooler? Can I teach my children?


[ Blumenfeld ]   Well, if... if there is a proper motivation that parent can certainly learn, can go out and get the materials. You see, today there are many satellite home schooling programs available. For example, Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights, Illinois supplies the complete curriculum. All the parent has to do is know how to read and be to just simply give it to the student and... and the student takes care of everything. The child takes care of everything. As  a matte of fact, the ... the... the academy even marks the papers.  You send them the papers and the academy marks them and sends them back. So for those parents who feel inadequate about teaching their own children, there are plenty of very good satellite programs available. [18:26]


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes. In such cases your child, even though being home schooled is legally a student of an academy...


[ Blumenfeld ]   That is right.


[ Rushdoony ]  ... in another state.


[ Blumenfeld ]   That is right.


[ Rushdoony ]   Do you want to give the address? You mentioned Christian Liberty Academy and its satellite schools.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes. And Christian  Liberty Academy is one of the best in the country. They have quite a through and... and excellent curriculum, a very good Christian curriculum.  And their address is: Christian Liberty Academy, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois  60004. Let me repeat that. Christian Liberty Academy, 502 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, Illinois  60004.


Now the academy puts out two excellent books. It puts out a legal manual for parents who want to know what their legal status is as home schoolers and also a national guide to home schooling organizations throughout the country so that they can join a home schooling organization in their community and get some ... in other words, have some interaction with some other home schooling families.’


The notion that the home schoolers are sort of isolated families that have no social contact with others is ridiculous, because the... you find a tremendous amount of ... of... of social interchange among home schooling families in associations, local associations and state associations.


[ Rushdoony ]   It is right now a very rapidly growing movement, so much so that it has professional statist educators concerned and afraid.  They do not know how many there are in the home school movement.  I have heard estimates on one occasion in Washington, DC, when some lawyers were talking, that ranged from three to 10 million.  No one really knows.


[ Blumenfeld ]   No, that is... I ... I think 10 million may be a little high.


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Rush, but, you know, there are many underground home schooling families.


[ Rushdoony ]  Oh, yes.


[ Blumenfeld ]   That have... that have not surfaced and are doing it on their own without letting the school authorities know because in some states the ... the... the authorities have been pretty awful and pretty harassing and so these parents have kept a low profile.  [21:10]


We will never really know the...


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes.


[ Blumenfeld ]   ... the...


[ Scott ]   So the legal ... the legal situation is somewhat scrambled. In some states are home schools illegal?


[ Blumenfeld ]   Well, in yes in many states they... they are on their regulated.

[ Scott ]   They are regulated.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes. You see, the NEA, has become... or the National Education Association has become very alarmed at the growth of the home schooling movement because they see it as a threat to the entire education establishment.  Parents are withdrawing their children by the thousands and educating them at home and they are leaving empty seats in the classroom and, of course, these children are escaping the socialization process that the NEA is so keen on making sure that every child goes through for obvious reasons. They want the children to be able to fit into this new world order that is being prepared for America by our wonderful friends in the United Nations and the Soviet block.


So they are... they are very concerned and the NEA, the NEA has... has created its own set of guidelines. They have gone to every state legislature in America and they are badgering those legislatures to ... to enact very highly regulatory statues that would make you... you would probably have to jump through 10 hoops before you could home school.


[ Scott ]   So that in... in effect, you would wind up with their curriculum.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Oh, yes, yes.  They are... their long range goal actually is to close down the church schools, to regulate them... first to regulate, then to control the church schools, first to regulate and then to outlaw home schooling. I am sure that they don’t want to... that their... their long range goal is to outlaw home schooling.


[ Rushdoony ]   Some years ago I met with a group of Catholic mothers who had pulled their children out of a parochial school they felt with good reason was becoming both radical and anti Catholic. And they did something quite unusual. The mothers split up the grades. One said, “I will take all the children in our group who are kindergarteners and teach them around my dining room table.” Another said, “I will take the first graders,” and so on right up through the eighth grade.  Now here is an alternate possibility to that and I am throwing this out for your opinion.


Supposing some neighbors have home schools, each of them should they interact, one saying, “Well, I am no good at math, will you take over math?”  And the other saying, “All right. I am enjoy literature. I would like to take over that area and you can send your child to me for that.”


[ Scott ]   Wouldn’t that be setting up a ... a school?  [24:25]


[ Blumenfeld ]   Well, so what?  I mean I am... I am for educational freedom if this is what these parents want to do, why not? I mean, you know, shouldn’t... shouldn’t education be as free as breathing I mean, you know, how do you teach if somebody has a talent to teach a particular subject? Somebody is a whiz at algebra and can really make algebra and geometry interesting to the youngsters, why not? I mean that is... that is the whole benefit.

[ Scott ]   Well, why not because you are running head on into the bureaucracy.


[ Rushdoony ]   It depends on the state.


[ Scott ]   Yes.   It depends on the state.


[ Rushdoony ]   That would make your ... it easier than simply calling it a home school. In other states you would run into trouble. So it will vary from state to state. 


[ Blumenfeld ]  Rush, let me ask you. Do parents have an unalienable right to educate their children without interference from the state.  How...


[ Rushdoony ]   I believe that theologically we have to say it is the God given privilege and duty of parents to educate their own children. It is not primarily the responsibility of the state nor of the church. It is essentially and primarily the responsibility of the family. 


[ Scott ]   Well, originally, constitutionally, in the United States education was a local matter and a state matter.  And the federal government was not supposed to be involved. The federal government got in via Lyndon Johnson’s administration by money and then follow the money with their guidelines and so forth.  So now we have what is apparently a federal educational system in terms of its being funded by Washington.


[ Blumenfeld ]   But... let... let me say this, though but you see we have... George Washington and many of the founding fathers were home schooled.


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes.


[ Blumenfeld ]   We know that.  And home schooling was rather wide spread in the United States particularly in the West where you didn’t have schools during the settlement period. And, in fact, home schooling was... was perfectly legal and all right until you had the first compulsory school attendance laws then. Now the first such law was passed in Massachusetts in the 1850s which means that every parent up to that point in the United States of America had the right to educate his or her child at home without interference from the state. Now do you lose that kind of a right simply because the state them passes a law requiring compulsory school attendance?  If it is an unalienable right, can you lose an unalienable...?  [27:07]


[ Scott ]   You can lose any right that you do not defend.  It is up to the citizenry to defend its rights just as it is up to an individual to defend his rights. You can lose your rights by surrendering them and you can regain your rights by demanding them.  The... you know the whole question of education is misunderstood here. It is always discussed in the American society in terms of schooling. Now as Rush indicated, I have virtually no schooling and I am a very well educated man. 


[ Rushdoony ]   Formal schooling.


[ Scott ]   Formal.... formal schooling.


[ Rushdoony ]   State controlled, state governed.


[ Scott ]  Well, I didn’t... I didn’t... I couldn’t stand government schools.


[ Rushdoony ]   How long did you play hooky one year when you were...


[ Scott ]   I had the New York record for the time being, seven months without being detected. It was finally unmasked, of course, and all sorts of terrible things went on.  But...


[ multiple voices ]


[ Blumenfeld ]   They didn’t put you in a  home of delinquent youngsters.


[ Scott ]   Briefly. I was put in a society for the prevention of cruelty to children. And then, of course, they examined my home and they said anyone who would play hooky from such a wonderful home was just a bad boy.  And they gave my psychiatric and personality tests at Mount Sinai hospital when I was 12 and a half.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Incredible.


[ Scott ]   And then they... they... the psychiatrist... psychologist recommended I go to college, because I passed the college exams in all but math.  And the probation officer recommended I be sent to a reform school.  And justice Levy saved me from all that. He took me to chambers and asked me what I wanted. I said I wanted to get out of New York and go to my grandparents area upstate and he therefore made a rule that I was not to be permitted in the New York public school system until I was 18.  So by that ruling he... he...  he released me from that terrible system.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Well, then you are an individual who actually experienced the tyranny of the compulsory school attendance laws.


[ Scott ]   Absolutely. 


[ Blumenfeld ]   I mean you were treated like a criminal.


[ Scott ]   I was. The probation officer regarded me as a criminal.


[ Blumenfeld ]   You see.   And... and that is what is so horrible about those laws because they did turn children into... into criminals. 


[ Rushdoony ]   Well, I... I think that is true and persecuted parents and still do in many cases.  It is a good thing you ran across so enlightened a judge, Otto.


[ Scott ]   Well, I corresponded with him for several years. He was a  wonderful man. 


[ Blumenfeld ]   But... but... at the point today is that they are now using these laws against the parents.


[ Scott ]   Yes. They are putting them in prison.


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes.  Otto, when you were sent up state to your grand parents did your troubles with the public schools cease?


[ Scott ]  No.  No. No. [30:14]


And I remember a beautiful spring day I decided to go fishing instead of going to school and I had a pole and all the rest of the equipment and I was walking when the truant officer drove up in a Ford. I recall the car. He was everything. He was the constable, the dog catcher, the truant officer and what not.  And he pulled up and he said, “Otto, where are you going?” And I said, “I am going fishing.” He said, “Aren’t you supposed to be in school?” I said, “I am sick.”  And he said, “Get in the car.”  So I got in the car and thinking, well, this is more trouble. And he drove to his house and he came out with a fishing pole. And said, “Now where were you going to go?”


[ Blumenfeld ]   That was a good truant officer.


[ Scott ]   And we went fishing together. 

[ Blumenfeld ]  That is the kind that we like, not the kind that the NEA sends out.  Oh, my, but... but, you know, that is the ... you can see that there are thousands of youngsters who don’t want to go to school who can probably learn better out of school. 


[ Scott ]   I was getting four and five books a day out of the public library.  I read omnivorously. And the school was distracting me. It was taking me away from the subjects that I was interested in.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes, yes.   And, of course, now these laws are being perverted and used against the parents.


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes.


[ Blumenfeld ]   They have been turned against home schooling parents who are educating their children.  You see, the purpose, the original purpose of these compulsory school attendance laws was to make sure that every child got an education.


[ Scott ]   Sounded wonderful, didn’t it?

[ Blumenfeld ]   Yeah, didn’t it at the time.  Parents did not believe at the time that these parents were... were depriving them of their unalienable right to educate to educate their children at home without interference from the state.  But as the state has grown larger and more powerful, it has become, now, the... the ruler, the master.


[ Rushdoony ]  Yes.


[ Blumenfeld ]   You know, the Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights and among these life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  And then it goes on to say that the purpose of government is to secure the unalienable rights of the citizens. 


[ Scott ]   Yes.


[ Blumenfeld ]   And yet we have a government now that is doing just the opposite.


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes. 


[ Blumenfeld ]   It is depriving the citizens of their unalienable rights. It is taking them away, not securing them. And, therefore, you have an illegal government that is doing this.


[ Scott ]   Well it is really a tyrannical government.  But some questions do arise. We have now the working parents and this proposes a great difficulty for them.  And many of them for reasons that I would find inexplicable.  They will buy new cars and what not with a double salary, but they will not spend the money to send a kid to a private school or a church school. Maybe they don’t have a church.  [33:14]


Do you have any suggestions for them? Could they use an aunt? Could they use...


[ Blumenfeld ]   That is a very good idea. 


[ Scott ]   Could they use... could they use...


[ Blumenfeld ]   A relative. ... or...


[ Scott ]   Could they use a .... a family friend? 


[ Blumenfeld ]   Why not? If we have full educational freedom, why not? The parents can delegate a tutor or a teacher. 


[ Scott ]   Well... they can get their own tutor. 


[ Blumenfeld ]   Because, as a matter of fact, the public schools have always felt that they were in loco parentis.  So anyone can take the place of...


[ Scott ]   That is a great point.


[ Blumenfeld ]  ... the parents in loco parentis.


[ Scott ]   They are standing in place of the parent.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes.  But that no longer holds today. The... now the schools believe that they own the children.


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes.


[ Blumenfeld ]   The state now owns the children.


[ Scott ]   That was the argument of the revolutionists of France in 1791 and 92.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes, yes.


[ Scott ]   The state owns the child.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes and that is what the American educational establishment feels. They feel that they own the children, that the parents are depriving them of the children.


[ Rushdoony ]   A common question that interested people raise is this.  If you decide to put your child in a home school, your own home and educate your child yourself, what is the best way to pull my child, they ask, out of a public school?


[ Blumenfeld ]   Well, I don’t know what is the best way. Just remove that child.


[ Rushdoony ]   Yeah.


[ Blumenfeld ]   You know, just ... of course I suppose the best thing to do is to do it at the end of the term, you know, and simply...


[ Scott ]   Not re enroll.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Not re enroll and ... and if you are asked questions to be prepared and to get your legal manual from the Christian Liberty Academy or from some other sources such as... I believe the Rutherford Institute has some materials on home schooling that will be of interest.  But in other words, you simply have to take the plunge. 


What I would do... what I would do if I were that parent is first get in touch with a home schooling association and speak to other home schooling parents.  Find out what they have done, what is the best way to go about it, because experience is the... is the best teacher in this ... in this instance and I would rely on the experiences of other home schoolers. 


[ Rushdoony ]   Another question that is very common place is after I have home schooled my child, how does my child get into college? 


[ Blumenfeld ]   Very simply.  That child takes an entrance exam or an SAT test and it is on the basis of that test that the child is admitted to a university or a college. In fact, I am pretty sure now that when colleges see on the record that this youngster is home schooled, they realize that they have got somebody very special on their hands, somebody who can read  and write. You know and who doesn’t need remediation and as a matter of fact, there was a youngster from California who was home schooled all his life and entered Harvard University. I believe it was about two years ago.


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes. [36:40


[ Blumenfeld ]   And he made the headlines, because of that.


[ Scott ]   They enter... enter earlier. 


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes, many of them can even enter earlier than the age of 18.


[ Scott ]   Because you know that most of the high school is repetitive.

[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes.   So all they have to do is take the tests. That is all... that is all that is needed. And there are... there are colleges all over the country. I mean if one college doesn’t take them another will.  That is no big problem. I haven’t... I haven’t found a home schooling that has had any problem getting their children into a decent college or... or a university.


[ Rushdoony ]   Well, the home school movement is growing so rapidly that now in states where the home schoolers met in living room a few years ago they now use the civic auditorium when they have a meeting, a convention.


[ Scott ]   What about source material? 


[ Rushdoony ]   There are manuals that tell you where you can get materials. 


[ Blumenfeld ]   Oh, yes.

[ Rushdoony ]   And this is an area that is growing so rapidly that I have given up trying to keep up with what is being produced.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes.


[ Rushdoony ]   Because it is a rapidly growing area, everybody is producing materials.  And the quality is improving constantly.  The achievement of the students improves correspondingly, quite dramatic.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes. Another thing that is interesting is that at these home schooling conventions you will have exhibits. Publishers are now showing their wares.  All kinds of books are available. Even the major publishers are now beginning to exhibit at these home schooling conventions. 


[ Scott ]   It would be interesting to see if they are exhibiting the same materials.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Well,  some of them are, as a matter of fact.  Now we have a whole new consumer, the parent who is, you know, looking over these materials and wants advice on which particular book to... to buy. And I have been asked that at... at various seminars. They will come up to me and ask, “Well is this reading program better than that reading program?” And, of course, what you really need is a consumer guide. There are now homes schooling magazines. There is The Home Teacher that is put out in... [39:18]


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes.


[ Blumenfeld ]  ... out of Oregon. There is ... there are several of them now available on the market.  And I ... I predict that... that this is a great place for a ... an entrepreneur to get involved, because I believe that the home schooling market is going to be growing very rapidly.  And anyone who wants to create a good... who can create a good home schooling magazine, a good professional magazine is going to make a lot of money, because you have got a lot of parents out there who are ... who want to know what is available, who are interested in the products for home schooling and will appreciate a magazine of this kind. 


[ Scott ]   Yeah, that seems... sounds to me as though this is where the future leadership of the United States is going to come. 


[ Blumenfeld ]   Well, that is where the past leadership came. Where did our founding fathers come from? You know, they came from the homes. And I have told home schooling conventions. I have told them... I said the George Washingtons of tomorrow are going to come out of your home schools, not the public schools, because, you know, George Washington read. 


[ Scott ]   Well you know, the public schools teach conformity.

[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes.


[ Scott ]   To the group.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yeah.  They are group conformity. They also ... they... they are involved in group dynamics, peer pressure, socialization. That is the whole thrust of public education today is to destroy the individual’s ability to be an individual with individual intelligence. 


[ Rushdoony ]   Well, of course, you have got to recognize the dire social consequences if our Christian schools and home schools grow.  It will soon depopulate our prisons. We have no alumni from our Christian schools and home schools in the prisons.  Think of all the people who will be unemployed. 


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes. Yes, that is a problem, because, you know, they say that 85 percent of the people in the prisons are functionally illiterate. 


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes.

[ Blumenfeld ]   And I... I would imagine that some of them went into crime because they had no employable skills. They...


[ multiple voices ]


[ Scott ]   You are probably right.  That was the basis for belief those murder for profit. 


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes.

[ Scott ]   His... his first book on mass murderers which are now very common, by the way, but in his day, the late 20s, were very uncommon and in every instance they were men who didn’t know how to earn an honest living in any sort of... of fashion commensurate with their desires.  So therefore by accident in most cases they found out that murder was a way of earning a living. They became serial murderers as we call them today.  And as the rise of functional illiteracy expands, as you know, we have more and more of these desperate activities. [42:15]


[ Blumenfeld ]   And that is particularly true among the blacks in America. They have been so... so devastated by public education that now the ... the ... the chief cause of... of death among young blacks is now homicide. They are now killing one another and they are on drugs and all sorts of things. 


Another important development of the home schooling movement, though is that the ... the politicizing of the parents. You see, the parents have become aware that this is a political issue and that their rights are threatened by legislatures and law makers and teachers associations.  Ands so now they are organizing lobbies because they realize that as you said if they don’t exercise their rights ...


[ Scott ]   Then they lose them by default.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Then they lose them, right. And that the only way that they can make sure that they can exercise these rights is it re assert them. And that is what they are... they are doing. Now they are organizing for legal battle. 


[ Scott ]   Oh, I can’t...


[ Blumenfeld ]   ...or with the state.


[ Scott ]   I can’t forget that Hitler gave several of his most crucial speeches to vast audiences of school teachers.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Oh, yes.


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes.


[ Blumenfeld ]   He outlawed the private schools, you know. As a matter of fact, the first thing the Communists do when they take over is outlaw private schools and, of course, home schooling because they take control of the children.


The socialization of children is a statist idea. In other words children are to serve the state.  And it is... it is...


[ Scott ]   Yes. All governments will only teach what governments want you to know.

[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes.


[ Rushdoony ]    I was in one home school trial about a year and a half ago. Two sets of parents very superior people with remarkable children who were well over five years ahead of public school children, which, given the character of the public schools isn’t that much.  But they were not tested in some areas which would have made their standing greater, because those areas were not in the test.  They were... their curriculum included far more. 


The very ugly fact about that trial, which the parents lost, was that the four children, two aged seven and two aged nine were more literate and spoke better English than the judge who was a real yahoo.


[ Scott ]   That is a lot of commentary. [45:03]


[ Blumenfeld ]   That is the sort of thing where we have to put up with. But, you see, Rush, I believe that now we need a ... a counter kind of... of program to repeal the compulsory school attendance laws in this country. I think that... that the only solution to this problem, the only way that the parents can ensure their unalienable rights is to form a national movement to repeal compulsory school attendance laws in all of the states.


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes.

[ Blumenfeld ]   And I have suggested that to home schooling parents. And they realize that that really is the only solution, because once you permit the state to have any say in what you are doing at home, you are... you are ceding to the state a... a right that they have never had, you see, and you are giving up your unalienable rights. An unalienable right means total freedom.

[ Scott ]   That is true.


[ Blumenfeld ]   And that is...


[ Scott ]   And it is also true that children develop at different rates. Not every child is benefited by being put in the preschool. Not every child is benefited by putting him into a compulsory school at the age of six. Woodrow Wilson, for instance, was taught by his father. He didn’t learn to read until he was 12. And nobody is going to say that Mr. Wilson didn’t turn out to be extremely literate. He had an extended childhood. And I sometimes think that an extended childhood would be a great gift for the average child. We are pushing them into premature adulthood.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes.


[ Scott ]   And we are talking away their childhood.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yeah. Formal schooling is a very... is a very artificial kind of set up, because you are dealing with children in a kind of lock... lock stop fashion. You are saying, that, well, they are... if they are three months younger than that particular age group they have got to stay back. They can’t fit in. Everything is done for the convenience of the educational establishment, not for the ... for the child at all. The entire set up is made for the convenience of the establishment and the teachers. And so you get these ... these strange kinds of... of... of formalities that really don’t... do anything for education.


[ Scott ]   Well, there is also the general feeling, I believe, in the United States or throughout the United States that the most important thing is to make friends and contacts.  This was why people should go to college. I mean, my grand father said no one in our family goes to college to be a gentleman. That is an English idea. Well, now it is an American idea. And ... and yet it has no relation to real life at all. Nothing to do with class at all.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes. College is now a social event.


[ Scott ]   Yes.


[ Blumenfeld ]  Well, you know, it is all social. And... and those are the main benefits that youngsters seem to want out of college these days.  But the youth culture.  And I believe that home schooling at least prepares the youngsters for college.


[ Scott ]   Well, at least they will get there more adult than their peers.

[ Blumenfeld ]  Yes.


[ Scott ]   More independent and more secure. They won’t, perhaps, go through this experience of having all their values trashed by the professor so that they go home at the end of the year a stranger to their own relatives.  [48:37]


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yeah. That, of course, is the great problem that the public schools pose is that the alienation of the children from the parents by instilling a... a... an... a set of values that are totally alien to that family.  And many a family has been broken up, many a child has been led astray by being indoctrinated in false values, alien values, non religious values and that have not only destroyed the children’s lives, but also the... the... the family. 

I...I. I believe that the home schooling is also a very important part of our strategy to survive in the coming years ahead, Rush, when... when... when we don’t know what is ... what is going to happen. We see the... we see the... we see the... the Communists gaining in strength. We see the United States, you know, entering a period of tremendous problems and how are we going to survive if we don’t have strong families that can sort to get through this... this period of... of uncertainty and turmoil.

You know, I remember reading somewhere that one of the reasons why the  New England or he American towns were able to survive the revolutionary war was because each one was a little republic.


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes.

[ Blumenfeld ]   Each one had the Bible. Each one was ruled by law and the... and... and so you didn’t have the anarchy that the British expected would take place in the colony.


[ Scott ]   Well, they... as they moved west later on they set up their own churches and their own schools. Somebody has recently researched to so called wild, wild west and they found no sex crimes whatever, relatively few burglaries, a few robberies and bar room shootings, for a brief period. Then, as soon as the shop keepers and their wives came in and a minister and so forth, they organized a town and they became quite conformable.


[ Rushdoony ]   Most of the so-called wild west towns, Tombstone, Dodge City and all were wild for about a year. After that they were church oriented communities.

[ Blumenfeld ]   That is right. The Bible provides the law, you see, for these communities. So they are no longer lawless communities. And the Bible provides the law for the family. And so families can survive on the basis of that in a period of turmoil and anarchy and who knows what... what is ahead for us.    [51:09]


[ Scott ]   Well, in many respects we are living in a world that resembles the first century of the Christian era.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes.


[ Scott ]   We are surrounded by pagan forces that appear to be over... over winning, difficult to overcome. For the first time, I guess, in many generations, the people of the West are not looking forward to the future with hope or with happy expectations.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Right.  Well, you know, when the Roman Empire disintegrated, I mean, who were the ones who survived, who made it through that period were the small integrated Christian communities that were able to, you know, get through that period of ... of... what was it? Lack of organization or destruction of a great empire.


[ Scott ]  Well...


[ Blumenfeld ]  Since you pointed out in a... in a... in a talk you gave Otto.

[ Scott ]   Well, the... the... the larger society crumbled, in a sense. The central government collapsed, but the local infrastructure remained.


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes.

[ Scott ]   In the form of the states.

[ Rushdoony ]   And especially the local communities. That is where the strength was. The fact of Rome’s collapse did not mean that the Dark Ages dawned. That was a myth invented by statists who felt that because there was no central power controlling  a region and because in the political sense there was chaos, there had to be in the social sense a like chaos.   So they created the myth of the Dark Ages. 


Originally it extended from the fall of Rome to the Renaissance.

[ Scott ]   Yes. 

[ Rushdoony ]   But they...


[ Scott ]   {?} is the faith.


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes.  Then they began to limit it a bit until finally it disappeared all together, although occasionally you find someone who still speaks of them, but it is a myth.

[ Blumenfeld ]  And that was a period when the great cathedrals were built, incredible, magnificent...


[ Scott ]   Well, tapestries of Europe became the riches, most variegated civilization the world had ever seen. It exceeded all the pagan wonders and yet without a central government.


[ Rushdoony ]   In the early part of that era the so-called heart of the Dark Ages, you had your first industrial revolution.  A number of things were developed as Lynn White has shown in his study of technology in the Middle Ages that revolutionized life. For example, the horse collar. The Romans could not transport much freight because without a horse collar the horse was pulling against his wind pipe. So the invention of the horse collar was a major step forward.  Then the mold board plow, later the wind mill and so on.  One thing after another revolutionized life in Europe.  [54:26]


[ Scott ]   Well, if you have a home school and you have at a home school... I was just thinking about this.  A great deal of what you learn as a child is family history, the events through which the members in the family have lived in previous periods.  And when you go to a school you don’t get history in any proper sense. As I understand it right now, they are teaching anti history.


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Oh, yes, yes. They... they... the... the... the entire study of history has disintegrated into something called social studies which is a... a mish... a mish mash of anthropology, psychology, history, geography and all kinds of things.  It... it just doesn’t make any sense.


[ Scott ]  What do you think, Johnny? And poor Johnny is sitting there age 11 asked to give a comment on the Supreme Court opinion.

[ Blumenfeld ]   He is also asked to become an... an... an Aristotle and a  Plato, you know, and to create his own value system with... you know, which is only done by the world’s leading philosophers.  But every child now is expected to do what a... what only a Plato and an Aristotle or a Maimonides could do.

[ Rushdoony ]   Well, to me one of the most exciting aspects of the home school movement is that these home school children are exceptionally good readers.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes.


[ Rushdoony ]   They enjoy reading.  They are continually reading armfuls of books, history, literature, anything they can get their hands on with zeal.


Now this gives us a counter trend to what the public schools have done. They have limited the ability to read and the interest in reading so that it is actually affecting, today, the world of publishing.  And suddenly now you are creating an audience.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Right, a new audience of... of book readers.


[ Rushdoony ]   Yes. It ... this is very hopeful for the future.


[ Blumenfeld ]   And it also there... you ... you find in home schooling families they don’t watch television as much as the average family does. You know, you don’t have the everyone gathered around the boob tube at night and also you don’t have ... there are some rooms in which the television set is always on even if no one is watching it. 


[ Scott ]   I know. That is fantastic.  In my hope the television set, in my daughter’s home the television set was broken for 11 years. 


[ Blumenfeld ]   On purpose, I imagine.  [57:08]


[ Rushdoony ]   Well, we have about three and a half minutes left. Is there something you would like to add, Otto, to what has been said? 

[ Scott ]   Well, I would like to go back to the point that I made in the beginning that the absolutely most aristocratic top level education possible to attain is tutorial.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes.


[ Scott ]   And if a family can create the best possible education for their children, I think they would be well advised to do it.


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes, and I want to encourage every parent who wants to educate his or her children to do so and to not be intimidated by the state and also to ... to get all the advice and materials available out there. There is plenty of... of material available and to do it, to go ahead and do it and ... and face up to what we may have to deal with, because restoring individual right,  unalienable rights entails some risks these days.  You see, the state is very jealous of the rights that they have removed and getting them back may mean even going to jail. Some parents have gone to jail.  But it is better to go to... to spend a month or two in a county jail than 10 years in the gulag.  [58:28]


[ Scott ]   Oh, there is lots of legal help that is coming your way, too, isn’t there?


[ Blumenfeld ]   Yes, there is a lot of legal help. So there is... there is no reason why parents would have to...


[ Scott ]   They wouldn’t be alone.

[ Blumenfeld ]   Yeah and they won’t be alone. 

[ Rushdoony ]   Well, we are seeing in the Christian schools and the home schools the development of a generation that will have a capacity for leadership that does not exist in the state schools. The state schools create a mob, children with a mob mentality who respond to peer pressure. Our Christian schools and home schools are creating people who have a strength of character and an ability to stand alone. This gives us a great deal of hope for the future.


Well, thank you very much for your part and...


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