Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Posted by: Steve Miller

Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/09/02 12:34 AM

I recently finished a book that made an impression on me. The title is "Rich Dad, Poor Dad".

The basic premise is that while the American educational system does a fine job of training students to become employees of big corporations, they do very little for the student who wants to run his own business or in life skills in general.

I am inclined to agree. I believe that a semester of double entry accounting basics (with a week on checkbook balancing), followed by courses in insurance, consumer credit, taxes, investments, real estate forms and basic business law would be more useful to the majority of students than calculus - or even algebra 2.

Has anyone read it? Comments?
Posted by: JBryan

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/09/02 12:59 AM

Actually our educational system appears to prepare people for little beyond knowing how to unroll a condom or who is raping the environment or how to feel good about themselves.

Every day I encounter people who cannot spell simple words, multiply two single digit numbers without a calculator, or logically think their way out of a paper bag. If I am being to hard on our system please let me know why.

Steve makes some good points and I think his emphasis is in the right place. Self reliance.
Posted by: Jolly

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/09/02 10:17 AM

Folks, have you been in a high school classroom, lately?

Reality does not dwell therein!

Many of the books are lousy. Not just bad, horrible. They tend to lean towards "total immersion" education without first explaining to the kids what the "water" is. The students memorize realms of information, yet learn very little. I guess they figure if you throw enough mud at a wall, some of it has to stick.

I think Steve has made a very valid point. Teach basics. Well. When a child graduates from a public school, he should have a good grasp of our economic system, the rudiments of starting or running a small business and how to handle personal finances. He should have a basic grasp of our governmant and how it operates. He should have a firm grounding in the English language and be able to write a decent sentence. He should have a basic understanding of science and the scientific process. He should know at least the rudiments of Algebra and Trigonometry.

Secondary education, public or private, should prepare the student to begin life as an adult. If the student's aims are to further his education in college, he should have enough basic academic background to succeed. If his aims are to begin a vocational career, such as an aprentice electrician, high school should have supplied him with enough simple geometry and algebra to bend pipe. If his aim is to start a small business, he should have been exposed to enough business courses in school that he understands the challenges facing him.

If a child has a good grounding in the basics, the employer has something to build on, or the individual has something to build on. Trying to start out in life without the educational essentials is like planting a tree with damaged roots. It may grow, but it takes longer to become established.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/09/02 04:37 PM

I have to disagree with you Steve. Major disagreement.

On of the problems I see in the current school curricula is that we keep putting new things on the schools to teach. So, now Steve wants us to add entrepreneurialship and how to balance a check book and analyze what type of life insurance to have. I don't buy it.

The schools, with our tax dollars already are the training ground for too much of Amercian industry, from engineering and accounting schools to sports programs. Any voc ed type education is nothing more than a subsidy for the industry the students are being trained to enter. This is OK; but we must see it for what it is -- the government giving industry workers.

For too long now, the American system has been defined in economic not political terms. We have defined what kids need to learn by what will be helpful to them in getting a job or to become a good contributing consumer or to create a nice stable homelife. And in the worst cases to become adherents with a certain religious moral system, even if we do not say openly what that system is.

Don't get me wrong, these are nice and good things to learn. But it is not what our kids need to live and and contribute to a democracy (OK representative democracy).

Is it necessary for kids to learn to solve quadratic equations? Probably not. Is it important for them to learn the mental discipline needed to solve such equations. Yes! Because then they will have the mental discipline to wade their way through government and business and special interest propoganda.

Is it necessary for kids to appreciate poetry? Probably not. Is it necessary for them to learn how undertake critical analysis? Yes. Because then they can take a critical look at what Hollywood and Madison Avenue and Washington are placing before them and decide if it has validity or is just nicely packaged.

We live in a time where the average American blindly accepts reports from battlefields where no unfettered news coverage is allowed. And yet many of us recall very well the lies of Viet Nam and Desert Storm. We live in a time when the Attorney General takes on to himself the right to hold people in unlimited detention and to limit trials by jury through secret military tribunals and issue orders to reduce other freedoms. And yet, many of us are old enough to remember when Richard Nixon herded political protestors into RFK stadium to stop their protests and used the full force of the Federal Government to go after and destroy his political enemies.

Amercian capitalism and the American economic system are wonderful things. But they are so only because we live in a democracy.

Steve suggests we alter the curriculum in the schools to teach the kids another way of becoming a viable part of the economic system. I suggest it be altered to make them viable, contributing involved citizens in a democracy -- the economic system will take care of itself if we do.

But then, it is better for the power structure and those who want the status quo if the children are made into cogs, instead of thinking people.
Posted by: Steve Miller

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/09/02 09:51 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by George061875:
I have to disagree with you Steve. Major disagreement.
[/b]

Terrific post, George! And we don't really disagree at all - not on the major stuff.

 Quote:
On of the problems I see in the current school curricula is that we keep putting new things on the schools to teach. So, now Steve wants us to add entrepreneurialship and how to balance a check book and analyze what type of life insurance to have. I don't buy it.
[/b]

Time is the enemy in our schools. So much knowlege to impart, so little time. So many conflicting goals. The best the schools can do is an overview, but an overview of what?

 Quote:
The schools, with our tax dollars already are the training ground for too much of Amercian industry, from engineering and accounting schools to sports programs. Any voc ed type education is nothing more than a subsidy for the industry the students are being trained to enter. This is OK; but we must see it for what it is -- the government giving industry workers.
[/b]

And this[/b] is the point of the book. Feeling as you do, I suggest you read it - it will speak to you. The schools are a training ground for industry workers and little else. Trouble is, only a select few ever make it all the way through college to become these workers, and those that do often find themselves at the mercy of what has become of the corporate structure in this country. They are left with little but a diploma and a prayer if they can not find a corporation to carry them.

 Quote:
For too long now, the American system has been defined in economic not political terms. We have defined what kids need to learn by what will be helpful to them in getting a job or to become a good contributing consumer or to create a nice stable homelife. And in the worst cases to become adherents with a certain religious moral system, even if we do not say openly what that system is.
[/b]

No disagreement there. I believe this focus puts those students who are bound for the trades for example, or other non-corporate endeavors at a distinct disadvantage. The military has figured this out, and now routinely teaches their recruits the rudimentary basics of checkbook baslancing, consumer credit and the like. They can handle a rifle, but credit cards get them every time.

 Quote:
Is it necessary for kids to learn to solve quadratic equations? Probably not. Is it important for them to learn the mental discipline needed to solve such equations. Yes! Because then they will have the mental discipline to wade their way through government and business and special interest propoganda.
[/b]

Perhaps the better way to make sure our students can wade through this propoganda is to teach them about the propaganda. About the only class I can remember from high school was a civics course. I do not think the instructor was following the approved curriculum, but I learned more useful things in that class than anywhere else. Things like "follow the money" and "trust and verify", critical analysis of advertisements and the inner workings of the political system. Excellent stuff - stuff I am passing on to my kids.

 Quote:
Is it necessary for kids to appreciate poetry? Probably not. Is it necessary for them to learn how undertake critical analysis? Yes. Because then they can take a critical look at what Hollywood and Madison Avenue and Washington are placing before them and decide if it has validity or is just nicely packaged.
[/b]

I agree with you on critical analysis, but propose that for a full and rich life one must be at least exposed to the possibilities contained in art, literature, music and all of the other glorious endeavors that humans undertake when they are not bound by the constraints of making a living. Just an exposure will do if that is all the time you have. If one of these areas lights up the student's mind, that student will seek out more on their own.

 Quote:
Steve suggests we alter the curriculum in the schools to teach the kids another way of becoming a viable part of the economic system. I suggest it be altered to make them viable, contributing involved citizens in a democracy -- the economic system will take care of itself if we do.
[/b]

I propose that the schools could do a better job of both[/b], but as none of these things are not easily tested (and testing is all the rage these days) thiat it will up to us as parents to pass on this knowlege.

 Quote:
But then, it is better for the power structure and those who want the status quo if the children are made into cogs, instead of thinking people.[/b]


George, you are going to LOVE this book.

[ March 09, 2002: Message edited by: Steve Miller ]
Posted by: Jolly

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/10/02 10:21 AM

My undergrad degree was obtained from a small (1400 students), religious based, liberal arts college. While we didn't have some of the luxuries that big State U had, the school consistently turned out (and still does) outstanding citizens for the community and the nation.

A large part of our education was a core curricula that everyone had to take. It did not matter if your major was chemistry, religion, education or English, you still had to have the required number of social sciences, hard sciences, religion courses, philosophy, english and literature, arts etc. And the courses were non-substitutable. Everyone took the classes together. This gave us an enormous sense of cummunity and joint purpose.

The faculty was also outstanding. The professors were paid to teach, not research and publish. They were allowed quite a bit of academic freedom as long as the course goals were met and the students could show mastery of the subject matter. I never took a multiple choice test while in college. All tests were either "blue book", essay, fill in the blank, or problem sheets. It takes a lot more of the professor's time to grade these (and no, they didn't have grad assistants), but they could assess their student's progress much better.

What does the above have to do with public secondary education in America? As I have stated previously, I believe Education has lost its' way in our public high schools. Teachers are supposed to use sub-standard books. They must follow lesson plans that do not allow them to teach. They must try to cover more material than the average student can be expected to master, so they "dumb down" the tests, in order for the students to pass.

Perhaps we need to re-embrace the idea of a liberal arts education at the secondary level. Cut down the number of subjects, yet take the time to teach the remaining ones well. Reward the excellent teacher, and define that excellence not by the children's grades, but by what they have learned.

And at the heart of the high school diploma, indelibly fix the idea in the public mind, that in order to obtain that degree, the student must be able to begin their journey as a minimumly qualified citizen in this country. And yes, that includes paying the water bill, balancing the checkbook, and the other everyday, mundane duties they should know how to do, but many times do not.
Posted by: Nina

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/10/02 11:15 AM

Was it Jefferson who said that a successful democracy requires a literate populace? (I'm way paraphrasing here!). I don't think he meant by literate populace someone who can read comic books, or take in someone else's opinions without some critical evaluation. I totally agree with these posts.

On a slightly different tack, there are virtually NO courses in my kids elementary school, on basic economic and fiscal management. I believe the same is true of middle school and high school.

By that, I mean no one teaches kids what it means to buy on credit, how quickly interest rates build up, the devasation of declaring bankruptcy, how to make money through basic investments and savings accounts, basic personal fiscal responsibility. I think this is because somewhere along the way we've decided, as a society, that talking about money is crass.

But, how else are kids to learn? In my case, these lessons have to come from hubby and me. But I think it's an appropriate topic for school, even starting in elementary grades.

Nina
Posted by: iainhp

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/10/02 02:22 PM

The problem with the education system is that the teachers are not allowed to teach the way they find works best. In most other professions, experience is valued. Teachers (at least in San Diego Unified) are being told to put aside their teaching methods and teach the way the district sees fit. When you have an ex US district attorney driving this it becomes real suspect.

As for the check book/credit stuff. Kids follow their parents lead as that is their initial role model. It's the same with education. The reason that kids in poor school districts do so poorly is not because they aren't a smart. It's because their parents don't put the emphasis on education, reading to them when they are young, checking up on their homework every night and participating in school events.
Posted by: piqué

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/10/02 02:44 PM

it seems that this becomes a circular problem. how are the teachers to teach what they themselves were not taught? education has been deteriorating for at least the past 30 years. that means that today's teachers didn't get the greatest education, either.

while i was lucky enough to go to one of the top public school districts in the nation, and feel i got a pretty solid foundation (before education went down the tubes while i was still in high school), i know that the kind of education all of you are talking about i didn't get in school, and i doubt anyone ever has (unless they went to some sort of elite prep school).

critical thinking and appreciation for the arts, music, and literature came from my family. i was rigorously taught--at home--how to think critically and independently. and my appreciation and love for music, art, and good books also came from the way my family immersed us in those disciplines.

nobody in schools, even in the 50s and 60s, was teaching those things.

likewise, the reason i've been so woefully ignorant about things like money management and all financial matters was because this was not where my family's interests lay. but i know lots of people who teach their children those principles starting when they are very young, because it is an important part of their values system.

you can't expect the schools to do it all. but this is not saying that our public schools need vast improvement. my graduate students at the university can't spell and don't know basic geography or history. it is a scandal.
Posted by: PianoMuse

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/10/02 06:08 PM

The problem is that the teachers don't care! when I was in high school ( not too terribly long ago) my teachers would often come in drunk or not at all. if they were sober, we woulndt do anything anyways because they didnt bother to keep the classrooms under control. drug trades were common right there in the classroom. even the "good" teacher would maybe spend about half the semester teaching us, and then just fell into a pit of not caring wether we learned or not. by about febuary each year we would just watch movies in every class.
It was sad.
Posted by: Steve Miller

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/10/02 07:37 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by PianoMuse:
The problem is that the teachers don't care! when I was in high school ( not too terribly long ago) my teachers would often come in drunk or not at all. if they were sober, we woulndt do anything anyways because they didnt bother to keep the classrooms under control. drug trades were common right there in the classroom. even the "good" teacher would maybe spend about half the semester teaching us, and then just fell into a pit of not caring wether we learned or not. by about febuary each year we would just watch movies in every class.
It was sad.[/b]


What a depressing story..... \:\(

This however, is why there is such a major emphasis on testing and rewards for standardize test scores these days. I think it is a lousy way to ascertain what sort of a job the teacher is doing - barfing back facts on tests is only one of many, many skills a student will need if he is to get the most out of his life.

But then I hear stories like this one, and wonder if the best we can hope for is an ability to read, spell and do basic arithmetic.

It is a shame. Our kids are capable of so much more.
Posted by: Brendan

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/10/02 10:22 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by PianoMuse:
when I was in high school ( not too terribly long ago) my teachers would often come in drunk or not at all. if they were sober, we woulndt do anything anyways because they didnt bother to keep the classrooms under control. drug trades were common right there in the classroom.[/b]


Sorry Amy, but I don't believe a word of that...

Here's food for thought: School is not for the intelligent or gifted child. Teachers must teach at the pace of the slowest learner, meaning that the slow learners still may feel frustrated about the rapid learning rate and gifted students will feel frustrated about how slow things are going.

The ideal program for intellectually gifted children: home schooling and independant study[/b]
Posted by: nancyww

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/11/02 01:41 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Brendan:

The ideal program for intellectually gifted children: home schooling and independant study[/b][/b]


Thanks, Brendan, you made my day.
Posted by: DT

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/11/02 07:56 AM

Steve, I read the book about a year ago while sitting in the hospital next to TLOML as she recovered from surgery. A friend has the game the author discusses and thought that it was extremely good for his kids. Of course, his son is now a California car salesman, so go figure. At least, he is troubled by the ethics of his profession.
Posted by: iainhp

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/11/02 12:52 PM

 Quote:
The ideal program for intellectually gifted children: home schooling and independant study


Sorry, don't agree with this. The first problem is that spending 24 hours a day with anyone will drive you crazy after a while. The second problem is, that in most cases, it is very difficult to teach your own children. They know exactly which buttons to push to get you going. Children, in general seem to learn better from others (I'm assuming the others are capable teachers). Do you teach your own children the piano or send them to a teacher? Course, in that case you can choose your teacher. Hopefully others have good stories of home schooling, but out of all the kids I know that were home schooled, most turned out to be screw ups. One person I worked with ended up with both his daughters pregnant before they were 18. The best things you can do for your kids is teach things like honesty and integrity by example, throw away the TV and read to or with them, help them with their homework and make sure it is done on time, get them to bed at a decent hour, observe/help in the classroom, and throw some stuff their way that they don't get in school (like piano lessons).

I also don't agree with the teaching at the pace of the slowest child. Why should other kids be penalised because of a slow learner. This is exactly what is going on in San Diego with the famous "Blueprint for Sucess" (sorry, this is one of my hot buttons). The goal of the education system should be to educate all students, not to focus on the bottom 10% and let the others wander. The comments on the failing standard of education in the last 30 years is well noted. It's now going to be worse because the bottom 10% of students can't keep up and so the system is dumbed down further. It's also not fair to the bottom 10% - they have now been singled out. Can you imagine what happens when the rest of the kids get frustrated at the slow pace. The education system is also telling them that they deserve special treatment which they won't get once they leave high school.

The other biggest problem is testing. All the teachers do is teach the test. Why? Because their pay raises are tied to increasing test scores. Testing needs to be abolished along with multiple choice tests. One exam in each subject taken should be administered by the teacher at the end of the grade, to determine how well the student is learning and whether that student should proceed onto the next grade. This should be a written test graded by the teacher. I don't care whether Gray Davis wants to run for the White House using improvements in education as a platform. If he wants to know how well my daughter is learning he can damn well get off his rear end and come down to San Diego and ask. And no, he can't have his picture taken with her for the papers.

No, I don't have the answers, but I can point out what's not working. The teachers have many suggestions but they are ignored in someones political game.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/11/02 01:21 PM

To me, the answer to what is best for our own kids is very simple.

1. Parents need to place a premium on educating their children and become involved. If the parents find education important, the kids will also.

2. Read to the kids -- from birth. Have them read to you. Talk to the kids. Answer their questions. Find the answers if you have to. Take them places they find interesting -- museums, libraries, parks, nature preserves, the harbor, wherever.

3. Be involved in their learning. Make sure homework is done, tests prepared for, projects completed.

4. Look over the work that is sent home, with your kid sitting next to you. A test to sign because the kid did poorly? Sign it -- but only after finding out what the problem was. A package of work the teacher has graded and sent home? Look at every page and see how the kid is doing.

5. If your child is struggling, find a way to help them. If they are stuck on fractions, help them with it. If they don't quite get the concept of adjectives versus adverbs, help them learn it. The teachers will usually help. But if not, do it yourself.

6. Meet their teachers. Let the teacher know you are interested and be willing to accept calls or meet when needed. And don't blame the teacher when he/she has bad news. The problem is likely the kid's.

7. Be involved at school, but not too involved (give the kid some space). Attend parent conferences, back to school nights, parent meetings.

8. Educate the kids on what you think is important that the schools may not be covering as much as you like. Entrepreneurship? Teach your kid that. Home economics? Teach the kid that. Politics? Teach the kid that.

9. Undo what the schools do wrong. Usually, it is not so much the school is wrong as they just do not teach all of the values you have or ideas you have. If you know what your kids are learning, and listen to them, you can add, supplement, erase what the schools teach.

10. Start early -- before preschool. If you wait until 5th grade, it is too late; you have lost the battle. If you wait until the kid is in high school when things really can turn bad, you have lost the war.

The parents are the primary educators. It is one of the most important things we do. It is not up to thew schools first, it is up to us first. If we make it a priority, it becomes easy to do all of these things.

And unless we make it a priority, why should our kids? But if we make it one, they will follow.
Posted by: Eldon

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/11/02 01:40 PM

By George...! ;\) that was an excellent post.
Every home schooled kid that I've encountered has been socially backward. $.02 I sure don't want to start a war here. Have a great day. \:\)
Posted by: jodi

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/11/02 04:07 PM

Absolutely excellent post, George. Homeschooling is big where we live, and I know many successful kids who have been home schooled. However, I often wish that the parents who choose to do this, who are so involved with homeschooling groups in town, would instead get involved with the public school systems, parent groups, school board, and offer some of their incredible and positive talents so that ALL the children in the area could benefit. More help for the gifted students who need to be challenged, and also for those who don't have a good home situation - for whatever reason, and eventually will fall through the cracks. Think of how much better a society we would be if we all worked together on this. Just a thought. Jodi

[ March 11, 2002: Message edited by: jodi ]
Posted by: nancyww

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/11/02 04:14 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Eldon:

Every home schooled kid that I've encountered has been socially backward. $.02 I sure don't want to start a war here. Have a great day. \:\)[/b]


Oh, ouch, Eldon. Recently I sat next to a man on a plane to California who told me that the thing he didn't like about Oregon was the "hick factor"....people who are missing teeth and homeschool their kids. Let's see, I have all my teeth but the homeschooling part would apply to me! ;\)

Before you pass judgment on homeschooled kids and their social lives, I'd encourage you to spend some time with a few of them. Yeah, the ones you've probably noticed are the kids who don't go to "regular" school because THEIR PARENTS are socially backward and have anti-social reasons for not sending them there. Then there are the kids you meet and don't realize that they are homeschooled. The ones who shake your hand and talk to you politely when introduced, who enjoy talking about classical music, who are honest and hard-working because their parents have taken the time to teach them good values.

Do you have to homeschool to teach your children these things? Of course not. However, there are plenty of dedicated homeschooling parents who do. We teach our children at home because we find it works for us. Our kids do well academically, we network with other homeschooling families so that our children don't become anti-social, and we simply enjoy the time it gives us to do things together as a family. In addition to all that, it gives our "students" more time at home to....PRACTICE PIANO.

By the way, that man on the airplane had a nice conversation with my 14 year old daughter who was travelling with me. I don't know if anything I said had an effect on him but I think she may have changed his view on homeschoolers... She has all her teeth as well. \:D
Posted by: Penny

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/11/02 06:06 PM

My area has among the very best public schools in California (unfortunately, this is not saying a lot!). And also a huge homeschooling population. For the record, my kids go to private school. But I know a lot of homeschoolers who have chosen this path for various reasons. Some are religious, some are secular.

I'd say I personally know of 20 home-schooled kids. Each of them is happy, well-adjusted and among the most polite, poised children I've ever met. Most of them are far advanced academically. It's not something for everyone, indeed not for me. But I'm in awe when I see it done correctly.

penny
Posted by: Brendan

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/11/02 07:21 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by iainhp:

The first problem is that spending 24 hours a day with anyone will drive you crazy after a while. The second problem is, that in most cases, it is very difficult to teach your own children.[/b]


You're arguing circularly; not all students that are home schooled are taught by their parents. Most, in fact, are taught by hired tutors with certification. As for the pregnancy thing, compare your observation with how many teenage pregnancies happen in the standard school district. I'm sure that you'd agree that a bad decision such as that is not wholly related to the educational setting.

And no, I (THANKFULLY) have no kids and wouldn't teach them piano (it would be a respect issue). \:D

 Quote:
I also don't agree with the teaching at the pace of the slowest child. Why should other kids be penalised because of a slow learner.[/b]


I agree completely with you; I was frustrated in almost every class that I had to take in high school because the teacher had to accomodate everyone. Disagree with it as we may, it's unfortunately the practice. I wasn't saying at all that I think that it's a good idea to do so.

That's one of the big cruxes of problems with standardized education, IMO. Learning potential isn't a "one size fits all" deal. However, based on my experiences I can tell you that independant study is something that gifted children appreciate and take advantage of. Some children would benefit tremendously from home schooling, and I can think of more than several that I know personally who are the most diligent workers and comitted individuals that I know because they learned self-reliance and independance at a time crucial in their learning development.

On the other hand, some children will only see the gobbles of free time and use it inefficiently and thus miss out on the benefits. Like I said, one can't typecast when it comes to education.

 Quote:
No, I don't have the answers, but I can point out what's not working. [/b]


If you only can point out faults, then it tells me that your perspective is limited (and I don't mean that personally or negatively in the slightest). It also undermines your position and makes you look like an angry Mom at a PTA meeting. It kind of goes back to arguing circularly (finding evidence only support your own viewpoint and ignoring everything else).

I guess those "Theory of Argument" classes stuck a little bit more than I would have liked. \:D
Posted by: iainhp

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/11/02 09:11 PM

 Quote:
If you only can point out faults, then it tells me that your perspective is limited


Brendan you're probably right on that one. My problem is I'm too much the engineer and like things to be straight forward and logical (the cup ain't half full or half empty, it's a case of some overzealous person over designing it to be twice the size it needs to be). I do better with electronics and garage mechanics!

Hadn't really considered tutoring as home schooling as I've never run across it except for the wealthy. I would happily consider this option as the best of all but believe it is beyond my reach in terms of cost (anyone please advise otherwise?).

One aspect of home schooling not covered is travel. I have some friends heading to Japan for 3 months - they will home school for that period. Also known of people sailing around the world and home schooling their kids along the way.

I have yet to see a home schooled kid missing teeth though.
Posted by: Steve Miller

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/11/02 10:11 PM

For my wife and I, the answer to educating our kids has been sort of a blend. It seems so many things are these days.

The local public school system is pretty good, although I sure would like to know what they do with all the money they get. The buildings are falling apart and the new ones they build would be overpriced at 1/3 of what they pay for them.

Buildings do not a school make however, and the district does a pretty good job on the basics. Neither SWMBO nor I had/have the inclination to take on this task ourselves, so off to school they go. We check up on them regularly, and whan a concept taught as gospel comes up, and that concept has more shades of gray than that which was taught, we intervene. We want out kids to THINK, not just to learn. After that is done, we also remind them that they key to getting through school is getting through school, and to answer test questions as taught, even though you know better. No use trying to "teach the pig to sing".

The subjects that the school does not cover I handle myself. In the entrepreneur category for example, I gave each of my kids $250 to start a business two years ago. My son took the $ and the Internet and has a thriving car stereo concern going now. This has branched out in to making speaker cabinets, which makes a glorious mess in my garage. A small price to pay to nurture the entrepreneureal spirit, but if he cuts his finger off, I am closing down the shop. \:\)

My daughter invested hers, using Internet sites like Motley Fool for guidance. She did a whole lot of research, and her investments (on a percentage basis) look better than mine.

I know only one family of home schoolers, and my hat is off to them for the amount of time and energy they put forth to do this. I suspect that the success or failure of home schooled kids has mostly to do with how good the parents are as teachers, and what sort of agenda prompted them to home school in the first place. In the case of the family we know, I fear that these kids will be absolutely overwhelmed when they are released in to the world and find out not everyone has the same beliefs as those taught as cast-in-stone by their parents.
Posted by: piqué

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/11/02 10:51 PM

even though i sometimes teach at the graduate school level, i'm not sure i'd have the confidence to teach my kids at home. there are things i know a lot about, but there is much i know very little about and would undoubtedly do them a great injustice if i tried to be their sole teacher in those subjects.

how do parents get the hubris to think they can do this better than a professional?

and where is shantinik? didn't he write a book about home schooling?
Posted by: Penny

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/11/02 11:21 PM

A lot of the home-schoolers I know ARE teachers by profession. I know I couldn't do it. I'm not even much of a kid person (though I most definitely am a Jonathan and a Quetzal person!).

penny
Posted by: nancyww

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 01:21 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by pique:

how do parents get the hubris to think they can do this better than a professional?
[/b]


Good question, Pique. Can a parent even match the job that a professional teacher can do, much less hope to do better?

First of all, what makes a person a professional teacher? A degree? Most of the homeschooling parents I know have one of these, too. Classes in the latest teaching methods? Sometimes more of a hindrance than a help. Experience working with large groups in a classroom situation? Doesn't apply to homeschooling. No one that I know has 32 of their own children.

Perhaps a better question to ask is what makes an outstanding teacher? Ask any parent. Isn't it the person who cares deeply for his or her students and passionately wants to help them learn? A teacher who wants to see their students grow and continue learning beyond the classroom. Someone who knows his or her own limitations and will find resources to fill in the gaps.

In this way, a parent can be a most qualified teacher for his own child. A parent naturally cares for and wants the best for the child. Homeschooling parents know that learning isn't limited to a classroom. Many of life's most important lessons are not learned from a book or a lecture. So much can be learned from travelling, working, meeting people.

No, I cannot teach my children everything all by myself. Like any good teacher, I look for creative ways to give my children a well-rounded education. It may be through team teaching, to take advantage of other parents' areas of expertise. Or hiring someone who can teach a subject better than I can, like a piano teacher. Or learning alongside my "student", taking French together at the college, for example.

There are plenty of professionals out there who are doing a fine job teaching classrooms full of students. That is certainly a job better left to a professional.

However, deciding on how best to educate any one individual student, whether it be public school, private school, or homeschool...that is best determined by the people who know the student best, the parents.
Posted by: shantinik

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 01:41 AM

http://news.theolympian.com/stories/20020304/SouthSound/28674.shtml

She still has to clean her room.... \:\)
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 05:45 AM

Just to make sure I understand this thread correctly:
Does homeschooling really mean that you as parents can decide to teach the kids yourself instead of sending them to a public or private school? Are there no restrictions like that you have to be a teacher for example?

If it is true that you can just decide to teach your children yourself I'm totally and positively amazed.
Such a thing is completely unthinkable in Germany!
And maybe that's why we are so far backwards nowadays when it comes to education.
Anyone heard of the PISA study?

I think I would have liked to be homeschooled very very much as kid. Public school was more like survival training the first six years for me. After that period I had learned to say NO when I meant NO.

[ March 12, 2002: Message edited by: Nici ]
Posted by: DT

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 08:19 AM

There has been a ton of great information put forth in this thread and I doubt that I can add much to it. My wife and I both have education degrees. I taught for 8 years in the public schools and she still does volunteer work at the schools our children attend. We have chosen not to homeschool because we have chosen to use our time otherwise. We do spend time every day discussing what happened at school (in class and with othe students), going over lessons, expanding on what has been taught, and correcting textbook errors, erroneous philosophical pronouncements of the educational community, and information from peers. I guess, then, that our kids are getting a blend of public and home schooling in general education just as they get a combination of home and church in their spiritual education.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 08:46 AM

I don't home school. I think it is bad for the kids and places academic development over the entire development of the child. Like so many others have said, the home schooled kids I know may have a leg up academically (though not always), but there is something just a little, and in some cases, a lot off with them. And no, their parents never see it, of course.

With the growth of the home schooling industry (and it has become an industry like everything else), there is more and more "help" out there for the parents, including networks of home schoolers who get together for classes, field trips, etc. (You knew someone would figure out a way to make money off of these people!). The parents get together and plan curricula, activities, etc. Of course, this begins to sound a little like a regular school with an informal school board.

What has always struck me as strange about home schoolers is that when you ask them why, it is usually based on fear of what they perceive is going on in the schools, fear of what their kids are being taught, fear of how their kids develop in a social setting in school. I always worry about people who make major life decisions out of fear and choose to run away. To me, what is feared is to be grappled with and overcome, not turned away from.

Isn't if a far better life lesson for kids to be exposed to something and then taught by parents and others how to handle it properly rather than not be exposed to it and then have it dumped on them later when they have been given no resources to help them handle it?
Posted by: Brendan

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 09:35 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by George061875:
but there is something just a little, and in some cases, a lot off with them. And no, their parents never see it, of course.
[/b]


 Quote:

You knew someone would figure out a way to make money off of these people!.[/b]



 Quote:
What has always struck me as strange about home schoolers is that when you ask them why, it is usually based on fear of what they perceive is going on in the schools, fear of what their kids are being taught, fear of how their kids develop in a social setting in school.
[/b]

 Quote:

Isn't if a far better life lesson for kids to be exposed to something...rather than not be exposed to it and then have it dumped on them later when they have been given no resources to help them handle it?[/b]


Sweeping, sweeping generalizations and paranoia.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 09:56 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by shantinik:
[

She still has to clean her room.... \:\)[/b]


I had three thoughts as I read this article.

1. The writer obviously wants to link this young girl's accomplishments to home schooling. She is obviously highly gifted -- what 20 month old demands to play the violin?! -- but her accomplishments are not because of home schooling; she is naturally highly gifted. However, this is typical of so many people (like Dr. Laura on the right or Jesse Jackson on the left) who take an extreme and link it to their own cause as if it is the norm.

2. How sad her parents have done this to her and have not even had the good sense to get her into a school environment where she can develop as a total person. It would be interesting to see how she is doing at age 30 or, better yet, 40 to see if she is a well rounded, well developed adult or if she is just some highly cerebral, highly goal oriented human being.

3. Why in the world would her parents have allowed press coverage of her, as if she is some freak in an academic circus?
Posted by: shantinik

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 11:15 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by George061875:


I had three thoughts as I read this article.
[/b]


As to your three thoughts:

1. You don't know my daughter.

2. You don't know my daughter.

3. Press release came from Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth. Interview was daughter's choice. I'm sure your local newspaper never runs articles about kids in school, not even in the sports section,

You could have phrased your thoughts as questions and entered into intelligent dialogue.

I think it is your public school education showing through.

[ March 12, 2002: Message edited by: shantinik ]
Posted by: PianoMuse

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 11:44 AM

Brendan, how do you not believe a word of that? I went to a public school in Newark, New Jersey. Some of my friends from high school are dead (and i only graduated 2 years ago)from being killed in jail or by competing drug dealers, because the area was extremely rough. There was lots of corruption in the school system, lots of money being fielded into areas that had nothing to do with the school.( such as board member's wallets). My dad is chief of police, so i knew a lot of the stuff that was going on. why does it suprise you that there are such problems?
Posted by: Brendan

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 11:53 AM

Because you made it sound like a mob movie...

And no, problems such as these don't surprise me at all.
Posted by: shantinik

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 12:03 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by pique:


and where is shantinik? didn't he write a book about home schooling?[/b]



Yup! And a second one coming out in late fall: "Homeschooling and the Voyage of Self-Discovery: A Journey of Original Seeking" (Common Courage Press, 2002).

You can read a recent column of mine in Home Education Magazine at:
http://www.home-ed-magazine.com/HEM/192/magatto.html

(But I don't visit this part of the site very often.)

[ March 12, 2002: Message edited by: shantinik ]
Posted by: iainhp

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 12:22 PM

Nici - I can't speak for all school districts but here in San Diego Unified, the school publishes documents for home schooling. They outline what is to be achieved (taught) at each grade level. Believe you are also given a teacher/counselor (don't know what that person is called) that you have to contact on a regular basis to discuss progress. Home schooling is not just a case of taking the kids out of school and teaching them anything you want (though I'm sure there are ways around this).

What do you do with kids in Germany who are unable to regularly attend school (actors, pop stars, kids not able to attend due to long term illness or anxietys)?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 12:40 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by shantinik:



You could have phrased your thoughts as questions and entered into intelligent dialogue.

I think it is your public school education showing through.

[ March 12, 2002: Message edited by: shantinik ][/b]


Actually, I phrased them as my own reactions to the article. Intelligent conversation often flows when people express reactions, unless someone takes those reactions as a personal attack. Then there are others who consider intelligent conversation as only occuring when THEY are asked questions about which they can pontificate.

You could have responded to my comments with information and entered into an intelligent dialogue.

Re: my public school education: In the 19 years of my education from kindergarten through a Master's degree, I spent of total of 2 1/2 years in public schools -- one year in kindergarten and 1 1/2 years in college (undergraduate).

I have also read the article you wrote for the Home Ed magazine and linked to this page. In the future, you may wish to tone down your caustic, sarcastic comments. It will lead to more thoughtful and intelligent dialogue.
Posted by: Penny

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 01:34 PM

George wrote:

 Quote:
there is something just a little, and in some cases, a lot off with them. And no, their parents never see it, of course.


I think what you are sensing is innocence. Home schoolers are more sheltered than private school kids, who are more sheltered than public school kids. Now, you may think this is an entirely bad thing to do. But I disagree! There is plenty of time to "grow up." Yes, our children will eventually deal with drugs, sexuality, pregnancy, evil, etc. (that is, unless we hide them in a closet all their life), but why do they have to deal with these things in elementary school!

It is a parent's right to decide when to expose the challenges of life to our children. Indeed, one child may learn of these situations earlier or later than a sibling because the parents deemed the time for this revelation to be correct. Why take this decision out of the hands of parents and shove it down the children's throats whether they are prepared to deal with it or not?!

I say, enjoy the innocence of homeschoolers. Yes, there may be some adjustment as they enter the real world. But good parenting will accommodate that. In the meantime, enjoy the sweetness! It really is refreshing.


penny
not a home-schooler
Posted by: Brendan

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 01:42 PM

Maybe shantinik's daugher would like to post and give us the perspective child being currently homeschooled? (either complementing or being in opposition to what nancy has already graciously offered us)
Posted by: Derick

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 01:51 PM

Whether you home-school or not, it's obvious that you all care very deeply about your children. There are an awful lot of parent's out there who don't. That, I believe, is one of the primary reasons home-schooling got started.

Derick
Posted by: Brendan

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 02:37 PM

Okay, I have to comment on one more thing before I lock myself in a practice room until 8 or so.

I'm not too keen on the idea that home schooled children are sheltered or overtly innocent. A well-rounded home-schooling program (or even home life, for that matter) will introduce the children to things otuside of the home.

I accompany for a young girl who is home schooled (and indeed gifted in many ways, both musically and intellectually). Her parents have her involved in orchestra, sports, and church activities that keep her in the social loop. Not to mention that she is a nice girl anyway with an amiable personality.

I don't think that home schooled children are any less social than those that go to public school. If anything, there's less alienation from cliques, less harassment from the in crowd, and less peer pressure. Look at some of the poor kids drudging through middle and high school, having a horrible time trying to fit in and tell me which you think is better mentally for the child.
Posted by: T2

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 05:06 PM

I kinda think it depends on the parents.

Sometimes you have parents with a social agenda that use the schools as a battleground for their own ideas. And their kids are pawns in that war. So, I'm not surprised to see them take their kids out of schools. Bottom line: They've got an axe to grind.

But this doesn't describe all home-schooling parents. Some parents just think they can do a better job. And maybe they can. I've certainly met some nice, well-adjusted home-schooled kids that do very well and aren't pawns in an ideological war.

T2
(Who dropped out of high school and went straight to the University. Not a recommended solution unless you have a compelling reason, such as parental drugs, to remove yourself from your own home.)

[ March 13, 2002: Message edited by: T2 ]
Posted by: Penny

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 07:13 PM

Brendan wrote:

 Quote:
I'm not too keen on the idea that home schooled children are sheltered or overtly innocent. A well-rounded home-schooling program (or even home life, for that matter) will introduce the children to things otuside of the home.


But, I said:

 Quote:
Yes, our children will eventually deal with drugs, sexuality, pregnancy, evil, etc.


I'm not talking about being sheltered from friends, music, social situations, culture, etc.! The innoncence I see in home-schooled children means they aren't jaded by seeing a lot of TV violence, they don't want to dress like Britney Spears at age 6, they think "stupid" is a cuss word. They know who their elected officials are but don't know who Destiny's Child is or Blink 182 is (I actually like Blink but they're not for kids). They fear less and trust more. They learn about sex a little bit later. Is that such a bad thing? I think this is true for all the home-school kids I know. Get what I mean now?

penny
Posted by: nancyww

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/12/02 09:38 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Nici:
Just to make sure I understand this thread correctly:
Does homeschooling really mean that you as parents can decide to teach the kids yourself instead of sending them to a public or private school? Are there no restrictions like that you have to be a teacher for example?
[ March 12, 2002: Message edited by: Nici ][/b]



Hi Nici. Here in the U.S., each state sets its own restrictions on homeschooling. Some may require a bachelor's degree. Other states have a minimum number of hours and days a child must spend in "school", require oversight of curriculum & courses by a district administrator,or decide that a parent must have completed 4 more years of education than the level he/she is teaching.

In Oregon we file a "Notice of Intent to Homeschool" with the local school district, and submit test scores in the spring. If the test scores fall below a certain percentile, the school district sends someone to evaluate the student and determine if another method of schooling would be appropriate.

By the way, what is the PISA study?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/13/02 05:13 AM

I think the concept of home-schooling as you all describe it is absolutely great!
Until the beginning of the 20th century home-schooling was also possible in Germany, but not exactly like it gets done in the US.
Home-schooling in Germany at that time was exclusively for the rich because you had to hire a teacher. In addition to that school attendance was not compulsory. The result of this system was that the rich got an education and the poor decided not to send their kids to school, but have them work in the factories or fields instead.
Just for perspective matters: my grandma was born in 1914, three years after school attendance for at least 4 years was made compulsory all over Germany. So she was first of all the siblings who attended school! In 1920!

Ian, you asked about what we do with kids who are "special cases". Here's the answer:

In Germany you go to a public or private school. Both can be either day schools or boarding schools. That's all.
In case of celebrities their children usually go to an expensive boarding school, not necessarily in Germany. The best (and most expensive) boarding schools are said to be in Switzerland and/or England.
Or in case your parents move from town to town with a circus you simply change schools every few weeks. Not funny.

If you're ill for a long period of time you have to redo the class. This happens fairly often in primary school when a kid broke his leg for example. A broken leg means no school for six or more weeks which is too long to catch up again, hence: redo the class.
Anxiety is no excuse to stay away from school over here. If you're old enough to go to school, you go to school. It's a pretty hard system.
And the system is even harder on those who are disabled be it mentally or physically. They get all dumped into one school usually with the exception of kids who cannot walk. But all others, be they blind, deaf, numb or born with the Down Syndrome doesn't matter. One school. That's not only hard it is also unfair. Luckily this is now changing slowly.

Here's a link to the official website of PISA http://www.pisa.oecd.org/
Basically it's an assessment of the worldwide educational level of 15-year olds. Germany was not scoring high...
Posted by: Brendan

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/13/02 07:16 AM

Penny,

I was responding to George, not you.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/13/02 09:25 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Penny:



I think what you are sensing is innocence. Home schoolers are more sheltered than private school kids, who are more sheltered than public school kids. Now, you may think this is an entirely bad thing to do. But I disagree! There is plenty of time to "grow up." Yes, our children will eventually deal with drugs, sexuality, pregnancy, evil, etc. (that is, unless we hide them in a closet all their life), but why do they have to deal with these things in elementary school!

[/b]


I agree with you about maintaining the innocence of the children as long as possible. My kids go to a private school where there are no dances until Junior High, the kids wear uniforms to keep them from focusing on fashion, kids can be expelled for inappropriate behavior, and values can be instilled, not just paid lip service to.

The home schooled kids I have seen, though, are more than just innocent. They seem to be bewildered by what they see in the world. They do not seem to be able to interact well with their peers and, when talking with adults, constantly are looking over to their parents to make sure they are saying the right thing -- indeed, using the exact same words their parents use to discuss things, words children do not normally use.

Granted, those kids I know are home schooled by parents who are religious fanatics and who fear the world in which they live. They fail to see that Jesus lived in the world and dealt with it without accepting it all. He did not retreat from it.

They are over protective in thought and deed. For some reason, they think if they can hide their children away, the children will be better off for it. I have watched as their kids have ventured out to play with children in the neighborhood. One by one, these kids have been told they cannot go to this kid's house or play with that kid because these home schooled children are suddenly exposed to video games, movies or other things the parents fear rather than deal with.

I have no doubts there are many well adjusted home schooled kids, but so many of them are taught at home not to give them a better education, but out of parent's fear and inability to handle what this society is offering. These are the children who will have great difficulty in handling life because they will have been given no life-skills, other than to condemn and then run away.
Posted by: T2

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/13/02 11:49 AM

George,

I've seen this stuff on occasion as well. Whacko parents with a radical social agenda and high control needs. Not surprisingly, the kids of these people tend to have difficulty handling freedom all at once when they leave for college. You see those kids acting out a lot.

However, I would be careful to avoid attributing this behavior to the entire class of home schooled kids. That would be neither fair nor true.

T2

[ March 13, 2002: Message edited by: T2 ]
Posted by: Shadorunnr

Re: Rich Dad, Poor Dad - 03/25/02 03:15 AM

Speaking of public schools, one more problem I see, as well as other government entities, is that they buy from the lowest bidder. As an old army saying goes; Remember your gun was built by the lowest bidder. If I am fighting a war I want the best gun possible. The same goes for education. My daughter's new high school has already had a new floor reinstalled. Her middle school had a serious black mold problem. Why can't anyone understand that the low bidder is lowest because they have cut costs SOMEWHERE! Spend a little more and get it right the first time. The same goes for teachers. Good pay means good teachers. I have a job that requires third grade math skills and little English skills (okay so I am a "little" overqualified). Yet I make as much as many teachers. Why would a person teach when they could make as much money doing menial labor? The love of teaching only goes so far when your illerate neighbor is driving a new car, and you need to get two more years out of your old clunker. If American really values education, then we should put our money where our mouth is. Oklahoma has the lowest paid teachers in the nation, yet somehow, we managed to find the money to put a multimillion dollar dome on our state capital building. A building that has been domeless since the building was built many decades ago. Edjukasion in okla-lahoma? We done gots da bestist.