Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning by Doug Wilson (book review)

Odd book. 

The author spends 90 pages building a strong case for a classical (3 staged) Christian Education.  The author spends the first chapters, 70+ pages building the case that parents are accountable to god for their children’s education, and parents alone hold this responsibility before the Lord.  Then he spends 2 meaty chapters discussing a truly Christian education rather than a “cleaned up public school with a couple of prays and a Bible class added in. 

Finally, however, he condemns home school as a viable option.  After working so hard to make the case that parents alone stand before God to answer for the education their children, he pronounces that they should not actually educate them.  “I believe that a Christian school provides Christian parents with the most effect way to take responsibility for the education of their children, while at the same time ensuring that the education actually happens” (page 127).  “I believe the best way to oversee the education of our children to find, or start, a Christian school that encourages parental involvement” (129). 

He reasons boarder on silly, and are patternedly over used.  A father doesn’t have to grow his own food to feed his children, for the food to be wholesome and acceptable (page 129).  The fact a parent at home can never hope to challenge a student as a teacher in a room full of 30 for one hour a day can; that parents are going to burn out, or be distracted by life.  He clashes with the Moore’s’ premise of “better late than early” and tries to claim that parents that hold-off formal academic till 7 or even 8 are simply being lazy and looking for any excuse not to have to ‘do school’.  He further states that if a Christian parent is willing to use a curriculum that is paramount to sending the student to a school (the school of ABC curriculum) so in effect homeschooling is again just an ‘cover’ for the parent to be lazy about the child’s education and allow that same laziness in the student.  He states that the only reason home schoolers are able to out perform public schools is the disgraceful state of the public schools, not any real benefit to home education (page 130). 

I especially enjoyed the tag at the end “I am concerned that this chapter not be perceived as too adversarial” (130).


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One response to “Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning by Doug Wilson (book review)

  1. Pingback: What “Christian Patriarchy” Is Not | H . A

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