Back to School Book Review: The Art of Education by Linda Dobson

by thiszine

THE ART OF EDUCATION
by Linda Dobson

E-book, available online
(July 2010, $8.95, 254 pages)

Linda Dobson writes so passionately about homeschooling that a parent merely has to read her introductions to find the inspiration and encouragement to teach their own children at home, although someone does not have to be a homeschooler to appreciate her concern for the quality of education in general. In the 15th Anniversary edition of The Art of Education, Dobson asserts that the U.S. public school system is “based on a false definition of education,” and challenges us to reconsider our priorities as a society, as well as parents who wish to take personal responsibility for their child’s learning experience. Dobson decided to release this edition as an e-book to keep costs minimal for parents who are looking for solutions to help their children succeed.

In her introduction, Dobson points out that in the past 15 years, science, social studies and history have taken a backseat to the fixation with standardized test scores for math and reading, while physical activity and the arts have become almost non-existent, as schools all over the country struggle with the economic crisis. She even includes a foreword by John Taylor Gatto, a long-time schoolteacher who clarifies the difference between schooling and education, noting that an official title does not necessarily make one an educator.

The first section of Dobson’s book highlights issues with public schools, and addresses myths about homeschooling, such as the ever-popular question, “what about socialization?” and the variety of reasons that parents choose to homeschool; no longer is religion the dominant factor, as the number of secular homeschoolers is on the rise. The second section of her book encourages readers to self-examine their priorities regarding time, money, children, school and the self, and emphasizes the benefits of home education for parents, children and the community.

In her own words, “Our education crisis is a crisis with a depth and magnitude sending tremors throughout every stratum of society…we must stop fueling the crisis with our children.”

~Ursula K. Raphael

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