Good historical article on 'homeschooling', if you will, here. I am not one to say that home education is best for everyone-but if I didn't think it had certain advantages-we wouldn't be doing it all these years. I have seen a wide range of styles and diligence in homeschoolers over the years. Of course I have also seen a broken public education system, whose faults have invaded many of the parochial schools.
Not to say that old and historical is not necessarily better. (Is dying of polio at 35 better than being innoculated and wiping that disease off the face of the earth?) Yet, we should learn from the past and take what is good. (Doesn't St. Paul tell us to measure all things and take the truth?- can't recall exactly the cite...) We should learn from history and apply it as appropriate to present circumstances-and it does repeat itself! The article referenced tries to show this as regards to state education:
In the overall Western experience, state controlled education is the exception. In ancient times that exception was Sparta. It was also an early precedent for anti-family ideology. As classical scholar E. B. Castle says: "In Sparta and Athens... we are confronted with two highly contrasted educational ideals which can be easily recognized in educational practice today" (Ancient Education and Today). To put this in context, consider what the Greek chronicler Plutarch tells about the Spartan lawgiver Lycurgus (c. 800 BC).
Lycurgus was of a persuasion that children were not so much the property of their parents as of the whole commonwealth.... [N]or was it lawful, indeed, for the father himself to breed up the children after his own fancy; but as soon as they were seven years old they were to be enrolled in certain companies and classes, where they all lived under the same order and discipline, doing their exercises and taking their play together.
Lycurgus wanted to control education so strictly as to regulate marriage. Children were subject to harsh discipline and exercise. Eugenics (and homosexuality) was even more arduously pursued in Sparta than the rest of pagan Greece. Spartan women were scorned by other nations for their aggressive, unfeminine behavior, while boys learned to be deceitful and ruthless to outsiders, even as they displayed automaton-like loyalty to their own. Presaging militaristic Prussia and Hitler's Reich, Spartans lived only for the state which, in turn, existed only for war. In key respects, the structure of Sparta's totalitarian education is indistinguishable from the aims of the left-liberal establishment.
There is no question that kids are indoctrinated in secular values in today's school system. In fact, a similar indoctrination was the motivation for the public school system we have today in America. I recall reading in any number of places that part of the motivation of building/expanding the public school system in America in the late 19th and early 20th century was to protestanize the 'ignorant Catholic immigrants' so they could become good Americans. (Subject of another post-the view back then that being Catholic and a good American were mutually exclusive-was it true then? is it true today?)
As I posted about here, (extensively) choice and implementation for the education of your children is a serious matter, not to be taken lightly. So no matter where your kids spend their days-buyer beware! You must do at least some education at home.
(By the way, the 5 deleted comments under my post on Education which I link to were comment spam and not censorship. That post was in January 2005. My posts were longer/meatier back then. Of course at that time, I didn't know how to add photos and adding a link in my post was probably a major endeavor for me.)