his public-school counterparts. The problem lies not so muchrnwith the actual fact of studying at home as w ith the character ofrnhomeschooling parents, who are just as ignorant, just as self-indulgent,rnand just as muddleheaded as anyone else born sincern1940. They cannot discipline their children (they can’t evenrntrain their dogs) because they refuse to discipline themselves.rnMany homeschooling parents are aware of the problem andrnsend their children to music classes and tutors or club togetherrninto a cooperative school (where they can spoil each other’srnchildren). But granting the worst case that my children’s grandmotherrncan make against homeschooling, we only need tornpoint to the public schools of America, where teachers are heldrnhostage by violent students, where drugs are sold and usedrnopenly, where bad manners and perersih are deliberately inculcatedrnin the classrooms, and where “coimselors” — the banernof modern life—try to drive out ever}’ vestige of decency andrnmodest}’ the children might have brought from home.rnHome schools do not fail because they do not teach theirrnchildren more and better things than they could learn in publicrnschools; they fail, ultimately, because there is no common culturernto sustain them. It is all very well for a literar)’ eccentric tornbring up a fourth generation of literar}’ eccentrics—that is all Irnever aspired to; but most mothers do not want their babies torngrow up to be cowboys or hidians or specialists in Greek lyricrnmeter or translators of Pasternak. They want their sons to berndoctors or lawyers or real-estate magnates, men who will settlerndown and raise a family in some town where they can put downrnroots for 20 ears, at least until their kids are in college, whenrnthey can move to Arizona or Costa Rica.rnSome parents also want their children to grow up to be realrnmen and real women, not simply emplojees (or entrepreneurs)rnand taxpayers. This is the only purpose of education —to teachrnus what to do with the iialf of our lifetime we do not spend onrnsleeping and working—and such an education inevitably entailsrna common culture based on Iraoks. Each family couldrnmake up its own curriculum, of course, if it lived in the wildernessrnand had no historical memor- to preserve. We liave comernalong too late in the world for that. To make sense of our ownrnlives, we have to know v’ho our people are, or were, and learn tornthink as they thought, even if we someday come to reject theirrnconclusions.rnThere are no secrets to what constitutes a “good education”rnfor an American: It is the Greek and Latin classics (preferably inrnthe original), the Renaissance literatures of France and Italy,rnthe best books written in Britain as well as our own provincialrncontributions to English literature.rnThere is a revival, of sorts, of the classics, not in the Ph.D.rnprograms of major universities but in alternative colleges suchrnas St. Thomas More in Ft. Worth. CaKinist academies likernDouglas Wilson’s Logos School in Moscow, Idaho, and inrnsome of the sunnier spots of the homeschool movement. At thisrnpoint, these projects in classical renewal are so many straws inrnthe wind, not enough, perhaps, to make a dozen bricks inrnGoshen. The Hebrews, we shoidd remember, were bitter becausernan evil and repressive government that killed their childrenrnwas denying them the straw the- needed for makingrnbricks. They had to find their own straw, and we ha’e to findrnour own bits of learning to make the bricks and mortar of ourrnselves. Our dream, ulfimatelv, is their dream, that we and ourrnchildren will someday be freed from bondage to worship Godrnand sa’e our inheritance.rnDICTATIONSrnlearning. Laming, and Schoolingrn”All men who have turned out worth anything havernhad the chief hand in their own education.”rn— Sir Walter ScottrnEducate, educare, i ,atin, from educere “to lead out.”rnEducation is thus, etymologically, a leading out ofrnyoung minds fi-om inherited prejudices and superstitions.rnThat, or something like it, has been included inrndozens of textbooks on education. Like most ]jop scholarship,rnit is wrong. Educare may or may not come from educerern(though the formation has problems), but if it doesrnmean “lead out,” it is the sense described tjy the Oxford EngUshrnDictionan-: “To bring up from childhood, so as to formrnhabits, manners, mental and physical aptitudes.”rnIn other words, education is neither the naturally unfoldingrnof the chrysalis into the butterfly nor a liberationrnfrom parental moral attitudes: It is a careful indoctrination ofrnwholesome mental and moral habits. So far from being arnradical project for detaching ciiildren from tradition, it is thernprocess by which the little savages are disciplined into decentrnspecimens of humanity.rnSo much for I ,atin. I’he Greek word paideia is more revealing,rnsince its primary meaning is nothing more thanrnchildrearing. The Greeks knew that children could not rearrnthemselves and eventually came to use the word to meanrnsomething like “chastisement,” wliicli is how it is employedrnin the (jreek version of the C)ld Testament. (Kenneth Grahame’srnBadger, who insisted he wanted to “].,auren” —notrnteach —the wea.sels was modeled on a philologist.)rnAkhough (.jreeks hired tiUors for their sons, .schools asrnsuch were a fairly late invention, and no Greek (apart froo)rnPlato and a few other ijrofessioual eccentrics) was rnadrnenough to think that tiie education of children was an’-rnbody’s business but the parents’, .ristotle did concede thatrnit was logical to assume that it was a coinmunit”s business tornoversee the rearing of the next generation of citizens, but hernknew better than to buck the trend of common opinion.rnTodav, we a.ssume that education is the business of everyonernbut the child and his family, and when a few parentsrntake the radical step of teaching their children at home, theyrnset up desks stocked with textbooks and call it a HomernSchool. The real lesson thev should be teaching is tiiat evenrnparents can only do so much: Education is ultimately thernlifelong duK of the learner.rnPerhaps wc should agree to call home “home” and contentrnourselves with merely “teaching” our children withoutrnsetting up a mirror image of the govermnent fiietories ofrnmediocrity.rn—Humpt)’ Dumptyrn12/CHRONICLESrnrnrn