Posted by: chrisdavis | March 21, 2011


More quotes that encouraged us as we raised and educated our own children.

As you read the following quotes, be aware that they come from a 35- year veteran New York city public school teacher and former New York state Teacher of the Year, John Taylor Gatto:

“I feel ashamed that so many of us cannot imagine a better way to do things than locking children up all day in cells instead of letting them grow up knowing their families, mingling with the world, assuming real obligations, striving to be independent and self-reliant and free.”

“The most destructive myth of the 20th century is that children cannot grow up in the unique circumstances of their own family.”

“Somewhere the idea that children should grow up to become what God created them to be changed to a new idea that children were really part of an economic unit of production who should be trained to find their place within that system.”

“Due to its emphasis on competition, institutional education leaves a large population of losers, damned to the self-concept that they cannot succeed no matter what they have a heart to do.”

“Education separates a child from the daily content of life.”

“School books school; real books educate.”

“None of the familiar school sequences is defensible according to the rules of evidence; all are arbitrary.”

“All theories of child rearing talk in averages, but the evidence of your own eyes tells you that average men and women don’t really exist except as a statistical concept. Children cannot be cut to fit. Public school goes to war against the diversity of the individual.”

“There is nothing asked of children in government schools that is real; there is nothing important to do there.”

“In the American school system, the highest good is for its graduates to get a job!”

“If you want to know how to educate a child, look at what the public school does and do something else.”



  1. I love this statement! “There is nothing asked of children in government schools that is real; there is nothing important to do there.” My children are 5 and 7 and this is truly how they feel. They also feel separated from family and long to be home. Next year will be our 1st year teaching at home with Gods help!

    • And, you are waiting until next year for what reason…?

  2. Wendy,

    I wouldn’t wait until next year. It may seem logical-let them finish a complete year, before attempting to start a new year of learning.

    Here is the thing, you can toss out the year by year thinking, grade level thinking, and being behind or ahead type of thinking. It won’t even hurt your kids if they come home now and all you do is discover things together and read together (or you read to them) and have fun and play outdoors. They will learn to be themselves again and since they are so young they may not look at learning with frustation and boredom.

    My son lost his love for anything schoolish a long time ago. He went to private and public schools until 7th grade. Then I tried to copy the school system at home. Just this past year (9th and 10th for a frame of reference) have I broken out of that mold. It didn’t happen overnight and it sure isn’t very familiar and I even sometimes seek to be back in that mold (less often recently), but it is great. He is still hesistant to do much paper/bookwork, but we do less of that. I don’t think he has caught my vision to do things in a more relaxed way just yet or he doesn’t trust the fact that his mom has really changed and I don’t want him to feel that I am dissappointed in him all the time (I was very impatient before). Anyway, God is healing our relationship, but we still have struggles. I wish I had known then what I know now.

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