When Glenn Woiceshyn saw that his 9-year-old son was rapidly losing his love of learning, he decided to do something about it: home-school him.
In addition to his son, Woiceshyn, a senior writer for the Ayn Rand Institute, accepted two other grade five students.
“These two students, who were far behind my son in ‘basic’ skills in math, reading, spelling, grammar, and writing, were tragic victims of the Progressive Education philosophy ruling our schools today,” said Woiceshyn. “This is the philosophy responsible for the dumbing-down the school curriculum, eliminating teaching methods that train logical thinking, and encouraging children to blindly follow their feelings.”
To counteract the damage caused by Progressive Education, Woiceshyn put together a rigorous program of core academic subjects designed to motivate learning, build a solid foundation of essential knowledge and basic skills, and train logical thinking.
In his history lessons, for instance, Woiceshyn taught the history of the first humans in Africa to the Founding Fathers chronologically, as a logically integrated, exciting story.
“My students quickly came to love history and couldn’t get enough of it,” said Woiceshyn. “And because key historical facts were presented in chronological order — while highlighting causal relationships between a given culture’s dominant ideas and the results that followed — the students were also learning to think logically.”
Woiceshyn said that he found the same results in the other core subjects he taught.
After a year, all his students not only scored high on standardized tests, but also had become more enthusiastic, thoughtful, self-disciplined, and self-confident. He said this outcome demonstrates the value of a curriculum of core academic subjects taught in a manner that motivates children to learn and trains them to think.