August is again upon us, and that means the great majority of American children will soon march back to their child sacrifice and slave training camps, aka “schools”. Well, like so many little victims in this strange, nation-shaped kind of place, the kids in the suburban small town where I exist started last month. “School” in July. If their parents were capable of thinking above the first or second logical order, then they might know that almost all of their “schools” are now majority vibrant. If they knew, then I suppose they’d be proud. I’d ask, “Who, really, cares?” But, of course, I do. Somewhat. A little, and less every year. The only future for education in fading America is homeschooling.
Thus I was greatly encouraged by Katie O’Neal’s latest article on homeschooling and by the great comments left by Joe Putnam and Dr. Clyde Wilson. Dr. Wilson knows a thing or two thousand about education, and Katie and Joe have direct, personal experience with homeschooling. My best plausible contribution might be my role as an amateur psychometrist and whistle-blower. Another strong suit (or hindrance) might be my concentration on the right tail of the old intelligence distribution bell curve. Regardless, I’ve decided today to present a rerun of a 2021 column with a few minor editions. That old column was itself a follow-up to another one that dealt with related demographic issues. A fun fact for Newton County, GA: a few more years have done the opposite of improving those demographics.
Make Them Invulnerable
(April 14, 2021, modified on Aug. 2, 2023)
Last week’s column struck a nerve with me, a depressing if predictable nerve. Compared to those at the top, the people at the bottom of a double Hollingworth gap are not just relatively retarded. They are, in a relative sense, profoundly retarded. It’s akin to the mental difference between a person of ordinary intelligence and a house cat. This week, happily, I’m addressing those of us on the far right tail of the curve.
I never liked school - from kindergarten through graduate school. I especially detested my short-lived experience with the “enrichment” program in middle school. I only lasted a few days or maybe weeks before I absolutely refused to participate. The pitiful government school I attended was bad enough. The special program was worse. At the time, someone should have foreseen the incompatibility.
Just before I was subjected to that particular draining make-work project, a relevant paper was published: Wendy Roedell, Vulnerabilities of Highly Gifted Children, Roeper Review, Vol. 6, No. 3 (1984)(read it HERE). Roedell briefly outlined the difference between “gifted” and “extraordinarily gifted,” ever cognizant of the semi-subjective assessment and application of both labels.
Her work is good, great even, and thus, it has been roundly ignored, especially her overly-optimistic conclusion: “As information about the needs of highly gifted children becomes more widespread, and society’s expectations become more closely attuned to the realities of gifted development, the degree of vulnerability of these children will diminish.” If only.
The ensuing period of nearly forty years has seen many things. America has degenerated into a ridiculously stupid third-world cesspool. The schools - almost all public and most private - have dropped even the pretense of former Western educational standards. And, while the existence of the UHIQ is reluctantly acknowledged, society has adopted an almost universal bias against the cognitive elite. This is the phenomenon Tom Ironsides observed in THE SUBSTITUTE when he occasionally encountered a languishing child of true intelligence in the wild. It is the same treatment he received from a system blindly obsessed with meaningless credentials. Sadly, the experience is not limited to fiction. Consider The Genius Famine by Edward Dutton and Charlton for the negative effects of this bias on society. One of Charles Murray’s four simple truths in Real Education was that the future of society is dependent on how well high-IQ children are educated. As a country and a nation, the USSA and America have failed; hence, our future looks like war, fracture, and a diminished quality of life.
More recently, thought criminal on the lam, Gonzalo Lira, had this to say about our “schools”:
That was part of a list of reasons to evacuate out of the West before it's too late. In general, some European schools, and especially colleges are in better shape than others. European education is vastly preferable to what passes for the same thing in the USSA. Still, he’s not wrong. At the higher levels, on both sides of the Atlantic, hard science and engineering departments are, by and large, still holdouts against the rot, even if their host schools have already succumbed. Once a child is effectively homeschooled, he and his parents should think long and hard about college. Aside from exceptions to the horrible new rule, there are outside alternatives for learning at that level.
No child deserves to be trapped in a failed modern K-12 Amerikan school. While some do much better than others, exceptional children are failed in exceptional fashion. Most of those children above 140-145 WAIS (or SB) are utterly tortured. Especially boys. In many cases, programs allegedly there to help, in fact, hinder.
As I’ve written previously, the only way to assist a truly intelligent child is for his parents to point him in what they think is the right direction and then step aside and see how far he can go. This isn’t necessarily easy. The parents may not know the correct direction. They may have communication difficulties with their son. And, as is usually the case, they may be plagued with a desire to control that which is not ultimately controllable. Homeschooling is really the only option.
Back in 1984, Roedell saw the need to remove the bright child from the doldrums of the standard classroom: “Highly gifted children experience increased vulnerability when they spend large portions of their time in inappropriate educational settings. The more a gifted child’s abilities differ from the norm, the more inappropriate becomes the educational program offered in the regular classroom.” She nailed the problems with “enrichment” programs:
The cat comparison is hyperbole, but it is accurate.
That was my experience in both the special program, specifically, and the schools in general. There was a reason why I independently reached the same conclusion about my subject program as the professional and why I reached it faster with less information. Then, and worse today, the problem is compounded by a number of factors. First, the schools are geared towards low-achievers; ultra and very high-ability students are seen as nonconforming nuisances. The programs, all of them, are designed to indoctrinate rather than to educate. The people who plan and organize curriculum, general and advanced, have ulterior motives. The “gifted and talented” courses are most appropriate for the “all-rounders”, and, these days, best suit the needs and proclivities of female students. That is of no service to the young minds with the most to offer an ailing country and culture. Additionally, the instructors in charge of even the special programs, in most cases, simply cannot communicate at the appropriate mental level with the most advanced students in their care. The average school teacher in the USSA has an IQ of 110.
A child forced to endure such low-level foolishness will endure. He may very well continue to perform well, grade-wise, into college or even graduate school. But by being denied a real start, he will always be behind his potential. And he will come to resent or even hate the system and those who operate it and those to whom it primarily caters. There is the danger he might take up the digital pen. In the end, he will become adrift in a society that denigrates intelligence - more to its detriment than to that of the high-IQ pariahs.
Chris Langan, a genius if ever there was one, was brutally punished in the USSA for his high intelligence. Wang Huning was allowed to maximize his intellectual potential from an early age in China. One man’s nation rises while the other’s collapses.
The sane alternative is relatively simple even in the absence of something controlling like the CPC. Don’t expect smart children to succeed and do not “help” them. Rather, let them succeed. Give them the necessary tools and encouragement and then let them build. What is rightly seen as vulnerability, if properly channeled, can become great strength, beneficial both to the children and to the greater society. A system designed by and for 90 IQ simpletons cannot and will not help. This is up to us. They are our children, after all. Make them invulnerable.
It is my reasoned suspicion that the foregoing approach will work for children of all ability levels. It will at least work better than the one-size-fits-none ways of the “schools”. By my count, this is education article number 439. And while it may not yet be time for me to fully put down my baton, I sense the time has arrived to lay off some of my education scribbling. At least in English. (Друзья мои, продолжайте делать то, что работает! Если я могу вам помочь, мы поговорим.) In any event, I look forward to more genuine wisdom about what really works from Katie, Joe, and any and all of you who know. Onwards.
PS: I dedicate this song to Gonzalo Lira. Go, boy! Good luck, and maybe make for Russia.
PPS: Regarding all the building excitement about choosing ‘Murica’s next national dinosaur, I just cannot get excited. Allosaurus or Triceratops, you say? Friends, I truly don’t think these critters exist anymore if they ever did.
This piece was posted at Perrin Lovett on Aug. 2, 2023.
Perrin Lovett is a novelist, author, and small-time meddler. He is a loveable, unobtrusive somewhat-right-wing Christian nationalist residing somewhere in Dixie. The revised second edition of his groundbreaking novel, THE SUBSTITUTE, is available from Shotwell Publishing and Amazon. Find his ramblings at www.perrinlovett.me. Deo Vindice!