Classical Trivium by Homeschool: The Well Trained Mind

A Useful “Core Curriculum” Option for Parents

In 2004, college professor Susan Wise Bauer and her schoolteacher mother Jesse Wise, published a book describing their new approach to a powerful homeschooling curriculum. Bringing the classical education of the 1800s and early 1900s full circle, Susan and Jesse adapted the time-proven classical trivium to a resurgent homeschooling movement.

Following are some excerpts from their book, “The Well Trained Mind.” Even parents of children already studying a curriculum that seems to be working, can find some useful and energising ideas in the work of this mother-daughter team.

“… I was nervous when I went away to college. Although I’d done well on standardized exams, I’d never really sat in a regular classroom, facing inflexible deadlines. I was used to taking exams from my mother.

I shouldn’t have worried. I tested out of thirty hours’ worth of college courses; by my second semestor I was taking 400-level courses. I had a host of strange skills: I could diagram sentences; I could read Latin; I knew enough logic to know if an assertion was true or faulty. And I was surrounded by 18 year olds who couldn’t write, didn’t want to read, and couldn’t reason…

… I was ahead of them when I was their age — not because of superior mental abilities, but because I’d been equipped with a closet full of mental tools. My mother taught us the way she’d been taught at home. Our education was language-centered, not image-centered; We read and listened and wrote, but we rarely watched. She spent the early years of our education giving us facts, systematically laying the foundation for advanced study. She taught us to think through arguments, and then she taught us to express ourselves.

This is the classical pattern of the trivium, the three-part process of training the mind.

___ Wise and Bauer: The Well-Trained Mind

More on the Classical Trivium

The history of the classical trivium goes back to the middle ages. It was meant to form the foundation for later learning and achievement.

The trivium is the lower division of the seven liberal arts and comprises grammar, logic, and rhetoric (input, process, and output).

Grammar teaches the mechanics of language to the student. This is the step where the student “comes to terms,” defining the objects and information perceived by the five senses. Hence, the Law of Identity: a tree is a tree, and not a cat.

Logic (also dialectic) is the “mechanics” of thought and of analysis, the process of identifying fallacious arguments and statements and so systematically removing contradictions, thereby producing factual knowledge that can be trusted.

Rhetoric is the application of language in order to instruct and to persuade the listener and the reader. It is the knowledge (grammar) now understood (logic) and being transmitted outwards as wisdom (rhetoric). __ Wikipedia “Trivium”

The trivium was never meant to be the totality of learning, merely the indispensable foundation. Today’s schools have rejected a solid foundation for learning in favor of trendier and more politically correct approaches. The end result of that rejection can be seen in low achievement rates in primary education, and high failure rates in secondary education and college. It can be seen in the catastrophically high college loan levels in the US, with dangerous default rates. Worst of all, it can be seen in the mobs of young people who either drop out of college without useful skills, or who actually graduate with degrees that make them even more incompetent for dealing with the real world than if they had never attended college at all.

More from The Well-Trained Mind

The first years of schooling are called “the grammar stage”— not because four years doing English, but because these are the years in which the building blocks for all other learning are being laid, just as grammar is the foundation for language. In the elementary school years — grades 1 through 4 — the mind is ready to absorb information. Since children at this age actually find memorization fun, during this period education involves … the learning of facts and training in basic thinking skills: rules of phonics and spelling and how to use them, rules of grammar and understanding good sentence structure, poems, the vocabulary of foreign languages, the stories of history and literature, descriptions of plants and animals and the human body, how numbers work and the basics of mathematical thinking — the list goes on.

Somewhere around fourth or fifth grade, children begin to think more analytically. Middle-school students are less interested in learning facts than in finding out “Why?” The second phase of the classical education, “the logic stage,” is a time when the child begins to pay attention to cause and effect, to the relationships among different fields of knowledge, to the way facts fit together into a logical framework.

… when the capacity for abstract thought begins to mature … the student begins the study of algebra and applies mathematical reasoning to real-life situations. She studies the rules of logic and begins to apply logic to all academic subjects…

The final stage of a classical education, “the rhetoric stage,” builds on the first two. At this stage the high-school student begins to write and speak with force and originality… The student also begins to specialize in whatever branch of knowledge attracts her. These are the years for [special purpose] camps, [college level] courses, foreign travel, apprenticeships, and other forms of specialized training. __ The Well-Trained Mind by Wise and Bauer

This approach to the classical trivium — as applied to homeschooling — should be seen as an excellent approach to the “core curriculum,” but not as a complete education for a Dangerous Child. Dangerous Child training preferably begins at birth — if not before — and continues throughout a person’s lifetime.

While curricula such as the Robinson Curriculum and the Classical Trivium provide excellent core knowledge, and are appropriate to a wide range of children and families, the Dangerous Child requires much additional training and attention — particularly for developing physical competencies and financial/economic skills.

The Dangerous Child masters at least three ways of supporting himself financially by the age of 18 years. None of the popular homeschooling or bricks and mortar schooling curricula that I have seen provides a child with that head start.

The other peculiar aspects of Dangerous Child training — as explained in the FAQs and the “About” page — reveal why Dangerous Children require so much training time, at least in the early stages before they largely take over their own educational planning for themselves.

More information from the authors of “The Well-Trained Mind.”

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Hypnosis, Meditation, and the Dangerous Child

Self-Powered Young Minds

The Dangerous Child Method is best known for its emphasis on early financial independence and the development of self-discipline along with martial skills. But the mental training of the Dangerous Child should not be overlooked.

In fact, the most Dangerous thing about the Dangerous Child is his mind. Very early in his training the Dangerous Child becomes self-taught and soon thereafter becomes self-guided. This leads to an independence of thought and attitude that is rare in today’s pampered/sheltered children and youth. Just as importantly, Dangerous Children are given mind-tools that make them nearly impervious to the atmosphere of mass-brainwashing that predominates at many schools and across the popular media.

Among the mind-tools provided to Dangerous Children are constructive values, fact-based logical skills, practical skills of intuitive creativity, powerful tools of self-calming and self-centering, and an uncanny ability to focus on the tasks and matters at hand.

Any parents who select Dangerous Child Training for their children, will necessarily embody the constructive values which young children’s minds require as a foundation. Likewise, a parent would never have discovered the Dangerous Child Method unless their logic of thinking was powerful enough to see through the mainstream smokescreens.

Skills training for the building of intuition and creativity, of self-centering, and of the development of a laser-sharp focus of attention, are integral to Dangerous Child training. Toward that goal, both meditation and hypnosis are important ingredients of DC training, along with Lateral Thinking and other forms of intuition training.

Meditation vs Hypnosis
http://melbournehypnotherapyclinic.com/blog/learn-the-difference-between-mindful-meditation-and-hypnosis

Meditation and Hypnosis are Opposite Sides of the Mind Coin

Meditation is a type of “floodlight,” while hypnosis is more of a “spotlight.” The mind in meditation can be open to new ideas on many levels, while a mind in hypnotic trance is more likely to be focused and highly selective in what it allows to reach conscious levels.

Dangerous Children are trained to utilise tools of both “mind expansion” and “focused selectivity of awareness,” since a mastery of each tool can prove life saving in many situations.

But there is a dark side to hypnosis. And if Dangerous Children are not prepared to take the reins of their own “trance inductions,” they — along with the rest of their age cohorts — would be almost powerless to resist the mainstream indoctrination that envelops virtually every mind that comes down the conveyor belt.

The best defences against the dysfunctional trances and habitual mind traps of the mainstream, are typically religious in nature. But religion itself is to a large degree just another form of group entrancement. It is simply a powerful enough entrancement to allow children to resist other, more destructive forms of entrancement, such as what one finds in public schools and in popular entertainments.

In DC training, religion is neither encouraged nor discouraged. Such choices are left up to the parents, although Dangerous Children generally find ways to make their own ways quite early in life.

Instead of religion, DC training promotes mindfulness (and other) meditation, practical hypnosis self-mastery, an irreverent practical creativity, and a merciless logic that leaves no opinion or point of view unscathed. In addition, neurofeedback is often utilised for specific purposes where actual brain modification is required, when parents and their DC wish to avoid or minimise pharmaceuticals.

Popular Entertainments are Full of Violence and Cruelty

Television and movies for children — even very young children — are full of cruel and violent images. These images are absorbed into young minds, and treated with as much gravity — or more — than most of the things that parents try to teach them. The discrepancy between the values and life lessons that parents would like their children to learn — and the lessons they actually learn — grow greater with each passing year.

Today’s children tend to be pampered and overindulged, while at the same time they are sheltered from meaningful responsibility or exposure to real life lessons which might save them a life’s load of grief in later years. To top it off, they are indoctrinated into the most vile forms of groupthink in schools and by their entertainments.

Once the child’s mind has been habituated to gratuitous nonsense and the practise of finding more and more ways to waste time and money, a continual battle will be fought inside the cranium between the forces of lazy habit and the few forces for constructive accomplishment that may have somehow wormed their way into the young child’s mind.

Dangerous Children Have Their Work Cut Out for Them

Dangerous Children will not have a hundred or a thousand votes in order to compensate for the decline of the age cohorts. Democracy has fallen on hard times — if the age distribution of recent voting is any judge — and a government dominated by decadent groupthink is likely to be more of a burden, hindrance, and nuisance than ever before.

DCs will need to be fiercely independent, and capable of succeeding largely on their own and in small groups. They are likely to represent islands of competence in a sea of cultural decline. Such independence will require strong minds — preferably minds well-fortified with the best tools of self-mastery, self-discipline, and self-teaching that can be devised.

Dangerous Child Method vs. Robinson Curriculum

The Robinson Curriculum Teaches the Basics

The homeschool curriculum devised by Arthur Robinson, PhD., prepares children and youth to excel in the challenging modern world of rapidly advancing science and technology. By teaching children to teach themselves, the Robinson Curriculum gives them the powerful thinking and self-disciplinary tools they need to learn virtually any subject on their own.

The six Robinson children were the prototype students in the early development of the curriculum. Each of the 6 children was taking college physics and math courses by age 16 — if not before — and each typically took only 2 years on-campus to finish undergraduate classwork.
Source

Think of the Robinson Curriculum as an Excellent “Learning Core”

Parents who wish to raise Dangerous Children can choose between any number of “learning cores,” or basic learning curricula. The Robinson Curriculum seems to be quite good in its preparation for the modern world of rapidly changing science, math, and technology. The central theme of “teaching them to teach themselves,” in particular, represents an invaluable gift to every child and youth who must face a world of rapid changes.

Dangerous Children Require More

The skills and knowledge provided by the Robinson Curriculum are priceless. Any child would benefit from such powerful core knowledge and skilled learning disciplines of self-teaching. Dangerous Children can use those things, but they will require additional training in particular areas if they are to be truly prepared for what they are likely to face as adults.

Particular Skills of Dangerous Children

  • Mastery of at least 3 means of financial independence by age 18
  • High levels of competence in business and financial skills
  • Skilled proficiency in firearms operation, maintenance, and tactics
  • Navigation and travel skills on land, sea, air
  • Proficiency in rescue and first aid
  • Experience in forming and running multiple businesses before age 18
  • Competence in maintaining equipment and infrastructure of a basic household inside or outside of city environs
  • Basic prepping and survival skills for various time scales
  • Competence in forming a competent and resilient community
  • Competence in networking multiple competent and resilient communities
  • Ability to form ad hoc cooperative groups able to plan and implement parallel critical infrastructures as needed

Much more is involved in becoming a Dangerous Child, and as you can imagine, such children have quite full days. The family is central to the life of a Dangerous Child, although as the child grows older, his powers of independence and self-direction will grow.

Paradoxically, Dangerous Children learn to deal skillfully with a wide range of personalities, persons of multiple social and educational levels, and many different cultures. They are fluent in at least three languages besides their native tongue, and should have little trouble traveling through almost any neighborhood, environment, or climate.

Vision and Advanced Preparation are Key

The conventional method of child-raising seems to be one of “benign neglect,” somehow assuming that a child can fritter away his childhood with trivial amusements and mass production education/indoctrination, and somehow be ready for competent adulthood in a treacherous world, when he comes of age.

Conventional wisdom is quite stupid in that regard, and a parent would be wise to go his own way far apart from mainstream methods.

The Robinson Curriculum is a Good Start

Arthur Robinson provided an excellent core for youngsters. His thoughts on self-teaching are exemplary.

There are many other excellent core curricular methods available to parents, so that it is not necessary for them to reinvent the wheel in order to evade the common rot that pervades government schools and many private schools. Close scrutiny is always required in the choice.

Dangerous Child training is not for every child, of course. But for those who make that choice, it is important to provide a strong core of learning and discipline around which one can build a sound multi-competent and well-skilled young life.

US Schools: Smart Kids Getting Shafted

Children Should Learn at Their Own Pace

But that is not what happens in public schools and other conventional US schools. Everyone is crammed together in the same can — like sardines — and forced to soak in the same mind-numbing routine of programmed conformity, regardless of the child’s innate ability and interests.

because the system arbitrarily separates students by age, students of varying academic abilities get put on the same track. The low performers remain consistently behind, in a constant struggle to play catch-up. And they’re the ones who get the majority of the attention of today’s schools and education reformers.

But the high performers are also suffering in this system, too. They’re forced to sit in a classroom for seven hours a day going over simple material and concepts at a snail’s pace. Eventually, intellectual atrophy sets in. __ http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/blog/education-system-isnt-designed-smart-kids

It is even worse for boys and very active girls, whose innate need for physical activity is subjugated to the career ambitions of professional educationalists from the US Department of Education, to university schools of education, to foundations, to thinktanks, to lower level school systems. Every professional educationalist wants to leave his mark on an already hopelessly convoluted and dysfunctional school system.

A recent Johns Hopkins University study reveals a dirty secret that threatens to overturn the entire basis of the US K-12 school system. It seems that large numbers of young US students score at or above the next higher grade level. In other words, kids are being forced by the system to endure an education that is “dumbed down” below their ability to learn and comprehend.

Table 1.
Percentage of Wisconsin Students Scoring One or More Years Above Grade Level17

Grade ELA % scoring 1+ years above Mathematics % scoring 1+ years above
3 32% 38%
4 36% 25%
5 41% 30%
6 37% 33%
7 44% 34%
8 45% 26%

Table Source

The table above reports findings from Wisconsin, but similar results were discovered from California testing, Florida testing, and multi-state testing including students from 30 states.

Very large percentages of students are performing above grade level.

Five different data sets from five distinct assessment administrations provide consistent evidence that many students perform above grade level. Based on the Wisconsin and California Smarter Balanced, Florida FSA, and multistate MAP data, we estimate that 20-40% of elementary and middle school students perform at least one grade level above their current grade in reading, with 11-30% scoring at least one grade level above in math. __ http://edpolicy.education.jhu.edu/?p=153

It is the policy of Dangerous Child training — and other forms of self-teaching and unschooling — to teach children to teach themselves at a very early age. After this is accomplished, children can move forward at their own pace and in their own unique combinations of learning directions — with only limited supervision necessary.

The Dangerous Child must demonstrate mastery over particular core areas of learning — including maths, effective reading, clear and reasoned writing, basic money handling – investment – and business practise, practical biology, and the child’s self-directed learning in music, art, movement (usually a mixture of dance and martial arts), and a quantitative approach to geography and history.

The Robinson Curriculum is a popular example of a self-teaching approach to homeschooling children. It allows children to proceed at their own pace, while making sure the child is prepared for accelerated higher education if that is the direction he chooses.

Many parents are choosing internet-based homeschool curricula, then adding extra features considered important by the family and culture.

Parents of Dangerous Children can choose any number of homeschool approaches. But the additional “dangerous skills” and business skills of Dangerous Children must be incorporated within the best capacities and judgment of parents, mentors, and coaches.

Remember: A Dangerous Child masters at least three means to financial independence by the age of 18 years. The earlier the child is given the foundations and practise in developing the necessary skills and competencies, the better — as long as necessary supervision and safe methods are used.

It should be obvious that a “one size fits all” educational system is just as damaging as a Procrustean Bed. Heads and legs too often are cut off in the pursuit of a uniform result.

How to Learn About Everything

Dangerous Children need to understand the crucial basics for a large number of fields of science, technology, the trades, and much more. Here, MIT graduate, author, and technical theoretician Eric Drexler suggests ways for anyone to jump into science and technology research, and through steady and painless immersion learn to absorb the important details that will help you fit it all together — at least for the range of fields you are working on.

This “immersion approach” is how young children naturally learn. Each bit and stage of knowledge is used as a scaffolding from which one can reach the next level of knowledge. It is an approach that can be re-discovered by youth and adults for getting a grasp on new fields that may seem too difficult to comprehend at first glance. Here is what Eric recommends:

Tips from Polymath Eric Drexler on Broad-Based Learning

Note that the title above isn’t “how to learn everything”, but “how to learn about everything”. The distinction I have in mind is between knowing the inside of a topic in deep detail — many facts and problem-solving skills — and knowing the structure and context of a topic: essential facts, what problems can be solved by the skilled, and how the topic fits with others…

… Knowing about, in this sense, is crucial to understanding a new problem and what must be learned in more depth in order to solve it. The cross-disciplinary reach of nanotechnology almost demands this as a condition of competence.

Studying to learn about everything

  1. Read and skim journals and textbooks that (at the moment) you only half understand. Include Science and Nature.
  2. Don’t halt, dig a hole, and study a particular subject as if you had to pass a test on it.
  3. Don’t avoid a subject because it seems beyond you — instead, read other half-understandable journals and textbooks to absorb more vocabulary, perspective, and context, then circle back.
  4. Notice that concepts make more sense when you revisit a topic.
  5. Notice which topics link in all directions, and provide keys to many others. Consider taking a class.
  6. Continue until almost everything you encounter in Science and Nature makes sense as a contribution to a field you know something about.

You learned your native language by immersion, not by swallowing and regurgitating spoonfuls of grammar and vocabulary. With comprehension of words and the unstructured curriculum of life came what we call “common sense”.

The aim of what I’ve described is to learn an expanded language and to develop what amounts to common sense, but about an uncommonly broad slice of the world. Immersion and gradual comprehension work, and I don’t know of any other way. __ Eric Drexler in Metamodern

Also from Eric Drexler: How to Understand Everything

Drexler is the author of several books on nanotechnology, including the free online ebook, Engines of Creation (EOC). EOC is a comprehensible — and visionary — look at some of the future potential of molecular assemblers as applied to nanotechnological manufacture.

Immersion is An Important Form of “Self-Teaching”

As we have said before, self-teaching is a crucial component of The Dangerous Child Method, and an integral ingredient in The Robinson Curriculum and other homeschooling approaches. All effective forms of homeschooling and unschooling will involve some elements of coaching and apprenticeship by mentors and parents. But the child himself is the one who is always present. He is ultimately the responsible party when it comes to life outcomes.

Besides the great advantage of developing good study habits and thinking ability, self—teaching also has immediate practical advantages. Many children should be able, through Advanced Placement examinations, to skip over one or more years of college. The great saving in time and expense from this is self—evident. These and other comparable accomplishments await most children who learn to self—teach and then apply this skill to their home education.

Even children of lesser ability can, by means of self—teaching and good study habits, achieve far more than they otherwise would have accomplished by the more ordinary techniques. __ Teach Them to Teach Themselves

In learning to walk, talk, ride a bike, and participate socially in families and other groups, a child naturally uses observation from an immersed position. Self-teaching in more individual and formal types of learning should naturally follow, if the child is given good pointers at the right stages. By doing so, parents and mentors will liberate the child to shape his own paths to his own goals.

University’s False Promise and the Dangerous Child’s Reply

College is a place where young people go to binge, fornicate, receive an academic lobotomy, and become burdened by insurmountable debt — all in the quest for increasingly worthless diplomas. __ Al Fin

Wage Advantage from College Diploma Shrinking

College Advantage Shrinking
Image Source

Wages for college graduates across many majors have fallen since the 2007-09 recession, according to an unpublished analysis by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce in Washington using Census bureau figures. Young job-seekers appear to be the biggest losers.
__ Bloomberg

Even in crucial fields such as engineering, physical sciences, health sciences, computer science, and agriculture, wages for college grads have been dropping.

Image Source

Some majors are bucking the wage-stagnation trend. An experienced petroleum engineering major earned $179,000 a year on average in 2015, up $46,000 from five years prior, according to the Georgetown analysis. Beyond those with special technical skills, philosophy and public policy majors have also seen their earnings rise. __ Bloomberg

Meanwhile, student loan debt across society soars:

Skyrocketing Student Debt

The Real World Needs Competent People with Applicable Skills

Look at the starting wages for various degrees in the graphics above — then consider that a good welder or oil field worker can earn over $100,000 before he turns 21, if he is given a head start! Such lucrative skills can be learned by youth in high school before turning 18.

Another high school program that trains future oil field workers.
A list of 27 good paying jobs that do not require 4 year degrees

This doesn’t mean that all young people should be shunted toward blue collar and mid-level jobs and professions. That is not what Dangerous Child training is about. Instead, Dangerous Child training is aimed at training competent and confident young people who are equipped to shape their own futures from the onset of adulthood. Some Dangerous Children will go into the trades, some will choose higher education — some may even choose government work! The goal of Dangerous Child training is to give the ownership of that choice to the child himself, along with plenty of backdoors in case the first choice doesn’t work out. And all of that without a mountain of debt!

Dangerous Children master at least three ways of achieving financial independence by the time they turn 18 yo. Not all of them will earn him $100,000 a year off the bat. But by combining practical competence with business and entrepreneurial skills — that are also learned before turning 18 — Dangerous Children are capable of building businesses that can earn well over a $million a year.

Sure, businesses have to pay taxes, labour, rents, and so forth, but Dangerous Children learn how to economise on such expenses by the age of 12. Most of them get plenty of practise at running a small business by the time they reach 18 years, so they are ready to start building a future out of the gate.

A Dangerous Childhood Depends Upon a Child’s Ability to Teach Himself

Modern society too often looks at children as incompetent nuisances, who must be sheltered from the real world until they turn 18 — at which point they are thrown into a corrupt and undisciplined world completely unprepared for what they will face. The end result of such an approach is a growing herd of sheep-like young people who are still incompetent, and likely to stay that way. By default, these sheep are closely guided in their tastes, interests, and “relevant causes” by faux experts in media, academia, and government and by celebrity figures around the world.

A Dangerous Child, on the other hand, learns to teach himself from an early age. By teaching himself to develop a broad competence in practical skills as well as in scholarship, a Dangerous Child develops confidence in his own ability to solve increasingly important problems and to build things of increasing complexity that actually work.

A self-taught person who possesses both self discipline and self confidence will not be swayed by popular appeals to group status or celebrity appeal. He will be a contrarian thinker who works things out for himself, impervious to the herd mentality of a corrupt, groupthinking culture.

Skills to Learn Before a Child Turns 12

The age of 12 is a magical time of life. Balanced on the pivot between childhood and the furious transition to adulthood often referred to as “adolescence,” a 12 year old requires skills that will help carry him through a transition like no other.

http://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/eco-tourism/stories/5-teens-who-have-sailed-around-the-world-solo
Preparation for Circumnavigation

Here are a handful of vital skills that young transitional tweens will need to catapult-assist them along their formative ways:

  1. Know how to clean up after yourself
  2. Know how to grow and catch food, and prepare your own meals
  3. Learn to easily move in and out of your comfort zones
  4. Learn to promote yourself
  5. Achieve mastery in a handful of unique skills that set you apart
  6. Learn to easily network with mentors and like-thinking peers
  7. Master the skills of creativity, from drawing to writing to tinkering to computer coding
  8. Become comfortable inside your own skin — make friends with all of your emotions
  9. Find a peaceful, solid place inside of you
  10. Master skills of traveling by land, air, and sea
  11. Become competent in managing money
  12. Know from experience how to start and run a business
  13. Learn advanced first aid, resuscitation, and rescue
  14. Learn the safe handling, operation, and maintenance of firearms and other weapons
  15. Master the skills of basic combat, evasion, and escape
  16. Know how to set and meet a wide range of personal goals
  17. Learn to get along in at least 3 languages besides your native tongue
  18. Learn to find the answers to anything you need to know on your own
  19. Be able to safely navigate any terrain, from the meanest inner city to the most inhospitable wilderness
  20. Know how to get your ideas across in writing, speaking, and multi-media formats
  21. Be in control of your own education in every sense of the word
  22. Exceed the academic attainments of most modern high school graduates

These are a few things that all 12 year olds should perhaps know and be able to do. But they are only guidelines, and actually apply to an age range between 12 and 14. Dangerous Children learn a much deeper and broader set of skills, of course, but not everyone can be a Dangerous Child.

As we have mentioned many times, a Dangerous Child will have mastered at least three means to financial independence by the age of 18. The list of 12 year old skills above should help most readers better comprehend the trajectory of childhood learning that allows an 18 year old to reach the point of multiple independence.

Imagine a society where each young man and woman is competent to face life on his own terms. That is the world of the Dangerous Child.

Government functionaries live in fear of such a society. But you can live in it, if you choose.

Sources for above list:

https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-skills-every-24-year-old-should-know

http://www.businessinsider.com/skills-to-learn-before-you-turn-24-2016-8/#start-saving-money-11

Notice that the sources above refer to skills that “every 24 year old” should learn. Here at the Al Fin Institutes, we believe that if you wait until age 24 to learn these skills, you are more than half-way to a lifetime of perpetual adolescent incompetence.

Children deserve better than the half-assed approach to child-raising and education that most modern societies have settled for.

Deliberate Practise and the Dangerous Child

To Become a Master, Only the Right Type of Practise Will Do

…think about the future of a world that applies deliberate practice on a regular basis and its impact on education, medicine, health, and relationships. Imagine a world where performance in every area of life gets better and better. __ C

Deliberate Practise, to be Specific

Deliberate practice is when you work on a skill that requires 1 to 3 practice sessions to master. If it takes longer than that, then you are working on something that is too complex.

Once you master this tiny behavior, you can move on to practicing the next small task that will take 1 to 3 sessions to master. Repeat this process for 10,000 hours. That is deliberate practice. __ Kathy Sierra (2012) as quoted by James Clear

There is a lot more to “deliberate practise” than breaking complex tasks into masterable pieces. But any coach, tutor, or instructor must understand how to “break things down” for each individual learner — who will usually put them together himself, once having mastered the pieces in the proper way, in good order. More complex skills are built upon the simpler skills that preceded them.

Deliberate Practise is Smart Practise
Deliberate Practise is Smart Practise

Is Mastery Innate or Acquired?

Some level of talent and ability must be present to give the learner a starting foundation. And the more natural talent, the more quickly the student can progress — at least in particular phases of the training. The mistake that is too often made is attempting to train so quickly that crucial fundamental skills and competencies are left out of the process. This mistake is most often made in training those who appear most talented in the beginning, who then expect everything that comes afterward to be easy.

when scientists began measuring the experts’ supposedly superior powers of speed, memory and intelligence with psychometric tests, no general superiority was found — the demonstrated superiority was domain specific. For example, the superiority of the chess experts’ memory was constrained to regular chess positions and did not generalize to other types of materials (Djakow, Petrowski & Rudik, 1927). Not even IQ could distinguish the best among chessplayers (Doll & Mayr, 1987) nor the most successful and creative among artists and scientists (Taylor, 1975). In a recent review, Ericsson and Lehmann (1996) found that (1) measures of general basic capacities do not predict success in a domain, (2) the superior performance of experts is often very domain specific and transfer outside their narrow area of expertise is surprisingly limited and (3) systematic differences between experts and less proficient individuals nearly always reflect attributes acquired by the experts during their lengthy training. __ K. Anders Ericsson

Of course we would not expect IQ to be the deciding factor in distinguishing among elite chess players, artists or scientists. If one is looking exclusively at elite levels, several other factors come into play that are more likely to distinguish the best of the best other than a score on an IQ test. Ambition, persistence, sustained energy levels and reserves, smart practise, ego strength to break out of consensual groupthink, conscientiousness, emotional stability and control, and many other qualities that augment and reinforce simple cognitive skills when moving from simple mastery to innovative mastery.

More on deliberate practise:

Deliberate practice is different from work, play and simple repetition of a task. It requires effort, it has no monetary reward, and it is not inherently enjoyable.

When you engage in deliberate practice, improving your performance over time is your goal and motivation. __ Source

Whether deliberate practise is inherently enjoyable or not, is likely to depend upon the person and how his deliberate practise is designed and carried out.

The recent advances in our understanding of the complex representations, knowledge and skills that mediate the superior performance of experts derive primarily from studies where experts are instructed to think aloud while completing representative tasks in their domains, such as chess, music, physics, sports and medicine (Chi, Glaser & Farr, 1988; Ericsson & Smith, 1991; Starkes & Allard, 1993). For appropriate challenging problems experts don’t just automatically extract patterns and retrieve their response directly from memory. Instead they select the relevant information and encode it in special representations in working memory that allow planning, evaluation and reasoning about alternative courses of action (Ericsson & Lehmann, 1996). Hence, the difference between experts and less skilled subjects is not merely a matter of the amount and complexity of the accumulated knowledge; it also reflects qualitative differences in the organization of knowledge and its representation (Chi, Glaser & Rees, 1982). Experts’ knowledge is encoded around key domain-related concepts and solution procedures that allow rapid and reliable retrieval whenever stored information is relevant. Less skilled subjects’ knowledge, in contrast, is encoded using everyday concepts that make the retrieval of even their limited relevant knowledge difficult and unreliable. Furthermore, experts have acquired domain-specific memory skills that allow them to rely on long-term memory (Long-Term Working Memory, Ericsson & Kintsch, 1995) to dramatically expand the amount of information that can be kept accessible during planning and during reasoning about alternative courses of action. The superior quality of the experts’ mental representations allow them to adapt rapidly to changing circumstances and anticipate future events in advance. The same acquired representations appear to be essential for experts’ ability to monitor and evaluate their own performance (Ericsson, 1996; Glaser, 1996) so they can keep improving their own performance by designing their own training and assimilating new knowledge.

__ K. Anders Ericsson

Pioneering 1993 PDF paper by Ericsson on Deliberate Practise

Professor Ericsson recently published a book on the topic of deliberate practice, entitled “Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise.”

Book Outline by Chapter:

Introduction

The opening question “Why are some people so amazingly good at what they do?” sets the stage for the whole book. Ever since I was in third grade I’ve read biographies and autobiographies to understand how people achieved great success. I was always more interested in learning about the journey than to know what it was like on the mountaintop. This book explains in detail the journey that expert performers go on to reach the mountaintop.

Chapter One

This chapter explains the value of purposeful practice.in expanding your physical and mental capacity for generating greater achievements in the future. It emphasizes the importance of taking small steps on a regular basis and gathering feedback on what you are doing effectively and ineffectively.

Chapter Two

Here you will learn how to specifically harness your mental adaptability to develop new skills and move beyond the status quo way of doing things. It also explains how your potential is not fixed, but rather is something that can be continually expanded.

Chapter Three

You learn the importance of mental representations, of actually seeing the level of performance that you are aspiring to reach. By visualizing the details of what needs to happen, you are able to see the pieces and patterns that are necessary for a great performance.

Chapter Four

This chapter explains in great detail the steps involved in deliberate practice, which is the absolute best way to improve your performance in any type of activity. I would try to explain my interpretation of deliberate practice here, but I think you would benefit a great deal more by really studying this chapter and learning the insights that Anders Ericsson developed over a lifetime of studying deliberate practice.

Chapter Five

A great explanation of how deliberate practice can be used in actual job situations regardless of the type of work that you do. I’ve found in my executive coaching sessions that guiding people through the steps of deliberate practice and showing how the principles of deliberate practice connect with their work situations helps them to move forward in a more intentional and effective way.

Chapter Six

This chapter shows how deliberate practice can be applied in everyday life situations whether you’re exercising, parenting, or enjoying a hobby. Literally anything you do you can learn to do it better the next time.

Chapter Seven

If you were ever wondering what it takes for a young person to go on to be world-class in any activity, this chapter explains what is involved. And it’s not for the faint of heart. Literally thousands and thousands of hours of deliberate practice over many years are required to become the best of the best at what you do. But if you’re goal is to be world-class, then this chapter explains how to do it.

Chapter Eight

This chapter explodes the myth of natural talent. It shows in detail that great performers always got there through extraordinary practice.

Chapter Nine

In this closing chapter, Ericsson and Pool guide the reader to think about the future of a world that applies deliberate practice on a regular basis and its impact on education, medicine, health, and relationships. Imagine a world where performance in every area of life gets better and better. They close their book with a new concept, Homo exercens rather than Homo sapiens. They wrote, “Perhaps a better to see ourselves would be as Homo exercens, or ‘practicing man,’ the species that takes control of its life through practice and makes of itself what it will.”

__ http://www.thecoughlincompany.com/cc_vol14_12a/

Chapter 9 of Ericsson and Pool’s book suggests that a world that applies deliberate practise regularly, would be a better world in many ways. That is probably true. But in the modern world where virtually every institution of government, education, media, foundations, and other cultural institutions are irredeemably corrupt and self-serving, how can productive disruptive change be implemented on a broad scale?

The answer is, it probably cannot be implemented on a broad scale in any meaningful sense — without dumbing it down to impotence.

Sure, if a billionaire such as Sergey Brin, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Tom Steyer, Richard Branson, or one of the other “usual suspects” would stop squandering resources on delusional green boondoggles, and begin to invest on the future minds and competencies of new generations, things would likely change. But such billionaires — and virtually all men of power and influence — are corrupted by the taint of groupthink and government rent-seeking. Institutional rot exists not only in large institutions, but also infects all products and forms of output from such institutions.

What is to be done, then? What indeed.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood. Best to start the formation of networked Dangerous Communities as soon as practicable.

More:

http://www.braintrainingtools.org/skills/how-to-learn-new-skills/
http://www.braintrainingtools.org/skills/how-to-learn-new-skills/

Return on Investment for US Colleges and Universities

A four year college education is only appropriate for about 15% to 20% of America’s youth. Most youth need to focus on developing skills and competencies in business, entrepreneurship, and the crucial practical areas of modern life.

But if one does go to college in America, where might he get his best “return on investment?”

ROI US Universities http://www.investors.com/etfs-and-funds/personal-finance/best-colleges-for-returns-on-your-investment-costs/
ROI US Universities
http://www.investors.com/etfs-and-funds/personal-finance/best-colleges-for-returns-on-your-investment-costs/

The calculations are for more than 1,300 schools.

The best ROI are at public colleges and universities. “They dominate because of their relatively lower costs,” Bardaro said.

Schools that offer education in science, technology, engineering and math — known as STEM studies — also cluster at the top of the ROI list. Their graduates tend to land jobs that pay a lot more than the costs of school.

“Skills that you get in STEM studies are in heavy demand by employers,” Bardaro said.

The top five schools on this year’s list are the State University of New York’s Maritime College, Georgia Tech, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Brigham Young University and Missouri University of Science and Technology.

In percentage terms, their ROIs are 13.2% for SUNY-Maritime, 12.4% for Georgia Tech, Mass. Maritime and BYU, then 12.2% for Missouri University of Science and Technology.

__ http://www.investors.com/etfs-and-funds/personal-finance/best-colleges-for-returns-on-your-investment-costs/

College degrees can be obtained via distance learning, online. One may obtain an education in any number of areas of knowledge, at any age, at any time, from any location — meeting any work or family schedule. There are fewer reasons for wasting one’s time at a bricks and mortar campus, every year that goes by.

The best curriculum for Dangerous Children — and most children in general — is a curriculum that utilises self-directed, self-disciplined teaching. It must include immersion in finance and business, practical hands-on skills from cooking to heavy equipment operations to mechanical skills to the operation of transportation vehicles made for travel on air, sea, ice, snow, and ground.

By the time a Dangerous Child is 16, he already has the equivalent of a liberal arts college degree and multiple certificates of mastery for several practical skills. By the time he is 18, he is fully capable of supporting himself financially at least three different ways. If he wants to go to university for advanced training, he will have a large number of choices to pursue.

Based on the massive amount of remedial training taking place on college campuses today, it is clear that modern society does not take the education of its children seriously — at least not until they are too old to learn at critical depth, effectively. Hence the large crops of academically lobotomised, perpetually adolescent incompetents who naively march forth from college graduations every year, to almost certain disillusionment.

The best education is a Dangerous Education, and that begins before the child is born — and continues until he dies.

More

Educational System Now a Wrecking Ball Destroying Children’s Minds

How can you possibly expect someone who has spent most of his or her life in a educational system that discourages risk and critical thinking, and which teaches them to stick with the crowd, to exit college with any meaningful advantage?

__ Source

11 year old Means to Climb Tallest Mountains http://www.people.com/article/tyler-amrstrong-climb-worlds-seven-summits-cure-duchenne
11 year old Means to Climb Tallest Mountains
http://www.people.com/article/tyler-amrstrong-climb-worlds-seven-summits-cure-duchenne

More on global mountain climber Tyler Armstrong, now 12 years old.

Armstrong lives in Yorba Linda, California, with his father Kevin, mother Priscilla and brother Dylan. He likes playing his guitar, soccer, flag football, video games, swimming, laser tag and is a member of the boy scouts.[15]

Children are individuals, unique to themselves. Treating them as lumps of clay to be shaped just as the lords of society wish, is a recipe for disaster — a disaster that has been in the making for decades now.

Assembly line education is simply not working out for young people any longer, and ironically, many of these kids are so ignorant they actually think their problem is that they need even more “education.” In reality, the dumbing down of their minds with indoctrination and a focus on political correctness has made them grossly unprepared for life outside the sheltered cocoon of formal schooling.

… To summarize, our schools are training children to become followers instead of leaders and critical thinkers, and it’s going to take some dedicated parenting to turn things around for future generations.

__ Dissident Dad

Death Comes to Us All — The Importance of Careful Attention to Detail

People are living animals, subject to dying. When people — including children — take risks, the odds of death can rise appreciably, depending upon a number of factors. The child pictured below — Tito Traversa — fell to his death at age 12 due to equipment malfunction / inadvertent rigging error. The cause of the accident is analogous to a mistake in parachute packing, or a pilot error in judgement leading to a crash. Such accidents could happen to persons of any age, but are particularly tragic when they involve children and people who are involved in the training of full-spectrum children.

Without Risk Human Life is Meaningless http://www.rockandice.com/lates-news/12-year-old-tito-traversa-dies-in-climbing-fall
Increased Odds of Accidents Accompany Risks
http://www.rockandice.com/lates-news/12-year-old-tito-traversa-dies-in-climbing-fall

Not all children are born daredevils. Those who are innate risk-takers need to be taught utmost attention to detail, and extreme care in following best procedures to minimise and mitigate inherent risks in their activities. Although we incorporate play into learning of all kinds, life itself is being played for keeps.

Do not push them beyond their ability, but do not hold them back — when the proper training can empower them to expand their competence and skillful autonomy.

The misguided attempt to eliminate all risk from the lives of all children, is the far more salient danger to the future, rather than the disciplined training of Dangerous Children to manage risks.

Single Moms Can Raise Kids for Adventure

Patchwork Kids: A Kindred Tribe to Dangerous Children

Dangerous Children are best known for their competent multi-faceted independence. They master at least three means of financial independence by the age of 18, and never stop developing new skills.

Patchwork Kids are similarly known for their ability to take on multiple types of jobs and projects, as well as for their ability to find their way through all kinds of changing employment scenarios and career obstacle courses which one finds in rapidly evolving societies.

Many still cling to the notion of a dream job- a perfect opportunity that will afford success, fulfillment, and all that one desires. Whether such positions actually exist or are simply the stuff of myth and fantasy is disputable. But regardless, these ideals are false guides to those seeking professional growth and opportunity.

___ http://marabhuber.com/2014/03/05/a-patchwork-career/

It is best not to be too attached to one particular career path in one’s life. Things are changing much too rapidly for most areas of employment. Occupations arise, reach a peak in demand, then go extinct — much like empires and biological species. It is best for children to learn multiple skills and competencies — including flexibility and resilience.

The underlying concept of patchwork occupational flexibility is far too important to allow it to be commandeered by any particular thinker or author, so take each interpretation of “Patchwork Principles” or “Patchwork Employment” with a grain of salt. The central framework of the Patchwork Kid strategy is to build into the child the ability to pursue multiple career paths, to be the master of one’s own occupational world, and to be prepared to evolve along with the needs and demands of both your own life and the times in which you live.

Lifelong learning is a prerequisite for most everything in life that is worthwhile; work is no exception. Although you will settle into a routine related to recordkeeping and other mundane tasks, you will likely never fully enjoy the “cruise control” mentality that you may now know in your 9-to-5 world. In contrast, as an entrepreneur you will be growing and learning in many directions at once. You alone will need to determine when you need to seek out a book, class, or mentor to guide you when you encounter new topics related to running your business, either to keep up with the industry in which you work or as you strive to honor your lifestyle framework. Are you able to ask for help when the need arises? Can your ego handle it? Are you willing to climb the learning curves that you will inevitably encounter?

… The Patchwork Principle is a freelance career strategy based on the simple idea that working for a number of employers simultaneously presents unique business opportunities and insulates you from sudden and total job loss… The Patchworker carries all of the standard responsibilities of the freelancer but has an agenda beyond earning money: life… A Patchworker is a freelancer who selectively accepts work based on lifestyle factors that they determine to be personally important.

__ https://www.quintcareers.com/patchworker-mindset/

The difference between a well prepared Patchwork Kid, and someone who is forced by circumstances to hold down multiple part-time jobs that they may or may not like, is that the Patchwork Kid consciously and skillfully navigates her way through the rapids and eddies of society’s occupational turbulence — having learned such resilient flexibility from the earliest age.

The patchworker is a new kind of employee working quite differently than the traditional freelancer. First, patchworkers are highly selective about the work they choose to accept because quality of life, dubbed lifestyle design, is paramount. Second and perhaps most notably, patchworking is the art and science of fishing for new, mostly unadvertised leads and pitching them to prospective employers. The competition in these situations is practically non-existent and the odds of landing the work are certainly in favor of the person pitching the solution. Patchworkers offer potential employers an immediate and practical solution to existing problems or present new ideas and an implementation plan.

___ http://www.aol.com/article/2011/04/05/the-patchwork-principle-a-new-employment-strategy-for-the-21st/19902583/

Dangerous Children go A Step or Two Beyond

Patchwork Kids are quite capable of building satisfying lives for themselves and their loved ones. Having learned self-sufficiency and independence from childhood, and having put it into practise from the teen years onward, they will not readily give it up to tyrannical bureaucrats or self-important functionaries. When combined with concealed carry and reasonable training in firearm safety, maintenance, and operation, Patchwork Kids will form an important part of any competent society of the future.

Where Dangerous Children are conspicuously different than many Patchwork Kids, is in the many specifically Dangerous skills and competencies which Dangerous Children master. Trained to confront dangerous situations and their own fears from a very early age, the Dangerous Child tends to “size up” potentially hazardous situations very quickly, and often takes definitive action before even the smartest Patchwork Kid knows that anything is wrong.

Regardless, the many areas of similarity and overlap between the two types of training are enough to bring Dangerous Children and Patchwork Kids to a type of common understanding which allows them to work together on a broad range of projects and enterprises.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. Make provisions for the turbulent times that are inevitable in any realistic future scenario.

Dangerous Children Learn to Fail Gracefully — Early and Often

How Can Dangerous Children Master Financial Skills by Age 18?

Humans learn best by trying — by going out on the limb for something. Early tries are likely to meet with failure, and it is the response to early failures that determine whether the child or youth will learn from failure and go on to more difficult trials — or whether he will choose to “play it safe” and not risk spectacular failures (or successes).

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/30-quotes-failure-that-will-lead-you-success.html
http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/30-quotes-failure-that-will-lead-you-success.html

Children and Youth Would do Well to Learn How to Start Businesses Early in Life

To avoid wage slavery and corporate/government dependency, a Dangerous Child learns to deal with problems of finance, customer handling, and cash flow balancing, at early ages. The earlier the better. The type of business, product, or service is not nearly as important as the thought and planning that goes into the startup and operations. And if it fails — as is often the case — the Dangerous Child has plenty of other ideas to work out and try out.

Here is another blogger’s thinking on the subject of avoiding wage slavery:

In the age of automation, what’s scarce are problem-solving skills.

Software and robotics are good with set situations and routines, but not so good at responding to unique situations. If someone wants a high-wage job in a profitable sector, one avenue is to become a better problem-solver.

The best way to become a better problem solver is to start a small enterprise yourself, because the entrepreneur–even the smallest scale entrepreneur selling on Etsy or perfominng some service in the community–must solve a wide range of problems on a daily basis. ___ Charles Hugh Smith

Problem-solving is indeed a scarce and valuable resource in the modern age. Dangerous Children learn to problem-solve by taking calculated risks — by throwing themselves into the fray and dealing with the inevitable issues and challenges that will confront him and try to prevent him from reaching his goal.

That is another reason why very early childhood training must instill the love of solving “puzzles” and overcoming challenges. Such instincts are natural to infants and early toddlers, but can be easily blunted by both neglectful and over-protective parenting — and by government schooling. The love of a difficult challenge and the willingness to see a tough goal through to the end is of great value to the child’s future prospects.

Work and Practical Problem-Solving Experience More Valuable than Credentials

College degrees are a dime a dozen. Getting a four year college degree is often the quickest route to a minimum wage job — and the creation of an impossible dilemma when it comes to paying off student loans.

Not every four year degree is a dead-end of course. Engineering and IT degrees can be immensely valuable in finding a reasonable job if a person is energetic and willing to work hard. But four year degrees in history, psychology, sociology, literature, philosophy, and other liberal arts and social sciences will give a minimal advantage, if any, for even the lowest job on the rung.

Problem-solvers with work and business experience, are different. A proven track record of successful innovation, business creation, and management, opens the door to a wide array of opportunities. The best way to create such a track record is to create your own job, rather than waiting for someone else to give it to you. And the best way to create a successful business is to start early, fail often, and learn hard, valuable lessons from each trial.

The “Everybody Must Go to College” Meme is for Losers

Only between 15% and 20% of young people are suited for a rigorous four year college degree — such as the type that opens the door to mid-level and higher level careers. Among African youth, only around 5% are qualified for such degrees. Clearly they need viable and profitable alternatives — and getting work and business experience at an early age is probably the best bet for most.

Few things are more discouraging to a young adult than to be a recent college dropout with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt — and no experience at working, solving practical problems, or managing a business.

Failure is a Normal Part of Life

Dangerous Children learn to bounce back from failure, with a hat-full of possibilities to try next. Remember: Dangerous Children master at least three means to financial and personal independence by the age of 18 years. When they try something and fail, they are not going to be desperately broke or deeply in debt. They are likely to build appreciable savings by the age of 14 or 16, and be able to pay for a college education outright — either online or via bricks and mortar campus — by age 18, if that is their wish.

Credentials can, after all, be useful to someone who has experience, savings, and an independent spirit. Such persons will be best equipped to make the most use of the credential.

Persistence Determination Purpose http://illuzone.net/quote-persistence-and-determination/
Persistence Determination Purpose
http://illuzone.net/quote-persistence-and-determination/

The fear of failure is just another variety of fear. Dangerous Children must learn to confront and neutralise their fears as early as possible. It should become habitual to face down fear so as not to become stuck.

http://illuzone.net/quote-understanding-fear/
http://illuzone.net/quote-understanding-fear/

Early Childhood Learning Methods: Getting to the Dangerous Child

What is the Best Approach to Early Childhood Learning?

Three well-known European approaches to early learning include Montessori, Waldorf, and Reggio Emilia.

All three approaches view children as active authors of their own development, strongly influenced by natural, dynamic, self-righting forces within themselves, opening the way toward growth and learning.

… Underlying the three approaches are variant views of the nature of young children’s needs, interests, and modes of learning that lead to contrasts in the ways that teachers interact with children in the classroom, frame and structure learning experiences for children, and follow the children through observation/documentation.. __ Three European Approaches to Early Learning

The three approaches generally developed long before modern educational theory, pictured in the graphic below. As such, they are useful for their relatively pristine approaches, unpolluted by modern social science jargon.

Early Learning Theory https://thelifelonglearner.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/can-we-teach-creativity/
Early Learning Theory
https://thelifelonglearner.wordpress.com/2013/11/09/can-we-teach-creativity/

Contemporary designers of approaches to early childhood education generally draw from some academic theory — such as those illustrated in the graphic above. This “sanctification” of early childhood curricula is unfortunate — not necessarily for what it includes, but for what it leaves out.

Consider Friedrich Frobel and the original “Kindergarten” concept:

Friedrich Fröbel’s great insight was to recognise the importance of the activity of the child in learning. He introduced the concept of “free work” (Freiarbeit) into pedagogy and established the “game” as the typical form that life took in childhood, and also the game’s educational worth. Activities in the first kindergarten included singing, dancing, gardening and self-directed play with the Froebel Gifts. Fröbel intended, with his Mutter- und Koselieder – a songbook that he published – to introduce the young child into the adult world. __ Wikipedia Friedrich Frobel

Frobel’s goal was to assist the early unfolding and development of the parts of the child’s mind that are necessary for further independent development. Contrast that pre-Prussian approach, with today’s fashion of indoctrination that pervades modern educational institutions from K – 12 thru university.

Or consider Edward de Bono and his approaches to creative thinking. Because “lateral thinking” and other creative thinking approaches encourage independent, divergent thinking, they are avoided by the dominant educational cultists of today, for fear that too much independence and creativity might lead to a loss of control by those in charge.

Learning Approaches http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/
Learning Approaches
http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/

Those and other approaches to learning theory can be found at this website. But you will not find the ideas of John David Garcia or Arthur Robinson in conventional listings.

Modern education is all about conformity to groupthink and preparing children to sing in echo choirs, in unison. Modern parolees from official systems of incarcerated education are too often already under a lifetime’s burden of school loan debt, but at the same time suffering from an academic lobotomy and permanent lifelong adolescent incompetence, that makes ultimate freedom almost impossible.

Established orders and power hierarchies have little to fear from these zombie-drones, living in parental basements, their expectations squashed by the very system that was meant to empower them.

When children are very young, the possibilities seem endless. But the moment the parent hands control of the child’s mind to institutions whose only loyalty is to their own existence and enlargement, the child’s potential begins to shut down and collapse.

Dangerous Children master the abilities to live independently — financially, cognitively, emotionally, socially, educationally, and in many other ways — by the age of 18. That is how it should be, but not how it usually is, for most youth.

How Do You Get from Conventional Lifelong Incompetence to the Dangerous Child Who is in Control of His Future?

By beginning at the beginning, and not diverging from the exciting and unpredictable course in front of you.

The Dangerous Child Method takes the useful parts of the hard-earned experiential insights of Montessori, Steiner, Vygotsky, Doman, Piaget, etc., and combines them with the fundamentals of Garcia’s early curriculum, and Robinson’s hard-nosed approach to self-teaching and “mental junk food avoidance.”

A Dangerous Child follows a path that he sets for himself, but he builds his own path upon a foundation laid by many others, using tools chosen from what is provided by caregivers, coaches, mentors, and guides.

Conventional thinking in this area will only destroy a child’s potential, and make him into another statistic.

You may ask, “What can one child do?” And of course, it all depends upon the child. What could one Einstein do, or one Edison? What could one Leonardo, one Newton, or one Archimedes do? Mozart, Galileo, Darwin, Leibniz? More

More important than those individuals mentioned above, are the thousands who took their ideas and turned them into sciences, technologies, and advanced societies and civilisations.

You may think that all of that is in the past. In that, you would be mistaken. It is in the future. Choices you make now can help determine how that future unfolds.

Much more on this topic later.

http://www.emtech.net/learning_theories.htm

Glenn Doman

What’s Wrong with “Higher Education?”

My in-laws were asking me when I was going to start my son’s college fund, over the weekend, as my son had his first birthday party. I said “never.” I also explained that I intended, rather, to ensure that our family avoided debt and maintained assets and savings. They looked at me all puzzled. To them, college was a given. You just did it. That’s the way it was. And, to be fair, it once was that way. __
http://thedeclination.com/forget-higher-education/

Once there was a time when going to college might be considered important — even necessary — for a young person to make his mark in the world. Things have changed.

Instead of providing a useful education and training in broad-ranging thinking skills, universities have become indoctrination centres and rallying places for destructive radicals and quasi-fascists.

The resulting incompetence of mind and body is becoming obvious across the landscape of the college-educated.

Awhile back, I was going to lunch with another developer friend of mine. When we got back to his car after eating, he had a flat tire. So he did what every modern American these days seems to prefer: he called AAA to come deal with the tire for him. I offered to just change it for him, because he had a full-size spare. But he insisted on waiting for the tow truck. He seemed incredulous that I would even offer to change a tire.

After awhile I gave up and just walked back to work. He waited for like two hours for someone to change the tire for him.

It was another one of those moments that struck me as a symptom of the Decline of the West. He had an Ivy-league degree, but couldn’t change a tire.

__ http://thedeclination.com/forget-higher-education/

What students receive at universities today is not an “education.” It is a bilateral academic lobotomy. It is bad enough that “higher education” forces so many young people to go deeply into debt. To also bequeath them with a lifetime of incompetence is beyond forgiving.

My son deserves far better. When he’s old enough, I intend to introduce him to the philosophy of Mike Rowe. This “work smarter, not harder” catchphrase that drove higher education for the last several decades is a fallacy. Work smarter AND harder. And even if you just wanted to be smarter, college campuses are ill-equipped to provide even that much.
__
http://thedeclination.com/forget-higher-education/

The author of the excerpted piece above wants to expose his son to practical tradecraft. He feels there is a future in the work that electricians, welders, plumbers, mechanics, construction workers, heavy equipment operators, and other skilled workers perform — moreso than in traditional modern college programs such as, say, multicultural basket-weaving or fighting economic inequality as a social justice warrior.

He is correct that practical and trade skills are extremely important for job markets today and in the future. In fact, kids (such as Dangerous Children) should be able to support themselves at least three ways by the time they are 18 years old. For boys, at least one of those ways should be in the practical trade skills.

After the young person is thoroughly financially independent, however, it is his choice whether he will go on to finance further training or education. He is responsible for any payment, of course.

Even more important than the practical trades and skills training for those who skip higher ed., is childhood training in basic economics, banking, investing, and entrepreneurship — starting and running businesses.

Janitors and custodians can become millionaire businessmen if they understand both business and the custodial trades. Any useful tradesman can do so. Both basic business and custodial skills can be mastered by the age of 12. If the kid has an adult to use as a front man, he can start a business and acquire a significant nest egg before most kids are graduating from a conventional high school.

The overall mindsets of adults toward children and child-raising / education is abominably limited and short-sighted. Not all children are cut out to be Dangerous Children. But most of them can acquire basic practical skills, and become financially and intellectually independent by age 18. In fact, it is the duty of parents to make sure that they do.

What should be done with the modern abominations commonly referred to as “higher education?”

https://alfinnextlevel.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/universities-burn-them-to-the-ground/

Curiosity

A Questioning Mind http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/10/21/how-to-spark-curiosity-in-children-by-embracing-uncertainty/
A Questioning Mind
http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/10/21/how-to-spark-curiosity-in-children-by-embracing-uncertainty/

Children are born curious. This is clear to anyone who observes infants from the earliest stages through the toddler years. They observe grownups “doing things” and moving about with a sense of purpose that defies early childhood reasoning powers.

Children often naturally assume that grownups are wiser, more intelligent, more powerful and masterful, and much more in control of their lives than they — the youngsters — are. They are taught — openly and by inference — that if they will only be quiet, sit still, absorb the knowledge of the ages imparted by the grownups, and become capable of regurgitating this knowledge on command, that they too can become masters of the universe, like their parents, teachers, doctors, dentists, media celebrities, sports stars, and religious clerics.

And so by submerging their natural curiosity and submitting to the dominant ethic — the consensual delusion — children believe that they will be prepared to face the future. Most of them are never told that the future is never what they expect it to be.

The Future is Ever-Changing, Ambiguous, Uncertain

If the future is not to be what they are being led to expect, how can they possibly be prepared for their futures?

There is only one way: Children must be allowed to retain — and build on — their innate curiosity, and be allowed to grow comfortable dealing with uncertainty.

If students can be made to feel comfortable with uncertainty — if they’re learning in an environment where ambiguity is welcome and they are encouraged to question facts — then they are more apt to be curious and innovative in their thinking.

… “Our minds crave closure, but when we latch onto it prematurely we miss beautiful and important moments along the way,” … including the opportunity to explore new ideas or consider novel interpretations.

… “Students have to grow comfortable not just with the idea that failure is a part of innovation, but with the idea that confusion is, too,” Holmes writes. Teachers can help students cope with these feelings by acknowledging their emotional response and encouraging them to view ambiguity as a learning opportunity.

___ http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/10/21/how-to-spark-curiosity-in-children-by-embracing-uncertainty/

Here is a quick checklist to help children to become more comfortable with the uncertainty and ambiguity of real world knowledge:

  1. Assign projects that provoke uncertainty.
  2. Adopt a non-authoritarian teaching style to encourage exploration, challenge and revision.
  3. Emphasize the current topics of debate in a field.
  4. Invite guest speakers to share the mysteries they’re exploring.
  5. Show how the process of discovery is often messy and non-linear.

Source

Without insight into the holes in our knowledge, students mistakenly believe that some subjects are closed. They lose humility and curiosity in the face of this conceit.

__ http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2015/10/21/how-to-spark-curiosity-in-children-by-embracing-uncertainty/

There are always holes in our knowledge, most of them hidden. But Dangerous Children learn to scan the world for clues to these hidden holes. The answers they discover often reshape important ways in which they view their worlds around them.

It is important that children discover the joy of learning on their own, through constant questioning of the current set of “answers.”

Dangerous Children learn that self-learning and self-teaching is a dynamic process, and they get better at it with practise.

One should not emphasise a child’s “intelligence,” but should rather encourage the rewards of self-discovery through a constant strenuous questing for the pivot points of knowledge. Working hard for a worthy goal should be made enjoyable.

Underlying the processes of childhood learning, self-discovery, and skills acquisition, are the hidden processes of synaptogenesis, synaptic pruning, myelination, the opening and closing of critical developmental periods, recovery from inadvertent illness and injury, and the visible and invisible changes in the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual realms that are constantly taking place.

The training and raising of a Dangerous Child requires attention — at the proper times. But since most of the teaching, learning, and training is done by the Dangerous Child himself, the overall amount of attention and resources needed are no greater than for a conventionally raised psychological neotenate of perpetual adolescent incompetence.

One of the earliest skills to be learned, is the best use of libraries and “intra-nets.” Libraries range from home libraries to school and public libraries to university libraries. Intra-nets are particularly important for pre-adolescent and early adolescent children. They are simply downloaded learning resources, carefully selected and compiled on archiving media such as optic disks, external HDDs, and flash drives. The price of such useful intra-nets is dropping rapidly.

The broader internet itself contains too many hidden traps and pitfalls to allow young Dangerous Children unrestricted access — just as broadcast and cable television are not safe for children who are meant to be raised independently from “the consensual delusion.”

When the child develops his own strong contrarian nature, his own resilient and independent style of thinking, he will be ready to face the broader consensual stupidity and indoctrination of the masses and the academically lobotomised.

Parents and caregivers hold a perilous responsibility in their hands. “Your children are not your children . . .” — they are themselves, and the persons they are capable of creating for themselves.

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls,

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.

For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday…

Source

Curiosity, scepticism, independence, the willingness to work hard at discovering new knowledge and new webs of knowledge — these must all be cultured and encouraged to grow in young minds.

You will probably never know how it all turns out. But develop your purposes and methods well, and aim at consistency wherever possible — at least in the early years.

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. It is never too early or late to have a Dangerous Childhood.

Where is Best Place to Raise Dangerous Children: City or Countryside?

First Consider Merits of City vs. Country in General

Advantages of City Life

  1. Easy access to schools, shopping, eating, work, and public services
  2. Wide variety of housing, jobs, special interest groups and classes, entertainments, potential friends, and potential mates
  3. In some cities you can walk everywhere or take public transport
  4. Cosmopolitan selection of foods, shopping, shows, and people

Disadvantages of City Life

  1. A general decadence and decay — particularly in cities with a higher proportion of third world peoples
  2. Ever shrinking zones of safety, as a dysgenic decline sets in
  3. Living on borrowed time in the coming dysgenic Idiocracy

City vs. Country David Holmes Youtube.com
City vs. Country David Holmes
Youtube.com

Advantages of Country Life

  1. Peace and quiet, a sky full of stars, fresh sweet air
  2. People look out for each other
  3. People are generally more self-sufficient
  4. Taxes are lower, as are many other expenses
  5. More safe zones — especially for kids

Disadvantages of Country Life

  1. You must learn to get along with neighbors, and to keep a good reputation in the community, or things can become brusque
  2. You must learn to maintain your own basic infrastructure for clean water, backup power, heat, fuel, housing, outbuildings, essential machinery, growth storage and preparation of food, etc.
  3. You will have to learn more about technology of all kinds
  4. You will need to learn to let your younger children do a lot of free-grazing (and teach them to do so safely)
  5. You will need to teach practical skills to your mid-level kids early, and insist they learn and perform them properly
  6. You will need to respect your neighbor’s religion
  7. And so on . . .

Sources:
https://alfinnextlevel.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/living-in-the-city-vs-living-in-the-countryside/

http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2008/09/city-life-vs-country-life-an-unbiased-analysis/

http://www.debate.org/opinions/is-country-life-better-than-city-life

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/18/live-in-city-or-country

In summary, one suspects that it may be easier to find a mate in university, church, work etc. inside or outside of cities, but better to raise kids outside of the decadent and corrupting world of cities, if possible.

How this Applies to Raising Dangerous Children in Particular

Young and very young Dangerous Children should not be allowed to plug into the addicting world of the Consensual Delusion. There is too much of crucial importance to learn, too many practical and foundational skills to develop, and too little real estate inside the growing brain to be spared for wasteful and dysfunctional mental memes of the skankstream.

Keeping a rapidly developing Dangerous Child on track from the earliest ages, requires providing a rich and nutritious mental world, without the addicting and destructive “junk food.” A healthier mental and physical environment is easier to provide outside the loud, dirty, and dysfunctional distractions that are so prevalent in cities — particularly the more multicultural cities-in-decline.

The basic in-your-face needs of country living demand more of children in the first place. A child growing up on a ranch, farm, or helping with the family business, will have to develop a range of basic skills which helicopter-parented city kids will never be exposed to — unless they move to the country themselves. So in that sense, self-sufficiency — a key part of the Dangerous Child attitude — is an intrinsic part of a good country upbringing.

Many of semi-dangerous skills learned by 10-12 year olds are readily available in the country: Welding, electrical motors and pumps, all types of electrical wiring methods, plumbing systems, backup power supplies, power tools of all kinds, heavy machinery (including implements for digging, ploughing, earth-moving, demolition, etc.).

When Dangerous Children get together on their own, they are likely to want to hunt, fish, build or repair, or practise dangerous skills in the outdoors.

Understanding how dangerous the human world is becoming, they feel an important, underlying purpose growing inside of them as they age and gain more useful skills and life competencies. They understand that if humans are to build a more expansive and abundant human future, a good part of the human substrate will have to be up to the challenges ahead.

The skankstream cathedral — working within the consensual delusion — has been hard at work attempting to destroy or corrupt the traditional ways in which children might be allowed to grow up both dangerous and responsible. The skankstream would rather have kids grow up stuck in a perpetually helpless adolescent state, dependent upon the skankstream for virtually all of their needs.

Note: It is possible that for some parents and offspring, raising a Dangerous Child is best done in the war zone of a multicultural inner city. If the child can be protected to the age that he can take care of himself on the mean streets, living in the middle of a dysgenic Idiocracy may provide some of the best lessons he will ever learn.

But in general, such experiences can be provided just as well in the more controlled setting of planned field trips into the city. One must be confronted with such dysfunction face to face in order to understand and better prepare for it, well before any in-city apprenticeships, work, or higher education.

The Dangerous Child Method is not easily applied, nor will it come naturally to large numbers of today’s young citizens, parents, and potential parents. That is why we have decided to go semi-public with many of these ideas, so that the wiser of the young will have a bit of time to prepare and debate the issues.

More: https://alfinnextlevel.wordpress.com/2015/10/23/urban-world-utopia-or-global-dysgenic-idiocracy/

Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst. To survive the coming world, you and yours will want to become Dangerous.



Town & Country  Lord of the Rings https://learningfrommiltonkeynes.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/lordoftowncountry.jpg
Town & Country Lord of the Rings
https://learningfrommiltonkeynes.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/lordoftowncountry.jpg

More: Parenting in the suburbs is lonely for housewives whose lives have no purpose . . . It is the story of modernity — adrift in alienation without a rudder or destination. These housewives should consider becoming Dangerous Children.

It is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood.

Learning Contrarian Thought

The most dangerous thing about a Dangerous Child, is his mind. Dangerous Children are not easily led into popular consensual delusions, nor do they find themselves running with a mob.

Dangerous Children are exposed to contrarian modes of thinking at an early age, and are expected to develop their contrarian thinking skills to a cutting edge by the time they achieve financial, emotional, and intellectual independence.

In many ways, contrarian thinkers are like comedians: they test boundaries and challenge the status quo. Most comedy relies upon the exposition of absurdity. Something only becomes absurd when it stands out dramatically from its surroundings, or differs greatly from what is expected or anticipated; in other words, when it contrasts. Contrast is therefore inherent to the nature of comedy, and contrarian thinking.

“The world we have made as a result of the level of thinking we have done thus far creates problems we cannot solve at the same level of thinking at which we created them.” — Albert Einstein

__

http://michaelhaupt.com/contrarian-thinking/

Sometimes contrarian people are accused of simply taking the opposite approach to the majority. Such a reflexive view of contrarians is dangerously simplistic and misleading. Genuine contrarians “see through” the mainstream as well as its opposite. They think independently, and . . . differently.

This “different” style of thinking confuses those who drift in the mainstream of thoughtlessness. It also makes them angry.

Contrarians often ask “simple questions,” which make more “sophisticated” people smirk, become impatient, or just feel superior somehow. And yet, it is the simple questions which often keep human thinking grounded, when everyone else is caught up in turbulent flows.

Finding the right answer to a simple question few others ask will keep you thinking differently—and wisely. __ http://www.aaii.com/journal/article/being-a-contrarian-means-thinking-differently

The global average IQ for the human population of Earth is somewhere below 90. Because birth rates are higher in low-IQ populations, the average human population IQ is dropping year by year. Governments and social institutions are increasingly catering to increasingly stupid populations.

When confronted with the coming tidal waves of dysgenic Idiocracy, it is natural for more thoughtful people — who also happen to be more intelligent than average — to form their own ideas and viewpoints, separate from the ideas and viewpoints popularly promulgated by social institutions such as governments, media, schools, and churches.

Dangerous Children learn contrary thinking by way of stories, songs, games and role playing, mock debates, and various creative productions written and produced by the Dangerous Children themselves. Independent, contrary modes of thought become second nature with very little — if any — prodding from mentors, parents, and coaches.

As the child grows older and ventures further into the larger skankstream, he will already have developed a natural immunity to the groupthink consensual delusions that abound out there.

This independence of mind allows a Dangerous Child to think his way out of situations that would trap, damage, and eventually destroy more conformist minds.

Dangerous Children grow up asking the simple, fundamental questions that keep them grounded when the unexpected happens. Once quickly oriented, they can utilise rapid “rules of thumb” and automatic checklists to help them survive the challenges of the immediate environment, and navigate to safety for regrouping and reorienting.

Predators, con artists, and cultural bullies of all types usually rely upon surprise, deception, and confusion to render their prey vulnerable for the critical time needed to trap and overpower them.

Long habits of contrarian thinking at all levels, will help the Dangerous Child to see through most such attempts, allowing him to choose the best of several response options.

Anxiety and the Dangerous Child

When Stress Leads to Anxiety and Phobias
When Stress Leads to Anxiety and Phobias

Anxiety runs in families, and tends to propagate itself from parent to child. Part of this “dysfunctional inheritance” is genetic, and part of it is environmental — and part is epigenetic. Anxious children tend to become fearful children, who grow up to be fearful and often phobic adults. Up to 50% of the children of anxious parents tend to develop chronic anxiety themselves.

In Dangerous Child training, much effort is put into the early observation of a child’s reactions to various stimuli and increasingly challenging situations — on both an individual and a social basis. This will allow parents, mentors, and caregivers the opportunity to customise training in order to minimise dysfunction and maximise skills competencies.

But before that, parents themselves undergo a streamlined battery of written and hands-on tests meant to identify emotional and psychological patterns that may need work. For best results, potential parents seek consultation prior to conception of the Dangerous Child, or as early in development as possible.

If the child is allowed to develop anxious modes of thought and reaction for too long a time, the way back to functionality can be long and effortful — as any mental health analyst, councilor or therapist can tell you.

Here is more from a recent study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, looking at the issue of curtailing the development of childhood anxiety in children of anxious parents.

[Anxious] parents sought help because they struggle with anxiety, and want to prevent their children from suffering the same way. Children of anxious parents are at increased risk for developing the disorder. Yet that does not need to be the case, according to new research by UConn Health psychiatrist Golda Ginsburg.

Ginsburg and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University tested a one-year family therapy intervention as part of a study of 136 families with at least one parent with anxiety and at least one child between the ages of 6 and 13…

Anxiety tends to run in families, with up to 50 percent of children of anxious parents growing up to be anxious themselves. Until now, anxiety prevention programs have been largely conducted in schools, with only modest success.

For an anxious child, meeting a new peer for the first time can be paralyzing. Trying an unfamiliar food might summon worries of being poisoned. To cope with this kind of debilitating anxiety, kids start avoiding whatever provokes the anxious feelings. If they’re afraid of the dark, they might insist on sleeping with all the lights on. If they’re afraid of failing, they won’t try new things. In extreme cases, they may refuse even to leave the house.

“Anxiety and fear are protective and adaptive,” says Ginsburg. “But in anxious kids they may not be, because these children have thoughts about danger and threat when there really isn’t one.”

Both inborn temperament and life experiences play a role, she says. The more negative experiences a person has growing up, the greater the likelihood he or she will struggle with anxiety as an adult. But there is also a component of anxiety that is learned, taught inadvertently by parents who model the behavior. It’s these learned behaviors and thought patterns that interventions can help change.

Most of the adults who participated in the study struggled in school and didn’t tell anyone. They didn’t raise their hands, or they got sick before exams. They might not have had any friends. As adults, their anxiety still limits their activities and sometimes those of their family members, and they are very motivated to help their children avoid the same…

The families who participated in therapy were taught to identify the signs of anxiety and how to reduce it. They practiced problem-solving skills, and exercised safe exposures to whatever made their child anxious.

One of the ways to reduce anxiety is the reality check — learning to recognize when a fear is healthy and worth paying attention to (a growling dog) or unhealthy (a suspicion that the birthday cake is poisoned).

“We taught the kids how to identify scary thoughts, and how to change them,” Ginsburg says. For example, if a child is afraid of cats and encounters one in the street, the child can first identify the scary thought: “That cat is going to hurt me.” Then the child can test that thought — is it likely that the cat will hurt me? No, the cat doesn’t look angry. It isn’t baring its teeth or hissing, it’s just sitting there. OK, I can walk past that cat and it won’t do anything.

__ http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/09/150925085336.htm

Preventing Onset of Anxiety Disorder in Offspring of Anxious Parents

The above research study points out the parallel importance of genes and environment (experience). Every child has the potential to develop anxiety over particular situations and experiences. But some are genetically and epigenetically predisposed to develop fearful reactions — even paralysing phobias. An ounce of prevention of such dysfunctional patterns is worth several tonnes of cure.

Anxiety disorders in children

3 Year Old Alligator Boy  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2265423/See-later-alligator-Fearless-boy-3-struggles-maintain-grip-restless-reptile-swimming-wildlife-park-pool.html
3 Year Old Alligator Boy
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2265423/See-later-alligator-Fearless-boy-3-struggles-maintain-grip-restless-reptile-swimming-wildlife-park-pool.html

Young children can learn to grow beyond irrational fears of water, heights, reptiles, predators — both human and animal, and other confrontational situations that might paralyse most “prudent” people. As long as their judgment and competencies grow to displace more and more of their fears, rationally.

Tiger Girl http://www.smart-kit.com/s2657/the-fearless/
Tiger Girl
http://www.smart-kit.com/s2657/the-fearless/

Dangerous children learn to fly planes, pilot boats and ships in treacherous waters, can safely navigate and move cross-country when it is necessary to cross mountain ranges and treacherous rivers and canyons, understand more about realistic human history and human nature / culture than most professors — and can support themselves financially at least three different ways by the time they reach the age of 18. They are steeped in entrepreneurial capitalism, natural science, and independent methods of long distance mobility before most children reach high school age.

There are as many obstacles to an effective Dangerous Childhood as there are Dangerous Children. And yet, it is never too late to have a Dangerous Childhood. But the earlier one begins, the better.

A Society of Chumps vs. a Society of Dangerous Children

These days, a chump is anyone who believes what government, media, and “experts” in academia tell him — without checking the facts for himself. A Dangerous Child always checks the facts, and understands how to interpret them in a valid manner.

Consider US unemployment numbers, as provided by US government officials:

Image: The Federalist

A shrinking labor force… can completely mask a serious job shortage by excluding those who stop looking for work altogether from the calculation of unemployed persons. _The Federalist

Currently a record 91.8 million Americans are no longer looking for work. That’s almost one and a half times the entire population of France. _America is Going Galt

In other words, the US employment (and economic) picture is so abysmal, that almost a hundred million working-age Americans have given up looking for conventional forms of employment.

Sure you can make unemployment look better by not counting people, you can claim the economy is growing by ignoring inflation, you can argue that inflation is low because you don’t count food or energy, but the reality is that all of these arguments are grade “A” BS.

We are now five years into the “recovery.” The single and I mean SINGLE accomplishment from spending over $3 trillion has been the stock market going higher. This is a complete and total failure. Based on the business cycle alone, the economy should be roaring.

… The media is lying about the economy. They have been for years. Even the BLS now admits that its methodologies are either inefficient (read: DON’T work) or outright wrong.

And yet alleged “adults” continue to believe this stuff. I don’t get it. Is it mass delusion or are people really willing to believe a lie rather than what their own eyes tell them?_Zerohedge

America is undergoing a massive, engineered social transformation. Not only are all American population groups being dumbed down by government schools and media, but in addition, the least intelligent populations are given preferential treatment for hiring, contracts, school admissions, and whatever other goodies their redistributionist government is doling out. Here is one way the process is taking place in academia. But the same process is in full swing in Human Resources offices across the land — including fire departments, police departments, and all federal agencies.

I will leave it to your imagination as to what happens to a society that promotes its least qualified at the expense of better qualified individuals.

This phenomenon of designed societal decline is not new. Destructive nepotism and corruption is as old as humanity. Most intelligent persons in possession of historical perspective are probably wondering why it took the US so long to regress back toward the mean.

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

This is known as “bad luck.” _Robert Heinlein quoted by Instapundit … More Robert Heinlein quotes from the notebooks of Lazarus Long

Anyone who has read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” is already familiar with the phenomenon of top-down decline, which Obama has merely shifted into a higher gear. But society is largely full of people who have accepted groupthink as the proper cognitive style, so they will never stop to think or doubt what they are being told.

Groupthink is very prevalent in low-IQ populations. Drug use, criminal violence, low achievement, and STD prevalence is likewise quite high in such populations. And yet these are the very populations to whom US government gives special privileges for hiring, contracts, school admissions, and much more — at the expense of statistically better qualified and more competent populations.

It should be obvious to more intelligent and competent individuals, that their future well-being will not be assured in government, media, academia, or any other large collective or corporate enterprise over which government exerts appreciable influence or control. In essence, the government has become their enemy in everything but name.

Some parts of the US, such as Wisconsin, have experienced a limited success in turning back some of the dysfunctional policies which the US federal government is attempting to press on all state and local governments. Working from within the political process to reverse some of the more destructive government policies will be successful in some regions and locales — and unsuccessful in many others.

What should intelligent people do — who live in perennially dysfunctional societies with no hope for beneficial policy changes in the near term — to try to assure opportunities for their children’s future opportunity and prosperity, besides moving to a place that offers more opportunity for self-determination?

First of all, understand that “Your Children are not Your Children.” They are themselves, and you are obligated to help them develop into the best selves — the most skilled, competent, clear-headed, independent, dangerous, resilient, and wise — that they can be. That is your duty, and it is not optional. If you think that day care, pop culture, peer pressure, and government schools can do your job for you, think again.

Most of you live in societies that are filling up with indoctrinated chumps. Perhaps it is not their fault that they are chumps, but all the same, their gullible chumpiness is making life harder for you and yours.

A Need for New Meme-Paradigms

Humans think in terms of narratives (stories) guided by meme-paradigms. If you have a talent for art, music, innovation, and narrative — and understand how the mind works, you may be able to help create positive alternative memes, paradigms, and meme-paradigm vectors, to help replace the destructive meme-paradigms that belabor our societies.

One example of a destructive meme-paradigm vector is gangsta rape-rap, cop killa, violent hip hop that holds a large part of black populations in thrall. As a vector, rhythmic hip hop is a powerful learning tool which could as easily be used to teach Shakespeare for grammar school students, or human anatomy for nursing students. Instead it is a river of decay and violence for a growing permanent underclass.

Dangerous Children are beneficiaries of ample early childhood exposure and training in music, art, movement, creative thinking and language, and narrative drama — otherwise known as multimedia creative storytelling and constructive acting out. They learn to mentally dance from paradigm to paradigm before they know what it is they are doing, which makes them infinitely tougher against indoctrination.

Practical skills, entrepreneurship, invention, etc. are added later, after the child has learned to draw his “self portrait,” dance his own dance, and write his own story and song. By learning who they are on many levels, Dangerous Children learn to direct their own life trajectories to match their inner inclinations and aptitudes.

Due to increasingly dysfunctional policies, most modern societies — previously known as the drivers of this affluent high technological era — are now sinking into a corrupt and nepotistic decay. For many such societies, only portions of their homelands will be salvageable for those who believe in individual self-determination.

The above posting is re-published from a 2014 article first published on Al Fin the Next Level

Free Range Learning: Another Name for “Unschooling”

Very young children are filled with a thirst for learning all the skills they think they need to become a full player in the adult world they see around them. They are too young to know what they are letting themselves in for, but that eager thirst for learning will help them build useful foundations for further learning and development.

A rich environment of learning opportunities should be provided, with close attention paid to the child’s developing interests and abilities. Early learning should contain an element of play. Learning should not be associated in the child’s mind with compulsion or forced limitation of movement.

Structured education is actually very new to the human experience. Worse, it actually undermines the way children are primed to advance their abilities and mature into capable adults. __Laura Grace Weldon

Modern factory-style mass-production education is a significant impediment to childhood learning and maturation. This “Prussian style” of education should have been written off as a failed experiment decades ago. Instead, it is shoved down the throats of every child whose parents are unable to provide an alternative.

Here is how children are raised in hunter-gatherer societies:

… Play fosters learning in realms such as language, social skills, and spatial relations. It teaches a child to adapt, innovate, handle stress, and think independently. Even attention span increases in direct correlation to play.

Playfulness can’t be separated from learning. Children watch and imitate the people around them. The child’s natural desire to build his or her capabilities doesn’t have to be enforced. Instruction happens when the child seeks it. The learning environment is particularly rich when young people are surrounded by adults performing the tasks necessary to maintain their way of life. Children naturally learn as they playfully repeat what they see and begin to take part in these real life tasks. Mastering all the skills for self-reliance isn’t easy. Hunger-gatherer children must recognize thousands of species of plants and animals as well as how to best obtain, use, and store them. They must know how to make necessary items such as nets, baskets, darts, carrying devices, clothing, and shelter. They need to learn the lore of their people and pass along wisdom through story, ritual, and art. And perhaps most importantly, they need to be able to cooperate and share in ways that have allowed humanity to thrive. In such cultures, children learn on their own timetables in ways that best use their abilities.

… We don’t have to live as hunter-gatherers do to restore natural learning to children’s lives. Homeschoolers and unschoolers have been doing this, quite easily, for a very long time. Our children learn as they are ready and in ways that augment strong selfhood. They stay up late to stargaze or make music or design video games, knowing they can sleep late the next morning. They may fill an afternoon reading or actively contribute to the community. They have time to delve into topics of interest to them, often in much greater depth and breadth than any curriculum might demand. They explore, ask questions, volunteer, hang out with friends of all ages, take on household responsibilities, daydream, seek challenges, make mistakes and start over. They’re accustomed to thinking for themselves and pursuing their own interests, so they’re more likely to define success on their own terms. Because homeschooing/unschooling gives them the freedom to be who they already are, it pushes back against a world relentlessly promoting narrow definitions of success.

This kind of natural learning isn’t just an antidote to the soul crushing pressure of test-happy schools. It’s the way young people have learned throughout time.

Let children sleep in. Let them dream. Let them wake to their own possibilities. _Excerpts from Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything by Laura Grace Weldon

Free range learning is about learning through experiencing life naturally. It is often referred to as “unschooling.” Some parents may take the idea too far and neglect the instilling of good habits of responsibility and ambition. But if contact with the child has been closely maintained throughout childhood, and is of an honest, open, and loving nature, a parent should be able to determine the sort of encouragement and life exposure which should be most helpful.

Parents who believe in self-directed learning allow children of all ages to continue learning naturally and at their own pace. For example, the parent of a child who is interested in birds might buy him a new pair of binoculars and a bird-watching guide. The parent may help the child construct a birdfeeder so there will be more opportunities to observe birds in the backyard. With help, the child may do research online about birds they’ve encountered in addition to picking up additional books on the topic at the local library. These activities may serve as a springboard for creating a book or project about what they’ve learned, and the parent will once again be there to support, encourage, and yes, teach. Traditionally schooled children typically play a more passive role in the learning process while unschoolers are actively engaged throughout the day.

… Autonomous children are empowered children—empowered to make choices and to evaluate the consequences of their choices within real contexts rather than going through life believing that they have no choices. __ Free Range Learning FAQs

The above example illustrates how unschooling encourages the child to develop initiative and internal resources for teaching himself to learn for the love of learning.

This style of education may very well not work for all children. It should be obvious early on whether unschooling will be workable for the parent-child ensemble in question. Children must demonstrate learning in various areas. But most critically, the child should be learning to think for himself and to teach himself to learn from as full a range of materials and experiences as life offers — and parents allow.

A child who “knows” a lot of facts on an exam — but who does not have the ability to solve real world problems or to teach himself to understand new topics of interest — is at a serious disadvantage when at the end of his education he is regurgitated by the system out into an unsympathetic “real world.”

Here are a number of “curricula choices” recommended by the author of freerangelearning.com blog. It is not an exhaustive list of homeschooling curricula or aids, but it is a good place to look for ideas.

The Dangerous Child curriculum is an adaptation of the “free range” approach, in the sense that it is closely adapted to the individual child’s nature and abilities. Dangerous Children learn to work and think resourcefully — both alone and in groups of mixed age. Every Dangerous Child must master at least three ways to support himself financially by the age of 18, and every DC must learn survival, evasion, rescue, and defence skills of various sorts.

Self-teaching is an important part of the process. But in addition, children can work together in a group to develop teamwork, problem-solving skills, and workable methods of social interaction. Dangerous skills — such as using power tools and metal fabrication methods to construct boats, shelters, sleds, and other devices and machines — work best when a team of Dangerous Children has learned to trust each other by working together on earlier projects. As they go on to learn to navigate cross country, on the water, and in the air, these teamworking skills will prove even more valuable.

There are things that every young child needs to learn, including self-control and self-discipline, to pave the way to a Dangerous Childhood. These are part of executive function, which should ideally be learned by the age of seven years. If for some reason the child is unable to develop self-control or self-discipline, his ability to self-teach is likely to be impaired. Further, if the child remains without self-control to the age of 10 or 12, it is unlikely that parents will want to teach the child the many dangerous and potentially lethal disciplines that are integral to the Dangerous Child Method.

In the future we will be looking at some milestones of progress that parents should be looking for. Each phase of learning fits into the next phase, at the proper time for each child. Multiple threads of development and learning should be ongoing at any given time. A child may be relatively advanced in music and reading, but somewhat slower in maths or in the workshop. As long as he displays self-discipline, resourceful thinking, and the ability to self-teach, he should be allowed to develop at his own pace, without undue pressure to perform.

Some Limits to Learning

Children are not taught, they learn. How well and how much they will learn depends upon the skills that they master, long before they are aware that they are learning. Whether or not they have the chance to master those skills depends upon their caretakers.

Even the best of us is limited in what we can learn and what we can conceive. Such limitations applied to Albert Einstein and they apply to you, and your dangerous child. But all of us can learn ways to push against our limits, if we wish. Most people never come close.

The video above, “Cognitive Limits,” is a useful introduction to the cognitive science of human learning and memory.

Concepts of “Attention and Memory” are key to understanding how a relatively inexperienced and ignorant human infant can develop into a skilled walking and talking toddler who is into everything he can reach, learning and remembering as he goes.

Everyone is limited in what he can hold in his short-term working memory — some more limited than others. Likewise, each person is limited as to how many active thinking processes he can maintain simultaneously — how many dynamic activities he can keep track of.

Brief intro. to Cognitive Load Theory:

In essence, cognitive load theory proposes that since working memory is limited, learners may be bombarded by information and, if the complexity of their instructional materials is not properly managed, this will result in a cognitive overload. This cognitive overload impairs schema acquisition, later resulting in a lower performance (Sweller, 1988). Cognitive load theory had a theoretical precedence in the educational and psychological literature, well before Sweller’s 1988 article (e.g. Beatty, 1977; Marsh, 1978). Even Baddeley and Hitch (1974) considered “concurrent memory load” but Sweller’s cognitive load theory was among the first to consider working memory, as it related to learning and the design of instruction…

…Schema acquisition is the ultimate goal of cognitive load theory. Anderson’s ACT framework proposes initial schema acquisition occurs by the development of schema-based production rules, but these production rules may be developed by one of two methods (Anderson, Fincham, & Douglass, 1997), either by developing these rules during practice or by studying examples. The second method (studying examples) is the most cognitively efficient method of instruction (Sweller & Chandler, 1985; Cooper and Sweller, 1987; Paas and van Merriënboer, 1993). This realization became one of the central tenets of cognitive load theory.

Once learners have acquired a schema, those patterns of behavior (schemas) may be practiced to promote skill automation (Anderson, 1982; Kalyuga, Ayres, Chandler, and Sweller, 2003; Shiffrin & Schneider, 1977; Sweller, 1993) but expertise occurs much later in the process, and is when a learner automates complex cognitive skills (Shiffrin & Schneider, 1977), usually via problem solving. _Cognitive Load Theory

Reference examples for the deeply interested who have a research bent:

Cognitive Bottleneck in Multitasking (PDF)

Dynamic Competition and the Cognitive Bottleneck (PDF)

Advanced educators not only try to introduce useful “schemas” to the learner — they also try to choose conceptual schemas that will be useful in multiple contexts:

But many educational theorists take this concept too far in an attempt to force students to think in the same way and along the same lines as the educational theorist. That is a large part of what is wrong with early education — an attempt to regiment not only what is known, but how a student comes to know it.

Remember: The teacher does not teach. Instead, the learner learns. If the learner’s mind is not primed and ready to learn the concept for the day, it will not matter how well the teacher has prepared his lesson.

The learning mind must be “empowered” from the earliest age, and continuously reinforced — until it is the child himself who is doing the reinforcing. This self-reinforcement occurs at different ages for different children — even under the most ideal conditions. Young Mozart, for example, probably required much less external reinforcement after a certain age to achieve a given level of mastery than did young Salieri.

So far, we have danced around one of the central issues: how to help the child to learn difficult concepts which do not come naturally to most children. Here, again, each child is unique. Strong early foundations of language, music, dance, and art will help in developing the underlying cognitive structures. Choosing the proper time — for that child — to introduce more difficult concepts is important.

We must all learn to walk before we learn to run a marathon up a mountain. Mastery occurs in a step-wise fashion. The goal is a self-taught, self-disciplined child of broad competency and knowledge. With competence comes confidence. With confidence comes a healthy and rational self-esteem. The learning of new skills and the solving of new problems never stops.

Adapted from an earlier posting on Al Fin, and Al Fin The Next Level

Teach Them to Teach Themselves

The key to a better future is new generations of dangerous children who have learned to teach themselves. We expect adults, graduate students, and more mature university students and adolescents to be able to teach themselves. But we do not expect younger children to know how to teach themselves — and that is one of the biggest mistakes we have made over the past century and a half.

We can no longer afford to make the expensive mistakes of the past, not if we want new generations to have a future worth living. The excerpts below are borrowed from Dr. Arthur Robinson’s website, provided with commentary:

Learning is not a team sport. Learning is an activity that involves solely the student and the knowledge. Everything or everyone else that may become involved in this process is essentially superfluous—and is potentially harmful as a distraction from the fundamental process.

Dr. Robinson home-schooled six young children on a ranch in Oregon. Most of the Robinson Curriculum was developed after the untimely death of Robinson’s young wife and mother of six.

Adults ordinarily do not have special teaching aids and dedicated teachers available to hold their hands when they need to acquire new knowledge. Usually, they have only books. When the knowledge comes directly from other repositories such as computers, people, or other sources, that knowledge is seldom tailored for spoon—feeding to an unprepared mind.

Robinson is referring to the self-teaching that adults do to improve themselves, at all hours, around the world. Most effective learning is done for oneself.

Since certain skills need to be acquired at an early age—particularly mathematics and reading, writing, and thinking in one’s native language—it is sensible to arrange the homeschool so that learning these essential skills will automatically lead to the development of good study habits. This is one reason that self—teaching homeschools have a special value.

Dr. Robinson is referring to sensitive periods of development for a variety of important areas of learning. If this time is dithered away on cartoons, video games, or other frivolous play, the child will not have learned either the knowledge, or how to teach himself for learning future knowledge.

Consider, for example, the teaching of math and science. Many homeschools use Saxon Math. Although produced with teachers and classrooms in mind, this series of math books is so well—written that it can be mastered by most students entirely on their own without any teacher intervention whatever. This self—mastery usually does not happen automatically, but it can be learned by almost any student with correct study rules and a good study environment.

The parent who wishes for his children to self-teach is not alone. Many decades of work have been put into devising ways of building young minds to higher and higher levels of self sufficiency in learning and action.

While the subject matter [ed: Saxon math], can be mastered with or without a teacher, the student who masters it without a teacher learns something more. He learns to teach himself. Then, when he continues into physics, chemistry, and biology—which are studied in their own special language, the language of mathematics—he is able to teach these subjects to himself regardless of whether or not a teacher with the necessary specialized knowledge is present. Also, he is able to make use of much higher—quality texts — texts written for adults.

Robinson points out something that should never be overlooked: children need to teach themselves to read and communicate on an adult level. This will open many doors of opportunity.

Besides the great advantage of developing good study habits and thinking ability, self—teaching also has immediate practical advantages. Many children should be able, through Advanced Placement examinations, to skip over one or more years of college. The great saving in time and expense from this is self—evident. These and other comparable accomplishments await most children who learn to self—teach and then apply this skill to their home education.

With the cost of university these days, it is important to develop ways of reducing costs — and of raising funds, something that is emphasised in The Dangerous Child Method.

Even children of lesser ability can, by means of self—teaching and good study habits, achieve far more than they otherwise would have accomplished by the more ordinary techniques.

This is a crucial point to get across in this new age of a dawning realisation that “all men are NOT created equal.” Although some will not achieve as much as others, it is important to help as many as possible to achieve as high a goal as they are willing and able to aim for.

Self—teaching is an “extraordinary” technique today, but it was ordinary in the past, when most of the great scholars in human history learned in a similar way.

This is an excellent point, which is made very clear by John Taylor Gatto and Joseph Kett (Rites of Passage).

Self—teaching, excellent study habits, and a well—disciplined approach to independent thought are characteristics of these people… These are skills that can be taught to any child. When your eight—year—old child is all alone at his large desk in a quiet room with his Saxon 65 book and has been there three hours already—with most of that time spent in childhood daydreams —and says, “Mommy, I don’t know how to work this problem,” give him a wonderful gift. Simply reply, “Then you will need to keep studying until you can work the problem.”

How else will you teach your child self discipline? The child must learn to do things for himself, starting with learning.

For a while his progress may be slow. Speed will come with practice. Eventually, he will stop asking questions about how to do his assignments and will sail along through his lessons without help.

These study habits can then spill over into the other subjects—with astonishing results.

The above excerpts were borrowed from “Teach Them to Teach Themselves,” contained in The Robinson Curriculum. Much more information at the website.

The Robinson Curriculum is several giant steps above government schooling. It should prove useful for many parents who are struggling to come up with an alternative approach to learning, other than the government approach that too often leads to drugs, delinquency, teen pregnancy, lifelong incompetence, tons of disinformation that will be difficult to unlearn, and a perpetual tendency toward groupthink dependencies.

Government schooling can be supplemented at home using creative exercises, tutoring, and a gentle correction of disinformation and bad — or non-existent — learning methods. In that sense, one would be using government schools as a risky type of daycare. If the child has already learned to be dangerous, that might work.