Commenting yesterday, somebody suggested that a major theme in my blogposts is 'Women are sillier than men'. I can't think that this is true. I think rather that I have hinted that I find a lot of British home educators whose views appear on the internet silly and the great majority of these are women. I find most politicians silly and they are nearly all men. Perhaps the person who made this comment is no logician and got a bit muddled up. At any rate, it is time to celebrate a woman whose book has recently been published. Amy Chua, a professor of law at Yale University, has written the best book on parenting and education which I have read in a very long while. It is called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and details may be found here;
Here are a couple of reviews;
Chua's thesis is that western parenting methods are utterly useless and tend to produce mediocrity. She cannot understand why any parent would praise their child for getting a grade B, instead of criticising her for not getting an A. As a personal aside, from the time my own daughter was twelve and was doing IGCSEs, the saying in our house was 'As are for losers'. Anything other than an A* was regarded as a failure and when she heard of friends who had gained As or Bs at their GCSEs, we would refer to them as having failed their exams. This motto has been retained for A levels.
Chua was mercilessly strict with her two daughters, allowing no television or computer games for instance. Quite right too. Again, my daughter was not allowed such foolishness either. In fact every page of this book cries out to be quoted. It is one of those books which one reads where somebody expresses views that are seldom heard and yet perfectly true. If there were more mothers around like Amy Chua, I have a suspicion that academic standards in this country would soar, regardless of what was done to schools. Academic success begins in the home and with the right home environment may be achieved whatever the school. I can heartily recommend this book to all home educating parents as a pattern for excellence. Here at least is one woman whom I am unlikely to describe as sillier than a man!