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Homeschool: Apprenticeship For Adulthood | Starting Strength Radio #42

Mark Rippetoe | February 07, 2020

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Mark Wulfe:
From The Aasgaard Company studios in beautiful Wichita Falls, Texas... From the finest mind in the modern fitness industry... The one true voice in the strength and conditioning profession... The most important podcast on the internet... Ladies and Gentlemen! Starting Strength Radio.

Mark Rippetoe:
Welcome back to Starting Strength Radio. It's Friday, so we're here... because it's Friday. We're here every Friday. We're audio. We're video. At StartingStrength.com at noon. We're here with our friend Nick Delgadillo today. And we've got an interesting, interesting topic that we're going to talk about today.

Mark Rippetoe:
Home school has been kicked around recently on the boards that we thought we would just do a little podcast on home school. And as far as comments from the haters are concerned. Fuck those guys.

Nick Delgadillo:
Fuck them.

Mark Rippetoe:
Bottom 2 percent, I think I was being generous with 3 percent. It's the bottom 2 percent. So we'll do that when the show means less, when I'm just doing a Q&A or something, I'll read comments from the haters. We know how much you enjoy comments from the haters. Not today. It's a waste of time.

Mark Rippetoe:
So Nick, thanks for coming on.

Nick Delgadillo:
You're welcome, Rip.

Mark Rippetoe:
We've asked Nick to come on because Nick and Cathy homeschool their kids and we were that's turned into a pretty interesting thread. It really has. A bunch of people have made a lot of points.

Nick Delgadillo:
Well, it started because... remind everybody it started because a high school student, a girl softball player. Softball player was injured when the coaches calculated that she could deadlift two hundred and eighty five pounds.

Mark Rippetoe:
Calculated.

Nick Delgadillo:
Calculated through an app or computer or some shit. And they put her on the bar. She attempts to deadlift it. It doesn't break off the floor. So the coaches assist her, lift up the weight...

Mark Rippetoe:
A forced rep with a weight she can't break loose from the floor.

Nick Delgadillo:
And then let go.

Mark Rippetoe:
And then... So, yeah, they these people are dangerous. We're yesterday -- We're we're because we video this. That's right. It's not live.

Mark Rippetoe:
Spilled the beans, huh.

Mark Rippetoe:
As we videoed this yesterday, one of the coaches at one of the exemplary high schools here in Wichita Falls almost killed one of the girls on the track team. Kids being kids don't eat breakfast. You know, they get to get to school and they haven't eaten anything.

Mark Rippetoe:
And these geniuses decide that today we're going to superset high rep squats and lunges in the weight room. And then we're gonna go out on the track and we're going to do a whole bunch of sprints. You know, 15, 20, 20 sprints.

Mark Rippetoe:
Girl was complaining of a headache, a severe headache to the coaches. And as high school coaches are wont to do - psssshhhh! run it off. Whatever the coach talk is for that.

Mark Rippetoe:
And the girl collapsed, was unresponsive. Ambulance took her down to the embarrassing United Regional Health Care Center. And they apparently resuscitated her. And she was at some point, you know, conscious. I don't how she is today, but apparently they sent her home.

Mark Rippetoe:
She was dehydrated.

Nick Delgadillo:
Yeah. Well it had been 80 degrees when it.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, it's been winter and we've had three full warm days. And they're all sweaty and hot.

Nick Delgadillo:
So they had this great idea to go outside and do all this shit.

Mark Rippetoe:
Great idea to do all the shit in the weight room first and then go outside and make use of the gorgeous weather by finishing off the process of nearly killing one of the goddamn athletes at the school. And we know this because one of our members' daughter is also on the track team and accompanied the injured girl down to the hospital and kept us aprised of the situation. She was severely dehydrated.

Mark Rippetoe:
But my point is. They ignored the complaint from the kid. I have a severe headache. They made her train on through it. I have a severe headache. They didn't think to ask: What did you eat today? How much have you had to drink today? They're not familiar with the symptoms of potential neurological problems.

Nick Delgadillo:
And it's not it's not a it's not isolated to just Wichita Falls. I mean, that's just a high school coaches all over the place. You know, we we've all experienced that kind of behavior. I mean. And it's not just at that school.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. So there's no I mentioned it only because it was immediate.

Nick Delgadillo:
It's immediate. It's it's it's a that's a real dangerous situation. But they every day they've got kids doing, you know... I trained a kid a couple of years ago here who was doing jumping squats, 225.

Mark Rippetoe:
With two hundred and twenty five pounds. A kid...

Nick Delgadillo:
Jumping squats.

Mark Rippetoe:
That was encouraged to leave the ground with two twenty five. Oh, there's no no danger of a dynamic compression injury there. Well, of course not.

[off-camera]:
One of my clients, they made him do an AMRAP [as many reps as possible] with two seventy five on his back. He ended up doing like 13 reps and he couldn't train for the next two times we were supposed to train together.

Nick Delgadillo:
Yeah, I talked, I talked to a parent yesterday who's a whose kid is in powerlifting, one of the high schools, 315. You know, as many reps as you can get, 315 for 10. What's that kid's training going to look like for the rest of the week?

Mark Rippetoe:
It's not training.

Nick Delgadillo:
This is a 160 pound kid.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's not training.

Nick Delgadillo:
Exactly. Just get in the gym.

Mark Rippetoe:
Not training. It's just fucking around in the gym with some high school coach watching. I'm hard on high school coaches all the time. I'm hard on them in the podcast. I bitch about them in the seminar. And this is why these people are dangerous. They're not very smart. Course, there are a few a few good ones, but the few good ones know what I'm talking about. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
And just to preface our discussion today. You're a parent and your kid comes home with some bizarre story about this having taken place, it is your job as the parent to react to it correctly. All right. This girl woke up yesterday finally, but it could easily have gone the other way. And you know exactly what I'm talking about because we hear about this kind of shit all the time.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, whose fault is this? Is it the kids fault? She's a kid. She didn't eat breakfast. You're supposed to know she's stupid. She's a kid. Right. But you're the coach. OK, and these people are apparently not capable of reasoning their way through a situation like this and the environment is dangerous and you as a parent need to think about this.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, I started the podcast off today with this little anecdote because we are going to talk today about home school. And we're going to talk about what is a more pertinent generalization we can make to the whole system here.

Nick Delgadillo:
And fundamentally it's a it's kind of the same idea, but behind training and learning about training and really anything else you do, it's it comes down to personal responsibility and making decisions based on the level of responsibility that you want to take. You know, the first thing that people say...

Nick Delgadillo:
Well, there's a few things that people say, right, when you talk about home schooling.

Mark Rippetoe:
Let's let's let's. That's an excellent premise. Let's flesh that out.

Nick Delgadillo:
The personal responsibility thing?

Mark Rippetoe:
They're your kids.

Nick Delgadillo:
Right, yep.

Mark Rippetoe:
They don't belong to the school system. They belong to you. They're your kids until they're eighteen. Now, if you don't want the responsibility and you're irresponsible, we'll don't have the little bastards. OK. But since you had them would you please act like your yours? They don't belong to the school system. They're your kids. They're your responsibility.

Mark Rippetoe:
They're your responsibility. It's... you're responsible for their safety. You're also responsible for their education. All right? And that has to be understood. That's the that's the premise on which home school is built. There... because the kids don't belong to the government. They belong to you.

Nick Delgadillo:
And traditionally it's been a it's been a religious thing, right? I mean, when I was a kid, the homeschool kids were all the fundamentalist Christian or the conservative Christian or Catholic people that didn't want the schools influencing their children. Right. And that's that's fine. That's that's exactly what we're talking about.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's a reasonable thing for them to think.

Nick Delgadillo:
And when I was a kid and even when I was when I was younger, before I had kids, the idea of homeschooling was weird. The homeschool kids were considered weird. And a lot of that stigma is kind of still there. But the reasons are the same. And the last I've read, homeschooling is is is huge now. Lots of people are homeschooling nd not not for not for religious reasons. I mean...

Mark Rippetoe:
Cause the public schools, the government schools, I don't refer to them as the public schools, they're the government schools. The government schools are so fucking bad. And everybody that's watching this podcast either works for the government schools or knows this.

Mark Rippetoe:
They're there... I mean it... And it's not like we don't have any data. You know, it's not like we don't have any data.

Nick Delgadillo:
And you have to make a distinction. So when we talk about the government schools, at least when I talk about the government schools, you know, where I'm not I'm not condemning teachers, right. 'Cause teachers don't become teachers to be bureaucrats. They become teachers because they want to teach kids and they want to educate people.

Nick Delgadillo:
And then they end up getting into the shitty system and they end up just just being at the whims of an administration. You know, that's that's top down from a government curriculum and all these all these requirements and bureaucratic bullshit that ends up not educating anyone effectively. Right.

Nick Delgadillo:
And I went to a good school. I went to I went to Catholic schools. My parents did a lot of stuff to be able to put us in what they thought were really good schools. But it's not much better. You know, we'll talk about this a little bit more later. But it's not how people learn in a room full of other kids in your same peer group.

Nick Delgadillo:
But, you know, anyway, I just wanted to make the distinction that, you know, teachers get all bent out of shape when you start talking about homeschooling.

Mark Rippetoe:
Boy, they do.

Nick Delgadillo:
Because it's like I'm telling them that they're not worth a shit. And I'm not I'm not judging anybody's motives. I think that the motives are good, but but they're not allowed to do their job. And it's one of the fundamental problems with public schools.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. You know, I. Nick, I think that you're you're right most of the time. But I think you're being charitable. I think a lot of a lot of teachers in the public schools, I've known them. I went to do to the government schools here in Wichita Falls all my life.

Mark Rippetoe:
I had several very good teachers. I had several very good teachers. But I had a whole bunch of dumbasses.

Nick Delgadillo:
Oh, I did, too.

Mark Rippetoe:
A whole bunch... whole bunch of dumb asses who just wanted a job. They just wanted a job.

Mark Rippetoe:
If... The teachers are very quick to criticize the system themselves. They don't look at it like that, but they're saying, well, we don't get paid but fifty thousand dollars a year. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know why they only get paid $50000 a year? Because it's easy to get to be a teacher. And there are a lot of them laying around. It's easy to get to be a teacher. An elementary education degree, any kind of an education degree is... when I was in school. That's, you know... where all the morons were... Were in the education department.

Nick Delgadillo:
They're in communications now.

Mark Rippetoe:
They're in mass-comm. Yeah, right. You've got you've got a whole bunch of people who aren't worth any more than fifty thousand. That's true. That doesn't mean everyone. But I'm telling you.

Nick Delgadillo:
But they've got to do more than just get a degree. They've got to do. They've got to do some other things. There's there's some motivation there.

Mark Rippetoe:
They should need to do some others things.

Nick Delgadillo:
They're... what I'm saying is there was some motivation at some point to get into teaching. Right. I mean, I'm just saying that...

Mark Rippetoe:
I think you're being charitable. I think a lot of people wanted to be teachers. But I think a lot of people just wanted a job...

Nick Delgadillo:
And they chose teaching.

Mark Rippetoe:
...with some insurance and they chose teaching because it was the easy degree.

Mark Rippetoe:
If you want to make teachers make more money, then just like any other supply demand price equation, you drop the supply right by making it harder to be a teacher. Make the preparation more rigorous so that there are a few fewer people qualified to do the job. And then what must happen to the salary? Then it goes up. OK. Now there's just a general observation based on economics.

Mark Rippetoe:
But I'm telling you that that when you've got a school system that wants to pay people forty eight thousand dollars to be a teacher, why do they know they can get away with that? See what I mean? You know, so.

Nick Delgadillo:
Well, you know, anytime you're anytime you've got the the government involved, you know. You've got... once you've got a government job, it's hard, it's hard to not have a government job.

Mark Rippetoe:
It really is.

Nick Delgadillo:
You know, so. So I think my point stands and it's valid beyond a certain point. Once you're once you're in it and once you're in the system, once you're a teacher, you're going to be a teacher as long as you want to be a teacher.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's what seems to be the case.

Nick Delgadillo:
If it wasn't that way, where everybody's forced to go to these schools, everybody's forced to go to the school within their district. In other words, there was a way for them to compete. I think you'd have a lot of the shitty teachers not be around anymore.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, recently I've heard several stories about, you know, good teachers getting pissed and quitting. And it appears as though the reason they're doing that is because the administration has decided - and they started doing this a long time ago - the administration has decided that the teachers are not allowed to enforce any kind of standards of behavior in the classroom.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's not the teacher's fault. They're getting as frustrated with that as everybody else is. But if the administration decides that teachers are not allowed to discipline their children, then you don't have a class. You got a... you've got a room full of people.

Mark Rippetoe:
And. And if I've heard this bizarre story yesterday. The rule is that if you've got a... There was a there was a girl in the class that was acting up. And by acting up, I mean, turning over desks and throwing shit around and out of goddamn control. Right. And the teacher was ordered to get up, get everybody else out of the classroom into the hall, and lock the door.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, if if 10 percent of these stories we hear are true, public schools are not a learning environment anymore. And that's what they're supposedly there for. But as you and I both know, there are a group of parents who don't take that responsibility we discussed earlier seriously and use the public schools as daycare.

Nick Delgadillo:
Yeah, exactly.

Mark Rippetoe:
That's I guess there will always be.

Nick Delgadillo:
Yeah. People need to work. And so that's what we were getting to at the beginning. There's... the first thing people say is, you know, we need the income. We need the income. So this isn't something that if your kids are already in school in order to take them out, it's going to it takes dramatic changes to your life. Right.

Nick Delgadillo:
So what we did is I mean, we decided before, you know, when right before you even before the kids were even born.

Mark Rippetoe:
You made plans.

Nick Delgadillo:
Yeah, we planned for it, you know, because I didn't I didn't want to put them in school. I decided early on that I didn't want to put my kids in school and we structure our life that way. So, yeah. And this is something we discussed on them on the board there. But it's not feasible for everybody.

Mark Rippetoe:
No, we understand that, but by the same token, a lot of people for whom it is feasible have chosen to abdicate their responsibility. And I'm not trying to indict you people. You know, I'm just saying that if there will be consequences to your decisions.

Mark Rippetoe:
And one of those consequences is... The period of time during which a human being learns most easily is from the age of about 3 to the age of about 17 or 18. That's when things just soak in. That's when you learn languages easily. When you learn math easily, it's when you learn all the kinds of things that need to be taught to people that they need that period of time to be spent in a quality situation so that they can maximize their potential. If you send your kids to the government schools to be babysat, then you're gonna get babysat kids not taught kids. And it's I mean, God, I.

Nick Delgadillo:
Oh, we all we all know that. We all know, you know, you know how much learning you actually did in school. And not only that, when you when you left every day, how much of it did you retain? You know, and when you left at the end of the year... how much of the shit that you learned that year did you retain?

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, you know, and one of the most and most important things that you can remember is, is remember when you got home and your mom said what you learn in school today and you said, oh, nothing. You weren't lying, were you?

Nick Delgadillo:
But you could tell her everything that happened on the playground.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. You could tell her all that. Tell her about the kids you beat up in the bathroom and shit had like that. But you...

Nick Delgadillo:
Or that beat you up.

Mark Rippetoe:
Or that beat you up in the bathroom. Tell you about getting shanghaied in the parking lot on the way out on the way had to recess and shit like that. But when you when she asked you what you learned in school today, you know.

Nick Delgadillo:
The things that the things that you learn are things that you want to learn. Right. I mean otherwise you're just kind of getting through the process. You're just getting is doing whatever you need to do to get through the day and get through the year. Get through the month without getting your parents up your ass or getting the teachers up your ass.

Mark Rippetoe:
You're just punching the ticket.

Nick Delgadillo:
That's what that's what in my mind, that's what school teaches you to do. It teaches you how to get by. At least for me, you know, and I got really good right by with doing the bare minimum. I was good at it.

Mark Rippetoe:
Skate through the day.

Nick Delgadillo:
I was very good at it.

Mark Rippetoe:
Learn how to skate through the day.

Nick Delgadillo:
So I could go about learning shit that I wanted to do and doing things that I wanted to do, you know?

Nick Delgadillo:
Right. So, you know, it's the income thing. It's the people feeling like they're not qualified to teach. And I think we were hitting on that already, you know. I mean, that the the idea that somebody else is qualified to teach your children better than you is is a fantasy. That's not true.

Nick Delgadillo:
Especially at that age that you just discussed, that you just talked about. I mean, there's gonna be a point where you can't teach your kids something anymore. You know, if they...

Mark Rippetoe:
If you don't know it, when it comes time to teach Calc 1, maybe you're not qualified.

Nick Delgadillo:
Maybe you're not qualified. But it's 2020 and there's resources available that can teach your kids Calc 1 if they want to learn Calc1.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. If they want to learn Calc 1. they're not gonna want to learn Calc 1 unless they're exceptional kids in a in a modern government school situation, because they don't have to. They don't have to, right. They don't have to. And it's not encouraged.

Nick Delgadillo:
Yeah. I mean, the the prerequisite for graduation is like pre-algebra or some shit.

Mark Rippetoe:
I think we had to have Algebra 1. And then Algebra 2 was an elective. So most people didn't do it. Calculus was offered in my school, but nobody ever told me I'd need calculus.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know how many times I talked to a counselor my whole four years in high school?

Nick Delgadillo:
Probably once.

Mark Rippetoe:
None. They had three people in the... or four or five people in counselor's office up there. And none of us could ever figure out what the hell those people were there for. I was never counseled. You know, you would think, you know, you'd have a counselor's appointment one day and you'd go in and the counselor would say, Hi, Mark.

Nick Delgadillo:
What do you plan on doing?

Mark Rippetoe:
How are you?

Nick Delgadillo:
You want to go to college?

Mark Rippetoe:
You seem like a bright kid. You're doing all this right now. Do you want to go to college? What do you want to do in college? Oh, you want to be a science major in college. You know what science you want to do? Well, not no it's not necessary. But, you know, if you've got a if you want to be a science major and haven't decided yet, then here's some things you might want to think about you need to do while you're here in high school.

Mark Rippetoe:
You need take four years of math. I took it. I took four years of math anyway because I figured that anything I hated that bad, I was going to need to know how to do. Right. But nobody told me that. Nobody ever told me that if you're a science major, you're going to have to have calculus in college. And it'd be better if you took calculus in high school. It would be better for you if you took calculus in high school. Not one person. No teacher. No counsellor ever told me that. And this was forty five years ago when... before the schools got to be as shitty as they are now.

Mark Rippetoe:
And. You know. But I primarily think that - as with most problems with government operated things, the problem is not with, for example, the field agents in the FBI. The problem is the administrative structure of the FBI. And it's the same with every government institution. People that are running the schools at the administration level they don't care about anything except keeping their job. And about getting another school bond issue.

Nick Delgadillo:
Yeah. Funny. Yeah, know what's the most important thing that happens here every year in Texas? I mean, I do area every year. The star test. I don't know, don't know what that is, but it's some kind of standardized test.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's some stupid standard test.

Nick Delgadillo:
But you hear about this. I don't I don't have kids in school, but I hear about the Star test for weeks until it happens. And then it's a big deal. It happens. And I guess they're... I guess that's the metric by which the school district or the school or the teachers or whatever are judged and whether or not they get a budget next year, whatever it is, you know, it's.

Nick Delgadillo:
And, you know, we had standardized tests in school and it was, again, the most important thing. It's not about learning. It's about... It's about passing tests or the school getting a certain score on the test.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, and then the second most important thing that happens here in Texas and probably where you are too, is that every five years the school superintendent will go to the school board and demand that they issue another school bond.

Mark Rippetoe:
We had a bond issue. They need fifty seven million dollars because if they don't have fifty seven million dollars, the schools are going to fucking fall down and they're going to collapse.

Nick Delgadillo:
Everybody will be illiterate.

Mark Rippetoe:
Everybody will be out in the yard because the roof is caved in on the schools that they somehow failed to maintain. Everybody'll be illiterate. Everybody's got to have a computer. Everybody's got to have a brand new air conditioned school building. All this shit over here needs to be consolidated and abandon that building over here.

Mark Rippetoe:
And if, you know, if I was more cynical. It.. I might be inclined to think that school superintendents were hired on the basis of their ability to get a bond issue passed. Why I'd hate to suggest something like that, but I'm afraid, you know, it's occurred to me before.

Nick Delgadillo:
So so the the government thing. You know, that's that's a that's a big problem. Right. But it's not it's not just isolated to government schools because it because anybody who runs a school is still going to be subject to the Department of Education stuff, the State boards, all this other shit. So it's just rampant. It's everywhere. You know, charter schools, whatever. It's just the whole thing is all messed up.

Nick Delgadillo:
So. Reason number one. You know, you don't want your kids in a government school. You don't want your kids subject to some arbitrary curriculum that somebody decided is going to work. Where did that curriculum come from? You know, whoever had the best bid, whatever it is, you know, whoever decided this is the thing that we're gonna teach. That might not be the best thing. You know, it's not the best thing.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, it might not. It might not be. But I think that at some level, there is an argument to be made for a classical liberal arts education like you would receive at St. John's in Santa Fe, where everybody in the school goes through and learns all the same shit. Everybody takes classical Greek. Everybody takes classical Latin. Everybody reads the Odyssey in the Greek. Everybody takes Calc 2. Everybody has chemistry and physics. Everybody. Everybody deals with various humanities topics.

Mark Rippetoe:
But they are at this level here [holds his hand up high] instead of this level right here [holds his hand low].

Nick Delgadillo:
Exactly. And that and not is going to be able to do that.

Mark Rippetoe:
No. And I mean but but everybody has to go to the public schools and people want to go to St. John. Right. Exactly. You know, it's a completely different environment. And if you are going to shove everybody into the same education system and then make the level here [holds his hand down very low]. Because this is how we pass the most number of people exactly, and make our numbers look good. Then you've got a series of motivations that descend from the bureaucracy and not from the best interests of the students.

Nick Delgadillo:
Exactly. Yeah. By default it's gonna be lowest common denominator. It's going to it's going to be designed to get people through. And the point here is that for anybody, I guess who I'm talking to now is anybody who thinks that homeschooling would be a good idea or the idea is appealing that is concerned that they're not qualified to teach their own children. Because the curriculum at school, the school is set up for babysitting, like you said, and it's set up for it to pass as many people as possible.

Mark Rippetoe:
The school is set up for the people who are. It's the bell curve, just like everything. Of course, the normal distribution top of the bell curve's a C. That's who we're worried about. We're... I've heard them say this a thousand times. "We're not worried about the A students on this tail over here. They're taking care their take care of themselves. And we're not worried about the people over here that are failing because there's nothing we do.

Nick Delgadillo:
Special ed program for them.

Mark Rippetoe:
Right. So we're worried about. Teaching the things that the person with a hundred IQ can understand without ever challenging them, without ever... And you know, I can already see the comments from the haters rolling in. "I'm a public school teacher and you don't what the hell you're talking about, Rip, and besides you're fat" I can see it already.

Mark Rippetoe:
But you know what, public school teachers that are going to be offended by this? We all know you. It's not your fault. OK. But that you're not held to a higher standard is the administration's fault. And there are just motives here that are insurmountable. And the only way to guarantee that your kids, that your kids and you know this because you may homeschool your own kids. Probably not if you're a public school teacher, but you might.

Nick Delgadillo:
Some of them do.

Mark Rippetoe:
You may have them in private school.

Nick Delgadillo:
There's plenty of public school teachers. I know a couple of them, who will not put their kids in there in their own schools.

Mark Rippetoe:
I know that that's true. I know that that's true. So we're not we're not we're not indicted. What we're indicting here is the system and the system can't be fixed.

Mark Rippetoe:
The idea that parents aren't qualified to teach their own kids is a way that the status quo reinforces itself. Because they want to intimidate you into giving them your kids. Because after all, "We got this."

Nick Delgadillo:
Yeah, it's. It's convenient for them and it's also convenient for, you know, it's convenient for people to think that, you know, I've I've talked to very smart people when I when I've discussed home-schooling with them and like, how am I supposed to teach my kid this? How am I supposed to teach my kid that?

Nick Delgadillo:
Any you know, my answer my answer is always, look, if you're if your job required... I remember talking to a very, very smart guy that I worked with. And my kids were really small. They weren't even in school yet. And they're like, what you gonna do for school? I said, I want to home school, you know? Aren't you worried about that? So socialization right there is that. And you talk about that later. But then how am I going to teach my kid algebra?

Nick Delgadillo:
And I said, look, man, if your job required you to learn algebra, could you learn algebra? Well, yeah, you're gonna learn algebra real damn quick.

Mark Rippetoe:
You had it yourself, right? Remember. You made a B in it and it wasn't that hard.

Nick Delgadillo:
In other words, if it was important, if it was something that you needed, if it was a tool that you needed, if it was some knowledge that you needed, it was something that you needed in your life, you'll learn it. And you're 40. It's hard for you to learn shit. Now, a kid is like programmed to learn to absorb and learn. And they just they just learn it. That's all they do.

Nick Delgadillo:
They just learn things, you know, and there's there's a I don't want to I don't want to misquote, but there's one of the guys, one of the big names in homeschooling. I believe this guy was a was like New York State Teacher of the Year, but he he would always he he had a quote that was like, if the schools taught children how to speak, it would take two years. And most kids would never learn how to speak.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, that's a very good point. And who taught him how to speak?

Nick Delgadillo:
Nobody. I mean, they just did it because they have to.

Mark Rippetoe:
They copied their parents. They copied their parents. Their parents taught them to speak.

Nick Delgadillo:
All you have to do is point the kids in the direction. And look, some people, some parents are more really hands on and strict with what they do and how they do it in curriculum and stuff. We're kind of the opposite. We're not you know, we don't have like every every day for two hours we're going to do school like. I'm not trying to recreate school at home. But, you know, my point is, you know, the first thing that really validated this whole thing to me is my kids learning to read.

Nick Delgadillo:
I didn't teach them how to read. I didn't teach them how to read. I it's me or Cathy didn't spend a single moment saying, here's an A and it sounds like this. You know, we had books everywhere and we read to them, she read to them. And then they would pick up books and just stare at them. They couldn't read, but they just stare at them and flip through them.

Nick Delgadillo:
And then one day, I mean, I remember Jaxon was like six or seven. And he just like read a sentence. It was like, holy shit, he's reading.

Mark Rippetoe:
He just woke up.

Nick Delgadillo:
And then that. And then my daughter sees this and wants it and is like, oh, shit, I'm behind now. And she learned how to read faster than he did, you know? I mean, it's incredible, you know. And I'd read about that kind of stuff happening for years leading up to it. You know, you never really believe it. And then I saw like, shit, man, you know, we don't have to worry about this. They'll be fine. They're gonna be they're gonna be fine. And if and if there's something they need to learn. If they're interested in it, they're going to learn it.

Nick Delgadillo:
So my job, if they're if there's something they want to learn, they're gonna learn it. They have to be interested in it, though. It can't be it can't be something that's tedious. All you have to do is point them in the right direction, give them the tools, give them the resources and they'll learn it, you know.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, the the idea that they can't learn it without the help of a professional educator is... that's just propaganda that reinforces the system. And it's useful, though, it's useful to reinforce the system. It if if if you'll step back and look at the system, you'll see what the. You'll see the nature of the problem. You've got a tax structure in every independent school district in the in the world and the country. And the tax is normally determined on the value of real property. And people are taxed whether or not they have a kid in school.

Mark Rippetoe:
I've been paying taxes on the government schools for decades. I don't have any kids. And. You know. You know, in in a normal, rational world it could be justified that I'm investing in society. And if that were actually true, I would I would be happy to do it, but I'm not investing in society by furthering the aims and the continuance of the government schools because they're not doing their job. They're not doing their job.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, if they were doing their job, it would be more palatable. But they're not doing their job. It would be much, much better if I were allowed to take the money, the property tax money that I pay every year to two or three different independent school districts where I own property and and take that money and scholarship a kid to an apprenticeship program or to give some financial aid to parents to homeschool that really were taking a big giant hit on the lost income. Of whoever's doing the home-schooling, that would make a lot more sense to me in terms of an investment in society. But the way it is right now, if you cut these bureaucrats out of the system, they're going to by God... they're not going to like that.

Nick Delgadillo:
Yeah. And there's there's a nice feedback loop, too, because they're you know, you've you've got this whole thing going on. And then how do you how do you... Whether there's there's nefarious motives or not on the underlying, you know, the underlying thing here. There's a feedback loop where you've got a system set up and then how do you... what are the metrics? So you have a teacher delivering a lesson and then you've got quizzes, you've got homework. And the metric is what comes back, the homework, the quiz comes back. What's the score on that? Has any learning actually occurred there? You don't know. The teacher doesn't know. How do they know whether the kid learned or something? They learned it enough to do that thing, that task today.

Mark Rippetoe:
So let's talk about the structure of a school classroom. So because this is a terribly important topic. There's there's a lot of things about homeschooling that are better than the classroom that advocates of the government schools will say kids can't get anywhere except in a classroom full of another bunch of little stupid kids, right? You know, as usual as here, socialization. Peer relationship.

Mark Rippetoe:
Let's talk about learning first and then let's talk about the socialization aspect, because these are these are brought up all the time.

Nick Delgadillo:
Well, in terms of learning, I mean, you're getting you. You are there, you're involved in the process. Right. That's the critical thing. You're you're involved in the process going back to personal responsibility. So you were looking at your child and you can tell whether or not they're they're learning something. Right. If they're engaged, if they if they're interacting with the material and they're they're talking about it with you or with them with each other or whatever. I mean, it's it's real time. Right. You're not you're not looking at a report card. Right. Three months from now.

Mark Rippetoe:
And you're not looking at thirty five other kids and thirty five other kids at the same time trying to gauge the engage.... Trying to assess the engagement of all of those kids with material. They're your kids. They're right there. You know them.

Nick Delgadillo:
And things were different when you were probably in elementary school, because I think, you know, teachers didn't fuck around. But I was in when I was a kid, it was it was pretty serious. I had nuns and stuff. And I think nuns hit us and things, you know, they're not they're not to be messed with. But our teachers would.

Mark Rippetoe:
Oh, yeah. You were threatened with physical violence, not just for fun, but if you disrupted the classroom. Yeah, she'd stand you up, whack you on the ass, sit you back down.

Nick Delgadillo:
Yeah or just embarrass. Or just embarrass you.

Mark Rippetoe:
I have always said that lick, you know, when the guy hit you with a big paddle, the licks WHAM right. Everybody remembers that. Well, not everybody, but a lot of people remember that. What the coaches would do if this Miss Mauser, if Miss Mauser my English teacher had to call for one of the coaches to come get you out of class and give you five licks. He would come into the room because you were fucking up. She had that. She'd... you would stand up, you'd go out in the hall and get your five licks in the hall, in the hall.

Mark Rippetoe:
The licks are not for you. The licks are for everybody else in the school because they can hear that she licks echoed down the hall.

Mark Rippetoe:
WHAM. Five licks. All right. Go back in the classroom. Everybody into classroom's behavior is now reinforced. Everybody and all the other classroom's behavior is now reinforced. The licks aren't for you. They're for everybody else. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
And if you are dealing large groups of people. Many of whom are sub rational, physical pain is there for a reason. Physical pain is a very, very important learning mechanism for vertebrates. Not just for little kids, but for all vertebrates. Pain is a learning tool and there's no reason not make use of it. But we can't do that.

Nick Delgadillo:
Well, what you have now is what what you'll see is, is there's a roomful of 30 kids. And who is the, who is the teacher focused on? The ones that are making the biggest racket. The biggest pain in the ass is the ones who aren't getting it. The ones who are disrupting the class. You know, that's who gets all of the attention.

Nick Delgadillo:
And you've got the students over there. They're gonna be fine. They're all going. They're going to be fine, regardless. And you got all these middle of the bell curve kids, right? They're just sitting there. You know, some of them are just getting along. Some of them might be learning something.

Mark Rippetoe:
But this might be an important place to make the observation. That should be perfectly obvious to everyone that. Not all human beings are of the same intelligence. All right. There are slow kids and fast kids. There are average kids now. If we can't agree on that basic observation about human beings, then the rest of this whole discussion is is pointless. But I think that the rational people that we're engaged with here on this podcast understand that there are varieties in there's variation in terms of people's capacity for intellectual stimulation, for intellectual understanding. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Once we establish that, then we can then we then we can establish the fact that a 35 member class

Nick Delgadillo:
Yeah. How does it break out?

Mark Rippetoe:
How does it break? Yeah, because it has to be addressed.

Nick Delgadillo:
It's just impossible.

Mark Rippetoe:
And if you're dealing with your two or three kids at home then the adjustments are automatic and are much easier and actually can be done. Because a teacher dealing with 35 kids in a classroom can't. It's not possible.

Nick Delgadillo:
No shit. It's babysitting. You know, there's there's there's some teaching going on, but at the end of the day, how much how many hours of learning are going on at school every day? An hour.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah, maybe.

Nick Delgadillo:
Maybe two hours? I don't know. You know, maybe. So if you if you take that time and you do it at home, you can get a lot done with two kids in two hours. You get a lot done in one hour.

Mark Rippetoe:
In fact, you can. As a personal observation. I learned how to write in junior high. Seventh and eighth grade English were where I learned how to write. We had two older women that taught us who put up with zero bullshit. Zero bullshit.

Mark Rippetoe:
Everybody in the room diagrammed sentences. Everybody in the room did reading assignments and wrote reports. Everyone in the room. It wasn't... she didn't tolerate you not turning in your homework. That wasn't allowed. And I think the class was managed in a way that ensured the highest level of performance from even the people over here on this end of the tail [low end].

Mark Rippetoe:
In contrast, I didn't learn a single thing in high school English. That I that I remember. I didn't learn a single solitary thing. We were not taught grammar in high school English.

Mark Rippetoe:
And I don't know if the school system and intended it that way or if I know that my freshman English teacher was one of these people that just had this as a job. That's I assure you, I remember it clearly. He had no idea what was going on here. I remember he had us read a story one day that was... had a weird ass ending. And we said, well, well, Mr. Berry, what is it? What does that mean? And he said, I don't know. I don't know. It didn't make any sense to me either.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, and we're all going, oh, why did he have us? What? Why? It was, you know. And the rest, you know, I had... You know, I think we mainly explored literature in high school English, but we didn't deal with the grammar at all and I learned how to write in junior high.

Mark Rippetoe:
And but it in term of what did I learn in high school?

Nick Delgadillo:
Whatever you wanted to learn, whatever you were interested in.

Mark Rippetoe:
I don't. I don't remember learning a hell of a lot about it. Now, we did have an interesting class in high school when I was a senior.

Mark Rippetoe:
We had one of the one of the science teachers, Mr. Reed and the assistant principal were the co-owners of an airplane, a 1947 Taylor craft.

Mark Rippetoe:
And we had what was essentially we had about fifteen people in the class. They invited several of the students to be in the class and they invited me to be in the class. And we went to ground school. We went to actual ground school in the class and we flew the airplane. Everybody had a plane ride at the end of the semester where everybody got to go up and fly the airplane and calculate a course and all this.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, that was cool. That was cool. You know, you can't do that at home.

Nick Delgadillo:
And things you won't forget. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
The things that I remember. Forty five years later, I remember that. But the vast majority of what happened in high school, I have long since forgotten because it didn't make any difference to me.

Mark Rippetoe:
So I don't know. You know most people my age remember the social stuff that we did in high school because it was fun.

Nick Delgadillo:
You remember the social stuff, you remember that you remember classes that.

Mark Rippetoe:
You remember the girlfriend friend.

Nick Delgadillo:
Girlfriends. You remember the you remember the classes where you had a teacher that you really liked.

Mark Rippetoe:
You do remember that.

Nick Delgadillo:
You remember the the the subjects that you were personally interested in and that's about it. You know, that's about it. You know, you could probably refresh yourself on things. We deal with this every month. Everybody's taken physics in high school. And not a single one of them...

Nick Delgadillo:
Well, a lot of people that come to our seminars have taken physics in high school.

Mark Rippetoe:
They had physical science. It seems to be a freshman requirement.

Nick Delgadillo:
And they don't remember. No, they don't remember the physics. They don't remember the moment arms. We're going through and talking about gravity as if these people had never heard it before. And it's all it's all new, you know? But but again, we can cover it in an hour and to bring it in our world - A coach can learn it in a short amount of time because there's context, because they're interested in it.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, and because we're better teachers than they are

Nick Delgadillo:
Because we're better teachers in there. And also because it's pertinent to something they want to learn right now. Like they want to learn how to do barbell stuff. So they have to learn this this aspect of it. And all the sudden, it's in context and it makes sense. And the learning has an outcome that is immediately pertinent to something that they want to do.

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, let's go back to the socialization part.

Nick Delgadillo:
Yeah, because that's the big one.

Mark Rippetoe:
As I said, the the the... I had a lot of fun in school because I had a lot of friends at school. And your social relationships are are formed at school. A lot of them continue on to this day. I still got a buddy I talk to that I went to school with for six years in the government schools. You know, he and I are still friends. But there are a whole lot of shitty people that I remember having to interact with.

Mark Rippetoe:
The... one of the big baseball bats they want to beat you over the head with in terms of home schooling is the lack lack of sort of socialization. So what what do you think about that?

Nick Delgadillo:
Well, the the first thing that comes to mind is when.... So so everybody's in terms of socialization. Everybody's worried about when your child is an adult. Are they going to be able to interact with, you know, whoever their employers, their co-workers, whatever? Right. But at what point in your adult life have you ever been thrown into a room with 30 other people your exact same age and been forced to interact with with those people, with one person at the front telling you what to do? You know, it's not... it's a made up social issue.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's not analogous to a human behavior.

Nick Delgadillo:
To real life, to any of anything in real life.

Nick Delgadillo:
And and the social structure at school is such that the the things that make people valuable and important within the peer group. Right. So you got 20 kids. The thing that makes a particular person valuable is what? What they wear? What shows they watch? Just whatever bullshit kids come up with, right. That they think is important. You know, which YouTube person they follow.

Nick Delgadillo:
So these are the things that are important to kids. So that's that's how the social groups are formed. What sports they play. You know, whatever. But this doesn't happen in real life. You know ever after school. Right. And kids kids go through school for 12 years having never experienced, like, real life. And then they get to college and there's more of that. But there's a little bit more mixing. And then shit just goes haywire and just goes crazy, right?

Mark Rippetoe:
When I was in high school there were there were several elementary schools that fed into fewer junior high schools that fed into even fewer high schools. And what we ran into were cliques that were formed in elementary school continuing through to the 12th grade. And you couldn't you know, if you were outside that structure, you were just you were nothing. And that's not what you find as an adult.

Nick Delgadillo:
Yeah. Because an adult, what you actually contribute matters. Yes. Like what you you actually do matters

Mark Rippetoe:
Not where you went to grade school.

Nick Delgadillo:
Right. Yeah. Yeah. And it's about it's about things that are important. And you know, if these things aren't important, then the situation you're in isn't worth a shit. Right. So your performance, what you can do, the value that you bring to to where you work or in your own personal work and just how valuable you are as a person. These are the things that these are the things that matter.

Nick Delgadillo:
So why not start instilling those ideas early on, like when the kid is 5, not when they're out of college. Because the first time somebody thinks about that stuff in the current situation is when they received their bachelor's degree. Now I got to go operate in the real world. And these people have no... I mean, I've I've I've interviewed these people. They have no fucking idea of anything.

Mark Rippetoe:
No idea what is expected of them.

Nick Delgadillo:
Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
No idea that we're not going to allow you to make a C on this thing I'm having you do in work. A C is not good enough, whereas in school it was just fine.

Mark Rippetoe:
But the classroom organization, I mean if you step back and look at this classroom organization is strictly and only for the convenience of organizing this huge group of kids. That's all it's for. We're not... There's not any other situation in which a human being will find himself, where every everyone in the group is at the same level, is at the same age, is at the same level of maturity, is at the same level of intelligence, is at the same level of physical development. There's not any thing like that except the government schools.

Nick Delgadillo:
Right. And it's a product of the industrial revolution, right? I mean, this was all just a way to make good factory workers. I mean, think about it. You got bells, you got scheduling. And this is this is the result. You know what we have. Because how did they do it before that?

Mark Rippetoe:
Lunch is at 11:32.

Nick Delgadillo:
Yeah. How do they do it? Before that, you had kids in one school with a couple of teachers and everybody was mixed ages and they all went to school together.

Mark Rippetoe:
The one room schoolhouse model.

Nick Delgadillo:
Have you read the letters?

Mark Rippetoe:
Hey, so that actually works pretty good.

Nick Delgadillo:
Have you read letters from Civil War people? The handwriting?

Mark Rippetoe:
Yes. They're actual, literate people. They actually know... They knew how to write better than... I mean they're all writing at the level of Charles Dickens.

Nick Delgadillo:
And there was a lot of illiterate people back there, but but the people that were in school got a lot out of school. Yes.

Mark Rippetoe:
But it's not it wasn't set up the way it is now. Right. Because the whole structure back then was different. A a community, a small town would get together.

Nick Delgadillo:
Everybody knows the teachers.

Mark Rippetoe:
And everybody would chip in and build a schoolhouse. Everybody would chip in and hire the teacher. And everybody sent all of the kids. You had you had 16 year old kids in the same room with the five year old kids and everybody. Those kids had responsibilities. They took care of the little kids. Right. When the teacher was fooling around with somebody else.

Mark Rippetoe:
And that was a far, far more realistic situation of which young people were to learn, which is much more thoroughly replicated by a home school situation.

Nick Delgadillo:
That's right. Because those kids weren't at school from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Right. I mean, at the one room schoolhouse school was a couple of hours and then the kids had to work. Right. So they spent the rest of the day with adults doing adult things.

Mark Rippetoe:
Learning what was expected of them. Learning the standards to which they were expected to perform, that sort of thing.

Nick Delgadillo:
And how to be productive in in real life, you know. And so. So the education part was actual education where the rest of their... where this this school thing wasn't the dominant aspect of their existence like it is now. Right.

Nick Delgadillo:
Because you go to school, you wake up... as a kid, you wake up at 6:00, you're at school at eight o'clock, you're there till 3:00. Maybe you play sports. Maybe your parents can't come get you until after work at 5:30. So you're now at the school for 11 hours and then you go home and the government still has their little hands in your life because now you have to do two hours of homework at home. Right.

Nick Delgadillo:
So so it's just the dominant the dominant aspect of your entire life for 12 years, if not more.

Mark Rippetoe:
Twelve years that you're learning that...

Nick Delgadillo:
How to be a good subject, I guess.

Mark Rippetoe:
That you are supposed to do. You know, and you know, kids need to learn that there are things they're supposed to do. I'm not here to suggest that authority is not important, but the authority should not come from...

Nick Delgadillo:
It shouldn't be arbitrary.

Mark Rippetoe:
The bureaucracy. It should come from the parents. You know, it really, really should.

Mark Rippetoe:
You know, we talk about apprenticeship because we're here at the Aasgaard are invested in the apprenticeship model because that's how we're that's how we have found that the best coaches have been produced. The best coaches don't come out of the master's degree program in the exercise physiology department.

Mark Rippetoe:
People get a masters degree out of the exercise physiology department and they walk in the gym ready to coach nobody. They're ready to coach no better than a lay person off the street. What's the first thing we're going to do? Well, they don't know. They don't know about barbell training because it's not part of the curriculum. So we've got to teach them that. And we've gotten pretty good at teaching this stuff.

Mark Rippetoe:
In an apprenticeship program, once again, you find a distribution of abilities and a distribution of people of different levels of skill and experience working with each other in this program. And it doesn't look like the public schools. I mean, it is. There are similarities in that there are desks and there are classes and stuff, but the people sitting in the desk all want to be there. They've chosen the profession. And they're interested in it. And even if they're not interested in it, they are vested in it. They are they are in a position where they have decided they are going to learn this trade. And they might be 19. They might be 28. Maybe just recently, having thrown into a situation where they've had to change jobs. So you got a got a whole variety people in in a situation.

Nick Delgadillo:
And there's value coming from both sides. So you've got, you've got the... At the beginning the apprentice derives all the value from the experience of the person they're apprenticing with. But then over time that the the person who who is doing the apprenticing is is deriving some benefit from the apprentice, too, because, you know, you you're bringing that person up. Hopefully they end up better than you. And not only that, but they...

Mark Rippetoe:
Well, and they're working for you're working for they're they're they're producing value while they're learning, which is a completely absent feature of the government school.

Nick Delgadillo:
Rather than waiting 14 years and then now you're productive or you can try to be productive.

Mark Rippetoe:
If you can.

Nick Delgadillo:
Right, now, you get to learn all these fuckin real life skills fourteen years after, you know, you could have been doing... And this is the thing we always talk about is, you know what, why go to a four year university, get a PE degree and then start becoming a coach when you could have.... And by the way, you're $40000, hundred thousand dollars in debt. Right. And you have you have no skills. You know, where you could you could get this process done for five grand, maybe including the cost of seminars and coach course and all that stuff. But at the same time, you're acquiring you're gaining experience as a coach, where if you don't come out as a Starting Strength coach, at the end of the thing, you've still gotten all this benefit and value out of the process.

Mark Rippetoe:
And you can charge money for your services. Even... because you're a better coach, you're a better barbell coach than anybody else. You just haven't met our standard yet.

Mark Rippetoe:
But look at look at Chase. Chase started with us when he was twelve. He was a nasty little fucking pale blond haired little kid. Well, he's not a little anymore, but he was. He didn't miss workout. He was tenacious. And he has developed into the youngest Starting Strength coach in the world. He's 22 now. He's a Starting Strength coach. Kid's a good coach.

Mark Rippetoe:
And he didn't learn any of it in school. He learned it at the gym from us. And it works. It's a it's a valuable... Apprenticeship's an extremely valuable thing if you can obtain one.

Mark Rippetoe:
I get people calling us all the time, wanting to be interns at the gym. And this this fascinates me. They seem to know that they haven't learned anything in their in their degree program. That's it's occurred to them that they haven't learned anything in their degree program.

Mark Rippetoe:
What hasn't occurred to them is the idea that for me to put up with them hanging around the gym, I'm going to have to derive something of value from them. That they are unable to offer. Now, why would I allow somebody that hasn't read my book and has been to my seminar? That hasn't got a one eighty five squat, thus demonstrating commitment. Why would I allow them become in my gym and learn from me? What do I get out of it? I mean, it's gotta [mimes things going both ways]. You know.

Mark Rippetoe:
They're wanting me to parent them. They call it internship. But what they really mean is they want me to parent them. And that process apparently didn't get done in the in the government schools, didn't get done in their degree program didn't get done and the government schools. Had they been home schooled, they might know better than to ask me such a question. Don't call the gym and ask if there are internships available. Because there aren't.

Nick Delgadillo:
Yeah. So to bring us back to the homeschooling thing in the end - and actually the apprenticeship thing is perfect because and I've explained this to people multiple times because now now you've got this this bullshit where depending on where you live, they're going to force your kids to go to like a... What did they call it? I was talking to somebody in in Seattle and they wanted to put the 9 year old girl in - I don't I don't remember the name, but basically teaching her about the 38 different genders. Right. And and talking about what's racist and what's not.

Mark Rippetoe:
So they had a social engineering.

Nick Delgadillo:
But that happens here. It happens here. It happens in Dallas. It happens in Austin. It happens everywhere, you know. So. So you also extricate yourself from that kind of bullshit too where you have to unteach your kids from this guy's crazy shit that people want to indoctrinate with.

Mark Rippetoe:
No, Jaxon, there's boys and there's girls on rare, rare, rare occasions that you'll never see sometimes somebody is born that's kind of can... you know, when a different situation than that. But the vanishingly small number of them. But everybody's either a boy or a girl and there are certain behaviors and certain characteristics and certain potentials that are associated with being either a boy or girl, and that's worked just fine for the past 80 million years.

Nick Delgadillo:
And regardless, the 9 year old doesn't give a shit. And the 9 year old 9 year old doesn't care like the 9 year old. You know, they have a better idea about this stuff than we do, you know.

Nick Delgadillo:
So is the the thing is, when you are homeschooling, you're doing an adult apprenticeship with your kids. That's that's what it is.

Mark Rippetoe:
that's the very best way I've ever heard it described.

Nick Delgadillo:
Because you're you're you're guiding them.

Mark Rippetoe:
Adulthood apprenticeship.

Nick Delgadillo:
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, when you're when you're when you're doing an apprenticeship with somebody, you don't control every aspect of their lives. They bring something to the table. And for a little kid, what they bring to the table is just this fucking massive willingness to learn things. That's all. That's all they want to do. You know, the...

Mark Rippetoe:
Willingness and capacity.

Nick Delgadillo:
And capacity. From the moment they come out, they're learning shit. you know, and and you put them in school and you just... And that's the best way to kill that drive in a child. Is put it in schools and bore them to death.

Mark Rippetoe:
Bore them to death. A kid is naturally curious, curious and naturally wants to learn stuff. They'd like to read. They want to check out library books. They want you to to explain things to them. They have questions that they want answered. And you stick these kids into government schools and you take a wet blanket and smother them.

[off-camera]:
I love scienced until I met my eighth grade science teacher, Miss Warren. My first exposure to public school was that she was a raging bitch. Hated science after that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Yeah. It doesn't take... it doesn't take much to turn a kid's interest away from something. They think they're gonna have that interest answered by an adult in the government schools, and he adult is a psycho.

Nick Delgadillo:
It doesn't happen.

Mark Rippetoe:
And it doesn't happen.

Nick Delgadillo:
Yep. And if you if you approach things this way, what you'll find is that your kids are generally well adjusted. They can talk to adults, you know, I mean, you know. Most most kids, an adult, you walk up to a kid and they're gonna hide behind their parents, especially you, you know. Yeah.

Nick Delgadillo:
But, you know, they're comfortable talking. Even though they're saying silly kid shit, but they're still comfortable talking to adults. And that's that's almost universal with with with homeschool kids and the homeschool kids that are weird or weird because their parents are weird.

Mark Rippetoe:
They cam by it, honestly.

Nick Delgadillo:
You sure know that the kids that are in homeschool kids that are smart are smart because their parents are smart, whatever. But but the point is that it's going back to the beginning here. It's personal responsibility and having and having a willingness to put some fucking skin on the line and say, I'm going to try to do this. And if I fuck it up, you're still probably going to end up better off than handing them off to the government.

Mark Rippetoe:
It's like doing Starting Strength at 50 percent correct. Still better than anything else.

Nick Delgadillo:
That's right. Right.

Mark Rippetoe:
This... What it basically boils now to is, look, you made them, they're yours. They wouldn't be here if it weren't for you. You don't get to just make them and then throw them over here. All right. Because if you do that, they're not gonna be as good as they were if you kept them here. And this is this is this is a responsibility issue. Do you want the responsibility? You don't want the responsibility? You know, I hate to be this way, but. God damn it. Just get a vas job, you know, have yourself tied. Don't make kids you can't take care of. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Don't father and mother, children that you can't raise correctly. I understand that not everybody's in a position to always do this. But the idea, the ideal, ought to be you've got these little kids, little creatures that you brought into the world. You've got to you owe them something.

Nick Delgadillo:
You've got to be honest about the tradeoffs. Don't say that it's because you're not qualified. Don't say that it's because...

Mark Rippetoe:
Don't use that as an excuse.

Nick Delgadillo:
Don't say it's because the teachers are better. Don't say it's all this other shit, you know, just you've got to understand, this is where we're at. And you know, if you choose to put your kids in school there are tradeoffs. And if you... that that could be addressed by keeping them at home, you know. So. Yeah. So there's the information. It's all out there.

Nick Delgadillo:
You know, we had the guy on the board who was who was giving the standard everything we talked about, the socialization. All this shit, you know. And then he went off. He or she. Whatever. But this person went and said, I looked at the research and you guys are right. You guys are right. I was wrong. Yeah.

Mark Rippetoe:
He was just parroting what he'd been taught and he... And more importantly, was parroting the conventional wisdom that you've been taught. And it's wrong. OK. Homeschool kids are at an advantage. They have an advantage over government school kids in every measurable parameter. Now, that would tell you something. About what you ought to do. Right. All right.

Mark Rippetoe:
Now, here's what the haters are going to say. Rip doestn' have any kids. Rip doesn't have any skin in the game. Well, yeah, I do. I've got a whole bunch of money in the game. OK. I've been paying taxes on kids that I don't have, to educate in a substandard way for decades. More importantly, I have a business where we're trying to have coaches. We need coaches desperately. The demand for what we do exceeds the supply. And every young person that comes into this program that is better prepared, is more likely to do a good job for us as a Starting Strength coach. OK.

Mark Rippetoe:
Everybody that lives in this society is is terribly interested in having the best people come out of that society that they can get. And the public schools are not doing their job any more than any other government entity does. They're not doing their job. The government schools are substandard. And I don't see a way to fix them, so the way to fix the situation is for individuals to assume the responsibility for educating their kids. The responsibility they actually have, but they've been willing to cede to the government.

Mark Rippetoe:
Don't do that. Don't do that. It's your job to do better for your kids than that.

Mark Rippetoe:
Thanks for talking to us about this today, Nick, this is a serious topic and I hope we've provoked some thought in some of you people that are watching this. And maybe we've maybe we've helped some of you move in the right direction on something like this. OK.

Mark Rippetoe:
Thanks for joining us on Starting Strength Radio. We'll see you next time.

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Mark Rippetoe and Starting Strength Coach Nick Delgadillo discuss government schools, homeschooling, and approaching education as an apprenticeship for adulthood.

  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 01:36 Injury/The Government Schools
  • 06:56 Whose responsibility?
  • 10:42 The System
  • 16:31 But...$$$
  • 20:25 But...Unqualified
  • 32:42 Primed to learn
  • 37:30 Structural advantages
  • 48:30 Actual socialization
  • 01:04:11 Apprenticing to be an adult

Episode Resources

On the Forums: High School Deadlift Injury/The Government Schools

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