Imagine being alone. Imagine walking down a shaded, secluded, quiet forest path. The surrounding trees have the orange and yellow shades of fall, both comforting in its familiarity, yet claustrophobic, and eerie in its emptiness. Walking along, tired and hungry, a small glimmer of warm light appears. Not above, but ahead. Gaining hope, you run forward, and come to an open, sunlit clearing. Think about the relief, happiness, and release you feel in that moment. You are in an open, green, bright space, just outside of the forest you were trapped in. In the far distance, there is a town. People. You aren’t alone anymore.

In many cases, the idea of the forest is how many children and teenagers feel in public school. Those people are trapped in an unengaging, boring, monotonous school, much like you were trapped in the forest. But how are they trapped? They can move forward, keep going, continue walking in the same direction. Sometimes, though, they will never make it to the clearing. The detriment and the harmfulness of public schooling is its educational limits, and how it stops many children’s journeys to that meadow before they even begin. The thing that public education lacks the most, however, is writing education, which can be resolved in two specific ways; first, by teaching students how to think objectively, and second, by reading classical books written by excellent professional writers.

In all education, and life in general, there is nothing more important than writing. From writing school essays and reports to applying for a job, the ability to write well is essential. More than that, in recent years, with the emergence of texting and social media, writing has devolved to be much more casual and lighthearted. While casual writing is not necessarily bad, it harms writing as an art. The beauty of writing seems to be lost, along with great writers like Tolkien, Shakespeare, or Charles Dickens. By reading those classical works of literature, a student expands their vocabulary and writing style.

Part of this problem has to do with the media we consume, but another problem is public school’s approach to writing. In my experience, and those of my friends, schools have removed classic books from their curriculum, and with it, artistic, thoughtful writing.

In my own life, I have seen the effect public schools have had on my writing capabilities, but only in hindsight. I now realize the forest I was trapped in, and how detrimental it was to my educational health. After all, as a kid, I read plenty on my own, so I never thought anything was wrong. However, my parents also saw it differently. They believed that school should teach children, instead of having children independently teach themselves, or worse, other students. So, they made a decision.

Once my parents saw the problem of public-school education, they pulled me out and put me in a Classical Homeschool program. The Classical Curriculum has been around for thousands of years, and it focuses on “training your child’s mind” (, Classical Homeschooling Style: What is it and How Does it Work?) The classical curriculum has students read works of literature like the Odyssey, the legends of Beowulf and The Hobbit. Besides that, they study ancient history, Latin, as well as core classes. Learning Latin greatly expanded my knowledge of the English language and its structure. The classical curriculum is almost certainly the reason I enjoy writing and succeeded at it in school.

The second part of what makes the classical homeschool program so great are the teachers it provides. After all, any great curriculum is useless if there is no one to teach it. The program I went to had wonderful teachers that worked closely with the students. This type of homeschooling is also referred to as “hybrid-homeschooling.” Hybrid-homeschooling provides the classrooms, teachers, and social settings that regular homeschooling lacks, but with the same flexible curriculum.

Finally, my favorite part about a classical, hybrid-homeschool program, is Socratic discussion. This form of discussion has taught me how to think freely and express my thoughts in a reasonable, respectful manner that has helped me immensely in life. In public school, there is no such discussion, and it is detrimental to a student’s learning. Socratic discussion teaches a person to think freely, form one’s own opinions, and prove them. This skill greatly helps writing, because it teaches a student to think objectively and form tangible arguments. If a student is able to do this verbally, they can also apply this skill to writing, which would improve one’s writing immensely.

All of these aspects of hybrid-homeschooling, and the classical curriculum, are freeing and extremely helpful. As a student, I was in a much less rigid environment, and my teachers helped me fulfill state educational requirements while still improving my gifts and talents. The feeling of freedom and release I experienced while in that homeschooling program is what I imagine that meadow to feel like.

Now, currently, I have left the meadow, and am instead well on my way to that town, which lies beyond. That town could be many things, but at its core, it represents the future an individual desires. That town could be college, a job, or a family. However, many people will never reach that town. Some will never even reach the meadow. Only those who know how to think for themselves, have a good education, and know how to write will succeed in whatever future they choose. So, if a child, teenager, stays in public education, they could forever be in that forest, trapped and alone. I am lucky enough that I got out of that loop, but many are not that blessed. For those reading this post, I hope it at least got you thinking, and that you are aware of this problem in the future.

Thank you for reading!

15 responses to “The Journey of Education”

  1. Julee Loorya Avatar
    Julee Loorya

    M and I read this and we’re impressed not only due to the content but the style as well! We love the thoughts, the metaphors and your style! Keep up the great work!

    Ps after reading this M said I miss K she was a good friend! We hope you are well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kayleigh Fryre Avatar

      Thank you so much!


  2. ostinatofreak Avatar

    While there should always be room for choice in reading curriculums, such as allowing students to read a book or two each year that they choose, whether it’s John Grisham, Isaac Asimov or Stephen King (a little flexibility would have helped me develop a love for reading at a much younger age), I agree with the importance of reading classics as primary curriculum. Classics are not classics because of some kind of artificial, top-down declaration of cigar-smoking elites who got together and decided that tomorrow’s classics will be the same as yesterday’s classics. Classics are classics because western culture organically and naturally gravitated toward the highest quality writing that western civilization has to offer. These traditions lasted decades for some authors and centuries for others. The decision to suddenly steer K-12 curriculum away from these literary traditions is a non-organic decision of activism, and for any amount of so-called “equity” that this scenario creates, in the process of doing so, injustice is committed by pushing away authors whose work is unquestionably deserving of study. While PhD candidates might have the luxury of exploring the fringes that our literary culture has to offer, I don’t believe K-12 students should be subjected to this activism. They need to learn our western traditions now so that they can further appreciate and/or critique deviation from these traditions in their more advanced studies.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brian Morgan Avatar
      Brian Morgan

      Many years ago I was asked to write a paper from a reading list. “McTeague” by Frank Norris piqued my curiosity as I had never heard of Determinism. Norris’ prose is anything but outstanding but still it is considered a classic. The greatest value I gleamed from reading his novel is the following: One must be cautious to give Science political clout. That understanding has served me well over a lifetime.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Craig_H Avatar

    Thank you! I wanted to home school my step son. I am very well educated but I ran into a lot of problems which weren’t easy to solve, the main one being convincing my wife of a different culture that homeschooling is ok. There should be, maybe there are, organizations that help parents who want to homeschool, and not just the ones providing the curricula.
    I am a scientist. My mother knew little about science but was a great practical writer. That was one of the greatest gifts she left her children; being able to express oneself.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. RICK YARNELL Avatar

    Miss Fryre,
    May I make a suggestion? As you write get your pronouns to agree with their subjects. Twice you write, “…a student…” then, later in the sentences refer to that student as “they” or “them”. That student is not plural; the correct and proper reference would be “…one…” For example, “…a student expands ones vocabulary…”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Brian Morgan Avatar
      Brian Morgan

      Mr. Yarnell, you bring up a very interesting topic. Fifty years ago I was taught to use masculine pronouns when the gender of the person is unknown. Thirty years ago I was advised to use “one”. Today it is common practice to use “they” so as to make all readers feel safe. I find myself doing it too when engaged in casual conversation. Now I am hesitant to use what I was taught in school.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Kayleigh Fryre Avatar

      Thank you so much for your advice! That helps a lot, and I will change that when I have the chance.


  5. Brian Morgan Avatar
    Brian Morgan

    Good morning, Kayleigh. Let me begin by saying that I was one of the fortunate few required to read the Odyssey in public school, but not surprisingly that was in the 1970s. I loved the epic images it evoked, however, I was a bit too young to fully appreciate the philosophical themes. While I thoroughly enjoyed the Odyssey I found that the vocabulary I developed did not apply to modern-day communication.

    I love to read finely crafted English, something that unfolds like a complex musical masterpiece. I am not necessarily talking about Poetry but something that has a similar effect on my senses. I have always wanted to write like that, but even in this Internet age I can not seem to find a text that teaches it. Perhaps it is not teachable in the conventional sense, but instead it is a process: read the classics, emulate, and synthesize.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Kayleigh Fryre Avatar

      I completely agree! There is no real way to teach “good” writing, and it only comes through objective thinking and experience.


  6. Knuckledragger Avatar

    Well done. I too have developed a reasonable writing style, as compared to my peers, in part because I read and have read since childhood. Not many classic works but many dealing with history. Reading has enhanced my ability top write though, serious writers would probably giggle at my “prose”. The lack of reading has led to a youth who can’t express themselves with the written word. Cell phones, etc have exacerbated the problem. Anyway, great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Maryam Maghen Avatar
    Maryam Maghen


    What an inspiring article! I agree with your analysis of public school education 100%. Moreover, as a Classical teacher, I can attest to the effectiveness of Classical Education.

    Several years ago, I taught English Composition to freshman college students, most of whom graduated from public schools. Their writing skills were abysmal, to put it mildly. However, when I used the Classical writing curriculum to teach my junior high/high school students, I saw excellent results.

    Excellent writing ABSOLUTELY requires clear, objective thinking. And…yes….reading books written by authors such as Tolkien, Conan-Doyle, Shakespeare, etc. definitely improves writing skills because, as you have correctly observed, they were truly brilliant thinkers/writers. Their respective writing styles serve as examples for aspiring writers to mimic.

    Overall, Classical Education focuses on developing the intellect so that students can grow into objective/independent thinkers and effective communicators/professionals.

    Keep writing, Kayleigh!!! I am so inspired by your blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. GingerParent Avatar

    Hi Kayleigh,

    Your article is very well written. As a parent with two children who have been through private schools, public schools, and homeschool, I have so much resonance with your experience and opinion.

    Most schools do not teach writing and thinking; they simply let their students read – they believe reading will lead to automatic understanding of writing. However, many students that I know, including talented children, simply don’t know how to write well even though they read tens or hundreds of books.

    After so much struggling, we are very lucky to come across a great Classical teacher who teaches our children not only how to write but also how to think. Learning how to think is crucial in today’s complex society. We are so fortunate to find the right education for our children who were lost and wondering in the forest before.

    Please keep writing! Like your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Amy Au Avatar
    Amy Au

    Great points to think about, especially when the majority of us were shuffled through the public school system without questioning its philosophy and exploring alternatives (and most families not able to afford 24-40k tuitions for private schools).

    I remember my English classes fondly as it was structured to read, question, and debate – from the morals of The Scarlet Letter to discussing who was actually the barbarian in The Heart of Darkness.

    The Socratic method is sadly not developed or used enough. Speech and debate team was merely a club – an extra curricular activity. If it were a core class, I wonder how many more minds it would have engaged, even students who don’t test or perform at the top of their class. This critical thinking skill could have helped more people in their development and grow the decision making muscle, which then impacts their future paths.

    And on a side note, now that my oldest does online/homeschool, I am so grateful that she doesn’t get distracted by social issues and drama. She gets to focus on herself. When she was in public school in 1st grade, a particular classmate would make her cry and question her self worth everyday. It took 2 years to rebuild her confidence, and online school has been part of that process. Grateful for where we are today.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mai Avatar

    Thank you for expressing your opinions in education! I agree we are all in search of the best education. As parents we go through many trials and errors to find the best education to our kids.

    I hope to see education helping young minds to be more cereative and imaginative. Writing is a great way to show such minds. However, in public school setting, they don’t have ample time to teach writing in depth (too busy with other standards), they don’t have a peaceful and positive classroom environment (often disruptive) and they don’t foster teachers to be patient, inspirational and passionate about writing (not enough professional training/workshops for teachers). Students simply give up to use their creative minds to write…

    As mom I’m trying to fill in the gaps my kids are missing from public education. I hope to be brave and open-minded enough to choose the suitable educational path for my kids. Your opinion helped me to know youngsters’ perspectives! Thank you so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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