What If Public Education Never Existed?

Public education is to blame for the downfall of society. Plain and simple.

As a homeschool mom, I spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about school – public school, to be exact.

No, I haven’t been thinking of sending my kids back – perish the thought! What I have been thinking about is what life today would be like if the public education system never existed.


To be sure, proponents of government schooling would claim that society wouldn’t be where it is today without it, and I’d have to agree with them.

But that isn’t a good thing. 

I think it’s time we go over what this nation has “gained” through this experiment called public education, shall we?


Contributions of public education

1. The loss of connection with the family and the community.

Before compulsory schooling, children grew up working together with their families and their surrounding communities. They learned how to be self-sufficient, capable, and dependable.

They were raised by their parents with the values their families held dear. They knew their neighbors and were aware of their status as contributing members of the community, which brings us to…

2. The loss of confidence and willpower.

Pre-compulsory schooling, children had the benefit of knowing that they were contributing members of society. Whether helping their families on the homestead or working as apprentices at their chosen trades, they knew that what they were doing MATTERED.

Is it any wonder kids today feel like their time in school is a waste? They spend a good portion of their waking hours confined to a building, sitting at a desk, learning things that will honestly have little impact on their lives – now or in the future.

They spend their days being reminded of “daytime curfew” laws that restrict their ability to be out in public during school hours. Heaven forbid they should be out and about in their neighborhoods learning from real life circumstances instead of memorizing trivial facts from dull, dry textbooks that probably wouldn’t even hold an adult’s attention.

And what about those kids who don’t fit the “school box”?

Before compulsory schooling, those kids would likely have never even known they were “different.” They simply would have found something they could do and do well, and they would have thrived.

Today, those children are stigmatized and made to feel “less than.” They are reminded time and again that they just don’t measure up, so eventually they stop trying.

3. The loss of education.

Don’t ever think for a second that the public education system was ever about education.

It wasn’t.

The system was instituted to create obedient workers who would listen to their superiors and not bother trying to think for themselves.

Schooling and education are two entirely different things.

True education is about living in, working in, and experiencing the world. It doesn’t come with checklists, quizzes, textbooks, and report cards.

4. The loss of the family unit.

I will not hesitate for a second to say that compulsory education has been one of the biggest contributors to the downfall of the family.

Once kids were taken from their homes to be more or less raised by strangers, generations began to pass in which it was no longer normal for kids to be home with their families.

Eventually, women began to be told that being a wife and mother wasn’t enough. It was demeaning. Having kids in school all day provided the perfect opportunity for mothers to venture out into the work force.

Unfortunately, their hours weren’t restricted to school hours. Enter the generation of latchkey kids and day cares.

Children were either unsupervised or were attended to, once again, by people other than their parents. Crime and divorce began to rise, and is it any wonder?

5. The loss of a thinking populace.

Remember when I mentioned that there is a difference between schooling and education? This is where that comes in.

Education teaches children how to think.

School teaches children what to think.

Don’t fool yourself with all the school talk about “critical thinking skills” that pops up all the time.

Schools don’t give a hoot about critical thinking skills. If they did, students wouldn’t be penalized for disagreeing with the views being presented to them; they would be applauded for having a mind of their own.

School is about indoctrination, plain and simple. It’s about exposing children to a narrative that tells them not to worry about thinking about anything.

People smarter than they are have already done that for them.

Look where it’s gotten us.

So now, back to the question:

What if public education never existed?

Well, considering what was unpacked here, I suspect our society would have these traits:

  • families and communities who were connected and would jump at the chance to help one another
  • people who knew their worth and would be very aware of the fact that you can’t get something for nothing
  • a skillful, useful, self-sufficient populace who would have no need for rampant consumerism because they had been educated by life
  • traditional families would be the norm; broken homes would be almost unheard of because family life and parenting skills would have been modeled from one generation to the next; crime and poverty would be at a much, much lower rate
  • people would think for themselves – just like our forefathers did when they showed King George just what they thought of him and his taxes; they would refuse to be walked on by the government or anyone else; the Constitution would still mean something to them

This may sound like I’m being idealistic, but I’m well aware it wouldn’t be perfect. After all, we’re human. But all in all, this country would be much closer to what it was intended to be than it is right now.

We the people would be sovereign citizens and not sheep.

And isn’t that how it should be?

Homeschooling and education are my passion. It is my fervent hope to one day devote more time to creating content for you. If you’d like to support this ministry, consider supporting me on Patreon.

Thank you so much. I appreciate each and every one of you!


Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

13 thoughts on “What If Public Education Never Existed?”

  1. I agree totally! I have many friends who are school teachers. They are stressed and the children are stressed. It causes so many issues with our children. My older two attended public school. I couldn’t homeschool at the time and they have lasting results from public school. They are both easily stressed and were bullied a lot. I so wish I could have saved them. Our youngest is 8 and is autistic. I knew before she was born that she would be homeschooled. She is very anxious in everyday life, but at least she is with me and I can keep reassuring her its all ok and I love her. Great post. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is so thoughtful. I was a latchkey kid after my mom returned to work against my father’s wishes and they divorced. And I’m sure you understand the destruction that divorce brings to the family and ensuing generations. It’s so sad. Now my mom is rooting me on and I can tell she really did enjoy being a stay at home mom. But I think the fact that we were in school all day and the women’s movement encouraged her to get a job. My Mother In Law to this day also regrets working while her kids were growing up. She didn’t make much money and basically strangers raised her kids. She cries often about it now whenever I see her.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I do agree with this to a point, I originally planned to homeschool after I found out my oldest has ADHD. I couldn’t have been happier with the first 2 public school teachers he had but didn’t think he would do well as he got older. It is silly to me now that I always sent him just because it was a thing to be done.
    You need to remember though, yes school was created to make obedient workers but many children were illiterate before. And while I realize that many are still basically illiterate even after school, it did and does provide opportunities that they won’t have at home. Homeschooling is for people who want to put in the effort to teach their kids. Not everyone wants to or even knows that they can.


    1. Interestingly, the literacy rate pre-compulsory schooling was higher than it’s ever been post-compulsory schooling. Reading has been so dumbed down that people actually read worse now than they did before school.


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