28 Jun Home Education for Free Minds by Lilo Gray
Having homeschooled for the better part of 17 years now, I have an abounding amount of thoughts on the subject. Pros, cons, do’s and don’ts, successes and failures. There is a lot to know and many philosophical decisions to be made, not only initially, but continually as my family’s goals and beliefs are honed and sharpened. But there is one thing I know with certainty and never have to question. Homeschooling is the only choice for my children and our family because it has given all of us the tools to think for ourselves, to stand up to an ever increasing totalitarian government with the ammo only a free mind can possess, and to be the champions of the individual against the collective that one day may provide future generations with a hope of true liberty and freedom that we are so greatly lacking today. This is why we homeschool, and if you believe in a free society, you should too.
Think about this for a moment. From kindergarten, even pre-school, all the way through and including college, you and/or your children are controlled at every possible angle. Children are told when to go to the bathroom, forced to read and study subjects they will never use and certainly do not enjoy, forced to accept politically correct agendas such as everyone is equal, (and I mean equal as in everyone learns, and is equipped with the same gifts and synchronized intellectual developments), put in artificial environments and told they are being prepared for life, etc., etc., etc. Do you ever raise your hand to go to the bathroom at your job? Anyone beat you up for your lunch money at the office? Do you only work with your own age or gender segregated in separate office spaces? Usually not. You, as a parent, are forced to accept all kinds of mind laundering that is fed to your kids against your very own principals and ideals. And worst of all, who do you think your children’s role models and examples are? I love kids, but when you put 35 fifteen year olds in a room and stir, it comes out looking like Lord of the Flies. And we think this is a good way to model and mold future citizens? So where do we as a society think that sequestering our children in public daytime education camps prepares them for anything other than a life of conformity. Yes. You can see it now, can’t you? Our government has a plan for our kids, and I for one, don’t approve.
Our government does not want a populace that questions its authority. Free thinkers are dangerous. Homeschoolers are a threat to the Borg and believe me, I want to be that threat. But do you? If we want a society built on freedom, how does locking them up all day long and chastising them for being individualists encourage their own gifts and talents? Our brightest and best entrepreneurs have been allowed to follow their passions to almost the exclusion of anything else. Edison being one of them. I encourage you to think outside the box and decide if you want your child to be whoever they were meant to be, or part of the hive.
I know what you are thinking. But, but, I went to public school and my education was OK. Or, how am I going to homeschool? I don’t know how to do algebra or advanced sciences. How is little Johnny going to get into college? Don’t you have to have a license or a degree to homeschool? Will my kid have any friends? My wife has to work to support our fancy house and two cars; we can’t make those kinds of sacrifices. None of these questions have pat answers. There are so many different ways to homeschool. I could write a book on the how to homeschool my way, and just touch the tip of the iceberg of all the ways to go about it. But the best thing I can tell you is every one of these questions has been asked a million times by over one million homeschoolers in this country, and every single one has figured out not one, but thousands of ways to accomplish an excellent education for their children. You can do it as well.
So if you are still unconvinced, let me inform you with some staggering statistics. Please take note that none of these points are the reason we homeschooled our four children, but I find that for people new to the idea, it gives them great food for thought and can serve as some great ammo for the doubting spouses, family and nosy neighbors.
-Homeschool students who voluntarily, (I love this word voluntarily when it comes to testing), participate in scholastic achievement tests score, on average, 40 points higher than their public school student peers.
-The homeschool students that participate in these tests that live in the states with the LEAST governmental oversight score the highest!
-Homeschoolers do not use public taxes stolen from you to educate their children and give them an exemplary education for a tenth of the cost of public or private school. On average, 500 dollars for a homeschooling kid, and anywhere from 5,000 to 12,000 per public schooler depending on the state. Do you think you are getting your money’s worth?
-Homeschoolers are regularly sought out and accepted at more than 1,000 colleges around the U.S. because their self study habits have been developed from birth and they haven’t been told every day of their life how to think. Therefore, their portfolios can be quite diverse and impressive.
-Studies have shown, (over 15 independent testing services), that mothers without college degrees who homeschool their children turn out kids scoring just as high as mothers with a college education. In fact, mother’s who have a teaching certificate that homeschool, often do worse than mother’s who have no formal teacher training. Imagine that!
-Homeschoolers, as a rule, take much less attention deficit drugs than their public school peers. (Must be the fact that little boys are actually encouraged to run around outside whenever needed instead of being chained down to a desk all day, but I’m only speculating here.)
-71% of homeschoolers continue to participate in their communities and are politically involved compared to 37% of adults who were public schooled.
There are a million good reasons to homeschool. But the biggest for us is, who do you want to be the most influential person in your child’s life? Lord of the Flies? Or YOU! The parent, who knows your child better than anyone else on the planet. Everything else, everything, is secondary.
Let me get you started on an intellectual journey. If you have ever considered it, or at least would like some information on homeschooling, here are some resources to get you started. It’s not easy, there are many hurdles and frustrations, but trust me, if you only read to your children, teach them basic math, writing, and reading skills, took them out into the real world, gave them interesting experiences and get them involved in their neighborhood, and loved them with all your heart, you’ll do better than your local public school at helping them be who they were meant to be. Themselves, accepted and loved, as they are. I find the following very inspirational.
You Can Teach Your Child Successfully Ruth Beechik
The Three R’s Ruth Beechik
How to Get Your Child Off the Refrigerator and on to Learning Barnier
And the Skylark Sings with Me Albert (highly recommended for outside the box thinkers!)
For those who might wish to homeschool a teenager.
The Teenage Liberation Handbook Llewellyn
Senior High Formula Shelton
These are only the tip of the iceberg. There are so many resources to help anyone through the process of homeschooling that I could publish a book just on the resources available. And there are many good ones out there already. A wonderful book on the perils of public education written by a public school teacher, is Dumbing Us Down: the Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling, John Taylor Gatto. If you only read one book on why you should highly considered homeschooling, this is a scathing criticism of how our public education system is systematically and purposefully molding the minds of our young to fit into a totalitarian government controlled society. Wonderful stuff!
All this said, homeschooling is not for everyone. There are definitely people out there who should not attempt to educate their child. But there are so many people who are more than capable of doing so that are turning the raising and educating of their little ones over to people who do not have their child’s best interests at heart. Think about it for just a second and realize what you could do with your kid if you had them for eight hours a day with little distractions, few behavioral problems, and a wide open schedule to take lessons, go to museums, go to parks, play, and better than anything, develop and dive into whatever passion animates their heart. Imagine who they could become if no one was holding them down, forcing them to conform, punishing them for coloring outside the lines. That is true freedom.