Our Homeschool

A (Rare) Soapbox On Mass Education

I’m considering this site more of a reference than a blog.  There will indeed be weeks where I choose not to post anything new, because life is too full of travel, unplugged days spent outside in the wonderful, early days of fall, evenings spent making wild elderberry jelly in my kitchen, and many hours spent in study, reflection, contemplation, and/or prayer…

[In another life, I could have been a full-time writer, and let my level of “inspiration” determine my daily non-schedule.  As it is, however, I’m a mother of little children, and some moods of “inspiration” must simply be ignored and left to ferment.  Instead of checking back in here from time-to-time, you could also save yourself some wasted time and subscribe to the RSS feed by clicking on the little orange square in the top right corner of the home page.]

I’ve spent more-than-my-share of time researching early education methods.  My children are growing, and the desire I have to cherish the last of these “early childhood” years is overwhelming.  In considering how great will be the challenges their generation will face, however, my desire to share excellent education methods also grows.  How can it be, that at the point in history when so many great challenges are beginning to reveal themselves, that mass education grows more and more ineffective?

I have read the fascinating book Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz this weekend, and it contains a chapter describing how the global community in effect forces poor, debt-riddled nations to produce cash crops for exportation such as coffee, tea, chocolate, and sugar instead of producing food for their own people to eat.  In the very same way, the gigantic federal government here in the US has in effect forced children to produce test scores in mostly irrelevant subjects instead of developing their own natural talents and learning useful, real-life skills.  Home-schooling is one way to firmly say “I want better for my own kids.  I don’t care if they don’t fit squarely into one of your randomly-inspired holes.  I love them for who they are, and I will let them decide for themselves who they want to be.”

Katz writes about resisting the monopoly of the food giants in the world, but the same attitude can apply towards the education giants.  “We cannot resist the homogenization of culture by overpowering it.  Yet we must not resign ourselves to it.  Resistance is everywhere at the margins.  This is where the people who manage to avoid succumbing to mainstream cultural currents come together.  In the margins, we create and support diverse alternative cultures that express our various needs and desires.”   Homeschooling is not inherently difficult, but ignoring the “mainstream cultural currents” can be.  Homeschooling, even just temporarily, can be an excellent academic option for some families.  Don’t be afraid to give it a try.

And there ends this soapbox; I will try to set aside my rants for now and go back to writing about the nuts and bolts of early education!

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