Hippies were homeschoolers when I was growing up in So Cal and of course they were kids who didn’t have to go to school and could run free and wild all over the Agoura Hills. Just like we did in the summer but they got to do it ALL year long! I remember hating school from the beginning because it meant getting on a bus, sitting in a class with very little outside time instead of hanging out at the lake that we lived on with friends. Many of the kids in our neighborhood would carry their shoes to the school bus because you didn’t really need them at Malibou Lake but the bus driver wouldn’t let you on without them. Which is how I felt about school, I didn’t really need it. My mom literally had to pry one brother on to the bus at the beginning of the school year for a few days. He would push off the door with hands and feet, screaming!
I was robbed for a great portion of the year, of the freedom to explore and learn naturally because I needed to be on task, level, not left behind or whatever jargon they used then, which turned out to be a futile task for the first series of teachers whose responsibility it was to keep me on task. As I child I knew the difference because when there wasn’t school we learned through a marvelous set of adventures to museums, the tide pools, playing around the edges of the lake, building forts, shooting things, taking care of chickens and a garden and sometimes getting to watch tv at the neighbors. This “schooling” consisted of Kindergarten, First, Second, at government school, a move to private school for Third, another year of Third at a different private school, followed by Fourth and finally Fifth grade when I learned how to read and made it to the “on level” phase of being educated. Years later the irony of this was given to me by a man from India who’d grown up out beyond the reach of school and he and his two brothers were sent to school when they turned 11. Without a day of schooling before 11 they went on to acquire multiple degrees, masters and PhDs. He said it was very confusing in America where they spent so much time educating kids instead of letting them learn through play and work. I couldn’t get “on level” until 5th grade but I graduated 2nd in my highschool class? Who decided this was good?
Check out the great google universe for the history of “education” and you’ll find mostly that it starts with man’s ability to write and keep a record of how smart he is. It’s as if no learning took place prior to the ability to write and you know that’s crazy, right? Learning is a natural process we all go through and the more we align the process with nature and solving problems with young children the more thinkers we’ll raise. So, before you start thinking about “educating” your kids at home you have to separate the concept of systematic indoctrination with real learning. Indoctrination requires testing and scores and teaching kids to respond correctly to those tests and scores so the people in control can gain more control. Kind of like Pavlov’s Dog where the adults are testing the subjects over and over again.
While most homeschoolers simply transplant the education system to their home, which makes it super easy to give up because there’s so much boring seat work and grading and scoring!!!!! there is a growing number who are thinking about real learning, thinking, creating and producing something with their children that is real. It’s not that there aren’t reasons to get your kids out of the government education camps and just do school at home, for example:
Conservative – you say you’re for limited government and to live your belief taking a handout from the government doesn’t seem very consistent. You say you don’t want your tax dollars to go toward abortion, welfare, food stamps but you have no problem taking your neighbors money for your kids schooling?
Christian – you know that “Train up a child in the way he should go” I think there’s an implied “you” in there. Don’t steal from your neighbor . . . . this list is really long.
Libertarian – you say you believe in freedom but not for your kids?
Anarchist – I don’t have to tell you why.
Communist – um? Wait! Your kid should be in the camp so he can learn to be dependent on the system.
Freeing your kids from the system is the priority so that we can grow the free thinkers in our country and limit the government’s control over all our lives. When you let the system decide when, where, how you live the majority of your day, you’re not as free as you have the potential to be and your willingness to be a slave to that system affects the freedom of the people around you.
Why homeschool? Basically for the same reasons those early hippies did, freedom!