Why I Home School
- Monday, August 19, 2002
As each new school year approaches, I often find myself pondering about the reasons that I keep my children home. This year is no different. In fact, as Im thinking about this, its helping me to keep the focus on my children and off of the "stuff" that can engulf a family.
When we first began to home school our children, it wasnt necessarily with strong religious convictions or the desire to have children who excelled academically. Our original reason was quite simple actually: we didnt feel our daughter was quite ready to head off to school. After our initial debacle, we began to hear the call of God in this area. I dont think I could have maintained in those early years had it not been for the knowledge that God had called us to home school. If I were doing it for the academic excellence I was trying to achieve, I could have easily thrown up my hands and sent her to the nearest "walled world."
My reasons for home schooling have often changed, as I too have changed and grown. Its now a given that we will home school. God would have to hit me over the head with a two by four to get my attention if He wanted me to stop now. Then he would have to head over to my husband and begin wailing away on him. Home schooling is now a deep conviction in our hearts.
That doesnt mean, however, that we dont come up with reasons, aside from the call of God, for doing a task that takes many hours out of my life. As a matter of fact, it includes every waking moment. It occasionally will even invade my sleep, sometimes producing nightmares. I once had a bad dream that Im standing in front of my class (children) at a chalkboard, writing information on it that is vital to their very existence, only to look back and see they are all doing something else.
Ashley is staring dreamily out the window, thinking of the next foal she is going to produce with just the right genetic make-up to produce a perfect horse. Christi has doodled all over her paper. In a matter of seconds she has created masterpieces, that if on a clean sheet of paper would be worthy of framing. Cathy would not be sitting at her desk at all, but would be walking around checking to see that everything in the room was neat and tidy, all the while stopping to talk with her brothers and sisters, offering them fresh baked cookies. David would appear to be doing nothing; but in my dream, his head is made of clear plastic. As he sits looking dumbfounded in front of me, I can see the multi-colored gears moving at a rapid pace. They are much like that in a factory and out on the conveyor belt spews invention after invention. John would be sitting with a smile on his face. I could almost see the song in his heart. A tear trickles down his cheek as he thinks about nature and the Creator who made it so perfectly, yet there are many creatures who are in need of help. John would be the one to care for them. Briana looks longingly out the window, hoping to eventually be freed to run outside and begin the ascent in the nearest tree. Erica is thinking of being a star. Shes conjuring up songs to sing to the Lord. Finally my gaze rests on Bryan. He has turned over his desk and is pretending it is an airplane, flying in the jungles of South America.
In my nightmare I begin to rant and rave about the children who will never amount to anything because they arent absorbing all that I have determined to be necessary. I awaken with a start. I sigh that it was just a nightmare and return to my blissful sleep.
Recently I had the pleasure of a three-hour conversation with a former New York State Teacher of the Year. John Taylor Gatto is well known for his opposition to the public school system as it stands today. In fact, he resigned his teaching position on the OP ED page of the Wall Street Journal in 19991. He stated his reason as being he "could no longer hurt children."
I asked him about the damage that he was talking about with these children. His entire response is too long for this column, however you could tune into www.thepathhome.com to hear his response. Basically what he reaffirmed in my heart is that the "system" was set up to create a work force as well as to create consumers. There is nothing of pure motive in the foundation of the school system. In fact, he went on to say that John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie were strict Darwinists who believed that only one out of twenty people were in the higher evolutionary class. The system as we know it was set in place to do something with the throwbacks. Boarding schools were set up to aid in the breeding of the higher evolutionary classes.
This information astonished me! I had never heard such a thing. Much of the information John shared with me is available at his website, www.johntaylorgatto.com.
Prior to my interview with John, my answers to why I home school, aside from the calling of God, were quite simplistic in nature. After my interview, they became revolutionary!
Ive been quite content sitting back educating my children. However, John Taylor Gatto informed me that home schoolers are the single largest mass of people revolting from a society which is comfortable. We are not willing to accept the status quo. By the mere act of removing our children from the government schools, we are making a statement to the country. We are telling them that the children of America are not just evolutionary throwbacks, but they are children who can return to the pioneering spirit which made our country great! A spirit which enabled a mass of people to rise up against a super power and win. Our children, the children who are being educated in our homes, are the catalyst to change and reform in the school system of America. Our children are the leaders of tomorrow who are forging their own paths!
Listen to Terri's weekly broadcast for home schoolers at www.thepathhome.com.
In addition to devoting herself to her husband and the eight children she home schools, Terri also enjoys writing and speaking to offer encouragement to women in an effervescent, humorous way. Visit her Website at www.ignitethefire.com or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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