Honestly, I did not set out to become the Leader of the Rebel Alliance!
However, over the course of the last year, at least 3 families that I love (and talked to A LOT!) have decided to home school their children. Now, while I do accept partial responsibility, I can't take it all, because a WHOLE LOT comes from the schools.
Now, I have to tell you that my fabulous children attended our local (small) public school from K until either 5 or 6 grade (ie, this last year). That is because I am not their only parent, and we needed to follow the desires of our good daddy (My Favorite Gentleman). They received an adequate education there. However, this year, they (the school)--without really informing the parents-- decided to move the 5th and 6th grade into the junior high. I am sure it was for reasons like space or budget issues. However 10 year olds do not need to be in the same culture as 8th graders.
Here we find ourselves, and our cute, perfect little babies are now tall, willowy (in some cases) wiry (in other cases) people whom we have carefully raised to have LOTS of personality, curiosity and life all stored up in them, and then they are forced to go into schools that systematically try to crush all of those traits OUT.
In my opinion, Junior High school is the cesspool of our civilization. At this age, personalities are delicate and are forming the traits that will shape the rest of their lives. So, we send them to school for "socialization"--do you remember jr. high? The only people meaner that jr. high boys are jr. high girls!
Also, if you think about it, the only other place that has a comparable social setting is prison. That isn't what I want my children to think is normal.
Today was the first warm spring-like day. It seemed like a criminal act to force them to stay in (and there was no good reason why they should!) so they went out to run in the fresh wind. They came running joyfully back to report that one of our trees is not only hollow!, but also contains a squirrel nest, and is completely full of stored nuts.
LargeBoy of mine reporting to his dad:
Daddy:"what have you learned in school?"
Dad indignantly told this to me, which made me laugh, because that was the same day LargeBoy had reeled off the names of all the kings of Mesopotamia--which he learned about a little bit from our history lesson, but mostly from a "They Might Be Giants" song!
I reassured his daddy that LargeBoy was just used to thinking that learning has to be drudgery, and that if it is fun, it can't possibly count!
So, here we are with a brand new paradigm--where we learn for the joy of it! Whoa--what a radical idea!