Thursday, November 29, 2012

Teach the Children Well

Some of the world's greatest innovators were self-taught and/or homeschooled.

It's not so much that homeschooling is better, but that most of the time it allows for a freedom and flexibility that is not possible in a formal school setting. In fact, the school setting is becoming more and more rigid, and I hear teachers talking about how today's students can not even think for themselves.

In the dramatically changing world into which we are moving like a run-away frieght train, we are going to need people who are problem-solvers. People who can look at a pile of junk and see a woodshed or a methane-digester or a wheel barrow or a water catchment system. Look at a pile of ragged and stained clothes and see a quilt or a pair of curtains or a vest or hat or a pair of gloves. Look at a pile of ingredients and see a three-course meal.

The last fifty years have been amazing, and those of us who have been fortunate to live in this privileged world of plenty have a lot to be thankful for, but our children, those of us who still have young children at home or who have yet to procreate, will live in a very different world than the one we know now.

Homeschooling full-time may not be an option for many people, but at very least, we have to realize that we can not depend on the schools, in their current incarnation, to teach our children the lessons they will need to know.

If you can homeschool, do; if you can't homeschool, start teaching your children the lessons the schools will never teach about self-sufficiency and problem solving.

The most important knowledge we can give our children is not how to solve for x, but rather the passion to want to know what x is, and why it is, and how it can be rearranged to make it look like t.

Whether we teach them well or just believe we are teaching them, our children will change the world - just as we have done. The question is, will the change be better than the changes we have wrought? It's true that all parents wish better for their children than they had. The question we have to answer for ourselves, as parents, is what do we mean by better?

What I want for my children is not that they have more, but that they be free to live more; to explore and laugh and wonder; to suck the marrow from life; to sound their barbaric YAWP from the rooftops of the world ...!

And, then, go home and have a warm meal in their warm, cozy homes, and there be enough.

Anything more is just clutter.


  1. excellent
    but beware of those lists of 'homeschoolers' some of them are incredibly misleading and many of the people of course lived at a time when being educated outside school was the norm for the upper classes (didn't mix with the hoi polloi). The Queen for example is listed as home educated ... well duh!

    thanks for sharing