Sunday, August 24, 2008

Universal Preschool

Many people think we should hand over our children to the professionals when they reach a certain age. Compulsory education used to start around age 6. Now if your 3 year old isn't in full time "preschool" (basically glorified daycare) people start questioning your parental judgment. The earlier the government gets their greedy little hands on my children the more likely they are to corrupt them into state-appeasing big government sympathizers. No thank you. Presumptive democratic nominee Barack Obama wants your kids as soon as they exit the womb (provided they survive that journey) and into preschool as soon as humanly possible. Here's a quote from Obama's website:

Zero to Five Plan: Obama's comprehensive "Zero to Five" plan will provide critical support to young children and their parents. Unlike other early childhood education plans, Obama's plan places key emphasis at early care and education for infants, which is essential for children to be ready to enter kindergarten. Obama will create Early Learning Challenge Grants to promote state "zero to five" efforts and help states move toward voluntary, universal pre-school.

That's right folks. Infant education. Want your child to succeed? Then Barack Obama has a plan to provide early care and education for your baby. Every time I hear about the need to increase "free" (taxpayer-funded) preschool (daycare) I am reminded of Plato's Republic in which Plato argued for the state to raise children. That is, Plato wanted the state to physically remove children from their parents and raise them with professionals. The goal of Plato's Republic would be to destroy the family in a quest for educating them the "right way" which Plato prescribes in his dialogue.

Read here for more.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Boy Wanders Into Mexico After School Bus Mix-up

"Gadsden Elementary School District board President Luis Marquez says that if any failure is found in the school transportation system, it will be corrected immediately."

"IF" any failure is found? You let a kid get onto a bus which wasn't his. You dropped him off at a place which wasn't his home. He "wandered" into another COUNTRY. I'd say that somewhere in there, something or someone failed.

People are surprised when something goes wrong after they turn their kids over to the government. Every time you hear, "This country is so messed up," "The government does this or that"...

I'm not even shocked anymore. The government screws up most anything it touches. I should know, I'm in the "go over there and screw that up" department of the government (only we use bombs and guns). Where's our "escape strategy" from the failed government education system?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Freedom ... for 10 weeks a year.

The back-to-school propaganda machine is in full swing these days. The news media makes light of both the collective groan from children, mourning the loss of summer freedom, and the cheers from adults, anticipating the return of "free" day care in the form of compulsory public education. Advertisers swoop in with the diversion of back to school shopping. New clothes, fresh supplies, the latest electronics - all to distract parents and children alike from the scary reality of ever-increasing government control over our children, our time, our entire lives.

Children are right to groan, but not for reasons that they are fully conscious of. Learning is about making sense of the world, but too many children are shut out of that world. They're stuffed in a classroom for eight hours a day after a too-early-in-the-morning bus ride and spend even more time away from family on homework or extracurricular activities. Caged like animals from dawn to dusk, separated from their natural instincts to explore, observer and learn, they turn into adults who can't make sense of the world around them. Their survival instincts were arrested at an early age. Good for a government that wants dependent and docile citizens, but a horrendous assault on individuality and the sanctity of a child's development. Children know it isn't right or natural, and I suspect, deep down, parents know this, too. But, just as in school, they are blinded by the status quo. They numbly go along. They shut up and put up, because they've forgotten how or never had the opportunity to think for themselves. They accept, essentially, government-mandated control over how their family spends its time.

Here in North Carolina, it's still over 90 degrees outside, hurricanes are churning in the Atlantic, summer thunderstorms wash away the day's heat, the ocean water is the perfect temperature, the cool air of the mountains still beckons, not a single leaf has turned color, tomatoes are still ripening on the vine, mosquitoes and fireflies still flutter in my backyard. Yet students are returning to school next week, unnaturally ending a season that naturally meanders into late September. Every year, I feel excitement with a twinge of sadness as seasons pass. But as a child, returning to school in late summer was met with unspeakable sadness and anxiety. It unnaturally cut short time with siblings, time to enjoy summer, to read, sew, garden, swim, be with friends or be alone, even do nothing at all.

The language of the back-to-school blitz makes me flinch. A "Kickoff to Kindergarten" event at a local museum was described as boot camp for 5-year-olds; a lifeguard described the change in demeanor among children in the past week saying "It's just like they put their heads down and look at their feet. They know what's coming."

A headline declared "Last week of freedom." I'm afraid that's old news. Our freedom was lost a long time ago.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I stumbled across this quote today in reference to the parents' right to homeschool.
"Reality Check: The state needs our approval to even exist. This need is not reciprocal."
By Bev Jones. HomeSchooling Texas.

By clicking on this quote, I was linked to this:

"Some homeschoolers have been scrambling to gain state approval for years now. Those of us who realize that parenting our offspring is a perfectly right and natural function of having produced those children, also realize that no state "seal of approval" is required. In fact, seeking the state's approval is seeking to bring force to bear upon your own children, family and home. "

I was recently posed with the 'accreditation' question, by a new acquaintance. I literally saw his nose turn up when he said the word. I believe him to be one who has not been around many homeschooling families.
I have been on the receiving end of many snarky comments lately. It's getting to me, through my usually thick skin - maybe my guard is down being in a new country with few friends, and fewer like-minded ones. I have had to make up my mind to stop trying to discuss with new meets (potential friends) our particular style of education (which is quite relaxed).
I have seen first hand what happens when one mom asks the other what curriculum she uses, and the answer is 'ummm...none, really'. The conversation (the two sided kind) abruptly stalls. So I tend to elaborate and expound on the merits of unschooling. My first few tries to limit myself failed miserably. I love to talk about homeschooling and unschooling. Then when I finally got it right and kept my mouth shut, I was miserable - listening to this poor woman (who has 6 kids under the age of 11) discuss the merits of this curriculum or that one. I have only three kids and I can't stand the thought of trying to mold them all to one boxed curriculum. But, it is what they have chosen, because it works for them.

It really blows my mind that people who clearly like America for the freedom to say anything that crosses their mind (like 'oh we'll work the devil out of you yet,') are incapable of applying the concept of freedom any further than their own mouth.
Whether or not you believe the classroom is the right place for kids,
whether you suspect I am a criminal, breaking the law by teaching at home,
or that I am an idiot who can't even teach at an elementary level,
or that my kids are stupid and incapable of learning on their own,

...certainly as Americans we can all get behind the idea that parents should (I don't even like this word) be the ones to choose the path for their own offspring. And we don't need a government, which came along only in the last 250 years or so, to grant that to us. It was ours in the first place. The government should be protecting the rights we already have, not give them and take them as they see fit.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Brief CA Follow-up

About a week behind the curve, but I did want to post an update concerning the California decision being revisited. The word on the streets now is you may homeschool your children. Hooray! Next stop... DC. (Reactionary politics gone awry)

Friday, August 8, 2008