Sometimes it takes a while for the right message to spread, especially through a complacent, distracted populous, but the message is there waiting when they are ready.
Last week I was invited to come on The Dana Loesch Show for The Blaze TV, to speak about home schooling. I’ve been an advocate for years, but with the advent of Common Core, the stakes are higher and the debate has intensified, so I will grasp any opportunity to get my message to those who need to hear it.
Earlier in the week, I was questioned directly after church by another church-goer as to why I advocate so strongly for home schooling. It was crowded and noisy after the service, and I had to come up with a succinct, to-the-point answer for my curious friend. “I don’t believe an institution is the best place for any child,” I answered. This crystalized my passion for children better than I had ever done previously, and the timing for my epiphany was impeccable.
On Dana’s show, I managed to expound more on that analysis. It boils down to the fact that our society has been brainwashed to believe that teachers have cornered the market on education, that institutional education is the best way to accomplish – what, exactly? Conformity and indoctrination, of course. Progressive, liberal, ideological indoctrination, masquerading as the government’s care and consideration for your children. The government doesn’t care, and the sooner you disabuse yourself of patently false notions, the better off you and your children will be. This government doesn’t even care enough about its bottom line to encourage people to work, even for its own tax revenues. Witness the outrageous job-loss concordant with the implementation of Obamacare and the invention of the phrase “job-locked” to excuse it away. And we are supposed to trust these people with our precious children?
I got an email from an acquaintance, asking to speak to me about her daughter. We had met briefly a few years ago at a social event. She found my number through a mutual friend. Her daughter, Jane, was rebelling against going to school. Jane would cry and find excuses to avoid going to junior high each day, and her grades reflected her frustration. A superintendent-type at the school had suggested taking Jane out of the system, doing a kind of public school home study with her. This way, the school could retain the child’s funds, but be absolved of responsibility. Clever plan. Unfortunately, or rather, fortunately for the girl, that program was full and the mom was seeking alternate options.
Mom began our phone call saying she could never home school her daughter. Inside, I crumpled. But I am an eternal optimist. We chatted for a while about the situation. She divulged that when she told Jane to study for social studies, for instance, the girl would answer, “I don’t know how to study!” Imagine that! They don’t actually teach them how to study in an institution designed for that purpose! I confided that as a public schooled youngster, it took me until my first year at Duke to learn how to study (from a fellow classmate, mind you). I explained that the system – the institution – had failed Jane, and I believed the worst thing for Jane would be to dump her in another institution. “But I haven’t a clue about how to home school,” was Mom’s answer.
I pursue a classical Christian education for my kids, but there are a plethora of other options out there for parents, and resources for those new to schooling. We explored options for her, and she finally realized that she was not as impotent as our system wanted her to believe. As I educated her on what her best choices might be, a shift came over her and she brightened. She said, “Wow, I think this might be the best thing for our relationship, actually. I can take her out of school, cover the basics, and teach her how to enjoy learning again.” I smiled. Sure, it had been two years since I had first blabbed to her about home schooling, but sometime it takes that long for the message to hit home.
Ultimately, the goal of education is to show the child how to teach themselves, to equip them so they can satisfy their innate love of learning – for the rest of their lives. Too often we see that brick and mortar schools ‘teach’ quite the opposite. With the advent of the internet, great educational materials are mere clicks away – even the classics are all at the library.
My message is resonating with people more now because the battle has intensified. Common Core is awakening parents in ways I couldn’t have dreamed. They are now positioning for defense of their children. It’s high time.