Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lockdowns and Learning

I feel 110% sure we are doing the right thing by homeschooling our kids. I've been reading The Homeschool Source Book by Jean and Donn Reed and this book is putting into words the things I have been thinking but been too afraid to say out loud to anyone but my husband.

One point that I felt almost shy about admitting was the fact that I want my kids to spend their childhood at home. What risky business, eh? Well, not necessarily. I think a comfortable and safe environment which naturally fosters learning and excitement about learning is the best way. I've thought for a long time that the idea of lumping a bunch of kids in one spot for hours on end, days on end and years on end is a recipe for disaster. And sometimes it is.

My mind always goes back to the horrible Columbine event. Maybe we Canadians don't have access to automatic weapons (legally) but still... what precipitous events lead to such a horrific thing? It's the guns and access to the guns and so much more. Much much more. Bullying. Bad parenting. Neglect. And so on. That in and of itself is enough to make me want to keep my kids home. For a while I squelched that fear. Everyone told me I was being ridiculous. Those things don't happen around here... right. Then why do my kids have to learn lockdown procedures in elementary school? Because of the risk. A crazy risk. A stupid risk that should have nothing to do with learning. But that's where we are as a society isn't it? Chernobyl of the education system. Why are we still pretending we don't know what we know. Faith? Action? Inaction? What is it anyway that keeps us in the numbs (as my mom would say).

Beyond the violence problem what about the social deficit and the morale deficit (notice I did not say moral deficit--morals are as unique as the individual who holds them--another broken record I wish we could change).

Case in point: The year my daughter was in kindergarten she was told by a fellow classmate that her little freckle she has just under the right side of her lower lip was ugly. She tried to pick it off. My heart sunk. I thought to myself... oh no. What do I do? I wanted to take her out of school back then but again, I was met with some resistance and I persevered within the public education system. I could not make her see how beautiful she and her freckle is no matter what I said. It took her a while to shake the insecurity.

We don't need Dove commercials to tell us what true beauty is. What an insult. It's and industry like any other and natural beauty is its wrangled horse thrown into the ring of modern trend. Kind of like making volcanos an appealing vacation spot--a battle against human nature and the bona-fide reality. What we need is a little more backbone, yes? We need to slough of the things we know to be false. We need to stop being so easily distracted by the proverbial disco ball.

Staying alive indeed. Surviving is not thriving. John Travolta is a great dancer but still...

Well, the bloom is officially off the rose as you may have noticed. My eyes can see the glory. Soon it will be Monday.  A new week and fresh opportunities to teach our kids ourselves is approaching. No more crunch time on a Sunday evening. No more breaking apart of the family unit. Learning in subtle ways during our down time.

These are just the beginnings to the reasons why I want this for us as a family. I am so excited. I am so sure we have made the best decision for our kids. It is a bit of a luxury for sure and perhaps not for everyone but it is for us and it is our choice and it is our right.

Furthermore (revving-up)... I have overcome my threatening misunderstanding that post-secondary education is the only way to ever make it in this world. I've learned that first hand. I know what I know and nobody can ever take that from me.

"Now, a question of etiquette - as I pass, 
do I give you the ass or the crotch?" Tyler Durden

And so it goes...




  1. If it means anything - I support your decision and admire your bravery Jody!