Click Here to Buy a CD and Get a Free T-Shirt!
Copyright 1992 © N.S. Gill
On March 3 my son is scheduled to begin his eleven year prison sentence.
We're lucky though. In most states, under sentencing guidelines, he would
have started a twelve year sentence a year ago.
On that fateful date my son turns seven. His crime? Incipient, independent
thought. But we will not sit by complacently, waiting for the daily visiting
hours from three until bedtime. To send our son to the state school would
mean that we accept the state's right to indoctrinate our son; that we
accept the notion that children must be made miserable so they will accept
the yoke of dull, degrading work later in life -- willingly; that we believe
that reading, writing and arithmetic are so very difficult that they can
only be learned by being pumped in by state certified mechanics; that we
believe in the gospel of integration by busing; that we rescind our right
to teach our beliefs and values; that we accept the virtue of the seven
lesson school curriculum described by John Taylor Gatto in Dumbing Us Down:
confusion, conditional self- esteem, indifference, emotional and intellectual
dependency, surveillance, and class position,
Instead, he will learn the way generations of American families and
their ancestors have learned, in the way that between 300,000 and 600,000
current American families are learning --through homeschooling. Since we
find coercion morally offensive, we are not merely replacing one stultifying
curriculum with another; instead, we use a method that has proven to be
effective, the method with which our son learned to walk at one, the method
through which he learned the English language at two, the same method he
used to learn to operate the computer by three. John Holt has characterized
it as "intrinsically motivated thematically interconnected organic
It is commonly called unschooling or student-directed learning. My job
is to provide instruction when he asks for it; to provide transportation
to the library, bookstore, park, to plays, exhibitions, or friends' houses--at
least until he's comfortable taking the bus there himself; to provide resources;
to inspire him; to read to him; to help him see both sides of issues; to
trust him and his
Another important part of my job is to ensure the survival of our legal
right to homeschool. To this end we must either compromise or be willing
to go to court. Since I am not anxious to incur legal costs, I intend to
prepare our son for some of the currently mandated school procedures, like
annual registration and testing.
As to reading, writing and arithmetic...I suppose we'll set aside the
requisite 100 hours some day. I just hope he hasn't advanced too far beyond
algebra by the time we infuse him with the basics.
Originally printed in Minnesota Libertarian.(1992)
Copyright © 1996 & 1997 N. S. Gill.
This page hosted by
Get your own Free Home Page