So how has the first month of 2017 been for you?
I’m relieved to be entering a new year, and I hope you are, too. The year 2016 had an unbelievable number of tragedies and scary shocks to my system. I’m ready to turn over a new leaf.
I’ll be blogging more consistently this year. Many of us, after the results of the 2016 presidential election in this country, have asked what we can do in order to help unite our fractured country. No matter which side of the divide you stand on, there’s no denying that we need both healing and progress. As a homeschooling parent, I’ve had to ask myself how I can help, even though my daily life is spent at home and I haven’t been a part of the wider economy since 1995.
Here’s my answer. I’m speaking up. And this blog is part of my effort.
I feel that for too long I have kept quiet in order to keep the peace, and now I am feeling genuine chagrin at my responsibility in what I view as an assortment of huge national mistakes and misunderstandings. One of the most dismaying emotions that I can think of is the “I-can’t-believe-I-didn’t-do-something-when-I-knew-better” type of regret. It’s a little bit like watching someone die because you’re not sure if you remember all the steps of CPR correctly. My frustration has bubbled over into, “Damn it, DO something!”
So I’m doing something. And here’s my credo.
I believe that education is the answer. Not formal education, but the education that comes from knowing facts and having the courage to think for oneself. This means reading a lot, discussing a lot, and appreciating history and the arts as a way of evaluating human success and failure. Everything I have done since I had my first child in 1995 has been geared toward helping my kids to eventually join society with problem-solving skills that would help them to know truth from fiction. The further I went into this journey with them, the more convinced I became that while there are many good “systems” available to teach academic material, all of them require intervention from a human teacher figure if a child is to learn how to use his or her own mind.
It’s not about flash cards, e-learning, or standardized testing. It’s about learning to think for yourself.
This year I’m ready to put my beliefs out there and to stand up for them. Please join me in the conversation, because the point is to come together. I can’t do it alone.