How do I start, except to admit the purpose of this writing, and that is to make you consider one thing. I didn’t want this to be long but am afraid it’s going to be.
I am a middle aged father with a greying beard (that I love). I am not rich but I love America. I am an electrician and work at Home Depot. I ride the bus to work. I rent a 750 square foot apartment in the concrete jungle, but wish it was in the country. I wear ball caps but comb my hair to go to church on most Sundays, but believe I should go more often. I like guns, camping, hunting, fishing, boxing and college basketball. I enjoy reading, politics, debate, philosophy, history and The Art of War. I like Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Westerns, prefer Sean Connery as James Bond and most of Sylvester Stallone’s films. I also enjoy the occasional Davidoff Nicaraguan cigar, the social drink and, like Frank Underwood, video games.
There is, however, one thing which is more important to me than everything: more than politics, my job, a paycheck, my happiness, my favorites sport, my vacations, my firearms, my favorite tv show, my pride, my religious convictions, and my very life. That thing is the precious gift of two children I have been given. Two children who I love and cherish deeply. Two children who are the primary influence on every decision I make.
Two children who, technically, are all I have in this world. They are all of me, they are all I have to offer. More than my two hands, when I am gone they are all I will have left behind. So, for now, as my 10 and 12 year old progeny, they are my responsibility, they are my life.
The things I want for my children are not so much materialistic: I want my children to have good memories, good health, a good family, an appreciation for life and liberty, a respect for God and authority, a good productive work ethic, a character of responsibility and self discipline and everything I had, and everything I wish I had.
As I look at the social, economic, legal and moral landscape of a country that I, like my father, sacrificed to serve for and the direction she is heading, to say I am deeply concerned is an understatement.
I vote but it’s not enough. I talk to people at work, but most don’t listen. Deep down I wish I could change or affect things, but I am just me. I don’t know how to change lazy people into working people. I don’t know how to lead large groups of people to action. Even though I wish I could, I don’t know how to make politicians change their mind or lead with integrity.
The one thing I have and am responsible for is my children, and the thought of me leaving them to their own devices, to become burdens to the state or society drives me to do everything I know how to do to help make them better humans. Perhaps, one day, my children will achieve heights I never have yet attained. Perhaps, they will become a statistically average tax paying citizens. God forbid they go against everything I am teaching them.
My children have been in private school for all but one year, when their mother and I separated. Even that one year was tough, as I would regularly drop them off or pick them up from school, I would see everything that I didn’t want for my children inside the chainlink fence of the school yard.
I had periodically volunteered in the public and private school classrooms on my days off for about 12 years, as I did what I could to help raise my stepson and stepdaughter, before my own children began school. Even in those days, I saw things which disheartened me, things which have neither been fixed nor gotten better.
The last week my children were in public school, I saw my son out on the playground before school started. As I watched a normally active, athletic, social boy, my heart broke as I saw him defeated, insecure and quiet. His teacher’s crass philosophy, the testing environment, and the classroom discipline environment was different than he was used to. I immediately pulled them out and put them back in the private school, even though it was a financial stretch.
After last year ended, I knew I could not put my children back in public school again, I’f rather have them sit in front of television and watch Disney channel all day. The private school treated me well and was always flexible and accommodating when it came to the bill, but I knew it wouldn’t be right. So, over the summer I began reading Ron Paul’s “The School Revolution” and everything clicked. I would home school. By myself, yes, but I would figure it out for the sake of my children.
Less than one month in this journey, and though it IS a lot of work, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love it AND my children love it. I’ve found ALL the dissenting arguments against it are wrong, if not in fact, the opposite of “what they say”- yes, including socialization. WITHOUT EXCEPTION, the best, most well-mannered, well-educated, well-spoken, responsible, hard-working, and socially ept children I have ever met are, in fact, home school children. It has given me so much pleasure and freedom with my children, I have grown closer to them in ways I never thought imaginable.
Since then, I have been compiling the following reasons why I have chosen to do what I am doing with regards to my children’s education:
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– I love my children more than anything on earth.
– I want the absolute best for my children.
– What I believe about academics is not what the schools teach about academics.
– I do not believe the school district, the DOE, or the state is a higher authority than me, the parent.
– I believe the highest authority is God and God only, my children do not need to learn evolution is a fact
– I am not subject to the state, nor are my children. i pay taxes and therefore the state should be subject to me
– I want my children to have a proper classical education, not a 2nd rate curriculum of suspect authors and administrators.
– I want my children to have a proper respect and appreciation for the U.S.A., a country which most take for granted.
– I want my children to learn proper American history, not a biased, defeated history which overemphasizes corrected historical wrongs.
– I do not want my children in a classroom full of undisciplined an uncorrectable students who do not want to learn.
– I do not want my children in a school system that continuously lowers its standards to make it’s testing scores look better
– I do not want my kids to think that “the school” is supposed to feed them breakfast and lunch, as opposed to me, the parent. This teaches them that the state will provide for them and their livelihood.
– I want my children to be responsible, autonomous, well-read, well-spoken, hard-working, and upstanding citizens of society, qualities none of which the public school teaches whatsoever.
– I do not trust teachers that i do not know.
– The teachers that i do know and might trust are overworked, micromanaged and frustrated with teaching to the tests and unruly classrooms.
– I do not want my children in an environment of other children whose parents see the classroom as free baby-sitting and have no concern about their education.
– I want my son to be free to be a boy and my daughter to be free to be a girl. Too many school playgrounds are tied down with teachers on bullhorns yelling the rules, “Don’t do that! No running! You can’t play tag! No climbing! No arm-wrestling! Stop doing that!”
– My children do no need to learn about “sexual identity” or any perversion thereof.
– My children do not need to be taught about orgasms, condoms, STDs, etc. by anyone other than me.
– I do not want my children to graduate from an institution with a 50% dropout rate.
– I do not want my children to learn from an academic institution that is more concerned with collecting its $10,000 per pupil per year from the state rather than giving my children an education.
– I do not want my children to learn from an institution that receives $300,000.00 per year for one classroom, and still makes the parents buy paper and pencils and cannot afford air-conditioning.
– I do not want my children to read material that is marginally or overtly pornographic.
– I want my children to read classic literature.
– I do not want my children to feel like they need to have good self-esteem all the time. the cost of losing a sporting competition should be learning good sportsmanship and turning loss into the drive to work harder to win the next event, not free trophies and ribbons for doing a “good job” in order to protect their feelings. Humility is more important than self-esteem.
– I want my children to respect authority, not question and disrespect it.
– I do not want my children in an institution where the institution itself thinks it knows how to raise my children better than I do.
– I want my children to understand the importance of their signature on a contract and therefore the integrity of the U.S. Constitution, not how it should be changed.
– I do not want my children tested and tested and tested until they are fraught with stress.
– I do not want my children tested for two weeks at a time.
– I do not want my children in an environment where teachers teach to a test rather than simply teaching them.
– I do not want my children to receive diversity training in place of geography. We get enough diversity watching television, going to the store and walking in the neighborhood.
– I do not want my children in an environment where the only way to address a grievance or recourse is to drive to Washington D.C.
– I do not want my children reading assigned books which are too sexually graphic for school administrators to read.
– I do not want any school asking my children personal questions of a sexual nature or about anything that occurs in my home, including if we have firearms in our home (which I do, but that is none of the school’s business), all of which go into their record.
– I do not want my children to be subjected to any “surprise” perverted curriculum that I wasn’t told about.
– I do not want my daughter thinking she can get “free, confidential” sexual advice or an abortion against my will and consent without me knowing about it from her school.
– I don’t want the classroom teaching faster or slower than my child comprehends the material. This is virtually impossible in the large classroom setting.
– I want my children to understand the difference between a Constitutional Republic and a Democracy.
– I want my children to understand America has an inescapably rich Christian heritage, of which Muslims had nothing to do with.
– The Bible is important and children should learn it.
– I DO NOT want my children to be told that, of all the presidents, the best is the latter, not the former.
– I want my children to learn spanish if they so choose, not because the teacher of school “has no choice”.
– I do not want my children in a classroom full of undisciplined children who the school will not expel.
– I want to be able to go on vacation and not worry about them missing school. We do this once a week.
– My kids can learn much more and spend more time on a subject they are interested in.
– I love my kids and this gives me more time with them!
– Simply, they are getting the education I want them to have.
– I know exactly what they are learning.
– I do not want the bad influence of overwhelming peer pressure.
– I refute the idea that parents are somehow obligated to put their children in public school.
– I want to have a bake sale any time I choose.
– I STRONGLY disapprove of this ruling:
[The Ninth Circuit decision in Fields v. Palmdale School District upheld the lower court’s broad ruling that the fundamental right to direct the upbringing and education of one’s children does not encompass the right “to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex in accordance with their personal and religious values and beliefs.”]
– Last (for now) but certainly not least, is the tidal wave of educational destruction, which would at least double the length of this writing: Common Core. I want my children to have NO PART OF IT.
I have given you all that I have to offer, so if you do not believe me or anything I have written and still think your children are ok in public school, at least do one thing for your children to prove me wrong: take Monday off work and go volunteer in your children’s classroom.