Home schooling or Home education?
A lot depends on which country you live in, and how important definitions are. For some people a philosophical emphasis is a key factor, but I do not intend to debate that issue at this time. Let’s keep it simple according to my reasoning! These days, schooling generally is interpreted as the instruction that a person receives at a school – buildings, or an institution, that functions as part of a system. Education refers to the process of acquiring knowledge and understanding. Where and how this process takes place is a key matter. There can be “unlimited” opportunities within the home, but within the physical environment of an institution with its roll numbers, curriculums, staffing, timetables, regulation and controls, the necessary organization determines to a large degree the values, standards and the extent of spontaneity of what will be taught and when.
Home schooling may last up to about 12 years, but does home EDUCATION ever cease?
A lifestyle of living BEYOND CONFORMITY began for us as a family in 1983 and this is referred to in JALP, Chapter 4. My active involvement in New Zealand, through CHESM, lasted until the beginning of the 21st Century. I use this expression because this new century is certainly characterized by the breathtaking speed at which new technology is affecting how society lives, moves and is controlled, as time passes.
Having completed the requirements of the exemption certificate to home educate Ian and David, and assisted hundreds of other families, my priorities came under the spotlight. What should I do now? Should I retain my home education “ministry”? How could my interests be incorporated into the commitment Hilary had made to Dr Robert Reisinger? With the establishment of the Trust, Hilary and I became joint Trustees with a Trust Deed clearly enunciating the provisions set out in Robert’s Will.
Could the coming years accommodate vaccination and its related issues, as well as the convictions associated with a total life-style-related living beyond conformity “curriculum” that had been my vision for so long?
For two years I sought to focus on those questions and to come up with “satisfactory” answers.
As a result, I wrote another “book” called “Conformity, Cloning and the Closet”. It is actually a book written to myself, although others have found it a challenge too. Rather than completely solve my initial questions, it raised more! Should I keep my home education resources? How could I adjust my “advisory role” to the increasing use – dependence almost – on computers, in the education process? After all, I was an illiterate person, after nearly 50 years as a “teacher”!! (For a number of reasons, I have chosen to remain computer illiterate. I think you press a button to get one to start working!!!)
Occasionally people ask me if I am still available to help home educators. The answer is, “Yes I am, BUT….” and then I confess that I live in the Flintstone era, that we drive a 1975 Hillman Hunter station wagon, that some people regard us as heretics over vaccination issues, and that Hilary and I like to walk down the road together, holding hands and … and … then I continue, “our motor home is called ‘Beyond Conformity’ and we are a bit different in the way we view life, but if you can accept all that, yes, with those deficiencies, I am very willing to help if I can, especially with a ‘curriculum’ that is designed for family living…”
A read of chapters 71, 73, 79 and 81 in FOPTA will show you how my mind still works.
During the last few years I have written “The Great Divide” and this has been an enjoyable pastime for me. The story reflects so much of my vision and desire. For me it is a home education resource designed for Called-out, Chosen Ones – D’Different people who are prepared to stick their necks out and live according to their convictions. But it is more than that. People can live it if they really choose to. I long to meet them. Coming out of the mould does not please the ways of the world’s systems. It never has and it never will, but there is “a something” – a freedom, a release, a knowing, whatever – that is hard to describe, but which is so worthwhile. It comes with a price, but then the most worthwhile things in life are not cheap – they cost!
To any readers who are home educating, my words of encouragement would be: keep it up; let it fulfil a vision for your family’s lifestyle; use every opportunity that comes from out-of-the-mould-inspiration, and if you can get through the threads of Beyond the Web, then Petes at the other end of his antiquated phone! This invitation is extended to everyone choosing to live beyond conformity. The great divide extends into every aspect of every day, in one form or another.
Oh … those unresolved questions that we grapple with from time to time? Maybe someone like you may be an “answer”!