Thursday, January 16, 2014

Civilized Slavery

You are convinced that the severity of your actions is an indication of how barbaric or civilized you are.  What is civilization really?  Is it the degree of conveniences available to the common man?  Is it, or rather, isn’t it instead supposed to be, the hallmark of advancement?  We label superiority of civilization very specifically.  It has to do with how much is physically available to plug in or turn on.

Civilized “superiority” in its true sense, is a much different attribute. There are small groups of “uncivilized” humans in isolated pockets who are made up of enlightened people.  We may not understand their individual practices or way of living, yet it springs essentially from respect and honor for life – all life.

They do not subscribe to waste; all parts of the vegetation, animal and human are sacred and equally utilized.  If there are no libraries filled with literature that just means the art of verbal communication is utilized instead.

The notion that whole groups of humans must be aware of the actions of every other group of humans stems from ego.  It is born out of self importance.  What someone has to say about nuclear physics has no effect on the talent of the master fisherman.  Each adds value to life as a whole.  The relative intelligence of one does not depend on its awareness or knowledge about the mechanics of both.

Apprenticeships, journeymen, internships; these are fertile grounds for excellence and unique development.  This “know everything” model of man came about for purposes of conformity, superiority, competition and a dulling of the senses.  The impact of a constant stream of novel and unrelated information on the brain disables the ability to focus and concentrate.  How can you invent free energy alternatives when you are required to spit out parts of speech in multiple languages along with lists of wars and dead dictators?

Knowledge is not a bad thing.  The requirement placed on young children for memorization and uniform ability however, is criminal.  At a time when the brain is most malleable and open to rapid development; it is held tightly in a box of facts that hold little if any interest.  This is mutilation every bit as destructive as the physical mutilation done to young girls as they reach sexual maturity in some cultures.  Its purpose is to inhibit pleasure and halt any possibility of free and unique expression – to define the purpose and output of the human; to create slaves.

This program of enslavement touches every aspect of culture, regardless of its level of “civilized” advancement.  It is a misunderstanding to label any part of man “superior” to any other part. The implications of that label reinforce separatism, elitism and polarity. 

Man as a whole has been manipulated and the expression of that is diverse.  Freedom is evident in self confidence without comparison – in acceptance of individual brilliance that reaches the heights of possibility, unencumbered by rules, expectations, or what has been done before.  Freedom is self defined.

Friday, January 10, 2014

When a kid leaves traditional education.

Speaking as a mother of 4 home schooled children, this article and most especially the video of young man Logan Laplante speaking out about the benefits of home schooling..... I literally glowed when I read and listened to this.  I have shared this with many many friends in the past few days, including the son of a friend of mine who is currently going through the difficulty of trying to figure out if he wishes to be home schooled or not.

.... needless to say, I think that the video alone may of strengthened his resolve to continue with him home school education, regardless of the pressure being put on him from other family members.

My own son, also named Logan, lol, has blossomed into a read-a-holic under the no-pressure, unschooling atmosphere of our daily homeschooling routine.  Logan, who is 6 years old and falls under the "autism" umbrella, had no interest in sitting still to learn.  I was getting pressured by others to "teach him" and I refused:  I was not going to pound letters and numbers into a young mind that didn't want to learn "that way".  Instead, Logan learned through osmosis- listening in to the conversations I had with his older sisters about phonetics and reading.  Occasionally, he would pick  up a book and ask me to help him with this word or that.... and I think that there was one time that I explained long and short vowel sounds to him and how they work together....

No real reading at all until last summer.  Suddenly Logan realized that he would be able to play so many more computer games if he could read..... and that was it!

- in 2 months, Logan was reading at a grade 2 level
- in 4 months, a grade 4 level

..... Now, 6 months later, Logan is currently reading at about a grade 6 level and his vocabulary is on par with most high school students.

To those who would tell me that Home Schooling is a bad idea, I say..... Really?  REALLY?!?

This Is What Happens When A Kid Leaves Traditional Education

January 7, 2014 by Joe Martino.

Logan Laplante is a 13 year-old boy who was taken out of the education system to be home schooled instead. Not only was he home schooled, but Logan had the ability to tailor his education to his interests and also his style of learning, something traditional education does not offer. As Logan has mentioned, when he grows up he wants to be happy and healthy. At a TEDx talk in 2013, he discussed how hacking his education is helping him achieve that goal.

Logan’s story can be seen in a similar light as Jacob Barnett‘s story who was first put in Special Ed by his school until he was pulled out of standard education and is now seen as an incredibly intelligent young person who is on track to winning a Nobel Prize one day.
More on Education & Homeschooling

Education is often considered the foundation for creating a well rounded and productive society, but this belief usually stems from being sure that those coming out of the education system are able to keep the cogs of society turning in order to maintain profit margins of large companies in a system that requires constant growth. Instead of having creative and out-of-the-box-thinking people, the current style of education creates more submissive, obedient and trained graduates so the current system is always maintained.

What this means is that standard education is focused less on each individual and their growth and more on creating a supply of worker bees that can go out into the world and follow within the confines the system sets out. Sir Ken Robinson gave a famous TED talk in 2007 where he discussed his beliefs about how education kills creativity. This TED talk is one of the most viewed TED talks of all time and  has inspired many to re-think the way we are educating our children. Since traditional education is still taking its time with adjusting, many are turning to homeschooling as a solution as it allows children to explore education much like Logan did.

Currently about 3.8% of children ages 5 – 17 are home schooled in the US. In Canada, that number drops to about 1%. This is a number that is expected to continue growing in both countries as more see the limitations of our current education system. Also, studies done in the US and Canada show that home schooled children out perform their peers from both private and public schools.

In my view, home schooling is much more likely to create a creative, adaptive, and forward thinking person who is less conditioned to think only within the small confines of a crumbling system. Does this mean it is for everyone and that one can’t turn out that way through standard education? No, I simply feel the chances are far greater with homeschooling.

My decision to leave school behind when I was in college came from the same beliefs I hold today about education. I felt confined within the system and I felt it wasn’t going to lead me somewhere I wanted to be. It didn’t matter whether I was studying business, engineering, marketing or music, I did not enjoy the methods and couldn’t see a way to change things except by leaving. Aside from what society would make us think, leaving education and a diploma behind was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made as I was then able to explore and learn anything I wanted without having to worry about a rigid structure which promotes memorization and useless testing. I believe we will be OK if we leave the current education system behind and choose other methods. This isn’t to say homeschool is for everyone, but I truly believe that a drastic, and I mean drastic, change in the way our education system functions needs to happen, and soon.