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Author Topic: Free Schooling Roll Call Thread  (Read 5968 times)

mark

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Free Schooling Roll Call Thread
« on: February 06, 2004, 12:39:50 am »

Post here if you have an interest in or an idea to offer to promote free association, thought, expression, speech and markets in education.


Note the lamp message icon. Start sharing those bright ideas.   ;)
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Tracy Saboe

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Re:Free Schooling Roll Call Thread
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2004, 02:16:58 pm »

Seperating school from government is my number one priority.

Tracy
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Re:Free Schooling Roll Call Thread
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2004, 11:23:28 am »

I am a homeschooler and can't imagine another way at this point.  I am putting together a homeschooling site which I'm hoping will morph into a homeschooling and private schooling site.  In this way, we offer one stop shopping for parents *not* interested in government schools.

Out of curiosity Mark, was your original comment about "free schools" or schooling freedom.  I've recently become acquainted withe and like the idea of free schools.  Those being a place where activities and freedom to explore them as a child wants are provided.  The longer I homeschool the more I realize they learn *so* much without my direction.  They still get my direction (I've become more eclectic and less classical) but I encourage them to pursue their passions as they arise.

Jean
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mark

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Re:Free Schooling Roll Call Thread
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2004, 07:55:15 pm »


Out of curiosity Mark, was your original comment about "free schools" or schooling freedom.  I've recently become acquainted withe and like the idea of free schools.  Those being a place where activities and freedom to explore them as a child wants are provided.  The longer I homeschool the more I realize they learn *so* much without my direction.  They still get my direction (I've become more eclectic and less classical) but I encourage them to pursue their passions as they arise.

Good question Jean. I've been curious about what terminology should be used  as an umbrela term for the whole homeschooling, school choice etc movement. I guess I just choose "Free Schooling" because the FSP has a freeschooling (also a homeschooling) community liaisons category and it matches well with the whole "Free State" image. Free Schooling is about freedom of choice so includes formal, structured private and homeschooling approaches as well.
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varrin

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Re:Free Schooling Roll Call Thread
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2004, 09:16:06 pm »

Y'all,

I attended what I would call a mostly 'free school'.  It was not a homeschool, but rather a real school with classrooms and all.  However, there were no required 'classes' nor were there compulsory attendance times.  The parents were encouraged to allow their children substantial authoirty over designing their own educational program.  And we did that.  

Some homeschoolers 'immitate' classroom schooling by creating a formal environment with a 'classroom', attendance times, courses of study, homework (isn't it *all* homework?? ;), etc.  Almost all private schools work that way (Sudbudy's schools are a notable exception).  Ir's reasonable to believe *any* accredited school works that way (our school wasn't accredited).  

So free schooling (as I understand it) could be applied to a homeschool enviornment or to a 'school' school enviorment.  It could not (the way things are today) be applied to an accredited enviornment.  

As a separate (though certainly related matter), as Tracy pointed out, the separation of school and state is a high priority for many of us.  I, too, have that as my first legislative priority, though I imagine it will take several steps to get from here to there.  A good first step would be to totally deregulate homeschooling and then private schooling.

V-

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BlueLu

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Re:Free Schooling Roll Call Thread
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2004, 04:46:00 pm »

Ping.  

I will refer you to the responses to my thread asking what Porc's were looking for in a private school.
http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=18;action=display;threadid=3576&start=0

There, I do not propose a Free School, but I think that free schooling has a place, and I applaud those who create the spaces for it.  I am focused more on a non-compulsory school.  But I would not expect every person in a free society (or even most people) to ever want to go to a school, with a lecture hall, guided discussions, regular meeting times, guided scholarly writing, pratical exercises, evaluations of progress, credit/no credit awards, etc.  Some would choose to go, though, and it is for these people that I want to work.
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mark

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Re:Free Schooling Roll Call Thread
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2004, 03:09:17 pm »

A Child Of The Year 2004 - Wake Up Parents of America!

A Child of the Year 2004
By Michael Goodspeed
02/14/04


Hello. I was a child born in the United States of America in the year 2004, and
I talk of this year in the past tense, as every event of my life, from birth to
death, was as pre-ordained and scripted as any Hollywood movie.

I speak to you from some time, some place, after my death less than a decade-
and-a-half after my birth. One could interpret my posthumous communication to
you as a cautionary tale, a warning of troubled times that lie ahead for you and
your kind, but as I said, these events of the near-future have already been set.
At one time in your short and troubled history, these events may have been
foreseen and perhaps avoided, but no more. Too many variables, too many
immutable cirumstances, would have to be altered for your fate and mine to
appreciably alter. The die has been cast; the future a moral certainty.

My date of birth was January 1, 2004. I was born to two homegrown, red-blooded,
working class Americans in their mid-20's.

Here was my life, beginning at ages 1-6: my daily life was a familiar routine.
Because both my parents worked, I was taken to day care in the mornings. My care
taker had three kids of her own, two of whom beat me up (but not too badly) when
she wasn't looking. I spent my days watching cartoons and other "kids' shows" on
digital cable, and in the evening, my parents took me home, where I alternated
between watching movies on my own Home Entertainment system in my bedroom, and
watching Reality TV shows with my parents in the Living Room. (Their favorite
was American Idol.) I had a lot of toys, mostly dolls that talked and squirted
fluids when you squeezed them, but they were so numerous, I had a hard time
distinguishing between them. I didn't really like those toys, but if anyone
(especially my sister Caitlin, who was born two years after me)lay a finger on
them, I became filled with uncontrollable rage, and hit them. I also had video
games that I couldn't really figure out how to play, and two or three "activity"
books, like coloring and connect the dots, but I didn't know how to read and my
parents never had the time to do them with me, so they lay forgotten in the junk
heap that was my closet.

I generally liked to eat foods that I saw on TV; these were mostly sweet
breakfast cereals that came in bright colors and interesting shapes. I also
liked candies and "play foods" that came in squeezable bottles and cartons. For
dinner, my favorite foods were pizza and MacDonalds, and also burritos and hot
dogs. For snacks, I liked Doritos and spicy flavored chips, no potatoe chips,
though, they didn't have enough flavor. For drinks, I liked mostly Coke, but my
parents wanted me to be healthy, so they also made me drink fruit-flavored
punches and sodas.

In my backyard, I had a play set, swings and monkey bars, and I also had a
tricycle that I liked to ride, and I had SO much fun outdoors, when I was
outside and moving around and the sun was shining, I felt more awake, more
THERE, but I needed a grown up to go out there with me, and I had a hard time
getting my parents to do it. I'd have to beg and beg and sometimes they'd give
in, but just as often they'd just get kind of mad, so I pretty much gave up on
going outside unless they wanted me to. Also, I felt tired a lot of the time, so
it just seemed easier to stay inside.

Around the time that I was 3 or 4, I started feeling mad even when no one was
playing with my toys. Of course, if asked, I could not articulate why I felt
this way, but for some reason, I felt more alive when I was yelling and
screaming and hitting people. It also felt terrible, like the worst hurt in the
world, but I couldn't seem to help myself. I mostly just hit Caitlin, but
sometimes I'd get so mad that I would hit mom and dad, and I'd get spanked, and
HARD. I also felt sad, REALLY sad, sometimes, even when I couldn't think of any
particular thing that I was sad about.

At the age of 5, I entered kindergarten, and by the second day, I felt so scared
and agitated and confused that I peed my pants and my care-taker came and took
me back to her place. My teachers were nice and most of the kids were as
frightened as me...but some of them were mean, and called me "fat" and "ugly,"
and I knew I was pretty chubby, even my mom said so sometimes. I felt scared and
sad...but also increasingly MAD, and after a couple of weeks of being literally
dragged to school kicking and screaming and crying, I started hitting the other
kids, especially the ones who were too small to hit me back.

One day shortly after I'd entered the first grade, my parents drove me to school
(an unusual practice for them), and we had a meeting with the principal and my
teacher. I sat and listened and heard words that were vaguely familiar because
I'd heard my parents say them before: hyperactive, disorder, attention deficit,
treatment, and drug. I heard the last word a lot of times towards the middle and
end of the meeting, and it made me a little scared, because from TV, I
associated the word with something bad. I also heard the word "doctor" more than
once, and I definitely know from my regular "check-ups" that this was something
to be feared.

So one school day, my parents took me to a "doctor's" office, but this doctor
didn't wear a stethoscope or a white robe like the other doctors I'd seen. This
one wore a sweater and his doctor's office looked kind of like my living room at
home. He mostly talked to my parents, and even talked to me alone for a few
minutes, which scared the hell out of me, but at least he didn't give me any
shots or put his hand on my thingy. When we were all done talking, he wrote
something on a piece of paper for my parents, something he called a
"prescription." Then we left, and as a reward, my parents took me to MacDonald's
and bought me a Happy Meal.

I started taking hard to swallow pills every morning before school and every
evening after school. Of course, like any other child, I did not have the
introspective qualities necessary to connect my taking of the pills with my
mental, emotional, and physical states. If I did, I surely would have screamed
at my parents and my doctors and everyone else who would listen that the pills
were actually making me WORSE. My accustomed lethargy and anger and sadness and
confusion accentuated by several fold. Sitting in the classroom at school,
feeling this heaviness in my head that made it hard to stay awake and impossible
to pay attention, dealing with the kids who called me names and hit me even
harder than I could hit them, living each day only to go home, where I wasn't
really happy but at least felt safe and comfortable watching TV and playing
video games and eating my favorite foods...the word "despair" was not in my
vocabulary, but it could accurately have been used to describe my state of
being.

Even now, speaking to you from a state of bliss and clarity where these issues
matter not, I cannot recall with any vividness the years of my life between ages
6-12. The murkiness of my consciousness enveloped not only my brain, but seeped
to my very soul. My life was reduced to the certain drudgery of a hellish
routine from which there was no escape. I do remember around the age of 7, I
began hurting myself to get out of school and gain sympathy from my parents. I
would punch myself in the face to get a bloody nose or a black eye, and once
even broke my hand in my bedroom with a baseball bat. I would tell my parents
that I fell off my bike or fell out of a tree, and even though I was hardly ever
outside, they always seemed to buy it. They would take me to a doctor's office,
an experience I was actually starting to like, because the people there were
nice, it would get me out of school, and my parents would buy me a treat
afterwards.

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mark

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Re:Free Schooling Roll Call Thread
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2004, 03:09:24 pm »

Through all of this, I continued taking the pills, because when I got off them,
I still seemed to be bad, maybe even a little worse, and my doctor kept telling
my parents that the pills were the right thing. I took those pills right up
until the age of 12, the year of my first suicide attempt, which ironically was
a deliberate overdose of the very pills I'd been taking for years. After a trip
to the emergency room and a good pumping of my stomach, I was hospitalized for
three months on the psychiatric ward of a nice hospital. At first I hated the
hospital with a fervor, but eventually, I began to like it there so much that I
didn't want to leave. I felt safe and special and loved there, and most of all,
I was appreciative to be away from the hell-hole that was life in school. After
my parents' insurance ran out and they were forced to take me home, I thought of
ways to force them to take me back, hurting myself over and over and eventually
trying suicide again by gashing my wrists with a broken mirror. But this time,
they didn't take me to the nice psychiatric ward I'd enjoyed so much, but to a
big and dark and scary looking fortress called a "state hospital."

I languished in the state hospital from the age of 12-and-a-half to thirteen. I
often thought of physical escape and escape by suicide...but ultimately, it
seemed like too much work. I took my pills which made me drool and made it
impossible to think, I took my pills and watched TV and tried to do puzzles, I
took my pills and played ping pong with other patients. I guess one day my
doctors decided I was "better," because my parents showed up and took me home.

At the age of 13, I returned to school, this time it was "middle school," and
somehow I knew that not even a plate of steel armor could protect me from the
other kids. I knew I would be different, I knew I didn't look right and couldn't
think right, I knew life was going to be hell...but to whom could I complain? I
could not have found the words even if someone would listen. I look back in real
gratitude for one thing - I had no longer the strength to even think of harming
others, only an unquenchable desire to harm myself. I endured for as long as I
could; I really believe that. I was not as weak a soul as some might think. I
made it half-way to the end of eigth grade, and one day hanged myself in my
bedroom with my bedsheet. I didn't leave a note, because I didn't think anyone
would be surprised.

Reviewing these events of my sad and oh-so-short life is not fun, but I feel
neither bitterness nor resentment towards the people who contributed so greatly
to my tragic demise. As the die was cast for me, so it was with them...and so it
is for you and yours.

Even now, living in your troubled times when lives such as mine are not out of
the ordinary, you are likely associating terms like "aberrant" and "freakish"
with my story. You cannot conceive of this day just over the horizon when my
story will be neither extreme nor abnormal, but perfectly commonplace. From my
perspective, which is unclouded by emotional bias and wishful thinking, I can
tell you that you are mistaken. Exactly as I lived, so will a thousand million
tortured souls, until those who are called sick and crazy and criminal will
outnumber those who are called well. Rest assured, as bad as things may seem to
you now, they can and will get worse before they can get better.

So it has always been with this thing you call society, and so it shall be
again. I promise.

Comment From Sonia 2-14-4

A Child Of The Year 2004Jeff, this is a powerful piece and I'm afraid what he
has written has already come to pass. A few months back, the John Walsh show
covered suicide and attempted suicide by children. I will never forget the
mother of an 8 year girl who hanged herself in the closet! This 8 year old also
left a note - the only thing disclosed on the program was that the child loved
her mother. (My question was "had the stepfather molested her and the mother
didn't listen"?)

Jeff, we are already paying the price of the evils which this govt commits in
other countries and to its own citizens. We, silent and dumbed down of this
country, metaphysically speaking, are getting our comeuppance. It's not in bombs
- but in 'inconsequential" happenings -- one not realized by an anti-conceptual
society - where all things are interconnected. We have been systematically
poisoned in all things, as one would eat an elephant -- piece by piece. As we
sow, so shall we reap and we are reaping in abundance! If people would only open
their eyes AND DO SOMETHING, if not for others, at least for themselves and
their offspring!

When our children are targeted -- there goes our future. Who says this is not
maliciously done?

Sonia

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mark

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Re:Free Schooling Roll Call Thread
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2004, 03:10:26 pm »

Ping.  




Pong.


ps Free Schooling isn't a thing or place, but an approach. Free Schooling is the same as Free State activity.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2004, 03:12:58 pm by mark »
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BlueLu

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Re:Free Schooling Roll Call Thread
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2004, 12:34:51 pm »

Free Schooling isn't a thing or place, but an approach. Free Schooling is the same as Free State activity.

In my experience there is a concept that already has laid claim to the namespace, "free school", which has a particular approach to education.  Namely, it is an approach that provides more of a constant opportunity for the activities to be student directed.  It is more spontaneous that what I am suggesting.

It is definitely not just a free market in schools.  In a free market for schools, there still could be schools where the only choice was to go there or not; all the other details of the education received there are dictated and regimented.  This school, which could exist under a free market in schools is definitely not a "free school".  And I would argue that one that works more like colleges do now (but is more responsive to consumer demand in terms of course offerings) is not a free school either.
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mark

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Re:Free Schooling Roll Call Thread
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2004, 02:16:38 pm »

I say we co-opt that namespace BluLu.  ;)  

I posted the "A Child of the Year 2004" article to point out that we could "ban" mandatory public schooling and still not provide the freedom / liberty kids need. Freedom allows and requires people to take responsibility and risk failure. Educational theories take a back seat to personal responsibility and the freedom to risk failure.


Interesting on-topic article posted to LewRockwell.com today:

ANCIENT & MODERN

Peter Jones

 Parents who find the state education system unsatisfactory but cannot afford private schooling are getting together to hire tutors to teach their children at home. The Roman public servant Pliny the Younger (AD 61–112) would have applauded. Pliny was visiting his native town of Comum (modern Como) when he found out that the young son of a fellow citizen was being taught not locally but in faraway Mediolanum (Milan) — and he was not the only one. Baffled, Pliny remonstrated with the fathers for not raising their children in their native town where they belonged, adding that at home they could also be guaranteed to be properly brought up. He then suggested that they could all club together to engage their own teachers in Como, spending on salaries what they now spent on travel, lodgings and expenses for the children. In a burst of generosity, Pliny went on to promise that he would contribute a third more to whatever sum they raised.

Pliny then adds a fascinating coda, saying that he would in fact be willing to promise the whole amount, only he was afraid that the authorities might then take over and abuse his generosity ‘as I have seen in many places where teachers’ salaries are paid from public funds’. The only solution, he goes on, is that the appointments of teachers should be made by the parents who pay for them. In that way, a wise and conscientious choice will be made about how their own money is spent: ‘people who may be careless about another person’s money are sure to be careful about their own, and they will see to it that only a suitable recipient shall be found for my money if he is also to have theirs.’ He goes on to hope his proposal will be so successful that, far from sending their children elsewhere, the parents will find children from elsewhere coming to them.

The story is to be found in a letter Pliny wrote to his friend the historian Tacitus, asking him if there was anyone he could recommend for the particular post in question (though Pliny makes it clear that the final choice will rest with the parents). For Pliny, both his own and local pride were at stake here. He was not about to waste his money on second-raters; nor will the parents behind the current initiative. Nor, for that matter, should our schools, let alone our teacher-training establishments. To adapt Thucydides, it is men and women who are the schools, not the classrooms or playing fields.
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mark

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Re:Free Schooling Roll Call Thread
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2004, 02:31:30 pm »

ps Good to see Devera Morgan's article about organizing school choice resources in the Jan/Feb issue of The Quil. If you haven't read it yet go check it out.
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Ogre11

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Re:Free Schooling Roll Call Thread
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2004, 12:25:48 pm »

ANCIENT & MODERN

Indeed, very interesting!  However, this is simply not possible (yet) in this country.  The laws are specifically written to prevent this from happening!  Here in NC the law defines a school as a place where instruction of children from more than one family occurs.  So if I were to teach all the kids on our street while the other parents all worked (something we're actually trying to do now), it would be defined as a school and subject to all the rules and regulations of a regular school (ADA, x sq ft/child, exits, etc.).

But certainly an admirable goal of the free state!
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mark

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Re:Free Schooling Roll Call Thread
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2004, 12:12:40 pm »

Indeed, very interesting!  However, this is simply not possible (yet) in this country.  The laws are specifically written to prevent this from happening!  Here in NC the law defines a school as a place where instruction of children from more than one family occurs.  So if I were to teach all the kids on our street while the other parents all worked (something we're actually trying to do now), it would be defined as a school and subject to all the rules and regulations of a regular school (ADA, x sq ft/child, exits, etc.).

But certainly an admirable goal of the free state!


Maybe y'all could hold secret classroom meetings in church basements.
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