Saturday, September 20, 2008

Another Reason To Homeschool

One of the most motivating factors in my decision to teach our children at home was my own experience in government schools. That experience began in 1965 in a rural Georgia school along with 17 other unsuspecting Gennie pigs that made up my first grade class. Unbeknownst to me or my blue collar parents, 17 years earlier The New Yorker published a short story by Shirley Jackson (above) called "The Lottery". This resulted in an avalanche of complaints to the magazine along with hundreds of subscription cancellations. I suppose the sixties took its toll on America's conscious because by the time I reached the sixth grade the short story had been made into a twenty minute movie and was being shown by the government to those entrusted to its care. Judging from the You Tube comments it seems it is still being shown and read today.

I can still remember my own disturbed feeling after watching the film. Now, looking back, I realize that as a child I wasn't capable of articulating the violence it had done to my innocence, nor did I realize that I should have said something. The teachers held the trust of my parents, and by extension they also held my parents authority. It was a time when parents were perhaps naive about what the schools were up to. Today parents should realize that their children are easy targets for those who want to recreate them in their own image. Having no regard for the interests of the parents, they are going about the business of changing the world though changing the children.

Below is the movie in two parts; in its entirety I think . It should take about 18 minutes to view them both. If you were not subjected to it as a child, I recommend watching it, if for no other reason, to see what they're capable of in that old school house down the street. While you're at it, I also recommend reading the comments from the other You Tube viewers as well. They say as much as the movie I think, which is nothing less than cleverly packaged propaganda meant to characaturize older generations as wanting to hold onto old superstitions no matter how insane. To understand the target of this propaganda you must realize that the people shown, including their demeanor, were typical of those found in any local church on any given Sunday in the late sixties when it was filmed.

Please, I'd love to hear your story and thoughts if it was shown to you in school.


Patricia said...

Oh wow! This is terrible.
I was very disturbed when I realised that children in Britain all have to read 'Lord of the Flies.'
Yes, I agree, all children should be home schooled if their parents are concerned enough to give them the best start in life.

Penless Thoughts said...

I never heard of this film or this. This is terrible. I cannot imagine them showing this to children, anywhere, much less in school. My husband and I just read this post and watched this. We are horrified and shocked.

ChrisB said...

We didn't watch it, but we did read it.

I hate to assume; what exactly are you objecting to?

Dan said...

Chris, did you watch the you tube videos?

Larry T Durham said...

Oh yes, I saw The Lottery in Tenth grade. My ultra lib teacher presented this as a testament to what happens when people blindly follow their misguided traditons (war, racism, etc, ad nauseum). Of course there was no mention of the consequences of moral relevance or blind allegiance to multiculturalism. I had to learn that on my own...outside of the public school laboratory.

Nancy said...

Homeschooling and the Internet...great companions...*; )

Nancy said...

After further is evident that you do indeed know the difference between "writting and writing"...You might want to read about your blog...*; )

Daniel said...

My concern with Christians homeschooling their children is that it can easily fall into "escapism" from the world--- either intended or otherwise.

I'm the first proponent to "be against the world for the sake of the world" but my concern is that (usually) fundamentalist parents want to "protect" their children from the world--- which whether we like it or not, is reality.

I don't know your situation and yours could be legitimate that there are simply no good schools in your area...highly possible! But there are always options besides homeschooling for most parents, like charter or private or even a good public school. It is my thinking that homeschooling should be a very last resort. Good post though!

Dan said...


I've been looking for that pesky word for awhile. Thanks for pointing out that error.

Dan said...


Thank you Daniel for stopping by and the encouragement.

Just curious, were you shown this movie in school?

In response I would personally say that homeschooling should be the first choice in most cases and if possible.

Kathy said...

For Daniel, regarding homeschooling as a last option, or for anyone considering homeschooling may I recommend a book by Sally Clarkson titled, "Educating the Whole-Hearted Child." I am beginning my 4th year of homeschooling, and this book has clarified my vision and mission more than anything I've read to date.

If the best education by the most educated were the goal then perhaps I would find myself back in the paying workforce, pooling resources once again to place them in that one selected school. Because I now see that my role is not just educator, but shaper, mentor, counselor, and beyond, I could not pass that responsibility on to another. Do I ever fail? Oh yes, but I cannot let the fear of those failures rob our household and our children of the joys we experience as we climb the mountains together. Do I dread explaining and educating them about the yet unknown realities? It puts a knot in my stomach. But I, with the Lord's great help, want to be the one to do it.

Daniel said...

School is more than just education. There are life skills to be learned and experiences to be made. My concern with homeschooling is that there too much of a narrow perspective on the intake of the children--- whether it be the actual education, life lessons or otherwise. Children need to learn (in all respects of the word) from people other than their parents. College for many homeschooled kids is a shock.

Even if they did well in their schooling, the atmosphere of varying ideas/contrasting ideas is unnerving and rattling; and not to mention the socializing aspect. Can homeschooled kids have outside influence from others and have productive social lives? Yes, but it takes effort on both the parent and the child. Unfortunately that's too far and in between and they are having to work doubly as hard and be working against the current to accomplish the desired ends.

I'm not here to bash on anyone who homeschools their kids nor do I intend on changing anyone's mind in this forum. But it's my hope that parents will seriously consider ALL schooling options and contra to what Dan said, make homeschooling a last resort.

Kathy said...


I'm happy to say that your words do not take a "bashing" tone. Convictions are worth being challenged and examined, and reexamined. That's what makes a conviction part of ones core. It must be sea-worthy, so to speak. As a almost 50 year old Mom I'm shocked when I go to the grocery store! And though not homeschooled, I am college educated. I was shocked then too. Socialization....truly the last thing to worry about, however that's based on my experience. Others experiences may differ. It's impossible nor should we force our children into hibernation, but just simply being there to help them sift through and learn to navigate through every day life. Thank you for the dialogue.

Daniel said...

Thank you for those thoughtful and kind words. That's the thing, everyone's experiences are different and from that we get our presuppositions and assumptions. We can't get around it, but dialogue helps to broaden those convictions.

My thinking is that (as far as socializing is concerned) a homeschool environment breeds the possibility for problems more than a regular school. It's in its DNA that kids are isolated from other students and viewpoints. It's up to the individual parent to determine whether that is a good or bad thing. My thinking is that that is bad.

Public school has its socializing and other problems too. No educational system is perfect so that is why we want to offer our kids the best opportunity for growth and learning that we can, given our circumstances.

Kathy said...


I just happened to stop by and saw your additional comment. As parent's we're stewards. We're stewards because we've been given a thing of value. As a steward, a homeschooling mother, I hold a funnel of knowledge, exposure and truth in my hands. My own eyes see what is poured into the funnel. Some things of my choosing, and some not . However, as its contents empty into the containers I steward I am able to articulate at their speed, answer questions they are safe to ask, and pray for their young hearts to understand the inconcievable.