The Road to Freedom - #5

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The Road to Freedom - #5

A Big Decision: Choosing & Supporting Independence

It's a big step, but you're ready to investigate your options.  Maybe you're a parent looking for better choices for your own children, or maybe you're a church leader or educator who would like to empower others to choose independence. Maybe you'd like to spread the message and help others understand why freedom is the best choice for families.

Please read on to learn about the many options now available and the many possibilities on the horizon, for both parents and the people who wish to support them.

In 1998 Wendy Smith was a single mom working full-time as a registered nurse. Her fifth grade son, Les, was miserable at his local public school, but the thought of home schooling Les while trying to work was overwhelming. Wanda contacted a home school group in her area and they helped her explore her options. She reshaped her work schedule and arranged for Les to stay with his grandparents while she wasn't home, ordered curriculum and started her new journey in educational freedom.

The change in Les was immediate. He went from an unhappy little boy to a child full of life and wonder. Wendy's eyes still tear up when she recounts the transformation. As the years progressed, Wendy got her "homeschooling feet" and tailored Les's education experience more around his interests. Today he is an excellent horseman and a first class farrier -- and happy.

When Al and Sandy Butts made the decision to keep the youngest nine of their eleven children in private school, it was no minor commitment.  Al suffered from crippling rheumatoid arthritis and the family struggled financially for many years. But Al and Sandy were dissatisfied with their children's public schools from the start. They tried private Christian schools but resorted to public schools again when money got tight.

Their decision to commit 100% to educational freedom was a relief. Now there was no turning back -- only looking forward. Today, they reflect in amazement at the ways they found to stick to their decision. Some years the school bill wasn't paid until time to begin a new year. Al often took extra work to pay the bill and sometimes he traded his painting and building skills for school bills.  Sandy baked her own bread and made clothes for the kids to maximize the funds available for school. One year, they could find no way to pay a school bill and kept the children home (all the children proceeded the next year to their normal grades). Was it worth it? Every bit of it, say Al and Sandy, and to back up their commitment, they now help others choose non-government schooling options.

Chattanooga, Tennessee, boasts a home school away from home run by a group of teachers who have opted to ply their trade independently. Hilger Higher Learning offers classes in middle and high school math, science, language arts, foreign language, and more. Classes meet once or twice a week and parents are responsible for work assigned between classes. This is just one example of the independent opportunities educators are creating for themselves and for students.

In addition, scores of churches operate private schools, offer space for home schoolers to meet, and stock their libraries full of educational resources. Home school support groups offer classes, field trips, co-ops, newsletters, and encouragement. The list could go on for pages -- people dedicated to independence banding together to enable and encourage one another.

The world of independent education is all about hope and possibility, innovation and creativity, freedom and excellence. It's not a perfect world, but it's a world where improvement is never held back by politics or special interest agendas. It's a world formed for the specific purpose of providing opportunity for children.

Above all, it's a world that already exists and thrives -- a world already inhabited by eight million children -- a world that enthusiastically welcomes all newcomers. There is no need to wait until the government gives up its stranglehold on education. Freedom is available right now! Today!

The First Step

For parents, the first step is to make the decision -- to choose educational freedom. The decision may result in private schooling, home schooling, or even a combination of both. Our next letter provides contacts and resources for starting on any of these paths.

For grandparents or relatives or friends of children, the first step is to decide how you might help. You can provide information, emotional support, financial support. You can baby sit, offer to teach a skill you have, tutor, volunteer in a private school. The list could go on forever. More for you in our next letter, too.

For teachers and tutors, the first step is to investigate the possibilities, to spend some time thinking "outside the box" about where your future may lead.  

For religious and community leaders, the first step is commitment to independence. This may involve opening schools or support centers for home schoolers. It may mean providing scholarships for the needy or space for classes and tutors.

There is work for everyone in this move toward educational independence. Education is one the main endeavors of the human race, and it is clearly one that cannot and should not rest in the hands of the government and the many people who use the government to promote their particular causes.

Our minds and our futures belong in our own hands, under our own control, subject to our own choices. It is not for our government to decide how we should be educated to serve its purposes. We do not live to serve the state.

Our next letter will offer specific ideas about how we can all choose and support independent education, as well as resources and the opportunity to learn more about why education must rest in the hands of free people, unfettered by the state.

Next Article: 
Stepping into Liberty:  A Place to Begin

Can you think of others who would benefit from the series?  Please direct them to The Road to Freedom!

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Road to Freedom - #5
Last updated January 24, 2008

Welcome to our Road to Freedom Series!

These six short articles will take you only minutes to read but may very well change your life.

Each article ends with a link to the next. The last article ends with many options, from learning more to taking immediate action that will lead to educational independence for you or someone you care about. 



Some of the more
well-known signers of our proclamation:

Ed Crane
President, Cato Institute

John Taylor Gatto
1991 New York State Teacher of the Year

Fr. John A Hardon
The Catholic Catechism

Don Hodel
Former Secretary of Interior

. James Kennedy
Coral Ridge Ministries

Rev. Tim LaHaye
Left Behind

Rabbi Daniel Lapin
President, Toward Tradition

Tom Monaghan
Founder, Domino’s Pizza

Ron Paul
US Congressman, Texas

John K Rosemond
Parenting Author, Columnist, Speaker

They and thousands of others have signed Our Proclamation

"I favor ending government involvement in education."