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I’m engaging in some home educator professional development today, and I came across this list of quotations tagged homeschool on goodreads. (As an aside, if you haven’t heard of Good Reads, it’s fabulous! You list and rate books you have read, and it suggests new ones. You can also save books you want to read later on. It’s fabulous!)

I am sharing some of the quotations that spoke to me as a home educator, in the hopes that they may speak to you as well! A word of caution, the last one has a profane word, but I am sharing it anyway because I think it makes a particularly poignant example.

“As children become increasingly less connected to adults, they rely more and more on each other; the whole natural order of things change. In the natural order of all mammalian cultures, animals or humans, the young stay under the wings of adults until they themselves reach adulthood. Immature creatures were never meant to bring one another to maturity. They were never meant to look to one another for primary nurturing, modelling, cue giving or mentoring. They are not equipped to give one another a sense of direction or values. As a result of today`s shift to this peer orientation, we are seeing the increasing immaturity, alienation, violence and precocious sexualization of North American Youth. The disruption of family life, rapid economic and social changes to human culture and relationships, and the erosion of stable communities are at the core of this shift.”
Gabor Maté, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction

“Children are not only extremely good at learning; they are much better at it than we are.”
John Holt

“When freedom prevails, the ingenuity and inventiveness of people creates incredible wealth. This is the source of the natural improvement of the human condition.”
Brian S. Wesbury

“Any child who can spend an hour or two a day, or more if he wants, with adults that he likes, who are interested in the world and like to talk about it, will on most days learn far more from their talk than he would learn in a week of school.”
John Holt

“Schooling that children are forced to endure—in which the subject matter is imposed by others and the “learning” is motivated by extrinsic rewards and punishments rather than by the children’s true interests—turns learning from a joyful activity into a chore, to be avoided whenever possible. Coercive schooling, which tragically is the norm in our society, suppresses curiosity and overrides children’s natural ways of learning. It also promotes anxiety, depression and feelings of helplessness that all too often reach pathological levels.”
Peter Gray

“I’ve noticed a fascinating phenomenon in my thirty years of teaching: schools and schooling are increasingly irrelevant to the great enterprises of the planet. No one believes anymore that scientists are trained in science classes or politicians in civics classes or poets in English classes. The truth is that schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders. This is a great mystery to me because thousands of humane, caring people work in schools as teachers and aides and administrators, but the abstract logic of the institution overwhelms their individual contributions.”
John Taylor Gatto

“Trust in families and in neighborhoods and individuals to make sense of the important question, ‘What is education for?’ If some of them answer differently from what you might prefer, that’s really not your business, and it shouldn’t be your problem. Our type of schooling has deliberately concealed the fact that such a question must be framed and not taken for granted if anything beyond a mockery of democracy is to be nurtured. It is illegitimate to have an expert answer that question for you.”
John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Education

“We cannot continue to send our children to Caesar for their education and be surprised when they come home as Romans.”
Voddie T. Baucham Jr., Family Driven Faith: Doing What It Takes to Raise Sons and Daughters Who Walk with God

“Children, even when very young, have the capacity for inventive thought and decisive action. They have worthwhile ideas. They make perceptive connections. They’re individuals from the start: a unique bundle of interests, talents, and preferences. They have something to contribute. They want to be a part of things.

It’s up to us to give them the opportunity to express their creativity, explore widely, and connect with their own meaningful work.”
Lori McWilliam Pickert

“To learn how to do, we need something real to focus on — not a task assigned by someone else, but something we want to create, something we want to understand. Not an empty exercise but a meaningful, self-chosen undertaking.”
Lori McWilliam Pickert

“Allowing children to learn about what interests them is good, but helping them do it in a meaningful, rigorous way is better. Freedom and choice are good, but a life steeped in thinking, learning, and doing is better. It’s not enough to say, “Go, do whatever you like.” To help children become skilled thinkers and learners, to help them become people who make and do, we need a life centered around those experiences. We need to show them how to accomplish the things they want to do. We need to prepare them to make the life they want.”
Lori McWilliam Pickert

This one is a abundantly clear to those of us who are familiar with how curriculum and testing work, with Common Core and its development providing a recent example:

“Many of our elected officials have virtually handed the keys to our schools over to corporate interests. Presidential commissions on education are commonly chaired by the executives of large companies.”
Alfie Kohn, The Schools Our Children Deserve: Moving Beyond Traditional Classrooms and “Tougher Standards”

“Notice the difference: A child’s disability is the focus in traditional classroom settings, but his abilities are the focus in the homeschool environment.”
Sandra K. Cook, Overcome Your Fear of Homeschooling with Insider Information

Lastly, this one made me laugh, and think:

“My best memory of school was probably leaving school. Because I hated that fucking place.”
Troye Sivan

Many people are surprised to hear that I encountered difficulties during my school years, because I was able to succeed in a competitive college, and then graduate from law school with honors and pass the bar exam. In fact, my ability to succeed in spite of school is what led me to learn more about homeschooling in the first place.

Happy Wednesday!