Education Freedom Manifesto
The Role of Family
What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family.
The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only –
and that is to support the ultimate career.
C. S. Lewis
Family is the first and most important thing in society. Family is the foundation for and repository of a good life. Communities, cultures, countries, and civilizations cannot rise above the level of the families that compose them.
Education of Children is a Family Responsibility
[We should] reassert the primary right and responsibility of parents
for the total education of their children… Parents should stand firm
on this and not be intimidated by ‘professional educators.’
After all, it’s their children and their money.
Ezra Taft Benson
Parents give up their rights when they drop the children off at public school.
Melinda Harmon, U.S. Federal Judge, 1996
Parents are responsible for the education of their young children. When parents simply abdicate this responsibility to others, their corresponding rights get assumed as well.
Family is a Living Curriculum
School can never deal with really important things.
Only education can teach us that quests don’t always work,
that even worthy lives most often end in tragedy, that money can’t prevent this;
that failure is a regular part of the human condition;
that you will never understand evil;
that serious pursuits are almost always lonely;
that you can’t negotiate love;
that money can’t buy much that really matters;
that happiness is free.
John Taylor Gatto
Every environment is a learning environment, and teaching happens in every home. Whether children attend a formal school or not, the home is their first and forever most important learning environment. The attitudes and priorities observed in family life are unforgettable.
There is no school equal to a decent home and no teacher equal to a virtuous parent.
The most significant and consistent factor for success in education and life is the direct involvement of caring parents. Teachers in classrooms cannot replace parents in homes. All people deserve caring adult mentors who teach by example and with whom they have a sincere relationship.
The home is the first and most effective place to learn the lessons of life:
truth, honor, virtue, self control, the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life.
Nothing can take the place of home in rearing and teaching children,
and no other success can compensate for failure in the home.
David O. McKay
Change Yourself, Not Them
You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
Let him that would move the world, first move himself.
Parents who want their children to be educated must educate themselves. They must show how important an education is by their actions, not just their words. The most effective and sincere message in true teaching is “do as I do,” not “do as I say.”
The favor you can bestow on your children is to show by your own example
that hard, painstaking work is the toll an independent spirit charges itself for self-respect.
John Taylor Gatto
Thinking good thoughts is not enough,
doing good deeds is not enough,
seeing others follow your good examples is enough.
If you want a better life for your family, become what you want them to become. You must be willing to commit to a life of learning. It is never too late to educate yourself. Don’t let pride and laziness stop you. You may have to set new priorities, but you and your children will benefit immensely from pursuing truth, wisdom, and success together and being more involved in each other’s lives.
We have to abandon the idea that schooling is something restricted to youth.
How can it be, in a world where half the things a man knows at 20 are no longer true at 40 –
and half the things he knows at 40 hadn’t been discovered when he was 20?
Arthur C. Clarke
Beyond the Family
As important as families are, they should not try to live life in isolation. They should seek out experiences and organizations where they can contribute and receive value from others. They should seek wise mentors and good experiences wherever they can be found.
I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.
Organizations worth joining should have programs designed to both require and support self-assertion, mental independence, and personal sovereignty. Such self-discipline programs require a commitment from home to be successful.
To confuse compulsory schooling with equal educational opportunity is like
confusing organized religion with spirituality. One does not necessarily lead to
the other. Schooling confuses teaching with learning, grade advancement with education,
a diploma with competence, and fluency with the ability to say something new.
Schools typically serve the purpose of offering accredited credentials. The often overlooked truth is that many people with official credentials are not well-educated. If official credentials from accredited institutions must be pursued, remember that only the credentials can be given. Becoming competent is the responsibility of the learner.