Homeschoolers: Why Society Needs You, Desperately

Jammy time is fun time, whether we’re doing math problems or listening to a story from Santa. Christmas Story, original paintings and signed limited prints at Steve Henderson Fine Art. Check out the YouTube video clip in the menu bar to the right.

You wouldn’t think that people who let their kids study math, in jammies, at the dining room table, would be revolutionary giants, but you are.

Even if you’re one of those more, um, organized and slightly less relaxed families that set up a separate room, with school desks and no jammies allowed, you’re still an activist. You’re just not in people’s faces. The statements you make are quieter, more long-term ones that speak to others by your independently going about your life, making the decisions you do because they are the ones best for your family.

Now obviously, you don’t have to be a homeschooler to do this, but simply by virtue of being one of these odd, anti-social, going-against-the-norm people, you’re in the club. And in order to be a club member, this is what you do: you put your family first. That’s why you’ve likely sacrificed a second income (generally, mom’s), or cobble together one fulltime job between a husband and a wife, or if you’re single and playing both parts, work really hard, and really long hours, to make this work.

And you are rewarded, by society, by being called crazy. Or weird. Batty. Religious zealots. Uneducated. Non-conformist.

Now that last term: that’s a good one, and you want to wear it proudly. In a nation that extols sliced, white commercial bread, because every loaf looks the same, you are the artisan loaf made from ancient whole grain flour and baked in the wood-fired brick oven. Every one of you looks slightly different, uniquely individual, yet similar in your goodness, wholesomeness, and fine taste.

You are the only unique you on the planet, and your quirky family is in a category all by itself. This is a good thing. Aphrodite, original oil painting by Steve Henderson sold; licensed open edition print at Great Big Canvas.

In the same way that healthy bodies don’t grow from a diet of sliced, white, commercial bread, healthy societies do not thrive in an environment where everyone is encouraged to think, talk, act, learn, and live in a prescribed, politically correct, imposed-from-the-top-down manner. A nation is not strong because its government is big and powerful, but because its people — and the families in which they interact — speak up, speak out, think for themselves, question convention, and go their own way when that way is best for them.

Undaunted by expert opinion saying that they are unqualified to do what they’re doing, parent teachers tackle math, foreign language, writing, science, physical education and computer literacy. Given that most parent teachers are graduates of at least high school, frequently higher education, it’s an interesting commentary that we don’t feel that they know enough to teach what they were taught themselves. Where is our collective confidence in our public education system?

You’re DIYers, and we all know that DIY is funky and cool. You have to figure out so many things for yourself: often learning first what you don’t know so that you can teach it, finding resources when this first aspect isn’t practicable. You are remarkably self-sufficient, and self-sufficiency, in any free, open society, is a positive quality.

Never underestimate the inestimable value of reading. Provincial Afternoon, original oil painting by Steve Henderson, sold.

That’s why we need you. You’re independent, self-sufficient, free. Theoretically, the United States was built upon those very concepts, and theoretically, they should be valued and sought after to this day.

Speaking of being independent and thinking for yourself,if you want to survive in

The more independent you think and are, the more easily you will manage your money.

today’s odd, fractured, and not particularly welcoming, economy, you need to make individual decisions that work for you and your family. This is not the kind of information that you will find in finance magazines.

My book, Live Happily on Less, is a collection of chatty little essays like the one you just read, giving you ideas on how you can incrementally change your lifestyle to make significant advances, over time. If you’re new to this whole money saving thing, this is a good place to start. If you’ve been watching how you spend money, give me a try. I’m betting that, at the very least, you’ll find something that will save you the amount of the purchase price.

$12.99 paperback (generally on sale for less), $5.99 digital, free on Amazon Prime. Also available at Barnes and Noble.

“There is something here for anyone wanting to live well on less and then do more of those things they enjoy.” – Amazon Reader Review

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