Source: Brian Holdsworth via YouTube
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Music written and generously provided by Paul Jernberg. Find out more about his work as a composer here: http://pauljernberg.com
We often get the question, “Why do you homeschool.” And even if we don’t get that question, we often feel pressured to have an answer ready because it is such a counter cultural thing to do and most people tend to respond negatively to that revelation. But the challenge with having a response is that it’s a long list of reasons that need to accumulate to tip those scales.
So, I’ve been trying to develop a more succinct summary reason in order to really understand my own thinking on it and to help others understand why we do it… and I think I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough.
The heart of the problem is that we as a society have set up our education system to fail. There’s no way to develop a singular education system because we as a society are so incoherent but that is the impossible task that we have charged educators with.
So why do I think that? We need to start by defining our terms. What do we mean by education because we can’t talk about the best way to educate children if we don’t even know what education is. The formal definition is the facilitation of learning or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.
But this is far too narrow in its implications. It implies that education is something that happens in an institutional setting because it must be formally facilitated. This is why we tend to consider people with a piece of paper certifying that they have successfully traversed the rigors of an institution to be educated.
But I’ve met people who have specialized college educations who, outside of their specialty, are fairly useless and I’ve met people who have no specialized certification who have a broad range of knowledge and skills. The former is considered educated and the latter is not and we, therefore as a society, streamline opportunity for the former and not the latter – and that’s some bullshit right there.
Education doesn’t begin when a child is enrolled in a grade school at 6 years old. Think about everything they’ve learned up to that point. They’ve been taught hygiene, language, motor skills, social decorum, and the basis for moral conduct.
So a definition of education that, I think, shows an appreciation for its full scope is, the transmission of culture. And to understand that, we have to understand what we mean by culture. Culture is, a way of life. It’s the knowledge, beliefs, technology, ethics, and most especially religion (since cult is the root of culture) that is expressed in a way of life.
Every civilization begins with a creed of beliefs. Those beliefs are then incarnated into a way of life and if a civilization prospers, it would be an injustice not to transfer that prosperity to future generations. But this isn’t just the transfer of material goods, it’s a transmission of the way of life that produced those material goods.
Otherwise that material prosperity will turn to ash in the hands of the heirs. That’s why we have education so as to ensure that future generations won’t have to reinvent the wheel every time.
And a people, to be truly unified, have to have a shared culture. No civilization has survived the death of a shared culture and this is where we arrive at the question of education.
Because modern western civilization has no shared culture. We discarded it for a new vision of cultural relativism. Which is, BTW, a strategy right out of the Marxist revolutionary playbook. In Mao’s revolutionary China, the identified what they called the 4 “Olds” which had to be destroyed in order to instantiate their new Marxist culture. Those so-called 4 Olds were the ideas, customs, habits, and culture of previous generations.
Read the whole transcript at https://brianholdsworth.ca.
Header image: Brian Holdsworth via YouTube