Probable Cause with Sibel Edmonds: The Feds’ Coming War Against Homeschoolers

Welcome to our fourth episode of Probable Cause. Our topic for this episode is homeschooling. We will be discussing homeschooling as a major step towards independent and critical thinking, and of course, by doing so, challenging the system. I’ll be talking about how and why the government sees this ever-increasing trend, homeschooling, as a major threat, and various tactics and attack scenarios that will be implemented by the feds in its war against American homeschoolers. We will also identify various steps and activities that can be taken by homeschooler communities to preempt the coming federal government’s war against them.

As previously, I will be providing my take based on what I have been observing, through my own personal lens, reasoning and analyses, and will pose questions for you to consider. And as usual our next episode will be based on your reaction, critique, responses and questions posed in the comments section below.

*To listen to our previous episodes on this topic click here , here , and here.

Listen to the full episode here:

A Few Related Links

Keep it in the Family

What is Homeschooling?

Home Schooling - History, Legal Background, Legal Trends, Effects, Future Implications

Research Facts on Homeschooling

Do home-schoolers do better in college than traditional students?


FB Like

Share This

This site depends….

This site depends exclusively on readers’ support. Please help us continue by SUBSCRIBING, and by ordering our EXCLUSIVE BFP DVDs.


  1. mariotrevi says:

    Sibel, “Probable Cause” is one of my favourite forums/podcats here at Boiling Frogs Post. I think it’s both organic and interactive. Thank God there are no “talking heads”, it’s more like a conversation loosely directed by your podcast episodes, I think …

    • Thank you so much for your encouraging words- so needed. I kept dreading, and procrastinating, but now I feel on fire.

      You are right, as evident by all the comments/responses/view points shared. It is amazing how we can delve so much deeper with meaningful discussions done collectively. This was my number 1 objective, and now I see that it is coming true. As you can see, I removed the word ‘experimental’ from this podcast:-)

  2. I lightly mentioned Hitler banning, illegalizing, homeschooling in 1938. I think it is a good idea to delve into this further- the reasons/objectives apply to our current system, not only here but everywhere. It is illegal/banned in Iran (and it was during Shah regime as well). It is illegal/banned in Turkey. I’ve been to schools in three countries, and regardless of their geographic location, governing style, they all implement the same notion of indoctrination- preparing the unquestioning, blindly loyal masses that are much easier to rule and govern. Add to that, in our mega corporation-ruled system here, the goal is also to produce/create: hire-able masses, rather than independent-minded workforce, entrepreneurs …

    • I agree. I was talking to a friend the other day. I said “they are trying to dumb us down” or- basically to limit independent thought.
      My great grandfather was an avid Nazi, which I am never proud of sharing- but he was so influenced by propaganda. I have heard of they songs they sang about Killing Jews, etc. (cross Pocahontas w/ Kaiser Wilhelm- here I am.
      You reminded of me when I taught in Africa. People with good intentions sent educational material all the time. The school couldn’t use it. It had to be specific and approved by their government.
      Then they asked me to be headmaster of their school. A huge undertaking, I could not commit to due to obligations at home. I visited a gov run school. Totally different ball game, yet the objective may be the same, the mentality is different.
      I fully support Home schooling, yet when I worked in education, especially art- so many mothers were afraid for their children to see nudes. In that case, it’s a coin toss who will screw the kids up more. They may become little zealots.
      My gr. nieces go to a Christian school- many people will be offended at just that. What I observed there was incredible. These kids are brilliant, they are not inhibited, they are encouraged to express themselves through music, dance, sports, gardening. Frankly, I was impressed, which is a word that escapes me frequently these days. They are learning in informal classrooms. They are excited about learning. I sat in on 4th grade Latin. They knew more then I did.
      Granted, they are being taught faith, prayer and establishing a belief system, yet they are very well rounded. Some public schools get 20 minutes for lunch. Michelle Obama’s nutrition program allows for 1/2 a peanut butter sandwich… got to prevent obesity you know! Insanity.

      My domestic bliss was shattered this week

      • I didn’t mean to leave the last line in, many of these topics and issues caused a bit of a riff in my relationship. It’s hard because so many people have their own idea’s. Someone who came from another culture doesn’t understand the long term issues in the US

        • Except you, Sibel….

        • That would be me; no? Having lived 8 years in country A, 9 years in Country B, 26 years in the US, and another two years divided between countries c, d, e?
          I think the beauty of being truly international (having lived in so many countries) equals much richer, much more expanded, view.

          How could the notions of comparison and relativism apply, especially with history/global politics/global econ …art, music … when one’s experience so narrowly limited to one place?

          As a mother one of my main objectives has been: expand my daughter’s horizons. And, I have been working hard (far more than avg 5 days a week, 8 hours a day) to achieve it. I still have a long way to go, but proud of what I have accomplished so far. She is 6, and she has been to 9 countries (not like some pathetic tourist with a tour group or cruise ship crowd; not luxury travel;-), she’s been to churches, mosques, synagogues, Buddhist Temples, and even Hindu ceremonies … She has had an opportunity to get familiar with Maori culture …. She speaks 2 languages and we’ll be starting number 3 next September … The more she learns, to more she is exposed to, the more she delves into various cultures/societies, the more she’ll think, she’ll understand, respect & tolerate.

          And to answer another commenter right here: wanting these, working hard to provide these opportunities, is not for ‘ME’-it is for her.

          For example: I know one year of living in 2 countries, learning about their cultures/religions/beliefs/econ first hand, visiting their museums/landmarks/etc, getting familiar with their languages and music, will teach her so much more than the one year spent in school. So what I am doing? I am working towards that (2016-Sep). With avg of 1 to 2 hours homeschooling (reading/writing/math) a day, she will fulfill the academic side, and the rest of her days will be spent on learning highly important, enjoyable, critical thinking-inducing … real life subjects-from history to science, art, religion, language, music … you name it.

          • Yes, you. 🙂 You have a lot of experience with other cultures, while being very well versed in the long list of complicit issues in the US. You are far more informed then many who lived here their whole life. Granted, you happened across the beast up close and personal, and did a lot of footwork. (US Complicity- Lies, deceit…9/11)
            I have met people in the US who have never left their state, and when it’s Delaware, that’s pretty sad.
            You sound like an awesome mom. I absolutely agree, the more your daughter is exposed to and I quote “the more she’ll think, she’ll understand, respect & tolerate”
            The experiences you give her are priceless. I recall you mentioning she was to start 1st grade in September. You are giving her an incredible foundation.
            Everyone knows I am “into” history, yet am also passionate about art, music, language, cultures. I studied most religions. I don’t get bored. There is always something to learn.
            I’m not sure where I got that from, I’m grateful I did though.

  3. Mgrdichian says:

    COMMENT #1
    I’m in my 50s and have no children so the authority of my comments is limited to my own schooling experience and will be added to this discussion in bits and pieces (I despise reading and writing diatribes). This comment is directed at your premise.

    In my 40s I had a brief romantic encounter with a woman who had a 19 year old son. One evening she asked me if I ever wanted to have children. “Yes,” I said, and then began to tell her about once-held dreams of being a parent and a grandparent. As I was speaking I felt that my motives were noble, sincere and honorable. But she stopped me dead in my tracks. “You don’t get it,” she said. “Having children is not about YOU, it’s about THEM, their well being, their future and their aspirations.” I was humbled and have come to see that she is right.

    IMO it’s a slippery slope when people use anything having to do with children and their development for a political end. It opens up the door to a multitude of purposes that may or may not benefit the child, and I dare say society in general. Parenthood and schooling is a multifaceted endeavor. The impact of parental decisions directly effect the child, other family members, neighbors and communities at large. I’m in the camp that thinks education is both a private and collective enterprise. Does homeschooling send a message to the “one size fits all” government perspective? Absolutely and justifiably. But what messages does it send about diversity? How many times have we heard people say “I’ve learned more from the school of life and hard knocks than I ever learned in a textbook.” A lot because it’s true. Diversity can’t be learned by reading about ancient Chinese history. I’ll argue that a child learns more about diversity when having to decide whether to pick the Chinese kid to be on their kickball team than by reading about their ancient history. Or at the very least, both are necessary to develop a full appreciation of diversity.

    Personally, I lived in a community that had a great public school system where in high school the debate team and drama club was held in the same high esteem as the football team, where the black kid who was bused in from Boston and played drums in dance band was as much of a hero as the football team’s quarterback — all of which were at the top in my state. Because of that I’ve always been an advocate of public over private education. Adding home schooling to that I still favor public education, even with its flaws. Supplemental eduction has always been a component employed by religious and ethnic cultures in this country, and I think that’s a preferred model because it creates a situation where the child who is getting exposed to alternative views at home brings those views back into the public school environment where they can be tested, experienced and where they are needed most.

  4. I personally consider “Homeschooling” to be a form of indoctrination as well. It simply another person who is indoctrinating a person who is very vulnerable Think “Tabula Rasa”.

    Whether it’s the nazi’s, communists, right wingers, religious christians, libretarians, socialists or any other group with an agenda who wants to impose that agenda onto (their) children.

    The big problem with Education is that one doens’t know where education ends and propaganda/indoctrination starts.

    • Mgrdichian says:

      “The big problem with Education is that one doens’t know where education ends and propaganda/indoctrination starts.”

      Very astute observation. Propaganda is the proliferation of a certain point of view and I think homeschooling parents see this a little more clearly and perceives the govt has having a monopoly over ideas. They do, actually, from textbooks to teacher training. But my observations show that remarkable kids generally come from remarkable parents, regardless where they live or where they went to school. I never underestimate the power of concerned, involved parents.

      • John Phillips says:

        Yes! Having involved, caring and supportive parents is key to a child’s sense of worth and success in life! Your former girl friend had it completely right…having children should be about them. Home schooling can be a very big part of a child’s success in life.

  5. arealjeffersonian says:

    Another thought provoking podcast. Great selection Sibel. There are so many sides/questions sub-issues here that its difficult to know where to begin to comment.

    As I think about homeschooling I keep going back and forth as to whether I prefer public education, with all its faults – indoctrination, dumbed-down standardization, child safety issues, corporate influenced testing (common core), corporate promoted drugging (immunization, ADHD), etc, etc – or homeschooling, with all its faults (narrow minded indoctrination, lack of monitoring (not everyone is capable of providing quality education, and I’m sure that many children fall thru the cracks, regardless of the overall statistics), etc, etc.

    I hope the BFP community comes here and helps me out. Gives me more in-depth perspective to chew on.

    • Good points, Jeffersonian.

      So far, when measured on the academic knowledge/performance (Even with the State’s own standardized measuring system, SAT, etc.), HS students (when they enter colleges/universities), have scored higher, and have maintained higher GPAs. So, that’s so far.

      As for indoctrination: This is why I emphasized changing one system of indoctrination with another. That totally depends on each individual family. As in public school that totally depends on the gov’s objectives/goals. I for one would do it to ‘expand’ rather than, to further limit.

      • Mgrdichian says:

        “HS students (when they enter colleges/universities), have scored higher, and have maintained higher GPAs.”

        Have you done a statistical analysis of top tier students to see what percentage were public, private or homeschooled?

        Statistical analysis is a tricky game. Statistics can be constructed to prove anything. Typically I ignore statistics unless the numbers are overwhelming or the analysis lays out and considers the multitude of variables. There are about 75-80 million school age children in America. The homeschooled sample you’re using is 3 million. If the home schooled sample is identical to the total regarding race, urban vs. rural, economic tier, immigrated students, disabilities vs no disabilities, number of parents at home, etc, etc, etc, then the statistics may have some meaning. I don’t know where you got the statistic and whether it took any of this into consideration.

        • Absolutely. If you do ‘your’ research, you will see that homeschooled is defined as those outside public schools, charter schools, private schools (including church-run schools).
          So, when I list the available data (even those conducted & provided by the gov itself) for performance of HS’ers vs ‘others’ it is that.

          Now, have you checked the links provided on this post?

          Have you conducted research & stats outside this post?

          Once we do it, once you get the definition of homeschooling, the parameters indicated for research/survey purposes … then, we can have a conducive and fruitful discussion.

          • Mgrdichian says:

            Conclusive? Maybe. Fruitful? I hope so. I’ll be back after I check out your links.

          • Mgrdichian says:

            STATISTICAL FLAW #1
            One of your provided sources, The Economist, says that “Today the ranks of home-schoolers are overwhelmingly Christian, and 78% of parents attend church frequently.” That’s not even close to being comparable with the general population of public/private school students. So one way to do honest statistical analysis would be only use stats of public (and/or private) school students that are overwhelmingly Christian whose parents attend church frequently (same as home schoolers) and compare THEM to homeschoolers. That’s one way of comparing apples to apples. There are lots of other ways to even the playing field of analysis.

            Based of your source (the Economist), I could easily argue the “overwhelmingly” best way to insure excellent academic performance for a child is become a Christian, homeschool your kid, and go to church frequently. Why would anyone want to take an approach to excellent academic performance other than the “overwhelmingly” statistically proven option?

            Like I said, statistics are tricky business.

        • arealjeffersonian says:

          I believe the purpose of this particular statistical analysis was simply to try to determine whether homeschooling puts children at greater risk of failure in higher education, and since that one factor is held constant – all within the statistical sample attended higher education – then there was no need to parse the sampling further. The analysis was not attempting to break down the sample into subcategories of economic, racial, urban/rural, etc., and I see no need to introduce those into what was a very simple straightforward analytical question – how well did home schooled children perform compared to non-home schooled children. So I believe the analysis is valid and proves the point.

          • Mgrdichian says:

            When trying to come to a conclusion based on statistics, you can’t parse them too much. If parsing shows a trend more clearly, then the statistic is more conclusive. If paring makes things foggier, then the statistic is less conclusive. That’s the science of statistics. I think Sibel wants to be conclusive.

  6. Even the opinions of parents can be so extreme that those opinions can “infiltrate” the mind of a child and then that’s a “soft” form of “indoctrination” even without homeschooling.

    Homeschooling can be detrimental because then a child won’t be confronted with other views & opinions that would stimulate a person’s own thought process.

    • That’s a myth. That totally depends on the parents/home, and the methods of choice. At least there is this thing called ‘choice.’

      • Perhaps I was a little bit too radical in my reply but the overall line of thoughts remain the same.

        • Mgrdichian says:

          Willy2, I’ve gotta jump in and defend you and also point to how Sibel’s response confirmed your comment. You were quite careful to say “Homeschooling ‘can be’ detrimental.” You didn’t say “Homeschooling ‘IS’ detrimental.” Sibel’s response was appropriate to the latter, but that’s not what you said. She acknowledged that homeschooling can be detrimental, and “totally depends on the parents/home.”

          Word choices are important and you were very careful. In that regard, I’m not at all sure what she means by “myth.”

          • Perhaps Sibel Edmonds also homeschools her daughter ? Then I could imagine she’s a bit “annoyed” by my comments. I can imagine that with all Mrs. Edmonds has gone through in Iran, Turkey & here in the US, she has a VERY good set of reasons to hate/dislike/…….. government. And wants to shield her daughter form what she sees as “Propaganda”/”Indoctrination”/”Government influences”, etc.

            I earlier said in this series of threads that:

            “the problem is that one doesn’t know where Education ends and propaganda/indoctrination starts.

          • Annoyed? Not at all.

            Currently we are combining both. Meanwhile we are opting out of various standardized testing programs. Meanwhile researching, preparing for an alternative.

            Coop Homeschooling is one good option, however, our biggest obstacles is finding a group of homeschoolers in our area who are more or less on the same page with us …

            Is it because of my background? Maybe. On the other hand, I went through suffocating authoritarian school system, and came out of it more or less in tact … The biggest reason, my father- he did a great job countering/neutralizing the other side.

            On the other hand, you can’t attach that explanation to 3 million homeschooled kids who have left the system for various reasons. Is it because they lived in several countries and gov forms? Not at all. Thus, it is too much simplifying to attribute the case/reasons/factors to one.

            Would I let me daughter go through schools with metal detectors and screening? NO. Would I abide by mandatory vaccination/flu shots/medication orders? No. No way.

          • – When a school would be forced to have metal detectors then that would be for me a reason to seek another school.
            – Mandatory vaccination is – IMO – a GOOD thing.

  7. 344thBrother says:

    I echo the sentiments of those here who are excited about this format and the interactive/interplay between yourself and all the folks at BFP. It’s an honor and invigerating to participate, so thank you for all that. Plus, I learn a lot from you and can feel my brain straining to keep up. Which is a good thing.

    I wanted to ask you regarding sharing of any of your pod casts or articles etc. . how would you like us to proceed (or not) in this matter. I would like to share what I can without hindering your efforts to profit by your hard work.
    If there’s a time limit or some other guideline you want us to adhere to, please let me know. Until then, I’ll just participate and leave the sharing to you.


    • Thank you so very much, Dave.

      Sharing: I limit that to sending a heads up to those who are or may be interested via twitters/FB/e-mail lists.
      I decided to not even attempt to create ‘preview’ clips. I am after high-quality respectful, open-minded audience. Quality vs Quantity. I know what you are going to say (rightfully so): Shouldn’t we expand it and offer this opportunity to all?

      So far, that approach has failed big time. The air gets so nasty, negatively charged … that most good people don’t even bother participating/commenting. I suggest you go read very dumb, ugly, disgusting comments posted under the last Gladio interview we had with Corbett. I am not an entertainer. I don’t like to entertain people.

      BFP community is the exact opposite of that- and this, with all the different point of views and political outlook. I love our community. I have much respect for who we are here, how we conduct ourselves … Exactly what I new all along: the irate minority; a very minute minority.

    • I’m following up a bit. I thank you for your earlier remarks re; “Revolutionary acts” and how you responded. Right on. I apologize for being late.

  8. 344thBrother says:

    Oh, I neglected to also ask about sharing links in the forum.
    This one is on topic, and I like Melissa Melton for her passion, humor, bravery and accuracy. Guidelines appreciated.

    • I’d say we limit that. For the last few days I’ve been manually allowing, but our system is set to limit this activity, especially when it is YouTube links. Instead just put the name of the site/source- people can go and find it of they are really interested.

  9. 344thBrother says:

    Messages received and acknowledged!
    PS I actually wasn’t going to say that > #1 above. And I see your point. I like the feeling of being a minute minority.

    peace and tally ho!

  10. Iosua Bray says:

    This has been a very stimulating and fun series of podcasts. The accompanying comments and dialogue that I’ve read has been light years better in quality than those on any mainstream news page!

    There is a whole relatively unknown history of public education that most people are unaware of. To sum up succinctly, modern education with its grading system, endless hours in a classroom, age segregation and other featurs are recent inventions modled on opressive

    Non-government education is by far a huge threat to the system, its been noted throughout history in many examples that can pretty much be encompassed by the famous statement -“Give me a child until he is seven years old,and I will give you the man!.”

    The largest teacher organization the NEA is vehemently opposed to homeschooling. Its quite interesting how these official bodies call for censorship or hint at abolishing homeschooling in its current form when I have never heard a homeschooler call for the abolition of public schools, only for the mandatory compulsion to attend! Why are they so scared to allow freedom of choice in this instance? I think we all know the answer to that.

    The late Thomas Szasz clued me in to a newly invented mental illness called Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Once you read the “symptoms” of this “disease” you can easily see how this could be applied to homeschoolers and other dissidents by the state. Its become official and is listed in the psychiatric bible (The DSM). In fact Bruce Levin stated that in the hundreds of individuals hes treated for modern psychiatric illness, most had the personality of anti-authoritarians while those who treated them did not. I mention this because I believe it illustrates how the Federal Government can come down hard on Homeschoolers under the guise of science and healthy well being.

    • “The accompanying comments and dialogue that I’ve read has been light years better in quality than those on any mainstream news page!” – My observation as well. It gives me the necessary fuel to continue; even when I go through my ‘down’ periods.

      “Non-government education is by far a huge threat to the system, its been noted throughout history in many examples that can pretty much be encompassed by the famous statement -“Give me a child until he is seven years old,and I will give you the man!.”” Perfect point, and this is exactly why I tackled this subject, in hope of pursuing this line of discussion.

      “Its quite interesting how these official bodies call for censorship or hint at abolishing homeschooling in its current form when I have never heard a homeschooler call for the abolition of public schools, only for the mandatory compulsion to attend! Why are they so scared to allow freedom of choice in this instance? I think we all know the answer to that.+ – There you go with another excellent point. one feels/acts threatened by the other. That says a lot.

      “The late Thomas Szasz clued me in to a newly invented mental illness called Oppositional Defiant Disorder.” -This is how I came up with my SADD scenario. You know, this is one of these rare moments when I feel truly ‘understood.’ Usually I feel as if I am talking in a completely totally different/foreign language: either people don’t get anything, or, they get something totally outside what was meant.

      And then, once-in-a-blue-moon a jewel of comments like yours pops up, and I go: ‘Yay! thank you!!!’

      I know I have been repeating myself on this, but here it goes, one more time: This is why I Iove our forum.

  11. 344thBrother says:

    I’m going to sit out this discussion and just read until something really grabs me with this ONE honest only ONE caveat.

    Your home schooling relationship with your daughter struck me as a lot broader than any I’ve heard of in the past. Especially all the travel and “Global learning” if you will.

    Gee, wouldn’t it be great to start some sort of subscription service. Some kind of package deal that provides for groups to take a yearly 2 week long cruise or plane/bus/train trip to some other country for an immersion session with students and teachers from there to share experiences and the like. Sort of a mini student exchange and tour/vacation. Perhaps something that allowed the same group to tour each year to develop friendships and tour friends. With some sort of certification at the end of it.

    If I had capitol for such a venture, I’d be very tempted. But that’s about the only offering I have at the moment.


    • Do you know how much a program like that will go towards preventing Xenophobia & Racism? It would be an amazing step towards reducing ‘hatred.’ So much of the hatred, fear, stereotyping, myths … caused by the lack of knowledge. Fear of unknown …

      ‘They are different from us. They must hate our way of life … so I for sure hate theirs.’ mentality.

      • 344thBrother says:

        Yeah, well, you know, WE CAN’T HAVE THAT!

        The one thing I’ve really missed in my life was global travel. Two weeks in Australia is as good as it got, but even that was eye opening for me. Maybe in another life. : )

      • 344thBrother says:

        RE: Xenophobia, off subject and just a side note.
        Not long after Sept 11 the FBI put out a warning that they would be surveilling Arab and Muslim “Chat rooms” At the time I was a very active Chatter on MIRC/Dalnet and others, so, since this insulted me, I immediately went to a bunch of Muslim chat rooms and started spewing 911 truth. I particularly liked referring the members to the’s website wanted poster for Bin Laden where they don’t mention 911 as one of his crimes.

        I found the people in those rooms to be very nice, polite, welcoming, and NOT terroristic at all. After an hour or 2 of nicely putting up with my 911 Truth ranting they would politely remind me that their chat room is really for study of the Quran and invite me to join their studies. So, I went back many times and it was always the same. On the rare occasion that someone would come in and start spouting hatred toward anyone or any group, they would be banned very quickly.

        Anyway, what you said about xenophobia and getting to know people from other countries? There you go.

        PS I didn’t get invited to do any cocaine or visit any strip clubs.

        Peace on earth
        God bless us

  12. Iosua Bray says:

    This has been a very stimulating and fun series of podcasts. The accompanying comments and dialogue that I’ve read has been light years better in quality than those on any mainstream news page!

    There is a whole relatively unknown history of modern education that most people are unaware of. To sum up succinctly, modern education with its grading system, endless hours in a classroom, age segregation and other features are recent inventions. John Gatto illustrates in his awesome book Dumbing Us Down. The origins of compulsory schooling and the makeup of modern education will surprise you. I recommend people check it out.

    Non-government education is by far a huge threat to the system, its been noted throughout history. They know that to raise a good little conforming serf requires an early indoctrination into the values and mindset of government approved thought. Independent mindsets and critical thinking be damned!

    The largest teacher organization the NEA is vehemently opposed to homeschooling. Its quite interesting how these official bodies call for censorship or hint at abolishing homeschooling in its current form when I have never heard of a homeschooler call for the abolition of public schools. Why are they so scared to allow freedom of choice in this instance? I think we all know the answer to that.

    The late Dr. Thomas Szasz clued me in to a newly invented mental illness called Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Once you read the “symptoms” of this “disease” you can easily see how this could be applied to homeschoolers and other dissidents. Its now listed in the official psychiatric bible (The DSM). In fact Bruce Levin stated that in the hundreds of individuals hes treated for modern psychiatric illness, most had the personality of anti-authoritarians while those who treated them did not. I mention this because I believe it illustrates how the Federal Government can come down hard on Homeschoolers under the guise of science and the well being of people.

    I wonder how bad can things can get in government schools before people realize its not the homeschooling environment that present a danger to children? Look at the latest example of this madness!

  13. Iosua Bray says:

    Sorry for the double post, don’t know why that happened!

  14. Mgrdichian says:

    One thing I find interesting about this dialogue is how homeschool advocates want to keep their kids out of public and private schools so that they can prepare their children to perform better in public and private universities (schools). Kinda strange irony. Why not carry the argument all the way? I’ve heard of people who have passed the Bar having never attended law school.

    How about medicine? What if a kid from Mississippi wants to be a doctor but her parents want her to be a farmer on the family farm. I seriously doubt her parents will put much emphasis on biology and A&P. Who loses out in that situation? She won’t even be given the chance to excel on her own. By the time she’s 18 she will have lost a lot of ground and can’t get those years back.

    Someone here commented that homeschoolers are not calling for the abolition of public schools, yet none are articulating precisely what role public schools should play in American society. Just criticisms. I’d like to hear a homeschool advocate explain how and why public schools should exist without being racist or a demagogue.

    I understand that the primary focus of this thread is whether the Feds are coming after homeschoolers. They are. OK. But I think rather than ragging on public schools, a more productive dialogue would be how homeschoolers can work with each other to protect their right to educate their own children. I bet if you check, the Christian homeschoolers (the majority) are doing just that. The threat is serious, granted. In some cases govt can come and take your kids if they feel they are being abused, and if homeschooling is labeled an abuse, homeschoolers are fucked. Know your rights. Defend them. Yes.
    Didn’t I hear someplace here about distinguishing between “Don’t tread on me” and “Don’t tread on anyone?” Listening with anticipation.

    • arealjeffersonian says:

      Very interesting comments, and very helpful as I try to formulate some of my own thoughts/opinions. I’d like to address your points with thoughts of my own, and they are just that, thoughts.

      Re your statement ” how homeschool advocates want to keep their kids out of public and private schools so that they can prepare their children to perform better in public and private universities (schools)”. I would put it another way – that they home school so they can prepare their children to perform better in life, that their children also perform better in higher education is an added benefit. “Why not carry the argument all the way?” Probably because higher education does require a higher level of specific knowledge to teach – for example, medicine – no one advocates trying to teach that at home.

      To carry medicine into your next example about the kid from Mississippi who wants to be a doctor. That example is a bit of a red herring, isn’t it? Her family is not going to support her in her efforts, regardless of whether she attends public school or not.

      As to why public schools should exist at all if they are so bad, I was an advocate of public schools for many years, having attended them myself and received what I believe was a decent education. But that was quite a while ago and circumstances and public schools have changed since then. Too much top down dictation, and by top I mean the Federal government and teachers’ unions, with too little choice and control at the local level. If returned to local control so that the most serious problems could begin to be addressed, then maybe I could again be an advocate. But whats the chance of that – zero to none?
      Having said that, I recognize that there’s still a need for public schools – not everyone can or is prepared to home school. In some families both parents work, in others there’s only one parent who must work and so doesn’t have time. Some are not able, or at least believe that they are not able to give their children a good education at home. And some just believe public education is better, and they’re certainly entitled to their belief.

      And in the end I do agree with you – the Feds are coming sooner or later- maybe sooner. What to do? As you, Sibel and others suggest – be prepared. As to how? Maybe in another comment.

      • Mgrdichian says:

        My Mississippi kid example illustrates a point that I’ve experienced personally in my life and in the lives of kids I’ve been involved with where I live. In many cases schools provide opportunities that simply aren’t available at home. Kids like that used to show up at my stoop with their bikes that needed fixin. I’d spend hours with them, fixing their bikes and listening to their stories. Knowing what these kids would go home to saddened me. It wasn’t much, and some of them didn’t want to go home.
        Indeed, unsupportive parents are a big factor no matter where a kid goes to school. I also have friends in the same neighborhood who have a combined income of $500K-plus per year — the wife is a partner in an international accounting firm. They could educate their daughter any way they choose. When it came time to decide where to send their daughter to school they chose the public school down the street — the same school the kids on bikes attend. If you know anything about Boston Public Schools, they are among the worst in America. The rationale they expressed was they want their daughter to experience life as it really is in their neighborhood. They are still doing it and the wife talked her firm into helping support the school with volunteers on a regular basis.
        So there you have it. Dirt poor kids from dysfunctional homes at the same school with a super rich kid with dedicated parents. Maybe it won’t be the teacher who inspires one of the bike kids to rise above his circumstances. Maybe it will be my friends daughter who inspires one of the bike kids to do well in school. Or maybe their parents will meet at a PTO meeting and give some encouragement to the bike kid’s parent(s). Or maybe it WILL be a teacher who sees two kids from hugely diverse backgrounds side by side and say to herself, “Shit, this is amazing, I better do something and work with this.” I really don’t know. All I know is opportunity is just as important as choice. Fuck the government. I know this is not your average situation, but I’m not making any of this up, either. Opportunity is not a red herring.

        Thank you, sincerely, for taking what I had to say seriously.

        • Thank you for this real-life example. Point well-made.

          Between 1995-1999 I worked as CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), and I know how real (also how applicable) this example is.

          For me the ideal public school setting is one that provides economic diversity, cultural diversity, racial diversity; a school that is for ‘teaching’ not programming the future obedient robotic workers; a place where critical thinking is encouraged; a place that does not operate based on one-size fits all; a place that does not follow learning-for-testing; a safe place where a teacher can teach not a cattle-drive where one teacher is placed in charge of teaching 50 students; a place where the good teachers can be in charge and do what they are good at: teaching & nurturing, not a bureaucratic institutions with several layers of nonsense department dictated by the top; a place where the community and that particular community’s needs become the guideline not a place where a distant centralized powers dictates parameter …

          You know, when I look at what I just listed, I just don’t see why it can’t be achieved. It is not some idealized goal way out of reach. As far as money is concerned, without the bloated bureaucratic wasteful centralized system we would spend less than what is being thrown into the current system …

          So yes to the kind of public school system our children deserve. No to the centralized system that has been the main impediment.

        • 344thBrother says:

          your tale of the bike kids was uplifting and saddening at the same time. How many kids today have someone/somewhere to go that will just let them be kids, talk to them, listen to them and teach them a skill at the same time?

          Perhaps this is a mentoring type of activity that will have value and a place in the future where mentors can make a couple bucks and help kids at the same time. It seems like a viable model to me. Unfortunately , nowadays, I don’t see it happening anywhere. Busy busy shuttle shuffle eat sleep.

  15. After listening to Sibel and reading the comments up to about 6:30, I have these comments (and perhaps I will have missed something since then).

    There are various opposing groups in this discussion.

    Parents choosing to homeschool their children must have the time and resources available to do that, plus they must have a flexible lifestyle to accommodate it. For example, my niece was home schooled for a few years but my sister in law, who had been a teacher previously, was working only part time. As mentioned by many, the homeschoolers can have a variety of reasons for this path, and as more have taken on the challenge there is now support groups to help those along. Unfortunately not everyone has the time, resources, flexibility, and the skill set to homeschool their children so it is not the final solution to problems in our public education system – but it is an important choice for some.

    Of course the NEA is opposed to homeschooling. This management structure maintains its power by having many teachers under its domain and so teachers out of its power are a threat to that power.

    I consider public school teachers at the other end of this situation. I remember most of my teachers (long ago, back in the 60s & 70s) to be honestly committed to seeing their students learn to the best of our abilities. Many were truly professional, and their daily attitude in class and approach to teaching enabled me to be successful later in life. In our current fractured society, they have their teaching methods hindered by narrow minded parents, by school boards having their own agenda for controlling teachers and students, by national initiatives like NCLB and Common Core ruining whatever productive relationship they might seek as teacher-student.

    Of course there is the ever present of indoctrination in any system of education, whether public or private. The ruling class would prefer a submissive electorate. As I heard Bill Gates explain Common Core, it is the plan for any public school to follow, with the clear implication switching public schools to schools provided by for-profit corporations (with their low paid teachers) with funding by taxpayers can follow this plan just as well as the public schools that are currently fully funded by taxpayers (except with subtractions for vouchers and charter schools). Common Core takes away the initiative in teachers to find teaching methods that can work with individual students; instead one approach is applied to all students. This Common Core approach seems to have as its goal the ruin of the profession of teaching in public schools, which of course will result in the dumbing down of students. Common Core defines the means of indoctrination.

    The last group is all those parents will children in or about to be in the public school system. As a modern society we have matured to expect some services to be provided within a community, like fire and police protection, road maintenance, utilities (power, water, sewer), and a public education system. Each of these is difficult to obtain as an individual. We can hire our own security guard, erect our own wind turbine, pay tuition for a private school, or even handle the education of our children at home. However, most do not have the resources for these on the ‘free market’ but instead rely on the community’s resources to help with these services.

    I agree that homeschooling is important, and I agree its growing popularity is a threat to a number of other groups (government control and indoctrination, NEA control of teachers, etc.). However homeschooling really offers nothing for the majority of Americans who rely on the public schools in their community and currently those public schools are under attack and in decay.

    Both of my children always attended the public schools. The school system in our rather small town was limited in resources (I had math through calculus in my high school (the benefits of growing up in a suburb), but there were very few college prep classes even available for my kids). However we spent a great deal of time with the kids outside of school, and I remember helping with homework many times. Both kids went on to college (I co-signed their loans) where both prospered when taking on the challenging higher level, and both are quite successful.

    Education of a child is quite the endeavor but the process has many contributors. The teachers are presenting many concepts while the students are dealing with learning them, sometimes with difficulty, while the students are also dealing with growing up with others their age as their bodies and brains mature. Parents (and extended family) must be there to help guide the child through this, as the parents once navigated a similar path earlier and have learned more of life’s lessons over more years.

    I feel our public school system is in disarray because so many of our communities, and the parents and families in them, are also in disarray. Our contracting middle class, accompanied by a worsening lower class, is not a friendly environment for the typical student. I was quite surprised to see the Probably Cause series transition from political topics to this much more narrow topic of home schooling. I can see some general relevance to the initial topic of revolution – but I do not see it as significantly relevant.

    This perspective is probably not in line with the general flow here but is it important to keep the forest in perspective as we check out the condition of several trees?

    • Mgrdichian says:

      Fantastic contribution. Your mature observations totally explain why your kids are doing well. Hats off to you and your family.

    • Excellent points; you covered several important points here.

      One of your points that should be discussed and included in this picture: Teachers. I completely agree. I see the teachers (from my experience), at least most, on our side. They have been getting the short end as well. For example, many teachers I have spoken with hate/oppose Common Core (and many other Federal Gov Dictated programs). They talk about how much of their time is now have to be allocated to all the paperwork/bureaucracy demanded by the system, and taken away from their students.

      (By the way, as you may know: Bill Gate’s darling Common Core isn’t darling enough for his own kids who are being educated in expansive private schools).

      Again, many many important points in this comment. This is how initial topic/info expands, goes deeper. Thank you!

      • John Phillips says:

        Dave, well said. The common thread in your post seems to be educated parents with the resources (time, money, etc.) to home school.

        May I ask…is their finacial or material support available to you to home school your daughter. Does the entire effort rest on your’s and your husband’s shoulders? I’m sure there is, but my next point shows why I ask.

        I think one of the reasons home schooling jumped from a few 10,000 to 3 million is the support provided by the Federal Government during the Bush administration that “pushed” money into the effort through churches. If that is true, I question whether the “government” sees it as a threat at all.

        Someone posted earlier that 78% of home schooled are church-based efforts.

        More thoughts latter!

        However…Sible, your idea, this format, is extraordinary. I’m devoting more time to it than I really have, but I think this interaction between us is important. I want to give credit to those involved by reading all the commentary. The comments posted really force me to consider my own paradigms and stretch my thinking. My time is well spent.
        Thank You!

    • In my opinion and experience, how one is schooled and/ or educated (there is a difference, I believe) is significant to everything.

  16. doublek321 says:

    I also want to mention my admiration for Sibel and her bravery. I’m very excited that I get to hear you on a regular basis!

    As far as government schooling, I would also think it would be utterly frightening for children to have the threat of police arresting you for misbehaving ( I also think word of that spreads, causing 2 things:

    1) Bad: Some parents to “self-censor”, being super strict with their children.

    2) Good: Shocking some other parents (“how could something like this be done to a 4 year old”) and helping “wake them up” (in the grand sense).

    I’m encouraged there are already 43 comments on this episode. I think it just came out today. This is a good sign! Hopefully we can build this into a much larger number

    Btw, I want to mention one possible way to wake people up. I feel like most people tend to limit themselves to only trying to “wake up” people that they already know (e.g. friends/relatives). Another possibility is to go onto YouTube and send direct messages (by clicking their profile name, then “about”, then click the “send message” button), to people who you are commenting on videos where you can discuss “liberty topics”. I sent a message to someone who commented on an economics video. The person was very appreciative of the info I sent and asked me to send along anything else I wanted to down the line. I hate to say I haven’t followed up just yet (though I will!) but this is a way for me to wake someone up who was previously a COMPLETE STRANGER.

  17. Sibel, your format is accumulating a little energy/intensity…that is a good thing. Next comes INTEGRITY–that’s hard and elusive due essentially to the structure of ego and how each of us was “programmed.”

    Time to move a little deeper in the questioning department. Here’s my thinking feeling about todays topic(s):
    I need to say from the outset “Homeschooling” is NOT a revolutionary act in and of itself. For me, because of my own frustrations public teaching-about 13 years total including a 2 year stint w/US Peace Corps in the 60s, underdeveloped country, teaching teachers, I found myself asking very strong questions regarding the “teaching” and/or raising of a child(I have a daughter who is now 52 and a spectacular “success” at the game of living an independent life. She was never “homeschooled”, as such. Our BEHAVIOR would ,of course influence her. But we hunted for affordable private schools–she had a total of 3 years—I was obsessed with teacher-student ratio.
    Let me step back a bit. My father was no intellectual. He was raised in brutal depression times and the oldest of 6 children. He completed the 7th grade. Being a quiet alpha type, he began to work 24/7 as a farmer — he and his father and brothers handled 100s of acres of wheat, grains, horses, huge vegetable gardens and maybe 10 or so cattle. My grandmother worked like a man and headed a serious bunch. I’m saying this because my father was good at basic arithmetic, spelling, and knew how to write full sentences in what is today called “cursive” writing. As a child I was always asking him questions relative to my own full-on big city public learning–his answers even up through high school were usually spot on or he would simply say, “Hell, I don’t know son. Yer gonna have to figure that one out yourself(which of course involves another level–namely self-responsibility”.
    I should also stress that all of my struggling aunts and uncles had zero time to teach academics. This, IMO, is so obvious today for 100s of millions of us. Not enough time!! That must be faced.
    So what is my point??? Here is a simple dead-ass serious question I asked: WHOSE F’ING IDEA WAS IT TO PLACE 43 14 YEAR OLDS IN ONE ROOM WITH AN ADULT “TEACHER” ??? This invites pandemonium!! Teaching? Forget about it!! For the most part the adult with ideals gets trapped and is forced to meet City, County, State and FEDERAL guidelines. I quickly saw some 50 or so years ago, that the concept of large scale “teaching” was massively wrong–barbaric–insane in some cases. Most of the BPF people on this thread remember hours, days, weeks, months and years of hell. No one knows how many adults were psychologically, subconsciously crippled for life!!
    I found out the answer to my question. It is in front of us all–WE ALL BELONG TO AN INDUSTRIALIZED SYSTEM WHICH HAD ITS ROOTS SQUARLY PLANTED IN THE GREAT INDUSTRIAL REVOULUTION WHICH WAS/IS FACTORY BASED!– hence, sprawling buildings which resemble prisons loaded with tender children being “processed” assembly-line fashion. It is now crystal clear to me why most us are in a quasi-hypnotic state.
    I remember those naïve days and great sayings: “A child id NOT a receptacle, a child is like a small plant that needs nourishing and some guidance” One should not simply look at a child as something to fill up with non-factual beliefs, opinions, and endless memorizing of data. Of course one wants the child to memorize some things-times tables, etc. But the key deal here is how can you guide a child to do that? I would recommend a book which influenced me: “TEACHER” by SYLVIA ASHTON WARNER published 1963 for crying out loud! She explains true “ORGANIC TEACHING” which I did use when I teaching–only if I had the time.

    The answer to the amazing abilities my father had and, for the most part Jefferson, Washington .Madison, Franklin and so many others had was to attend a ONE ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE with “children ranging from 6 to 18!!! Today, this concept cannot be done because we spend galactic sized sums of $$ on the military industrial complex!
    To recap then: IMO there will be no revolution based on homeschooling unless everybody stops filling their children’s brains with non-factual information and BELIEF SYSTEMS which YOU need. The ENTIRE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM HAS GO BACK TO PRE-INDUSTRIAL TIMES ! Those guys who whipped out our Constitution went, for the most part, to one room schools!
    Ergo, millions of one room schools–each has a vertical age base. Homeschooling per se, doesn’t cut the mustard with me, unless it is fact-science based–tons of great fictional writings are cool, though. But then I am one of those weird agnostics. Do I feel my plan is the answer? There I refer to my father, “I don’t know–that’s up for you/us to find out.”

    • Ron, honored to have you with us here in the BFP community.
      I attended 12 years of public schooling and 2 years of private schooling (Grade 4 & 5; until the Iranian Revolution) in two countries: Iran & Turkey. I’d say as far as authoritarianism and indoctrination went we had it full-blown and overt. Any expression of critical thinking that resembled questioning the system was not only punishable for the students but their parents as well (The state arrested many parents based on information gathered from their kids in schools).

      Now, the question is: how come I was able to engage in critical thinking and associated actions from my early years, and continued to do so? In other words, how did I escape the system’s indoctrination and programming/quashing effect? Of course I was not the only one, however, in my case, it was the influence of my father and his teaching.

      From age 7 I was encouraged to read books and discuss them. No, we were not rich people ‘purchasing’ brand new books. My father and his group of friends and activists passed around tons of books, and my father had access to university libraries. In that part of the world, at least during that period of time, we did not have community/ town/city libraries, and public schools didn’t possess libraries. The books I read were of various topics, philosophies, styles, and political views by authors from around the world. I read Gorky’s ‘The Mother’ and ‘A Confession’ at the age 9. Before the age 11, I had read many Russian authors and poets such as Mayokovsky. I had read Western authors from Steinbeck to Zola to the feminist Oriana Fallaci, and lighter-weight books written by various modern rightist authors. My intention is not to do some pretentious pompous name-dropping. It is to illustrate that it was not indoctrination in any particular political philosophy or life view: It was to expose me to as much information, thought and views as possible.

      That went for theoretical learning. My father also took me with him to work on a regular basis; at least 10-15 hours a week-hospital and one of his offices. I say one of his offices because he had two: one was a regular office to earn money, the other one was his office in the slums area of Tehran where he worked three nights a week and treated people for free. That was the office I accompanied him to, and where I pretended to be his assistant between the ages 7-12. By the time we’d arrive at his office there would be a line that circled around the narrow building three or four times. There’d be at least 200-400 people waiting to be seen. No matter how late he stayed, there would be 100 or so who’d have to come back and try their luck two days later.

      Theoretically I was anti-war by the age 7-8. But I became a staunch anti-war activist after going to hospitals with my dad during the war (Iraq-Iran War) where some days he had to amputate dozens of arms and legs. Where I witnessed a 80%-burned 9-month old baby, with holes drilled as nostrils on her face in order to allow air via tubes, die. A baby who could not cry under the excruciating pain with burned lungs …

      And I tagged along with my dad when he attended all the underground political activism…

      I usually don’t feel comfortable sharing too many personal details. However, your sincere and so effective comment just made this pour out. No I was not the by-product of the schooling I received, despite spending 12 years, 7 hours a day, of my life there. Despite all the efforts of authoritarian regimes to indoctrinate us. My real teaching came through my father, his work, our experiences, outside reading, political activism, coups, revolutions …

      I have more to add regarding other significant points in your comment, including the factorization of our schools (Ford Assembly Model), the treatment of children as robotic beings in overcrowded classrooms, 50+% of school kids being medicated with one or another or several psycho-med, Common Core and other similar one-size fit all testing … It is pretty late here in Oregon, so I will be back with more.

      • Sibel, I’m honored to be here.
        There is now a lot of information on this thread–and I’ll tend to limit my remarks somewhat because It is never clear to me if we are really reading one another’s stuff. My style is to pack my serious(main) comment with research-based studies, etc. and somewhat with my own personal experiences on this tricky planet. Then just see what develops.
        Your above comments resonate with me and others–because you took a risk and laid out heavy duty personal thoughts.
        Some of us are simply lucky regarding a valuable parent–it sounds like we both were. However, there are so many variables as to why/how one winds up with a certain kind of consciousness, if you will. This is still a serious topic with cognitive neuroscientists(one needs to study the brain, IMO). — but here you are, Sibel, living on the 3rd planet from a mid-sized star. I might add that there is no question you would’ve been right in the 60s/70s “mix” with the ones with integrity–fear or no fear! I worry a little that your passion with about 125 unfolding issues from Central Asia to home schooling in Bend may overwhelm you. That’s just my tough guy father figure talking–ask my daughter. Stay grounded.

    • arealjeffersonian says:


      A kindred spirit, it seems we have lot in common. My father was also a farmer who went thru the depression and had a 7th grade education – sufficient to his needs and ours. For myself, my 1st 6 years of public school was in a 2 room schoolhouse, with 2 teachers and 60 students split 1st, 2nd, 3rd grades in one room and 4th,5th, 6th in the other – with of course the relative differences in ages. I remember those years as the best years of learning. The remainder of my public education was in more modern schools – a new elementary and new high school. But I believe the underlying core of my education was developed in that simple 2 room school, with 2 teachers, a blackboard, a globe, pencils and paper & a few books. No teaching aids, no computers, no videos, no standardized tests (tests were created, given and graded by the 2 teachers – no additional staff). The students of course had varying levels of ability & desire for learning, but none were diagnosed with ADHD or ADD or ODD. The teachers understood each student and taught to their abilities. Some students were moved up a grade (within the same classroom) if their progress warranted, some received extra attention if they needed it. No student was held back, and no student failed. And when we were all moved to the “new” school, we all did at least as well as the “city” kids who were mixed in with us – who had already been attending “modern” schools.

      So I certainly relate to and agree with your position that if it were possible to go back to that model, many ills of the current system would be cured and our youth today would be far better off and far better educated. But isn’t home schooling as close to that as we can get today? Many, if not most, home schooling is done with multiple students of different ages in the same class room, whether they are brothers and sisters from the same family, or families that group their children together for shared schooling – with parents sharing teaching duties and/or engaging part time trained teachers with home schooling views and experience.

      • We are both “on the same page” it seems. Schooling, per se, can be so simple and “organic’, but I’m 100% convinced massive sinister dynamics are afoot. Psychopaths with power, etc. You know the ancient Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times!” Here we go!

  18. i can see this really heating up with the common core bullshit. on facebook i have seen friends who are parents (i am not) talk about how utterly impossible the curriculum is only to get shouted down by teacher proponents. it’s absurd, i used to work in public school systems and i knew plenty of teachers and even administrators who hated the standardized testing but what could they do? teachers unions in the state i was in were farces only meant to cow to partisan demands. another friend, a woman who was an outcast when we went to elementary school together due to her “disabilities”, homeschools her son now because of his — or so they have been diagnosed for him. she posts on the common core nonsense herself, happy to have pulled her son out of it. i am not on there anymore but i hope she is thinking about this too. i used to work for an after school program, and would do my best to do one-on-one tutoring with the more “hyperactive” students. they were of course bright young individuals when worked with on levels that made sense to them and their insights blew me away. what children can do when they are given the chance to! older students designated to the same “freak status” were more difficult to convince of their capabilities — passed from one grade to another never having learned basic addition. it’s a mess. perhaps a “grassroots” homeschooling union (or many) of sorts is possible? considering how demonized the state wants to make this practice, perhaps it is not to amenable for co-option at this point.

    • “Open Source Schooling Cooperative”

      Unions and Cooperatives! Voluntary associations are key. There are two fundamentals here:

      The owner-operator cooperative corporations representing a network of home schools and the unions of various educators they employee.

      I have a 7 year old son in second grade. Every Thursday I help him with his homework. More than once there have been errors in the assignments. He loves the planets, the solar system. In fact, this past summer he blew me away with this video about the giant impact theory (the generally accepted origin of our dual planetary, earth/moon system):

      Dr. Robin Kanup might be someone we as a “homeschoolers educators coop” commission to do a piece for our students.

      Unfortunately the schools don’t teach at this level. The paradox is that my son (and I believe most kids) aren’t interested in learning how to spell “why” and “make” and “sigh” and “low”. The schools instill a false sort of competition that does not apply to the real world (except for that part of the world that manages through coercion).

      So in order to evolve this system: the solution should not threaten the state any more than it threatens parents who can’t or won’t homeschool.

      Shouldn’t an honest government welcome a community that is embracing education and reducing the burden on the state?
      (I know our government isn’t honest now, but my point is that a robust home schooling movement will be a litmus test for all politicians who claim to be reforming the system).

      Finally, I’d like to add, I’m studying Prof Antal Fekete, a mathematician turned economist. His entire lecture series is online, and I’ve reposted it here:

      By learning about real bills, bonds, mutuals, cooperatives, we can harness the power of our money and make it “good” again.
      I see one method of funding practically “free schooling” coming from honest brokers sponsoring the material.
      Wouldn’t it be cool to learn about calculus and figure out how to reduce your tax burden at the same time?

      I truly believe our means must justify our ends, and increasing the IQ of our homes is one surefire means of doing this!

    • Kariflack,

      CC is a scandalous and a recipe for a disaster. Period. I have spoken with more than a dozen teachers (with avg 20+ years teaching experience) who see it as exactly that: disaster; horrific.

      Here you have a case where States are betraying their people over $$$$$$ dangled by the Federal Gov: ‘Pass the law, plug in and implement CC, and we’ll give this many million dollars per school …’

      Now I am going to bring in another major issue: The enormous increase in the number of school-age children on antipsychotic medication (Hello, big Pharma).
      I think it is all connected. When you look closely at Common Core, you understand how the number of medicated kids is bound to climb much higher. It makes me neurotic to just look at it (CC). Imagine the teachers who will have their paperwork/bureaucratic work tripled. Imagine the kids who will be treated and pushed like hamsters in the wheel.

      • it is *the* reason i have not decided to get my teaching license in the new state i moved to. i cannot morally justify it. when i was working with after school programs, i had some leeway to combat the crap they got in school. we did really fun interactive learning based on things they were interested in. we did student-to-student mentoring that the children grew to love and run up and ask me when their new session was. it’s nearly impossible for a teacher who wants to move beyond it to radically work against it unless there is a very dedicated group of teachers in tow. however the police patrolling of schools makes me uneasy even in this regard. five years ago at the school i taught at a police cruiser showed up daily, an elementary school! any school they would come to police is awful, but it was really meant to put an impression on these children from low-income households. i fought against that successfully on my own and had the officer removed, but these are the stakes and it is not looking good.

      • these anti-psychotic medications are pill form of a lobotomy. for anyone.

        • But of course. How much easier is it to rule a lobotomized majority?! Piece of cake;-)

          • the psychotics are apparently the ones who break down over the inhumane conditions we are surrounded by, not the ones at the top of the rungs…ayiyi

        • I think I am going use your perfect analogy for one of our coming episodes: A path towards a lobotomized society … or something like that.

          • i look forward to it! the conversations are very thought provoking and like you said the different viewpoints brought together are so clarifying, it really is unlike anything out there where adults can be adults ha!

          • 344thBrother says:

            “Common core”

            To core an apple is to remove the seeds and leave a hollow shell full of white pulpy goodness! Easier to eat too!


    • Kariflack, believe it or not, there are lots of educators who are against the Common Core. In many ways, it is a self-contradictory system that does not live up to the standards it articulates. With its emphasis (at least on paper) on critical thinking, it has had a good impetus for curriculum upgrades, and allowed me to be given a favorable hearing when I suggested introducing a method to evaluate the square roots of numbers in my school district. Many math teachers are quite resistant to Common Core, their objections having nothing to do with religious affiliation or political agenda. I visit many schools in my capacity as a substitute teacher, and one will have no trouble engaging a teacher on the defects of the so-called Common Core. I think you are right that it definitely impedes teachers from devising innovative approaches to teaching. And it seems to force students to use very restrictive means to approaching a problem. They must solve problem A in a particular way, and must go through the steps as they are spelled out. That’s a great burden to both educator and student.

      • Thank you for bringing up this point/fact.

        You are absolutely right. I’d say of 15-20 teachers I have communicated with, 75%-80% oppose it. Interestingly, those who oppose where the experienced ones with avg of 15 yrs of teaching experience. The proponents: younger teachers with less than 5 yrs of experience. I wonder how much of this is based on indoctrination of the future teachers in colleges/universities?

  19. I’ve just finished reading the comments and was dismayed that only ‘Iosua Bray’ above mentioned John Taylor Gatto. John Taylor Gatto was both NYC and NY State Teacher of the Year, and used his state honor as an opportunity to announce his retirement and spend a year at state expense to roam the state and lecture on what he had discovered on the HISTORY AND PURPOSE of compulsory public education.

    John is a gifted speaker and I encourage everyone to spend an hour with this lecture,
    “The Scientific Management of Children”:

    One of the important reasons I was drawn to the work of James Corbett was when I noticed upon visiting his site years ago that the ONLY DVD premium he had at the time was John Taylor Gatto’s “The Ultimate History Lesson.” I immediately realized I had come across a kindred soul! Same as I felt when Sibel graciously rounded out my understanding of the context of 9/11 in the breakthrough interviews with James on Gladio-B.

    What one gets — and I believe this is an essential takeaway from Gatto — is that there are people who have spent more time thinking about my life than I had. People who have spent more time thinking about our lives than YOU/WE have. 9/11 was disturbing, and ever more so when I understood it as a fraud, but I was even more disturbed when I realized that the institution of compulsory public schooling was organized and designed to create a product for OTHERS’ narrow goals and benefit. Why? Because as bad as 9/11 is/was, my education and schooling experience is personal, whereas the tragedy of 9/11 by comparison is a rather relatively remote event.

    So what one comes up against – and can’t escape – is the concept and understanding of STATED GOALS vs. THE REAL PURPOSE. This comes up time and again when analyzing institutions and policies which seem queer at first until brought into proper alignment and focus.

    • Thank you for bringing this up. I have watched and listened to Gatto. I’d say one of the (If not ‘the’) most valuable, spot on, analyses of our modern day education system. I recommend it to all. In fact I am going to add it to the next episode’s links section. Kudos, Peter.

      • 344thBrother says:

        Agreed on Gatto. The man never disappoints. I’ve listened to a lot of his presentations.

        Earlier, I claimed that I taught both of my children to read myself (While they were still learning the ABC’s) in about 20 hours for about 20 bucks and I’d like to briefly mention how I did it.

        Obviously the sounds of the vowels and consonants came first and then when they had them down I merely started stringing them together. a-at sat rat cat bat vat mat splat o-ot sot rot cot bot vot mot… etc. . in long rows so that there was repetition. I would use an entire page using 2 or 3 different vertical rows of similar vowel/consonant pair sounds.

        Then I would have them read the entire page without any errors (Easier than it sounds) and when they got that I would finish up with a Z word like… ZAT and tickle them, so they knew that was coming and then I had them tally up the total number of letters they read and then immediately paid them off in pennies, which later turned into having them count out mixed change.

        It was all done with a pencil and paper and each lesson lasted from 1/2 to one hour max so they didn’t get bored or frustrated, and I used a lot of nonsense words to demonstrate that they didn’t have to mean anything, just get the sound right and string the consonant phrases together to make real words. That’s it. Neither of my children were super smart, I’d say average, although teaching them to read at such a young age was a big boost academically for sure. Then we got library cards.

        That’s it. Piece of cake and fun for teacher and student. How long does it take the school to teach reading? And WHY IN HELL are they teaching students to “Memorize words”?

        peace freedom truth justice

        • 344thBrother says:

          If the group is interested, I also have about 10 years experience teaching Emergency Medical, Rescue and Fire related subjects through a local community college to a largely Native American group of students who had very poor language, reading, public speaking and test taking skills. (Schools on the reservation weren’t the best and the stigma against “Being better than everybody else” also was in play.

          I had to innovate with them too and had good luck overall. It’s an intense subject and the subject matter must be thoroughly understood and testing is done in written as well as a timed physical skills format with 80% as the pass/fail cut off.

          It was a mixed class and we had men, women, older teens and mixed races in the classes so it was a learning experience for all of us.


      • Hi Sibel
        In one of Gatto’s interviews he expresses that what a real education should be striving for is to assist in developing in each child “a working theory of human nature.” He further points out that in early British controlled America it was illegal to teach what were then called “the active literacies.” Ok to teach the plebes to read so they can follow the master’s instructions and run the machines, but not how to effectively write and speak as that would empower the masses in their ability to enlist fellow confederates. How long could, say, “American Exceptionalism” survive if children were empowered by their knowledge of the full range of human foibles and behaviors, regardless of origin? Not long, I figure.

        All of which led me to thinking that various texts should be organized that address this very subject area and presented as, perhaps, a parallel “degree” as armor for navigating this modern life. My pipe dream, perhaps, but I’ve spent some time thinking about this. Not an ideology — the opposite — but proven intellectual tools refined over the ages.

        Well, I see I’m drifting a bit so I’ll leave it there.

        • No, that’s a good point. I agree.

          This also brings up Ron’s point. Going from ‘Humanistic’ approach, to industrialized approach: factorization of our schools towards creating of machinized/robotofied (lobotomized) society. It is a systematic tool towards a society defined by their level of consumerism & productivity-as in mega corporations’ point of view (not true productivity).

          • Mgrdichian says:

            “Going from ‘Humanistic’ approach, to industrialized approach”

            I’m so glad you injected this. IMO this is at the heart of all school reform, nationally and locally. And it’s not new. It was first made known to me in a class I took at UMass in the early 1980s.

            The PTB would like nothing better than a society filled with polite, well-dressed little robots confined to their cubicles 8 hours a day. What a sick measure of productivity, on par with the child labor practices of the late 19th century. Fortunately there are lots of people bucking the system or we all would have been doomed to that fate a long time ago, but that doesn’t negate the on-going battle. IMO the introduction of deviant labels and corresponding pharma solutions are a product of real human reaction to this unnatural conditioning.

  20. There are so many problems and dangers with public schooling that have been well talked to by Sibel and folks here, but I can’t stress enough the core danger, which is content. Today we see the ‘dumbing down’ of young people through these institutions, but underneath that, and that which has always been there since at least the former part of the 20th century, is the manipulation of content. Particularly history. The State itself obviously has an inherit incentive to spin history to its favor, but not only in the manipulation of historical information, they’ve embedded an ideological belief system into the texts. Ignoring for a moment the obvious jingoistic patriotism of schools, consider the following statement, ‘Our society has matured to expect some services provided by the community.’ Now someone said something like this earlier, and I’m not picking on you or anything, but I’d like to take what you said and modify it a bit to demonstrate something. So what’s the keywords? ‘matured’ and ‘expect’. What if we started it with ‘Our society has been led to expect…’? To me, that a society could ‘mature’ to ‘expect’ services is a profound and subtle result of State indoctrination. It is exactly the ‘ends’ of such U.S. sponsored teaching. The original statement makes perfect sense, if we are lab rats on petri dish, labeled ‘society A’, maturing under specific parameters and variables set by scientists.

    This may be way too far out there an examination and perhaps way off base for which I apologize and will shut up soon, but if you are one who has seemingly little choice due to circumstances to put your child through public schools, I’d pay close attention to the history books and even like Sibel’s fantastic example of her own upbringing, I’d introduce my own materials for my child to also learn from. I see education as easily one of the top most highest of priorities as far as any sort of revolution or rather, gradual evolution. I find it to be really the heart and soul of government indoctrination.

    • i have thought about this recently while reading on the *real* circumstances that lead up to the US’s civil war. it’s fascinating to learn about the “war within a war” like Sibel has spoken about the varying dynamics she witnessed during the Iranian revolution. in any case, the textbooks children are presented about this are worse than terrible — the content point you brought up is something i have thought about with regard to what the simplistic illustrations and fluff text do to young minds. children are presented with idiotic war maps of where cotton was, where the ships were, where manufacturing in the north took place. and it’s all nonsense meant to shape just a select few channels for which they interpret other world events.

      • …by people who have spent more time thinking about your life than you have!!

        This is what “shocked” me — the venal nature inherent in so many institutions. Normal people, in my experience, may certainly be rascals, but we don’t spend an inordinate amount of time and resources dedicated to undermining our neighbors.

        • kariflack says:

          yes there is something quite important here to think about regarding production of populations like commodities are thought of — that is what “we” are in a large sense; the ruling class don’t even consider us as human. how many units will move here or there with varying economic pressure put on different regions? that is not to say i think they are always successful, but changing our minds on what is to be taken seriously can, i think, help us to get to the bottom of a lot of these problems. i really liked this part of another comment: “These people create markets and then exploit theses markets with synthetic demands.” just wow, it’s true. it’s so pervasive to dizzying degrees, the amount of propaganda and disinfo we are confronted with at every turn.

          • >> “These people create markets and then exploit theses markets with synthetic demands.” just wow, it’s true. it’s so pervasive to dizzying degrees, the amount of propaganda and disinfo we are confronted with at every turn. <<

            I was shocked — still am — at my own personal naivite'. It was 9/11 that really caused me to start looking, and if 'they' would lie about this, then what about that, and on and on. As you say "just wow!"

          • kariflack says:

            @PeterM — i know the feeling about the naivete…i have always tried place a lot of importance on just saying “i don’t know” about different events etc, but now we have the ability to know thanks to a lot of efforts from other concerned people online. truly a sea change.

      • @kariflack Great point, I was just re-reading an old college level history book and seeing not just the nuances, but absolute omission if not outright misinformation or persuasion of a particular State sponsored narrative. People can even more easily obsorb this if having been already lightly ‘molded’ at a very young age, like in your example.

        @Peter, absolutely, and to expand on who and why exactly they care so much about our lives and the shape of our brains, and to go beyond the Carnegie and Rockefeller people, and touch on what Sibel mentioned, we ought to take a good hard look at the industrial complexes. All of them. Where it is ideologically important for poor sufferers of libido dominandi to impress upon the minds of our thinking, it is also important for State beneficiaries and mega-plunderers to be sure the minds of the people are… compliant to their own ends. And means, esp when one looks at the vaccine circus, esp when implemented by force, the schools sit the children down, feed them with big-agra food, inject them with big-pharma, dope them up with big-pharma to cope with big-goddamn everything under the plundering sun. These people create markets and then exploit theses markets with synthetic demands (synthetic demands is the nice way a saying terrorism). The public school system is certainly not outside the bounds of these complexes’ ‘code of ethics’. It is in fact the starting platform that enables the complexes to even exist. The control and shaping of our minds is crucial to all, up and down the entire exploition chain.

        • kariflack says:

          “These people create markets and then exploit theses markets with synthetic demands (synthetic demands is the nice way a saying terrorism).” this is such an insightful point — it puts into words how we are manipulated and forces us (at least me) to think, what are the ultimate goals here, if there are any, beyond experimentation and just doing it because they can? but there is much to think on here.

      • Mgrdichian says:

        Regarding textbooks, I used to be a long-term contract employee for a major market textbook company as a designer. I was one of the people who designed those maps, charts and illustrations. I can tell you first hand that the monitoring of content is very real, very intense, and not without internal opposition. With some inside knowledge I’m alway cautious with people’s interpretation of the intent behind the censorship. Regarding books in the high school market, the prize was always Texas, the largest full adoption state in the country. If the editors and marketing didn’t think it would pass muster in Texas, it didn’t make it into the book. In that regard the decisions were profit driven and not ideology driven (both equally abhorrent IMO). Every once and a while something ‘controversial’ or out of the mainstream would slip in. I can’t tell you how many meetings were held to get that stuff included. It could take months to get one sentence approved. The company was filled with really bright editors who wanted to tell the whole story. And even some of the stodgy old authors who were in their 11th reprint were not as close-minded and manipulative as the books reflected. Some of their stuff was nixed, too. We were told that these were marketing decisions, and knowing the nature of textbook sales I tend to believe it. That doesn’t mean I don’t think publishing companies have no govt moles embedded. The whole process is quite convoluted.

        • kariflack says:

          wow that’s really interesting, and of course makes sense as far as how huge institutions and companies operate. that is the problem though, that collectively really bright and well-meaning individuals make up these gigantic organizations that seem to have a narrow set of principles in mind.

        • “In that regard the decisions were profit driven and not ideology driven…”
          Maybe profit is the ideology, as in the old quote “The business of America is business.” it seems apparent that mass produced, one size fits all education is inherently flawed (from the consumer’s perspective).

          • Mgrdichian says:

            Touché. But I find both motives abhorrent in textbook publishing, so it doesn’t matter much to me if one considers profit an ideology or not.

        • Interesting and thanks for that insight as an insider, Mgr. Certainly no surprise to the profit driven nature of the company. To look at this in simple terms, is it safe to assume that the dominating client base of this company did not comprise of homeschoolers? And that this was an American company, filled with American employees, likely fruits of the American education system? I imagine the clients’ demands be a driving force behind content approval for a profit seeking textbook company. And if the American education system at large is the client base, well, I think the circle completes itself and demonstrates at least one aspect of the perpetual nature of American indoctrination.

          • Mgrdichian says:

            it was a Simon & Schuster owned company. They were independent before S&S bought them and then S&S got bought out three times in media conglomeration in the two and a half years I worked there. Our competitors used the same rationale regarding the Texas adoption.

            They way adoptions work is in some states, like Texas, the entire state uses the same textbook (social studies, math, biology, etc). There are other adoption states, but Texas is by far the largest. Here is Mass every city and town gets to choose their own books. But since all of the publishers have their eye on Texas, the content is the same across the board. So yes, the indoctrination vis-a-vis textbooks is complete.

  21. andrei_tudor says:
    • As Sibel noted above, Bill Gates won’t be sending HIS children into this madhouse, but as a member of the elite has no problem endorsing what Rapporport is reporting here or giving us Common Core. Thanks for the link.

  22. 344thBrother says:

    Question for the forum members:

    I’d like to know what you think is the biggest / scariest issue with public schooling. Vaccines? Indoctrination? Violence? Like that.

    It’s all the above for me, but the vaccine issue is at the top of the list, especially in California where the governor signed into law that students can be vaccinated secretly and against the parents wishes.


    • Systematic Removal of Critical Thinking/Independent Thinking, Centralized System, One Size Fits All, Vaccination & Promotion of Medication, Promoting Big Government/Police State (Creating of Cattle Mentality/Sheeple Creation) … one-size and wrong measurement standards, Privacy (schools-where government begins its collection of files) … mind control

      There are other areas of concern following the above (violence, drugs, etc.), but for me the above areas come first.

      I’ll keep thinking.

    • kariflack says:

      to me it’s the creation of fully automated populations incapable of thought outside of the parameters they are given. we see a lot of this now obviously, but the control of thought to a degree where abstract reasoning just disappears is quite frightening. my parents are quite older than me having had me somewhat later in life, and it never ceases to amaze me how they ditched anything more radical in their thought and became subsumed by all the programming thrown their way — and there was a lot for their generation, i feel like baby boomer-ish aged people were more experimental than most generations. now we just get reruns that start at a much earlier age.

  23. What does the school expect of the parents?
    Not just in private schools..or public…!
    How to Do Homework Together.
    How to Unlearn.
    How to Understand.
    We need to Have Very Good Teachers..
    In Private and Public Schools.
    They are..
    Our investment for a Revolution
    To Be Real.
    Kind Regards

    • I don’t want to sound to positive (and I don’t want to generalize too much based on fairly small sample base through direct experience), but from what I see many teachers are actually on our side; especially the older ones who have not lost their humanistic sides and reliance on common sense. Many of these teachers have been rendered powerless by the centralized system, by the system dictated from the above (and outside) through many layers beneath.

      They give their dictated guidelines to these teachers, bury them in paperwork/forms, demand results based on those directions … and leave very little room for any flexibility, common sense adjustments, creativity …

      On the other hand, I see that generation of teachers are disappearing (exiting the education circle), and are being replaced by the new ones that have been schooled in the current trend …

      Does that make any sense? Again, I have had conversations/discussion with… let’s say 12-15 teachers, 90% of them over 50. Too small of a sample to draw sound conclusion …

      • kariflack says:

        judging by my short stint in public education, i would say that many would be happy to have a different way of doing things and perhaps these citizen-driven co-ops of homeschoolers can present that, who knows. it’s worth pushing for! i mean my own very interactive model of classroom teaching i developed as an undergrad was ripped off by one of my professors ha! so i think people are hungry for change but like you said, the paperwork and data keeping is just ridiculous and tiring.

      • 344thBrother says:

        I’m over 50, I had the same experience. Students were required to take multiple choice tests that were poorly written at best and contained up to 7 incorrect (correct) answers. In other words, the student had to input an incorrect response to be graded as correct. I tried pointing this out to the certifying body multiple times.

        My teaching style wasn’t appreciated all that much by the EMS regulating agency after about 10 years of yearly certification and re-certification classes even though it resulted in a lot of certified and qualified EMT’s, Rescue techs and firefighters in our small area. A lot of those students use those skills on fire departments and EMS agencies to this day. None of them has ever been sued for incompetence or malpractice to date (Going back to 1980) so I feel pretty good about it.

        I’m not complaining, and I’m not perfect either, it’s just the facts. What works isn’t always what they want.


      • 344thBrother says:

        @Sibel: I’m over 50 and I taught for about 10 years in the community college system for adult education classes. I agree with you that lots of teachers especially the older ones who are still teaching offer some common sense and useful knowledge to their classes, however In my opinion/experience, they’re being retired, forced out, discouraged out, programed text(ed), “Teach to the test”(ed) out and painted into a bureaucratic/paperwork laden corner and thus minimized.

        There’s not many left that I can see, even way out in the sticks where I think the numbers of older teachers are higher.


  24. Yes..That is True.
    ( especially the older ones who have not lost their humanistic sides and reliance on common sense. Many of these teachers have been rendered powerless by the centralized system …
    It makes sense..
    Kind Regards

  25. centralized system…!
    I do Hate That Word…
    Makes Me Sick.
    IT as you say..
    ( give their dictated guidelines to these teachers, bury them in paperwork/forms, demand results based on those directions … and leave very little room for any flexibility, common sense adjustments, creativity…
    Kind Regards

  26. As for the actual shape of the coming war on homeschooling, considering the government’s M.O., I’d say SADD (brilliant, Sibel) and its real life counter part, Oppositional Defiance Disorder, is a perfect example of their toolset. I can actually see an escalation in the purest form of terrorism, certainly not outside the bounds of the State. The U.S. particularly loves maintaining the legitimacy of its size/scope by attacking/terrorizing the people within it with external spectres, which brings the masses to their knees at the feet of the domain controllers for more protection. If we apply this to public schools, where the schools are the domain, I think its fair to say we will see them staging attacks within that domain/schools, effectively ratcheting up the demand for more ‘protection’ against the outside aggressors. Same old same old, just different headlines and tweaked profiles of the ‘shooters’. So who will be the spectre here? 3D-printed-AR15 gun wielding, homeschooled, Chechen 17 year olds? Perhaps multiple events at once, a collaborted effort that was conspired via the dangerous underground ‘mesh-net’. I can see many birds go down with one stone. Soon after such an event, I can see that sticky piece of legislation, all of sudden pass with overwhelming support, called ‘Keep Every Child Safe From Raw Evil’, a 1000 page document that requires all 3D printers to be federally registered. You can imagine page 617 describes the protocol for bio-id-card implementation, page 911 with broad homeschool regulations/restrictions and perhaps on page 10 is giant picture of mickey mouse, just to be sure nobody is actually reading a single page of these goddamn things. President Clinton will sign it supported by a panel of sadd vaccinated zombie children standing behind her. That may be a bit over the top, but perhaps you get the picture here, as we’ve seen this time and time again.

    Also, regarding the preemptive measures we can take against the attempted overt and covert attacks on homeschooling. Documenting, blogging, vlogging, and establishing groups and local communities are all excellent ideas i think. I also think the hijacking of any group has dangerous potential. And large, heavily funded, rich, slick advertising homeschooled organizations we should be careful with. If groups are involved, keeping it small and local is the best in my opinion. But I was just thinking this morning about open source. What Corbett has done with open source investigations is of endless importance, so I was thinking of open source software itself. Is there anything out there like an open source network of curriculums? Kind of like a Github for education? For those who don’t know, Github is essentially a version control system for open source software. So you make software, publish it on github, all the source is open to view, download, suggest changes, or fork and create your own based on any one project. I was imagining a similar idea for homeschool or just education all together. curriculums including content and facilitation methods, openly created and reviewed, commented on, developed upon, etc. Open source to the bone, where even books are investigated, authors, publishers etc. I find this to have great potential and inherently act as a defense mechanism in the same way general documentation does. Not sure if any of that made sense, but just some ideas swirling around my mind on this subject this morning.

  27. Mihiri Lim says:

    Hi Sibel,
    I live in the UK. My children attend a Waldorf School based on the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner. It is an independent school supported by parents alone and does not follow national curriculum. (some schools do GCSE and A/L as an aid to enter University while an initiative is currently underway to develop a system without any standardized exams).
    While it is not perfect I found it to be a viable alternative to home schooling. I find its hard to strike a balance in being their teacher and the mum at the same time. (maybe its my lack of teaching skills!)
    However whatever the case I find it is extremely important to maintain a dialog /debate on current events with the children as parental values, ideals and attitudes affect them greatly and aid critical thinking as they will have to balance that against the constant bombardment of MSM and advertising that is all around us.
    Thank you this new brilliant format.

    • Mihiri, thank you for your comment. It is a very important point: there are some options besides public school, versus costly private schools and homeschooling.
      I am fairly familiar with Waldorf’s philosophy, and find it very interesting. We have one in our town (it is a bit far from our house). The annual fee is very reasonable (at least vs other private schools in the area). I like the emphasis on freedom of thoughts and expressions, art & music. I also like the way it is de-emphasizing rigid structure and acts as an opposite of one-size-fits-all.

      “I find its hard to strike a balance in being their teacher and the mum at the same time .” I totally understand you. This is why I have been studying/researching, going to various forums and read all the comments. I am still in ‘that’ stage. I have a few other concerns as well: 1- We have only one child. From what I see many homeschooling families have multiple children close in age (I think that helps; isolation vs socialization). 2- In my area, for networking, there are many homeschoolers, and so far all the ones I have found are strict with religion-guided (bible-guided) method, and I have not found anyone outside those groups (so far).

    • To quickly add: In addition to all the reasons cited (this episode & comments), homeschooling is one way for people to travel, or live as expats in different countries. The other day I was checking out this large UK expat group’s forum in Turkey (who like to settle in nice rural areas). Some are retired, but they also have a fairly good size of those with young children. And they’ve been doing great, having a combination of homeschooling (for UK requirement) and also have their kids attend (part-time or full-time) local schools where they learn Turkish language, get immersed in culture/traditions, etc.

      I juggle three part-time jobs, and all three are home-based: contract translation work, writing books, and this website. Since I could do what am currently doing from anywhere in the world (as long as I have a computer & internet connection), and because as a family we consider exposing our child to as many cultures, political systems, languages … as we can, homeschooling becomes a viable possibility.

      One of these days I am going to research and find some statistics for the topic of ‘expat life.’ From what I see Brits are frontrunners on this, and this includes younger ones with families as well. I’d love to get your take on this as well. For Americans, it is 90%+ retired expats who tend to select places that are fairly packed with other Americans (replacing home country with a mini-USA outside the country). On the other hands, many Brits (all the ones I have met, and have been reading about) like to select places that are vastly different, not touristy/expat congregations where you see/hear/eat exactly what you did in home country.

  28. Mihiri Lim says:

    Yes absolutely, home schooling does offer that flexibility for travelling and experiencing different cultures. One of the concerns that came up when discussing this with other mothers is that the child may not be able to grow “roots” and feel a sense of identity and home in any one place and how this will affect them in their adult life.

    Yes you are right the Brits do travel a lot and I have met both types. Expat contract workers with all expense paid jobs living within gated compounds and the ones who loves to travel to find work (usually as teachers) living simply and integrating with the local community.
    I was very inspired by a Spanish couple with their 7yr old daughter whom I met last summer in a Borneo rainforest on a trekking trip. Whilst having a meal with them I found out that they travel very simply and have been to so many different countries and their little girl was so delightful and well rounded and entertained herself beautifully without the need of any electronic equipment. It does show that it is possible even with jobs if you resolve to do so.

  29. catherine cook says:

    We homeschooled our only child in NYC until 3rd grade, which is the time that the brain is forming and is most susceptible–the “7 year old” comment made earlier is right on. We didn’t believe in letting babysitters spend that formative time with our son, and the public school system here would have instilled harmful attitudes and behaviors, like eating junk food, watching video games and tv violence , etc. However we did take him to playgrounds all over the city to socialize him so he could deal with kids his own age. Being an only child he could always relate to adults easier than most kids his own age, but now that he is an adult it is an advantage.
    He is incredible strong minded and confident for a 20 year old. He never cared about all the bullshit social media that all the other kids were obsessing over when he finally did go to school, he thought it was a waste of time. Peer pressure means nothing to him, and he is completely secure with himself. I wish we could have traveled and let him experience other cultures but we are not that financially independent. When he did enter school, in 3rd grade, it was an upstate NY rural school with a class size of not more than 15 kids–everyone knew his name in the elementary school, it was like a family atmosphere. The school tested him to determine what grade he should enter dependent upon what he knew. He was younger than his classmates. The high school was not so good, but by that time his mind was fully formed so he could detect the BS on his own without our guidance.

    • John Taylor Gatto, paraphrasing the famous economist Adam Smith said in effect “There is no difference between the street sweepers son and the aristocrats son, but early training.”

      Exactly, Catherine, you caught the importance of the formative years – well done.

      • catherine cook says:

        Just listened to the John Taylor Gatto lecture– that was really informative. Also Charlotte Issenbyte has some good interviews on youtube which are in the same vein. Don’t always agree with her 100% but that’s fine— she’s got some interesting sources and links, like Mr. Gatto.

  30. Not to muddy the terminology, but I would submit that ALL children need to be “home-schooled” regardless of which, if any, formal school they attend.

    Parents who are aware and involved can to a great extent inoculate their children against the pernicious elements of public schooling. My parents and even my grandfather consistently challenged me to question what I was encountering at school.

    For me, the inoculation and moral support I received from family was literally a matter of survival, because the system I attended in the 1960’s pushed me into “accelerated” classes which graded on a curve with no upper bound. We didn’t do multiple choice, we did essay graded as if we were several grades ahead of where we actually were. Consider the implications of that in terms of how it fostered a dog-eat-dog environment within a class of 20-25 children. I ended up with debilitating migraines, brain wave analysis, and prescriptions for tranks. Other kids in my classes broke down completely. This was not seen as a show-stopper because the objective was apparently to weed out the weak.

    After a couple years of that my parents simply moved us out of that school district, and a nightmare episode of my life was over. Notwithstanding the FBI interview when I was in junior high, but that’s just reflective of how government paranoia is nothing new.

    Through it all my parents and grandfather gave me unfailing encouragement and support, and that gave me the courage to fight the beast from within its belly, at least in my own small ways. When presented with material in a class, my delight was to find hypocrisies and fallacies and challenge them. After the first few days of a new school year, my teachers would learn to never call on me again no matter how often I raised my arms. I would always try to sit as close to the front as possible so the entire class could see the spectacle.

    If a parent cannot afford to avoid the public school system, then the next best thing is to support your child, inoculate your child with the truth, and encourage him or her to never stop challenging the BS the system tries to cram down their throats.

    If you want to see an example of how family makes the difference, then look no further than Sibel in terms of what she’s revealed about her own upbringing.

  31. Dear Sibel and BFP readers

    I’d like to pass on to you an education experience I witnessed and participated in.

    For 25 years I lived on the Island of Martha’s Vineyard, located 7 miles off the coast of Massachusetts. It was a non-conventional community when I settled there: my friends were writers, musicians, crafters – people who didn’t fit in to what we called the highway culture.

    In the early 80’s a group of parents, dissatisfied with the conventional school system on the Island organized a Charter School. The state had passed a measure providing for the funding for such schools. The school was organized on the Summerhill (England) model, aka the Sudbury (Mass.)model.

    The education at the school was entirely child-directed. Students at every age decided what they wanted to learn individually and sought out staff as guides. I want to keep this posting brief so I’ll describe the experience of my friend’s son, M.

    He was 13 when the school opened and had never attended a conventional school. When asked what he wanted to learn he said he wanted to build a wooden boat. One of the staff, a former engineer signed on to the project.

    To build his boat M. had to learn blueprint drawing and the math required to produce a workable design. He chose a design that had been used as a fishing boat on the Island in the 1700’s. It was 28 feet long and could be rowed or sailed.

    M. found empty warehouse space, recruited other young people to serve as volunteer workers in exchange for teaching them the skills he had learned while working at a local boatyard, put on fund-raising events to pay for the materials, set up schedules, etc. It took three years to build the boat.

    As part of his project contract he had to sail the boat to New York City and back. To do this he had to learn trigonometry and celestial navigation. This he did.

    This project was M.’s entire high school education. He learned resourcefulness and left school with the confidence that he could take on a large task and bring it to fruition.

    I’ll be happy to provide more details about the school, its operation and my role if you like.

    • Otabenga, welcome to BFP community (I think this is the first time I’m reading a comment from you).

      Of course we do; at least I want to hear more. Here is one important question:

      I know the magnet schools (they are still public schools) can also select teaching style and have a certain degree of flexibility. HOWEVER, they still have to abide by all the ‘Fed-State-Required’ regulations/rules, including standardized testing … Common Core. This also includes other areas: they still participate in data mining (for gov, who then turns it over to its partner corporations). Mandatory vaccination requirement. Etc. Does this apply to Charter Schools (Since they are still under the same Gov/God?).

      Also, did you know that many contracts for Charter Schools are given to criminal entities/corporations? For example: Mullah Fethullah Gulen, the Turkish Imam whose worth is $22 billion, has been working for the CIA since 1996, and has been here in the states (in exile) since 1998, owns and operates the largest chain of charter schools in the United States?

      This was one of the main reasons I skipped charter schools as an alternative. I would love to hear more from you on this.

      • I’m aware that the charter schools are being used to privatize education for profit. The difference here is that this was truly a grass-roots effort by concerned parents. They wrote their own protocols and by-laws.

        I don’t know what reporting or testing requirements the school faced…of course taking state money must have come with strings. Why not contact the director – Martha’s Vineyard Charter School – for that info?

        My involvement: before each term (3 a year) the administrators would solicit members of the community who had a skill the kids might want to learn. I was writing a film column for the MV Times each week so they asked me. I said I would offer Film History. I had to write a 50 word precis. On a designated day all these proposals would be posted at the school…usually 40-50 offering things like drama, puppetry, photography, etc. If 5 kids signed your sheet the class was held. Max. was 12. My class was always fully subscribed (kids love movies) and I got a chance to show them all sorts of films they wouldn’t have known about otherwise. It was very satisfying for me. The kids were sharp and confident talking to, and sometimes contradicting adults. It was their school and they acted like they knew that. Incidentally one term I taught a course in film used as propaganda.

        Let me know if there’s anything else I can tell you.

        • I hear you- it sounds positive. It sounds much better than the regular public school system.

          You made the most important point when you said: ‘Of course there will be strings attached.’ That is a BIG, MAJOR, question. What are those strings? Why would they dangle that carrot?

          In the past we have covered the topic of ‘Controlled Opposition.’ Is this a way to pacify the ever-growing dissatisfaction with the pub schools? Also, what if some ‘golden-hearted’ mega corporations such as Gates, SAIC, Omidyar, begin funding ‘alternative’ schools? Of course, they will be giving some ‘good,’ but what would be their ‘real’ objectives? As long as the ‘strings’ are there. As long as the central control remains the same. Well, it is very similar to the analyses of most political NGOs and pseudo-alternative media outlets. Of course they have to have some ‘positive.’

          I am not saying that this particular school mentioned is not good. Not at all. I am just being analytical, looking at it from various angles, and take into account usual M.O.s such as ‘controlling opposition’ and ‘utilizing pacification methods.’

          • I share your skepticism Sibel…you’re wise to be cautious.

            Let me leave you with this thought: we think of education as something we do or impart to a child. As an external entity or force…even in homeschooling. ‘Educate’ is a verb. What I witnessed was kids freely following their interests. They were curious about something, whatever it was, and enlisted the adult support they needed to sate their curiosity. That’s learning, driven from within.

            Be well…and thank you for doing what you do.

          • I completely concur with your point re: “Education”- Almost always interpreted and implemented as some sort of ‘programming.’

  32. andrei_tudor says:


    The educational model you’re describing sounds very similar to what Ivan Illich proposed in his “De-schooling Society”. He’s arguing for a student directed model of learning, where the role of the supervisory entity is limited to providing the infrastructure necessary for students to have access to educational materials, mentors (such as yourself), and peers – students who share similar interests. Did his book have any bearing on developing the concept?


    • Not to my knowledge. The parents who created the school were guided by the group who had started one in Sudbury, Massachusetts, which was in turn based on Summerhill in England.

      I wish this alternative type of education had been available to me as a child (I’m 70). I was an intensely curious child – the only time in my life I wasn’t able to exercise that curiosity was when I was in school.

  33. I think homeschooling is too interesting as a sort of laboratory for the state to quash it. There’s this great push to improve the global standards of Americans vis a vis education. However, being number 1 is really not necessary, as many national standards are very high and to be, say, No. 26 may not be a bad thing. Point is, if homeschooling improves performance, the Feds may want to look at that. Probably rather than banning it, the Feds would try to put more and more restrictions on it so that they would eventually immobilize it, although it would still exist on paper.
    There’s a tremendous amount of investment in our public schools. They have great resources that are often amazingly maintained. They’re sort of overbuilt and overstaffed. At the same time, they often resemble a kind of penal colony. It’s hard to know what is exactly the right approach to education, all the more reason to allow many methods to exist side by side.

  34. I see another reason why the federal/state governments are going to wage war against Homeschooling and that is covered by the word: “Jobs”. With every child that’s being homeschooled there’s one child less in state schools. And that’s NOT good for employment for school teachers. But this “war” will be fought under the one or other fancy name, e.g. the war on “Indoctrination” or something along those lines. Remember the War on Drugs, Terror, Poverty etc. (Why does the US Always wants to wage some kind of war ???).

    Just like the words “War on Terrorism” was a good excuse to invade Afghanistan, Iraq and overthrow governments in other countries. And that was simply a large source of income & profits for a lot of companies & people.

    • Homeschooling also means fewer children in charter schools. Think e.g. catholic, Turkey leaning schools (think Fetuallah Gulen), schools of the religious right.

      • Right- although there are some other interesting charter schools out there, the strings still go back to the top. The private schools in our area are uber expansive, in addition to ‘lack of diversity: economic, ethnic, racial.’ Not a fit for us.

        Another big reason for coop homeschooling model: socialization and diversifying …

        In short: I am researching, exploring, investigating, analyzing … like many of us here. Not pretending to have an answer or some perfect model.
        With all that said, my focus is still: challenging the system and work towards bettering it. Not turn my back, run away from it. It is our country, our people and community, thus, ‘giving up’ is not an option. Turning our back, hiding somewhere, running away from it, should not be the ‘solution.’

  35. steven hobbs says:

    This punitive, cruel, militaristic culture demanding of conformity to class and racial imperatives tolerates very little overt agitation. As a psychologist, I can tell you the psychological complex is ready to pathologize any child too disruptive to doctrinal procedures. In the US, this is supported by a reductionist medicalized mind set that identifies (nearly) all problems as individual dysfunctions, or simply ‘other’ evilness. The former deserves pharmaceutical numbing, the latter brick and mortar jailing. Both result in shaming and exclusion — another way to enforce conformity. In France, the incidence of ADD or ADHD diagnosis is exponentially smaller.

    Thank you very much, Sibel, for suggesting this new diagnostic category: S.A.D.D. System And Defiance Disorder. Now I know how to label myself! I’ve been sadd all my life since refusing to sit in my seat in 3rd grade.

Speak Your Mind