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  • Yeah, homeschooling is one of those odd things where both the extreme left and extreme right have a tendency to have common resources and goals. One of my left-ish friends homeschooled his kids, and had lots of conversations with right-ish homeschoolers as well. Interesting.
    • Randal L. Schwartz
    • Stonehenge
    • Yes, we didn't join the "underground railroad" and start "unschooling" our children until the late-70s (and continuing through high school age [1996]; when we first started, "unschooling" was considered "illegal" but now "unschooling" is legal in all 50 states) but had had quite an introduction to the concept early on (early-60s through early-70s) in reading Paul Goodman's Growing Up? Absurd! and Compulsory Miseducation, all of John Holt's works (through 1989 [posthumously] - too lengthy a list to include here [do an LOC search]; still try to keep in touch with the movement through the Growing Without Schooling newsletter), and, of course, Ivan Illich's Deschooling Society and Tools for Conviviality, and Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Other authors significant to preparing our philosophical background and approach to "unschooling" included Herbert Kohl and A. S. Neill.

      I suppose in the final analysis our decision to "unschool" was faith-based (a strong faith requires strong critical skills) but at the time I think we saw "S-chool" serving a deep social function by firmly maintaining the status quo of social class for the majority of students and the "S-chool" as an institution viewing education as a commodity they sell, rather than as a life-long process they can aid. To us this created a substance that was not equally distributed, was used to judge people unfairly, and -- based on their lack of school credentials -- prevented people from assuming roles they were otherwise qualified for.

      An analogy for those in the programming profession might be Mike Hammer's statement to his introductory "Computer Science" classes at MIT - "This class is not about 'computers' and not about 'science' but, rather, about a way of thinking!" Which not only opens up the realms of "General Systems Theory" and, more specifically, "Systems Dynamics," but also the "mystification" that surrounds technology. As I tell my programming students, "Programming is just writing stories for machines that can only tell the difference between a one and a zero. Minimum wage work at best."
      Not knowing what to do, they do what they know . . .