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My Parents Were Home-Schooling Anarchists

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groovedaddy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-14-11 12:31 PM
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My Parents Were Home-Schooling Anarchists
Tired of the constraints of the 40-hour workweek, my father, in 1972, quit his job in publishing. My parents were in their early 30s, and they had four children under 7. But we still wanted to explore the world, my father recalled recently. They bought six one-way tickets to Europe, leaving only a laughable $3,000 to subsist on. Young and idealistic, they thought they could easily educate us along the way. Life itself would become a portable classroom.

For the next four years, my parents embarked on an uncharted free-form existence. We traipsed to Nerja, Spain; Dorset, England; a Midwestern farm; and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, before settling in St. Louis. My father worked on his novel. The task of teaching the children Mary, James, John and me fell to my mother.

For much of this time, I was an educational tag-along. Yet I clearly remember San Miguel, where we spent six months in 1975, when I was 4. Art class was held outside in the jardin. When we giggled and chatted among ourselves, Mom never shushed us, but calmly told us to pick a subject. Why not draw idling mariachis, or the dog drooling at a vendors feet? shed suggest. Or maybe the kids our age who sold gum to make ends meet? Id invariably copy what my brothers drew, usually just a car.

Writing, history and geography were followed by gym, a family yoga class led by our father on a terrace. When school ended, we were allowed to wander the dusty cobblestone streets on our own. On one of those afternoon rambles, John and James found three .22 caliber bullets. Another time a pack of teenage boys chanting, Gringos! chased us.
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villager Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Nov-14-11 12:53 PM
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1. Good read. Thanks for posting!
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-15-11 01:25 PM
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2. "I am not teaching the children. I am permitting them to learn.
Edited on Tue Nov-15-11 01:35 PM by mzteris

edit to add this from the last para:

"Childrens lives are more than products that must be molded until they adapt well to society, or to another school, or to the work force. As it is now, a childs life is very much bound up with schools and schooling, and that animating force that gives life to each child is ignored. Today she still holds that her work was not in vain. Youre all well adjusted and happy. And all of you are close to one another. What else could I possibly want? "
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