It’s been less than six months since we bought (and converted) our bus and barely three months since we hit the road full-time.
Yet in those six months (this academic year – so far) one or all of my kids have…
- watched and participated in the conversion of a retired public school bus into a full-time home ~complete with four bedrooms, full kitchen, bathroom, custom plumbing and electrical systems
- gave input to and participated in budgeting with regards to household management, work functions and bills ~ measured pros/cons regarding balancing familial and job related obligations vs. choices
- used navigational skills, GPS and traditional maps
- learned how to live without by necessity and by choice including without water and/or electricity ~ and still be joyful
- acquired skills for managing interpersonal relationships more peaceably
- read, listened to, discussed (in part or in whole) many, many books
- discussed film adaptation, watched movies in the theater and otherwise
- researched/discussed governmental funding for state, local and national projects
- discussed/observed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in action, discussed the historical context – including but not limited to the similarities/parallels/differences to other periods of Federal infrastructure investment (including railroad building and the civil war)
- discussed government bailouts including their significance, immediate/long term ramifications vs. benefits
- problem solved everything from calculating daily living costs/savings to how long to fire clay in a campfire
- calculated taxes: various states, differing percentages, alternate items…I.E. sin taxes (alcohol, tobacco, soda), general sales taxes, food taxes…city vs. country vs. state vs. federal taxes
- researched food ingredients and their origins, discussed at length and often the ethics of food choices including but not limited to animal ingredients like rennet
- read, reviewed and discussed parts the New Hampshire & United States Constitution(including the sadness of slavery and the positive significance of the Bill of Rights) ~ discussed process of rewriting a modern day constitution
- discussed/read/listened to other historical documents including but not limited to the Declaration of Independence (discussed positives/negatives including the irony all men created equal — men being narrowly defined) and the Magna Carta and it’s relevance to early US documents
- been exposed to and discussed a variety of religious beliefs/traditions/texts and people including but not limited to the Bible (Old & New Testament), Christianity (Mormons, Catholics, Jehovah Witnesses), Muslims, Wiccan, Buddhist, Hindu, Agnostics & Atheists
- played a ukulele, experimented with rhythm, collaborated, sang and recorded a song
- watched countless Youtube how-to videos
- visited museums, saw countless murals, created art
- filmed, edited and published video/s
- painted, drew, sculpted or otherwise created everything from hats or jewelry to origami sumo wrestling rings and stuffed animals
- negotiated job terms/pay from painting to babysitting
- created and uploaded original digital music to the Internet
- collaborated with multiple musicians from around the world on an album of digital music
- stood at the Alamo, touched the walls Davy Crockett stood behind and discussed the modern day development that surrounds it
- visited the Florida Everglades in all its wondrous nature ~ 26 alligators in one day, vegetation, birds birds birds, peace, wide open space…and freedom to explore and navigate risks (for real and in the wild)
- experienced real-life benefits from reusing materials and appliances that would have otherwise gone to landfills
- discussed the green movement, global warming, the impact of our family vs. the impact of the US Government and other nations…local vs. national vs. worldwide
- were fed a traditional Southern New Years Day Dinner
- discussed astronomy, Carl Sagan, the big bang theory (the actual theory & the fact that there is also a TV show -which we’ve never seen- that BNL sings the theme song for and that features Blossom actress Mayim Bialik – who seems to really ‘get’ stuff I wish more folks did), aliens, Nova, spacecraft (commercial and NASA), dark matter and the question/theory/idea of The *God* Particle, Stephen Hawking
- explored the Bayous in Louisiana in a boat guided by an amazing artist/explorer/human
- learned about the old logging industry in Louisiana & Texas and how to find and recover sunken logs
- toured an auto body shop, met the owner and saw projects in various stages
- experienced racism, firsthand ~ and were heartbroken by it
- brainstormed building a houseboat incorporating the bus to ride the Mississippi river
- participated in not one but two television interviews
- experienced great disappointment (in friendship) and learned from it but were not jaded by it
- budgeted (including finding and negotiating income) for legos, Nintendo DSI, monthly phone bill
- customized/fabricated Lego mini-figures using epoxy-type-molding-plastic made for PVC/plumbing repair
- brainstormed shipping the bus to Africa
- made someone smile
- photographed people, landscapes, insects, rocks — developed compositional skill and lighting techniques
- witnessed/discussed alzheimer’s symptoms and caregiver concerns and brainstormed solutions
- discussed – at great length – reality TV vs. documentary shows
- watched movies outside on a TV hung between two trees
- visited the Tabasco factory on Avery Island in Louisiana
- explored the French Quarter in New Orleans
- observed some of the destruction still left from Katrina, discussed the sadness, the poor response, the Superdome, FEMA, waste, misdirected funds and brainstormed other ways to respond to a future crisis…and the differences between local, regional and national response teams
- dealt with inappropriate online friendship/s (and requests) in a mature and safe manner
- drove a bus in the everglades, visited the frog capital of world and went to the top of Vulcan tower in Birmingham
- were kissed by Key Deer, learned that each dog breed has a purpose and puggles are mutts
- viewed graveyards in Louisiana where they don’t bury their dead – instead they are placed in cement/stone/brick vaults and discussed why
- saw (in person) a Georgia O’Keefe painting (one of the less popular — not bones, not a flower) discussed merits of her other work/s, how she came to fame, oil vs. acrylic vs. gouche vs. watercolor and discussed future trips to New Mexico
- journaled, wrote stories and even a blog entry
- toured a studio where Paul Simon recorded music
- picked coconuts off palm trees, discovered the difference between a water, gel and a ripe coconut and ate/drank each kind and realized fresh off the tree coconuts are the best coconuts ever
- hung out for two days at a Wyland art gallery in Key West ~ discussed art processes, technique, medium and art purchasing
- met and talk to a man who robbed a store as a child and asked him why he would do such a thing and if/why he regretted it
- saw a gigantic cruise ship in person, discussed/questioned the economic and environmental impact of dredging to accommodate such immense cruise ships
- were introduced to boiled peanuts
- ate “real” tropical fruit (mangoes, papayas & the like) not the farmed stuff imported into New England supermarkets and learned why they are so very different
- discussed the politics of organic farming, government subsidies and environmental concerns with a lifelong family-owned-corner-stand-fruit-seller (who also showed them how to eat boiled peanuts)
- dug up, cleaned, molded (beads, pendants, cups etc) and fired real clay…in a campfire
- washed clothes by hand ~ tested laundry soap vs. homemade cleaners
- walked under/drove over more amazing bridges than I can remember and discussed the structural differences of all of them
- corresponded with friends through text, talk, email and chat
- gave food/money to homeless
- visited Daytona International Speedway (we are hoping we can go back someday and drive the bus around the track 😉 – let us know if you have connections!)
- saved for, bought and read a book on how to draw animals and now draws animals beautifully
- mapped (designed) complex buildings and worlds in video games like Halo
- contemplated the ethics behind federal grants for artists because of an iPod Touch application/game called SIMS
- discussed feminism, racism, affirmative action, slavery, gay/lesbian relationships, plural marriage and discrimination
- debated the purpose of dreaming, the interpretation of dreams and lucid dreaming (like the movie Inception)
- climbed trees, swam in the ocean, played in the swamps
- saw armadillos “in the wild” — laughed that they are the ground hogs of the south
- slept in…walmart parking lots, fancy neighborhoods, in campgrounds, on front lawns, at Whole Foods, in national parks and witnessed the beautiful diversity of our country
- visited Columbia, South Carolina and searched for and heard the story of the stars
- fell in love with Key West and held baby alligators
- saw the beauty of the Smokey Mountains and the weirdness of Austin, Texas
- used polymer clay and a plastic Halloween skeleton to experiment with forensic reconstruction
- read aloud to me, Jeff or each other
- played basic and advanced math games
- assisted on, watched or discussed various carpentry/plumbing/electrical/computer/design/marketing jobs
- used math tools like calculators, computers, tape measures, string, squares
- actually been in 17 of our 50 states
- calculated volume, area, width, mass, weight, energy consumption, percentages, fractions, velocity and did so often without using paper/pen and/or any kind of “traditional” methodology
- studied survival techniques — if there is ever an environmental catastrophe, an economic collapse or other near-Armageddon — you’ll want to come hang out with my kids and family because we’ve actually discussed and practiced ways to survive (for both fun and adventure)
- saw a livestock truck carrying over 700 goats, lambs and sheep — talked to the animals and cried at the cruelty of it
- visited a quadriplegic cousin – discussed different types of spinal injuries, observed his equipment (and how it is use) including a bicycle that uses his own muscles (via electric stimulation) to pedal and a computer/tv system that works on voice command
- stayed overnight with a family that provides elder/disabled care
- marveled at how wonderfully different many other homeschool families live
- learned the capitals of a bunch of states not because they were memorized but because they actually visited them
- interest/research in and study of geology, including practical applications in the natural environment like experimentation and comparison of rocks, sand, cliffs faces and dirt in various parts of the southeastern United States
- learned about waterways and water bodies ~ including brackish, salt and freshwater, rivers, streams, bay, bayou, oceans etc
- made a real grass skirt for a teddy bear, learned how to properly groom a pomeranian and performed card tricks
- welcomed a bus guest into their already small living space ~ sharing their food and attention
- discussed technology including, quantum computing, communications, 3D Televisions, real-time journalism, satellites, iPhones, data servers, Internet privacy, the possibility of the existence of an Internet “kill switch”
- began planning for driving the bus through Mexico
It’s pretty long list. Eh?
And it is but a fraction of what we’ve been doing over the last six months. Just a fraction of what my kids have learned and/or been exposed to. The beauty being it’s just some of the stuff we’ve remembered, captured, recorded and retained.
You might say it’s a list long enough for me to start…
- Why aren’t your children learning as much?
- Why aren’t the public school kids doing all these things?
- How can you possibly learn about the “real world” if you are not experiencing it?
…and questioning others…
- What exactly is being “taught” in public school anyway?
- What is learned?
- What is retained?
What are the best methods of measuring the success/efficiency/effectiveness of an education, a course of study, a methodology of learning?
I think my way is pretty effective. Maybe teachers should spend more time documenting and less time directing. Maybe teachers could learn from their students. Maybe the students are truly the teachers…
Maybe my family has found the answer?
I COULD keep arguing we have but I won’t because I’m thinking…there really isn’t just one answer.
And I’m guessing you know what’s best for your own family and for your own children and I want to support your right to question, experiment and ultimately choose what exactly that is…whether it’s traveling around the United States in a converted school bus, studying Bible verses at a Catholic school, participating in a homeschooling Co-op or doing multiplication drills at the kitchen table with siblings.
I have no desire to evaluate/quantify your methods and/or your results. They are yours. They are not mine. I choose not to tread on others.
I choose not to tread on YOU.
Is it too much to ask for the same in return?
Unschooling requires (for most people) a paradigm shift. Add to it traveling, living on a converted school bus, vegetarianism and taking in and extra kid and you’ll find something few people are able to grasp. And even less compelled to mirror it in the own lives. Our way of life is something that needs to be observed, thought about, experienced, practiced and most importantly lived before it can be even remotely understood or appreciated.
How am I supposed to justify this to bureaucrats?
And more importantly why should I HAVE to?
This is our sixth year of homeschooling. We are from New Hampshire and while we now live on the road full-time we consider New Hampshire to be our home state. The problem we (and others like us) face there is an adversarial climate toward homeschooling. The current homeschooling law RSA 193:A is unconstitutional.
The New Hampshire Constitution states, Rights of Conscience are unalienable [Article 4] as well as other Natural Rights [Article 2]. RSA 193:A violates both. And, I believe, those are not the only constitutional issues with the current law. They are merely the most glaring ones. Ironic, really, considering New Hampshire’s motto is Live Free or Die.
Over the last three year alone homeschoolers in New Hampshire have been made to schlep themselves and their children back and forth to the statehouse repeatedly in an effort to preserve the sliver of freedom left under the oppressive RSA 193:A. Parents have been met with yearly assaults to our fundamental freedoms despite having no clear reason for proposed legislation.
In January of 2010, HB368 (another bill proposing increased regulation of homeschoolers) was voted down 324-34 by the full New Hampshire House. Certain members of the House Education committee were less than thrilled about the vote. A mere two and a half weeks later Representative Emma Rous (the minority leader of the House Education Committed) sent a letter to the New Hampshire State Board of Education on HEC letterhead requesting near identical changes to the NH BoE “rules” regarding homeschooling that had failed to pass through legislation. Thankfully, last November the face of the New Hampshire legislature changed.
And this year three homeschooling bills were introduced in an effort to increase freedom. Unfortunately efforts to merge the competing bills failed and further efforts were derailed with the cancellation of two HEC sub-committee meetings for HB595 and HB301 the bills, likely tabling all the bills until the fall forcing New Hampshire homeschoolers to spend yet another season fighting for their freedoms at the state capital when they could be at home educating their children.
This is a growing problem around the country, forcing more and more families underground. Here is video footage of television news show coverage of one set of New York homeschooling parents’ arrest for failing to REGISTER with the school district.
Both the superintendent and the police officer interviewed admit this wasn’t about a failure to educate (although the reporter RIGHTEOUSLY continues to present the story as if it was) but that it was a failure to file PAPERWORK. It begs the question…
People think this is a FREE COUNTRY? Really?
These people were arrested. The family (the parents, the children and likely the extended family) was forced to endure mistreatment and unjustified stress, even trauma for choosing to raise their children…outside the public school system. Yes, they did not register…nor in my opinion should they have.
New York’s homeschooling laws are even more strict than New Hampshire’s (admittedly not by much) and completely unconstitutional.
The First Amendment of the United States Constitution:
Congress shall make no law respecting and establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Definitions for religion…
6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience
4. : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
FROM: the Free Dictionary
4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
I could argue (I think quite effectively) that the US Department of Education’s very existence is in violation of:Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.
But I won’t, at least not in this entry.
I will, instead, focus on encroachments to homeschooling freedom. Encroachments like those requiring parents to register/notify, produce curriculum, demonstrate input methodology and/or output results. These are violations – violations of both our natural rights and our rights of conscience.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking this has nothing to do with religion or free speech. So, it really has nothing to do with the 1st Amendment and rights of conscience. Schooling is about producing a competent adult citizenry. It’s about raising kids to grow up, get jobs and not become a burden on society. It’s about teaching children to read, write and do math. It’s about academics. It’s about arming kids with the tools adults think they will need to navigate the real world when they reach adulthood. Right?
And why does any of this matter? Why exactly is it we want kids to grow up to be good citizens ~ to be good people? What exactly defines a good person? WHO exactly defines who is a good person or a good citizen for that matter.
How do you define a good person?
And where do you derive your reasoning…
I’m thinking you do so through a set of values, a code of ethics, principles of conscience, a belief system…your religion? Maybe the values, the code of ethics or the principles of conscience come from the Bible or maybe the Koran. Alternately maybe the code of ethics that directs you is something inside you, some thing so deep and personal it’s difficult to define but you believe it with your entire being. Again, maybe your belief system is devoid of any deity of any kind and instead falls more in line with Eastern philosophical traditions like Daoism?
Whatever the root of your set of values, your code of ethics, your principles of conscience, your belief system…are all matters of conscience (your conscience) and therefore protected by the First Amendment — make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof — neither the state nor the federal government can compel you to violate your rights of conscience…UNLESS YOU ALLOW THEM.
Schooling may be on the surface about grades, achievement, tools, subjects, [supposed] real-world preparation while at the core it’s about raising good people, good citizens, good neighbors all things probably best left in the hands of the parents. We should all be supporting – instead of questioning/challenging those who care enough to see home education imperative to the conscientious upbringing of their children.
What’s happening in states with oppressive (and unconstitutional) laws like New York and New Hampshire is some families are refusing to register/notify or otherwise comply with state law altogether. As a result they are either forced into hiding or risk arrest, investigations, fines, their children taken by the state or forced into public schools. Other families choose to acquiesce to state demands but find it necessary to invalidate testing, list false curriculum or misrepresent to the state results and/or methods of their homeschooling program not because their children aren’t learning or their programs inadequate but because the states’ views of alternative learning and methodology is grossly limited while the powers of intimidation dangerously limitless.
Nobody wants to risk losing their children to the state…for anything.
It’s a terrifying thought and the threat is real. VERY REAL.
Especially in states where CPS (Child Protective Services) has jurisdiction in cases of “educational neglect” — I’ll touch on the concept of that a bit later in the entry. In New York legislators (and lobbyists) are pushing a bill (S1669-2011). And what is the supposed purpose of said bill? It’s to protect the children.
You know it’s for the children. You might think with all the laws we have for the children we ought to have a country where children are completely free of danger and emotional harm.
Yet we don’t do we? Every day children die from illness sometimes natural sometimes not. Every day children, even infants die in car accidents sometimes under the watchful eyes of the law and buckled safely in a government approved car seat. Every day children are abused sexually, physically and emotionally. Our government (whether it be local, state or federal) is powerless to stop it. And well intended laws often promote and environment ripe for corruption.
Think about it…just for a minute…people who wish to do harm to and/or have power over others will integrate themselves into a system that allows them to do so.
What the New York bill proposes to do is force an immediate response from families involved in CPS cases. Forcing parents to allow CPS into their home within 24 hours of being contacted. We are NOT talking about when a child is in imminent danger here we are talking about an immediate response to any (even anonymous) complaint.
It could even go something like this…
Let’s say Joe Shmo and wife Anna live in Westchester, NY. and they homeschool their three sons. The neighbors Sue and Jim are retired school teachers and do not like the idea of homeschooling. Sue enjoys gardening and is often frustrated by the loud, rough play of her neighbors children which she is forced to endure day in and day out because the boys don’t attend school during the day like most children. One day Joe and Anna’s boys run carelessly through Sue’s garden. It’s the last straw. That night Jim picks up the phone and calls CPS and gives an anonymous tip.
“There is a family on our street who homeschool their three boys. I’m a retired schoolteacher and well – these boys seem to be doing an awful lot of playing. They are outside all day every day or playing video games inside. I have never seen any one of them reading.”
That is all it takes. They don’t even have to tell CPS who they are! A complaint is made, an investigation is opened and the homeschooling family is contacted and under the proposed bill S1669-2011 the family is forced to open their HOME and allow CPS workers in – within 24 hours or they face jail…or worse.
Allowing CPS jurisdiction over homeschooling families is frightening enough giving them power to invade someone’s home on the whim of a grumpy neighbor or extended family member with an ax to grind is well…I have no words… Remember this has NOTHING to do with kids being in any kind of physical danger (immanent or otherwise) it’s about someone maybe thinking a child isn’t learning the state capitals or the food pyramid on a timely schedule.
This is a violation of civil rights.
You see when state law extends to a level of inequitable treatment of home schools vs. public (& private) schools the violation is a civil one. This was the case in both the instance of the arrested parents as well as in my hypothetical snobby neighbor scenario. Have you ever heard of a public school teacher being arrested for failing to turn in a curriculum vitae? Or a teacher forced to provide access to their desk, all their personal effects, classroom and locker as a result of some anonymous tip that they are not teaching the alphabet song properly.
Also, in both cases (as well as in most circumstances) parents are not afforded due process yet another constitutional violation. [US Amendment 5]
While I’ve highlighted two of the stricter states (New Hampshire & New York) other states, including so-called green states (states with no regulation and/or requirements) are facing similar struggles. Earlier in the month hundreds of homeschoolers in Illinois were out to protest proposed anti-freedom legislation. And a few years ago a California a judge effectively outlawed homeschooling for many families (by requiring home educating parents to hold a teaching degree)as a result of an educational neglect [CPS/family law case]. The ruling was quickly reversed with the help of the Governor and the California Court of Appeals but only after an outpouring of disgust at the national level.
Along with these very specific to homeschooling attacks across the US there have also been numerous legislative efforts that more indirectly affect homeschooling. Focusing on stripping power/liberty/privacy from the parents and putting it in the hands of the government.
A few of these efforts include….
- Extending compulsory attendance requirements from pre-school (mandating children be taught their colors by a certain age…seriously?) to 18 (not allowing kids to drop out and/or homeschoolers to take college classes before the age of 18 or even take a GED test)
- Tracking students from cradle (PKU tests & DNA databases) right into the workplaceand beyond
- Requiring post-secondary school admissions and the financial aid officers to verify the “credibility” of a secondary school making it more difficult for homeschooling students to get into college and/or receive financial aid
Kind of leaves you wondering why…doesn’t it? I mean if most things indicate homeschooled students are thriving why all the attacks? I’m thinking…lots of reasons… and they are all over the place … here are a few guesses…
- MONEY ~ schools get federal DoE dollars based (in part) on attendance and enrollment
- EGO ~ I need only think of my own situation for this one…How could two one-time high school dropouts (like Jeff & I) possibly education our children? A teacher, school administrator or superintendent with 6-10 years post-secondary schooling surely knows better!!! Right? I would imagine (for those teachers/admins/supers) seeing families like ours with an undying thirst for adventure, knowledge, wisdom, information, conversation and experience, living and learning together happily and devoid of power struggles regarding learning must feel like an assault to their usefulness.
- LIVELIHOOD ~ homeschooling is a threat to the livelihood of educators, the more homeschoolers the less need for teachers
- LOBBYISTS ~ more money teachers’ unions, text book manufacturers, teaching products and programs developers
- GOVERNMENT ~ public schools promote/proselytize to children the value of their own (the schools – not the kids) existence as well as indoctrinate state worship and unquestioning patriotism.
Then there is HUBRIS.
It goes back to the beginning of this entry, you know, when I was talking about “education neglect” and what it takes to “produce” a competent adult citizenry. And bureaucrats thinking they know what exactly it takes to do that. Teachers convinced that children need to be taught a very specific set of tools if they are to ever be able to function in the “real world” and be successful.
I’m of the mindset it’s hubris to think we know what specific set of subjects and/or information any child today is going to need next year…much less when they reach adulthood. I believe what remains most important is to model kindness, compassion, truth, a thirst for information and connection with others, generosity, self-reliance and joy. All things that will take children farther in life and bring more success and fulfillment than any mandated reading program, art appreciation class or standardized test.
Many of these do-gooders (like New Hampshire’s own Emma Rous) were children back when black and white televisions and operator assisted calling was the norm. As a child do you think Emma Rous had any clue she would be able carry a little touch screen device in her pocket that would play games, calculate tips, track her every move, play movies, allow her to video chat with her grandchildren, store her entire music collection, get the energy to run it from the sun or have all of the information on the internet available instantaneously.
I’m guessing she didn’t. I’m only 37 years old and the most I held out for was a pocket TV that would play my favorite shows. And I was a pretty creative kid.
Today billionaires are made through businesses and technology which was not even invented just five years ago. Think about what that means.
How can anyone profess to have the answers of what kids are going to need to know in two years, five years, ten years or twenty. Isn’t it HUBRIS to think we could? Don’t get me wrong, like I said in the beginning of this piece. I support your right to question, experiment and ultimately choose what is right for your family. And I’m not backing away from that at all. What I’m saying is try not to get those things confused with believing you know what the future holds. Because short of a crystal ball not a single one of us can really know. And maybe that is the best and most important piece of knowledge we can impart to our children.
The reality of impermanence with both the necessity to be unshaken by it and the ability to be empowered through it.
It’s something I think legislators, school administrators and even teachers would benefit from understanding as well. Since they are year after year trying to plan for – and force others to follow – a future they don’t know anything concrete about.
Maybe there in lies the real “educational neglect” – not with homeschooling parents but with a misguided system.
From a technology perspective we have things like quantum computing and sixth sense (if you’ve not watch this you should). We have the technology to implant devices in people’s brains that can control their limbs. We can make body parts. Actually create body parts. We can track people as they travel around the world and pin point locations to inches using GPS.
From a foreign relations perspective we have the growing problems in the middle east, rising gas prices, environmental concerns and war. We’ve had not one but two world wars within the last 100 years. We are into our 10th year of war with Afghanistan. And that’s only one of the over 120 countries around the world the United States Military has a presence in. Did you catch that…over 120 countries we have a military presence in?
Where is that going to take us? I don’t profess to know.
What I do know is what I wish for my kids. And I do know they, more than anyone, know what’s best for them and my job is to support/guide them to their goals/dreams in a way that does not infringe on others.
I also know places we plan to go and people we hope to meet over the next year. I’m not sure when/if it will all come together but we are sure going to walk with intention in that direction. Along maybe we’ll get to finish off “academic year” list with this stuff…
- drive to Tulum, Mexico
- meet Sandra Dodd
- climb a very big mountain, somewhere
- snorkel in the Florida Keys
- participate in an NPR interview
- attend at least two unschooling conferences
- go to California
- talk to Ron Paul
- drive bus around Daytona International Speedway (remember we still need an in on this one)
- meet NeedToBreathe
- visit the Badlands
- go to the top of the Space Needle
- visit the Mall of America
My hope for the coming years? A wish for people to remember what freedoms our country was founded on. For people to stop voting in legislators who oppress us when they write and vote for unconstitutional laws. The only way these freedoms, these personal and important matters of conscience, can be taken from us is if we allow them to be taken. Which all too often we already have. My hope is to heed this sad trend before we end uplike Germany (where homeschooling is illegal).
I am inspired by the words peaceful activists like Mahatma Gandhi, Henry David Thoreau and Rosa Parks…
I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free… so other people would also be free.
While I need not (or even want) to necessarily be remembered, I do wish to be known today as someone who wishes to be free in hopes that others will also be freed. For this reason I wish to no longer hide and instead choose to openly refuse to comply with the unconstitutional state demands of New Hampshire’s current homeschooling law RSA 193:A.
I truly hope others will do the same around the country.
In Peace and Liberty,
This was originally posted to the UnschoolBus.com blog. The following were comments made on the original post.