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Let me list a few things about education that we generally accept without question. Have you ever heard an alternative to children starting school when they are five or younger, or having to continue attending over the next twelve or more years?
Who questions the delivery of programming being broken into academic years, schedules and subjects? What about a child having to learn to read by age six, lest they be condemned as slow or handicapped?
How about fixing the child that does not fit the school mold? Standards? What are they? Better still, does anyone really know what is actually being taught in schools? How is it possible that a disconnected and distant government would be better acquainted with what your child needs than you?
When did a trained, salaried teacher, temporarily delivering a government mandated program become better able to prepare children for their future than loving parents who know them intimately and who have a lifelong vested interest in their children’s wellbeing?
More to the point, where does the idea that students must follow government accredited programming towards the high school diploma, come from? Why do people believe that success is not possible without one?
All these questions, and more, are usually left unanswered, even when challenged. We find ourselves believing things because they are the only things we know, inasmuch as they are all we have been told, and usually the only thing we have experienced.
We have to understand that true faith and “assumed thinking” are not the same. Faith is based on what we know to be true, factual and defensible. Foolishness is when we trust something as genuine, simply because we unquestioningly believe the only side of an issue that we have been presented with. The belief that students require government “approval” is a case in point.
Now, there are really two things involved when normalizing or standardizing a particular idea. The first is the restricted and repetitive nature of the narrative. The second is the natural propensity to want everyone else to believe the same thing.
If the “story” everyone is getting, whether it be error, misinformation or unsubstantiated beliefs, is all there is, it will naturally self-perpetuate. With little tolerance for debate, alternatives or disassociation from the narrative, it eventually “forces” its way into becoming “the truth.”
There is hardly a better example of this than the near ubiquitous belief that without government accreditation leading to a high school diploma, students will not be able to advance in life, go to college or find work.
This is not true. It is an urban legend, a myth, an unchallenged narrative perpetuated by the education industry and its unquestioning adherents. And, when something becomes so ubiquitously believed, anyone proceeding outside of the status quo expectation is immediately challenged and/or opposed.
That is why so many home educators just give up and send students back to high school or make various attempts to bring high school home. But it does not have to be this way.
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