What Does Parental Freedom Look Like? Freedom (Part 2)

Categories: Léo’s Insights 2021-2022, Freedom

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There is usually much excitement when parents first make the decision to teach their children at home.  Unfortunately, rather than starting with a commitment to avoid the pitfalls of school-based learning, it is usually a matter of bringing school home with the children.

This is not unusual.  In fact, it is perfectly natural, as most parents have had limited, if any, exposure to what home education is all about.  Most do not understand what parental freedom looks like, having only experienced some form of school-based education themselves.

First, let us begin by defining freedom.  The dictionary provides three definitions for us.  Freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.  This is what we usually think of when describing freedom.  The second definition is really more a qualifier of the first which is that freedom must be in the absence of subjugation to foreign domination or despotic government.  The third definition is easy to understand as we are not free if we are imprisoned or enslaved.  We are all born free, unless we are “citizens” of a “despotic” government or “enslaved”.  However, that does not mean we stay free.

Recent events have caused some to rethink just how free we are.  Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe once stated: “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free”, while Roman 16:6 says “When you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey.”  Do we really have the power or right to act, speak, or think as we want without hindrance or restraint, or are we being channeled to say and do the things that are approved by those who see themselves as being in authority over us?

Education used to be under the authority of parents who, it should be noted, are the only ones capable of producing children.  Over a hundred years ago, government started to take responsibility for the education of children.  This eventually grew to government claiming authority over the education of the children rather than the parents.  Falsely thinking we are free and offering ourselves as obedient to government fiat, we have come to abdicate the education of our children to those claiming authority over them and by extension, over us.

The reason most people want to be sure to meet government standards for education is that we have come to believe the government is indeed in authority.  The question is, how did this change of authority take place?  This is so entrenched in our societal mindset that when parents express the desire to educate their own children, nearly everyone advances the need to “follow government programming”.

Coming out of this corporate societal thinking is very difficult for two reasons:  First is the fact that few parents know they have the freedom to do what they want regarding their children’s education.  The other reason is that few acknowledge parents have this ultimate authority.

Hence, the newly popularized term “unschooling”.  This is nothing new, but rather a reclaiming of authority which has always been that of parents in the first place, at least in a free and democratic society.  Schooling has been so normalized that we have had to invent a term to describe what was normal back in the day before big government and big schools unquestionably declared authority over children they could not naturally create.

Parental freedom means freedom from coercion and from pressure to conform to someone else’s idea of what is good for your children.  If you are not experiencing this freedom with your home education provider and/or facilitator, maybe it is time to make some changes.

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