|December 10, 1989||Volume 1 Number 4|
Throughout this series of newsletters, we have advocated homeschooling. Homeschooling may not be the best alternative to the current educational process. But right now, it is the only thing that parents can do to protect and preserve the character, personality and mental apparatus of their children.
We have received many letters from homeschooling parents asking us to say more about how to properly educate a child. We have responded to these letters to some extent in our feature article entitled "What Is A Proper School?" These same criteria can be applied to homeschooling. In this final article on the subject of homeschooling, we will attempt to respond to as many inquiries about homeschooling as we can, given the limits of our own research data.
First of all, we realize that there are many homeschooling parents and families who are still fighting legal battles to establish their right to homeschool their children. It is so ironic that state governments want to demand that parents demonstrate their competency to teach their children at home, while educators are never required to demonstrate such competency. Homeschooled children are required to pass a GED test in order to obtain a high school diploma, while 30% of high school graduates are incapable of passing the same exam.
We are not trying to challenge the educational system. In fact, we think that parents have the right to send their children to school. We think parents have the right to allow teachers to threaten and publicly humiliate children, and grade children solely on their memorization abilities. We think parents have the right to place children in classes with 20 or more students, even though all evidence suggests that children learn better in groups of 5 or less. We think that parents have the right to mis-educate their children under the worst possible conditions and circumstances. Clearly the state governments of this nation agree with us, because parents have been allotted these rights.
Conversely, however, we also believe that parents who want to educate their children under the best possible circumstances in groups of 5 or less, without humiliation and constant threat of failure, should and must be granted the same rights. Clearly, parents who want to provide their children with the most optimal educational experience, either through homeschooling or in a system that meets the criteria listed in this newsletter, should be granted the same rights and privileges as parents who choose to send their children into an improperly established educational system which, by its own admission, is producing inferior results.
Any political leaders and educators who want to defend the current system as the optimal way to educate a child have failed to do their homework. They often point to Thomas Jefferson as the Education President, responsible for compulsory education in this nation. We think that Jefferson would roll over in his grave if he saw what was going on in schools. Jefferson's primary interest was in establishing literacy in this nation and promoting competency tests to insure that this society would remain literate. We do not think that Jefferson's ideas about compulsory education were intended to stop parents from trying to provide their children with the best possible education. Research studies on homeschooled children already demonstrate the fact that homeschooled children score higher than their public school counterparts in every academic and social category in which they are tested. Since Jefferson was very concerned about proven competency, we think that he would probably be a great supporter of the homeschooling movement today.
Homeschooling parents can begin to break the cycle of destruction. They can interrupt the process of one educated generation passing on to the next all of the most hurtful, harmful things that have been done to them.
The homeschooling community in this nation has already begun to amass a valuable body of research on itself. We think that there will be much need for this research evidence in the decades ahead. People need to know if there is any evidence to show that human beings are being harmed or even ruined by homeschooling. Fate studies need to be done. People need to know if the outcomes of the lives of homeschoolers are different from the outcomes of the lives of their public school counterparts. Two randomly selected groups need to be compared. For example, are people who are homeschooled more prone to crime, drug abuse, alcoholism, or auto accidents? Are homeschooled people more likely to become child abusers? Are they more likely to be violent, anti-social, depressed, and suicidal? Are homeschooled women more likely to become welfare mothers? Do homeschooled people tend to contribute less to society than their public school counterparts? Do homeschooled people tend to become more unreliable or unproductive on a job? All of these questions need to be answered.
We must also ask, what kind of people do you want to run this country? What kind of people do you want to become the mothers and fathers of 'future generations? Do you want children who can make their own decisions or do you want children who automatically take the position that "parents and teachers know best?" With whom would you rather have dinner--a high school graduate who just got out of high school or an eighteen-year-old homeschooler who passed her GED at fourteen and has been working or traveling since then? While the average high school graduate would know more about make up, hairstyling and the latest designer clothes, whom would you find more interesting? And, once you have answered these questions, you must then ask yourself what kind of educational system is going to produce the results you are looking for.
Many parents who are trying to find a way to save their children from the harm caused by the educational system without homeschooling them have written to us asking about "alternative" schools. As yet, we have not found an alternative school which does not inflict the same destructive, harmful effects as the current public school system. In the course of our research, we discovered that human beings, because of the severe limitations of the human consciousness, can only be preserved from harm if educated in a natural environment, under the circumstances outlined in our article called "What Is A Proper School?" So far, we have not found any alternative school that meets all these requirements. Meeting some or most of the requirements outlined in our feature article is not enough. Every requirement must be met or children will be harmed. Furthermore, the people running alternative schools were themselves educated in the current system. Our research shows that anyone educated in this system past the third grade is left with permanent damage to the mental apparatus, along with certain emotional difficulties which are a function of the emotional isolation endemic to classroom life. The current educational system promotes disconnected, non-reality oriented thinking, along with some very low ideas and opinions about children, both of which are absorbed by everyone educated past the third grade. Once educated, the human consciousness is permanently branded with what might best be called "school impressions." These school impressions cannot be eradicated, nor can they be overcome. Human beings cannot be subjected to twelve or more years of mindless memorization, psychological intimidation and isolation from reality without incurring lasting harm.
People who set up alternative schools or work in them as administrators and teachers are usually trying to overcome what was done to them in the process of their own schooling. As well-meaning as many of these people may be, they cannot overcome what was done to them in school. The damages inflicted on the human consciousness by the current educational system are absolutely permanent. As a result, all that teachers and administrators in alternative schools can do is to pass the damage that was done to them in school on to the children in their care.
We realize that many of the people who are involved with alternative schools are men and women of good will. They are people who honestly want to find a better way. What we are saying is that modern education is inherently destructive and dysfunctional. Once people are exposed to this system, they automatically take on the system's destructive and dysfunctional frame of reference--whether they want to or not. The fact that someone is a person of good will does not prevent him or her from absorbing this frame of reference.
Judging from the mail we have received, many people seem to think that "alternative" means open, friendly, caring, healthy or productive. Yet, alternative means to have another choice or to go another way. An alternate route is another way of arriving at the same destination. If you take an alternate route to Chicago, you still expect to arrive in Chicago. So it is with education. If you are going to destroy your child through premature and inappropriate educational practices, there are many alternative schools where this can be done.
Some people seem to think that if teachers are friendly and classrooms are more open, then children can be subjected to premature and inappropriate educational practices without being harmed. In the death camps of World War II, when people were herded into the gas chambers, some of the guards assigned to this duty were friendly and cordial. Others were harsh and abrupt. In the end, the effect on the people being herded into the gas chamber was the same. You can destroy a child's ability to realize his or her own destiny with a smile just as easily as you can with a growl. The only difference is that if you do it with a growl, the child is able to recognize who has destroyed him or her. If you do it with a smile, the child is still destroyed, but is left feeling confused about who did it to him or her.
Homeschooling does not eliminate the possibility of parents, who were themselves educated past the third grade in the current system, passing on the damaging effects of this system to their children. Homeschooling does, however, give parents and children a fighting chance. Homeschooling at least breaks parents and children out of the non-reality oriented school environment. For most educated people, anything that even resembles a school environment tends to stimulate all their school impressions along with the destructive, dysfunctional behaviors and ideas that were learned in the classroom. Teaching children at home breaks parents and children out of the non-reality oriented thinking of the classroom, so parents are not as likely to try to segment a child's day into isolated subject matters, nor are they as likely to teach a subject such as math out of context and without connection to everyday life. Homeschooling eliminates the use of public humiliation in the learning process and usually reduces the negativity and hostility that are traditionally directed at children by educators in the classroom setting. Most homeschooling parents have far more interest and investment in their children than teachers have in students. Furthermore, homeschooling parents are usually not trying to relate to more than five children, so they are able to respond to the unique needs, goals and interests of their children--something that educators in traditional or non-traditional classrooms of more than five children cannot do. When children are schooled at home, they are allowed to remain with their parents during the years before the age of ten, when such family contacts are essential to the child's mental and emotional well-being.
So, while homeschooling parents who have been educated in the current system cannot undo what was done to them in school, they can prevent their children from incurring the same type and degree of harm. Homeschooling parents can begin to break the cycle of destruction. They can interrupt the process of one educated generation passing on to the next all of the most hurtful, harmful things that have been done to them.
The Road To Recovery
The destructive cycle caused by the educational system cannot be overcome in one generation. Breaking the cycle of destruction can take anywhere from two to five generations, depending on why the parents have decided to homeschool. Let us take the simplest example. Nancy Smith is a parent who decides to homeschool her daughter Susan because Nancy believes that sending her child to school will cause her child permanent harm. Because Nancy Smith herself was educated past the third grade, her daughter, Susan, will still absorb some of the destructive and dysfunctional effects that education has had on her mother. However, in all probability, Susan's mental apparatus will not be destroyed, assuming that Nancy waits until Susan is at least nine before teaching her to read, write and do math. Furthermore, Susan's vital emotional relationship with her mother and family will not be destroyed because she will not be prematurely separated from them. If, when Susan grows up, she decides to have children and to homeschool them, Susan's children will represent the first generation of people who are free from school impressions and who do not carry the destructive, dysfunctional frame of reference implanted in the consciousness of every educated person. In this case, it will take two generations of homeschooled children before the destructive effects of education can be purged away.
Not all homeschooling parents choose to teach their children at home because they believe that the current educational system is harmful. Human beings can be very different when it comes to why a person does something like homeschooling a child. Think of it this way. There are many reasons why people went to fight in World War II. Some people fought because they had a vision of how they thought the world should be and what was going on in the world at that time did not match that vision. Some people fought because they liked using weapons and they were fascinated by death and destruction. Some people fought because they liked being told what to do, while others in command fought because they liked feeling important and they liked bossing other people around. Not every man and woman who fought in World War II did so for noble reasons. But in war, the motivation of a soldier is not questioned, only his willingness to do battle.
So it is with homeschooling parents. Their reasons for keeping their children at home are unique and varied. Some parents keep their children at home because they realize there is something very wrong with the current educational system, and they do not want their children to be exposed to it. Other parents homeschool their children because they like the feeling of rebelling against a system. Some parents want to feel unique and important. Some parents like the attention they are getting (even negative attention) for homeschooling their children. Some parents keep their children at home because they think their children have been overtaken by the devil (sometimes called original sin), and that it is their duty to beat the devil out of their children. These parents think that educators are not doing enough pounding, beating and bashing of children to rid them of the devil within.
The current educational system promotes disconnected, non-reality oriented thinking, along with some very low ideas and opinions about children, both of which are absorbed by everyone educated past the third grade.
Some parents have decided to homeschool their children because they want to compete with schools. They want to show teachers, the so-called experts, that they as parents can do a better job, which, of course, they can. However, our research shows that if a parent homeschools his or her children in order to compete with the existing system and to demonstrate that he or she as a parent can do a superior job of educating those children, that parent is far more likely to pass along "school" impressions to his or her children. While the children will still come out way ahead of their public school counterparts, and with far less damage, these families will take at least three to five generations of homeschooled children before the "school" impressions are washed out. On the other hand, parents who homeschool their children simply because they think something is wrong with the current system, who want to he with their children and who have no axe to grind, can wash out these destructive effects in just two generations.
We might mention here that parents who homeschool their children in order to compete with schools usually do not like our newsletters. These parents want to pretend that educators teaching in the current system are doing an excellent job of educating children, and that they as homeschooling parents are doing an even more superior job. Homeschooling parents who are trying to demonstrate their superior abilities do not want to be told that the team they are competing against does not even know how to play basketball. In this case, the opposing team, the school system, is made up of blind, retarded octogenarians, who weigh a minimum of 300 pounds. Homeschooling parents who are playing against educators want to pretend that they are up against the Los Angeles Lakers or the Detroit Pistons. We are saying that homeschooling parents can almost always do better than educators, with very rare exceptions. We are saying that there is not any real game.
Homeschooling parents who are trying to outdo the schools want to feel important. You cannot derive self-importance out of what you are doing if you own up to the fact that you have been victorious in a game against blind, retarded people who do not even know how to play basketball. Our newsletters expose educators for what they are, and this particular group of homeschooling parents usually finds what we have to say quite irritating.
We can tell by reading our mail and the homeschooling literature that there are many more axe grinders than non-axe grinders among homeschooling parents. There are many more parents who want to be different, feel important, demonstrate their superiority or beat the devil out of their children than there are non-axe grinding parents who want to be with their children and do the right thing. But we also think that this is, in a way, wartime, at least as far as education is concerned, so it does not really matter why any soldier wants to fight as long as he or she is willing to do battle.
Preserving a Child's Destiny
The reason that homeschooled children come out ahead is two-fold. First, homeschooled children are protected from the permanent harm inflicted on all children exposed to the educational process. Secondly, and perhaps even more importantly, homeschooled children have a better chance of fulfilling their own personal destinies. In writing these newsletters, we have assumed only the best ideas about human beings that religions have to offer. These ideas include the notion of individual, personal destiny. Even if you accept a fundamentalist Christian or Muslim view (which is a very negative view of a human being, one that assumes all human beings are so inherently weak, dark and lacking in character that they are easy prey for the devil), you would still have to assume that each human being is a unique outmanifestation of something--of God, the Logos of this planet, but something. As such, each human being has a unique personal destiny and no one has the right to tamper with that destiny--not educators--not anyone. It is only personal whim or psychological damage that causes educators or anyone else to tamper with a child's destiny. Only people who have themselves been tampered with would want to interfere and tamper with the destiny of someone else.
Before the age of about ten years, young children are very vulnerable and susceptible to outside influences. During these early years, children are collecting themselves. They are collecting information about what they are, who they are, and how they are; about what they like and do not like, and about what they are interested in doing with their lives. Before the age of ten, children are trying to find out what the world is and how it works. Children are, in a sense, collecting themselves up to fulfill their own unique personal destinies. Another way of describing the opportunity of fulfilling one's destiny is to say that a person would have the chance to do the thing he or she is most interested in doing in life, and that doing this thing would bring great personal satisfaction.
When children are exposed to the educational process before the age of ten, they are invaded and bombarded by a very strong, very negative external influence. Instead of helping children collect themselves up, educators break children down and carve them up inside. Instead of helping children establish themselves in the world, educators permanently destroy the mental and emotional systems children need to establish themselves in the world. Instead of helping children develop their own personal interests, feelings, needs and goals, educators force children to relinquish all their personal interests and to invest themselves in memorizing useless, meaningless data. Children who are exposed to the current educational environment cannot collect themselves up. They cannot overcome the external invasion and are left without hope of ever fulfilling their own individual, personal destinies. All educated people can do is mirror some aspect of their interests. This is why we have train conductors who should be conducting symphonies and archaeologists who should be running junkyards.
When children are schooled at home, they are allowed to remain with their parents during the years before the age of ten, when such family contacts are essential to the child's mental and emotional well-being.
We have found that even homeschooling parents who conform to the most rigid, fundamentalist religious beliefs, even parents who have themselves been consumed by religion, cannot interfere and tamper with the personal destinies of their children in the way that educators do. It would be best for children if all parents let them be (at least before the age of nine or ten) and just spent time with them, taking them places and showing them things out in the world. It would be best if parents could take their children down to the railroad yard and sit and look at the trains, or take them to the river and watch the ships go by, or sit them up on the back of the tractor while mowing the field. It would be best if children could use all their own natural resources to find out who they are and how the world works.
Public education before the age of ten is a constant, at times violent, invasion of a child's consciousness. Even fundamentalist religious homeschooling parents who want to invade their children with Jesus cannot keep up the constant, violent pace that educators can. As a result, homeschooled children of all backgrounds generally have a much better chance of fulfilling their own destinies.
We should make note here that if homeschooling parents of various religious persuasions want their children to mindlessly follow a set of rigid religious rules about life, they should send their children to school until the children are ten. By that time, educators will have had the chance to break the children's mental systems down enough so that parents can then fill the children with Jesus or with anything that pleases them as parents. if you are a homeschooling parent and a fundamentalist, and you have not allowed educators to break your children down, you may be in for an interesting surprise. Homeschooling parents seem to be leaving intact the mental systems which later allow children to evaluate ideas--including religious ideas. Homeschooled children tend to develop a mind of their own. Preserving a child's ability for independent thinking makes him much less vulnerable to being overtaken and consumed by a set of religious ideas and more capable of fulfilling his own destiny.
Once children have reached the age of ten, they are much less vulnerable to external influences. They have collected enough of themselves to form their own personalities and their own systems of evaluation, and they are less likely to be consumed by a religion of any kind.
Uncertainty and Security
Just as there is individual destiny in this world, there is also great uncertainty. The physical world is always changing. In reality, nothing stays the same. To live in uncertainty is the natural state of human existence. When children are very young and before they are exposed to school, they feel at home with uncertainty and they accept it as a natural state. However, once exposed to the educational process, children lose their ability to feel at home with uncertainty. In the conditioned existence of school, everything stays the same. Nothing changes. Every day is the same. Every class is taught at the same time each day. Every class is just another exercise in rote memorization. Somewhere between the second and third grade, children accept the sameness of the classroom as a normal way of life, and their natural ability to live with uncertainty turns into rigidity. When rigidity sets in, the consciousness enters into a state of fixity that permanently inhibits the entire consciousness from functioning properly.
Most religious and psychological systems have developed out of rigidity and the idea of certainty. Most religious and psychological systems are based on the false conclusion that out of certainty springs well-being. The men and women who lead these various systems and movements are people who think they have it all figured out. They are usually so certain that they have it all figured out that they are incapable of carrying on a simple conversation with another human being without going into a tirade about how the world is and is not. These so-called religious leaders and psychological experts who have it all figured out are usually people who were so damaged by the educational process that they are left trying to unravel the mysteries of life through a destroyed consciousness--one that has lost all connection with reality, including the reality of uncertainty.
Once educated, people tend to confuse the idea of certainty with the idea of security. These two phenomena are not the same, nor are they dependent on one another in any way. People who are able to tolerate uncertainty are rare. They are people who have truly mastered the physical world. All mental and emotional well-being springs from an individual's ability to live with uncertainty.
Uncertainty should not be confused with the safety and security of living in a decent home with decent parenting practices. For example, we are not speaking here of the "uncertainty" that some children of alcoholic parents feel if they never know when a parent is going to come home drunk and beat them up. Nor are we speaking of the kind of uncertainty produced by a maniacal teacher who enjoys finding out what is wrong with students by giving them "surprise" tests and quizzes, and various other hostile acts.
Security and safety are the base, and natural uncertainty (uncertainty which is a function of an ever-changing reality) is the path for natural human existence. Children exposed to the current educational system are forced to live in unnatural certainty and rigidity, without safety and security. However, homeschooled children, or children educated in an educational schema meeting the requirements outlined in this newsletter, have a much better chance of retaining their natural ability to be at home with uncertainty. Both of these environments are much more capable of preserving an inner sense of security and well-being, while concomitantly providing children with the natural reality of uncertainty.
Homeschooling and Socialization
Many people think that homeschooled children do not have enough interaction with other children. Most homeschooled children are not isolated from other children. But even if they were, this situation would not present the psychological problems which some people have concluded such a situation would cause. Children do not learn how to socialize from other children. Children learn to socialize from grown-ups who, if they are not brain damaged in some way, have already developed these skills. Think of it this way. Let us say you have a seven-year-old who wants to learn how to play basketball. Now, Larry Bird lives on one side of you and Magic Johnson on the other. Across the street lives Freddie Brodovich, a seven-year-old who has his own basketball and hoop. Whom do you want to teach your child how to play basketball? Larry Bird or Magic Johnson, or Freddie Brodovich. Whom do you think has the most to offer children in terms of social skills? Grown-ups or other children?
If there is one thing that grown-ups have to offer children, it is socialization skills. If children knew how to have a conversation and get along with people better than grown-ups, children would be running for public office. Many of the social behaviors exhibited by young children are skewed-off imitations and even aberrant behaviors, which do not reflect the type of social skills that moat parents would want their children to develop.
Since we began publishing these newsletters last year, we have received some letters from people who, for various reasons, are against the idea of homeschooling. We found it interesting to note that almost everyone who wrote to us saying they were against homeschooling listed "lack of socialization" as the major drawback to teaching a child at home. These letters imply that public education offers children a proper socialization experience. Yet, in reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Children before the age of eight or nine are still learning social skills. They are learning social skills primarily from the adults in their environment, not from other children. When children go to school, their classroom teacher is the parent surrogate and the primary adult role model. In other words, children in a classroom are learning social skills by observing the behaviors of their teachers, not their fellow classmates. Most teachers' behaviors are dysfunctional and anti-social in their nature.
Children who spend most of their time with adults are much more amenable and much more at ease in social situations than children who spend the majority of their time with other children. There is much empirical evidence as well as documented research to show that this is true. Already, studies clearly show that homeschooled children are much better socially adjusted than their public school counterparts. Children who attend school learn dysfunctional behaviors from their classroom teachers and they learn meanness and violence from their peers. School yard behaviors are a good example of the types of social behaviors that children learn from one another. The school environment is a hostile, mean place where hostile, mean things are done to children. Many children react to the oppression and psychological duress of classroom life with violence, meanness and hurtfulness toward one another. These are hardly useful social skills, which makes us wonder what people are really saying when they express their fears about homeschooling children not learning to socialize. Should we not all be more concerned about the "social skills" children are learning in school?
If You Do Not Like Your Child: A Suggestion For Homeschooling Parents
It must be mentioned that not all parents and children get along well enough with each other to promote the kind of relationship that is necessary for a homeschooling situation. Some parents and children do not like each other enough to homeschool. One way that you as a parent can know if you do not like your child is to notice how much energy you have invested in trying to get your child to act a certain way. If you find yourself constantly correcting your child, the chances are that you just do not like him or her.
If you do not like your child, it would be better for your child if you did not try to homeschool him or her yourself, but could get someone else to homeschool that child for you. If you absolutely must homeschool that child yourself, you can only be successful if you let your child set all the rules for his or her own education. If you take the position that you are the parent and will therefore run the show, you will always be the more powerful force in the relationship, but you may not be all that happy with the results you get. If, on the other hand, you talk to your child openly about the fact that you do not get along too well, and let your child set the rules for his own education, you will have a much better chance of preserving the character, personality and destiny of your child. In this case, your child would decide when he or she was going to have a reading lesson, writing lesson or math lesson. Your child would decide, for example, whether to have a reading lesson at 8:00 in the morning or 4:00 in the afternoon. You as the parent are responsible for enforcing the rules laid out by your child. Once the rules have been laid out, your child would have the power to change the rules, but he or she would have to give a 30-day notice. So, in order to change an 8:00 a.m. reading lesson to a 4:00 P.M.. reading lesson, your child would give you notice of the change in rules and then wait 30 days. While this is only a suggestion, it is one that may be useful to parents who dislike their children, but do not want them to be destroyed by the current educational system.
Homeschooling and Marketable Skills
We would urge homeschooling parents to read carefully our article on the criteria for a proper school. Many of these criteria are met simply by teaching children at home. Most homeschooling parents are extremely conscientious about providing their children with skills in reading, writing and mathematics. Homeschooling parents who truly want to provide their children with a proper education will not allow their children to reach adolescence without developing a marketable skill. Human beings need to develop a skill from which they can earn a living and which brings them personal, heart-felt satisfaction by the time they are ready to enter adult life. Adolescents must be able to carry into adult life the experience of competence demonstrated by the fact that they are capable of doing something of value that brings personal, heart-felt satisfaction.
Most people who read this cannot imagine what this would mean. In fact, we are guessing that up to 95% of readers do not know what this means, because they have been educated out of doing anything that would bring them personal, heart-felt satisfaction. When we speak about a marketable skill, we are not referring to arts and crafts projects. "Arts and Crafts" are classes in which children and adults are taught to make useless, dysfunctional junk, most of which ends up in the trash can where it belongs. We are talking about real skill, like caning chairs, repairing appliances, building boats, fixing lawn mowers, etc.
Human beings cannot be subjected to twelve or more years of mindless memorization, psychological intimidation and isolation from reality without incurring lasting harm.
Between the ages of six-and-a-half and eight-and-a-half, all human beings naturally look for something they can do that will be both useful and satisfying. This is endemic to the human consciousness. People cannot see this because no one is paying attention to how human beings develop. The impetus to develop a marketable skill comes naturally from the child. In other words, parents and educators do not have to decide for a child whether he or she should develop skills in carpentry. When it comes to developing a skill, a child between six-and-a-half and eight-and-a-half years of age is like a gas main with a very bad leak. When the child comes upon a skill of interest, this skill acts like a lighted match to a leaky gas main. There is an explosion that takes place inside of the consciousness. People could think of this explosion as a "natural find."
In order to discover a "natural find" and have this kind of positive and necessary explosion take place inside the human consciousness, children need to be able to go out and sniff around for themselves to see all the available possibilities. Public education provides the antithesis of this. From the time children are five years old and even younger, parents start telling their children that when they go to school, they are going to learn everything they need to know about life. What happens to children instead is so malignant that it is difficult to describe. All of children's natural instincts have been laundered out of them so that by the time children reach the age of eight or so, the leak in the gas main has been fixed, all the matches have been put out and no explosion ever takes place. At this point, for all intents and purposes, the child's natural life has been unequivocally destroyed and it cannot be regained.
A little over 100 years ago, children naturally learned adult skills from their parents in the process of growing up. People like Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson all knew how to do lots of things and had already developed marketable skills by the time they reached their adolescent years. Adult skills were learned by children from their parents as a way of life. Today, parents expect educators to teach children the skills that children will need to get along in life. Teachers, on the other hand, expect parents to do it. As a result, nobody is doing it.
Developing a marketable skill by the age of twelve or thirteen is a universal need found in every human being. If homeschooling parents want to make sure their children are properly prepared for adult life, they will help their children discover their own "natural find," a marketable skill that brings great personal satisfaction. This skill absolutely must be fully developed by the onset of puberty or it is too late to do any good. If you are a wealthy person reading this and you say to yourself, "I own half the state of California, my children are not going to need a marketable skill," you are wrong. If you are a poor person reading this and you say to yourself, "I am too poor--therefore, there is no way that I can do this," you are wrong. If you are a wealthy parent or a poor parent, and you want to prepare your child for adult life, you must overcome your handicaps (wealth and poverty are both handicaps to this) and help your children develop a marketable skill.
Over the last 100 years, humanity has incurred much damage and destruction. This damage has caused humanity to construct some very negative, very dysfunctional institutions, the mysteries of which can only be unraveled by healthy, functioning human beings. Only people who have been properly schooled will have any ability to unravel these things. It is too ]ate for us, but it is not too late for our children.
The Nuclear Truth Race
During the 1960s, Nikita Kruschev said to America, "We will bury you!" We do not think that Gorbachev or the Soviet people have given up on that plan. However, we do think that we have left the arms race and that the Soviet Union has started the "truth race. " History has shown that whenever the Soviets have set their minds to doing something, they usually do it. And in this case, we hope they win.
This past fall, the Soviet Union put KGB officials on television so that even they could tell the truth. This was a Soviet version of "60 Minutes", "West 57th Street" and "Prime Time" all rolled into one. Getting the KGB on television to tell the truth is like aiming a 14 megaton bomb with 16 warheads loaded with truth into the United States. We think the show should have been called "Can You Top This?"
Right now, the United States is lagging behind in the truth race, just as we did in the space race a few decades ago. But hopefully, we will catch up. Maybe when we do, we can find out the real truth about the Iran-Contra Affair and the South American drug dilemma.