Thursday, 26 July 2007

Family Matters

This book is so incredibly good, so completely in tune with my own thoughts and feelings on a number of subjects, that I can't even begin to describe it properly. Our library bought it when I requested it and now that I have spent my free time today and yesterday reading it, I almost wish that I had bought it myself. I am not a highlighter of lines in books (never! ) but I really don't think I could have helped myself with this one. There would likely be vast blocks of yellow highlighter marks all over it, marking all the bits that seem especially profound to me, then whenever anyone asked me about why my kids don't go to school I would just lend them the book. It seems to me that would be much easier than my trying to articulate the many heartfelt reasons why my kids don't go to school in the minutes ( and scant real interest) usually given for an answer to these sort of questions. I love this book and will be asking my own parents to read it so that they may gain a greater understanding into our lives and the depth of my feelings on this issue. I was going choose just one chapter that I liked best to write about but actually, thinking back, I love them all ( except chapter 4) because they each tell an important part of the many reasons that we choose not to send our boys to school. I can't resist including some quotes.

"Ordinary people have always been teachers; it is only recently that teaching has become a salaried profession instead of a part of daily existence."

I love that, when did people stop knowing this?

"...a child should be educated not merely for future employment but as a human being, with senses fully alive and independence of thought fully developed, with nature as the ground of his learning and his education gently cultivated by thoughtful and sensitive adults."

You have to know that I love that one too.
And this one tickled my and Nicola's fancy. "Think of the economic tragedy that would result if schools taught critical thinking, " asks John Taylor Gatto. "Who would crave the mountains of junk our mass-production economy distributes? Who would eat the processed foods? Who would wear the plastic shoes?"

Ooh, there are so many things that make me feel wonderfully inspired in this book and also many parts that make me feel like crying with despair. I think I will read it, and enjoy it, again.

1 comment:

Katherine said...

Thanks for sharing this Heather. I went online to browse the pages and it looks like a good read.