The Truth of Freedom
The truth of freedom is that freedom is freedom.
The lie of freedom is that freedom is what you are allowed to do.
I saw a movie some time ago, about a man who had been sent to prison. He managed to escape, but he is not the character I’m thinking of.
There was an old inmate, working in the prison library. Prison was his home for many, many years. His life was okay; people left him alone because of his age.
Suddenly, his term is finished! He’s free! The guards sign him out and release him to the wide world he had not seen for a huge chunk of his life.
Sadly, he cannot cope. He has become so institutionalised that Freedom for him is anything but that. So, he takes his own life.
The truth of freedom is that it is something you have, not permission somebody gives you.
Now, although you would not say that this was the plot of the movie, I think it was the saddest and most profound part. This is because the plight of this poor man was a parable of many people in today’s society.
Generations before us have fought for our freedoms, the ones in which we boast and cry out to preserve. In reality, however many of us have become so institutionalised without knowing it, that we just don’t know what to do with our freedom.
We have the legal right to speak out, but do we exercise it? Do we assert our freedom, or do we keep silent when we see bad things happen? Why is it that the “noisy minority” is allowed to dictate government policy and what happens in our education system?
We have the right to express our objection by peaceful protest, but how many of us actually use this freedom? How many of us would rather leave it to others, or maybe just say, “What’s the point? It’s not really my problem.”
The truth of freedom is that we need to exercise freedom. What we exercise becomes stronger. What we don’t exercise becomes weaker, and completely useless.
Homeschooling as Freedom
When April and I were introduced to homeschooling, we felt like the shackles of State control had been loosed from our necks and ankles. We told our family and friends, and yes, even my teaching colleagues, “We are in control of what, where and how we educate our children!” True, we registered at the time with our state government, but our heart said, “We hereby notify that we are homeschooling.” We were not asking permission, and if they refused us, we would have exercised our legal right under the Education Act anyway.
Homeschoolers are people who have exercised their freedom. They are free from control of their peers, their neighbours, their families, and a cynical, Godless society. Therefore, they are indeed free. “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” said Jesus (John 8:32).
Live the Truth
If this is true for you, you have taken the first steps in exercising your freedom. Now run with it!
The truth of homeschooling is that the parent is the teacher and the home is the school. This is exactly what the government expects of the homeschooling model. Your homeschool support provider is not the teacher. Our training, support, website, Certificate Pathways and fancy semester reports are your teaching aids, there to equip you to do your job and exercise your freedom. We do have experience and knowledge of the resources, but that just makes us a reference.
If you don’t want your child to do certain subjects or every unit in a subject, by all means ask for advice, but we promise we will never try to tell you what you must do. You know your children, what’s good for them, and what they are capable of. That makes you the authority, not us. Neither is the government, nor your friends and family. The only time we say “must” in in the context of Certificate requirements. Apart from that, discover the truth and exercise your freedom.
Grow the Truth
Without dwelling on the theology of it, the prophet Isaiah told of the effect of the work of Jesus. From the time of Jesus’ birth, his government has been increasing (Isaiah 9:7), and the truth will begin to fill the Earth as the waters cover the sea (Isaiah 11:9). The great freedom we have in our country allows us to homeschool, and we see more and more families taking this up as their right.
Now that you have embraced the truth, you can teach it to your own children. This is your freedom. Your children are yours, not the world’s. They are your children, not ours. They don’t work for us, answer to us, or submit to us. This kind of thinking is not the thinking of schools, but you are homeschooling.
This puts you in control.
Greg Simon BA; Dip Ed; Cert Teach
Greg has taught and tutored secondary Maths, Science and ICT for over thirty years, and has been a school principal before dedicating his life to working with home-educating families. He was actively involved with the homeschooling of his four children.
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