Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Last Beautiful Day

Fall came too early this year. I was dreading it because I dread winter. With the end of summer curtained by perpetual downpours and clouded skies, fall snuck in and the sun seems so shamed by this coup that it refuses to appear at all. It's wet and dark, day after day, and I feel, honestly, a little angry about it - if I wanted this weather, would I be living in Virginia? It seems you should get what you pay for. But a couple weeks ago, there was a short chain of delicate, early-fall days that acted like propaganda, enticing us to submit without fear. Driving with a friend, I saw strokes of color on the trees, colored leaves lying on the ground, falling to the ground. The air turned dry, and the sunlight's new angles took on that hammered-gold warmth signalling the equinox. One day, on my way to work, a crimson leaf with dark edges, doubled back on itself, wafted across my windshield. It was actually a butterfly.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I'll Risk Saying This

There's an article going around that was originally published in the member magazine of the Home Educators Association of Virginia. It's called "Exposing Major Blind Spots of Homeschoolers" and you can read it on Josh Harris's blog here. It's a pretty brave article with a lot of good points. But I find on element of it particularly upsetting, which is the idea of parents "having" their children's hearts. This is a popular idea within the homeschool community. It gives me the creeps. It's basically the idea that if parents love their kids just right, the kids will feel so secure and trusting in their parents' love that they will offer an extreme allegiance - allow their parents to "have" their hearts and therefore have control over their beliefs, emotions, and behavior. I know that some of you are going to think I'm exaggerating the meaning of this idea, and I might be, but not by much. I've spent most of my life in the homeschooling community and this particular idea is as dangerous as legalism or over-sheltering - it's just more subtle.