Updated: Mar 26
"I don't want a nation of thinkers, I want a nation of workers." John D Rockefeller, creator of the general education board. (Rockefeller also conveniently was able to completely take away traditional herbal medicine from universities and replace it with big pharma. But that is an article for another time.) This is what the person who has founded the way modern education works has said about his methods. School is not important. Education is important and I think that there is a huge discrepancy between how children learn and how children are taught.
I have studied both elementary education and early child development. It was not until after studying those did we make the decision that homeschooling was something that we wanted to do. In fact, I was against it for a very long time, adamantly even. Only because I was not informed. So what made someone vehemently against homeschooling suddenly make a 180? Well, it was more like a domino effect than a single issue.
I know grounding is a weird reason to do homeschooling. However, I think that it is one of the most important things that we are missing today. If you have not watched "The Earthing Movie" yet I would highly encourage you to do so. It is a wonderful documentary about grounding. Now, what does grounding have to do with school? Kids do not get it. Children are inside a large concrete building with rubber closed-toed shoes for six hours a day. We are no longer letting our children connect to the earth and that causes problems. But how does this actually help? You might think that this is crazy. How does letting my child be barefoot do anything for them? Well, a small study with forty adult participants showed that grounding for one hour may have improvement on depression and anxiety. Another study also showed that it may reduce muscle damage.
Feeling the earth and being connected to life around us is so important for us as humans that it can literally heal our bodies. This is something very discouraged in schools. It is something that I try to practice with my children every day. I even convinced my husband to get a grounding mat!
Children have been having their recess restricted and in some states even taken away. Now I know you are wondering what in the world does medical intervention have to do with recess? Well, everything. Young children learn best through play and exploration. They thrive in a physical environment where they can move freely and use their pent-up energy. What happens when we take that away or limit it? Drugs. According to modern health care between 2008 and 2012, there was a thirty-five percent increase in ADHD medication given to Americans. Schools, created by the same person who had a huge role in the pharmaceutical industry, require children to sit in a chair for six hours a day with no break or a very short break and when they are not able to do that, due to it not being developmentally appropriate for them to do so, will be prescribed amphetamines.
Now I am in no way saying that ADHD medication is not helpful for people with ADHD, but amphetamines have become a bandaid for children and a way to get them to hyper-focus on school.
This is a problem for a couple of reasons. The first being it contributing to the addiction rates in the country. Because regardless of what people might tell you a steady diet of prescribed amphetamines will cause dependence on it and can lead to an addiction. Another reason is self-esteem. Imagine being a seven-year-old. You have so much energy. You are forced to sit still in a chair for six hours every day. You try your hardest. But every day your excitement and energy get the best of you. Every day you are labeled as having behavioral problems, you feel like you can never be good no matter how hard you try. Now you are so bad at everything you are forced on medication that makes you feel empty. You no longer feel like yourself. You never want to eat and always feel sick. This could have been solved by going outside, by playing, by being allowed to be a child but instead, the school system had worked as it was intended to all those years ago when it was created. It has created a good compliant worker.
You are a kid for a little bit and an adult for the rest of your life
This is something my Opa used to say. It's true. Do I want my children sitting at a desk for six hours a day for their entire childhood? No. I want my children to live and explore and BE CHILDREN. I do not want them in a building all day memorizing facts. I want their childhood to be magical because I have no guarantee about what kind of world we will be living in when they are adults.
The way we teach is not the way that they learn
Children learn best by hands-on play. This is not just children in preschool or kindergarten. But instead, we stick them in a bright white building with overstimulating colorful posters all over the walls and expect them to learn. Children need to be surrounded by nature and learn in a natural calming environment. That is not what you will find in most classrooms. Children are put in situations against their natural development and expected to thrive and punished for not.
So in summation, we decided to homeschool because we want our children to be thinkers, not workers.