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The Link Editorial

I recently received an e-mail from a reader that carried the following quote by Arthur Schopenhauer: "We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves to be like other people." I think that this condition is what we are trying to shake by "homeschooling" our children. I believe that most of us, whether we consciously know it or not, homeschool (home-live) because we have an intuitive, almost cellular memory of what living should be, and was, before the marketing of "Life" pervaded every aspect of our day. This marketing scheme has led to lives being planned out from birth to death to ensure security at the expense of living an interesting and unfolding life. One can hardly give birth to a child today without feeling pressure to plan in advance what type of clothes the baby will wear.

Our son is 17 years old and this is a time when people his age are inclined and tempted to plan out their entire lives. This is the vulnerable age when our children are ending their "school" years with us, striking out more on their own, and it is most difficult to avoid conforming one’s thinking to the linear train, the limited single-purpose path that has been seen as the "way of life" since the mid 1950’s. The linear train "thinking" goes like this: "You go to the ‘right’ high school, get ‘good’ grades, get into the ‘right’ college, get a ‘good’ job, marry the ‘right’ person, etc., etc., primarily to gain the acceptance of others. Around our house we also refer to this as "Life in a can." Many homeschoolers decided to homeschool (and make home the center of life) in order to develop an alternative to Life in a Can, creating instead, a natural, organic, free and creative life, much as people lived in America in the 19th century, where one is primarily self-influenced, self-employed, self-reliant and may even happily have more than one occupation! This sort of a lifestyle is far more interesting to the individual (and more valuable to the society) than living life in a can or conforming to the linear train. The Colonial Americans who courageously threw off the bonds of England certainly lived an individual, self-shaped life or they never would have valued individual freedom enough to risk all to achieve it. We hope that all of you who are homeschooling -- or contemplating it -- see it as far more than merely an alternative to institutional schools; more than an academic choice, but rather use it as an opportunity to live fully and not forfeit anything to be like other people, instead, forging your own way. Our goal for The Link is to provide you with help to achieve an autonomous life and to get on and off of the linear train as you wish. -- The Link