Chapter Fifteen: Your Child, Your Choice

       What exactly do you want for your little one? Please stop and think about it. Can you picture it? Do you believe that the Public School wants the same for him as you do? Is it even possible for the Public School to want the same for him as you do? Do you believe that it is the Public School’s responsibility to educate him? If so, why? If not, what are your options? Will you explore them? Isn’t it funny that we will put a great deal of time and effort into finding the right car or planning a vacation? We study and search to find the best financing for a house. And yet we will send off our little people without even a thought?

       If you don’t consider your little one to be your greatness joy and your greatest responsibility, then it doesn’t really matter where you send him to learn his ABC’s. It doesn’t matter where you send him to learn about the world and himself.

       If your little one is your greatest joy, and you see him as your greatest responsibility, then you are not going to give him up to any institution without some serious consideration. You won’t just send him off to school at age five because that’s what happens when kids turn five. You won’t send him off because you aren’t willing to sacrifice the time or the money to do something else. You won’t give him over just because you are scared to do it yourself. You won’t be like Cassi and I that just sent our sons off without even questioning if it was the best option. We didn’t even consider that there were other options!

       I believe that a mother’s love is the only thing powerful to loosen the Public School’s grip on our little ones and our families. So if anyone has the courage to do what’s right for your little one it will be you. Not a teacher, not a principal, not a counselor, YOU.

       There are no titles, no degrees after my name. The Public School system thinks that I am not qualified to teach my own children. Like you, Cassi and I consider the greatest work that we will ever do, to be the raising and educating of our own children. We have come to realize that it is our responsibility to educate them. It is also the greatest joy in the world to do it. Our only regret is that we fell for the idea that a certificate was needed to teach kids. We wish we would never have sent them to the Public School. But we do appreciate being able to see the contrast. Since freeing ourselves from Public School our family is more content, more settled. Our boys are more energized and inspired in all they do, not just studies.

       We are “chart children”. We are products of the Public School ourselves. Our natural curiosity was stifled. Our self-esteem was smothered. We were deprived of much that is human in us by being confined and forced into constant needless competition. How could we possibly be qualified to do something important as teaching our sons?

       And yet taking responsibility for our own children is exhilarating.  We know that even when we make mistakes, we are right there to fix them and adjust. Our sons are not a product. They are not a profession. We have the God-given right and the God-given ability to teach them. And we are! There is no one on the Earth more qualified to teach Jordan and Jacob than their parents. Only now, when our kids are beyond our knowledge in their studies, do we understand that fully. We finally realize that it was never the Public School’s responsibility or right to teach our kids. Accepting our God-given responsibility is turning out to be the richest experience of our lives. With all my heart I want you, as your little one’s mother, to have that experience.

       Teachers all over the country are doing all they can to lift and teach kids in a failed system. Even if there are lousy teachers, there are still many that care deeply about what they are doing. Yet they cannot deny what the system is doing. They see it all day every day. Sometimes they will blame families and parents for poor scores and bad behaviors. But the school system holds the children for more time than their families do. So even if their home life is terrible, they still spend less time there than detained by the school.  If the teachers are honest with themselves, they will see the system doing the same thing to them and their families that it does to little people.

       I have a friend that is an inspired teacher. She is doing the best she can in the system. She doesn’t like me to compare the Public School to a company. And yet her employer runs its organization very much like a corporation. Noble as the teaching of the children is, money is the purpose for doing it. The children are separated into categories. They are labeled for efficient processing. They are confined and compartmentalized. They are a product to the company. To the teacher they are a vocation.

       No matter how unqualified my wife and I feel we do not see our sons as a profession. No matter how much my friend loves children, she must see them as a profession, or she will have no motivation to be teaching. Unless she sees the little people as a profession, she will not be able to carry out the policies and programs of her employer.

      The formative hours and days in your little one’s life can never be redone. Can you give him over for all those precious hours and days to an organization that sees him as a means to a salary and an insurance plan? However devoted the staff at the school is, they can never approach teaching your little one as you can. They are employees being paid to teach. They teach what they are told to. They teach it when they are told to. They teach it in the manner approved by the system that pays them.

       All the talk of education reform is just talk. It cannot truly be reformed. It is too big, too engrained into our society and psyche to be successfully reformed or removed. I don’t think we have the individual, much less the collective political courage to start over. Even if we did, what would we replace it with? Who would do the replacing? Our best hope is to inform as many parents as possible of the impact the Public School has on their little ones. Only the love of a parent, especially, a mother, is powerful enough to overcome the Public School’s claim on her little ones.

       What are some of the other reasons you might still want to give your little one up to the Public School? Maybe you have a job. You might even teach school. If you quit, your family’s income will suffer. That is a scary prospect. Only now, after seeing the results of pulling our kids out, do I realize that keeping them free is worth any sacrifice.

       At the most tender age, when parents give their kids up to the Public School, the little people don’t care how big their house is or how it is furnished. They don’t think that they are entitled to go to the movies or on vacations. They have no interest in boats and cars. It is us, the big people that need these things. Little people don’t care if they have steak for supper. They don’t even care what supper is as long as it’s not spinach. It’s us, the big people that care most about these things. The formative hours in your little one’s life can never be redone. I hope you can find a way to make the needed changes to be there for your little one as they happen.

      You might feel alone in making the choice to keep your little one free of Public Schools. This feeling is real. Your family might be against keeping your little one free. You might be the only one in your neighborhood that will not send off your little one. The Public School saturates every aspect of a neighborhood or community. Its activities, its schedules and its culture affect everything. Churches must check the Public School’s schedule to plan an activity. Family time is decided by the Public School schedule. So you’re right that you might feel alone.

       But you will find out that your neighborhood will not come after you with torches and pitchforks. They will be so busy with their Public School lives that they may not even notice that you are teaching your own. You will find many groups and organizations that support mothers that have the courage to take responsibility for their own children. You might be surprised just how many around you homeschool. Finding wonderful helps and resources on the web will be simple. You will be too busy with the rich experience of guiding your little one that there will be little time to feel alone.

       Could it still be that you want to send your little one off to the Public School to learn those wonderful social skills?

       You can teach your own little one! Can you read? Can you write? Can you do basic math? Then you are more qualified to teach your child than the most devoted Public School teacher is. If you can’t read, if you can’t write or do basic math, you are more qualified than the most devoted Public School teacher is. As your little one’s mother, you are motivated in ways that no other human being is. You live for the welfare and success of your little one. That is the first reason why you are the most qualified person in the world to teach him.

       You are willing to move heaven and earth for the benefit of your little one. As his mother, you are already teaching and leading him. There is nothing more natural and free. It is as natural to teach him to write his name as it was to walk. He will learn to add just as naturally as he learned to speak. Because, just as you are naturally gifted to teach him, he is blessed with a natural curiosity and thirst for learning. He wants to know everything. He will continue that way for the rest of his life if you, as his mother will give him the gift of freedom to learn. No matter what your background or income level is, your little one is full of greatness and potential. And you know it.

       If you can’t read or write or do math, don’t let that stop you from giving your little one the opportunity to learn with you as his guide. There are so many resources available to help any parent that wants to enjoy their God-given gift to teach their little ones. Cassi and I are not professional educators. We used to believe that you had to be professional to educate children. Even though our sons are learning far beyond what we know, we still are able to provide them with an environment that is safe and positive. There are no sparkling stickers. There are no labels. There is no right or wrong way to learn. They are free to question everything. We used to help them with their studies. Now we help them find where to look for answers and get out of the way!  As we compare how well they learn and how well they understand what they learn with our Public School experience, we deeply regret that we didn’t come to our senses when they were in their earliest most formative years.

       So follow your mother’s heart. It is the love of a mother that will give you courage to do what’s best for your little one. A mother’s love will question what’s best for her little one no matter what anyone in the world thinks. You have that power, that mother’s love. Let it guide you. If you do, you will not accept the Public School as the only option. If you do, it will be you making the choices for your little one, not some institution. No matter what they are, no matter how tough they seem, your choices, if guided by your powerful love will be the best for your little one. Your life will be more rich and satisfying than you can imagine if you accept your role as nurturer and teacher. I believe in you, because I believe in your God-given powers as a mother.

       How wonderful it will be when you look back and see your little one as he grew and lived and learned. What a blessing it will be to know that he didn’t have to wait for a diploma to begin living his wonderful life. Mrs. Peterson didn’t take your place in your little one’s memories.  Your little one was no product. He’s your child. It’s your choice.

Chad Fridal 2011