Sunday, September 24, 2006

Quote For Today

A dear family member contacted me this week with questions about homeschooling & sharing that she too wanted to homeschool their child-to-be when he/she is born in April. It was with utter joy that I shared the reasons we are choosing homeschooling, & I offer this quote to others who wonder why one would consider homeschooling:

"Once upon a time a man asked his wife why she always cut off both ends of a ham before she baked it. "It's just the right way to do it," she replied, "My mother taught me." Dissatisfied, the man questioned his mother-in-law at the next gathering. "Everybody cooks ham that way," she answered, "My mother showed me when I was young." The grandmother-in-law was still alive, and the husband, now very curious, called her. "Why do you cut off both ends of a ham before you cook it?" "I only had one pan, and the ham wouldn't fit unless I cut off the ends," replied the old woman.

It seems to us that much of what goes on in schools is like this family's ham-trimming custom. People do it because they've always done it that way, or it once had a purpose, or it has a purpose that is fundamentally unrelated to the larger professed goal of the schools, in the same way that the pan size is unrelated to the goal of cooking a ham. The ends have become the means, as it were. There's nothing wrong with cutting off the ends of the ham, of course (except waste, and maybe it dries out a bit). It's just that when you pretend you're cutting those ends off for some purpose other than efficiency, you stop yourself from seeing other possibilities."

Guerrilla Learning: How To Give Your Kids A Real Education With Or Without School, by Grace Llewellyn & Amy Silver

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