When I first discovered the idea of unschooling, it was so radical that I had trouble finding people who even knew what it was. Today, the idea is mainstream enough that major media outlets sometimes cover the topic in a favorable way. The Sunday newspaper supplement called Parade had a strongly favorable article about unschooling a couple of weeks ago which explained what it is and how it’s different from homeschooling. It’s less structured. There’s no curriculum. There’s plenty of flexibility. And there are no tests and grades. (Most people today are shocked to learn that testing and grading didn’t exist in schools through history until the last couple hundred years.) If you want your children to think for themselves instead of following the herd mentality that pervades every school I’ve been part of, you owe it to yourself — and to your kids — to consider taking control of your children’s development back from governments. Just because you and I survived institutional schools doesn’t mean it’s the wisest choice. Start by reading the Parade article. It might open your eyes.
In the Birmingham suburb of Hueytown, the Golden Gophers of Hueytown High School had just defeated the Eufala Tigers in the second round of the state playoffs Friday night. It’s not a game that will mean a lot to anybody outside those two communities, but it meant everything to the players and coaches involved. After the game, Hueytown defensive coordinator Trent Campbell was celebrating with his victorious players when he noticed Eufala offensive lineman Dallas Ingram distraught and alone. Campbell left his players to console the distraught Ingram and photographer Dennis Victory caught photos of the pair together. “My reaction was to go see about him, because I’ll see my guys on Sunday and next week and the rest of their high school careers, but that’s a young man we watched on film for a week and studied and he’s a fantastic player,” Campbell said later. “And it wasn’t too long ago when I played my last high school football game and I know what that feeling is and you sort of never forget that. I went to tell him what a great player I thought he was and what a great game I thought they played and I wish nobody had to lose that night because it was an incredible game.” This is what sports at the high school level should be about. Winning is great and winning is fun. But humanity and decency last longer.
I have changed radically about some things over the years, but probably none of those changes have been as great as the ways that I feel about people who are viewed as evil or criminal. When I was young, I was eager to see criminals or foreign political enemies killed. Today, I don’t view such people though rose-colored glasses and I don’t view them as blameless folks who are going to turn their lives around if we just think happy thoughts. But I can’t celebrate the death of anybody, even if he might deserve it in some ways of thinking about it. Even if it’s sometimes necessary to kill someone — and those cases are often debatable — I regret the death of someone who will now never have a chance to discover love and change his life. There are some evil people in this world, but I can’t celebrate their deaths.