I blogged for several years, then took a break to ramp up my teaching career and finish my first novel. Since then, I have lost access to my first, beloved blog, Educational Anarchy. It can be found at www.educationalanarchist.blogspot.com, but cannot be edited. I feel as if I lost a child here. In order for everyone to enjoy the musings of that blog, I am uploading my favorite entries here. I hope they are enjoyable! If you love them, please send your friends here.
Here's my first blog entry, from way back in 2008 when blogging was fairly new and I was homeschooling my three children:
How I Became an Anarchist
I first learned I was an anarchist a few months back, when the California Teacher's Association described homeschooling parents as such and also claims parents are "amateurs" when it comes to matters of education. As "anarchist" means, basically, freedom from government, I guess I have to agree with the assessment.
In my youth, I tried to be a real anarchist, dying my blond hair all sorts of colors not occurring in nature and drawing the anarchy sign on my Doc Martens with white-out. I listened to the Dead Kennedys and smoked clove cigarettes and had an unsuitable boyfriend, but in the end I realized I am just a small-town gal from Nowhere, Indiana and gave up my quest to be edgy.
Who knew that on the verge of middle age, my dream would come true at last! Yes, I drive a minivan, my hair is its natural color and 2 of my children play soccer (so I am, quite literally, a soccer mom). Yes, I live in a quiet New England hamlet - and yet beneath it all beats the heart of a crazed anarchist, going against the wishes of the federal government and daring to think I have something to teach my young children! Avast! Who knew you needed a "teacher certification" to impart cutting, gluing, reading and writing skills? To teach a child math by showing them patterns in nature? Am I so scary to society simply by espousing the philosophy "rocks and sticks until they're six" and battling against mandated schooling before that?
Call the cops, I am a real threat. Even though I do have a (lapsed) teacher certificate. Even though I spent 7 years teaching in government schools (which was a driving force in my decision to keep my own kids out of them). Even though my kids are all at least a year or two ahead of where random government officials have arbitrarily decided they should be. Or is this what scares people the most?
So, are you with me, fellow anarchists? Let's rise up and let them know we mean business.
Courtney is a most fabulous writer and teacher of gifted middle school students. She is the author of two novels - see the "Cate Books" page of this site for information! Watch for updates about future books that need to be part of your personal library. In the meanwhile, enjoy her pithy life observations.