What's the big deal about Young Living

Connecting With the Past

One of the drawbacks of being schooled in a classroom setting 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, says John Taylor Gatto in "Dumbing Us Down", is that children have no real, active connection to the past (or the future for that matter). They are always only dwelling in the present. Always only surrounded by their own age mates for at least 13 years of formal schooling.

I have to say one of the things I love about homeschooling is that our schedule can be flexible enough to allow our children to build connections with the past.

Our dear neighbors, pictured above, asked us just this week if they could borrow our 14 year old son for some fence hole digging. They were expecting an able bodied nephew to show up at 9:00 on Monday morning and thought he and our son might be able to finish the task in one day if they worked together. Of course, we rearranged his school schedule and he was able to help get the job done.

Later that same day, our newly turned 10 year old daughter (also in the picture) walked next door, petting dogs and looking under rocks along the way, with her sketch pad to receive art lessons that she herself had inquired about. She came back telling us all about how our neighbor personally knows the family who started the HEB grocery chain.

Our family has listened to these same neighbors reminisce about life during World War II, what the very land we live on was like in the 19th century, their adventures in Saudi Arabia, and more.

All of these things have taken place during regular school hours.

I'm sure our children could read about these things in social studies books while sitting in a desk in a classroom. We could schedule art lessons at a local community college, and my son could get his exercise in an organized sports league.

But what better way to learn of the past than connecting with it?

This is education, says Gatto. Not schooling. Education.

I'll take it.

  • Share This:
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter


  1. YES! YES! YES! So true. I agree (see all my exclamation marks? those tell you I agree)

  2. There’s pros and cons to everything. Homeschooling did not fit with our family. They go to a Christian school which I guess could be accused of the same thing as a public school. However, character, integrity, and EDUCATION is what happens there. Everybody has their own opinions. Homeschooling is for some and not for others! :)

    • Smockity Frocks says:

      I agree, Shari. Everything has its drawbacks, even homeschooling.

      I was just trying to point out one of the bonuses homeschooling allows.

  3. Our kids were able to speak with an elderly man in our community a few years ago. He told them of his war time experiences. Neither they – nor I – have ever forgotten it. I know some schools in our area are now seeing that this type of ‘living history’ has so much more value than reading the stories from books.
    As an aside – I’ll never forget that man’s telling of his story. I’ve known this man for decades – he is your typical ‘Lewisman’ – doesn’t show emotion, gets on with life etc. But that day, he wept – not because of anything he’d suffered, but when he recalled the day, in Italy, that the locals revealed their hiding place to the enemy soldiers and a couple of his fellow soldiers were killed. ‘They never got out’, he said. And he wept. I wept then, and still do…. It was very moving, and very powerful.

    Anyway – I’m rambling :)
    Anne x

  4. SO TRUE! I love this example. Homeschooling is such a wonderful adventure.

  5. So good Smockity! I was just with a group of friends last night I hadn’t seen in a while. They asked how our homeschooling was going…my answer was pretty much this post! I so LOVE that my children have ample opportunity to have real relationships b/c of our ability to be flexible…and are learning that people and our love for them come first. Yes, it’s okay to rearrange our schedule for a visit from grandparents, etc. Speaking of…I better get some clothes in the wash…MY grandmother (85) is coming to fold clothes & love on my wee ones, and we may or may not get all the checklist done for our “school” work today!

  6. Amen, Sister! We live next door to my dad. But even with that proximity, my kiddos would not have the relationship they do were it not for the times that they work with him on his acreage, cutting down trees or doing projects. And my daughter is free to spend time with him talking during the day rather than waiting until the evening when he is already spent.

  7. You’re exactly right! One big way my kids have been blessed is by spending lots of time around the retired missionaries/Bible translators that we live and work with on a regular basis. They have such a greater world view (and personal understanding of culture and geography) then if they’d been sitting in a classroom reading about countries in a textbook. What a blessing.

  8. It is absolutely wonderful to have that personal connection with the older generation. Many of them have so much wisdom. While we were homeschooling, we spent time visiting the elderly and bringing them communion in a nursing home. Also, my daughter also helped out at our local American Legion once a week for one of their community activities. We learned so much and met wonderful people. We also learned much and met wonderful people in the private high schools my children went to. We were fortunate to get connected to some exceptional schools. An active connection to the past is such a blessing when – while they are very young – they learn respect and admiration for the truth in a loving family setting. When they are older, they have learned to understand and pursue this truth and can conquer any falsehoods that crop up while they are in classroom situations and peer groups and possibly thrown some curves from some liberal professors. Let’s face it, liberalism has infected many school systems. A strong family atmosphere is one of the strongest deterants to these falsehoods.


  1. […] school which I guess could be accused of the same thing as a public school. However … homeschooling pros and cons – Google Blog Search This entry was posted in Homeschooling Pros And Cons and tagged Connecting, Past. Bookmark the […]

  2. […] last time we got her out, I told the 10 year old, Adrienne, to follow me down the driveway and we would try to lock her in the feed room. My girl, who loves […]