In my Facebook news feed, I see a lot of conspiracy theories claiming that the COVID-19 pandemic was centrally planned in order to take control over our lives, health, rights and freedom. First of all, it’s nearly impossible for a single entity to plan and execute something like this at such a global scale. Thankfully, the world remains a pretty decentralized place. More importantly, taking control over our lives, health, rights and freedom has been going on for decades under our very noses, and most of us just didn’t see it. The COVID-19 pandemic happens to be only an opportunity to accelerate the process.
When our government arbitrarily declared most businesses “non-essential” and shut them down as part of the COVID-19 lockdown policy, it bothered me a lot. If you saw “The Little Prince” animated movie, you will understand why. In that movie, success was defined as being “essential” — if you’re not essential, you aren’t contributing to adult society. In our case, too, the government has declared that if you are not a first responder, grocery store worker, or another professional whose job is necessary to people’s survival, you aren’t needed and can be shut down. And as it appears on social media, many of the general public agree with that.
A tale of friendship, Socialism, and Capitalism. This is me with my childhood friend from the West Germany. She was my first friend from the Capitalist West.
Yesterday I discovered that my 6 year old daughter believes everything her martial arts coach says. I took her to her training session and saw how she and other little kids sat around listening to the coach intently, taking in everything he was saying. Literally everything. When we drove home and talked, I learned something revealing.
Nina’s Note: Our older kids have been seriously involved in Magic The Gathering game lately. They go to weekly local play sessions and participate in tournaments. They also play at home almost every night. Initially, I thought it was a waste of time. Now I realize that the game is beneficial to the kids and can be extremely useful for our homeschooling. It helped my kids develop better social skills and reduced their performance anxiety. By playing together, they bond with each other and with their Dad and learn to work as a team when they help each other and teach the game to their younger siblings. My kids also show great improvement in their reading, math, and strategic thinking skills. So I asked Kon – who himself is an avid player and who introduced the kids to the game – to write this article describing the game and its benefits.
Sometimes homeschooled children want to go back to school and their parents wonder how to keep them interested in home education. This problem usually happens when the child previously attended school and misses his or her friends from there. Friends who go to school can easily provide the necessary outside influence.
Even though I unschool my kids, I never tried unschooling on myself until I started BJJ. Here is what I learned.
The information we give to kids about careers is often feel good unrealistic nonsense. When you daughter says she wants to be a famous singer and she does not have a musical ear, why do you tell her she can do it if she works hard? She will most likely never become a singer. Year after year, thousands of aspiring young singers show up for auditions with great expectations, only to learn that they don’t possess the skills they thought they did. The same goes for sports: only select few make it to the top, so if your child has average athletic abilities, why do you let him believe he can be a professional athlete?
Maybe it’s different for you. For me, the best memories of my childhood were those moments when something unexpected, spontaneous happened – something that would break out of a schoolchild’s monotonous routine. Like skipping school or playing on the streets with friends after school. I have fond memories of these moments, but I don’t have any lasting memories of school classes or after-school activities that my parents put me in.
I don’t think that homeschooling is necessarily superior to schooling. True, many schools have problems, such as too much sedentary time indoors, political brainwashing, poor quality of instruction, perverted sex ed, bullying. But if you can somehow find a nice private or charter school without all these problems, then everything will probably be fine. Absent these negative factors associated with most schools, the homeschooling model is not necessarily superior to the school model. It’s just that these two models serve two different goals, so you need to pick the model that is best suitable for your goal.