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Rebekah Pearls On Homeschooling


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Jan/Feb 2004 Volume 12 No. 1

Homeschooler Speaks Out - Guest Editorial

by Rebekah Joy Anast

Wait a minute!

One of those poor, mistreated, under-socialized, restricted and downtrodden homeschoolers would like to have a word. A correctly spelled word, mind you.

I am twenty-nine years old and was homeschooled from preschool right through high school. The only time I stepped into a public school was for testing, which regularly proved I was educationally far ahead of my peers who were confined to the classroom.

I CHOSE to go to Bible College and transferred the last year to a linguistic school for a BA degree in linguistics and Bible translation. No, religion was not shoved down my throat. My parents encouraged me to read literature from every walk of life, from atheists to Zen Buddhists. I know God through my own relationship with Him. He is far more broad-minded and interested in truth than anybody I’ve ever met.

I also chose, when I was twenty-one, to go to the jungle island of Papua, New Guinea to work with a primitive tribe called the Kumboi, where I spent two years studying their culture and language. I was the first “white†person they had ever seen. My parents were scared out of their wits to see me go (yes, there were cannibals), but they did not stand in my way. While there, I wrote a book chronicling my experiences, called Rebekah’s Diary.

For a few months afterwards, I enjoyed exploring and scuba-diving in Thailand and Laos. From there, I headed to the Middle East. For a year and half, I traveled Israel, Egypt, and Jordan, and had in-depth conversations with monks, Jews, Ethiopians, Germans, Palestinians, Europeans, and even some socially handicapped, public-schooled Americans.

I like to speak in public, and enjoy teaching folk dancing to the underprivileged youth of my city. I am so convinced that homeschooling is the most liberating and beneficial form of education, that I fully intent to homeschool my own children, Joseph Courage and Ryshoni Joy. In fact, we’ve already started. Check out Joseph’s Language Learning on the noGreater Joy.org web site.

I believe, in the most fundamental sense, it’s not about where you learn, but how you learn. It is possible to get a decent education in public school, but certainly not as likely in today’s educational climate. Children are herded in like so many pigs in a pen, forced to learn oftentimes useless forms of knowledge. In most cases, public schoolers have no idea how to use a tape measure, follow a recipe, or balance a checking account. They may learn the formulas, measurements and theories, but the knowledge isn’t made useful.

The first advantage homeschoolers have is that they learn primarily experientially. There are so many common sayings current today that attest to what this means: more is caught than taught; experience is the best teacher; live and learn, etc.

Book knowledge alone isn’t viable. Book knowledge is only a record of viable knowledge. I use books daily. I love to read. I write books. But when I get ready to learn something, I read the directions, and I do it. Public schooling limits the “doing.â€

I can cook for a hundred people, because I did it with Mom. I can do math in my head, because I worked in the shop with my dad. I can travel the world alone, because I began to travel it with my parents when I was eight years old. I write, study, speak, create, and think because I’ve done that under the direction of my parents a thousand times. I learned measurements in the cabinet shop with Dad, and in the kitchen, baking with Mom. I learned literature - thoroughly - by acting out the Taming of the Shrew to entertain my relatives.

There was some book work involved, mostly just to fill in the gaps, but the books were always limiting, compared to the knowledge that was available in experience. As children, we frequented four different libraries and researched everything from caterpillars to airplanes. This equipped me with the ability to gain whatever knowledge I need, whenever I need it. I am not limited by or to my education.

The second advantage homeschoolers enjoy is attention. I didn’t have to compete with 30 other students for the knowledge I needed. When I asked my mom which mushrooms were poisonous, I didn’t just get an answer; I got a trip to the library and a month-long experiment growing mushrooms and trying different edible kinds, fried, sauteed, and baked. Did you know there is a poisonous mushroom that won’t affect you until 120 days after you eat it? After 120 days you will die a painful, cramping death. Stick with portabellos!

Mom didn’t have 30 students and a curriculum to get through, so she could afford to learn with me. I liked that very much, and so did she.

My brothers learned to build houses by working with my dad and another master carpenter in the neighborhood. My brother, Gabriel, can do math in his head faster than anyone I’ve ever met. At the age of 26, he owns two large pieces of property, a house, a workshop, and four vehicles. He travels extensively and has some very expensive hobbies. Dad taught Gabe everything he knew, and then allowed him to learn one-on-one from other professional people.

Teachers are overburdened with too many bad-mannered children who aren’t convinced they are being offered useful knowledge. We hear stories occasionally about one brilliant teacher and one exceptional child beating the odds. The one-on-one scenario is the key in those stories of success. Homeschooling offers that scenario on a consistent basis.

Sure, there are some bad examples out there, people who have decided to enforce homeschooling at a late date in order to salvage their rebellious, destruction-bent teenagers. My opinion is that they should have started earlier, before the apathy and anger so prevalent in public schooling took the best years of their children’s lives and destroyed their love for learning.

The student is always limited somewhat by the teacher. A teacher at home or a teacher at school can be limiting. The key is not to fill the schools with highly educated teachers, but rather, with those who love to learn. My father has a college degree, and my mother does not. However, my mother is a fantastic teacher. She learned with us. Mom managed to answer every question we asked and some of her own by chasing down the answers and experimenting until we all thoroughly understood the subject. I believe most homeschooling parents have a natural love for learning, and that very element, love, is part of the driving force behind their decision to homeschool. Do you doubt this? I challenge you to ask the students. Ask the people like me who were, or are, being homeschooled

Ask them how they like it. Ask them what they are doing now. And ask them how they want their own children to be educated. You might be surprised.

About the author: Rebekah is the daughter of Michael and Debi Pearl, authors of the best-selling book To Train Up A Child. She is among the firstfruits of the homeschooling era. For a free subscription to No Greater Joy bi-monthly magazine, send your request to No Greater Joy, 1000 Pearl Road, Pleasantville, TN 37033, or sign up on their web site:

http://www.homeeducator.com/familytimes ... ticle1.htm

For those curious about how Rebekah's life is now, read the forum at 7xSunday. Her husband quit work so that he can study the bible all day. She does not work either. They have been without electricity and have begged for money.

I've often wondered why her siblings did not go to college.

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I see that self-congratulatory, condescending, deliberately insulting pile of crap was written before Rebekah Anast's life became a total train-wreck. She managed to marry an incurious, lazy assclown who has stifled whatever creativity she might have had, and now he squanders her time on his fruitless vanity projects.

And yet somehow, I can't help but to think they deserve each other.

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Wait. Isn't this the woman who calls her husband "Lord?" And he's the guy who refuses to get off his ass and get a job to support his family because he is being "called to study the Word" or some such nonsense, am I right? She's really living a life we should all dream of, isn't she. :roll: I'll stick with my public school-educated husband who works hard at a very labor-intensive job (including overtime) to make sure we have what we need, thanks.

ETA: If I ever addressed my husband as "Lord" he would promptly take me to the nearest psych. ward.

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