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Your Child’s Education: The Buck Stops Here; Accepting Responsibility and Consequences

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Your Child’s Education:

The Buck Stops Here; Accepting Responsibility and Consequences

By Linda Dobson

Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it. ~ George Bernard Shaw


Give over your heart - your attention, time and devotion. All else, including shoulders strong enough to hold great responsibility, will follow.

Whatever  you are thinking about  your children’s education at this point,
one  thing  should  be  perfectly  clear:  Our  days  of  throwing  blame  for  the
condition  of  public  school  between  politicians,  teachers,  unions,  and  the
schools themselves are over. These folks are  either unwilling  or unable to
create positive change.
If unwilling, the current agenda is suspect and should not be supported,
either by money or participation. If unable, then the  torch  must  pass  to
more capable, caring hands.
There’s only one logical place for the buck to stop – in your lap. Sure, it’s
heavy. You’ve never carried this kind of weight before. Yes, it’s scary. The
unknown always stirs fear and self-doubt. But keeping responsibility for the
family’s  education  within  the  family  is  the  price  you  pay  for  freedom  of
spirit for you and the kids.
When you look at value received for the cost, you’ll discover it’s really a
pretty  good  deal. Remember, not accepting responsibility  has a price, too.
Allowing  others  to  schedule,  plan,  and  use  questionable  behaviorist
management  methods,  transmit  unexamined  values,  and  even  use
unapproved  oral  and  body  language  in  your  child’s  daily  life  can  create  a
dichotomy  of  character  seldom  understood,  rarely  mended.  And  the  most
expensive  portion  of  the  not-accepting  responsibility  bill,  of  course,  is
giving away family time, the essential tool parents and children need in
time,  the  essential  tool  parents  and  children  need  in  order  to  know  one
another, understand one another, love one another.
According to Dr. T. Berry Brazelton  we “are the  least family-oriented
society  in the  civilized  world.” In the civilized  world! Mom and Pop take
power lunches instead of family picnics. We attend adult, self-help classes
instead  of  library  story  hour.  We  read  computer  print-outs  instead  of
bedtime  stories.  We  are  plagued,  in  epidemic  proportion,  with  a  school-
induced, social sleeping disease.
It might help if you realize that regardless of the quality or quantity of
responsibility you previously delegated to others, you have always been the
responsible  party,  perhaps  just  too  well  hidden  behind  an  army  of  trained
government  workers  to  recognize  it.  Since  you  are  ultimately  responsible,
doesn’t it make sense to accept the responsibility wholeheartedly?
Who is most concerned about your child and her future – the President?
The  Board  of  Education?  The  teacher?  The  bus  driver?  Or  you?  A  job
accepted  by  the  most  caring  candidate  is  likely  to  be  a  job  best
accomplished. Like a craftsman of fine sculpture, you’ll approach your role
with deep thought and planning, the finest materials, creativity, attention to
detail, patience and a gentle, loving touch.
Accepting responsibility is difficult, particularly when you look around and
see  it’s  a  virtue  all  but  extinct.  If  no  one  else  is  habitually  accepting
responsibility, you could argue, why should you? The most logical answer
is so that you may totally experience responsibility, including suffering the
consequences – or rejoicing in them.
We  learn  our  best  lessons  from  our  worst  mistakes. We  lose  all  those
learning opportunities if we let others handle responsibility that is rightfully
ours.  When  you  claim  mistakes  as  your  own  you  grow  smarter,  stronger.
You stretch character to the point of flexibility, able to roll with the punches
or stand a little straighter and fight a lot harder when those who would flex
their muscles try taking responsibility away from you.
We can  experience  humility  through  our  greatest  successes. It  sounds
paradoxical, but when, with practice, you learn your greatest contribution to
your children’s education is the fact that you trust enough to get out of the
way, you realize they learn and succeed in spite of you, not because of you.
The positive consequences of accepting responsibility in family centered
education  outnumber  the  negative,  you’ll  be  relieved  to  know.  Where
negative  consequences  stretch  character,  positive  consequences  energize
and revitalize  your spirit as thoughts fill  with  wonder, days  overflow  with
excitement, and  hearts, readily pouring  forth  love, trust and respect, make
room for even more to grow.
Family  time  fills  with  oscillating  trust.  Trust,  please  realize,  is  not
synonymous with belief (as in “I believe in you, son.”) Belief is of the mind.
Trust  is  of  the  heart.  Belief  and  trust  exist  side  by  side  yet  never  meet.
Believing that you and your children can shoulder responsibility leads you
to begin, but it doesn’t allow  you to relax. By believing you are following
the  mind  and,  as  you  remember,  the  mind  constantly  moves  from  one
thought  to  another,  from  one  text  book  to  another,  from  one  method  to
another, searching for an ultimate satisfaction that never appears. The mind
keeps  you  on  edge,  constantly  tossed  about  in  a  struggle  to  obtain  a  goal,
whatever you believe in.
In trust there is no struggle. There is acceptance. Some call it surrender.
You  no  longer  seek  to  control  your  child’s  education,  you  simply  allow
education  to  occur.  When  you  no  longer  need  to  control,  you  relax.
Responsibility happens. Consequences happen. Education happens.
Rather than giving over your mind to the responsibility of family centered
education,  give  over  your  heart.  It  will  take  time  and  practice,  just  like
every skill does, to develop the ability to allow acceptance of responsibility
to  flow  from  the  heart  instead  of  the  head.  The  ability  will  not  appear
because you think about it, no matter how long or hard you think. It is the
very thinking, the constant search  of the  mind to justify responsibility that
creates stress and an inability to simply accept it.
Stress  blocks  all  that  is  good  within  your  heart  from  ascending  as
inspired action. The best artists in history always turned attention, time, and
devotion  to  their  work,  their  creativity,  freeing  them  from  stress,  leaving
room for inspiration.
Think  of  family  centered  learning  in  the  same  light.  Give  over  your
heart  – your  attention,  time  and  devotion.  All  else,  including  shoulders
strong enough to hold great responsibility, will follow.

FROM The Art of Education: Reclaiming Your Family, Community and Self by Linda Dobson (originally published by Home Education Press, 1995)

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One Response to “Your Child’s Education: The Buck Stops Here; Accepting Responsibility and Consequences”

  1. (Ben was unable to post himself; this is shared at his request.)

    The Government Education Complex is unable to reform itself. Most important: we are coming to a time where government schools will be UNWILLING to allow individuals the freedom and liberty to educate themselves without monitoring by the State.

    Homeschoolers: If you believe that State Schools are required or a necessary evil in order to teach "some" people's kids you must also be willing to submit your own children to the State. Those other people just might believe you aren't doing it right either.

    Ben Bennett

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