good article

good article

Peggy Noonan reflecting on the Oscars in the Wall Street Journal.

Most Americans aren’t leading media, they’re leading lives. It would be nice to see a new respect in Hollywood for the lives they live. It would be nice to see them start to understand that rediscovering the work of, say, C.S. Lewis, and making a Narnia film, is not “giving in” to the audience but serving it. It isn’t bad to look for and present good material that is known to have a following. It’s a smart thing to do. It’s why David O. Selznick bought “Gone With the Wind”: People were reading it. It was his decision to make it into a movie from which he would profit that gave Hattie McDaniel her great role. Taboos are broken by markets, not poses.

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  • I have a few comments on homeschooling …  the first is that you don’t have five years before this matters.  The pressure begins as soon as the kid is 2 1/2 and you don’t put her in preschool.  I had mine in preschool but have concluded that it was a mistake.  When I realized that 1/3 to 1/4 of the class was on laxatives I realized that something was wrong.

    The second comment is that homeschooling is a lifestyle choice not just an educational one (as I’m sure you know.)  That’s implicit in your reasons for it but it’s as well to have it really clear.  I just gave it up after nine years and the shock to the household is immense.  The only good thing about this is that a friend who is in major medical trouble and who is under pressure to quit homeschooling because of it (it would be so much easier for you… etc.) can point to me and say, with my total consent, it would be a nightmare to change right now.  Changing lifestyles is really difficult.

  • Jane, Thanks for the comments.

    The way I figured it was that I wasn’t going to worry about choosing curricula materials or such issues of formal schooling until we were ready to do kindergarten. (But of course real education starts from the moment a child is born.)

    Before we reach kindergarten age I will certainly read to my children, talk to them, teach them as much as they are ready to learn about letters and numbers, etc. and generally do the kind of education that mothers did before they started sending kids to preschool. Personally, I knew how to read before I went to kindergarten because my parents had taught me.

    That homeschooling is a lifestyle, has certainly occured to us. Fortunately, it is one that appeals to me. We are blessed in that Dom’s job allows him to work from home and that I don’t have to work unless I want to. Personally, I can’t imagine teaching other people’s kids will be as fulfilling as teaching my own. As a teacher, I am a little aware that challenges and frustrations await me. But such is parenthood and such is teaching. Of course I recognize homeschooling will have its unique blend of problems, but its uniqe rewards as well.



  • The rewards are so huge.  My husband just simply never did like homeschooling and I finally couldn’t go on without more help.  I’m still schooling the eldest and the two youngest are in a new and very good Catholic school but my poor ninth grader tossed into the public school…!! But the closeness the children developed while we did homeschool would have been impossible otherwise (the fighting in the house over every little thing because everyone is tired, is a new struggle for us.)  There’s endless pressure to lose family time and the curriculum you choose/develop (while important in it’s own way) is less important than the chance to be a family.  My last comment really on the subject is that there are always trade-offs.  But they aren’t symmetrical and that can confuse the matter.  I mean that the benefits and drawbacks of homeschooling aren’t exactly the mirror image of the benefits or drawbacks of a school.  For example, my medically challenged friend is desperately busy and people say that she’d have less to do if the kids were in school.  But She knows she’d still be running around, at someone else’s behest instead of her own. She’d be doing different things but not less.  This hardly matters now, I guess. 

    Just enjoy every minute that you get to spend with your children.