"Nunca dudes que un grupo pequeño de ciudadanos comprometidos puedan ser capaces de cambiar al mundo, de hecho, ha sido lo único que lo ha cambiado."
(Margaret Mead)

martes, 4 de octubre de 2011

ENCUENTRO ALE 2011/MEETING OF ALE 2011/VIDEOS/CONFERENCIAS/CONFERENCES: Peter Porumbachanov/Bulgaria

Conferencia/Conference/ Peter Porumbachanov/ Bulgaria
Audio Original

Ladies and gentleman,

When 10 years ago I first heard about homeschooling I instantly knew that this is the way I will educate my children. I’m not the one who invented homeschooling, neither are you. Homeschooling is like an old gold coin, which a man found in a frayed leather purse. Even though the coin is old, one understands right away that it is valuable. The exact same thing happens when a man rediscovers homeschooling: he immediately understands that what he has discovered is not something new, but is definitely very precious.

Why is homeschooling so precious to me?

First, because it gives us the responsibility which we want to carry as parents - the responsibility to care for our children. You should know well that children are born not in the classroom of the government school, but in the family. If children are born in the family, then the family is the institution that carries full responsibility for the education of its members. Obviously it was not the government that determined children to be born in the family, so it should not have any demands concerning the education of the children. It is clear that God has given the children to be born in the family and all of you are responsible before Him about the way you have chosen to educate your children. This is the truth, whether you understand it or not, but remember that ignorance is not an excuse. In this universe we are subjected to the law: what you sow, so shall you reap. Be good sowers; give 100% the best you can give educating your children, and you will reap abundant fruits of joy, success and comfort.

Second: We have no bureaucratic restrictions and we choose our learning program ourselves. Homeschooling is much more flexible and more easily adjusts to the individual abilities and talents of the children. In homeschooling we are not chasing standards and achievements, because they are the result of a natural process and not of a meaningless end in itself. We, as parents, set the educational standards in homeschooling and that is why we carry the responsibility for everything we do. Being impersonal parents by transferring our children into the hands of the bureaucrats is ugly and unfair to them. It is not enough to physically have children, because many parents have babies and then abandon them - I ask you, are parents the type of people that abandon their children? You will answer that they are not. Then obviously to be a parent is more than just to have a child. We have to love our children, to train them in principles and faith so that they can build a strong and feisty character, we have to teach them to process information that inundates them, so that they are to be able to form their own thoughts, rather than being people without a personal opinion, doomed to quote the thoughts of their intellectual opponents.

Let me give you an example of what it means to choose the program for our children. To do that you must know where you want to go. You have to be prepared for every journey, as the learning process is a journey in time. First you need to know what your ultimate goal is, because if you are going nowhere you are going to end up exactly there. Remember, the future defines the present. You act in the present according to what you expect to achieve in the future. If a sportsman wants to finish first in an Olympic game happening 4 years in the future, he starts training hard in the present, so that he can achieve his future goal. It is the same with us, if we want achievements in the future - we work hard in the present, which is why our future defines the present action.

What does it mean to choose the program our children are to follow? It means that we must know what are the goals we want to achieve. When my wife and I first reached the decision to train our children at home, we decided that we must achieve the following goals: First: Our children must become Christians, who enjoy a real and living fellowship with their Creator. Second: The children must be able to explain their faith in a correct way and to refute the arguments of their opponents. Their faith must be practical, credible and socially relevant. Third: The children must learn to love to study, which means to find and analyse information, and after that to make correct and well-founded conclusions. Fourth: We have to build in the children a desire for work and to equip them with skills that have market value. Fifth: Children need to become responsible adults and not only to remember what they have learned from us, but to enhance, enrich, and transmit it to their children, and they in turn to theirs, and so on until the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Third: The authority in homeschooling is yours. Homeschooling is not an education that takes place at home; it is an education that takes place under the authority of the home. Remember, homeschooling is not school brought at home. Homeschooling is and education, which you, as parents prepare and give to your children. Do not forget that the goal in homeschooling is to teach your children to love to learn. You cannot achieve that goal by copying the school hours of the public school and bringing them into your home’s living room. You have real authority as parents only in homeschooling, take advantage of that authority and be creative. Do not allow someone else to rule that which you have to rule. You choose how to educate your children – this fact alone radically differs from what is happening in the public schools, where the program is determined not by the parents, but by the government. What you are building in your children is not knowledge about religion, mathematics, history, literature, and science – you are building in them character. Remember, that if the authority is yours, then the responsibility is yours as well. You can delegate the right of your children’s education to teachers or educators, but you cannot delegate them the responsibility, which is yours and yours alone, because you are parents. What you teach your children will be their equipment for their life as adults. Equip your children not only with bare knowledge, but also with the skill to convert that knowledge into a tool of dominion.

Fourth: Homeschooling creates leaders. History proves that homeschoolers become natural leaders in their communities. This is so, because they are not subjugated to the public school standard which we can more or less define as follows: All children that enter the public school are not all equally smart, but when they get out they are equally stupid. Homeschooling is important for us, because we can educate our children individually according to their abilities and talents. This gives advantage to our children – they do not waste their time and energy by studying nonsense that some government clerk, who never had children, thought were important. When children do not spend their time on government programs and requirements they are progressing fast and become good at what they really have talent and potential to be great, and a good student, inevitably becomes a good leader.

Fifth: The children are our legacy. Allow me to say a few words, not only as a father of four children, but also as a professional historian. Our children are the best legacy we can leave to this world. Take a look at history and you will see that the world never changed for good, through revolutions. Every idealist and romantic who snatched a weapon to change the world has achieved only short termed successes. History remembers the revolutions of the slaves in ancient times – they did not win their freedom through the sword. History remembers the wars for power in Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Mesopotamia, Macedonia, Greece and Rome – these wars were not the ones that destroyed those empires, they only changed their leaders. History remembers the humanistic revolutions in France, Russia, Cuba and China - these revolutions changed the regimes, but the countries remained totalitarian.

If you want to change your neighborhood, if you want to change the people in your city, if you want to change your country, if you want to change the world, forget revolutions – just teach your values to your children, so that they can teach them in turn to their children. If you do this, your grandchildren will teach your values to your great-grandchildren and so on for at least 300 years – then the world is going to be changed. Good and qualitative change takes time and effort, it requires devotion and love, and it requires patience and dedication. If, while you teach your children at home, you are not looking at least a thousand years in the future, then you are wasting your time. I encourage you to work as the puritans in North America – deprive yourselves from unnecessary comforts now, so that you can dedicate to your children, as much more as you can. Do not be a community of consumers, be a community of people who save for the future generations. And so, the world has never changed through weapons, wars or revolutions. The world can be changed only by people that can see the future. The children are the future of this planet; it is up to us to make that future better.

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