kim frazar blantz

“a good hobby may be a solitary revolt against the commonplace, or it may be the joint conspiracy of a congenial group. that group may, on occasion, be the family. in either event, it is a rebellion, and if a hopeless one, all the better. i cannot imagine a worse jumble than to have the whole body politic suddenly “adopt” all the foolish ideas that smolder in happy discontent beneath the conventional surface of society. there is no such danger. (….) a hobby is perhaps creation’s first denial of the ‘peck-order’ that burdens the gregarious universe, and of which the majority of mankind is still a part.”

– aldo leopold  round river  1953

“and for what destination and for what destiny do we educate our children? for all of the fashionable talk about multiculturalism, the fact is that modern education has contributed greatly to the destruction of local cultures virtually everywhere. locality has no standing in the modern curriculum. abstractions, generalized knowledge, and technology do. education has become a great homogenizing force undermining local knowledge, indigenous languages, and the self-confidence of placed people. it has become an adjunct to the commercial economy. it has hired itself out to the forces of growth and development, which as far as i can tell, is the effort to make the world safe for big capital. taken as a whole, education has lacked the courage to ask itself what kind of world its graduates will inherit and what kind of world they will be prepared to build.”

david orr earth in mind 2004

read the interview in it’s entirety here: the gift of children

my favorite moments here:

“What do I think about the future for our kids? I think unless we begin to accept that our children’s reality can be very different than how we currently perceive it to be, it’s not particularly bright. On the other hand, it’s not really all that hard to shift that perception. But first we have to understand that such a thing is possible.”

“I choose to live closely with my children in part because I actually enjoy their company, but also in part because I believe that family is the foundation of healthy community, and from healthy community comes healthy nation/state. We don’t so much “school” our children as make room for them to learn alongside us and other members of their community. I’d say that’s the most concise way to explain our style of education, relative to a more conventional schooled experience: We try to make room for learning to happen, rather than trying to make learning happen, via a compulsory, standardized curriculum. Most of our son’s learning occurs in the context of their interests, typically via hands-on experience. My wife, Penny, and I are constantly facilitating these experiences, either directly, or via mentors or other adults in our community. Frankly, this takes an enormous amount of effort. And patience. That’s probably the things that’s most changed for me: I’ve become far, far more patient than I was prior to having children, and I suspect far more patient than I would have been if we sent them to school.”

“I think the gift of the child is whatever we allow it to be. We just need to learn how to recognize, accept, and accommodate their gifts”