Sunday, February 20, 2005

Edison Festival of Light 2005
Last night we went to The Parade in downtown Ft. Myers. We were doing a townie thing with our townie friends The McGuires. It is one of the few night parades in the country and it was an enjoyable time. Thomas Edison is the man who put Ft. Myers on the map. This parade is in honor of Mr. Edison near his birthday (Feb. 11th, 1847). The parade starts with fireworks. There were bands and floats for a parade that lasted nearly 2 and 1/2 hours. Go to the local paper at to check out more about the parade.

Our friend Pete McGuire had been in this parade when he was in high school (a few year's ago :-). My favorite parts were the bands who didn't just play the music but danced as well not just flag corp and cheer leaders but the drummers and trumpeters too. Bronson Arroyo from the Red Sox was apart of it too.

So much more has been happening. I will have to write later since I need to finish packing to go camping - yes, isn't Florida just Fabulous in February!!!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Not missing out
Last night the girls and I went to a homeschooling meeting where our friend, Esther was going to be speaking about her experience in Africa this past summer. It is our delight to be supportive and attentive to those whom we love. Walking into this meeting all the parents were dressed in their Sunday best, I was a little out of place with my Birchenstock sandals, golf shorts and a Marlborough MA t-shirt but that was the least of the distinctions. I have not been to a formal homeschooling meeting in nearly 3 years and I don't thing I have been missing out on much.

When I walked into the meeting someone immediately greeted me, with Hello my name is A...B...., are you a member of CHESF (Christian Home Educators of Southwest Florida) ? I said no, we are friends of the McGuire's. Do you want to be members? No thanks. Then we were directed to the name tags. There was a professional photographer there to take pictures of the officers of CHESF, a table for the yearbook committee and so many activities available that you never have to stay home. This was not a new encounter. In Virginia we found the same kind of thing. As a family we affectionately call this "group" school.
Mind you, there is nothing wrong with activities, co-ops and the like but when you are either required or expected to participate in most things, then you are no longer functioning as a family but within the context of a group or a school, an institution. Doesn't this kind of defeat the purpose of homeschooling?
John Taylor Gatto in his book A Different Kind of Teacher referred to this as being identified by association. No longer is it ok to be an individual family or simply an individual. No one can be trusted by his or her character, that is trusted by his/her association. This sentiment has infiltrated those of us who educate our children at home. It is good to gather for support and to be supportive of one another but to be educating one another's children on a regular basis, requiring members of a homeschool group to participate in XYZ in order to continue being a member sounds very close to a system that we have choosen not to be a part of.........looks like the days of support groups are coming to a close make way for associations that conduct themselves much like dare I say it.....a school. Anyone want to be principal?