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Homeschool Manifesto

By Ann Zeise

As you go out into the world, youthful homeschoolers, take this Homeschool Manifesto with you as you enter the cultures of academia and business:

* Access to information – anything which might teach you something about how the world works – should be unlimited and total.

* All information should be free.

* Mistrust authority – promote decentralization.

* Mentors should be judged by the wonder they inspire when they impart their wisdom, not by bogus criteria such as degrees, age, race, or position.

* Create art and beauty with everything you do.

* Self-directed education is the only way you can change your life for the better.

This ethic is modified from the MIT unspoken manifesto from Steven Levy’s book, Hackers: Heros of the Computer Revolution. When I read a copy of it in another book, I thought to myself, “Hey! We homeschoolers hack education!”

You have “hacked” an education for yourself when you customized how and what you learned at home, and now, as you enter more structured and uptight cultures, you owe it to them and yourselves to “homeschool-hack” them, too.

As long as there is room on the floor, sit in on any class that interests you, whether or not you will get credit or a grade. If you want those things, just keep sitting in, and eventually the professor will let you add the course. Drop courses quickly that seem a big waste of your life.

If you are entering a business at the bottom, use everything within legal means to get free access to the information that will help you learn the business inside out. Any business that makes you pay to learn it isn’t for you. They should pay you to learn their business.

To bottle up information is inefficient. One piece of information may be of no value to some, and of great value to others, or when combined with other tidbits, become very important indeed. Information is like snow flakes: it piles up one weightless snowflake at a time, and eventually a mighty tree falls.

I can’t say enough about mistrusting authority. When you are a freshman or the new employee, others will consistently, and with sober faces, tell you the most outrageous untruths, such as when you must file this or that. Always double check and check again any time anyone tells you you must do something, or you may not do something. There is always a different way to accomplish the same thing. Often some clerk in a back office has the key.

Promote decentralization. Thanks to the internet, those who think they are in control are really at the mercy of all us little guys who share information. Even the mighty in corporate board rooms fall when they try to find out how information leaks. It leaks because we all have the urge to free information from the hands of the powerful few. Still, don’t steal the hard work of others. Share your owninsights freely as an example to others.

Search out and find mentors for yourself. If their eyes are merry, and they instill wonderment in you to dig deeper, then they are the right teacher for you. Do not be impressed by degrees and such. Be impressed by a sense of humor and wit, which indicates a deep understanding of nature and the spirit.

Do not be satisfied to turn in “acceptable” work, but to make each item you create a work of art and beauty. If you write, write eloquently. If you paint, use inspiring sweeps of color. If you engineer a thing, make it a delight to behold and comfortable to use. If you are a student of motion, move with grace and elegance. If you are a creature of faith and spirit, do so with your whole heart.

Use a variety of means to self-educate yourself. Computers can change your life for the better, but you must only allow them become your slave and not your master.

Spend time with many different and interesting people, yet suffer fools lightly. Seek out places where those who wonder hang out, and absorb their delight, for they shall spark your imagination.

Read more books than assigned. Meld and twist what all people, books, and computer resources teach you so you can invent new concepts and ideas to make the world a better place.

If this homeschool ethic appeals to you, and you follow this creed, I hope one day we’ll manage to create a means for everyone in the world to become very well educated indeed… one snowflake of information at a time.

College Outlook HomeSchool
This article published in the first edition. A comprehensive guide that provides information to homeschool parent/teachers and students on the ever-important decision-making process of choosing a school and a fulfilling lifelong career.

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