Monday, November 14, 2011

Book Review, "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.*"

Take Back the Land, by Rick Boyer

Inspiring a new generation to lead America

Written to the youth of America, homeschoolers in particular. I am glad it is written directly to the audience and not to their parents. I agree with Rick, that we need to treat this age group as adults - or at least as much as adults as they demonstrate they are. We were all there once, screaming, ‘I’m not a child anymore.’ So, okay, you’re not a child - if that’s the case, act like it. Age is not the determiner of adulthood- maturity is. And with his definition I agree.

Mr. Boyer defines adulthood as:

Ownership of faith

Ownership for one’s actions

Is a giver and not a taker

Has a proper sense of duty

He gives a brief history of childification in America - in which compulsory education is a major part. John Gatto also discusses this phenomenon in his writings. It seems that this process is extending later and later and that we cannot take much more. Something must change. Homeschooling is the start of a revival but it is not complete. Rick Boyer asks the ‘new generation’ to complete the revival.

The homeschool parents of the first/second generation are like Moses, we took our kids out of government education and as much as possible out of this childification process. The current and soon to be graduates of homeschooling are Like Joshua - they’ve been led out of government education and are on the bank of the promised land - but will they cross the river? Will they go one step further and reign in government control for everyone or will they return to Egypt?

Rick rightly points out that compulsory education is imprisonment for the innocent. Think about that. When did we find it acceptable to incarcerate those who’ve committed no crime? Truancy was not a big problem before compulsory laws- so for fear of a nonexistent problem, all parents and children are controlled as criminals.

The battlefield for the ‘joshuas’ of today are family, church and government. Not everyone will be called to every battlefield or even have the same role in the three arenas. The point is to seek and discover your role- and then fill it now, not waiting for some future day when you are ‘old enough’.

Rick Boyer states “I say this without apology and without hesitation. It’s no exaggeration.

The current crop of new adults [around age 12- the 20s] needs to get involved and make changes now, not later or we’ll loose the little freedoms we have left. America as we know it is on the verge of disappearing completely. We need new leadership- and homeschoolers are poised to provide it.”

In reality we have a 2 class educational system: The leaders and the rest of us. Yes, where do today’s leaders come from? Not usually ‘public school.‘ They attend a handful of elite private schools and as Mr. Boyer states: “. . . every American president and almost every candidate for president of the last 20 years attended either Harvard or Yale. With the confirmation of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court in 2010, every member of the present Supreme Court also attended Harvard or Yale.” Doesn’t this make you mad? Doesn’t this scare you? Doesn’t this seem wrong? If ‘public education’ is suppose to be the great equalizer and field leveler- then why are our leaders not coming out of it? Why do they come from a completely different educational track? And a small one at that. You don’t have to be a conspiracy theorist to see this system is not equitable and not working for most of us. And you can see, that as the education system goes, so goes the nation.

The biggest impact on my reading this book and of what’s most significant to me is that Rick Boyer is not the only voice with the same message. Generation Joshua, Vision Forum, The Harris brothers, ICCinc, Debra Bell and many others are all delivering a similar message. Even at TED Talks there are some good speakers expounding on how the current educational system should not be reformed but scrapped for a totally new one. So because of the wide consensus, this is a truly timely book. And while it might not be the end of the world or even the end of America- certainly change is coming and it will need leaders and those leaders will be the homeschoolers. [or the perceptive] I hope they read it and act on it.


* Gandalf, Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

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