5 Reasons I Keep My Children Out

by Tammy Drennan

Note: In my case, it’s actually 5 Reasons I Kept My Children Out, since my children are grown.


1. By keeping my children out of public schools, I teach them that their minds are their own and that they are competent and capable human beings when it comes to learning and understanding, and that they are fully able and free to define themselves.


2. By keeping my children out of public schools, I help strengthen the private and home school movements, thus ensuring a safety net for public school families when their situations turn sour.


3. By keeping my children out of public schools I contribute to the potential for a socially fit society free of the worst effects of institutionalization.


4. By keeping my children out of public schools, I deny social activists an opportunity to use undemocratic methods to spread their agendas.


5. By keeping my children out of public schools, I promote the cause of freedom and help keep a light of hope shining for a large part of the world that still lives in a state of fear and intimidation under the thumbs of tyrants.


Keeping my children out of public school is the most positive thing I can do – for them, for society, for the cause of liberty. It is a liberating, invigorating, exhilarating, healthy act.


I am well aware that there are people who do not (though many more who simply think they do not) have the option of keeping their children out of public school. I have devoted a significant portion of my life to trying to remedy that situation and will continue to do more. But the worst thing I could do is choose to become a fellow-slave in order to show my sympathy.


The best thing I can do is empower as many people as possible to choose freedom and ask those I’ve helped to help another.


Ways to Help Parents Choose or Maintain Freedom


1. Encouragement. Praise in the form of letters, post cards, e-mails, text messages, phone calls. A little praise works wonders.


2. A helping hand. If you know an overwhelmed homeschool or private school parent, could you help out with some chores or babysitting? Be sure to let them know you’re doing it out of admiration for their commitment to independent education.


3. Your time. Do you have a skill or talent you could offer to teach at a private school or a homeschool group? Could you help homeschool a child from a single parent home?


4. Money/Goods. Money is often tight for homeschool families living on one income or private school families struggling to pay tuition. A contribution to school expenses, a grocery gift card, a tank of gas, can all add up to not only a small financial boost but a big morale boost. Help private schools with contributions, support of fund raisers, art or music supplies, books for libraries, office supplies, etc.


5. Tuition subsidy. If you have it to spare, maybe you could help finance private or homeschooling for a single parent family. Or maybe you and a group of friends could do it. Or maybe you could conduct a fundraiser to do it.


These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much each one of us can do, so many little things that add up to big results. Working individually and as groups, we can make independence a reality for increasing numbers of families.


Every bit helps, but we must act. Share your ideas and experiences below!

4 Responses to 5 Reasons I Keep My Children Out

  1. wintertime says:

    Tammy, this is probably the first time I have disagreed with you.

    Parents must make the very best educational choice for their children. Period! No exceptions! That choice may be homeschooling, or possibly private or government institutional schooling.

    Children should never be homeschooled simply to make a political statement or advance the political, religious, or educational agenda of a parent.

    For exactly the same reason, children should not be sent into the government schools to be missionaries, to uplift and strengthen the government schools, or be an example for other disadvantaged children.

    Finally…The ideal is not always best, and the best is not always ideal.

    While homeschooling is the most ideal, natural and healthy way to rear a child, it isn’t always the best choice for a child. For example, an orphanage many not be the ideal situation for a child but it may be the best living arrangement that anyone can offer to a child in difficult circumstances.

  2. tdbwd says:

    Dear Wintertime,

    Hi. I appreciate your comments. I agree that there are many different choices parents might have to make, though I was speaking here about my own reasons, which I think are legitimate reasons for many others, even if not for all — and those reasons are myriad with no one standing alone.

    One of my goals is to see those who can help do so where needed so that all children will have the option of a good education environment, which is why I end many of my articles with a “ways to help” section. The resources are certainly there — but the will is all too often lacking.

    I think it’s especially important to address the political implications of choosing state schooling, because it’s really the last thing most people consider. Parents consider their own comfort levels before they consider the harm of putting education in the hands of the government. Also, they mistakenly think they’re doing the “best” thing for their children in public schools for many poor reasons — the school has a good sports program or music program or it has a lab or offers AP courses. They believe that the good offered their particular children outweighs the harm of state control of education. They need to understand the situation at a deeper level than opportunities for their children. (A good course in American history would help — an examination of the sacrifices many founders made and required of their families in order to secure liberty.)

    At any rate, your thoughts are welcome and I’ll add them to my arsenal of things to think about while writing future posts.

    Thanks much!


  3. L in WA says:

    Hello, I really appreciate this post. I am preganant with my 6th child, my oldest is 11. I also have been working 3 late-night shifts per week due to financial concerns. I ended up sending my children to public school last year because of this. The sad thing is, my family says, “Don’t expect my help, you got yourself into this,” and other equally bad comments. There is really no one to help, and boy could I use it. I am taking them out of school again and am reducing my hours at the hospital (my work). I think I just need to commit myself to the journey of homeschooling, even if we might fall behind at times. Prayers appreciated!

  4. tdbwd says:

    Dear L in WA,

    I can understand from personal experience some of what you’re going through. My parents had 11 children in 17 years and faced tremendous difficulties due to my father coming down with rheumatoid arthrits at age 34. They also faced tremendous criticism, all the more so when they decided they would no longer send their children to public school. We wore lots of patched clothes and did without a lot of other things to afford private schooling. My father often traded work for tuition and one year they just had to keep everyone out of school.

    People may criticize how many children you have, but someone must “replenish the earth,” and many countries are now paying women to do it. Better for loving parents to do it than those who don’t seem to care or are simply supplying the state with subjects.

    Is there a homeschool group in your area? Any churches that support homeschooling? A friend who might help with teaching or other things? Here’s a web page you might find useful: http://www.schoolandstate.org/Resources/getcreative.htm.

    Where there’s a will there’s usually a way, though sometimes it takes a lot of will. I remember my grandmother telling about how during WWII, many of her relatives pulled together and lived in one big house so that when one or two were out of work, there would still be adequate income for all — and there were always adults to help with children, cooking, cleaning, etc.

    I worked the entire time I homeschooled, often at jobs I could have happily lived without, often at jobs I could take my kids along to. I’ve done childcare in my home, housecleaning, yard work, helped run a laundromat, worked at a bookstore where my kids could come along (an easier option with only two children, of course). I’ve worked third shift and at jobs where I could make my own hours (i.e., setting up estate sales). I kept my living standards simple and cheap (still do). It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it and living simply really made life more fun. Our furniture was mostly salvaged from what others were discarding, we slept on mattresses on the floor (no one cared), went to the library a lot, and totally loved homeschooling and life. My boys got a great education and grew up with the kind of humor that gets you through the tough times.

    Hang in there, be creative, don’t give up! Find some support – search it out — you’ll need it. My prayers will be with you.


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