Ten Key Values

It is probably out there somewhere but I couldn't find anything about Green Party Values and homeschooling and so, this is my take on homeschooling using the Green Party's Ten Key Values Comments are welcome.

The wisdom of providing values instead of policies allows citizens like me to try and use the Green Party tools to solve problems.  I focus on moving toward open-source learning centers, formerly known as schools.

Every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect their lives; no one should be subject to the will of another. Therefore we will work to increase public participation at every level of government and to ensure that our public representatives are fully accountable to the people who elect them. We will also work to create new types of political organizations that expand the process of participatory democracy by directly including citizens in the decision-making process.
  • Children and young people are part of the grassroots, too.
  • Participatory democracy means families choosing educational services rather than be coerced to join a planned social engineering scheme. 
  • Mass coerced schooling has a short history in its current form: we can improve on the Prussian model. It is undemocratic, outdated, and unnecessary.
  • Grass grows from the roots up.  Jobs should, too.
  • Real, democratic participation by families and students is the best way to strengthen citizen skills and ability to live in a democratic society.
  • Democracy means choice at every single school: choice of classes and activities and the support needed to understand choices children and families can pursue.
  • Free educational services are vital to a community’s well-being and strength and should be available to all ages (and from all ages as well).  New types of community structures will be needed to support communication and interaction and will grow out of an open structure. 
  • A commons model would allow the development of a participatory and democratic learning services model instead of a coerced factory model that seeks to award a specific degree.
  • Many homeschooling families of all types have faced down compulsory attendance laws in all 50 states in order to preserve the freedom of all families to decide on the education of their children, the right for families to exist as a social unit, including the right to be exempt from the undemocratic and inhumane practices of many schools including the racism and violence of the school-to-prison pipeline. 
  • Families also have a right to support their child's mental health by opting out of public grading and labeling of young children, excessive homework and rote work, the lack of playtime, exercise, quality food, and arts and crafts and coherent spaces and restful times.  
  • Parents must be able to opt out of testing and ranking and ask for services to strengthen native gifts, and allow citizens to shape their lives and to make a contribution.  
  • Schools are increasingly used for military recruitment and corporate takeover, both of which subject children and youth to manipulation by groups with vested interests and both are beyond the scope of what schools were intended to do.  
  • Corporate curricular capture removes the control and input of the citizens using schools and has masqueraded as concern. That parents feel so disempowered is a testament to the mass effects of schooling on us already. We can see this when we look at developing countries.
  • School boards provide a superficial citizen access that is restricted by the administrative design of the school system itself. School boards may be a useful level of administration but we need families involved at the root level for the basic model to change.
  • Grassroots democracy could mean that schools allow families deep choices and participation in accessing the learning services they need.
  • The nation-state should work to preserve social stability and honor social structures, working with them in the common interest. Children grow up in a family and the school should not be opposed to families nor trying to manipulate families: the facts of family beliefs can be accepted and this diversity would be an asset if families were able to choose what services they need as they work with their neighbors and retain the ability to make their own choices.  Otherwise, we are attempting to brainwash people.
  • Controversies in content do not have to be addressed at this level. Universities will decide what knowledge/skills they want as will employers. Teachers allowed time to work peer-to-peer and access to resources can learn and improve. Parents want their children to know valuable skills. 
  • Compulsory attendance laws undermine families' input and guidance which is precisely the error handling and accountability needed for good system design. Parents should focus on helping their children rather than being forced to coerce their children into a system in which the parent's own input is not seen as relevant.  This undermines the parents within the family and it has obliterated the natural checks and balances families could provide to these ostensibly public institutions.  The vast majority of citizens involved with the schools -- the parents and kids, have no voice or input and are subject to police action if they listen to their children and become their advocates.  Parents and are part of the grassroots, too.
  • We can see in the US, that the creation of truancy police and the placing of police in schools are natural extensions of compulsory attendance policies meant to override families, policies that have now been extended to many, many years. 
  • Grassroots democracy means communities should replace policing and measuring models with alternatives that are suited to their local needs by reclaiming education as a social service providing learning services.
  • Learning from homeschooling is key to communities taking charge of their community learning services and moving toward humane, democratic and sustainable forms of providing citizens learning services for their children.
  • The authoritarian social patterning  of children in schools may grossly weaken democratic citizen initiative.  The psychological experience of mass, forced schooling in the early 20th century in the US occurred within a social context that greatly mitigated many of the more harmful aspects of schools.  That social and economic context has disappeared in great part, from diminished social capital to decreasing soil vitality and food quality, family stress from decreasing wages and rising health care costs, these and other changes have all helped accelerate the harmful psychological impact of forced schooling without the social context that was a support 100 years ago.
  • The acculturation to invasive and abusive bureaucratic structures may condition even those in the best schools to comfort with authoritarian and undemocratic procedure. Participants may feel a learned helplessness when confronted with corporate gangs or class warfare.  
  • The reverse is also true: brutal competitors feel justified and confirmed by the 12+ years of training in forced labors in schools whose mitigating social context has weakened drastically thereby creating an entitlement attitude on the part of these "winners" instead of a community-minded attitude.  

Human societies must operate with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature. We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet. We support a sustainable society that utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation. To this end we must have agricultural practices that replenish the soil; move to an energy efficient economy; and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems.
  • Maintaining an network of neighborhood schools means the ability to provide people with services they can access easily and that could be vital to community health in the years ahead. Climate change may force choices and communities with facilities they can use collectively will be in a better position to cope with change. 
  • Ecological wisdom could mean accepting our social nature and working with that in a positive way to ensure we have a sane society that supports human beings. The ecology of our social lives starts understanding the importance of building diverse and strongly rooted social networks  among families and friends and within communities, including inter-generational and multicultural relationships, and structuring our society for small scale, democratic interactions as opposed to imposing rigidly age-segregated and large institutional groupings of people in authoritarian structures.
  • Ecological wisdom means establishing an ecology of sustainable learning that not only does not damage children but nurtures the talents and abilities children bring to the community. 
  • Ecological wisdom means having time for all to breathe fresh air, explore even the hardest cityscape with its urban creatures,  to experience the social ecosystems of communities, and conserve the precious ecology of our children's minds and souls.
  • Decentralized schooling that is voluntary can be far more flexible, energy- efficient and localized in a way that no top-down, remote central educational planning could ever devise or create.  It also provides necessary community facilities.
  • Sustainable educational practices will mean citizens and communities using their own creativity to generate ideas and solutions. Funding should be directed toward supporting the people and not remote schemes of control. 
  • The voluntary provision of educational learning services could replenish communities by becoming a focus for community sharing and activity and the experience of learning together how they can positively affect and change their own lives.
  • Allowing families to structure their social interactions in a positive way, limiting what they dislike and expanding what they like, will help build social capital where little exists right now. This will allow deeper connections between diverse sets of people who are not forced into a mass setting but are allowed to make decisions of their own. Social capital strengthens communities ability to work together and to coordinate response to stressful events like climate change.
It is essential that we develop effective alternatives to our current patterns of violence at all levels, from the family and the streets, to nations and the world. We will work to demilitarize our society and eliminate weapons of mass destruction, without being naive about the intentions of other governments. We recognize the need for self-defense and the defense of others who are in helpless situations. We promote nonviolent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and will guide our actions toward lasting personal, community and global peace.
  • Children and families live under forced, coercive schooling laws that are put in place to control families, both parents and children. Compulsory attendance laws give legitimacy to institutional harassment of families and violence against children.  
  • Police have no place in a social service provided for children and families.  These laws ultimately create a barrier between schools and families and diminish local control.  
  • The school-to-prison pipeline, widepsread suspensions and truancy persecutions have become income streams and are an abuse of citizens that compulsory attendance laws have allowed to grow unchecked. 
  • Compulsory attendance laws create a policing mentality that is anathema to learning.  
  • Many of the grading and sorting practices of schools are psychologically harmful to individual youth and damaging to the common social experience within the schools.
  • Grading is a form of social violence and attempted behavior modification that is harmful, ineffective and outdated. Students can be assessed and build portfolios of their work.
  • Violence is a daily experience for many people within the schools, from physical violence and bullying to the social violence of tracking, grading, and publicly ranking students within groups. 
  • The cumulative stress of grading, forced attendance, poor design, poor food, huge texts, etc., all contribute to violence among those in the schools and may build a learned helplessness among learners.  
  • The authoritarian patterning of children in schools is not the way to build democratic citizen initiative.  It is an open question whether time spent in authoritarian and hierarchical mass structures has contributed to our inability as a nation to stay out of wars.  
All persons should have the rights and opportunity to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment. We must consciously confront in ourselves, our organizations, and society at large, barriers such as racism and class oppression, sexism and homophobia, ageism and disability, which act to deny fair treatment and equal justice under the law.
  • Social justice would be far easier if children and youth spent less time in forced and coercive age-segregated activities and more time getting to know their fellow citizens.
  • Allowing families to structure their social interactions in a positive way, limiting what they dislike and expanding what they like, will help build social capital where little exists right now. unity should mean every child has real choices, meaningful choices and really more than opportunity: each child needs realities, joy in their life, and real learning which is a natural human pursuit.
  • Schools have been used to control access to jobs and resources instead of to provide learning resources in a free and democratic manner; we need a new approach that moves us toward growing the jobs we need from the ground up. 
  • The Prussian-derived methods of the factory school system are incompatible with the  need to build real personal experience in learning and living in participatory communities.
  • Schools used to function within communities that provided far more time for people to spend with a greater number of their fellow citizens. 
  • We do not need to force children to get along in forced settings:  we need to build vital communities that have many more ways for everyone to be involved in learning and working together cooperatively. 
  • Social justice means all children and all families have access to learning services and support.  We do not need to figure out how to fix families or neighborhoods when they can begin doing that themselves when provided with resources.  Social justice means empowering community-run schools to make their own choices. 
Centralization of wealth and power contributes to social and economic injustice, environmental destruction, and militarization. Therefore, we support a restructuring of social, political and economic institutions away from a system that is controlled by and mostly benefits the powerful few, to a democratic, less bureaucratic system. Decision-making should, as much as possible, remain at the individual and local level, while assuring that civil rights are protected for all citizens.
  • The public school system, over the course of the 20th century, became massively more centralized even as population expanded.  What was called a school district in 1930 was quantitatively as well as qualitatively different from we call a school district in 2010.  And these early, local districts performed their task within strong communities with deep social capital. Decentralization is urgently required to ensure democracy and to regain citizen control of what should be a voluntary social service for families.
  • Decentralization of power means allowing families to make meaningful decisions and have deep involvement.
  • Families are the greatest number of citizens squarely shut out of the public school system by compulsory attendance and it is precisely this group of citizens who need to be actively requesting services and monitoring schools performance.
  • When the parents of children are acknowledged to be important and allowed to be parents rather than being ordered to hand over their children to the state, then a public institution like the schools will grow strong and sustainable as they will based on the needs and interaction with the citizens they serve.
  • Homeschooling is the spontaneous decentralization of schooling by families of all kinds begun over 40 years ago .
  • The public school system in the US has grown ever more highly centralized in the past century.  School districts started out being truly local and much smaller.  Consolidation has continued in an unbroken march from 1930.
  • Decentralization means moving to community-run services using new technologies as well as activism to create local, child-focused services that acknowledge that children exist within social relationships that should be honored.
  • Human relationships should precede public institutions and only by making these relationships the core of the system can we ensure that a humane and healthy social space is created in which, once this is in place, what we call education can proceed.
We recognize it is essential to create a vibrant and sustainable economic system, one that can create jobs and provide a decent standard of living, for all people, while maintaining a healthy ecological balance. A successful economic system will offer meaningful work with dignity, while paying a "living wage" which reflects the real value of a person's work. Local communities must look to economic development that assures protection of the environment and workers' rights, broad citizen participation in planning, and enhancement of our "quality of life". We support independently owned and operated companies which are socially responsible, as well as co-operatives and public enterprises that spread out resources and control to more people through democratic participation.
  • Schools by their very nature should be community-based and strongly determined by people who know their child and can interact with local services.
  • Remote testing and curriculum standards can be used by communities when they need them but communities are the ones who pay for services and they should be the ones defining what they need especially when citizen's children are involved.
  • Local needs should precede centralized attempts to control access and utilize the income stream of schools.
  • Ending compulsory attendance could create schools that actually employ more people in more ways for more hours, if laws restricting this social service can be changed, far greater numbers of counselors and helpers and coordinators are needed.  And communities that are cash-poor can begin to fashion a rich mix of services for and from their communities as homeschoolers have learned to do.
  • Schools using a decentralized model could become places that increase the social networking and capital within communities by providing a place for interactions. Enabling choices to be made by learners could mean that classes become more socially constructive in ways they are not now. In multi-cultural and diverse communities, this freedom preserves the tendency to deride differences and allows people to begin to define their social lives in unique ways that fit their community.
  • Schools could be providing children with real work and real apprenticeships that have meaningful impact on their communities.
  • Schools could become food and resource centers 
We have inherited a social system based on male domination of politics and economics. We call for the replacement of the cultural ethics of domination and control, with more cooperative ways of interacting which respect differences of opinion and gender. Human values such as equity between the -sexes, interpersonal responsibility, and honesty must be developed with moral conscience. We should remember that the process that determines our decisions and actions is just as important as achieving the outcome we want.
  • Feminism is about valuing women as well as valuing the feminine, or ways that women have contributed to society. 
  • It is mostly women who work within the public schools and who are the backbone of the homeschooling movement.
  • Devaluing female persons has meant the devaluing of the women's sphere of the home and hearth as well as the life lived together. Schools that segregate children from their homes also devalue the small treasures of intimate life together. When we value our human relationships, we are valuing the feminine.
  • Cooperative forms of social interaction mean that the entire system of grading and sorting children must be transformed for a positive, human-centered social life to form for the child and the entire community. Women can be fierce protectors of their child when their natural relationships are not disturbed or undermined by the medicalization of childbirth. 
  • Women especially benefit from the flexibility that allows them to build strong social relationships.  Non-coercive, community-based learning centers would offer the chance to build stronger family and community relationships, one by one and that would benefit women. Our highly structured society divides children and families into compartments and our institutions are rigid and build negative relationships instead, peer-dependence and groupthink. The spaces we call schools could contribute to bringing people together.
  •  There is good evidence that women and their work have been undervalued by the spread of alphabetic literacy, from male scribes and readers, to the advent of schools, knowledge that was often in female hands in oral cultures was controlled when transmission was on paper. Public school systems as devised by nation-states to advance industrialisation are structures that are intrinsically masculine in design rather than based in relationships.  Empowering the feminine, feminism, will mean strengthening the relationship side of knowledge transmission. 
  • This misaligned emphasis continues today in the focus on schools providing skills and training rather than as social experiences that form part of a wider, integrated social world.  Many think it is nice for children to have positive social experiences but they also think it is more important that children have training in skills. The world of relationships is devalued when considered next to the world of achievements. 
  • Feminism is not all about women accessing the roles that men control; it is also about changing that world to adapt to women and their bodies which cycle and transform when they carry, bear and nurse children.  That ability to transform and be flexible is a part of adapting to women and children.
  • If we recognize women's work as valuable work that needs doing, we can build social structures that allow that to happen. 
  • Building a more flexible and social world will help us create ways to change our environmental practices in many ways critical to our future.
  • Feminism is also about recognizing and valuing the work of caring, cooking, cleaning, and more. Women's traditional work is as meaningful as corporate work, and arguably more important, though it is both unpaid and unappreciated.
  • Carework should be compensated work. I understand that this is part of a larger discussion of work and guaranteed income and other approaches may be of value. As a woman, what we value and pay for as work seems completely arbitrary to me. We have inborn physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs that keep human beings healthy. 
  • The nation-state has attempted to provide state services that help women and families and this has proved valuable to the qualoty of life for many women. However, Sweden may be finding that we must grasp the need for attachment in the early years. The further flexibility of state services to accomodate these needs is essential. 
We believe it is important to value cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious and spiritual diversity, and to promote the development of respectful relationships across these lines. We believe the many diverse elements of society should be reflected in our organizations and decision-making bodies, and we support the leadership of people who have been traditionally closed out of leadership roles. We acknowledge and encourage respect for other life forms and the preservation of biodiversity.
  • Locally-based and humane schools will be better able to recognize and utilize the diverse human beings in its care.
  • Diversity is present among children in the different learning types and in the many different gifts children have.  These should be honored and supported rather than defining an abstract set of knowledge and trying to instill it in a child. 
  • Citizens working together with schools whose staff are freed from a policing role and able to fully concentrate on helping children and families will itself build respect for diversity by the very process itself.
  • Respect for diversity means creating a humane, socially-rich environment that does not use negative and Victorian behavioral controls like grading because it reduces our ability to support learning.
  • Standardized anything reduces diversity and often employment. 
  • Children and families must be free to control the social interactions and environment of their learning together. We no longer need to force children to socialize: families and children can choose these and their choices might surprise people. While some homeschooling families choose to isolate themselves, many others choose to be actively involved in their communities and with many different kinds of people. 
  • Many children will experience first-hand the class basis of society within their schools. The harmful social tool of grading further alienates children within a group. Without real choices and freedoms, these children are captive and children are forced to fail in order to ensure that some succeed.
Our actions and policies should be motivated by long-term goals. We seek to protect valuable natural resources, safely disposing of or "unmaking" all waste we create, while developing a sustainable economics that does not depend on continual expansion for survival. We must counter-balance the drive for short-term profits by assuring that economic development, new technologies, and fiscal policies are responsible to future generations who will inherit the results of our actions. Our overall goal is not merely to survive, but to share lives that are truly worth living. We believe the quality of our individual lives is enriched by the quality of all of our lives. We encourage everyone to see the dignity and intrinsic worth in all of life, and to take the time to understand and appreciate themselves, their community and the magnificent beauty of this world.
  • Our children's lives are important and they should have joy every day. Future focus means establishing a sustainable structure where daily joy ensures we make it to the future.
  • Sustainable solutions must be local and unique and only by empowering citizens above school officials can we ensure a sustainable social service that can be responsive to the needs and gifts of its own people. 
  • Children are the most valuable of human capital and enforced, compulsory schooling for 12 years with no real choices, no freedom, no democracy, and stratification by grading and age wastes our most valuable resource.
  • The psychological manipulation of grading means our children will endure a process that reduces their ability to form judgements and to value themselves and others. Schooling must not harm any child in the long run in order that each may grow and contribute to the world.  
  • Like organic agriculture, we must value each child and what that child brings to the world by restricting harmful pedagogical practices like grading and ranking while improving the soil in which children grow: their relationships, access to quality food, healthcare services, exercise and the outdoors, and learning that is not coercive but shared.
  • We truly need each child to grow happily and learn in the hopes that every single child can bring their gifts to fruition  and thereby benefit their communities. Our people are our greatest treasure.
We encourage individuals to act to improve their personal well being and, at the same time, to enhance ecological balance and social harmony. We seek to join with people and organizations around the world to foster peace, economic justice, and the health of the planet.
  • We need a more flexible, learner-led system that provides resources and lets people channel their energies into what they choose.  The US has a long history of people learning independently what is useful to them.  From literacy within the colonies to self-taught computer programmers, US citizens should be actively choosing what educational resources to use.
  • Globally, nation-states have embraced the literacy factory model on a scale that means more critical and evaluative approaches are sorely needed. Compulsory attendance has been a design flaw and, though relatively new, many other nations will benefit by learning not to create the highly centralized bureaucracies that help at first but later hinder.
  • The literacy factory model has become universally adopted as a model in spite of severe deficiencies in this model's design. There has been small attempt if any to separate and evaluate the economic boost of a centralized system of education from the actual literacy itself. And side effects of mass literacy, especially for the ever-growing duration, are not considered. 
  • Literacy is mistaken for a universal goal instead of inclusion. Literacy does bring the disenfranchised into the system and thereby help them but that is because the literate are now included and can be part of the system.  Some tribal people without literacy were successful in their worlds in ways we are not.