Trailer Park Unschoolers

Because you don't need to be rich to unschool!

Sharing Politics with Kids

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Until recently our home education has been lacking. Sure, in some ways my kids have learned more than I did at their age. We’ve talked about gear ratios and internal combustion engines. We’ve talked about how food interacts with the body and how the food they eat effects them. They’ve learned about budgets, cooking, and other life skills. Those are all pretty good things to learn, but something was missing.

I’ve started to notice a relation yesterday between unschoolers and a knowledge of politics. Generally it’s with a more Libritarian kind of bend. This makes sense, in a way. Unschooling is about preserving a child’s freedom, so Libritarianism is like the adult continuation of that process. It’s the logical next step. That has to start somewhere, so why not as children, right?

My family really kind of avoided that subject. We focused on everything else and politics took a back seat to it all. I didn’t really see much need to bring my kids into that. The political system is messy and complex, and nothing they really needed to worry about. I wanted them to enjoy being kids while they could. There would be plenty of time to worry about the state of the union later.

With all the involvement from CPS because of this summer’s events, I’ve really been feeling rather annoyed at our political system. I’ve always just played nice with CPS. I never liked it, but I tolerated it. This current invasion of our lives has kind of put me over the edge. They’re citing me as neglecting the medical needs of the children because I choose not to vaccinate. They’ve disapproved of my lack of a “formal school setting” because my kids aren’t in school. They’ve assumed my kids are behind educationally because my ex assessed them to be, even though our state doesn’t consider educational neglect to be an offense, even though my kids are very bright, but may struggle in more traditional areas, like spelling and written math. This isn’t even considering that Beekee would just be starting school since kindergarten isn’t compulsory in Texas. They believe my parenting skills aren’t good enough to care for Luca and Sander since they’re not old enough to care for themselves all because I let Sander make his own lunch if all he needs to do is put it in the microwave or put it together likely sandwich. And why shouldn’t I let him do it when he’s begging me to do it? I’m teaching my kids poor hygiene habits because I don’t force them to shower or take a bath every night if they don’t choose to. Luca and Sander are not allowed to share my bed. The kids aren’t allowed to use a sibling bed. All of our babysitters need to consent to, and pass a background check. Oz and I both have to go through a psychological evaluation and counseling. Corde and Beekee need to go through a psychological evaluation as well. See all the hoops we have to jump through when I’ve been repeatedly told that our problems are not being able to exterminate, which should be at the landlord’s expense, and I tend to not have the most tidy, organized home. I’ve seen too many families face trouble with CPS because they homeschool, don’t vaccinate, and are otherwise alternative. It has me feeling like CPS has a side job as enforcing conformity. What’s worse is denying them access means losing my children and fighting to get them back. In the end, I have no choice since I’m not a family wealthy enough to take them on in court. They really have me in a bind.

Add all the other political discussions going on at the moment and I’m feeling pretty disgusted with the political system. I should feel good about my country, but I honestly feel like the government is trying to enforce conformity, at least in the poor. The healthcare act is a removal of choice. It doesn’t help me get affordable healthcare and I really don’t want to buy into the system, but it’s buy in or be fined. I don’t want to let CPS in for home invasions anymore when they’ve continually overturned the cases. Clearly I’m doing nothing wrong my kids are healthy and happy, so why harass me and control my life? It’s unconstitutional. The welfare system only keeps people trapped in the system. Everywhere I turn rules are being made to let the government spy on people or control something else, so where’s the freedom? Unless I want my kids to grow up thinking this is okay, I need to start enlightening them now.

In some ways this has been easy. Corde rolls her eyes and complains every tone she has to see our case worker. She’s so sick of the home invasions too. Every time I talk to the kids they ask if she has to talk to them. Sander thinks it’s a game, but Corde and Beekee always ask if they have to. They’re done with it. Corde even thinks CPS should be illegal because they’re just bullies that like to pick on us.

So the conversation began yesterday. We talked about socialism. I explained that socialism requires everyone to be thecsame and equal. It would be like going to the co-op and lunch was provided. Instead of getting options, everyone can have a ham sandwich, apple, celery sticks, and water. That’s it. Sure, if you’re lucky they’ll have a few add-ons, like cheese or mustard that you can choose, but if you don’t want a ham sandwich at all, you’re out of luck. Our government isn’t much different. Instead you get two options, beef or chicken. The problem is you can only have one, and it’s a majority vote. 55% of the co-op voted for chicken, so everyone gets chicken. The other 45% have to suffer. This is when Corde tells me how stupid that is because she thinks one of her friends at co-op is a vegetarian, so chicken or beef doesn’t even represent her. No matter what decision is made, that friend can’t have something she wants. She determined the only fair thing to do is let everyone pick their own lunch, like the co-op already does.

Then we talked about traffic laws. There are lights in some parts of Texas with cameras. If you run a red light they take a photo of your car and mail it to you. Corde thought that was unfair. What if someone else had borrowed your car? Tough. Even if you weren’t driving, the car is registered to you, so you have to pay the ticket. In other words, you get punished for a crime you didn’t commit.

Then we took it one step more. Let’s say it’s midnight. No one else is at that intersection, and it’s a really long wait at the light. Is it okay to run the light because no one is effected by breaking that law? Corde and Beekee agreed that the light was there for safety, and if no one else was in sight, and you knew you could safely get across the intersection, why should you have to wait? I informed them they would both have a ticket, courtesy of the cameras on the light.

This got them thinking about how laws should be enforced, and whether or not the government is fair. They decided a two party system and majority rules aren’t fair ways to make decisions for a small group, much less a whole country. We talked a lot about the power CPS has, because it’s effecting the kids now. We talked a little about the healthcare mess. We even talked about the government shutdown. We covered a lot of ground for a short period of time.

I no longer feel like we’re missing something. My kids are being encouraged to think about the world they live in, and how to make it a place they want to live in. They’re not likely to be passive and just let things go on, even if they don’t think it’s right. They’ll be taught to stand up for themselves and what they think is right.

In all of this political stuff I see all too many people uttering the same things. They either complain and say the government is too big to change, or therein themselves to the fact that majority rules. The scariest are the ones that swear up and down that the government can be fixed by things that don’t make sense, proving they know nothing about the political system, like saying the rich need to be forced to get jobs so they can pay taxes, ignoring the fact that many rich people do pay a good deal in taxes on their interest from their accounts, dividends, property taxes, and all of that. It shows a complete lack of understanding of financial matters, taxation, and overall how the government works. I don’t want my children to grow up that hopeless or that uneducated.

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Author: Fox

With four kids in the house, who has time for much? Well, we're trying to make it work, trying to get as close to our unschooling roots as we can while state restrictions and family pressures try to stand in our way. Every day is a new adventure.

4 thoughts on “Sharing Politics with Kids

  1. The most eye-opening conversation I had was in my “international criminal law” class in college. We discussed the law vs freedom and how even living in a democratic society (Canada is democratic – US is republic, but its the same theory really) does not mean we are ‘free’ we have more ‘freedoms’ than lets say Iraq. It is like being a kid in a grocery store, there is a whole aisle full of cereal and you want the really sugary kind but your mom says “no. you have this or this”. It is not free choice, it is choice between. So in the real world, if you want to drive you need to get a license from a government registered place, pass the driving test get the card, then you need a car but only a car which is deemed okay and passes emissions test and safety, before you can even get into the car you need insurance which you have to purchase from a nationally accredited brokerage, to which the insurance broker had to go to get government licensed to sell you the insurance………. Confessions Of an Economic Hitman – it was mandatory reading for one of my college classes, it was absolutely amazing and it is parallel to what you are saying.

    • I’ll have to check it out! It sounds like a book I would be interested in.

      And you’re right, the US is not a democracy, as much as most Americans will say it is. Democracy and republic are very similar, but definitely not the same.

      • Exactly!!! All they have to do is look at the voting system. Here, every single vote counts towards a certain party, majority winning. In the US (to my greatest understanding) instead of electing a person directly, one would vote for representatives..

        Confessions of an Economic Hitman is about a man whose job was to cheat countries/businesses out of trillions of dollars. Basically unveiling the corruption of business/government.

        Another amazing novel which was a mandatory read was “The Creature From Jekyll Island”.. It was actually banned in Canada/US so our bookstore had to have it imported from Europe, and $400 later the reading began. I am sure you can buy it off amazon, or even an Ebook. I actually preferred it to COAEH. It unveils and corruption of the Federal Reserve in the US, the corruption of banks, and everything to do with money. The biggest misconception in the US (according to the book) is the belief in the Federal Reserve. Truth is, There is nothing Federal or Reserve about the bank… I highly recommend it, granted you can find it on amazon for a reasonable price.

      • Looks like you’re giving me a fantastic reading list!

        The US voting system, at least where the president is concerned, seems to go like this. First everyone in the state votes. Those votes are tallied. As soon as they have all the votes, the state is considered to be for one party or the other. That state then contributes a number of “electoral college” votes to the candidate that won. There are a number of factors that go into which states have what number of college votes, but I don’t remember that off-hand. Then the electoral college votes get tallied to determine the president. In other words, the other guy can get more votes and still lose because of the electoral colleges.

        Then there’s the senate. They have a say and each state gets two senators, which is kind of fair…I guess…but they get to speak for their constitutes, even if the people they speak for them have no idea they are being spoken for.

        The same goes for Congress, but the number of representatives is supposed to be determined by population. Again, a lot of times you don’t know what’s said on your behalf.

        Voting is more of a courtesy than anything else, especially since most elections are won on campaign funds and promises the representatives never intend to keep. Sadly, a lot of what they decide would be handled much more fairly with a popular vote.

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