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Additional resources for And the Skylark Sings with Me - Adventures in Homeschooling and Community-Based Education
In summers, we supplement this activity with trips to Seattle every Wednesday evening to attend “summer sings” sponsored by the Seattle Symphony Chorale. I’ve learned more choral music in the past two summers than I had in the previous 25 years; Ali’s repertoire now ranges from Vivaldi to Poulenc, from Haydn to Duruflé. I asked Ali which of her means of performing music she most preferred (knowing of course this could change over time). “Singing,” she replied, to my surprise. ” “Well, playing the piano,” she explained, “is like pushing the button on a machine.
For anyone who knows us well, the commitment my partner Ellen and I have made to homeschool our children might seem somewhat surprising. We are strong supporters of public and, especially, community Hares with Shells on their Backs 19 institutions. It is a marvel of American democracy to observe citizens tax themselves to support safe and adequate water supplies, to build adequate roads and sidewalks, to construct adequate sewage disposal facilities, and to maintain an adequate public health infrastructure.
As learning is the primary means by which individuals and communities adapt, cultivating the freedom to learn is in my judgment among the best mechanisms to ensure both personal satisfaction and community and species survival. The joy and power of learning, freely exercised, is one of very few real alternatives to an ecologically devastating cult of consumerism — a fundamental belief that happiness or understanding can be purchased like a 4X4, whereby, as the television commercial promises, one is “free” to go where one pleases regardless of environmental consequences — and to equally destructive power relationships among individuals or among nations.