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Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Son of Man and Worldschooling

When Christ walked this earth He deliberately took on a rather obscure title. Instead of referring to Himself as the Son of God, the Messiah, the Son of David... He chose: Son of Man.

Why?

Well, the other titles had too much political baggage attached to them. The people of His day had expectations for the One to come, and Christ wasn't about to meet any of those. In fact, He was going to do much the opposite. So to help initiate this painful reality, He took on a different title. A title that had little meaning which He could then define for His followers.

Thirty second Biblical background to get us all on the same page. Any questions?

Good. Moving on.

Earlier this week I saw a post about "worldschooling" which I thought was fascinating. Here is another instance where a title--in this case: "homeschooling" and, in particular, "unschooling"--has developed rather unfortunate political baggage. So to counter this idea, Eli Gerzon has adopted his own title which he can help define.

What has really interested me is how broad this idea can get. I know it typically refers to "unschoolers" but as I read more about it, the more I felt at home with the concept. I'm a "worldschooler" now, and I was one while using Sonlight too. In fact, Sonlight is very much a "worldschooling" curriculum--oxymoron?--because of the global focus of its materials.

But then I came across a Worldschooler Facebook group with the following:

-School: "Do what you're told."
-Homeschool: "Do what you're told... by your mom."
-Unschool: "Do what you want."
-Worldschool: "Do whatchu gotta do..."

Interesting. There is certainly a lot of negative connotations with the more "traditional" approaches to education (including homeschooling). And while I agree with many of the more global aspects of worldschooling, I find the highly individualistic/self-focused bents odd and not exactly in line with my thinking.

But that's okay because, as Dana Hanley has so brilliantly pointed out, I'm part of the homeschool community, not a homeschool movement. I can disagree with them but feel no threat "because their actions do not define who I am, or what it means for me to be a homeschooler."

"Homeschooler" may be a loaded term, and so choosing another title may be useful, but who we are does not change just because of a new title. The titles are in place to help others understand us. We define the title, we are not defined by others' perceptions of it; and if we can grow into a community, all the better.

And really, that's a lot like what the Son of Man came to do.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

3 comments:

Bethany Hudson said...

Very interesting points. As part of a community, it is often hard to define yourself as an individual rather than a sheep. Just take a look at what people assume because we say we are "Christian." I wonder if this sort of pigeon-holing has anything to do with our modern tendency to try to label people so as to better understand them, evident in the perenial first question, "So, what do you 'DO'?"
~Bethany

Mrs. C said...

So maybe when I hang out with really rich people (you know like I do every day..?), I can tell them that my children attend an exclusive private academy. :]

I've never heard of "worldschooling," either. I get lots of new ideas from your blog, Luke!

Luke said...

Bethany, hmm... I think we try to define people so we can understand them easily. And as for "What do you do?" ...I think that's easier than, "Who are you?" "Umm... I'm Luke. And I blog..." which brings us right to the "what I do" bit. But that is interesting how this all ties into a "Christian" community too. Hmm... very interesting.

Mrs. C, you could do that <laughing>. And I'm glad my blog is at least informative <smile>. Thanks!

~Luke


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