Our Focus on Education
The original community that met as Stand Together For Freedom chose four main areas of focus, and one of them was the education system for our youth.
A number of us met to work on this and take action. Our original focus was primarily on existing public (government) schools in Ravalli County. Although there has been a very small amount of progress in reducing the CoVID-19 related mask requirements through attendance and speaking at school board meetings, our collective impact there is likely to be very slow. An even harder approach is attempting to influence existing curricula which often undermine traditional family values.
Since facing these frustrations, our main recommendation and work has been to investigate alternatives. The easiest is Homeschooling, which may be much easier than you think. But we will continue to work on all educational fronts.
Why Alternative Education?
Most public schools are enforcing masks.
All regular schools could close at any moment without any say from citizens (by health officials & the Governor). If you have not prepared there is a good chance that education will suffer.
Distance learning options in collaboration with our government schools don’t work well. The staff is unlikely to be able to keep up. Teachers in Stevensville were working 8am-11pm shifts the winter & spring of 2020. At public school board meetings, these same teachers said they would not be able to repeat this level of overtime were shutdowns to happen again.
What are the alternatives? Charter schools might be more responsive, and there are some religious based schools (such as those of the local Amish community) that might not be affected as much by the decisions of public health officials. The most accessible solution is homeschooling.
Homeschooling and its Resources
There are many resources available in our valley for homeschooling:
- Homeschool Legal Defense Assocation
- Montanans Assembling Together for Christian Home Education
- 5 Valleys Homeschool Co-op
- Montana Coalition of Home Educators
More Effective Education Methods
If you are seeking alternative education, homeschooling is a very effective approach. Even without extensive training, homeschooling has been measured and proven in the whole to provide a better education and to support more socially adjusted development in our kids than regular government public schooling.
This video “I sued the school system!” also makes a quick case for why we need to make significant changes to schools.
If you want to take a deeper dive, some useful resources for alternative styles of education include Montessori, Waldorf, Outdoor Education, and the books of John Taylor Gatto & Paolo Friere.