I will continue posting in the next weeks some very interesting pieces from fellow moms and dads on their parenting experiences. I hope you will be as inspired as I am by my friends and the depth of their insight. Michael Brine resides in the Yukon in Canada and has dedicated his life to spreading love and consciousness-raising. He tells his son’s story here and believes our educational system needs to be reborn. After meeting some of the lost teens who live in this apartment complex, I couldn’t agree with him more. (Only fifty percent of high school teens graduate in our state, a very sad state of affairs.) Please visit Michael at Mission Ignition , Beyond the Box, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you know of any revolutionary schools or plans, please let me know at email@example.com. Thank you, Pam, NAtP
By Michael Brine
My father was a strict British Army Officer and I was raised in that kind of environment. He later left the army and immigrated to Canada during the depression of the 1930s and became a school teacher. With me, he was always very strict.
It follows that later when I became a father I found myself following this pattern of strictness with my son—it was all I knew—until one morning when I woke up from my sleep, I suddenly saw what I had been doing to him. It seemed that I had had an awakening during the night. I now realised I had to break this unhealthy pattern.
With this new understanding, I realised he was so unhappy in the school system and with his poor marks, that as a working single parent, I might come home one day and find him hanging in the bathroom. I was aware of a couple of recent cases of suicide of students, although these are not usually reported. With this new knowledge, I saw I had been projecting onto my own son what my father had done with me.
That same morning I sat him down and apologised to him for my behaviour, and told him that I could also see that the existing school system was dumbing him down, and how unhappy he was in it. At the time he was part way through his grade nine.
So I gave him a choice. He could either carry on within the system or he could leave school and that I would support him until he got on his feet. I pointed out that if later he wanted to complete his formal education he could do that through what we call Night School. That option was always there.
He couldn’t believe I would allow him to leave — but he took up my offer and I did support him until he got on his feet. He then became very interested in T’ai Chi and pursued it to the extent that he followed his T’ai Chi master to China where he lived and studied for five years. He earned money to support his passion by teaching English. He also became fluent in Mandarin—no easy accomplishment.
After also spending an additional year in Taiwan, he eventually returned to Canada (Vancouver) and is now attending the University of British Columbia, in his third year, taking a course in Asian Studies. I kid you not, he gets As and A+s on all his exams and his teachers are amazed. No one knows he never finished grade nine! I am being absolutely honest with you—this is not just a boastful parent—As and A+s in ALL his submissions! I believe the university has him marked as a future professor.
As a result of what we will call my ‘awakening,’ I have little use for the existing system. We dumb down our children and it is primarily for teaching a child how to “earn its living.” It removes the excitement of following his or her passion and creativity, which a Russian School I am aware of does not, with simply unbelievably amazing results, producing happy and creative children who complete in a fraction of the time what in our system takes children 10 years or more! They also cook, write textbooks and perform the administration at the school. They swim in mountain streams, dance, draw, sing, and work the crops in surrounding fields. They can use both automatic rifles and swords. Information about the school is available at TEKOS.org.
The School is the brainchild of the headmaster, Mikhail Shetinin, but there is no doubt that the teachings of a young woman called Anastasia are reflected in it. Anastasia lives in the Siberian wilderness with her grandfather and, until he died, her great-grandfather, and with the animals and birds who all love and protect her. She is considered to be a surviving member of an ancient Vedic civilization and exhibits extraordinary powers and knowledge. Books about Anastasia are available at Ringing Cedars.
The proof is in the pudding. It’s time we saw what we are doing to our children and the sad results manifesting within our societies as a consequence.