The Archer and Control

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I took Archery in college.

It was the only class that I had with Brittany.

One of the first things we learned was that how they shoot in the movies is all wrong. Instead of gripping tightly to the bow as you release, you actually leave your hand open with the bow resting between your thumb and forefinger. When you release the arrow, the bow falls forward and hangs from a little rope that goes around your wrist. This keeps you from accidentally jarring the bow as the arrow leaves your hands so it flies more true.

In other words: Archery is all about keeping your hands open, your body relaxed, as you point the arrow where it should go. Doing so actually makes the arrow fly straighter and more accurately toward the target.

And I've come to believe that as parents our job is to be like archers. Whether you have a full quiver or only one prized arrow, the practice is the same. Our job is to determine what God has gifted our children to do, point them in that direction, prepare them for flight, and then release them. And the best way to do this is to relax, keep our hands open, but get as much oomph as possible behind them.

Given all that, I was a little surprised at the comment that my good friend Mrs. C alerted me to. It's part of a much longer conversation about educational authority, poor reasoning, and sensationalistic talk. I really hope the reasoning in my response is solid, but the original quote stated:

Homeschool advocacy has a built-in flaw that hurts us imo. We love the heady philosophy of education choice and education freedom [but we] wind up making every issue about the parent’s rights and the parent’s values....

Real education freedom is for the learner and that means no ruling authority, not merely exchanging one ruling authority for another.

...It’s not real education freedom when church, state or even the parent-teacher controls what the child learns, knows and believes.

That means there’s a lot about homeschooling that isn’t real education freedom then. I happened upon the Sonlight commercial curriculum site today for the first time, where I found a list of pros and cons for homeschooling. Guess what the number one "pro" reason was? CONTROL.


As I tried to express--and fear I didn't do very well: Control is a loaded word in this context. The "control" Sonlight promotes is much more in line with archery; control that helps the arrow find its target.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

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