How the Idea for This Group Came About

Mises Academy Logo When things began to get serious between Nathalie and me, we allowed our conversations to wander in and out of if-we-were-married scenarios, bringing up questions like, Where would we live? Who would be the breadwinner? (I did a 2–3 year stint as a househusband and I highly recommend it.) Do you want kids? How many? What are your thoughts on children and religion? What are your thoughts on education?

I was clear up front that if we had children, I would want to homeschool them. Nathalie accepted this condition, somewhat reluctantly at first, but by the time we were married, she was an ardent convert, saying, “There’s no way I’m going to let those people get their hands on my children.” Music to my ears.

When Nathalie was pregnant, I began to research different methods and approaches to homeschooling.

Unschooling is simple, if not easy. There’s not a whole lot of research to do on the topic. I wanted to look into other approaches. Gary North pushes Art Robinson’s self-teaching program, which very much appealed to me for its combination of structure, freedom, and focus on inexpensive, time-tested texts. The Robinson Curriculum even has Murray Rothbard’s What Has Government Done to Our Money? on the reading list — Gary North’s influence, no doubt. But all of his history texts displayed a clear Hamiltonian bias, which surprised me. I wrote to Gary North about it and he replied,

“There is no such thing as a curriculum without this bias.  There never has been.  The winners write the textbooks.”

I shared that exchange with Tom Woods, who wrote,

“One thing I know for sure is that no matter how good a homeschool program is, I’m not making my kids waste their time and warp their brains by reading volume after volume of TR/Churchill ideology.”

That began my quest for an Austrolibertarian approach to homeschooling. It’s not enough to encourage economic literacy, logical rigor, and a critical approach to history. We need to avoid warping our children’s brains with Establishment propaganda about “What history teaches us.”

I was a libertarian for years and years before I learned to reject what I’d been taught about the Constitution, the Civil War, the Progressive Era, and especially the Great Depression. I discovered the Austrian school about 5 years ago and I’ve spent that entire time unlearning some pretty heavy indoctrination from my own schooling. I don’t want my son to have to go through that.

That’s why I’m interested in sharing ideas, resources, reviews, and advice with some like-minded individualists.

As I wrote in the call for membership, I don’t think it matters who teaches the Trivium and who unschools, or whether or not you plan to teach the theory of the evolution of species. We can keep those issues within our families or we can debate them elsewhere. What matters, I think, is that those of us who are suspicious of the state, those of us who are drawn to the approaches of Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard to economics and to history, those of us who want to give our children a classical-liberal foundation and let them skip the years and decades of deprogramming can have a private forum to exchange resources and support.

Please tell us your own story, what your goals are for homeschooling, and what you hope to get out of an Austrolibertarian homeschooling support network.

BK Marcus

PS: I named this group “Mises Academy” in reference to the wonderful Mises University and because the Mises Institute is giving us the tools and resources to host it. But that name isn’t set in stone; neither is the logo I threw together this morning; neither is this location. It’s all negotiable. I’m starting the group, but its form and spirit belong to you. If you’re an Austrolibertarian homeschooler, have at it. With that in mind, I suggest we grow the group cautiously and think long term. My son is only 2 years old. I’m really hoping that this group is active and useful 3–16 years from now, and beyond. The first step is probably to invite spouses to join. My impression from elsewhere is that one parent ends up bearing the brunt of homeschooling labor in any particular year (and it’s usually the mother), but that both parents decide approach, curriculum, etc. Maybe we should even invite our kids to join — those who are already mature enough. Homeschooling is a family approach to education, so maybe we need to have families talking to families. Let me know what you think.

Thanks.

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2 Responses to How the Idea for This Group Came About

  1. Black Bloke says:

    What do you think of the VanDamme Academy?

  2. Danny Kenny says:

    This would be great. I am nowhere near having children, but I hope to keep up.

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