Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Live From The Hotel Marlin In Puerto Vallarta

Hello Again Readers!

It has been a long time since I have had the oppertunity to write! I miss that. However, Tioga and George have been doing a fine job of jonny on the spot reporting about us and the kids and our pals. A big thanks to him for that! Weng and I are currently in Puerto Vallarta giving Herman and Ruth a lift to the airport. They are headed to Oaxaca for some time with the locals there.

Now, I want to make a comment. A tempest in a teapot has erupted recently on Georges shout box that I was not aware of until a few minutes ago. (this is the first time I have had to check the blogasphere in a couple of weeks). Apparently there are a lot of opinions regarding our childrens home schooling and how life in Aticama affects their education. I would like to thank all that commented and throw in my two cents as their father.

Lets start with Francis. He has attended schools in Oregon and Aticama his entire school life. He is very bright and has always excelled in his classes. This year (7th grade) his first Oregon report card was straight 4 points in all classes. 100% aced it all. For his entire Mexican educational history he has graduated at the top of his class. In fact the last two years he was number one in the entire state of Nayarit. This year he is a member of the year book staff and his Oregon teachers are very, very supportive of his time in Mexico.

Hard to understand how anyone anywhere could argue that he is not getting a decent education.

Now Thomas John. Tommy is dislexic. Like me reading, grammer and math do not come easy. He does not do well in school in those fields. However he is very bright and intelligent and his strengths lie in other areas. Socially he is a giant and is loved by all. In school in Oregon he is near the bottom of the class academically and feels the pressure of his classmates to do better. My heart cries out for him. I know what he is feeling. When in school in Aticama however he is average in class
as well as being loved by his classmates. I was not that lucky to feel that way when I was a child. Weng, with Ruth and Hermans help, has done a great job of home schooling and his reading has advanced significantly. Hard to beat the assistance of two friends with a lifetime of experience in education and child care, dont you think?

And Kawena May. She is 6 years old and has a life time of interesting experiences. She is bright, happy, clear eyed and loves school, both in Aticama and in Oregon. What more can I say about that?

Now, consider. In Oregon the children lead a rapid life filled with excessive competition and expecation in school. Their schools and teachers are excellent. All designed to make them productive members of a homoginized society that stresses a false sence of individuality but sucks the joy of childhood from their day to day life. In Aticama they walk from our hillside along the ocean to a small school on the beach where they learn to co-operate with the other children. Zero Stress. Childhood is a one time experience. Education is a life long experience.

We make mistakes like all parents. We get angry and short tempered and do often let the stress of everyday life affect our relationship with our children. However we always do the best we can for our children in a loving manner. It is clear that many disagree with our lifestyle. Fine. However it is wrong to judge us with others values, espically when ignorant of the facts and details. I think it would be best to ask our children if they are happy, to ask their teachers if our children are being prepared for a life in a changing and strange world with an uncertain future.

So, here is my opinion of others who are ignorant and self serving when it comes to their comments (and my opinion alone, so dont be offended) - you dont know shit for beans.

More soon.



  1. Good for you Francis. I haven't said anything on George's shoutbox cause I'm trying to not be controversial on there now. But it's been bothering me how people are judging you and Weng.

    I think what you're giving your kids is priceless. They will be far better off in the future because of their diverse upbringing. Kudos to you both.

  2. It's amazing how many think education is based on the "name" of the school.....even at the college level.

    I live in an area that has many Amish and they have little formal education but oh the things they can build and design...

    Slowing down and smelling the salt air can't be a bad thing.

  3. I've not posted, but have been following along with your journey. I am a teacher of children with learning disabilities and emotional disturbances. The one thing I've learned in 25 years of this is that EXPERIENCES sometimes outweighs reading about them in a book. You are doing a fantastic job of providing your children with a loving environment in a multicultural atmosphere which will prepare them for an everchanging world...Don't stop!!!

  4. An argument could be made that you are doing your children a huge favor by getting them away from computers and television for awhile and allowing them to experience the true joys of childhood.

  5. I totally agree with how you are raising your children. Don said what I feel as well. What I get upset about is that people judge others - and where did we all learn that - formalized school? It is all about keeping up with others, especially at a young age. Just keep doing what you are doing and follow your hearts - you and Weng are some of the most "real" people I have had the fortune to read. I thank you....

  6. I agree w/ all the above. I think it is great that you and Weng are traveling your own path in the US and in Mex. You need a hard shell to let the crap some people throw at you roll off without causing damage. You seem to be instilling your strong character into your kids and that is marvelous to see. Keep it up!

  7. Bravo! Yes, I read the comments in George's shoutbox and just shook my head in dismay. Until you have walked the mile don't judge. Judy

  8. Well done on raising your children outside or the machine that is part of the "dumbing down of America".
    There are many in the U.S. that are so convinced of the superiority or our society that they fail to see that other methods are valuable.
    It is their loss.