I learned I was a super-hippie when I watched Captain Fantastic.

I had not intended to like the father in the movie, who moves his kids out to the wilderness and homeschools them.

The movie admirably discusses the issue of socialization.

But as the father teaches his six children around a campfire, I found myself wishing I could enroll my daughter in his school.

He leads them to analyze books. He teaches string theory to one of his children, who is apparently very advanced. The older kids are fluent in six languages – to the point where he must enforce a rule when two of them start speaking in a language the younger children don’t yet know. (You’re not allowed to use a language everyone doesn’t know when everyone is socializing together.)

But what really won me over was when a relative confronted him about his school, telling him his kids would fall behind academically if he didn’t enroll them somewhere.

He gently asked one question each of their two kids, ages 13 and 15. The questions: what is the Bill of Rights? The kids both flub it, with the old one saying, “It’s some government thing, right? Giving people rights?”

Then he asked the same of his 8-year-old, who gave the sort of answer that would make any patriot proud. She can recite all of the amendments, but when her father tells her that “regurgitating memorized amendments” isn’t what he wants, she explains: “Without the Bill of Rights, we would be more like China. Here, at least, we are protected from warrantless searches. We have free speech...”

She goes on to explain how Supreme Court decisions have impacted those rights and how that impacts democracy.

Now that is education! Where can I sign Katie Beth up for some of that?

You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on


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