Welcome to School of the Unconformed, a newsletter exploring family and education in an age of upheaval.
I write as a nonconformist. The domination of tech and the inversion of traditional values makes me bristle and respond with a commitment to stay grounded in reality, to nurture Truth and beauty, and hope that the seeds I sow for my children and community will find fertile ground to grow.
I do not own a cell phone, I love reading especially long classic novels, I make most of my bread by hand, I don’t have a big screen TV, and my husband and I home-educate our three children. Yet I am under no illusion that I am unaffected by the lure of technology. I grew up as a polyglot in Switzerland until I was 18 and was able to spend my youth in a country rooted in traditional values, natural beauty, and academic rigour.
For more than a decade I have founded and coordinated various homeschool programs in my community including an early education co-op, hands-on science classes for middle and high school students, spelling bees, speed math, Charles Dickens and classical vocabulary, Latin, and public speaking programs. Since 2021, I have a weekly live radio spot on the Richard Syrett Show as homeschool advisor, where I report on homeschool and educational news in the context of of the rapid changes and upheaval in our society.
In my daily life, I love bringing people from all backgrounds together, offering support and guidance to new homeschoolers, and encouraging students and families on their educational journeys. I always keep books nearby (concurrent ones for breakfast, couch, and bedtime), and enjoy being outdoors with my family. You can gain some more insights into my life as mother, homemaker, and educator in my interview on The Home Front.
I am married toand through our writings on Pilgrims in the Machine and The School of the Unconformed, and now Peco’s novel Exogenesis, you will gain glimpses of a husband and wife trying their best to point a way through the Machine for their children and others striving to find anchors of hope.
Nietzsche said God was dead. Today, transhumanists say we can become gods through machines and biotechnology. Is this the life we want?
Either way, the world is in upheaval. Disruption is the new normal, and many of us feel adrift as we try to figure out what is real and true and good, and what isn’t. Devices and new technologies are part of this upheaval, but the changes we’re facing encompass everything from the social to the spiritual, from the temporal to the eternal.
I often ask myself what I can do to help my children navigate the tumult. But I can’t help them unless I can help myself, unless I can find a stable and healthy foundation from which to grow as a human being. Which perspectives and practices can help me do this? Which ones help me see more clearly, ground me in reality, and help me develop fully into a person?
I am a writer, a hunter of true ideas, and a spiritual pilgrim in the technological machine. I’m the author of Exogenesis, published by Ignatius Press, which is an imaginative exploration of my thinking through science fiction. For more on my thinking on “Resisting the Machine” see my interview in the European Conservative.
School of the Unconformed focuses on how we can bring about lasting change by building different life foundations that support a tectonic shift in our relationship to technology. The writings will offer support and practical guidance in strengthening the home and hearth, growing different daily rhythms and habits, parenting, taking charge of education, and embracing what Wendell Berry calls the Good Life.
This bottom-up approach provides the life-blood for change that results not from shifting mind furniture, but from arranging solid cornerstones that shape everything we do. We suggest you start with the following essays from the archive:
We would love to hear from you, if there are any particular resources or support that you would find helpful. We greatly appreciate your generosity and hope that you will find encouragement and inspiration in our writings.
Happy to have you along,
Ruth and Peco