Homeschooler of the Week – Birke Baehr

Name: Birke Baehr
Age: 12
Homeschooled: from age 9, in public school prior to that

I just finished watching a TED talk by Birke Baehr. If you have not heard of TED, I encourage you to go and browse the site. It is a massive compilation of ideas, information and more – all in 16 minutes or less of video per presentation.

This video struck me as the perfect connection between my interests – homeschool advocacy and organic gardening. More importantly, however, was seeing the piece of tomorrow in this interesting, informative and funny young man.

At a recent TED conference in Asheville, Birke was only given five minutes to make his presentation. I have to say, he spent those five minutes very well.

Birke is a natural speaker, you can’t coach something like that, and he was funny, articulate, and amazingly intelligent. He is also homeschooled.

Birke spoke about how the farming practices of today’s corporate farms fly in the face of healthy food production, incorporate GMO practices that are often disgusting and seek to generate MORE and BIGGER all for one bottom line…profit.

Now that isn’t to say that organic foods are cheap, this is true. It can be hard to know which to choose – that shiny red apple or the smaller, not-so-shiny one that costs a little more. But as Birke pointed out so succinctly, we are left with a choice of either paying the organic farmer or paying the hospital. Stop and think about that statement for a moment, because it is a powerful one.

Birke announced in the TED video that he had once planned on playing football in the NFL, but now he wants to become an organic farmer. The quote from Ghandi comes to mind in response to this, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

I think that quote is the essence of why I homeschool. I want to be that change, to make a different world and give better opportunities to my children. I think that is true of many others as well.

I hope to learn more about Birke in the next few months and present a follow-up post. Meanwhile, you can view his TEDtalk here as well as find and follow his accomplishments on Facebook or at his website.

p.s. I am looking to interview homeschoolers – all ages, including grown homeschoolers. Please Contact me if you know of someone who would like to be profiled.

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