Part 1: When I Think Back on All the Cr*p I Learned in High School
In free education, you get what you pay for.
At one point, in the six long years of infertility before the birth of number one son, we were going to homeschool. In fact, I collected books and all, planning on using them to teach the child.
And then the child arrived. At some point when Robert Anson (Yes, when you name your child that, you get exactly what you deserve) was three, a friend gave me a book called “Raising the self-willed child.” Don’t bother finding it, or at least not that particular one (I imagine there’s more than one book of that name). It was based on the idea that if your child had sufficient self-esteem he would be miraculously docile. Continue reading
As my wife and I settled into the concept of home schooling we found that we needed some sort of structured curriculum that we could be comfortable with. Even in the late 1980s there were quite a few home school curriculum out there, though probably not as many as today. One of our daughter’s friends, one time, commented to us “You guys home schooled before home schooling was cool.” I hadn’t thought of it that way but I guess she was right. In 1986 it hadn’t been all that long since people in some states had had their kids removed out of their homes because they refused to put them in public schools. After all, for many officious bureaucrats Government schools were the sacred cows of the hour.
So my wife and I started attending home school book fairs and conventions when we could get to them. We started checking out books and listening to various speakers.
One thing I found with various home school curriculum was that the selection of history books was, for me, somewhat discouraging in the main, and the same held true for books I saw on government. Some of the books I saw at fairs looked pretty much like government school material with a few Bible verses sprinkled over it–just enough to make them palatable to home school families that didn’t know an awful lot of history (and weren’t likely to learn much with some of these books). Continue reading
The reactions to our decision to home school our kids were fairly quick and followed certain patterns. A couple of folks decided that, as long as we were going to do this, they could help us out by giving us lists of books we should get and make sure our kids read. I recall two such lists, if I remember correctly. I did look over the lists to see what they had.
Interestingly enough, one of the books near the top of both lists was Catcher in the Rye. When I had worked at a college back in the East, many of the kids I knew there had that one as required reading, so I had a chance back then to browse through it on several occasions. Now maybe it’s just that I am old fashioned, but my first reaction to seeing that on both lists was “I don’t want our kids reading that!” Maybe some of you all have read that one and don’t think it was as questionable as I did. There were several other offerings on both lists that I frowned at. There wasn’t an awful lot on either list that I wanted our kids messing with. Now our kids were both readers and we bought them books when we could afford to and they read and reread many of them until the covers literally fell off them. We bought them C. S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series and they read those until they were literally falling apart. I realize some folks disagree with some of Lewis’ materials, but it was a lot better than some of what was out there. Anyway, the book lists were a flop. Continue reading
As I previously noted, it was not until we moved to Indiana that I grasped why most evangelical folks would not object to nor protest what went on in government schools.
In Indiana we found and attended an evangelical Presbyterian church because it was the only Reformed church we could find in the immediate area. We found a Christian school for our son to enter. Our daughter would not be ready for school for another year yet. Our son had previously been in a Baptist school in West Virginia. The new school in Indiana wasn’t everything we could have hoped for but it was still better than a government school. At least we felt that way–many of the folks in the church we attended were not quite sure of that. Just about all the families that attended this church had their kids in government schools, which they were quite satisfied with. And they thought our kids would be much better off in a government school than in a Christian school. I hope, at this point, no one tries to tell me the Christian faith in this country hasn’t been tampered with. Continue reading
Regarding the situation in Kanawha County, West Virginia from 1974-76, I have several observations that were clinchers for my wife and I as to why our kids would never cross the threshold of a government school building.
While in West Virginia, my brother and I attended quite a few school board meetings for Kanawha County, which were held in Charleston. Any time we were able to go, the school board meetings always ended up being “standing room only” affairs. If you wanted a seat you got there early. People, once the textbook protest started, showed up for school board meetings because they felt it was a chance to express their frustration at what the school system was trying for force on their kids. Little did they realize at the time, to paraphrase a saying used during the global warming scam, “the agenda is already settled.” And some of the school board members that spoke at these meetings were, shall we say, slightly less than candid. You always got straight, honest answers from Alice Moore. From some of the others it was a toss-up. Continue reading
In the main filing cabinet in my office I have three bulging folders of material collected over the years from the early 1970s until now. These three folders contain all manner of material I have collected or people have sent me about the ongoing aberrations that take place in what all thinking people realize is our government school system. It’s not a “public” school system; it’s a government school system. This material comes from all over the country. Some of this stuff would really singe your eyeballs, and if you are like me, you can’t read more than a little of it at a time without getting really ticked off. What some government school systems do to our kids is nothing short of criminal.
I have come to the conclusion, after over forty years of keeping tabs on this kind of thing, that these aberrations are what government education in this country is really all about. When I say that I am not indicting everyone who has ever taught in a government school. We have a niece in Illinois that teaches in one. She’d much rather teach in a Christian school, but she can’t find one in her area that pays a living wage so she does what she has to to survive. Continue reading
New data compiled by a Boston-based a public policy group reveals that homeschooling has gained in popularity and reach in recent decades.
A report issued this week by The Pioneer Institute, a Boston-based a public policy think tank, sheds light on the rapid growth and diversity of the U.S. homeschooling population.
Co-authored by William Heuer and William Donovan, the comprehensive white paper explains that despite a paucity of support from government officials–and outright opposition by the nation’s largest teachers’ union–homeschooling has gained in both popularity and reach over the past several decades. Continue reading