School | Uncategorized

My Children/My Responsibility

October 5, 2009

When I was in the sixth grade, at my very small, rural school in farm country Montana, there were kids all around me doing all kinds of naughty things.  Most of them on the top of the shop building.

I have no idea why the roof of the shop building became a virtual den of iniquity.  None whatsoever.

But it was.

That was the sixth grade.

It wasn’t a part of my life, I was complicated and came from a religious family.

But we are talking about 11 and 12 year olds.   In 1986.  Oh, we knew all about oral sex and homosexuality in the jokes we told and the foul language we used.

In 1986.  In elementary school.

In nowhere Montana.  In a school where everyone knew everyone.

I was 7 when Tanya told me what a  “faggot” was.    How enlightening.   Do you suppose I went home and talked to Mom about it?  Of course not.

This happened 23 years ago.   In a “gentler” time.   When we were still allowed to sing Christmas carols without fears of destroying the psyche of an atheist, Muslim or agnostic.  When a prayer, as the football team took a knee, wasn’t an instigation for an ACLU lawsuit against the school or the coach.

Today?   Many teachers are doing their best in a system that is working against them while unions, administrators and special interests take their funding and leave them with over crowded classrooms.  These men and women work long hours, continue education and have their actual teaching time and personal interaction circumvented routinely.   In the media teachers are shown, more often than not, as either poorly educated mindless sycophants of their respective unions or sexual predators eager to get their hands on the firm young flesh of  our children.  Educating students in actual fundamentals has devolved into a systematic indoctrination of  liberal life-skills and socio-political tolerance.    Neither of those scenarios offer much hope when I see friends placing their children in those environments.

The Islamic political propaganda tool tells their children how bad the Jews, Christians and all infidels are (that means you if you aren’t Islamic) while our Molders of Young Minds offer a consistent, if more subtle, indoctrination of the children of our nation.  The syrupy sweet lie they feed on is one which whispers that anyone who claims to have an absolute is not to be trusted.  The  crazy folk who dare to say they, personally, don’t support gay legislation or the equanimity of pedophiles are labeled as extremists.  You could be convicted of “hate speech” or worse labeled “fundamentalists”.   How intolerant.

When was the last time you had a conversation with a high school student wherein you spoke against the “live and let live” philosophy and it didn’t turn into some ad homenim attack fixated on your inability to appreciate the freedom of another person to behave in the way they see fit while attacking your right to do so?

During one such conversation recently,  the young man, a recent graduate of the “best” school in town, couldn’t handle the mention of  news articles in which Obama’s behavior was shown in a less than   favorable light.   Immediately my “fundamentalist” tendencies were on trial.   He diverted and maneuvered and defiantly waved the red herring in the midst of what I had hoped could be a genuine conversation.

Many of the parents in my sphere are putting their children into the public school system.  They are doing so because they had a conversation with the administrator, the teacher, their friend and have found “really nice people” and “well-intentioned” individuals.  They are thrilled by a decent curriculum (although they haven’t researched it and have no other concept to compare it to) and this fosters a sense of overwhelming relief that they can now no longer bear the burden themselves of their childs education.

I can see that.  We had great, well-intentioned folks at my little school.   Atheist, agnostic, anti-God, morally ambiguous and often foul mouthed people.  But well-intentioned.

And every school year chipped away at my desire to live in the way my parents attempted to raise me.  At home I was told to respect authority and respect, honor and obey my parents.  At school I was encouraged to question their authority.  To even question their right to that authority. I was encouraged to “think for myself” as long as I followed along with the party line and didn’t make waves.  The approval and influence of the men and women I spent the most time with carried weight.   And it wasn’t my family,  my parents or my church family.  It was the folks at school who taught me and molded my putty-like little brain.

Once, during a Life Skills class, the topic of abortion came up.  Remember, this was 1991.  In preparation for the class I had done some research and compiled some notes.   Not a great debate, just some medical articles and anecdotal pieces  from some pro-life sources we had at home.

After the girls and boys all around me shared the “my body/my choice” argument, I took the opportunity to share the information I had as well as point out the inconsistency of making a choice for someone else‘s body. Imagine my surprise when I was the one hushed by the teacher as being “argumentative”.   I didn’t raise my voice.   I didn’t engage one person.  I merely spoke.

Look at any group of children.   They devolve to the lowest common denominator.   The loudest child will most likely be the least well-behaved, the most demanding and the one instigating unkind behavior.   This is human  nature in a microcosm.   Even the most determined child will eventually be worn down and given to compromise in areas you aren’t aware of until the cumulative effect requires some kind of intervention.

I have friends  who put their children into public government run education centers.   I wish them the best but don’t envy them the struggles they will inevitably have in order to raise Godly children IN SPITE of the 30 hours of indoctrination and influence their children will face.   I even have a few who have used the “little missionaries” clause to me.  Those precious blessings I want to bonk on the head and call them idiots.

*NOTE TO THOSE WHO WANT TO PICK A FIGHT*  So help me if you throw out some anecdotal information about how there’s this one person you know who couldn’t possibly teach their child at home because of XYZ I will… Well, my head might explode.  I am talking to the majority… I hate it that I have to write this caveat EVERY time I write about homeschooling.

Doesn’t it seem more responsible to raise up men and women capable of standing on the values of the Word without the pollution and constant battles of daily indoctrination in the values of the world?  My goal is to spend the formative years actually FORMING and building up our children not re-building every day after they have spent 8 hours either defending what they believe internally or compromising in order to survive.

I don’t care how great your school is.   I don’t care how sweet your teacher is.   In every system there are bogey-men and angels.   At least I know that in our “school”, every day, every minute of the day,  every teacher is devoted to the well-being, safety,  education and personal growth of the student.   Can you say that about your school?

Our students are allowed to question.  Are encouraged to think.   Are accustomed to the Word being the defining line, not Mom & Dad’s opinion,  not the power of popular peer opinion or the ever nebulous “tolerance doctrine”.

Our schools and school system are not getting better.   The education environment has debased itself into a cess-pool of abused children, broken marriages and sexual ambiguity compounded by a mantra of moral relativity, the loss of any understanding of clear cut right and wrong and a hatred of Christianity that is losing the subversiveness of nuance and gaining momentum.

At some point we may lose the freedom to protect our children.   Mandatory vaccinations, even if there is no need, are knocking on our door.   Western Europe is taking children from their homes and putting them in foster care rather than allow them to be educated by their parents, in the home.   There is a polarizing element where there are those who believe the Government and state-funded schools have a RIGHT to my children.  Your children.

Not a social obligation to educate.  But a RIGHT to take them from your home,  undermine your influence and decimate their faith in the guise of creating little drones willing to stand up in front of their peers and sing the praises of their messianic superhero.

Frankly?

That scares the hell out of me and makes me even more determined to do the best I can for the children G0d gave me.  Not you.  Not the state. Not the nation.  My husband and myself.

Because while you can walk away from my sons?  We are the ones who will someday have to give an accounting for how we treated God’s treasures and how faithful we were with His gifts to us.

Our children.

  • Scares the hell out of me, too. I’m praying like mad that my husband reconsiders his intention to put our oldest son in public school next year.

  • Scares the hell out of me, too. I’m praying like mad that my husband reconsiders his intention to put our oldest son in public school next year.

  • Serena

    I graduated in 1973. There were 90-something students in my class, not a big school. One of the teachers my senior year encouraged us outright to question and rebel against our parents values. G-d used Deuteronomy 6 where we are to teach our children when we rise up, when we sit down and when we walk along the way to convince me to home educate. That was back before my oldest was old enough to go to school. I did put her in a Christian school for 2 years, but when the law changed in Nebraska where I lived to give the liberty to homeschool for religious reasons, I started the adventure. That was in 1985 when my oldest was 9 years old. My experiences in public school (and I was unchurched and unredeemed) have added impetus to my decision. It is not a panacea or magic formula for perfect children, but it does make a real difference in their lives to have their parents as their teachers and to be socialized across all ages instead of with their peer group.

  • Serena

    I graduated in 1973. There were 90-something students in my class, not a big school. One of the teachers my senior year encouraged us outright to question and rebel against our parents values. G-d used Deuteronomy 6 where we are to teach our children when we rise up, when we sit down and when we walk along the way to convince me to home educate. That was back before my oldest was old enough to go to school. I did put her in a Christian school for 2 years, but when the law changed in Nebraska where I lived to give the liberty to homeschool for religious reasons, I started the adventure. That was in 1985 when my oldest was 9 years old. My experiences in public school (and I was unchurched and unredeemed) have added impetus to my decision. It is not a panacea or magic formula for perfect children, but it does make a real difference in their lives to have their parents as their teachers and to be socialized across all ages instead of with their peer group.

  • I worry about all this crap myself. I am completely opposed to government saying what my family can do, yet each week there is a major story about a government doing just that. I am sure if I were to keep a closer eye on it that it is actually daily.

    The homeschooling movement is creating more and more young men and women who will go on to great things and hopefully enough will get into positions of influence so as to expand the freedom to raise our children as we see fit.

  • I worry about all this crap myself. I am completely opposed to government saying what my family can do, yet each week there is a major story about a government doing just that. I am sure if I were to keep a closer eye on it that it is actually daily.

    The homeschooling movement is creating more and more young men and women who will go on to great things and hopefully enough will get into positions of influence so as to expand the freedom to raise our children as we see fit.

  • Doom

    Preaching to the choir, but I still eat it up. Beside what many of the home schooling community and the books of the bible have to say, I have the anecdotal evidence of having been through public ed, even back when teachers and admin tried to teach and discipline. The social situation was horrendous, the fights, the prejudice against new kids, and the social ladders (often supported by teachers and admin as well). I really want to give any children I may have an edge they cannot get in schools and a real understanding and appreciation for faith.

    I see those who home school as more than parents dedicated to a good education, or even to adding faith as a part of the young lives they touch. Those are both incredible gifts. But the real gift is that, after having shared their flesh with the children by being their conduits into life, they then agree to share their lives with those little miracles. It is the essence of Christ in action.

    Go get em’, Tiger!

  • Doom

    Preaching to the choir, but I still eat it up. Beside what many of the home schooling community and the books of the bible have to say, I have the anecdotal evidence of having been through public ed, even back when teachers and admin tried to teach and discipline. The social situation was horrendous, the fights, the prejudice against new kids, and the social ladders (often supported by teachers and admin as well). I really want to give any children I may have an edge they cannot get in schools and a real understanding and appreciation for faith.

    I see those who home school as more than parents dedicated to a good education, or even to adding faith as a part of the young lives they touch. Those are both incredible gifts. But the real gift is that, after having shared their flesh with the children by being their conduits into life, they then agree to share their lives with those little miracles. It is the essence of Christ in action.

    Go get em’, Tiger!

  • Amen!

    For the reasons you cited and many others, I’m twelve years into my homeschooling adventure and still going… I would say we are still going strong, but the truth is some days are better than others, some years are better than others, and each child is wonderfully different from the others. It is good that our strength comes from the Father and not from ourselves, huh? 😉

    I will say that this year is a (mostly) good one, though, and on the less than spectacular days, I am still glad that we are teaching our own children and bringing them up in the way they should go.

  • Amen!

    For the reasons you cited and many others, I’m twelve years into my homeschooling adventure and still going… I would say we are still going strong, but the truth is some days are better than others, some years are better than others, and each child is wonderfully different from the others. It is good that our strength comes from the Father and not from ourselves, huh? 😉

    I will say that this year is a (mostly) good one, though, and on the less than spectacular days, I am still glad that we are teaching our own children and bringing them up in the way they should go.

  • Deanna

    Yup! Well said.

  • Deanna

    Yup! Well said.