Saturday, January 3, 2009

Should Christians Exit Public Schools?? and how to cultivate faith in kids

Check out this link --an article about encouraging Christians to exit from public schools.

There are many comments following, also.

They cited the fact that a previous vote to ban gay marriage in California was supported by more people than the recent one. They believe more young voters are being influenced in public schools to support gay marriage --to be liberal in general. What I see is that these young people are influenced in secular universities by atheistic/agnostic thinking --liberal profs in our classrooms. Measure a Year said this was so at U.T.

I observe that even the Christian-school educated are coming out more liberal than we'd like to see. I wonder if tv isn't the bigger influence. With no adults supervising at home, with the prevalence of working mothers, television is raising the kids, even more than any school is.

My kids have their faith intact and their morals relatively unscathed compared to the world's children in America and Europe. They went to public school. I think Christian parents need to be there and be vigilant for the sake of all the children, but the folks in the article made one observation: we are not converting the public school children to Christianity; they are converting our kids away from it.

Well, not so in my family. However, there were some harmful influences in public school, but we and our church --and the church colleges we sent them to --were stronger influences in the long run.

However, we didn't see our role in public school as being to convert --but to be salt. We did put the brakes on some liberal notions in our district -- teachers WERE taking advantage with liberal oriented, inappropriate books and films. They needed parents who would protest and remind the school of their limits. These were OUR children for them to teach --not THEIRS to liberalize and propagandize. We didn't like their "values clarification" decision-making guides in "life skills courses." The child was the primary decision maker --it was stated that "no one has a right to tell you what is right for you." What are the implications of such a statement?

We've seen the results of public, Christian, and Christian home schools. Some of the most devout Christian young people I know came through public schools and went to Christian colleges. Some of the most wandering in their faith went to the public universities --but some very devout people attended there also.

In fact, I'd rather see Christian parents save their money for Christian college instead of Christian school K-12. College is the time when the kids are thinking about the big questions and asking them --this is when they need to be sitting at the feet of godly men and women as profs --people of faith. Instead, we send them to all kinds of liberal colleges to study philosophy, religion, lit, history and science --all subjects subject to liberal influence and interp.

There is also something stuffy about Christian schools --but not Christian colleges. AT least, that was so many years ago when we DID send the girls to Christian schools through 3rd grade. We might have continued except for transportation difficulties and the fact that we had a fine public school where we lived. I credit that school with an excellent college prep and music ed.

This is a topic I often think about: How to cultivate a saving faith in your children.
1. have one yourself--a saving faith
2. don't be hypocritical about your view of other people. If Jesus says to love and forgive everyone, you must try to show that you love and forgive everyone, that you are not a snob and teach them not to be. That you don't hold grudges. I think it's wrong, e.g., to let them pick and choose friends for a birthday party --when others in the same social circles will know they were left out.
3. adore your children --be high on your kids while always tenderly and firmly shaping their character and their beliefs, holding them accountable for sinful attitudes and behaviors. I think kids are happiest when they think their parents enjoy them--as well as when they have limits and know them.
4. Provide rich influences --youth seminars, speakers, Christian books and magazines. We would listen to Ravi Zaccharias CD's on family trips. They didn't have radios of their own, just tape players --as we discouraged the rock music stations with some success. Our house was never filled with rock music.
5. Don't make EVERYTHING religious --enjoy the wholesome aspects of secular culture. We also listened to Garrison Keillor on CD's. SOOO funny!
6. Teach, teach, teach --as you watch tv, after movies, in the car, etc. Teach right from wrong. Teach about the benefits of righteous living vs. sinful living --and use real life examples. Teach God's laws and principles.
7. Cultivate a love for God in them, a feeling and belief that God is a loving Heavenly Father who has expectations for them FOR THEIR OWN GOOD.
8. Don't let them disrespect you. You earn respect --but you also command it because it is right for them to respect their parents and other authorities who are doing right. This must not be done from threatened ego or a power trip, however. All that you teach and require is for their good --the good of their character and soul's future --not for your ego as a "good parent." They are not to think they are more important than other people in God's sight --even though they are of utmost importance to you, their parents.
9. NEver discipline in uncontrolled anger --but do let them know that certain things make you angry. I often had trouble feeling really angry at little kids, especially, and had to let them know that some things were VERY DISPLEASING and seriously wrong! Or they wouldn't take admonitions and corrections seriously. I concluded they needed to experience anger sometimes for their own good and know remorse for their sins.

Enough for now. What are some of your child-rearing theories?

What do you think of this issue linked above?

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible


Antipelagian said...

I see public schooling as a means of brainwashing children.

For the sake of educating our children, a solid argument contra public schooling is simple. Unfortunately, many private schools aim to meet "state" standards and are a slightly scrubbed up version.

As far as shepherding a child, a great case against public schools can be made. A great case against private schools can be made as well. I went to a Christian highschool...and I think the education I received was better than a public far as the spiritual state of the student's...white washed sepulchres...of which I was one, as well.

For us, we plan on home schooling. However, faithful parenting will likely be a safe-gaurd for one's children regardless. There are situations where public schooling is the only option.

Barb said...

Where my daughter teaches, I think the district is conservative --and the teachers are also --or at least respectful of their majority of conservative parents. I don't want teachers who see themselves as "change-agents" to undermine the faith of Christian families with their own liberal beliefs and religious unbelief. I don't think MOST teachers see themselves in that role; I hope not anyway. It depends on the district, I'm sure.

There are many Christian teachers like my daughters in public ed who are wholesome influences. And some who are not necessarily Christian but nevertheless wholesome. I doubt that even Mudrake undermined the faith of kids in math. But I wouldn't want him for their social studies or lit teacher at the upper grade levels, especially. Some that they had were bad enough. But they had their parents' influence and their own good sense to recognize when someone was trying to promote something they knew was wrong. When the 9th grade showed the movie "early frost" in health class, our child came home and clued us in --and she knew that the message of the movie was to say that homosexual relationships were just like hetero --even normal--even though the issue for the class focus was supposed to be AIDS.

Barb said...

A P.S.: Other kids were "introduced to the idea of gay love via that movie and would not necessarily have the values to realize that this is NOT normal, not equal to hetero coupling. They were the vulnerable audience for the school teacher in choosing that film--the blank tablets upon which the teacher writes his own values and beliefs.

Anonymous said...

Antipelagian, I find it amusing that you have all these thoughts on public schooling when you have no experience either teaching in or attending a public school. Unless you are involved in public schools somehow, it would be impossible to KNOW what goes on in them. You can only speculate based on what you hear from other parents, students and the media. I attended public schools for 13 years and I have never felt like I was being "brainwashed" (maybe they erased my memory of this alleged brainwashing).

I encourage you to look up your state standards. I think you will find that these are things students should be learning anyway. Having standards makes teachers accountable for what they are teaching.

My public school education was significantly better than any education I would have received in a Christian school (at least from the schools in my area). I knew all of my teachers were qualified to teach their content area and most of them (if not all of them) had education degrees.

As far as home schooling goes, I think it is good for some people, however, I don't think much of it. Teachers have at least 4 years of training in both their content area and education classes. In some ways it is almost insulting for someone to say they can do a better job teaching their children than someone who has been trained to do so. I wouldn’t want someone with little or no training in auto mechanics to work on my car, so why would I teach my children if I have little or no training in education.

Again, I am an advocate of both public and Christian schools although home schooling can be a good option depending on the circumstances.

Antipelagian, I would encourage you to learn more about public schools before knocking them.

Barb said...

I have an ed degree, anony, and I don't put much stock in it --though my college was good and fully accredited. Because I don't think you can teach anyone HOW to teach. I think it's a gift. They've pretty much concluded that private religious schools have better results than many public schools --exceptions do exist. And the parents may be a big part of the difference --their intelligence, ed. levels and commitment to the ed of their kids.

What is needed more than ed. degrees and education courses, is expertise and knowledge in the area you teach.

my daughter home schools --she has her bachelors in music ed. I don't see her wanting to teach h.s. sciences and math however --but they'll be ready for that math as they are using the Saxon math curricula which is great.

another home school family we know and one TCS family had more than one child knock the top off the SATs and get full rides to U.T.

I think state standards do have some validity --the teachers' unions complain still about teaching to the tests --which is a way of measuring if state standards have been met. I hope it keeps them from having time to dabble in "life skills courses" and "values ed," "transcendental meditation and yoga" --etc.

Antipelagian said...

Anonymous said:
Antipelagian, I find it amusing that you have all these thoughts on public schooling when you have no experience either teaching in or attending a public school.

You'd be speaking ignorantly because I am aware of the philosophy and origins of public education.

You'd also be speaking quite ignorantly as I am involved with the No Child Left Behind program. So I have to abide by state standards when tutoring children.

I encourage you to look up your state standards. I think you will find that these are things students should be learning anyway. Having standards makes teachers accountable for what they are teaching.

As noted, I'm aware of the state standards and abide by them...I'm not against standards...I'm against "education" that merely preps students to take standardized tests well.

I won't speculate about you as you have concerning me...I will simply wonder aloud how it is you know what private school standards are...and wonder aloud why it is that private schools that don't have these "lofty standards" you talk about manage to out-test public schools on the state's very own standardized exams.

I'll also wonder aloud about how the Toledo Public school system(of which I'm involved), manages to have more students drop out than graduate. Are the standards just that lofty?

As far as home schooling goes, I think it is good for some people, however, I don't think much of it. Teachers have at least 4 years of training in both their content area and education classes. In some ways it is almost insulting for someone to say they can do a better job teaching their children than someone who has been trained to do so.

On the flip side, I would say it's insulting for a public educator to think he/she is better qualified to make decisions concerning *my child's* education. The nurture of *my children* is not the God-ordained (let alone Constitutional) sphere of the government...I guess it could seem insulting to one when I say the parents' are at least as well equipped as someone with a degree in education....but it's only insulting if you've already assumed the prerogative of the Messianic public schooling system. Fortunately, that is not my standard...and since the very topic of discussion is *standards*, you're seeing anything "offensive" in my statements is the product of circular reasoning.

If you don't care for my opinions, and actually want to read a great book, I suggest you read: The Well Trained Mind.

I am constantly amazed at how people think a child's education is so radically dependent upon a teacher...I think facilitating a child's ability to *learn* will foster their education.

Antipelagian, I would encourage you to learn more about public schools before knocking them.

Anonymous, I suggest you read a few books and stop pretending like you know what my experiences include.

kateb said...

Antipelagian said...

"I see public schooling as a means of brainwashing children."

I couldn't agree more. None of my peers raised their children in the public school system. Most of us tried it and wanted to be supporting of our community schools but it doesn't work for Christian children.

Not at all. Sadly we're seeing the toll on the public school attendance numbers and the funding is tied directly to this number. I don't know what a good solution is, if the secular public wants these schools, shouldn't they pay for them? We had to pay double to educate our kids with the freedom to practice their religion.

Once through taxes and then a second time through tuition. But it was a very worthwhile investment.

kateb said...

As an afternote - when my daughter graduated from a Christian school with a home school certificate - the colleges we talked to were so happy because that meant she wasn't going to require all the remedial services, labs and tutoring that public school kids require.

It's a real drain on the college system.

UT has a TPS program where they sign kids up for remedial classes and tutoring....many if not most of them require the university to expend extra time and expense to bring them up to college entry capabilities.

Antipelagian said...

KateB said:
UT has a TPS program where they sign kids up for remedial classes and tutoring....many if not most of them require the university to expend extra time and expense to bring them up to college entry capabilities.

That's interesting.

My wife is involved with an online university...she helps students learn to write...these are all adults that are products of public education. Many in their 20's, 30's and even 40's.

It is amazing how many do not know to capitalize the first letter of the first word at the beginning of a sentence. Many are unable to make a coherent sentence.

For all the talk about the "standards" public education has, I look around me and see people with their diplomas who cannot speak or write intelligibly. You won't find that often at all from kids that graduate from private will see it in home schoolers where the parents were lazy...but more often than not, the worst offenders are graduates of public schools.

Why is that? It's because public education is founded upon the philosophy of making better citizens, not providing an is brainwashing, much of the time.

kateb said...

It is a bit surprising to me to see the literacy problems. In my company I deal primarily with Vice Presidents of banks, or CFO's or their purchasing VP.

I always shudder when I see some of the typo's. Your for you are. There for belonging to them. It's very pervasive.

We'd better step it up since so much of our manufacturing is going overseas, we're going to need a literate generation b/c that's where our economic recovery will happen, in the white collar sector.

Barb said...

The problem is less the teaching in the failing schools (or the effort to cultivate citizenship) than it is the attitude of the students toward school and authority--whose parents aren't well educated and don't know how to get the tv off and their kids into bed at night --nor to help them with homework --and can't get them up for school in the AM. Truancy and bad behavior, disrespect for teachers, are features of the failing public schools --there are many kids in these schools who want to do better and would do better if they could get out with vouchers.

I can't complain about the overall education at AW Public Schools --very college prep and top notch opportunities in the musical (and visual) arts. But you have parents who are ambitious for their kids there --many rich neighborhoods where parents are educated and smart. It does make a difference. Ottawa Hills is a similar example.

Truancy, Disruption and Disrespect--these hinder public ed in failing districts. And more money (as the gov't thinks) is not the solution. It WOULD help, perhaps, if they had school transportation for the extracurriculars. Kids are walking home in the dark or don't participate.

Antipelagian said...

The problem is less the teaching in the failing schools (or the effort to cultivate citizenship) than it is the attitude of the students toward school and authority--whose parents aren't well educated and don't know how to get the tv off and their kids into bed at night --nor to help them with homework --and can't get them up for school in the AM.

Why do you suppose many parents are not educated very well and feel little/no responsibility for assisting in their child's education?

kateb said...

AP good question. Alot of people don't have a clue about how their public school system evolved.

New England had 'public' schools prior to the revolutionary war but not as we see them today. These were really religious schools.

Public education as we know it today was first available all over the country in the 1890's. Some states passed compulsory attendance rules, but again, not as we know them today. These rules permitted religious absences, students who worked in family businesses or farms were exempted. Nothing as we know it today.

In 1983 a Federal report, "A Nation at Risk" was a real eye opener as it showed how very poor the public education was in America. It started the whole, 'Why can't Johnny read?"

In response to this, rather than offering a better product - and largely at the bidding of the teachers unions - they tightened up the compulsory attendance laws and attached parental responsibility repercussions.

So in the last generation we realized that publicly educated people had been delivered a very poor education. The fact that their children, the second generation to be forced by law to receive a poor education - do not flourish in the public education environment should surprise no one.

Deliver a better product before you blame the consumer.

Barb said...

I'm basing my opinion of failing schools on observation as C's mother --she taught 4 years in inner city--and I taught 2 years in the inner city. Most inner city schools do not meet standards but may have very talented, dedicated teachers.

Also my statements are based on my experiences with a mother who had all these problems I describe with her children --she might as well have been on drugs for as ineffectual and dysfunctional as she was.

If parents aren't educated themselves, they may not value it. Mainly though, they are too wrapped up in their own problems --which are often economic--these are the parents who don't come to parent teacher conferences, can't seem to get the kids off to school every day. This friend of mine would run late to school with the kids --and stop at McDonalds for breakfast on the way --if she had any money at all.

If the parents of many of the students started out as teen single moms, if there are no fathers in the home, if the school can't paddle the extremely disrespectful who think the classroom is their personal playground and comedy stage, if those parents can't force bedtime, homework time, Tv off and school attendance -- (which is hard but not impossible for a single parent to do without a father's backup)

AND IF the school uses expulsion and suspension for discipline which puts the kids farther behind, guaranteeing they will come back even more determined to be miscreants because they already have F's for being suspended and truant too many days --they can't make up work from suspensions and excessive absences (not allowed)--the F's are guaranteed with so many days absent--so they come back to the classroom with no hope of passing. And they would rather act badly to save face than let the teacher expose how much they do not know since they have been absent. and the cycle of suspension occurs all over again --and the teacher has to spend way too much time writing up the behavior problem in order to send the kid to the principal.

I'm telling you --it isn't just the school's failure when schools fail.

HOwever, it IS the state's failure for eliminating the paddle from the elem. schools. I believe if kids learn respect in the lower grades, and are not allowed to run the school and run their mouths any way they please, that behavior that is conducive to learning will carry over to the upper grades. Some really need to be humbled by a whack with the board of ed. I don't say the paddle is a panacea, but I think it's what some kids need to settle down the whole class--whereas other techniques will work for some.

Jeanette said...

It's a known fact students who haven't mastered the grade they are in get bumped up to the next grade and so on.

My daughter is a reading specialist who tries to get sixth graders on grade level in reading. She is also the head of the language department in her school.

She is certified grades 1-8 and could homeschool her own children in any of the topics taught as she has expertise in all of them, but she and her husband have decided to send their children to public school.

She keeps an eye on what the reading requirements are for her children and will cause a fuss if there is a book she doesn't want them to read. Usually she wins. Actually, always she wins as she has her mother's stubborn streak and ability to see it through to the end.

When I was in high school the gym teachers separated the girls and the boys and gave us sex ed for a day.

It was about menstrual cycles and how to keep oneself hygenic.

Now they take condoms and demonstrate how to use them.

What's next? A real live exhibit of sex, both hetero and homo?

By the time I was taught this in school my mother had already taught me, so it was useless. Why tell high school seniors about having periods or wet dreams? That's for the parents to do. It may be uncomfortable, but it has to be done by the parents.

Barb said...

Our sex ed was in the 5th grade, as I recall--and we had these nice little booklets for girls from the sanitary supply companies--which explained the physical changes coming and the relationship to motherhood. It was not co-ed --and it was probably one class period.

then later, I recall health classes with films about VD. There were awful films on that topic when my kids were going through school. That's a whole blog topic.

kateb said...

I agree Barb. I think we're failing these kids all the way around. Many times at home and fairly consistently in their education.

I did find a man here in Toledo who has started a program for young men. So that they'll have positive male role models and counseling. I'm planning to send a donation and if they need any help, I'll make some time for this.

So true about many of these parents being single Mom's. It's really hard to raise kids and provide for them all by yourself.

Rob R said...

Overall, I'd say my education at Anthoney Wayne was pretty good.

Even on the political end, I appreciated the education from both liberal and conservative teachers. I'm actually glad that there was a mix.

kateb said...

I think that's Rob, that there should be an honest exchange of all information (at appropriate ages) for the children growing up. And they should know there is more than one way to understand things. Honest debate for a child firmly grounded in their faith is a good thing.

It was Royster who said that acceptance of dissent is the fundamental requirement of a free society.

My concern is that this was not my experience in my childrens exposure to public education. There seemed to be an inundation of liberal political information, (often times in math classes and other inappropriate forums) and a consistent lack of respect for the Christian childrens beliefs. Belittling or making fun of kids for other faiths or for other reasons wasn't tolerated.

Only Christians seemed to be fair game. And I just don't think that's ok.

If they could reach a healthy balance, certainly it would be fine. But as someone recently said, I do believe that the public education system is brainwashing children.

They also are being used to dumb down the populace with regard to civil rights and our 3 branch system. Kids don't take American government classes as a required class anymore in any school we were exposed to. Its no wonder the kids don't know what their rights are or how they should expect the government to behave.

Barb said...

I thought they had proficiency tests for kids in social studies, Kateb. Would that not include gov't study? Gov't was an elective at AW --but if you didn't take it, you had a similar ss alternative, as I recall. Yes, it was Justice class, I believe --and I didn't like the ideas kids got in there about whom to sue --the deep pockets. It wasn't clear to me that they brought up any injustice in the deep pocket suing.

Little Towhee said...

I haven't read all of the comments, so please forgive if I repeat something. But I wanted to add my little bit here.

My husband and I are about to start homeschooling after this schoolyear. We are the Christian parents of 5 children, ages 8 months (twins), 2 years, 6 years and 8 years. We live 1/4 mile from the best public elementary school in our county. We both had excellent experiences growing up in the public schools (minus the junk we had to endure on the buses and in the locker rooms). We participated in school sports, excelled academically, and held leadership positions that won us scholarships. My husband had a full ride to a state supported institution where we met. . . He studied engineering and I studied architecture.

I grew up in a Christian home, but my husband did not. His family sees themselves as "good people", but I believe you know the difference between "good people" and Christians. After marrying, my husband became a Christian, but because he was reared in a humanist home, trust me, there are still some issues that he struggles with (namely pride and selfishness) due to this value system he was submersed in as a child. Do remember that these are "good people" by the way.

You might send your children to a quality public school full of "good people", but there is a difference in "good people" values and Christian values. Submersing your children in "good people" values is just not the same. Nuance is different.

I don't know when you reared your children, how old they are now. I have a 16 year old sister, and I am privy to observing the MAJOR cultural changes that have taken place in public schools since 1991 when I graduated from high school. Kids are more peer-oriented than ever. . . The legacy of values that used to be transmitted from generation are NO MORE. . . No more vertical transmission of values. It's all horizontal now (meaning that peers are teaching peers). Cell phones, text messaging, constant computer interaction (facebook, myspace, etc.) have cut out parents. Kids are constantly in contact with one another. Their social lives are more important now than ever.

I could go on and on about this peer orientation, and I highly recommend the book by Gordon Neufeld that covers this cultural issue that has been on the rise since post WWII. It will open your eyes.

Another issue that we've come across is this. . . We wanted to keep our children in the public school, but we're finding that increasingly, the government is controlling our time to the point we have NO time to efficiently and effectively pass on our values to our children!

As an example. . . When I was in kindergarten, we came home from school and played, rested and spent time with our parents. Now, kids come home from kindergarten with 30 minutes to an hour of homework daily. If you have more than one child in other grades, you end up spending all afternoon leading up until dinner time doing school required homework.

What if you want to get your child involved in a lesson after school? Well, considering that most activities for kids now take place after 5 pm to accommodate working parents, you end up spending your evening taking a kid to a lesson or activity. This cuts into family dinner time and takes away from any evening family activities that might be good for transmitting values. I MEAN THIS FOR EVEN JUST ONE ACTIVITY PER CHILD EACH WEEK (just two children participating in activities at this point).

Then the school schedule. . . Do you think it's healthy for a 5 or 8 year old to be awake and sitting behind a desk by 7:30 am each morning? Whilst the high schoolers get to sleep in until 8 am and not be at school until 8:30 am? What's with that? Younger children's health is being compromised by this in our county! Young children in our county wake ALL SCHOOL YEAR LONG in the dark while high school students who should be learning more responsibility get to roll out of bed later. . . Why is this? Because working parents have to be at work by a certain time, and high school students are more autonomous? We believe it's for the working parents instead of for the benefit of the children.

The way public school is scheduled in our county, we truly believe our children's health and wellbeing is being compromised.

In just 10 years' time, public school expectations have changed. (Our 2nd grader does 1 hour of homework everyday, and he is NOT SLOW.)

Furthermore, we have been convicted that public school cheats children of reaching their God-given potential. . . It cheats God's kingdom in this way also. How do I say this? Does this make sense? Let me give an example:

I have a gifted kindergartener. This year, even after working with the already-stretched teacher, he is not getting challenged. They say he is not socially mature enough (say he's grade on in that area) to move him up to first grade or beyond. His time is being wasted in the public school. His God-given potential and possibly his God-given purpose is being wasted, and as parents, if we allow this to happen, we are being remiss in our responsibilities as Christian parents.

And believe you me. . . I cannot tell you the number of public school teachers, Christian ones and non-Christian ones alike, who say their biggest guilt complex about teaching is that they cannot possibly teach to each child's potential and that some children are being cheated majorly. It is a burden in their minds.

If there is one child in the class with behavioural issues, the rest of the class will suffer. . . even those at grade level.

So my question is this:
As Christian parents, how do we help our children find God's purpose for them if public school is taking away our time? (And I hear Obama's cronies would love to increase government control of our children's time via mandatory volunteer work, parents having to work more just to support a family thus leaving children in the care of government ALL DAY LONG, etc. etc.)

Is it a sin to let our children's individual potentials go to waste? Are we not accountable to God for what we did with our most precious resources, our children? Is public school, at this point and time, a waste of those resources?

Perhaps not completely. I do believe some families are called to leave their children in that mission field. Hey, maybe there are some wonderful Christian classmates that are reaching out to your child also!

But times have changed.

Another thing we've seen happen is that with the influx of Northerners (okay YANKEES) to our good Southern state (haha), values are quickly eroding. Even though these people are often "good peoples", they are affluent, their children have many things, the values are different (heavier drinking, parents seem to be more self-absorbed, materialism is a problem, entitlement, lack of manners/pushiness, etc.) have come into our public schools. This has affected the fabric of the public schools in our state whether people want to accept it or not. The South has long held onto to values that other more liberal parts of the country have released more quickly as they adopted humanism.

Just an example: my 16 year old sister invited her newly transplanted friend from NJ to church with her, and the girl's parents said, "No way. The churches down here are like cults." (My parents and sis go to a Southern Baptist church.) This is the common attitude about the South!

I know, I know. I'm rambling.

I have so much to say.

I had a lot to say the day my child came home from school the day they discussed MLK Jr. recently during Black History Month too. My child was taught how awesome it was that MLK Jr. went to college earlier than the norm. How he thought all people were equal.

But nobody at school bothered to tell him that MLK Jr. got his ideas from Christ. How many Christian parents really do stop and take their time to teach their kids these things? Face it, many of us had public school educations where such info was omitted, so we don't even know to teach it ourselves! It's generational, people. It's generational. And where one generation fell asleep at the wheel, the next probably will too UNLESS they come to their senses.

Christian parents are NOT on the ball as long as they are depending on the public school to provide character education and REAL context. Christian parents are furthermore not on the ball as long as they are depending on their own churches to provide complete scriptural and Biblically sound teaching.

Parents from all walks of life, not just Christians, had better wake up. Government education is inferior altogether. Until the government gets out of the business of schooling (it's not REAL education anymore), then the public schools are not going to get better. Many years of reform have not improved the conditions. Things have only worsened.

If you look at a 5th grade textbook from the early part of the 1900s, you will be shocked to see that it's the same level as COLLEGE LEVEL today!!! Our system is holding our kids' potential and purpose down.

These are some of the things we hope to do the following by homeschooling:
- help our children learn and make habit Christian values
- protect our children as much as possible from incidences that would damage their souls, spirits, hearts and minds so that they may grow up intact and wholehearted (this is our job whether you believe in hardknocks or not)
- teach our children REAL work ethic and self-discipline instead of having a government authority ring bells and control their time to the point that the children grow up having no clue how to manage their own time responsibly
- helping our children find God's purpose for their lives so that they can use that purpose to reach others for Christ
- helping them pursue their God-given purpose with EXCELLENCE

Etc. Etc.

Can one really pursue EXCELLENCE in a public school setting? Possibly. But we are convicted that at least two of our children cannot. We've seen their natural curiosities being to wane as we have lost our authority and control to the government. Public schools will usurp authority and control from a parent in some degree or fashion.

For us, cultivating faith in our kids while they are in public school:
- we bring faith into everything, we live it, we breath it, we seek Christ, we fail and talk about that too when appropriate (showing our kids that we are human and need Christ), etc.

But still, the school and their peers have so much influence over them. We are reaping the negative consequences of this in "little ways" for now, but we see it. How are we to combat it?

I feel a deep conviction to protect my children's innocence. Public school is not doing this and even turns a blind eye. There's the "kissing tube" game that the playground teachers did not see happening repeatedly. There's the kid using the mother-of-all-dirty-words in kindergarten, prompting my child to ask me what it means. There's the materialism that comes with affluence. There's the bullying and snobbery. There's a general sense that teachers can't be everywhere all at once so kids are getting away with all kinds of rude and inappropriate behaviours (Like the three clique girls who falsely accused my child of pushing/changed to elbowing them on the playground. . . later, after lying to parents and teachers, the truth came out. And even the Christian parents of the three accusers did not "want to make a big deal out of it", so they required no apologies to my son whose character and reputation were assassinated. The teacher had MADE him apologize even though she didn't see what happened. Do you think this incident affected him in anyway? What if it caused him to loose interest in learning at school? What if he was branded a troublemaker? We used this as a faith teaching lesson, BUT I can tell you that he was wounded by this bullying behaviour from three CHRISTIAN girls and their CHRISTIAN parents.)

I'm sorry, but I for one am convicted to get my kids the heck out of the public schools. For their God-given potential to be reached. And their immature souls and Christian spirits to be immersed in the values we think God desires them to have.

I know there are Christian teachers out there, and we've been lucky to have 3 out of 4 be such. We've been asked to especially pray for classroom situations, and these teachers have stayed where they are because of deep convictions. But I feel for them. It's a real struggle for them. The government and NEA are only making it more difficult for them to be missionaries in that field. . .

Go where you are called. We're called out. Not because we think we're better but because we are convicted.

Little Towhee said...

I know I left a ramble-y, long reply replete with all the grammatical errors some of you can't stomach. Forgive me for that, please. I'm just very passionate about this issue.

I wanted to add a reply specifically concerning teacher education/certification as Anonymous wrote about in his/her reply.

As aforementioned, I have a degree in architecture. I also worked on a Masters Elem. Education. Teacher education is more about classroom and behavioural management and how to teach to large groups of children versus teaching individually. I can also attest that the professionalism and maturity of some of my cohort members was appalling. The work I saw them present for classroom presentations as well as the grades they received made me realize just how low our country's education standards have become. It's bad. (I'm all for a free market school set-up. I think it would do wonders for this country.)

Not everyone who has received a degree in education is suited to teach children of any age or grade level. Don't assume that a certificate from the state makes someone more suited than a child's own mother or father. Or other relative for that matter.

Passing a driving test does not mean one will never have a wreck, cause an accident or make a traffic violation. Or even be a good driver for that matter!

Barb said...

Little Towee --welcome --and whence comes the interesting screen name?

Agree with a lot of your observations about public ed --except to say that I don't think it's worse today --except in the promotion of homosexuality--that IS worse today.

And it does vary from district to district --if you have a lot of wholesome parents with conservative and even Christian values, your children can find good friends whose parents are involved with them and share some concerns with you. But if your kids care about being popular at all costs, public school --any school --can pose a threat to your parenting efforts.

I think peer pressure has always been more powerful than parenting during teen years --although convictions can be established in children which some will never rebel against. E.g. My brother and I were persuaded that alcohol and nicotine (and other drugs) were equivalent to poisens and never waivered from our parents' convictions about these --no matter what peers were doing.

If you read my thread through, you'll see that I recommend putting money into Chrsitian college, because that is the time and place when students' faith is most undermined by secular ed.

The big error of public school today is the promotion of homosexuality and value-neutral sex ed. They were doing all the value-neutral stuff when my kids were in school and when I started teaching-- from 70's on. Idiocy and loss of common sense on the part of adults.