Sunday, February 9, 2014

Take Back Our Children

This may be a post that some people find difficult. I’d like to say I’m sorry, but I’m not.  Why not? Because this is important. Little by little we are selling our children. In our country, there are three viable options for your children’s education: Government (public) Schools, Private Schools, and Home Schools.
It is the parents to whom God has given stewardship of their children, so those parents must pray about which option is best for their family. Each family’s reasons are personal for why they choose them. We have no right to interfere with their decisions.

That being said, there is something insidious going on in our country and many parents seem pretty complacent about it.  The schools are taking over the role of the parents, in many cases overriding parental standards and choices. This isn’t just happening in the United States. Germany hasn’t allowed parents the right to pull their children out of school since the Third Reich. In the United Kingdom, there was recently a story about a family whose child was suspended because the parents packed a lunch that violated school lunch standards. The rotten parents allowed their child to have some cheesy crisps. Can you believe the negligence?

While I was outraged on behalf of the British parents and my heart weeps for German families that have their children taken away for teaching subversive ( ie. different from what the government wants) ideas, there is something happening right on our doorsteps in the U.S. and many are complacent. I’m talking about common core.

It is being touted as an elevation of standards and college readiness. At the risk of sounding like Dolores Umbridge (who still makes me shiver), this is  a lie.  Even a cursory look at the standards shows they are not raising them, but in many cases lowering them. Instead, it is creating a generation (or more if it continues) of children who will be indoctrinated in a certain ideology.

On top of that, the instruction that is taking place is flawed, especially in the elementary years.  What may have been a well intentioned attempt at teaching children to think outside the box, is going to cause our elementary aged students to grow up feeling confused and stupid, especially in math.  They’re trying to force young children to grasp the abstract.

As any proponent of classical education can tell you, that is not how young children learn.  They need to start with the concrete. Then, when they are developmentally ready move on to the abstract. This usually takes place in their Junior High School years.  You know those years…when they start arguing about everything. Then, the High School years they are ready to communicate the new concepts and ideas they have formed.  To learn more about this see Dorothy Sayers' essay The Lost Tools of Learning.

But, let’s get back to the main point. There are reasons not to give a central government control over the education of our children. It’s just plain dangerous. The blatant indoctrination in these standards will end up shaping the minds of our children. The danger won’t be obvious at first, but I see the direction this is heading. 

So, here is what I’m asking, I would like you to watch the video below. Then I would like you to pray about what the Lord would have you do. I firmly believe we need to stop Common Core.

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