Tag Archives: homeschooling

Back When We Were Citizens

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I remember back in the 1960s, when I was still in public school, and they first tried to add “sex education” to the curriculum.

Practically the whole town turned out for the school board meeting, to tell the board, in no uncertain terms, “Thou shalt not!” And so they didn’t, because they would’ve all been voted out of office if they had.

My friend Jimmy’s father, Mr. K., was particularly persuasive. They didn’t like to see him coming. So they refrained from innovations to the curriculum–because they had a wholesome fear of how the community would react. Because back then, see, we still had a community.

What’s changed?

For one thing, the state took away virtually all the power that the local school boards had to determine how education was conducted in their district. So if the voters rejected the school budget, the state commissioner had the power to nullify their vote. Eventually people stopped voting down school budgets, because it was futile. And meanwhile, the board had to tailor the curriculum to conform to whatever the state wanted.

I’m sure this happened in other states besides New Jersey.

Local control of school districts protected us from the kind of endless mischief now perpetrated daily by the state and federal governments. We could get it back, if there were ever the political will to abolish the federal Dept. of Education and get the federal government out of education altogether. We would also have to abolish the office of state commissioner of education, abolish state departments of education, and repeal Common Core–including all the “rewrites” which are only Common Core hiding behind a less controversial name.

All of that would be tremendously difficult to accomplish, going up against rich, powerful, entrenched opposition from the government and teachers’ unions.

Much better to pull Christian children, and others, out of public education and give them a Christian education, either at home or in a Christian school.

And there’s a wonderful upside to that.

Kill public education, and liberalism dies.


Book Review: ‘Crimes of the Educators’

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Chalcedon has published my review of Crimes of the Educators, by Samuel Blumenfeld and Alex Newman.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/book-review-crimes-of-the-educators

Sam Blumenfeld was one of the pioneers of homeschooling in America, and he worked his heart out teaching phonics and trying to undo the havoc wrought on young minds by the faddish “whole language” method, which left so many of its victims illiterate. But that–which some of the education theorists who pushed it now admit has been a “disaster”–is only one of public education’s multitude of crimes.

It would be hard to name another institution which has done more harm to our country than public education–although our nooze media are doing their utmost to catch up.

Anyhow, it’s all in the book review. Happy landings.


Does God Tell Us to Love Our Children ‘Unconditionally’?

In this latest installment of Chalcedon’s (www.chalcedon.edu) Homeschooling Help, Andrea Schwartz and Nancy Wilk tackle a question that’s a lot stickier than it looks: Does the word of God instruct us to love our children unconditionally? It’s about 30 minutes long, and I guarantee you’ll find it thought-provoking.

The stumbling-block is the word “unconditional,” which presupposes something that does not, in fact, exist: “All love is conditional love,” as Andrea and Nancy make clear. Like, my wife loves me; but if I did certain things, you can bet she wouldn’t love me anymore. So I don’t do those things!

I find myself on tenterhooks (what exactly are tenterhooks? anybody know?) because Andrea and Nancy do not rule out the occasional spanking as a legitimate, appropriate tool of parental discipline. Ooooh! To think it actually takes courage to say that…

Andrea is Chalcedon’s homeschooling mentor. You wouldn’t believe how hard she worked, trying to teach me to perform certain computer functions. I can personally testify to her patience!


You Don’t Need to Be a Teacher to Teach

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In any discussion of homeschooling, an objection that always comes up is, “But I’m not a teacher! How can I teach, if I’m not a professional, trained teacher?”

Oh, come on.

When I was a kid in grade school, I just couldn’t seem to learn how to add a column of figures. The whole idea of carrying a number–like, for instance, the “1” in “13”–over to the top of the next line of digits to the left, totally eluded me. And the teacher just couldn’t put it right, no matter how many times she tried.

So one night my father–not a teacher, but an assembly line worker at the Ford plant–sat down with me and taught me how to do it. He only needed half an hour or so. He taught me, and from then on, I could do it with the best of them.

Common sense, patience, and love can’t be learned at any teachers’ college.

And don’t even get me started on the things they do learn at teachers’ college, nowadays.


The Future of Christian Education

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Throughout the 1970s and 80s, Chalcedon founder R.J. Rushdoony campaigned tirelessly for Christian education, homeschooling, and Christian schools. He traveled all over the country, testifying as an expert witness in many homeschooling trials. When he started, Christian homeschooling was forbidden in many districts. Today, it has spread from coast to coast.

Chalcedon continues its work for Christian education, with our own homeschooling mentor, Andrea Schwartz, at the helm. For example:

https://chalcedon.edu/blog/the-future-of-christian-education-and-why-it-matters

It’s hard work, traveling to conferences, networking with homeschooling parents all over America, blogging and writing about it, spreading the word and walking the walk. We’re proud of Andrea’s unceasing efforts for the cause.


‘The Tolerance Fuhrer’ (2013)

It doesn’t matter what country you’re in: everything that leftids say is an exercise in projection. They accuse you of hate, when they’re the biggest hate-mongers around. They call you a racist, when they’re the most rabid racists of all.

And in the name of Tolerance, they’re always the most intolerant brick-heads of them all.

https://leeduigon.com/2013/09/06/the-tolerance-fuhrer/


Another Captive Audience for ‘Gay’ Speakers

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If you thought your kids were safe from “gay” evangelism in a Utah public high school–Red state, full of strait-laced Mormons–well, you thought wrong.

Parents are upset that the school recently hosted guest speakers from, uh, “Moab Pride”–like you couldn’t guess that that would be about?–supposedly for “poetry slam workshops,” whatever the devil that is, “on tolerance and acceptance”… which turned into an exercise in “identity mapping”–the superintendent of schools admitted he didn’t know what that is; and neither to we–in which students were called upon “to reveal their sexual orientation and gender identity” (https://townhall.com/columnists/toddstarnes/2017/10/18/guest-speaker-tells-students-im-queer-and-im-trumps-worst-enemy-n2396815).

You can’t beat the superintendent’s excuse: “It  caught the school off guard.” Oh, well, no problem then!

Red state, schmed state: the same teachers’ unions, and the same “gay” evangelism. They’ll do it every time.

Controlled by the same far-left teachers’ unions in all 50 states, America’s public schools are dedicated to preaching sexual anarchy, gender-bending, race-hustling, socialism, and all the rest of the leftids’ DeLuxe Fun Pack. If you send your kids to public schools, that’s what they’re going to get. How many thousand more examples do you need before you see that?

It looks more and more like the only safe place for your children to be educated is at home, by Christian families.


West Virginia: Homeschooling a Form of Child Abuse?

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I’ve got to write about this today because I have some skin in the game; and besides, the headline is provocative: “West Virginia Introduces Bill to Treat Homeschooling as Child Abuse” ( http://www.dcclothesline.com/2017/04/01/west-virginia-introduces-bill-to-treat-homeschooling-as-child-abuse/ ).

I am employed by The Chalcedon Foundation, an international Christian education ministry. Our founder, Rev. R.J. Rushdoony, probably more than any other single individual, championed homeschooling: he spent most of the 1970s testifying as an expert witness in hundreds of cases involving homeschooling, logging thousands and thousands of miles as he traveled the country back and forth, defending parents’ right to educate their children at home–and particularly the right of Christian parents to provide their children with a Christian education.

All of us at Chalcedon are committed heart and soul to homeschooling, and the ministry continues to labor on its behalf. We are glad to be able to say that homeschooling now is on a much, much firmer footing than it was in the 1970s, when government at all levels, and particularly the Jimmy Carter administration, tried to wipe it out. By and large, God’s people have won that battle, at least in America. But we do understand that it’s not yet time to head for the hammock and reach for the beer.

Now, back to West Virginia.

Alarmist headline aside, at least the news story contains the text of the bill and statements from its sponsors. Having read these, I don’t believe the intent of the bill is to criminalize homeschooling or to try to control what parents teach their children–although you can find those legislative goals enthusiastically pursued by Western governments outside the United States. Rushdoony would say we need to fight for homeschooling rights there, too.

Anyway, the purpose of this bill seems to be to stop parents from using homeschooling as an excuse for truancy. It says a “student is not eligible for either home instruction exemption once certain truancy related legal proceedings begin or after a conviction.” In other words, you can’t say, “Ooh-ooh, I just remembered! Johnny didn’t show up to school ten days in a row without a note from me because I was homeschooling him at the time. I mean, I meant to send you a note but I guess it slipped my mind…” None of that will be allowed, if the bill passes.

We do not deny that child abuse and child neglect exist. We certainly don’t want homeschooling used as a lame excuse for it. But we at Chalcedon stand for home education as an absolute right, and speaking for myself, I would like to see an end to state-sponsored public education–as an institution corrupt from its beginning, whose goals have always been unwholesome, and as a bad business that only gets worse by the day.

In the meantime, though, I don’t think this West Virginia bill is anything special to be afraid of.

P.S.–Not to hit you with a commercial, but I’ve long found the best single resource, in understanding the history of public schooling in America, to be R.J. Rushdoony’s book, The Messianic Character of American Education–available, like my novels, from the Chalcedon store (http://www.chalcedon.edu/store ). In their own words, Rushdoony lets the creators, developers, and theorists of public education condemn themselves. It’s powerful stuff! It’ll make your hair stand on end.


Homeschool Mom Case: Confusing

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It doesn’t look like the local government authorities in Buffalo mean to put right what they have done wrong.

Either that, or we’re just not getting all the story.

The Erie County Family Court this week has refused to return her two small children to the custody of a homeschooling mother in Buffalo ( http://www.wkbw.com/news/family-court-judge-denies-homeschool-moms-custody-request ). Instead, the court will allow her to “visit” her children, under supervision, for two hours a week.

To us on the outside it seems glaringly obvious that this single mother, in seeking to homeschool her children, did absolutely nothing wrong and is the victim of a bureaucratic foul-up in City Hall and an overzealous response by the school board and Child Protective Services, who took action against her without bothering to discover the facts of the case. To us it seems the whole problem arose because someone at City Hall never got around to passing on the homeschooling paperwork to school officials.

Why is this small family being punished?

We do not know why there is no father or husband in the picture. We really don’t know why the authorities are treating this woman like a public enemy. We suspect that what’s going on here is an effort to cover up sloppy government by trying to turn the victim into the villain.

Someone who has the power to get answers ought to be demanding answers.

Because from where we sit, Buffalo is not looking good.


My Answer (Part 1)

If I really, for sure, knew the answer to this question, I wouldn’t be sitting here. But for now, at least, I’m more in the role of a watchman trying to wake people up.

I want to answer you carefully, because you’re entitled to a careful answer, and trying to come up with one is pertinent to my ministry.

Let me start by addressing “separation of church and state,” which our country’s founders never envisioned as a means of driving Christianity out of public affairs and making government the exclusive province of unbelievers.

In fact, we got along quite well for most of our history before anyone realized that the First Amendment gives atheists the right to shut down all public expression of religious belief. Or at least of Christian belief: in my neck of the woods, atheists got rid of our town’s century-old Christmas parade, but don’t seem at all bothered by the annual Hindu festival.

The American people and the American church are to blame for allowing this state of affairs to develop.

If most Americans belong to your Group C, which I grant seems likely, then they won’t care, may not even notice, when Group B goes around Christian-bashing.

But how did so many of us wind up in Group C?

I think it’s because too many of the churches, for 100 years and more, sank into self-involved pietism first and then went on to mutate into “seeker-friendly” houses of entertainment, or even into heresy or outright paganism. About ten years ago I wrote a series of articles about paganism in Mainline Protestant denominations. [Note: most of those articles are available in this blog’s Archives.] It was pretty bad then. I doubt it’s gotten better since.

Long-range, I believe we need political victories which will eventually result in a Supreme Court whose members don’t see themselves as on a mission to disable Christianity and Christians, and who will have the courage to reverse certain abuses. We will also need both national and local leadership that embraces America’s Christian foundation instead of rejecting it.

Short-term, though, Job One has got to be to get Christian children out of teachers’ union-controlled, anti-Christian public schools. Without that, no other victories can be sustained and built upon, in the unlikely event that any victories are won at all. The anti-Christian Left has long known that controlling the culture leads to control of everything, politics included, and they have succeeded in totally dominating public education.

Christian-friendly “reform” of the public school system is simply not possible. It’s too far gone.

Tens of millions of Christian children need to be taken away from those schools and given Christian educations, either at home or in a Christian school. Homeschooling has never been easier or more practicable than it is today, and it will get easier still, less costly, and more efficient as the technology continues to improve and more and more people are involved in it.

Homeschooled children, by the way, routinely outperform the publicly schooled in every academic area.

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Everybody, please feel free to weigh in on these discussions with comments of your own. And pray for me to find good answers to the questions.

I fervently hope this isn’t boring for you. But if it is, blame my editor–it was her idea for me to post this material. And I guess you could blame me, too, because I thought it was a good idea.

 


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