Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Lemming Tracks: Home Schooling isn't What You May Think


WARNING

The Lemming went on a rant in this post. Not only that, but you'll find it just simply crawling with Catholic cooties. If you like your assumptions conventional, and aren't particularly partial to reality checks, I suggest you avoid this post and check back in about an hour.

The Lemming will try to find a photo of a cute rabbit or something for the next post
"Home Schooling, Religious and Moral Instruction, and American Culture"
A Catholic Citizen in America (March 6, 2010)

"I'm one of those home-schooling parents you hear about from time to time. Oddly enough, the ones I know aren't particularly outstanding for being poor, uneducated and easily led: and do not intentionally wallow in self-righteous ignorance.

"But what do I know? I'm one of those home-schooling parents you hear about.

"Sorry: That's about as close to a rant as I allow myself...."

That's a post from another one of my blogs. And yes: I'm one of those people. My kids were home schooled from grade seven through high school graduation.

One of them's about to graduate from a tech school and is going into commercial art, another graduated from Concordia with a music degree, a third is a writer and musician, and my son is pretty good at writing software and debugging computers. He's 13, so he may decide to go in another direction, which is also okay with me.

If he decides to be an auto mechanic, he'll make more money than I ever did.

Which is another topic.

The point is, we are not inbred freaks crawling out of the swamp. Like most home schooling parents, we give a rip about our kids and think that we can do a better job of educating them than the state. It doesn't help that I used to be an English teacher: I know American education from the inside.

The home-schooling parents we know aren't all just like us. But they're smart people, most of them are active in the community, and - this is important - they aren't ignorant crackpots.

Shameless Self-Promotion? Sure, Why Not?

I don't feel too guilty about promoting another one of my blogs here. The topic of this blog is 'cool stuff that I find online,' as my oldest daughter put it.

I don't know how 'cool' that post is: but it presents home schooling in a way that you're not likely to find in the traditional, old-school news services.

Besides, I think some all-too-common American assumptions are overdue for a reality check.

"Religious and Moral Instruction" Means "Fundamentalism"?!

"...The Associated Press apparently came up with 'for most home-school parents, a Bible-based version of the Earth's creation is exactly what they want' from 'Federal statistics from 2007 show 83 percent of home-schooling parents want to give their children "religious or moral instruction." '

"Wow...."

NOT ALL CHRISTIANS ARE DOLTS

"My wife and I gave our children the option of being home schooled for grades 7-12. And yes, part of the reason was 'to give their children "religious or moral instruction." '

"But we're Catholics. For us 'religious and moral instruction' means clueing our kids in on what the Church has taught for about two millennia now, and how God and the prophets worked with Israel's descendants.1 That's the religious part. The 'moral instruction' includes telling them that snorting cocaine is a really stupid idea, and that obeying the law is a good idea.

" 'Religious and moral instruction' does not mean that we teach them that some dude who looks like Charlton Heston in the role of Moses made everything we can observe in 144 hours, a few thousand years back...."

If that sounds like I got rather heated on the subject: you're quite right. I've known a few people whose spiritual leaders have clinkers in their thinkers about the Bible and what's been learned in the last few hundred years: and who really believe what their preacher says about those 'Satanic' scientist. I've also known a few who might not have ditched Christianity - and all religion - if it hadn't been for the ranting of the first group.

Me? I'm one of those folks who like facts, and prefer it when the facts can be fitted together in some sort of coherent, rational structure. Without trashing most of what's been discovered in the last 2,000 years or so. Which is part of the reason I became a Catholic.

But that's definitely another topic. ("Firebase Earth," A Catholic Citizen in America (April 5, 2009), "Why Did I Convert to Catholicism?," (November 24, 2009), for starters)

Vaguely-related posts:

2 comments:

Brigid said...

Sentence got awkward: "I've known a few people who really believe that what their preacher says is so about the Bible and those Satanic scientist is true"

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader (and one of *THOSE* people)

Brian, aka Aluwir, aka Norski said...

Brigid,

Right you are. I've edited it out to two sentences. Thanks!

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