Monday, January 11, 2010


When Not To Keep Up With the Joneses

The Shelbyville, Tennessee Times-Gazette has a piece entitled "Why Do We Choose to Homeschool?" by one Shawna Jones. Now, I have no particularly strong feelings one way or the other about homeschooling. True, the quality of the education of a homeschooled child will depend on the abilities and dedication of the parents but that same can be said of the local public school and teachers. It's a bit of a crap shoot for the children either way. But Jones seems well positioned, as she claims:

My husband and I are both college educated. I have a dual major B.A. and A.A from an accredited university. I worked in the California public school system and passed the California C-BEST exam on my first attempt. I currently teach Spanish, algebra and drama with the Bedford County Homeschool Enrichment Program (HEP), and formally taught Spanish in an industrial setting for a local fortune 500.
Ms. Jones says all the right things too:

Our children are actively involved in local recreation sports activities and events. They play on socially diverse teams, and study other cultures and ways of life in their "world geography and cultures" coursework.

Our children attend the Bedford County Homeschool Enrichment Program (HEP) co-op. They meet one day a week and attend classes in a structured classroom setting, go on field trips, and are involved in community events, such as the recent 2009 Festival of trees "Christmas around the world" at The Fly cultural arts center.

Again, my children are taught to understand other cultures and way of life; are actively involved in social public activities, such as soccer; and observe the world around us with interest and curiosity.
Well, almost all the right things:

Unlike most parents who choose to home school, we did not make the decision for religious reasons. Bedford county schools, while keeping to the laws regarding separation of Church and State, do offer a great deal of leeway with regard to prayer at sporting events, upon news of a tragedy, etc., even allowing the Gideon's into the classroom. We are satisfied with the amount of [Christianity] religious freedom the schools here me, the public school I attended in southern California allowed no religious flexibility.
As the ACLU recently convinced another Tennessee school district, allowing the Gideon's into the classroom is no wheres near keeping to the laws regarding separation of Church and State. Already there's doubt that Ms. Jones' children will learn an accurate picture of our Constitution, not to mention current events. But then there's this:

While I wish the days of prayer before class still existed, I do not think my children need to mix religious beliefs with classroom our opinion, that' what bible study and Sunday school at church is for. Think about it, if we allow religious studies into the public classrooms it will not be limited to Christianity. Personally, I prefer my children not study and learn the Koran, Vodou, Judaism, etc., even it does mean a trade out to allow in the open study of Christianity in public schools.
Um ... Does Ms. Jones know where the Old Testament comes from? Does she really not want her children to learn about Judaism? And what about her children learning about other cultures and ways of life?

Oh, well. Maybe the Jones' kids will take it on themselves to learn.


P.S.: I don't know how I forgot to mention this (except that I was really tired):

We tailor our academic material to coincide closely with the public schools', and even cover controversial material, such as Darwin's theory of Evolution. Yes, we are a Christian household. But we are also a "realist" household, and as such I believe my children should be aware of significant scientific events/theories within the world as a whole...that does not mean they have to believe it. Darwin's theory of Evolution is just that...a theory. If I don't arm my children with this controversial knowledge, then what becomes of them in college where they are expected to know it? I also teach them about other theories, including Creationism...again, just a theory. This is where we differ most from the "typical" home school family.
All too "typical," I'm afraid.

Back when I was taking a comparative religions course, half the class was there to learn about other religions so they could convert the followers to Christianity. And, oddly enough, half the class dropped out after the professor told them that if they'd come there to debunk other faiths, they were in the wrong class...

I once tried to read a book written by a devout Christian that purported to be about other religions. What it really amounted to was not a comparative study, but a bunch of arguments against Judaism, Hinduism, etc.

I have a feeling that if Ms. Jones's children get any "world geography and cultures" coursework, it's of the same sort as that Christian "comparative religions" text - telling the students just how icky all those non-Christian, non-Western folks are.

Hopefully in this case, ignorance won't beget ignorance. Sometimes, these kids end up wise despite their parents. Sometimes.
No doubt Ms. Jones thinks she's broad-minded. That's another subject she's unfamiliar with.
I am the sort of guy who loves to try original things. Presently I'm building my personalized pv panels. I am doing it all alone without the assistance of my men. I'm using the internet as the only way to acheive this. I came across a truly awesome website that explains how to make pv panels and wind generators. The web site explains all the steps involved in solar panel construction.

I am not really sure bout how correct the data given there iz. If some guys over here who have experience with these works can have a see and give your feedback in the site it will be great and I'd extremely appreciate it, because I really passion [url=]solar panel construction[/url].

Tnx for reading this. U guys are the best.
In a country where Religious Instruction and school prayers are the norm, I have an abiding memory of my first day at secondary school (an academy, which you might think of as high school) and attending school assembly. Before a brief sermon and prayer, the rector introduced the school chaplain, at which a hoarse voice from a classmate whispered "Charles Chaplin".

RI here is pretty unsuccessful at religious indoctrination. Think they've changed the name now, probably RE or something.
No Old Testament? That's where all the action is. Not to mention most of the science fiction.
Not to mention most of the science fiction.

Good point, but the New Testament has some pretty strong science fiction sections too, such as the book of Revelation.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

. . . . .


How to Support Science Education