Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Article: Are Homeschoolers More or Less Violent?

Occasionally a news outlet makes it a point to associate a teen’s schooling type with his evil behavior. My experience is that you will (almost?) never see a headline that reads “Public-school teen shoots a peer” or “Public-school teen rapes neighbor girl.” Several days ago, however, the world was faced with “New Mexico homeschooled teen … accused of murdering family.”[note 1]

If you read the Internet for news, it seems that so many tragic stories are right in front of your face and on your mind. It appears evil is ubiquitous and you must worry all the time. And if you are part of a minority group – for example, homeschooling – then you might feel extra-sensitive or defensive about your group.

A news story like the one out of New Mexico begs the question, Are homeschoolers more or less violent than others?

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Article: Case Law is God?

Four academics are incredibly worried about many homeschoolers. Acker, Gray, Jalali, and Pascal write the following:

In the case of inferior education for girls, such enunciated [Christian] fundamentalist beliefs as “sexual equality denies God’s word” and failure of a wife to accept a subordinate, obedient role in the home means “the doors are wide open to Satan” may well exclude girls from the level of mathematics known to be a critical filter for many careers and confine them to low-paying, servile occupations if employed outside the home … [p. 519, note 1]

These four academics try to paint a picture of a slow and inexorable progression from parental authority over the education of children to total state authority. They are looking at colonial days in America to about 50 years ago. Despite the fact the authors beg the politically sensitive question, Who cares about this imperialistic and Eurocentric interpretation of the education of children and why do the authors ignore the culture of Native Americans?, they quickly try to move the reader to accept three basic premises and one proposed conclusion.

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News: “Progressive Homeschooling” is a Crime against the Holy State, Insists Lefty Think Tank Wonk

by William Grigg, Republic Magazine
Original article link:

Politically progressive parents who withdraw their children from government schools are ideological hypocrites who undermine the common good, insists Dana Goldstein, a Schwartz Fellow at the New America Foundation.

In recent years, “there has been a resurgence of interest in homeschooling — not just the religious fundamentalist variety practiced by Michele Bachman and Rick Santorum, but also in secular, liberal homeschooling,” writes Goldstein in an essay for Slate.

Although a definitive tally of the number of home-schooled children is elusive, the best estimate places the “un-schooled” population somewhere in the vicinity of two millions, “and the number is growing. It is unclear home many homeschooling families are secular, but the political scientist Rob Reich has written that there is little doubt that the homeschooling population has diversified in recent years.”

As someone who adheres to the cult of the State as a quasi-divine entity that is the source of all good things, Goldstein is troubled that the individualist heresy has taken root among self-described progressives. Homeschooling “is rooted in distrust of the public sphere, in class privilege, and in the dated presumption that children hail from two-parent families, in which one parent can afford (and wants) to take significant time away from paid work in order to manage a process — education — that most parents entrust to the community-at-large,” she writes with a palpable sense of disgust.

For the devout collectivist, the question is not whether homeschooling “best serve[s] the interests not just of those who are doing it, but of society as a whole,” according to Goldstein. Furthermore, it’s entirely inappropriate to “encourage children to trust only their parents or those hand-selected by them, and to mistrust civic life and public institutions… Nor can we allow homeschoolers to believe their choice impacts only their own offspring.” Removing intellectually capable children from the government school environment undermines the “peer effects” created in the classroom setting, thereby supposedly making it “harder for less-advantaged children to thrive.”

For all of these reasons, Goldstein writes in a scolding tone, “Lefty homeschoolers might be preaching sound social values to their children, but they aren’t practicing them.”

For centuries, wrote the late social commentator Christopher Lasch (who in his youth was a Marxist) in his book The True and Only Heaven, social engineers have “sought to remove children from the influence of their families … and to place them under the benign influence of state and school.” This is true not only of Dana Goldstein’s ideological ancestors among 19th and early 20th century American progressives, but among her ideological kindred in the Soviet Union.

In his 1937 work A Book for Parents, Soviet sociologist A.S. Makarenko–at the time a personal favorite of Josef Stalin–wrote that the Soviet family “is not a closed-in, collective body, like the bourgeois family. It is an organic part of Soviet society….” While “parents are not without authority” in the Soviet system, “this authority is only the reflection of social authority,” insisted Makarenko.

Not surprisingly, given his role as a functionary in a state apparatus devoted to the extirpation of religious belief, Makarenko explicitly repudiated the biblical foundations of parental authority, stating that in the pre-socialist world “parental authority issued from the Lord’s commandment. In our modern family things are different.” He denounced the pre-socialist father as an “odious figure”–”Master, overseer, teacher, judge and sometimes executioner,” “despotic,” a monarch who exploited his children. He taught that the State–the institutional arrangement that made it possible for Stalin to annihilate slaughtered tens of millions–must forbid parental physical punishment and “maternal indulgence.” This wasn’t because Makarenko had moral objections to corporal punishment, but rather because allowing such displays of limited punitive authority would undermine the State’s monopoly on force.

The family’s purpose in the Soviet system was to raise the State’s children according to the State’s dictates. “Morality requires general emulation of the most perfect conduct,” wrote Makarenko. “Our morality must already be the morality of communist society…. In our country he alone is a man of worth whose needs and desires are the needs and desires of a collectivist. Our family offers rich soil for the cultivation of such collectivism.”

Thirty years after publication of Makarenko’s book in the Soviet Union, it was published in the United States under the title The Collective Family: A Handbook for Russian Parents. The introduction in the English-language edition was written by Russian expatriate Urie Bronfenbrenner, who at the time (1967) was a member of the Planning Committee for the Head Start program. According to Bronfenbrenner, the wisdom offered in Makarenko’s Soviet handbook should help shape American social policy:
The Collective Family … has something to say to the Western world…. Soviet leaders and educators have emphasized that effective character training requires imposing on the child challenging responsibilities for service and self-discipline not only within the family but, equally importantly, in his collective or peer group both within and outside the school.
The vision that enchanted Bronfenbrenner, and inspired generations of American educators, bureaucrats, and social engineers, was laid out with remarkable clarity at a Communist Party Congress held shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution. In that gathering (as recounted in the 1986 book Utopia in Power: A History of the Soviet Union from 1917 to the Present, by Russian expatriate scholars Mikhail Heller and Aleksandr Nekrich), Soviet educators were told: “We must remove the children from the crude influence of their families. We must take them over and, to speak frankly, nationalize them. From the first days of their lives they will be under the healthy influence of Communist children’s nurseries and schools. There they will grow up to be real Communists.”

The America social welfare revolution of the past five decades has followed precisely the same course. Home school families constitute a counter-revolution — and, increasingly, their ranks include disillusioned “Lefty” parents who commendably place a higher value on the practical education of their own children than the theoretical best interests of the “community-at-large.”

Podcast! Exploring the State of Home Education Across America with HSLDA

Interview with Mike Donnelly, Attorney for HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association) and Director of International Relations

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This week on theThe Homeschool Show we continue our survey of homeschooling across America. To help us do that today we have the help of our special guest Mike Donnelly , Attorney for the Home School Legal Defense Assocation, as well as the Director of International Relations for HSLDA. He and Greg discuss the conditions of home education in states across the country, the outlook of the future, parental rights vs. the UN, and you’ll find out what HSLDA has to offer your homeschooling family in the way of resources, news, advocacy, shopping, conferences, and much more. We hope you enjoy the show!

State History from a Christian Perspective

Interview with Joy Dean, Owner of “A Helping Hand”, Publisher of State History from a Christian Perspective

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This week on the The Homeschool Show we spend some time with Joy Dean, a homeschooling mom who, along with her husband Steve, homeschooled their 5 children for 15 years and also created State History from a Christian Perspective. Joy Dean talks about the State History program, what it is, how it works, and why your students will love it! The curriculum emphasizes patriotism, righteous character, Biblical truth, and gives us reasons to be thankful for God’s providence in establishing this nation and how and why we can preserve and defend our Christian heritge.

The Dean’s Helping Hand publishing company also offers many other great products for the homeschool family such as Geography of the Fifty States, Church History and The Word in Season Greeting Cards. Visit them at their State History Website today to learn more.

We hope you enjoy the show!