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Grizzly Mama

There's a Grizzly who has escaped the City of Brotherly Love..(and she's going back to homeschooling!!)

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Location: Out of Philly, Pennsylvania, United States

"All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth." Aristotle - Greek Philosopher.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Easy Questions...

The Alliance for the Separation of School and State has notified me, via their email newsletter, that they are now hosting an education blog. There are a couple of new entries, 2 of which are Easy Questions.

Here is Easy Question #1:

Do you agree with this statement?

I don’t want my children fed or clothed by the state, but if I had to choose, I would prefer that to their being educated by the state. – Max Victor Belz

Feel free to comment as well as agree or disagree.

Here is Easy Question #2:

This one is a two-parter.

What was your school experience: public, private, home, or mix (give an idea of the mix)?

Do you feel that your school experience improved you morally, damaged you, or had no impact?

As always, feel free to comment beyond simple answers.

I thought that they were very good questions. The first really is an easy question for me to answer and that is: I do not want the government providing ANY of those things to my children - it is my job to do that.

The second question I thought was an easy question, but then I realized that I really needed to think about that one some more. I started thinking a little too deeply about how much my family upbringing shaped me vs. the government's education system. This will take some in-depth analysis. Possibly a Venn Diagram. Maybe a spider diagram thingy. Yikes - maybe not that last one! Grizzly Mama is just too tired for that spidery nonsense!

I was just curious to see how you might answer these questions.

If the spirit moves you - pop on over to the new blog to answer the questions. Or I would be pleased as punch if you would leave your answer in my comments.

Thank you!



Blogger tweetey29 said...

Lets see here. I dont home school but I can give you my opinion ok.

K goes to a public school and I have never seen her clothed by the government. I mean she doesnt have to wear jumpers for a school uniform. I know sometimes private schools do that. She eats lunch in school. I could send a lunch with her but I dont think she would eat it.
I think the actions shes getting in school with the other kids is doing her great. But I have been so fed up with the school system this last year it made me wonder if I was doing the right thing or not.

I understand why parents home school esp after reading tshsmoms first few blogs on Z. I mean he had it worse off than I did. I got teased in school but never that bad. But anyway. J and I have decided to keep K in the public school systems until she enters middle school at least.

18 April, 2007 11:53  
Blogger Abouna said...

Grizzly Mama: My school experience was through the public school system., but back then, the public school system was far far different then what is today. I would have to say that it had a positive moral effect on not only myself, but on all students of my generation.

We didn't have school uniforms, but we did have a strict dress code. School authorities were allowed to use corporal punishment if we got out of line. In general, the schools reinforced the moral training we received at home and in our churches.

The downfall of the public schools started sometime around 1962. I graduated in 1964 but the leftist changes didn't have time to take effect yet.

When prayer was outlawed in our public schools, when sex education was introduced, when the dress code and corporal punishment were abolished is when the schools began their slide down the slippery slope of degeneracy.

I hate to say the following, for fear of being labled a racist, but I have to tell the truth as I see it, and that is the fact that the forced busing of the inner city kids to suburban schools played a big part in the decline of our public school system. Why do I say this? When the inner-city black kids entered the all white suburban and even all white or predominately white city schools, instead of the white students and teachers reaching down to pull the black students up to their level, they reached down and allowed the black students to pull them down to their level. From then on it was down hill all the way.

18 April, 2007 17:23  
Blogger tshsmom said...

NO, I don't want the state providing ANY of those things for my child!
I also don't want them mandating whether I smoke, eat fattening foods, own a gun, or drink alcohol(without driving, of course)!
In addition, I refuse to live in a yuppie neighborhood that can force me to pour poison on my lawn, tell me what color my house can be, what kind of trees I can plant, and won't let me park my camper in my driveway!

I got a great public school education...until I entered high school. Our high school was part of the grand '70s experiment that said we couldn't recognize students for academic excellence or good behavior. We didn't have honor rolls, AP classes, or even a valedictorian and salutatorian of our graduating class. Our principal slid my Nat'l Honor Society pin to me across the counter in the office. He didn't even explain what it was! WHY, you ask? "Recognizing academic excellence encourages cheating."

On top of this, we had teachers that they found under a rock somewhere. One teacher was a psychodelic drug dealer. My English teacher was an alcoholic, who kept a bottle of vodka under her desk and drank IN CLASS! We also had a teacher who bragged to us about all the schools he had been kicked out of for practicing free love and running a commune. This 50 yr old hippie married one of my classmates the day after we graduated. Our biology teacher loved to grope, and rub against his female students.
I had a couple of wonderful teachers, but that was it! Whenever I didn't understand a subject, I would go to our marvelous public library to research the subject on my own. What I wouldn't have given for the internet back then!

The experience of self-teaching myself several of my high-school subjects is what made me realize that I was capable of homeschooling our middle-school aged son.

18 April, 2007 19:29  
Blogger alix said...

#1 having been subject to "i pay the tab" from my father for many, many years, i'll chime in that i do NOT wish to be beholden to ANY government agency.

#2 i was public schooled, and remember very little of the early years. i do recall becoming more invisible over time, until i was but a shadow in high school. i fell through the cracks...an A student with terrific attendance to an F student missing over half a year. public school failed me after my family failed me. it gave me access to many things that further damaged me and took me years to overcome.

thanks to an indomitable spirit and thirst for knowledge, i survived.

i wonder often if i am depriving my own child of that "trial by fire," but it is so different nowadays. her family won't fail her.

18 April, 2007 23:29  
Blogger Mr. Grey Ghost said...

As long as they get the brand name right I dont mind gov't providing clothes for me or my kids (if I had any). I went to private schools all my life and can that it was very rewarding, had great teachers and learned a lot. Plus, our school trips were always cool too.

20 April, 2007 14:44  
Blogger Mike's America said...

Where did Education go wrong?

It's when local control and citizen involvement was supplanted by a federal and educational bureacracy that was unaccountable and yet had total power to dictate what would be taught in schools, who would teach and how they would do it.

I say tear it all down and start over.

21 April, 2007 01:00  
Blogger tshsmom said...

I agree Mike! It's a costly, screwed up system. It makes no sense to keep pouring money into it!
Today, most schools are nothing more than prep classes for the NCLB tests.

21 April, 2007 13:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cubed here - sometimes Blogger puts up "Anne" (????)


Thanks so much for having the note posted on your site indicating that your "cause" was the Alliance. It's a fine cause.

I can't agree with either of the alternatives to Easy Question #1; first, it's just not morally right for the state to confiscate your money to feed/clothe/educate my kids.

I know a lot of people think that kids would go hungry and stay ignorant if they state didn't assume that responsibility, but the historical evidence shows this is sheer propaganda, that it just isn't the case, even among our poorest - at least, when we are free of government restrictions - to do something about it, and not constrained by legal prohibitions, union rules, etc.

There are so many examples of very successful mass education efforts; here are just a couple: one example was back in the late 1600s, during the Renaissance, when education was finally getting off the ground in a big way after the Dark Age; the Catholics founded a monastic order (The Christian Brotherhood) devoted to teaching the poor, and the effort expanded from there. They had already (1540) founded the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and long before the Christian Brotherhood, the Jesuits had schools all over the world (the Americas, the Far East, and Europe) using their revolutionary system, the Ratio Studiorum.

Another outstanding example in more recent history (turn of the 19th century) was the English Quaker Joseph Lancaster, who developed a tuition-free school for the poorest of the poor in England. An American educationist at the time said this about his system: "I consider his (Lancaster's) system as creating a new era in education, as a blessing sent down from heaven to redeem the poor." It had its critics, of course, but it was a phenomenal success.

Using Lancaster's system, a single teacher could manage an entire school of 1000 kids. Lancaster developed a method for teaching reading and spelling that was an improvement over his already very good method, whereby these supposedly "ineducable" kids could learn to read and spell accurately in four to six weeks. I know of only two systems today that can do something like this in the English language, and they are not widely used anywhere (if at all). Unfortunate. Very unfortunate.

Lancaster's system was so successful that he was invited to establish schools in the U.S; unfortunately, he was killed when he was run over by a horse and carriage while inspecting one of his schools in New York, and before long, just about as the government system was founded, the system faded from existence.

It's primarily the collectivists of the Left, who favor state-control of everything, that try to convince us that we are mean spirited and that we must be forced to help out when there is a problem. If the government didn't force us, then kids would go cold, hungry, and remain uneducated.

While there is an abundance of other evidence, we need go no further than our TV sets to see proof that we are a generous people of good will; if a child needs a life-saving procedure - maybe an expensive surgery or a bone marrow transplant - and the parents can't manage it, people come to the rescue; if a home is burned down, and the family is left with nothing, people come to the rescue; if there has been a despicable act of animal cruelty, people come to the rescue.

Kindness and generosity characterize our people and our culture. The only requirement is that we be made aware that a problem exists, and then we are right there to help. You can probably think of several private "help" programs yourself - one of the best known is Habitat for Humanity. If the government didn't take so much of our money (remember, the dollar it takes doesn't go to the cause, it also has to pay for a lot of middlemen and other expenses), we could solve many more problems far better than it could.

We are also among the most solution-oriented peoples of the world, and there is hardly a problem that human beings have that we could not solve better and faster without government intervention.

If our educational system were free of government control, not only would each child be better served, but the numerous conflicts we see today would evaporate. Don't want sex education? In a private system, it would be easy to find a school where your child would not be forced to take it. Want evolution? Don't want it? Want religion? Don't want it? Well, you catch the drift. The "one size fits all" curricula in our government schools is not responsive to the consumer (the parents and kids).

One important reason (among several others) that our schools have been so "dumbed down" is because of the attempt to remove controversial material from the curriculum. That doesn't leave very much!

People tend to think that the system in force right now has "always been." In fact, except for New England, the government system didn't really get started in the U.S. until the mid-1800s, not long before the Civil War. During the colonial period (outside New England), there was a rich assortment of educational opportunities responding to all sorts of "consumer (parents and kids) needs."

When government systems were established in this country, it was for exactly the same reason that state-controlled systems have always been established anywhere, without exception; to teach the agenda favored by the prevailing political authorities, be they religious or secular.

Aside from the fact that 1)the government-run system is run with money confiscated from those who earned it to pay for a curriculum they may not agree with for the education of kids they may not have, 2)it is used to teach material that nearly everyone has some problem with, be it philosophical, subject matter or just quality, 3)that the waste, corruption and inefficiency is inexcusable, rampant and growing, and that the cost per pupil averages twice that of the tuition of private schools, education is simply not a proper function of the state.

The Framers of the Constitution had vastly differing opinions, not only about what should be taught and how it should be taught, but also about whether the state should be involved.

Finally, by the time the Constitution was ratified, it had been decided not to include education as a function of the state, and the reasons paralleled the decision not to establish a state religion; the Founders understood very well that whoever harnessed the force deligated to the government would eventually succumb to the temptation to use that force to impose his views on the rest of us, abrogating one of our fundamental human rights - the right to think.

Finally, it doesn't matter whether the "government" in question is local or federal; government is government, be it large or small, and the problem remains the same - you are not allowed to control what, when, where, or how your children are taught.

Maybe I'd better skip Easy Qustion #2...

23 April, 2007 22:03  
Blogger Always On Watch Two said...

I'm pressed for time but can leave a brief comment.

I was educated in a private Christian school through high school. It was one tough curriculum! Why? My mother designed it. Back then, homeschooling was not yet legal in Virginia.

After high school, I attended the local campus of the University of Virginia.

How did my education impact me? Being well grounded in academics and in morals. That basis gave me the strength to cope with the few leftist profs at the university.

I've heard it said "The only thing which can never be taken away from their children is the education their parents provide."

25 April, 2007 09:10  
Blogger ptg said...

#1 No kids, but I don't want to be responsible for the government taking from my neighbors for my benefit. In the forced choice posited, I would have to agree with Max. The kids' wearing stolen clothes would hurt me more than it would them. Vice-versa for the public schools.

#2 With a few rare exceptions that I can count on my remaining fingers, school was a nasty and warping existence. I went to many public schools and all I can remember of some of them was the view out the window. As an undiagnosed, profound dyslexic with undetected bad vision, my performance was abysmal. I'm very lucky that my reaction was to stop caring about school and to educate myself. Otherwise, who knows which way the frustration, failure and despair might have bent my little psyche. As for morals, I'm so old, morality was still taught at home.

I'm thankful to the Creator every day for home schoolers.

25 April, 2007 09:56  
Blogger Dana said...

Interesting...I shall have to ponder a bit myself. I'll let you know when I come up with the answer.

Ironically, I was public schooled and it lead to a lot of what I believe today. I was raised in a non-Christian home in a secular school system hostile to religion and conservatism.

But I tend to be a bit rebellious, I guess. I enjoyed the debates although at first I didn't particularly know what I believed. But there was a certain adrenaline rush in taking on 22 classmates and my teacher in my sophomore history class.

I quickly learned that to be conservative, my papers had to be more well-researched and better argued...which has a lot to do with why I ended up as anything one might call educated.

04 May, 2007 02:52  

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