What are we teaching our children?

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By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings

I’d like to think children get a goodly portion of their education at home, parents giving the next generation the basics; right and wrong, the Ten Commandments, our relationship with God the Eternal Father in whose image we were created and social skills such as how to get along with others… with the public schools helping to reinforce that foundation with reading, writing and arithmetic skills. With an opening statement like that it’s possible I’m living in a padded cell; but they let me out on warm spring days to enjoy the flowers.

We send our children off to public schools each morning; but what are they being taught?

Are they being taught about America’s exceptionalism, the Creator’s hand in establishing our founding documents and Providence’s role during the Revolutionary War, a war in which a bunch of farmers and shop keepers banded together to beat the most powerful military force in the world? I hardly think so from what I’ve seen lately.

There’s an article by Rachel Alexander, Common Core Curriculum: A Look Behind the Curtain of Hidden Language, which raises more than a little concern regarding the intent of such a nation wide approach to education.

“Diane Ravitch, a former assistant U.S. secretary of education who was appointed to office by both Clinton and George H.W. Bush, recently changed her mind about Common Cause. Ravitch now refutes claims by Obama and Common Core that the standards were created by states and voluntarily adopted by them. She writes in the Washington Post, “They were developed by an organization called Achieve and the National Governors Association, both of which were generously funded by the Gates Foundation. There was minimal public engagement in the development of the Common Core. Their creation was neither grassroots nor did it emanate from the states.” Instead, Common Core is being driven by policy makers in D.C.”

{…}

“The curriculum replaces the classics with government propaganda. According to the American Principles Project, “They de-emphasis the study of classic literature in favor of reading so called ‘informational texts’, such as government documents, court opinions and technical manuals.” Over half the reading materials in grades 6-12 are to consist of informational texts rather than classical literature. Historical texts like the Gettysburg Address are to be presented to students without context or explanation.”

My grandson was given a glimpse of Common Core teaching last year; probably one of the many reasons he is now being Home Schooled. He came over after attending public school and we, as grandparents, asked him what he learned that day.

He’d watched a video shown on Presidents Day to all 6th grade children, a production by the National Geographic Society, The Real George Washington. We decided to watch the video in order to find out what was in it, have something to talk about with our grandson. I wrote about what I’d seen last February here; but I’ll share one paragraph now.

After only a few minutes of the video the important biographical facts about George Washington were that he was a power hungry young man who lacked military skills and was extremely lucky to have advanced in rank. He made terrible tactical decisions but because he was so lucky he survived to fight another day.

We then took the time explaining to our grandson that when we were his age George Washington was portrayed ‘somewhat differently’ at school; a modest way of saying that the rest of the afternoon would be spent ‘filling in the blanks’ and giving him a wider perspective.

I wonder how many parents and/or grandparents take time to review what is being taught to their children while away from them.

As I sit here typing away one of my younger grandchildren, London, is enjoying the music of Rachmoninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in the next room. London’s only 7 months old and has wonderful sounds to enjoy, music which will have a direct impact on how she perceives her world. She could be watching or listening to almost anything; but is this important?

Many years ago when our oldest daughter, Bonnie, was in Kindergarten her teacher put on a record for the children to listen to. After a little while the teacher asked, “Does anyone know what that is?”, looking for answers like, “a record player” or “music”. Bonnie raised her hand and responded confidently, “That’s Rachmoninov”. She’d gotten it right; but it had astounded her teacher. Many of her classmates apparently didn’t get much in the way of a classical music background at home.

That said, it’s a pretty good bet a large percentage of children don’t get basic teachings at home. I often wonder how many of them really know right from wrong.

They’re probably not given much in the way of American exceptionalism while sitting down at dinner as the family exchanges thoughts during evening conversation. It’s not likely they’re receiving lessons which explain divine inspiration given our founding fathers during the formation of our nation and our accountability to God, at least not in a public school.

Our public schools have been taken over by a national propaganda campaign that indoctrinates children from pre-school age on through college to reject family values, self reliance, self discipline and our accountability to God in favor of an all encompassing socialist state which provides for our every need and entitlement.

What we are teaching our children at home is important.

This article has been cross-posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government & The American Constitution.”

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