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Archive for the ‘education’ Category

Last night I chose a battle I will have with my children if they should ever bring it up. And a thought struck me: so many people defend themselves, “You have to choose your battles.” But they’ve never decided how many they are able to fight. So they leave all but the most important (or easily won) battles in their eyes to the whims of their adversary.

My future-Marine brother was present, and we proposed a more military scenario. Suppose you are trying to conquer an archipelago in the middle of the ocean, and you decided to take a stand on only two of hundreds of islands. You are thrilled to have won the two battles, but you could have used your forces better and made more progress toward your goal. As it is, with hundreds of islands remaining in enemy hands, even though some are very small, you have lost the war.

How much more tragic to decide there are only a few battles to fight with your children. You take a stand against violence but let them play video games for long periods of time. You take a stand against fornication but give in on what they wear. You take a stand against hanging out with ‘really bad’ friends, but you let them gossip. In the end, you have a subversively wicked child who has no respect for you, but who looks remarkably like… the rest of the culture.

So the battle I chose yesterday is on teasing. My little boys will know that teasing little girls is a serious offense. Why? Because taunting is so opposite of what a girl needs from a boy. She looks to him for leadership and defense and courtesy – especially emotional, since girls are such inherently emotional creatures. By choosing this battle my children will be on the path to understanding each other, a skill needed for many things later in life (like getting married and building a marriage).

To God be all glory.

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In further intelligent design supression news, I just found this article by Ken Connor concerning an Iowa State professor who was denied tenure due to, according to available information, his belief in (not teaching of) intelligent design. His peer-reviewed papers, which are required for tenure consideration, did not deal with the intelligent design premises. He is a published author, writing on the evidence for design he discovered in his field of astronomy. The book is titled Privileged Planet.

My thoughts are:

  1. Censoring professors for a legitimate scientific conclusion at an educational institution is disturbing. Are they teaching students objective thinking or dogma?
  2. If the evolutionary establishment is so concerned about the threat to their theory from intelligent design that they cannot allow a believer in it to enter their privileged ranks, what does that say about the confidence they have in their own conclusions?
  3. I must acknowledge, however, that as it is illogical to believe in a theory without true supporting evidence, a coherent definition, or consistency – it would be unfair to expect these believers to act logically toward a colleague.

We most hope reason will shine through (the evolutionists will see the evidence for design) and justice will prevail (the professor will be esteemed and rewarded for his intelligence and hard work).

Meanwhile, Dr. Paleo has informed the blog world that the Institute for Creation Research will be launching a scientific journal soon, in which exiled members of the scientific community can engage in intellectually honest productive research sharing for the benefit of our world.

To God be all glory.

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In further intelligent design supression news, I just found this article by Ken Connor concerning an Iowa State professor who was denied tenure due to, according to available information, his belief in (not teaching of) intelligent design. His peer-reviewed papers, which are required for tenure consideration, did not deal with the intelligent design premises. He is a published author, writing on the evidence for design he discovered in his field of astronomy. The book is titled Privileged Planet.

My thoughts are:

  1. Censoring professors for a legitimate scientific conclusion at an educational institution is disturbing. Are they teaching students objective thinking or dogma?
  2. If the evolutionary establishment is so concerned about the threat to their theory from intelligent design that they cannot allow a believer in it to enter their privileged ranks, what does that say about the confidence they have in their own conclusions?
  3. I must acknowledge, however, that as it is illogical to believe in a theory without true supporting evidence, a coherent definition, or consistency – it would be unfair to expect these believers to act logically toward a colleague.

We most hope reason will shine through (the evolutionists will see the evidence for design) and justice will prevail (the professor will be esteemed and rewarded for his intelligence and hard work).

Meanwhile, Dr. Paleo has informed the blog world that the Institute for Creation Research will be launching a scientific journal soon, in which exiled members of the scientific community can engage in intellectually honest productive research sharing for the benefit of our world.

To God be all glory.

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My brother told me about a conversation he entered at his college class this week:

“Who likes to think?” said a classmate.

Stunned, my brother answered, “I do.”

And then he thought, and I thought the same when he was telling me: What do you do if you don’t think? How do you spend your time?

The friend continued, “I would like to be a dog. Others take care of me, and I just live.”

Just live. How incredible! How could you “just live” without thinking? Why bother?

Yet I believe this is a great problem with the culture in America today: not only do people not think; they don’t want to! People in their twenties are content to do nothing, think nothing, and let life lap around them. If anything is done, it is for fun or absolute necessity.

How did they get that way? There are probably many reasons. Another that arose in conversation in my house today was the rise of autism. It directly coordinates with the rise of time spent watching television as a child. Some even argue that autism can be cured by turning off the TV and engaging the child in a relational and interactive way. As long as people are content to stare blankly and unresponsively at a television, entertainment being simply fed to them, they will never learn to think or be relational.

When I watch TV, I interact. I think what I would do, or why the characters are doing what they do. My family talks during TV (as much as we can get away with without annoying each other), sharing the experience. If the television is on for extended periods of time I start to get lethargic and irritated. After all, it is hard to engage with a screen for too long.

In the old days before TV or radio, humans entertained themselves by playing games or reading books, even aloud to each other. They conversed. Their activity was interactive and thoughtful. Even Winnie the Pooh, a stuffed bear from a children’s book is portrayed as think-think-thinking. Hm.

To God be all glory.

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Crystal at Biblical Womanhood has an article (mostly quoting Carmon, another blogger) on the potential of a young, intelligent lady preparing for marriage and motherhood after high school instead of going to college.

I like the points.

Beyond that, doesn’t Gracie just sound like a sweet young lady you’d love to have as a friend?

To God be all glory.

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He worked 8 days as a part time teacher in Sisters, Oregon. The board fired him after complaints from parents sparked investigation. He taught things contradicted the expected syllabus of the class, they claimed.

The teacher insists that the controversial supplemental material were designed to teach critical thinking, which is essential for scientific inquiry. With a degree in science from Oregon State, he should know.

What is the crime? Parents reported their students were confused by the supplemental material, that the teacher was polluting their minds, and that his teaching prevented the high school students from learning what they needed to learn.

In truth, he provided supplemental material (he says he wanted to provide “factual” information) that referenced the Bible as its source. The conclusions drawn linked evolution, Nazi Germany, and Planned Parenthood.

I just have to comment that he took on just about every anti-Christian agenda possible: evolution, of course; socialism, abortion, and the highly influential (having lots of money) separation of church and state crowd.

That his information was true and legal is apparently irrelevant. Students in the Oregon public schools apparently need to learn that since we are decended from mere rocks (via all sorts of “lower life forms”) we not only can, but must, for our survival, destroy other lives. How else will America be turned into a Marxist regime than by suppressing the truth and those who proclaim it? We need to keep public indoctrination locations pure and focused on their goal, don’t we?

What is scariest to me is that so many of the parents quoted are already indoctrinated mouthpieces for the anti-God Marxists. They don’t care about truth, justice, or the best interests of their children.

To God be all glory.

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Crystal has a post on a proposal made in a California school district to charge parents about $35 a day to withdraw their kids from school for a vacation. Yes. Your kids are not in school, because they’re your kids doing things with you, and because the school didn’t have to spend any money teaching them that day, the purse-holders won’t pay the school for your child that day, so they want to get their fair share of money from you instead.

The article has some interesting comments by Crystal’s blog readers. What does a policy like this mean for homeschoolers? Should parents be more responsible and let school district schedules govern their vacations and lives instead of withdrawing students from oh-so abundant class time? Where is the money from the taxes going? Why can’t public schools make do with the money they already have? Is public school a welfare program?

I also wanted to link to an article written by Douglas Gresham, the stepson of C.S. Lewis, which I found to make a lot of uncommon sense. This article, which points out some logical flaws in traditional schooling, comes to me from Scott Brown via Matt Chancey.

My thoughts are summarized as follows: there should be no public schools. There should be very few private schools (for orphans or very poor children – as charities run by churches, etc.). Parents have primary responsibility for and control over their children. They are liable for their children’s educations. The everyone-pays-taxes-which-are-distributed-to-provide-an-inefficient-education-for-anyone public school system is welfare and socialism. Socialism has been proven to drain itself. Children can be educated for much less money than public schools receive per child every year. Family vacations are good for families. Children should never do homework over vacations. Families are not dictated to by public school schedules. A school has no right to charge parents for not using their services. Teachers in public schools are sometimes very kind, dedicated, talented people. They are there for the service of the students, and cannot complain about the bit of extra work helping a child make up work if necessary that they missed while sick or on vacation.

To God be all glory.

Read Full Post »

Crystal has a post on a proposal made in a California school district to charge parents about $35 a day to withdraw their kids from school for a vacation. Yes. Your kids are not in school, because they’re your kids doing things with you, and because the school didn’t have to spend any money teaching them that day, the purse-holders won’t pay the school for your child that day, so they want to get their fair share of money from you instead.

The article has some interesting comments by Crystal’s blog readers. What does a policy like this mean for homeschoolers? Should parents be more responsible and let school district schedules govern their vacations and lives instead of withdrawing students from oh-so abundant class time? Where is the money from the taxes going? Why can’t public schools make do with the money they already have? Is public school a welfare program?

I also wanted to link to an article written by Douglas Gresham, the stepson of C.S. Lewis, which I found to make a lot of uncommon sense. This article, which points out some logical flaws in traditional schooling, comes to me from Scott Brown via Matt Chancey.

My thoughts are summarized as follows: there should be no public schools. There should be very few private schools (for orphans or very poor children – as charities run by churches, etc.). Parents have primary responsibility for and control over their children. They are liable for their children’s educations. The everyone-pays-taxes-which-are-distributed-to-provide-an-inefficient-education-for-anyone public school system is welfare and socialism. Socialism has been proven to drain itself. Children can be educated for much less money than public schools receive per child every year. Family vacations are good for families. Children should never do homework over vacations. Families are not dictated to by public school schedules. A school has no right to charge parents for not using their services. Teachers in public schools are sometimes very kind, dedicated, talented people. They are there for the service of the students, and cannot complain about the bit of extra work helping a child make up work if necessary that they missed while sick or on vacation.

To God be all glory.

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My brothers have been dutifully exposed to feminine media (translate: chick-flicks and the books which inspired them). As the oldest sister of six siblings, I have proudly persuaded my two brothers to watch the Jane Austen movies, with more success in some instances than others.

However tonight I am not writing to brag. I am writing to confess. My brothers have not been without their influence on me. The other night I was walking by a table in our house on which sat a luxurious stack of Calvin and Hobbes books. Hours of intoxicating laughter were promised by the mischievous illustrations on the covers. A tiger named Hobbes philosophically addresses the issues of life… A little kid plots against his parents with such innocent sincerity that it is no longer innocence: absurd little doings of a five year old playmate. Calvin is my hero.

There are other things in which I’ve been indoctrinated. For example, I do not mind an afternoon of football. To say that I multi-task does not detract from the fact that I enjoy the thrill of strategy involved in football. Strategy and big, amazing plays. Football, unlike most other sports, reminds me of war. I mean it isn’t violent, like boxing, (violence isn’t its reason for being, like hockey). But the strategy! The prospect of being a captain’s wife was probably alluring in the old days. He could tell tales of brilliant feats in battle. But pity the poor bored people who only ran and hid in caves. I heard during some wars the civilians would watch from hilltops, though. Now that would be exciting!

My brother wants to be a Marine. If he were old enough, nothing would be stopping him. He already acts like a Marine. His room is papered with recruiting posters. Intimidating (and suprisingly young), grim men hold pieces of metal somehow shaped and put together to maximize killing power in quick, impersonal, and gruesome ways. I admit that the “good guys” of Christian civilizations tend to fight really wicked enemies who are worth defeating.

But I always argue with my brother that I’m sad we don’t use swords any more. If one side is using planes and bombs and technology, of course swords aren’t very useful. The chivalry of swords is lacking in warriors of today. The personal nobility of defeating an enemy by individual skill and courage and passion is missing. Any weapon that does not require interaction between champions just misses that sense of fairness which makes women cheer. The strategy is removed from footwork and “it’s all in the wrist” to grand schematics of boats here and satellites there.

Men who at least know how to use swords and bows have more understanding of chivalry toward women, too. At least I think so. I’m not sure I know any. I just imagine that the study has to also ingrain in them the protection of women and children, of innocent bystanders. The history of knights who used to wield those weapons had to include their dedication to “women and children first,” and defending even a woman’s honor. Such are willing to give their lives to defend the weak, or the beautiful.

Today a middle-aged family man, a milkman prepared for a siege, marched into a one-room school house in Pennsylvania, and shot little girls execution-style. It’s gruesome. My response was, “It’s senseless.” How could this happen?

Obviously, little girls were not at school alone. The gunman ordered the older people and the males out of the building. And they went. I can’t imagine. If anyone threatened my sisters, or the little kids I know at church, there would be no way I would bow to the wave of a gun in my face. Did they think cooperation would save the little girls’ lives?

One note I find interesting is that one of the three dead (several more are in critical condition) was a young woman, a teacher’s assistant. I imagine she refused to go. Maybe the passion of youth, which some old people tend to mock, inspired the most heroic act of the day. I wonder what happened, and if the fact that she died kept others safe. Maybe her presence helped the other students to be less afraid. I don’t know. I just wonder.

As homeschoolers, we like to ignore the world. With three school shootings, all different, all horrible, in one week, I’m definitely tempted to think, “If you’d just keep your kids at home…” No, nothing justifies the tragedies those families are experiencing. I was home through high school, feeling safe. But I cannot ignore the world. I have to consider what opportunities may be opened for sharing the message of redemption. I examine God’s cosmic plans and how this extraordinary compression of violent events may contribute. What is happening in the world that the spiritual forces of evil are fighting so hard right now?

I remember the day after September 11, 2001, I was journaling. In one day my problems, my concern for the Bronco’s wide receiver Ed McCaffrey whose leg was broken, faded. They were insignificant. Though I would almost prefer to bury my thoughts in comic books or to wallow in the misery of petty struggles, every once in a while the plight of the world breaks through – and breaks my heart.

To God be all glory.

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