Posts Tagged homeschooling

Why I’m embarrassed to admit that we homeschool our kids

Being a skeptical, secular homeschooling parent is a tough gig these days. If you don’t want to stay isolated in your basement with your kids, it’s important to find a local homeschooling group. They can provide field trips, educational opportunities, support and resources. They can also provide the lulz.

We belong to a local group that maintains a strong secular focus. They will not allow posts on “potentially controversial topics” such as religion or politics. While I’m all for freedom of speech, some places have to be provided as safe zones where a narrow focus needs to be maintained. And in this group, educating our children is our focus. It is not a place to get bogged down in flame wars about Right vs Left or Jesus vs Zeus (Zeus would totally kick Jesus’ butt in a cage match. One word: lightning bolts (I know, it’s two words. Deal) Just sayin’).

I was going somewhere with this, I swear. Oh, yeah, the lulz. Sometimes a gem slips through the moderation cracks, like this post that just came through. It has to be shared; it is a moral imperative.

The post reads as follows:

Defending your Christian Faith in a Secular World Class For Home School Middle and High School Students
35 week class
Beginning in September 12, 2011 – May 21, 2012
Day: Monday 3:00-4:30 (meet once a week)
Cost: $10.00/ per class; paid one month in advance
Location: Crossings Community Church
Teacher: Mrs. Joanne Whitaker – New Life Christian Certified Teacher and BA Psychology / Education* Home Schooling for 8 years (2003- present )

Wow. Just, wow. As humorous as this is in and of itself, it gets better. Here’s the justification for the need for such a class.

Survey Data from Barna Research Group and USA Today

Most teens and young adults will reject their Christian faith after leaving high school and attending college. Christian Apologist, Frank Turek at crossexamined.org gives the following reasons why Christian youth in America are leaving the church:

• 70-75% of Christian youth leave the church after high school and Intellectual skepticism is one of the major reasons they walk away.
• Most Christian students are not equipped to resist rabidly anti-Christian college professors who are intent on converting their students to Atheism.
• College professors are five times more likely to identify themselves as atheists than the general public.
• More than half of all college professors view Evangelical Christian students unfavorably
• The “new atheists” — Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens — are writing books and are growing in popularity.

The reason for this exodus is that Christian youth in America are not being taught to cross examine the skeptical and atheistic views they encounter when they leave home and attend college classes and also socialize with Non Christians who have a Worldview opposed to a Christian Worldview

1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…

OH NOEZ! Dem evil athiests be WRITING BOOKS! TEH HORRORZ!

Ahem. Pardon the outburst. I was just terrified for a moment about those Non Christians and their Worldview. Ok, actually it was the Random Capitalization that really frightened me. But seriously, these pious kids are having to “…reject rabidly anti-Christian college professors who are intent on converting their students to Atheism”? I didn’t realize that they were all going to have PZ Myers as a prof 😛 And Yahweh forbid that they encounter  “…skeptical and atheistic views” out in the big bad world! They might just adopt some of that there “Intellectual skepticism” and then the church would really be fucked, wouldn’t it?

Because they want to attract as many lemmings zombies cult members followers as possible, they’ve graciously provided us with the curriculum that will be used in this stellar example of Christian Apologetics.

Class Description

Christian apologetics – is that branch of Christianity that deals with answering any and all critics who oppose or question the revelation of God in Christ and the Bible. It can include studying such subjects as biblical manuscript transmission, philosophy, biology, mathematics, evolution, and logic. But it can also consist of simply giving an answer to a question about Jesus or a Bible passage. The latter case is by far the most common and you don’t have to read a ton of books to do that.

Nope, you only gotta read one book. But it’s a good book, don’t ya know!

For the Apologetic portion of this course, I will be utilizing Josh and Sean McDowell videos. I will also include Summit Ministries Understanding the Times which consists of explaining Worldview such as learning about other religions, Postmodernism, Secular Humanism, Marxism, Atheism, Agnostic, and other various views that oppose Christianity. The third resource in teaching Apologetics is I will provide Scientific facts that rebuke Evolution using Does God Exist? Kit: Building the Scientific Case (TrueU) by Stephen Meyer produced by Focus on the Family.

Ooooooh, not just scientific facts but “Scientific facts”! Who knew that thousands of hours of research, observation, genetic  and fossil evidence could be rebuked by a Kit you can buy? From a hate group called Focus on the Family no less!

Creation vs. Evolution, The Big Bang Theory, Intelligent Design – I will be utilizing Darwin’s Dilemma DVD by Stephen Meyer, Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron Evolution DVD (The Way of the Master), and other various resources to give concrete evidence so students can defend their faith to support Creation and rebuke Evolution.

Mrs Whittaker, did you… I mean… you actually are going to show this with a straight face? Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron? Srsly? I mean, c’mon, the banana? The epitome of intelligent design? I literally busted out laughing at this. This has got to be a poe, right?

Furthermore, utilizing Dr. Kent Hovind and Eric Hovind – beginning in 1989, Dr. Hovind’s ministry continues to grow as he has spoken more than 900 times each year in public and private schools, churches, university debates, and on radio and television broadcasts. His humorous, fast-paced, illustrated seminars provide documented evidence against the unscientific theory of evolution that goes against Scripture. The information presented concerning dinosaurs in the Bible (including a few that are living today) reflects his extensive study in the field of Crypto zoology. Dr. Hovind’s mission is to strengthen the faith of believers, to confound and to convince the evolutionists, and to win the lost to Christ.

Apparently grammar is not critical to “confound and convince the evolutionists”. Neither is obeying the law. And I gotta say, I had no idea these loons were delving into “Crypto zoology” to back up their ridiculous claims, though I suspect they really mean cryptozoology. Did you know Mr and Mrs Bigfoot were on the Ark? It’s true, I read it in the bible. Or something.

I know, this is getting tl;dr, but it’s just so chock full of goodies I can’t help myself!

Christian Psychology – My major in college was Psychology; therefore I am going to educate the class on the theories and theorists that they will be learn about in college; however using a Christian perspective. The various areas of Psychology will include: Behavior; Nature, Nurture, and Human Diversity, Developing Through The Life Span, Personality, Thinking and Language, Intelligence, Social Psychology, Perception, Learning, Emotion. Many of the theories are Atheistic and we will be discussing; the difference between a Secular World view and Christian View of each theory. Psychology, Science, and History are the main courses that require students to defend their faith.

Again, grammar and sentence structure are NOT important for defending your faith in an imaginary sky daddy who loves dead babies and foreskins.

Hey, did you know that “Personality, Thinking and Language, Intelligence, Social Psychology, Perception, Learning, Emotion” are Atheistic? You will after you take this course!

Ok, we’re in the home stretch now.

World Religions – we will be studying other religions so that we understand what others believe so that we can rebuke other religions and also witness to other people about Christianity. It is easier to witness when you know what other religions believe (Scientology, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, etc…)
[emphasis mine]

In conclusion, after completing this course students will be able to attend college and defend their faith instead of questioning it or even turning away from it.

Home School Students will receive ½ semester High School Psychology Credit and a ½ semester Bible Credit for taking this class – both elective credits

I would SO love to go to this class but I know that I wouldn’t be able to keep my smart-ass mouth shut. Besides, I’m probably already blackballed  by this homeschool group for previous transgressions. So if anyone wants to go and write about this, I’ll fork over the bucks and post your results here.

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The single greatest threat to home education

Oh, boy, here we go. Get ready for a long one. Once again the stupid has reared its ugly head in the homeschooling community. A “concerned” parent posted a letter to a homeschooling list from the Home Education Foundation (HEF) that reads, in part:

If the Democrats take the US Senate and the White House, one of the first things they will most likely do is to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. President Clinton, actually signed it, but did not take it to the Senate because the Democrats did not have the majority at that time needed to pass it. However, if during the upcoming election, the Democratic party takes control of both the US Senate and the White House, it will most likely pass. Some news reporters are saying that Republicans may not win enough seats in the US Senate to even filibuster.

Good lord! The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child? We can’t give those little crumb snatchers rights!

This is the greatest single threat to home education we have ever faced in this country. The teacher’s unions pour millions of dollars into Democratic campaigns and as you know the Unions do not like home schooling. In fact, their platform usually has a plank opposing home education or requiring parents to be certified teachers. I have never used fear to motivate people and I am not doing it now. I am just reporting the facts.

Go to www.hslda.org, type in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and read until you are convinced this is a serious threat. If you are not sure that HSLDA is reporting the truth, go to http://www.un.org/children/conflict/keydocuments/english/theconventionont6.html and read the actual document. I did that about 14 years ago. It is very disconcerting. This treaty would strip parents of their rights and give them to the child. Ask the question who will decide what is in the best interest of the child?

Riiiight, not using fear. Suuuuure. So, of course, I have to go have a look. I’m a masochist that way. Let’s start with the basics. The HSLDA, or Home School Legal Defense Association, is ” a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children and to protect family freedoms.” So far, so good. How about some details. According to their FAQ:

4. Is HSLDA a Christian organization?

Yes; however, HSLDA’s mission is to protect the freedom of all homeschoolers. Although our officers and directors are Christians, HSLDA membership is not limited to religiously based homeschoolers. We respect parents’ rights to make the appropriate choices for the upbringing of their children. We have no agenda to make all public and home-based classrooms religious or conservative. Our primary objective is to preserve the fundamental right of parents to choose home education, free of over-zealous government officials and intrusive laws. We do put on a national conference annually and invite the board members of state organizations with whom we have worked for many years. Most, if not all, of those organizations have Christian leaders, but many serve all homeschoolers regardless of religious affiliation, as we do.

Hmmm. A couple of entries down the all-inclusive facade begins to crack:

6. What is HSLDA’s relationship to Patrick Henry College (PHC)?

HSLDA’s board of directors founded PHC as a college that emphasizes the apprenticeship model of education and will positively impact our culture.

Patrick Henry College opened its doors on September 1, 2000 to prepare and develop leaders who will fight for the principles of liberty and our home school freedoms through careers of public service and cultural influence. The College’s distinctives include a deliberate outreach to home schooled students; practical apprenticeship methodology; financial independence; a general education core based on the classical liberal arts; a dedication to mentoring and discipling Christian students; and a community life that promotes virtue, leadership, and strong, life-long commitments to God, family and society.

The College’s board of trustees is completely separate and distinct from HSLDA’s board of directors and the College operates independently of HSLDA. Michael Farris is chancellor of the College, and is General Counsel of HSLDA directing litigation and federal legislative efforts.

Although Patrick Henry College and HSLDA are separate and distinct organizations, our board’s purpose for founding the College remains the same and HSLDA continues to support Patrick Henry College financially and structurally. Specifically, HSLDA donates use of facility space and a portion of revenue earned from interest income to the College. This support is based upon our belief that it is not enough to rely solely on the defense of homeschooling in the courts and in the legislatures in order to maintain our freedom to homeschool and control the upbringing of our children in the future. We must be proactive in providing virtuous leaders in government and other key spheres of influence in order to preserve our freedoms.
[emphasis mine]

I’ve touched on the subject of Patrick Henry College previously, when the president was on The Colbert Report. Basically I said, “This school is apparently primarily a place for religious homeschoolers to send their kids to college after preventing their children from actually learning anything factual about the nature of the world around them.”

But don’t take it from me. Here it is from the horse’s ass mouth:

8. Why does HSLDA support efforts to constitutionally define marriage as between a man and a woman?

The following answer is an excerpt from a letter written by HSLDA Chairman of the Board and General Counsel Mike Farris:

. . . We are a Christian organization (see answer to question number 4 above). This colors our way of thinking about many things. Fundamentally, it is reflected in what we believe is truth.

All truth is God’s truth. Man’s knowledge is limited. We think we know something only to find that future generations have found that we really didn’t know what we are talking about.

The truth is that God created the family. It is God’s view of the family that is reflected in our western civilization and in our law until very recently. If we tear down this God-based view of the family, then all of the God-based principles in our society are ultimately at risk.

The masturbation over the sky-daddy continues for a while. Here’s the crux of the matter:

It is impossible to say that the God of the Bible would sanction rights of homosexual marriage. Thus, there is no such right in a God-based theory of rights. Any man-made theory of rights is no theory at all. … HSLDA is not willing to move into an era of human privileges. We believe this would jeopardize our liberty to teach our children at home and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

Blessings,

Michael Farris

Soooo, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights; they don’t mean squat, right? Because they’re man-made rights? Or are you cool with them because they allow you the freedoms to spout your totalitarian, theocratic, dominionist bullshit?

So now we’ve seen a little bit about where this group is coming from.

The letter concludes:

Whoever wins the White House could detemine whether we continue to
enjoy the freedom to home educate our children or not.
The following is taken off the HSLDA website. Please read this and
consider the consequences before you vote in this election.

Thank you,
Brenda Dickinson
Oppose the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Oppose the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child?!? Who would want to oppose something like that? Those UN bastards must be trying to sneak all kinds of nastiness in there, hoping the title of the convention would distract us. Let’s see what HSLDA has to say about this horrible abomination:

After years of debate within the international community, child’s rights activists reached an agreement in 1988 which created a comprehensive charter advancing the agenda of the children’s “liberation” movement. What the child’s rights advocates have for over two decades been unable to accomplish through the normal legislative process, may now be realized in one sweeping blow.

If ratified by the U.S. Senate, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child would undermine families by granting to children a list of radical “rights” which would be primarily enforced against the parents. These new “fundamental” rights would include “the right to privacy,” “the right to freedom of thought and association,” and the right to “freedom of expression.” Such presumptions subvert the authority of parents to exercise important responsibilities toward their children. Under the UN Convention, parental responsibility
exists only in so far as parents are willing to further the independent choices of the child.

OMG! How dare they suggest that children are deserving of such disgusting rights as “the right to privacy,” “the right to freedom of thought and association,” and the right to “freedom of expression.” What subversion! The fabric of society will be ripped apart if we treat children as humans!

Although several of the treaty’s provisions offer generally positive, nonoffensive platitudes, a substantial portion of this charter undermines parental rights. Some of the more relevant provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child are summarized below.

Severe Limitations Placed on the Parents’ Right to Train Their Children

Because children are no better than dogs and need to be trained rather than taught.

Under Article 13, any attempts to prevent their children from interacting with material parents deem unacceptable is forbidden. Children are vested with a ” freedom of expression” right, which is virtually absolute. No allowance is made for parental guidance. Section 1 declares a child’s right to “seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s choice.”

I’m beginning to see why they object to such “radical” notions. I mean, who wants their little brats darlings to express themselves? Or to “seek, receive and impart information”? Next thing you know, they’ll be demanding that we let kids think. Oh, the horrors!

In Article 14, children are guaranteed ” freedom of thought, conscience and religion.” Children have a legal right to object to all religious training. Alternatively, children may assert their right
against parental objection to participate in the occult.

Whoops, there it is, disguised as “freedom of thought”. Those tricky devils, trying to force us to let our kids think. Is there no end to their subversive tactics? Apparently not:

The Convention Would Entrench the Right of Teenagers to Abort Their Babies

Oh, noes, the liberals are coming for our fetuses!

Under Article 16, the “right to privacy” is ranted to children. This UN sanctioned “privacy” would seemingly establish as the child’s right to obtain an abortion without parental notice, the right to purchase and use contraceptives, and the right to pornography in the home.

God forbid we let them use contraceptives and prevent the situation in which abortion becomes an option. (My reserves are sarcasm are running low. I don’t think I can keep this up much longer. OK, just one more section.)

Mandatory Outcome Based Education

The American Bar Association’s 1990 publication Children’s Rights in America: U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child Compared to U.S. Law states that Article 29 will force public and private schools in America to adopt “federally prescribed curriculum content.” Each child
must be prepared to be a responsible citizen by having “the spirit of understanding, peace, toleration, equity of sexes, and friendship [for] all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups of indigenous origin.” All children must be taught the principles of the treaty. This is OBE mandated curriculum of the worst sort.

I don’t know what OBE is, but, dammit, we can’t let them force us to give our children “the spirit of understanding, peace, toleration, equity of sexes, and friendship[for] all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups of indigenous origin.” They might become friends with teh blacks. Or teh A-rabs. Or worse, they might consort with *shudder* atheists.
[/sarcasm]

My bullshit barrier has overloaded. This is one of the most twisted interpretations of a document since the christian fundamentalists co-opted the bible for their own purposes. I would heartily recommend that you all read the original UN document. It sounds like a pretty damn good idea to me. “This is the greatest single threat to home education we have ever faced in this country” my ass. I’d say the single greatest threat is religious wingnuts like you ruining it for the rest of us. But then, I’m just a fetus-eating, devil worshiping, “spread-the-wealth” democrat communist. What do I know.

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I must have missed the memo

The memo that said that in order to homeschool your children you had to be a bible-thumping, dinosaur-riding, right-wingnut. Somehow, in our decision to homeschool, Mrs. CyberLizard and I missed that obvious fact. Apparently a large majority of homeschooling families are doing it out of a desire to save their children from that secular cesspool known as public education. You know, that place where they try to turn your kid gay and force them to become socialists and allow old washed up terrorists to participate on boards who’s whose goals are to improve the quality of edumacation.

Anyone who knows me or Mrs. CL knows that in our homeschooling we are bucking the trend. We’re trying to bring that gay-friendly, secular, skeptical thinking mindset out of our public classrooms and into our home. I’ll be damned if I let some bureaucracy turn my kid into a gay socialist terrorist sympathizer; I’m gonna do that myself.

So we completely missed the memo and are only now being confronted with our nonconformity. It is becoming more difficult to disentangle ourselves from the tentacles of the religious whackaloons grip on homeschooling. Most recently, in a completely secular home education co-op group we belong to, the nutjobs are trying to jump in with their propoganda in support of Amendment 2, the proposed amendment to the Florida constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Amazingly, this person thought that it was perfectly acceptable to post their screed on the dangers to our rights as homeschoolers if teh gays were afforded the same rights and responsibilities as the rest of us.

In a twofer on the religion front, Stephen Colbert has on his show Michael Ferris, president of Patrick Henry College. This school is apparently primarily a place for religious homeschoolers to send their kids to college after preventing their children from actually learning anything factual about the nature of the world around them.

All I can say is, we’re not all like that. Some of us not only have brains, but use them and encourage our children to do so as well.

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