No educashun

The reliably extreme wingnut daily – and seemingly hundreds of other blogs with names like (don’t you just love that ludicrous z?) have an almost word-for-word replica of a story about:

Court orders Christian child into government education
10-year-old’s ‘vigorous’ defense of her faith condemned by judge

(“Her” “vigorous defence”, indeed. “Her” faith, indeed.) To summarise the tale, a court-appointed guardian ad litem

reasoned that the girl’s “vigorous defense of her religious beliefs to [her] counselor suggests strongly that she has not had the opportunity to seriously consider any other point of view.” (from worldnetdaily)

To paraphrase, he saw the girl as being in danger of being far too isolated and brainwashed for her own good. Just in case, that doesn’t have the ring of truth, look at, say, Amazon’s Classical homeschool list to see what kinds of material are available for homeschoolers.

Classical.HomeSchool for grades K-3

(No, I don’t know why it has a dot between Classical and Home either. I am already baffled enough by grades K-3. I am guessing kindergarten to grade 3[?]. Basically very young children then.)

Item 1. is

KJV/Amplified Parallel Bible, Large Print (King James Version) by Zondervan Publishing
The list author says:
“My favorite Bible, the beauty of the KJV language, with Amplified to enhance…great for reading aloud to the children.”

Item 2.

Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style by Harvey Bluedorn
The list author says:
“The # 1 Homeschooling Book in my opinion, and I have read ALOT of them. This is where it all starts!”

(wtf is the trivium? I casually assume that was the metal thing you use to suspend pans over a camp fire. No, that’s a trivet. The freedictionary says

in the Middle Ages, one of the two divisions of the seven liberal arts, comprising logic, grammar, and rhetoric.

So, a medieval curriculum then. Hmm. What a brilliant idea in the 21st century. (not) Wikipedia gives more choices.:

Trivium is the Latin singular form of trivia. It may also refer to the following:
* Trivium (band), an American heavy metal band
* Trivium (cipher), a synchronous stream cipher
* Trivium (education), in medieval educational theory

I suspect “the singular form of trivia” may be just as appropriate.)

To continue the homeschool trivia curriculum:

3. The Three R’s by Dr Beechick
4. Dr. Beechick’s Homeschool Answer Book by Ruth Beechick
5. Egermeier’s Bible Story Book by Elsie E. Egermeier
6. The Child’s Story Bible by Catherine F. Vos
7. Prima Latina: Introduction to Christian Latin, Teacher Manual by Leigh Lowe
8. The Alphabet for Classical Latin by Helena Bluedorn
9. A Greek Alphabetarion: A Primer for Teaching How to Read, Write & Pronounce Ancient & Biblical Greek by Harvey Bluedorn
10. Ray’s new primary arithmetic: For young learners (Ray’s arithmetic series) (Ray’s arithmetic series) by Joseph Ray,

etc. Enough, already… You get the flavour.

Basic reading and maths, fair enough, although I begin to be suspicious of even these books, given the context. And the fact that googling Ruth Beechick found me this enthusiastic home-schooler’s blog.

I think I now own every book Ruth Beechick has written ~ well, not every one; she’s got a new one just hot off the press: “World History Made Simple: Matching History With the Bible.” (from Homeschooling from the Heart blog)

Speaking of history, number 14 on the Amazon list is:

14. The Story of the World: History for the Classical Child; Volume 1: Ancient Times by Susan Wise Bauer
The list author says:
“This is a *good* story…I do like it, however have your Bible handy and make sure your children are grounded in OT History FIRST…may want to skip the beginning sections, and pre-read so for editing”

In other words, it’s a book that doesn’t JUST have the Old Testament in it, so they have to issue a health warning.

The Latin and Greek seem eccentric, to say the least. However, surely they’d be a welcome relief from the constant Bible shit. Maybe not, given that they seem to be there just so these poor unfortunate kids can read even more Bibles.

I can understand why people might prefer to spare their kids the many horrors of standard schools. But, to teach kids at home, following this sort of curriculum…… How could any child subjected to this have a hope in hell of fitting in with other people, let alone of thinking for themselves?

8 thoughts on “No educashun

  1. Heather dear, I believe you’re operating under false impressions. These parents don’t want their child to fit in with other people OR think for themselves. They want them to be “narrow road” obedient Christians.

  2. K-3 means kindergarten through third grade, usually 5 years old to 8 years old. Kindergarten is the year before 1st grade in North American schools – sort of like training wheels for the real thing.

    This made me gag: “World History Made Simple: Matching History With the Bible.” The warning that went along with “The Story of the World” was gag-inducing too.

    To be fair, I’ve known some people – Christians even – who have home-schooled their children pretty well. I just hope they’re typical and not the exceptions to the rule.

  3. Oooh, ooh, I *was* a homeschooled Christian – can I weigh in?

    Of course, I was only home schooled for Kindergarten and first grade, which basically consisted of watching PBS (educational cartoons) and doing phonics workbooks. I come from a bright family though, and one of readers so there were always books around. I think even if they hadn’t “taught” me I would’ve learned most of what I needed to know.

    However, I used to babysit a lot of homeschooled kids and I knew nine year old that couldn’t freaking read. It’s abusive, or at least neglectful. I think there needs to be governmental oversight and minimum standards for home schooled students and their parents, just like their are for public and private schools. If mom or dad can’t pass a basic literacy/competancy exam, then the kids ought to be in public school for their own good. Illiteracy is a cruel thing to do to a child. I used to give free tutoring in reading for other little girls in my cult. (I was all subversive and snuck them reading material not approved of by their parents – once they had something *interesting* instead of Bible shit, they picked up pretty quickly.)

  4. Chaplain

    Yes, the twisted history is shocking isn’t it?

    I take your point that not all homeschoolers are crazy. (Nor do I think that normal schools are necessarily great.)

    I think the thing that really disturbs me is there is no protection for those kids who have the bad luck to be brought up by the most ignorant bigots. They would be better off if they were raised by wolves.

    You sort of contradict the horror of Christian cult homeschooling though, by ending up by being so articulate and bright and open-minded.

    Although, just being homeschooled so young may not count. Phew.

  5. Heather – I was homeschooled 2 years, went to Christian school 2 years, went to (well funded) midwestern public school for 2.5 years, went to 3 shitty Florida middle schools in 2.5 years, then 1 well-funded performing arts high school, 2 poorly funded regular public high schools, and GED school (once I got kicked out of my third high school). I have opinions on EVERY form of education, lol. By far the best in-school education I got was at the well-funded elementary school. I had private free violin lessons and clarinet lessons, and a private Advanced tutor who would give me year long projects and do science experiments with me and such. Just free because the school had enough money for a fourth-grade orchestra.

    I gotta move before Little Man reaches Kindergarten.

  6. Oh, and the articulate, bright and open-minded (thanks!) didn’t happen till the Internet. My mom was a professor so I was on her office computer the year the internet got launched. I am an “internet evangelist” and am always trying to get people online, or online more, or finding cooler shit. I love the internet. I don’t have an excuse for not knowing something now. If I want to know – I Google!

  7. How could any child subjected to this have a hope in hell of fitting in with other people,

    Other people? It’s called the Southern and Midwestern U.S.

    let alone of thinking for themselves?

    Bah. Independent thought is Satan’s Doorway!

    How can I make you understand this country of mine… Never mind, I can’t, I don’t understand it myself. When we have universities that teach religious dogmatic curricula, how can any other modern country take us seriously? Heck, I’m not sure I take us seriously anymore.

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