So I read a blog this morning by the title “Teach Your Children…Or Someone Else Will” by Michelle Horstman.
The basic idea is that most Professors are crazy-liberal in their thinking, with an agenda to promote their radical causes. Well, the author is right, but I think we often go in the wrong directions. We act like the cure for the threat of brainwashing in college is to brainwash them while they are at home. Honestly, it is little wonder so many look at us Christians (and homeschoolers like me to boot) as a little quacky. I’m not ducking the issue (sorry), rather I think there is a better way to go: LET’S TEACH OUR KIDS TO THINK!
It took me back to why we originally got into homeschooling our kids, and why I helped found Midland Classical Academy. I have never worried much about what ‘they’ teach in schools— but I have worried about the nature of the education. We homeschooled our kids all the way to college for PURELY ACADEMIC reasons. Moreover, I believe an education is a greater defense against brainwashing than ‘counter-brainwashing’ is.
Well, I mean, can’t we face the fact as ‘homeschoolers’—we are often trying to brainwash our kids to not be given over to ‘their’ brainwashing of our kids? This is the kind of ditch-to-ditch mistake we make when fear tells us what to do and we obey it. Just brainwashing our kids to the ‘right belief’ (says us) is simply to commit the same kind of crime.
Here’s an alternative: TEACH THEM TO THINK.
How do you do that? Expose them to LOTS of IDEAS and debrief them all. Discuss them. Debate them. Try to agree with them. Try to defeat them. I suppose this is the greatest gift my dad gave me (he was a trial attorney)…he would often say, “Fred, here’s the issue (and name one, like capital punishment). Which side do you want?”
Which side do I want? Yep…dad would just take the other side and we were off to the races…it was learning at its finest. Honestly, education all about learning to read carefully, write well, and get the essentials of mathematics (math teaches that there are absolutes!). But then all this data has to be reshaped and played with.
Is capitalism predatory? I think it probably is, which goes against my christian sensibilities. Yet, on the other hand, doesn’t capitalism honor freedom and work with the essential self-interest of human nature? Yep there too.
Please, learn to have your kids argue (think through) both sides…then they will know both what and why they believe. And, it makes them much more gracious in their interactions with others. The truth really has nothing to fear…and when it is contrasted against a lie, then the truth glares all the more. This is essentially how I wrote my most recent book (GLAEN)…but considering the truth vs lies in love, romance, dating, and marriage.
Teach you children well…good. Cause them to learn…better!
P.S. If you’d like a short-course in logic around a biblical / theological issue…chapter two of Back to Faith is just that (more logic, simply explained, than most professors ever encounter).
How to Homeschool Start to Finish Videos
Fred & Jody Lybrand
Well, the videos are finished and they are up. Our goal is certainly two-fold:
1. We want to share what we’ve had to learn through trial-and-error as God has shown us his kindness…so right now they are totally free.
2. We hope this promotes our conviction that we need a generation of writers who can stem the tide of our drift away from effectively written English.
Basically, we want you to help this go ‘viral’ if (AND ONLY IF) you find the information that we share helpful. Here’s what you do:
* Send the link to your friends (homeschool or not / Robinson or not). This could be a fair shot at winning support for all of our efforts in home education. Use the ‘share’ button to the left on this page.
* Post it on your blogs, facebook, etc.
* Go to YouTube and post a couple of positive sentences out the videos
Thanks for all your help and encouragement. I don’t need to tell you how important our current success in education is as homeschoolers is…given the likely coming tide against us if the country stays on its current path unabated. Of course, God is big!
Fred & Jody Lybrand
P.S. Yes, we hope this indirectly advertises and supports our efforts…so we can keep writing and speaking.
HERE’S THE LINK TO SIGN UP AND SEE All 5 Videos: http://www.advanced-writing-resources.com/
The following was my response to an enquiry about a child who doesn’t know what to write during the writing part of the homeschool day.
Even though we don’t yet know the exact details (always best to find them out because each situation is different), I will throw out some additional thoughts to the excellent stuff several of you have posted.
In The Writing Course we explain how we can always write because everything reminds us of something. When kids don’t write it is almost always an issue of fear or control…not an issue of writing. If a child knows that he is just trying to write OK, and he knows that he can’t really think up what he is going to write before he writes it (this is in the course too), then all that is left is to learn how to make use of his own mind’s ability to associate. I show them how to use their own name.
I’ll use my middle name RAY (yes, I am Fred Ray…hey…born in Alabama) and come up with three words:
R – rollercoaster
A – airplane
Y – yarn
So, all I’ll do is start writing something OK involving those things.
Petula was always scared of rollercoasters. Even when she flew over the County Fair in her uncle Ceadric’s airplane and the rollercoaster looked very small and safe, she just couldn’t remember that feeling when she got near the ticket booth. Today was different. She was going to conquer the rollercoaster! Maybe it was the way the kitten played with the yarn, she couldn’t really say. But, she did notice that the kitten fell off the counter three times. After each fall it just climbed up again to win the prize. “If Tinker can keep trying for a ball of yarn,” Petula said in a squinted whisper, “Then I can ride a silly rollercoaster.” With that she grabbed her uncle’s hand and walked toward the booth holding a paper dollar she had gotten from her Hannah Montana wallet.
Well, you get the point. At the very least (if a child doesn’t know what to write) have him:
1. Do copy work (that will eventually motivate him to make up something more fun)
2. Write a description of something outside the window or of a couple of items in the refrigerator.
3. Use some of the other ideas mentioned in this group
From my book…The Absolute Quickest Way to Help Your Child Change I have a problem with being consistent, and sometimes it’s just because I am too tired. How can I overcome this problem?
Inconsistency and tiredness are usually a sign that your child or children are somewhat “out of control.” I don’t mean that we as parents don’t get tired, but if the state is constant exhaustion, then something surely is wrong. Consistency usually comes when both parents participate in the child training process. With both parents, you are able to keep one another encouraged and accountable. Usually, the problem of staying consistent comes from a parent who is too consumed with meeting the child’s needs and making sure the child “likes” him or her. One of my professors at Dallas Theological Seminary, Dr. Howard Hendricks, has often said,“When you do something for someone when he can do it for himself, then you make an emotional cripple of him: Chances are, unfortunately, that if you are inconsistent, you are somehow being encouraged to be inconsistent and the real learning you (and they) need isn’t happening.
Remember, if you see it, it is encouraged. The best idea I have for consistency is for you to take the Four Magic Questions and apply them to your inconsistency. You may find a very simple solution such as telling your children that every time they get you to do something for them that they can do themselves, you will give them a dollar bill. I suspect, unless you think so little of money, that you will change your consistency problem rapidly.
So…what are your thoughts on Consistency?
Thanks for this question…I’m quite sure you are not alone. Writing isn’t connected to talking a lot (in fact, most of the studies give the advantage to the introverts…it seems the extraverts don’t won’t to write it down if they’ve gone ahead and told it to someone!), though there are exceptions everywhere. The problem when people are quiet is ALMOST ALWAYS that they are attempting to figure out how to say the right thing before they speak. This is really an impossibility since the mind can only plan about 7 words ahead (this is all in one of the lessons in The Writing Course ). Here’s my thought for your son (who does need to get talking more)…he needs to use both hands. Talking and quiet are both parts of our personality. Talkers need to learn how to hush, and quiet folks need to learn how to speak up. This is what I mean by using both hands. We are all basically either left or right handed…but we can learn to use the non-favored one. Emerson observed that the greater part of courage is having done it before…so, I’d just get him talking. If you know a book he likes, have him read it aloud to you some everyday. Have everyone at dinner tell something that was fun (or funny) from the day. Anything that gets him talking and learning that he doesn’t have to have the perfect words will help. He likely just needs to realize that the world doesn’t end when he talks. Of course, he will never be the talker you daughter is (I’m guessing here). With talking…some is good, more is better (in his case). As to writing…he needs to be doing copy work if he isn’t writing his own stuff (10 is still usually a little young for much writing). On the other hand, he can write single sentences that are OK (that he makes up). He must be pointedly discouraged from writing GREAT sentences. He must first learn to write OK…and get great later on. Is this a help? God bless, Fred Lybrand P.S. If you don’t make it a practice, please hug your children together at the same time (not separately as much)…this makes a big difference, but I’ll have to explain it some other time. www.advanced-writing-resources.com Grading Help:
Sadly this person is taking some flak for the following:
Unless you are a certified teacher then don’t even try and homeschool your child. It is abuse because I’m sure you, as the teacher, let your child have long breaks – start the day late and end it early. You don’t have anyway of comparing your child with how and where they are supposed to be in the spectrum. UGH ….I feel so sorry for home schooled children.
Of course, flak might be deserved, but not for saying it… you know, free speech, etc.?
The reality is that this IS what people are thinking. Yet, shouldn’t abuse be based on results? If kids are being left behind, then that is a tradjedy! Yet, the author is not fully applying the standard. Just because someone is a certified teacher, why does that mean the child won’t be behind?
What if we really went by what works?
Honesty admits that homeschooling is producing a better result (on average) than public school is producing. So, how about a fresh standard?
If you are not educating your child(ren) at home…then send them to school! But, if they are not learning at school, why not bring them home?
It is time to start being honest about out results and make a change!
Dr. Fred R. Lybrand
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
This video is an example of how we think about things in our Home and School Success Club. Sibling rivalry, conflict, and fighting between children is something both parents and kids don’t have to suffer through. There is a commonsense approach…and here it is!
Well, what do you think? Is Rosemond overstating it?
“To me letting a child use the Internet unsupervised is akin to letting a child walk thru the red light district in Amsterdam without a guardian,” explained Rosemond. “It’s a very, very dangerous thing.” -John Rosemond http://www.live5news.com/story/14685559/parenting-expert-talks-about-facebook
Well yes, it is dangerous. There are lurking charlatans and obsessive addictions just waiting to happen. And yet, a wealth of knowledge is also at our fingertips. We can connect with old friends…or wind up rekindling an old romance into a destructive affair. We can save money or lose a fortune.
In my years of pastoral counseling, I have seen it all (I really think so…from the psychotic to the sublime); consistently, there are people who have not found the simple fact that if you make no provision for the “flesh.” They don’t know the power of avoiding a situation…the power of admitting you are not strong enough to resist. For example, I’m not strong enough to resist chips in the home. Yes, we have them, but Jody does not keep a constant supply on hand. If they were here all the time, I’d eat them all the time. Sorry, it’s just a fact (you know…the salt, the crunch, the dipping!!!).
Well, join the reality of the dangers of the internet. The fact is that you just need to stay away from the stuff that isn’t good for you. Get over the silliness of thinking you should be stronger. You are not.
Now, doesn’t that turn out to be twice as true for the kids? Yes, they need discernment and wisdom, but that will grow over time. Our simple solution was to trust the least-tempted-by-the-internet soul in our home; Jody! In researching it though, we concluded that an internet filter was the way to go. We decided on SafeEyes and have found nothing but good things (speed is unaffected and the customer support has been exceptional). Frankly, I don’t care which you use…but I do say, “Use something.” Basically, with 5 men in the household, our answer became easy. Jody is the only one who knows the “password.” Yes, if I get a site blocked that I need, then I ask her to log me in to use it. What an easy way for me to show some humility (and honesty) about the dangers. What an easy way for me to not have to think about looking at something tantalizing. Life is too short and the consequences are too lasting.
If you have gotten into trouble or need help, please check out my friend Jonathan Daugherty’s website @ www.bebroken.com
In the meantime, don’t run; use the internet for good. Redeem it, but respect it.
Get Safe Eyes Parental Control Software – One price for three computers!
You can’t really influence your kids, it’s all genetics…so have more and enjoy them!
A new book by Bryan Caplan is well-intentioned; he wants parents to lighten up, have more kids and enjoy the ride (because you aren’t in control).
Here are a few excerpts from Caplan’s book:
All of those “life lessons” we teach our kids? Don’t really matter, says Bryan Caplan.
All those talks about morality, and right versus wrong? Again, Caplan says, doesn’t really swing the pendulum either way.
“The idea that it’s the way that we are raising our kids that causes them to resemble their parents is mostly an illusion. Again, if no child was adopted, it would be hard to tell this.”
Caplan believes we as parents spend too much time worrying, fretting, and picking apart our parenting styles. He advises us to relax, be selfish, have more kids, enjoy them, and enjoy the ride.
“I cannot responsibly offer any guarantees, but still, the odds are good that your child is going to turn out to be just like you when he grows up.”
Of course, it is a silly proposition that is simply fatalistic. Genetics is an influence, but it isn’t a god. Environment is an influence, but it isn’t a god either. Caplan say that no one challenges him with data (he has flawed twin studies in his back pocket as proof.
I’ll say I’m proof. I come from generations of alcoholics on both sides of my family…but I am not an alcoholic. Oh…it could be a recessive non-alcoholic gene! We had 5 children who slept through the night from 6 weeks old and onward…5 in a row (what are the genetic odds?). You see, this is called unfalsifiable position, which means there is no way to prove it wrong. Of course, if you can’t prove it wrong, you can’t prove it right. It is easy to find credible sources challenging the validity in the twin studies: http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract;jsessionid=A0BDE8276F7814C3B660A475D5CACCCA.tomcat1?fromPage=online&aid=31667 .
In a way it is like Skinnerism– You have no control, no real will, no influence, and no learning. The Scriptures wouldn’t support it, nor does philosophy, or common sense. It seems the nature of humankind is to seek out and find excuses. If you are a victim then you must be a victim….but before you laugh at Caplan, how about what we do say about IQ and alcoholism, and ADHD. Are we really without choice?
Caplan wants to let parents “off the hook” by realizing they have far less influence than they think (and can take less credit). Of course, he is stripping credit from the individual for life choices. Moreover, following his premise…not much you can do about people at work either (or your cell-mate in prison). You get the point.
What a destructive idea in parenting…in one moment of deifying the human gene, we disempower both parents and children. Not me.
The Bible puts it this way:
…a child left to himself brings shame to his mother. (Proverbs 29:15b)
Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart. (Proverbs 29:17)
I’d love to here your thoughts…and share this…let’s have a conversation,
Dr. Fred Lybrand