Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Stacking the deck

Parents have very limited time to influence the character development of their children. Studies have shown that most parents only have a few minutes a day of meaningful interaction with their children. These same children spend hours each day hearing messages contrary to the morals and standards of their families. Billboards, television, radio, advertising, internet, and other children, all compete with parents for the hearts and minds of their children. Schools more than ever distribute propaganda almost unchecked.

It has been said that prior to the age of about 8 years old, children swallow information whole. They don't sift it for accuracy. If an authority figure says the world is flat, for that child the world is flat. If a young child is taught a lie, it may take him until he is an adult to unlearn it. Even if what they learn is essentially true, but misunderstood or misrepresented, it can cause problems.

We had a funny thing happen like this. When my daughters were 4 and 6 years old, they attended a safety lesson at a friend's house. The lesson taught how to dial 911 in case of an emergency. The example used was someone choking on a chicken bone. For the next 4 years, my daughter would not eat chicken off the bone. No matter what I said, they didn't believe that eating a drumstick was safe.

So if you think about it, our window of opportunity as parents is extraordinarily small.

Homeschooling is stacking the deck in our favor.
Our children are protected when they are too young to distinguish between truth and error. When they are older, we get at least as much time as our opponents in the war of ideas.


jettybetty said...

I appreciated your comments on praying and where you educate your children over at Sp*nky's site. I believe following God is the most important part of how we educate our children.

I support your homeschooling--I think it can be a wonderful thing.

If God is not "stacking the deck" nothing will succeed.

If He is "stacking the deck", He can make whatever succeed.

I don't like taking chances--I do love God's promises!

You sound like you are doing a wonderful job with you kids!! Please keep the the GREAT work!!!


Spunky said...

Hi Henry and Janine,

Thanks for the comments on my blog. Honest dialgue is wonderful and I appreciated that all could share so openly.

I'll add your blog to the roll when I get a chance.


Anonymous said...

No mention of how "stacking the deck" can be disadvantageous to a child? This omission does not bode well for the site, which I am only visiting for the first time.

There are many parents who are insane. For them to look over your checklist of whether or not homeschooling might be for them is less than helpful, because there is no stated standard for a parent to be an authority on matters of which they may have no understanding. Their own mental health, for example.

Some of these misguided parents are passing their delusions on to their offspring and may well pollute society at large and do no service to the child.

If intentions were objective reality - everyone could be a fantastic teacher. Judging from some of the comments on this site, there will be a lot of children done a disservice at the hands of well-meaning but uneducated parents "stacking the deck" in their favor for selfish reasons.

Henry Cate said...

I agree that there are a few parents who probably shouldn't be homeschooling.

The question isn't is homeschooling perfect, but is it better for your children than public schools.

I believe in general public schools do more damage to children that a few, isolated "insane" parents who homeschool.

I use to report on scary teacher news, but stopped because it was like shooting fish in a barrel, there were just so many instances of teachers doing horrible things to students. Then you factor in the watered down academics, the poor socialization, the mis-information, and you realize that as a rule most public schools in America are doing a poor job.