Educating For Today
By Jim Hollingsworth
Someone has defined education as “that which is done to prepare a child for life.” If that is truly the definition, then our schools are doing a terrible job.
Many kids graduate from school believing somehow that the world owes them a living; that they have a right to a good income, whether they happen to work or not.
The idea that Americans are free to excel and benefit from their hard work seems to be foreign to what they are being taught in school. In fact, producing children that believe the world owes them a living represents the future downfall of our great nation.
For many years America has been the most prosperous nation on earth simply because our people were free to try new things and to benefit from what they had produced. We are gradually becoming a nation that believes that everyone ought to be equal, not just in opportunities, but in outcome as well.
One result of the Covid 19 lockdowns is that it forced parents to see what their children were experiencing in school. Many were upset enough they decided to make the sacrifice and home-school their children. They were surprised that it really was not much of a sacrifice and that their children did so well it caused them to wonder why they had not started teaching them sooner.
When you look at the tax bills you quickly conclude that education is a major part of any state budget. It also seems that every year we push more money into the education budget but the results do not improve. Achievement remains about the same.
Many studies have shown that some children are not able to do simple math problems well and cannot read well by the time they graduate from high school. This is a real shame.
Parents who home-school have discovered that teaching is fairly simple. One of the joys they have experienced is seeing their children excel in achievement. In fact, children want to learn, and will do so if we do not discourage them.
Our schools have known for a hundred years that the best way to teach learning to read is a system of phonics, yet they continue to use a look-say method to teach reading in one form or another. With that system the child memorizes certain words, so it is limited by how many words he can memorize. With phonics the child learns the meaning and pronunciation of every letter, and knowing that, he can read almost any word. In fact, not only can children learn to read at age three or four, but they also can read words that are beyond their understanding and they can pronounce them.
We once had a boy come to our school who was in the ninth grade but could not read. Sure, he could learn something by looking at the pictures. He was a distraction for the school as he was constantly getting into trouble. He was also having an effect on the younger children.
The board thought we should kick him out of the school, but I hated to give up on him. So, I asked him to go down and help our first-grade teacher when she was teaching phonics. I told him she had more students than she could handle.
So, he was there when she was teaching learning to read. You could not justify putting a ninth grader in a first-grade class, but as a helper he was able to learn right along with the younger kids.
He learned to read and graduated with his class. Years later I saw him at a conference. He was dressed in an army uniform. He told me he was the army recruiter for our area. He said: “you taught me to read; I could not have gotten this job except that I could read”.
Education is really quite simple. It is just a matter of imparting knowledge in a way that children appreciate.
Of course, our schools have more than just a reading and math problem. Now we must face what are called “transgender issues.” Children are encouraged to seek their inner self and act out whatever that may be. Sometimes it has meant changing from a boy to a girl.
It gets even worse as children are given puberty blockers and even some surgeries that must be considered child abuse. Some of these children have had surgeries that have affected them for life. When they reached adulthood, many really wanted to be what was natural, but because of the surgeries could never be a mother or a father. Doctors who have performed these surgeries have violated their Hippocratic Oaths and need to be disciplined for it. This ought to be a felony.
And, not just in the classrooms, but in the libraries as well. One mother was upset about a book available to children in the library and attempted to take it up with the board. When she began to read the book in the meeting she was informed that she could not read the book as it contained information that was a violation of the law. She found it interesting that the book was not acceptable to be read in an open meeting yet was available to children in the school.
The federal government has called mothers who complain at school board elections domestic terrorists. The left has called them “racist”.
Now we have the specter of young men, calling themselves girls, and competing in girl’s sports. Girls who have trained for years to be the best are beat out by boys who call themselves girls.
Not only that, but boys who say they are girls are attempting to use the restrooms and changing areas for girls. This is creating serious conflicts.
We also have conflicts with Critical Race Theory. Some states have moved against this program only to see the same program introduced under a different name. Even the 1619 Project, which bases all our history on the issue of slavery. Some programs which they say are designed to counter racial prejudice are racially slanted themselves. To avoid this happening a parent would have to be in the classroom full time, something that is not very practical and for which most teachers would be very uncomfortable.
Where will all this end? It will end when parents stop being afraid of what the school counselors may tell them. Comments like “either agree to this sex change or your child may commit suicide” have got to stop. Our children mean more to us than they do to the schools and we need to take steps to reclaim our schools and our children.
If we simply cannot reclaim our schools, then we must recognize that it is time to remove our children from the schools and teach them at home. When we do, we will discover the joys of actually being a family in every way.