This is the second installment of a series discussing Teaching the Trivium by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn along with the Classical Mamas Read group led by Amy at Living and Learning at Home.
Teaching the Trivium: Christian Homeschooling in a Classical Style
Chapter 2 – Who Should Control Education: Parents, or the State?
The authors again begin this chapter with a discourse on why the first commandment (Mark 12: 29-30) is the ultimate Biblical argument for homeschooling and parental control over education. I never would have thought to interpret the commandment in this way. I am not sure I wholeheartedly agree with their interpretation, but I can at the very least understand where they are coming from with this point.
The argument that I found more compelling was this: “It takes a family, not a village, to raise a child.” My husband and I have devoted our lives to raising our children together without the luxury of assistance from extended family. I can probably count the number of times they have been left with babysitters on one hand. Other than when they were in school, they were with us. That is how we wanted it. We wanted to have the job of raising our children. I also liked how it reminded me of something I saw on Pinterest:
The second part of this chapter that caught me stated, “If God’s word is our great interest, then it will be reflected in our daily speech.” If we are making time to read and meditate upon God’s word, then our own words cannot help but be uplifting to Him. The movement to remove all religious words and symbols from public education results in the complete opposite of this goal. Children and teachers alike spend the majority of the day away from the word of God and refusing to acknowledge His presence. And they wonder what is missing from modern education?
The final part of this chapter that struck me was a description of schools and “orphanages full of children who have been educationally abandoned by their own parents”. Either trapped by selfish pursuits or the pressure to be all and do all in today’s society, the majority of parents have little to no interest in taking an active role in the education of their children. Isn’t that what school is for? Of course, they are also the ones screaming the loudest when there child is not doing well in school. The fact of the matter is that there is a high correlation between performance and parental involvement in academics. That makes a case for homeschooling since the highest level of success should come from the greatest amount of direct parental involvement.
The only thing about this chapter that bothered me is the idealism. The reality is that there are parents who don’t want to be involved with education. What is to be done with them? Those kids would have nothing without the state. Nationwide, however, they are certainly the minority. So, why, exactly are parents allowing the federal government to put education in a choke hold with common core? More than anything this chapter can probably be used as a starting point in a good case against common core curriculum in every school.