I could have been homeschooled, if it were legal in my childhood. My mother was very protective of me and if I didn’t feel comfortable with the public schooling I got, she made a stink until I was exempt from the curriculum. And so it was that I missed 6th grade sex education, and got out of reading “Rabbit, Run” in 9th. My little fragile eggshell mind couldn’t deal with the topic of sex and sensuality. I was afraid of it, and my mother allowed me to fear it, because her Christianity taught that it was fornication outside of marriage. When I became born again myself, I felt that too. And even when I left the church and faith behind, the problems I had with sex and the sex act remained.
I didn’t fuck my first girlfriend at all and we went out for 3 years.
I’m still having sexual issues today.
There may be no continuum that links these happenings. Yet, I feel that I was grossly unprepared to be a sexual being and do attribute some of my problems today with the ones I had.
Alright. That’s enough of the personal. I’m going to talk a little about the twin phenomena of homeschooling and Christianity.
Teaching is a tough job. That’s why it should be done by teachers. But zealous Christian parents are afraid that their children will learn about sex and evolution. So they are somehow allowed to teach at home without biology and other sciences being properly presented. Add copious doses of biblical teaching, and voila, you have an uncurious, neurotic youngster who’s ill-prepared to meet the world as it really exists. And I guess that is the point, since for Christians there is much concern about “the world” and how full of evil and temptation it is.
I’m sorry, but I don’t think you should be teaching if you refer to the Bible as the authority on everything. You are going to fuck your kid up and make them believe stupid things instead of know smart things, smart things that public schools could have introduced them to.
Moving right along, let’s talk about math. Math is critical to understanding how the universe works. I am very bad at math, and so I am limited in my understanding of the damn thing. There seems to be a sort of precision to the way things are ordered. Superclusters of galaxies are distributed evenly throughout the universe. Nothing travels faster than light, which always travels at the same speed. General relativity explains the relation of gravity, mass and energy. Why, if you look at the world around you, some things are arranged by a recurring fractal pattern.
Small wonder that St. Paul thought everything was arranged perfectly, and proved to him the existence of a being, a designer who made that perfection for us. But that vision breaks down even at observable levels-climate is changing because the earth is getting hotter, storms are more destructive than ever.Volcanoes and earthquakes and floods and droughts and wars kill millions. In the theoretical world, our math is beginning to hit barriers as physicists try to grapple with quantum mechanics and strange unseen matter that has to be there because the numbers say so. Nothing is chock full of something. It’s all up in the air-it is a bewildering time to be a scientist, and yet so exciting too. But the bottom line is, the more we know, the less we understand and that is the current cycle of science. That’s a feature, not a bug.
But if you want to be an ignoramus, just claim that Jesus created math. That is not only an affront to history, it’s based on the mistaken idea that it is perfect as only a creator could be. So anyway, this dildock who homeschools is postulating exactly that. He spins a parable:
Good morning class! It’s time for us to study mathematics.” The second-grade students all open their textbooks and pick up their pencils. “Let’s review first. Who can answer this question? What is 2 + 4?”
Seven-year-old Johnny raises his hand and offers an answer. “Six?”
“Very good, Johnny!” responds his government school teacher. “That’s correct.”
Fully expecting to go on to the next question, the teacher looks back at her teacher’s manual. Her thoughts are interrupted by a raised hand out of the corner of her eye. It is Johnny. He is such a precocious and inquisitive young man.
But his question catches her off guard.
“Why what, Johnny?”
“Why does 2+4 = 6? Does it always equal six?”
“Of course it does, Johnny. Why do you ask?”
“Well, can it ever be something different? Like, seven on Monday, and eleven on Christmas, and thirty-nine on my birthday?”
“No, of course not.”
At this point, the teacher, who was not homeschooled, would have chosen something countable in the room, and proceeded to put 4 in one pile and 2 in another. She could then combine the piles and count the total. Unless Johnny wants to argue the identity of numbers themselves, he would have shut the fuck up. But that’s not the way our homeschooler looked at this supposedly intractable problem of how to explain to Johnny how math works. He thinks the teacher is in a real bind:
With this question, the teacher has just found herself in a tight spot. Like it or not, she is facing a question that, by state law, she is not permitted to answer honestly. She quickly thinks through her list of options.
Finally, she decides to answer according to the metanarrative (the big overstory) of the government school system. What most teachers spread out over 10,800 hours of K–12 instruction, she decides to truncate into one short soliloquy.
Then he has this theoretical teacher recite the “government(???)” history of the universe to get Johnny to understand. And it’s all for no reason at all, the teacher says. Sorry, Johnny. It’s all accidental.
This is considered a sad way to go through life by Christians. They’re always existentially worried that their lives have no meaning and so they’ve invented a benevolent creator who loves them and their ultimate goal is to love him back. I’m not going to bore you with why that is pathetic and wrongheaded, because fellow atheists already know.
But anyway, our homeschooler pivots away from the why of math. He wants to know the who:
If you were to ask a teacher who is committed to the official narrative of government education, “Who is the author of mathematics?”, they would respond that it was evolution, or time plus matter plus chance.
Um, no, I don’t think they would say that at all. They would point you in the direction of the ancient Egyptians and Pythagoras, or tell you to Wikipedia it like I did and fuck off. Christians think they know the nonbeliever(or the government educated) mind so well. But they’re only projecting their anxieties on you. They need people to feel as bad as they do about things, otherwise the purposeless life they thought they escaped creeps back in again.
But anyway, 2+4=6 because….
Jesus is the Author of Math
And the evidence for this? Scripture!
[He] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. (Colossians 1:15–17)
That’s all. That mystical gobbledygook is all he needs for proof. QED. No need for pesky science because this holy book has it covered. The miniscule scraps of some letters to a church from a bedazzled monk are far more reliable than anything man has ever postulated. Fuck me running. Who’s crazier, the guy who discovered virtual particles or this homsechool Jesus freak who thinks the government is trying to indoctrinate your kids into…learning? To be honest, it’s getting harder to tell but just because it’s a wiggly world, it doesn’t mean I’m going to lose my mind over it.
I need music. Here.
I’m totally against homeschooling. There is no parent that can do the job of a professional educator. There is no substitute for the socializing of a child in this matter. I hated school. We all did, but we went anyway. It was where we belonged for 8 hours. It was our job. But we did fun things like play sports, start clubs, go get pizza, or smoke dope on the back stairs. Your options were limitless.
I think homeschooling is a form of cruelty, a way for you to shield your child from the regular world simply because you are afraid of it and don’t understand it.
Legislators in some states have such lax laws about homeschooling that the school doesn’t have to be notified that the child is not registering. There’s no oversight of the process.
And should it surprise any sicko would use the homeschooling system to torture and kill children?
While it doesn’t speak for the majority of homeschooled children, there are some who become victims of daily abuse, and even death, at the hands of their parents who use the system to sneak under the radar.
In January, Jacole Prince, a mother from Kansas City, Missouri, was sentenced to 34 years in prison for abusing her oldest daughter.
The 10-year-old was rescued from a locked closet, located inside the family’s apartment. At the time of her rescue, the girl fit into toddler-size clothing, weighed just 32 pounds and had marks on her body that indicated she was physically abused.
In October of last year, the body of Janiya Thomas, 10, was found in a freezer, located inside her mother’s Florida home.
Nice. The fucking state, parish or county that these things happen in should be fined and found guilty of negligence.Furthermore, we’re creating a generation of ignoramuses. Federalizing school participation needs to happen now before any one else is having their education jeopardized-the results can be deadly.
I suppose any Republican running for office has to eventually confront the Christian Right and try to get them in line for their candidacy. But who can tell the difference between pandering and what the candidate actually thinks? It’s Scott Walker’s turn to reach out to these morons. But he’s such a destructive force as a governor it wouldn’t surprise me if this is how he really thinks about Christian homeschoolers:
When Scott Walker talks about education—whether he’s in the parking lot of Office Products Co. in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, or on stage at Disney World in front of deep-pocketed, business-friendly donors—he mentions home schooling.
“Tonette and I have two sons who both went to public schools and we were blessed that they were great for our family,” the governor emailed. “As governor, my goal is to make sure that everyone’s child has access to a great education. For many, that will mean a traditional public school. For others, it may be a charter or a private or a virtual or a home school environment. I trust parents to make the right choice for their children and I want to help them have as many quality choices as possible.”
He added that he is open to federal and state policy changes “that make it easier for families to home-school their children.”
So basically, Walker likes the idea of a legion of undereducated, non-critical thinkers (future Republicans, I guess). Just see what he’s doing to the colleges in his state. But the homeschool bevy wants more-they want Walker to obliterate basic learning standards like Common Core:
“We have a Republican-controlled legislature,” said Tina Hollenbeck, a home school mom from Green Bay who runs the Homeschool Resource Roadmap curriculum database. “It could be gone. It’s not. On Common Core, he has done absolutely nothing at all.”
“There’s concern about his commitment,” said Shane Vander Hart, an Iowa home school dad who contributes to Truth in American Education and edits the blog Caffeinated Thoughts.
What is it about Common Core that they can’t stand? Do they not understand what it requires? What is in it that is so objectionable? Is it because the monstrous “federal gubbermint” is running it (it’s not)? Here’s a few theories. It’s those issues and more.
It’s just unbelievable. Once upon a time, I used to think that Republicans were just playing political football with extreme right-wing causes like abortion, issues like education and voting rights. I never thought they were serious. But the scales have dropped from my eyes. Anything is on the cutting room table. They’re not just slashing taxes on the rich. They’re readying for the impending culture war. And God knows what that’s going to look like.
Or maybe we know, because we’re smack dab in it.