Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Off the Beaten Path: Concerns About Modern Education. I think it's time to go Private or Homeschool.

Hello Everyone,

I will have to put my Latin Mass stuff and other items on the back burner mostly, as I took on extra shifts at work for various purposes for the next 2 weeks. However, keep checking online every often for updates to my Summer Latin Mass post for special offerings. The next offering is June 7. Check the post out.

This post though, received some inspiration from Fr. John Zuhlsdorf. He had this to say today:

I was also checking out my Blogger feed, and I found this article with the Windsor Star here:

Looking into the Windsor Star Article, the fact that an article is covering the issue of what kids learning in school, should bring concern alone in our minds, be us current or future parents. This isn`t just a sentiment shared with Catholic parents though. Even secular people, as said in the beginning of this article, are wondering what is going on at times with our system, with our children not even being able to learn the 3 basic `R`s: Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic:

``When parent Nikki Pilutti walked into her daughter Jill’s Grade 3 class and saw “Lerning” misspelled prominently on the board, it drove home what she’s long believed. Like many parents raised on weekly spelling tests, grammar work sheets and multiplication times tables, she contends the basics aren’t getting the attention they deserve.``

So then, what are our young little future _(insert six figure salary career here)`s learning then? Well they are apparently still learning the "basics" but our wounderful education systems deem the old school drilling methods archaic. So new methods are now employed:

"Students at Dougall elementary don’t use the old spellers ... the vocabulary list in Kathy Freeman’s Grade 1-2 class. Environment, garbage, carbon and pollution were among the dozen or so words these six- and seven-year-olds were learning to spell and writeThe words all come from their study of polar bears, a subject the kids themselves chose, but which incorporates all kinds of curriculum requirements for their grades. After learning throughout the week about polar bears and how their survival is threatened by climate change, they each wrote letters – edited and corrected – to Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking him to help.  Last week, they focused on space, studying reports from Canadian Commander Chris Hadfield aboard the International Space Station. The inquiry included forays into math, science, writing and reading."

Alright, while I think it's cool for astronaut Chris Hatfield to share his experiences from space and encourage students to think about higher level sciences related to astronomy (e.g. physics), the bolded text I've highlighted has shown where the emphasis is these days in education. The emphasis is not on can these kids do X, but can they be liberal/socialist change agents in the world? Listen, I am for proper social justice in the right context of the Catholic Church, and over the decades the Church has written documents for social justice in the Social Compendium of the Catholic Church. However, what is demonstrated above is that the education system is being used as a breeding ground to turn these students into climate change or environmental zealots by their educational overlords (e.g. teachers, the education ministers under our liberal provincial governments). Sadly, this is what's being emphasized in the education curriculum across the grades, that there is a noticeable, detrimental effect being seen in our children:

".... “They don’t focus as much on the phonics and the repetition of doing your addition and subtraction over and over and over again,”  said Pillutti, a LaSalle mom who takes her two kids to a Kumon tutoring program to supplement their regular school .... with old-time, back-to-basics education. “They drill them,” she said, ... He’s not counting on his fingers, he just knows, says Pilutti. “They don’t get that at school.”

``.... It’s a sentiment felt by an army of parents who are complaining their kids can’t spell, have terrible grammar and don’t know their times table. In response, tutoring centres have sprouted up across the city. Scott Sylvestre started with one Kumon and 20 students in 1996. Today he has two locations and 300 kids ....``

".... When Amanda Coughlin was supply teaching a Grade 7-8  class few years ago, about 75 per cent of the students did not know the times table. When it comes to one of the basics, teachers teach it and move on, and the kids who haven’t grasped it are “kind of left hanging,” said Coughlin, whose tutoring service is called There and Back Again, a reference to her back-to-basics approach."

That third paragraph has me especially concerned. I thought that the purpose of education was to give our young pupils a better life and to allow them to become smarter and more able to contribute to their society. Instead it seems that it is doing the opposite, producing illiterate and less intelligent kids who might be great at protesting social causes on a sidewalk, but could likely not special "social justice" on paper. Worse, technological devices with auto-correct doesn't even give those students the chance to know their typing/writing skills contain errors. And what's with kids about to go into high school not knowing how to do even basic math or writing??? I should not have to pay extra money, on top of the taxes the governments suck out of me for either the public school or separate school systems, to pay for additional tutoring to fix what I am paying the educational system to do in the first place! Seriously, the economy is in the toilet and most people overall are going to have less spare cash to throw around, even for necessary supplements like this! Plus, those students that get left behind these days are more often boys than girls, and you wonder why they are retreating to video games, where at least they can get stuff and feel temporarily like their protagonists in the games: capable of even basic tasks and feats they cannot do in their regular lives. 

Catholics: An Additional Element of Failure
What is from the article above is only just the tip of the iceburg if you happen to be a Catholic who actually cares about their faith and the education system that is supposed to be nurturing their faith, while giving the same ``education" that public schools are. The environment is just one example of social indoctrination the governments and the teachers in them are imposing on our students. This is happening in the Catholic system as well. Fr. Z's article clearly expressed this sentiment, and my very province in Canada was an example that was brought up in the commentary box on his site. 

In Ontario, we had the passing last year of the infamous Bill 13 by the Liberal government, led by the reviled Dalton McGuinty and at that time, Lesbian, pro-homosexual and anti-Catholic minister Kathleen Wynne, with the latter now leading the Liberal Party of Ontario. This bill was an ``anti-bullying```bill for education, but DID NOT protect the rights of Catholic/Separate schools. It had no legal provisions or clauses to ensure that the rights of Catholic students to practice and live their Faith were valued. Because of that, Catholic schools now must have Gay-Straight alliances that violate the consciences and the central beliefs of Catholics everywhere. Don't believe me: Read this recent article about the efforts to encourage the Catholic Board to defend against this onslaught: When you have a system that is publicly funded by the government, a Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms that is wielded as a weapon by biased Human Rights Councils, a government and education minister hell bent on implementing a radical social agenda that violates the rights of Catholics and even social AND moral conservatives, you have a system that either forces your kids to obey them, or they and you will answer to the law.

So what does this boil down to? Well if you are a parent or future parent and want your kids to be taught the basic and necessary life skills, you will trust less and less in the formalized education system these days. Your kids will NOT get the same education you received in past generations and you must supplement in some way, even the most basic skills. Further if you are a TRUE CATHOLIC FAMILY, not one who is CINO or "catholic in name only" and you want your child to be educated in the faith, you will have much more against you. You really only have two good options: Homeschooling, or private catholic school. However with the way the world is going, those options might even become against the law of the almighty State, as is now in Germany, as exemplified in the case of the Romeike family, who sought asylum into the USA for the freedom to educate their children not in the government system (which is clearly anti-Catholic)

Honestly, this world is getting darker, and I fear for the safety of my future children, if the Lord blesses me ever with a future wife and family.

Pax, Julian.  

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