11 December 2008

Working for New China.

Did you ever see the Last Emperor movie? After the emperor's capture by communist Chinese forces, he's sent to prison for "reeducation." He finds many people who were formally in the Imperial Court as his fellow prisoners. One feeds him the party line that they are all "working for new China!" Dejected, he tells them that they are all the same people. Nothing has changed.

"GUARDS!!" yells the man. "GUARDS!!"

There are just some viewpoints you're not allowed to have in some places.

A blog I frequent had a rather interesting explosion of comments of late about the evils of homeschooling. You know, the usual "party line" about parents who teach their children "hate," or worse yet, creationism. I'm sure you *must* teach your children hate if you homeschool. I mean, that's number one on my list. I wake the kids up at 5:30 in the morning for the "Anti-Gay Hitler Pledge" (tm). This is soon followed by "Racist Bible Reading 101," in which I insert commentary on the sin of Caanan, relate it to slavery, or... well, something. Then it's followed by a rousing rendition of "Jesus loves the little children of the world... white and white and white and white, they are precious in His sight..." Then the kiddos are chained to my kitchen table and fed dog food on the floor while they pick lice off one another for the rest of the day.

Well, anyway. I hope that was silly enough for ya. I started to run out of creative ideas toward the end there.

But homeschoolers must have *something* to hide. Otherwise, why wouldn't you send your child into the local public school? Public schools are for the benefit of all children! You really do everyone a disservice if you pull your children out and educate them separately. You are not working for new America.

Hey, go ahead and keep your kids in public school if you like. I have a couple older ones at the junior high, myself. Free country. Whatever. But why can't I pull my children out without being accused of working against poor kids who depend on these schools? Or of being isolationist? Or anti-American?

Oh, that last one gets me. I kinda thought this was the land of the free and all that. But since I am not working for new America, "change," or whatever buzzword has come down the pike lately (and some of 'em are funny!), I must be pretty much running an abusive Christian Madrassa from my home. Yeah, that's it. And how are the poor little children going to be cared for if they can't be watched over by certified teachers every day?

I just think it's silly.

And of course I have an agenda with my children! You betcha. But... so do the public schools. That's the nature of education, you see. Oh, and while I'm on the subject, I have to tell you a story.

I was looking around on the internet for some stuff about pandas and China. I think next month or so we'll take a break and do pandas for science and China for social studies. It'll be fun. I have about 40 books (no exaggeration!) on reserve at the library. Worksheets galore from the internet! See what happens when I get pestered by a little Emperor to learn about pandas? And his really good reason for studying them? "Because they're so cute I need to find out more." Awww.

But back to topic. I was looking up some things to print out about China and came across a really neat study on the subject. I'm not going to do the whole thing. I'm free to eat the meat and leave the bones and all that. I have no plans to read aloud about how the whites in America are "racist" for believing that Chinese workers were taking their jobs. (Yes, there is racism. Do I need to label everyone who's afraid for his job as a "racist?" Huh? It has parallels to today, you know.) I'm going to do some of the "calligraphy" with magic marker, though. I enjoyed reading some of the background details.

I thought it was an interesting study, so I went to the school's web page to find out a little bit about their grade level standards. Do you know what the NUMBER ONE standard is when considering what to teach a child about music or art? Did you say "music has notes" or "colour wheel" or anything like that? Did you? Racist.

The number one goal for teaching music and art is that the child identifies "anti-bias and anti-discriminatory" behaviours. Yes. It is the number one goal, folks. Now, will those of you who think homeschoolers ought to be tested each year to see if kids meet a "state standard" please admit that sometimes, juuuust sometimes, the standards are a bit wacky? Just a little?

I mean, not that I want my kids cussing and using derogatory and bigoted language all the time. I'm just saying that it isn't my number one music class goal, ya know?

13 comments:

  1. Um, the number one goal in this house regarding music is *pass the rotten exam!* OK, besides that ...

    I forget the exact quote but I believe homeschoolers are involved in more activities more often & do them bigger & better than public schools. Maybe eveyone else is jealous? That being the case maybe they'd like my life...& I'm only homeschooling one now!

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  2. I can't even read rhetoric about homeschooling anymore. It never makes any sense, because I know both sides, having been a public schooled kid, and putting my kids in private school for a few years (which is usually not much better than public school). My husband works at a public school district. I think we have a good grasp of what goes on there, and know that we want no part of it. No one can say a thing to change my mind, and any argument they come up with, especially the more outrageous ones (like, homeschool kids are unsocialized), convinces me that we are doing the right thing.

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  3. Ganeida, so... Ditz just wrote that she's not a racist, biased or discriminatory on her test and that got her a passing grade, right?? She didn't have to... oh, I don't know... learn to read music or play or anything like that? :p

    Claire, that's just the thing. BTW I don't go for extremist anti-ps stuff either, though I DO understand the rationale behind it. I think more so now than ever, as I grow up (!) I realize how people are pawns in this game. I realize how things can be better, but people, especially in the lower classes, are afraid of losing what they have. Why else would people push for breakfast AND lunch to be served at school? Now that I'm homeschooling, I guess I see things soooo differently. Doesn't mean ps-ers are "the enemy." Good grief.

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  4. PS Doesn't it seem that people are just choosing to feel threatened by others' personal choices, Claire? I guess that is what I was getting at.

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  5. Uh~huh, AMEB exams are all about the music. You could be all the shades of the rainbow & they wouldn't care so long as you could play your instrument & knew your music theory. What you describe is just bizarre.

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  6. Good grief. I don't even know what to say. Sometimes I am really glad to live in a place where most people don't know what homeschooling is, and when they see us out during school hours just assume that my kids go to international school and have the day off.

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  7. Wow; maybe that's why my various teachers since leaving my homeschool have had issues with me: I had opinions!

    The horror!

    I actually could formulate my own opinion about the relative merit of the music/text I was reading that had to do with the text or music and not the color of the creator's skin. Odd, especially for a bigoted homeschooler, right?

    I know.

    By the by, the (tm) cracked me up! [laughing]

    ~Luke

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  8. Okay, I can read music, play the recorder, sing solos (alto and soprano), sing in trios, sing in musicals (well, it's been awhile), etc. I consider myself well-versed in music. I do not even understand what they mean by "anti-bias and anti-discriminatory". I mean I have a discriminating ear for wrong notes . . . is that bad? :-P I am biased to sing Christian music because I believe music is a form of worship. Is that evil and wrong? If they are so tolerant, why do they not tolerate thinking that Jesus is the be-all end-all of everything! :-) Why does it have to translate to hate in their minds?

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  9. What a great post, Mrs. C. You and I are worlds apart in religious belief....I don't have a religious belief, but we are right in sync with our belief that if we want a religious belief we've got a right to it. I don't know how such bad attitudes about home schooling have developed. I suppose it was a natural progression from the current kind of anti-Christian bias in our country that it would spread to encompass Christian parents home schooling because they don't trust the most important job in the world to others with such a left leaning agenda. I've known many home schooled children and they have all been achievers and none of them are in the slightest bit weird!

    Anyway, a great tongue in cheek style there on that topic!

    Thanks for visiting my blog and for your nice comment.
    Anyway

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  10. Luke, you *formed an opinion* without the proper framework of the racist and discriminatory background of the artist??? Wow. :]

    Tammy, I think nobody wants to tolerate an intolerant Christian. But see, Christians don't get to define what "intolerant" means. Now it means not SUPPORTING others in decisions we don't like. Hm.

    Anya, I'm so glad you've come! I have loved browsing through your posts. Black boxes are cool.

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  11. Where is the part about anti-intellectualism? I was very excited to read your post as you explained in your comment on elementaryteacher.wordpress.com.

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  12. I forgot the part about anti-intellectualism! I guess maybe I thought that was related, too, to this finding an anti-biased attitude in every subject. :]

    Coming over to visit your blog!

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  13. When I first heard about home schooling,I thought it was mostly people such as creationists who expressly wanted to have that point of view in their schooling.

    I was taught as a child that one of the reasons (from a historical point of view) for supporting the public schools (in terms of sending your child there) is so that the public schools are decent,and not just full of lower-class riff-raff. (In spite of that, my parents sent me to a private school for five years, then switched me to public school.)

    When I went into education in the 80's as a second career,I was concerned about the homeschooling issue. I was living in Colorado at the time. I asked about this when I came across it in the administration at a school district I was visiting. My bias against home schooling changed at that time, when the school district explained that every home schooler (at least in Colorado) has to take a yearly test to at least be sure they are keeping up with the state standards. I asked how most of the home schoolers did. The answer was that most of them were exceeding the scores of the children in the public schools. Any bias I felt toward home schoolers disappeared at that time.

    I think what is disturbing people is that by being in the public schools, you get the "public mindset point-of-view" at that time. By being at home, you might NOT get the prevailing point-of-view. Many people find this threatening.

    When I moved overseas (which was not for political reasons) I kept getting accusued of being a "traitor." That was 17 years ago,and I could not understand where this idea was even coming from. Recently, I have seen where it came from. I think it was from seeing so many people during the Vietnam War (who did not want to fight or support the War) flee to Canada. I also just read an article yesterday about more people having moved to Canada during the Bush administration because they did not agree with the direction our counry was going under the Bush administration.

    As I have aged, I have come to think it is a rare person who can let others live next to them with different lifestyles and points-of-view about life. Most people find it too threatening to their own value system.

    Expat 21
    "Expat Abroad" in the Middle East
    expat21.wordpress.com

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Non-troll comments always welcome! :)