Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Copywork--What's it All About?

Copywork – What’s it All About?
by Betsy Stout at Notebooking Nook

Copywork is exactly what it sounds like... copying! Your child will spend a few minutes each day copying great pieces of work from a wide variety of sources – literature, poetry, scripture, fables, quotes, and so on. While your child is copying these great works, emphasize the importance of using their very best penmanship and making their copy as close to the original as possible. By using this method, your child will see the proper way to punctuate, usage of different parts of speech, as well as capitalization. Basically, they will see how a great piece of literature should look and be written.

Copywork will allow your child to see different writing styles and structure, which in turn, if consistent, will help them become better writers. If your child can manage it, have them look and write the whole word instead of letter by letter, this will assist them in becoming better spellers. My younger children who started out doing copywork from the start are much better writers and spellers. They don't seem to have to work so hard at spelling. My older children who began copywork later struggled a bit more. That’s not to say copywork was a for sure cure for spelling, however, I do believe it helped a lot.

If your child is very young, you can start with the formation of their letters. Spend only as much time as your child can handle doing this. Once this is mastered you will move on to words, sentences, verses and poems. I’ve designed some primary copywork sets that work nicely for practice.

Allow them to illustrate their pages or find pages that are made for copywork practice. Placing these pages in a notebook is a great way to store their work. This allows them to not only be able to show off their beautiful penmanship to grandparents and friends, but also allows both you and your child to see their progression. My kids often like to illustrate or color a picture that goes along with their copywork for the day. Some children enjoy illustrating their own pictures while others enjoy coloring pictures already provided for them. Copywork notebooks allow your child to add any illustration, making them very personal.

Over the years I've done different things to get my children motivated about doing their copywork – I used to keep separate jars with scripture verses, quotes, and poems and they would pull them out and that was their copywork for the day. We still alternate days doing a verse, quote, poem, literature and their choice for each day of the week. However, some selections take more than one day to complete. One bookshelf in my schoolroom is dedicated to keeping books of poetry, fables, quotes and so forth. I also keep a notebook where I continually add verses, poems and quotes to be used for copywork.

In short, if you choose to use this method, you will find that your child will become better at spelling, writing, grammar and penmanship. It is so simple to implement, there really is no reason to not give it a try!

The Classical Education of the Founding Fathers

The Classical Education of the Founding Fathers
Martin Cothran
Classical Teacher, Spring 2007

There is a reason that many parents are so interested in teaching our children about the men who founded the United States of America, and it goes beyond just becoming familiar with who they were and what they did. More than just teaching our children about these men through the histories and biographies that tell the story of their lives, many of us are interested in our children becoming more like them. The Founding Fathers possessed two characteristics that distinguished them from other men of their time—and from most men in any time: wisdom and virtue. It is these qualities that we admire most about them and that we would most like to see in our own children. But more important than just admiring them for these traits, we should strive to understand how they became this way.

The Classical Education of the Founders

“Americans view the Founding Fathers in vacuo, isolated from the soil that nurtured them,” says Traci Lee Simmons in his book, Climbing Parnassus: A New Apologia for Greek and Latin. For the Founders, says Simmons, these virtues came principally from two places: “the pulpit and the schoolroom.”

We are already fairly familiar with the explicitly Biblical influences on America’s founding, but we are far less familiar with the classical influences on the Founders—and how these two influences worked in concert to mold their education and their thinking. It is a well known fact that literacy was prevalent in colonial times. “A native of America who cannot read or write,” said John Adams, “is as rare an appearance…as a comet or an earthquake.” It is not nearly as well known a fact, however, that early Americans with a formal education usually knew several other languages as well as their own.

The typical education of the time began in what we would call the 3rd grade— at about age eight. Students who actually went to school were required to learn Latin and Greek grammar, and, later, be able to read the Latin historians Tacitus and Livy, the Greek historians Herodotus and Thucydides, and to be able to translate the Latin poetry of Virgil and Horace. They were expected to know the language well enough to translate from the original into English, and back again to the original in another grammatical tense. Classical Education also stressed the seven liberal arts: Latin, logic, rhetoric (the “trivium”) as well as arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music (the “quadrivium”).

Thomas Jefferson received early training in Latin, Greek and French from Reverend William Douglas, a Scottish clergyman. At the age of fourteen, Jefferson’s father died, and, at the express wish of his father, he continued his education with the Reverend James Maury, who ran a classical academy. After leaving Douglas’ academy, Jefferson attended the College of William and Mary, where his classical education continued along with his study of law.

When Alexander Hamilton entered King’s College (now Columbia University) in 1773, he was expected to have a mastery of Greek and Latin grammar, be able to read three orations from Cicero and Virgil’s Aeneid in the original Latin, and be able to translate the first ten chapters of the Gospel of John from Greek into Latin.

When James Madison applied at the College of New Jersey (now Princeton), he was expected to be able to “write Latin prose, translate Virgil, Cicero, and the Greek gospels and [to have] a commensurate knowledge of Latin and Greek grammar.” Even before he entered, however, he had already read Vergil, Horace, Justinian, Nepos, Caesar, Tacitus, Lucretius, Eutropius, Phaedrus, Herodotus, Thucydides, and Plato.

Other key figures in the American founding received similar educations, including John Taylor of Caroline, John Tyler, and George Rogers Clark, all of whom studied classics under the Scottish preacher Donald Robertson.

It is interesting to note that the study of Latin and Greek, which is what the term “classical education” originally implied, was not something they learned in college, but something they were expected to know before they got there.

These men not only had to read classical authors in school, they read them in adult life for pleasure and profit. Hamilton apparently had a penchant for copying Plutarch (the Roman) and Demosthenes (the Greek). John Adams would copy long passages of Sallust, the Roman historian. If you look around on the Internet a little, you can find a manuscript of 12 lines for sale, in the original language, from the Greek historian Herodotus, in Adam’s hand. It will cost you a mere $6,300.

The founders knew these writers and quoted them prolifically. Their letters, in particular, display a wide familiarity with classical authors. The correspondence between educated men of the time was commonly sprinkled with classical quotations, usually in the original Latin or Greek. It was not only prevalent, but apparently sometimes annoying to the recipient. Jefferson used so many Greek quotes in his letters to Adams (who liked Latin better than Greek) that, on one occasion, Adams complained to him about it.

It apparently wasn’t the first time Adams displayed reticence about classical languages. When he was young, it turns out, he wasn’t always the most enthusiastic scholar, and resisted studying his Latin. His father had a remedy for that, however, he sent him out to dig ditches, an activity which quickly revived his enthusiasm. He later grew to love Latin, however, and insisted on the same classical education for his sons John Quincy (who later became president like his father) and Charles.

Several of the founders, including Adams, attended Harvard. The sole academic requirements for admission to Harvard University in the 1640’s is as follows: “When any scholar is able to read Tully [Cicero] or such like classical Latin author ex tempore and make and speak true Latin in verse and prose suo (ut aiunt) Marte [by his own power, as they say], and decline perfectly the paradigms of nouns and verbs in the Greek tongue, then may he be admitted into the college, nor shall any claim admission before such qualification.”

No ACT or SAT scores. No application essays. No affirmative action. Just Latin and Greek.
Students were also expected in these early years, according to the Harvard College Laws, to be able to translate the Old and New Testaments from the original Greek and Hebrew into Latin. Not only that, but listen to another Harvard requirement of the time: “The scholars shall never use their mother tongue, except that in public exercises of oratory or such like they be called to make them in English.” In other words, with limited exceptions, students were prohibited from using English in class or in class assignments.

Some of this undoubtedly changed by the time the founders would have attended, but not much. When it came to classical education in colleges of colonial times, they took no prisoners.
Of the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention, 30 of them were college graduates, an astounding number for the time. But what of those who were not college graduates, such as George Washington? Were they influenced in any way by classical education? In Washington’s case, while he had little formal education, he admired classical thinkers greatly. There are records showing that he ordered busts of figures such as Cicero that were presumably put on display at his Mt. Vernon home. He also cared enough about classical culture to have Joseph Addison’s play about Cato the Younger (a famous Roman statesman) performed for his troops at Valley Forge. He also insisted on a classical education for his stepson.

Even many who had little formal education were often quite knowledgeable in classical subjects. The Virginian George Wythe, who later became known as the “Teacher of Liberty,” was educated at their backwoods home by his mother. His Greek was accounted by his contemporaries to have been perfect.

Classical influences were pervasive in the schoolroom, but it didn’t stop there. Even what Americans heard from the pulpit was imbued with classical references and allusions. Ministers of that time were much more highly educated than today, and were the ones most likely in any community to have had a classical education.

It is not uncommon to hear some today say that Christians should shy away from the pagan authors of antiquity. This is an idea the generation of the founders—including great Christian thinkers such as Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards—would simply have considered preposterous. Not only was classical education conducted largely by ordained Christian ministers (or aspiring ones), but education in the classics was considered an essential element in the education of a Christian cleric. In fact, all of the great Christian theologians and thinkers of early America were soaked and steeped in the classics. Not only did they think a classical education was not inconsistent with a Christian vocation, they considered it absolutely essential.
It was primarily religious skeptics and men who were more enamored with the possibilities of practical science of the time than spiritual realities who took a dim view of classical education—men such as Benjamin Franklin, who, while having become a deist later in life and finally a theist (but still not a Christian), considered classical languages an anachronism.

How the Classics Influenced the thinking of the Founders

If the founders were steeped in the knowledge of classical thought, how did it affect their own thinking about the new nation? For one thing, it inculcated in them a respect for the lessons of history, lessons that were readily apparent in their writings and debates about how to construct the American Republic. “I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided,” said Patrick Henry, “and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past.”
They combed the annals of the ancients for examples of governments that worked well—and for those that did not. They knew, well before the philosopher George Santayana was born to say it, that “those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it.”

“These men,” says Simmons, discussing the Philadelphia debates if 1787, “had read and digested Polybius, Aristotle, and Cicero, and they used the ancient luminaries to frame and illustrate their ideas before the assembly…These heated yet erudite debates, along with the Federalist Papers, fairly pullulate both with subtle classical allusions—with which Madison, Hamilton, and Jay assumed readers to be tolerably familiar—and direct references to the leagues—Amphictyonic, Achaean, Aetolian, Lycian—formed by the ancient Greeks in order to achieve political and physical security.”

Not only are the Federalist Papers replete with classical references, but the pseudonyms each of the writers chose for themselves were all taken from the writers of classical times.

Classical Education Today

To become inspired by the great deeds of great men is to give ourselves the motivation to do similar things. We become great partly by seeing what other great men did and being inspired to do such things ourselves. But while beholding the great deeds of others gives us the motivation to be like them, it doesn’t equip us to achieve what they achieved. We can admire other men, but that won’t necessarily make us more like them. In order to become like those we admire, we must not only admire them, we must do what they did.

It is tempting to look back on the education of these great Americans and to think that what they did is too difficult for the students of today. But that would be a grave mistake. Yes, they enjoyed some advantages over us, mostly in terms of having fewer distractions, but that is something we have the power to control. The fact is that we have advantages they didn’t have. For example, the educational resources available to colonial children were not only harder to find, but of vastly inferior quality.

We can, moreover, say we lack their fortitude, but that is not something they brought to their education; rather, it is a benefit they received from it.

Education is the cultivation of wisdom and virtue. In deciding how to accomplish it with our own children, we would do well to see how it was done in a time when wisdom and virtue were more prevalent than in our own.

The Heart of Family Reformation

By Jim Elliff

Our family begins the day with the hymn we are currently memorizing. When Laura was five, she sang for all of us the second verse of "I Love Thy Kingdom, Lord" by the Yale president of the late 1700s, Timothy Dwight. With a determined look, she sang out,
I love Thy church, O God.
Her walls before Thee stand.
Dear as the apple of Thine eye,
And gravy on Thy hand.
My boys collapsed on the floor with laughter. The word is "graven!"
The kids were telling me just this evening how special our morning worship is. They value it, not only because it is sometimes humorous, but because it is the glue that holds us together, the stimulus for some our best discussions, and the real strength of our lives—its the heart, in fact, of our family reformation.
The Puritans, long misunderstood, had an exceptional view of the family. We can learn from them even though we might not accept all they had to say. They often talked of the home as the "little church," and the father as the pastor of his little flock. Lewis Bayly said, "What the preacher is in the pulpit, the same the Christian householder is in his house." Family worship is the natural outcome of such a view.
The practice of family worship (with or without children at home) is as forgotten to the church today as the dust in our attic, but this simple and effective method of restoring family spirituality is the most potent tool we have available to us—and every one of us can do it!

First, family worship is critical because the placing of the Word of God in the hearts of our family members is indispensable to their conversion.
Paul reminded Timothy that, “From childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus" (2 Tim. 3: 15).
Peter said that we are "born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible through the Word of God which lives and abides forever" (1 Pet. 1:23). This incorruptible seed of saving life (corresponding to the natural biological seed) is inseminated in the dead soul via the Word of God alone.
The Puritans believed this with a passion. This was the rationale for their long sermons, the catechizing of children, the morning messages in those cold church buildings prior to the work day, the daily meditating on the Word in private, and especially the practice of family worship. For the Puritan, family worship took place two times a day, as the "morning and evening sacrifice." It was through this means that his children and wife, and any other guests or helpers in the home, would receive life!
Richard Baxter, one of the most famous of the Puritans, saw his village of Kidderminster, England transformed through this method. He stated:
I do verily believe that if parents did their duty as they ought, the Word publicly preached would not be the ordinary means of regeneration in the church, but only without the church, among practical heathens and infidels.

Second, it is critical because the Word alone enables your family to withstand the prevailing currents of an evil culture.
In the 2 Timothy 3 passage we find a torrent of base culture descending on young Timothy. "…In the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers… disobedient to parents…without self control… headstrong…lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God"(vss.1-4).
How will you be able to rescue your family from the effects of such a culture? Only through the Word of God, according to Paul. The Word makes Timothy as the "man of God," "thoroughly equipped for every good work" necessary to strengthen the church. His tool box is complete and "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness" (vs. 16) so that the people under his charge can withstand the flood of culture described in the previous verses.
In the same way, the pastor-father of the home (or the mother in homes without a father, which was Timothy’s situation) is made adequate to help his or her family. Paul tells Timothy, therefore, to "preach the Word! Be ready in season and out of season" (4:2).
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth… (4: 3-4).
When culture rushes down on your family and the professing church is trying to imitate the world itself, how will your family keep from being swept away in its path? Only through the Word of God! Family worship, on a daily basis, is your hope that they will stand like steel piers against the prevailing tide.
When speaking in Basel, Switzerland years ago I saw a ferry which crossed the swift Rhone river. It had no engine, but operated by means of its resistance to the current, guided from one side to the other along a taut steel line. Unless we attach those tender hearts of our family members to the steel line of truth, there will be little hope of their withstanding the forces pressing against them.
In India there was a custom of throwing babies into the Ganges river as a sacrifice to the gods. If we are unwilling to do any more than merely take our children to church, we might as well be throwing them into the river of the culture. This is an explanation why many children of Christian parents are so often no different than the world’s. They have been given to the gods by their parents—thrown in with hands of neglect.

There are three aspects of family worship which I find important: singing, the reading of the Word, and prayer, or as one friend puts it Song, Scripture, and Supplication.
Singing. Not every home is musical, but every attempt should be made to incorporate singing into the daily worship experience. We have been concerned that a whole generation of children are growing up without Christian hymnody. Therefore, we teach our children the best hymns of the faith. In fact, I give my children three dollars for every hymn they learn!
We prefer the hymns written by the theologians and pastors of earlier days (Watts, Wesley, Newton, Doddridge, etc.) since the theology is better. The "gospel hall songs" written by the crusade musicians of the 19th century are often trite and less God-exalting, even though we are sometimes romantically attached to them.
I got the idea of paying money for learning hymns from Charles Spurgeon, the 19th century pastor of the London’s Metropolitan Tabernacle.
My grandfather was very fond of Dr. Watt’s hymns, and my grandmother, wishing to get me to learn them, promised me a penny for each one that I should say to her perfectly. I found it an easy and pleasant method of earning money, and learned them so fast that grandmother said she must reduce the price to a halfpenny each, and afterwards to a farthing, if she did not mean to be quite ruined by her extravagance. There is no telling how low the amount per hymn might have sunk, but grandfather said that he was getting overrun with rats, and offered me a shilling a dozen for all I could kill. I found, at the time, that the occupation of rat-catching paid me better than learning hymns, but I know which employment has been the more permanently profitable to me. No matter on what topic I am preaching, I can even now, in the middle of any sermon, quote some verse of a hymn in harmony with the subject. The hymns have remained with me, while those old rats for years have passed away, and the shillings I earned by killing them have been spent long ago.
Reading the Word. Though there are uses for devotional books of various types, they are best as a supplement and not a substitute for the Bible. My preference is to stick with reading the Bible as our main diet during family worship. Occasionally you may wish to add a chapter day by day of a Christian biography, while still giving the Bible the center stage. Use other helps at bedtime, or as a supplement, if helpful, but drink the "pure milk of the Word" during family worship. We read a chapter each day and always complete the book we begin.
You will find the Bible engaging enough on its own, and often a launching place for discussion about many things. For instance, what better place can you find to learn about sexuality than from Scripture? Don’t be afraid of the less than perfect characters you will meet in the Bible. They are included for our instruction. Use the examples, good and bad, to talk about those forgotten virtues of integrity, honesty, faithfulness, etc. Bring out the nature of sin and the beauties of the gospel, heaven and hell.
When the children are young, or the family is new to the faith, go over and over the story portions of the Bible. Begin with Mark, and then read the other gospels, Genesis, Exodus, the two Samuels, Kings and Chronicles, Ruth, Esther, Acts, etc. This will give them the history of the Bible as a great redemption drama. Later they can handle the teaching portions better.
Though the morning is by far the best time for family worship, you may not find it workable. You may wish to take the mealtime most attended by all your family. Have the Bible set beside the father’s place as part of the table setting. Then, after the meal, but before any dishes are moved off the table, worship together. Do it faithfully, even when someone must be absent.
Family prayers. Our children are used to seeing prayers answered. Why? Because we pray very specifically. When we see the answer come in, we make something of it.
I prefer to talk with the family about some of our needs and then assign each of us something to pray about. I usually accompany this with an encouragement that God has been answering our prayers and that we all should pray silently while another is wording our request. There is nothing more beautiful than the sincere request of children.
Keeping this time fresh will be your hardest task. Sometimes you may wish to put requests into a basket and let each person draw one out. Seek ways to make this time better. When the children are young, however, family worship should not be long and tedious for them. They will learn best by degrees.

Puritan Richard Mather (1596-1669), grandfather of Increase, and great grandfather of Cotton Mather, once imagined children on judgment day, speaking to their parents. His words will serve as a final sober warning that we must be more diligent to care for the souls of our children:

All this that we here suffer is through you. You should have taught us the things of God, and did not. You should have restrained us from sin and corrected us, and you did not. You were the means of our original corruption and guiltiness, and yet you never showed any competent care that we might be delivered from it. Woe unto us that we had such carnal and careless parents; and woe unto you that had no more compassion and pity to prevent the everlasting misery of your own children.

Christian kids are too gentle to live amongst the wolves

This is from May 2007.

Christian kids are too gentle to live amongst the wolves
By Marsha West

Churches are doing children a great disservice in not teaching them sound doctrine. Here’s a sobering fact the Church must come to grips with: Even children who are “churched” are woefully unprepared to “contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 1:3). This is a frontline issue, yet Church leaders and parents just don’t “get” how important it is to teach the younger generation how to defend their faith.

In the early Church the Apostle Paul faced this issue head on. He warns, “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths" (2 Tim. 4:3-4). All of the Apostles had to deal with false teaching, Gnosticism in particular. For them getting it right was important!

What exactly is Church doctrine? It’s a set of core principles to be upheld by professing Christians. Doctrine both describes and teaches the will of God.

You ask, “Why should anyone care if doctrine’s being taught in the 21st Century contemporary Church?” The reason teaching doctrine is important is that liberal Christians think it doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you label it Christianity. Mike Gendron explains that today the only test for becoming a Christian is “a simple acceptance of Jesus as a historical figure. In our post-modern church, doctrine is out and tolerance is in. We are told that for the sake of unity, doctrine should not be tested or contested. We are not supposed to draw any definitive lines or declare any absolutes. Doctrinal and moral issues which were once painted black and white, are now seen as gray. The state of the church is now in a state of confusion.” [1]

There’s nothing wrong with black and white thinking, especially when it comes to issues of faith. But the PC police bully people of faith into remaining in our gray toned comfort zones so that we don’t make waves or cause controversy. One of the biggest controversy avoiders on the planet is “evangelism’s hottest rising star” Joel Osteen. Prosperity preacher Osteen goes to great lengths to avoid controversial subjects like sin, judgment and hell. For a real eye-opener on this popular prevaricator, check out his interview with Larry King. Read it and weep. [2]

But I digress.

In order to discern false teaching (like Osteen’s) kids must be taught sound doctrine. For children to lead good moral lives they must have a firm grasp on what they believe about their faith and why they believe it. Those who aren’t prepared to answer hard questions experience personal doubt. Which is why, “Nothing is more important than seeding deep within the heart and mind of a child core Christian convictions like Jesus is God; The reasons we know Jesus Christ rose from the dead, why we should be convinced the Bible is a true and accurate revelation from beginning to end and the absolute truth that Jesus is the only way to God. Unless our children know these and other key doctrines revealed in the Bible, they will not be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” [3]
Sadly, kids who don’t know what they believe in often slip through the cracks and fall in with the me-focused-intent-only-on-pleasure land of the liberals. Incidentally, liberalism must be out and out rejected by serious Christians for the simple reason that proclaiming man’s self-sufficiency in the moral and social order denies God. Plus liberalism encourages freedom from all restraint in both speech and action, while Christianity encourages restraint in both speech and action. Because of its self-centered worldview, liberalism is incompatible with historic orthodox Christianity. (One can’t help but wonder why people of faith sat around twiddling their thumbs while a small number of secular progressives (SP’s) led our nation down the thorny path of materialism, decadence, and moral depravity.)

Speaking of people of faith, Christian parents are either ignorant of what the Bible teaches about morality, or they know perfectly well what the Bible says and they choose to imitate ungodly behavior and allow their children to do the same. Is it any wonder unbelievers call Christians hypocrites? Some Christians deserve that title! Jesus was not impressed with the hypocrites of His day. He called them “white-washed tombs...full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean” (Mat. 23:27). Ouch!

Our government is in shambles. The Church is a dead mess. Parents are living for themselves instead of for their children, and children are suffering for it. Kids are battling the world, the flesh and the devil on all fronts. This is nothing new, of course. The battle for children’s minds has been raging since the beginning of time. Which is why the Bible warns parents to, “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Prov. 22:6). What is new, though, is that kids in Christian homes do not have both feet firmly planted in a biblical worldview. Their feet are planted in quicksand! Sorry to point the finger moms and dads, but YOU have dropped the ball. YOU have become negligent in preparing your kids for a life of service to God. And it’s not the Church’s fault. YOU are to blame.

With virtually no protection, kids are thrown to the wolves in sheep’s clothing that are teaching in liberal government schools. Yet these same parents would never allow their precious little ones on roller blades or skateboards without a helmet and protective padding.

May I have your attention, please! Christian children are too gentle to live amongst the wolves. We’re no longer living in the 50s - and we can’t go back there either. In light of that sad fact, God’s kids must be armed and ready for battle! (Read Ephesians 6:10-20 - http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Eph%206:10-20;&version=31;) Christian kids attending government schools are at the mercy of agenda-driven educators that are firmly established in classrooms all across America. As a result, youngster’s impressionable minds are regularly conditioned with virulent anti-Christian propaganda. Facts are hard to ignore. A 2005 survey established that 72 percent of college faculty admits that they’re liberal. [4] So we shouldn’t be surprised when we hear that two-thirds of “born again” Christians who enter college emerge committed liberals and leave the Church.

SP’s have impacted society in ways no one would have thought possible fifty years ago. Who are these people? Mostly Marxists and socialists who would like to see America go the way of Western Europe. The SP movement is anti-God and wants religion out of the public square. They oppose traditional values. They loathe conservatives. The SP ideology supports the radical gay agenda (which includes same-sex marriage), abortion on demand, euthanasia, legalized drugs, and is openly hostile to any forms of Christianity. Is it any wonder that the younger generation has lost its moral compass? (Read Spring heart-break [5]) SP’s have got their fingers in every pie. Their bony digits are in our educational system, the news media and every aspect of entertainment. Even mainline churches have adopted their social and political agenda.

News flash! A Christian’s worldview should come from the Bible not from Hollywood! Authentic evangelical Christianity contends that “absolute moral truth exists; such truth is defined in the Bible; God is the all-knowing and all-powerful creator and ruler of the universe; faith in Jesus Christ is the only means to salvation; Satan is a real being; Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth; and all of the principles taught in the Bible are true and accurate.” [6]

Evangelicals should be getting their marching orders from the King of Kings, not from the unprincipled liberal media – and certainly not from the morally bankrupt Hellywood elite!

The number of professed Christians that know little or nothing about their Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, or about the Bible - or even how God wants His people to conduct their lives - is staggering! God expects believers to obey Him. Obeying Christ’s commands is a must do. He is the Master of your soul. You are not.

Anyone who is not sure what Christ wants from them should take a few minutes to read through the pages of 1 John. The Apostle lays out God’s plan in a no holds barred fashion - and he leaves no wiggle room. 1 John 2:3-6 says, “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, ‘I know him,’ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” Further, “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7). See? No wiggle room.

Make no mistake about it. God has set down rules (as all fathers should) for His children to take to heart. And Father God can be mighty strict! He cannot be manipulated, so forget about trying. He doesn’t compromise either.

It should be easy to tell Christian kids from the unsaved, but it’s not. This is an indictment on moms and dads who have botched the job. More and more parents are leaving God’s admonition to “train a child in the way he should go” up to Sunday school teachers, youth pastors, even grandparents. According to a recently released study on raising children that was conducted by the Barna Group, some parents “take the path of the least resistance.” In this approach, “parents do whatever comes naturally to the parent, as influenced by cultural norms and traditions. The objective is to keep everyone - parent, child, and others - as happy as possible, without having the process of parenting dominate other important or prioritized aspects of the parent’s life.” [7]

Hence kids are headed the wrong way down a dangerous one-way street. Kids need direction – and they need supervision!

There’s also trial-and-error parenting, which Barna says is a common alternative. “This approach is based on the notion that every parent is an amateur at raising children, there are no absolute guidelines to follow, and that the best that parents can do is to experiment, observe outcomes, and improve based upon their successes and failures in child rearing. In this incremental approach, the goals of parenting are to continually improve and to perform better than most other parents.”

This is the “no backbone” approach to parenting.

In his survey Barna found that “revolutionary parenting” was the least common approach. “Such nurturing requires the parent to take God’s words on life and family at face value, and to apply those words faithfully and consistently.”

The key to successful parenting is to be “consistent.” In other words, follow through with your threats/promises. Parents must say what they mean and mean what they say. The Bible does not encourage wishy-washy parenting. Love means never having to say, “OK, you win!” to your offspring.

Children have excellent minds, an enormous potential for learning, and soak up information like sponges. Kids want to learn new things! Sadly, most parents are under the misconception that their children really don’t want to learn about the Bible. My question is this: if they’re not learning Scripture, how are they supposed to identify error when they come across it? Paul says Christians are to, “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God and we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).

Can you demolish arguments? How is your thought life? Having a little trouble with obeying Christ? Been to church lately? Your children are watching…

Biblical illiteracy is a huge problem, and parents need solutions. Author and speaker for Summit Ministries, Chuck Edwards, offers this advice: “Teach students that Christianity is a comprehensive world and life view. This means explaining the reality of God’s truth in every area: from philosophy and science, ethics and economics, to psychology, sociology, law and, yes, even politics. In this way, no matter what course a student takes, he or she will be able to discern when the professor is presenting an anti-biblical bias.” [8]

There are all sorts of Christian organizations that offer conferences that equip young people for the challenges they will face. Consider…

WORLDVIEW WEEKEND: “Topics include how to create true converts and not false converts; how to pass your values on to your children and grandchildren; understanding the worldview war; how we know Jesus is the only way; how we know Jesus rose from the dead; how we know the Bible is true; archeological evidence that confirms the Bible; the search for Mt. Sinai; put your beliefs to the test; do you think like a Christian.” http://www.worldviewweekend.com/

Upcoming events:


CODE BLUE RALLY: “Worldview Weekend is now booking dates for a series of FREE Code Blue Rallies. Churches can sponsor a Sunday night Code Blue Rally. Here are the requirements for hosting a Sunday night Code Blue Rally.” http://www.worldviewweekend.com/secure/cwnetwork/print.php?&ArticleID=1479

MIND GAME CONFERENCES: “Probe Ministry’s ‘Mind Games’ conferences have been preparing young people for the challenges to their faith for nearly a decade. In that time we have had the pleasure of witnessing first hand the incredible thirst for a reliable trustworthy faith on the part of so many young people today. Again and again we hear that some had despaired of ever finding something like Mind Games. The conference consistently exceeds expectations and we frequently hear that they wished they had brought others.” More… http://www.probe.org/mind-games-main/student-mind-games-conference.html

SUMMIT MINISTRIES: “Summit Ministries is the leading provider of worldview materials including: conferences, curricula, books, videos, audio, and essays. Summit Ministries offers two-week summer conferences for students “At the Summit, you will learn how to understand ideas and answer major challenges to Christianity, being taught by our nationally renowned faculty who will answer your questions and help you develop a Biblical worldview and challenge you to become a leader.” More… http://www.summit.org/

BACK TO GENESIS: Back to Genesis: “The Battle for the Beginning will inform, challenge, and motivate you to defend the truth and engage your culture. The Institute for Creation Research, the leader in creation science research for over 35 years, brings to audiences the richness of God’s creation clearly evidenced in the Bible and science. Staffed with a full-time faculty of top research scientists in the fields of geology, biology, astronomy, genetics, and education, ICR carefully analyzes key scientific findings and then convincingly demonstrates the correlation of those discoveries with the creation account in Genesis.” More… http://icr.org/conference/

Nancy Pearcey has written Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity. [9] “Pearcey gives credibly argued perspectives on everything from Rousseau's rebellion against the Enlightenment, to the roots of feminism, to the spiritual poverty of celebrity-driven Christianity. She also provides a layperson's guide to the history of America's anti-intellectual strain of evangelicalism. … Pearcey deftly applies [Francis] Schaeffer's core insight that modernity has been built on a "two-story" view of reality—with "facts" on the ground floor and "values" up in the air. Her critique of this view is compelling, and her final chapters, which begin to sketch an integrated Christian way of living and thinking, are exceptional. This is the rare long book that leaves one wanting to read more.” There is also a study guide edition.

“When sound doctrine is replaced with shallow teaching made up of humorous stories and opinions, you will find spiritual ignorance and biblical illiteracy in the pew. New babes in Christ will have difficulty growing in the grace and knowledge of their Savior when pastors do not preach the whole counsel of God. When the Word of God is not being faithfully taught, people will not hear truth. And if they don't hear truth, they will be unable to discern God's way from man's way, truth from error and right from wrong. We must all become more and more discerning because no man is infallible and no preacher is beyond the possibility of doctrinal error. We must always be ready to rejectwhat is false and hold fast to what is true. As disciples of Jesus we must be known for what we're, for as well as what we're against.” – Mike Gendron

[1] The Disappearing Doctrine of the Evangelical Church By Mike Gendron

[2] Interview with Joel Osteen - Joel Osteen Can’t Tell You the Gospel/Doesn’t Know Who’s Going to Hell – Biblical Discernment website

[3] Worldview Weekend for Children – Worldview Weekend website http://www.worldviewweekend.com/secure/store/product.php?ProductID=400

[4] College Senior Survey: Program Overview – Cooperative Institutional Research Program http://www.gseis.ucla.edu/heri/css_po.html

[5] Spring heart-break By Marsha West

[6] Research Shows Parenting Approach Determines Whether Children Become Devoted Christians – The Barna Group http://www.barna.org/FlexPage.aspx?Page=BarnaUpdateNarrow&BarnaUpdateID=barn68

[7] Ibid.

[8] Why students walk away from Christ… and what can be done about it! By Chuck Edwards

[9] Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity. By Nancy Pearcey

Copyright by Marsha West, 2007. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Homeschoolers Hall of Fame

Received from another Yahoogroup.

Homeschooling Hall of Fame
**The following famous people were homeschooled!**

George Washington
Thomas JeffersonJames Madison
John Quincy Adams
Abraham Lincoln
William Henry Harrison
Theodore F. Roosevelt

Patrick Henry [VA]
Charles Pickney III [SC]
Richard D. Spaight [NC]
William Livingston [NJ]
Richard Bassett [DE]

*U.S. Senators and Congressmen*
William S. Johnson [CT]
George Clymer [PA]
John Francis Mercer [MD]
William Blout [TN]William Few [GA]

Blaise Pascal
Booker T. Washington
Thomas Edison
Benjamin Franklin
Andrew Carnegie
John Stuart Mill

*Chief Justices of U.S. Supreme Court*
John Rutledge
John Jay
John Marshall

*College Presidents*
John Witherspoon -- Yale
Timothy Dwight -- Princeton
William S. Johnson -- Columbia

*Preachers / Missionaries*
John & Charles Wesley
John Owen
Johnathon Edwards
William Carey
Dwight D. Moody
John Newton
Hudson Taylor

Mark Twain
George Bernard Shaw
Irving Berlin
Charles Dickens
C.S. Lewis

Charles Montesquieu

*Famous Women*
Abigail Adams
Mercy Warren
Martha Washington
Florence Nightingale
Phyllis Wheatley
Agatha Christie
Pearl S. Buck

"Stonewall" Jackson
Robert E. Lee
Douglas MacArthur
George Patton

John Singleton Copley
Andrew Wyeth
Rembrandt Peale
Claude Money
Ansel Adams

Anton Bruckner
Felix Mendelssohn
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Francis Poulenc

Teaching My Son to Love Books

I wrote the article below just prior to the time when my oldest son left for college, but I have not put it out to the public until now. I was afraid of coming across as proud. Kids do that to you. Please forgive me for that curse which is the bane of most parents. Beyond this obvious weakness which I hope you will overlook, there is something to be learned about the import of books in this article. And, there is some advice offered about recording what is read that could be invaluable to you. I hope you find it helpful. JE

Teaching My Son to Love Books

Jim Elliff

My son’s philologistic bent and his attraction to what the arrangement of words can do began in earnest the day he turned seven. As a birthday gift, I made him a promise. Though his brother and sister had to go to bed at the normal hour, he, being the seven year old that he was, could stay up as long as he wanted, so long as he was reading. Often he would dutifully lay awake for two hours anyway, living a kind of second life in his mind. I didn’t think we had much to lose, and perhaps a lot to gain. We put a light above his bed and waited.

To provide fuel for this experiment, I regularly tossed irresistible books at the end of his upper roost as I said goodnight. But I also slipped in some science, a few books on numbers, accounts of how children lived in other lands, and lots of children’s history, in addition to the normal fiction. I had some idea that I could give him books of the kind he might not pick up during the day if I mixed them in with the most tantalizing ones. All these books came out of that pulsating collection of books appearing everywhere in our home, a living space that was already experiencing the first stages of that national epidemic called “shortage of shelf space.” I managed to convince him that the beauty of the cover made almost no difference. In fact, if the cover were worn, the chances were certainly better that he could expect a great read. And, I made some efforts at encouraging him to finish what he began.

Being interested in an extensive education for my children, and being convinced that the right books provided both the wind and the stabilizers for it, I collected whatever inexpensive volumes I could from garage sales, library sales, thrift stores, and that strange assortment of used bookstores I found wherever I traveled. I felt a drive to find more. I wanted our own library that included all the kids could need right through until adulthood. New books came into our home every week, sack after sack. There was no end to them. We soon had a serious collection of fine works which I am convinced anyone could own, wealthy or poor, with just a little passion for it.

No gift to this day has been more appreciated or has yielded so many returns. The first night the light went off and on over and over again. He would tire, the light would go out, and then he would whirl back into action, raised up by the sheer unimaginable ecstasy of being able to read as long as he liked. He could sleep any time, but through these books he could wade the muddy Okeefenokee swamp, fly an airplane over the Andes, or ride a horse with Genghis Khan. How foolish to quit now!

Words became as addictive as books were ubiquitous. And we knew a true love had begun. As was said of that great reader and world renown preacher, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, when he was only a boy: “He had not done everything, but he certainly knew about everything.”

I don’t remember how I arrived at the idea of recording all that he was reading, but his “Book of Books” became a permanent part of his education. It is perhaps his most cherished possession. Every book he has read over 100 pages has been recorded there. He includes some bibliographical information and perhaps a sentence or short paragraph on something interesting in the book, or even about the time the book was read (i.e. “The Royals beat the Yankees today. We called granddad and harassed him a little.”). Over 600 books are written down (and written about) at this time in his high school career, from Moby Dick to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the number grows. Every time he reads 50 more, I take him to breakfast and buy him another classic of his choice. Books are still coming into the house weekly. Everybody reads. And when we want to do something really exciting together, we often gather in the living room and read aloud!

What does it mean? It means that he has become learning intensive. It means he can comprehend the hard concepts. It means that he has a lifelong skill and a gourmand’s appetite for understanding life. It means that he can articulate his thoughts and arrange his arguments. And it has built into him a need to communicate. He wishes to use words to impact his generation. All of this is resident in an otherwise normal kid who loves sports and music and his friends.

My son read a book seven times over about a blind boy and a seeing-eye dog. Though he has often re-read a good book, I don’t think any volume in his earlier years grabbed his attention as fiercely as this little paperback. Perhaps he thought, “I wonder if I could make it without eyes. I wonder if I could make it without reading.” I think he could, given his trust in God. However, he would miss some of his choicest companions and would likely wear out the voices of those who would be willing to read to him.

Copyright © 2005 Jim Elliff. Permission granted for copying for all not-for-profit use. All other uses require written permission, info@ccwonline.org.

Jim Elliff has written a book for parents to read to their children called The Eaglet, now beautifully redone. It explains in story form the nature of belief in Christ. He has also been interviewed by Dennis Rainey of FamilyLIfe Today on the subject of “How Children Come to Faith in Christ.” This is available as a CD set of seven interviews. To purchase these and other items by Jim Elliff, visit www.CCWonline.org.

Visiting an "Old-fashioned Woodshed"

From Nov. 2006

Visiting An 'Old-fashioned Woodshed'
By Rev. Mark H. Creech

According to a recent article in USA Today, there is one thing thenation's most successful CEOs have in common -- they received theirshare of spankings as children.

Although the article stated that "[m]ost CEOs believed spankings played little or no role in their success," the CEOs also acknowledged that the practice taught them valuable life lessons.David Haffner, chief executive officer of Leggett & Platt, said the spankings he received as a child made him "disciplined, detailed and organized." Joe Mogolia, with TD Ameritrade, said he learned from his parents that "tough love is better than soft love."

Also cited in the article is a recent study by sociologists EveTahmincioglu, titled: "From the Sandbox to the Corner Office:Lessons Learned on the Journey to the Top." Chapter One of the bookis called "Less Carrott, More Stick." And in the book, Tahmincioglucontends spanking taught the 55 executives she interviewed "torespect authority." "They feared their parents, but loved them aswell. Their parents would follow through with a spanking when thechildren misbehaved. Today there is no follow-through," she argued.

Fans of the Andy Griffith Show may remember that delightfulepisode, "Opie and the Spoiled Kid" -- the one where a spoiled boy moves to Mayberry and tries to run all over everybody, including Andy and Barney, the town's local law enforcement. When Andyimpounds the boy's bike for his misbehavior, the boy's fatherprotests until he discovers his bratty son would rather he end-up injail than for him to lose his bike. This prompts the father to sell the bike and accept Andy's advice that the boy needs a good visit toan "old-fashioned woodshed." Hmmm ... don't believe that would fly on any modern national television broadcast.

USA Today notes that modern child psychologists "wince" at the idea of administering corporal punishment. Dr. Robert Fathman of the Ohio-based group End Physical Punishment of Children (EPOCH-USA),says, "If you bring a child up and you're spanking them, they'remore likely to hit an animal, a pet. They're more likely to hitanother child." Other psychologists like Dr. James Dobson of Focuson the Family, however, strongly disagree, contending:

"[I]t is possible -- even easy -- to create a violent and aggressivechild who has observed this behavior at home. If he is routinelybeaten by hostile, volatile parents or if he witnesses physicalviolence between angry adults or if he feels unloved andunappreciated within his family, that child will not fail to noticehow the game is played. Thus corporal punishment that is notadministered according to very carefully thought-out guidelines is arisky thing. Being a parent carries no right to slap and intimidatea child because you had a bad day or are in a lousy mood. It is thiskind of unjust discipline that causes some well-meaning authoritiesto reject corporal punishment as a form of discipline. Just becausea technique is used wrongly, however, is no reason to reject it alltogether. Many children desperately need this resolution to theirdisobedience .... When he lowers his head, clenches his fist, andmakes it clear he is going for broke, justice must speak swiftly andeloquently. Not only does this response not create aggression inchildren, it helps them control their impulses and live in harmonywith various forms of benevolent authority throughout life." [Written in response to an question submitted through the Focus onthe Family website ]

Still more important than what the experts say about spanking is what the Bible teaches. Some may find it a surprise, but the Biblecommends corporal punishment in King Solomon's words: "He thatspareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24). Some religious leaders, however, saythe word "rod" in this text wasn't meant to be taken literally. In an article titled, "Children and the Rod of Correction," Dr. Dave Miller of Apologetics Press effectively addresses this misinterpretation:

"Lest someone get the idea that Solomon used the term 'rod' figuratively, without intending to leave the impression that parents should actually strike their children with a rod, he clarified thetarget: 'Do not withhold correction from a child, for if you beathim with a rod, he will not die. You shall beat him with a rod, and deliver his soul from hell' (Proverbs 23:13-14). A proper balance isobviously needed between verbal reproof and encouragement on the one hand, and the application of corporal punishment on the other, asseen in the following words: 'The rod and reproof give wisdom, but achild left to himself brings shame to his mother. Correct your son,and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul' (Proverbs 29:15, 17, emphasis added). The immense importance of theinterplay between positive instruction, encouragement, andnurturing, in conjunction with appropriate physical punishment,cannot be overestimated nor successfully discounted."

It's interesting to note that the "interplay between positiveinstruction, encouragement, and nurturing, in conjunction withappropriate physical punishment" in the life of today's children isoften neglected. It seems many children are subjected to one or moreextremes -- either they are completely neglected and left to raisethemselves, tortured and physically abused by twisted or insensitive parents, or over indulged by well-meaning ones with far toomuch "sweet-talking" and not enough action to back up their commands. Is it any wonder America is raising one of the mostrebellious and violent generations in its history?

Children need to be taught a healthy fear (reverential respect and awe) for God and authority figures in life. No one can betteradminister these lessons than parents. And sometimes, though itshould always be a last resort, there is no better means to get thatlesson across than to do what the parent's of yesteryear used to do -- take the youngster for a visit, so to speak, to an "old-fashionedwoodshed."

Spanking may not make a child into a famous CEO, but when it's affectionately and appropriately applied, it very likely will make him or her into an emotionally well-rounded, disciplined, and morally responsible individual.
Rev. Mark H. Creech (calact@aol.com) is the executive director ofthe Christian Action League of North Carolina, Inc.

The Myth of Socialization

The Myth of Socialization
by John Loeffler, Steel on Steel Radio Program

Every time I run into a public school teen it happens. "Hi, Ryan."Unintelligible grunt response. "Whatcha doing?" "Nuthin'." "Anything happenin'?" "Naw." Whereafter Ryan hurries off to pursue his activelife of nothing happening with his friends and I check to see if Ihave acquired dengue fever without knowing it. So tell me, where is this socialization the government school crowd always promotes as areason for not home schooling?

When home schooling took on serious momentum two decades ago,educrats chanted the mantra that home schoolers couldn't pooooossibly get the same quality education that students in publicschools had; nor could their parents teach them because they weren'tqualified to do so. However, as home school scores on standardizedtests soared above public school scores and home schoolers took toppositions in national academic competition, that argument went downin flames; although some ideologues will try to resurrect it everynow and then.

Stupidity Masquerading as a Virtue

Needless to say, home school's success was tres embarrassing for the educrats, who then contradicted their earlier arguments bycomplaining it wasn't fair to allow home schoolers in nationalcompetition because they had an unfair advantage over public schoolers. After all, those educated at home had more one-on-one time from those same parents the educrats originally said were too incompetent to educate their children.

Time for a New Mantra

The latest mantra asserts that home schooled kids -- althoughpossibly better educated -- just can't be socialized in a homeschool setting. Once again experience is showing just the opposite.

Every week I go out of my way to speak to teenagers just to seewhat's going on in their minds. Too often the answer is nothing.Public school students seem to have this glassy, disorganized,disoriented look about them. They're preoccupied with things thatdon't matter, especially image and conforming to peer pressure. Ireally do keep trying to argue myself out of this observation but itgrows inexorably the more teens I interview.

Changing Students' Attitudes, Values and Beliefs

This lack of social presence is a direct result ofthe "socialization" of our educational system. Thanks to theelitists, today's public school students are taught dialecticallyrather than didactically. This means they are taught there are noabsolute facts or morals and a thought process based on feeling andcollective thinking has been substituted for individuality andlogical, rational thought. History has been revised to matchpolitically-correct guidelines and the basis for belief in one'sculture destroyed.

A large part of public curriculum is devoted to shaping attitudesand beliefs into a relativist, socialist mind set rather thaneducating the students in the solid education and the classics whichserved a previously-literate country well for generations. This accounts for the glassy look that so many public school students exhibit -- nothing going on upstairs. In talking with them, many ofthem would like to have something going on but just don't know whator how because their dialectic public education didn't teach them toachieve it. The bottom line on the dialectical is group think.Without a group, the individuals can't think.

Home schoolers on the contrary have escaped the morass of publiceducational theory and returned to the traditional form of didacticeducation: facts, phonics, mathematics, self-responsibility, andlogical thought. It shows. Colleges are soliciting home schoolersbecause they can think uniquely and out-perform their public schoolpeers. Three years ago when virtually everyone in my daughter'scollege speech class did speeches on global warming (even theprofessor yawned after the X-number speech on hot air), she did ablockbuster speech on the coming biological terrorism -- two yearsbefore anyone had ever heard of Osama bin Whatshisname – which heldthe whole class that listened in stunned silence. An "A" on thatone, by the way.

Home schoolers are bringing fresh creative air into an otherwisestuffy academic environment, which is why it represents such athreat to the education establishment.

Oh But the Children!

Ok, so what about socialization? It doesn't really happen in publichigh schools because those are abnormal environments. Nowhere inlife -- not even the military -- will one be associating strictlywith people of one's own age or be subjected to massive amounts ofmind-numbing, conformity-inducing peer pressure totally preoccupiedwith image and having northing to do with real life. Moreover theywill be confronted with a myriad of moral and sometimes physicalhazards which their relativistic education leaves them singularlyunprepared to face. "Just say no" doesn't cut it without a solid absolute moral basis for saying "no."

The stratification of students into age-related peer groups haschoked off the ability of teens to model from and communicate withthose older than one's self, which is how maturational development is supposed to occur. It used to happen that way when students were educated at home or in small schools where the ages were mixed. Onelearns to be an adult from adults; not from other teens pretendingto be cool, uh in, uh hip, uh groovey, uh rad, uh....what's thelatest buzz word? In any stratified school situation, the studentsare forced to model after each other -- the blind leading the blind.

Combine deprivation from normal inter-age interaction with theimposition of values and beliefs contrary to their parents and onefinds the adult-teen "communication gap" so widely posedas "normal;" another problem created by socialization in publiceducation. It is also the source of the "normal" teen rebellion,which isn't normal at all. It's one thing to teach youth to beindependent and self-sustaining but that doesn't require rebellion.Teen rebellion is the product of communication cutoff between teensand parents because they spend the majority of their days apart andin the case of teens in an artificial environment called public education.

Reality Shock

The moment teens leave high school, the majority of the so-called socialization in an artificial environment is found to be worthless.No one cares about their, feelings, socialization or image. "Whatcan you do?" and "what do you know?" are the real questions. Once public schoolers emerge from high school, they discover that all thesocialization skills they learned in dealing with peer pressuredon't apply in the real world. Meanwhile the inter-age communicationskills they need are sorely lacking. Most government schoolers I have met can't read, think, express themselves clearly andconcisely, have little knowledge of anything from history topolitics, and have a very distorted view of both history and societyimposed upon them by a radical leftist curriculum.

Home schoolers don't suffer from the strictures of peer pressure andother artificial structures of public schools. They are, I havefound, much better integrated than their public school counterparts,being as conversant with adults as with peers on a wide range oftopics. They are skeptical of much of the peer-pressure nonsensetheir public school peers accept so readily because they have foundthey can truly be individuals without fear.

Socially, home schoolers congregate in soccer leagues, football leagues, baseball leagues, special events, ski trips, astronomyclubs, church groups, on the internet etc. So please, Mr.Sociologist, where help me find this appalling lack of socializationamong home schoolers so we can stamp it out and stop depriving themof this most important asset? But you know, the more I think aboutit, home schoolers don't have to learn to put condoms on bananas,suffer from peer pressure, be introduced to illicit drugs, besubjected to one-sided radical leftist curricula, be taught moralvalues contrary to their parents or religion, be beaten up bybullies or even stabbed, shot and killed. But maybe we can dowithout that type of socialization for a while. What do you think?

# # #John Loeffler is host of the nationally-syndicated news program Steel on Steel heard at www.steelonsteel.com.

Ritalin is Poison

From ChristianWorldviewNetwork.com from Oct. 2006

ByTom DeWeese
Why is America suddenly experiencing an explosion of new mentaldiseases and disorders never heard of thirty years ago? Why arechildren seemingly out of control, refusing to listen to parents and teachers, even driven to violence?

Here are two possible reasons to consider. First, it is apparent thepsychology industry isn't opposed to simply making up diseases anddisorders if there is money to be made. Second, some research issuggesting that many of the growing diseases and disorders couldactually be side effects of the drugs psychologists are pouring into children to "cure" their made-up diseases.

Does that sound harsh or far-fetched? Consider these facts.

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit HyperactivityDisorder (ADHD) are complete frauds. There is no scientific evidencewhatsoever to prove either exists. Yet, today, almost seven millionchildren have been diagnosed as being ADD or ADHD. And most havebeen placed on a behavior-altering drug called Ritalin, which issupposed to be the miracle answer to a non-existent problem.


For the past several years schools have had a problem. Some childrencan't seem to concentrate on their studies, can't sit still, can'tstay quiet or can't keep their attention on any specific activity.At home, parents find the same children to be a disruption in thehousehold. Sometimes the children become violent, certainly uncontrollable.

Clearly something is wrong. Children have been taken to doctors formedical exams. Nothing chemical or physical has been found wrongwith them. No brain tumors, no epilepsy, no multiple sclerosis norany of the known neurological disorders have been found in thechildren. Schools need answers. Parents need answers. Psychologistsneed to prove their credentials. So, in the dark, blind as bats,action has been taken.

Dr. Fred A. Baughman, a leading expert and critic of the ADD theory,explains the steps the psychiatry establishment took to create ananswer, and establish a name, for what they believe inflicts thechildren. Says Dr. Baughman, "They (a committee of the AmericanPsychiatric Association, APA) made a list of the most commonsymptoms of emotional discomfiture of children; those which botherteachers and parents most, and in a stroke that could not be moredevoid of science or Hippocratic motive – termed them a `disease.'Twenty five years of research, not deserving of the term `research,'has failed to validate ADD/ADHD as a disease."

To date, there has never been issued a single peer-reviewedscientific paper officially claiming to prove ADD/ADHD exists. Norhas there ever been a single bit of physical evidence to confirm thedisease exists. So-called experts on the subject have refused toanswer the simple question, "is ADD/ADHD a real disease?" Medicalresearchers charge that ADHD does not meet the medical definition ofa disease or syndrome or anything organic or biologic.

One piece of speculation ADD "experts" cling to is MRI brain-scanresearch conducted by Dr. F. Xavier Castellanos of the NationalInstitute of Health. According to his research, suspected ADD/ADHDvictims show a consistent but moderate shrinkage in three key partsof the brain, thus causing the erratic behavior and consequentlyproving the existence of ADD/ADHD. Castellanos' research has beengrabbed up by ADD experts in conferences and in written studies forseveral years. Others have used similar tests with matching results.Desperate to grab hold of any shred of evidence which could back up the official ADD position, psychologists and policy makers usedCastellanos' findings to establish medication and therapy treatmentfor suspected ADD/ADHD patients. Consequently, the "epidemic" ofADD/ADHD has grown from 500,000 cases in 1985 to almost 7,000,000 in1999. In most cases Ritalin is prescribed to control the disorder.

There is only one problem with the conclusions found in Dr.Castellanos' findings. At least 93% of the children used in hisresearch had been on long-term stimulant therapy, usually Ritalin.Likewise, the other tests also used long-term Ritalin-treatedpatients. According to Dr. Baughman, what the tests proved again andagain was that Ritalin was causing the brains to shrink – not ADD.

In truth, no one in the medical profession or in government regulatory agencies will stick their necks out and pronounce ADD/ADHD as a real disease. To the contrary, in a series of lettersto Dr. Baughman they have said the exact opposite. In 1994, Paul Leber of the Food and Drug Administration said, "As yet nodistinctive pathophysiology for the disorder has been delineated."In 1995, Gene R. Haislip of the Drug Enforcement Administrationsaid, "We are also unaware that ADHD has been validated as abiologic/organic syndrome or disease." In 1998, James M. Swanson ofthe University of California, and leading ADD advocate, said inconference, "I would like to have an objective diagnosis for thedisorder (ADHD). Right now psychiatric diagnosis is completely subjective." And even Dr. Castellanos, in spite of his extensive research, said in 1998, "I agree that we have not yet met the burdenof demonstrating the specific pathophysiology that we believe underlies this condition."

In spite of the lack of evidence for the existence of ADD/ADHD, its advocates continue to march forward, helter-skelter, issuingprescriptions for drugs like Ritalin with little concern for thelong-term consequences it may bring to the patients. Russell Barkleysees Ritalin as the medical triumph of the century. Barkely boldlystates, "…once convinced of an ADHD diagnosis, there's no compellingreason to avoid Ritalin." As Dr. Baughmanexplains, "Their `diseases' are theories in perpetuity. As long theybelieve and as long as the drugs are prescribed, that's all that matters."


When things don't seem to make sense, it's been advised many timesto "follow the money." That would be sage advise in the search forthe truth about ADD. There is lots of money worth following.

Since ADD was invented by the APA, psychiatric hospitalizations toprivate hospitals have tripled. Admissions of children and adolescents to private psychiatric hospitals jumped from 16,735 in1980 to 42,502 in 1986. Irving Phillips, MD and professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco says, "Patients are hospitalized for periods consistent with theirinsurance coverage and discharged with diagnoses that questionwhether hospitalization is appropriate."

Insurance healthcare fraud is a $60 to $80 billion a year business.And the psychology industry has been very creative in finding waysto cash in. But it's only the tip of the iceberg when seeking tocalculate the massive ADD/ADHD-related profits flowing into the coffers of the industry.

The greatest source of new growth for the psychiatric industry isthe schools. As education restructuring grew into a full-blownbehavior-modification assault designed to change the attitudes,values and beliefs of the children, a key element to the process wasto turn healthy children into "patients." By diagnosing a child tohave a mental disorder like ADD/ADHD the school could gain federalfunds. It's a growth industry.

In 1965, the passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act(ESEA), education changed education forever as the seeds for today'smassive restructuring -away from academics to behavior modification -began. It was psychology's crowning moment. The ESEA allocatedmassive federal funds and opened school doors to a flood ofpsychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and the psychiatricprograms and testing needed to validate them. The number ofeducational psychologists in the U.S. increased from 455 in 1969 to16,146 in 1992. As of 1994, child psychologists, psychiatrists,counselors and special educators in and around U.S. public schoolsnearly out-number teachers.

In 1991, eligibility rules for federal education grants were changed to provide schools with $400 in annual grant money for each childdiagnosed with ADHD. That same year the Department of Education formally recognized ADHD as a handicap and directed all stateeducation officers to establish procedures to screen and identifyADHD children and provide them with special education andpsychological services. As a result, the number of ADD/ADHD cases soared again.

Today more than 7,000,000 children have been labeled, stamped andregistered as permanent patients of the school system. 10 to 12percent of all boys between the ages of 6 and 14 in the UnitedStates have been diagnosed as having ADD. One in every 30 Americansbetween the ages of 5 and 19 years old has a prescription toRitalin. Psychologists have never had it so good. The federal troughhas been very good for their industry.

With more than half of those 7,000,000 children also prescribed Ritalin, the stock-market value of its manufacturer, the Swisspharmaceutical company Novartis, has also soared. Now that companyand others are working to introduce a host of new drugs into theclassroom, including Prozac and Luvox, which has just been approvedby the Food and Drug Administration for pediatric use. Now theindustry is looking to even greater growth as pre-school toddlersare being targeted by the pill brigade. The use of psychotropicdrugs, like anti-depressants and stimulants, in 2-to-4-year oldsdoubled or even tripled between 1991 and 1995. The federal troughhas been very good to the pharmaceutical industry, as well.


The federal trough has been good for the education industry, too. Schools are awash with federal funds to build in-school clinicswhere children will be analyzed, diagnosed and treated for whateverdisease they care to make the flavor of the day. It's in the schoolswhere the system will make sure the children are properly cared for,out of sight and questions of the parents.

Beyond the available funding, there is also a side-bonus for theschools. If a child has a learning disorder, the schools can't beheld responsible for the fact that the student can't learn. Badteachers, failed curriculum and federal programs can't be blamed forthe failure of the student to learn. They've created an efficientsystem to protect themselves. It works like this: If a child hastrouble with math, he is deemed to have a mental disorder under codenumber 315.1 - "Mathematics Disorder;" If the child can't writeliterature composition she must be suffering from code 315.2 -"Disorder of Written _Expression;" If the student can't read then heis obviously suffering from code 315 - "Reading Disorder." Asstated, the whole industry is well protected – and well paid.

So the schools join in full cooperation with the psychologists tolabel millions of children with learning disorders. Teachers, withno medical credentials, serve as the unofficial recruiter andperform "pop-psychology" in the classroom to decide what children might have ADD.

Johnny is in the fifth grade, but only reads at a first grade level.Not the school's fault. Johnny must be "dyslexic" or could have ADD.The teacher now becomes a brain diagnostician who decides who willbe tested and who will be referred for special education or who isuneducable without Ritalin. The teacher reports these "findings" tothe school administration and the wheels of control begin to turn against the child and the parents.

Woe be the child or parents who dare resist. The "team" nowconvenes – all for the good of the child, of course. The weight ofconsensus is brought to bear. Woe be the doctor who doesn't agreewith the findings. One who does will be found. Once treatment hasbeen decided, the drugs are issued and the team is increased toinclude in-home social workers and the in-school clinics. The childis now community property. Now you know the true meaning of theterm "it takes a village," and the process to make it so.

It's interesting to note that in December, 2004, in Australia, thehead of the government's inquiry into reading, Ken Rowe, saidhospital psychology clinics were straining to cope with childrenseeking medical attention for problems caused by their failure tolearn in school. "Hospitals are complaining that their clinics arebeing filled with kids who are being referred for things like(ADHD)," said Rowe. "But once the pediatricians sort out thechildren's literacy problems the behavior problems disappear."


Psychologists will lie to you. They will tell you that Ritalin is not addictive. It is. It affects the mind. It affects the body. It can cause depression. The reaction to Ritalin by the brain isexactly the same as that of cocaine, except cocaine is shorteracting. It changes the child. Research is showing that Ritalin useis a common factor among many of the students who have walked intotheir schools and opened fire, indicating that Ritalin brings children to violence.

Children are dying from Ritalin use. According to Ritalin critic,Dr. Baughman, of 2,993 adverse reaction reports (AR) concerningRitalin listed by the FDA from 1990 to 1997, there were 160 deathsand 569 hospitalizations, 36 of them life-threatening. Ritalin isknown to cause cardiac arrhythmia, tachycardia and hypertension.Research has proven that Ritalin and other amphetamines caninterfere with body phospholipid chemistry (complex fat), causingthe accumulation of abnormal membranes visible with an electronic microscope.

Ritalin is early training to introduce children to drug abuse.Today, Ritalin is fast becoming the drug of choice by collegestudents who were brought up on it. Reports from college campusesacross the nation indicate that Ritalin use has become as popular as Coca Cola and coffee as a study aid.

A black market for obtaining Ritalin without a prescription hasdeveloped on some campuses. "People will pay $5 or $6 for one pill,"says a sophomore at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Toincrease its potency, some students have started to crush Ritalinand sniff it like cocaine. After the "buzz" wears off, side effects of melancholy, lethargy, dry mouth, loss of appetite and inability to sleep.

Some parents report that, in the beginning Ritalin, seems to help children focus and begin to learn. But there is evidence that, overtime, the drug builds up in the system causing depression andviolent mood swings. In many cases, after being on the drug forseveral years children actually forget how to live without it. Iftaken off the drug they have reported feeling lost, frightened, even paranoid. This can lead the child to eventually experimenting with illegal drugs in an attempt to "feel normal" again. Research hasshown that children on Ritalin are three times more likely todevelop a taste for cocaine. So as the psychologists continue toinvade the classrooms in ever increasing numbers, ask yourself whythe drug culture is growing by ever-larger numbers through ever-younger children.


If ADD/ADHD is not a real disease, then why the sudden epidemic ofstudents unable to learn and unable to control themselves? What'swrong with the children? A lot of parents don't really want to know the answers to these questions. A disease or disorder is so much easier to accept.

Dr. Lawrence Diller, Author of "Running on Ritalin" puts the problemin perspective when he says, "Settling for Ritalin says we prefer tolocate our children's problems in their brains rather than in theirl ives."

Consider how many modern families live. Both parents must work tomaintain the lifestyle in the suburbs. That usually means that thewhole family is up before dawn, dressed and fed. The children aredropped off at day care or school and the parents may then commutefor as many as two hours each way to work. In the afternoon,children may leave school only to head to after-school day care tobe picked up after dark by one harried parent. The family may then reassemble at home or meet in a restaurant for dinner. Once home,the tired children may attempt to do some homework. Soon the entirefamily will fall into bed for an exhausted sleep only to do it all again the next morning.

Where is the "quality time" needed by each child? Where is the opportunity for the child to just curl up in mommy's comforting lapto find security? Everything must be organized, scheduled, rushed.Children feel the loss, and they take action for attention. They misbehave, they cry, they become defiant, aggressive. The parentsseek answers and relief to the family turmoil.The school, which is also experiencing the child's defiance andaggression, seeks relief. Enter the school psychologist whoprovides the convenient answer. The child is ADD. Short term relief can come from a wonder drug called Ritalin. As a result, the realroot of the behavior problems are suppressed and hidden as the childenters a drug- induced stupor. He seems to calm down, perhaps his grades even improve for a while and the problem seems to be solved.

There is more feeding the problem. School restructuring has centeredaround an assault on student values. Students are told in manyclassrooms that there is no right or wrong. Parents are instructedthat students should not be told what to do. They should be allowedto experiment and "find themselves" on their own.

Hillary Clinton wrote in her book "It Takes a Village," thatcorrective discipline isn't encouraged at all, In fact, if a parenthas to tell a child no, then the parent has already failed as aparent. According to Hillary, a child's ability to self-check comesnaturally, when not undermined by critical, controlling parents. "If(kids) have supportive and caring adults around them, they pick upthe social clues that enable them to develop self-discipline andempathy." In other words, Hillary Clinton is telling parents thatchildren will basically raise themselves, with a little guidancefrom "the village."

Parents, near desperation, believing what they are told about the "modern" way to raise a child, refuse to interfere with their growth. Spanking is now termed child abuse and parents can even bearrested if someone in the village decides to be a "hero" and turnin their neighbors.

What's wrong with the children? Basically the children have started to show signs of insanity because the system that is raising them is nuts.

Tom DeWeese in the President of the American Policy Center the Editor of The DeWeese Report. www.americanpolicy.org

Cleaning out an old Yahoo group

I'm going to be posting some things that I had on an old Yahoo group. I kind of put them on the group to save them, but since the group isn't doing anything any more, it seems like a waste to have them there. With that in mind, I'm going to transfer what I want over here to keep since I plan to keep this going for at least 12 more years! ;-)

Where Have All the Little Girls Gone?

From www.ChristianWorldviewNetwork.com back in November 2007.

Where Have All the Little Girls Gone?

“Those songs, I now see, were indeed insidious, fed as they were into a vulnerable society; Mr Blair was moving into No 10 with his guitar, and cool new Britannia was upon us. If Wag culture was to take over; if too many newly empowered girls were to end up with monstrous credit-card debts from buying too much bling; if little girls in the playground would move up to anorexia, bulimia, failing livers and chlamydia from too many alley encounters after pub and club, blame it on the Spice Girls. They took the inheritance of the serious, middle-class feminists of 30 years back and squandered it. This was not the girl power we had in mind. We didn’t believe the law of unintended consequences applied to us. Whoever does?”

--Faye Weldon, The Times Online, on the social legacy of the newly reunited Spice Girls

Over 12,000 fans screamed in ecstasy this last week as rocker Miley Cyrus, aka Hannah Montana, strutted her stuff on stage at the CenturyTel Center outside Shreveport, Louisiana. Most of the fans were little girls between the ages of 6-12. Outside the arena before the concert, thousands of little girls gathered in anticipation as speakers blared their favorite star's biggest hits. Swinging their hips and mouthing the words to the hit, these girls could easily have been years older in their behavior and dress. One anxious fan, still missing her front teeth, lisped to a reporter how she was preparing to “go nuts” when she saw her beloved rock star. Huge earrings and eye shadow were the norm among these small girls. Their entire world had obviously been shaped and molded by the media-created sensation of Hannah Montana. As I watched the news video of the event, I was struck with sadness at what has become of the world of young girls today. The word “tragedy” comes to mind.

Faye Weldon wrote a column in London's Times Online this week that describes the impact of the female rock group, the Spice Girls. Even mainstream media columnists are observing that something has gone terribly wrong with girlhood. Ten years ago, the Spice Girl hit, Wannabe, became the best-selling song recorded by females in recording history. Girls were finally unleashed to prove that they could be as vulgar, sexually predatory, and immoral as any of the guys. “Girl power” apparently meant you could toss newborn babies in dumpsters or give birth in toilets and walk away. Abortion on demand (particularly in the UK) is now viewed as a form of birth control. There has been a huge increase in sexually transmitted diseases as girls prove that guys aren't the only ones who can initiate a “hook up.” Binge drinking and alcoholism is at an all time high among girls in the West, proving that females can drink themselves under the table, too. Looking at the countless ruined lives of young women today, it it should be evident that “girl power”, as expressed by the five vulgarian Spice Girls, was a bad idea. Actually, ten years after their peak stardom, the fast-aging five are hitting their Botox vials and preparing to leave their children behind for yet another world tour. There's more money to be made off young girls.

The era when little girls were allowed a latency phase in which to grow up emotionally and physically is gone. Sexuality and its burden did not used to be a part of childhood. Those who sexualized children used to be called criminals. Now they are called pop stars. Today we have stupid mothers and fathers who push their little girls onto the latest consumer bandwagon, designed by marketers to make money. Who cares what little girls are learning? Who cares what messages they are receiving about their worth? Not Mom and Dad who are online buying tickets for the latest kiddie rock concert.

There was once a world in which little girls played with tea sets and baby dolls. Barbie and her skanky entourage had not been invented yet. Baby buggies, doll clothes, jump ropes, roller skates, bicycles and good books were the stuff of girlhood. Being allowed to put some cake batter in one of my battered play cake pans and bake it was so exciting to me that I still remember it. That kind of girlhood was centered around my mother who spent her days at home raising her children. Eye shadow and face glitter and rock stars would have been the stuff of another planet to me. Why would I have wanted or needed that? I had Anne of Green Gables, A Little Princess, and Little House on the Prairie. I had my dolls and their clothes mom made on her sewing machine, and best of all, a sister who was more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Who needed more?

I grieve for the painted little girls of Sodom today. Their mothers and fathers have not protected them but have thrown them into the dangerous stream of popular culture. They will be destroyed by that stream—pulled under by the powerful currents of lust and greed and hedonism that wait beneath the glittering surface.

As Christian parents we must not allow the cultural icons of this world and its system into our homes. How many evangelical parents are completely unconcerned that their little daughters are feasting at the trough of the Disney Channel? For those who don't know, Disney long ago ceased to be about Mickey Mouse. Hannah Montana and High School Musical and the like present a world without God. They are humanistic to the core, and they present a girlhood that is in direct opposition to God's instructions for womanhood. As Christian women we are called to be modest, sober faced, unselfish, and to have a meek and quiet spirit. Our daughters need to seek to please Jesus alone and to turn their backs on the world's value system. They cannot do that if what they learn about girlhood comes from the entertainment media. Parents will be held responsible by the Lord for the influences they allow and the examples they set in their homes. It is a very serious matter.

The world's version of girlhood will only grow worse as Western culture slips farther and farther into corruption and decay. Christian girls must be cherished, protected and prepared for a world that is increasingly hostile to holiness. But in the darkness, a girlhood and womanhood, consecrated fully to Jesus Christ, will shine all the brighter.

“...that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace...” (Psalm 144:12)

Blog Archive