Monday, February 27, 2006

My Views on Education

From my previous post it may appaer that I believe Homeschooling is the only right option. I do not. I believe that parent controlled education is the only right option and that government controlled education is wrong.

I will tackle the latter part of that statement first. There is something very wrong with a country that claims to be free insisting on controlling what the future voters are taught for 12 years prior to voting. This opens up scores of special interest groups trying to get their foot in the educational door so that such and such must be taught in the hopes of swaying the future votes.

By its nature a government mandated scope and sequence is generic meant for the generic child and children are not generic, they are above all else individuals. They are as Miss Mason says persons.

So what do I mean by parent controlled education? An education where parents decide what is best for their children to learn and decide how it is best taught to the children. Homeschools, co-op schools, Mom schools, cottage schools, tutors, apprenticeships, some private and charter schools all can fit this definition.

Education is the parents responsibility. It is up to the parent to decide if such and such should be covered and how. Education is persuasive, and very influential in molding the character of the student, in molding the habits and the trains of thought that that child has.

I do not understand why active LDS, or any Christian, parents would so easily send their children to places where God's influence on mankind can not be discussed by law. Is this not evil? Taking God out of the lives, conversation and thoughts of our children is wrong. Every thing in this world relates to the Gospel and nothing should be taught in isolation from it, but when parents give up all say it is. If you are LDS educate your children as such.

John Taylor "Shall we employ teachers that will turn the infant minds of our children away from the principles of the gospel and perhaps lead them to darkness and death? ...I would like to know if a Methodist would send his children to a Roman Catholic School, or vice versa? I think not. Do either send their children to "Mormon" schools, or employ "Mormon" teachers? I think not. Do we object to it? No, we do not; we accord to all classes their rights, and we claim rights equal with them. Well, shall we, after going to the ends of the earth to gather people to Zion, in order that they may learn more perfectly of His ways and walk in His paths, shall we then allow our children to be at the mercy of those who would lead them down to death again? God forbid! Let our teachers be men of God, men of honor and integrity, and let us afford our children such learning as will place our community in the front ranks in educational as well as religious matters. But would we interfere with other religious denominations? No. Prevent them from sending their children where and to whom they please? No. Or from shipping where they please? No. I would not put a hair in their way, nor interfere with them in any possible way; they can take their course, and we want the same privilege. (Journal of Discourses 19:249-250)"


My 2yo ds woke up before 6 a.m. screaming, which seems to be his standard wake up call lately. This of course woke up the baby, so while Daddy laid down with Brennen, I went to nurse Logan who shares a room with my 5yodd, and she of course wakes up. "Mom, can we sew Bitty's (her doll) Easter dress today? She really wants a new Sunday dress." Brennen walks in, "I have dinner. You hold me." Aubrey says, "Can we watch a movie and have popcorn? And will you play Geuss Who?"

At this point I realize I am going to have to talk, and I am barely awake and would rather not for a half hour at least. "No Aubrey, you can't watch a movie, I can't play a game or sew right now. I need to finish feeding the baby and get a couple of things done then I will cook the cinnamon rolls (our traditional Sunday breakfast.)" A sits by me and talks and talks while B whines and cries. After a minute L is done and I try to put him down, nope he shreiks and so I pick him back up. I really dislike it when the kids wake up before me it makes me feel like I'm starting the day way too far behind.

The younger boys and I all have colds, so I ask my husband to stay home with the two little ones, he says that I should stay home too. But if he thinks I am going to give up my almost only period of adult interaction and no children he's crazy.

So I go and listen to high councilmen talk about families, being true to them, loving them. We have Sunday School about Abraham, and I spent part of the time trying to find out how many children he had, 8 for those who want to know. I love Abraham, I admire him, he is a hero to me. The third hour is a combined meeting, the Bishop is speaking and it is about families. We discuss the worlds view of a family and Heavenly Father's. The discussion turns to that many people in the world think that anyone can raise children and it doesn't matter much who, and we discuss the recent studies that were meant to support the new bill trying to get tax payers to pay for daycare for ever younger and younger children in CA, but instead came back showing that the longer a child stayed home with parents the better the children were in governing their behaviour, interacting with others and learning academic skills.

We discuss the parents' responsibility for guiding and directing their children. And I wonder to myself, so if it is shown that a child is best left with parents through the preschool years is that child suddenly ready for great lengths of time away from home and under an influence that the parents have no control over when they are five, they can not control the content or the method of presentation. How does one teach the gospel to the children..."when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down and when thou risest up" if the children rise and leave to be under the influence of others for 6 to 7 hours and then come home to homework dictated by someone who does not share the families commitments or beliefs.

And I think again of the quotes and prophecy's of Brigham Young concerning free government controlled education, I think of the peers the children will have, I think of the discussions I have with mothers who think the schools are fine, but have no idea what is being taught there. I ask myself again, "Would Abraham have sent Isaac to a government controlled school in a land that embraced evil?" "No, he would not have." We understand that evil is embraced in our society, so why do so few stand up against it. Yes, it is harder to be responsible for your own childs' education, to not go along with what everyone else is doing, but like the High Councilmen said today the straight and narrow is not on the center of the road anymore it is far, far off to the side.

I go home renewed and strengthen in my calling as a mother. I hug my two little ones, feed everyone lunch and sing silly songs with my children and ramble on to my husband about everything in my head, which he is very used to by now.

That night at our family dinner my mother-in-law calls me a Saint and says she has no idea how I do it all. I tell her I don't, my floors have not been vacuumed in a week. But honestly I do it because I believe in what I am doing, I believe in these children and that they are too precious to be turned over to anyone else, and I believe in God and He strengthens me, like today He gave me Sundays.

Brigham Young "We had to pay our own schoolteachers, raise our own bread and earn our own clothing, or go without; there was no other choice. We did it then, and we are able to do the same to-day. I want to enlist the sympathies of the ladies among the Latter-day Saints, to see what we can do for ourselves with regard to schooling our children. Do not say you cannot school them, for you can... I understand that the other night there was a school meeting in one of the wards of this city, and a part there--a poor miserable apostate--said, "We want a free school, and we want to have the name of establishing the first free school in Utah." To call a person a poor miserable apostate may seem like a harsh word; but what shall we call a man who talks about free schools and who would have all the people taxed to support them, and yet would take his rifle and threaten to shoot the man who had the collection of the ordinary light taxes levied in this Territory--taxes which are lighter than any levied in any other portion of the country? (Journal of Discourses 16:19-20) "

Saturday, February 25, 2006


I do not know how to garden, not really. I have tried since I was 13. I put many hours into my first attempts. Imagine a flat piece of land, 20 acres actually with about a dozen sticks that we called trees that were gifts from the utility company, who gave them out under the stipulation that you had to plant them in the precise position that they said as this was supposed to in years to come shade the house and so lower the air conditioning bill. Of course my parents hardly used the air conditioner anyway-I learned when to open and close windows for maximum coolness throughout the day from them.

Besides the sticks and endless fields of weeds we had a front flower bed. My mother had a flower bed in front, or perhaps the frogs owned it-I'm sure they thought they did. My mother planted these hydranga bushes among various other plants. But those bushes stand out the most in my mind. There was a sidewalk that led to the front door of our house and the bushes were so wide that they leaned out of their bed and completely covered it, making everyone walk around in the dirt. One time when my parents had a little extra money they doubled the width of the front sidewalk, so that the bushes could keep their share and we could walk on ours. My mother has gone Home, but whenever I see a hydranga bush I think of her, it is like one of the many signatures she has left behind. I love those signatures.

The spring of my thirteenth year I claimed a spot next to our "compost" heap and declared it my garden. I enlisted my 3 younger brothers to help my remove rocks before I could plant. We spent a month and got about three wagon loads full. I thought that was enough and so I dug and then I planted seeds and dutifuly watered them. I can remember the mud holes watering would create. By the next day the dirt would be dry and cracked. I kept at it for awhile but nothing but weeds ever grew. The next year we did a family garden in what had once been a very large sandbox. I can remember the plants in rows, but I think we must of forgot to water on one of those 102 days because they all died. One year though we had good luck that encouraged me for ever so long. We had hoses that would run all the way down to the animals; chickens, goats, rabbits and a horse with others thrown in every now and then. We would turn this hose on up at the house before we would feed and it dripped under the faucet. It was also almost directly over the sewer. Well that year there was what we had thought was a weed that was growing and growing then one day it had little green tomatoes on it. I was so excited. I didn't eat them, one of those ultra picky children you know, but I loved picking them and thinking they grew from our very own land.

After I was married and we bought our first house, I attempted another garden, the corn stalks grew, but we got no corn on them. That house did have a plum tree that was too tangy to eat raw so I made fruit leather, a delicious cherry tree that we ate fresh and dried. And a very sour apple tree with very small apples on it, yes now I know that I should have thinned them. We stayed at that house 18 months, just long enough to repair it and redo the yard then we moved north to a newer home on a large lot. This house had a tangelo tree, and I immediately got chickens. I planted in pots that first year as the land wasn't ready, and then we moved again this time into an apartment, for 2 years. I had 2 grape vines, an apple and a pear tree along with pots for vegetables. We haven't gotten any grapes, apples or pears yet and that was almost 4 years ago, but we will get them out of their pots and into the ground now that we are in a house again with a yard. I have had some success with strawberries in pots, though.

So it is February and I have taken a desk calender and seeds and marked when I want to plant seeds, when they need to be transplanted and when they should be ready to harvest. I am determined to someday have a productive garden. My sister-in-law has a mound of composted horse manure, and I will go get a truck load within the next couple of weeks then I will disk it into the designated garden spot, plant, water, try to figure out that fertilizing thing and hope for the best... while I am at it, I think I will get a couple hydranga's for my front flower beds.