Monday, July 09, 2018

How to Protect Your Children from Liberal Public-School Indoctrination

How do you protect your children from the toxic influence of the liberal and amoral worldview predominate in the education system?   Conservatives wrestle with this sticky problem as a policy and personal matter.   School, choice, homeschool, private school, getting involved with the PTA are all methods we advocate for and utilize in this noble cause.  The problem, for most ordinary folks, is many of these solutions are out of our control and hands.

School choice and tax vouchers sound like a wonderful idea.  In fact, it may be a much better solution than what seems like no choice.  This comes at a cost.   If the government is giving a tax voucher, they will control to some degree what that voucher is used for.  All programs of government usually start as high ideas, often overlooking the unintended consequences.   Just imagine someday, after lost court battles when that otherwise good Christian school down the road is forced to include some element of the perversion that is public education or else not qualify for voucher use.

Homeschool is another fine option, with a great personal cost.   Not all great parents are cut out to be great academic teachers.   Not all of us want to spend a significant portion of our lives as a teacher, else we might have chosen that path previously.   For those that can, a myriad of resources are available now to the home-school family.  Support groups and activities exist to ensure home-schooled kids are not isolated and many school districts allow homeschooled children to participate in extracurricular activities.  These are all good trends, but the fact remains that for various reasons this is not an option for everyone.  If you have the interest and the ability to teach your children at home this is the very best option to protect them.

“Getting involved” at the school is what good conservative families have done for years.   Yet, this did nothing to stop our public education system from becoming what it is.   Individual teachers have no control of their curriculum, involved parents have even less influence on administrative decisions.   Getting involved and staying engaged is certainly a required action, but it alone will never turn the tide, or protect our children.

A private school is an option that absolutely works for those that can afford it.   The education can be, and often is superior academically to public education, most private institutions are religiously based, so you know their philosophical leanings.  Finally, as a consumer, you have some say, unlike public school where you are just in the way.    However, a private school can be prohibitively expensive and therefore not an option for all.

So what options are available for the rest of us?

Articulate Your Values Early and Often

Teachable moments present themselves at the most unexpected, and often inconvenient times for parents.   In the world of young children, everything can be a point of learning and fascination until they get what they wanted to know and move on.   As parents, we are often too busy or rushed to see and take advantage of these moments.  There is a great power is teaching values consistently over time in small bites starting early.  We must emulate what we want to cultivate.  We have to explain the why to the level of their understanding and interest as they grow.  

Reinforce with a learning and experience program

So you are planning a vacation, it sure does sound nice to head to the beach for a week.  What if you included a visit to war memorial – they are parked near most major beaches on the east coast – and take the opportunity to talk about the why.  Even a trip t Disneyland is an opportunity to talk about the value of the free-market; communist and progressives never built a Disney World!

What about at home?   Perhaps a guided reading program over the summers – incentivized in some way.   There are numerous children and young adult books that directly and indirectly teach conservative values.   Teaching real history is one of the most solid bulwarks to equip a young mind. Also, the lessons related to the value of family, hard work and the consequences of bad decisions found in  numerous works of literature are important and help shape a positive conservative worldview.

Teach character

Much like the notion of articulating our values and why we believe what we believe consistently throughout their lives, we have to model the character we want to see them emulate.   This cannot be a do as I say lesson, it has to be a watch and follow my lifestyle.   Children of all ages are attuned to inconsistencies.  If you do not live the character you speak, how can they trust the other values you hold up as important.

Talk to them

The primary tool of indoctrination is replacing the family unit as a source of strength and guidance with another authority figure.   If your child attends public school you have surrendered much control, they will engage with your child more hours each day that most working parents have available.   You combat this by having authentic conversations with your child early in their life and often.  Listen and let them work the logic of understating things.  Be patient, understanding and open.  Be a person, you are still the authority but be approachable.  In their teen and college years, this ability to dialogue may make all the difference.

Stay involved

You will not change the public school, much, with your involvement.  But if you talk to your child and know what is going on, and by connecting with other like-minded parents you have a much better shot at knowing about any nonsense your children are exposed to.   This provides the opportunity for dialogue, and if you have set the foundation it will make it easier for them to see bad ideas for what they are.

by Barry Clark

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