#StopCommonCore was the top trending hashtag on Twitter last night for hours and hours.
As a Mom interested in Education Issues, I found myself getting weepy several times as I participated in the rally. The whole exercise was a testimony to the power of social media, the focus and determination of parents all over the country, and the willingness of families to carve a few hours out of a busy day to engage in a way that sends a powerful message to the elites in our society.
Message being: Our Children’s minds are NOT for sale.
I feel compelled this morning to write the fifth essay in my Uncommon Lore Series, simply because of what I experienced last night.
Here are the previous essays if you want to give them a look:
PART 1 UNCOMMON LORE: INTRODUCTION
PART 2 UNCOMMON LORE: THE BEGINNING
PART 4 UNCOMMON LORE: THE ORIGINAL SAXON MATH CURRICULUM, MATH, A FIRM FOUNDATION TO BUILD A HOMESCHOOL ON…
A few weeks ago I watched the Glenn Beck program outlining what was happening with Common Core and I again found myself getting weepy.
Glenn had a couple of Mom/Teachers on the show from Utah. As they described what was going on with the Common Core Agenda I felt once again backed into a corner as a Parent. Then over the following days I spent hours watching You Tube Videos, Reading Blog Entries and the excellent
expose articles by various Parents, Michelle Malkin, and a few educators who had backed away from the whole bloated, toxic, stinking mess after learning more about it.
As I learned what was going on, I found myself hitting the computer monitor a few times in frustration. See, I am a reluctant Homeschooling Parent. A Reactionary Homeschooling Mom. Meaning, I would prefer for my children to attend school, but my conscious has made it impossible for me to allow that at various times and seasons. And because we don’t have the cash to send our five children to private school, the public school system is the only one we have to work in.
Depending on the books I would read at various times I would waffle back and forth from Unschooler to Homeschooler to Charter Schooler to Public Schooler. I have been the parent of just about every type of student except for Private School.
My oldest daughter Michelle, who is now 24 would have started Kindergarten back in 1993, but I kept her home for two years. Then under the weight of intense scrutiny from those around me for this choice and because I felt that the watchful busybody focus was damaging to her, I sent her to school for the final four years of elementary school. She attended a public school where they had a Core Knowledge Strand. Meaning they had one class per grade that was using the Core Knowledge Curriculum, Saxon Math, and Open Court Phonics Reading.
As I observed her joy in making new friends, staying in the same class with a wonderful group of students (ten of whom were fellow Mormons), and the love she had for various teachers and classes, I decided that maybe something good was happening in Public Education after all.
When she hit the Middle School years she was very clear that she wanted to be home. She lasted two days at the local middle school. So she came home for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. We enjoyed a wonderful time together as Mother and Daughter and she never went through any of that middle school drama that so many of her peers were struggling with. She also scored a perfect 100% on her 8th grade math test after using Saxon Second edition books for her middle school Math.
By the time she was high school age she was comfortable continuing with homeschool, but we were not. I had just given birth to her baby brother and was struggling emotionally. I had really enjoyed various experiences in my own high school, especially around Music and Drama, and wanted her to have the joy of friends, community, school spirit, and wonderful memories and relationships. Fortunately a charter school had just opened up in our community that was a college prep school and she was accepted for enrollment for her 9th grade year. We had to really push her to get out of her comfort zone and attend this school.
She enjoyed a wonderful high school experience with a unique and dedicated group of educators. We also felt very connected to the Peak to Peak community as part of a wonderful group of families focused on preparing our students for University.
Michelle decided to stay home and work as a nanny for the four years after high school when she would have been getting a college degree. She deferred her scholarship to SUU and began attending two years ago. She is now halfway through her College experience.
Ironically she has spent the past year working a couple hours every day in a work environment tied to her major at the local elementary school. As she has shared with me various stories of her experience, it has been interesting to hear what is happening right now in education. I will not take the time to share what she has observed, as I do not have her permission, but the bottom line is that she has zero interest in working in a school, especially after her year of observation, and has pretty much decided to homeschool her own children someday.
When I think of the countless hours I have spent over these past twenty five years reading hundreds of articles, books, blog posts, and time spent in chat rooms talking with various parents about what the best education “looks like”, I just get angry that we have a group of billionaire education boobs who believe they can circumvent the political process and use taxpayer dollars to bribe each state to put in place a top down federal education system that is much more about tracking and testing than it is about knowledge and individual growth.
I took some serious heat for my activism in 1998-99 when I decided to attend some school board meetings and make a stink about changes in the BVSD Diversity Policy. I had harassing phone calls on my answering machine, a nasty article in the local paper that made me seem like a nut job reactionary, and was heckled and hated for my views on teaching homosexuality to elementary children.
I have gone back and forth over and over again wondering how best to teach, train, protect, help, and educate these five souls entrusted to our care.
My anger at the Common Core mess is that I was planning to send Benjamin back to public school at some point so he could more easily participate in Sports, Music, and High School Life without feeling like the Home Schooled Oddball of the community. Nonconformity comes with a price, and I learned years ago that there are some very large benefits to our children when they are able to be a part of a school community. Our Charter was about as ideal of a situation as could be imagined in terms of extracurricular activities and the intellectual climate at the school. We still had Socialist Brainwashing going on and yes they even used that Commie Rag A Peoples History of The United States written by the late Howard Zinn in the history classes.
I was spoon fed European Socialism in my Michigan Public Schools during the 80’s and still came out a fierce Patriot and Lover of the Constitution, so I was not as concerned about that side of it. More, I wanted our children to feel a part of our community and engage with friends on an intellectual level.
Yet now, I feel like I have to be an objector not just with my words but with my deeds, even though I know it will create more work for me as a Mother.
It is obvious that the dumbing down of the American People has been a goal for certain elites for a long, long time.
And these Educrats have been at the helm of some of the most noxious and evil teachings that have seen the light of day in America. How would it have been if Bill Ayers had been death penalized out of this world forty years ago for his Treason instead of influencing Education, Writing the Book of the President of the USA, and implementing his Peoples Revolution through Alinsky tactics with every day that has passed from then to now?
Parents are busy, financially strained, and like to believe that the taxpayer money spent on education means that when they send their child off to school every morning they are going to be taught something important and real for six hours a day.
We do not need yet another layer of this toxicity in our society.
When we have a group of America Women who not only once, but TWICE smugly voted for the Marxist fraud in America when they could have had a decent, god fearing businessman who has a proven record of Leadership as President, then we know that something is terribly off in American Education.
I look forward to the day when it all comes crashing down and we can start over with local everything. Local schools, local food, local control of the school board, and local efforts to teach and train. Then I will know that parents and taxpayers and not the federal government are back at the helm of education.
Until then? We will be homeschooling for the long haul. Ben is in fourth grade and he will NOT be attending public school tied to the Common Core Standards.