12 April, 2006

Stop the Insanity

Evidently profanity-laced political diatribes in the form of movies are now part of the Alabama 8th grade science curriculum. And people wonder if homeschoolers can cut it academically. At least our science class has actual science in it.

The Pearls

Ann has interesting post about her journey with child-rearing and the book To Train Up a Child. I think that about the worst thing a parent could do is to implement that book as written. There are something like 10 chapters on training, and one chapter on loving. Mr. Pearl talks about training your child into perfect obedience there, yet a recent issue of their magazine, No Greater Joy, has him talking about becoming a grandparent and going back to the days of crayon marks on the walls. (A besetting sin here. I go through paint and Mr. Clean Erasers like water.) To me crayon marks do not denote perfect obedience. Or could it be that the Pearls have a line as to what is obedience and what is not? Do they allow their kids to be kids? From reading the book you wouldn't get that, but my guess is that they do.

My personal opinion (I do not know Michael or Debi Pearl, so this is just conjecture on my part) is that they looked out at the Church and saw excessive permissiveness everywhere they looked. I think TTUAC is more their reaction to that, than it is a definative book on their methods of child-rearing.

My journey with TTUAC is radically different from Ann's. My parents were not Christians when I was a child and I was adopted. My father especially was excessively permissive, because he was afraid I wouldn't love him otherwise. I can remember standing in front of Kmart at about the age of 9 or 10 whining for a second allowance, already having spent the money given me in the morning. My dad gave in. If one of my kids tried a trick like that, we'd pack up and go home and they wouldn't get any allowance the next week either. Not that they get an allowance right now. I was a brat, it's amazing I grew up into a reasonably responsible adult.

So, TTUAC gave me some much needed structure to my parenting and helped me to learn to set limits and to enforce those limits. We still aren't 100% consistent, but we are approaching 99%. We have a list of things that are not tolerated:

  • Talking back (reasonable objections are allowed, if done respectfully)
  • refusing a "direct order" (hubby is a soldier), this is basically outright defiance when there are no mitigating circumstances (having a bad day, needing a nap, being sick, etc.)
  • doing something dangerous, when you have been told not to do it in the past

Those are things that will get you a spanking in our house. Everything else that might be termed disobedience is met with logical let-the-punishment-fit-the-crime consequences. Make a mess? You clean it up. Hit your brother? Apologize and be nice to him. Not do your schoolwork? Sit at the table until it is done while everyone else gets to play. Turn on the TV without asking? You just lost your TV for the day.

The wierd thing is that I had a dream about the Pearls a few days ago. They had moved in next door to us, and they were chastising me for being too hard on my kids. I really have no idea what that dream means.

To finish, if you want to get TTUAC, also sign up for the NGJ magazine (it's free). Follow NGJ and only use TTUAC for reference. NGJ is full of letters from parents who followed TTUAC to the letter and lost their children's hearts and the Pearls explain where they went wrong and how to try to get them back. When reading TTUAC, pay special attention to the chapter about tying heartstrings.

05 April, 2006

This is not the state I grew up in

An Indianapolis middle-schooler has been suspended and recommend for expulsion for turning in a knife. (Hat Tip: Mungo)

I generally hold up Indiana as a place of common sense, somewhere where, for example, it is illegal to purchase alcohol from a motor vehicle (unlike Ohio). It looks like the edu-nazis are taking over there as well. I can still remember the day my senior year of highschool when one of the underclassmen brought a gun to school. This was back in the pre-Columbine days, mind you.

The boy brought an unloaded pistol to school to scare a kid he'd been fighting with. He received a 3 day in-school suspension. That was it. I can remember the principal getting on the intercom that afternoon to say, "Well, folks, someone has ruined it for you. We had a kid bring a gun to school today and threatened someone. I know you boys like to go hunting before you come into school in the morning, but I'm not going to be able to let you keep your guns in your trucks anymore."

Yes, it was a very small school in a very hick town.

01 April, 2006


One of the mirad of reasons I started this blog (along with the desire to hear myself talk) was to create a record of our lives, specifically the farm and our schooling. I've been updating on the farm, but I've written little about school. I think now is the time to outline our curricula.

Mary (8yo)--Latina Christiana I, Elementary Greek I, Christian Studies I, D'Aulaire's Greek Myths, Spencerian Penmanship 3, multiplication facts. We are taking a break from Rod and Staff math and Classical Writing.

Ian (4yo)--Copybook I, Phonics Pathways.

Alex (3yo)--Phonics Pathways.

Mary spends about 2 hours a day with me on school, 2 hours on seatwork, and an hour on reading. Ian spends about 10 minutes on copybook (he's still learning to write his letters) and 15-20 minutes on reading, depending on how much he wants to do. Alistair spends anywhere from 5 minutes to 20 minutes a day on reading, also depending on what he wants to do (and some days he doesn't want to do any, which is cool with me). Ian is reading CVC words with ease and Alex is still learning letter sounds. We also try to do our read aloud for 30 min and we fit in some science activities and Ohio history about once a week or so. Since the weather has been nice, we've been going for an hour walk most days.