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Category Archives: Children

Is there really an agenda?

Education. Common Core. These are hot topics among the cultural and political discourse of today’s United States of America.

There is plenty of heated debate coming from both sides of this issue, the result of two colliding worldviews about who is responsible for raising children. However, beyond opinion and rhetoric, what are the facts? If the Common Core Standards are intended to prepare and equip our children to succeed, what could be so bad about them? Are these standards really part of an agenda to change the American way of life?

The two videos below address these topics and questions. Beyond opinion, facts are presented to support their conclusions. It is up to us to decide whether these facts are correct and verifiable.

“Building the Machine”

The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) produced this first video titled “Building the Machine“, a movie about the Common Core Standards. The full 40-minute documentary is presented below:

“Agenda”

Below is a six-minute introduction to a film produced by former Idaho Legislator Curtis Bowers. The movie, which is titled “Agenda: Grinding America Down“, is an in-depth documentary about the impact of communist ideology on today’s America and the proposed solution to stand against it (hint: it starts with the children). I urge you to buy and watch the full 90-minute movie:

 

“Conform”050214book01

Just this week a new book was released titled “Conform” from Glenn Beck (although he claims that he is really not the author). I have not yet read this book. From listening to some of the discussion about it, I assume that the documentation and conclusions would be consistent with those presented in the two movies noted above. You can learn more about and buy the book by clicking here on Glenn Beck’s Website.

The Common Core Initiative

Representing the other side of the debate, below is a link to the Common Core State Standards Initiative Website, which presents its documentation about the formation of the standards and the common “misconceptions” about them. The “Myths vs. Facts” section counters many of the conclusions presented in the two videos above:

Home | Common Core Standards Initiative

The Decision

I urge you to take the time to educate yourself about this matter, research the facts, and consider world history. You decide – is there really an agenda to change the USA from within, beginning with our children, or will the changes to our educational system really benefit us (including spiritually) in the end? What does world history teach us about moving towards a collective/communist society? Which side of this educational debate stands with God, truth, and liberty?  Who do you believe and trust?

(Note: There are honest, decent parents, teachers, and administrators working within the system of our public schools. They act and serve in the best interests of their children and of the children they teach. They have nothing to do with creating the standards that the curriculum and lesson plans are built around. This debate is not about their intentions or qualifications, but rather about the system itself.)
 

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Two Worldviews on Raising Children

The videos below present two drastically different perspectives on raising children.  After watching them, which one most agrees with your values, beliefs, and worldview?

Great news! – The White House petition to stop the deportation of the Romieke family has over 113,000 signatures!  The government’s policy is to consider any petitions that have over 100,000 signatures.

If you would like to read more about the Romieke family, you can keep current on the Home School Legal Defense Association’s Website here or by reading our earlier post.

 
 

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The Romeike Family and the Freedom to Choose

Is our freedom to home school our children here in the United States in jeopardy?  Even more, in the view of our government, who has the ultimate responsibility for raising and teaching our children – parents or institutions?

Uwe and Hannelore Romeike and their children fled from Germany to the United States seeking political asylum.  They want the freedom to home school their children and were facing severe penalties for doing so in Germany.  After legally following the immigration process in the United States, the family was originally granted asylum.  The United States government then appealed that decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals.  The Board sided with the government.  Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is representing the family in an appeal of the Board’s decision.  If the court rules in favor of the government, then the family would be legally required to return to Germany and potentially face losing custody of their children if they continued to home school.

Being a “home school family”, this situation is very close to our hearts.  Is this a stand by our government against our freedom to raise and educate our children and even against individual liberties?  Michael Farris, HSLDA Founder and Chairman writes the following:

When the United States government says that homeschooling is a mutable choice—they are saying that it is a characteristic that a government can legitimately coerce you to change. In other words, you have no protected right to choose the education for your children. Our nation could remove your ability to homeschool and your choice would be mutable—since the government has the authority to force you to implement their wishes.

The prospect for German homeschooling freedom is not bright. But we should not reserve all of our concern for the views of the German government. Our own government is attempting to send German homeschoolers back to that land to face criminal prosecutions with fines, jail sentences, and removal of custody of children.

We should understand that in these arguments by the U.S. government, something important is being said about our own liberties as American homeschoolers.

The Attorney General of the United States thinks that a law that bans homeschooling entirely violates no fundamental liberties.

It is important that Americans stand up for the rights of German homeschooling families. In so doing, we stand up for our own.

(From http://www.hslda.org/docs/news/2013/201302110.asp, accessed March 19, 2013).

To read more about this family and the efforts being made in their defense, click on the link below:

http://www.hslda.org/legal/cases/romeike.asp

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2013 in Children, Education, News and Culture

 

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As Little Children

The other day, this passage came to my attention (my comments are in blue):

At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted [to twist, that is, turn quite around or reverse (literally or figuratively)], and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me [a child is able to believe in Jesus], it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh! Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish [to destroy fully (reflexively to perish, or lose), literally or figuratively]. (Mat 18:1-14)

When we put the children down to bed at night, we sing the chorus to Jesus Loves the Little Children (click on the link for the full lyrics).  Sometimes, I just sing the song routinely while my mind wonders off due to tiredness or reflecting on the trials of the day.  I think God wants my heart focused on those moments, not taking for granted my time with the children He entrusted to me.

In this passage from Matthew 18, we read about the great value that Jesus places on children and child likeness (not childishness!).  Those who come to him in faith must become like little children.  Children are dependent on and trusting in their parents.  They want their parents’ love and approval.  As parents, we must be careful to not harm that trust and demonstrate that we value our children as God’s created beings (although we don’t always approve of their actions and attitudes).  Our Heavenly Father is trustworthy.  He demonstrated His love for us through Jesus Christ’s death on the cross, bearing our sins on his body.  He approves of those who are His born-again children through faith.

Jesus gives strong warnings to those who cause “little ones” to sin.  We frequently read in the news of children being harmed and offended, some in horrific ways.  However, could my own actions and attitudes cause children and those young in the faith to stumble?  The Father’s heart is that not one of these “little ones” should be lost.  He desires that all would be saved (see 1Ti 2:4).

The phrase “little ones” seems to refer to literal children and those who are childlike in faith.  I sometimes marvel at the simple faith exhibited by children.  They are not encumbered by the complexities of doctrine or the yoke of man-made religion.   Please don’t misunderstand me, it is important that we increase in our knowledge and understanding of Christ, with the goal of strengthening our relationship with him.  However, I desire to have that purity and innocence of childlike faith.  When I meditate too much on who I am apart from Christ, I venture away from that child likeness and start to try to earn my favor with God.  Or, on the contrary, I become puffed-up with my piety and offend God with my pride.  When I return to the cross and humble myself to see that he had to die there for me, then the childlike love, devotion and dependence returns.

The other evening, our youngest daughter was looking at a picture book about The Good Shepherd.  She became fixated on a sanitized picture of Jesus on the cross.  She studied it for quite a while and kept pointing at the nail in his feet.  She mumbled one syllable that we couldn’t quite understand.  We simply explained who he was and why he was hanging there.  She continued to be mesmerized by the picture as we spoke to her.  I wonder if she was simply impacted by the visual or if something eternal spoke to her heart.  I look forward to being able to converse with her about these matters.

Passages like this one provide comfort to us as we reflect on the simple childlike faith of our son Isaac.  Because he was a child and had this childlike faith, we fully expect to see him again.  We are blessed to have the children that God has entrusted to us.  Through this journey, may we “grow” into child likeness (an oxymoron?) in our faith in Christ.

Seeking faith like a child,

Andy

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2011 in Children, Christian Studies, Parenting

 

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