Category: Achieve Written by Elev8
How much exposure to death do we let our children see? The children who were just babies are now coming home and asking, “Who is Osama bin Laden?” “What do we care about Qadafi?”“What was 9/11?” “Why did he need to die?” This raises several questions.
How much should we protect our children from the nativities and realities they will face out in the world? Did schools have the responsibility of teaching current events or to discuss bin Laden? And how can Christian parents explain why the man had to die, when the Bible appears to condemn murder and tells us to love our enemies?
Learning about horrific world events: School, home or church responsibility? After Bin Laden’s death, The Associated Press syndicated a story about how schools across the country were taking time to explain September 11-related topics to the youngest students who would have no recollection. What about slightly older students? Parents with children in public school may or may not know that in the late 1990s, “Outcome Based Education” and “Goals 2000” were established by the U.S. Department of Education as a part of national curriculum. Within the 50 states, various aspects of these guidelines are being employed.
Two main aspects of the program are “feeling based” learning and what’s become known as “social conditioning” in the classroom. Sometimes, it even takes precedent over subject-based learning. Simply put, its premise is that children will be better citizens if they learn how to navigate and react in a global society. But ironically, this very thing can prevent them from learning enough about terrorist attacks.
Valuing diversity and being non-judgmental is now a huge part of classroom curriculum. It is sprinkled throughout lessons on other topics, along with the “everyone gets a trophy” theory and the reluctance of schools to give students failing grades on the grounds that it can wound students’ egos. U.S. students have fallen behind those in other countries in major subjects, partly due to classroom time spent on aspects of political correctness; and partly due to federal testing guidelines that force teachers to drill memorization instead of knowledge, so that schools can look good after tests like the FCATs.
Subjects not getting enough attention include math, history, science and American civics, the latter tying into why students may not know much about what happened on 9/11. I am always stunned into silence by my student’s lack of basic education in school. When speaking to high school and college students as to how uninformed they are about world events, and their lack of critical thinking on them. They’re quite informed about cultural events (movies, cell phones, etc.) but not when it comes to important world events.
I grew up in a family where the news was watched and discussed. I don’t believe this is common anymore. Americans have become increasingly absorbed in their own lives and don’t see the importance of paying attention and developing a Christian worldview on the news. The government educational system – the politically correct, non-objective way of teaching – either ignores ‘potentially offensive’ subjects like this or raises more questions than answers by making sure students see the validity of the ‘other side’s perspective.”
Here are some fast facts:
In September 2010, the National Center for Education Statistics put out their 2006-2007 results. Out of 36 countries, U.S. students were behind 12 countries, including some we consider third-world or tyrannically governed.
The Intercollegiate Studies Institute did a two-year study in 2006 and 2007, “Americans Fail a Basic Test on Their History and Institutions.” ISI interviewed approximately 14,000 students at a variety of U.S schools with 60 questions on American heritage. The average individual score both years was 51.7 to 54.2 percent correct answers.
If these tests were done prior to the practice of not giving anyone a failing grade, these students would have received an “F” in school and would not have passed a basic American history course. In those days, a grade of 60-65 was considered barely passing (“D”).
With schools failing to educate students on history and how world events can impact them, Christian parents and church leaders may want to take on the responsibility to teach their children, especially when such events as the killing of bin Laden raise moral and theological questions.
Was bin Laden’s death murder? Was it wrong?
One of the Ten Commandments listed in Exodus 20 is “thou shalt not murder.” In the Hebrew language, “murder” has a different translation than “kill.” Murder means to spill innocent blood. Christian parents may want to teach this difference to children and teens, while also discussing the need to love all people, show understanding, display the fruit of the Spirit as stated in Galatians 5:22, and learn that vengeance is the Lord’s. We have a fine line to walk.
What do you think?
Last Updated on Monday, 18 March 2013 19:21
Category: Achieve Written by Oretha Winston, elev8.com
Carlsson-Paige is professor emerita at Lesley University, where she taught for 30 years. Her newest book is Taking Back Childhood: A Proven Roadmap for Raising Confident, Creative, Compassionate Kids.
In 2010, Carlsson-Paige was one of over 500 early childhood experts who signed a petition warning that Common Core would be harmful to young children.
The Common Core standards do not reflect the “development characteristics and needs of young children. They are imposing expectations on young children that are inappropriate in a variety of ways,” she said.
Make sure to read our report from last year, "Is Your Child’s Education Improving Under New 'Common Core'?"
One of the main problems, Carlsson-Paige believes, is the Common Core requires K-3 children to “learn specific content, facts and skills at certain ages.” But children, especially young children, develop at different rates. To get children to learn the same things at the same time, teachers must “drill them,” which has resulted in “an enormous increase in direct teaching and direct instruction.”
In states that have embraced the Common Core, the direct instruction is replacing proven techniques that early childhood education experts advocate.
“The direct instruction has replaced hands on, active learning and play, which really are the bedrock, or cornerstone activities of early childhood that really solidify learning,” Carlsson-Paige explained. “Children learn through active engagement and play in the early years. Skilled teachers know how to connect skills appropriately to play as they see what children are doing and where they are on the developmental spectrum.”
The direct instruction is damaging to children, she said, because it encourages children to believe that “the information is outside of themselves, rather than they have a capacity construct it from within.
“All of these messages are very damaging. Many children are feeling a sense of failure in early classrooms because they are being asked to learn things they can’t understand easily and they can’t make sense of.”
The Common Core State Standards were not developed by the federal government. They were written by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.States adopted the Common Core as part of the “Race to the Top” initiative from the Department of Education. States competed for education dollars by showing how they would change their education system. To compete for the Race to the Top funds.
Last Updated on Monday, 11 March 2013 15:38
Category: Achieve Written by Elev8.com
With an ever growing problem of debt in this country, it is vital for us as parents to break this vicious cycle. We need to take the time to teach our children just how important money is and how they need to use it. If you want your children to be financially independent as adults, then there are vital lessons they should learn growing up. Here are some tips in how to teach kids the importance of money.
Introduce money at a young age- As soon as a child can count, then they should be introduced to money. It may be as easy as just telling them what money is and what we do with it. Answer any questions they may have about money. Children definitely learn by observation and repetition. These are great ways for your children to grasp anything you are teaching them.
Talk about money- Every time money is involved, you have a great opportunity to teach your children the values of money and how to use it. Don’t overwhelm them by always talking about money, but make sure that you portray the importance of it and teach them the wisdom that you have learned throughout the years so they will less likely make your mistakes. Every time you purchase something at the store, invest, or donate, this can be an opportune time to teach your children something about your values.
Communicate-Communicate with children about your values concerning money. Help them learn the differences between needs, wants, and wishes. If you can teach these crucial lessons, then this will prepare them for making good spending decisions in the future.
Set goals-Setting goals is essential to learning the value of money and saving. Most people rarely reach goals they haven’t set. For every toy or other item that your child may ask for can become a perfect time for a goal-setting session. Goal-setting helps children learn to become responsible for themselves.
Open a bank account-Around ten years old or sooner, you should teach your kids the importance of a bank account. At this age, kids are old enough to have a real bank account. Make sure to explain how banks work so your child doesn’t get worried that his money is disappearing and they will never see it again. Taking your child to the bank to open an account is a simple way to introduce them to saving money. Your child will learn how savings accounts work, and they will enjoy taking their money to the bank to make deposits. You can even open an online account with them.
Teach investing- Teach your child how saving and investing works. Have your child save at home and calculate the interest and see how fast money accumulates through the power of compound interest. Later, they will realize that the quickest way to a good credit rating is a history of regular, successful savings. Some parents even offer to match what children save on their own.
Pay for optional chores- Everyone in the family should have chores to do to help complete the work that needs to be done around the house. It is good to pay your children so they can have money to work with to learn these valuable lessons. If you want to pay your children, only pay them for optional work that you assign them if they want.
Keeping good records-Show your children how to keep good records of money saved, invested, or spent. This is another important skill that young people must learn. If they don’t ever keep track of the money they are spending then they will eventually get into major financial trouble. Show your children how to keep receipts from all purchases in a safe place and keep notes on what they do with their money.
Last Updated on Friday, 08 March 2013 12:56
Category: Achieve Written by Nick Chiles
I admit that I got a little thrill when I read about the lengths the Obama’s went to make sure there were no pictures sent out into the world showing their daughters in bathing suits.
As the father of two daughters roughly the same age as Malia and Sasha, I can attest to that numbing feeling of shock I got when I woke up one day and realized that my 13-year-old daughter, who in most ways still very much has the mindset of a young adolescent, is now viewed by the rest of the world—and the males in that world—as a woman.
Every day, as I see her walking out my front door with the earrings and the cute little outfits and the bounce in her dreads, this realization slams me all over again, making me want to go invest in a store full of overalls to shelter her from prying male eyes.
The Obama’s were vacationing in Hawaii and happened to be on the beach at the same time as Jessica Simpson, who is a paparazzi obsession. According to Celebuzz.com, as one of the creepy photogs aimed his camera lens in Jessica’s direction, he realized that he was viewing the Obama girls, in bikinis, without their parents. So he snapped away—until he found himself confronted with Secret Service agents. But they didn’t snatch his camera away and smash it up like Sonny Corleone in “The Godfather.” No, the next steps were really classy, just like the Obama’s. The agents simply checked the photographer’s identification and went on their way. But when the photographer sent out pictures of the Obama girls through his agency’s wire, he got a letter on White House letterhead requesting that the images not be released—and pointing out that other media had been respecting these requests.
Oh, what I could do with an entire government agency of armed federal officers tasked with the job of keeping prying eyes—and curious dudes—away from my girls! And a press office intent on making sure no one will ever run pictures of them or write anything remotely negative about them.
Obama acknowledged as much on one of the late night talk shows last year. When asked whether he was worried about his girls becoming young ladies, the president said he has a whole force of guys with guns to make sure boys stay away from them. I think he was only half joking. But I felt him.
The fact is that parents need every bit of help we can get to keep our girls from growing up too early. And we certainly don’t get any assistance from pop culture, which seems dedicated to inappropriately sexualizing girls too fast.
Everywhere you turn, you’re bombarded with these uncomfortable images, from “Toddlers and Tiaras,” which covers the tiny faces of the toddlers with excessive makeup and their bodies in ridiculously racy clothes—this is the show that gave the world Honey Boo Boo—to the scary momager moves of Kris Jenner, the genius behind the creation of America’s sex kitten, Kim Kardashian. Mrs. Jenner now has directed her attention to turning her two youngest daughters, Kendall, 17, and Kylie, 15, into the next generation of Kardashian sex goddesses—and in the process sending out the clear message to every young girl in America that sexualizing herself is the quickest path to riches.
As the perfect counterpoint, we offer this lovely anecdote told by Muhammad Ali’s beautiful daughter Hana, who co-authored the 2004 book, “More Than a Hero: Muhammad Ali’s Life Lessons Presented Through His Daughter’s Eyes”:
“When we finally arrived, the chauffeur escorted my younger sister, Laila, and me up to my father’s suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. We exchanged many hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day. My father took a good look at us. Then he sat me down on his lap and said something that I will never forget.
He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold?
Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You’ve got to work hard to get to them.” He looked at me with serious eyes. “Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered, too.”
This is a sentiment all of us—parents and daughters—should all hold close to our hearts at all times: Our girls are more precious than diamonds and pearls.
Editor’s Note: Author Nick Chiles is a regular contributor to mybrownbaby.com and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, is the author of eight books, including the New York Times bestselling tome The Blueprint: A Plan for Living Above Life’s Storms, co-written with gospel legend Kirk Franklin.
Chiles recent efforts to call attention to the plight of the poor and its impact on children raised attention and awareness of many, including former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. We’re proud of your efforts man!
Last Updated on Friday, 22 February 2013 14:50
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