Friday, October 2, 2009

Super Powers 101: Shining Your Light

I have several friends who have chosen to home-school their children for various reasons. One in particular is very passionate about protecting her kids from the evil influences of public school. I can clearly see her point.

A few years ago my 6 year old first grader came home with some very graphic stories about sex. I am not talking "where babies come from" kind of stuff either. I was horrified. When I spoke with her teacher about it she said "oh, it's no big deal, kids this age talk about sex all the time. They are just trying to act grown up." I started giving her the details of what my child had said and she looked a little green.

She tried to throw it back at me, that maybe I had misunderstood or that my child had gotten it from somewhere else, not from her "perfect" learning environment. Fortunately the school counselor was there to act as a buffer before any blood was spilled. Besides, the damage was already done. My child's innocence was gone. She could not unlearn the detailed, pornographic images her classmates had described. Fortunately, they did fade over time.

This experience opened my eyes to just how far our society has gone from having a moral conscience. I was shocked at how many of these very young children were not being protected from such lasciviousness, in some cases the parents intentionally exposed them in a misguided attempt to educate them.

Despite my extreme disappointment, I found myself unexpectedly encouraged. For months my daughter had been telling me about the "gross things" her classmates were talking about. We had discussed what to do and she had some success with getting them to change their topic of discussion. I had not expected the "gross things" to be quite so gross but I was proud of my daughter for recognizing that what she heard was wrong. I was even more impressed with her determination to stand up to her friends, at times alienating herself.

I can understand the desire to protect your children from the plethora of filth and wickedness that is in the world today. But I hesitate to cloister them. I prefer to teach them the things they need to know, arming them with a solid set of morals, then sending them into the world where they can get practical experience in living those morals. It will not get easier with age. Sooner or later they WILL have their morals tested. I don't want it to be when they are grown and living across the country, suddenly free and exposed to "real" life for the first time.

I also think, "what about the kids who have are neglected, who are not being taught any morals?" It may seem like sending your kids to the lions but it may be that they will rescue someone else from those jaws of spiritual death.


Amy said...

i have goosebumps!!!

A. Davies said...

I've been hearing so much about this kind of stuff in the news.
It's not just the other kids that you need to protect your children from now though.. it's the adults as well. With so many of the teachers and staff at school even being prosecuted for inappropriate conduct with students, amongst other reasons I decided to homeschool our kids once they reach junior high age. My parents decided just before I went into 8th grade to Homeschool us growing up and even though I originally had chosen not to homeschool my children, things have escalated so much in recent years, that I think I probaly will once they reach Junior High age.
During our most recent Stake Conference, one of the speakers quoted someone, I don't remember whom, but it was said directly to our youth and this is what they said: "stand alone if you must". They said some other things, but that stood out so strongly to me that I intend to make a little plaque with that saying and put that up in each of my kids' rooms.