Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Just another homeschool morning

My children are technically homeschoolers who attend school on a part-time basis. The mornings are when we do our focused schoolwork. It's startling how much children can learn when they apply themselves and aren't distracted by their classmates.

Today's math and history are done (the 1930s were so "depressing"...ba-dum-dum). Dd13 was struggling to have enough breath on a new trumpet piece, so today she watched two videos on trumpet playing breathing from the Lincoln Center. Now she's smiling over her reading of "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" from her composition textbook. Dd10 keeps talking my ear off about people like Thomas Edison and Marion Anderson--no, I hadn't known she could sing every voice part from bass to soprano--and is now happily playing the harp upstairs. Dd8 and dd5 finished reading/writing/math/etc. and are working on the Suzuki "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" on their violins together; they want to do a concert tonight along with dd3, who is playing the toy electric pink plastic guitar that I usually keep out of reach because it's obnoxious.

I've been very pleased with the results of using the Story of the World four-volume history set as our homeschool history "spine." Dd13's history teacher at school says she knows so much history that he doesn't have to use Google when she is in the classroom because he can always count on her to know something when the rest of the class is coming up dry as to answers.

I've also been pleased to have avoided the miseducation of my children in several areas of social studies. To judge by the rhetoric coming out of US college students right now, it's apparent that they've been taught that slavery was a uniquely American evil perpetrated only by white men against black people. That's manifestly false to anyone who's got just a basic understanding of world history. Or even religion. Two nights ago at bedtime, I was reading a Bible parable to my children that started like this:

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
21Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? 22Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
23Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:33Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

No races mentioned. That's because slavery is an ancient and world-encircling practice, for it is taking people's labor without respect for their individual freedom. And people have been taking things unjustly from others for pretty much forever.

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