A Question of Emphasis
Science and Math.
These are the subjects that our public schools have
decided require emphasis. Most private schools have
followed in lockstep. Science and math.
Few people today question the importance of studying science
and math. They teach one to think connectedly, in patterns
and sequences resulting in solutions. They help explain the
world we live on, the universe we are a part of. They
are valuable studies. But science and math are not
valuable than a study of history, the arts, or religion.
A horrifying ignorance has been carefully cultivated through
our educational institutions over the past 30 years. Arts
have been systematically "phased out", forcing
parents and students to seek extracurricular answers to
their hunger for that wonder of human expression. Art that
is offered by schools is marginalized. It's "extra
credit", "elective", ill-supported by schools
desperately preparing students to achieve high test
scores...in science and math.
Where will tomorrow's miraculous musicians come from, the
artists, the dancers? As arts training in schools we pay
for with taxes or tuition becomes ever scarcer, only
well-to-do families will be able to support a private,
specialized curriculum for their children. Poorer children
(read "most of our children") will be left with
what they hear on the radio and Internet, what they see on
TV, and will assume that these are the limits of art. There
was no Bach, no Shakespeare. If you don't believe me, ask a
few people under age twenty about classical composers or
great playwrights. Ask how much you yourself learned about
great music, art, theater
Are we truly prepared to set aside as unimportant, our
greatest cultural accomplishments, the heartbeat of
humanity? Our schools, and the poliicos who determine
educational policy, seem determined to do exactly
What of history? It's only the study of how we came to be
as we are, and where we are headed. History teaches
perspective. History tells the great tale of religion, of
faith, of a slow and steady racial climb out of darkness and
toward the light of wisdom and knowledge. A study of
history provides a lasting sense of human accomplishment,
we arrive at the great evil of our nation's selection of
emphasis in curriculum.
If one did not know better, one might assume that our
educational system was intentionally attempting to minimize
man's sense of his own accomplishments, our exalted place in
the scheme of things.
Now why would any government support an educational
system that required students to abandon or never experience
creativity, faith or wisdom, a system grinding life down to
scientific theorems and mathematical axioms? Why indeed,
unless that government has the bizarre intention to have its
young learn only numbers, until the student, knowing only
numbers, must believe he
a number, and
a number. Or to know functions, body functions and
other, until the student believes that's all there is.
After all, what's easier to manipulate than a number?
What's easier to predict than a function?
Teach your children well, teach them math and science. But
equally, teach them history, art and religion. Provide them
a sense of heritage, of their own greatness, to balance the
harsh "truths" of a purely physical and soulless universe.
Connect The Thoughts
Interested in finding out about Connect The Thought's
History courses? Use these links:
ages 5-6, and preliterate students.
ages 7-8, and students developing literacy.
ages 11-High School, and adults.
Here is a great review of our history program, from a mother
"I wanted to share that our family started the Elementary
History course this week, finished through lesson 2. I had
planned on our 6th grader beginning Lower School history,
and was saying to myself as I printed out the Elementary
history that I wished he was younger because the Big Ideas
are indeed core thoughts about history and important to
think about. Well, as I sat with our 5 around the table and
Matthew was listening in, he begged me to allow him to do
the Elementary History with the rest of his siblings as he
found the conversation fascinating. He is our history buff,
and I decided to throw away convention and just let him
learn from the beginning. If it takes us longer to finish
history at the end of his education, who cares? He
will have simply spent another year or so learning more
about his passion.
"We are doing this as a group with open discussion. My
kids could easily do this by themselves, but we like talking
about the ideas so much that it is too much fun to do alone!
I have printed out the curriculum for each child, and then
we took composition books and using them for our writing as
they are sturdy and nothing falls out. I cut smaller pieces
of blank paper for them to draw on for the drawing
assignments, and we are taping them to the pages.
"This is the single best curriculum we have used since
starting homeschooling a year and a half ago. All 5 kids
said in way or another 'Wow, this is making me really
think!'. I love that it is doing exactly that, not just
having them re-read for information to fill in a blank. They
will have a wonderful piece of work when done with each
course, something more akin to a journal than a worksheet
and I can see them all enjoying reading their own thoughts
years later...these will definitely be 'Keepers'.
"I am absolutely thrilled beyond belief to find that
we have our history curriculum solved all the way through
high school. No doubt, this will work for us better than
anything else I have considered.
"Just had to share that this is working even better
than I ever dreamed of!"