The Humanity of Huck Finn

Huckleberry Finn and Jim

Huckleberry Finn is no hero, though he does symbolize the American conscience at the time Mark Twain wrote, or at least the conscience Twain hoped for. Yes, Huckleberry Finn is a coming-of-age tale and a social criticism and satire, but it also asks crucial questions: Who actually changes? What type of American will change?
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On a recent fall afternoon, bright and chilly as it can be in the Midwest, a group of parents in St. Louis had the opportunity for an informal visit from the president of Wyoming Catholic College and his wife, who is an associate professor at the school. The Doctors Arbery — Glenn and Virginia — each brought to the group the approach they take to education at the school, approaches exemplified by those whom they were quoting. Continue reading

Four Pros of Homeschooling

…and 4 Challenges

When deciding whether or not to homeschool your child, it’s important to keep in mind both the positives and negatives of homeschooling.

All parents want what’s best for their children. But when it comes to schooling, the field of choices can be murky and the decisions difficult. Parents don’t always get a close look at what goes on in their kids’ schools, nor can they fully understand the demands of homeschooling until they’ve made the leap. Continue reading

Police seized my clients’ children because they were Homeschooled

In a decision last week, the European Court of Human Rights has undermined its claim to being the “conscience of Europe” and pitted parents against children.

The Wunderlich family wanted to do what thousands of families in America do with no questions asked: educate their children at home.

But homeschooling is not allowed in Germany, and the state has relentlessly pursued the Wunderlichs and even seized their children. Continue reading

Thanks to Their Student Loans, Millennials Expect to Die in Debt

Adulting, the now common idiom, is hard. And to many millennials, the grim realization that debt will always be part of their lives is not making it any easier.

In some cases, their debt load is so soul-crushing they expect to die without ever paying what they owe back. So how much does this problem have to do with the higher-education crisis the country is facing? As it turns out – EVERYTHING! Continue reading

What Are Symbols For?

In 1875, Rev. Moses Drury Hoge stood before 40,000 people in Richmond, Virginia, at the foot of the newly dedicated statue of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, and delivered what one historian called the “noblest oration of his later life.”

He believed that in the future, the path to that statue would be “trodden” by the feet of travelers from “the banks of the Hudson, the Mississippi, [and] the Sacramento…from the Tiber, the Rhine, [and] the Danube.” They would be accompanied by “Honor” and “Freedom,” the twin principles by which Jackson lived and died and which these pilgrims would seek to celebrate. Jackson represented the best of American society and his memorial reminded not just America, but the world, of patriotism, heroism, and duty, the highest traits of Western Civilization and of all dead heroes. Continue reading

Statues are more than a Monument to a single man

As I carefully read and re-read what follows below – I sit in grief tonight – not just for who these images represent – but what they represent… and I mean far greater than the Southern region of this once great land – but in fact – the slow, sad death of the entire nation. I am not just speaking of the Confederate States of America – but the united States of America. Throughout history – no nation nor her people have always been in agreement, but I’ll not take the time to list any for you this day.

I warned though the pages of several of our blogs over the past few years – that the America we thought that we knew – is dead. We have let the enemies of BOTH of our peoples (North and South) enter through the back door and we are losing the war. Those who are destroying the history of the South and America – are not our countrymen. They are ignorant tools of the foreign invaders of which we were warned. The goal of the handlers is the complete annihilation of all that we once were. This has been their goal since 1776. Continue reading

This is how to help children find their moral compass

Photo by Tobias Aeppli

Writing in The Atlantic, Paul Barnwell says that students today have a “broken moral compass” because “The pressures of national academic standards have pushed character education out of the classroom.”

One of the reasons I wrote A Gift of Wonder was to share a picture in which character education is integrated with academics. I discovered that this approach made my lessons engaging and thus made it easier for students to grasp the academic content because they were never bored. Continue reading

Education’ Marches On… To Oblivion

As 2018 wound down, our nation’s colleges and looniversities continued their campaign to bury our civilization under a mountain of idiocy.

At Penn State—where “Coach” Jerry Sandusky practiced pedophilia for umpteen years before they finally caught him in 2011—the resident sages are offering a new “examine relations between gender and agriculture” — that is, Ph. D. candidates — to “examine relations between gender and agriculture,” at the end of which, these suckers – er, students – will become “gender fellows.” Continue reading

Why School Has Nothing to Do With Students

Teachers (have gone) on strike in the Los Angeles school district …

They have plenty of complaints. But what they don’t have is accomplishments.

Only 22% of fourth graders in the district scored proficient in math. Even a typical terrible inner-city school district has a 30% proficient rate.

Since 2003, 245,000 students have left the district in favor of better districts, or charter schools. Continue reading

South Carolina bill would require high school students to take personal finance class

A new bill has reportedly been pre-filed in South Carolina that would require high school students in the state to take a personal finance class.

Under the legislation from Republican state Sen. Luke Rankin, high school students would be required to take at least one half-credit personal finance course and pass a test at the end of the school year in order to graduate, a local ABC station recently reported. Continue reading

New Study Shows That Students Learn More Effectively From Print Textbooks Than Screens

Today’s students see themselves as digital natives, the first generation to grow up surrounded by technology like smartphones, tablets and e-readers.

Teachers, parents and policymakers certainly acknowledge the growing influence of technology and have responded in kind. We’ve seen more investment in classroom technologies, with students now equipped with school-issued iPads and access to e-textbooks. Continue reading

Lysander Spooner: The Anarchist Who Single-Handedly Took on the US Post Office

The story of a man who showed the world how a peaceful, non-governmental system can flourish.

Lysander Spooner

This is a story about a philosopher, entrepreneur, lawyer, economist, abolitionist, anarchist—the list goes on. As his obituary summarizes, “To destroy tyranny, root and branch, was the great object of his life.” Although he is rarely included in mainstream history, Lysander Spooner was an anarchist who didn’t merely preach about his ideas: He lived them. No example illustrates this better than Spooner’s legal battle against the US postal monopoly.

Born in 1808 in Athol, Massachusetts, Lysander Spooner was raised on his parent’s farm and later moved to Worcester to practice law. Eventually, he found himself in New York City, where business was booming—but not for the Post Office. Continue reading

The Cost of Southern Cultural Genocide

The destruction of Confederate monuments and the slandering of all things Confederate is in vogue in contemporary mainline media, academia, and the political establishment. The destruction of Confederate monuments by radical mobs is similar to the radical Taliban’s destruction of Buddhist monuments and the Soviet Union’s denial of public expressions of native culture in the Baltic states—all are examples of cultural genocide.[1] Standard American history as written by the victors in the so-called “Civil War” supports and encourages Southern cultural genocide. As noted by Southern historian Grady McWhiney, “What passes as standard American history is really Yankee history written by New Englanders or their puppets to glorify Yankee heroes and ideals.” Continue reading

A Perfect Solution to the Statue-Toppling Problem

Schools ought to teach history, not protest it.

A number of teachers at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill have pledged to withhold more than 2,000 grades in protest over the university’s plans to house “Silent Sam” in a separate on-campus building. Silent Sam is a statue of a Confederate soldier that stood in the quad at the university until students illegally toppled it earlier this year. Continue reading

Allsup: What Teachers Need And Aren’t Getting

This is the big issue in education that nobody is talking about. I wrote this Post for Scary Mommy in September of 2017 about public school teachers losing professional autonomy. ~ K.A.

They will be extinct by 2033 if the current rate of loss continues.

Like most endangered creatures, their habitat is threatened. When you were a child they were present in every city and town in the United States, but now their world has changed. They can be found only in rare, hospitable environments.

I’m not talking about polar bears, the red wolf, or the pygmy rabbit. The endangered ones I speak of here are not four-legged animals, but an important category of educators: teachers with a high level of professional freedom. Continue reading