08 Sep Teaching our Children the Truth
As another school year begins, the pressure to know exactly what our children are being taught, and how to counterbalance revisionist history takes me back to my own educational experiences. My American Government teacher had very strong and vocal opinions. He loved to force his ideas down our throats, and mocked those who tried to express differing opinions. Looking back, it seems ludicrous for a teacher to not encourage youth to think for themselves, let alone belittle those who tried.
Thankfully, I had a secret weapon in my arsenal in the form of my dad. From the time I was a child, our dinner table discussions centered around the Revolutionary War and the greatness of our Founding Fathers. We celebrated every American holiday and battle anniversary. Little bite size pieces of history in the form of stories to go along with my mom’s home-cooked meals. Politics and moral beliefs just seemed to flow into us with stories of the Swamp Fox and the Battle of Bunker Hill. An amazing array of truths that built my self esteem and ability to converse on subjects that were beyond my fellow students’ reservoir of knowledge. Needless to say, my teacher didn’t like my version of history.
Knowledge of our country’s founding is a deeper reflection of who we have become as a nation. As schools continue to disparage our Constitution and those who fought for our freedoms, we see children that grow into adults who devalue freedom. They don’t understand the basics of our government and it’s worth, and don’t see or care that these God-given freedoms are being taken away. Religion, now an evil byword, was so interconnected in the lives of these great men of the past that there was no thought of separating “church and state” the way we use it today. Most people quote Thomas Jefferson as having written these words into the Constitution, which he wasn’t even a part of creating. In truth, they were penned in a simple letter answering a reverend who was worried about government trying to overstep their bounds and control religion. Not the other way around.
What can be done?
My parents believed that they had a duty to their nation to battle the untruths that were taught us in school. It can be as easy as telling our children stories of the past. Whether from our collective history, or personal ancestral history, stories bind us to one another. They teach virtues imperative to our future familial and political success as individuals and as a country. The value of dinnertime around the table is self-evident. Think how much more enriching to learn and discuss stories of faith, valor, and the effects of making the right decisions. We will be raising statesman that can recognize, understand, and stand up for truth.
Start small. Determine one day a week that will work as history night. Collect stories and tell them to your children. Discuss them and how they relate to our day. As a family you will become more appreciative of the freedoms you have been given, and more desirous to help make this country a better place.
I wish you all a hearty appetite.