Monday, October 15, 2012

IndoctriNation Review - Views From Both Sides

 IndoctriNation Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity

This was a very, very hard review for me to write because well I have two views about what the book and movie IndoctriNation discuss. 

The book IndoctriNation is a companion to the documentary IndoctriNation. Before I share with you my thoughts here are some details from the publisher about the 384 page book.

Why a growing number of parents choose not to send their children to public school.
The companion book to the award-winning documentary “IndoctrinNation”, this eye-opening book includes:
  • An unforgettable introduction by a father who lost his son in the Columbine school massacre — “I put him in a pagan school where they teach there is no God.”
  • 12 common reasons people give not to homeschool — and the manageable reality of this educational alternative
  • Revealing, firsthand accounts of Christian educators working in public schools — sharing the struggles they face in a hostile system
  • The classroom anti-Christian ideologies from humanism, marxism, utopianism, educational psychology, and more confronting students in public schools today
Look behind the comfortable myths of an educational system actively at work to alter your child’s moral values, worldview, and religious beliefs. Learn the history and philosophy of public school education — and discover it is based on neither Christian nor American values. Explore the biblical principles regarding education — and who is ultimately responsible for our children’s future.

Okay now here are my thoughts, stories and review...
I have not finished the book yet. I read about 2 chapters and skimmed through some of the end chapters. I apologize for not getting through the book but as I said I am having a hard time. These are my thoughts, this post took me quite sometime to write and as I was writing it help was pouring in through people I met at a Saturday outing, my husband, online friends and the internet as I was searching for resources for our mythology unit study.

Is this a good book? Yes. Should every parent read it? Yes. Will it possibly offend you if you don't homeschool? Yes. Will it open your eyes to things going on in the public school system you didn't know where? Yes. Does every Christian need to pull their child out of public school?  No I don't think so and this is where my struggle comes in with the book.

Quote from the book: "As a parent, you know your child's hear better than anyone. No school teacher or administration can determine the motives for obedience inside this heart more accurately than you. When the lord blessed you with a child, He also gave you the precious responsibility to disciple your little one in a way that is guided by His Word. As our Lord Jesus, the great teacher, taught His disciples. you are called to teach your children (Deut 6:7) It is your role as Christian parents to give your children training that corrects, molds, and perfects their mental faculties and moral character in a way that glorifies the King of kings. Sarah LaVendiere (pg 90) 

There were many aspects to the book and movie I liked and there were some I didn't. I could see many Christians who don't homeschool getting very upset after reading IndoctriNation. Feeling like unloving, failures as parents for putting their kids on the big yellow bus. But there were some things my eyes were opened too that I didn't know were going on in schools today that made me happy we homeschool.   Like birth control pills being handed out without parents consent. Heck even if the parents approached administrators, the administrators did not have to tell the parents whether or not their daughter obtained birth control pills while at school. I also agreed with the majority of the statements about ADD/ADHD being over diagnosed and children being over medicated because educators just don't want to "deal" with the children who don't fit the "mold."

Quote from the book: "The prescribing of behavior modifying substances is probably the largest uncontorlled drug experiment in the history of the World." Dr. Bruce Shortt (pg 41)

But I don't believe that removing all Christian children from public or private schools is the answer. There are two things that I personally feel need fixed which would in turn help our schools greatly 1) the government running the schools (which the book does discuss a little) and 2) parenting.

Now here is where I may upset some people. I agree that Church and State run schools need some separation after all not everyone is a Christian and our country is known for being open to all religions and races unlike some countries. However I do feel God and Christianity still need to be mentioned in history and social studies classes. Children should be able to be taught the truth about our country's history which will definitely bring up God and Christian beliefs without offense being taken because that is historically accurate information. And the Pledge of Allegiance needs to always contain God because our country was founded under God. And if evolution is being taught as a theory/truth then Creation should also be able to be taught as well as a theory/truth. Students should be given all information and be able to formulate their own opinions rather than being told only way way of thinking. And if other religions are going to be taught in school Christianity, The Bible, The Creation Story, etc should also be able to be discussed as well. It seems to me there is a lot of contradiction. Why is it okay to only discuss evolution and not Creation? Evolution theories may offend Christians. And if a Christian child speaks up in class or draws a picture of Adam and Eve as the first humans on Earth they should be aloud to do so without being condemned for it. True story: I got told I needed to redraw a picture in World Social Studies after drawing Adam and Eve as the first people on Earth. But I stood up for my beliefs and refused to draw an ape looking man. And I got an A.  It is called freedom of speech and freedom religion. People will always be offended and not happy with others beliefs, thoughts, etc.  And if children and teachers wish to pray, read their Bible etc during school they should not be reprimanded. After all it is their freedom of religion right? While searching for materials to use for our mythology unit study I came across this article from TIME magazine. It was written in 2007 and is called The Case For Teaching The Bible and it is talking about in the public school. The article has some great points many which I agree with. I hope that more schools begin to offer elective courses on the Bible.  Here is a quote from the article "SIMPLY PUT, THE BIBLE IS THE MOST influential book ever written. Not only is the Bible the best-selling book of all time, it is the best-selling book of the year every year." How great would that be if every high school could offer elective courses on the Bible?  Its a great way to bring God back into the school without forcing particular beliefs on someone (because they are electives not requirements).

Here is some of my story and explains some of the reasons why I feel the way I do...
I grew up in the public school system. Many of my days were filled with tears. I got picked on and beat up. I didn't belong in a clique, I was a loner and I was a Christian (big time wierdo). I remember sitting on my balcony of my city row up (just up the street from my high school) crying and asking God why? I often begged my parents to homeschool  me or move to another school district. But I remained. I made it through elementary and Jr high to the very large urban high School in my city. My senior class had about 500 students and Caucasian kids were the minority. The high school had huge problems drugs, teenage pregnancy (even had a daycare), shootings, teacher/student relations. If you name every bad thing it went on there. Want to see some stats on my high school click here.

In 1999 I graduated as an Honor Society student with a 4.0. And now I sit here, looking back, realizing I NEEDED to be there to be "salt and light." I started Bible club at my Jr high and high school, handed out Bible tracts at Christmas and prayed at the pole. I even prayed out loud during school hours. I often carried my Bible in my arms along with other books. And I never got in trouble from school officials. Even though I didn't really belong in a clique I was would befriend anyone including those in cliques. I (as well as my brother) always seemed to attract troubled souls. We both had  a knack for helping others (except for my brother got sucked in and got into trouble, lots of it). I had friends who I talked through not committing suicide, having abortions, doing drugs, etc. I actually became friends with several of these individuals on Facebook over the last few years and love seeing them speaking out loud about God, their religion, asking for prayers, etc. I cannot help but ask myself would they be here today with their wonderful families if I hadn't been there to help them through dark times?

Don't get me wrong I was not completely innocent. I did some bad things that I needed to ask forgiveness for. I lied to my parents, went places I was not supposed to, etc. But I did manage to keep away from the very bad things. I never smoked a cigarette, did drugs, had sex and never dated while in school. My brother was not so strong and got sucked in. He struggled with school grades, got into serious trouble and lost his path. But I am happy to say that he found his way and is an amazing man (special thanks to the USA Marines for helping him). One thing that I think helped me (and my brother) the most was our upbringing. Remember I mentioned above that parenting needs to be changed? Well without parents who cared for us as they did. Who were there for us when we needed them. Who cared about what we were learning in school and helped us with school work. Who guided us in our Christian beliefs. We would not have turned out the way we did and be where we are today!  My parents never gave up on my brother. They showed him they loved him despite his bad choices and told him they would always be there for him and love him. Parenting is severely in need of change and under attack no matter how your child is educated. And these issues are in both Christian and non-Christian homes. Children whether homeschooled or public school mimic what they see going on at home. 

Quote from the book:  "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6 (pg 40)

Now I was disappointed throughout school with my education. It was mediocre. I didn't really enjoy learning. My classes were not challenging and I often slept in my classes. My junior year I took AP classes and felt a little more challenge but still not what I desired. I couldn't explore my passions and interests. That 4.0 I mentioned was not earned it was practically given to me.

Then there is my husband. His education was quite mixed and consisted of homeschool, Christian school, Mennonite school and public school. He has seen all sides and despite a very rough, abusive childhood his best and most enjoyable education was received during his homeschool years Christian and Mennonite school were his worst.

So as you know we made the choice to homeschool. And here is why....

All parents need to think hard about their children's education. After weighing pros and cons based on our past experiences and current issues in our schools OUR choice was to homeschool and we hope to homeschool all the way through high school. We choose to homeschool but I will never judge anyone who doesn't. Parents who send their children to public school have their reasons too. Most of the time those reasons are financial, lack of spousal support or they just don't have faith they can do it. And I think that's okay. There NEEDS to be strong warriors both students and teachers in our schools.

We made the choice to homeschool primarily because we feel that the education in our public schools is not adequate, at least here in Georgia. And we want our children to be able to follow their interests and have a love for learning. I have family and friends whose children go to public school and I see their children primarily being taught how to pass state exams (even in Kindergarten). They come home with way too much homework which cuts into what little family time they have. They get very little socialization. And then there are the various things they are being taught that I don't agree with. We do also homeschool because of our Christian faith. Since we do not attend Church our children only learn about God, The Bible and our faith from us, their parents (well and some of their friends). If they were in public school they would have very little opportunity to learn about our faith. And yes I do worry about their safety how could you not when you read all the things going on now in the schools (and knowing what I went through in school which was noted above). And after all they are my children. I gave birth to them and they are my responsibility to raise not a strangers.The public education system does need some major changes and that will come one day when our government realizes what is important when it comes to educating children (Hint: it has nothing to do with test scores and money). 

Quote from the book (I disagree with this one because what if God is calling you to send your children to public school are you not being obedient and trusting him?): "Don't homeschool for negative reasons. Do it out of simple obedience to God." Isreal Wayne (pg 315)

So to sum it all up because most of this may just sound like crazy ramblings...
To homeschool or not to homeschool that is the question?  And parents need to decide what is best for their family and their children whether its public, private, charter or homeschool. Who is right? Who is wrong? We will never know. God does have a special plan for everyone. It may be he needs "special" children in public school to change the paths of others. If every single Christian pulled their kids out of public school and Christian teachers all left I think our country would be even worse than it is. But homeschooled children can also be great witnesses as well to others. If choose to homeschool does it mean your children turn out perfect, stay out of trouble, be more intelligent, be guaranteed to be faithful to God? Maybe and maybe not. Read this great series at HSBA Post called Myth of the Perfect Homeschool Family (4 parts). What kind of education do you wish for your children to have? Do you want them to be educated according to standards? Then public school may be the right choice. Do you want them follow their interests and have a love for learning? Then homeschool may be the way to go.  Each family must make decisions they feel is right for them and no one (even a book) can judge your decisions. Only God can make judgments and how your child is educated will not be judged. It is a child's heart that will be judged. Are you a unloving parent for sending your child to public school? No. If your children are in public school I encourage you to raise them to be strong. Teach them right from wrong, be there for them, be part of their lives and education and teach them the truths. And I strongly believe they will grown up to be strong, smart, amazing people, with a love for God.

Quote from the book: "Pray for God's guidance in your family. Always be ready to go through the refining fire that God brings into your lives. The process is sometimes just as important to God as the end result. He wants us to learn to love Him on the way to perfection. Homeschooling isn't always a guarantee that your family will be successful, but trusting in the Lord is. If we trust Him, and lean not on our own understanding, He will direct our paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6) Isreal Wayne (pg 319)

My plea is to make a list of pros and cons about homeschooling, read some great books about homeschoooling and public schooling (like IndoctiNation) and decide what is best for YOUR FAMILY. Don't forget to pray about it too. Only God knows what is right for your children and he will guide you to make the right choice as their parents. 

Quote from the book: "In closing, I can only plead with you as a parent to take charge of your child's education. For some, this will mean homeschooling; for others a private school; and for those in public school, it will mean working closely with teachers, school boards, and administrators to monitor what is happening in your child's life. These are no easy answers, but our children are our most important possession. God has not only entrusted the body of your child to your care, but also his/her soul. We cannot let our public educators take over the hearts of those who are most vulnerable and precious to us. If ever parents must be courageous, it is now." Lutzer (pg 236) 

Oh and don't let money be a reason to NOT homeschool. I thought that would be our excuse but we have been getting by just fine since I quite my job in July 2011 (we were always a 2 income family before then). Granted we also had a strange blessing when we lost our home and had to also file bankruptcy 3 yrs ago. Had that not happened our goal to homeschool would have been much harder to reach. We have purchased very little homeschool curriculum. Most of what we use is FREE or has been won through giveaways. The other items we receive are from the reviews I do on my blog. It can be done.

Quote from the book: "It has been said that our checkbooks reveal where our treasure is. It is also fair to say that our daily calendars reflect where our passions and priorities lie. What we sow now, in time, money, and energy, we surely impact that which we and our families reap later." D'Escoto (pg 302)
a Book & a Bite: Facebook Party

What: Mom's of Master Books Facebook Party

When: October 18th at 9pm EST

Why: To discuss IndoctriNation
with the authors, editors, & producers 

Master Books will give away copies of the book as well as other new Creation inspired education resources for families and gift certificates. 

**If you are unfamiliar with how to attend a Facebook party see the graphic below. Remember the party is on the Master Books Facebook page. And don't worry if you still don't understand how to join the party, several of the Moms of Master Books will be there to offer guidance and support. Just show up at the Master Books Facebook page and we will walk you through it!**

Links to follow:
-IndcotriNation Website
-IndoctriNation on Facebook
-IndoctriNation on Twitter
-IndoctriNation Video Trailer

Where to buy:
You can purchase the IndoctriNation book and/or movie at New Leaf Publishing. The book is $14.99, the documentary is $19.95 and the combo package is $29.99. The eBook Kindle version is only $4.99 right now.

Read more reviews here:

*Disclaimer - I received a copy of IndoctriNation in return for this post. I was not compensated for my reviews and all opinions are our own! Many of the links found on my side bars and in my blog posts are affiliate links. As a result, I might get paid money and I will most likely spend the money on homeschool supplies.


MomsMustardSeeds said...

Kathy, I think this is one of your very best reviews.ever.period. GREAT job on providing the facts, your opinion and your testimony. It's so important to weigh all information and understand that we are all in different parts of our journey!

Jen G said...

You know our place in this journey doesn't have to be the same for us to be friends?! I love that you are open and honest... and most of all... real! Thank you for sharing your heart in this post to your readers. It is important that they see where you are at and where your opinions come from... you expressed that well. Keep doing what you are doing.... growing in Him!

Dawn said...

I've had the movie Indoctrination for over a year. I am glad to read your thoughts, as many are similar to my own after viewing the movie several times. Thank you for being honest and keeping it real.

Jennifer Miller said...

You have a powerful testimony. God obviously used you for His glory where you were, living for Him while attending public school. I didn't attend public school, but in public college didn't have your strength. I agree, there are many sides to this very controversial topic. And yes, God can use us wherever we are.

Haelie said...

Excellent, honest review, Kathy!!! Thank you!!!

Holly Syx said...

Kathy, This is such a great thorough review. Your perspective is definitely unique, and I loved reading your story! And that last quote from D'escoto - Awesome! I really can't wait to read this book.

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