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Comments about ‘From the Homefront: 6 ways we dumb down our children — and how to stop’

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Published: Wednesday, March 13 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Danny Chipman
Lehi, UT

Great article! I would just rephrase the last point--talk WITH them instead of just TO them. Actually stop to listen to what they have to say; show them how a real conversation takes place. Too often I find myself just dishing out the orders ("put on your shoes, brush your teeth, set the table", etc.) but have found I have much less resistance when I treat them respectfully as human beings and elicit and listen to their input.

TeaPublican
Houston, TX

Well let's add the 7th way: keeping your children in public schools! Pat Robertson, one of the faces of our Republican Party, says that liberals are using public schools just like Communists in Russia and China used prison camps: “If people won’t accept it, the Russians were willing to put them in gulags; the Chinese have been willing to put them in prisons. Here in America, the liberals think they’ve got them in school and they want to indoctrinate them and force them into a mindset that is contrary to what their parents believe.” No way are any of these public schools or their teachers ever going to get the support of our Republican Party! These public schools are trying to trying to turn our own children against us! Stand up and be a true American Patriot and stop these schools in their tracks! Don't dumb down your children. Get them out of public education! We TeaPublicans will take back America in 2014 and 2016 and we WILL take back our public schools too!

GiuseppeG
Murray, Utah

Hi Danny, the last one: "Talk to them instead of with them" is the example of how we dumb our kids down. So it doesn't need to be rephrased, but I agree with the importance of re-emphasizing its importance.

Also, it would be good if we model as adults the behavior we want to develop in our kids. IE...we TELL them it's wrong to be a bully. However, often we accept BULLYING behavior from bosses at work and even go so far as to encourage that type of behavior as desirable for executive promotion as indicative of a "get things done" kind of person. Point 5: We can TELL them that learning shouldn't stop when they exit red brick buildings, but we SHOW them that other forms of learning are meaningless when the slip of paper they get by going into significant debt in higher learning institutions is the only learning that counts to get a job.

GeoMan
SALEM, OR

Danny,
The list was of 6 ways that parents dumb-down their children. Thus, the statement that we "talk to them instead of with them." The point being made by the author was the same one you are making, we should seldom just "talk at them." We should often "talk with them."
It is funny (or sad?), but my wife and I are often viewed as being "inadequate" parents for following the advice given in this article. I highly recommend the advice in the article, but send with it a warning that society does not look approvingly on those following this advice. Be forewarned of the backlash.

Osgrath
Provo, UT

TeaPublican, I really don't care what y'all do down in Texas, but stay away from Utah. Utahns may be conservative but they are not stupid. Public schools since Horace Mann have made American society strong; there is no liberal conspiracy to turn children against their parents, and if there were, the teachers would have no part of it. I learned most of my patriotic feelings from public school teachers: my parents were both public school teachers with high moral principles and politically conservative leanings, as are almost all the public teachers I know.

What I am not in favor of is all the best and brightest going to private schools, building an elitist society as a dichotomy to the rest of society. And clearly a whole lot of people are not qualified to home school their kids. Public schools are a very important component of a free and productive America.

crawfordzoo
Barstow, CA

Osgrath, sometimes I think Utahns live in a bubble and you don't realize how blessed you are. Since this is a Utah paper, TeaPublican should probably tone it down a bit, but I have to agree with him in some ways. I do not believe that homeschooling is the ultimate solution - it is not right for every child and especially not right for every parent. I never thought I would homeschool any of my kids, but here I am. Except: I do it through an online Charter School. To me it is the ideal solution: I can monitor closely what my son is being taught, yet I don't have to explain everything myself. I am more like a coach. My son has tons of friends, loves church and scouts and I don't have to worry about the wrong kind of socialization he receives inside a California school. His language and temper have greatly improved.

Danny Chipman
Lehi, UT

Ah, thanks for clearing that up. Sleep deprivation is killing my few remaining brain cells.

nmjim
SANDIA PARK, NM

Here and I always thought Utah was the home schooling capital of the world, which CERTAINLY proves Utahns are not stupid. After our first 4 children went through public schools and home schooling the youngest 2, we wish we had home schooled them all. As a minimum I would have taken them out of public schools to avoid middle and high school. As a former assistant in my kids' schools I am not spouting uninformed rhetoric...

The Scientist
Provo, UT

"the wrong kind of socialization"

You just have to stop and wonder about such provincial, elitist thinking as that...

crawfordzoo
Barstow, CA

@The Scientist: Cant you please explain to me what is elitist about not wanting my kids to use foul language? Use drugs? Become a bully? We can talk until we are blue in the face and set the right example, but as long as they are left in an environment 7 hours a day that tolerates those behaviors they are going to follow their peers. You have no clue what goes on in California schools.

yarrlydarb
Ogden, UT

As a retied family therapist, I concur 100%1

When it comes to raisin responsible children, there are no guidelines more needed than theses and, in this world, there are none less heeded.

pmccombs
Orem, UT

Well, TeaPublican, you're right about #7. Public schooling, that tool of special interest indoctrination, is indeed a great dumbing-down factor. I should point out, however, that the system is just as devious when in the hands of the people with whom you agree as it is in the hands of those you despise.

If by "taking back" public schools you mean returning them to a state in which they promote your particular agenda, then nothing has changed. We'll still be receptacles of the non-thought of received ideas as we are today. Let us dispense with mass-produced schooling instead.

But if by "taking back" you mean returning them to the home and local communities, then I say by all means proceed. I fear, however, that we have become unqualified to "take back" the responsibility to educate ourselves and our children, as we have been reliant for so long on specialist "nannies" to do it for us. "Education," so called, has become an enormous jobs-project for specialists of every stripe, and we have come to prefer the strange kool-aid of those who teach that more dollars equals better education.

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