Straight KO Article: Want To Tell The State To Stick It? Homeschool Your Kids

All I can do after reading this article is, drop the M-I-C and head off the stage! Not much else I can add on this one.

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Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/billflax/2013/01/22/want-to-tell-the-state-to-stick-it-homeschool-your-kids/

“The swelling legions of homeschoolers poke a subtle rebuke at America’s ever expanding nanny state. Under both parties,Washington has systematically invaded private spheres and co-opted public services historically performed by local bodies. But a spontaneous groundswell of freedom minded folks has continued America’s rich inheritance of rugged individualism.

The God-fearing, flag-waiving, gun-toting homeschool crowd embodies the American spirit of mutual self-reliance. You won’t encounter a more neighborly bunch. Their children thrive without government “help.” Their support networks blossom sans the state’s sanction. Meanwhile, taxpayers waste a fortune securing abysmal academic results. In 2012, SAT scores fell to their lowest level since tracking began. As spending soars, assessment scores plummet.

The modern homeschool movement comes largely by Christians aghast over an academic establishment overrun by progressives. Schools long ago became laboratories for instilling statism and distilling politically correct groupthink. Values clarification anyone? With public education increasingly geared toward multicultural agitation against America’s godly heritage, many parents resolved to safeguard the hearts, souls and minds of their young.

At least 1.5 million students receive home-based academic instruction. The ranks of homeschoolers are rising rapidly across every social strata, faith and ethnicity. While many families lack sufficient means for someone to stay home, it’s not generally those affluent enough to afford exclusive parochial education. The highest homeschool participation appears in households with incomes ranging from$25,000 to $75,000. The homeschool community reflects a cross-section of Americans; the children of truck drivers and lawyers, whites and blacks, rich and poor, Christians and unbelievers.

What is civilization save passing to posterity the accumulated prosperity, cultural achievements, customs and mores of our forbearers? In the American context this includes self-reliance. Parents are the primary medium for rearing children. Should liberty endure, America must restore her multi-generational perspective, lately befuddled by Leviathan permeating life.

We have two principle tutors, lessons learned via individual experience and the wisdom amassed by our ancestors. Progressives have purposely uprooted America’s multi-generational perspective for many decades. Woodrow Wilson, who prior to the White House presided over Princeton, wrote, “The use of a university is to make young gentlemen as unlike their fathers as possible.”

Not to besmirch the many fine teachers, but an education establishment intent on discrediting tradition as a compass has rendered much of America’s youth adrift with only the pittance of personal experience to navigate their course. Students are prodded to disdain the independent spirit and biblical morality which birthed America’s exceptionalism. But casting aside the wisdom of our fathers comes at great peril.

Edmund Burke admonished “The individual is foolish, but the species is wise.”

J. Gresham Machen, the foremost defender of fundamentalism in the modernist controversy of the past century, also led the battle against compulsory public education. A fierce libertarian, Machen cautioned, “If you give the bureaucrats the children, you might as well give them everything else as well.”

We have. See election 2012.

Barack Obama – who spent his past assailing the American system – would not be president without overwhelming support from twenty-somethings imbued with a reverence for the state. No longer the family tree, “government is the only thing we all belong to” claims the ruling party.

Ron Paul senses the urgency, “Expect the rapidly expanding homeschool movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary reforms needed to rebuild a free society with constitutional protections.” Dr. Paul warns, “We cannot expect a federal government controlled school system to provide the intellectual ammunition to combat the dangerous growth of government that threatens our liberties.” Proving his point, homeschool parents were instrumental behind several UN treaties stalling in the Senate.

Like the local self-government formed indigenously by settler communities on America’s frontier, homeschoolers spontaneously built a support apparatus from the ground up. The free market at work, parents can readily access almost any curricula, subject matter or activity.

The Department of Education’s Dr. Patricia Lines countered the notion of homeschoolers withdrawing from America’s social fabric, “Like the Antifederalists these homeschoolers are asserting their historic individual rights so that they may form more meaningful bonds with family and community. In doing so, they are not abdicating from the American agreement. To the contrary, they are affirming it.”

A misperception persists that homeschooled children lack social skills. Dr. Brian Ray, of the National Home Education Research Institute, surveyed seven thousand adult graduates of homeschools. His research reveals they are significantly more likely to participate in community service initiatives, join civic, religious or business organizations and be politically involved. A limited study by J. Gary Knowles found no homeschool graduates who were unemployed or residing on welfare.

Unless socialization means sassing their parents, as confirmed by Dr. Larry Shyers, homeschooled children exhibit significantly less behavioral problems than other students. Public schools nurture self-esteem. Homeschooling cultivates character allowing children to flourish into responsible citizens. Moreover, Dr. Ray concludes adults taught at home retained their parent’s worldviews far more frequently than peers. Students learning at home absorb much less liberal cant.

Homeschooled kids don’t lack socialization . . . but socialism.

The most pressing motive behind taking on the terrific burden of home education is to impart religious or moral beliefs at 36 percent; safety was primary for 21 percent of parents and dissatisfaction with academic performance at other schooling options accounted for 17 percent. Parents also cited geographical distance, preferring non-traditional teaching methodologies or wishing to tailor classes per a particular student’s needs.

Some parents simply prioritize getting our children into Heaven over getting them into Harvard. Forging godly character, precept upon precept, surpasses SAT scores in importance. But homeschooled children suffer no discernible academic handicap.

It’s not only national spelling bees and similar competitions where homeschooled students have become a force. Studies consistently have homeschooled students scoring 15-30 points above national averages. A recent survey by Brian Ray covering 11,739 students showed homeschooled children tested at the 86th percentile. These stellar results held for boys and girls; all incomes; whether or not the parent had teacher credentials; whether their budget was above or below $600; and the amount of state regulation.

The Home School Legal Defense Association asks, “If government regulation does not improve the results of homeschoolers why is it necessary?” Many Americans coming from other walks no doubt similarly ponder the efficacy of red-tape.

The impressive results may partly derive from positive selection. And any child whose parents willingly invest so much time would likely thrive in other settings, but students previously homeschooled continue to prosper at college. They obtain above average grades with higher graduation rates.

Despite undeniable successes – or perhaps because of them – homeschooling still faces resentment by suspicious social workers and government bureaucrats. Per Christine Field, an attorney with the National Center for Life and Liberty (we are members), “If we are losing rights, it is in the social services arena where an anonymous phone call can bring authorities in to ‘investigate’ a homeschooling family. The Fourth Amendment violations committed by social workers … can wreak legal havoc on parents.”

Homeschooling represents a microcosm of traditional Americana and a rebuke of government meddling. Hence liberals hate it.”

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Good Dads and Bad Dads in TV Ads

Check out this blog post by the National Fatherhood Initiative.

So true, so true, so true!

The first ad reminds me of the importance I placed upon spending “just 15 minutes” found here. So what do you think?

Are guys just being overly sensitive?

My wife hates watching TV with me because whenever I see a commercial depicting fathers in a negative light, I go off on the same rant. So, she hears this rant almost nightly.

But to be fair to the Madison Avenue crowd, there are certainly lots of commercials showing dads in a positive, or at least realistic, light (note: showing dads acting like childish idiots is not realistic, nor is it helpful). In fact, NFI has given the Fatherhood Award™ to several of these companies, including Google, Subaru, and many more.

In the spirit of being fair and balanced, here is one good and one bad example of current TV ads depicting dads.

The good

As a baseball fan, former Little Leaguer (where my dad was my coach for several years), and high school player, I love this ad.

Some may argue that it is another ad showing a dad looking pretty dumb, but my problem is not so much with “dumbness,” but with ads that are not realistic. This one is. Not everyone can throw a baseball well. What matters is that this guy is so sincere, and he’s spending time with his son, one on one.

Most importantly, the ad does such a great job of telling a realistic and touching story. Look closely and you can see that the dad is still wearing his work clothes. He pulled into the driveway from work and his son was waiting for him in the front yard wanting to play catch. And he started playing with him right there – he didn’t even go inside to change his clothes! You can almost hear the kid saying, “Dad, dad! Let’s play catch!” And he, being the loving dad he is, dropped everything and started playing, despite his obvious lack of skills or comfortable clothes.

Humor, storytelling, and a positive message about fathers – this ad has it all. As opposed to this ad…

The bad

In contrast to the one above, this ad is not realistic. I do not know a single dad who would be this negligent and uncaring. Nor would a dad be “bought” so easily with the promise of food that was probably purchased with his own money. I also hate the recurring commercial theme of “if it weren’t for moms, American households would be bastions of chaos and permissiveness.” One could counter that the ad was “bending the truth” for a comical effect – but so was the above ad, and it was great and heartwarming and realistic. Again, note to commercial producers: you don’t have to make men and dads look like idiots in order to make funny ads. Frankly, I think it is lazy writers falling back on stereotypes who are making these kinds of commercials. The non-lazy ones are making gems like the VW ad above.

To be fair to Kraft, they are a sponsor of the upcoming Dad 2.0 Summit, so clearly they are trying to make a genuine effort to reach out to fathers. But with ads like this (and it is only one in a series of similarly bad ads), I don’t think they are going to have as much success as they’d like. To be sure, if they want to work with NFI, we would need to have a serious discussion about what they really think about fathers given the mocking nature of their ad campaign.

Have you seen any good fatherhood commercials lately? How about bad ones? Let us know.”

Cruising With CSD: The Return of the Barracuda?

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If you get Car and Driver, you probably read about the return of the Barracuda back in October.

So what do you think?

Personally, I think the Talon, Conquest, Daytona or Laser are much better names than reviving Barracuda badge. Also, how can you have a Barracuda without having it be the twin-brother of the Challenger?

I know, the Charger never had 4-doors and that worked out. So Plymouth and Eagle brands no longer existing may not be an issue for Generation Y that may be purchasing the vehicle, but still…don’t use the Barracuda name.

Do you have any suggestions for the folks in Auburn Hills, MI.?

Let us know below and tell us what you think of the ride.  Also does this car still compete with the Mustang and Camaro, or does it fit more against the  Genesis Coupe and BRZ?

CSD

 

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“Not much about the 2013 Viper deviates from the formula that made the car famous—it has a monstrous V-10, rear-wheel drive, and a manual transmission, and it still looks ready for a 10-on-1 bar fight. Branding it not a Dodge but an SRT, however, has raised eyebrows. Giving that new brand heft is a ­second model: the 2015 SRT Barracuda, the Dodge Challenger’s replacement.

Unlike the Viper, it will be a dramatic departure. Chrysler’s LX platform (Chrysler 300,Dodge Magnum and Charger) benefited from front and rear ­suspension setups derived from the Mercedes-Benz S- and E-class, respectively, but it’s huge for a pony car. Since the Challenger’s inception, the LX has evolved into the LY and gained weight in the process. Now that it’s part of Fiat, Dodge would like to export Challengers, but their mass and zaftig proportions limit overseas sales potential. With fuel economy a growing ­priority—not to mention four-cylinder versions of both the Mustang and Camaro on the horizon—Chrysler needed to slim down its offering. Fortunately, Fiat has been on the prowl for a rear-drive platform for use by Lancia, Alfa Romeo, and possibly Maserati. These factors motivated Chrysler to develop a new platform, and the Barracuda will be its first fruit.

Similar in size to the current Mustang, the Barracuda is expected to lose more than six inches from the Challenger’s wheelbase and close to eight in overall length. Rear track and overall width are forecast to shrink by a bit more than two inches. Weight will drop by between 250 and 300 pounds. The front suspension may move from control arms to a strut setup; the rear suspension will remain multilink, with new geometry.

Mindful of tightening CAFE requirements, power­train offerings will expand to include at least one ­variant of the new 2.4-liter Tigershark inline-four, possibly force-fed. While the 3.6-liter Pentastar V-6 is expected to get direct injection at about the time the ’Cuda arrives, CAFE more than market demand will determine whether a V-6 is offered. Expect the Hemi V-8 to carry on, with direct injection increasing power and efficiency. We hear it’s unlikely that both the 5.7- and 6.4-liter versions will be offered but hope Chrysler reverses its thinking there. Two Hemis would go a long way toward cementing the SRT brand’s authenticity.”

Source: http://www.caranddriver.com/features/2015-srt-barracuda-future-cars

CSD Dinner Table Topic of the Day: Do Fathers Have a Role in Gun Control?

Interesting blog post from the National Fatherhood Initiative.

I’d like to hear your position as well.

Do you allow your sons to play with toy guns?

Do you feel it has had an impact on how they view violence?

Let us know in the comment section below.

 

Boy With Toy Gun

“Are boys obsessed with weapons? Is your home a toy gun-free home? I’ll be first to admit that I’m a toy-weapon tolerant dad. I allow my son to play with toy guns and swords. Boys naturally like to play with toy weapons and there’s nothing wrong with acting out make-believe combat with toy guns and swords.

I grew up without toy weapons at home. My solution was to make my own weapons. I made cardboard machine guns and grenade launchers like a young Sylvester Stallone in Rambo. I made Samurai swords out of tree branches and any L-shape object became a hand gun including my baby sister’s Barbie dolls.

Many parents forbid their children from playing with toys guns. Many view toy weapons as corruptors of children, exposing them to aggressive and violent behaviors and reinforcing gender stereotypes.

The tragic event in Newtown, CT put the debate on gun control in the spotlight again and many parents followed suit imposing their own toy gun control and zero-tolerance policies in their households. But is this the right response to the issue of violence? Should parents keep their sons away from toy weapons and impose a weapon-free zone at home? Should zero-tolerance policies be extended to playgrounds, schools and other public venues?

Boys naturally gravitate toward weaponry not because of their desire to kill or hurt another human being but because of their desire to be heroes. Boys have a natural willingness to do great things, be adventurous and to be rescuers. They need to feel like heroic warriors and toy weapons help bring out their imagination and act out their fantasies. It is one way boys are molded to be mature courageous men.

Play is play and violence is violence. What’s essential is that fathers educate their sons to understand and differentiate the two in their playtime. Their make-believe games are opportunities to teach boys to distinguish between what’s right and wrong and what’s good and evil. Penny Holland, author of “We Don’t Play with Guns Here,” says toy weapons were “part of…making sense of the world (imitating) timeless themes of the struggle between good and evil.”

Parents should recognize and respect what young boys are dreaming to be and experiencing in their play. Fathers were once young boys too and played fierce battles with evil monsters and alien invaders. We usually grow up wanting to be heroes.

Sometimes I wish my son would simply pretend he’s a magician or a race car driver; but right now he wants to be a gun-trotting Pirate and Captain America. All a weapons-tolerant dad like me can do is to play along with my imaginary laser gun and light saber and model to him the right and honorable way to save the day.

Do you let your child play with toy weapons? Why or why not?”

Source: NFI

CSD Knowledge Nugget: Teaching The Kids That The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

TV

Tonight I had the opportunity to teach my oldest daughter (who is 11 years old), about the combination of music and poetry. Of course, hip-hop is probably the best example of this style of conveying a message, thought and showing mastery of the English language. We didn’t use any of the contemporary artist, but went back to one of the earliest rap artist, Gil Scott-Heron.

We broke down Scott-Heron’s classic “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”, verse by verse and it was tremendous. Why? Because the message still stands today and one her generation needs to be reminded of as well. That their lives will not change as long as it’s held captive by a television OR any other electronic device (that last one particular affects the Millennial-generation). The change will not take place as long as they are still raptured up by TV programs, consumerism or what politicians are doing.

Check out these stats from: http://www.med.umich.edu/yourchild/topics/tv.htm

How big a presence is TV in kids’ lives?

  • TV viewing among kids is at an eight-year high. On average, children ages 2-5 spend 32 hours a week in front of a TV—watching television, DVDs, DVR and videos, and using a game console. Kids ages 6-11 spend about 28 hours a week in front of the TV. The vast majority of this viewing (97%) is of live TV [1].
  • 71% of 8- to 18-year-olds have a TV in their bedroom [1a]; 54% have a DVD/VCR player, 37% have cable/satellite TV, and 20% have premium channels [2].
  • father and daughter watching tvMedia technology now offers more ways to access TV content, such as on the Internet, cell phones and iPods.  This has led to an increase in time spent viewing TV, even as TV-set viewing has declined.  41% of TV-viewing is now online, time-shifted, DVD or mobile [2a].
  • In about two-thirds of households, the TV is “usually” on during meals [3]
  • In 53% of households of 7th- to 12th-graders, there are no rules about TV watching [4].
  • In 51% of households, the TV is on “most” of the time [5].
  • Kids with a TV in their bedroom spend an average of almost 1.5 hours more per day watching TV than kids without a TV in the bedroom.
  • Many parents encourage their toddlers to watch television.

But let me allow Gil to explain it himself:

What I was very happy to see was that someone put together a video showing the very images Scott-Heron was talking about in the song. That would have made my job much easier when explaining the verses if I would’ve found it first! But none-the-less, it was great to see and is definitely worth checking out if you decide to teach your kids this classic.

One warning however, there are some images in the video that some may find disturbing, so you may want to watch it first before showing it to the children.

CSD Rewind Post: Is This The Year You Build That “Ole Dude Strength”?

I thought this would be a good time to re-post for those of us who make New Year’s Resolutions.

Are you up for the challenge this year?

Let us know in the comments below and remember: Do Not Quit!

 

Are You Strong Enough To Handle The Dude That’s Trying To Date Your Daughter? Do You Have That “Ole Dude Strength”?

Old Man Strength

When I was a young man growing up, I got into a few fights. I can say that I only lost one, and that was to Charlie Brown when I was about 7 or 8 years old. It’s hard to imagine my 8-year old Big Homie getting into a fight, but I guess we had to really grow up fast in my ‘hood.

But what’s really funny, is that over the years, my dad probably got into just as many fights with the neighborhood kids as I did. He didn’t allow foolishness, swearing or bullying around his house or his children. After a while, cats in the neighborhood appreciated the fact that my Ole Dude didn’t play. He once even chased the thug that stole the bike he “made” (I wish I had pics, that bad-boy had a steering wheel!) for blocks, hurdling fences like an Olympic hurdler, before the dude just gave up and dropped the bike to flee for his life.

Smart decision.

That’s Ole Dude strength and determination right there.

But what about today? First, IF dad even has a presence in the home, would he even be able to physically protect his children or wife? Could you be like James Evans in your house? For my fellow Good Time aficionados  you know nobody was coming into that house and whipping James. Where are the men like that on TV? Now-a-days, it is the woman of the home doing the protecting and dad is sitting there looking like Homer Simpson.

Good example

Bad Example

So, that’s why I thought the goals below by strength coach Dan John were a great idea for CSDs to set for themselves. To give us “Ole Dudes” a good bar to shoot towards in the gym. Most of us aren’t doing manual labor jobs like our parents, but we sit on our tails all day and the research is mounting that office jobs are taking years off of our lives. Plus, when we were younger, we might have exercised to look a certain way, impress a young lady or something, but now that we are older, it’s also about being healthy and having so-called “functional strength”.

…and yes, you still need to look good for your wife as well. If you want her looking as good as she did when you got married, how close are you to that wedding picture?

But I digress…here’s what Dan John recommends:

Push
Expected: Body weight bench press
Game Changer: Body weight bench press for 15 reps

Pull
Expected: 8-10 pull-ups
Game Changer: 15 pull-ups

Squat
Expected: Body weight squat
Game Changer: Body weight squat for 15 reps

Hinge
Expected: Body weight to 150% bodyweight deadlift
Game Changer: Double body weight deadlift

Loaded Carry (Farmer Walk)
Expected: Farmer Walk with total body weight (half per hand)
Game Changer: Body weight per hand

Personally, I think these are great CSD goals to set.  Perhaps you can get an early start on your ’13 New Year’s resolution?

In a few years, some young man is going to likely try to ask to date my daughter (may I recommend Voddie Baucham’s book, What He Must Be: If He Wants To Marry My Daughter http://www.gracefamilybaptist.net/store/product/what-he-must-be-book/to hear how we’ll likely deal with this in my house) and I want him to understand that not only do I have a mental and spiritual presence in my house, but a physical one as well.

Now some of you reading this may think I’m being shallow and that’s fine. But I remember meeting fathers when I was a young man who were scared of their daughter’s date and their little-girl knew it. She knew dad would not come looking for her if she was in trouble and that he could not protect her from that abusive boyfriend or predator.

However, my dad proved to many fools that “Old Man Strength”, was not a myth.

Now it’s my turn.

So, how close are you to the goals above? Let me know!

Thankfully, I think today (at the seasoned age of 42, 5’11 and 210 lbs.), I can go in the gym and hit the Game Changer on the Pull-Up, Squat and Deadlift. But getting the Bench Press and Farmers Walk are going to take some work for me as I’m only at the Expected level.

If we get a good response, perhaps we can turn this into a CSD-team goal for 2013! We could post workout recommendations, monitor progress, etc. What do you think? I’d love to hear your story!

Just because we’re getting older and we can’t do all of the things we did at 22, we have more motivation to push now than we ever did back then, those precious God-given gifts that He has made us protectors over.

CSD

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