My son does competitive swimming. I am proud of how well he swims. I love to watch him swim. But to be honest, at 9 years of age, I can tell that he will never be an Olympic swimmer (or even an Olympic caliber swimmer, and probably not even an NCAA level swimmer). I am investing hours and hours of my time and money into making him the best swimmer he can be under the constraints that we live. For USA swimming, I am speaking parental heresy….and they call this belief I have a “downright lie”. I call the USA swimming posts on their website pure propaganda.
But understand….I love how my son is. I love that he likes to swim. I love that he comes over to me and asks, “how did I do Dad?”. To which I’ll answer honestly….you beat your time by 2 seconds….or you didn’t beat your best time. But I loved watching you try.
So let’s go over the BS posted on USA swimming.
1. You must be a fast 10-year-old to be a fast 18-year-old. WRONG!
ME: just go back and look at some of the major names in swimming, and you will see they have very fast times for 10 yos. I did a casual search on the junior Olympic swimmers 10 yo times, and I cannot find ANY who do not have at least a AA time in their concentrated event at 10 years of age. For those who do not know, AA is damned fast. Its not just fast, its damned fast. Of course it may not be NAG record setting, but the difference between NAG record setting and AA vs a B time is HUGE.
But here is the propaganda usa swimming posts:
USA Swimming: ” The truth is, many London Olympians were not NAG record-setting 10-year-olds.”
ME: Let’s read the claim again. “You must be a fast 10-year old to be a fast 18 year old.” It doesn’t say you have to be a NAG record setting 10 year old to be a fast 18 yo. Look at Michael Phelps swim times, Katie Ledecky, and Missy Franklin and tell me they have slow times at 10 years of age. They are typically, AAA or AAAA kind of times.. This is propaganda by the USA swimming. My son has very average times for a 9yo (37 second 50 Free, is a “B” and there is no way he is going to the Olympics). He might have a chance if he was swimming 28-29 second 50 Frees at 9 years of age. (notice, even with a 28 second free at 9 years of age, I did not say it was a sure thing). And I am willing to bet, as my son ages and matures, he will develop into a sub 24 second 50 yard free-style swimmer. But in no way will he ever be Olympic material.
2. You must be tall to be fast.
ME: I don’t know why this hits number 2. In general, it is better to be long and lean to be fast. One of the fastest 13 year olds in the state is on my son’s swim team and she is over 6 feet tall already. You don’t see too many 5 footer gymnast body types swimming in the Olympics. So this is another stupid piece of propaganda that USA swimming posts. Yes there is Muggsy Bogues of the NBA, an bizarre exception. USA swimming refers to Rebecca Soni of the breast stroke fame (probably a stroke that requires the least height, and more muscle). But you don’t see Rebecca Soni out there during the back stroke events, now do you? And it isn’t as if she is a shrimp either.
3. You need huge muscles
Well, this is where USA swimming and I agree. Its better to be a gazelle than an Arnold Schwarzenegger in the pool. So what?
4. You must be trained by a Hall of Fame coach.
Well, again….just how many “Hall of Fame” coaches are there anyway? Was Bob Bowman a hall of fame coach before Michael Phelps? You at least need a coach who will teach sound fundamentals and is knowledgeable about physiology, and athletic performance, hydrodynamics and the like. My son is on a team with a coach who by any swim coach standard is very sub-average. But I like her. She cares, loves to coach, and watches the kids closely to make sure they are behaving, and she keeps the practices on task. So I am satisfied. Plus I know my son is not going to the Olympics. If I felt my son had an inkling of a chance, I would find a better coach. I do enroll my son in swim camps to get some of the best swim coaching in the nation. In fact, I’ll be at Stanford’s Nike swim camp this summer at some point with my son.
7. You must start swimming at age 6 or age 8 to be good.
Well, in general this is one of these lies that is backed up by propaganda from USA swimming:
USA: “Many elite swimmers started “late.” Look at Ed Moses, 2000 Olympic silver medalist. He didn’t swim year-round until his senior year of high school.”
Did you catch the bait and switch. The claim is You must start swimming at age 6 or age 8 to be good. USA swimming infers that Ed Moses started swimming year round not until as a senior in high school The reality, Ed Moses was a swimmer who gave it up at 10 years of age. So he was swimming before 10…perhaps 8. The facts are loose with USA swimming because they are more interested in promoting their sport than telling the truth. I believe that those years at 8-10 are critical for building sound foundation in swimming.
USA: Or Josh Schneider,
ME: …… who supposedly didn’t swim much before college (inferred)
But Josh Schneider was one of these super human freaks (6’4″) that USA swimming says you don’t need to be to swim fast. LOL. But see the words they add “swim seriously”….ok, so what kind of swimming was Josh doing before college…..the dog paddle? USA swimming is mum.
The later you start, the more you have to play catch-up. My general observation of being a student in the sport (and an engineer by profession) is that the earlier the start, the better the swimmer. On two swim teams my son has swam for, those who started competitive swimming at 6 were better than those who started at 7, were better than those who started at 8, etc. My son routinely beats 12yos in some events. It just takes me a minute to go on USA swimming’s website to see that the 12 yos my son beats have less time in competitive swimming compared to my son. And many of the kids who are faster than my son have more laps logged than my son. And yes, it is possible to get different rates of swim speed development….some kids are gifted in swimming and “get it”, but in general, my observation holds. But they do track general trends. Starting late means you have a lot of catch-up to do. And unless you are really athletic and have a good body type for the sport, the hill will be steep.
What goes into being a good swimmer? A combination of hard work, competitive drive, a love for the sport, God-given athleticism, good physical attributes, like being long and lean, good facilities and equipment, and knowledgeable coaching. If you lack any of this, you will not be an Olympic caliber swimmer.
But you know, 99.99% of the population isn’t, and there is nothing wrong with it..
For those who ignore economic reality, here are two examples on why we are on the downward slope of the Laffer curve, and why Obamanomics is doomed to complete failure, and will result in a complete destruction of the middle class, and the financial and moral impoverishment of the masses.
And for those who need further evidence, there is Hauser’s Law…60 years of its empirical validity.
The fundamental problem we have is and always has been the spending of others money by a spend-happy government whose only means of revenue is theft and looting of the producers, or by theft and looting of the masses through the legalized counterfeiting operation known as the Federal Reserve.
Thou shalt not steal…..ignore the Law of God at your own peril.
So, here in Colorado, our idiotic governor John Hickenlooper thinks the time is right for state legislators to consider gun control measures. This knee-jerk reaction in response to the shooting in a Oregon mall, movie theater shootings in Denver, school shootings in Connecticut, and the murder/suicide involving a professional football player.
What people don’t know and what puts a complete end to the “gun-control debate” is the deadliest mass murder in public school history never involved a single gun of any type, but rather a bomb, and was committed by a school board treasurer. It is called the Bath School Disaster.
So while our idiotic governor contemplates more gun control measures, he should by similar reasoning, eliminate public education ( since it is a dangerous place to for a child to be raised) , as I have already documented. I expect the incoherence of liberal think to take over and for Hickenlooper to come to a completely wrong-headed conclusion.
So, I tune into the “foreign policy” debate to see the GOP standard bearer debate the communist. I snicker at Willard’s handlers. They obviously wanted Willard to steer the debate towards the economy whenever possible and tone down the neocon warmongering. This appeared to backfire because Obama looked tougher (more hawkish) than Romney. And per Frank Luntz’s focus group of rowdy undecideds (who mostly voted Obama in 2008), it was Obama who won the foreign policy aspect of the debate while Romney won the economic aspect of the debate. Great strategy there guys.
It is to laugh that the republican can look like a democrat and a democrat look like a republican. But if Willard was on the stage with Rick Santorum, I suppose he would morph into something similar to Benito Mussolini.
What left an impression on me was Willard’s closing statement. Particularly these Lincolnesque lines:
“This nation is the hope of the earth”
“That we maintain America as the hope of the earth”.
Ahhh, yes. Wilsonian neoconservatism rearing its ugly head. American exceptionalism and the like. The southern avenger disassembles this.
I would hasten to add that for conservative Christians who really believe the bible, that America worship is heretical, and anti-Christian. Christian citizenship is in heaven and not on earth. America is never has been and never will be the hope of the earth. Jesus Christ is out Blessed Hope.
So, sorry Willard. The nation known as “America” may have been a shining city on a hill at one time, but it has never been “the hope of the earth”. It may have been a beacon of freedom, a refuge for the weary, and the downtrodden, but it has never been the “hope of the earth”. Only a pagan “American federal government worshipping” idolator could ever believe this. And because you give credit to “America” and fail to give credit to your polytheistic Creator as”the hope of the earth”, this fundamentally disqualifies you for office (*). (Obama is unfit for office for numerous reasons, offered America as “the only indespensible nation” during the debate….Oh, really?).
We are so doomed.
(*) Hope on earth? Tell that to the 50 million aborted babies since 1973. the 4 million displaced Iraqis since the Iraq War. the 200,000+ who died in the unnecessary boming of Nagasaki and Hiroshima and many many others.
Do you really want to see the best in your children? Then, homeschool. Make the sacrifice. It will benefit you as a human being, and it will benefit your children. It will teach you patience, and it will create a unique bond between you and your child. You will understand your children’s thinking process much better, how they learn, and how they view the world. It is a fascinating experience for the parent.
It’s not easy, it takes a great deal of patience, but its the right thing to do. If everyone did it, we would prosper as a society. Property taxes could by-and-large be eliminated, a diversity of curriculums and on-line help would flower dropping costs, etc…..and the Leviathan state would be denied their claim on the hearts and minds of our children.
First its biblical (Deut 11:18-21)
Secondly, it’s effective. Tailored curriculum targeting the child’s weaknesses identified by close contact with the parent. Progress is made upon mastery of a particular skill, not according to a teacher’s schedule for that “unit”, nor by an “average” pace set by the class. Teachers are over-whelmed by having 20-30 children in a class for good reason. The more they care, the more over-whelmed they are. As a result, due to the job demands, they cannot possibly give the care and attention to your child on any kind of individual basis like a parent can.
Third, a curriculum can consist of important topics to the parent, not a government bureaucrat. This can include topics not normally taught such as religion, theology, church history, a politically incorrect state history, philosophy, and latin.
Fourth, the elimination of godless philosophies crammed down your child’s throat (CO2 as the cause for global warming, treating CO2 as a pollutant, evolutionary theory as “science”, diversity indoctrination, radical egalitarianism and philosophies of the like). Full-time state-schooled children are being inculcated with godless indoctrination most of their day, 5 days per week, for the entire school year, for 12 years of their lives. Please do not tell me it is the school that is shaping their values, not the parents.
Fifth, the cause of liberty. Those who oppose home-schooling efforts are fundamentally Marxist statists….I wouldn’t even call them liberals. It was Karl Marx, who wrote in his communist manifesto, “The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother’s care, shall be in state institutions at state expense. “
Homeschool closes the door and pathways to your child’s heart and mind to the state and establishment. Kevin Williamson at the National Review writes an article on the whole topic of homeschooling:
“There is exactly one authentically radical social movement of any real significance in the United States, and it is not Occupy, the Tea Party, or the Ron Paul faction. It is homeschoolers, who, by the simple act of instructing their children at home, pose an intellectual, moral, and political challenge to the government-monopoly schools, which are one of our most fundamental institutions and one of our most dysfunctional. Like all radical movements, homeschoolers drive the establishment bats.”
This is nothing new under the son. As progressive John Dewey wrote:
“The children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming, where everyone would be interdependent. “
Williamson goes on to quote Bob Weisner:
“We don’t have much of a problem from conservatives,” Wiesner says. “It’s the teachers’ unions, educational bureaucrats, and liberal professors. College professors by and large don’t want students who can think for themselves. They want students they can indoctrinate, but that’s hard to do with homeschoolers — homeschoolers push back.”
Williamson offers these reasons why there is such hostility to home-schoolers by the fascist left:
“Nine-tenths of American children attend government schools, and most of the remaining tenth attend government-approved private schools. The political class wants as many of that remaining tenth in government schools as possible; teachers’ unions have money on the line, and ideologues do not want any young skull beyond their curricular reach. A political class that does not trust people with a Big Gulp is not going to trust them with the minds of children. While West would like to criminalize homeschooling — she writes wistfully of the days when “parents who did so were criminals” — others have sought to regulate it out of existence, for instance by declaring homeschoolers’ residences to be public schools and requiring them to meet attendant planning and zoning standards, by installing such things as fire-safety systems, parking facilities, and emergency exits. “The good news is, there are very few people with authority and power who want to end homeschooling,” says Jeremiah Lorrig of the National Home School Legal Defense Association. “They’ve given up trying to outlaw it — and now are trying to control it.”
The second reason for this hostility is that while there is a growing number of secular, progressive, organic-quinoa-consuming homeschool families, there remains a significant conservative and Christian component. The reasons for progressive hostility to conservative Christians are many and complex, but one of them is that, like the homeschool, the church is something outside of government control, a forum that the triple constitutional protections of religion, free speech, and association place beyond the range of Leviathan’s leash. Progressives are by their nature monopolists, and the churches constitute real competing centers of power in society.
A third reason is that the majority of homeschool teachers are mothers. A traditional two-parent family with one full-time breadwinner and one stay-at-home parent is practically built into the model. Goldstein scoffs at that as the “dated presumption that children hail from two-parent families, in which at least one parent can afford (and wants) to take significant time away from paid work,” but of course the model is neither dated nor restricted to religiously conservative red-staters: Liberal enclaves such as Brooklyn and Seattle are full of stay-at-home moms.”
I would argue the Williamson doesn’t quite get to the heart of the matter. The heart of the matter is homeschooling prevents the indoctrination and propagation of the New Atheistic faith. Religion, to the New Atheists is the root of all the evil [sic]….as Hitchens, Dawkins and company believe. Homeschooling builds an intellectual barrier against their anti-intellectual brainwashing . A prescient quote made by A.A. Hodge in the early 1900′s summarizes the fruit of public education:
“I am as sure as I am of Christ’s reign that a comprehensive and centralized system of national education, separated from religion, as is now commonly proposed, will prove the most appalling enginery for the propagation of anti-Christian and atheistic unbelief, and of anti-social nihilistic ethics, individual, social and political, which this sin-rent world has never seen.”
Lets deny the Leviathan its claim to godhood, and keep our children’s minds safe from the predation of the anti-intellectual New Atheists for our own sake, our children’s sake and for the sake of posterity.
You will still have to pay property taxes investing in the state system, while making investment in your child’s education.
You will spend money wastefully. Curriculums that appear to be “good” may not be a good fit for your child’s style of learning. Plus you don’t have infinite knowledge of the strengths and weaknesses of a particular curriculum until you really delve into using it. Expect to waste about 50% of your money. That is about the going rate for me.
You will have 1-4 hours of your day consumed depending on the number of children, and each child’s ability to work independently (and if you are like us, that is 6 days per week). At 24 hours per week, it is a part-time job.
One thing I have discovered through home-schooling is the process of learning is a highly individual and complex matter. I have three children who each have unique learning styles and abilities. Not one of the three is similar. Now multiply that for the standard classroom setting where you have 20-30 children with a plethora of learning styles, and natural abilities…. easily 20-30 learning styles and abilities. There is just no way anyone can effectively teach in that setting. And unless the teacher is a 3 sigma kind of teacher who manages that effectively, there are more losers than winners. Growing up, I learned things easily, and was easily bored in class, so I would daydream and tune teachers out. By high school, that state of mind was permanently ingrained. I rediscovered listening and learning in college where the intellectual rigor, and pace of instruction suited me. I have discovered through the years there are many who had a similar experience. Some of the brightest engineers I work with almost failed high school.
There is a war going on within the GOP which will fracture the GOP, such that the GOP will go the way of the Whigs. This war is being waged between the more libertarian faction of the GOP (Ron Paul, Jim DeMint) and the neo-conservative establishment (made up of the war-mongering statists, like Rick Santorum, George Bush, and Willard Romney, along with their media William Kristol, Shawn Hannity, Mark Levin, and Rush Limbaugh) I don’t even recognize the Republican party anymore. They talk about limited government but their policies are worse than the democrats (massive government spending on the military and wars while supposedly funding it all with tax cuts ….completely unsustainable). I have two major problems with this. 1) Thou shalt not steal (funding through deficits and debt….and once the military is sent on its missions of wars of preemption under the banner of American exceptionalism: 2) Thou shalt not kill.
The southern avenger gives a great speech at the “We are the Future Rally”. I only hope enough conservatives will wake up and realize the precarious position our nation’s budget deficits have put us in and start supporting a more libertarian approach to government.
Home-Schoolers are at war with the culture at large which has become utterly brainwashed into thinking government education is necessary to raising well-educated and well-adjusted contributors to society. It is not. What do I mean “being at war”? Well, if you tell the average non-home-schooling parent that you home-school your children, you would immediately know what I mean by the glazed-look and comments which follow…..often some idiotic remark about socialization, as though life on the island in the “Lord of the Flies” (fostered by the government-run school system) will produce superior results.
Both my parents were government school educators (mother was primary, father was jr. high science). My sister spent about 20 years as a primary educator in government schools before switching to a Christian private school setting, where she teaches to this day. I spent 11 of my 13 K-12 years in the public school system (2 years in private school). So I have both experience attending the public school system, a private school, I have observed the chaos behind the scenes from a teacher’s perspective, and I have experience as a home-schooling parent.
Believe me, kids are better off learning at home.
Without delving too deeply into the history of US public education, it was the Prussian model that Horace Mann advocated copying; a model incidentally used by the Prussian court to instill social obedience in their citizens. It is also the 10th plank of Marx’s Communist Manifesto, which is never a good sign. And if social obedience was sought, social obedience of the masses is exactly the result. That is why you will get the glazed-eyed stare and some idiotic parroted comment about socialization that comes out of the mouth of the government school advocate types and parents. It’s beyond the ability of the government school advocate to “comprehend” anything other than what they have been indoctrinated.
First off, the fruit we have reaped. Link 1, and Link 2 illustrate the results. We are 25th in math among 34 countries evaluated. SAT scores have continued to fall since 1972. In 1995, the test had to be dumbed-down to re-center the mean around 500….this in spite of spending a record $10K of taxpayer money per pupil per year, in 2008 dollars. Then there are these statistics…..and there is this youtube video. And to top that, one Ivory tower professor advocates eliminating elementary algebra as a requirement for entrance into university. So much for the title “uni-versity”. Might as well eliminate writing the reading requirements for the math competent…..math requirements for the arts literate, and make the unversity a 2 year vocation school.
Family is supposedly the “bedrock of society”. But what do government schools do from the age of 5?….They strip the family apart through compulsory education. School buses will come at tax payer expense and take the kids away from their parents for indoctrination. Children, stripped away from the security of the family are getting their values, morals, ethics, history, and world view from the government should ring alarms to anyone who values liberty….Then the reality check. Link 3, has a former the former U.S. secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Joseph Califano Jr. (appointed by Jimmy Carter) as quoted as saying it is “state sanctioned child abuse” to send your kids to public schools with gangs, drugs and violence. Interesting choice of words. Link 4 , Califana claims that 80% have been exposed to drugs at their school. 44% in middle school.
I distinctly recall my first encounter with the odor of marijuana in 7th grade in the fall of 1977 at 13 years of age, so I am guessing the 44% middle school stat is a low-ball estimate. I am thinking exposure to drugs (not defined as experimenting with drugs) is much higher than 44% since drugs are far more prevalent now than in 1977 ( in spite of the War on Drugs). I also wonder if this is the kind of socialization necessary for young children to develop their coping skills….i.e.. Is the socialization that Califano identifies as “child abuse” that which the government-school advocates advocate? A very specious argument, indeed.
Next, there are the predators. The fact that so many of them are females doesn’t shock anyone, anymore. The scary thing is that men are probably far more likely to commit these kinds of crimes, and we only know of the relatively few who get caught. I saw this in my school years. One female classmate of mine had an affair with her 6th grade teacher. She and the old geezer (we are 47 years as of this writing which would place him in 70′s) are married to this day. So was it true love? Or a Creepy 30 something year old hitting on a 12 yo young girl?
The fact that predators go undetected for decades in the public school system doesn’t seem to overly concern the government-school advocates because they probably reason these are only exceptions. However over a five-year period in NY city, 97 “tenured” school employees including teachers and principals have been charged by the DOE of sexual misconduct. I’ll concede to the government-school advocate that the scope of what constitutes “sexual misconduct” can be interpreted broadly these days, so long as the government-school advocate admits most actual predators, however you define a predator, are seldom caught, and go decades of predation without being identified. Slate ran an article quoting a study the found 10 percent of students suffer some form of sexual abuse from teachers during their school careers. This study begs the question: These are just the teachers. What can be said about a bunch of 17 yo boys running around with raging hormones?
Then there is bullying. It’s not surprising it exists, right? Kids will be kids. It’s good to have your child in an environment where they acquire the skills to cope with bullying, right? (A specious argument if there ever was one. It’s like arguing a little child abuse will benefit a child’s well-being by teaching him/her how to cope with it). Bullying is prevalent enough that it has prompted the National Center for Educational Statistics to product a publication of the *reported* cases in schools. Of note, in 2011, 74% of the public schools reported incidents of *violent crime*. Not only this, bullying can lead to cyber bullying and can escalate into even more violence…..another example, and can even have teacher participation….another example. In some of these cases, especially cyber bullying, it can lead to suicide.
In the days when I went to public school, you had unarmed teachers roaming the halls dealing with discipline issues. Now you need armed policemen ….See also….(ironic in this anti-gun culture) to roam the halls and metal detectors at the school entries. They are strangely welcomed in this leftist dominated and controlled environment which originally made school zones “gun free”. Is this the safe nurturing environment that government-school advocates advocate?
Of course, none of this is free. The government spends $10k per pupil of tax payer’s money for what amounts to day care in a potentially hostile, and dangerous environment where the inmates run the asylum.
I’ll summarize some of the things I witnessed in my 11 years of government schooling:
- Classmates taking illegal drugs, and being totally wasted on various illegal drugs during school hours
- Illegal Drug sales.
- Violent fights including those involving knives
- One bomb scare
- Teacher having a secret affair with a 6th grader (observed years later)
- A student lying to a parent for the express purpose of alienating the parent from her daughter
- Students bullying other students, especially those with disabilities.
- I personally was bullied, hazed, and spit upon by kids 3 years or more older.
- Lewd indecent comments to young girls.
In my next post, I will write about some of the benefits of home-schooling.