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Friday, March 16, 2012

Early Spring, Gardening, Science... And - Oh Yeah - My Thoughts on Denialism and Science

I intended this blog post to be a happy little journal about our planting seeds.  As I type, however, the thoughts of an article (blog entry) I read elsewhere keeps coming to mind and gnawing at me.  So, I feel this burning need to speak up.  The blog was offensive to homeschoolers.  I would link to it, but I don't even want to give it merit enough to even mention it's name.

In the irritating blog post, the author equated homeschoolers (namely quiverful homeschoolers) with, what he called, a denialist (or following after denialism).  He called for strict regulations on homeschools, blasted presidential candidate Rick Santorum, and proceeded to go off on those who follow after the quiverful ideals, calling them Americans who are hindering their daughter's civil rights in the name of religious freedom.

I want to be clear that I have been a homeschooler for many years now, and only recently have I heard the term quiverful.  While, with only three children to my name, I don't think we qualify.  Because I am unfamiliar with their entire belief system, I cannot comment on their rights.  I can, however, comment on homeschooling.

It maddens me to hear critics claim that homeschoolers are nothing more than a bunch of closed-minded, frightened people who want to over shelter their children.  While I'm on my soapbox, I will also say that it maddens me that anyone even calls someone hateful or phobic based upon their heart-felt spiritual beliefs.  Why can I not believe something is wrong without being called names like these?  Is there no longer right and wrong?  I'm not the one posting mean-spirited pictures and comments about our president (though, I do not embrace his ideals).  I am not the one posting mean-spirited articles about alternative lifestyles.  Yet, I am the one who receives criticism from those who disagree with certain decisions my family has made.

Statistics have shown that most homeschoolers do above the average of their public-schooled peers on standardized testing.  Is this because they are protected from socialization?  How can a group of children outperform another and then be criticized by the under-performing group that their way of education is inferior?  I may understand trigonometry and know how to teach it, but I will never understand how this line of reasoning makes any sense.

If that makes me among those who live in denialism, then so be it.  To me, all science points to the one I believe created it (I'm not talking about Darwin), and faith is lived out in love.  However, this does not mean black and white turns to shades of gray.  Somewhere within all of this, there has to still be some amount of right and wrong.  And, those who are trying to live their life in a manner to filter out what that means should not be put under a microscope or criticized.

I will now step down off my soap box and talk about our happy day of gardening.  Thank you for allowing me to vent.

Since it has been unseasonably (and, in the opinion of my children too) warm this early spring, we decided to head outside and get some seeds and flowers started.  Since it is technically still winter (spring begins March 20), we did not put any seeds in the ground yet because of the chance that there will still be a frost.

The kids and I had a fun time planting the starter seeds, and I took over on the begonias which will hang from our shed which we snapped into place right before winter.  Well, right before winter was supposed to arrive anyway.  It's been incredibly mild this year.

As always, every event becomes a learning experience.  So, the planting of the seeds involved science learning.

Parts of a plant (roots, stem, leaves)
What a seed needs to grow (soil, sunlight, water)
What vegetables and plants work well together
Organic gardening (We do not use pesticides in our gardening.  We prefer to eat our home-grown food as close to its original design (without added chemicals) as possible.)
We even tend to bring a bit of our faith into every lesson.  Life and Death and spiritual matters (the seed has to go into the ground as dead like Christ did, but will sprout life).

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the rant. Sometimes it is necessary.