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Monday, February 23, 2015

TOS Review: IndoctriNation

I was thrilled when I was offered the chance to review IndoctriNation Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America from Great Commission Films.

IndoctriNation DVD Review

If you are like me, as a homeschooling mom, there are days when that big yellow school bus looks so inviting. Some days, I lose sight of the reasons I wanted to homeschool and the importance of homeschooling my children.

If you're having a day like that - Stop, and get a hold of this DVD. It's eye-opening, and you will be left shaking your head with your mouth wide open in astonishment.

What is IndoctriNation?

I received a physical DVD that was 102 minutes in length, plus a few bonus features.

The DVD is a documentary account of Scottish filmmaker and homeschooling dad, Colin Gunn. He purchased a big yellow school bus off of Craig's List and converted it into living quarters for him, his wife and his children to set off in a multi-state tour to get to the truth of the history of public schools in America.

The name of the DVD is a bit of a twist on the word's meaning. Typically Indoctrination is used to talk about what religions do, but this filmmaker uses the word to explain how the public school system is indoctrinating students with the philosophies and ideas that stem from non-Christian ideologies.

Instead, the DVD uses the word to express how, in the view of the filmmaker, the public school system is indoctrinating its children with secularism and more government-imposed ideas. 

How Did We Use It?

I put the DVD into my laptop and began to watch. My 9th-Grade son was sitting at the table with his headphones on while I sat watching the DVD, so I didn't think he was hearing any of it. However, to my surprise, I glanced up and noticed he seemed to be listening. I felt like he was mature enough to handle the DVD's content, and I really wanted him to learn along with me. So, I invited him to sit and watch as well. To my complete delight - He did. So, mother and son watched the DVD.

What Did We Think?

When I received the DVD, it looked interesting. My only concern was that with a name like IndoctriNation that it would be very one-sided. So, in my "public-schooled-through-college-with-a-liberal-social work-focused-degree-turned-homeschooling-mom" mindset, I took note to investigate some of the facts further for myself, and all I can say is that this DVD was extremely well researched. There is also an accompanying paperback book available that, according to the insert inside the DVD pack, contains "376 pages of research and commentary that would not fit in the 102 minute documentary", which I hope to also read.

This DVD is not cheaply made and is professionally put together. My son, who watched it with me, is a fan of animation and videos and had nothing critical to say about its presentation. In fact, he was impressed with the presentation's use of graphics.

I completely appreciated the way the DVD portrayed the history of the public school system, using a timeline, school bus, and other really fun graphics. These timeline graphics were presented in a historical viewpoint rather than mere opinion.

I also really enjoyed the variety of interviewees he chose to portray in the DVD to show the current state of public schools. I loved how the DVD put into words what I have felt for years about why I choose not to put my elementary-aged children or middle-school-aged children into the public school - That if salt looses its saltiness, how can it be of any use, and what fellowship does darkness have with light. In other words, I completely agree with the idea that children are not meant to have the burden of being evangelists to their classmates in the public school. If we put this kind of pressure on our kids - They will, at best, walk away from their faith, and at worst, not walk away alive. Most likely, they will become like the world having absorbed and bought into the ideas they have been fed for 12 years inside a public school classroom. Yes, even under Christian and well-meaning teachers.

I was astonished to see the statistics that, I believe it was, 88% of Christian children will graduate high school only to leave their family's Christian faith behind.

After viewing the DVD, many aspects of life even outside of homeschooling make so much more sense to me now. For instance, my children never enjoy the youth group at church. It's not just one church - It's been many. They find the kids a bit rowdy or self-absorbed, or extremely sport team minded. After viewing this DVD, it makes so much more sense to me now why my children feel this way. Many of the kids at church spend all week inside a public school classroom, and then have literally one hour or so to learn about the Bible's teachings. Even though, it is my husband's and my mission to set a foundation of Christianity in our homeschool - I feel often that I'm not sharing enough of God's Word with my kids, but watching this video inspired me all the more to keep pursing teaching, learning, speaking, sharing, and living God's Word in our homeschool.

I was also interested in hearing my son's take on the video, from an almost 15-year-old boy's perspective. It was really interesting to hear him describe what he saw and to have already come to his own conclusion that evolution, for example, is really a religion of sorts. In his perspective - To teach evolution and purposefully leave out the teachings of creation is, indeed, an indoctrination from the opposite intent. It has also been interesting to me to watch my son's reaction to news stories related to public schools, after watching "IndoctriNation." Light has been shed on a new perspective.

The filmmaker did an excellent job of presenting a DVD that is not only filled with information that will leave your eyes, and if you're like me also your mouth, wide open in amazement, but will also spur you on with huge encouragement to take on the parental responsibility of educating your children.

Find more information about IndoctriNation on Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, and YouTube.

Read what other members of the TOS Review Crew thought by clicking on the picture below:

IndoctriNation DVD Review
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