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Well, I tried to post this a minute ago, but got an error so I don't think it posted. I can't find it at least. So, trying again. :)

 

My kids study American history. They also study other countries and cultures. It think it's all good to know about.

 

BIL was here this weekend and said that he thinks only American history and government should be studied, until they get to high school. He thinks this is what's wrong with the educational system today and the country at large.

 

He also said a lot of things that were really upsetting to me, like that my kids have never been in a formal school setting and wouldn't know what to do it they went to school. And that they would be so behind if they were at his kids school. First, he visits us for a few minutes once every couple months. He doesn't really know what my kids are capable of. Secondly, he said this after complaining that his kids' school system considers a 59 to be a D. This is what his dd made on a test and thought she did great. :glare:

Um... he also said something about them not needing language arts :001_huh: I had said something about using the stories/myths of different countries to teach about their history and culture, but also being able to use it as a language arts lesson. He said they didn't need language arts. :001_huh: I told dh, and he said he bet BIL thought I meant learning the language of that country. So he doesn't think they should learn a foreign language? I don't think that's what he meant. He, his wife and kids are all bilingual.

I know that he's like this, so I'm trying to let it all go, but I'm still a little steamed up about some of it.

 

Anyhow, do you think it's important to focus only on American history and government before high school? Do you think other countries and cultures should be studied in lower grades?

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BIL was here this weekend and said that he thinks only American history and government should be studied, until they get to high school. He thinks this is what's wrong with the educational system today and the country at large.

 

 

 

Yeah, that's the problem. :rolleyes:

 

Just goes to show that bil doesn't really know much about the ed system as most schools don't really teach all that much world history. Or is he just being ethnocentric? Either way, I'd ignore him and continue doing what I thought was right.

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He's just ignorant. It's too bad, but it is what it is.

 

Some people talk a lot about things that they know nothing about. It's annoying, but whatever.

 

Time for some bean dip!

 

If you're worried about the substance of what he is saying, I can tell you that I never studied world history formally all the way through high school, and because of that I was in college before I understood American history in context. The 'American experiment' makes NO sense at all unless you understand what came before it and how unique we were at the outset. Learning world history has been fascinating, but more than that, it has greatly enhanced my understanding and appreciation of American history. Your children and mine will not have that problem, thanks to classical education.

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Ah, he works for boarder patrol, and spent a year working in the middle east. Now he considers himself an expert on things like this. Americans don't know enough about their own country and are too worried about what's happening in other countries.

 

Wow. And knowing nothing about the histories of other nations and regions is supposed to increase our national security exactly how? Isn't there a saying, "Know thine enemy?" :glare:

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Well, I tried to post this a minute ago, but got an error so I don't think it posted. I can't find it at least. So, trying again. :)

 

My kids study American history. They also study other countries and cultures. It think it's all good to know about.

 

BIL was here this weekend and said that he thinks only American history and government should be studied, until they get to high school. He thinks this is what's wrong with the educational system today and the country at large.

 

He also said a lot of things that were really upsetting to me, like that my kids have never been in a formal school setting and wouldn't know what to do it they went to school. And that they would be so behind if they were at his kids school. First, he visits us for a few minutes once every couple months. He doesn't really know what my kids are capable of. Secondly, he said this after complaining that his kids' school system considers a 59 to be a D. This is what his dd made on a test and thought she did great. :glare:

Um... he also said something about them not needing language arts :001_huh: I had said something about using the stories/myths of different countries to teach about their history and culture, but also being able to use it as a language arts lesson. He said they didn't need language arts. :001_huh: I told dh, and he said he bet BIL thought I meant learning the language of that country. So he doesn't think they should learn a foreign language? I don't think that's what he meant. He, his wife and kids are all bilingual.

I know that he's like this, so I'm trying to let it all go, but I'm still a little steamed up about some of it.

 

Anyhow, do you think it's important to focus only on American history and government before high school? Do you think other countries and cultures should be studied in lower grades?

That is all they did when I was in elementary and I thought it was messed up.

 

On his point about classrooms, then how is it that homeschooled kids adjust better to highschool and college classrooms than kids that are in school all their lives?

 

Not needing language arts?! Seriously, I'd have to ask BIL if he's really that ignorant or just stupid for saying something like that.

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Ah, he works for boarder patrol, and spent a year working in the middle east. Now he considers himself an expert on things like this. Americans don't know enough about their own country and are too worried about what's happening in other countries.

Border patrol vs TCK...sorry, he's really ignorant!

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Anyhow, do you think it's important to focus only on American history and government before high school? Do you think other countries and cultures should be studied in lower grades?

 

In my state, American and state history are required for elementary.

I do plan on studying other stuff but won't not as heavy as what is required.

Edited by MissKNG
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Secondly, he said this after complaining that his kids' school system considers a 59 to be a D. This is what his dd made on a test and thought she did great. :glare:

?

 

 

I agree that considering a 59 grade average as a D is terrible. When I was in school, passing was 65 or above. I can't believe the standard is that low in his kid's school system.

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For every. single. grade. every year while homeschooling...or just in the public schools...or just at some point?

 

We don't have to report yet so I'm not completely sure. It's listed as a requirement for 1st - 6th but I don't know if that means every year or sometime during elementary.

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Ah, he works for boarder patrol, and spent a year working in the middle east. Now he considers himself an expert on things like this. Americans don't know enough about their own country and are too worried about what's happening in other countries.
Yanno, if we (the West, that is) had paid one iota of attention to the cultures, beliefs, and opinions of the Middle East for the past 100 years or so, instead of carving up the land and treating the people according to our own whims, we wouldn't be in this mess now. :toetap05:
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We don't have to report yet so I'm not completely sure. It's listed as a requirement for 1st - 6th but I don't know if that means every year or sometime during elementary.

I'm not certain which state you are in, but in PA it's listed generally like that (about state history). Simply put, we don't worry about it each and every year if we choose to make it a "focus". Most of the time (and I see this with other PA homeschoolers) we will focus on certain aspects of PA as we study other portions of history, but not focus on all of PA history each and every year (aka, Civil War studies, go visit Gettysburg. Revolutionary War, discuss the country's first capitols and visit Valley Forge. Studying geography, take a co-op class on PA geology and geography...or take it simply because it's offered ;) )

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I'm not certain which state you are in, but in PA it's listed generally like that (about state history). Simply put, we don't worry about it each and every year if we choose to make it a "focus". Most of the time (and I see this with other PA homeschoolers) we will focus on certain aspects of PA as we study other portions of history, but not focus on all of PA history each and every year (aka, Civil War studies, go visit Gettysburg. Revolutionary War, discuss the country's first capitols and visit Valley Forge. Studying geography, take a co-op class on PA geology and geography...or take it simply because it's offered ;) )

 

Probably the same for here (NY)...

 

I figured we would have to list that we are studying something about American or state history but doesn't mean we need to study it extensively like 5 days a week for 3 hours a day!

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I agree that considering a 59 grade average as a D is terrible. When I was in school, passing was 65 or above. I can't believe the standard is that low in his kid's school system.

 

 

This is in San Diego.

 

When I was in school, anything below 70 was failing. From there, it depended on where we lived at the time, but generally speaking 70-74 was a D. At the time my mother thought this was awful and couldn't believe standards were so low compared to when she was in school. I was expected to make straight A's (or as close to it as I could), and her idea of an A was 95+.

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That is all they did when I was in elementary and I thought it was messed up.

 

On his point about classrooms, then how is it that homeschooled kids adjust better to highschool and college classrooms than kids that are in school all their lives?

 

Not needing language arts?! Seriously, I'd have to ask BIL if he's really that ignorant or just stupid for saying something like that.

 

Well, anytime my kids have been in a classroom situation (field trips, VBS, girl scouts) they've known to sit down, pay attention and follow directions. I feel confident that covers the basics of doing well in school. Yes?

 

After the language art comment, he said something else about it (my views on teaching) being just plain ignorant. I took a deep breath and said something like, "mmm.... yeah..." THen my dh threw a wadded up piece of paper at me to shut me up. He was afraid of hwat I was going to say. I looked at him and said, "what? At least I didn't yeah, you're ignorant too!" BIL said I'm not ignorant! and went on to tell my why. I got up and walked out.

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So, when you teach about other countries, do you teach about their current status/culture? Or are you teaching world history, starting at the beginning (Egypt), and moving forward, showing how western civilization came into being?

 

Sounds like he might not mind teaching traditional world history (the history of western civilization), but he does have a problem with studying the current cultures of other countries.

 

There is a type of thought that says we should focus on our own culture a bit more. The feeling is that when a country starts embracing soooo many different cultures into their own, they weaken themselves. They're divided. People who embrace this type of thought feel that we need to have a firm sense of who Americans are and what our unifying culture is or we start to have too many sects and divisions and we won't be unified enough to keep the country together.

 

Don't throw tomatoes at me! I'm not saying I believe this or not. I just know it IS a belief system. Sounds like your BIL believes that. And that's why he says this is the problem in America. He is afraid that we're dividing our country and not unifying it when we focus too much on our differences, instead of all agreeing on a single culture to follow. I've heard it explained that we're supposed to be a melting pot and not a salad. We melt together into one; we don't each keep our own form and traditions.

 

A lot of people today feel that we're becoming too much of a salad and are too separate, and we're not melting and unifying.

 

Again--don't yell at me about this. I've just heard people talk about it, and think that must be where your BIL is coming from.

Edited by Garga
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So, when you teach about other countries, do you teach about their current status/culture? Or are you teaching world history, starting at the beginning (Egypt), and moving forward, showing how western civilization came into being?

 

Sounds like he might not mind teaching traditional world history (the history of western civilization), but he does have a problem with studying the current cultures of other countries.

 

There is a type of thought that says we should focus on our own culture a bit more. The feeling is that when a country starts embracing soooo many different cultures into their own, they weaken themselves. They're divided. People who embrace this type of thought feel that we need to have a firm sense of who Americans are and what our unifying culture is or we start to have too many sects and divisions and we won't be unified enough to keep the country together.

 

Don't throw tomatoes at me! I'm not saying I believe this or not. I just know it IS a belief system. Sounds like your BIL believes that. And that's why he says this is the problem in America. He is afraid that we're dividing our country and not unifying it when we focus too much on our differences, instead of all agreeing on a single culture to follow. I've heard it explained that we're supposed to be a melting pot and not a salad. We melt together into one; we don't each keep our own form and traditions.

 

A lot of people today feel that we're becoming too much of a salad and are too separate, and we're not melting and unifying.

 

Again--don't yell at me about this. I've just heard people talk about it, and think that must be where your BIL is coming from.

 

 

 

Oh, no! I"m not going to yell at you. I asked, because if anyone had a different opinion than mine, I wanted to hear it. I like thinking about different ways to look at it. But the way he presented his argument was offensive, and he refused to listen to anything I has to say. He was right, I was wrong. The end.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

 

Last year, we were doing WTM and started in Egypt progressing forward. This year we're doing it a little differently because we're using a different curriculum, 'traveling around the world.' Studying country and it's people, then moving on to the next. We don't get into modern political issues, government, or anything like that unless they ask about it.

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If you managed not to laugh in his face you are a better woman than I.

 

 

:iagree:

 

 

We did WP Children Around the World last year and Indy LOVED learning about all the different countries and the different cultures. He's been to 10 different countries in his 8 years and loves to know stuff about the places he's been. He likes to learn about countries he hasn't been to and has a list of the ones he finds interesting and hopes to go to one day. There's nothing wrong with learning about the world and how other people live, work, worship, etc. and not just the chronological of the world.

Of course he knows about the US and will study it in depth when he's older, but for now he enjoys hearing about far away places and how children are different from him, but ultimately the same. Your BIL is an idiot. He's a prime example of what's wrong with the US.

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Well, I might not answer your question, but it amazes (or maybe just annoys me) that people can have opinions on what or how things should be studied when in actuality they leave those kind of educational decisions for their own children up to others.

 

Gosh, there is just so much wonderful stuff to learn about. How and where do we narrow it down? Cultural studies? Geography? History--what places, time periods, rotation, not, when to start? State studies? And the list goes on.....all I can say is try, no try hard not to let such people get to you. I know that's hard. I do find, in many instances, the people that are the farthest from actually being involved with something have the most opinions on it.

 

Chin up, girl. I bet you're doing just fine.

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Here in Ohio we have a list of stuff we're supposed to study too, including state history, but not how much time we need to spend on it (and we don't have to report how much time we spend on each subject, although there are some who probably do get that detailed on their portfolios--if they choose to go the portfolio-route for evaluation, that is).

 

As far as studying only American history until high school, I think that's silly. A person shouldn't have to wait that long to learn about how many things have come from other countries through the ages...inventions, language (both spoken and written--script), customs, etc...things that are part of our everyday American life.

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gardening momma:

 

Yes, I see what you mean.

 

Then of course Ohio is kind of special with its own history, too, right? I think its motto used to be: 'Imperium in imperio': "An empire within an empire"; and I think, too, that the state used to be called the Mother of Presidents, because there was a time when to get anywhere in the Republican party you virtually had to have a background of a commission in the Grand Union army. US history is very much Ohio history, with its Civil War background.

 

I think history is unavoidable....

 

(And of course there were the naval battles on Lake Erie in the War of 1812....Canada is just over the Lake from Ohio...)

LOL...you know a lot more about Ohio history than I do. I didn't grow up here, I'm from Michigan. ;) Not sure I know that much about Michigan either. But hey, I'm a homeschooler--I'm gonna learn with my kids!

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mommaduck:

 

Re, state history, I reckon that it's hard to figure whether Gettysburg and Valley Forge are really part of state history rather than US history. They are part of both, of course, which kind of proves a point about the Union, I guess.

Very much both. Anything that happens within a state, even if it's a national event, is very proudly held as part of that state's place in history.

 

Not sure what you mean by "proves a point about the Union" though.

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I can see after working border patrol why he'd be an advocate of American history only and no foreign language below High School.

 

My husband taught 4th grade for many years in a city with a high immigration rate (he now teaches 1st grade). Many of his students were still confused about whether Mexico was a state in America or a separate country. This is MOSTLY due to the fact that the district doesn't teach history (including geography, social studies, etc.) AT ALL. It isn't a priority. So at a minimum I do think American History needs to be taught in elementary and if it is the ONLY history you are going to teach at least they know where they live.

 

And the only foreign language taught in elementary public schools in our area is dual immersion or ESL classes and there are plenty of folks who are against that.

 

There are many immigrants who feel this same way. They WANT their children to learn American history, English, and yet retain some of the cultural (mythology, stories, heritage) of their country of origin. I think I get what this guy is trying to say even if I don't totally agree with him. He sounds a bit like he is spouting the party line, kwim?

 

Interesting how this ties into the thread yesterday about what kids remember before High School. LOL. Maybe this thread is pointless because either way they won't remember any of it anyway. I don't personally believe that since I remember plenty from our elementary years, but it makes for an interesting observation.

 

And from what you wrote about Language Arts is sounds more to me like his district integrates subject matter and the skills of language arts rather than teaching it as a separate subject. I have no problem with that and it can be a very effective way of engaging students in the learning process. My husband's language arts material using a wide variety of published pictures books to teach language arts skills. Could this man have been meaning something similar? I don't know.

 

He just sounds opinionated to me but really not his OWN opinions. He's picked up a certain way that things should be done and feels the need to be the town crier. I'd ignore him.

Edited by Daisy
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There is a type of thought that says we should focus on our own culture a bit more. The feeling is that when a country starts embracing soooo many different cultures into their own, they weaken themselves. They're divided. People who embrace this type of thought feel that we need to have a firm sense of who Americans are and what our unifying culture is or we start to have too many sects and divisions and we won't be unified enough to keep the country together.

 

Don't throw tomatoes at me! I'm not saying I believe this or not. I just know it IS a belief system. Sounds like your BIL believes that. And that's why he says this is the problem in America. He is afraid that we're dividing our country and not unifying it when we focus too much on our differences, instead of all agreeing on a single culture to follow. I've heard it explained that we're supposed to be a melting pot and not a salad. We melt together into one; we don't each keep our own form and traditions.

 

A lot of people today feel that we're becoming too much of a salad and are too separate, and we're not melting and unifying.

 

I agree that this is a common view. (And I understand that you're not saying that you espouse it.)

 

If people with this view do study American history for 12 years, perhaps it will provide them with enough historical perspective to understand that there never was a golden age in which all Americans had a uniform culture and immigrant groups immediately dropped the culture of their homelands without contaminating the rest of us.

 

A few examples:

 

Prior to WWI, every major American city and many smaller towns with a high concentration of German immigrants had at least one German-language newspaper. Germans who settled in and around Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati (whose first mayor was a German), Milwaukee, New York City, St. Louis, and in states such as Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin often had a choice of several German-language newspapers.

http://german.about.com/library/weekly/aa071299.htm

In only a few decades, from the 1880s to the 1920s, the Jews who immigrated to America from Eastern Europe developed a rich cultural life in their new home based on the Yiddish language. Much of this life was secular in nature, and the religious component of Jewish life weakened during this time. This is a twelve-part introduction to that culture and, though by no means comprehensive, touches upon four important segments of American Yiddish culture: Literature, Education, the Press, and Theater.http://www.laits.utexas.edu/gottesman/

 

The emigrants from Sweden spoke their own language and were influenced by traditions quite different from the ones prevailing in the "adopted land." From the 1870s many were living in densely populated settlements which Chicago and Minnesota had melted together into vast Swedish-dominated areas. They became the cradles of Swedish-American culture with characteristics different from both America and Sweden. In the midst of such an enclave it was easy to believe that Swedish language and traditions would remain in the U.S.A. At that time the Swedes had long had their own churches, clubs, schools and newspapers. It was possible to live and die in Chicago or Minnesota without speaking anything but Swedish. The first Swedish church congregations were founded in the 1850s in Illinois. The Lutherans became the predominant group and in 1860 they had founded the Augustana Synod. When this church group in 1962 was merged with other Lutheran synods, it comprised 1,269 congregations with close to 630,000 baptized members. The first Swedish-language newspaper, HEMLANDET, was issued in Galesburg, Ill., in 1855. It attracted 1,500 followers, most of them published before World War I. No one has yet been able to measure the volume of literature published in " Swedish-America."

http://www.americanwest.com/swedemigr/pages/emigra.htm

At the time, nativist-leaning Americans were terribly concerned that these immigrant populations formed a threat to American culture. They were so different! They didn't share our values! They weren't blending in! Yet strangely, despite this history of cultural and linguistic preservation by immigrant groups, today we don't suffer from throngs of unassimilated Germans, Jews, and Swedes... or Irish, Italians, Norwegians, Russians, Greeks, or any number of other immigrant groups for which I could have assembled similar information.

 

It's a position that can only come from ignorance of history. Perhaps with a little "but now the immigrants have BROWN SKIN" panic mixed in.

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Ah, I'm guessing you are in Canada...that was just an odd way of stating it. Especially since you mention Union and then mention secession. I guess I don't really get what that has to do with state/national events unless you are specifically wanting to hit on the topic of the CW, which really doesn't have anything to do with the thread. *puzzled*

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Anyhow, do you think it's important to focus only on American history and government before high school? Do you think other countries and cultures should be studied in lower grades?

 

Why, yes! I mean...how could a kid understand the complicated details of world history before they're 16? I mean, most adults can barely understand them! And when will they need that information, anyway? Who do you know who goes around talking about comparative mythology or the pros and cons of different styles of government throughout history?

 

My goodness. I mean, let them do a "Taste of" different countries if they *must,* so they'll know that cheeseburgers are the food of the gods, I mean, the presidents, & maybe they can dress up like Indians or Egyptians one day or take a field trip to a museum.

 

But "study" it? "Study" doesn't even apply to kids, you weird homeschooler, you.

 

On a side note, I think you should agree w/ him. I was just telling dh the other night how fun it would be to adopt a new soapbox. I suggested that ours be the little red adapter boxes for the TV that the gov't handed out coupons for. We could be in favor of them. We could make it our main topic of conversation at family gatherings. We could point out how uninformed people would be about world events if they relied on the internet or cable tv or the radio or the newspaper for their "filtered" news.

 

And when they ask? Of course we don't have one! We get the "real" news from the "hive." :lol:

 

Ok, so you should try the same. (Dh won't let me scare bil w/ this kind of behavior, so I'll have to live vicariously thr you.) Adopt a new soapbox, & make it be that kids should only learn American history until highschool. THAT is the problem w/our country, the reason it's going to pot, etc--kids are learning world history. It's causing all kinds of corruption, decay, & senselessness. Remember, you don't have to make sense, just repeat the same idea over & over (& hope you don't win any converts).

 

If *you* (a homeschooler) support the idea, I bet bil will rethink his position. ;)

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