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Savermom

Really frustrated with inappropriate content in History of the Ancient World

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Sex is not a new concept and romantic tales and sexual relationships are a part of history. Herodotus, Plato, thucydities (KNOW I didn't spell that right, sorry), Gilgamesh, shakespeare, greek/roman/african/and other myths and more ALL had sex or innuendo of it.

 

I think high schoolers should be able to handle discussion about it. *shrugs*

:iagree: The myths of those cultures were based on sex -- Osiris with its ph@11us symbol, Dionysus with the same symbol, the Spartans Man/Boy relationships, Bulls in the Greek culture as religious ceremony... aiiiiyyyeee. ;) Child sacrifice cults. And so much more. FTR, I think SWB does a great job keeping that out for kids.

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I still disagree. I have read these parts in context. We have read through chapter 68 so I have a clear understanding of the book and how SWB writes. There is not one of those references that I feel needs to be in there to make the context presented clear. If she would have left them all out, I would not have been confused or left lacking in information. My point is that I feel they do nothing--absolutely nothing--to help me understand those portions of history or the people involved. I could care less about their s**ual preferences and exploits. I do care about where/who they ruled, not whether or not they slept with their own daughter. And the where/who/when is what I want my children to learn about, not the other.

 

I don't understand this notion that you have to know about the s**ual tendencies of historical rulers to truely understand the time period. I never learned that in public school or college and I had a firm grasp on history. It may not be a "big deal." I still don't want it in my son's history book. Or at the very least, I would have liked to have known about it before I made my purchase. Informed decision-making is always a good thing!

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While I don't have a problem with these books, I do think it's always a good idea to read things first before handing it over to my child.

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I still disagree. I have read these parts in context. We have read through chapter 68 so I have a clear understanding of the book and how SWB writes. There is not one of those references that I feel needs to be in there to make the context presented clear. If she would have left them all out, I would not have been confused or left lacking in information. My point is that I feel they do nothing--absolutely nothing--to help me understand those portions of history or the people involved. I could care less about their s**ual preferences and exploits. I do care about where/who they ruled, not whether or not they slept with their own daughter. And the where/who/when is what I want my children to learn about, not the other.

 

I don't understand this notion that you have to know about the s**ual tendencies of historical rulers to truely understand the time period. I never learned that in public school or college and I had a firm grasp on history. It may not be a "big deal." I still don't want it in my son's history book. Or at the very least, I would have liked to have known about it before I made my purchase. Informed decision-making is always a good thing!

 

14 years old is no longer a child, but a young man. Sex is one of main aspects of human existence. Gratuitous sexual content doesn't belong in a scholarly work but sexual content in context does not automatically equal inappropriate. Sexual politics figure heavily into the ancient world...many came to power (or didn't) because of sexual politics of some sort. There is no way to understand History on an adult level without an understanding of how violence and sex related to power. Are you saying SWB should have anticipated your objections to her material and warned you ahead of time? Maybe you should have scanned the book at a bookstore before purchasing because it isn't the author's responsibility to do that. If you are interested in keeping your son in the dark about sex (and I assure you, he is probably well aware that it exists), then simply put away the book until he is older and pull out SOTW or Kingfisher and have at it.

 

Barb

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:iagree: The myths of those cultures were based on sex -- Osiris with its ph@11us symbol, Dionysus with the same symbol, the Spartans Man/Boy relationships, Bulls in the Greek culture as religious ceremony... aiiiiyyyeee. ;) Child sacrifice cults. And so much more. FTR, I think SWB does a great job keeping that out for kids.

 

14 years old is no longer a child, but a young man. Sex is one of main aspects of human existence. Gratuitous sexual content doesn't belong in a scholarly work but sexual content in context does not automatically equal inappropriate. Sexual politics figure heavily into the ancient world...many came to power (or didn't) because of sexual politics of some sort. There is no way to understand History on an adult level without an understanding of how violence and sex related to power. Are you saying SWB should have anticipated your objections to her material and warned you ahead of time? Maybe you should have scanned the book at a bookstore before purchasing because it isn't the author's responsibility to do that. If you are interested in keeping your son in the dark about sex (and I assure you, he is probably well aware that it exists), then simply put away the book until he is older and pull out SOTW or Kingfisher and have at it.

 

Barb

 

This. Exactly. It's not the author's responsibility to 'warn' you, it's the parent's responsibility to preread.

 

Read it yourself and skip the parts you don't like. NO ONE can write a book that EVERYONE is going to be happy with. And, if it happened, it probably wouldn't be that good of a book.

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Um, don't laugh, but are you guys saying that the term plowing a damp field means something other than plowing a damp field? I even asked hubby...we're stumped.

 

Crawling back in my own little world now.

 

Alison

 

:lol::lol: Love it!

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14 years old is no longer a child, but a young man. Sex is one of main aspects of human existence. Gratuitous sexual content doesn't belong in a scholarly work but sexual content in context does not automatically equal inappropriate. Sexual politics figure heavily into the ancient world...many came to power (or didn't) because of sexual politics of some sort. There is no way to understand History on an adult level without an understanding of how violence and sex related to power. Are you saying SWB should have anticipated your objections to her material and warned you ahead of time? Maybe you should have scanned the book at a bookstore before purchasing because it isn't the author's responsibility to do that. If you are interested in keeping your son in the dark about sex (and I assure you, he is probably well aware that it exists), then simply put away the book until he is older and pull out SOTW or Kingfisher and have at it.

 

Barb

 

To be fair, I think she knows her son is a young man. And "keeping your son in the dark" seems a bit snarky here.

 

She said already (very clearly) that the passages did NOT help her understand the history, so the comments on the the important politics involved do not apply to her at all.

 

My son personally isn't up to reading the book, but I think for those who are, it's legitimate to have a conversation about using it with a 14yo. To me, there is a definite "university milieu" feel to the book, but to others obviously it's perfectly in line with where their high schoolers area at. Good topic of discussion, IMHO.

 

Julie

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To be fair, I think she knows her son is a young man. And "keeping your son in the dark" seems a bit snarky here.

 

I'm quoting. She calls him a child. She never refers to him as a young man.

 

She said already (very clearly) that the passages did NOT help her understand the history, so the comments on the the important politics involved do not apply to her at all.

 

That really isn't the point. The point of the post is that she is frustrated that a. the content is in there at all and b. she wasn't warned.

 

My son personally isn't up to reading the book, but I think for those who are, it's legitimate to have a conversation about using it with a 14yo. To me, there is a definite "university milieu" feel to the book, but to others obviously it's perfectly in line with where their high schoolers area at.

 

I respect that. Each of us chooses our own comfort zones. But the OP seemed to be saying that she is offended by the book and that it isn't "appropriate" for any 14yo. That touched a nerve with me considering the other fight we're currently embroiled in. I think it showed bad form and bad timing. The thread that Luanne posted was better. A quick heads up is great, but enough with the inappropriate label already. We really need a new descriptor on this board.

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14 years old is no longer a child, but a young man. Sex is one of main aspects of human existence. Gratuitous sexual content doesn't belong in a scholarly work but sexual content in context does not automatically equal inappropriate. Sexual politics figure heavily into the ancient world...many came to power (or didn't) because of sexual politics of some sort. There is no way to understand History on an adult level without an understanding of how violence and sex related to power. Are you saying SWB should have anticipated your objections to her material and warned you ahead of time? Maybe you should have scanned the book at a bookstore before purchasing because it isn't the author's responsibility to do that. If you are interested in keeping your son in the dark about sex (and I assure you, he is probably well aware that it exists), then simply put away the book until he is older and pull out SOTW or Kingfisher and have at it.

 

Barb

 

No, I was not saying SWB, or any author, should or can anticipate anyone's objections. I am not trying to disparage this book or the author as I think highly of her writing and have used her materials for the last 8 years. I wish this topic would have been mentioned on the boards when I was looking into purchasing it. Not much was written about the book. Had someone mentioned this I would have made a different choice. No, I'm not saying it should have been talked about, because clearly it is not an issue for most of you. I'm only saying I wish it would have been because it would have helped me out. :chillpill:

 

Trying to keep my 14 yr old in the dark about sex is a ridiculous statement. Don't judge me because you don't know me. That's not the case. I just don't want it in my history book. Yes, I also read reviews on movies before we rent them because I don't want my children watching sex on tv. Is that ok or am I too prudish there as well? Whatever your opinions are, my personal view is that there is too much sex everywhere. Books, movies, magazine covers at the grocery store, on the news, and now in my history book. Our current society is not better off with all this openess and enlightenment. But, that's must my opinon.

 

I never meant for this to become a heated topic! I only wondered if anyone else out there felt like I did.

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No, I was not saying SWB, or any author, should or can anticipate anyone's objections. I am not trying to disparage this book or the author as I think highly of her writing and have used her materials for the last 8 years.

 

Then maybe you should have chosen your words a little more carefully. Mad? Why be angry? Frustrated over inappropriate material? Inappropriate for whom? Those words are disparaging. They're value laden, negative and yes, disparaging. If you wanted to offer a heads up, then fine. Do it. But to jump on here and talk about how angry it makes you will trigger strong disagreement.

 

Barb

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I still disagree. I have read these parts in context. We have read through chapter 68 so I have a clear understanding of the book and how SWB writes. There is not one of those references that I feel needs to be in there to make the context presented clear. If she would have left them all out, I would not have been confused or left lacking in information. My point is that I feel they do nothing--absolutely nothing--to help me understand those portions of history or the people involved. I could care less about their s**ual preferences and exploits. I do care about where/who they ruled, not whether or not they slept with their own daughter. And the where/who/when is what I want my children to learn about, not the other.

 

I don't understand this notion that you have to know about the s**ual tendencies of historical rulers to truly understand the time period. I never learned that in public school or college and I had a firm grasp on history. It may not be a "big deal." I still don't want it in my son's history book. Or at the very least, I would have liked to have known about it before I made my purchase. Informed decision-making is always a good thing!

 

For what it's worth, I'm with you on this, and we are not at all prudish here. I totally got the reference "plow the wet field' from the get-go...and so would all of my ds's.

 

I agree, the bible does indeed contain a lot of sex, but one can read it without blushing. It can sometimes be uncomfortable to be sure, but it's not vulgar. "Plow my wet field" (or any variety of that phrase) is, in my way of thinking, somewhat vulgar and not something I would want in my ds's history book, nor mine for that matter...and at 46 years old I do believe I am 'mature enough' to handle the 'advanced' content.:tongue_smilie:

 

For SWB to just say something like, "The lady wanted to have s*x with him" would have been more appropriate. It states a fact and does not conjure up inappropriate titillating mental images to a young mans mind like the phrase "Plow her wet field" would. Good grief. Either some of you don't have young men, or you're clueless to how they think. :confused:

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I agree with Barb. It's impossible to keep sex out of history. And not just ancient history, for that matter!!! And there's a huge difference between an explicit sex scene and what SWB wrote.

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Then maybe you should have chosen your words a little more carefully. Mad? Why be angry? Frustrated over inappropriate material? Inappropriate for whom? Those words are disparaging. They're value laden, negative and yes, disparaging. If you wanted to offer a heads up, then fine. Do it. But to jump on here and talk about how angry it makes you will trigger strong disagreement.

 

Barb

 

We still live in a free country and she's entitled to her opinion on the book. If it angered and frustrated her, so be it, is she not 'allowed' to say that? I am personally glad she brought it up because, had she not, I would have had no idea the book contained anything even remotely like that.

 

I think you need to take a :chillpill: pill Barb, and find another thread. This one seems to be pushing hot buttons for you and causing you to lash out personally. Not nice.

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For SWB to just say something like, "The lady wanted to have s*x with him" would have been more appropriate. It states a fact and does not conjure up inappropriate titillating mental images to a young mans mind like the phrase "Plow her wet field" would. Good grief. Either some of you don't have young men, or you're clueless to how they think. :confused:

 

But then it looses the first hand account and becomes an interpretation of history.

 

I have young men. That was not titillating. You disagree. I get that. Then skip it or find something else but to come here and ask that an author give a disclaimer and written annotation of every sexual reference in a 777 page footnoted book on history written for HS and adults is asking a bit much.

 

I agree, the bible does indeed contain a lot of sex, but one can read it without blushing.
Then you haven't really read Song of Songs or if you have, you've not understood the euphemisms. The Song of Songs:A New Translation by Alter, Bloch and Bloch is a good start. The bible translators cleaned it up too much.

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We still live in a free country and she's entitled to her opinion on the book. If it angered and frustrated her, so be it, is she not 'allowed' to say that?

 

She's "allowed" to say anything she wishes. But then she shouldn't be surprised at the strong reaction she receives. I never said she isn't allowed to do anything, but I did disagree with the assertion that her remarks were not disparaging. Can't have it both ways. If you're going to say it, you'd better own it, y'know?

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Whatever your opinions are, my personal view is that there is too much sex everywhere. Books, movies, magazine covers at the grocery store, on the news, and now in my history book. Our current society is not better off with all this openess and enlightenment. But, that's must my opinon.

 

 

:iagree:

 

Try not to take Barb's (or anyones) comments as a personal attack. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that she is probably not meaning them to be. Also, her ds is very young...it's possible she'll be singing a different tune entirely when he is 14. ;)

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I have young men. That was not titillating.

 

Are you sure about that?? I truly doubt it's something they would discuss with you, no matter how close you are. ;)

 

You disagree. I get that. Then skip it or find something else but to come here and ask that an author give a disclaimer and written annotation of every sexual reference in a 777 page footnoted book on history written for HS and adults is asking a bit much.

 

Wow, I don't recall her asking for SWB to do that at all. Perhaps I missed her requesting a "written annotation of every sexual reference". My understanding was that a heads-up from someone/somewhere would have been nice.

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:iagree:

 

Try not to take Barb's (or anyones) comments as a personal attack. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that she is probably not meaning them to be. Also, her ds is very young...it's possible she'll be singing a different tune entirely when he is 14. ;)

 

Well, I have 15 and 13 year old young men. I'm okay with it. I don't think they'd find it titillating and I do know how they think. They are more likely to find the euphemism amusing in the case of plowing damp field. And I made them read Gilgamesh... just not the Mitchell translation.

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While I did not ask for pg number annotations, is it inconceivable to consider a small disclaimer? I'm not talking Amazon.com here, but on a small website catering (not entirely, I know) to homeschoolers like Peacehillpress. We all have our reasons for homeschooling. For many, one of those reasons is to limit certain influences and teach subjects with a certain viewpoint that coincides with our belief system.

 

Why can't we discuss having some disclaimers on certain homeschool curricula? I'm NOT saying websites or even authors must have them. But, wouldn't it be nice to have them in certain circumstances? That way we wouldn't have to guess if a science program is creation based or big bang. Whether or not literature contains sexual content. I see many posts looking for secular curriculum. Many looking for a religious bent. Let the descriptions tell us. Maybe "disclaimer" is not the right word.

 

We all spend so much time and energey researching the perfect curriculum for our child. We struggle between this one and that one. Sometimes the choices are easy to make, sometimes they are very hard. No, SWB or Peacehillpress or any other website does not have to provide us that information. I just asking, "Wouldn't it be nice if they did?"

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Are you sure about that?? I truly doubt it's something they would discuss with you, no matter how close you are. ;)

 

 

 

Wow, I don't recall her asking for SWB to do that at all. Perhaps I missed her requesting a "written annotation of every sexual reference". My understanding was that a heads-up from someone/somewhere would have been nice.

 

I don't care if they discuss it with me. I don't care if they read that. It's not pron.

 

No. No heads up. Read it yourself. Because one person's problems with a sexual remark is another person's problem with beaver teeth.

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Why can't we discuss having some disclaimers on certain homeschool curricula? I'm NOT saying websites or even authors must have them. But, wouldn't it be nice to have them in certain circumstances? That way we wouldn't have to guess if a science program is creation based or big bang. Whether or not literature contains sexual content. I see many posts looking for secular curriculum. Many looking for a religious bent. Let the descriptions tell us. Maybe "disclaimer" is not the right word.

 

 

 

One of the challenges with this is that what person A views as acceptable is not to person B. Consider works of art. How many bare breasts are there in the world's great museums or a good art history text? Yet some may object to seeing the human body in the context of art.

 

Frankly I do not see how one can study certain historical events or great works of literature without addressing sexual issues. I like to consider high school students emerging adults. No, most young teens are not ready to make adult decisions, but I think this is a great time to have discussions on issues that will shape their lives and issues that have shaped history. This is the time for us to impart our perspective and values over what we may consider to be a false perception in society at large. As I stated earlier, this is not the time to sweep things under the rug. Teens are in the loop.

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I don't care if they discuss it with me. I don't care if they read that. It's not pron.

 

No one said it was porn. You don't have an issue with it, thats great, it's apparently not a problem for you. It is for the OP, and I think we should respect that and not make her feel like some prude out of touch with the societal aspects of history...or society in general, for that matter.

 

No. No heads up. Read it yourself. Because one person's problems with a sexual remark is another person's problem with beaver teeth.

 

It's nice that you have the luxury of time to preread all your students' books. ;)

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Wow, I don't recall her asking for SWB to do that at all. Perhaps I missed her requesting a "written annotation of every sexual reference". My understanding was that a heads-up from someone/somewhere would have been nice.

 

Melissa, you are mistaken:

 

 

While I did not ask for pg number annotations, is it inconceivable to consider a small disclaimer? I'm not talking Amazon.com here, but on a small website catering (not entirely, I know) to homeschoolers like Peacehillpress. We all have our reasons for homeschooling. For many, one of those reasons is to limit certain influences and teach subjects with a certain viewpoint that coincides with our belief system.

 

Why can't we discuss having some disclaimers on certain homeschool curricula? I'm NOT saying websites or even authors must have them. But, wouldn't it be nice to have them in certain circumstances? That way we wouldn't have to guess if a science program is creation based or big bang. Whether or not literature contains sexual content. I see many posts looking for secular curriculum. Many looking for a religious bent. Let the descriptions tell us. Maybe "disclaimer" is not the right word.

 

We all spend so much time and energey researching the perfect curriculum for our child. We struggle between this one and that one. Sometimes the choices are easy to make, sometimes they are very hard. No, SWB or Peacehillpress or any other website does not have to provide us that information. I just asking, "Wouldn't it be nice if they did?"

 

I'm afraid it really is unreasonable to ask an author to add a disclaimer of any sort to published material. The burden is on the reader to decide how to use published material, even in homeschooling circles. Trust me, I've made many poor choices for my family in my earliest days of homeschooling. I've bought and sold Bob Jones texts, AO, and Abeka materials. I found the materials deeply offensive to my personal belief system, but it is not the responsibility of the publisher to warn me.

 

I want to apologize about the remarks I made regarding your son. I shouldn’t have said anything personal. I shot from the hip and let my exasperation show, and I’m sorry. I know better.

 

This is what I heard and what I reacted to:

 

There is sex in a university level history book. *I* didn’t need sex to understand history in University, therefore it doesn’t belong.

 

Furthermore, this book is recommended to high schoolers who are still children. My son is not ready for this content at 14, or perhaps ever since I didn’t need it, therefore it is inappropriate for 14yo children in general.

 

I am also angry and frustrated that it was included and then recommended because the author should have known I might be offended, made a poor choice to include the information in the first place, and should have anticipated my reaction.

 

You asked if the request for a disclaimer or some other heads up from an author is a reasonable request. That's actually a good question. I don't believe it is.

 

Barb

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Because one person's problems with a sexual remark is another person's problem with beaver teeth.

 

Oh, you just had to go there. Now you've crossed the line, Missy. I want to say that I always black out b**ver t**th in library books and I'm proud to say it. No one wants to see that s**t.

 

 

 

 

 

BTW, and ETA: Not making fun of posters. Making fun of crazy people who black out library books.

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One of the challenges with this is that what person A views as acceptable is not to person B. Consider works of art. How many bare breasts are there in the world's great museums or a good art history text? Yet some may find object to seeing the human body in the context of art.

 

Yes, very true, but nudity in most art books is a given and much easier to 'find' than a tiny, possibly, titillating description in a 700 page book. :D

 

Frankly I do not see how one can study certain historical events or great works of literature without addressing sexual issues. I like to consider high school students emerging adults. No, most young teens are not ready to make adult decisions, but I think this is a great time to have discussions on issues that will shape their lives and issues that have shaped history. This is the time for us to impart our perspective and values over what we may consider to be a false perception in society at large. As I stated earlier, this is not the time to sweep things under the rug. Teens are in the loop.

 

I totally agree with you here. Totally. But can't we do that without phrases like "plow my wet field"? I am all for talking to my boys about sexual issues. I do not, personally, sweep that under a rug. In fact, I bring it to the forefront far more often than my youngest ds would like. ;) You CAN'T ignore it when teaching accurate history, it is too much a part of our past, but doing so in taste is important. I suppose that means different things to different people though, so I get that.

 

I do very much appreciate websites that offer insights (aka heads-up) though. Not a page by page heads up, but a, "This book contains some sexual references." Sonlight is pretty good at that, and I always appreciated them giving me that 'heads-up' so I could check things out for myself. I know this would be impossible across the board in all books everywhere, and I don't think anyone is asking for that, but with SWB being a homeschooler and so many of us, who are Christians and therefore often a picky lot, following her with TWTM, etc., I don't see how a small "this book contains some sexual references." is asking for the moon. :confused:

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Melissa, you are mistaken

 

Hmmm... I don't believe I am. She is not asking for a page by page annotation of every sexual reference...just a small heads up from our fellow homeschool publishers. ;)

 

 

I'm afraid it really is unreasonable to ask an author to add a disclaimer of any sort to published material. The burden is on the reader to decide how to use published material, even in homeschooling circles. Trust me, I've made many poor choices for my family in my earliest days of homeschooling. I've bought and sold Bob Jones texts, AO, and Abeka materials. I found the materials deeply offensive to my personal belief system, but it is not the responsibility of the publisher to warn me.

 

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this one. That's cool.

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Why can't we discuss having some disclaimers on certain homeschool curricula? I'm NOT saying websites or even authors must have them. But, wouldn't it be nice to have them in certain circumstances? That way we wouldn't have to guess if a science program is creation based or big bang. Whether or not literature contains sexual content. I see many posts looking for secular curriculum. Many looking for a religious bent. Let the descriptions tell us. Maybe "disclaimer" is not the right word.

 

I think the descriptions and reviews on Rainbow Resource's site do a good job of warning about any content that would be questionable to anyone. There's also Homeschool Reviews and reading reviews on Amazon. I don't know if Cathy Duffy's reviews mention questionable content, but I do know that Rainbow generally does. There are some resources if you weren't already aware of them.

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Oh, you just had to go there. Now you've crossed the line, Missy. I want to say that I always black out b**ver t**th in library books and I'm proud to say it. No one wants to see that s**t.

 

 

 

 

 

BTW, and ETA: Not making fun of posters. Making fun of crazy people who black out library books.

 

can't stop laughing....could you even imagine anyone coming across that and trying to figure it out?

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Yes, very true, but nudity in most art books is a given and much easier to 'find' than a tiny, possibly, titillating description in a 700 page book. :D

 

and there you go.

 

Just skip that part. Or if you've read it and object, keep a sharpie next to you.

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and there you go.

 

Just skip that part. Or if you've read it and object, keep a sharpie next to you.

 

Ha! Yes. I agree. But you are assuming every parent/teacher has the time to either read history with their student, or pre-read it before assigning it. ;)

 

When one is purchasing made-for-homeschool published material, as most, or much of the materials we buy, is, some type of disclaimer would be nice, ya know? I mean we have them for movies...why not school books? I KNOW that if a movie is rated R, that I can expect certain material in it and should preview it before allowing my youngest ds to watch it. Previewing a 2 hour movie is much quicker than re-reading a 700 page book. BUT, if I know said book has questionable sexual and language content, I can either decide to chance it, pre-read it for myself, or find something else. Difficult to do that without a heads-up of some kind. Just sayin'.

 

By the way, I couldn't imagine someone using a sharpie on a library book, but the world is full of all kinds of [nutty] people. :lol::lol:

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BUT, if I know said book has questionable sexual and language content, I can either decide to chance it, pre-read it for myself, or find something else. Difficult to do that without a heads-up of some kind. Just sayin'.

 

 

 

Define questionable. That is the issue.

 

In the film industry, certain words or bare body parts may merit an industry rating. But innuendo can escape. And the innuendo can theoretically be more raunchy.

 

Frankly, given the reluctant readers one finds in the young male teen set, a warning might entice a few of them to read 700 page history books. But I still want to know who the arbiter of questionable content is.

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Yes, very true, but nudity in most art books is a given and much easier to 'find' than a tiny, possibly, titillating description in a 700 page book. :D

 

 

 

I totally agree with you here. Totally. But can't we do that without phrases like "plow my wet field"? I am all for talking to my boys about sexual issues. I do not, personally, sweep that under a rug. In fact, I bring it to the forefront far more often than my youngest ds would like. ;) You CAN'T ignore it when teaching accurate history, it is too much a part of our past, but doing so in taste is important. I suppose that means different things to different people though, so I get that.

 

I do very much appreciate websites that offer insights (aka heads-up) though. Not a page by page heads up, but a, "This book contains some sexual references." Sonlight is pretty good at that, and I always appreciated them giving me that 'heads-up' so I could check things out for myself. I know this would be impossible across the board in all books everywhere, and I don't think anyone is asking for that, but with SWB being a homeschooler and so many of us, who are Christians and therefore often a picky lot, following her with TWTM, etc., I don't see how a small "this book contains some sexual references." is asking for the moon. :confused:

 

I understand the desire to have forewarning of objectionable material, especially when working with a younger child, but I do believe that in this case, it is not a reasonable request.

 

The History of the Ancient World is described as being suitable for high school students and adults. When you have an advanced student, it can be a tricky walk to automatically assume that material geared towards high school and adults would be the next logical leap. The student's reading level and comprehension may be there, but often, the maturity is not. When considering a significant leap, and 4th grade to 9th grade is a significant leap, come to the board and ask members what their experience is. A quick question on the board would have saved the OP this frustration.

 

My guess is that the OP assumed that since SWB is Christian and since she has written children's books, that her books for older students and adults would be free from "objectionable" material. It is an understandable assumption, but I think it only looks at part of who the author is.

 

My personal opinion is that SWB has accomplished the daunting task of reaching and teaching homeschoolers who range from women with only high school education, who do not wish to have their daughters study math and science to women with doctorates in engineering who are aiming for Ivy League colleges for their children. Throw a few few unruly guys in there and you have an incredibly diverse audience to please. SWB not only has to stick to her own convictions as a Christian and a parent, but she has to work within her convictions as an academic professional. I would think that "white-washing" primary source material as Melissa is suggesting would be a major professional transgression, no? I suppose SWB could leave out any "suspect" primary sources, but, well, isn't she all for using primary sources in studying history?

 

Then there is the fact that SWB is a professional writer. She chooses the words she chooses for a reason. Melissa, you may find the Gilgamesh reference disturbing, but I have a 13 yo who still can't get over Lot and his daughters from his mundane children's bible. We are literature fanatics so the straight-forward list of violence and s*x actually feels more overwhelming. Ds thought his translation could "use a bit of poetry." We did read the part of Gilgamesh being referred to above. The older kids smirked and looked at each other. The youngest asked for clarification, which the olders happily provided. We moved on. Metaphors can be more graphic and they can ease brutal tension. It is in the eye of the beholder. If I were a writer that took pride in my craft, I would be much happier with "plow her damp field" than "have s*x." We talked about the finesse that the original writer of those words possessed. The very words speak volumes about those ancient authors.

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I could care less about their s**ual preferences and exploits. I do care about where/who they ruled, not whether or not they slept with their own daughter. And the where/who/when is what I want my children to learn about, not the other.

 

I don't understand this notion that you have to know about the s**ual tendencies of historical rulers to truely understand the time period. I never learned that in public school or college and I had a firm grasp on history.

 

:001_huh: okie dokie then. You don't need to bother teaching hiSTORY at all then. Just have him memorize a list of rulers, places and times and be done with it.

 

Bottom line is sex absolutely did and does play a role in history. Knowing they slept with their daughter is the difference between knowing whether they had a rightful claim to the throne or not, whether their son was more legitimate of an heir than the child from their favorite concubine, were they a manipulative strategist or a brutal pludgerer? No, you don't need a drawing of them in bed together, but yes you absolutely DO need to know who was having sex with who and why to have a firm grasp of history and cultural context.

 

History is NOT just a list of who ruled where when.

 

History is about real people. People who had motives and ideas and relationships that sometimes literally changed their world and ours.

 

But then it looses the first hand account and becomes an interpretation of history.

 

I have young men. That was not titillating. You disagree. I get that. Then skip it or find something else but to come here and ask that an author give a disclaimer .... on history written for HS and adults is asking a bit much.

 

Then you haven't really read Song of Songs or if you have, you've not understood the euphemisms. The Song of Songs:A New Translation by Alter, Bloch and Bloch is a good start. The bible translators cleaned it up too much.

 

:iagree: As for the reference to plowing fields. I don't think it any more vulgar than biblical reference to spilling seed on the ground.

 

And by high school, I do not pre read. Partly bc by that level I expect them to be mature enough to handle these things. Partly bc I have a familiarity with most of the history and literature. But mostly bc we have very frank discussions every day over their lessons and anything questionable is discussed then. And yes, my boys have commented on such things to me. We had a long discussion just the other day over the taking of women as plunder when an area was conquered. Pros, cons, benefits and so forth of both the conquered and the victor. What was the motivation of both political views.

 

While I did not ask for pg number annotations, is it inconceivable to consider a small disclaimer?

 

For a text intended for high school and adults? YES! I have no issue with someone saying, "hey I didn't like this product bc of these specific xyz references here, here, and here."

 

I do absolutely have a problem with someone saying a product should come with a disclaimer that it has mature content when the product on question is INTENDED for a mature audience.

 

I'm sorry. I can respect that you wouldn't want to read it. Fine.

But if you are buying materials intended for high school and adults, then you need to presume it will indeed have mature relevant content.:001_huh:

 

I don't care if they discuss it with me. I don't care if they read that. It's not pron.

 

No. No heads up. Read it yourself. Because one person's problems with a sexual remark is another person's problem with beaver teeth.

 

:iagree:

 

:tongue_smilie: Pron? Prawn! What you got against shrimp? Took me a minute there.

Beaver teeth! Great. Now when the kids mention seeing beavers at the creek, I'm going to have a momentary mental image of pron kings.:lol:

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Define questionable. That is the issue.

 

In the film industry, certain words or bare body parts may merit an industry rating. But innuendo can escape. And the innuendo can theoretically be more raunchy.

 

Frankly, given the reluctant readers one finds in the young male teen set, a warning might entice a few of them to read 700 page history books. But I still want to know who the arbiter of questionable content is.

 

Good question, Jane. I have no answers except that, I think, most of general society knows what questionable words and sexual references are. Just a statement saying that they are in the book would help. Then the person who might object could discern for themselves if said questionable material is actually problematic for them...we all have our marks in the sand so to speak. I guess, I would caution to the extreme side and let the reader decide for themselves where they fit.

 

I have read literally hundreds of books in my life, and many without a single sexual reference or inappropriate gratuitous curse word. And I have also read the opposite. I think an author knows the difference, don't you? I mean, they ARE the ones writing it. I would love for SWB to tell us how she see's the sexual reference to "Plow..." and if she finds it as innocent as some of you seem to. :001_smile: In my mind, it's pretty raunchy and conjures up images I'd prefer my 14 yo not visit in his mind while reading his history text. But, perhaps thats silly and old fashioned.

 

Anyhow, I do see that some form of 'disclaimer' would be difficult to arbitrate, but I don't think the idea is wholly without merit. ;)

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Good question, Jane. I have no answers except that, I think, most of general society knows what questionable words and sexual references are. Just a statement saying that they are in the book would help. Then the person who might object could discern for themselves if said questionable material is actually problematic for them...we all have our marks in the sand so to speak. I guess, I would caution to the extreme side and let the reader decide for themselves where they fit.

 

I have read literally hundreds of books in my life, and many without a single sexual reference or inappropriate gratuitous curse word. And I have also read the opposite. I think an author knows the difference, don't you? I mean, they ARE the ones writing it. I would love for SWB to tell us how she see's the sexual reference to "Plow..." and if she finds it as innocent as some of you seem to. :001_smile: In my mind, it's pretty raunchy and conjures up images I'd prefer my 14 yo not visit in his mind while reading his history text. But, perhaps thats silly and old fashioned.

 

Anyhow, I do see that some form of 'disclaimer' would be difficult to arbitrate, but I don't think the idea is wholly without merit. ;)

 

You know, I'm starting to take offense at the sly intimations. Basically what you are saying in this post is that

 

1. we can't critically read and

2. if we can, our allowable raunch is higher than yours

3.because we don't agree with 1 and 2, we're now not as morally upstanding as you.

 

I have two words for you. Ken Hamm.

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I would think that "white-washing" primary source material as Melissa is suggesting would be a major professional transgression, no? I suppose SWB could leave out any "suspect" primary sources, but, well, isn't she all for using primary sources in studying history?

 

 

Whoa there, hold the phone! I didn't say ANYTHING about white-washing anything! :001_huh::glare:

 

I'm not sure how (or why) you turned my desire for some type of disclaimer letting one know there may be questionable material in a book, to 'white-washing primary source material." Good grief. :confused:

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Whoa there, hold the phone! I didn't say ANYTHING about white-washing anything! :001_huh::glare:

 

I'm not sure how (or why) you turned my desire for some type of disclaimer letting one know there may be questionable material in a book, to 'white-washing primary source material." Good grief. :confused:

 

Yes. You didn't like the wording of direct quote and suggested it be changed to something more straightforward.

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You know, I'm starting to take offense at the sly intimations. Basically what you are saying in this post is that

 

1. we can't critically read and

2. if we can, our allowable raunch is higher than yours

3.because we don't agree with 1 and 2, we're now not as morally upstanding as you.

 

I have two words for you. Ken Hamm.

 

:iagree: I think we just circled back to the beginning of the thread.

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Good question, Jane. I have no answers except that, I think, most of general society knows what questionable words and sexual references are.

 

 

So can a history mention the acceptance of homosexuality or pederasty in ancient Greece? Is a mention a sufficient "sexual reference" deserving of a warning label?

 

Again, I bring Gilgamesh to the table. What about Oedipus Rex? What about the sophomoric humor of Aristophanes? Do these books need warning labels?

 

This scares me. Really.

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You know, I'm starting to take offense at the sly intimations. Basically what you are saying in this post is that

 

1. we can't critically read and

2. if we can, our allowable raunch is higher than yours

3.because we don't agree with 1 and 2, we're now not as morally upstanding as you.

 

I have two words for you. Ken Hamm.

 

Wow. You read an awful lot into what I said, too bad it's all wrong. You can take offense if you desire, but no offense was intended on my part.

 

I did NOT say anything about your ability to read critically. But, if you have somehow read that into what I wrote then perhaps you do need to read more critically.

I did NOT say that your allowable raunch is higher than mine...though, it could be, I honestly couldn't say. As I said, we all have our marks in the sand of what we find acceptable. Sorry if that is somehow offensive.:confused:

I did NOT intimate or insinuate anything about your morality, nor did it even enter my mind that I am somehow more morally upstanding than you. If you knew me, you would see how ridiculous that comment is. :glare:

 

What I WAS stating was that authors KNOW WHAT THEY ARE WRITING! They KNOW if they are using sexual references. They KNOW if they are using gratuitous cursing. So, if they KNOW this, why would it be so difficult for them to state A SMALL DISCLAIMER to the effect of, "Some material may be inappropriate for some readers. Material contains sexual references and language." Or some such thing.

 

Good grief. This is just a conversation people, why must it turn into a personal attack. I'm personally not attacking ANYONE. Period.

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In the end, I think the OP just needed to do some more research. Shakespeare does not come with a disclaimer, but the references contained are fairly common knowledge. I thought one could easily find out that this series is written for a mature audience, but now that it has been highlighted again, that may make it more "common knowledge" than it was before.

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Are you also following TWTM reading list? There has been discussion on the sexual content in Gilgamesh as well as the discomfort that some of us have felt when discussing Oedipus Rex with our thirteen or fourteen year old sons.

 

By the way, Gilgamesh is on reading lists of some very conservative curricula.

 

Frankly I do not think that the content of these literary works is inappropriate for a teen. Teens are working their way to adulthood. This is the time to discuss things, not sweep them under the rug.

 

 

 

:iagree:

 

Well, I have 15 and 13 year old young men. I'm okay with it. I don't think they'd find it titillating and I do know how they think. They are more likely to find the euphemism amusing in the case of plowing damp field. And I made them read Gilgamesh... just not the Mitchell translation.

 

I agree with this. I led a discussion group of teens (ninth grade, male and female) for ancient great books. They were all from very conservative homes. They managed discussion of Gilgamesh, The Iliad, etc. They have *much* worse content than HOAW. If you want to do ancient history in TWTM style, then you will deal with that stuff in ninth grade. eta: Some of the moms were TOTALLY unaware of what happens in Gilgamesh or The Iliad until they read them along with their kids. There is no disclaimer on those books.

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Yes. You didn't like the wording of direct quote and suggested it be changed to something more straightforward.

 

Then forgive me, I was in error. I did not know the "plow..." quote was an actual primary history source. :confused: I was just assuming it was a narrative, as are a lot of SWB's writings, that could have been worded differently. I misunderstood, apparently. Blast me all ya want. ;)

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I agree. I agree with every part of Lisa's post and my own experience has been similar.

 

How many of us have given our children unedited versions of Shakespeare to read or watch, even before high school? What about Canterbury Tales? I have trouble thinking of classics we read that don't contain inuendo. Maybe we skipped those because I was afraid they would be boring or because they dealt with subjects that I consider far far more traumatic, like the holocaust.

 

-Nan

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In the end, I think the OP just needed to do some more research. Shakespeare does not come with a disclaimer, but the references contained are fairly common knowledge. I thought one could easily find out that this series is written for a mature audience, but now that it has been highlighted again, that may make it more "common knowledge" than it was before.

 

 

I don't know what more research I could have done, short of asking directly on these boards whether or not the book contained sexual references. That thought never crossed my mind. ANd to clarify what seems to be a misunderstanding, my ds is 14 and in 9th grade, not younger. This book was written for hs freshman. (I say that because its description states it is for high schoolers, SWB wrote it, and SWB suggests teaching ancients in 9th grade. Seems like a reasonable assumption.)

 

Swimmermom3 said it best:

My guess is that the OP assumed that since SWB is Christian and since she has written children's books, that her books for older students and adults would be free from "objectionable" material. It is an understandable assumption, but I think it only looks at part of who the author is.

 

SWB caught me off guard! "Warnings" is a harsh word. A "heads up" wouldn't kill anyone. If nothing else, that is what this thread has done--given a "heads up" to anyone considering this book that might take issue with the sexual content. I'm sure I'm not the only one despite the fact that I appear to be!

Why isn't there a smilie for hiding under a blanket? :D

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Whoa there, hold the phone! I didn't say ANYTHING about white-washing anything! :001_huh::glare:

 

I'm not sure how (or why) you turned my desire for some type of disclaimer letting one know there may be questionable material in a book, to 'white-washing primary source material." Good grief. :confused:

 

Ack! Melissa, my apologies. That was the feeling I got pertaining this particular quote, from what you wrote. The quote from Gilgamesh is taken from a primary source, I believe. I have the book so I should probably look this up. So I understood the options to be 1) change the wording (but it is a primary source!), 2) delete the use of that primary source, or 3) have a disclaimer as you say.

 

Melissa, I've read enough of your posts to not think that you are being prudish or silly, but it did sound like you wanted SWB to change the words of a primary source to read something like "have s*x."

 

I could appreciate a disclaimer, but sadly more from the perspective that a few times recently I have handed my older kids what I think are great novels, but then later remember that they are better novels for someone with a few more years and a bit more experience on them.:tongue_smilie:

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So can a history mention the acceptance of homosexuality or pederasty in ancient Greece? Is a mention a sufficient "sexual reference" deserving of a warning label?

 

Again, I bring Gilgamesh to the table. What about Oedipus Rex? What about the sophomoric humor of Aristophanes? Do these books need warning labels?

 

This scares me. Really.

 

Good question! Again, I don't know. I'm not for sensorship, and to be honest, this really isn't my fight. I was just jumping in to help the OP as I saw that she had a legitimate concern, and you were all bunching up on her...as some tend to do. Just wanting to help her pose the question of why we can't have some type of heads-up in regards to our homeschooling materials. I thought her concern a legitimate one. I had no idea it would stir up so much venom. Seems silly to me.

 

I appreciate your thoughtful questions and responses though, Jane. They make me think, and they are very good questions. ;)

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No blasts here. Just admiration for your grace.

 

All in all, I can't help thinking that SWB doesn't really need this thread this week.

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Ack! Melissa, my apologies. That was the feeling I got pertaining this particular quote, from what you wrote. The quote from Gilgamesh is taken from a primary source, I believe. I have the book so I should probably look this up. So I understood the options to be 1) change the wording (but it is a primary source!), 2) delete the use of that primary source, or 3) have a disclaimer as you say.

 

Melissa, I've read enough of your posts to not think that you are being prudish or silly, but it did sound like you wanted SWB to change the words of a primary source to read something like "have s*x."

 

I could appreciate a disclaimer, but sadly more from the perspective that a few times recently I have handed my older kids what I think are great novels, but then later remember that they are better novels for someone with a few more years and a bit more experience on them.:tongue_smilie:

 

No apologies necessary! I was totally in the wrong for not reading the thread more carefully and, apparently, assuming incorrectly. ;)

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You know, I'm starting to take offense at the sly intimations. Basically what you are saying in this post is that

 

1. we can't critically read and

2. if we can, our allowable raunch is higher than yours

3.because we don't agree with 1 and 2, we're now not as morally upstanding as you.

 

I have two words for you. Ken Hamm.

 

No. Melissa has a valid concern, regardless of how anyone else on here, including myself would handle this. I am not saying this well, but I have had several conversations with Melissa in the past and while we come from different angles and may not agree, I respect her opinion.

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