Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Savermom

Really frustrated with inappropriate content in History of the Ancient World

Recommended Posts

2. These sensitive Christians she'd be protecting read worse in their Bibles, as has been previously stated in this thread. How is anyone supposed to know that was is considered appropriate reading in one book isn't in another?

<snip>

I haven't yet read all such references in the book, but I have read what is contained in the first chapter, and I didn't even bat an eyelid.

 

 

If you have a squiz at p.581, it may shed some light on why some fundamentalists might have a problem with this book in particular.

 

Again, nobody was raped to death and chopped into bits. Nobody had sex with their dad. Nobody said, "hm, I fancy her, think I'll send her hubby into the front lines so that I can get into her pants." So, no, I don't understand why it needs a label and The Holy Bible does not.

 

Nor do I! I think I've made that fairly clear over the course of several posts.

 

I was merely explaining to Rosie (who hasn't yet read the entire book) why some fundamentalists may be treating mature content in HOAW differently from mature content in the Bible.

 

I don't think that anyone could produce a book about ancient history aimed at adults and high-schoolers, expunge all references to the fact that some ancient Greek men paired up with other men and still maintain academic integrity. However, I can see why some fundamentalists might object to that material. I think it's terribly sad that some people would see that as a worse thing for teenagers to be aware of than the gory details of wars, massacres and so on, but I can recognise that, sad as it is, that's how things are in certain circles.

 

As for warnings, I don't see any need for them. Anyone who is so ignorant of classics that they have zero awareness that mature content is likely to come up really ought to educate themselves about the field /before/ deciding they wish their children to study it. If they then choose a completely different approach to education, that's fine. If they decide to provide their own kids with a selective version, that's up to them. Anyone who is not completely ignorant of classics will be aware that, if they have a problem with certain aspects of the field, they need to ask a few questions before deciding which books to use. Again, if they decide to take a different approach, omit certain books or modify certain resources, that's totally up to them. But I'd like to hope that they wouldn't insult the intelligence of other people by suggesting that they wouldn't be able to figure this out for themselves without the aid of a warning.

 

Quite apart from that, there also the fact that such a warning would also convey an implied criticism of anyone choosing to ignore it. If a book is labeled as having 'inappropriate content', that suggests that anyone using it with a high-schooler is willfully exposing him to something he 'should' be protected from. What if books that have been sanitized carried a warning, so that people looking for academic rigor could avoid them? Wouldn't fundamentalists find that a tad insulting?

(Just to be clear, I think that a 'dumbed-down' label would be every bit as bad as an 'inappropriate' label.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There's a few issues there.

3. From my observations, Americans tend to be against the 'Nanny State,' yet here we are asking for someone else to take responsibility for our parenting, inside our own homes.

 

 

Didn't it look something like "It is a parent's responsibility to check material before giving it to their children." That's pretty clear advice.

 

 

Rosie

:lol::lol: from one Aussie to another :iagree: :lol::lol:

Confusing aren't they?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think with SWB it's a bit muddied. She's a homeschool proponent. She wrote SOTW. She's our homeschooling mentor. We trust her. I'm sure the OP trusted her when she purchased her highschool/adult level book...which may be why her frustration was so high. Is that SWB problem? No, I get that.

 

I've been following this thread, but haven't posted bc I hardly ever do, especially in a "heated debate". I just don't ever feel I have anything worth any weight to offer. But, as a mom to two upcoming teenage boys, I am glad for this heads-up about some of the content.

 

I agree with Melissa and the OP. I truly get what everyone is saying here about not censoring, but SWB is known to us as a Christian, homeschooling mom that wrote SOTW. I was really surprised to read about the "damp field", even though I didn't get it at first.:tongue_smilie: I don't know if I'm naive or not, but I was truly surprised that the book contained some things of this nature. I understand the relevance of depicting a sexual relationship to establish facts surrounding an event, but I don't need to read their "talk" during such relationship.:tongue_smilie: Now, I am flying blind here as I have never even seen the book in person or held it in my hand, but with two boys going thru lots of changes, I don't want to put images in their heads during history of "plowing someone's field"!

 

I love SWB, her materials, and her dedication to the hs movement and this forum. But, a small note, "contains some sexual content", or some sort, is not too much considering it is sold on a hs website for hs use.

 

I realize everyone's standards are different. Someone's PG movie is someone's R and someone's R is someone's X. But, I'm glad there is some rating system in place for some heads up that, we as parents, need to check the movie further before letting our children see it.

 

I'm not suggesting that books be rated, or maybe they should, but given who she is, that her books are written for hs use, a little heads up would be nice. Then we can come here and have lively discussions about what's written on what page and how in the world can you possible be offended by that!:lol:

 

I do regret the timing of this, given all the other kerfuffle, but I for one am glad for the info. (Now ducking for cover. Please don't tear me apart too much, I hardly ever post.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those who don't have the time to pre-read all texts, this forum is a great place to get a feel for things, isn't it? After this thread there are some who won't buy this book as a result. I can't say that I like everything in the book, but it's because I don't like everything that has happened in history.

 

She isn't describing the sex act in some kind of erotic or lurid detail. So far, there is nothing posed that would be any worse than the bible or Shakespeare, of which I also would not think need to come with disclaimers of sexual content either.

Correct

 

I don't disagree with that. I disagree that is the responsibility of an author or publisher to make you aware of the content. Check it out of the library, read it, decide for yourself.

 

Because it creates a slippery slope for demanding the author of a book police their OWN work from the public. It would be akin to having the reader blindly accepting whatever the author says as fact BEFORE reading it for themselves. Thus, making us mindless lemmings if we have to have a "warning" of a book that obviously is going to have suggestive themes, kwim?

 

 

 

Well put and very valid points. We need to be able to think for ourselves and decide for ourselves if something is appropriate for our dc and at what age.

 

Maybe you should read the book before making pronouncements about it?

 

Incidentally, it's extremely tame compared to what was covered in some of my 9th grade classes (at a Christian school).

 

:iagree:

 

Does your Bible have a warning label, "Violence and Erotic content within"?

 

You have mentioned several times that homeschool parents are discerning in a way that Dr. Bauer is not recognizing. I disagree with this statement. Those of us who choose Classical or Semi-classical homeschooling methods are exposing our children to literature that generations before us have honored. We are not seeking a sanitized version of history. We understand that history is motivated by alliances forged on battlefields and behind closed doors (be that the Confessional or the Bedroom). We are raising our teens to be critical thinkers, hence we talk to them as we walk through the past. In fact, I would view a warning label on the History of the Ancient World as insulting.

 

Agreeing to disagree,

Jane

 

 

I seek semi-sanitized hisory when my dc are younger, and how sanitized depends on the sensitivity of each dc. I am even careful with how much brutality my dc read in history in high school, but a. they need to be aware that this type of thing goes on and has gone on and b. they need a buffer between not knowing and going to college or the real world and suddenly being exposed to it all at once.

 

I'm with Jane, agreeing to disagree (and I even agree to disagree with Jane about which great books my dc will read).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

As for warnings, I don't see any need for them. Anyone who is so ignorant of classics that they have zero awareness that mature content is likely to come up really ought to educate themselves about the field /before/ deciding they wish their children to study it. If they then choose a completely different approach to education, that's fine. If they decide to provide their own kids with a selective version, that's up to them. Anyone who is not completely ignorant of classics will be aware that, if they have a problem with certain aspects of the field, they need to ask a few questions before deciding which books to use. Again, if they decide to take a different approach, omit certain books or modify certain resources, that's totally up to them. But I'd like to hope that they wouldn't insult the intelligence of other people by suggesting that they wouldn't be able to figure this out for themselves without the aid of a warning.

 

Perhaps you feel that your superior education and knowledge of the classics qualifies you to be so abrasive in your speech, but please check yourself. Your comments are quite inflammatory and disrespectful.

 

I don't recall (and I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong) anyone asking for disclaimers or warnings on classics. The OP, and myself arguing for her side of it, was only taken aback that such things would be included in SWB's book. Taken aback that a person she apparently trusted would include quotes like "Plow her wet field" in her history book recommended for 9th+. A small warning on her homeschool website would have been nice. Period. No one should be calling anyone ignorant here. Was she ignorant of what is in SWBs book? Yes. I'm sure you, too, are ignorant of many books. Does that mean she is automatically ignorant of the classics? NO.

 

I think it's time to take a :chillpill: pill ladies. Everyone has stated their feelings on the matter. Yes, we all KNOW the bible contains sex, violence, etc. Let's not beat that dead horse anymore. It's not always what is written, but how it is written that bothers a parent. Allow them that, it's their right. No one is asking for warnings on every book ever written, and I don't think anyone was asking for a warning ON HOAW, just a small heads-up on Susan's website perhaps. Yes, yes, yes, asking for the moon, I know. Ack. Get over it and move on already.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Perhaps you feel that your superior education and knowledge of the classics qualifies you to be so abrasive in your speech, but please check yourself. Your comments are quite inflammatory and disrespectful.

 

Way to jump to conclusions!

 

I never said that my education was superior, nor did I address anything negative towards any individual. I merely made a general point about people needing to be responsible themselves when it comes to knowing what to expect from a book.

 

The fact is that if someone knows absolutely nothing about a field of study, the onus is on them to find out a little bit about it before deciding to teach their kids about it. If they already have even a passing familiarity with the material, they'll know what issues are likely to arise. If that includes issues they find objectionable, they can ask for recommendations of resources which avoid those particular issues.

 

Suppose I'm completely ignorant about biology, but I think it might be something my kids should learn about. It would be my responsibility to find out a little about the subject before making a decision. Lack of familiarity with the subject would NOT relieve me of that responsibility. If I discovered that biology includes topics that I'm not comfortable with, I could decide not to teach it at all, or I could decide to teach selective topics.

Now, suppose I'm not completely ignorant about biology - I'm aware that topics such as reproduction are likely to come up. If I'm not happy about that, it's my responsibility to check through any planned resources and eliminate or modify those which are problematic. If, for whatever reason, I can't do that, then I could seek recommendations for biology texts which have no reference to those topics.

In either case, I would be surprised to find an academically-sound biology text, intended for adults or high-schoolers, carrying a warning that it contained such material. I would find that patronising.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I don't recall (and I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong) anyone asking for disclaimers or warnings on classics.

 

 

 

But you are! Many of the classics serve as primary sources for history texts!

 

Jane (who thinks you were unfair to Xander and recommends that you take your own advice regarding :chillpill:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have frequented this board for many, many years, since it was the old board. I'm greatly surprised and saddened how fellow homeschoolers jump on one issue and use it to beat others over the head.

 

I've always recommended this board to people IRL as a place for insight and encouragement. Maybe not so much anymore. I don't think the OP here is the one who's overreacting.

 

I came from a sub-par public school education and I'm sure I don't know a thimbleful compared to other moms here. But I desire more for my children. I don't have time to preread many things. I come here for insights and reviews, opinions and suggestions. It just doesn't seem to be as enjoyable anymore. Some are so quick to jump on someone for not having the same thoughts or beliefs. Sound familiar?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I came from a sub-par public school education and I'm sure I don't know a thimbleful compared to other moms here. But I desire more for my children. I don't have time to preread many things. I come here for insights and reviews, opinions and suggestions. It just doesn't seem to be as enjoyable anymore. Some are so quick to jump on someone for not having the same thoughts or beliefs. Sound familiar?

 

The OP didn't come here for reviews or suggestions, though. She said: "I don't want to read out loud to my 14 yr old son about exploits and personal details. They do nothing to enhance our understanding of history. Actually, it's detracting from it and making me a little mad as I, once again today, had to skip over a couple of sentences. Why is this stuff in there? I'm now regretting the fact that I already purchased History of the Medieval World for next year and wondering what's in there." And so pp are explaining to her WHY it is in there, and why many DO feel that it is part of a study of history.

 

And I'll go back to what someone said before; if you don't have time to pre-read and discuss the material, classical ed is probably not for you. The best choice is probably a textbook from a Christian publisher (A Beka, BJU, etc.) Reading real books and historical books does require pre-reading and discussion with dc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But you are! Many of the classics serve as primary sources for history texts!

 

No, I'm actually not. ;)

 

Jane (who thinks you were unfair to Xander and recommends that you take your own advice regarding :chillpill:)

 

You found me unfair? That her wording was fair and graciously worded? OK, understandable considering your POV, and perhaps I was a tad snarky, forgive me, but I doubt the OP (or anyone) likes to be called "so ignorant" with "zero awareness".

 

I'm totally :chillpill: No issues on my end.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As it happens, I'm quite happy to admit that I'm almost completely ignorant when it comes to biology. I can rattle off RINGMER and draw simple diagrams of plant and animal cells, but that's about all. I have zero knowledge of advanced biology. I am not ashamed to admit that my education has gaps in it. It would be absurdly arrogant to claim otherwise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Melissa, I don't understand. How can you insist on warnings for HOAW and then say you do not favor similar warnings for the classics on a reading list that is coupled with that book and recommended by the same homeschooling guru and author who wrote HOAW? Couldn't you make the exact same argument for the reading list as for the text that goes with it? It doesn't make sense to me that you would be asking for one and insist you aren't asking for the other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Way to jump to conclusions!

 

I never said that my education was superior, nor did I address anything negative towards any individual.

 

Yes, you're right, you did not. Forgive me. Your wording seemed somewhat abrasive to me though, so I got a tad snarky. I'm sorry. Truly.

 

I think a lot of people are jumping to conclusions here. How a simple desire for a heads-up from fellow homeschooler SWB in regards to the content of her book, letting homeschoolers know that it is NOT SOTW, but contains adult level primary source material that some SOTW readers may, or may not, find offensive...to OP and others apparently wanting warnings on ALL classics, ALL history texts, censorship of books, desiring of a "nanny state", ignorance of parents, etc. is quite a jump from the main desire.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Melissa, I don't understand. How can you insist on warnings for HOAW and then say you do not favor similar warnings for the classics on a reading list that is coupled with that book and recommended by the same homeschooling guru and author who wrote HOAW? Couldn't you make the exact same argument for the reading list as for the text that goes with it? It doesn't make sense to me that you would be asking for one and insist you aren't asking for the other.

 

{sigh} Again, I am not asking for warnings per say. Actually I am not asking for anything for myself, as I have mentioned several times, this is not really my fight.

 

All I have been saying, and apparently not very well since it keeps growing into a desire for something quite grander, is a small note, disclaimer, heads-up, whatever, from SWB on her website in regards to her book. I know it's hard to fathom, but MANY people use SOTW who do NOT follow WTM...or are even a member of this forum. SL uses SOTW, and when I was a SL user I knew nothing about WTM. I only found this forum when I left SL. Before then I knew nothing about classical schooling. I didn't even know it existed, really.

 

ANYHOW, many people use SOTW and love it. They hear that SWB has a book they can use for highschool now, and because they loved SOTW for their younger students they assume the next serious will be more of the same, except at a higher, or independent, reading level. They are then shocked to find things they feel are inappropriate for their 9th grader. Had their been something on her website in regards to the book, perhaps the shock would not have been so great. Or, with the knowledge in hand, they could choose another book because they feel their student is not ready for that, or decide it's time FOR their student to be exposed to it. I don't know. I guess I just didn't see a lil heads-up as such a HUGE issue! It seems to be getting blown way out of proportion. I don't think anyone was putting SWB down...I surely wasn't...she is well loved and respected. They just thought a lil heads-up from her would have been nice. :confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
{sigh} Again, I am not asking for warnings per say. Actually I am not asking for anything for myself, as I have mentioned several times, this is not really my fight.

 

All I have been saying, and apparently not very well since it keeps growing into a desire for something quite grander, is a small note, disclaimer, heads-up, whatever, from SWB on her website in regards to her book. I know it's hard to fathom, but MANY people use SOTW who do NOT follow WTM...or are even a member of this forum. SL uses SOTW, and when I was a SL user I knew nothing about WTM. I only found this forum when I left SL. Before then I knew nothing about classical schooling. I didn't even know it existed, really.

 

ANYHOW, many people use SOTW and love it. They hear that SWB has a book they can use for highschool now, and because they loved SOTW for their younger students they assume the next serious will be more of the same, except at a higher, or independent, reading level. They are then shocked to find things they feel are inappropriate for their 9th grader. Had their been something on her website in regards to the book, perhaps the shock would not have been so great. Or, with the knowledge in hand, they could choose another book because they feel their student is not ready for that, or decide it's time FOR their student to be exposed to it. I don't know. I guess I just didn't see a lil heads-up as such a HUGE issue! It seems to be getting blown way out of proportion. I don't think anyone was putting SWB down...I surely wasn't...she is well loved and respected. They just thought a lil heads-up from her would have been nice. :confused:

 

SWB did more than provide a warning. She provided a 54-page sample. And although the sample doesn't have the plowing reference, it does contain similar content ("Since he ruffled the hair of my lap. . . .").

 

Five to ten minutes of skimming of the sample would have shown the OP that her idea of appropriate and SWB's idea are different.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ignorance does not equal stupidity, it shouldn't be taken as an insult to say one is ignorant. Lao Tse said, "To know one's ignorance is the best part of knowledge."

 

I believe many of us who received less than stellar educations are ignorant about something. This is probably true in history for a good majority of people.

 

I look at the GB reading list for Ancients and, honestly, three years ago I couldn't have told a synopsis of any of them except The Iliad and The Odyssey. This week I'm trying to work on a GB list for high school Ancients. Guess who makes the final call. Me. I'm responsible for the material I chose. Because I possess some ignorance on ancient literature and material I feel convicted to read it myself before ds gets there. Because I assume the responsibility I don't expect anyone to gauge what is right for me and my family. *I'll* make that determination, thank you.

 

Reading through some of these material for myself I'd had my own thinking challenged. Why does sexual content bother me more than violence? I've had to grapple with some of these larger questions myself. When I read about a war I don't expect my son to go act like a barbarian. When I read about "plowing a damp field" I don't expect my son to go off seeking wild women either. I see that term as more literary, in an agricultural manner, rather than erotic.

 

I don't believe labels are necessary or even a good idea. There's enough labeling going on in other places right now anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, you're right, you did not. Forgive me. Your wording seemed somewhat abrasive to me though, so I got a tad snarky. I'm sorry. Truly.

 

Don't worry about it.

I'm sorry if I wasn't clear enough about what I was trying to say. It really was intended as a general comment about research and responsibility, nothing more.

 

...letting homeschoolers know that it is NOT SOTW, but contains adult level primary source material...

 

I think that's right at the core of this. You're right that it isn't SOTW.

But it's not called SOTW. It's intended for an entirely different readership. To many people, the fact that it's not SOTW is self-evident. To have that pointed out would make no more sense than to point out that a geometry or calculus text isn't a basic arithmetic text. High school maths is not the same as elementary school maths. High school history is not the same as elementary school history.

 

SWB did more than provide a warning. She provided a 54-page sample. And although the sample doesn't have the plowing reference, it does contain similar content ("Since he ruffled the hair of my lap. . . .").

 

Five to ten minutes of skimming of the sample would have shown the OP that her idea of appropriate and SWB's idea are different.

 

Exactly.

This is far more useful than any warning note would be as it allows people to see what's on offer and decide for themselves whether or not it's something they want to use. An advisory note would not let people make a well-informed decision, because they couldn't be sure that their ideas and and those of whoever wrote the note were in sync.

 

Ignorance does not equal stupidity, it shouldn't be taken as an insult to say one is ignorant. Lao Tse said, "To know one's ignorance is the best part of knowledge."

 

This. A million times this.

 

I believe many of us who received less than stellar educations are ignorant about something. This is probably true in history for a good majority of people.

I agree.

I think this applies to people who have had outstanding educations as well. I have a friend who was educated at one of the most elite schools in this country and at two of the top universities in the world (one here and one in the US), is bilingual and is working at the highest level of his profession. Yet there are huge gaps in his academic background. So what chance do the rest of us have?!

 

I look at the GB reading list for Ancients and, honestly, three years ago I couldn't have told a synopsis of any of them except The Iliad and The Odyssey. This week I'm trying to work on a GB list for high school Ancients. Guess who makes the final call. Me. I'm responsible for the material I chose. Because I possess some ignorance on ancient literature and material I feel convicted to read it myself before ds gets there. Because I assume the responsibility I don't expect anyone to gauge what is right for me and my family. *I'll* make that determination, thank you.

 

See, this is what I'd expect anyone to do.

 

The trouble with any sort of labeling/warning/advisory system is that there's no way to be sure that whoever is implementing it is judging things the same way as the person relying on it.

 

Film ratings have the same flaw. Just because a film is rated 15 doesn't mean I'll find it objectionable, while there's every chance that I may decide that one rated 12 is not in keeping with my personal standards.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For those who don't have the time to pre-read all texts, this forum is a great place to get a feel for things, isn't it? After this thread there are some who won't buy this book as a result. I can't say that I like everything in the book, but it's because I don't like everything that has happened in history.

 

 

I won't be buying the book, but not for the last bolded part. ;)

 

If the book is not ENTIRELY direct quotes from primary source material, then why would there be some sort of unprofessionalism or lack of academic integrity in offering a narration of sexual instances instead of quoting directly? Saying that we need those direct quotes when so much other material is paraphrased is illogical and disingenuous. The direct quote does little to truly enhance the study of *history.* Leave it for a deeper topic in a human sexuality class.

 

and YES-- I can find lists online that show where the tougher sexual passages are in the Bible. I don't choose those as read alouds for my children, although we do discuss them in ADULT classes. When my kids come across those passages, I either explain them in a matter-of-fact manner or ask them to set those passages aside until they are a bit older -- Lord knows there's plenty of other material to study in the Bible than sex. ;)

 

on one hand the Bible is completely twisted to say "hm, I fancy her, think I'll send her hubby into the front lines so that I can get into her pants."

 

and then a basic premise is offered like:

"references to the fact that some ancient Greek men paired up with other men"

 

It is my understanding that even Fundamentalists understand the need for historical perspective like that offered directly above. But to offer direct quotes about sexual acts is simply not necessary for a high school text. Sure- if YOU wanna go there, fine. Now as to the Nanny State comment, there seems to be big misunderstanding: NANNY STATE involves THE GOVERNMENT stepping in and policing stuff. Here, we have a private individual requesting another private individual to willingly offer more heads-up about sexual commentary that the author is bound to know would cause conflict. I'm not against offering something that will understandably cause conflict, [ ;) ] but when I am advising other homeschoolers I try to be as objective in my reviews as possible.

 

The independent review sites like Focus on the Family come to mind: I might not personally care that someone is smoking or a particular reference was made, but it's nice to know they are doing a thorough job. I would suggest the OP and others set up an independent site complete w/ paragraph context and page numbers on things that other parents might want to know about.

 

I disagree that a high school student "should" be ready for this type of discussion -- while 14 may be a young man, it *is* still a CHILD. A minor whose brain isn't even fully developed according to scientific standards. There's a LOT of political science, political theory, global economics throughout the ages, and a LOT of other historical perspective that can be discussed and learned w/o resorting to snippeting sexual innuendo at the high school level. waaaay more than lists of rulers and dates and events. :)

 

The good news is that SWB isn't the only resource for a true classical education. While I appreciate what she has done, there's more than one way to skin a cat.... or teach a kid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How about when everyone was circumcized and then while they were recovering they killed them all?

 

Really? Did you have to circumcise them first for that?

 

off topic......

but it does go to show that the circumcision practiced wasn't some tiny little nick. ;)

 

It was also voluntary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We love HOAW--my ds, (9th grader) read it out loud together. BUT, I'm confused as to why SWB throws in s**ual content. I don't want to read out loud to my 14 yr old son about exploits and personal details. They do nothing to enhance our understanding of history. Actually, it's detracting from it and making me a little mad as I, once again today, had to skip over a couple of sentences. Why is this stuff in there? I'm now regretting the fact that I already purchased History of the Medieval World for next year and wondering what's in there.

 

Here, we have a private individual requesting another private individual to willingly offer more heads-up about sexual commentary that the author is bound to know would cause conflict.

 

No, we have an individual who is posting publicly (on a message board that can be read by non-members all over the world), decrying the inclusion of sexual content and asking why it's there.

 

The OP could have sent a private message to PHP, explained politely that she has a problem with the book and made whatever suggestions she cared to make about additional information for the website or whatever. Other posters who agree with the OP could have done likewise. But that's not what's happened (or if that did happen, it's certainly not all that happened).

 

I don't think it's fair to say that SWB was bound to know that it would cause conflict. She's said herself that people should preview books before using them with kids. As far as I can tell, she treats her customers as responsible adults, capable of making their own decisions about what is or is not appropriate for their families. She's written a book that is not salacious and that does not contain anything surprising, given the subject. There's a lengthy sample of the book on the PHP site, so it's not as if people haven't had a chance to see what the book is like before buying it. There are some people who want to excise any such material from their children's reading matter and that's their prerogative. But one might expect them to be able to make such decisions without condemning the book on a forum hosted by the author and publisher.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No, we have an individual who is posting publicly (on a message board that can be read by non-members all over the world), decrying the inclusion of sexual content and asking why it's there.

 

The OP could have sent a private message to PHP, explained politely that she has a problem with the book and made whatever suggestions she cared to make about additional information for the website or whatever. Other posters who agree with the OP could have done likewise. But that's not what's happened (or if that did happen, it's certainly not all that happened).

 

I don't think it's fair to say that SWB was bound to know that it would cause conflict. .... But one might expect them to be able to make such decisions without condemning the book on a forum hosted by the author and publisher.

eta: clarification.... I wasn't talking about a public forum vs a private forum, I was talking about mandatory gvt regulations vs the private sector [accountability/voluntary policies]. This forum is still a private sector entity. ;)

Why send a private message to PHP, especially when "other posters" agree there's no action PHP should take? That's obviously not going to help the situation, and indeed posting her disapproval on a PUBLIC *discussion* forum has also helped OTHER posters who agree w/ the OP. Either way, it's still a private individual making a personal request vs the gvt requiring something.

 

Why is it not "fair" to say that SWB was "bound to know" it would cause conflict? Are you telling me that someone as studied in history and homeschooling would be so ignorant as to think that including those direct-quote sexual snippets would NOT cause conflict? really? That makes about as much sense as me handing Harry Potter to a fundamentalist baptist and then saying "gee-- how was I to know they would get offended."

Come on..... SWB is way smarter than that.

She's been around the block a few times with this homeschool controversy/styles/ and stuff. She knew.

 

 

This forum is not here to be a lovefest of minions either. ;)

I believe that SWB has already made her statement about allowing people to disagree with her books, since not everything she writes isn't conducive for everyone. So the OP posting *about the book* on a forum designed to discuss *the author's books* makes a whole lotta sense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why send a private message to PHP, especially when "other posters" agree there's no action PHP should take?

Just because many of us don't think there's anything wrong with the way PHP have done things doesn't mean that they wouldn't do something about it (even something they might consider unnecessary) simply to be accommodating. It wouldn't surprise me at all if they did so, given the extent to which SWB and PHP already "go the extra mile" in so many other ways.

 

 

Either way, it's still a private individual making a personal request vs the gvt requiring something.

I never said anything about the Nanny State, so that's not the distinction I was addressing.

I was taking issue with your assertion that what's going on here is about "a private individual requesting another private individual to willingly offer more heads-up about sexual commentary that the author is bound to know would cause conflict".

 

Had someone approached SWB or PHP directly with a polite request for a heads-up, that would match up with what you're saying this is about.

Had someone started a thread with the more neutral title "Mature content in HOAW" and gone on to say that, while they understand that such content is not entirely unexpected given the subject, they personally would prefer to avoid dealing with that aspect of it and then asked if PHP could possibly offer more of a heads-up, that would also tally with what you're saying. But that's not what happened.

The fact that the thread is titled "Really frustrated with inappropriate content in History of the Ancient World" and that the first post does not request anything other an explanation for this content makes it pretty clear that the OP was passing judgement on the book (and, by extension, its author), not asking for a "heads-up". The OP said that such content is "inappropriate" and that "SWB throws in s**ual content" and that she would like an explanation for this. "Why is this stuff here?"

This comes across as an accusation that SWB is deliberately adding this material to a subject which doesn't and shouldn't contain it.

 

 

 

Why is it not "fair" to say that SWB was "bound to know" it would cause conflict? Are you telling me that someone as studied in history and homeschooling would be so ignorant as to think that including those direct-quote sexual snippets would NOT cause conflict? really? That makes about as much sense as me handing Harry Potter to a fundamentalist baptist and then saying "gee-- how was I to know they would get offended."

 

That's not a fair analogy. The equivalent situation would be a fundamentalist baptist buying a copy of Harry Potter and then complaining that a fantasy novel includes material about magic and they have to keep skipping over bits while reading it to their child. I don't think JKR expects people who object to the content of the book to go and buy a copy or read it to their children. If someone does so anyway, they shouldn't then blame the book or the author for the fact that they find themselves stumbling across references they personally find distasteful.

 

PHP have not hidden the nature of the book from their customers. Anyone who wants to do so can read a sample before deciding whether to buy a copy. It's an ancient history text, intended for adults and high-schoolers and intended to be used as part of a wider classical education. None of that is a secret! There's no reason for SWB to know that someone would buy the book, knowing the subject and intended readership, and then publicly condemn it as "inappropriate". Everything I've read from her suggests that she trusts us to do our own research, pre-read anything we're unfamiliar with and take responsibility for making our own decisions about what books (or sections of books) to use. Why should she be expecting people to skip all that and then decide that it's her fault if they get blind-sided by something they don't like?

 

 

I believe that SWB has already made her statement about allowing people to disagree with her books, since not everything she writes isn't conducive for everyone. So the OP posting *about the book* on a forum designed to discuss *the author's books* makes a whole lotta sense.

I never said that people shouldn't discuss HOAW on the forums. I merely explained, as best I could (which apparently wasn't clearly enough), that I don't think SWB would (or should!) have known that people would not research the book enough to make an informed decision about whether to buy it (there's a sample available on the PHP site), fail to follow her advice about pre-reading and then jump to condemn it on her forums when they discover that it's not to their taste.

I don't think it's fair to say that SWB was bound to know that it would cause conflict. She's said herself that people should preview books before using them with kids. As far as I can tell, she treats her customers as responsible adults, capable of making their own decisions about what is or is not appropriate for their families. She's written a book that is not salacious and that does not contain anything surprising, given the subject. There's a lengthy sample of the book on the PHP site, so it's not as if people haven't had a chance to see what the book is like before buying it. There are some people who want to excise any such material from their children's reading matter and that's their prerogative. But one might expect them to be able to make such decisions without condemning the book on a forum hosted by the author and publisher.

 

 

Standard disclaimer:

No one is saying that everyone should use HOAW. If some people decide it's not for them, that's fine. If some people decide to use it, but selectively, that's fine too. If someone says that it's not suitable for their family, that's fine. If someone points out that it has some mature content and that anyone who's picky about such things should be extra careful to check it out before using it, that's fine. No one is trying to force this book on anyone who doesn't want to use it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just because many of us don't think there's anything wrong with the way PHP have done things doesn't mean that they wouldn't do something about it

 

well that's all fine and dandy, but the OP obviously felt this was the best way to handle it. i tend to agree with her after watching for 10 years the way SWB handles other concerns. ;)

 

I never said anything about the Nanny State, so that's not the distinction I was addressing.

I was taking issue with your assertion that what's going on here is about "a private individual requesting another private individual to willingly offer more heads-up about sexual commentary that the author is bound to know would cause conflict".

 

maybe, but since *I* was very clearly addressing the "Nanny State" comment, then my assertion needs to be read in that context.

Had someone approached SWB or PHP directly with a polite request for a heads-up, that would match up with what you're saying this is about.

......But that's not what happened.

The fact that the thread is titled "Really frustrated with inappropriate content in History of the Ancient World" and that the first post does not request anything other an explanation for this content makes it pretty clear that the OP was passing judgement on the book (and, by extension, its author), .....

This comes across as an accusation that SWB is deliberately adding this material to a subject which doesn't and shouldn't contain it.

 

I was still addressing the Nanny State comment. back to the difference between wanting the gvt to handle it vs handling it in the private sector.

 

 

That's not a fair analogy. The equivalent situation would be a fundamentalist baptist buying a copy of Harry Potter and then complaining that a fantasy novel includes material about magic and they have to keep skipping over bits while reading it to their child.

 

PHP have not hidden the nature of the book from their customers. Anyone who wants to do so can read a sample before deciding whether to buy a copy. ....There's no reason for SWB to know that someone would buy the book, knowing the subject and intended readership, and then publicly condemn it as "inappropriate".

 

you missed the analogy.

The whole point is that this specific book is a referral and ADVISED as part of a curriculum. Big diff from just buying a book. Now if the Baptist had bought HP on a recommendation from a Baptist Seminary and felt offended, then yes, i think you'd have a good analogy.

 

since there are a lot.... A LOT... of high school level ancient history texts out there that don't stoop to quoting primary sources of explicit sexual language, then i'd say that YES, there IS an implied trust, and a pretty secure expectation that this book fails to meet. and again-- if you think SWB has "no reason" to even consider thinking these quotes would be a problem, you haven't read many of her responses the last 10 years. Again: she's a pretty bright gal. She knows the score, and she knows the community. Very Well.

 

 

I never said that people shouldn't discuss HOAW on the forums. I merely explained, ... then jump to condemn it on her forums when they discover that it's not to their taste.

 

You did say:

But one might expect them to be able to make such decisions without condemning the book on a forum hosted by the author and publisher.

 

Why would one "expect" that someone can't condemn a book if they feel it crossed basic boundaries? The opposite is quite true: you seek out the author's forum [if it exists] and post there. That's how you get responses closest to the author's intentions.

 

part of discussion may very well be condemnation. again: SWB *knows* this. She's dealt with this kind of stuff for over ten years and continues to host this forum anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Why is it not "fair" to say that SWB was "bound to know" it would cause conflict? Are you telling me that someone as studied in history and homeschooling would be so ignorant as to think that including those direct-quote sexual snippets would NOT cause conflict? really? That makes about as much sense as me handing Harry Potter to a fundamentalist baptist and then saying "gee-- how was I to know they would get offended."

Come on..... SWB is way smarter than that.

She's been around the block a few times with this homeschool controversy/styles/ and stuff. She knew.

 

This forum is not here to be a lovefest of minions either. ;)

I believe that SWB has already made her statement about allowing people to disagree with her books, since not everything she writes isn't conducive for everyone. So the OP posting *about the book* on a forum designed to discuss *the author's books* makes a whole lotta sense.

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I won't be buying the book, but not for the last bolded part. ;)

:D We have it, because it's not SWB's fault that history is what it is. I don't think it's perfect, but my dd wasn't going to wade through a traditional textbook without a whole lot more arguing and she likes SWBs writing style. While I think it has many good things about it, it's not for everyone, anymore than any other history book is.

 

The independent review sites like Focus on the Family come to mind: I might not personally care that someone is smoking or a particular reference was made, but it's nice to know they are doing a thorough job. I would suggest the OP and others set up an independent site complete w/ paragraph context and page numbers on things that other parents might want to know about.

 

Good point. I'm one who didn't read fairy tales to my dc and didn't let them read them until they were 10. My eldest didn't read the Harry Potter books until she was 14, and had a very hard time with the autobiography of Nathaniel Bowditch at 10 because of all the people who died. She shocked me when she read the entire Hunger Games series last year, which is so brutal, and I wasn't going to have her read it because of that.

 

I disagree that a high school student "should" be ready for this type of discussion -- while 14 may be a young man, it *is* still a CHILD. A minor whose brain isn't even fully developed according to scientific standards. There's a LOT of political science, political theory, global economics throughout the ages, and a LOT of other historical perspective that can be discussed and learned w/o resorting to snippeting sexual innuendo at the high school level. waaaay more than lists of rulers and dates and events. :)

.

:iagree: that not all 14 yo's are going to be ready for this (I think I implied that in my first post way back when), but that some are. So far, the only dc I've had who has been 14 is a girl, and I think that most teen girls are ready for this sooner than most teen boys (no tomatoes, please!!!! This is my nonscientific opinion based on all the boys and girls I've known, so I said I think--Peek, I know you get this, btw. As for what I teach my dc, I tell them it's best to wait for s*x until they are married and that infidelity is wrong, but I didn't have a problem with my then 14 yo reading HOAW). This is where parental discretion comes into play. As for brain development, at least some parts of the brain are developing until age 30, but I do get your point. An excellent book that gives a somewhat different perspective on how to help dc mature during the teen years is Escaping the Endless Adolescence. It doesn't address this particular issue (whether or not all this material is appropriate for a teen taking history), but it takes a rather different approach on helping our teens grow up to be mature, responsible adults. http://www.amazon.com/Escaping-Endless-Adolescence-Teenagers-Before/dp/0345507894

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

you missed the analogy.

The whole point is that this specific book is a referral and ADVISED as part of a curriculum. Big diff from just buying a book. Now if the Baptist had bought HP on a recommendation from a Baptist Seminary and felt offended, then yes, i think you'd have a good analogy.

 

 

It's suggested as part of a classical education plan. The suggestion appears in a book published by a secular publisher (Norton). The same book contains multiple references to the use of parental discretion in the choice of resources.

 

"...our specific schedules, texts and programs are just illustrations of how to put this philosophy into practice. We think the texts and programs we've settled on are the best available, but you should always feel free to substitute, to pick and choose." WTM, p. XXV (italics as in the book)

 

"But when you teach your child at home, you make the final decision on which books you'll use and how much time you'll spend on schoolwork. Our suggestions are simply suggestions" WTM, p. XXVI (italics as in the book)

 

"We suggest the following texts:

Ancient Times The History of the Ancient World, Susan Wise Bauer" WTM, p.490

 

 

 

since there are a lot.... A LOT... of high school level ancient history texts out there that don't stoop to quoting primary sources of explicit sexual language, then i'd say that YES, there IS an implied trust, and a pretty secure expectation that this book fails to meet.

 

 

 

"The resources that appear in this book are those that combine academic excellence, ease of use for the parent, clarity and (when possible) affordability." WTM, p. XXIII

 

SWB/JW are up front about what their criteria are for selecting resources. Academic excellence is first on that list. Avoidance of mature content doesn't feature.

 

 

"We evaluated programs for a combination of thoroughness, systematic method, ease of use, and affordability, and recommended the curricula that won (in our opinion).

So of course you should feel free to substitute books and programs that work best for you and for your family." (http://www.welltrainedmind.com/schedules/)

 

Here we have "thoroughness" at the top of the list and, again, no mention of avoiding sexual references or other mature content. With thoroughness as a deciding factor, one should be aware that this means there are likely to be fewer omissions in the suggested resources than in some other texts.

 

"Half of each week's study time will be devoted to laying foundations of historical knowledge; the second half to the study of the Great Books." WTM, p.490

"The student begins by once again progressing through the story of history ... his reading sets the stage for his encounter with the Great Books." WTM, p. 490

 

This should be sufficient to alert parents that there is a connection between the suggested history text and the suggested Great Books. HOAW is not being recommended in a vacuum.

 

Some of the texts on the 9th grade reading list on p.494 are:

Epic of Gilgamesh

Homer, Iliad and Odyssey

Sophocles, Oedipus the King

Euripides, Medea

Virgil, Aeneid

Ovid, Metamorphoses

Plutarch, The Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans

 

This should be more than enough to let people know the sort of material that the writers consider appropriate at that level. A history text designed to prepare a student for reading those books is not likely to be devoid of the sort of content found in the books themselves.

 

 

 

Your original analogy:

Are you telling me that someone as studied in history and homeschooling would be so ignorant as to think that including those direct-quote sexual snippets would NOT cause conflict? really? That makes about as much sense as me handing Harry Potter to a fundamentalist baptist and then saying "gee-- how was I to know they would get offended.

 

As far as I'm aware, SWB did not hand a copy of HOAW to the OP.

She merely included it as a suggestion in a book which contains several very clear statements that they are only suggestions and that parents should make their own decisions about what to use with their children.

WTM is published by a secular publisher and makes no claim to cater to any particular sect or present only resources which have been screened for "mature content".

 

 

 

You can set up the HP/HOAW analogy fairly in either of two ways.

 

Option 1.

 

A: You hand a copy of Harry Potter to someone you know is a fundamentalist baptist, then express surprise that they would get offended.

 

B: SWB hands a copy of HOAW to someone she knows is offended by any mention of sexual relations, then is surprised that they get offended.

 

That would be a fair analogy if that was indeed what SWB did.

 

Option 2.

 

A: Suppose JKR produces a list of fantasy novels that she personally thinks might be of interest to someone looking for fantasy novels for their kids. She includes Harry Potter on the list, but includes a note to say that the books on the list are only her suggestions of books she thinks might appeal and that parents should use their own judgement in deciding what to choose for their kids. A fundamentalist baptist obtains a copy of this list, knowing that it's geared towards fantasy novels, ignores the author's cautions about parental responsibility and buys a copy of Harry Potter, without reading any available samples of it first. Without pre-reading it, they then read it aloud to their kid and find themselves having to skip over references to magic and wizards. They then have a public rant about the fact that JKR threw in references to magic when writing a fantasy novel and demand to know why she did so. You contest that JKR should have known that this person would buy her book despite the disclaimers about parental choice and the available samples, and then pitch a fit about it.

 

B: SWB co-authors a book which lists various resources that she personally thinks might be of interest to someone planning a classical education for their kids. She includes HOAW, but also includes notes to say that the resources listed are only suggestions and that parents should use their own judgement in deciding what to use with their kids. A parent who is picky about sexual references obtains a copy of WTM, knowing that it's geared towards classical education, ignores SWB's cautions about parental responsibility and buys a copy of HOAW without reading the available samples of it first. Without pre-reading it, they then read it aloud to their child and find themselves having to skip over references to sexual matters. They then have a public rant about the fact that SWB threw in references to sex when writing an adult/high-school text about the ancient world and demand to know why she did so. You contest that SWB should have known that this parent would buy her book despite the disclaimers about parental choice and the available samples, and then pitch a fit about it.

 

This would be fair, if this was how you had framed the Harry Potter side of the analogy.

 

But you presented option 1:A as an analogy for the situation which is outlined in option 2:B. So, I stand by my assessment of that as invalid.

 

 

<cont.>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<cont.>

 

You did say:

But one might expect them to be able to make such decisions without condemning the book on a forum hosted by the author and publisher.

 

Yes, as part of a refutation of your assertion that SWB should have known that that would happen.

i.e. people should be able to work out if a book fits their requirements and, if they fail to do so, there's no reason to assume that their immediate response to their own failure would be public condemnation of the book/author.

 

Why would one "expect" that someone can't condemn a book if they feel it crossed basic boundaries? The opposite is quite true: you seek out the author's forum [if it exists] and post there. That's how you get responses closest to the author's intentions.

 

So, if I go and buy a copy of an Apologia science book, without bothering to read the samples on their website and without bothering to find out what sort of content is likely to be contained in it, then I start using it with a child without taking the time to read it myself first, then I stumble across references I don't like, my FIRST response should be to go to a public forum hosted by Apologia, start a thread called "Really frustrated with inappropriate content in Apologia Biology" and demand to know why Dr Wile had thrown in something so appalling that I couldn't even refer to it without using asterisks to tone down the words? Should I later go on to suggest that they should have provided a heads-up that the books contained material unsuitable for the stated audience? By issuing a blanket condemnation of the book as "inappropriate" (not "unsuitable for my particular needs" or "not a good match for my family", but just plain "inappropriate", which suggests that the author has displayed dubious moral or intellectual standards in producing such material), could I claim to be trying to have a rational discussion about it?

 

The Apologia Biology text includes a scientific definition of a theory as "a hypothesis that has been tested with a significant amount of data". If I wanted to use a lay definition (e.g. "supposition, or system of ideas explaining something; speculative (esp. fanciful) view" (Oxford)) instead, this book would obviously not be a good choice for my family. But it doesn't mean that the author has done anything inherently wrong by including the scientific definition in the book and if I tried to make out that that he had done so, especially willfully and intentionally, I'd be out of line.

As an adult, I can reasonably be expected to be capable of doing research and making informed decisions. I can decide, on the basis of the available evidence, that Apologia is not the right choice for my family. I can also respect the right of other people to decide that it's perfectly fine for their families and refrain from insinuating that they or the author have lower standards than I do. If I really wanted to know why he'd included that particular definition, I'd send him a polite message via his contact form, asking if he could help me understand his reasoning - how much closer to his intentions could I get than that?

 

I was not saying that no one should discuss the book, or say that they disagree with some elements of it. I was saying that I can't see a reason why SWB should've expected anyone to ignore her advice about parental discretion and then come here to slate her for that.

There's no problem with people discussing the book, deciding they don't want to use it, etc.

There's a big problem with the insinuation that SWB deliberately produced something that she knew would cause offence and that she didn't give people ample opportunity to make an informed decision about using it with their kids until they were right in the middle of reading it aloud.

 

 

 

Standard disclaimer:

No one is saying that everyone should use HOAW. If some people decide it's not for them, that's fine. If some people decide to use it, but selectively, that's fine too. If someone says that it's not suitable for their family, that's fine. If someone points out that it has some mature content and that anyone who's picky about such things should be extra careful to check it out before using it, that's fine. No one is trying to force this book on anyone who doesn't want to use it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
<cont.>

 

?

 

I was not saying that no one should discuss the book, or say that they disagree with some elements of it. I was saying that I can't see a reason why SWB should've expected anyone to ignore her advice about parental discretion and then come here to slate her for that.

There's no problem with people discussing the book, deciding they don't want to use it, etc.

There's a big problem with the insinuation that SWB deliberately produced something that she knew would cause offence and that she didn't give people ample opportunity to make an informed decision about using it with their kids until they were right in the middle of reading it aloud.

 

Standard disclaimer:

No one is saying that everyone should use HOAW. If some people decide it's not for them, that's fine. If some people decide to use it, but selectively, that's fine too. If someone says that it's not suitable for their family, that's fine. If someone points out that it has some mature content and that anyone who's picky about such things should be extra careful to check it out before using it, that's fine. No one is trying to force this book on anyone who doesn't want to use it.

 

Your standard disclaimer is spot on; I don't plan to use HOAW with all of my dc. I think that suggested and advised in this case are just about the same; SWB is giving advice when she makes suggestions, but I highly doubt that she expects people to buy everything she advises. I haven't known you long here, but I think that you and Peek-a-boo, who is a woman of strong opinions and doesn't beat around the bush (I've known her for a long time here) are closer to agreeing on what we can discuss about SWB's books than it seems, because I didn't read the word forced in her post; SWB does allow us to express our views on her books, and there is nothing here that says we have to buy her history books or to like them to post here. It is a forum for people pursuing classical education, too, but many of us aren't doing pure classical education. I'm not. I wanted to, but it didn't work well with my dc, so I'm doing eclectic homeschooling with a classical base. I have used some of SWB's books, so feel free to post here, but would even if I didn't. She hasn't always had all those other books out, either, so once upon a time on the old boards there was only one SWB homeschooling book that people were discussing. Of course, HOAW isn't just for homeschooling, so that's a separate subject.

 

I, for one, like the fact that I can read all these different opinions on the book or on any other book/curriculum, etc I'm interested in, even if there are times when I vehemently disagree (not on this one, but there have been some threads where I have bit my tongue/fingers;).) I happen to agree with a lot of what both you & Peek said, even if not every single thing either of you said, which is why I said what I did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just popping in to say, dang, Xander, am I glad you're here on this board!

:iagree:

 

 

Wow. Xander. Awesome.

:iagree:

 

Sweet!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just popping in to say, dang, Xander, am I glad you're here on this board!

 

Wow. Xander. Awesome.

 

 

:iagree:

 

Sweet!

:iagree:I am in awe of Xander's debate skills right now.

 

And FTR, we are not minions under SWB's power...

we are

to the KILT. :D

 

Elegantlion, I noticed your avatar has changed, que no? Heehee.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Your standard disclaimer is spot on; I don't plan to use HOAW with all of my dc. I think that suggested and advised in this case are just about the same; SWB is giving advice when she makes suggestions, but I highly doubt that she expects people to buy everything she advises. I haven't known you long here, but I think that you and Peek-a-boo, who is a woman of strong opinions and doesn't beat around the bush (I've known her for a long time here) are closer to agreeing on what we can discuss about SWB's books than it seems, because I didn't read the word forced in her post; SWB does allow us to express our views on her books, and there is nothing here that says we have to buy her history books or to like them to post here. It is a forum for people pursuing classical education, too, but many of us aren't doing pure classical education. I'm not. I wanted to, but it didn't work well with my dc, so I'm doing eclectic homeschooling with a classical base. I have used some of SWB's books, so feel free to post here, but would even if I didn't. She hasn't always had all those other books out, either, so once upon a time on the old boards there was only one SWB homeschooling book that people were discussing. Of course, HOAW isn't just for homeschooling, so that's a separate subject.

 

I, for one, like the fact that I can read all these different opinions on the book or on any other book/curriculum, etc I'm interested in, even if there are times when I vehemently disagree (not on this one, but there have been some threads where I have bit my tongue/fingers;).) I happen to agree with a lot of what both you & Peek said, even if not every single thing either of you said, which is why I said what I did.

 

 

:iagree:

 

and Xander, if a parent is just starting to get into Classical Education, reads TWTM, loves it, but still hasn't started reading all those other books [that they are likely UNfamiliar with] and instead decides to start w/ a general overview [like the text in question] then they will have very little context to operate on when it comes to this.

 

 

in the HP analogy:

 

 

A: If I RECOMMEND a copy of Harry Potter to someone I know is a fundamentalist baptist.

 

B: SWB RECOMMENDS a copy of HOAW to someone she knows is offended by any mention of sexual relations.

 

I removed the "surprise" bit because as my analogy was meant to inform..... I would KNOW BETTER than to do that: there would be absolutely no surprise, and to my knowledge, SWB hasn't expressed any surprise. i don't expect her to.

 

personally, it sounds like you're going to a lot of work to uh, pitch a fit, about the semantics of an analogy, but I hope the clarification above helps in your understanding. ;)

 

"I can't see a reason why SWB should've expected anyone to ignore her advice about parental discretion and then come here to slate her for that."

 

REGARDLESS the vague disclaimers given, SWB-- as a *known Christian* [regardless the secular publisher] and HIGHLY REPUTED homeschool author is deliberately including explicit sexual content that SHE KNOWS many-- manyMany MANY -- deem inappropriate. i do expect good leaders to be more in tune w/ their constituents.

 

per your apologia scenario:

"and without bothering to find out what sort of content is likely to be contained in it,"

 

We aren't talking about differences in definitions. NOBODY is denying that SWB is including explicit statements about sexual acts. And yes, you probably are pretty new at this, cuz there have been LOTS of public, heated debates about Apologia, even on Apologia forums. ;) And Apologia hasn't changed much, lol. History shows the best place to air a grievance that likely won't be addressed to your satisfaction is a public discussion board... that way at least others who are likeminded can find out more about it.

 

 

You said:

There's a big problem with the insinuation that SWB deliberately produced something that she knew would cause offence and that she didn't give people ample opportunity to make an informed decision about using it with their kids until they were right in the middle of reading it aloud.

 

It's the bolded part that i take issue with. You're right -- it *is* a big problem. I'm not insinuating it-- I'm saying it right out. She deliberately produced something that she knew would cause offence. Whether the discovery came while reading it aloud or during pre-reading is irrelevant-- this is designed and recommended for 14yo kids.

 

 

I've given examples how sexual instances in history could be handled w/o direct quotes. Shoot-- that's not a new novel idea that I came up with-- people way smarter than i have been able to explain sexual issues w/o resorting to direct quotes for some time now w/o sacrificing intellectual integrity or academic excellence. She opted not to do that.

 

As you showed in your examples above:

 

We think the texts and programs we've settled on are the best available,

 

 

SWB/JW are up front about what their criteria are for selecting resources. Academic excellence is first on that list. Avoidance of mature content doesn't feature.

 

This one is the Best!! Recommended by a great lady at the top of her field! Who wouldn't want to take her advice?

NOWHERE does she even hint at offering direct quotes about explicit sexual acts that even students ready for "mature content" might /might not be ready for. NOWHERE in her disclaimers is that even addressed. Nothing about "mature content" for a 14yo and their family who might be just starting the foray into Classical Education.

 

 

Here we have "thoroughness" at the top of the list and, again, no mention of avoiding [or specifically including] sexual references or other mature content. With thoroughness as a deciding factor, one should be aware that this means there are likely to be fewer omissions in the suggested resources than in some other texts.

 

fewer omissions... of what?? We're teaching minor children, most of whom aren't even of legal age to consent to the acts being explicitly described. Myself and others have already laid out what "fewer omissions" tends to look like: more in depth study of political science, economics, strategy, etc. There's a LOT of just BASIC history that is left out of most texts. THAT's the kind of stuff I tend to expect "more" of.

 

 

i absolutely encourage someone to sit down and give chapter and verse where the sexual instances are as a better heads-up for parents who simply DON't have the time to pre-read everything, but still want quality texts for their kids. It's not the first time something like that has been done. As i mentioned before-- Focus on the Family has done an admirable job sifting through *known issues* and posting them in a matter-of-fact manner for parents to make a better judgement w/o wasting hours and hours of precious time. But then again, Hollywood is KNOWN for producing material that [even if "accurate"] flies in the face of most families' morals.

SWB is NOT.

yet she did. :glare:

 

and while we might get caught up in the semantics of how someone said what, i do hope that we can be a little bit more discerning and understand the meaning behind the asterisks, instead of focusing on the asterisks themselves. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have to say I'm not appreciating "She deliberately produced something that she knew would cause offence" (actual quote).

 

Speculation as to motive, instead of analysis of what's actually on the page, isn't helpful. You can't possibly know my intentions.

 

Anyway this is completely wrong. Frankly it didn't occur to me that anyone who was also doing a Great Books course (Gilgamesh? Shakespeare? The Bible? Really?) would find the references offensive.

 

I support your right to FIND them offensive and, so, not use the book. Also you're welcome to list them for other parents. And even discuss them on my message board. (As you have)

 

But the speculation that I "deliberately" set out to cause offense is unkind. And also incorrect.

 

In any case, the book was not "written for fourteen-year-olds." It was written for adults. The Great Books course assumes, as David Hicks so rightly points out in Norms and Nobility, that high school students are anxious to become adults. Therefore we recommend, in the high school years, books written for adults. The adults who are GUIDING their high school students towards maturity are, as always, responsible for the ultimate shape of the path.

 

Debated jumping in on this, as I usually try to let my books speak for themselves, but when assumptions about motivation start I feel compelled to point out that the discussion has veered in an incredibly unhelpful direction.

 

Also you've hit me in a week where I'm particularly sensitive to assumptions about my motivations. I wish people who disagree with me/us would stick to the facts. I know, I dream.

 

SWB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"plowing a damp field"? :lol:

 

Maybe I should black out the Song of Songs in my third-grader's Bible? Pardon my amusement, but oh dear ...

 

I don't understand the notion of being frustrated or offended by a book's content. (Or a movie's, or whatever.) And I certainly don't understand the need to attribute evil intent to its author! Look the thing over. If the product seems suitable for your family, then use it. If it doesn't, then don't. If you deem it OK and start using it (watching the movie, reading the book, playing the game) and, whoops, turns out you'd misjudged, then cut your losses and stop using the thing, and move on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Have to say I'm not appreciating "She deliberately produced something that she knew would cause offence" (actual quote).

 

Speculation as to motive, instead of analysis of what's actually on the page, isn't helpful. You can't possibly know my intentions.

 

Anyway this is completely wrong. Frankly it didn't occur to me that anyone who was also doing a Great Books course (Gilgamesh? Shakespeare? The Bible? Really?) would find the references offensive.

 

I support your right to FIND them offensive and, so, not use the book. Also you're welcome to list them for other parents. And even discuss them on my message board. (As you have)

 

But the speculation that I "deliberately" set out to cause offense is unkind. And also incorrect.

 

In any case, the book was not "written for fourteen-year-olds." It was written for adults. The Great Books course assumes, as David Hicks so rightly points out in Norms and Nobility, that high school students are anxious to become adults. Therefore we recommend, in the high school years, books written for adults. The adults who are GUIDING their high school students towards maturity are, as always, responsible for the ultimate shape of the path.

 

Debated jumping in on this, as I usually try to let my books speak for themselves, but when assumptions about motivation start I feel compelled to point out that the discussion has veered in an incredibly unhelpful direction.

 

Also you've hit me in a week where I'm particularly sensitive to assumptions about my motivations. I wish people who disagree with me/us would stick to the facts. I know, I dream.

 

SWB

 

so you're telling me that you had NO CLUE that including those references would cause some families to squirm?? Even in a Classical Education setting? really? I find that incredibly hard to believe.

 

I do find it more believable that "well, since the other texts include this too, I'll just follow suit and they'll have to deal with the disclaimers." Sometimes we do simply make choices that we know will be offensive to some....and decide that we're still in the right to do so for whatever reason.

 

Now if you literally had NO CLUE WHATSOEVER that including those quotes would cause offence, then i do indeed apologize. However, that would give me great pause as to what you do and do not realize about your audience and general American Christian culture/ societal morals.

 

Just because we're adults doesn't mean we appreciate that sort of content via "direct quotations" in a general history text that uses narrative elsewhere -- for ourselves, OR our kids. That we choose to study a few texts that do include sexual content doesn't mean we're asking to wallow in it [as another poster mentioned]. And it's actually been by watching discussions *here* over the years that I know for a fact that many parents

1. Aren't familiar w/ what's contained in the "Great Books" since they are JUST starting out in highschool; and

2. Aren't always fast enough readers to keep up w/ pre-reading

 

We can't change what's in the Bible and other texts... we *can* use tact in what we include for a 14yo.

 

and yes, we CAN "possibly know intentions" when we have a LOT of facts lined up from years of observation.

 

but I'll repeat:

 

if you literally had NO CLUE WHATSOEVER that including those quotes would cause offence, then i do indeed apologize.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
....And I certainly don't understand the need to attribute evil intent to its author! .

 

I never said the intent was "evil."

I said it was *deliberate*... which doesn't always equate to EVIL. ;)

 

and I'm sure many "don't" understand why some would find content offensive. I'd say this thread is a good time to learn to look at life from another's perspective. Learn something new. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think I've been perfectly clear. Hope y'all enjoy using/not using HOTAW.

 

Scuse me, must go back to writing. (This would be the writer's version of "Bean dip? Oh, yes, thank you!!")

 

SWB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh my word. You know, I imagine when you are pouring your entire heart and soul into creating something like this you don't necessarily have the time or mental capacity to think through what every single person is going to think of every single sentence you put into the book. SWB wasn't writing pornography here. She was including a few original references that were relevant to the subject she was writing about. It floors me that anyone would suggest there was deliberate intent to rile up some ultra-conservative readers in such a way. I think there are far more interesting and effective ways to do such a thing if that were the intention.

 

This thread is starting to feel like a visit to the Twilight Zone.

 

While I'm at it, I'll also add my three cheers for Xander. That was some amazing writing there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hey-- I *am* chilled. ;)

 

and no, sorry, I *don't* think SWB was "perfectly clear."

 

Geez, Peek, you're being rude. You know what they say about people who assume ;).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've been following this thread, but haven't posted bc I hardly ever do, especially in a "heated debate". I just don't ever feel I have anything worth any weight to offer. But, as a mom to two upcoming teenage boys, I am glad for this heads-up about some of the content.

 

I agree with Melissa and the OP. I truly get what everyone is saying here about not censoring, but SWB is known to us as a Christian, homeschooling mom that wrote SOTW. I was really surprised to read about the "damp field", even though I didn't get it at first.:tongue_smilie: I don't know if I'm naive or not, but I was truly surprised that the book contained some things of this nature. I understand the relevance of depicting a sexual relationship to establish facts surrounding an event, but I don't need to read their "talk" during such relationship.:tongue_smilie: Now, I am flying blind here as I have never even seen the book in person or held it in my hand, but with two boys going thru lots of changes, I don't want to put images in their heads during history of "plowing someone's field"!

 

I love SWB, her materials, and her dedication to the hs movement and this forum. But, a small note, "contains some sexual content", or some sort, is not too much considering it is sold on a hs website for hs use.

 

I realize everyone's standards are different. Someone's PG movie is someone's R and someone's R is someone's X. But, I'm glad there is some rating system in place for some heads up that, we as parents, need to check the movie further before letting our children see it.

 

I'm not suggesting that books be rated, or maybe they should, but given who she is, that her books are written for hs use, a little heads up would be nice. Then we can come here and have lively discussions about what's written on what page and how in the world can you possible be offended by that!:lol:

 

I do regret the timing of this, given all the other kerfuffle, but I for one am glad for the info. (Now ducking for cover. Please don't tear me apart too much, I hardly ever post.)

 

My exact same thoughts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whether I agree with every single thing SWB writes or not, I find it interesting that someone thinks they know more about the motives of a writer than the writer does! That's a bit (or a lot) over-the-top to me!

 

If the writer of something explains motive CLEARLY, and someone writes steps for what this author must do for this person to apologize to them........... ????!!! :glare:

 

Oyyyy, I need a :chillpill: pill, or bean dip, or to go back to my writing!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"plowing a damp field"? :lol:

 

 

 

My friend told me about that part the other day. I told her I'd never heard it put that way before. :D

 

I asked my 11 y.o. if he knew what that meant - he thinks it involves planting a crop. :lol:

 

I asked my 14 y.o. and he just rolled his eyes at me and said, "Mom!" (He got the general gist.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"plowing a damp field"? :lol:

 

 

 

I just have to say...

 

I mentioned this whole thread to my DH on Thursday, and told him about the "Plow her damp field" quote, and the poor man has had plowing on his mind ever since! All he talks about is 'plowing'. How he needs to get home to 'plow'. How after dinner he wants to 'plow'. That he must be a farmer at heart because all he has is 'plowing' on his mind. :lol: He's driving me bonkers, but we're getting a good laugh out of it. :D

 

I did read the actual quote...you can see it in the Amazon example (pg 8, I believe)...and I really didn't find it overly offensive. If I read it to my 14 yo ds it would probably go right over his head because I don't know how well he actually listens when I read. :glare: I do think the quote could have easily been left out though. If it had been stopped at "...fresh milk with cream" we would have gotten all we needed to know.

 

So, all that to say, I've decided I probably won't be using HOAW in 9th grade. If my dh is any example, it could linger in a young mans mind FOREVER! :lol: I don't think my dh will ever be able to hear/read/say the word 'plow' again without an invading mental pic. Funny for us adults, but not sure it's what I want for my, just turned, 14 yo ds. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...