Dale McGowan’s Guide to Thinking Parent Blogs

12 11 2008

This week’s honor roll of secular parenting blogs at Meming of Life is great. You’ll want to visit them all, so clear some online time to explore and enjoy. And coming next week, secular HOMESCHOOLING parent blogs, hurray! (Should we lobby him to include Snook?)

Here are a few posts to that end. 🙂

Mind Your Head About Home Education and Religion

What Are They THINKING?? Dr. Phil’s New “Christian” Homeschoolers

An ordinary sad case like this isn’t about homeschooling OR Christianity, just an inability to reason for whatever reason — much less provide for or parent these trapped kids (who anyone would feel sorry for and want to help, never mind homeschooling or religion.) To his credit, Dr. Phil refuses to be drawn into elevating it to being about either one. It is about this one wacko dad and how he’s using God and homeschooling to inflict himself on other people and hurt them. . .

Homeschoolers Praying to Guns, God, Government as Trinity

Never mind school reform and the protection from school conquest we homeschoolers thought we were fighting for; these lessons have nothing to do with “school and state.” What will this teach kids about CHURCH and state, prayer and government?
And what will this teach lawmakers about homeschooling?

Is there really nothing wrong with this, not even a little off-sounding, to these conservative Christian homeschool parents? If it’s really a prayer day then it doesn’t belong in the middle of the secular government identified with legal “home education” and conversely if it’s a home education lobby, for the legislative presence and show of strength and solidarity, then it isn’t about prayer and religion; those are constitutionally separated for good reason.

More Than Self-Governing, Social Networks Are Self-Creating

Homeschooling No Perfect Protection for Our Kids But Better Thinking Would Help

Respect the Jeez-its Is Sorry Sign of Our Educational Times

Abortion Politics: Do You Really Want Kids to Think or Just Believe?

We Thinking Homeschoolers need well-written Reason Lifelines most of all imo . . .and the public needs to know “homeschooling family” doesn’t equal reason-stunted religious fringe. So, especially now as those dispiritingly closed-minded “Homeschool Blog Awards” swing into online dominance again, do yourself a favor and read something worthy of real thinking and education, instead. Parenting Beyond Belief.

Thanks, Dale!

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23 responses

12 11 2008
Daryl Cobranchi

Your first link is busted.

12 11 2008
JJ

Thanks! I had used the trackback code, should work now.

Think he’d like to check out the Evolved Homeschoolers writing project too? (Do you know when COD will be cranking that up again, I don’t want to miss out!)

12 11 2008
JJ

Anyone reading this is likely also to be interested in reading

The Child Trap
The rise of overparenting
.
by Joan Acocella
Nov. 17 New Yorker Magazine

— if only to rant about it! 🙂

12 11 2008
Dale McGowan

Pfft! Like I wouldn’t include Cocking a Snook! 🙂

12 11 2008
sam

I’m with JJ and have wondered recently what happened to our Thinking Homeschoolers writing project. And, having noticed the Certain Homeschool Blog Awards That Aren’t For Evil Sinners getting started, I was thinking it would be a good time for it. As usual I’m NOT feeling a fountain of writing ideas and prompts, but give me a topic, and I’ll attack it with all the ferocity I can muster.

12 11 2008
JJ

Hi Sam, thanks for the correction on the official name! 😉

“Certain Homeschool Blog Awards That Aren’t For Evil Sinners”

12 11 2008
JJ

Hi Dale — Snook hereby awards you the first “Thinking Parent Sweet Waffle Kohn” of 2008!

I know it can’t compare with your dandy new Harvard Humanist of the Year award (congrats again, can’t wait to read all about your seminar Dec 6) but it IS tasty and festive.

p.s. I deny this is payola!

12 11 2008
Doc

It’s not just COD’s project, it’s all of ours. Come up with a topic, post it, and the rest of us (since we’re all linked via our secular humanistic mindmeld, doh) will play along.

12 11 2008
JJ

Damn, that’s so evolved it completely escaped me!

12 11 2008
JJ

Are we brave enough to do something about race, maybe compare and contrast our own perspectives from childhood to November 5, 2008?

This comes to mind because I was just reading this:
The Joshua Generation: Race and the campaign of Barack Obama

And Obama wasn’t particularly on my radar (being a stuffy academic non-partisan) until the day he gave his famously brilliant race speech. That was the day I decided I had a candidate and he was it.

12 11 2008
COD

Exactly Doc – go for it. Don’t let my laziness get in the way!

12 11 2008
JJ

Oh Doc, just saw your post about Loving Day and the current gay marriage ban. Rolfe has some threads going on that too, from his Thinking Christian perspective. So that all could fit in, what do you think? Can you help me revise the question to get at it? (that was the hardest part of my dissertation, took me a year to get the question defined, sigh.)

12 11 2008
Lydia

All kidding aside, I’m seriously interested in ways that secular (or Christian but not insane — does anyone have a word for that?), rational homeschoolers can change the perception of homeschooling in general. I am on board for any effort in that direction. So tired of people thinking all homeschoolers are anti-dinosaur and anti-contraception, but… we just seem to accept these stereotypes. I would like a systematic plan to bring the mainstream more into the mainstream.

12 11 2008
JJ

While I reading the New Yorker, this is good too. It’s about everything from Obama’s unusual name to his unusual attributes to, finally, his unusual skin color.

12 11 2008
JJ

Welcome to the fight, Lydia. (Is that from the end of Casablanca?)
You’re in the right place and the floor is open!

12 11 2008
JJ

Rolfe, Betty, Dawn and Deanne for example, are decidedly not-crazy Christian homeschool bloggers we happen to know and consider intelligent freedom-fighters. I’ve called them Thinking Christians, or usually I just lump secular and sacred together as Thinking Parents, or Thinking Homeschoolers.

One of my favorite religious-AND-thinking unschooling moms adopted her husband’s religion, Baha’i.

For years, I was sure education freedom was the issue that would bring mainstream schooling parents into common activist interest with homeschoolers. Beat my brains out at NHEN and elsewhere to explain why this would work, until I finally realized that religious-instead-of-thinking parents would never allow it. They can’t — education is the enemy to them. It’s not just evolution or sexy books in the library, it’s learning that there are multiple valid ways to look at issues and human affairs. Once that happens, how you gonna keep em down? (not down on the farm, just down?)

Most of these enemies of education and thinking do homeschool or send their kids to Christian academies, and they approach academics just like religious study. Linear, literalist, with discipline and even punishment, hierarchy, submission, rote and ritual, authoritarian rule. It’s a “meme” and a way of understanding the family, the community, the world.

12 11 2008
Life On The Planet

“…Christian but not insane…”

We call it Episcopalian.

12 11 2008
JJ

LMAO! Christian but not insane, with incense!

12 11 2008
Crimson Wife

And even those of us who do happen to personally believe there is a “right” way to look at things can also strongly support pluralism. Each of us has free will and therefore has to choose his or her own path in life. Plus I’m not sure how someone can even know what he or she truly does believe if he or she never considers alternative viewpoints. I don’t get the desire by some homeschoolers to surround themselves with only those with whom they agree 100%. If their worldview is strong, they face no threat from encountering other beliefs. Annoyance, perhaps 🙂 but that’s a small price to pay for avoiding blind conformity…

12 11 2008
JJ

And that attitude is the only reason why CW is able to tolerate Snook in small doses and vice versa. 🙂

I think it matters what frame we have in our minds for these conversations. If you see them as right-wrong in the biblical, sin or salvation sense, the debate or discussion is very different than if you see them more like a court proceeding with its own conventions and evidentiary rules, and accepted court decorum, and knowing that there will be two main opposing views plus who knows how many sidetracks and contradictions so that neither main argument is without holes or worrisome non sequiters or whatever. And we all understand it’s a human construct, only one approach to some semblance of justice and truth, and we know that the people deciding between the alternate views (the jury) aren’t infallible, and they may be tired or biased in some way you can’t detect, or just low-information in this area, etc. — and you know that however much you believe in your side’s case, the one you’re constructing, it isn’t the “truth” even if it’s more right than the other side’s argument. It may be closer to reality but it won’t convey all of what really happened and why. And the law may prevent most of what’s most true from coming out (or coming in, I should say), sigh . . .

But what’s our alternative to that? Kill each other? Yeah, pretty much.

12 11 2008
boremetotears

😀

Okay. I just checked out Dale’s list, but I can’t seem to stop chuckling at the blog names: agnostic mom, atheist mama, humanist mama, skepdad, humanist dad, skeptical mom, domestic father, humanist mom, rational moms, atheist dad. Now, I’m sure they’re all great blogs, and I know that I have an odd sense of humor, but it’s funny, right??

12 11 2008
boremetotears

Most of these enemies of education and thinking do homeschool or send their kids to Christian academies, and they approach academics just like religious study. Linear, literalist, with discipline and even punishment, hierarchy, submission, rote and ritual, authoritarian rule. It’s a “meme” and a way of understanding the family, the community, the world.

Hmm. Anti-education homeschoolers. I’ve never really put the words together that way, but you’re right. For many, it has never been about education, but Worldview and culture war; if you’re not friend, you’re foe, whether you homeschool or not.

15 12 2008
JJ

Check out Raising Three Thinkers too. 🙂

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