213 thoughts on “Fear”

    1. I’m unfamiliar with this aBeka thing, so I will not be participating in this conversation, other than agreeing with JB that is is a pretty appalling thing to be the first to comment here when the purpose is to make sensationalist and ridiculous comments about fundamentalistm.

        1. I’ll never forget the Savannahan in “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” who walks around town with all his pet flies on leashes.

      1. Dear stacymcanderson:

        Here’s a thought! Why not evaluate the ‘your child, the world and you’ claim from a theological perspective?

        What does ‘world’ in this case mean? Does it mean worldly? Does it mean ‘world’ as the place which though fallen is also a place of grace, a place where God’s Son was made flesh, and where the Spirit is already at work, preceding us and bidding us follow? Or does it mean ‘world’ as the object of God’s redemption as in Ro 8:21? No attempt is made to define ‘world.’ Was that an oversight? Am I the only one to hear Gnostic [that’s an heresy] overtones here? What should parents conclude from this ‘your child, the world and you’ construction?

        What does ‘world’ in this case mean? Does it mean the rebellious pride and oppression that seeks to consume all that is good? Does ‘world’ mean the place that God has abandoned, OR, does it mean ‘world’ as the place which though fallen is also a place of grace, a place where God’s Son was made flesh, and the Spirit is already at work, preceding us and bidding us follow? Or does it mean ‘world’ as the object of God’s redemption as in Ro 8:21? Why no attempt to define ‘world.’ Was that an oversight? Am I the only one to hear Gnostic whispers here? What should parents conclude from this ‘your child, the world and you’ construction?

        Baptism in the perspective of the covenant incorporates children into the church which is then responsible to stand by parents and assist them in rearing covenant youths in the fear and admonition of the Lord. Granting that you’re most likely NOT padeo-baptist, you can surely sense the comfort of being enfolded by the faithful community. The truth is, God’s people are NEVER alone. So the claim that ‘you’re the only thing standing between the world and your child’ is at best theologically inadequate. It is a woefully inadequate and self-serving premise that save A Beka books, all that factors into this equation are your child, the world and you.

        The ‘fine print’ asserts that A Beka is ‘not just a publisher’ but ‘a partner in your mission.’ Isn’t it at least a little presumptuous? Are there any important reasons for accepting this claim? Has that claim any Biblical support? God has ordained the church as the context in which, and the means by and through which covenant families find guidance, support and nurture for the crucial task of childrearing. To re-contextualize that crucial task in a publishing house reflects a weak ecclesiology. How this will serve the church and initiate youths into covenant practices for life is not clear.

        Christian Socialist

        1. C.S.,

          I’ve read your post three times finding my intellectual abilities lacking!

          I believe this is your bottom line? :

          “The truth is, God’s people are NEVER alone. ”

          Am I correct?

          B.R.O.

        2. It’s a very central teaching of Christianity that the believer is in communion with all other Christians around the world.
          The Christian as a lone wolf is a heretical construction.

        3. I’m not padeo-Baptist, but I agree with your questioning their use of the word “world” as well as the conclusion that WE ARE NOT ALONE!

        1. semp, the only time I felt you may have come close to “nasty and abrasive” was when you corrected me when I thought you were a dude.

          Ever since then, ‘gracious’ is all that comes to mind!

  1. And of course there’s no logical fallacy in the assumption that you must keep your child as far removed from the world as possible.

    Yes, grow that plant in this greenhouse and then move it outside all sudden-like when it’s an adult. I’m SURE it won’t die in the elements. smh

      1. Generally, we don’t start sentences with coordinating conjunctions, but writers do often purposefully break that convention to add punch to their style.

        What I know of A Becka grammar, though, is that it tends to be quite old-fashioned so I’m surprised they chose to artistically break that rule.

        1. In the Beka readers for younger kids, the occasional sentence starts with “and”. A fellow homeschooler found that to be appalling. She went to public school, a state college, and has a public school certification!

          Given that Beka insists on “am I not” instead of “aren’t I” it is rather jarring to see “but” used to begin a sentence.

  2. The whole premise is ridiculous. Jesus is with us in the world – not in a bubble apart from it. And where does Jesus fit into this ad’s scenerio?

    1. Jesus doesn’t fit in. The fundy image of Jesus is used instead, and fits perfectly in the little box that the company created especially for that purpose.

      1. I sort of like that old song, but that is a truly terrible rendition of it. It sounds like they’re spoofing it.
        It also sounds as though someone should be tap-dancing to it.

        1. Agreed, but my favorite GOH in this vein is “I Am A Pilgrim”, though only when performed by the late, great Ethel Waters. Can you find a link for us? Thanks.

        2. Ooh… A “threefer”. BG, you never disappoint. Willie’s version is a soothing balm, The Byrds “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” album brings the Pilgrim to the hoedown for to set a spell, and Doc Watson’s fingerpicking reminds me of Dylan’s work on the “Good As I’ve Been To You” album. Intricately sublime.
          Thank you, Big Gary.
          Btw, I believe Ethel Water’s take is available in iTunes. She sings it with a “joyful weariness”, as only she can. To me, she’s the Billie Holiday of spirituals.

        1. I was listening to My Cadillac Cowboys album way back when it was new, and my wife came into the room. After a brief pause I heard, “you didn’t actually spend money on that, did you?”

          After she heard it all the way through, she still wasn’t impressed. I later made their cover of “Liza Jane” a ringtone.

      1. Dear Lord in Heaven and Mother Mary and all the saints in Heaven and all the ships at sea, I first heard this classic on the Rush Limbaugh program… 😳
        maybe that’s the reason the Alpha & Omega let that noisy pest thrive, to let Clarence “Frogman” Henry be discovered by a whole new generation. 😕

        1. I was just wondering where I had heard that before, and it definitely was years & years ago on El Rushbo.

        2. BG: If it’s any comfort, the Frogman himself thanked the big windbag for reviving one of his best songs. 😳

  3. The best comment I’ve ever heard when the issue of protecting your children came up was from a friend of mine. He has three boys, the youngest of whom is now 18. Years ago when his youngest was still in diapers we were in a group, and somebody expressed fear about “raising children” these days, and how would we ever protect them. My friend said, and this is brilliant:

    “I’m not raising children. I’m raising men.”

    And he left it at that.

    Brilliant.

    Here’s my take on what he meant. If we think of parenting as raising children, then chances are that’s what we will have someday. We will have 40 year old children, incapable of thinking, analyzing and acting in a mature responsible manner. What type of man or woman do you want that little person sitting on your lap to be when he or she is 40? Fearful? Naïve? Timid? Uneducated?

    Food for thought.

    Peace,

    1. That’s spectacular in my book! My few years of volunteering in youth ministry taught me if you expect and ask a lot of (most) teens they can and will deliver. If you treat them like kids you’ll get kids them acting like kids.

      1. Indeed. I noticed the same thing working with young enlisted men: If you treat them like children then you must constantly supervise them, treat them like adults and they will act like adults.
        My basic conclusion was that people will live down to your expectations.

  4. Watch out! The World is so dangerous!
    For one, you are in constant threat of disagreement. You might even have to explain yourself to someone. This one time, someone didn’t believe what I told them. It was horrible! 🙁

  5. Creating fear of the big, bad, world is necessary to keep you in their bubble. Ironically, their Fundy bubble has been found to be really unsafe.

    I would much rather have my kid in our local public school than our local A-Beka using Fundy school – any day. Under the guise of “keeping them safe” many of these kids are denied some of the great opportunities available to the bubble-free kids.

    1. I made the mistake of putting my kids in Fundy Christian school for 3 years before coming to my senses and pulling them out to homeschool. Abeka is the worst curriculum I’ve ever seen and over the last almost 6 years of homeschooling, I have done my research and used multiple curriculums. My kids are homeschooled using a *gasp* secular curriculum and doing just fine!
      My husband and I used to teach Sunday School and he refused to use the Abeka curriculum. It was a joke. It turned Bible accounts into cartoons/comics and we found errors all the time that didn’t line up with scripture. After a while, most of the other teachers followed suit and quit using the Abeka materials. I think there are still one or two that follow it to the letter but most don’t and they just do their own thing.

      1. I used the Bible curriculum from A Beka for homeschooling for a while. One of the things that were stressed in my teaching Bible class in college was that before you read the story out of the curriculum you should read the story from the Bible. I followed that advice and found myself rather disgusted with the stories as written in the curriculum. I started ignoring the curriculum and just used the pictures. Then I got so sick of the repetition of the same select stories that I came up with my own Bible curriculum.
        One year I taught the harmonies of the gospel-that was a great study, it really helped pull me out of fundamentalism. The parables as taught in the A Beka curriculum were ripped out of context and used to make a point that was not the point that Christ was making. This past year I taught Genesis-Joshua. We have fun with that and learned all about the law. Next year we are going to do the Judges and the kings of Israel/Judah.

    2. I went to public school through 10th grade. My school district in MI was known as one of the best. I had two books in my locker. Math and science. My parents made the decision to put my two younger sisters in christian school but figured I would be fine my last two years. I had no desire to attend a christian school. My first day back in the fall of my junior year I was shocked. A teacher threatened to punch a girl in the naval…and she would have deserved it with her smart mouth. Lol. Not really but it scared me. Girls were walking around pregnant. Kids were making out under drinking fountains. Doors were removed from restrooms because of all the smoking. I came home and asked my parents if I could go to christian school too. They really didn’t have the money for three kids to go there but said they would scrape it together. I am telling you…I thought I died and went to heaven. I loved it. Academically I was behind. Never took a midterm or a final exam in public school. Mind you….Dearborn public schools. Known for being the best. I loved school…chapel…preaching and singing. I thank God for christian education. I always thought home schooling was a joke. But I guess if you are a well trained teacher you might be able yo handle it.

        1. Point being…I was never in a Fundy school. But I sure had fun there. Great memories. Meet my husband and raised 3 kids. My husband had come from public school and loved our christian education. We wanted the same for our kids. Put all 3 through christian school.

        2. Point being…I was never in a Fundy school. Only public school. But I sure had fun in the fundy school. Great memories. Meet my husband and raised 3 kids. My husband had come from public school and loved our christian education. We wanted the same for our kids. Put all 3 through christian school.

  6. If everything really depended on what kind of books kids got, those doomed to A Beka would be utterly lost.
    Fortunately, children can overcome obstacles, including (in many cases) that one.

    1. I pulled my son from our FundieSchool after 2nd grade. They boasted how more advanced he would be in their school. When we put him in public the next year he was behind in both math and reading. He hated reading u til then when the public school started reading Harry Potter together. His old Librarian found out and was shocked we let him read it. By 4th grade he was reading them by himself. That evil Potter advanced his reading level more than 3 years by getting him interested in reading. Sorry for typing being poor. I’m writing while on Public Transportation.

        1. Hey Stacy! I not only use Public Trans but my employer pays for almost all of. And to make you disapprove more my employer is The Whore of Babylon, the Catholic Church! bwaaahaaahaaa

        2. I must be beyond help as a worldly person. I have Metro cards for San Fran, DC, and ATL.
          All major hubs of evil. I’ve ridden many more, but keep those cards to reload and reuse.

      1. Same experience here several years ago. After pulling my kids out of “advanced” fundy school and putting them in public school it took them 2-3 years to get caught up with the other honors/AP track kids – there were some curriculum differences that accounted for some of it, but mostly they were just behind. They were straight-A students at the fundy school and took every advanced option available.

        The school used only A-Beka and BJU Press curriculum.

        1. That’s amazing.

          Around here there was a youngster who came out of public schools and was placed in the fundy school that used Beka. The student went on to public high school and the math background was deemed so strong that officials wanted to place the teen in an honors math class. This kid had come to the fundy school very deficient in math skills and knowledge, and worked very hard to make grade level with Beka in the two or three years spent at the fundy school.

        2. I don’t think its strictly a curriculum issue. Its about the skill, training, and curriculum coordination done by the teachers. I see a very high degree of professionalism in the way the public school teachers approach the classroom where the fundy school was much more relaxed and less coordinated. Also, there was way more time taken away from core learning time at the fundy school since all students were required to participate in music programs, art, etc, and with many of the teachers working a part time schedule it impacted the classroom time for core subjects.

          This was an individual school issue, and I would be the first one to tell you that I got a very high quality and rigorous education in a fundy high school that did use A Beka and BJU curriculum in addition to several others.

          In some cases I think its about what the school offers, as my HS offered honors/AP classes and the school my kids were at did not, so they had to play a little catch up to get there in public school. They were also ahead in one or two areas so its not that they were getting a completely deficient education.

    1. “I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.” KJV even

    2. Dear His Name Wasn’t Henry Porter:

      ‘I wrote vnto you in a pistle that ye shuld not company with fornicatours. And I meant not at all of the fornicatours of this worlde ether of the coveteous or of extorsioners ether of the ydolaters: for then must ye nedes have gone out of the worlde.’

      Tyndale’s translation is older and clearer!

      Christian Socialist

  7. This is what they define as “Biblically standing in the gap”? It’s just painful when people just pick phrases to abuse and everyone follows along rather than ask themselves is that what the phrase means. It’s exhausting sometimes.

        1. Could very well be. Its funny, because the product comes wholesale in these big, beat-up cardboard boxes with Chinese writing all over it, and the factory name in English. It sure cleans up by the time it reaches the shelf…

        2. I remember when Banana Republic’s catalogs were about the size of exam notebooks and included snippets of travelogs amid drawn illustrations of people wearing their clothes. Classy, hard-wearing clothes suitable for walking on trails while still looking pulled together and a selection of packable dinner outfits, that was their forte. Oh, and gorgeous low-heeled boots.

          Do they sell anything that is unmistakably BR anymore–I mean, anything that is unmistakably BR and without a visible logo?

        3. Jenny, same here. I have a couple of things purchased from Banana Republic when it was a neat, somewhat affordable travel wear store. The cotton, boony-style hat I wear for canoeing, hiking, fishing, camping, etc is still great twenty years later. Not too long ago we came across a store and of course I went in. I was hoping to find a khaki vest, like photographers or fly-fishermen wear. I thought I had walked into the wrong store. Whoever rebranded it into a clone of other boring expensive stores deserves some serious punishment.

          I do miss their old catalogs.

  8. Here at A Beka Books, we have bills to pay. Why we pay our workers upwards of $4 per hour. (They are happy as they know it’s service to Jesus.) It really helps our revenue stream if people know the real true truth that if a parent selects any other book (or public education) they are willfully putting little Eddie and Guenaverna in danger of the fires of hell. Guenaverna will be a prostituting drug dealer, and Eddie will be known as “the best man-whore in my stable!”

    A Beka Books is a Christian parent’s best friend!

      1. We briefly used Abeka for grammar and literature with our kids. One of the stories they used in a grade school lit book was a Patrick McManus story in which he talks about his sister, “The Troll”. Abeka went to great lengths to explain how improper it was to call people names, and really did a good job of ruining the story.
        Of course, my kids had already heard the story. McManus was one of the authors I read to them at night. As far as I can remember, the only book he used his sister’s proper name in was a book they co-wrote. After his dad passed, he lived as a child with a sister, mom, and grandmother. He pokes fun at all of them, yet still shows family love. Even as kids, my three thought Abeka’s remonstrations a bit excessive.

      1. I like the phonics, spelling, and cursive from Beka, as well as the math, especially eighth grade math. I’ve seen BJU stuff but not very familiar with it. My friend thought their sat homeschool program was goofy, sorta like a fundy Sesame Street for homeschoolers. At least the Beka video isn’t edutainment.

        1. FTR, I still use leftover Beka material but I will never buy their stuff again, as I don’t want to perpetuate the hell they push. Though their email goes straight to spam and their snail mail goes right to the circular file, they keep attempting to pester me. I guess they think I didn’t mean it when I said I’d never buy from them again.

  9. My first teaching job was at a Christian school within a mile of Hephzibah House. I should’ve known that the fresh crates of A Abeka books were a bad sign, in addition to the piles of BJU textbooks. For teaching English, it’s miserable to struggle through KJV grammar, boring readings with no reward for slogging through the text, insanely picky tests, and tedious grammar sentences that focus an unusual amount of attention on Billy Sunday and Gilbert and Sullivan plays.

        1. bet you a donut your toes would still tap along to the music, they knew how to write ’em back them. 😀

  10. To walk IN thru the OUT door? Gasp! Shocking! Rebellious! Next thing you know, your child will be wearing a Raspberry Beret! 😀
    What next, medicinal wine from a teaspoon, then beer from a bottle? 😯
    (runs and hides)

        1. Next is dancing on tables and telling loud nasty jokes. That’s what happened with me.

        2. And if you’re listening to Ragtime, Shameless Music, courtesy of Scott Joplin 😎 , then there’s no hope for you at all. Might as well break out the deviled eggs, deviled ham, and devil’s food cake. 😀

  11. “You’re the only things standing between your child and the world” Since when are parents “things”? Last I checked I was human. Mind you, that was many years ago.

    That said, I teach ABB phonics, with very good success, well-supplemented by Dr. Seuss, Junie B. Jones, and other fun books. Pretty much phonics is phonics, however you cut it. (But let’s not discuss the science or history!)

    1. When I was homeschooling my kids, about 25 years ago, I used Rod And Staff, which is a Mennonite group. They had a VERY good phonics and early reading program. The early maths were solid too.

      I only did it for a few years- my oldest was in 3rd grade when my husband and I split, and the kids and I moved to Eugene where I went back to school. So I can’t say what the later grades’ materials wree like, but I can say this- the phonics and early reading was very good and put my kids on a solid footing for the rest of their schooling. I was happy with it. And if I was to homeschool my granddaughters, I’d probably start out with Rod and Staff.

      1. Rod and Staff has good middle grade grammar and math. I could do without some of the religious sentences they have in the English book, but it’s solid. I just wish they had consumable workbooks.

        1. Yeah, it does have unfortunate connotations for ex-fundies.

          It’s a Mennonite curriculum. I can do without their religion.

          Funny thing, and I don’t know why they do this — are they afraid of writing checks or something? — but a few times I over paid on my order and my refund was in the form of stamps. US postage stamps. I thought that was bizarre and sent them back. They seemed to be amazed that in American culture it is not SOP to give refunds in the form of postage stamps. I had maybe $1.17 in random, single stamps falling out of the envelope. If I recall correctly they re-issued the refund in coins.

        2. I hadn’t heard of objections to checks before. I know Mennonites who write checks, but there are about as many versions of Mennonite doctrine as there are Mennonites, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a Mennonite group that abstains from check-writing. To hazard a guess as to why, it may be because the Bible, as many theologically conservative people interpret it, says not to lend money at interest. If you put your money in a bank, the bank will lend it out and charge interest on it.

        3. What, can it be?!? Is Big Gary starting to see the light? Fractional Reserve Banking will be the death of the dollar (likely sooner than later).

      2. We used the Rod and Staff readers some but got rid of them. Our kids found them to be very boring. We still home school but our youngest now reads stuff like “The Unwanteds” and the “Maximum Ride” series.

    2. Oh dear, Junie B. Jones. The kids I tutor think they’re the greatest. They DO encourage them to read, but I think I’m going to start asking them to pick out the grammar errors as they read to save my sanity……

  12. Let’s see…in my fundy elementary school I had A Beka phonics, which was actually pretty good, I think. In high school, we used A Beka for English and basic math, BJU textbooks for science, and secular textbooks for all upper level math. Yet, for all that “standing in the gap,” I still left Fundyland in my twenties.
    Must’ve been those worldly math books.

        1. I’ll probably get beat up here, but I actually feel a little pain (or pang) shoot through me when I hear anyone say something about Universalism. Jesus said “Few there be that find it”. In ‘that day’ MANY will say Lord, Lord but God will say “I never knew you, depart from Me”.

          Please don’t be blinded into Universalism anyone. Please don’t. And I don’t even care if I get slammed for stating this opinion. If I could come to each and every individual who believes in Universalism and just tell them God loves you way too much to throw aside the ONLY way to eternal life, through Jesus Christ, to let yourself be deceived by this theology I would, but I can’t.

          All I can do is beg you to read scripture and ask God to fill your mind with truth as you read. Please, please, please. That’s all I can say.

        2. Norm, I’m sure not going to beat you up. Many years ago, while in DTS, I began to study the possibility that Christ’s redemption was for all (without exception); that at some point in the future, all will ultimately be reconciled to God through Christ. This is a subset of Universalism, and I’ve believed this way for over 30 years.

        3. Ha! Sorry Troublewit. I guess I was already leaning over the edge as I had been skimming through the Logic of Universalism and Hell thread over in the forum. I apologize for what probably sounded like I had jumped on the crazy train.

          It is true though when I hear someone mention a belief in Universalism I get a feeling of minor dread. I think believing in Universalism makes one feel as though the actions of this life don’t really matter because everyone’s gonna make it to heaven in the end, and I don’t believe that is scriptural at all.

          But anyhow, thanks for clearing it up Troublewit! 🙂

  13. You call this History?

    https://www.abeka.com/Distinctives.aspx

    History

    A realistic view of time, government, geography, and economics based on eternal truths

    Ever since H. G. Wells published his Outline of History in 1920, the theme of world history texts has been man’s supposed progress from savagery toward socialism, from tribal religions toward one-world government. American history is usually presented as a series of conflicts—rich vs. poor, black vs. white, North vs. South, labor vs. management, male vs. female, etc.

    A Beka Book history texts reject the Marxist/Hegelian conflict theory of history in favor of a truthful portrayal of peoples, lands, religions, ideals, heroes, triumphs, and setbacks. The result is positive, uplifting history texts that give students an historical perspective and instill within them an intelligent pride for their own country and a desire to help it back to its traditional values.

    We present government as ordained by God for the maintenance of law and order, not as a cure-all for humanity’s problems. We present free-enterprise economics without apology and point out the dangers of Communism, socialism, and liberalism to the well-being of people across the globe. In short, A Beka Book offers a traditional, conservative approach to the study of what man has done with the time he has been given.

    1. ” a desire to help it back to its traditional values.”

      Such as slavery, discrimination, oppression of girls and women, stereotyping?

      and “liberalism?” Oh, my! We certainly can’t allow that.

    2. I pointed out to my kids the characters and events that they were not being taught while they were in fundy school. I also do the same in their public school history curriculum. There’s not a great deal of difference, but I have taught them to realize that any author, even of a textbook has a particular worldview that they seek to reinforce by what they choose to discuss, and by leaving out things that don’t support their premise. Journalists are the same way, as are those who make documentaries, etc. Its a critical life skill that they are learning in school – how to identify and navigate yourself around someone else’s biases and perspective. Healthy skepticism is needed no matter where your education comes from.

      1. Oh. Well, I feel slightly ashamed that I didn’t catch the sarcasm or jesting then. Still feel the same about Universalism, but embarrassed that I missed the wink and nod.

    3. Well, at least they warn you about the objectives of their history curriculum.
      Don’t expect to have a good understanding of history if you learn from a curriculum that openly states that it is tailored to sell you on one political ideology (and a fairly extreme one, at that).

      “Man’s supposed progress from savagery toward socialism” may well have been H.G. Wells’ view of history (I haven’t actually read his Outline), but that’s not the model used by any American history textbook I’ve ever seen, so it’s disingenuous to imply that it’s the (only?) alternative to the A Beka model.

    4. Hoo boy! I went 3rd through 11th in ABB history. I learned to hate boring history, especially US history!

      I did not learn about: Civil Rights (MLK, Jr., Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges), any war after WWII, African nations/cultures, ancient Egypt, Vikings, or Britain’s domination of any part of the world but the US. I’m sure there’s more I’ve missed. Since I’ve discovered historical fiction and The History Channel, I’ve been making up for lost time!

      1. I LOVE to use historical fiction to teach history! Of course, you have to be cautious that the book is more accurate than inaccurate, but even what the author got wrong can become a topic for a class discussion as you compare the book with reality. I think STORY is a much more effective way to help people remember than lists, dates, and emotionless facts.

      2. If I recall correctly they had something unusual about SEN McCarthy in their history curriculum. Forget what it was but it was an odd interpretation of the man and his actions. It was the only positive depiction of the man that I ever read.

        1. Joe McCarthy was a liar, a paranoiac, a drunkard, and an all-around mean individual.
          But there are still some around who defend him and his actions.
          My late grandmother (bless her heart) always believed that McCarthy was on the right track and that HUAC didn’t go far enough.

    5. “We present government as ordained by God for the maintenance of law and order, not as a cure-all for humanity’s problems. We present free-enterprise economics without apology and point out the dangers of Communism, socialism, and liberalism to the well-being of people across the globe. In short, A Beka Book offers a traditional, conservative approach to the study of what man has done with the time he has been given.”

      I do not homeschool and do not know anything about this beka or Abeka, or whatever it’s called. But it sounds like a great product!

  14. As a christian parent, I stand holding hands with my children as we walk into the world together. I keep them safe and teach them skills, and watch with joy as they find new things for themselves. As they grow older, they need to hold my hand less and less, but I hope they will always feel welcome to run back and share with me their latest discovery, whether it be joyful or painful.

    My children are real people. Not possessions.

  15. I homeschooled my oldest two for a year but not for religious reasons. The local public school system was terrible. I made up my own curriculum.

    The next year we moved to a nearby county with a school system that was in the top 100 in the country. The enrollment at the schools was comparable to that of a private school as it is a tiny county. My children fit right in with no problems and were on schedule with the state requirements. They went on to receive advanced studies diplomas. They told me they enjoyed the year at home and that time with us but they were glad they had the public school experience. Apparently that one year was enough to help them withstand peer pressure as well.

  16. “You’re the only thing standing between the world and your child. Who will stand with you?” Well, if A Beka Books are standing with you, then you’re not the only thing.

    What about your church or Christian friends and relatives? What about the Holy Spirit?

    It reminds me of Elijah in the OT – “I’m the only one left!”

  17. I’m a graduate of a full 12 grades of homeschooling, and this advertisement really ruffles my feathers, although I suppose it’s more the idea behind it than anything else. What really bothers me here is the theological and anthropological implications of the idea behind this sort of ad. It says “I am inherently good. My child is inherently good. The world is dirty, and if I let the world touch me or my child, it will make us bad.” This attitude completely ignores the biblical view of the self that we ought to have: “Behold, I am brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” If we understood how corrupt each one of us is, we would approach the question of education and childrearing in a substantially different way, particularly a substantially more humble way.
    While I firmly believe the state has no business being involved in education (the only legitimate function of the state being the punishment of crimes against person and property), I also hate the idea among homeschoolers (and Christian private schoolers as well, from what I’ve seen) that the parent’s biggest job is to shield their child from all the “sin out there” while never focusing on dealing with the sin in our own hearts and lives. It’s certainly a parent’s responsibility to shield a child from certain things at certain times, but the true goal is to raise a strong adult. That’s going to start with the parent of a child modeling a heart of repentance and contrition for their own sins, not an attitude that shows their child the sins of the world from afar off and says “Look at all those heathen sinners, I thank the Lord that we are not like other men, we homeschool, we are at the church every time the doors are open, and we dress well for it too.” Once a parent has their heart set in the right direction, then they can approach education and childrearing without all the fear mongering presented in this ad.

    1. You’re so right about the underlying spiritual fallacy behind that ad.

      I am reminded of Edgar Allan Poe’s story “The Masque of the Red Death” in which the party revelers thought they could wall themselves off from contamination. Another example is “Lord of the Flies” – was the evil out there in the dark or in their own hearts?

    2. “the only legitimate function of the state being the punishment of crimes against person and property”

      I hope that you’re living in some libertarian paradise other than the USA, because the US Constitution begs to differ.

  18. “…the only legitimate function of the state being the punishment of crimes against person and property”

    Who will you call when your house catches fire?

      1. You’re assuming that roads in NY get plowed.

        I’m guessing you think that NY has mostly paved roads.

        I am laughing hysterically.

        Sometimes when I was a kid we traveled through NYS. Occasionally I’d be sleeping or reading when we hit the state line. I could always tell we were in NY because the roads are paved in sections and the staccato sound and feel of the tires as they went over the seams got to be annoying. NY is weird but at least they have trees there, which is more than I can say for Lake County, Indiana (shudders at the memories of 8400 Burr Street, Crown Point).

    1. A private firefighting company. If it’s important enough for people to need it, a free market enterprise would provide it. Just as it’s not the state’s responsibility to provide my daily bread, it’s also not their job to rescue me from a disaster.

      1. Ya so we’ll have ONE firefighting company in a town for that ONE owner to have a monopoly and make huge profits. Look what paid EMS does. Yuck. Too many services fighting over calls and where there is monopoly, it is likely not good.
        In my rural area, we have a volunteer fire dept and a volunteer EMS. Firemen are not paid, but get a nice chunk at retirement. (about 15-20k)..EMTs are paid to go on runs, it’s about ten bucks an hour during the run. I did it for ten years..fire is largely funded by the city and contracts with townships. EMS is a mix of public funding and billing for services.

      2. By God I don’t worship the free market. I believe that society comes together to meet common needs, whether it’s law enforcement, the court system, corrections, fire service, road construction, water and sewer, etc. You are probably young and know little or nothing about what it takes to provide clean drinking water and sanitary sewerage to a community. (Do you really have any idea about the EPA’s regulation of effluent rates with sewerage treatment systems–a necessity if we hope to preserve our waterways?) I have spent the past 27 years in honorable public service, and I find your comments breathtaking in inexperience with the public sector. No offense, please. It’s just that I’m in my late 50s and have little tolerance for easy answers to societal problems.

        Oh, and by the way, I’ve had the privilege of serving as a police and fire administrator for many years. I hope to God you’re never involved in a house fire. I’ve pulled some charred bodies out of fire scenes. You have little or no appreciation for the valiant firefighters who risk their lives (and often face early & premature cancer) to save the lives of their fellow citizens. Obviously, you’ve struck a nerve. I’ve known too many public servants who laid their lives down in the line of duty. If I didn’t respond to your post, it would be a dishonor to my fellow emergency responders who are no longer with us.

        1. well said! Cheers Bald J!
          I agree wholeheartedly.
          As to one of the more silliest statements I have ever heard, when our town (and many others) was fighting against the the big suburb/republican legislature who wanted to cut off our local government aid and virtually guarantee and end to decent fire, ems, snow removal..you know, what makes civilization…I had a guy tell me we’d get volunteers to plow snow. Wait, what? Are you $hi**in me? Do you mean someone out of the kindness of the heart is gonna wake up at the butt crack of dawn and put in a 12-15 hour day because they are a nice person? Every time it snows? Hahahahaha…
          You can’t privatize these things because there is room for one. Not room for two. And one means no competition and you are the mercy of the corporation running it. Volunteer is great for fire/ems in rural areas..that works well. Snow removal..not so much. On a side note, we threw that crowd out of office and talk of ending LGA (what makes it possible for small remote towns to provide these basics) ended abruptly. Satisfied now but vigilant because another election happens this fall….

        2. Thank you Bean. I really became angry at our brother Campbell S’s post. I’ve known too many responders who died too young. Sometimes, in the summer, I sit beside the campfire, have a couple of beers, and remember my friends from the past decades who laid down their lives in public service. And sometimes, it’s almost too much for me. I miss my old friends. Rest in peace, my brothers and sisters.

        3. I’m sorry, I intended no disrespect to any of those folks you’ve mentioned. I believe all their jobs actually serve a legitimate function, I’d just like to see the state’s monopoly on those functions removed.

        4. Firefighters serve a useful purpose. Police, on the other hand, are no longer your friendly neighborhood community servants who will get a cat out of a tree. Police are becoming more militarized, brutal, thuggish, cruel all the time. I’m sure there are some good ones out there in occasional spots, and I don’t mean to impugn the few good ones. But by and large, America is becoming more and more of a militarized police state and I will not stand by and let the mindless acquiescence to our “heroes” (ya, right!) go by without someone standing up and telling the truth.

      3. I assume this has to be a Poe comment. There aren’t really any but the looniest of loons that believe police & firefighters should be for profit businesses. If it’s legit, you need to rethink your worldview, and do some minimal reading on the history & actions of what privated for profit fire fighting in just the US has been. You really don’t want to know what it’s like outside the US.

        1. Thank you RobM. I was getting worked up over this. These sorts of posts call to mind the faces of friends from the past, who died in the line of duty.

        2. It’s not a poe, and I resent your comment. Offering “go read some history” as a response to a thesis isn’t a legitimate response, it’s dismissive, and rude. I never said police should be for profit businesses, I only referenced legitimate functions of the state, so please don’t put words in my mouth. If you have some legitimate objection to offer, please offer it, rather than just dismissing it out of hand.

      4. Private fire companies were common in New York City many years ago. There are buildings there that still have the emblems identifying which fire company was responsible for its protection.

        Those private fire companies, of course, are all gone now.

        1. And were a massive failure that would allow fires in “uncovered” buildings to grow out of control due to not being covered and destroy buildings of their customers to avoid saving a non customers building. And would extort $ out of those with a fire and didn’t have coverage, or even set fires to those without coverage. It’s a preposterous notion, and has never worked well for anyone.

        1. Bean, I in no wise am attempting to change your mind (as if I even could) and I am not asking you to try to persuade me differently than I believe (because you won’t, and by your comment “believe what you will” I know you aren’t).

          I think the only way we can understand how salvation works is through the Bible. Could you explain your position to me through scripture?

          Thanks.

        2. Oh, and to save you typing, I can look up scriptures myself, so if you want to reference verses, chapters, or even books, I will read them for myself, no need to type them out.

  19. Campbell, how do you define the essential functions of the state? Isn’t there that little part of the constitution called the preamble which outlines the purpose of government? I seem to remember reading about “to promote the general welfare.”

    To me, doing things together that none of us can do alone…that is the essence of the common good.

    Do you really believe that a single corporation would come into small town rural upper midwest in Frostbite Falls township and start a fire company? And if they did, would that single corporation provide a service at a profit? Some things should not be based on a profit motive.

    1. Bean,
      Thank you for asking. I define the essential functions of the state as defending the right of every man to pursue his own happiness, provided in so doing he does not encroach on the rights of others through acts of aggression (violence or theft). General welfare is fine, provided that all involved in the pursuit of the general welfare do so voluntarily. I’m not anti-association, but I am anti-coercion. Yes, I really do believe that Frostbite Falls township would end up with a fire department, because any essential service will be provided by someone looking to make a living, the laws of supply and demand still apply to emergency scenarios. Take away the state monopoly on these services, and you can actually have an open competition, adding to the supply and driving down the price. I realize it sounds untenable given our current political makeup, but I truly believe it’s the right thing to do.

  20. Here’s the problem. There really is not enough “business” for two fire departments to compete (thank goodness!) Therefore, Frostbite Falls Township would be stuck with the one entity that is willing to provide it.

    Do you really believe everyone 100% in a community would support a new water line? Good luck. Sometimes you gotta do what is right for the larger community…

  21. norm, when i gave up literalism and inerrancy i guess i look to scriptures as a guideline but knowing they are written by man trying to understand the almighty. That’s sort of where I am coming from. I believe God is bigger than the understanding of men back 2-5 thousand years ago…

  22. I’m sure there are very few well-dressed Asian women with bobbed hair in IFB circles worried enough about the “world” to consider homeschooling with A-Beka…. the demographics just don’t line up here.
    Yay for “stock” photography. Makes any two-bit operation look up-to-date.

  23. I had PACES rather than A-Beka, and the worst failure, I think, was in Literature. I never read a single great classic. It was all missionary biographies, all the time. No ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, no ‘Anne Frank’s Diary’, no nothing.
    The history was just, well, nonexistent. No, wait, wait, I think when I finally got to grade 11 or so the distance-education Christian school I homeschooled from actually found a Christian history textbook from somewhere. It was from about 1900 to 2000. That was it. The only history I ever learned with ACE was bits of English that happened to be little reading things about American presidents (not very helpful when you’re a Canadian). Our school did get us some PACE-style books about Canadian history to be our social studies books in like grade 7. So I learned about New France and Upper Canada and Lower Canada and such. That’s about it, though. No world history at all.
    Nowadays I am mad about history and literature, thank goodness, and have managed to learn enough on my own just through reading.
    I like the world. The church tends to make out like the world is this cesspit of evil. Like Mos Eisley. But it’s actually quite a nice place.

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