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    Still pretty new to MP-BIG question

    I'm posting this in the high school area for a reason...

    ...have you ever had any issues with MP being "whitewashed" history and not being multicultural enough for today's views on what is a good education?

    I'm just a little freaked out over some venomous words that were spoken to me over Facebook last week. I'm worried that my kids are walking out into a pit of wolves.

    #2
    Re: Still pretty new to MP-BIG question

    Were these comments directed specifically at your choice to use MP or at your choice to homeschool in general?

    I've been on the receiving end of nasty comments for homeschooling in general. But, I've noticed people are even less polite in regards to homeschooling high school. Like, high school is the 'real deal' and should be left to the 'experts'.

    No matter, it's important for you to remember why you homeschool. When that is firmly set in your mind and your family's mind, these outside comments lose some of their zing. Theyre still painful, for sure, but you can see them more clearly as a blind attack on your faith and values, and not quite as personal.

    Was it someone you knew? A relative? Or just an anonymous hater?

    Hugs to you.
    Married to DH for 14 years. Living the rural life in the Colorado mountains

    DS11- Simply Classical 5/6
    DD9- Simply Classical 5/6 (neurotypical, but schooling with big brother to save mom's sanity)
    DD 6- Classic Core First Grade

    We've completed:
    Classic Core Jr. kindergarten, kindergarten, first grade, and second grade.
    Simply Classical levels B, C, 1, 2, 3, and 4.

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Still pretty new to MP-BIG question

      Originally posted by robomom11 View Post
      I'm posting this in the high school area for a reason...

      ...have you ever had any issues with MP being "whitewashed" history and not being multicultural enough for today's views on what is a good education?

      I'm just a little freaked out over some venomous words that were spoken to me over Facebook last week. I'm worried that my kids are walking out into a pit of wolves.
      Well, I can't speak to the high school level materials, but the Famous Men series has been hard for me to teach because it is inaccurate in areas that are important to _me_. I have a Holocaust survivor mother-in-law living upstairs so, for instance, the Jewish presence in the middle ages (especially relative to the Crusades, particularly to the pilgrimage led by Peter the Hermit) is something I add. Also we add women, and I push back against the idea that Joan of Arc is worthy of inclusion in the "Famous Men" series primarily because she was a military leader: I'd love a chapter on Hildegard, and a highlight on Eleanor of Aquitaine. And there are also problems with FMoR, for me.

      On the other hand, I am seeing that there isn't time to do everything well, and I do think that our classical reading will continue to be very focused on the Western tradition. Along these lines, I recently read Chatwin's "Dreamlines," a nonfiction book focused on Australia and the author's experience learning about aboriginal dreamlines. I was struck by -- among other things -- how aboriginal peoples who were educated in both their traditional culture AND the Western tradition were able to use Western thought and philosophy to enhance their understanding of, and relationship to, their own culture. I think that if you read Plato's Apology, for instance, it is clear that this is not a "white" work but a powerful and universal one, and I see the roots of the liberal world order -- that is, the world order that emphasizes the inherent value of individual people, endowed with certain rights that are inalienable -- from the very beginning of the Western tradition. That element is profoundly humane.

      I mean, you have Socrates, mentor to profoundly gifted people, friend of famously slow-witted people too, living humorously with a notoriously shrewish wife and grateful for what she's given him, standing up to the Thirty Tyrants and refusing to help persecute innocent citizens under their bloody reign of terror. That is no color; it touches the divine, which stands beyond and prior to culture.

      And, in the end, I look at the _people_. The people at Memoria Press, and people on this forum, have hearts with tremendous love and grace. They walk the walk, and that's what I want for my children.

      I am sorry for the ugly words. *hug* If you switch to a state-approved textbook, nobody here will flame you. We'd miss you, though! and you might miss classical education.
      Last edited by serendipitous journey; 08-26-2017, 04:46 AM. Reason: clarity, grammar, &c
      Ana, mama to
      ds A, 14 yo
      ds N, 9 yo

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Still pretty new to MP-BIG question

        Originally posted by serendipitous journey View Post
        Well, I can't speak to the high school level materials, but the Famous Men series has been hard for me to teach because it is inaccurate in areas that are important to _me_. I have a Holocaust survivor mother-in-law living upstairs so, for instance, the Jewish presence in the middle ages (especially relative to the Crusades, particularly to the pilgrimage led by Peter the Hermit) is something I add. Also we add women, and I push back against Joan of Arc being worthy of inclusion in the "Famous Men" series primarily because she was a military leader: I'd love a chapter on Hildegard, and a highlight on Eleanor of Aquitaine. And there are also problems with FMoR, for me.

        On the other hand, I am seeing that there isn't time to do everything well, and I do think that our classical reading will continue to be very focused on the Western tradition. Along these lines, I recently read Chatwin's "Dreamlines," a nonfiction book focused on Australia and the author's experience learning about aboriginal dreamlines. I was struck by -- among other things -- how aboriginal peoples who were educated in both their traditional culture AND the Western tradition were able to use Western thought and philosophy to bring enhance their understanding of, and relationship to, their own culture. I think that if you read Plato's Apology, for instance, it is clear that this is not a "white" work but a powerful and universal one, and I see the roots of the liberal world order -- that is, the world order that emphasizes the inherent value of individual people, endowed with certain rights that are inalienable -- from the very beginning of the Western tradition. That element is profoundly humane.

        I mean, you have Socrates, mentor to profoundly gifted people, friend of famously slow-witted people too, living humorously with a notoriously shrewish wife and grateful for what she's given him, standing up to the Thirty Tyrants and refusing to help persecute innocent citizens under their bloody reign of terror. That is no color; it touches the divine, which stands beyond and prior to culture.

        And, in the end, I look at the _people_. The people at Memoria Press, and people on this forum, have hearts with tremendous love and grace. They walk the walk, and that's what I want for my children.

        I am sorry for the ugly words. *hug* If you switch to a state-approved textbook, nobody here will flame you. We'd miss you, though! and you might miss classical education.
        This is pretty much what I needed to hear.

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Still pretty new to MP-BIG question

          Originally posted by Colomama View Post
          Were these comments directed specifically at your choice to use MP or at your choice to homeschool in general?

          I've been on the receiving end of nasty comments for homeschooling in general. But, I've noticed people are even less polite in regards to homeschooling high school. Like, high school is the 'real deal' and should be left to the 'experts'.

          No matter, it's important for you to remember why you homeschool. When that is firmly set in your mind and your family's mind, these outside comments lose some of their zing. Theyre still painful, for sure, but you can see them more clearly as a blind attack on your faith and values, and not quite as personal.

          Was it someone you knew? A relative? Or just an anonymous hater?

          Hugs to you.
          It wasn't homeschool related and not anyone I knew personally, but it was a few different women who didn't know each other, but we all have one friend in common. These people didn't seem to understand basic logic. I felt like I was trying to be rational, thoughtful, and not like an animal...and these people had a mob mentality. The subject was current events.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Still pretty new to MP-BIG question

            Originally posted by robomom11 View Post
            It wasn't homeschool related and not anyone I knew personally, but it was a few different women who didn't know each other, but we all have one friend in common. These people didn't seem to understand basic logic. I felt like I was trying to be rational, thoughtful, and not like an animal...and these people had a mob mentality. The subject was current events.
            Have you considered ditching Facebook?

            I think our kids will use Memoria Press and come out with the ability to think logically and thoughtfully. I think the high school history materials for American and European history are more modern than the elementary/middle school level mostly because there is so little written recently at that lower level. I have actually enjoyed the Famous Men series and find most of the people discussed I had never been exposed to even graduating with honors from one of the top 5 public high schools in the state of Michigan. There is only so much time in the day, but it is a great base from which to add other people of interest when time is available.

            I agree that we are sending our kids out into a pack of wolves, but I am thankful every day that I dont have to send them to the wolves just yet. I pray they will be prepared mentally and spiritually when they are of an age when they have to stand on their own. Growing up I always thought about Christian persecution happening in other parts of the world, but increasingly I am aware of the likelihood that it will happen here as well. I am glad that my purpose in life isn't based on how many people agree with me, but rather on my relationship with Jesus Christ. Still, I firmly believe that the "pack of wolves" mentality didn't just materialize out of thin air...it is encouraged when people lose the ability to think and reason for themselves. I feel that it is a product of our educational system combined with the relative anonymity of social media that allows people to say to you online things that they wouldn't say to your face combined with the ability to allow relative (and actual) strangers to gang up and bully a single person. Forget about my kids for a moment...*I* don't need that in my life.

            I pray that you are able to find the support here that you need to navigate the complex and often unfriendly, illogical world that we find ourselves living in these days. I am very thankful for Memoria press and the group of women who post here. You should consider a trip to Sodalitas sometime. It is very uplifting and these women and the Memoria press staff are even more wonderful in person!
            Dorinda

            For 2020-2021
            DD 17-12th with MPOA(Classical Studies 3), CLRC (Latin 6, Greek 5), Thinkwell (Calculus and Chemistry), Vita Beata (Divine Comedy), American History
            DS 15-9th with Lukeion(Latin 1 and Greek 1), Vita Beata (9th Literature)
            DS 12-7th with Right Start Level H online class, Vita Beata (6th Literature)
            DS 6 - 2nd blazing our own trail with Right Start D and a mix of MP materials

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              #7
              Re: Still pretty new to MP-BIG question

              Originally posted by Mom2mthj View Post
              Have you considered ditching Facebook?

              I feel that it is a product of our educational system combined with the relative anonymity of social media that allows people to say to you online things that they wouldn't say to your face combined with the ability to allow relative (and actual) strangers to gang up and bully a single person. Forget about my kids for a moment...*I* don't need that in my life.
              Echoing Dorinda's wise words here. While I've not given up social media entirely (I love to post my critters and plants!), I have given up discussing curriculum on all web outlets except this forum. The first year at SG was when I realized I was spending a lot of time, effort, and emotional energy trying to convince people that classical ed is the way to go and MP is the way to do it. I was kicking against the goads. I was talking to people that I didn't know (first clue it's not going to end well). I got fatigued of the constant "compare ______ to MP/which is better and why" type questions. I decided instead to invest here where people are either sold on the curriculum or honestly curious about how it works. In sales this is called a hot/warm lead versus a cold lead/cold call, haha!

              I sounds like you were not looking for an argument, but rather that a conversation developed unintentionally and you were blasted. If/when you see it heading this direction, you can always simply say something like, "I am always happy to discuss the curriculum I love but I only do it in person since every family and situation is different," and just drop it.

              So that's enough about the less-than-polite adults.

              About the accusation--I would say that I want my children to know the foundation (Western Civ) and read the canon (that is widely despised these days). That is the beginning of their education, not the end. They are going to encounter modernity and multi-culturalism everywhere they go--literature, art, music, culture, film, etc. What we do for school is the laser-focus for what they need to be a well-educated human being. We live in a multi-cultural world. We know missionaries all over the globe. We have family and friends living abroad. The nations live in our city (we are near an urban center). We don't have to make our academics about all these things--we can enjoy them and learn about them as they come up because that's what it's like to be a responsible and curious (and decent) human being. I'm not worried about MP kids lacking this perspective because I know their mothers and they are positively getting the job done. *High fives all around, tribe.*

              In sum, I would rather my children have the solid foundation classical education provides and learn more about modernity as they grow up rather than have them only be familiar with the immediately relevant and have no idea from whence it arose.

              And, I'm so sorry this happened. I take my cues from the people who are talking. If I don't like the way they are treating me, it makes it really hard to take what they have to say seriously. In Rhetoric, our high school students will learn this is called ethos.
              Last edited by pickandgrin; 08-26-2017, 05:41 PM.
              Festina lentē,
              Jessica P

              2020-2021
              11th year HSing · 9th year MP
              @ Home, HLN, & Latin online
              11th, 9th, 6th, 3rd

              Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Still pretty new to MP-BIG question

                First of all, if anybody reads my signature line, it is clear I lurk around forums where I don't belong. 😜 But your question got me to thinking about MP, classical education vs modern education and my thoughts on all of it- something that I chew on regularly.

                I'm a former public school teacher who has taught at every level including high school. I've taught in an inner city school and in rural schools. I've learned the differences between the Midwest and the South in part through the schools I've taught in.

                On a more personal and current note, I live in Charlottesville and have been wrestling with what it is like to be a midwestern girl who grew up in a military town to watch what has happened in the city I now call home. I have struggled with how a Christian mom explains the hatred to her children. And most of all, my heart has ached for all that has happened here.

                I think the best place to start with your question is to define whitewashing. A quick Google search would say the appropriate definition in this case is "deliberately attempting to conceal unpleasant facts about a person or organization."

                Do I believe MP is deliberate or intentional about what they choose to include? Yes absolutely! When a company has a clear mission they are intentional about their product. I think an important point is they are not excluding information to conceal unpleasant facts about people. They are excluding materials in order to use rich materials (Socrates and Plate) that further their goal. Most high schoolers don't have this level of depth or richness as a part of their education.

                To whitewash information also means the company is attempting to conceal or hide negative facts. We are not attempting to hide history from our children but provide a broad picture of history through one set of lenses that serves as the solid foundation on which all else can be built. It would be impossible to include all of the different perspectives of history in 12 academic years and cover any other subject.

                I have watched young military personnel from small towns in the US embrace and befriend individuals of every background not because they were taught multiculturalism in school or experienced diversity in their childhoods but because they have the love of Jesus Christ. MP as a Christian company continually defines truth, beauty and goodness for our students by pointing them to the ultimate example of Jesus Christ. With Him as our cornerstone which sets our foundation, we have no choice but to love all of our neighbors, regardless of their history or our understanding of history. Having Jesus Christ is also the best preparation for the pit of wolves that exist in the world.

                Just my 2 cents.
                Heidi
                Heidi

                2018-19
                dd- 3m
                ds- SC 1
                dd- SC B

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Still pretty new to MP-BIG question

                  Heidi, I enjoyed reading this. Thank you!
                  Festina lentē,
                  Jessica P

                  2020-2021
                  11th year HSing · 9th year MP
                  @ Home, HLN, & Latin online
                  11th, 9th, 6th, 3rd

                  Highlands Latin Nashville Cottage School

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Still pretty new to MP-BIG question

                    Originally posted by pickandgrin View Post
                    Heidi, I enjoyed reading this. Thank you!
                    Thanks Jessica!
                    Heidi

                    2018-19
                    dd- 3m
                    ds- SC 1
                    dd- SC B

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Still pretty new to MP-BIG question

                      Wow! You women are all amazing. You have fun (i.e., recent pettipants thread), but when the time comes, you prove that you are intelligent, thoughtful, and loving. And that's how you are choosing to bring up your children. Yes, Western Civilization was built mostly by white men, but you are raising your children so that they will be able to think, and that coupled with your informing them culturally and with the strong Christian foundation you are instilling in them will be a melting pot that turns them into true citizens.

                      That said, we are secretly working on a book called Famous Women when time allows! Don't tell ...

                      Tanya

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Still pretty new to MP-BIG question

                        Originally posted by tanya View Post
                        ..
                        That said, we are secretly working on a book called Famous Women when time allows! Don't tell ...

                        Tanya
                        oh my goodness! I think I need to go breathe into a paper bag, I am overcome!
                        {will silently -- even furtively -- do happy dances all day long}
                        Ana, mama to
                        ds A, 14 yo
                        ds N, 9 yo

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: Still pretty new to MP-BIG question

                          Thank you Tayna for the kind words of encouragement! And for the good news of the FW book!

                          Ana, I'm joining your happy dance party!
                          Heidi

                          2018-19
                          dd- 3m
                          ds- SC 1
                          dd- SC B

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: Still pretty new to MP-BIG question

                            As usual, I'm late to the party. *weary laugh*

                            I have so enjoyed reading the responses to the OP, as some are things I would not have considered. It is really so nice to be able to come here and have a rational, calm conversation while sometimes *gasp* actually disagreeing at times. It is so very different than the Roman Coliseum known as "Facebook". (My apologies if that was offensive. No problem with people who use social media platforms - I am a weak person who simply cannot handle myself in a place like that.)

                            When we started our homeschooling journey, I was dealing with a couple of kids with needs beyond mere education. People thought we were nuts. The comments began with questioning my ability to handle both medical and educational needs. Then, when medical needs subsided somewhat, people questioned my ability to teach- without a teaching degree, that is. Then it shifted to the content I was teaching, along with worries about socialization. (Aside: socialization is for puppies. Socializing is what humans do when they hang out together. Two different things, no? *LOL*) Now, I'm starting to get questions, as someone else mentioned, about high school - the real deal. I cannot possibly be intelligent enough to teach algebra or history or literature. If so, then the mothers who choose to outsource this must be complete and utter failures - as if this is some odd zero-sum game.

                            Society celebrates the unique and special, but only within the realm of Pinterest- not in matters that actually, well, matter. This comes from a serious lack of self-esteem that seems to have come straight out of the *drumroll please* self-esteem movement. It is threatening to see someone persevere and achieve success in an area that seems foreign or difficult and the easy solution is to find anything to tear that person down. People striving to live a Christ-centered life are "hateful". Classical educators are using "whitewashed" curricula. People who choose sacrifice over personal gain are "odd" or "out-of-touch". We think nothing of tearing another person down in the name of some sort of perverted "honesty" that's really poorly disguised pride or jealousy. It's really so, so sad.

                            I think the most important thing I've learned with regard to criticism about any aspect of my children's education is, to steal a phrase from Gilda Radner, "it's always something". If I had chosen to send my children to public school, I'd be the mother getting an earful for not sending my kids to Sunday sports practice or games. If I'd chosen another curriculum, I'd get harangued by questions about why I chose X over Y. If we had decided to allow video games, I'd hear it from the non-gaming crowd about the damage I'm doing to my kids. My children are just that - they're mine. God entrusted me with these three innocent souls and someday I'll have to answer to Him about what I did with them - not the next door neighbor or the FB acquaintance who questioned my curriculum. It took me quite awhile to get comfortable with that idea and, truth be told, I still sometimes struggle. **I sometimes tell my kids NOT to talk about where they go to school - especially when meeting a new doctor. I really just don't always feel like fighting the fight, KWIM?**

                            Now, more to the point, is the FM series "whitewashed"? Hmm. If it is, then I guess every history book is because there's only so much content any course can cover in the span of a year.

                            ***I sincerely hope this came across in the spirit it was written! I feel for you, as I don't like people - especially people who don't know me well - to pass judgment like that. (Wait, really, who does?) I think the comment directed at the OP speaks to a deeper, more sinister problem - one that goes far beyond how a curriculum approaches history and I just find it...disturbing. I am sorry if I came across as angry or spiteful. I am trying, again, to give up coffee and am feeling a wee bit cranky.***<3
                            Mary

                            DD15 - 9th core + CLRC Ancient Greek I & Latin IV + VideoText math
                            DS12 - 7th core + Novare Earth Science + CLRC HS Latin I + VideoText math
                            DD8 - SC level 2

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                              #15
                              Re: Still pretty new to MP-BIG question

                              I submitted my response and went off to give the littlest one a bath and then it hit me:

                              I was completely off-topic! I realized, after telling my husband what someone had said to the OP, that I'd veered away from the original issue - whether children studying "whitewashed" history like the FM series can truly get along in a multicultural society. *Smacks head* I'm officially going back on coffee. It's only been 12 hours and I am a mess.

                              Okay, so "whitewashed" history and multiculturalism. Does anyone else here feel like we've thrown the baby out with the bathwater? I cringe when I hear phrases like "we celebrate diversity" or "we have a multicultural approach" used to describe curricula or schools or summer camps or...anything - because this is usually followed by numbers and ratios of people who participate or who are studied - to have the "right" balance. We have devolved into separating ourselves into categories based on gender or skin color or ethnic group without taking a second to get to know the humans behind those labels. We are doing the same with regard to great authors and historical figures. Their works and deeds are defined by their skin tone and gender - there is no room for human beings being judged by their merit.

                              We cannot re-write history. We have what has been recorded and we study it. When we look more closely, this "whitewashed" or "sanitized" version actually contains rich storylines and colorful characters. The Angles and the Saxons were very different from, say, the Goths and Visigoths. We can't merely lump them together because they all had light skin any more than we could lump Italians and French or Koreans and Japanese together as being "the same" based solely on the predominant skin color. We tend to hear more about men in history because, let's face it, history is full of wars and conquest and exploration. Women were busy educating the next generation of conquerers and kings - and that is no small contribution. This doesn't mean that we shouldn't tell the stories of great women in history or great people from countries other than Europe. Rather, when we read good literature alongside our formal history lessons, we learn a lot about these very people. We also learn about the dark side of the glorious battles and conquests. The enslavement of native peoples, the cruelty of conquerors toward their captors, treachery, murder, conspiracy...none of that is overlooked. I would hardly call this "whitewashed". I think that history can't be viewed as a subject on its own; rather, it is studied alongside literature and language (Latin! Greek!) so that we can better understand the many peoples who star in these stories, as well as those who could easily go forgotten. (I say this having just listened to "I, Juan de Pareja" and after having watched "The Man Who Knew Infinity" last night. Riveting! And not among the most popular titles being checked out at the library...should that tell us something about this "whitewashed" history we're supposedly teaching?)

                              Children (usually) instinctively know when those around them are being disingenuous. When they're little, kids don't pay attention to boys vs. girls or white vs. black vs. brown vs. whatever. They just play. We are the ones who try to force notions of diversity (or, sadly, exclusion) upon them through our words and actions. Instead of cultural sensitivity learned through loving our neighbors, kids catch on that this is some sort of "lesson" to be learned and go through the motions just like any other lesson and it becomes artificial. It's the same whether we're talking about our lessons or our behavior. Why study a bunch of dead white men who spoke Latin? Why worry about a bunch of dead white men who wrote books? Because they were pivotal in shaping modern society- for better or for worse. We cannot fully understand or appreciate modern society unless we have a good understanding of those influential people who came before us. We also cannot truly appreciate living in a multicultural society unless we delve into earlier civilizations and understand those diverse people who came before us. We have to remember that diversity of thought is more important than diversity measured by physical characteristics.

                              Of course, that's probably not something you want to throw up on your FB wall. *cracks up laughing* You're not going to ruin your kids and they will likely do fine when they're thrown to the wolves. I have faith that God will protect His children, just like he did Daniel in the lion's den, when they leave our homes and venture out into this society we fallen humans have created. <3<3
                              Last edited by Mary; 08-28-2017, 08:56 PM.
                              Mary

                              DD15 - 9th core + CLRC Ancient Greek I & Latin IV + VideoText math
                              DS12 - 7th core + Novare Earth Science + CLRC HS Latin I + VideoText math
                              DD8 - SC level 2

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