The 3 Amigos are at summer camp right now; well, I guess it’s really “spring camp,” but we homeschoolers have to call it something, I suppose.
But before they left, they wrapped another successful year of Awana, where for 10 months they learned about Jesus and memorized tons of Scripture. Seriously, they can say way more Bible verses than can many longtime Christians. Impressive and fun!
At the CC end-of-the-year celebration, the dudes each got special certificates (well, not that special, since all the CC kiddos received them, but the boys think they’re swell). Zeke’s character award was for being “Enthusiastic,” Gabriel’s was “Energetic,” and Houston’s was “Focused, disciplined, and analytical.”
Yep, those descriptions are quite apt. And even though I adore the twins’ vitality and remain cognizant of their individuality, unique learning styles, and personalities, I still look forward to Gabriel and Zeke’s growing maturity.
In fact, they’ve shown increased self-control even since CC ended, as we’ve still been doing education daily and plan on continuing throughout the summer. Now, I did start using essential oils per the suggestion of my pal, Holly, who says vetiver and ylang ylang are supposed to calm and relax.
However, I think the oils aren’t really all they’re cracked up to be, so I’m giving all the credit to Gabe and Zeke! And at least we all smell good.
I was asked to tutor CC next year. I thought about doing it in order to get some money back on tuition, but decided to decline the offer. I figured that saving a few bucks would not be worth the time and effort it would take to prep for teaching a three-hour class every Tuesday for 24 weeks.
I also realized that the boys and I have finally gotten into an education groove. Hey, it only took three years, y’all!
Couple that with all the other places we have to be and things we have to do (like adding in piano lessons for the twins this summer!), and I didn’t want to upset our already delicate balance. After all, a frazzled, stressed-out mama ain’t good for nothin’!
The dudes have two baseball games remaining and seem to dramatically improve with each game. Stephen thinks Houston will be ready for more competitive ball next year, but the twins may need one more round at the Y just to hone skills, better understand rules, etc.
Another big seasonal happening is the Golden Garden Club. This is a bi-monthly summer playgroup of nine CC families and is hosted by Martha (who was Zeke’s tutor his first year of CC) and her five daughters.
The gatherings include horticulture stories, hands-on activities, eating, swimming, trampoline-jumping, and running around being free! It’s such a nice way to learn more about growing veggies and have a lot of fun in the process.
However, the kick-off of club begins with a different family leading the Pledge of Allegiance each time. Is there no escape from the propagandistic racket pushed by government schools, even among my fellow home educators? Sigh.
“I believe a man is happier, and happy in a richer way, if he has ‘the freeborn mind.’ … For independence allows an education not controlled by Government; and in adult life it is the man who needs and asks nothing of Government who can criticize its acts and snap his fingers at its ideology. Read Montaigne; that’s the voice of a man with his legs under his own table, eating the mutton and turnips raised on his own land. Who will talk like that when the State is everyone’s schoolmaster and employer?” ― C.S. Lewis
As some of you may know, our family doesn’t recite the pledge. We have varied reasons for doing so, but here’s an overview, starting with the pledge’s sordid inception.
- It was written by Francis Bellamy, a Christian Socialist of the late 19th-century progressive era and member of the Boston-born elitist socialist movement known as Nationalism.
- Bellamy’s words echo the sentiments of his famous cousin, Edward Bellamy, who was an author of socialist-utopian novels, like “Looking Backward,” which greatly influenced none other than progressive public-school advocate, John Dewey.
- In 1892, the pledge was published in a leading magazine of the day called “The Youth’s Companion” (YC) to ostensibly commemorate Columbus Day in public schools. This occasion would include the pledge recitation, as well as a new flag-raising ceremony.
- Notably, most schools at that time didn’t have flags in the classroom nor in front of the buildings. So in 1888, YC began a campaign to sell flags to schools.
- Having been fired from his minister job for incessantly preaching that Jesus was a socialist, Bellamy was hired by YC to help with the public-relations effort to push flags into schools.
- This campaign included the National Education Association as a sponsor, and Congress and President Benjamin Harrison making a national proclamation about the Columbus Day pledge-and-flag event.
- YC ended up selling more than 26,000 flags to schools for the celebration. Just goes to show that ensuring indoctrination while making some cash is always the right recipe for socialist success.
- The original pledge was recited while raising a stiff right hand upward. Due to its similarities to the Nazi salute, this practice was discontinued during WWII and replaced with putting the right hand over one’s heart.
- “Under God” was added to the pledge by Congress and President Eisenhower in 1954 at the urging of the Knights of Columbus.
- And so the battle over these words has become an all-encompassing America straw man: while atheist-socialists fight to have the pledge taken out of schools, limited-government folks think they’re being both patriotic and faithful in promoting the pledge’s prominence.
- There’s even more skeletons in the pledge’s closet, but you get the point.
Besides the unsavory history, a pledge is a serious and solemn promise and should not be taken lightly. And just because it’s, at worst, a forced loyalty oath of subordination, and at best, a socially sanctioned habit that few question doesn’t mean that I, as a student of history and a lover of freedom, should conform.
Despite the shock of this stance, we simply want to avoid the idolatrous nature of vowing allegiance to a piece of cloth, our country’s alleged symbol of freedom. Instead, we will worship, praise, and pledge our devotion to the real thing, Jesus Christ.
God is our authority. And because He is loving, gracious, merciful, and forgiving, and we willingly submit to Him. (For people of faith, please check out this thought-provoking article.)
Moreover, the pledge is at odds with our libertarian principles. Thematically, it promotes a nationalistic dogma in order to cut at the heart of individualism and self-determination, and encourages a loyalty to state in order to seize power from we the people.
I also have a real problem with the language, specifically the word “indivisible.” If you can’t leave something you think is unjust, well, that’s antithesis of liberty.
American patriots during the Revolution wanted to break from the British Empire by ending their relationship with the crown. So really, our country was born in divisibility.
They believed that no association should be coerced, especially one to an overbearing central government. And all the states made doggone sure that this federal union was a voluntary compact before they ratified the U.S. Constitution.
Secession is part of our heritage, no matter what progressive pundits or mainstream Civil War historians say. Questioning the republic and the flag for which it stands is as American as apple pie; it is truly in line with our founding as a nation of conscience.
If you don’t believe me, check out the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions. Here you’ll find that both Madison and Jefferson challenged the authority of one governmental entity ruling over the “sovereign” and “independent” many by promoting the remedies of “nullification” and “dissolution.” Sure sounds like a lot of divisibility going on to me.
But we aren’t barbarians, for goodness sake. We do have manners. So, at the opening of CC or garden club, we simply stand out of respect to our friends, but we don’t do the recitation or place our hands upon our hearts. Nuff said.