HS #261 Elections and the Homeschool Connection Jennifer Cabrera
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"Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble."
2 Peter 1:10
“Election Night!” Board Game @ SemperSmartGames.com
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HS EP 261
Hello and welcome back to another installment of the Homeschool Solutions Show. My name is Wendy Speake, and I am one of the many hosts we have here on the podcast. Each week you'll hear from one of us, inviting one of our friends to join for a conversation about this busy, blessed season as we educate our children at home.
Now, the title of the show is Homeschool Solutions. While we don't have the answer to every question, we know that all the solutions to every stress and every struggle can be found in the Person and presence of Jesus Christ and His Living and active and applicable Word. We are so glad that you're here for today's conversation. But before we start the show, I'd like to thank our sponsors.
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And now, on to today's show.
Welcome back to another Hifalutin episode of the Homeschool Solutions Show. I'm Jennifer Cabrera, writer of homeschool truth and humor, the Hifalutin homeschooler, and I've entitled this episode, Elections, and the Homeschool Connection.
How I ended up with this release date is beyond me. Was it destined to be? Am I to bring a profound message to you at second breakfast? Or am I called to keep it light and laughable during this testy time period? Maybe I'll do a bit of both. I sure hope I can do it justice while juggling some of my deeper thoughts with my usual sarcasm.
Oh. And hang to the end, cause I've got a great discount code for an election night board game the whole family can get hostile...I mean, excited over for the whole year long. Cause what a grand day it is, election day, 2020. Lord, help us.
Now, it used to be a grand day, anyway, where Americans exercised their right to vote in a reverent, respectful, and hopeful manner, and get then the evening over a bowl of chips and queso, with friends who backed different candidates knowing that regardless of which candidate won, we were all still Americans, seeking and protecting the American dream. And tomorrow, we'd be back to arguing with our spouses over the correct way to load the dishwasher, making our budgets for the holiday season, and vowing to steer clear of the Target dollar bins when going in for detergent. And a single spiced pumpkin candle.
Now, the next day, the election would be mostly in the rearview mirror. Americans would move on and get busy living, right. Ha. But this year, it seems more of an election infection. And that has nothing to do with the actual 2020 pandemic. But rather, we have a pustulating infection of division seeping into every aspect of our lives, with warning signs that we won't be able to shake it off the next day. Or even as quickly as the common cold in a week. Or possibly a month. Or perhaps four years. Or ever.
Now, I know what you're thinking. Jennifer, what exactly does this have to do with homeschooling? And where exactly do we meet for chips and queso this evening? Well, first, the chips and queso are my comfort food. I'm not sure I'll even be sharing with my own children as I hang over the bowl watching the state tallies tick up on the TV. Which I've heard could possibly last for days or weeks. And, uh, we might have to switch to sleeves of cookie dough by then. So, get your own. PS, if you don't live in Texas, bless your heart, now here's a good enough recipe alternative. Go to the grocery store and grab a can of Rotel tomatoes with peppers, onions, and cilantro, a pound of Velveeta cheese, melt, stir, grab some tortilla chips, and then stress-eat away.
And second, this has everything to do with homeschooling. Now, I promised myself, and my husband, who doesn't want me sorting through fan or hate mail instead of cooking dinner for the next month, that I would not turn this podcast episode into a political rant or candidate endorsement. Likely, you've already voted anyway. And if you're listening to this on your way to the polls and haven't yet decided who's getting your vote, well, I'm just gonna say this. Pick a side. The gap is wide. Which, sadly, is another reason, besides the pandemic, that many people won't be getting together with their theatre groups and book clubs, over a bowl of chips and queso tonight to watch the results roll in.
Now, if you can't seem to pick a side, you probably don't know what makes the candidates vastly different anyway. So stop the car, hold on a minute. Pull over, and at least Google each candidate's platform. Or do your civic duty and turn the car around and just go home.
Wait. What did she just say? Go home? See? And this is where I'm going to relate this all to homeschooling. So thanks for keeping up and holding your breath in fear that I was going to tell you to vote for... you guessed it. Pedro.
But wait. Did she really just say go home? Without voting? Our civic duty is to vote, right? I mean, that's the new election catch-phrase, isn't it? We were given the right to vote by our founding fathers. Our political pioneers. Soldiers who fought and died in wars and suffragettes of the past, and we should honor their struggle by getting out and voting. Right?
But no. Not exactly. It is not your civic duty to vote. It is your civic duty to be informed enough to vote. To not is to drive while blindfolded with all your loved ones in the backseat.
Okay, Jennifer, relate this to homeschool already. So really there are three things that I want to point out that relate homeschooling to this election infection. And I'm going to be talking at you, so feel free to hit pause, shout, yes Ma'am, or Amen, or even argue out loud and give me a good scolding. I can't hear you anyway. But, I want you to feel engaged.
So, the first thing that I want to point out that relates to the homeschool election infection. Number one. Deciding on a candidate is like deciding whether or not to homeschool. No decision is perfect. And second, we'll talk about homeschooling and parenting is very much an issue with every single election in your area, in your state, or even in your country of course. Never take the freedom for granted. And lastly, we'll talk about how everyone homeschools for political, spiritual, or religious reasons, whether they realize it or not.
So, first, how in the world is picking who to vote for like deciding to homeschool? Well, just like no educational choice is perfect, neither is either presidential candidate we're faced with this time, am I right? They're never perfect either. Each option has its pros and cons. When deciding to homeschool, you didn't just one day say, you know, I like to laminate things. So that probably means we should homeschool.
And likewise, you wouldn't, I hope, vote somebody for president because they are from your home state, or they also collect locust shells and like to drink coffee six times a day. No, of course not. You wait and measure the risks and benefits of homeschooling. Control over educational content. Time together. But, possible loss of income. But there'll be time for hobbies. And maybe loss of hair. But I can avoid the PTA. But the pay stinks. But we can go on vacation when the discounts are large, and the crowds are small. We will be our kids' biggest influence. Our kids might blame us for everything. Ah, and what will the inlaws think? But, I mean, I like kale chips. We could get a big white van with some of those cheesy bumper stickers and a goat. But we still have to pay taxes and buy all our books. But I like to shop for books.
But what if they're weird and unsocialized? Well, they will stand out in a crowd. So, you surely went with the decision that promised the pros with the biggest return. Homeschooling, obviously, else why are you listening to me right now? Now, when choosing who to vote for, we should also look at the pros and cons of a candidate's past records, their rap sheets, their platforms, their plans for the future, and we should weigh these things on how they will impact our families if they get elected.
There is never a candidate without fault. Never a perfect package, so something has to give. Just like with homeschooling. We risk lesser concerns for the benefit of addressing those greater to us. The issues that matter most. Ultimately, it all boils down to which candidates plan for our country will allow me to pursue the life I want for my family. Or better yet, the life God wants me to lead for my family.
Every time we say yes to a candidate, we should still be saying yes to God's plan for us. Not popular opinion. Which is exactly why we should pay no attention to celebrities or big brand labels or CEOs who try to influence our votes. We are making a decision for our family, for our children. Not to fit into a crowd, but to create the best fit for our values.
Gosh, Jennifer, you went and got all philosophical and deep really quick. Well, obviously when choosing to homeschool, the decision is all ours. Our vote counts like the superest super delegate, and we are free to stick with our pick or abandon post as we see fit. Self-impeachment, if you will.
But our one vote doesn't always get us the president we wanted. And if it did, well, in four years, we have to do it again anyway. Sigh. Even so, whether only for four years or every two months for thirteen years from Kindergarten to graduation do us part, our continued choice to homeschool, and our choice of government leaders will have lifelong consequences. Choosing what is right is not always easy to decide. Or, even with the in-crowd. Or should it even be with the in-crowd?
But then again, neither is homeschooling, thus my second homeschooling point in election infection season is this. Homeschooling and parenting are very much an issue with every single election. Nationally, in your city or your state, and though homeschooling is becoming increasingly popular and unavoidably necessary to many, and the second breakfast club is sure to be a teen hit flick someday, we should never take the freedom to homeschool for granted. Because homeschooling is growing so rapidly it is becoming a hot button issue.
My biggest fear is the poisonous connection being made between real homeschooling and distance learning via the public schools. There are nefarious characters who would love to slip some regulations and requirements into our morning baskets, claiming that all of us who learn from home are essentially the same.
Now, maybe I'm festering with my own election infection, but don the tinfoil hat and walk with me a minute. We should be very aware what happens after the respiratory vapors clear and hundreds of thousands of those forced into homeschooling decide to stick with it. Because the chaotic overreaching and underwhelming impersonal and disheveled school system is in a panic to keep its funding. We must keep its tendrils out of homeschooling, as it searches for justification and definitely not welcome them in to feed off the nervous new homeschool parents getting used to their newfound freedom.
Because being completely in charge of your kid's education won't always seem as scary as it does when you're first starting out homeschooling. And there is lots of help out there in the homeschool realm. We just need to be mindful of where to seek it, who we ask. We need to lean on each other. Because the assistance offered by the government is never given without strings, oversight, regulations, and restrictions attached. Which means less educational options and more agenda-driven mandates.
All things that can be restrained and largely avoided when we as voters educate ourselves and our children on candidates, party platforms, the constitution, the election process, and true civic responsibility.
Which brings me to my third election infection point. And it starts with a misguided notion from my early homeschooling years. Once upon a time, I made the assertion that we homeschooled for academic purposes only. I actually believed that we didn't homeschool for religious or political reasons. We weren't some weird, cultish, religious people. I worried people would assume that we were, and I wanted to make it clear that my kids just deserved better. They were just super smart. And could achieve more than the school allowed them to achieve.
And yes, I am an academic snob. Mostly, I mall walked my kids out the front door of that elementary school that day, before someone sounded the alarm to stop us. From the sniper tower, I imagined they were looking down upon us so that my genius kids could read Einstein's theory of relativity in the third grade if they felt like it. And because heads up, seven up is not an academically effective way to spend five hours a week, while the teacher gets some paperwork completed.
Oh. And they were mine. I wanted them back. And I didn't wanna share. I was much better at teaching them than those who didn't really know them, and I missed them. Why should they get to spend more time with them than I did?
Oh, and also because my kids like to eat and needed to eat more than was allowed. They needed to be outside. They needed to be with family and the world, touching, seeing, doing, wondering, and not just drilling and regurgitating. And of course, me and my hubs, we like old school math, thank you. And sometimes you just need your mom at 11 am for no particular reason.
And as they got older, I wanted them to be able to ask questions that you can't ask in school. Get answers a paid teacher isn't allowed to give. Answers a teacher won't give. Or answers I didn't agree with if they were given. We want a discussion and moral support that aligned with our family's beliefs and values. And so, as you can see, my original assumption of why we homeschool quickly revealed itself to be complete baloney.
Homeschooling is learning where you live. Raising and teaching our child as a whole, not compartmentalizing them into separate little personalities depending on what activity they're doing with which group of people. We don't teach our kids to turn on and turn off their values and faith as the situation fits. Of course, we homeschool for all the reasons. Spiritual, political, academic, emotional, and gustatorial.
And for those looking for a word of the day, here ya go. Gustatorial. Relating to taste, or the act of tasting. Which, like I've said before, if you can't make learning fun, make it edible. Add food.
But seriously, what is education if not instilling a love of learning, good moral character, a strong work ethic, respect and love for others, and to set life goals rooted in one's faith and family values to understand God's creation and use it to better our world? I'll tell you what it is. Without these things, it becomes an assembly line.
But we aren't turning our reliable tire gauges or perfectly packaged cans of peas. We're working with children here. Future adults. Have you ever taken a family field trip to a factory? Seen an assembly line? So, last winter, we toured an Amazon fulfillment center. The place is crazy huge. Robotic carts are zipping by, unmanned, bringing items to conveyor belts that go whizzing by at all angles and heights over your head. It was amazing to see. Real live people sort and box a few things too.
But our Amazon orders can't be influenced or confused by the diverse and unknown political and spiritual beliefs of those who packed the contents. And some parents actually believe that this is how the public education system works. The kids are given a non-biased and equal opportunity education, free from religious, spiritual, or political influence. Just run them through the assembly line, K through 12, to learn to read sterile literature, count change, and hate algebra.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Environment, mood, authority, and peers have as much, if not much, much more, influence on what kids are learning as the textbooks themselves. And we all know that the loudest voices in the room are rarely the best influences. Because despite the efforts of the most well-intentioned educators’ beliefs and biases creep into every aspect of human interaction and education. We can't help it. We are what we have read, who we hang out with, what we eat, what we sing, what we wear, what we watch on TV, and definitely what we hold as truth.
And we often see the biases are intentionally forced upon students from teachers with an agenda. And sometimes they're written directly into the curriculum in some schools. From educators, administrators, peers, coaches, celebrities, and musicians, kids are hit with an array of conflicting viewpoints. And for eight hours a day, five days a week, nine months a year, for twelve plus years, you know what's missing from their education? Family.
And if in fact that assembly line is working as neutrally as it claims to and not influencing children outside of pure reading, writing, and arithmetic, well then what is also missing is real moral, spiritual, and emotional guidance. Basically, these children are being neglected of the very essence of education. Because what moral code do teachers use to teach character and citizenship, right from wrong, sexual morality? What neutral basis even exists for these lessons?
I'll give you a hint. It doesn't exist. Which is why we homeschool. To guide our kids with truth grounded in faith, a strong moral backbone, and yes, a constitutional understanding of their own freedom. We teach them our beliefs and the history and reasons behind them.
So, when they are old enough to go out and vote, they will vote for freedom, faith, and family first. Vote for the candidates whose policies will allow them and their children to live as freely and faithfully as we can today. And maybe even end election night together, over a bowl of chips and queso.
Now, some say that this type of education at home is brainwashing and not letting kids think for themselves. But truth is, most of those people are just angry that they didn't get to them first. and it's also another reason homeschooling is seen as a threat, and many in politics today would like to see it banned so that they can brainwash our kids for us.
So, while you have the chance, talk to your kids about everything. A child will form the opinion of the first person they respect who is willing to talk to them. And a blank slate is easy prey for a corrupt world to write upon.
Now, to some this whole Hifalutin infection election episode up, I'll end with this. As with educational choices, there is never a perfect candidate in an election. We should be informed and choose the candidate whose platform will best allow us to lead the life God wants us to lead. Also, remember every conversation matters with your kids. Every election period is a chance to teach our kids about government and true civic responsibility, to discuss freedom and faith, and to ensure our kids are able to recognize the truth.
So, God bless America. Now, I'm gonna step down off my high horse, or stump speech, and ask where's the queso? Because I think we can all agree that it's a good thing this election season's almost over. 2020 has been long, hasn't it? Bring on the holidays.
And, lastly, really quick, I want to share an offer with you. Ten percent off of the board game Election Night, by Semper Smart Games, is a fast-paced family board game that discreetly sharpens math skills using the electoral process as teams compete for the White House. Now, we have this game and my cut-throat gamers love it. And mom loves it too because everyone's sharpening their math skills and they don't even realize they're sorta kinda doing school. The first team to 270 electoral college votes wins. Good fun around the table and off the computers. Just use code HIFALUTIN10, H-I-F-A-L-U-T-I-N-1-0, at checkout at sempersmartgames.com, and the first ten to get in there and order will also receive their award-winning math dice game.
So, don't forget the chips and queso too. And thanks for listening. May the odds be ever in your candidate's favor unless your candidate wasn't my candidate of choice. And I'll be back again on December 15 with some homeschool laughs, and possibly less preaching, about homeschooling in the holidays. I mean, I'm already tired just thinking about it.
So until then, stay weird and homeschool on. And God bless America.
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