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A great poem for learning about the parts of speech. I wish we’d found this when my kids were little. Not too late now guys…and in time for your own kids 🙂 I found this on the wonderful German Grammar Pod website. (a wonderful resource for revising German grammar)

A noun’s the name of anything
As school or garden, hoop, or swing.

An adjective describes a noun
As great, small, pretty, white, or brown.

Instead of nouns the pronouns sit
You, me, his, hers, this, that or it.

Verbs tell of something being done,
To read, write, count, sing, jump, or run.

An adverb tells how, where or when,
As slowly, badly, there or then.

Three little words you often see
Are articles: a, an, and the.

Conjunctions join words together,
As men and women, wind or weather.

Prepositions link in nouns
As to or on or at the Downs.

The interjection shows surprise,
As ah! How pretty- Oh! how wise.

The whole are called nine parts of speech,
Which reading, writing, speaking teach

<deep breath>

for a very long time I’ve been sitting on a blog post about education. and I’m sitting on it still. only I just watched this youtube video (below) and now I have to post it. one of the reasons I haven’t posted the education post is the time it would take. until uni finishes for the year, I have to focus on that and all the other good things I have to do, involving all the people I love. another reason is that most people can’t comprehend what I mean when I say I don’t like modern schooling. they think I have some old fashioned view or something. or that I think they should talk about creation. or something else. but I actually hate modern schooling. the system sucks. the methodology. and often, the best thing that christians can come up with as an alternative is the factory model, in a ‘nicer’ environment. <sigh>

can I add, that I think school is a VERY good place for christian adults to be, if they are called there.

anyway. for what it’s worth, here is what someone else has said, MUCH of which I agree with.

Last night I read an article which discussed parental concerns over behaviour in children. For such a short article it interestingly pointed out the following:

-there *is* a difference in boys and girls (unlike others who aren’t so sure)

-parents of boys are more likely to seek the advice of a behavioural expert

But also hidden in there was this comment which I thought quite insightful: …(the) large number of requests for intervention shows “the very, very narrow range of normalcy allowed for children these days.

Life for a child can be very complicated; they are off to care younger, into school often two years before they are legally required, pushed into remedial classes when they aren’t ‘up to pace’, taken off to extra curricula activities, and plagued with after school classes to ensure they don’t lose any advantage over their classmates. Could it mean that any child who simply doesn’t jump though all these hoops is considered ‘not normal’?

Wouldn’t it be nice if children were able to ‘just grow up’?

The trend is being commented on more and more.

How is this possible? In my estimation, a child at home spending about the same amount of time (doing lessons) per age as their peers spend on homework*, will be adequately educated, allowing choice of further education or career beyond what many of their age-peers consider likely…. (not to mention all the other benefits like the extended freedom to play**, express intelligence and develop academic skills at their own pace).

And I don’t believe in the answer being supported by Australian educators and the government.

*this is my *very* conservative estimation based on 19 years of watching it happen over and over and over and…

** The link for this wouldn’t work but I love it! (including the cheeky comment about tv)

This blog post was inspired by a post on the equipbooks blog. The topic was ‘Why reading is important’ (for Christians). One of the results of reading this was to cause me to ask (again!) *why?*.

-Why have we allowed literacy to decline so quickly over just several generations (or less)?

-Why do most people deny that this has happened?

– Why are Christians seemingly so unconcerned with current education practices?

-Why isn’t reading books promoted more by our Christian leaders?

There are very convincing arguments for Christian people to read, to read well and widely, and to think ‘out of the box’. One way of gaining objectivity (which allows one to see past the errors of modern thought) is to read ‘old books’ as CS Lewis* suggests. And for a very good reason:

Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books. He goes on: We may be sure that the characteristic blindness of the twentieth century—the blindness about which posterity will ask, “But how could they have thought that?”—lies where we have never suspected it, and concerns something about which there is untroubled agreement between Hitler and President Roosevelt or between Mr. H. G. Wells and Karl Barth. None of us can fully escape this blindness, but we shall certainly increase it, and weaken our guard against it, if we read only modern books.

Combine this ‘natural’ blindness with idea that we are living in an age of sub-literacy, (especially in comparison with what became the norm for hundreds of years after the reformation: most strove to be literate so they might read the scriptures for themselves) and we may wonder how we can reverse the decline. Consider the following quotes from Os Guiness**

Many common people in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries had a knowledge of Shakespeare and the Bible that people today would view as the preserve of the literary scholar or theologian. By 1772, Jacob Duché could write, “The poorest laborer…thinks himself entitled to deliver his sentiment on matters of religion or politics with as much freedom as the gentleman or scholar…Such is the prevailing taste for books of every kind, that almost every mean is a reader.”

George Steiner describes the result of modern mass education as ”semi-literacy.” The ability to read is widespread, but the inability to read any but the shallowest texts is equally widespread. He cites recent estimates that put the literacy of more than half the population of the United States at the level of twelve-year-olds. Steiner concludes: “Such semi- or sub-literacy is not being eradicated by mass-schooling: it is being made politically and psychologically acceptable.”

There are most certainly responses we can make (read aloud to our children, seriously consider alternatives to modern mass education practices, get involved in groups which challenge us to think, plus read, read, read and read. Do you have any other suggestions?) but all of these are limited in their effects; culture has an incredibly strong pull.

So I ask: Is prayer the answer? I’m inclined to think that we possibly haven’t seen this issue as sufficiently serious. Maybe we don’t feel that strongly about the threat to our minds or the minds of our children to see the danger. It can sound all a little exaggerated or fanciful, can’t it?

I can barely scrape the surface of the issues here; for one thing time for writing is so limited. It really warrants a long afternoon walk/talk. Maybe this can get us thinking….

* First and Second Things, Essays on Theology and Ethics.

**Fit Bodies, Fat Minds: Why Evangelicals Don’t Think and What to Do About It

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