Wednesday, February 1, 2023

"To Boldly Go..." Where Our Forefathers Went?

I don't know what life is like where you are, but we are currently hunkered down in Texas due to inclement weather. I use the term "inclement weather" because different parts of Texas are experiencing different types of weather. In our neck of the woods, the winter storm is mostly freezing rain, sleet, and a little snow. Our streets are like ice skating rinks, so...I won't be venturing out any time soon. Schools were canceled yesterday, today, and will, most likely, be canceled tomorrow. On a good note, while the weather is keeping me at home, it's also allowing me more reading time! 

I mentioned in my last post I've started a new reading journey, one that may challenge me a bit more than I anticipated. It all started when I read a book entitled Battle for the American Mind: Uprooting a Century of Miseducation by Pete Hegseth with David Goodwin. I wasn't impressed with the first bit of it and felt the authors were a bit pompous (if I'm honest). I continued to read, though, because it always intrigues me when reviews of a book are either "for" or "against" with very few critics staying in the middle of the reading road. I don't have a problem with reading other people's opinions without feeling offended or feeling that I have to agree completely with either side. I take the best and leave the rest by the roadside. (Oh, how I wish more people would learn to do the same.)

Battle for the American Mind addresses some of the problems with public education. After I made it through the first ten percent of the book, the writers got my attention. I'm always interested in history, and I found that the information they presented in the book checked out (I always do my own research for these types of non-fiction books), which surprised me. However, after I read the book and had some conversations with a few long-time educators, I had to admit the book made sense - even though it hurt me, and disappointed me, to admit how broken the public education system really has been...for quite some time. I decided to read more.

The next book I read was A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-first Century by Oliver DeMille. This one really got my attention by explaining how our forefathers were educated, why it worked, and what critical parts are missing in the education of children today. It explained how this could be helped, whether a child is in a public, private, or charter school, or if you homeschool. It also gave a simple plan to follow in the back and a list of important books that should be a part of every person's education.

My education consists of a public education, two years in a community college, and two years in a private university. I didn't receive a "Thomas Jefferson Education," but I found myself intrigued enough to begin the reading suggestions in the back of the book to educate myself. I started with the easy stuff: young adult fiction. What "classic" YA books should I have read as a teenager? What difference, if any, would they have made in my life? I thought that was a good place to start.

I've now read three of the five suggestions, so far. I can't wait to share my review of the first one, which led me down another reading road I didn't expect. More about all that tomorrow. For now, I need to get back to my current read. This ice won't last forever, you know. 

Happy February! And, always, happy reading!

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