27 January 2006

Rated "E" for "Everyone"

by Frank "centuri0n" Turk
So I have kids. I know it's a scary thought, but I have two children who are, of course, the smartest kids their age and the most well-mannered. My wife wouldn't have it any other way, and so we comply. Happy wife: happy life.

It turns out this is a post that underscores the virtues of homeschooling -- by negative example. I've been saving this all week because it'll make a great "but before you go home" post to read and savor all weekend.

My parents have been down the last 2 weeks, and because they live 1500 miles away and see my kids about 4 times a year, they lavish them with presents. It makes me crazy, but I can't stop them, so I just blog about it to blow off steam and let it go. This time around, the boy got a Batman video game, among other things.

Now, we are not video game averse, and this little toy is relatively harmless -- it even has some problem-solving levels that are timed so you have to do more than "BBA! ABAA! BABA! XAXABBA! DOWN-B-X BONUS MOVE!" like Beast Boy on Teen Titans.

Yeah. Anyway ...

We're unwrapping this thing and hooking it up to the TV, and my son sits down in front of the toob and says, and I quote, "Yo, LET'S GET THIS PAUDY STAUDED!"

My son said this. Now listen: you think he got this from me, but I don't talk gibberish from Bass Patrol lyrics in front of my kids. I am sure all of you would not be suprised to read me argue against Doug Wilson or the ridiculous Dave Armstrong, "What? BAPTISM?! Well, let's GET THIS PAUDY STAUDED, Yo!" But at home, in front of the kids, I'm Ward Cleaver; I'm the nerdy guy from Full House; I'm Herman Munster, complete with that daffy laugh.

I would never say, "LET'S GET THIS PAUDY STAUDED!" to my kids. Yet here is my son, who has been in (I am ashamed to say) public school for 4 months, and he's bustin' out with Batman sayin' "Yo, LET'S GET THIS PAUDY STAUDED!"

Needless to say, I was mortified. And no, I am not going to let him blog. He's 6, and he doesn't get to tell his side of the story until he's old enough to know he shouldn't talk like that in front of his mother.


Matthew Henry said...

:) Gotta love kids.....My son wanders into the front room at random moments and says loudly, "Badda boom, badda bing" and then wanders out. Sigh.

Richard D said...

No kidding, Centurion. It's scary what the kids pick up at school. Unfortunately, it's not possible for all Christians to home school their kids. I wish it were.

Kim said...

My youngest son has been homeschooled all along. One day he came up to me and said "Yo, Mama." Have no idea where that came from.

NEB said...

Then there was my little 3-year-old brother who walked around the house singing the theme song to COPS:

"Bad boy, bad boy/Watcha gonna do/Watcha gonna do/When the cow goes moo."

Janet said...

You're not alone, Cent. My 3 yo daughter said "that girl is such a drama queen". She is only 3 so she's non schooled ;-)

Carla Rolfe said...

Dear Herman...

this is just the beginning. Kids always pick up on what other kids say - good or bad. It's just the way kids are.

We've been homeschooling for 6 years, and just recently my 2 year old started singing "shut your mouth and go to sleep...". Where did she get that? Sharkboy and Lavagirl. Apparently it struck her as catchy, and now we're teaching her that this ISN'T a real lullaby, and is a harsh message.

I'm just thankful she can also recite this week's Scripture memory verse and recite the 66 books of the Bible, in order.
(Well, she gets about 75% of them, but I'll take that 75%!)

Homeschooling or not, we have to be uber-diligent to listen to what our kids say. Encouraging them when it's good, and immediately and consistantly correcting them when it's bad.

SDG... Carla

quicklikerodly said...

We started with home school with my 5 year old, but she spent about a month in public (government) school after my 3rd child was born. In that amount of time a little boy exposed himself to her and another explained how boys and girls practice oral sex. The playground was only partially fenced and children would repeatedly sneak out into the woods around the edge of the school while supposedly being watched by the teachers. This is in a rural area in a small town Tennessee, not some over-stuffed inner city school.

I will never, ever send another child to public school again. It is flawed in principle and in practice.

Lockheed said...


Carla Rolfe said...

lol Micah, you're demented.

Chris Freeland said...

See, I don't have a problem with public school as long as it's carefully chosen.

I'm not a parent, so maybe I should keep my mouth shut, but it seems to me that a good majority of the child's behavior is dependent on the parent - not the schooling situation.

There's certainly something to be said for the ability to teach your kids yourself, but there's also something to be said for allowing your children to experience secular society in a way that provides you the opportunity to illustrate the importance of a different life.

Right now, as a staff member at a church and a student at a biblically conservative theological seminary, I lament the fact that I'm caught in a "holy huddle," with virtually no interraction between myself and unbelievers. I think those relationships are important for kids as well.

I had a great public school experience when I was younger, and frankly wouldn't have traded it for the world. I think I turned out okay.

Plus, all the bad words I needed to learn as a kid I learned from my Uncle Pyromaniac.

Matt Gumm said...

I was wondering if you were like this guy at home.

Libbie--you've seen this. What do you think? Is Cent an Ultronian?

quicklikerodly said...

That is just wrong.

Chris Freeland
I respect your opinion. It is very important that our children understand that the world is a sinful place. I would suggest that there are other ways for a child to gain that experience.

Government schools have changed a great deal since I was in school, and I'm under 30. It's not the same ball park, it's not really even the same game. There are forces at work battling over our children's minds. If you need examples just refer to the French revolution and Nazi Germany. They understood the importance of our youth's minds.

It is our God ordained responsibility as parents to raise our children in a way that is pleasing to God. The first thing they should learn is God and his ways. Our ability to control their education, from curriculum or otherwise, is limited considerably if they are being taught by other people. Our responsibility, however, is not limited. We still have to give an answer to God.

Please understand that I do not want to shelter my children. How can they be "salt and light" if they don't know their way around the place that is dark and unflavored? So in that point I agree.

The only thing I would add is how much exposure should they receive and at what cost does this exposure come? A child can learn allot about the mind set of someone living in the sin of fornication hanging around a porn star, but at what cost would that information come?

My final point (for now). There was a time in America when the only social interaction our children received was with the family and the church, because there were no government schools, and most people turned out OK, some would argue better.

I will now step down from my soap box.

Andrew said...

I realized the influence DVD's had on my four-year-old when, after watching "The Incredibles", he told his mother that she needed to be "more flexible".

At that point we had a "what's ok for Mr. Incredible is not necessarily ok for Mikey" talk.

pilgrim said...

It's not necessarily public school, as mentioned here--TV, DVD's, other kids, people at church, radio, out in the streets, etc.

Kids liek to copy what they see and hear--the important thing is to address what is and isn't appropriate behavior & why.

(And if you have to laugh--do it beforehand)

Patrick Chan said...

I guess I'm the only kid in a combox full of adults (relatively speaking). I'm not yet able to start posts or comments with, "Kids are great! Get this, the other day, my kid said..."

Ah, maybe one day things will change, Lord willing! ;-)

LeeC said...

This hits on a subject dear to my heart.

Our job as parents is not so much to shelter our children as it is to equip them.
Far too often I have met homeschooling parents who do so to protect thier kids, but spend no time equipping them. One couple got offended because a youth leader for the junior high class at church was teaching on purity and he touched (very lightly) upon some touchy topics. The mom complained to me about how her 13 year old son doesn't even know what a homosexual is, and she doesn't want others teaching him.

I asked them what they did with all the passages in Scripture that deal with "Touchy" subjects and they said they avoided them!!!

I believe our duty is to raise them up in the way that they should go.

Children have no self discipline, and so we ARE thier discipline until we can instill in them self discipline.
Children have no discernment and so until they gain discernment we are that discernment.

We canot shelter them from the world, but we have all we need to protect them by instilling in them discipline, discernment, and wisdom.
Gina and I are just beginning to homeschool our daughter, and it is our fervent prayer that we have the discernmet to shelter her from what we need to until she is properly equipped to deal with these situations, but not cave in to our fears and keep her in a bubble.

And when she comes in singing some catchy jingle or some such as we know she will, if it is not proper hopefuly we can use it as an opportunity to show her how to use biblical discernment.

On the other hand, I know parents who are gifted with the ability to sufficiently train up thier kids to be more than sufficient to deal with the world of public school by the time they are old enough to attend.

That said, I never realy struggled with anxiety until I was married, and then it tripled when we had our first child. What a sanctifying process being a parent is.

Mike Perrigoue said...

Chris Freeland,

Before my wife and I had kids (1 and 3 years old now) we were public school all the way. Not until we really started talking about the things we learned and did in public school (that our parents had NO control over) and of course having a child of our own did we really think through the issue.

We are almost positive we will homeschool our children. And I'm sure alot of people I argued with about this a few years back would have a good hearty laugh to hear me say that.

Have some kids first...then decide. Oh wait...that's how it happens anyway...

Mike Perrigoue said...

My older daughter (three yrs old) says things like:

"Wassup homey?"
"Wassup foo?"
"You wanna' piece of me?"
"Boom baby!"

I'm just preparing her as a missionary to the emergent crowd in the next 20 years...

art said...

It's unfortunate you mention Doug Wilson and Dave Armstrong together. However you want to define the Federal Vision, it is not Catholicism.
I'm not a fan of either Wilson or Armstrong. I just thought it was strange to mention them together, as if they held the same views.

Dan B. said...

Good topic. Our church recently had Voddie Baucham do a Family Conference at our church--he stressed the importance of home-schooling as a tool for "multi-generational faithfulness." He also talked about a child's spiritual upbringing being connected to a child's education.

I was put through public school, and my dad was a teacher in public school. It did not challenge me academically, and it certainly did nothing for my faith. The Scripture verse that talks of training up your children in the way that they should go also states that you do this so that they will not depart from it.

My wife made a decision long ago (before we got married) that we would home school our kids (even though we do not yet have any). To those who say that public schools are not that bad, or that you need to "expose" them to an alternative life (secular society), I have to ask you this:

In the time pressures of your life (job, activities, eating, sleeping, etc.), are you willing to spend 2-4 hours a night deprogramming them from what they learned from teachers/friends/classmates? In other words, do you have the time to deprogram and then also teach them how to be salt and light?

Public school is a new invention--the family has been responsible for teaching kids for centuries. Only within the past 60 years did this idea of government being responsible for education come about.

Carla Rolfe said...

dan b. asks "In the time pressures of your life (job, activities, eating, sleeping, etc.), are you willing to spend 2-4 hours a night deprogramming them from what they learned from teachers/friends/classmates? In other words, do you have the time to deprogram and then also teach them how to be salt and light?"

This is one of those questions that really does need to be looked at. Now we all know how Frank shuns controversial topics ;o), so I'm not sure how much to include here in the comments section. We don't want Mr. Cleaver getting upset or anything.

I am however going to address this at my own blog (Lord willing) in the next day or two, since this is a topic quite misunderstood by folks.

I did blog on this today, only in part to some of the comments I read here yesterday.

Besides, I'm long winded when it comes to this topic, so I don't want to clog up this thread with that sort of thing.


FX Turk said...


Dave Armstrong is not even in the same species as Doug Wilson -- he's not even in the same spiral arm of the galaxy. Long-time readers on my blog prolly "got" the references because I've had long-time interaction with both.

My point, since I have to spell it out, is that it's not like nobody ever saw me say something as stupid as Yo, Let's get this Paudy Stauded! I simply don't talk that way in real life and to hear mt son speak that way is somewhat bizarre.

And since you asked, if you think Dave Armstrong is above leveraging the sympathies of FV/AA views of baptism to advance Roman Catholic "apologetics", you should read more of his stuff. I think he already has. That, however, is way outside the scope of my throw-away remark.

FX Turk said...


In my house, we usually spend the weekend eating cold rice and drinking water, chanting things like the LBCF. I figure that's a pretty effect method of brain washing, um, catechizing my kids.

Tom Pilarski said...

You know you have love those random things kids say. One time we had some of the church leadership over for lunch when one of son's comes out with a pretzel stick in his mouth and an IBC root beer in his hand. One of the leadership ladies asked my son "what do you have there?" He replied, "my beer and my smoke."

Now we don't drink nor do we smoke, but his grandparents do. It made for quite an ice breaking moment at our luncheon.

Pecadillo said...

I don't get all the debate over public school vs. private christian or home schoool, do what my parents did; put your kid in a room with various cleaning products, stacks of old newspapers, a book of matches, and a stray dog and let them learn the ways of the world on their own. Kids are smarter than we think.

art said...

Interesting. I knew that others within the academic Catholic community have picked up on much of what the FV is saying...almost like an extension of ECT. Personally I haven't read Armstrong's take on FV...I read more of his apologetics directly for Catholicism. I'll take a look now that you mention it.
Thanks for the clarification. Didn't mean to start anything...just thought it was an interesting remark since I didn't know the backstory.

Wes Langdon said...

I think I've played that Batman game, and trust me Mr. Turk, what your son said is justifiable. I'm still stuck on level 10 against the Joker Boss.

Ugh. I hate video games...

Momo said...

Well, there you go, Cent. Post some weekend feel-good-special piece on a Friday and you wind up waking the hordes to fight about public school vs. home school with a little baptism thrown in.

Personally, I'll take Pecadillo's two cents over most of the other stuff--talk about getting a paudy stauded.

Kyjo said...

My mother's philosophy regarding public schools is that she wanted her children to be "salt and light" to the world. Public schooling seemed rather to sap the saltiness out of myself and my siblings.

I'm not sure what I'll do when I have kids, but the way things are going, I figure by then sending them to public school will not even be a biblically acceptable option anywhere in the country.

RGR86 said...

Here goes. I have been entertained for months, if not a year or so, with this process called "blogging". With the level of comments that I have seen with this subject, I can no longer be a "watcher" but must weigh in with 50 years of hard gained experience (wisdom?)Experiential Bias: My mother started "home-schooling" my sister 25 years ago (she is 20 years younger) and I thought she was "nuts". I had been sent to private "christian schools" (not a mis-spelling either) since 7th grade. My boys (one is 20 yoa and now "over there" and the other is 15 and in the thick of it) were initially public schooled
(indoctrinated). I pulled them out and we home schooled for 7 years. The greatest times of our lives. Academic Input: Our children, and we as adults, have five areas that influence our views, opinions, etc. They are home, church, school/education, media influence and peer group. Nearly every comment related funny/tragic examples of inappropriate behavior by their "innocent" children. They have been influenced by one of these areas listed above. One blogger, childless for the moment, see's the value of being involved in the system and another is quick to point out the commitment of "de-programming" the little ones after their sojourn into the wastelands of public education (indoctrination).
Professional: My professional life allows me to see inside the system as well as the fruits of that indoctrination. My personal life finds me attempting to correct or rather "de-program" the finished model produced by our vaunted "education system". Solutions: Whether you home school or not, get educated about what your local school teaches. Every school has different curricula and individual teachers emphasize different aspects of that curricula. Crack that school book that junior brings home and be on the top of where and what the teacher is teaching and get involved in refuting/de-programming him/her. YOU MUST get educated youself about what he is learning or you will wake up one day and find that you have been marginalized. Sorry I took so much space, but I am PASSIONATE about this.
Peace and wisdom for the Most High God.

Kate said...

So here is my question, Mr. C, will you homeschool in the future?

I am rather new to your personal world so I ask as genuine inquiry.


CDM said...

"Yet here is my son, who has been in (I am ashamed to say) public school for 4 months, and he's bustin' out with Batman sayin' "Yo, LET'S GET THIS PAUDY STAUDED!"

We are a homeschooled family. We succumbed to pressure this previous fall and placed our 8 year old in the Day-care gulag. In 3 months times he had expert knowledge of sex, cussing, fighting, stealing, and all other manner of ungodliness. He also talked like the example of your son.

We yanked him out of that temple of Baal. In a moment of weakness, we sentenced him to 3 months there.

It will take 3 years to make up for it.