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Don’t be scared of a scared puppy

December 30th, 2004 · 4 Comments

Dean Esmay wrote

Here’s Esmay’s Maxim, which I’ve just made up on the spot: any scientific theory, no matter how well-founded or widely accepted, which cannot stand up on its own two legs and face questioning from a young mind without running like a scared puppy to the courts for protection deserves all the kicking around it can get.

I’m not into kicking puppies. But I don’t mind kicking questions and tossing ideas. One of the many reasons why I am homeschooling is that I want my children to be exposed to a variety of ideas, theories and beliefs. I want them to be able to examine both sides. I want them to be able to step into someone else’s shoes and share another’s perspective. I want them to know how to debate and dialogue. Most of all I want them to know how to ask questions. I don’t want them to be afraid to ask. I want my kids to feel comfortable with questions, not hiding or swallowing them, but putting them out for everyone to see and answer.

I read Michelle Malkin’s book In Defense of Internment because I wanted to understand an opposite perspective from what I had been taught in school, what I had accepted as standard and true. And I want to show it to my children so they too can see what either side has to say. Truth comes from the liberty to learn and examine. Truth comes from pursuing the answers to questions not from swallowing and silent acceptance. I speak as someone who did swallow her questions and found them haunting her years later, unanswered. I speak as a student who is now learning what to ask.

As Dean Esmay and Matt Rosenberg pointed out in their posts, two aspects of the debate on evolution and intelligent design appeared in the Seattle Times this month. Jonathan Witt’s Entertaining the notion of a place of wonder was printed beside Huntington F. Willard’s Evolution sticker shock. The newspaper served as an example for me. Here again I want to teach my children both sides. I want them to examine both evolution and intelligent design with wide-eyes and discover the truth for themselves. I want them to dig deep with passion and curiousity. I want them to know there’s no reason to be scared of a scared puppy.

Tags: homeschool

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Andrea // Dec 30, 2004 at 6:14 am

    We use a creation science textbook in our house, and I’ve long wanted to write an explaination *why* we found it was the best text out there. It’s been very thought-provoking and yes, it has encouraged us, even the kids, to ask questions.

  • 2 Ed Hager // Dec 30, 2004 at 10:59 am

    Be careful with the “scared dog” analogy around your kids. Scared dogs are more likely to bite.


  • 3 Julie // Dec 31, 2004 at 1:26 am

    Andrea: Thanks for your comment. I’m curious. What is the title of the textbook you are using? I’d enjoy reading your perspective and experience.

    Ed: Thanks for the warning. I won’t use the “scared puppy” analogy with my kids.

  • 4 Andrea // Dec 31, 2004 at 5:46 am

    They are in the “Exploring Creation with..” series at http://www.highschoolscience.com. Almost every single homeschooler I know who is doing high school uses these texts.

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