published on or around the 15th of the month
from the author of
August 2007    volume 1- Issue 12

What Does One Teach a Smart Teenager These Days?

How about to be aware of how desensitized we Americans have become to things that are about common sense.

Our newsletter this month is brief as we are very busy getting plans together for our upcoming school year. Most of what I have been planning surrounds the idea that many of the jobs and careers that the kids we are homeschooling will contemplate are jobs and careers that have not even been considered yet. How do we "teach to that"?

One thing I do know is that as a homeschooling parent, it is very important to teach about remaining human and remaining sensitive to the idea of what it means to be part of a civilization that makes sense and that is fair.

There are a lot of things that amaze me these days, things that people just seem to accept, perhaps because the rate at which information comes at us is not at a rate with which we can process it in a meaningful way.

I read in the August 6 edition of Newsweek an article entitled: "Cry of the Wild" It was about four gorillas that were slaughtered in the Congo. As horrifying as the whole story was, including the very graphic images, one sentence really struck me, "As the stench of death wafted across the camp in the waning afternoon light, a park warden stepped forward. "What man would do this?" he thundered. He answered himself: "Not even a beast would do this.""

That article made me cry, and it sparked quite the dinner conversation as well.

Yesterday in our local paper was yet another article about increasing my taxes to fund the failing public school system. The person quoted in the article basically said if voters don't approve a 10mil increase in November, we'll put another request in March for 14mil: "if voters defeat the levy, Boyd said another attempt in March would then have to grow to 14 mills, because it would not become effective for another year and would have to cover a larger deficit, he said." (Cincinnati schools need big levy by Ben Fischer).
Recently our newly elected representatives enacted a sales tax increase from the 6.5% to 7% without even asking the people if that was OK. A group of local citizens did manage to get enough signatures on a petition to stop the increase and get it put on the November ballot, no doubt right there next to the school levy.
Also yesterday came my statement from the Social Security administration. For years when I got paid to work, I paid into this "retirement fund" and included right in this statement were the words "in the 2010, we will begin paying out more than we take in".

Probably the most amazing thing of all lately was what I have been reading in The Fair Tax Book: Saying Goodbye to the Income Tax and the IRS by Neal Boortz & John Linder. I picked this book up completely by accident. It gets into the idea that the 16h amendment to the US Constitution is unconstitutional -- for many reasons, starting with the idea that it is in direct conflict with the 4th amendment.

Amendment XVI (the Sixteenth Amendment) of the United States Constitution, authorizing income taxes in their present form, was ratified on February 3, 1913.

"The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration."

Amendment IV (the Fourth Amendment) to the United States Constitution is one of the provisions included in the Bill of Rights. The Amendment guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, and was originally designed as a response to the controversial writs of assistance (a type of general search warrant), which were a significant factor behind the American Revolution.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

So as we move into the new "school year", and some of us celebrate "not" going back to school, let's also give consideration to the idea that the three "R's" are great, but that we also need to teach humanity, an idea of what common sense is and a sense of fairness. You're not going to find these topics in any text book or classroom!

Have a great "school year"!



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Review: Good for teaching about being gifted, or getting a gifted to recognize there are others just like him. A great listing of books for each "grade" level.

Review: Good for understanding what colleges are looking for in an incoming students literature base.

Review: Great for understanding what one might present each year, though some of the resources are getting outdated.


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Updated: August 20, 2007