Next month my family will be participating in a Geography Fair. “What is a Geography Fair,” you ask? Great question! A Geography Fair is when a group of students, in this case homeschoolers, set up tables in a big gymnasium (our world if you will) and display fun and exciting information about the countries they have studied. Participants are encouraged to dress up in native costumes, display the flag and map of their nation, and even give out samples of common food to “travelers” who will be given “passports” to “explore the world”. It’s a great way to do something fun with geography, and it sharpens a student’s skills in public speaking.
This year, since it is our first time to participate, we chose a country that we already know a little about, Cuba. Our son, who is doing the bulk of the work on this project, has been listening to my husband and me discuss Cuba since his birth given we have dear friends there and have done mission work there. In fact, some of our Cuban friends had to flee Cuba to America as political refugees because they are Christian pastors whom the government had singled out to persecute. Our son has seen probably hundreds of pictures of Cuba, not in books but on our computer taken from our camera.
So today, he was pretty excited to read some books we picked up at the library about Cuba. Keep in mind, my son is still in elementary so we got books that were at his reading level, just facts and data, no philosophy behind what is written. He grabbed up one of the books as we headed out the door for a field trip to a local “rain forest” and botanical gardens.
The car was completely silent until suddenly my son was almost giddy with the following news: “Momma, did you know that Cubans go to college for FREE?!!!! That is awesome!” All the air got sucked out of the car. This American patriot and lover of the free market system almost swerved off the road. Does my son live in the same house that I do? Has he heard the 25,000 conversations my husband and I have had about Cuba? I was shocked. OK, not really, he’s only 6 and anything he reads he assumes is truth. While it is true that Cubans get “free” college, the error lay in my son’s ability to interpret the data he was reading. Cubans get free housing, the government provides food, the government provides free college, the government provides free medical care, etc, etc. “Yippy, skippy,” thought my son. That is amazing. You mean they don’t have to pay for those things?!
I took a deep breath; more like gasped for breath given the lack of oxygen in the car at this point, and began to slowly and carefully explain in kid terms the difference between a free market economy and communism. It’s a topic we’ve discussed many times, but this was his first real life example. Plus, this was the first time that something he read contradicted something we’ve taught him. He was now grappling with this issue. Although, I’ll have to write out some kind of diagram for my son to understand everything I told him today, it was the first (at least from his perspective) of many conversations we will have on this topic because the reality is that whether your children are in public school, private school, or are homeschooled they will be bombarded with liberal, socialistic ideas every single day.
From books, to TV, to media, the left is constantly chasing after and, quite frankly, catching many of the minds of our young people. And since their minds are so moldable and our human nature is to “make all things fair” (kids can’t see that socialism isn’t fair), kids are pretty easy to catch. Liberals simply plant seeds in the mind of my six year old while he reads a colorful, fun book about Cuba. It is my responsibility to see that those seeds don’t take root in his moldable brain.
So, parents, if we hope to see America hold to her conservative, Judeo-Christian values then we can’t fall asleep at the wheel. We have to be vigilant in our efforts to train our children in the foundational principles of America.