Dr. Peg Luksik gave a speech in June 2002 at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Family and Home Schooling Conference in Washington, D.C. Her topic was Disorder in the Classroom. Dr. Luksik has advanced degrees in Elementary Education and in Special Education. She has had several years of teaching experience in the classroom, and has been a home schooling mother of five children for many years.
Government Schools and God
Dr. Luksik pointed out that the government schools have purposefully chosen to ignore God, and that while students may choose to believe in God, this is a belief which students must leave outside the classroom door.
Since the government schools and textbooks reflect this denial of the existence of God in what is taught and how it is taught, they necessarily reject the Creator of the Universe, the God of Order, and instead conclude that everything is an accident, nothing and no one exists because of any design or plan or Creator. The lack of Order, in fact, permeates every part of the government schools’ curriculum.
Homeschooling parents need to be concerned about the government school curriculum which promotes Disorder because we and our children live in this society and must interact with people who are being taught this way. Homeschooling parents must be aware that the secular textbooks are reflecting this chaos and lack of Order in any subject they present. Even some homeschooling families are affected by this “lack of Order” philosophy.
The Logic of Studies
Dr. Luksik pointed out that Math is the language of Order. Math is logical, it all fits together. Math helps us to understand science because math helps to explain science in a logical and orderly way. Math gives an insight into the Natural Law and an understanding of the Order of the universe and everything in the universe.
The problem with the textbooks used in most schools is that there is too much guessing and estimating of answers. Memorization of the multiplication tables is not required. Rules and patterns are not taught; math is not taught as a system of relationships. When a lack of Order is taught in math in the early grades, children become more and more lost as they proceed into the upper grades.
Phonics is not taught in the schools, even when they say it is taught! Reading is taught as a hit-and-miss game rather than as a system of relationship of sounds and letters. Spelling rules are not taught, kids are just taught words to learn if they have spelling class at all. Grammar is not taught in most schools because it is a subject with logic, patterns, and rules.
Law and Order
Kids in the schools feel lost, frustrated, alone, and scared. They turn to drugs or alcohol, or self-abuse, or violence, or eating disorders. They don’t think about the possibility that there is Order and the Natural Law in the universe. They don’t know that God is a God of Order, and that if they do not follow the Natural Law, if they do not follow God’s Laws, they will suffer terrible consequences.
Home schooling parents need to help their children build a wall of Order which the Disorder and Chaos of the society cannot permeate or destroy. Each brick in the wall, each subject you teach, must be cemented together with memory work, organization, logic, order, and focus.
Your child’s Catholic education must stand strong for a lifetime. Focus on the basic fundamental skills. Don’t fall for the popular line of the educators: “That is not really important.” The basic building bricks of education should be taught as individual subjects, not all put together. Certain skills and concepts must become automatic in the mind so the student can proceed to higher concepts.
Make sure that you don’t miss any pieces when you teach. Each subject needs to be presented separately. Math, spelling, grammar, all subjects need to be separated and taught with special focus. This will help our children to communicate their thoughts and opinions in an ordered and logical way.
Isn’t this why we are teaching our children: so they can evangelize, so they can bring the Faith to our society, so they can become the leaders of tomorrow? You are training your children to bring a Catholic presence into all fields in our society. People need to see the beauty of the Faith in our children. Our children can attract people to the Faith if they are good role models and, when they need to use words to evangelize, they can speak clearly and logically. They need to be able to stand up and speak clearly against this current culture of disorder and chaos.
Released for the first time online, this article originally appeared in the August 2002 Edition of the Seton Newsletter, Volume XIX, 8