Imprinting America on Kids
This short piece is for Teaching Vets (who would appreciate your support) and who someday will plant these seed as he/she looks into a room full of un-woke teenagers. This also applies to home-schooling parents (and many blessings on your House for your undertaking) and of course, regular citizens today who should be asking themselves why our public schools no longer teach children good things about America, and whose butts do we have to kick in order to change that back to the way it once was. How do we go about assimilating our own native-born children into “being American” again?
It’s one of those subjects almost no parent ever thinks about these days, or probably even thought about when I was a kid in the 1950s. Parents just naturally assumed their children were being taught about the basics of American History and Citizenship, and love of country. In those days, it was a complete package that followed them from First Grade to Graduation Night.
Parents rarely got down in the weeds to find out exactly what Bobby and Sally were taught, or when (4th, 5th, Soph or Senior) they just assumed it. To my knowledge curriculum was never a subject of PTA meetings, but still parents did have their say, as when my town’s most notorious foul-mouth, Earl Hodge, stormed the stage demanding to know “why in the g-d hell can’t you teach my boy not to say ‘ain’t’?” He had clear reasons.)
America was never spoken of disapprovingly in schools those days. Every state had its own history book, taught in middle school, 6-thru-8. Each state had its own heroes from pioneer days on. Kentucky had Daniel Boone and Boonesborough. Nebraska had early pioneers on their way to Oregon and whose wagons broke down while there. (Almost no one went to Nebraska on purpose before the Civil War.) Still, they got their museums and landmarks too. Catholics had their own teaching programs, which was a blessing for America, for the Catholics bore the brunt of assimilating the vast majority of immigrants who came to America from 1900-1930 and fortunately Catholic kids went to parochial school through 6th grade. They would have been in their second generation in my day in the 1950s. In my high school about half the kids’ fathers were first generation Italian and east European, with impossible-to-spell names.
Now, I was a fiend for history. Read everything I could get my hands on, and our school library (thanks to Eleanor Roosevelt, her donor-friends and a New Deal librarian named Alliegordon) had volumes unavailable at several larger and finer public libraries. And they didn’t scrimp on the kids, the juvenile section huge for a school, 1-thru-12 of only 200 or so. It had all the Landmark American History books, a series begun in the 1950s, by prominent historians, covering World History as well, and many events of World War II, since our dads had fought that one. (That series was discontinued in the 60s, and replaced by nothing, so far as I could tell.)
Or take Johnny Appleseed, who was a real person, and a real legend. All he did was plant seeds, spawning dozens copycats. I never read a book about him. I don’t think he was taught in school. But Walt Disney ran an edited cartoon film about him in 1955, which I saw on his Sunday evening show, and where I also learned about Davey Crockett, Mike Fink and where most Americans outside of Texas first learned about the Alamo.
He had planting seeds down pat,
I’ve gone back and tried to recreate just what kids my age actually paid attention to in class. I do recall teachers (in 5th, 6th and 7th grade especially) had a knack for grabbing our attention, regardless of the subject, except math.
I came to find out that the difference in an A and a C had nothing to do with how smart you were, but how much you paid attention and how much what Teacher told you sank in. (All my teachers before high school were women. elderly women, probably up in their 30s.)
Somehow teachers knew how to plant those seeds and imprint on students names, facts and ideas such as “loving America”, knowing that whether they would check the right block on the test or not, those ideas and names would lay buried in some part of the kid’s sub-conscience, and then suddenly burst forth when that name is mentioned again., even years later.
I’m sure you’ve had this sort of recall when you hear a certain song, an “oldie but goldie” that immediately makes you recall where and when you heard it the first time. I only danced to “16 Candles” one time, when I was 13, with a girl named Becky Hall, who I never danced with, or even spoke to, again, and who was almost a head taller than me. Awkward! Still, every time I hear that song that’s comes rushing back.
I’ve since learned that kids I thought were staring out the window while Teachers was talking were nonetheless being imprinted. So, even if they didn’t read the textbook, people like Patrick Henry, Nathan Hale, Dolly Madison and General George Washington would come back to them from time to time.
Just ask any friend.
Teachers knew then the best we can do is imprint students with concepts and then let life prove them out. Preaching won’t do, anymore than a minister can get his message through to that 12 -year old squirming in the middle pews with his parents. School teachers and Sunday school teachers knew this law 60 years ago.
And the anti-American Left sure does today. So guess who’s out there teaching our children and grand children today?
This needs to be dealt with now, while we’re still alive. Do the math.
Veterans have more street cred than most school teachers in the eyes of kids.. What they don’t have is a platform. Again, do the math.