Tip of the Week: Teaching our Children to Question Authority (Revisited)

Did you survive the predicted “end of the world” on Saturday?  Yeah, me too.  I think I’ve survived a dozen or so announced events. Even so, I had my Saturday to do list completed by 2:00 p.m. so Jenny, my wife, was happy.

Jenny and I grew up in Southern California. We’re used to this sort of thing. So, what does this have to do with Home Schooling? I wrote about this topic a while back and suggested we must teach our children to question authority. Especially any authority that invokes God’s name in the discussion.  Especially any authority that wants to sell you something like books, DVD’s or food storage.

This weekend I started watching a recently released documentary titled Betting on Zero, streaming on Netflix. The film accuses the power house company, Herbalife, of being a pyramid scheme. Are they right? Is the evidence compelling?  Have the facts on either side of the argument been tweaked?

After watching it, viewers may come to different conclusions and ardently express them.  I think it’s important that our children be taught that not everybody holds the same opinion. That’s the idea behind the first amendment.

But, not all expressions are of equal value. Not all arguments make sense. Some are only partially true. Some are completely false.  Some are emotionally charged.  Some defy logic. Some resort to fear to make their point.

And, just because someone “in authority,” Christian or otherwise, made the statement doesn’t mean we can trust it.

Our children need to be trained to think critically, to question authority- especially in light of social media, fake news, and what passes as journalism today no matter what form it takes.

Last time I wrote on this topic, I mentioned a book titled An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments. You can purchase it or access a free version here.  Simple and to the point. You can use it to help your children evaluate what’s being said, as well as help them think through the merit of their own arguments and the positions they hold.

Teach your children to question authority.

That’s the tip of the week.

Curt Bumcrot, MRE

Yes, you can homeschool your high schooler! With our Diploma Program, you’ll get the accountability and support you need to help your student complete their high school coursework, meetings with an advisor to make sure they’ve completed every credit they need, and a transcript to send to colleges. Click here for more information.


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