Monday, February 23, 2015

REVIEW - Great Commission Films - IndoctriNation {Schoolhouse Review Crew}

Well it's time for my first review of this brand new year. It has been so exciting to get a new year started. This first review is for all parents out there. A very interesting documentary called IndoctriNation 'Public Schools and the decline of Christianity in America' produced by Great Commission Films.

The Latin word for 'teach' is 'doctrina'. It's the root of the word 'indoctrinate' and originally that's what indoctrinate meant to teach - however times and meanings change and now 'indoctrinate' has a very negative meaning, around 1830 it started to mean forcing ideas and beliefs on someone who isn't allowed to question them. My husband truly believes (as do I) that if we don't teach our children to believe in something, someone else will and it won't always be good.

This documentary features a Scottish man Colin Gunn who obviously lives in the US and home-schools his children (along with his wife). This was a draw to me in the very beginning because I was born in Scotland myself albeit I only lived there for a year before returning home to England. I am also a immigrant to the US and was very interested in another immigrants view of this great countries school system (I won't even start on the British system). The video is done in a very entertaining way. However, don't be misled, the topics discussed are very important and not made light of. He loads his family up on a school bus and tours the country interviewing various people about the state of the public school system in the United States. The movie explains how the public school started in the United States and where the people that introduced it received their inspiration - which was shocking to me. There are interviews held with people who actually spend most of their time in the school system, a headteacher and a teacher and also famous names like John Taylor Gatto, Ken Ham, and Voddie Baucham.

My older children were in the public school system for quite a few years. They both went to a pre-school that was based in our elementary school and then continued in our small public school very happily for a few years. Boo was the first to talk about homeschooling. She always wanted to stay home - well from kindergarten when her best friend and cousin moved away. However Jam was very happy and social and so we didn't really give it much thought. Plus I had just had Captain - and I wasn't getting much sleep. By second grade Boo was adamant that she wanted to home school. She was very popular and happy when she was in school, she was a straight A student and so was Jam but this time we started to think about it. By the time the kids were set to start 3rd and 5th we were homeschooling. I loved our little public school, but I love the time I get to spend with my kids more. To me that's what our homeschooling journey was about 'time'.

In fact my oldest son was considering returning back to public school this next year as a freshman. We told him it was his decision, and he had to do what he felt was right for him at this stage. He has a friend that is seriously thinking about returning to school too, so it was something he wanted to consider.

I put this movie on with my husband, Mom and Sister (former public school teacher - but home schooled for high-school) ready to watch. My older two were playing a game with Grandpa in the adjoining room. The movie does warn you that a few topics are discussed and you need to obviously use parental caution. I decided that although I wouldn't sit my kids down to watch it I wouldn't ban them from the room either - they are 12 and 14 and we have discussed a lot of topics together. (However my 6 year old was enjoying a movie and not watching.) During the game and movie I noticed that Jam started to pay more and more attention to the movie. My sister kept on saying things like 'Yes, that's exactly what it's like' and 'Yes, that's one of the reasons I left teaching'. My Mom found it very informative and my husband was quite quiet.

A lot of the information in the movie I already knew, apart from the history of the public schools that I mentioned before. However at the end of the movie there is a very moving interview with one of the parents of a Columbine victim, it touched me to the very core. I have lost a child. I can't imagine living with the grief I have plus, feeling responsible in someway for it.

I have come to love homeschooling, it feels right for my family. I didn't choose to do it because I thought the public school system was failing my children, I did it because they asked and my husband and I prayed about it. I am still doing it because they like it and it works for us. So I am not telling you to watch this movie and pull your kids out of school. However, I do believe in people being informed and doing what's best for their family and this movie does just that - informs and in a very good way. I can understand both points of view. I have friends that have their kids in public school to make a difference and I have friends who feel the same way as the movie that they will never put their kids in them to be indoctrinated. After watching the movie my mindset is still the same. My kids are being home schooled because it's right for us and it has nothing to do with the state of public schools in my area.

However whatever ever side of this so called argument you are on, I recommend you to watch the movie  - what's 102 minutes out of your life.


Check out what others thought about the movie by clicking on the link below-

IndoctriNation DVD Review

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