The Real Reason Parents Are Suddenly Choosing Language Immersion Schools
God and Daddies. No internet. No TV. Lots of fresh air, bikes, swing set and creek time. Parents who are present. Consistent expectations and discipline. Church. In small town, rural Alabama you don’t have to worry about the schools. Put in the hard days when you’ve said “no” a million times and disciplined till you feel like a heel and one day you’ll look up and realize you’ve done it: you’ve raised respectful, respected children.
Good article and I can't wait to read your book on the mental health crisis and how to fix it. Your book The Transgender Craze was a literal life saver for me. My daughter gave us her "coming out" letter in early Dec 2020 and within a day I had read the Kindle version, then later got the hard copy too. She had all the signs of being a radicalized ROGD kid. Your book, Lisa Littman's work, Gender, a wider lens podcast, all the detrans stories, have all helped me to function and given me a decent understanding of this phenomenon, guidance, and the confidence to trust my instincts as a parent. She has sort of desisted. Anything trans is still a touchy subject, but she does say that while she still identifies as trans, she has outgrown the "unhealthy mindset" that she had to conform to any standard of masculinity to be trans. Maybe in time I will understand more, but I have to take it easy on the topic. It has a left lasting impact on her, a malaise.... I get that she's a teenager, but she just still seems to have a very hopeless outlook on life. She's stopped saying "I'll be dead before I graduate anyway", I think that was from the irresponsible way suicide is used as a tool to scare gender questioning kid and their parents. We covered how there are ways to discuss suicide bc the wrong ways can actually increase the risks of it, it was in a different context, but hopefully she extrapolated. So that's good, but she has very little passion in life. I miss her spark. I'm not rich, I can't send her to another country, or even another county! Lol I try to get her to engage with any activity that keeps her grounded IRL and when that happens, it helps her outlook and demeanor, temporarily. I want to find her a good therapist to talk to for REAL exploratory talk therapy and support, but that's risky in the current affirmative climate. I have felt so alone and powerless... but having good ppl like you bringing these topics into the light helps so many - I know I'm not really alone. I love your mind! Hurry and help me figure out how to fix this lingering malaise!!
Interesting. I'd never think to articulate it in this way, because I'm proud to be American and trying to raise my kids to feel the same. But I'm definitely one of the people Abigail describes here - newly homeschooling since Covid, focused on classical curriculum (teaching Latin, which I never learned). And trying my best to insulate my kids from poor outside influences. I worry a lot about the peers they will meet in their lives, who are growing up without respect for others, any critical thinking skills, and a lifetime of harmful "education" focused on pulling kids away from their families. I've been inspired by John Taylor Gatto's, though I can't say I really follow his approach, but his arguments about how abysmal the school systems have become hit home 100%. As well as his call to build independence in kids when they are quite young, vs infantilize them. Back to Abigail's main point here - I don't think of it as making my children less American, but knowing that our society truly hosts all types I've felt the split from those trying to make America into something else. Like so many things in America now, it's too difficult to land on one characterization of what it is to be American.
Gosh Darn it the Truth Fairy has done it again. She doesn’t leave dimes for teeth, she tells us where the festering abscesses lie waiting. We have two sons, and while my wife was born in a different country and culture, I was a refugee from the Aquarian age of the 60s and the Summer of Love. I was like an Alex P. Keaton. I was determined to be square, and I also studied other cultures and languages. We did try to inject other languages into our family life. My grown sons can understand their mother’s dialect but they can barely speak it. We decided not to force them, but we tried hard to filter out most of American culture. No cable TV. Lots of books and art and music. Some sport, but I consider American sports to be corrupted by greed and other unhealthy things like ?envy? Anyway, they do have some anxiety but they both have a good work ethic, and the single consistent reflection we get is that they are the most polite young men that people meet. We did insist on respect. I am profoundly disappointed in the public schools. If I could do it over again I would have either worked another job to pay for private school or home schooled. I did have to home school one son in high school until we figured out that he could get a GED. What do I not like in public schools? 1. The curricula by committee 2. Training cubicle drones who are compliant and complacent 3. The racist and sexist special emphasis rainbow system of extra points for all but white males 4. The lack of caring about what the child is curious about and interested in 5. The intense pressure to be “gifted and talented” else you shall be a poor loser 6. The teacher has little authority to control the classroom, especially if the child is “underserved”…I could go on and on. I would leave if I could manage it or think of a place to go. There is no where to go. We have to reform this place.
One more thought:
The problem in a nutshell is that our “leaders” in higher education as well as our cultural icons from the sports and entertainment worlds have been riding the wave of America-bashing because it plays well among the pseudo-intellectual liberal class. Think of Obama’s erstwhile spiritual mentor, a minister, who announced loudly, “Not God bless America, God damn America!”
The mind set from grade school to university and in most print and electronic media outlets is that America is passé, it’s racist, misogynist and worse.
They have un-learned history. They have been taught a revisionist, Marxist view of society. They will continue to destroy, for this is all they know how to do. There is a baby & bath water analogy here.
The only remedy is to focus on genuine learning, tossing the touchy-feely efforts to create “safe spaces” and tolerance for everyone and everything, which leads to chaos.
Rational thought must trump “diversity”, particularly when diversity has taken on an Orwellian tone, where all animals are diverse, but some are more diverse than others. There are in fact “good ideas” and “bad ideas”. Praising diversity in ethnicity, provenance, skin color, sexual-orientation, gender-identity, religious affiliation, etc., while squelching debate on certain topics or viewpoints [as these are considered “triggers”) is one such example of a very bad idea.
Democracy and the marketplace (including free speech!) help us filter the good from the bad. Most ideas are mediocre, some are really good. And some are really bad. And if we can’t (or are afraid to) debate some “hot-iron” subjects, we will all be worse off for it. Shame on the cowards who know better, but don’t want to stand out in the crowd as “non-compliant”. Instead, they’ve become complicit.
Until the US Citizenry re-discovers what made America unique (de-Tocqueville’s 19th C observations) and returns to its roots regarding freedom of speech, accountability of public leaders and critical thought, the downward spiral will continue. This is an existential crisis.
Classical Education is American Education. Learning Latin and Greek gives you an amazing understanding of English and is the way the founders learned. Teaching Latin and Greek as part of a classical education is Very different than sending your kids to Spanish or Japanese Immersion school.
I would argue Classical Education is the MOST American way to educate your Children. The Public school model we employ and championed by Horace Mann is designed on the Prussian model which is a very serious issue for our childrens capacity for free thought
Interesting observations. While I see this as a continuation of the trend away from the public school system (to more private-, or charter-schools, to home-schooling, to smaller classes, focused on the needs of the students (as opposed to the desires of the teachers)), I see a separate aspect here as well: the apparent ascribing of importance to other cultures (even ‘exotic’ ones), despite the parents themselves having little or no connection to the same.
This is different than sending your children to take violin or tennis lessons, even if the parents only played the recorder or baseball. The provocative suggestion in the highlight, a desire to ‘distance’ one’s family from the rest of their countrymen, may explain part of it. But I think there’s more to it: a growing realization that the American education “system” (including the ex-curricula ‘social life’) is not bringing children to a point where they are prepared for the “real world”, nor it is conducive to their offspring achieving their personal potential in a broad holistic sense: academic, cultural, spiritual, emotional, social.
Perhaps some of the Chinese or Japanese immersion, absent any cultural or personal connection is akin to sending one’s three year old to ballet, polo or fencing classes (I.e., aspiration by the parents to elevate their social standing vicariously through their offspring), but equally possible is the realization by more and more individuals that their non-American counterparts are, broadly speaking, better educated, better equipped and less susceptible to clichés & group think.
In short, the American education system is failing its students. And people are realizing it.
Absolutely spot-on! It’s truly a sad, desperate state of affairs when American parents feel so overwhelmingly compelled, so disaffected by the powers that be in US schooling and overall zeitgeist writ large here that they have to send their child to a foreign language immersion school on the slim chance that in so doing it will somehow bring back the traditional role of parental respect and authority present 30 years ago!
Buckle up kiddos and for the love of everything that’s holy, righteous, true and honorable VOTE straight Conservative Republican across the board in EVERY dadgum election going forward! I don’t care how much you hate this or that about Conservatives! These are OUR children that these evil parasites on the Left are championing hacking sexual body parts off on a whim, sterilizing with puberty blockers, chemically castrating with Lupron the drug given to serial rapists, convincing our kids they can just randomly change their gender and brainwashing the children to ignore their parents’ authority! I could go on and on but you’ll NEVER see any of this sick, twisted madness happening from the Right....EVER!
Women will NEVER get pregnant and a boy will always have XY chromosomes and a girl XX. Period!
This dark black cloud of ‘woke’ gender theory, pro-BLM, anti-police, Marxist ESG(environmental, social, governance) crazed DA’s making criminals the victims, SEL(social emotional learning) are all evil existential threats to both us now but the entire lineage of our families for the rest of time! The most effective way you can exorcise this rapidly growing cancer from our society is to vote like hell in every election from local school board to sheriffs to DA’s to Congress to President - EVERY position matters starting at the bottom most importantly!
Again, vote in EVERY election from bottom to top like your, your children’s and your grandchildren’s lives depend on it.......CAUSE THEY DO!
I am a mom to 9 year old twins. I can't tell you how hard it is to find families to socialize with who hold our same values. Our children go to a parochial school, and have for the last 6 years of their life. The disengagement we see in parents is extraordinary. My husband and I are first generation Americans, and we are raising our children in an old school fashion. They do not get an allowance for chores, they are expected to help around the house, they are bilingual (as are we), they don't have phones or tablets, we make them play outside and instill in them a high value for education, not just in the academic sense but also in the common. We eat dinners as a family to discuss our day and talk all the time. We have not put a heavy emphasis on extra carriculars to this point because we feel that cultivating their souls and moral code is much more important. We feel alone in many ways but have found one family that is similar to us. The rest have decided that phones, tablets and games are a much easier way to raise their children. Seeing the effects of this is very sad for us but the reality is, there is very little one can do modify this behavior. A friend recently stopped taking to me after I told her that giving her 10 year old a phone with social media had been a bad decision on her part.
As a recent immigrant (late 20s) now working overseas my kids are in dual language household where I speak foreign language most of the time while my husband (American born) sticks to English. We sent our 7 year old to my parents in Europe for seven weeks six of which he spent in the local school/summer camp (stem, crafts, golf, horseback riding, hiking, museum and other cultural visits). Grandparents’ English is basic so he quickly switched to local and made lots of friends at camp in addition to the ones he made when we spent three years working in the country (local Montessori had instruction in English, German, and local language).
Sorry to say but a nation that permits itself to be ruled by a palpably senile and corrupt imbecile is no longer a serious nation. A nation that permits a sitting US senator to warn “Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,” is no longer a nation that values or cares about truth or liberty. A nation that permits its youth to be inundated with filth and depravity is not a nation that values its children. Isn't it long past time we all grew up and started acting like adults? And smiting the left that is composed of nothing but churlish, big and ugly children who never grew up.
I'm a first gen American, my wife is from a lower income family. Since I'm in the military our kids started school in Japan and the international schools there. Once we got back to the states we looked forward to putting our kids into the public school system, as we're both successful products of the turn of the century public schools in Texas. I went to one School Board meeting at our new duty station in Fairfax county, VA and we are no longer a public school family.
This is fascinating. My husband and I are both immigrants and fear generational decline in our children. I can’t emulate the home I grew up in as my parents wanted me to integrate fully into American society. Lately I’ve noticed so many of my friends trying to get citizenship in Europe or their grandparents’ countries in case they need to leave, digging up old birth certificates and hoping it will be enough. I always loved this country but even we have been discussing where else we might need to go. It breaks my heart but what you say about American kids (and the adults they grow into) is very true.
Such an interesting article. My son recently graduated from an all boys boarding school where upwards of 40% of the students are foreign born. My husband and I pulled him out of the local highly-regarded public high school which was providing a poor education before COVID and no education after, hoping to give him a better education (i.e., one where he actually learned something and where he wasn’t penalized for having opinions). We got that and more. Our son was happy, engaged, made friends quickly and maintained A averages in all of his classes. We found ourselves hosting many of his friends at our house over long weekends. These boys came from all over the world - Kenya, Spain, Germany, Israel, Guatemala, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, China, Mexico, England - and most were from poor or modest backgrounds but they all shared the common trait of being decent people. Unlike the students at our local public high school, the students at the private school were kind, friendly and driven. Our son thrived in this environment. In our private discussions, my husband and I concluded that the influence of the foreign students at this school took the negative culture of American schools out of this school. It was refreshing!!! I put this out there for anyone reading this article who may be looking for education alternatives for their children - you don’t have to send your children to a foreign country to get the benefits of removing them from an American culture gone awry. There are options in the US.
Time to get back to basics with children…the leftist ideology has infiltrated every aspect of society- which includes undermining the authority of family and trying to destroy it. They want the children. That is why there is such a push against men in society, they are traditionally the protectors of society and family, leftist don’t want any man standing up to all of nonsense. Susan
Bizarre mention of Aliyah in this article without mention of the Hebrew language. Most American Jews teach their children the Hebrew language at least up until and including their Bar or Bat Mitzvah where they can read out of the Torah directly. As far as Aliyah, don’t know why you inserted it here, but many Jews who make Aliyah have some knowledge of Hebrew when thy become Israeli citizens so this is an a GOOD example of Americans teaching children a foreign language connected to their heritage.
On a personal note, my daughter learned Latin. I thought it would serve her well to know the roots of the English language.
Learning another language is good for the brain. Even learning to read music at a young age. Try learning French at 40.