At the College (actually we are now a University--it's official!) where I teach, we have an increasing number of students who are "dual-enrollment." That means they are taking college courses as part of their high school program. Some are home schooled; others are from public and private schools. I have a couple from the local public school in my Latin class, and I must say they are lovely, polite and very dedicated. One in particular seems to enjoy the class, and she and I have talked about her other coursework at the high school. I was of course interested in hearing about her AP literature course. I was appalled by the books that she had to read--and I actually said something when she mentioned William Golding's 1954 atrocity, Lord of the Flies. Really????? I said to this young lady that were she my daughter, I would have something to say about that. I try not to speak badly about the schools and their godless choices when I am talking to someone still involved, but I couldn't keep my mouth shut in this instance. But I did tone it down a little, saying that there are so many great literary works out there that have a better view of human character--these works inspire the best in us rather than magnify and almost champion the very basest of behavior.
What about Robinson Crusoe, Captains Courageous, Ivanhoe, Treasure Island, . . .
The list goes on and on. These books are full of action, adventure, character and yes, great literary merit. But that's the whole point, isn't it? Literary merit is not the issue--worldview is.
As I have probably said before, after the death of Constantine and his immediate successors, a young man rose to the rank of Emperor in Rome. His name was Julian and he has since been labled "Julian the Apostate." He had been raised as a Christian, but rejected the Lord Like the serpent in the Garden, he was more subtle. Rather than outlaw Christianity in the Empire, he simply made it illegal for Christians to teach! He knew the power of education in shaping the next generation.
Thankfully, Julian was in power just about 3 years, and his changes were reversed.
I don't have the same hope for the schools today--but the homeschool movement is making a change in the culture. How long will it be before the government tries to force its own curriculum on those educated by their parents?