As I’ve mentioned before, my family homeschools.
I’ve done a lot of research and planning to ensure that I give my children the best education I can, but with the passage in the Utah State House of Representative Draxler’s Mining literacy bill today, I’m concerned that there might be a major gap in my kids’ education. The bill allocates money (from a fund paid for by the oil and gas industry for reclaiming abandoned wells) to develop curriculum explaining the positive side of the oil and gas industry.
From the article linked above:
“The critical reason [for the bill] is balance,” Draxler told TPM in an interview. “I believe that the development of natural resources sometimes gets an unjust black eye.”
“They are being taught a lot about recycling and conservation and global warming,” he said, adding that he did not oppose students learning about those things. “But very few of them know about the petroleum industry and the mining industry.”
Shoot, I teach my kids about recycling and the benefits of car-light travel, but what about the relatively tiny environmental impact of drilling an oil well or mining coal through mountaintop removal? They’re only hearing the bad parts, especially with the media going on and on about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (not to mention the two oil spills we’ve had here in Salt Lake in the past year). Where’s the balance?
I’m going to try to get some industry-funded curriculum about the environmental impacts of mining for our homeschool. Maybe I can even attend a workshop to help me better teach the subject, like Draxler wants to have available for public school teachers.
While I’m at it, I’m going to have Nestle USA give us information about fighting childhood obesity for our nutrition curriculum. With products ranging from artificial baby milk to frozen pizza to non-dairy creamer, Nestle is a company that knows about obesity.
I wonder if I can get someone in the auto industry to develop curriculum about the benefits of individual automobile travel compared to taking public transportation.
Choosing to homeschool my children has put them at a decided disadvantage academically, but with a little effort, I think I can give them the same high-quality education they would otherwise receive from our public schools.
Now to order the Coke machine for in our kitchen.