Public Schools --- Why On Earth Do We Need Them?Written by Joel Turtel
From time Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620 until 1850s, most parents taught their children to read at home or sent their children to small private or religious grammar schools. Education was voluntary and local governments did not force parents to send their children to state-controlled schools. Yet, literacy rates in colonial America were far higher than they are today.
In 1765, John Adams wrote that “a native of America, especially of New England, who cannot read and write is as rare a Phenomenon as a Comet.”1 Jacob Duche, chaplain of Congress in 1772, said of his countrymen, “Almost every man is a reader.”2 Daniel Webster confirmed that product of home education was near-universal literacy when he stated, “a youth of fifteen, of either sex, who cannot read and write, is very seldom to be found.”3
After Revolutionary War, literacy rates continued to rise in all colonies. There were many affordable, innovative local schools parents could send their children to. Literacy data from that early period show that from 1650 to 1795, literacy rate among white men rose from 60 to 90 percent. Literacy among women went from 30 to 45 percent. 4
In early 1800s, Pierre Samuel Dupont, an influential French citizen who helped Thomas Jefferson negotiate for Louisiana Purchase, came to America and surveyed education here. He found that most young Americans could read, write, and “cipher” (do arithmetic), and that Americans of all ages could and did read Bible. He estimated that fewer than four Americans in a thousand were unable to write neatly and legibly. 5 (See Note references in my book, "Public Schools, Public Menace")
Picky Eaters - The Dawn of UnderstandingWritten by Jason Katzenback
"In general my children refuse to eat anything that hasn't danced on television." (Erma Bombeck, 1927-1996)
Once upon a time not so very long ago, you probably envisioned that your children would be good, healthy eaters while growing up. Naturally, they would like everything you placed before them on dinner table, and would beg for seconds and sometimes thirds. However, because you are reading this article, that lovely bubble has most likely popped and disintegrated into mess you may find yourself cleaning off floor, table, or wherever your delicious entrees happen to land thanks to your picky eaters.
Keeping up with your child’s picky eating preferences can be frustrating, especially when one week he or she will only eat peanut-butter sandwiches, and next cheese-covered French fries. Then, when he or she develops nasty habit of putting catsup on everything - including ice cream – you may think you have reached ultimate level of gross-out.
Do not despair because eventually your picky eater child will become bored with that food of choice and move on to something else!
Many children undergo a period of highly selective eating, commonly referred to as “picky eaters.” The reality is that all children (not just what you might consider a picky eater child) do not have same taste buds as adults. Instead, their palates are undeveloped and may be more sensitive to different textures, flavors, and spices.