For dif'rent folks
I appreciate WORLD more with every issue, and the May/June special issue was very meaty and timely. Susan Olasky's "Dif'rent strokes" article struck a chord with me and confirmed my belief that the "perfect" Christian school is the one best suited to the particular student, in spite of any school's inevitable failings or gleaming successes. - Kirk Bailey, Hartford, Wis.
The article by Molly Powell ("You're not in it alone," May/June) on homeschooling her four boys was great, but some families have special-needs children they are homeschooling, so a whole different approach, curriculum, and timeline is needed. I have struggled for three years working with my special-needs child. We plan our activities and academics in 20-minute cycles with exercise in between because that's all my special-needs child can attend to. - Lisa Stem, Davis, Okla.
Leave them out
Mrs. LaHaye advocates a huge increase in the federal spending for special education ("Federal role: Staying out of the way," May/June). Never mind that the funding to cover 80 percent of the cost of special education must first be taken from the citizens in the first place via taxes, and much of that will be simply wasted on the federal bureaucracy. How much better it would be to leave the federal government out of special-ed funding. Let the states and local communities work to help the disabled students in their own areas. - Carrie Rostollan, Warren, Mich.
Spread the WORLD
You have outdone yourselves with your special issue on "Ideal schools." This issue calls for wider circulation, and I, for one, intend to order copies to present to each member of our school board, each school principal, and to our superintendent of schools. - Beulah Williamson, Dexter, Mich.
Thank you for the good work on your special issue on "Ideal schools." As a pastor in the Sacramento area, I minister to church families of all three groups: homeschoolers, private schoolers, and public schoolers. I was able to glean much helpful information to share with all three groups as they seek to improve the quality of their educational choices. - Jim Tillman, Roseville, Calif.
I can see the value of learning a language-every educated person should know another language-but I can't see why it should be Latin ("That's a classic," May/June). Why waste a child's language learning years on a dead language? Also, you emphasized academic subjects. I don't see how anyone in our society could be considered educated who doesn't know what is under an automobile hood or doesn't have a basic knowledge of carpentry, electricity, and plumbing. - Robert J. Otto, Crystal, N.D.
The other side
In response to those who contend it is all the consumer's fault when financial troubles occur after the use of credit cards, I would ask them to walk in someone else's shoes ("The come-on," March 17). My husband was injured on the job 10 years ago, leaving us unemployed for almost three years. An income of $88-$140 a week, a growing family, car repairs, etc., left us unable to pay for school and property taxes. Since both sets of our parents are dead and we received virtually no counseling from the Christian community, we resorted to credit cards. Perhaps it wasn't right, and some brilliant, wise mind could have advised us differently, but nobody did. Somehow we had to care for our children, and we did what we felt we had to do. We have been close to bankruptcy but so far, with God's help, have succeeded in avoiding it. My husband has a new career, and we are moving ahead slowly. I hope no other readers ever endure what we had to go through, but if you do I pray that you don't receive the same judgment from the body of Christ that we did. - Janine Iversen, Franklin, N.Y.
WORLD's May 12 book page listed the five best-selling fiction hardbacks.
The Baltimore restaurant that Dallas pastor Tony Evans recalls as refusing to serve blacks in the 1950s was the White Tower (April 21, p. 21). - The Editors
I found the May/June special issue on education, "Ideal schools," to be very good. We have a daughter and daughter-in-law who are homeschooling for many of the reasons mentioned in the different articles. Until those running the education establishment start to believe that everyone can be an achiever, there won't be much good coming out of public education. I grew up in the 1930s and '40s when teachers still believed in right from wrong, and there were consequences for bad behavior from the teacher-and also when you got home. Many of the problems in today's schools occur because parents expect the school systems to be responsible for the education of the students, when it is the parents who need to take responsibility. - Kermit Gill, Idaho Falls, Idaho
Your "Ideal schools" special issue was a goldmine of balanced insight into education. As a retired teacher of public, private, and homeschool experiences I was most interested to see articulated many reasons for failure that I was never able to put into words. I'm passing it on to an already excellent principal to aid in her battle for the minds and characters of the children under her care. - Patience Laws, Dallas, Texas
You can, too
How wonderful that Harvard-educated Molly Powell wants the job of teaching her children at home. However, I hope other parents won't be discouraged by a lack of similar education. Studies by homeschool researcher Brian Ray suggest that the level of parental education has little or no bearing on their children's success in homeschooling. - Susan Potter, Charlotte, Mich.
I disagree with your characterization of attention deficit disorder as foisted on society by schools greedy for federal funds (Timeline, May/June). Such a superficial depiction ignores the realities faced by children with neurological disorders and their families. My son has Tourette syndrome, which causes motor and verbal tics, attention deficit, obsessive thinking, and almost constant nervousness. He looks normal and is loving and obedient most of the time, so many people misunderstand his symptoms. With public-school special education, a Christian psychologist, and hard work he has gained more self-control in four months than with years of Christian school and "old-fashioned discipline." Medication helps a little but is not a cure-all, and we don't treat it that way. While I agree that children should not be drugged into submission, please recognize that some have real needs. - Stephen Bell, Stafford, Va.
See with humility
I would defend to the end the right of parents to decide how their children are educated, but I think Mike Farris is correct that homeschoolers must not "let arrogance blind them to the need to get better" ("Aim high(er)," May/June). As a teacher in Christian schools for 21 years, I have observed that many homeschooled students do very well in our classes, but for a substantial number "homeschool" meant "poor school" or even, in worst case scenarios, almost "no school." Too often, regardless of scores on standardized tests, the grades of many of these young people drop when they are enrolled in a traditional school. Many formerly homeschooled young people need extensive affirmation, and they have difficulty adjusting to the demands of an impartial teacher instead of a parent who tailors the curriculum to fit not only their needs, but often also their individual likes and dislikes. - Ann K. Bailes, Anderson, S.C.
The issue on education was tremendous. - Jim Osman, Sandpoint, Idaho
You often print letters from readers canceling their subscriptions who have been offended by some gross ugliness you have revealed, or who have found something offensive in your words. But we are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth; light reveals ugly flaws, and salt stings open wounds. - Billy Johnson, Natchez, Miss.
I received your magazine last year for my birthday and am a huge fan now. WORLD provides me with a biblical worldview for current events. I am unable to get this comprehensive information anywhere else. I have a teenage son, and the reviews help us make wise decisions about TV, movies, books, music, and games. My only complaint is that you don't offer more reviews. - Linda McCulloch, Colorado Springs, Colo.