If your kids don’t know these things, it’s time you seriously considered educational alternatives for your child. And please don’t say you can’t afford it, because you can’t afford not to. If you love your children, take them out of public school, find a good private/parochial school, homeschool, or simply keep them at home. They’ll learn a lot more watching Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune than spending seven hours a day in a government-run holding tank for the children of dysfunctional parents.
Below are subject matters that my peers and I learned between the ages of 10-17. These issues and facts were taught during the 60s and 70s. Minorities had no problems learning these things. Why do they have problems with them now ? It’s called the “soft racism of low expectations.”
Ask your children or grandchildren these questions. If they can’t answer a good many of them, your children are the victims of child abuse.
Who invented the cotton gin?
The steamboat ?
The electric lightbulb?
The sewing machine?
Can you identify all 50 states from a map of the United States? And name their capitals?
Can you identify most of the countries on a world map ? And name their capitals?
Can you diagram a sentence?
Do you know the grammar rules governing the use of “less vs. fewer?” Punctuation ? When to use an apostrophe ? Semicolon ? Quotation marks ? Capitalization? Proper syntax?
I heard through the grapevine that there are eighth-graders who still don’t their multiplication tables. I find the appalling. Can you quickly recite the multiplication tables? Like, right now.
Can you discuss the significance and meaning of the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and U.S. Constitution?
Can you name five major figures of the Renaissance? The Enlightenment?
Can you name Christopher Columbus’ three ships?
When was Julius Caesar assassinated? Date and year.
Can you briefly discuss the early American settlements at Plymouth and Jamestown? What drew these early settlers to risk life and limb to come here? Remember–there were no food stamps, no welfare checks, and no Section 8 housing.
When did the Pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock?
Can you name the major battles of the War of Independence? Which war preceded the War of Independence that, in fact, helped set the stage for the War of Independence?
Can you prove that a triangle is 180 degrees?
Can you prove that alternate exterior angles are equal?
Can you name the formula of the Pythagorean Theorem?
Can you name the formula of Einstein’s theory of relativity?
Can you cite the four rights enshrined in the First Amendment?
Can you name your Natural Rights? HINT: There are three.
Can you name the seven continents?
Can you name the two major mountain ranges in the United States?
Can you name the seven parts of speech?
Can you name the seven auxiliary verbs?
Can you name the seven figures of speech?
Do you know the “rule of three” in mathematics? Can you explain it ?
Have you read any of the following—A Tale of Two Cities, any Shakesperean plays, Oliver Twist, Wuthering Heights, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, The Last of the Mohicans, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, Little Women, Scarlet Letter, The Red Badge of Courage, The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Democracy in America ? If not, can you at least name the authors of these classics ?
Do you know the difference between a peninsula and isthmus?
Can you briefly discuss the Protestant Reformation, Counterreformation? Can you name the major players of these historic periods?
Who is Charlemagne and why is he important? On which day was he crowned the first Holy Roman Emperor and what was the name of the crown?
Can you discuss the Age of Discovery? Columbus, Pizarro, de Leon, Sir Walter Raleigh, Sir Francis Drake, Magellan, Balboa ? What can you say about these conquistadores and explorers?
Can you identify at least five major figures of the Enlightenment ? Can you identify the generally accepted years during which the Enlightenment took place? What was the significance of the period? Explain its impact on our own history?
Our country is routinely called a democracy. This is soooo incorrect. Our Founding Fathers loathed the idea of democracy, likening it to the “rule of the mob.” Which term correctly describes our form of government?
What is a synonym? An antonym ? A homonym?
Do you know when to use there, their, and they’re ? Your and you’re ?
Do you know the formulae for converting Fahrenheit to Celsius and vice versa?
Can you name the planets? In order of their distance from the sun ?
Can you name the oceans ?
What was the first battle/act of aggression in the War of Northern Aggression (i.e. Civil War) ?
Can you name the Great Lakes ? In order of size ?
Which treaty codified the nation-state system in which we still live ? Which war did the treaty end ? When?
Can you recite the Preamble to the Constitution? The Presidential Oath of Office ?
Who wrote the Declaration of Independence? Whose signature appears boldly as the first signatory?
Can you recite your ABCs? Count from one to 10?
I could go on and on. But these are just the basics of grammar, mathematics, and history that all of us were required to learn while attending school in the 60s and 70s. Minorities were required to learn these things, and did. I don’t recall any minorities struggling with these things. If memory serves me correctly, I learned and retained most of these things before I had completed middle school.