Long-time followers know that I am not much of a fan of social media. However, sometimes you learn some interesting things from participating in Facebook homeschooling groups.
Today, I responded to a woman who was ranting on Facebook about Memoria Press’s history curriculum. Specifically, she wanted to know why Memoria Press “deified” the Founding Fathers and did not go in depth about their owning slaves. It’s a grievance that is fairly well-known in American society these days among the crowd that dismisses American exceptionalism and western civilization.
What I found interesting about this particular complaint, however, was that the person wanted to disparage western civilization while simultaneously pretending to use a classical education curriculum for homeschooling. A classical education, after all, is a celebration of western civilization.
This lady losing her marbles online was not the end of the story though.
Another commentator explained to me that many of the parents using Memoria Press curricula were not homeschoolers at all, but parents at charter schools that were required to be secular because they receive taxpayer dollars. Those are taxpayer dollars that get funneled to Memoria Press.
These parents had no idea that Memoria Press – ostensibly a Catholic homeschooling and private school publisher – was even intended to provide a Christian education. In their experience, there are no references to Christ in their education materials. Hence they are shocked when they detect the trappings of cultural conservatism in their textbooks.
The parent referred me to Memoria Press’s shadow website, called “Memoria Press Charter.” This was certainly news to me. The administrators from Memoria Press quickly deleted her comments and mine in the feed. It was super weird. I decided to go check out the website she was talking about. And now I understand why.
Every reference to God or Christianity is gone. All those magazines and articles that Memoria Press cranks out every month about God and character being essential to education… Yeah, gone. Apparently not so essential when a stream of government money is at stake. You have to serve somebody, as they say. The Great Books are totally a substitute for Jesus if you pay enough.
Here’s what homeschoolers see – “a familiarity with the Bible is essential to understanding Western culture”:
Welcome to Memoria Press Charter – who needs the Bible, anyway:
I love Greek and Roman culture, but it is frankly kind of amusing that they see two pagan civilizations as being on par with studying Scripture.
I have been saying for a while that the influx of people choosing private education during the pandemic would not be a net positive for the homeschooling community and you could already see the rush to sell out. But see how dispensable God is in these folks’ worldview?
But more interesting than this, when I tried simply asking someone on the Memoria Press Facebook group to confirm that the community was seeing an influx of secular homeschoolers and that was probably a source of division, the administrators banned my comment (really big supporters of free speech over there, so much western civilization-ing happening). Why? Because they thought my comment was intended to sow controversy.
Here is the (functionally illiterate, I might add) response I received from Memoria Press administrators:
They don’t actually want Christian homeschoolers to know they have a godless subsidiary, and that, no, they don’t actually think teaching children about God is essential. That’s their idea of controversy. Let that sink in.
You might see that and decide to take your money to a publisher that does.
I had $1,000 of items in my cart at Memoria Press when I had this Facebook exchange. You can see from my screenshots that I am buying my content from a publisher that is not embarrassed of whom they serve.
At some point, the school choice advocates become the public school advocates they loathe, and for the same reason – money.
This is a period of time when the wheat are being separated from the chaff. When folks tell you who they are, pay attention.