A fun part of home school is participation in important local events and the chance to view national current events as they happen.
Today we scheduled time to watch President Ahmadinejad speak at Columbia University. The kids had been following the controversy concerning his visit with interest. We have Iranian friends. and the kids know what life was like for these folks before they immigrated to Houston.
Teaching about antisemitism, homophobia, sexism, and religious intolerance isn't always easy. There are plenty of examples in our own neighborhood, but the children are sheltered from the worst of it. The biggest surprise for them was that President Ahmadinejad didn't look or sound particularly dangerous. He seemed sincere most of the time. They laughed aloud at his claim that there were no gay Iranians. Could anyone be taken seriously when they talked like this? It was amusing to them until they realized the question had been about the execution of Iranian citizens for their sexual orientation. Then came revelations... complaints against the Zionist State, assurances that Jews were well treated, insistence that the Holocaust required further study to find the truth, and assurances of the good fortune of Iranian women, and the justice of capital punishment for drug dealers.
We have a good friend who returned home to Iran for a funeral not long ago. At the airport wind blew her scarf off. Before she could retrieve it, two soldiers had her trapped and one pointed a gun at her head. Her husband covered her with his jacket while their eight year old daughter cried. She didn't speak Persian and didn't fully understand why it was so important that "Mommy dress like Grandma." Oh, a paradise for women.....
Have any of you read, Reading Lolita in Tehran?