(The article below is an excerpt from Sam’s book How to Tutor. A link to an PDF version: http://blumenfeld.campconstitution.net/Books/How%20To%20Tutor.pdf )
The art of tutoring is as old as education itself. In the early days,
before the Industrial Revolution, before there was such a thing as
mass education, children were taught the basic educational skills
by tutors, or in very small schoolhouses. The wealthy hired tutors
not only to instruct their children in the necessary skills of
reading and writing, but also to provide a proper moral up bringing. The hiring of a tutor was considered a very important
business. John Locke, the English philosopher and educator,
writing in the 17th century, described the difficult problem of finding a good tutor who, he insisted, should have “sobriety, temperance, tenderness, diligence, and discretion,” qualities he considered as “hardly to be found united in persons that are to be had
for ordinary salaries nor easily to be found anywhere.” He explained further:
The great difficulty will be where to find a proper person. For
those of small age, parts, and virtue are unfit for this employment; and those that have greater will hardly be got to undertake such a charge. You must therefore look out early and enquire everywhere, for the world has people of all sorts …. If
you find it difficult to meet with such a tutor as we desire, you
are not to wonder. I only can say, spare no care nor cost to get
such an one. All things are to be had that way, and I dare assure
you that if you can get a good one, you will never repent the
charge but will always have the satisfaction to think it the
money of all other the best laid out.
Of course, the kind of tutors John Locke wrote about (the tutors
who served the aristocracy of preindustrial times) are not the
kind needed today. The tutoring we need is of a much more
limited kind, resembling the situation of a person who gives piano
lessons. Yet, even tutors on this limited scale must have certain
qualities which make them successful in their tutoring. If you intend to tutor children you should be fond of children, have enormous patience, be affectionate, and understand the young mind:
its eagerness, its curiosity, its tendency to wander from the difficult problems at hand, and its resistance to required effort. So, it
does take considerable skill to teach a child. The three most important ingredients of good tutoring, however, are patience, an
understanding of the young mind, and a knowledge of the subject
you are teaching.
Children also have very strong egos. Their desire to succeed is
very great, and success in learning is important to their self-esteem. Therefore, they must be taught in very gradual steps, so
that success is assured by the simplicity of what is taught. Never
show impatience if the child does not catch on. There may be
something in the way you are presenting the subject, or some distraction on the part of the child, or some slowness in the child’s
ability to understand what you are driving at. Perhaps the child
has not fully digested the previous lesson. It may even be
necessary to go one step backward before you can take the next
two steps forward.
The child’s self-esteem is as fragile as his constitution. You
would not expect him to carry a heavier weight than his physical
strength permitted. Likewise, you must not expect him to understand something too complex for his young mind to grasp. And
you must not expect him to learn easily or well if the methods you
use are illogical, confusing, or poorly thought-out. We teach the
complex by breaking it down into smaller, simpler parts. That is
the method we have used in the program of instruction in this
book. We start with the simplest and most elementary parts,
make sure the child learns them, and proceed from there. In each
section of the book you will find more precise instruction for the
subject to be taught.
Who is qualified to be a tutor? Anyone willing and able to do the
job can tutor. If you are a parent with a high school education, you
are eminently qualified to teach the basic program in this book to
your own child-provided you have the time and patience to do so.
If you are a high school or college student you may also qualify if
you can follow the instructions in this book, relate well to
children, and understand their learning problems. Retired
teachers, of course, make excellent tutors, adapting their years of
schoolroom experience to the tutoring situation. And finally,
there is that large category of married women with college educations who, for one reason or another, do not pursue full-time
careers, but have the time, the energy, and the desire to offer
tutoring services at home for a few hours a day. For such women,
tutoring can indeed be an excellent way of supplementing the
family income as well as performing a valuable, needed service
for the community.
If you charge five dollars an hour and tutor
four children a day, that will provide you with one hundred
dollars for a five-day week. That one hundred dollars can be used
to pay a lot of bills. Of course, you must declare that income on
your income tax return, but you can also deduct all the expenses
involved in earning that money. Such expenses would include advertising, materials, books, pencils, paper, blackboards, phone
calls, postage, and other expenses incurred in earning that money,
including, incidentally, the cost of this book. If you set aside a
small room in your house for tutoring, you can deduct all the costs
of maintaining that room, namely electricity, heat, and a portion
of your total rent.
It is not necessary to have had formal teaching experience to
become a good tutor. If you have enjoyed reading to children and
answering their questions, then you should enjoy tutoring. With
the proper instructional materials, anyone who enjoys children
can become a good tutor.
How do you find children who need tutoring? In a small community, word of mouth is the best way. A small sign in front of
your house, a short, classified advertisement in the local paper, or
a notice on the bulletin board of a laundromat or supermarket are
some of the ways to make your services known to the community.
Also, if you have done school teaching in the past, your friends in
the school system (teachers, advisors, administrators) might be of
some help in locating children who need tutoring. You might even
type up a promotional letter explaining that you specialize in
tutoring preschoolers. Have it multilithed and mail it out to
families and schools in the area. You might make your services
known to women’s clubs, or parent-teacher associations in the
area. And, of course, there are the “yellow pages.”
How much to charge depends on how great the demand is for
your time and the parents’ ability to pay. An hourly fee of
between three and ten dollars can be charged. You might start at
the lowest practical fee until your tutoring skills are perfected
and your reputation established. By then you should have more
requests for your services than you can handle. You might then be
justified in charging a higher fee. If you find that you can success fully tutor more than one child at a time, you might still charge
the same fee but increase your income by tutoring more than one
child in one hour.
The Art of Tutoring
The art of tutoring, like any other art, is learned in the doing. To
be really good at it requires some special personality traits, skills,
and sensitivity. The one-to-one relationship brings you into direct,
personal contact with the pupil. There is always some tension,
some anxiety in a relationship of that proximity. The way you
relieve that tension and anxiety is to make the child feel that he or
she is liked. You might start out by saying something nice about
the child’s appearance. You should also let the child know that he
is in for an interesting time, that both of you are going to enjoy
the hour you spend together. If you are tutoring in your home,
choose a well-lighted, bright part of the house for the instruction
area. Treat the child with courtesy, helping him (or her) off with
his (or her) coat. Show that you are glad to see him. All of this is
to make the child receptive to your instruction and to put him at
Since you both will be sitting together, have two chairs and a
table on which you can spread out the instructional materials.
You should also have an upright blackboard. You might
sometimes find it easier to explain things by the use of such a
blackboard in conjunction with side-by-side instruction. Be flexible. The instructional materials in this book can be used with as
much flexibility as the situation requires. See what works and see
what doesn’t. Each child is different, and you will find that an approach that works with one child may not work with another. The
most important point to remember is that each child is an individual and that you will have to work with him in order to find
the approach that suits him best. Each child brings to the tutoring
experience a different amount of knowledge, a different attitude
toward learning, and a different attitude toward the tutor. The
expert tutor knows how to adapt himself to the personality of the
In the tutoring situation the child is relieved of the problem of
competing with others in the classroom. But at the same time, he
wants to make a good impression with the tutor. Anyone who
comes for instruction, whether it be a child or an adult, is sensitive to the fact that he is inferior to the instructor in the area of
knowledge in which he is to be instructed. The child who does not
know how to read may not think of himself as an illiterate, but he
does know that he lacks a skill which every child slightly older
than him already has. He is sensitive about his intelligence and his
ability to learn. He badly wants to succeed and can be easily disappointed if he falters. Therefore, it is important to pace your instruction according to the child’s ability to learn. It is also important to give him a pat on the back when he learns well. In feeling
out the child’s abilities and general understanding, be patient,
affectionate, and maintain a sense of humor. Never scold, never
show anger, never show impatience.
Plan each lesson in advance. Know the material you are going
to cover. Get to the instruction once the child has settled down. Do
not waste time. Get the child absorbed in the learning process so
that he does not have a chance to be distracted. After you explain
something to him, have him do it, write it, or read it. This gives
him a chance to absorb what he has been taught and to use his
hands and fingers or express his thoughts verbally. If, during the
lesson the child seems overly restless and inattentive, try to find
out the cause. Are you going too fast or too slow? Is your approach
too dry? Perhaps a short break for a drink of water might be
In order to maintain the appropriate pace of instruction, you
will have to be sensitive to the child’s rate of learning. It is better
to give him a little more of what you think he can learn than less.
By giving him more, you don’t give him a chance to be bored. In
addition, by giving the child a little more to learn than his present
capacity, he becomes accustomed to the process of exerting mental effort. This is important, for although we should try to make
learning as interesting, exciting, and as pleasant as possible, there
is no escaping the fact that learning requires mental effort-mental work-and the sooner the child becomes accustomed to the
process of mental work, the sooner he will understand, appreciate and enjoy the whole process of intellectual mastery. Therefore, maintain a pace that requires the child to exert some mental
However, do not require efforts which are clearly beyond
his capacity. Reading, writing, and arithmetic require the child to
master a good deal of symbolic abstraction. Such mastery does
not occur effortlessly. But once the mind is put to work, it begins
to expand its capacity to handle even greater abstractions.
The mind works in a very remarkable way. It has the power to
integrate a great deal of new knowledge with what it already
knows, and the result is a greatly expanded understanding. The
mind seems to have a limitless ability to absorb knowledge over a
long period of time, and this ability expands with use-just as a
muscle will grow larger if it is required to lift heavier loads.
Muscle building by weightlifting is probably a perfect example
of a similar process which goes on in the brain, namely, the expansion of capacity through greater exertion and use. If a weightlifter lifts the same light weight a thousand times, it will not expand his muscle. He can only achieve this by lifting a much
heavier weight to the limits of his capacity. To go beyond his present limit requires an exertion that is painful but necessary if his
capacity is to grow to meet greater demands.
The brain’s capacity expands in the same way. It requires mental exertion of a comparable intensity to reach a higher level of
ability. No one likes mental exertion any more than he likes
physical exertion, and this is true of adults as well as children.
But such exertion, unfortunately, is necessary if the child is to
achieve any degree of mastery of the subject matter at hand.
Thus, the child should be led slowly, patiently and gradually to
understand how he must exert mental effort to acquire the skills
and knowledge necessary for him to advance scholastically. Of
course, like the muscles of the body, the brain becomes tired and
requires periods of rest and recuperation-especially after great
exertion. The tutor should be able to sense when the child’s mind
is tired and that he can learn no more during that period.
The tutor can be greatly instrumental in teaching the child the
most efficient ways of using his mind by guiding its use step by
step. The instruction in this book has been designed to give the
child a sense of order in what is being learned. The approach has
been to reduce the complex to its simplest parts, so that the child
can be led to grasp simple concepts before moving on to the more
Once the child sees the logic behind the symbolic
systems he must work with, he has taken a giant step toward intellectual development. Most of the “work” in mental exertion
consists of understanding concepts. The rest consists of either
pure rote memory, or repeated use of concepts until they become
Teaching a child the basic skills of reading, writing, and calculation is like teaching him how to swim or play the piano. The skills
to be learned require lots of practice. There is not much difference between mastering a physical skill and mastering a mental
skill. Both require effort and practice. Both use up energy. Both
have to be taught in an organized, logical way. Both can be made
exciting or dull, depending on the approach of the teacher. But the
process of mastering a physical or mental skill is an exciting one
for the student, for he looks forward to mastery with great anticipation. Swimming and playing the piano will afford him many
years of enjoyment and pleasure. Reading, writing, and calculation will afford him years of enjoyment and rewarding activity,
increasing his capacity to earn money and providing the kind of
life for himself that he will want. Thus, in teaching any basic skill
to a youngster, one must see it in terms of long-range, life-long
use. One must see it as contributing to the child’s future adult
happiness. To be concerned simply with the child’s present enjoyment of what he is doing is to shortchange him in the future. His
ability to master a skill will contribute greatly to his own self-esteem, his own sense of self-worth, and his ability to make his
way in the world with confidence. That is why it is worth taking
the time to make sure that the child masters the basic skills.
A good tutor can easily earn the everlasting gratitude of a
youngster who is having trouble learning in a crowded classroom
where his special needs and problems are ignored. But it takes
time to identify the pupil’s learning difficulty. You do this first by
finding out what the pupil actually knows. Some children are
afraid to admit that they don’t know what they think they should.
They don’t want to appear stupid. The fear of being thought
stupid or of actually being stupid is very real, and is in itself a
learning handicap. The child must get rid of this fear, and the
tutor can help him remove this fear by showing him that he can
Children who cannot learn via the deficient instruction in
school classrooms tend to blame themselves for not learning. They
are in no position to question the instructional methods being
used by their teachers. Thus, if they fail to learn they think it is
because of their own deficiency, not the instructor’s. The schools
tend to reinforce this view by insisting that there is something
wrong with the child, not the instructional methods. Books have
been written listing all the things wrong with children who cannot
learn to read via the prevalent methods being used in the classrooms of America. There are, fortunately, a few books listing the
things wrong with the methods, not the children. In The New
Illiterates http://blumenfeld.campconstitution.net/Books/New%20Illiterates.pdf I analyzed the teaching methods which have been used
to teach millions of children how to read, and I showed how deficient these methods were. I also showed how tenaciously so
many educators have clung to these methods (despite tremendous
criticism) and how detrimental they were to the children exposed
It is, of course, possible to undo the damage done by faulty
teaching methods, but it can be an extremely difficult task. Any
bad habits learned in the first and second grades are very hard to
displace with good ones. In some cases it is impossible. Some
children simply cannot unlearn these bad habits. That is why it is
so important to start the child off on a sound footing with sound
instruction. The fear of failing is the greatest handicap to learning, and a
child gets this fear only when he begins to see that he cannot cope
with the material being given him in the classroom. As a tutor,
you need never arouse the fear of failing for the simple reason
that you are free to use any method which will enable the child to
learn the concepts and skills he is being taught
If the child is normal and has an adequate vocabulary, he can learn all of the basics
with no problem at all. If the child comes to you because he is having difficulties in the classroom, try to get to the heart of the
problem. To do so you must find out the following: the methods to
which the child has been exposed in the classroom, how much he
has learned, what he knows and what he doesn’t know, and if
the child is physically normal as far as eyesight and hearing are
is important to have this preliminary information about the
child if you are to tutor him successfully. You can find out what
methods he has been exposed to by visiting the school he attends
or has attended, by talking to the teachers he has had, and by
examining the textbooks used. In the Appendix to The New
Illiterates, I listed and evaluated the most widely used reading instruction programs in this country. Check that list to see if the
child has been taught by one of the methods evaluated. If he has
been exposed to one of the deficient methods, you will have to
devise a way to overcome the bad habits learned.
The instructional materials in this book start from the beginning. They start with the assumption that the child has not as
yet been instructed in these subjects. But they can also be used
with children who have already been taught something. That is
why it is important to find out how much the child knows. You
can pace your instruction accordingly.
Before taking on the child,
you should question the parent sufficiently, so that you have an
idea of how to proceed. Here is a suggested list of questions which
will elicit the information you should have:
What is the child’s age?
What schools has he attended?
What grade is he in?
What textbooks is he using in school?
Has he had any instruction at home in the subjects to be
What instructional methods has the child been exposed to in
school and at home?
What are his present skills?
Does the child have any specific learning problem which the
tutor should be aware of?
Does the child have normal hearing and eyesight?
With that basic information, you will be in a much better position to tutor the pupil successfully.
Why Tutoring Can Succeed Where Classroom Teaching Does Not
Perhaps the most important advantage tutoring has over the
classroom situation is that the tutor can much better guide the
attention of his pupil than can the classroom teacher. He can
direct the pupil’s attention to the particular idea or knowledge to
be mastered. In a large classroom a child’s attention can easily
There are a hundred potential distractions around him.
Focusing attention requires the effort of self-control, an effort
which many children fail to make. The tutor helps the child focus
his attention by being right there beside him. He does this mainly
through dialogue, by talking directly to the pupil and eliciting
responses. In this way the tutor can assess immediately whether
the child is grasping the concepts being taught. Conversely, it
might take weeks in the classroom before the teacher could discover whether the pupil has learned what he was supposed to
If the pupil is particularly clever in hiding his ignorance, or
if the teacher is indifferent to a child’s understanding of the subject, the child’s ignorance may never be discovered. Some children
manage to get through high school completely ignorant of concepts they should have learned in the early grades-concepts
which teachers in later grades assume the child knows. Children
are often too embarrassed to admit that they lack fundamental
knowledge in some subject areas. They pretend to know when
they really don’t.
These hazards are eliminated in tutoring. The tutor keeps a
close tab on what the child knows and he does not proceed further until the child firmly grasps the ideas and knowledge he must
have in order to go on. Why is the classroom situation so non-conducive to learning? Distractions, fear of appearing ridiculous
in the competitive situation, lack of teacher attention, and the
teacher’s tendency to want to control and manipulate a whole
class rather than understand the individual student are among
the principal reasons. The teacher must teach as if all students
learn alike when it is obvious they do not. In a classroom where
children are deadly afraid of appearing stupid, they tend to give
the answers they think the teacher wants to hear. They do not
think in terms of what is objectively correct, but what will please
In tutoring, the teacher must not be interested in merely
eliciting so-called right answers, but in seeing that the pupil understands the concepts being taught. The interaction between
tutor and pupil is so close and so dynamic, that the tutor can sense
when a child has grasped a concept and when he hasn’t. If the
child doesn’t fully understand what he is being taught, the tutor
does not mark the child wrong, or score him a failure. He simply
continues to work with the child until the child does grasp the concept to be learned. The classroom teacher, however, because of the
distance between him and the pupil, has no way of knowing
whether the child has learned anything. He can only find out by
way of a test given a day, a week, or a month later-if at all. The
child sees the test as an arbitrary judgment of his intelligence. If
he fails, he feels stupid and incompetent.
In tutoring, this entire process of measuring intelligence is
avoided. The child simply does not proceed to anything more complex until the tutor is satisfied that the child has mastered the
material taught up to any given point. This is why tutoring can be
so effective. The tutor works directly with the mind of his pupil
and can sense when the pupil is learning and when he is not.
When the pupil is not learning, the tutor can immediately find out
why, make whatever adjustments are necessary, or explain things
in different, more comprehensible terms until the pupil learns.
The moment of learning comes when the pupil integrates in his
own mind the concepts or knowledge the tutor imparts. The tutor
can see if the pupil understands what he is learning by a process
very much like instant replay. Sometimes understanding does not
come all at once, but in bits and pieces. Eventually the bits and
pieces fall into place and become a comprehensible whole. This is
the learning process, and the tutor becomes intimately aware of
how it works by seeing it operate in the child right next to him.
In this process the child’s motivation is directed not merely
toward pleasing the teacher, but to pleasing himself and proving
to himself that he can master a skill, understand a concept, and
also absorb knowledge. The pupil, of course, wants the tutor’s approval, but the tutor must be clever enough to make the child feel
that important sense of satisfaction which comes from mastery of
the subject rather than from the tutor’s praise alone. Satisfaction
with self is far more important in building self-esteem and self-confidence than teacher approval. The former comes with a pleasing knowledge that one knows how to use one’s mind; the latter,
merely from an acknowledgement of good behavior.
John Holt contends that children fail in the classroom “because
they are afraid, bored, and confused.” He explains:
“They are afraid, above all else, of failing, of disappointing or displeasing the many anxious adults around them, whose limitless
hopes and expectations for them hang over their heads like a
They are bored because the things they are given and told to
do in school are so trivial, so dull, and make such limited and
narrow demands on the wide spectrum of their intelligence,
capabilities, and talents.
They are confused because most of the torrent of words that
pours over them in school makes little or no sense. It often flatly
contradicts other things they have been told, and hardly ever has
any relation to what they really know-to the rough model of
reality that they carry around in their minds.
The tutor can eliminate all three causes of failure. First, he can
eliminate the fear of failure by simply proceeding according to the
child’s own learning pace; by making sure that the child understands the concepts imparted to him, by sensing when the child is
having difficulty, and by sometimes taking one step backwards in
order to take the next two steps forward. The tutor’s sensitivity to
a child’s learning behavior permits him not only to catch the child
when he is not learning but, through an intimate, constant
dialogue between tutor and pupil, permits the child to catch
himself as he be:::ins to understand how the learning process takes
place. All learning is inner dialogue, and the tutor-pupil dialogue
is an externalization of this process. That, alone, makes tutoring a
superior learning experience because the learning process is learned,
as well as the subject matter.
The tutor can also eliminate boredom by making the process of
intellectual mastery as exciting and exhilarating as it actually is.
Nothing is more satisfying to the human being than intellectual
mastery, for the simple reason that the mind is man’s special tool
for survival, his most distinguishing feature when compared to
the other species. His mind is what has made him superior to
other species. Therefore, when the mind masters a skill it
provides deep psychic satisfaction to its owner-a metaphysical
and existential satisfaction related to his special place in the universal scheme of things. When a child masters an elementary intellectual skill, he derives a real feeling of efficacy, competence,
and independence-all of which increase his self-esteem and self-confidence. In a tutoring situation, the pupil is too busy mastering
a skill to get bored.
The tutor can also eliminate the confusion that besets children
in today’s classroom. If his instructional methods are consistent,
rational, and sound, there will be no confusion. The instruction in
this book has been prepared to eliminate the kind of contradictory, senseless instruction which is so much a part of
modern elementary pedagogy. We have written this book specifically to make it possible for the child to circumvent the confusion to which he will be exposed in the classroom. Since tutoring,
at this time in our educational history, can only supplement the
classroom, we realize that children will be exposed to our contemporary pedagogical confusion no matter what they learn from a
However, the tutor can so fortify the child with good learning
habits. with an understanding of basic concepts, with a mastery of
elementary skills, that no amount of classroom confusion will hamper
the child’s continued progress.
Thus, we see in tutoring an essential alternative to the classroom situation, an alternative more and more parents will turn to
as more and more qualified tutors offer their services to a public
which desperately needs them.
So! Who decides who is eligible to be president? How is this handled? Who makes the ruling? Do we “file a lawsuit” and let federal judges decide?
Slap your hands!”, our Framers would say. They would say, “READ THE CONSTITUTION AND SEE WHAT IS SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN!”
Read the 12th Amendment. That sets forth the procedures for election of President and VP. Note that ELECTORS are supposed to be the ones making the selection – not The People. [There is a reason for that.]
For an illustration of how this works, go HERE (https://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/national-popular-vote-goodbye-sweet-america)
So! Assume we followed the Constitution on this issue and we get to the part where Congress is counting the votes as provided by 12th Amendment. And Lo! Congress discovers that the person who got the most votes for President is NOT QUALIFIED by reason of age, or not being a natural born citizen, or not having been for at least 14 years a Resident within the United States.
Obviously, it’s Congress’ job to make the ruling – to make the call – on whether the President and VP – selected by the ELECTORS – are qualified under Art. II, Sec. 1, clause 5.
So what happens if Congress finds that the person with the most votes for President is not qualified? We look to Sec. 3 of the 20th Amendment. It tells us what happens. “..if the President elect shall have failed to qualify, the Vice President elect shall act as President “ Now, read the rest of that Section. We would also need to see whether Congress has made any of the authorized laws providing for such contingencies.
So, under the Constitution as written, it is Congress’ job to make the call as to whether the President elect and the VP elect are qualified.
This is NOT an issue for the federal courts to decide. That is because this is a “political question” – not a “legal question”.
And what if Congress gives an ineligible person a pass – as they did with Obama? WELL THEN, SHAME ON US – BECAUSE WE ARE THE ONES WHO ELECTED THEM.
Recently, I was listening to the Jeff Kuhner Show which airs on WRKO AM 68 Monday to Friday 6:00 AM to 10:00AM. He was interviewing his wife Grace Vuoto, who calls in every Wednesday for her weekly commentary. Grace, “who puts liberals in their place” as Jeff is fond of saying, was making an excellent case against several proposed bills in Massachusetts that would make school children little more than human pin cushions for Big Pharma ending religious exceptions to those opposing vaccinations and allowing minors to consent to receiving vaccinations without parental approval.
When Jeff referred to homeschooling, if the bills passed, as a solution, Grace emphatically said that it would a be only be a “temporary solution” and said something to the effect that we-conservatives-should not abandon the government schools. Many conservatives like Grace think that the government schools are salvageable. I have to respectfully disagree.
While we should attempt to influence the government schools by running for local school committees, show up at school committee meetings to voice our objections, do what we can to promote a semblance of academic excellence, and openly oppose the agenda of the Leftist change agents in the government schools, let’s not deceive ourselves. The Left has had a near monopoly in our government schools for close to one hundred years. From the removal of intensive phonetics and replacing it with the literacy crippling “look-say” method, to the teaching of evolution as fact, to the removal of school prayer, to sex education, to the administering of psychotropic drugs, to the introduction of Outcome Based Education and Common Core, to the teaching of a general hatred of the United States via Howard Zinn’s error-ridden A People’s History of the United States, to the 1619 Project and Critical Race Theory, to the promotion of the Alphabet Mafia’s perverted agenda, children are at risk mentally, morally, physically, and spiritually. Sam Blumenfeld documented all of this in his book Crimes of the Educators co-authored by Alex Newman (A link to a free PDF version: http://blumenfeld.campconstitution.net/Books/Crimes%20of%20the%20Educators.pdf
We went from the most highly literate nation in the world to a nation of illiterates and semi-illiterates who do not possess basic reading and math skills while harboring a seething hatred of our country, its history, and its Constitution. I think it is safe to say that those that are rioting, looting, burning, and tearing down statues are not products of the homeschool community. With all due respect to Grace, whom I greatly admire, homeschooling is both a viable and vital option. She isn’t alone, however, as a regular viewer of Newsmax and up until recently Fox News, I have never seen one guest representing a member of the homeschool organization. I have to admit that we in the homeschool community don’t do the best job when it comes to promoting our mission, but that will have to end if we expect to maintain a free nation.
There are homeschool organizations both national and state based. Some of them are religious like the Massachusetts Homeschool Organization of Parent Educators (MASS HOPE) https://masshope.org/, Homeschoolers of Maine, and Catholics United for Home Education NH. Others offer support for black homeschoolers like National Black Home Educators https://www.nbhe.net/ .
There are annual homeschool conventions including Mass HOPE’s which is held on the last weekend of April in Sturbridge, MA, and The Homeschoolers of Maine’s held in Augusta in May. These conventions are where veteran homeschoolers and new homeschoolers alike can learn about the legal issues concerning homeschoolers, how to begin homeschooling, how to find local homeschool support groups, and where attendees can find curricula that meets their needs.
Vendors include ABEKA, Bob Jones University, and Liberty University which offer fully accredited k-12 homeschool programs while others supplemental programs like Demme Learning (Math) and New Life Fine Arts (Drama), and of course Camp Constitution. Also included among the vendors are homeschoolers that have their own businesses.
There are homeschool support groups in communities all over the United States where homeschool parents and their children get together on a regular basis for classes, listen to guest instructors, take field trips, learn to dance, play sports, and hold graduation ceremonies. Contrary to the myth that homeschooled children are sheltered, there is plenty of interaction with other homeschooled students as well as adults. Indeed, it has been my experience that homeschooled children interact with adults far better than their government school counterparts.
I will mention a few which I recommend with info from their websites:
Freedom Project Academy:
Freedom Project Academy offers a fully accredited, Classical education for Kindergarten through High School. FPA is rooted firmly in the Judeo-Christian values as promoted in the Constitution by our Founding Fathers, who strove to guarantee the preservation of our God-given liberties. Our live classes are delivered online through interactive classrooms to students in all 50 states and a dozen foreign countries, serving missionary and military families overseas.
Freedom Project Partnership teams up with churches and private schools to stream Judeo-Christian classes into brick-and-mortar classrooms across the country. This allows for the rapid expansion of faith-based schools across the nation as Freedom Project provides all class instruction, assignments, tests, and grading needed to help schools stay on budget. What better way to restore American values than to bring the worlds of faith and education together again?
Ron Paul Academy:
A student who goes through this curriculum, kindergarten through high school, will have a mastery of the foundations of liberty. There is no other curriculum on the Web to match it.
It does not assign printed textbooks. This saves families a lot of money. Textbooks cost a great deal of money. Almost all of the materials are free: toner and paper only. Only when the materials are copyrighted and time-sensitive — modern business and modern literature — do parents pay for books.
The curriculum is mostly self-taught. If a student gets stuck, he can get help from other students in the course Communities. Students serve as tutors for each other. They learn by teaching, which is a great way to master any new field.
This curriculum teaches students how to write. The teachers in the social sciences and humanities at the high school level have Ph.D. degrees. They are both successful writers. They are both successful businessmen. They will teach your children how to write effectively and fast.
Students start writing in the fourth grade. They do not stop until they finish their final courses. I doubt that they will ever stop.
Every student is asked to set up at least one website. Their weekly papers must be posted on their sites. This is crucial for self-education: public visibility. Students can see what the competition is doing. Most students hate this aspect of the curriculum, but it forces them to do their best with their writing assignments. Parents have an obligation to see to it that their children post their weekly papers. This is the #1 educational task for parents.
The curriculum centers around the weekly essays. Parents should read them. If they want to grade them, that’s fine. If they don’t, that’s also fine. But parents had better insist that their children post URL links to their posted weekly essays. These links must be posted on the course forums.
No student who gets through this curriculum will ever need to be nagged to get through college, graduate school, or a career. This curriculum teaches self-discipline. This is a crucial personal habit. It is mostly internal. It develops after years of working in an environment that requires self-discipline.
For students who hustle, they will enter college as juniors. They will quiz out of their first two years of college for about $2,500, total (today’s money, of course). They will get into the work force as college graduates two years before their peers do.
The man who teaches the public speaking course in grade 9 and the history and literature courses for grades 6 through 8 graduated from an accredited college on his 18th birthday. He paid for his own college education by working part time in his own home business. It cost him under $12,000. It can be done. I recommend it.
If you are a parent, this should get your attention. I think students should also be motivated. (I am assuming that students want to get out of school fast.) https://www.ronpaulcurriculum.com
Liberty University Online Academy:
Have you always dreamed of sending your child to private school but felt like you didn’t have a flexible and affordable option? At Liberty University Online Academy (LUOA), you can provide your student with the best of a homeschool, private school, and Bible-based education all rolled into one!
Our high-quality, K-12 curriculum can be completed from the comfort of your home — so you can work schooling around your life, not the other way around. Additionally, we offer a vast array of resources that are designed to help your student succeed — and to make your job as a homeschooling parent a little easier.
Partner with us and give your student the tools they need to succeed! https://www.liberty.edu/lp/online-academy
You want methods and materials that work. That’s what you’ll find with Abeka—comprehensive, quality curriculum and materials written from a Christian perspective. Now more than ever, each child needs a strong foundation in both academics and character.
We’re here to help homeschooling families and Christian schools of all sizes give their students the knowledge and skills they need.
For over forty years, schools and homeschooling families have trusted Abeka to provide materials using the traditional approach proven successful throughout education’s history. Professionally illustrated textbooks and teaching aids, hands-on activities, challenging exercises, and our Spiral Learning approach with purposeful repetition and reinforcement of concepts from subject to subject give you all the tools you need to make learning interesting and memorable.
You can choose Abeka with confidence; each subject’s content comes from the work of skilled, dedicated scholars who have conducted primary research. See your students achieve the academic excellence and moral character that leave them equipped for life, just like over one million children developing into lifelong learners with Abeka. https://www.abeka.com
The Samuel Blumenfeld Archive:
While not an accredited entity, I recommend the Samuel Blumenfeld Archive hosted by Camp Constitution http://blumenfeld.campconstitution.net/main.htm It contains the works of the late homeschool pioneer Samuel Blumenfeld, who was a dear friend and mentor of mine. It offers, among other things, a free on-line phonics reading course with all 128 lessons available in audio and video, a cursive writing course and a basic arithmetic course. It also contains most of the books, articles, newsletters authored by Sam as well as dozens of Sam’s lectures in audio and video.
For years I have been telling parents and educators that the kind of reading difficulties
afflicting perfectly normal children in our schools today are being caused by the teaching
methods and not by any defect in the children themselves. The educators have been
telling us for years now that the reason why so many children are having problems
learning to read is because of a learning disability they’ve been born with. In fact, the
official position of the federal government on this issue is summed up in the 1987 Report
to the Congress of the Interagency Committee on Learning Disabilities which defined
“Learning Disabilities” as follows (p. 222):
“Learning disabilities is a generic term that refers to a heterogeneous group of disorders
manifested by significant difficulties in the acquisition and use of listening, speaking,
reading, writing, reasoning, or mathematical abilities, or of social skills. These disorders
are intrinsic to the individual and presumed to be due to central nervous system
dysfunction. [Our emphasis.] Even though a learning disability may occur concomitantly
with other handicapping conditions (e.g., sensory impairment, mental retardation, social
and emotional disturbance), with socioenvironmental influences (e.g., cultural
differences, insufficient or inappropriate instruction, psychogenic factors), and especially
with attention deficit disorder, all of which may cause learning problems, a learning
disability is not the direct result of those conditions or influences.”
In other words, according to government researchers, all learning disabilities are due to
“central nervous system dysfunction,” regardless of all other factors, including teaching
methods. In fact, the federal government is pumping millions of dollars into research on
the genetic causes of dyslexia.
But what if we are able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that dyslexia is caused by
the teaching methods? Would that alter the course of government research? Probably not,
for there is a private researcher in North Carolina by the name of Edward Miller who has
already offered such proof to the government, only to be rebuffed by officialdom. After
all, if what Miller says is true, then millions of dollars of research money will have been
Are there people who are born dyslexic? Yes, but they are afflicted with so many other
problems that their inability to learn to read is simply only one of them. There are
children born with all sorts of handicaps and defects that are recognized at birth or soon
after. Some of these handicaps reflect neurological problems. But many of these children
are quite educable.
However, the dyslexia we are talking about is the kind that afflicts children who have
come to school with perfectly good speech, hearing, eyesight, equilibrium, etc. In fact,
some of these so-called dyslexics are some of the brightest and physically healthiest
students in their classes. Miller calls their reading problem “educational dyslexia,” that is,
dyslexia, or reading disability, caused by the teaching method.
Some parents will ask: how is it that my Johnny began to show signs of dyslexia in the
first grade, before he had had any formal reading instruction? Miller has found the
answer to that question. It all starts at home with preschool readers. Miller discovered
that when preschoolers memorize as sight words the entire texts of such popular books as
Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham, they develop a block against
seeing the words phonetically and thus become “dyslexic.” They become sight readers
with a holistic reflex rather than phonetic readers with a phonetic reflex. A holistic reader
looks at each word as a little picture, a configuration, much like a Chinese ideograph, and
tries to think of the word it represents. A phonetic reader associates letters with sounds
and sounds out the syllabic units which blend into an articulated word.
What this means is that parents should teach their children to read phonetically before
giving them the Dr. Seuss books to read. They should avoid having their children
memorize words by their configurations alone, because once that mode of viewing words
becomes an automatic reflex, it will create a block against seeing the phonetic structure
of the words.
In other words, failure to teach a child to read phonetically, but requiring the child to
memorize hundreds of sight words produces educational dyslexia. Incidentally, a sight
word, by definition, is a word learned without reference to the sounds the letters stand
for. Nowadays, publishers are selling books for preschoolers with audio tapes so that the
child can learn to read by the sight method without the help of his or her parents. Thus,
the child will develop a reading handicap without the slightest idea that what he or she is
doing is harmful.
How do we know it’s harmful? By what happens when the child enters school and
proceeds upwards to the third grade. In kindergarten and the first grade, all will seem
satisfactory, for most schools now use the sight method, and a child who enters school
having already memorized a large number of sight words will be ahead of those students
who haven’t. Everybody will be pleased by the child’s performance. But as the child
moves into the third grade where the reading demands are much greater, involving many
new words which the child’s overburdened memory cannot handle, the child will
experience a learning breakdown.
But the problem, as we have indicated, can also show up in the first grade where the
teaching method is phonics-based. This is often the case in many private and religious
schools where reading is taught phonetically. If a child enters the first grade in such a
school after having already memorized several hundred sight words from preschool
readers, that child will most likely have already developed a block against learning to
look at words phonetically. That’s why we see “dyslexia” among some first graders.
In other words, there are two ways of looking at our printed or written words: holistically
or phonetically. If you are taught to read phonetically from the start, you will never
become dyslexic, for dyslexia by definition is a block against viewing words in their
phonetic structure. Phonetic readers become good, independent readers because they have
developed a phonetic reflex. To them literacy is as natural and effortless as breathing. A
holistic, sight reader, on the other hand, must rely on memorization of individual word
forms and use all sorts of contextual strategies to get the word right.
Edward Miller has devised a very simple word-recognition test that dramatically
illustrates the difference between a holistic and a phonetic reader. The test consists of two
sets of words: the first set consists of 260 sight words drawn from Dr. Seuss’s two books,
The Cat in the Hat and Green Eggs and Ham, and the second set consists of 260 equally
simple words taken from Rudolf Flesch’s phonetically regular word lists in Why Johnny
Can’t Read. Both sets of words are at a first-grade level.
A child who is already a phonetic reader will sail through both sets of words without any
problem. But a holistic reader might sail through the sight words at high speed with no
errors, but then slow down considerably and make many errors in the phonetic section
even though these are simple first-grade words.
That the words in the two Dr. Seuss books were to be read and learned as sight words
was confirmed by Dr. Seuss himself in an interview published in Arizona magazine in
June 1981. He said:
“They think I did it in twenty minutes. That damned Cat in the Hat took nine months until
I was satisfied. I did it for a textbook house and they sent me a word list. That was due to
the Dewey revolt in the Twenties in which they threw out phonic reading and went to
word recognition, as if you’re reading Chinese pictographs instead of blending sounds of
different letters. I think killing phonics was one of the greatest causes of illiteracy in the
country. Anyway, they had it all worked out that a healthy child at the age of four can
learn so many words in a week and that’s all. So there were two hundred and twenty-three
words to use in this book. I read the list three times and I almost went out of my head. I
said, I’ll read it once more and if I can find two words that rhyme that’ll be the title of my
book. (That’s genius at work.) I found ‘cat’ and ‘hat’ and I said, ‘The title will be The Cat
in the Hat.’”
Thus, even Dr. Seuss knew that “killing phonics” was a cause of illiteracy in America.
But somehow that insight, made by America’s most famous writer of children’s books,
has escaped our educators.
Holistic readers are indeed handicapped by the way they are taught to read. They are
taught to look at words as whole pictures, which means that they are not bound to look at
a word from left to right. They simply look for something in the word-picture that will
remind them of what the word is. Thus they may actually look at a word from right to
left, which accounts for the tendency of dyslexics to reverse letters and read words
backwards. Also, holistic readers are encouraged by their teachers to substitute words, as
explained by a whole-language advocate quoted in the Washington Post of Nov. 29,
1986. The headline reads, “Reading Method Lets Pupils Guess; Whole-Language
Approach Riles Advocates of Phonics.” The article states:
“The most controversial aspect of whole language is the de-emphasis on accuracy.
American Reading Council President Juli a Palmer, an advocate of the approach, said it is
acceptable if a young child reads the word house for home, or subtitutes the word pony
for horse. ‘It’s not very serious because she understands the meaning,’ said Palmer.
‘Accuracy is not the name of the game.’”
When does accuracy become the name of the game in Ms. Palmer’s system of education?
Probably, never, for if you teach children in primary school, through invented spelling
and word substitutions, that accuracy is not at all important, they may never acquire a
sense of accuracy, unless forced to do so by the demands of the workplace.
What we do know is that when you impose an inaccurate, subjective ideographic teaching
technique on a phonetic-alphabetic writing system which demands accurate decoding,
you create symbolic confusion, cognitive conflict, frustration and a learning breakdown.
In addition, I strongly suspect that attention deficit disorder, otherwise known as ADD, is
a form of behavioral disorganization created by a teaching disorganization. It is the
symbolic confusion, cognitive conflict, learning blocks and frustration caused by holistic
teaching methods that literally force children to react physically to what they instinctively
know is harming them. They may not know exactly what it is the teacher is doing that is
harming them. But they certainly know that they are being harmed. How? By the simple
circumstances of their position.
When they entered school at the age of 5 or 6, these children felt very confident, very
intelligent. After all, they had all taught themselves to speak their own language very
nicely without the aid of teachers or school. And when they enter school, they expect to
be able to learn to read with the same competence. And, normally, this is what happens
when they are taught to read phonetically and begin to master our alphabetic system.
If children they are taught to read holistically, mastering our alphabetically written words
becomes a superhuman task. And because the teaching method seems to defy all logic
and common sense, their minds react against such teaching just as their stomachs would
if some sort of poison were eaten. The stomach throws up, rejecting the poison, and I
suspect that ADD is a form of mental rejection of pedagogical poison.
What other defense does the child have against pedagogical poisoning? What Ritalin does
is lower the defense against such poisoning. The child becomes a docile, defenseless
victim of whatever nonsense the teacher is inflicting on the child. And the child is usually
dumped into Special Education for the rest of his or her academic career.
According to Lori and Bill Granger, authors of The Magic Feather: The Truth About
“Parents of children in Special Education classes have noticed that their kids become
more and more passive and dependent the longer they are in Special Education. . . .
Special Education teaches kids how to be failures and to live with being failures. It
segregates kids from “normal” kids by putting special labels on them, putting them in
separate classrooms, putting them in separate schools, and making certain that not too
much is ever asked of them or expected of them. . . .
“Evidence for a “neurological” basis for LD is vague at best. . . . Some of the more
revered books in this field, which purport to convey “facts” on the “neurological” basis of
learning disabilities, are nothing more than wishful thinking. . . . Education trade journals
are full of debates about learning disabilities that would shock parents of children who
have been routinely labeled LD.”
Fortunately, homeschoolers are in the best position to guard their children against the
kind of pedagogical poisoning that is turning millions of normal children into LDs. They
can begin teaching their children to read phonetically as early as the child wishes. Above
all, they must avoid having their preschoolers memorize words holistically without any
knowledge of the letter sounds. If you tell children that letters stand for sounds, they will
begin to understand what our alphabetic system is all about.
Samuel L. Blumenfeld is the author of six books on education, including How to Tutor
and Alpha-Phonics, which are widely used by homeschoolers in teaching their children to
read phonetically. His book on the reading problem, The New Illiterates, revealed for the
first time the true origin of look-say: Rev. Thomas H. Gallaudet’s method of teaching the
deaf to read. Dr. Blumenfeld has spoken at many homeschool conferences and is a
frequent guest on radio talk shows. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the City
College of New York, an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Bob Jones University,
and publishes the monthly Blumenfeld Education Letter. (Sam passed away in 2015 but his vital work lives on.)
Camp Constitution Radio, hosted by yours truly, has been airing on WBCQ The Planet since January of 2015 with an interview of Rev. Steve Craft. The 30-minute show is recorded weekly and runs twice a week on Monday and Thurday evenings. WBCQ is a shortwave station located in Monticello, Maine. http://www.wbcq.com/
In 2017, we started a podcast on Podomatic using our radio shows as well as timeless speeches by the likes of Gary Allen, Dan Smoot, G Edward Griffin, Anthony Sutton and our late friend and mentor Samuel Blumenfeld. https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/shurtleffhal
Over the years, we have interviewed authors, activists, historians, educators, and experts in their fields. The list of guests include G. Edward Griffin, Professor Willie Soon, Stacey Dash, Alex Newman, Dr. Michael Coffman, Dr. Duke Pesta, James Perloff, C.J. Pearson, Mary Graybar, Professor David Super, Anni Cyrus, Dan Wos, Lord Christopher Monckton, Barbara from Harlem, and Tom DeWeese just to mention a few.
Our shows and classic recordings are also heard on Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, and several others. While we certainly are not competing with Joe Rogan, and Spotify hasn’t offered us a multi-million-dollar contract, we are usually in the top ten for our category-conservative right-on Podomatic. We even held first place for our category for a few days.
Help us get the word out.
Readers are encouraged to visit our Podomatic page, and follow, listen, share and download our shows Camp Constitution Radio (podomatic.com) as well as listen to our show on WBCQ The Planet which air Mondays at 7:30 PM EST and repeat on Thursdays 7:30 Pm EST. If you don’t have a shortwave radio, listen on-line http://www.wbcq.com/
The new government of the United States under the new Constitution got underway in the first
week of April 1789 when the new Congress achieved its first quorum. Their initial duty was to
pass the Bill of Rights, as promised.
Earlier that year, on January 7th, electors were chosen for the first Presidential election in
United States history. The electors, chosen by the eligible voters in the various states, were
free to cast their ballots for whomever they wished. On February 4th, they cast their ballots as
follows: 69 for Washington; 34 for John Adams, who therefore became Vice President. This
method of selecting a Vice President was changed by the 12th Amendment in 1804.
On April 6th, the ballots were counted in the Senate, and George Washington was informed that
he had been elected the First President of the United States. The inauguration took place on
April 30th in the Senate Chamber of Federal Hall, New York City, the temporary capital of the
Washington immediately got to work organizing his administration, which would set precedents
for future Presidents. He would demonstrate that the new government under the new
Constitution would be what the citizens hoped it would be: a prudent and benevolent
instrument of governmental power in keeping with the precepts of the Declaration of
Independence and strictly limited in its powers.
In September, Washington appointed Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury,
General Henry Knox as Secretary of War, Edmund Randolph as Attorney General and Thomas
Jefferson as Secretary of State.
As in any organization that is new, every step had to be taken in strict conformity to the
guidelines set out in the Constitution. On September 29th, the United States Army was created,
consisting of the forces already on hand during the final months of the Confederation. In all, it
consisted of only 1,000 men.
On November 26th, President Washington proclaimed the nation’s first Thanksgiving Day, in
humble recognition of the great blessings that God had bestowed on the new nation.
The year 1790 saw the first Census of the United States, as called for by the Constitution. There
were 4,000,000 inhabitants in all thirteen states. Negro slaves accounted for 19.3 percent of
the total population. Many of the Founding Fathers hoped that slavery would be abolished, but
the economics of the South made that impossible. A West Jersey Quaker wrote: “This trade of
importing slaves is dark gloominess hanging over the land; the consequences will be grievous to
Patrick Henry stated in 1773, “A serious view of this subject gives a gloomy prospect to future
times.” And Jefferson wrote: “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His
justice cannot sleep forever.”
Madison held that where slavery exists “the republican theory becomes fallacious. Slavery is
the greatest evil under which the nation labors—a portentous evil—an evil, moral, political, and
economical—a blot on our free country.”
It had been Washington’s hope that Virginia should remove slavery by a public act; and as the
prospects of a general emancipation grew more and more dim, he, in utter hopelessness of the
action of the State, did all that he could by bequeathing freedom to his own slaves.
In August 1790, the Capital was moved from New York to Philadelphia. In June Hamilton had
convinced Congress that the Federal Government should assume the states’ debts. He won the
support of the Southern States by promising to move the nation’s capital to the South. It
demonstrated how compromise and promises would become major tools in crafting and
In 1791, two major philosophies of government began to emerge, polarized around Hamilton
and Jefferson, which set the stage for the creation of political parties. The Hamilton faction,
known as the Federalists, advocated a strong central government and the development of
industry. Jefferson’s followers, the Democratic-Republican faction, favored a weaker central
government and stronger local control befitting a democratic agrarian society.
The Hamilton-Jefferson debates became the fodder of rival newspapers, which became either
pro Federalist or pro Democratic-Republican. Thus, one can say, that the two-party system got
a very early start in our political history. Of course, President Washington remained above the
fray, maintaining the upmost cordiality among his cabinet members. He was more of a referee
than a partisan.
On April 2, 1792 Congress passed the Coinage Act, authorizing the establishment of a mint and
prescribing a decimal system of coinage. The U.S. dollar was to contain 24.75 grains of gold or
371.25 grains of silver, in a fixed legal-tender ratio of 15 to 1.
On August 21, 1792 the Federal government levied an excise tax on whiskey and on stills, which
provoked strong protest in Western Pennsylvania. Whiskey was the chief transportable and
barterable Western product. The Whiskey Rebellion was the most serious insurrection to face
the newly established Federal government. In 1794, President Washington was finally forced to
call up the militia army to end it. The result of the insurrection was simply to strengthen the
political power of Hamilton and the Federalists.
Washington’s Second Administration began on March 4, 1793. We shall devote our next
column to the Second Term of our First President.
(The above article came from Sam’s archive. We do not have an article on the second term of Washington. Please visit the archives:
(A link to Washington’s “Farewell Address”: George-Washington-Farewell-Address.pdf (campconstitution.net)
One reason I enjoy writing is because I enjoy sharing stories that amaze me, and I hope amaze you.
Recently, Sybren and I watched The Count of Monte Cristo. We watched the original 1934 version, then the 2002 version with Jim Caviezel. We loved this adventure of a man struggling to right the injustices by those who betrayed him. Isn’t it wonderful to be in your sixties and find something that amazes you? Sybren was so impressed that he wanted to read Alexandre Dumas’s book. So, I ordered a 1994 translation (it was originally written in French). It arrived—all 1250 pages!
But it’s in that vein of thought that I want to tell you the story of a Texan you may have never heard of.
Mildred Jefferson is an African American woman who was born in Pittsburgh in 1926, in the Piney Woods of east Texas.
She attended school in Carthage. Her father, Guthrie Jefferson, was a Methodist minister and her mother was a schoolteacher. In those days, children were taught to “declaim” their lessons, i.e., speak forcefully and eloquently. Those public-speaking skills would serve Mildred well throughout her life. By the time she was seven, she knew she wanted to be a doctor.
As a child, Mildred used to follow the local doctor around in his buggy. She would ride with him from house to house and ask him questions. Once she said, “I think I want to be a doctor just like you.”
He laughed, “If you want to do that, you just go right ahead.”
Mildred graduated from high school at age 15. She received her master’s in biology from Tufts University at age 18, and she was the first Black woman to be admitted to Harvard Medical School. When she graduated, she became the first woman to have a surgical internship at Boston City Hospital and then she became the first female doctor at Boston University Medical Center. These accomplishments are in themselves remarkable, but that’s not why Dr. Jefferson should be remembered.
In 1970, the American Medical Association declared that it was ethical for doctors to perform abortions in whatever state it was legal to do so. Dr. Jefferson took issue with this position, which was at odds with the Hippocratic Oath. The original oath states in part, “I will use those dietary regimens which will benefit my patients according to my greatest ability and judgment, and I will do no harm or injustice to them. Neither will I administer a poison to anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. Similarly, I will not give to a woman anything to cause abortion.”
Because her own medical association had departed from the basic tenets to do no harm and did not support the right to life, she founded the Massachusetts Citizens for Life.
It became her personal mission to speak up for the right to life. She said, “As a physician, a citizen, and a woman, I am not willing to stand aside and allow this concept of expendable human lives to turn this great land of ours into just another exclusive reservation where only the perfect, the privileged and the planned have a right to live. Every moment of life from the time of fertilization until natural death is worthy of protection by our laws.”
I found this story about a letter by a former president on the Breakpoint.com website.
“In 1972, a public television station in Boston featured Dr. Jefferson in an episode of a series called “The Advocates.” The program aired nationwide and showcased Dr. Jefferson’s credentials as a physician, as well as her skills as a powerful and winsome speaker who used impeccable logic to argue against abortion. After the broadcast, Dr. Jefferson received several letters, including one written by a rising west coast politician. It read:
‘‘Yours was the most clear-cut exposition on this problem (abortion) that I have ever heard. . .. Several years ago, I was faced with the issue of whether to sign a California abortion bill. . .. I must confess to never having given the matter of abortion any serious thought until that time. No other issue since I have been in office has caused me to do so much study and soul-searching… I wish I could have heard your views before our legislation was passed. You made it irrefutably clear that an abortion is the taking of a human life. I’m grateful to you.”’
The author was Ronald Reagan.
By 1975, Dr. Jefferson was president of the National Right to Life Association. She travelled extensively across the country. Her gifts of oratory, her love of people, her impeccable logic endeared her to her followers.
She testified in Congress in 1981 saying, “With the obstetrician and mother becoming the worst enemy of the child and the pediatrician becoming the assassin for the family, the state must be enabled to protect the child born and unborn.”
Dr. Jefferson married but never had children. Interestingly, she never drove a car or took public transportation. The way I learned about Dr. Jefferson was from the founder of Camp Constitution, Hal Shurtleff, who was one of her drivers. He met her through a mutual acquaintance and began driving her to speaking events. They became friends and remained so until she passed away in 2010 at the age of eighty-four.
Carthage now has a special plaque and bust of Mildred Jefferson near the county courthouse which was erected in 2018. Scholarships are awarded in her memory annually.
How many people now have been born and lived and have themselves given life because of Dr. Mildred Jefferson?
Dr. Jefferson became a physician to save lives and became an activist to speak for humankind. She said, “The cause for the Right to Life is not because of a special few, but is the cause of every man, woman, and child who cares not only about his own family, but the whole family of man.”
( The above article originally appeared in the Brenham Banner Press in Washington County Texas) Copyrighted #40
(This short video was possibly Dr. Jefferson’s last speaking engagement July 2010 at Camp Constitution’s 2nd Annual Family Camp in Rindge, NH)
Yesterday, we received word that Govenor DeSantis appointed Roget Gannam as a judge. We called Roger to congratulate him,a nd tell him Liberty Counsel’s loss is the State of Florida’s gain. Roger had been involved in our case since its inception back in 2017 which included making numerous trips to Boston from Florida. He was also present at our prayer vigil and rally before oral argument at the U.S Supreme Court and on hand for our flag raising im Boston last August. Here is the news release from Liberty Counsel.
Aug 11, 2023
Previously, Gannam was a Partner at Lindell & Farson, P.A. He earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of North Florida and juris doctor at the University of Florida.
Gannam was part of the Liberty Counsel legal team that won 9-0 at the U.S. Supreme Court last year in the case of Shurtleff v. City of Boston. http://www.lc.org/flag
Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “Governor Ron DeSantis has made an excellent choice in appointing Roger Gannam to serve on the Sixth District Court of Appeal. Since 2014, Roger has been a vital member of Liberty Counsel’s legal team. Roger is committed to the rule of law.”
Liberty Counsel provides broadcast quality TV interviews via Hi-Def Skype and LTN at no cost.
We just signed the contract for our 16th Annual Family Camp which returns to the beautiful Singing Hills Christian Camp. https://www.singinghills.net/ in Plainfield, NH. The dates are Sunday July 14 to Friday July 19, 2024 and we are now accepting applications http://campconstitution.net/camp-registration/ The prices will remain the same $300, per person 13 and older and $200, for campers 12 and under. Children 3 and under accompanied by their parents are free. Save $50. per fee if we receive the application by May 1, 2024.
We have some promotion flyers available and hope to have the promotional brochure available soon. Here is a link to PDF version of the flyers: http://campconstitution.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/2024-Camp-Flyers-Set-1.pdf
Can’t wait until next year to experience Camp Constitution? Then attend our 2nd Annual Weekend Retreat that run from Friday September 29 to Sunday October 1:
Speakers include James Perloff, author of Shadows of Power and Tornado Through a Junkyard, Mr. Richard Howell, historical reenactor, Rev. Steve Craft, Camp Constitution chaplain and author of Morality and Freedom: America’s Dynamic Duo, and Mrs. Catherine White of the Constitution Decoded. Mrs. Edith Craft will host the Junior Patriot Camp for those 4-11.
Recreational Activities include canoeing, basketball, gaga and a field trip to the Wright World War II Museum and Apple Picking. Cost is $150. Per person. A link to the application: http://campconstitution.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/Weekend-Camp-Application-and-Release-2023.pdf
For More Information, contact Hal Shurtleff (857) 498-1309 or firstname.lastname@example.org Cost is $150. per person.