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My 10 year old grandson has been avoiding school because his father (my son) doesn't support some material in schoolbooks which he believes is political, not information. My grandson is embarrassed because his father writes in his textbooks. My son is correct in his judgment, I believe, but his strategy has set up tensions and he's concerned about how to get a good education for his son.

  • Given that the son will fail his tests if he can't access the school material, I can see why there's concern over him having a good education... – Erik Aug 24 '16 at 14:43
  • Do you have more specifics on what he's challenging? It doesn't change my answer, below, but if he's challenging something like objectively well-established science because he doesn't like the answer, that's very different than, say, if a take on history only presents a very slanted perspective. – PoloHoleSet Aug 25 '16 at 16:47
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat. – Erik Mar 20 '17 at 13:49
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When in Rome...

A child's textbook is not the place to stage a protest against the school's curriculum. As you have already observed, it will only cause stress and embarrassment, not actually teach a better lesson.

At 10 years old, your grandson is more than capable of understanding that people sometimes disagree on a subject or say things for a different purpose than they claim. As such, it's not necessary to literally overwrite the lessons in the textbooks.

Instead, the father should encourage his son to learn and understand the textbook as an exercise and a way to understand what other people may believe about the world. At home, he can provide this context and spend some time with his son teaching the preferred alternative lesson.

I know you've carefully avoided mentioning the subject or which side you and your son are on. Still I feel I should discuss that a little. Whether it's Creation vs Evolution or Climate change vs Hoax, there is a lot of basic science underneath, that your grandson may need to successfully complete a higher education.

If your grandson is taught to reject all of that science because it produces some results that are in conflict with your views, it will hurt him badly should he choose a technical or scientific career. It's better to teach him that science works and he should learn it, but it's only as good as humans can understand. Science doesn't produce fundamental truths, but "This explains all the stuff we're seeing, so we're pretty confident that's how it actually works." truths. They are subject to change and limited to what we can observe and understand.

Teach him to investigate, understand and question things, then make up his own mind, and you'll do well by him, regardless of which subject or side you are on.

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    To be fair, he might be in a private school and using a creationist textbook, and the father is writing in the real science; or using the horrible revisionist history books in Texas, and the father is correcting them to the real history. – Daniel Roseman Aug 24 '16 at 8:40
  • Indeed. I tried to cover the situation either way, but wanted to call out the risk of rejecting science education overall rather than only some of its claims. It's much easier to recover from having learned history slanted one way or the other than from not being familiar with the basic scientific methods and thinking. – Cyrus Aug 24 '16 at 8:48
  • I'd be worried if the child is forced and brainwashed to believe in an ideology and be taught incorrect information such as dinosaurs not being real and evolution being all a lie. – Bradman175 Sep 8 '16 at 1:06
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What your son is doing, without realizing it, is using your grandson's education and well-being as a pawn for his own political agenda. If he wants to teach his son critical thinking skills, and wants to discuss and examine why his son should keep an open mind to alternative perspectives on issues that are, possibly, subjective, that's fine. To use him as a proxy like that is more selfish than helpful. If he has concerns about whether the content is objectively legitimate, then that can be raised. Usually, when it comes to politics, it's more about being stubborn when one's own viewpoint isn't championed.

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You should have a serious talk with your son to make sure that he takes his parental responsibilities more seriously. He is behaving in a way that clearly causes damage to his child (your grandson).

If your son doesn't agree with school policies or the materials in his child's schoolbooks then he should take it up with the school officials.

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I would encourage your son to talk with the school official who is in charge of curriculum and textbook selection.

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