This year we ran the week long half day program at the Family Vision Library in St. Peters. The close to thirty children attending came from all over the greater St. Louis area. Each year, the children bring a different perspective and dynamic which keeps us on our toes in trying to make the program meaningful for them.
The week starts with the children entering the world of 18th century England, complete with staff in period costumes and a tyrannical King George. They then move to the new American colonies and experience freedom there that the British subjects did not have in England. The program explores the role that faith played in our country's founding, focusing on John Adams' quote, "Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."
The children also play games that demonstrate how a free market works, how that market is distorted by government intrusion and how helping the poor participate in the market benefits everyone. They don't know why they are playing these games at first. They just think they are fun. After the post-game discussions, they have a deeper personal understanding of the principles at play because they participated in these games. It is always fascinating to see how quickly some of them are willing to take risks in the market to get gain more, and how almost non-existent jealously of their winnings is among the other children who were not willing to take the risk.
|Can you tell which lump on the floor is really a kid in a gilly suit?|
Our other guest speaker was former state Senator Jim Lembke who showed the commonality and distinctions between our US Constitution and the Missouri Constitution. He helped the children understand the role of a legislator as a protector of our freedoms, not just someone who passes laws, and understand why it is so important to elect people who truly understand that role. We hope our graduates are not the low information voters of the future.
Being outside the public school system allows us to talk about things like: the role of faith in our country's founding, why getting the poor working is better both for them and for society than permanent handouts and entitlement programs, how individual Americans are are the most generous people in the world when it comes to charitable contributions, and why less government (closer to the anarchy side of the spectrum) is better for everyone. It's too bad such lessons have to come from the private sector, but we are grateful that, at least for now, we can still teach them.
If you would like to see more photos from St. Louis Vacation Liberty School, you can visit our website.