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Our Unhappy Youth

Feb 29, 2024

Our Unhappy Youth by Anthony Esolen at Crisis Magazine. Many young people appear to have fallen into the most antihuman way of life that any civilization has ever settled into…Those in the pharmaceutical industry are aware of the vein of gold that depression has opened up, with ordinary and unhappy people plying the pickax. That shouldn’t surprise any sensible Christian, who ought to know where some measure of earthly happiness is to be found, even for those who do not know Christ. Read


Parents, Here's How We Can Protect Kids From the Dangers of Smartphones | Opinion by Maureen Ferguson at Newsweek. America's 15-year experiment with social media and smartphones has been, on balance, a catastrophe for our kids. The scientific evidence is so overwhelming that U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy has issued a formal warning, saying we "must urgently address" the youth mental health crisis brought on by social media. Every parent, every teacher, every teenager knows it. Everyone knows, except—apparently—the CEOs of the tech corporations making billions by hooking America's children on their toxic, addictive apps. Read


Abigail Shrier Warns ‘Social-Emotional Learning’ at the Heart of the Mental Health Crisis Among Young People by Susan Berry, Ph.D. at CatholicVote. Social-emotional learning (SEL) has been injected into every facet and grade level in schools, but American children and teens are more anxious and depressed than ever, observes Abigail Shrier in an excerpt of her new book “Bad Therapy: Why the Kids Aren’t Growing Up.” The author of the blockbuster “Irreversible Damage,” which drew attention to the sharp surge in gender dysphoria among teen girls, Shrier on Tuesday provided a peek at her investigation into the psychological deterioration of American youth at Bari Weiss’s The Free Press. “Most American kids today are not in therapy,” the excerpt begins: But the vast majority are in school, where therapists and non-therapists diagnose kids liberally, and offer in-school counseling and mental health and wellness instruction. Read


Why Every High-Schooler Should Read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Andrew Zwerneman at Cana Academy. Cana Academy proudly presents the second video in their monthly video series, the BEST BOOKS with Andrew Zwerneman. Each month, Andrew explores a classic text and makes a case for why every student ought to read it. Each video is just a few minutes long but packed full of insight about the text under review, a great reminder of why it is one of the Best Books and a necessary part of a great humanities education. Check out Cana Academy's guide on The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Watch


Solving the Literacy Crisis by Jonathan Butcher at The Daily Signal. A shocking proportion of American children cannot read, and the data have profound implications for these children’s futures—and the entire criminal justice system…the National Assessment of Adult Literacy finds that two-thirds of students who cannot read by the end of fourth grade will be incarcerated later in life or will be living in poverty as adults. Two out of three inmates did not have a high school diploma when they entered prison. Nearly 75% of incarcerated adults are illiterate. Read


6 Ways to Encourage Active Listening in Children by Cerith Gardiner at Aleteia. As parents and caregivers, fostering active listening skills in children is essential for their social, emotional, and academic development. Active listening not only helps children communicate effectively, but also builds empathy and understanding in their interactions with others. It’s a skill that sadly isn’t emphasized enough in today’s culture where so many people are quick to express opinions, without listening to what’s actually going on. Read


A Plan for Conservative Education by Mark Bauerlein at First Things. In the latest installment of an ongoing interview series with contributing editor Mark Bauerlein, Max Eden joins the podcast to discuss AEI’s Conservative Education Reform Network’s annual report, “Sketching A New Conservative Education Agenda.” Listen


Trump Announces Support for Universal School Choice, Tax Credits for Homeschooling Families by CatholicVote. The Republican frontrunner indicated he would allow “parents to choose the public, private, charter, or religious school that best suits their children.” Trump stated that he would “support America’s homeschool families including allowing 529 Education Savings Accounts [ESAs] to be used for homeschooling expenses up to $10,000 a year per child completely tax free.” He intends to “close the federal Department of Education, and … move everything back to the states where it belongs.” Read


Common Sense: No Longer as Common in Major Universities by Brian Hamilton at National Catholic Register. Sacred Heart was established as a Catholic college in 1963…In the past few years, Sacred Heart has made several public statements and taken several initiatives to support gender ideology. Recently, they have stepped it up even more and hired a “Manager of LGBTQ+ Affairs,” who leads the school’s new Sexuality and Gender Equity Center. Read 


Merit Makes a Comeback by Kaylee McGhee White at Washington Examiner. Yale University became the latest Ivy League institution to reintroduce standardized testing to its admissions process. Many schools, Yale included, removed this requirement during the pandemic and declined to reimplement it afterward, arguing it could put minority and underrepresented applicants at a disadvantage…But as it turns out, the optional testing policy that replaced it hurt those applicants far more than the standardized testing requirement ever did. Read


Throwback Thursday


Why We Need Fantasy Literature by Dr. Holly Ordway at Word on Fire on May 26, 2021. What makes fantasy particularly significant for evangelization? Tolkien’s own analysis of fantasy, in his essay “On Fairy-stories,” is helpful in this regard. One of the functions of fantasy, he suggests, is what he calls Recovery: “regaining of a clear view,” and in particular, as “‘seeing things as we are (or were) meant to see them’—as things apart from ourselves.” In phrasing Recovery this way, Tolkien emphasizes the meaning behind reality: we are meant to see things in a certain way. Meant by whom? By our Creator. Read

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