Tender Teddy

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For the last few days, I have been working on a new presentation for homeschooling parents. The title is: “Homeschooling — The Making of Teddy Roosevelt.” I am scheduled to present it at 10:00 a.m. this Saturday at the Great Homeschool Convention in Fort Worth, Texas.

I first became fascinated with our 26th president when I was a teenager. Several years ago Joe Weigand, a Teddy Roosevelt interpreter, performed at the Cookeville Performing Arts Center. Ray and I were mesmerized. I snapped some photos from the audience.

When we published Uncle Sam and You in 2013, Mr. Weigand gave me permission to use one of them. Here’s another. Mr. Weigand’s resemblance to President Roosevelt is amazing.

Teddy Roosevelt Actor at the Cookeville Performing Arts Center, Cookeville, Tennessee
Photo of Joe Weigand portraying Teddy Roosevelt.

What impressed me about the real Teddy Roosevelt, as presented by Joe Weigand, was his character.

While preparing for Saturday, I’ve been using Roosevelt’s autobiography as one of my sources. Its introduction is entitled “The Peace of Righteousness.” When was the last time you heard a politician speak of righteousness — or have you ever? In this introduction, Roosevelt speaks of virtues needed to have a strong nation and then says:

“. . . but these virtues are as dust on a windy street unless back of them lie the strong and tender virtues of a family life based on the love of the one man for the one woman and on their joyous and fearless acceptance of their common obligation to the children that are theirs.”

Thank you for your “joyous and fearless acceptance of your obligation to the children that are yours.” Wouldn’t the world be a better place if every mother and father accepted that obligation with joy and without fear?

We can learn a lot from Teddy Roosevelt and his mama and daddy. There are many reasons Mr. and Mrs. Roosevelt chose to educate their children at home instead of at a public school. One of their reasons was their fear that public school would make their children “coarser.” From tender to coarse is sad to see in anyone of any age.

For I too was a son to my father,
still tender, and cherished by my mother.
Then he taught me, and he said to me,
“Take hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands, and you will live.”
Proverbs 4:3-4



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One comment

  1. I have learned so much about the REAL Teddy Roosevelt from your curriculum! Sadly, the interpretations I had known previously had him portrayed as everything from a blustering coward to an evolutionist. So good to know that he was indeed a man of character AND of solid faith!

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