This isn’t your typical Be A Better Mom Monday post, but since it is still mommy related, I decided to go with it today.
Thankfully my dear friend Jennifer can share differing opinions with no animosity. Because I knew the opinion about Christians being responsible for the education of their children shared in a recent post might be taken with distain I asked her to give us the low down on why she will choose not to home school. Interestingly, her reply offered too many misconceptions for me not to respond. Here are a few homeschooling objections/misconceptions, I’d like be sure are represented from the side of home education.
1. Are we our children’s best teacher?
As we pondered how we were going to choose the education of our children this question came up. When in research mode I found out home educated children most often perform at higher levels and with higher test scores than their peers being educated in both public and private schools. Since I couldn’t remember my original source of the information, here is a great post I have seen recently with some of the facts. Homeschooling is on the rise because studies are showing all the benefits and its not just among Christian families. AND there is almost no difference in the success of the child whether their parent was a certified teacher or not. In the end, God gave each of us our children to raise and He, through His Word will equip us for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
2. But What if my Children REALLY love their public school?
It is our job as parents to do what is best for our children. They will not always love our choices. I enjoyed school all but 1 year of high school. It was a great way to escape and figure out who I wanted to be. There are so many amazing places you can go and projects you can do educating your children from home. Public school can’t compete with a parent who desires to give their child the best education possible. Children love learning at the local zoo with their friends (yes, home educated children have friends too), getting to take regular trips to museums and visiting other places that enable their education to be three dimensional and hands on.
3. What if Christian curriculum isn’t the best curriculum?
If any Christian curriculum isn’t the best you have found out there, then don’t use it!!! As home educators, we get to choose the best curriculum from EVERY subject. We can pick and choose experts from each subject and educate our children from the best of the best, and we should. Of course I want my children to know the truth about God’s Word, but that’ doesn’t mean I don’t want them to excel in math, science, English or any other subject. Text books are often written from one perspective. I remember being taught who the “bad guys” were in the civil war…the rebels. Attending a University in the south I was quickly brought to the realization they were taught they were the good guys, and they lost. Our villains were their heroes. I was stunned. How could we have been educated so differently in the same country? I look forward to teaching my children both sides of all the issues, scientifically and historically especially. We have an plethora of resources available to us and it does a great injustice to our children to not choose the very best. Most of the curriculum I know home school parents to use are curriculum used in private schools.
4. I thought we were supposed to be salt and light to a dying world?
We are! This one really gets me. I’m not sure why 1) people assume home educated children are not exposed to non-Christian children or 2) why people think/assume we don’t want our children to be lights in a dark world. Really the exact opposite is true.
- Many home educating parents are not Christian. This puts all types of children in co-ops.
- There are so many people, thereby children, at church who do not walk in any sort of godliness at all. It is a very small percentage, especially in the mega-churches who are serving and living lives to reflect Christ in such a way you don’t have to wonder if they know God or not.
- We will go a great many places, far more than the public school classroom, where we will be in contact with non-Christians, their vocabulary, music and separate world views. They will actually get to, both see how grown ups react to situations, and be properly trained in how best to react. In addition to the various “school” activities home school children are involved in they are also just as involved in extra curricular activities as children in public school. Those children become their friends too!!!
- We DO want them to be salt and light, but this is not something naturally instilled in our children. They are unsaved, selfish, precious ones in training. If you are not actively training them to do the right things, rest assured someone is actively training them to do wrong. This is just our sin nature. The truth is if you are not with them, you don’t know how they are behaving and for many parents by the time they know there is a problem with a child’s behavior (a symptom of whatever sin issue they are having in their heart) it is too late to train them in the good habits they needed. Then there is getting rid of bad habits to deal with while creating good habits is tossed on the back burner.
5. What if home schooling isn’t an option?
Life has consequences, both good and bad for the choices we make. We choose where we want to live, who we marry, what lifestyle we are financially comfortable with and a myriad of other choices. If you are a single parent who has to provide an income for your family with a full time job, then logistically you can’t home educate your children. If you “can’t” home school your children because if either you or your spouse had to stop working you wouldn’t be able to live the lifestyle you are accustomed to, then you are choosing not to home school for other reasons. I see it as a genuine rarity, families who are, actually logistically, unable to home school.
Home education is a far cry from retreat and separation. Home education makes giving your child every opportunity an actual possibility. There is a fine line between wanting your children to be “salt and light” and “throwing them to the wolves”. Foolishness breeds foolishness. One good teacher can’t possibly outweigh 20 unruly, disrespectful little 6 year olds influence on the precious one God gave you. We are taught to diligently teach our children God’s commandments and principles at all times. Even the best teacher is still spending 30 hours a week teaching your children a non-biblical word view. I wish our education system was neutral, but the truth is our education system vehemently opposes Christianity, prayer, the Bible and even God being said in the Pledge of Allegiance. Your children will learn about all other religions, beliefs and theory’s under the guise of truth. The more you hear something spoken as truth the more likely you are to believe it. There will be no way to know what seeds of doubt or bitterness take root in their heart. You may very well, not know what you are up against until its too late.
1. Are their wonderful people who have come through our education system?
- In years, past there have been.
2. Do I think your kid is bound to hell if you don’t educate him at home?
- Of course not!
3. Do I think its the best option for Christian parents, who are after all morally responsible to God, for the stewardship of their children into adulthood?
- Yes, yes I do.
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