For many, the immediate reason is economic. Like all Americans,
Christians are saddled with excessive taxes and regulation. In order to
keep the wolves away from the door and maintain a comfortable lifestyle,
many succumb to the two-wage-earner solution which makes homeschooling
difficult, although not impossible.
Some Christians, aware that the modern public school has become a
God-free zone, comfort themselves with the notion that their Christian
children are bearing witness to their unsaved peers. This, increasingly,
is being seen for what it is a convenient excuse. Children are not
meant to live and learn while encamped behind enemy lines.
Others feel academically inadequate to the task of teaching, or don't
think they could command their children's attention and respect, or
don't want to be around their kids that much, or are too attached to
their careers, or a hundred other reasons that seem to rule out the
Regardless of the outward reasons, most Christians just don't see an
insurmountable problem with sending their children to public school. But
what does that say about our standards?
"Most Christians, most Evangelicals today, are very happy and
satisfied if their children by the age of 18 have not lost their
virginity, if their children are not on drugs, if their children are not
caught up in the world," says homeschool advocate and attorney Douglas
W. Phillips in "A Home School Vision of Victory."
"Brothers and sisters, is that the right standard for us? How low
have we sunk? God would have us raise up warriors for Jesus Christ.
But this means giving them a warrior's education. Warriors are not
trained in the school system of the world. Warriors are trained
separately. Warriors are trained uniquely. Warriors are trained by God's
standards they're taught to stand alone. This must be what our vision
is. How sad if the best we can see is to simply keep our kids off of the
perverting influences of the popular culture."
However, the main reason face it, the ultimate reason most modern
Christians turn their children over to a government school system that
brainwashes them and spits on their religion is the compartmentalization
Christians have evolved between their religion and real life.
Many Christians feel that as long as their kids have been persuaded
to believe Jesus died for their sins that they are saved for eternity,
and not much else really matters. It's an almost irresistible,
unconscious calculation we make when
concept of salvation is divorced from any real need for obedience to
God's laws. Our basic selfishness and sinfulness tempt us to believe
unconsciously that, "What does it matter where they go to school or what
they're exposed to or even how sinful they become? They're already saved
and going to Heaven."
What a shame. This is the basic deceitful condition we need salvation
from, and yet we foil God's very plan for us, and for our children,
while convincing ourselves we're embracing it.
It's as though we've won the $26 million lottery so what does it
really matter if we misbehave on our day job now? Who even needs a job?
We're set for life!
That's the secret, deceitful calculation. But on the conscious level,
we think: "Well, I went through public school, and I turned out OK. So,
my children will get through it fine, too. I'm not worried."
Hey, I also went to public school, and my mind and soul are intact
today. But isn't that a sad excuse for giving our children an inferior
experience when we know we could do better? And of course, as we have
seen, government schools today are far more corrupting and traumatic
than they were a generation ago.
Healing the past
One of the blessings of parenthood is that God mercifully seems to
grant us a second chance to re-live our childhood in some ways to
re-experience traumas, to forgive, to heal the wounds of our youth, to
become whole. Homeschooling offers an exquisite opportunity for this
My wife Jean, while growing up in South Africa, was sent away to a
Catholic boarding school at the tender age of five, where she grew up
for the next five years in the hands of frustrated and impatient nuns.
Her memories are mostly of outrages and injustices like being forced
to stand in the corner with the spiders if she didn't finish her meal or
committed some other imagined offense.
As she grew up, those convent years receded from her mind but they
had of course made their mark on her soul.
A few years back, while discussing whether to send our kids to
private school or to homeschool them public school has never been on
the table Jean looked up at me and said with memorable conviction: "I
am these children's mother. Who has a better right to teach them than
me?" The truth of her logic penetrated my mind and pierced my heart.
Today, six years later, I can say that homeschooling has been a journey
sometimes bumpy, occasionally tumultuous but overall a wonderful,
painful, well-planned, spontaneous, serene and rollicking adventure.
But it's not just about better curriculum and protecting your kids
from school shooters, lesbian poetry and jihad studies. It's a way of
life for the entire family.
I've watched as every family member has grown in character, as Jean
and I have both filled in gaps in our own educations by teaching and
learning history, geography, literature, science, math and more.
Jean has even forgiven the nuns for their thoughtless and cruel
But more deeply, and ultimately more importantly, the homeschooling
experience is sewing our family together as a unit. For the family that
learns to learn together, work together and play together is the family
where the siblings become best friends for life, and their family
becomes a rock a powerful godly subculture to which they can always
return for guidance and rest.
my boyhood question "Is that all there is?" it has been answered
most graciously. No dramatic visions, no 300-foot statues of Jesus
just a gentle and progressive unfolding of understanding from that
"other dimension" beyond time and space. With the Holy Spirit as my
compass, and guided by the Scriptures the blueprint for our character,
shown with exquisite clarity in the life and words of Jesus Christ I
hope, like every Christian dad hopes, to lead my wife and children
safely toward that distant shore. After all, we're all pilgrims.
"And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt
talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by
the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."
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