Why I disapprove of home school and Christian schools

This is an abbreviated rant that I’ve been storing up for a while. (It was rekindled in a grad school class last week.)

The idea that Christian parents have a responsibility to hide their children from the world and worldly ideas permeates evangelicalism. In actuality, it is a dead and rotting fish at most churches. To say that the homeschool movement among evangelicals is interesting is completely misrepresenting a fact. Homeschooling, and it’s twisted sister Christian schooling are a cancer that we call “good.”

Despite the rhetoric of the past 25 years in the evangelical church, it is not good to separate from the world. It is good to raise up a child in the way that they should go. It is good that education does not end at the stoop of the door. It is bad that undereducated parents think that a few books published by fundamentalist are equal to a professionally trained and licensed teacher. To think that these two “alternatives” is better for children is simply a lie. Let’s quickly expose some myths.

A parent should be the primary teacher, and is equally capable of instruction on all levels. Even in biblical times, there were extra-family teachers. Jesus was found at the temple with Rabbi’s and teachers. Certainly a large part of education starts and ends with family… But the bulk of education in the 21st century is rightly done in an educational institution. The thought of parents teaching high school students should make all of us shudder.

Parents have a responsibility to protect their children from non-scriptural teachings. True. But what then is the point of entry into the real world? Junior high? High school? College? The parental argument stems from “they are too immature to handle pressures.” Again, a lie not back by scripture. The best place for students to enter the world is under the care and direction of parents… Do it early while they are still engaged in life with you. It’s terrible to see these homely children on college campuses.

Parents have a right to withdraw their children from public school. This is a shortsided and faithless front. True, you have the right… But is it right? What about removing Christian parents from the local schools? What about all the Christians who aren’t on local school boards, PTAs… nevermind the billions of dollars that these “cults” take away from public schools. No where in the Bible are we commanded to withdraw from the public arena. Those dollars, those hours, those fights belong in the public arena! How dare some selfish, seflrighteous parent withdraw for the greater good of their children when God has placed them in their communities as salt and light!

Christian education is on par with public education. This is a terrible myth. Most evangelical school teachers are not certified to teach the subjects they have to instruct on. At the secondary level this is devastating. We are raising a generation of numb-skulled Christian students who have no chance of competeing with their public school peers.

Repent, withdraw you child from homeschooling and private education and enroll in your neighborhood school. Volunteer at your local school. Take the $5000 you are giving to some church run, half baked school and invest it in your public school. Shut down all Christian schools and donate the money to build better classrooms, libraries and gymnasiums. The greater good needs Christian parents to get their heads out of their little holes and get to work.

This is only the infancy of my rant. I wish I could continue, but alas I have to go and volunteer in place of some parent who refused. (I do so gleefully and with honor!)

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in Ahwahnee, California.

4 comments

  1. As an attorney at the Home School Legal Defense Association, a homeschooling father of six, and author of a philosophy course for homeschooled teens, I would love to discuss this further.

    I’m a believer in the separation of church and state, which makes it hard for a government to operate a school that deals adequately with religious issues. I think American schools tend to avoid the subject of religion, which makes it hard for today’s graduates to understand the past (the Reformation, for example) or to face the future (what do we say about Muslim terrorists?).

    I accept your “rant” about home and Christian schools, but can you help me understand how the government can really address religious issues without offending the sensibilities of some minority?

  2. Scott, this is where I think that Christians have falsely given up.

    Think of all the legal wrangling, hassle and money you have invested in homeschool defense. No… take that same zeal to participate in the public school forum for the greater good of both children of believers and non-believers. It’s a matter of access. Since you stand on the outside of the forum… your voice is meaningless. But as a dedicated parent of your school district you have a voice that must be heard.

    We all know that the seperation of church/state is artificial. It was clearly not the desires of the founding fathers and is a misrepresentation of truth. The Supreme Court was wrong and the congress did not act to defend the constitution as the check/balances are designed to work.

    On the local level, you will find good people who intend to work for the good of the children. Your voice belongs in that mix and homeschooling is a distraction from that argument.

    At the end of the day the question becomes… who’s children are they? Are they yours? Are they the states? Or are they God’s? My view is that they are God’s children under my stewardship. As a steward of the child… it is my responsibility to expose them, lovingly and with guidance, to the realities of the world. To do otherwise is unloving as a parent and setting the child up for disaster when they eventually do enter the public forum.

    Here’s a quick question. If homeschooling is so good… how come no one is paying for research to prove it is? Who is doing longitudinal studies on the ramifications? Where are the numbers? How much $$$ from Christian parents is being wasted on seperatist activity instead of invested in the community? What about time? How many man-hours are spent volunteering for Christian schooling and homeschooling when they could be invested in making life changing impact for non-churches children.

    My whole point is that it is a shame and a sham that Christian parents are so faithless as to harbor their children away from the world. It is man-centered thinking and only looking at “what’s in it for me?” When the real question should be “what’s in it for others?”

    Explain to me this… how is it that homeschooling/Christian is morally acceptable in light of these arguments.

    Isn’t the real issue prayer in schools? All the rest is a mask for an faithless response to a real problem… so someone made Christians angry in the 50s and 60s… should we just take our ball and go home… or should we fight?

    Thank you for being willing to enter a dialogue. Though I disagree with your position I really do respect your intent.

  3. agree and disagree. Coming from non-christian perspective and having been greatly disappointed in my own journey from public school to college drop out, I wish I had gone to some other form of primary education…Montessori, Nature Schools, UnSchooling, Traditional Apprentriceship, Waldorf or many others… Some public schools are adopting some of these methodologies for great success but american education is greatly lagging behind other countries… I recently read in finland (one of the best in the world) that teachers let the kids out for breaks outside every 45 minutes to great success! Don’t agree with the isolation that you’re against either in the christian community. Appreciate your writing and have a lot of praise for the “baby god” series which is what brought me here this evening… I’ll leave more feedback over there.

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