homeschooling debate: an e-mailed reply

Since I had asked to no hijack the homeschooling thread, I received and e-mail from a non-fan of my homeliskooling ideas. Here is what I revieved as well as my reply.

I really don’t want to have a year long back and forth conversation about this but do feel the need to express to you why your post offended me. I am not asking you to change your mind…just that you consider that the satan comment might have been inappropriate and just plain wrong.

My point was that you are really reaching to equate those of us who have chosen this manner of educating our children and other ways to be involved in the public square with having been deceived by satan.Wow…that is a truly extreme approach. Has someone else accused you of the same because your children are in public school? I would never make that leap.I’m not going to start another thread. You don’t have any desire to see both sides. You have decided that homeschooling is “wrong” rather than an option.I do see both sides and have had my kids in public school and may do so again when circumstances are different. We have children in our congregation from every possible educational setting…we do not push for any one option, we encourage the parents to do what is best for their family and to be actively involved in their kids lives. We also lift up and encourage our public school teachers some of whom think what we are doing is great and others who have bought into the whole set of NEA philosophies. By the same token we have both Democrats and Republicans and everything else represented and we make an effort to find unity in Christ and to allow each other differences in other areas.

I hope that at some point in the future you will be able to consider the possibility that those choosing this means of educating their children are not functioning as tools of satan. That is might be possible that many of us are making this choice as led by the Holy Spirit just as I’m sure you see your choice to support public education.

The satan comment troubles me the most. Have your opinions but that was just too much.

Here is my replay to the e-mail:

Again, sorry if my comments upset or offended you. These are myopinions and diversity of thought is quite valuable in the body ofChrist. But I do feel that removing children from the public schoolsto separate them from the world is a victory for Satan. We are nevercommanded to withdraw from society, but to change it. The same God whotoppled Rome with his church can easily topple the influences that arebeing poured out onto our children.

Those parents who have withdrawn their children for other reasons… Ihave no problem with at all. Let’s be clear about that. Students whoare disabled and the schools aren’t capable of properly teaching, etc.

You can also take the example of Satan winning by dramaticallyunder-educating Christian children. Homeschooling is a system thatlacks accountability, structures are developing… but until then Icannot support it. In states with accountability (such as CA) there islittle follow-up when students fail and rarely punishment for theparent as there should be. Likewise, the homeschool books I have seenare inadequately teaching advanced subjects. It seems that thehomeschooling movement is aiming to prepare students for service inthe small world of the church instead of preparing the next generationto conquer the world in the name of Christ academically and asleaders! This too plays into the hand of Satan who will bewell-pleased to see a naive generation of believers.

I do firmly believe that Satan is well pleased that he has convincedmasses of Christians to remove themselves, the minority, from theeducational process of the non-believing masses. Without thisGod-ordained influence on school boards, PTAs, and volunteering in theschools, Satan is allowed to have his way with well meaning educatorsand administrators… will humanism cease naturally? Removal ofChristians from the public school arena is leading to further decaywith no checks and balances. This is giving up the war for a battle.

What about the utter arrogance of it all? I have yet to meet a singlehomeschooling parent who felt their public school system did anadequate job of education. Universally they think they are superiorand the homeschooling literature just feeds this thought. At a formerchurch, even the principal of the school we ran homeschooled hischildren. It is arrogant to think that one persons children are morevaluable than the others. It is sad that many think that THEIR kidsare too good for the public schools and that PARENTS think they arebetter teachers than trained and credentialed professionals who areheld to accepted standards.

You’ve also read more into my words than were there. I said I felt itwas wrong for secondary education (7-12) but an OK alternative forprimary. (k-6) My argument there has to do with training children todeal with the world. People are correct when they refer to “the waythings were historically” that children were taught at home… howeverin an agrarian society a secondary education was not needed and theywere often sent away to secondary schooling and apprenticeship. Assecondary students, if they are withdrawn… and there is no equalsubstitute by means of a homeschooling club, club sports programs,etc… when is the entry point “to the world?” As a graduate of abible school who deal with these homeschoolers, college is too late.For the most part they were 4-5 years behind developmentally fromtheir Christian school and public school peers. Their well-meaningparents had dealt them a serious blow. I have a dear friend who didnot know what her genitals were for until she was in a childdevelopment class in college. How is this good for a young lady? Isthis preparing her for the world? I think not.

Again, I am sorry if you are offended. I will clearly say it again. If anyone chooses to educated their children in the primary ages… more power to them. I support it. Have fun. If nothing else it will give them an appreciation for the hard work of teachers. But I firmlybelieve that once a child reaches adolescence they are best served ina school setting away from mom and dad. Private school, Christian school, public school, boarding school.. whatever. It is invaluablethat they be prepared for post-secondary education by trainedprofessionals AND that they experience the hardships of adolescentindividuation under the care and supervision of their parents.

For your information, I’ve had this same discussion with many, manyhomeschooling parents. Even in my church. I do not mean to tear theirdecision down. It is between them and the Lord. But I feel it is myresponsibility to educate the parents of the ramifications of theirdecision. I don’t get paid to make everyone happy, there are timeswhen a shepherd is really building up the flock by lovingly correcting.






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