Monday, May 23, 2011

The Reason We Choose to Home School - Part 3

This topic has generated more interest than I ever thought it would. 

One of the purposes of this blog is to force myself to put some of the things that run through my cranium into a more structured and hopefully a more articulate format. 

I have been pleasantly surprised at the amount of hits and feedback these home schooling post posts have generated.

I realize that the topic of Christians and our choices in education is a very sensitive and controversial subject. I have heard many plausible arguments, both pro and con on the issues. 

Some Christian parents view the public school and even private school as a training ground for evangelism. Some view public education as the best way to prepare their children to live within the culture. some believe it is better preparation for college.

However, government run schools, with their evolutionary and humanistic philosophy, have an agenda. From sexual perversions in the name of "free thinking", to pro-abortion ideas and a "progressive" world view. Government schools are predominately opposed to a Christian world view.

Believing that one's home life can counterbalance the influence of a public school education seems illogical at best and irrational at worst to me.

An oak tree that stands in the wind for thirty hours a week will eventually bend to the pressure and grow crooked. 

Do I believe God can miraculously protect a child from these influences as he did Daniel of the Old Testament? Absolutely!

Does this mean that by placing them in this kind of environment that we are following God's plan and design for the education and rearing of our children in a Biblical way? Absolutely not!!

If we look into the history of our schools and colleges, they were built upon Christian principles. Even Harvard itself once stood upon the foundation of the Word of God. During those times, parents and teachers worked together to raise up statesmen and Godly citizens who in turn would provide a positive influence upon their society.

Whatever education environment you choose for your children, I implore you to watch, pray and be extremely involved. 

Know who is teaching your children and know what they are being taught.

Most teachers have some form of agenda, and a world view from which they will influence your child's thinking.

If you find that it is contrary to the truths of God's Word, then it is time to take action and perhaps plot another course.

To be continued if further inspiration strikes......... :-)

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Reason We Choose to Home School – Part 2

Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 10:5(ESV) that "We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete".

It doesn't take a very strong, nor a compelling argument for most Christians to agree that our public schools have unfortunately become a haven for the "filthy conversation of the wicked" as well as a platform to teach philosophy that is against "the knowledge of God". This does not mean that Christian schools always produce better environments either. Unfortunately, due to circumstances that can be created beyond the administrators and educators control, the environment can become one that is far less conducive to Christian character development than what is intended. Many homeschooling parents are guilty of overprotecting their children so much that when they are older they are unable to stand strong against the rude awakening of the world outside of the home.

However, I would argue that just because there are some Christian schools and some homeschoolers who educate and prepare children poorly does not mean we are justified in handing our children and their precious hearts and minds over for a six hours a day, thirty hours a week dose of exposure to those who do not possess a solid Christian and Apostolic world view.

No matter how strong our children are, their souls will be vexed (worn down, or distressed) from day to day by the things they see and the things they hear (2 Peter 2:7,8).

There was a very good and very strong reason that God did not allow Israel to send their children to the Canaanite, Moabite and Egyptian schools.

Read the book of Deuteronomy, I think you might find the reason!

Thanks for reading again today!


To be continued when more time allots…….

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Reason We Choose to Home School – Part 1

I was in a conversation a while back regarding the merits, positives and negatives of sending your children to public schools, private schools or home schooling them. This conversation and a series of conversations along these lines prompted this post.

I have long heard Christians say they were putting their children in public schools as an opportunity to prepare their children for the "real" world as well as an outstanding opportunity to be a witness for Jesus Christ. I once had an Elder that I deeply respect; chastise me for home schooling our children, telling me that putting them in public schools was a highly effective way to evangelize our community. Another equally respected Elder felt compelled to inform me that there was no way that home schooling was as effective as placing our children in a preferred Christian school.

However, the deeper we researched, and the more we studied and prayerfully considered this important decision, the more convinced we became that the Bible clearly instructs us as Christians to "train up our children in the way they should go". The raising and training of our children is first and foremost a parent's responsibility. Not a school teacher, not a Sunday school teacher, not a Pastor, not a deacon, but a Godly parent is called by God to raise and instruct their children in the ways of God.

There are many Christians, who I deeply love and respect that make different decisions on the education and upbringing of their children. I have listened to their views throughout the years, but when I look at God's clear admonitions of how we are to raise our children, I simply cannot justify a public school education in today's immoral environment. Yet in my finite understand of the ways of God, I do not want to judge my brother for making this decision, but do sense the need to raise an objection and present some of the reason why we have chosen home schooling.

Old Testament Israelites were commanded by God to reach their children when they rose up, as they were walking, and as they were lying down (Deut. 6). God also wanted a separation between his children and the world, so he warned against intermarriages which might cause His children to worship foreign and false gods.

In the New Testament, God continues to warn against this sort of mixing with the world, using Lot as an illustration of what happens to a family when they get too close to an unbelieving culture. The Apostle Peter writes, "And [God] delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)" (2nd Peter 2:7-8).

Lot was not doing what they did, but just seeing their deeds and hearing their talk on a daily basis was enough to wear him down spiritually. Though I am sure there are a few Christian young people who can maintain their spiritual edge while attending public school, the Scripture is clear that these daily influences are not good for the soul.

To be continued when more time allots…..

Some books I recommend reading:

Friendly Dragons and Moral Nightmares – Michael O'Brien

The Heart of Home Schooling – Elisabeth Elliot

Home Schooling, the Right Choice – Christopher Klicka