Homeschooling and Public School Confessions

I am so inspired and blessed by our homeschooling journey – and while I believe that each family should hear from God on this issue, I hope and pray that each family would prayerfully consider homeschooling! I would like to share some inspiring things I have read from homeschooling families.

This is actually from a comment on a wonderful blog by KimC called in a shoe. I thought the person (Tami) who wrote this comment just put it so well and had such valuable things to say that I had to quote some excerpts from it!

Read the full comment here:

 In my opinion, the worst thing that he learned in public school was not evolution (although he certainly was taught that), but rather the idea that education is the answer to all problems. That is a very basic tenet of humanism – that with enough education, we can do anything. It sounds good to Christians at first, because we can’t love our God if we don’t know Him, but that isn’t at all what humanists mean. They truely mean that man is the be-all and end-all, and so if man can just learn enough, he can save himself. But there is only one path to salvation for mankind, and it isn’t education. Another very dangerous idea is the idea of the innate goodness of man – if it weren’t for corrupting circumstances, man would choose good, the whole “noble savage” concept. These teachings don’t just happen in biology class, where most Christian kids are taught to keep their guard up, they are taught as an integral part of almost every subject, but certainly all the humanities. I think they are very subtle, and kids from Christian homes have their worldviews shaped without even realizing it. I think most Christian parents don’t realize it either, because they attended the same humanistic government schools, or else Christian schools like mine where they were taught exactly the same things as in public school, just with a Bible class added.
My son has a very good friend from an observant Jewish family, and every year he invited around a dozen school friends to his family’s Passover Seder. There would be friends attending from 6 continents, and every major world religion. When he was in 9th grade, I though that was so cool, that he could see Passover in a Jewish home, just as Jesus observed it. I told several of my friends about that, until one day my son stopped me and said, “Mom, it’s just a party. It’s just like a Christmas party, but with a lot more wine.” He went on to explain that everyone really respected each other’s religion, in a cultural sort of way, but that none of his friends really believed their religions except the Christians, and most of them didn’t either. You see, in spite of their parents’ beliefs, these kids were all humanists, putting their faiths in their supposedly excellent high school educations, and striving for even more excellent college educations. He has friends now from his graduating class in all the Ivies except one.
But God is a merciful and forgiving God, and in spite of our foolishness in raising our first son, He has blessed us, and him. He just got home today from his first year at an excellent and very academic Christian university. He had a fabulous freshman year and has grown a great deal spiritually. He was just amazed that every class he took was taught with a Biblical worldview. (Even abstract math, he said!) I pray every day that God will continue to use others to teach him the things I failed to teach him in elementary and high school.
To make an already very long story shorter, we pulled our second son out of public school at the beginning of high school, and our two daughters have never been to school. We are doing a much better job teaching them.
I hear so many people quote the “salt and light” verse in reference to public school, but they seem to quit reading right there. Matt 5:13 says, “You are the salt of the world. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” Sadly, I think that is exactly what happens to many children from Christian families. Years of humanistic teachings cause them to lose their saltiness, and many are never salty again. And they are indeed trampled by men.
I don’t know the end of the story, but my God does. I know that we would never have met most of his friends if he hadn’t attended public school. I consider it my job to evangelize them as much as my son’s. Several of them are truth seekers, so maybe God did lead us intentionally into that circumstance to meet them. Or maybe He didn’t, but He is willing and able to work with us to further His kingdom out of our not-so-ideal choices in education. I only know that the best that we can do is to follow Him to the best of our ability at the place we are right now. There is no “redo” of the past, but that shouldn’t keep us from changing our actions in the present.

I was also very impacted by this article written by Kelly Crawford of Generation Cedar when she still had her Hearts For Family blog. The article appears on June Fuentes Homeschool Corner Blog. This blog has much encouragement for Biblical Homeschooling. I relate completely to the things Kelly experienced in this article. It is such an honest expression of her experiences.

True Confessions of a Public High School Graduate

So there I was—my very first day in a public school, twelve years old, donning my most fashionable clothing, walking into the gymnasium full of glaring, unfamiliar faces. I was finally in the “real world”. For the previous seven years, I had attended a small Christian school and my soul ached to go to a “real school”. I liked it. But I admit, the first few days shocked me. And they should have. I had heard young people curse before, but not like it was their native language. I had even heard coarse jokes, sexual innuendos, and such; but I had not been aware of a society of children who wallowed in it. To my great detriment, there did come a day when I was no longer shocked. That day would change my life, my character, and my destiny forever.

I attended public high school in the eighties. (I have heard things have gotten even worse.) I boarded a bus around 7:15 a.m. There, as my character was still being molded, I witnessed cruelty, obscenity, and a total disregard for anything moral. When the bus approached Cindy’s house, everyone scurried to share a seat with someone else, even if there were three of four to that seat. There was always an empty seat for Cindy. Cindy was overweight, and poor. Her countenance revealed years of social abandonment and cruel regard. “Don’t sit with me! Sit over there! Oh no, she’s coming over here!” were the typical comments that welcomed Cindy onto the bus every morning.

Two of the “older” kids were usually in the back seat making out. The school bus seats were very high, for safety, (Ha! Save their bodies, destroy their souls!) and so one could do just about anything without being seen by the driver.

At only 8:00 in the morning, I had already witnessed enough wickedness to last a lifetime. Now we were at school. Soon I learned it was really cool to make fun of your teachers and hold a general disdain for any kind of academics. (When the majority of your day is spent with peers, they are naturally the ones for whom you want to “be cool”.) This was a conflict as I had a natural desire to please both peers and teachers. I spent the first few weeks of school crying. The new student has to be “broken in”, so all the girls made fun of me—for anything they could think of. When and if one persevered, this may pass.

Breaks between classes—that is what we looked forward to. You had one of several agendas: If you had a boyfriend/girlfriend, you must flee to him, exchange your fifth love letter of the day, possibly exchange some physical affection, and go back to class starry-eyed. Or if no lover, then you would flock together with your cronies and get the latest gossip. “Fight at 3:30 at the Shell station”…”Kevin and Amy broke up!”…”We made Mrs. Smith cry again today!” These were the gentle things of public school—the “innocence” if you will, of being a teenager—this was “real” life.

Then there were the other conversations exchanged here and there, before school, in the hall, at lunch, at PE, just about anytime. Those things that had shocked me at first. Those things, which having heard them enough times, began to be normal. “So-and-so lost her virginity last night”—she was fourteen. Parties, alcohol, drugs, etc., all very commonplace after awhile. Day after day, year after year, conditioning took place and I was no longer the frog jumping into boiling water.

So, after a year or two, I was one of them. Any reserve I held for sacred things had long dissolved. My Christian upbringing, the principles my parents had tried so diligently to instill had, at the very least, retreated so deeply into the recesses of my character as to appear invisible.

For thirteen years, the effects of this transformation gripped my life. I had once commented to my father, as he tried to make a decision about my going to public school, “You have raised me with a strong foundation…I want to go and share Christ with those kids…I am strong enough”. I was now rebellious, angry, confused, and wallowing in sin.

Today, by the grace and mercy of our Savior, I am a forgiven sinner, seeking after godliness, despite my many failures. So, “it all turned out to be OK in the end, right?” Wrong. The whole point of this article is to emphasize that the consequences of sin cannot be avoided, and they leave an ugly, painful trench in every life—even the life surrendered to God. I admit that my life is on a much smoother course than it could have been, by God’s grace. But did my renewed love for the Lord repair the damage that resulted from years of breaking His law, and being a companion to the wicked? Not a chance. I struggle much, and I know from where my struggle comes. And my heart grieves for the flippancy prevailing among parents this very day, as they turn their children over to Satan’s company to be devoured. I certainly do not blame my parents for my years of rebellion. I do not even blame them for sending me to public school—they didn’t know of an alternative. They did what they thought they had to do.

But now, on the other side of it, I am not ashamed to boldly challenge parents to think about their responsibility for the sanctity of their children. I cannot watch someone driving recklessly toward a cliff and not try my best to stop them! As Christians, we must search the Scriptures for wisdom in raising our children. And we must stop justifying our methods by saying, “Well, it doesn’t say_______anywhere in the Bible!” We must not see how little we can get away with, but rather strive for holiness, pressing toward the mark, seeking to resemble Christ as much as lies in us. I would plead with parents to realize the responsibility of being accountable for the children the Lord has given them. We need to be urgent, determined and devoted to guarding their hearts and minds. Let us commit to raising not mediocre children, bruised and wounded as they enter adulthood, but strong and mighty men and women, a godly generation with a legacy of purity!

Kimberly from Raising Olives mentions these 4 points in “How we Homeschool: An Overview” on her blog. It is such a well written article and I agree completely. She elaborates on each point here.

1. Christ is King.  We choose to examine everything by the the standard of His Word.

2. We try to educate in a natural, as we live type of style, concentrating on teaching and training our children all the time and in all circumstances.

3. People/children are able to learn even when the the instruction is not aimed directly at their level.

4. Relationships are most important.

Everyone agrees with this point when it comes right down to it.  (What is more important your college degree or your wife and kids?)  This a big permeating principle of the Bible.  It is an all pervasive assumption in scripture that God is a relational God.  Throughout scripture He reveals Himself in terms of relationships.  He is our Father.  He sent His Son.  The church is the bride of Christ.

So what does this have to do with how we homeschool?  Two things:

A. We want to learn together as much as possible.  We do not want to send our 12 year old off to her room with her pile of books, and our 11 year old somewhere else with her pile, and our 10 year old off with his pile, etc.  We want to learn together, to develop relationships while we develop knowledge and to be able to learn from each other.

B. We say no to a lot of activities that would result in the same type of fragmentation of our family that I described in point A.  We don’t want our 12 year old running off to ballet, while the 11 year old goes to horse back riding, and the 10 year old has guitar lessons.  This type of fragmentation is worse (in our opinion) because not only does it draw the children away from each other, it draws the family away from the home.

These articles and their writers are an inspiration to me in our very young homeschooling journey – and I hope they are to you too.

“And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 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.”

” Deuteronomy 6 v 6,7

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