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As the sun sinks slowly in the West, and with our adventure nearing its climax, it’s time to find out if the waterlogged ship, Titanic, (a metaphor of threat against families, national culture and Church) is going to sink along with the sun or sail on safely to port. The good news is that the ship can be saved if we stuff the ripped-open gash with the most important plug of all; Christian home schooling (HS). The point of this three-part series has been that if God’s obedient salt and light stewards and industrious “occupiers until He comes,” truly desire to restore our nation to kingdom-advancing, culture-redeeming status, then Christian education of our replacement adults is absolutely the best tool. Private Christian schooling was mentioned last time. Today’s focus is on HS.
Since “education” is key, let’s re-check the term’s meaning. Because of 100 + years of “mom, flag and apple pie” type analogies, the average mind-molded American involuntarily recites back to you the paradigm of the flawed-in-its-very-conception, public school model as his definition. Besides the “3Rs” he envisions huge classrooms of age-segregated peers being production-lined through the K-12 process; dreaded one-chance-only exams; playground “facts of life;” learning to fit in and obey; sports, sports and more sports - almost our national religion; the prime goal of college-guaranteeing SAT scores; eventual high salaries; boy-girl stuff—big time, etc. Scratch most Americans and you find that’s “education.” Since you already sense this mad litany was a set-up, it’s time to turn to just a few of the dozens of well-known Bible verses portraying God’s version of education and see how it relates to HSing. Is there a better starting point than that “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom?” Proverbs then immediately links this time-tested message to the rule that children are to “hear the instruction of their father and forsake not the law of their mother.” i.e., education happens at home. Where, then, is the biblical justification for transferring kids away for the academics? It’s not, per Deuteronomy 6, where we’re told that God’s word is to be taught to children non-stop when we speak to them, while sitting in the house, when walking by the way, when lying down and upon arising. By easy inference, the passage’s ”no let-up” time parameter means that, in addition to the spiritual training, the academic part (an aspect, by the way, that is hardly a rocket-science challenge, as studies show, even for a homeschool mom who may not even have a high school degree) must therefore be taught alongside God’s word and integrated with it. Sending the child “away” prevents the first and hinders or even completely prevents the second —especially in 2007 U.S.A. where academic achievement (and morality) continues going into the tank.
Jeremiah 10:2, Proverbs 22:6, Colossians 2:8 are good passages. Ephesians 6:4 implies that failure to constantly train per God’s ways easily produces a child overloaded with wrath against his parents, himself, the world in general, and even against God. Since daily work in HS, to include homework, is typically completed by noon, tons of superb “socialization” opportunities abound during the rest of the day so don’t let naysayers dissuade you with their totally discredited “but, what about socialization?” ploy.
To list the vast volume of homeschooling benefits goes well beyond space limits, but the odds of the following rewards coming your way far outweigh those suffered when the (anti-scriptural) decision is made to not HS: Teenage rebellion slows to a trickle or stops; your kids will get better grades—in fact, receiving “all A’s” since new topics aren’t introduced until the old are mastered; no brainwashing via historical revisionism; excellence and entrepreneurship can be encouraged; colleges line up to accept HS graduates; you are more often proud of, rather than embarrassed by their behavior in public; pleasant intra-family bonding becomes a profound, often unexpected, blessing; mom and dad discover, ironically, they needed to engage in home instruction for their own spiritual betterment, etc.
There are two huge though entirely artificial impediments to HS. The first is the “it speaks for itself” American habit of materialistic consumerism or “mortgage-ism” (keeping up with Joneses) where mom can’t stay home because “she has to work.” Biblically invalid, too, are the culture-driven, career aspirations of too many “feminized” Christian women. Be aware, however, that God will bless, in myriad ways, a calm, obedience-based re-assessing of family money goals. Problem two: The all-too-common refusal of dad to give his whole-hearted spiritual/emotional support to mom and the kids. HSing is right and deeply rewarding, but nobody ever said it was easy, so when fathers fail to sign on, the program often doesn’t make it or does poorly. However, a significant reason for fatherly reluctance can be traced directly to those remaining pastors strangely hesitant to preach to and support these public school-habituated dads.
What’s the best reason to raise up kids via HS? That they grow up to be obedient advancers of His Kingdom, pressing forward as adults for all of His goals in all of culture before He comes again. In part, and to that end I’d be happy to email some HS websites to you although “how to homeschool” on Yahoo yielded nearly one hundred thousand hits! Finally, for those saying “we simply can’t homeschool for (any number of whatever) reasons,” please chew on this: If you are not going to homeschool, how was it, exactly, that God let you know He didn’t want you to? Thanks for listening and for saving the ship.