Tuesday, October 13, 2009
7:07 AM | Edit Post
I am amazed by how many Christians see government schools as the "default" when it comes to providing education for their children. Even more alarming is how many will use their faith as a justification for it.
- "Our children need to be 'lights' in a fallen world." I'm sorry, but my five year old, as much as he loves God, is not a light--he is a sponge. Give him 15 minutes with a "questionable" television program--No, 30 seconds with a beer ad during a football game!--and he will have absorbed it. Public schools can be a great mission field for a spiritually mature adult, but they are no place for a young, impressionable child. Luke 6:40 states, "A pupil is not above his teacher, but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.
- "But, our schools are different!" The Beach Boys sang, "Be true to your school, just like you would to your girl." Public service campaigns have been pretty successful in getting people to believe that their schools are great and their teachers are all top-notch. Sure, maybe other schools are failing, but ours are wonderful. Even if they are academically stellar, your public school is not providing a Christ-centered education. Many Christians will also point out that there are Christian teachers at their child's school. This may be true, and I am happy that there are godly men and women stepping into this mission field every day. I am friends with several Christians who are also public school teachers, and their job is not an easy one. Nonetheless, no matter how godly and mature these believers are, they will not have a job for long if they start teaching from a Christian perspective. The foundational truths of the Bible--that God created us and loves us, that we are sinners in need of salvation--are necessarily absent from a government education. It is the responsibility of the public school system to provide a secular humanist education. When I remember that my primary responsibility in educating my children is to train them up in the knowledge of God, the decision about where and how to "school" them becomes more obvious.
- "We don't want non-Christians to believe that we think we are better than they are." It's pretty easy to get involved in a whose kids are better-smarter-more advanced kind of argument in an effort to justify our own choices. Arguments like this tend to miss the point, though. People can think all sorts of things. It is my responsibility to teach my children in a manner in accordance with the Scriptures.
- "But, what about socialization???" I've heard this argument for public schools over and over again, and it's a red herring. School is not supposed to be about socialization--it is supposed to be about education. For every story you can site about "socially awkward" kids who were homeschooled, I can site three stories of children whose ability to learn and develop to their full potential was negatively impacted by peer pressure, bullying, rude and uncaring teachers, and the like. The biblical model for socialization has always been the family and the faith community/church. The only example of the peer socialization model in the Bible is in the book of Daniel. In this case, the finest of the young Hebrew men were removed from their homes and families and were trained in the literature and customs of the Babylonians. (See Daniel 1:3-5) This was a blatant attempt by the government to rid the youth of their Hebrew customs and faith in YHWH. While we can admire and be inspired by the four young men who clung to the LORD and refused to conform to the Babylonian ways, we must remember that there were many, many more young Hebrew men who were part of this group. Of all of them, only four retained their faith and trust in God--Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. Still think that peer socialization in a secular school is the best choice for your kids?
- I'm a Stay-at-Home, Christian, "crunchy" mama. I have been blessed with the calling to be a godly wife and mother. I am passionate about bringing up my children in the discipline and instruction of the LORD, through home education and discipleship. Helpmeet to my best friend and soulmate, Christopher since 1/29/2000, and mama to four little blessings, including a tiny, precious, newborn baby girl.
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Our Curriculum 2010-2011
Bible--Child's Story Bible by Catherine Vos, Apologia Biblical World View Book 1, "Who is God and Can I Really Know Him?"
Catechism-- "Training Hearts, Teaching Minds" by Starr Meade
Phonics--Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons
Literature--Ambleside Online Year 0 Recommended Books
(Kindergarten), Year 1 Booklist (1st Grade)
Handwriting--Bible Copywork, made using Educational Fontware
Spelling-- All About Spelling Level 1 (1st grade)
Science--Apologia Exploring Creation With Astronomy
World History--Simply Charlotte Mason's Genesis Through Deuteronomy and Ancient Egypt
American History--The Light and The Glory For Children Series
Art--Interest-led projects and handicrafts
Geography and Missions-- "Hero Tales" by Dave and Neta Jackson, as well as various other missionary biographies, incorporating globe and map study
*We will be studying music and phy-ed., participating in a writing club and nature club, as well as attending various field trips, with our church's homeschool group.*