Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Not-So-Odd Question

Q: Tiana...
Hello there! I stumbled upon your blog today and I really like what you have to say.  =) However I do have an odd sort of question for you that none of the folks that do homeschooling can answer for me.  At least not without starting to talk in circular logic that doesn't go anywhere but to a migraine! 

 My son is (gulp) soon to be four so the question of how/where we are going to do the school thing has started coming to the front of many conversations.  My number one concern with homeschooling versus any other style of school, whether it be the standard public variety or the christian kind, is that how are these kids supposed to learn how to live in this world if he is constantly in the little bubble of our bible-believing world?  How is he going to know how to stand in his faith and how to deal with the questions that are asked of him as to why Jesus is his best friend and lives in his heart.  Also, why is it assumed by those who do the homeschooling thing (or at least those who I have come into contact with) that if you were to send your child to schooling of any other sort that you are not going to then talk with them about their day?? All of those that I have met just kind of assume that I would send my son to school, and allow them to teach him without ever once talking with him about his day and going over what he has learned, participating in his schooling and talking with him about what the Bible says relating to what he has learned or done that day.
 I know this is kind of a rambling letter so please forgive me on that count. =) If you have any articles that you have already written on this then I would love to have the links! I am doing my best to educate myself over what options there are for my son and doing what is the best situation for him.  Thank you for any and all help you can give =D

 Lily C.

A: Hi Lily,

Thanks for reading my blog! Making a decision as to where and how to educate our children is a tough one, and your question is not odd! It's something that I think a lot of Christians wonder about.

I do have some posts in the archives about these issues:

The first two go together--

Another one--

This last one is rather long, but it's basically the thesis statement for my blog:

In a nutshell, my main concern with public education is that of worldview. It is very difficult for young children, even those who are going to church, Sunday School, etc, to carefully evaluate what they are being taught in school. In fact, recent research, published in the book Already Gone by Ken Ham and Britt Beemer, showed that many children learn to think of their Sunday School lessons as "story time", and their public school lessons as real, factual information. This has resulted in a staggering 75-88% of children who grow up in Bible-believing churches abandoning their faith by the end of their freshman year in college.

The main goal I have in homeschooling my children is to give them a true and thorough knowledge of God and His Word.

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Proverbs 9:10

My husband and I want our children to have a solid foundation, knowing what they believe and why they believe it, before they are asked to defend it. Our homeschool curriculum choices all center around this goal.

We are thoroughly convinced that many young people who make professions of faith are actually not yet born again. This is evidenced by the number of our youth who walk away from their faith when they reach college age, as well as the fact that not many Christian children are doing much evangelism in their public schools. Additionally, the public school system is a challenging mission field, even for mature adults! We believe that sending little children, even those who have a strong faith, into the government schools, is much akin to throwing them to the lions. They are much better off having their first evangelistic experiences be with parental supervision, with unsaved family members, neighbors, and friends. I do know of several families who, after homeschooling during the early years, send their mature, believing teens to public high school as a mission field. While I'm not sure that this is a choice I would make personally, I certainly respect it.

As to your question about talking to our children about what happens in school, I question whether or not it is effective enough to counteract the secular, and often blatantly anti-Christian biases being taught. I'm in my 30's, so I attended elementary school in the 80's--a time when the government schools were far more conservative than they are now. I lived in a very conservative community, in one of the best school districts in our state, with involved, Christian parents. My mother regularly asked me about what happened in school, and we had a great relationship, so I always gave her a thorough answer. However, I still learned anti-Christian things that I am sure my parents never found out about. I learned a pro-choice view of abortion in the second grade. I learned that one day the sun was going to burn out and, if humanity hadn't figured out how to destroy itself before then, we would all freeze to death because of the death of the sun. I learned some very explicit sexual concepts from boys in the hallway, and even had a boy grab me inappropriately on the playground. These are just a few examples off-the-top-of-my-head...and I'm just talking elementary school. Unless you are with your child in school all day long, you cannot guarantee that you will know about everything he is taught--either officially or unofficially.

So, all this to say that I'm not about keeping my kids in a bubble, but I do believe it is important to introduce concepts at age-appropriate levels, from a distinctively Christian perspective. I believe that the best way to do this is to educate my children at home. This will prepare them, when they are mature, to go out and live lives of great service to the LORD in His Kingdom! A great, relatively short read, is When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling, by R.C. Sproul, Jr. He says so much of what I've been trying to say on my blog, only better. :)

I hope that helps. God Bless you on your journey!



SarahElisabeth said...

I found your blog via LAF and have just read this. We initially, put our children in school, but have decided to take the younger ones out for reasons very similar to those you have stated plus the issue of all the compromises we made around schooling.
I blogged about it on 4th October at

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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
(Kindergarten), Year 1 Booklist (1st Grade)
Handwriting--Bible Copywork, made using Educational Fontware
Spelling-- All About Spelling Level 1 (1st grade)
Math--Math-U-See Primer (Kindergarten) , Math-U-See Alpha (1st grade)
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.*

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