Lately my daughter, Isa, has been really enjoying “reading” her books, taking all the pieces off of her animal puzzle, and sticking her stacking rings inside of her stacking cups. I could watch her for hours; observing children as they learn and discover is one of the most incredible experiences. I already love being a homeschool mama and partaking in that journey with her. It sounds funny to say that, since she is only a year old. I haven’t really shared much about homeschooling before since we don’t have any “school-aged” children yet. However, learning starts at day one and our desire to homeschool plays a large role in the family environment that we are creating.
Phil and I knew that we wanted to homeschool before we were even married. Phil is the second oldest of 9 children and they were all homeschooled through graduation. I grew up in public school and when Phil and I were dating he asked if I would pray about homeschooling some day. It didn’t take very long for me to know that it is what God wanted for our future family. Homeschooling allows for flexibility for missions and traveling. It allows for much more individualization for each of our children’s needs, a much more interactive education, and gives much more family time. But it goes even deeper than that.
So I want to share this journey with you. Please understand that it is not my desire to judge or insinuate anything about parents who choose not to or are unable to homeschool. I simply want to share what we have learned and discovered (and our personal convictions) and give others the opportunity to understand and think more about education and homeschooling. Phil and I both are convicted that our children’s physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual development is our responsibility and we will be the ones who are ultimately held accountable for their development.
Recently, especially as I have taken my worldview class, I have started to have a deeper understanding of the influences in public education and how effective it is at shaping young, moldable minds. Many other parents that have chosen to homeschool or Christian private schools have increasingly adverse opinions towards public education. This was recently shared by a parent I know, “If you’re a Christian parent, keep in mind that the first waves of soldiers arriving on the beaches of Normandy had a better chance of surviving than your kids do of remaining Christians through the secular public school system + college. Generations of Christians have given the government control over their children’s hearts in a way that God never intended….” -Teresa V. So what do we do with this? As parents and Christians, where do we go from here? ;
As I stated earlier, for many of us, homeschooling is the direction we have decided to head. This is not to say that there aren’t strong and well developed Christians that have graduated from the public school system; there definitely are and parents can live very intentionally in discipling their children. However, the more research I am doing and the more conversations I have with people the more concerned I am about what is happening. I think a lot of people don’t even consider homeschooling because it isn’t even on their radar. Sending your children to school is just what you do. But in reality, public education is actually a fairly new institution. John Dewey, who is known as the Father of public education was also a secularist and said “There is no God and no soul. Hence, there are no needs for props of traditional religion. With dogma and creed excluded, then immutable truth is also dead and buried. There is no room for fixed, natural law or permanent absolutes …. Teaching children to read is a great perversion and a high literacy rate breeds destructive individualism … the child does not go to school to develop individual talents but rather are prepared as “units” in an organic society …. The change in the moral school atmosphere … are not mere accidents, they are the necessities of the larger social evolution.”
There is a lot packed into that. But is clear that John Dewey had a secular agenda and he believed that public education could be used to influence the masses. Please understand that I know there are many wonderful teachers out there, I know some INCREDIBLE ones and teaching is NOT an easy profession. But you can do just a little bit of research and you will discover that many of the advocators for public education and educational policies are adversely against Christian (“religious”) values and desire to influence young minds towards their own values.
A teacher from the public educational system shared “For many generations, it has been the job of educators to do their best to teach students to be critical thinkers. Educators were expected to teach students different viewpoints and allow them to come to their own conclusions. When it comes to politics, educators were expected to stay neutral and share ideas from both sides, allowing students to come to their own conclusions. In turn, making them productive members of society.
In today’s climate, teachers are now being asked and pushed by administration to teach one sided stories that do not give students the opportunity to think for themselves. Administrations are pushing a one sided narrative that exposes students to the violence that adults are seeing on the news and justifying these actions as a fight for social justice. We are teaching a curriculum that is not appropriate for young children. Instead of teaching kids the social emotional skills that they need to be successful and cope in these trying times, we are taking away our children’s innocence and also taking away their ability to think for themselves.”-Anonymous
As a parent this is very upsetting to me. I desire my children to know and follow the Lord, but I ultimately know that it will be their decisions in the end where they place their identities. I want my children to be well rounded, educated individuals who will research and make informed decisions, and have an impact on the world around them. Phil and I take full responsibility for our role as parents: “Fathers… bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” -Ephesians 6:4; and we know that for OUR family that means homeschooling our children.
I am excited to share with you books, projects, and fun learning ideas that I do with Isa (and someday my other children). But my relationship with God is also a very integral part of who I am and who we are as a family. As we continue through this process of growing and learning, I will openly share with you, where we are coming from and what we have been discovering. I also want to share thoughts and resources from other parents and teachers. & I hope that our journey can be an encouragement to you and maybe for some of you, help to kickoff your journey into making an educated and informed decision about what is best for your family.