When I began my freshman year in college, I already knew my major: elementary education. I wanted to work with 8 to 10 year olds in the public school sector. After my junior year, I took the summer break to work as a counselor at a Christian camp working with 8 to 10 year olds. I realized that although I loved working with kids, my passion was ministry not simply education. I took another year and finished up my degree as a general ed degree. After that I worked full time in a public school as a teacher’s assistant for five years. During this time my faith in the public school system was crushed. I saw a diploma mill only concerned with numbers and filled with burnout teachers, unmotivated kids, crooked administrators, unrealistic expectations, compromised security, confusing rules, and so much more.
While observing all this, my wife was trying to convince me to let her homeschool our children. Initially I was against it for all the same reasons you normally hear: socialization problems, access to programs, etc. After all these experiences listed above, I agreed… and it was the best decision I could have done. My kids absolutely love reading and science, they understand discipline, and they understand how faith in God works into every aspect and subject of life.
According to the Bible the education of children is the duty of the parents. This, in and of itself, does not mean that homeschooling is for everyone – but it should obviously be a viable option at least. Many parents do not want to because they believe that they are not qualified. From my experience I can tell you that the main qualification you need is: patience, and then possibly organization. Studies have shown that parents who are certified educators versus non-certified parents do not affect their children’s learning. Some parents believe they will not be able to do it financially. The main cost for homeschooling is pulling one parent away from a job. This is a considerable cost. One will have to weigh whether the results outweigh the cost. For many, this will not even be a possibility; for others it will take a sacrifice.
Many people believe that homeschooled students somehow receive a subpar education. This is simply incorrect. In fact, it may quite be the opposite. Studies have shown (see below infographic) that where the average public school student scores in the 50 percentile on standardized tests, homeschooled students score in the mid 80 percentile. It is the difference between individualized attention versus the herd mentality of education. Another main argument is socialization. Many people say “homeschooled kids won’t know how to socialize like other kids”. I say “PRAISE GOD!” I don’t want my kid socializing like most kids I see. As long as the parent makes sure to keep the kids active in church activities, field trips with other homeschool groups, community events, and other outside activities – the child will have no more problems with socialization than any other kid… in fact may be better off. Another study concluded that where the average public school student scored a 95.08 in tests of socialization, homeschooled kids scored 109.50.
I once heard it said: if a kid hears about Biblical history and standards in Sunday school, and then hears a different history and set of standards the other five days a week by which they are tested on – how does that affect their view of church and faith? Christian families need to be sure that their children understand that God is at work in every subject of education. By excluding him, you are getting an untrue and subpar education. Again, I realize homeschooling is not an option to every family, but those families are going to have to work overtime to reinterpret what their kids are learning from a Biblical perspective. I would also add that if you feel called to homeschooling, but are unsure of how to make it work – God will make a way.
Proverbs 19:27 says “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.” Today’s public schools, under the current common core philosophy and other earlier programs, is driving teachers away in droves. Teachers that remain are slowly becoming robotic slaves to an un-customizable curriculum. The Bible makes it very clear that education is supposed to include God in every area (see this site for references: http://homeschoolenrichment.com/articles/view/education-the-bible-has-more-to-say-than-you-think). Our current school system says that it does not allow religious influence in order to keep neutral, but Christians will realize real quickly that there is no such thing as neutral when it comes to religion. Jesus says in Matthew 12:30 “whoever is not with me is against me”. The public school system is not a religiously neutral system. It teaches millions of children each year the disguised religion of secular humanism which is self-contradicting. The whole religion relies on the aspect that there is no absolute truth. Well… that statement in and of itself is an absolute truth claim! And… why would I want to send my kids to a school that doesn’t believe in standards of truth?? The public school system is failing because it does not stand for anything, and therefore falls for everything. Homeschool enrollment is skyrocketing!
I recently heard an educator say that they hold “don’t drink and drive” seminars to their kids. They can’t say that drinking and driving is “wrong” (because there is no measure of right/wrong without God), they must only say that it is dangerous. How confusing is this for our kids? Couple this with parents who are either not involved or kept out of the loop by a silent child and you have a recipe for disaster! I thank God that He pulled me out of what may have become a very frustrating career in the current education system. I thank God that He gave me the faith to trust in a homeschooling option I wasn’t fully comfortable with at the time. The rewards have been innumerable! Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
See the following infographic for more info on comparison numbers between homeschooled and public school student with sources: