Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Few Homeschooling Thoughts

A while back I posted some thoughts on homeschooling that were triggered by an article by John MacArthur on homeschooling. I have found differing views on homeschooling within the Christian community. Many favor it. Many believe it is mandated by the bible. Some doubt it. Here in California, it is as common as water with people I know, and isn't only a Christian phenomenon. One family I know homeschooled their children here, then moved to a part of the Midwest where homeschooling was almost non-existent and seemed to be reserved for a cultist mentality.

One thing I've come to realize is that homeschooling is only as productive and valuable as the parents make it. Several of my friends are avid homeschoolers. For one family, it is a major part of life. They organize groups and go to conferences and promote curricula. Another has homeschooled all their children for decades now. You might call these people experts. Yet, one thing they have in common is that they believe there are many families that simply shouldn't be homeschooling. One says about a third of families shouldn't be, while the other has a laundry list of abuses and failures observed over the years.

Some families homeschool out of conviction. Others because they believe the public schools are lacking. Some believe the public schools indoctrinate children in false belief systems, while many of these same people believe the public schools are poor at educating children. If the public schools are so bad at educating, how come they are so good at indoctrinating? Popular songs by Alice Cooper and Pink Floyd make me wonder just how indoctrinated all the children really are. In any case, if homeschoolers can effectively make a difference in the world, then great. The foot is in the door in this country and hopefully the bad examples don't make it tough on the good ones.


  1. We have homeschooled for 15 years and operated a private school before that.

    Originally, we homeschooled out of conviction. In later years, we moved numerous times, so we homeschooled for pragmatic reasons.

    For us.......our kids excel in English, reading, spelling, and history.

    They are weakest in Science and advanced math. (as their parents are)

    We determined if their college classes required advanced math (beyond Algebra 1 and geometry) or Science (beyond basic science, biology) that they could take a remedial course and catch up. This has worked well for our kids.

    If we lived in one place for a long time I doubt we would homeschool. (if we lived in a small town,rural area like we do now) I would never send my kids to a large school. If the school has to have armed security and metal detectors I am not interested in sending my kids there (as was the case when we lived in San Antonio)


  2. I want a separation of school and State, but I couldn't help but chuckle at some of the comments in the MacArthur piece. Many a homeschooler are just fundies that want to clobber others. I am with them and want to be against them.

    I imagine some of these folks think Christian parents are responsible to provide for their children, but does that necessity growing and killing your own food? Should prayer not be a part of Church life?

    Maybe I've become too passive as I get older, but I guess in my postmill convictions I see taking this hill in two or three more generations.

  3. Hi Steve -
    Found you off of iMonk and I've enjoyed poking around your blog...couldn't resist adding my two cents to the homeschooling issue.

    I have friends who I love and respect who homeschool (mostly for scholastic reasons). But pragmatically speaking, as a public school teacher, I can't tell you how helpful it would be to have just a handful of motivated, hard-working Christian parents sending their kids to public school. It's amazing how much "sway" a parent can have, maybe not so much at a district-wide level, but at a campus-level. If you use an economy analogy, the schools are the businesses, the teachers the employees, and the parents/students are the CUSTOMERS. And you know who is always right!