Why you should, should not, and might as well homeschool
By Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed. CPBA
I’m a Christian. I believe in a literal heaven, where those cleansed of their sin by faith in the blood of Jesus will spend eternity with God. I also believe in a literal hell, a place of destruction created for Satan and his followers for rebelling against the truth. This perspective is part of a Biblical worldview. As a human being, I wish for all fellow human beings to learn about the eternal salvation available through Jesus Christ, and how Christ wants us to view the world. This is especially true when it comes to my daughter.
If you’ll recall, Jesus told us that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all our heart and soul and strength. That command comes from Deuteronomy 6:4 -7, where God says,
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
These verses tell me that parents have the ultimate responsibility for teaching their kids.
This is important, because if you’ve been watching the news at all over the past decades, you have seen a steady elimination of Christianity from public schools. As you will see in some quotes I’m about to share, this has not happened by accident. We can point to a lot of problems within institutional schools, but one area in which they’ve been quite successful is undermining the Christian faith in our children. Statistics show that more than 70 percent of teens leave the church.
I’m not blaming just schools for this, but we can be confident that schools aren’t helping.
Consider the following:
Paul Blanshard was an outspoken secular humanist author and lawyer in the last century. Blanshard once wrote,
“I think the most important factor moving us toward a secular society has been the educational factor. Our schools may not teach Johnny to read properly, but the fact that Johnny is in school until he is 16 tends to lead towards the elimination of religious superstition.
Another humanist author, John Dunphy, wrote,
“. . . a viable alternative to [Christianity] must be sought. That alternative is humanism. I am convinced that the battle for humankind's future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith . . .. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level.
Since the foundation of one’s belief structure and worldview is built throughout one’s youth, it makes sense for Christians today to homeschool. Especially considering that the humanist C.F. Potter wrote,
“Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American public school is a school of humanism. What can the theistic Sunday schools, meeting for an hour once a week, teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?
Many more reasons exist for homeschooling, but let’s explore three common reasons people say you should not.
Reason not to homeschool # 1: Parents are not qualified to be teachers. I kind of laugh when I hear this one. Don’t parents teach their kids how to hold a spoon, how to put on their shoes, and how to throw a ball? Don’t get me wrong, if you are incapable of teaching your kids how to do those things, you probably shouldn’t homeschool. But if you can teach those things, you’re qualified to teach your kids.
Reason not to homeschool # 2: Lack of socialization. If you plan on closing off your children from all outside contact with the world, then yes, you probably should not homeschool. But let’s think about what socialization means. Interacting well with others? Dealing with conflict? Being cooperative? The many homeschooled children I know are involved in plenty of extracurricular activities (many more than most institutionally schooled peers), and they easily converse with people of all ages – because they’re regularly interacting with people of all ages. Bonus: In homeschool, kids are not apt to get bullied, teased, nor be taught about life’s issues from uninformed same-age peers.
Reason not to homeschool #3: Homeschooling gives kids a biased point of view. What’s so funny about this one is it’s like the pot calling the kettle black, because everyone has a bias. The secular humanists I quoted earlier published their comments in publicly accessible magazines for all to read, openly telling us that government schools are teaching a biased point of view – and they’re proud of it! Therefore, as a Christian, it’s equally fair for me to teach my child from a Biblical worldview. Does my daughter read books and watch movies from a wide variety of worldviews? Absolutely! But she’s been taught to analyze themes so she knows how to process the information entering her brain. In other words, she can think for herself and is adept at defending her faith using astute logic.
If homeschooling is something you absolutely don’t want to do, then don’t do it. But if you’re sitting on the fence and weighing pros and cons, I will tell you that any sacrifice you might make is 100 percent worth it. Also know that you don’t have to do it alone. Many co-ops and support groups exist, and it is my understanding that almost every state in which homeschooling is legal has at least one homeschooling convention each year.
The bottom line is this: With homeschooling you will have a better relationship with your children. They’ll also trust you more, and I guarantee you’ll have more fun as a family. But most importantly, with homeschooling you'll be able to teach your children from a Biblical worldview. They need to know that God is in charge, and that they can trust Him in all things.
Homeschooling is an amazing opportunity that I highly recommend.
Daniel Bobinski is the Director of Family Experience Ministries (FX), which equips parents with tools for knowing, loving, and leading their families. FX offers workshops for churches, conferences, and retreats, including a worldview series for teens & parents. Daniel is also the author of numerous books, including Become a Student of Your Students, co-written with his wife, Jeralynne. Reach Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org