By Andrew McColl (B.A. Dip.Ed. M. Ed), 2nd November, 2020
The concept of families homeschooling their children has been an exciting development within the Christian community over the last 30 years or so. It is exciting because it means families are reclaiming a responsibility which God originally entrusted to them, way back when He gave the law to Moses (see Deut.6:1-7). This will be a major step, with implications for future generations of believers.
Parents who were homeschooled themselves have now begun educating their children at home. Furthermore, the availability of good curriculum (whether by hard-copy or via the internet), has made it both easily available and cheap for families.
Sue and I began homeschooling our three sons in 1990. They have all appreciated the experience. Homeschooling doesn’t guarantee godly children, but it does have the capacity to accomplish a number of things.
Firstly, it means that children are not subjected to the subtle notions of political correctness and social conformity endemic in public education, which are supposed to be taught now in all schools. These are frequently various forms of humanism, and include (but are not limited to) atheism, Darwinism, socialism, feminism and environmentalism. The scripture instructs us to
see to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the traditions of men… (Col.2:8).
It is significant in relation to education, that Satan came to Eve with an intellectual proposition, and she was deceived. Godly education means that parents engage in spiritual warfare, so that they are
…destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (II Cor.10:5).
Secondly, it means that children are removed from an age-segregated peer-group. Age segregation is convenient for teachers when they are dealing with large groups of children, but education which utilises age segregation removes a child from their parents, and from the presence of older, wiser siblings. There is nothing wrong with peers as such, but if a childs’ peers are applying immature, unwise or downright evil pressure, that child’s attitudes and behaviour will probably deteriorate.
How do we know that? The Bible teaches us that
He that walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm (Prov.13:20),
…bad company corrupts good morals (I Cor.15:33).
When Solomon’s son Rehoboam rejected the counsel of the elders who had served his father, and took counsel from
…the young men who grew up with him,
he quickly forfeited most of his kingdom (I Kings 12:1-15). Rehoboam’s peers proved to be a disastrous influence on him. The influence from the surrounding culture of Sodom on Lot’s daughters (see Gen.19), was no better.
Thirdly, it gives parents the opportunity to teach and utilise a godly curriculum, which encourages the Biblical values and standards they are comfortable with. Fathers are encouraged in scripture to
…bring up [your children] in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph.6:4).
Fourth, it gives parents the opportunity to provide a broad range of formal curriculum, mixed with the informal but essential educational experiences that they consider to be important for their children, in terms of their God-given callings, abilities and giftings. The Bible says,
Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it (Prov.22:6).
Homeschooling is not a panacea; every person needs to face the fact that they are sinners before God, every human heart needs the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ, and every young person needs to learn faithfulness to God, themselves.
But homeschooling a child does provide a glorious opportunity for the parent-directed and balanced education of a young person, as they prepare for life in the service of Jesus Christ.
Is that what you want to prepare your children for?