Homeschooling: A Half Measure
Rev. Jeremy Walker
The Homeschool Movement is DOOMED to FAILURE.
Why is the homeschool movement doomed to failure? Look no further than the limited vision which the homeschool movement as a whole views as their goal and purpose. To be sure, the home school movement has made tremendous leaps and bounds in the last 30 years, which is a wonderful thing. The problem is not with the movement, but rather the limited vision and goal of the movement itself. How is it limited? Why is it doomed to failure? Let’s explore a few things…
1. The Homeschooling: Necessity
Since the early days of compulsory government school education in America it was very important for families to fight for their right to control the education of their children. Christian families in particular saw compulsory government education as an affront to their religious beliefs. Having the children of Christian families forcibly required to attend government educational institutions that deliberately taught against their religious beliefs as a family was a major problem. R.J.Rushdoony and many others fought for decades in and out of court rooms all over America for the right to educate their children in a manner consistent with their religious beliefs of who man is, where he came from, and what his moral obligations are.
2. The Homeschooling: Victory
Through the efforts of many families, and by the tireless efforts of R.J.Rushdoony to act as an expert witness for Christian families, the homeschool movement found legitimacy in the eyes of the American courts. Families are now able to educate their children outside of government institutions that are contrary to Christian beliefs. This was a great victory for religious freedom in America, and one greatly to be celebrated. Families, Christian and otherwise, now have the ability to choose the form of education which best fits the desires of each family.
3. The Homeschooling: Half Measure
For the Christian family it is clear that God desires His people to rear their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. They are required to provide not only academic instruction to their children, but also obligated to rear their children to know, honor, and obey God and His commandments.
The Christian family that focuses on their children are indeed doing a great thing, but this is not enough.
The Great Commission, which is the duty and responsibility of the Church and every Christian as an individual extends beyond the family itself. The Great Commission is to disciple all nations, not just those within our own families. The homeschool movement as a whole has missed this important fact, which means that the homeschool movement as a whole is at best a half measure. The Christian family that focuses solely upon its own members, and neglects all others, fails to fulfill the Great Commission.
4. The Homeschooling: Failure
The vast majority of children in America are unchurched. This means that they will never be exposed to the Word of God, nor to the commandments of God. The are born into families that are riddled with sin, and more often than not they do not even have the benefit of both father and mother. The vast majority of these families are plagued with drug abuse, prolific sexual sins, and overall neglect.
The homeschool movement has emphasized the importance of removing one’s children from the negative influence of the government school system in favor of the more loving stable family environment. But, what about the vast number of children that do not have the benefit of a loving stable Christian environment? Would these children truly benefit from staying at home under these circumstances?
This is where Homeschooling fails, and why it will continue to fail. It has a very good answer to the question of what the stable Christian family should do in response to hostile government miseducation. But, that is where it stops.
There is no discussion concerning the vast numbers of children who would not benefit in the least from being homeschooled, nor is there discussion concerning those children whose families would be capable, but are unable due to circumstance of life to homeschool their children. Where do they place them? Who is going to help them? Sadly, the homeschool movement does not worry itself with such questions as a norm, and this is why it is failing, and will fail.
The Great Commission does not ask the family to retreat within its walls and only concern themselves with their families. The Great Commission demands that Christians engage the world, not retreat from it and abandon it.
Granted, the vast majority of professing Christians in America see no problem with government education, nor do they see it as a threat to their religious beliefs, or even contrary to them in many ways. So, in the area of explaining and educating Christians how the government schools are incompatible with their profession of faith the Christian homeschool movement has done a wonderful job in many ways. But, this is not enough.
The Great Commission assumes that Christian families are primarily caring for their own. In fact, Paul mentions that those that do not provide for their own have denied the faith. The religious, moral, and practical training of one’s children and family are equal to, if not greater than their physical needs.
To be clear, those that are not caring for their children and family, have no business engaging the world. However, the Christian family’s duty does not end with the religious, moral, and practical training of their children, that is just the beginning.
5. The Future of the Christian Family
What is the solution then? How can Christians, and the Christian family, rise above a half measure and realize the full meaning of the Great Commission?
This is accomplished through Family-Run Christian Schools.
The Christian family that owns and operates a Christian school has the ability to:
1. Provide income for care of their own personal families financial needs.
2. Provide the best husband/wife arrangement that promotes the original purpose of the marriage situation where husband and wife work together in a common vocation.
3. Control the religious, moral, and academic education of their own children.
4. Provide practical training in business (giving them a trade) and self-discipline to their children.
5. Provide a Godly alternative to non-Christian secular education to the community.
6. Provide a Godly example and witness to the community of the family as designed by God.
7. Provide peace of mind to the families of the community.
8. Provide a Godly example and witness to the community through daily example of the way God would have us live.
9. Provide a stable and trustworthy environment where children feel safe.
10. Provide an example of a Godly father/mother family structure that is unknown to many children.
11. Provide an example of a Godly parent/child relationship that is unknown to many children.
12. Provide a superior education to all children, putting them years ahead of their peers in reading, writing, arithmetic, and all other academic areas.
13. Provide True Socialization, where the interactions of each individual are governed by the law of God.
14. Provide the most important of all things, Systematic daily teaching of the Bible Stories and Law of God through applications and catechism to those that will never be exposed to the Word of God.
This may sound daunting, and it may even sound like a unrealistic theoretical wish, but nothing can be further from the truth. This is not only a reality, it is something that many Christian families have already done and are doing.
The Great Commission is a command to disciple the nations, this includes children in particular. The formation of Christian schools starting with the youngest of ages is a necessary practical application of our Lord’s command. It is time for the Christian family to refuse to settle for a half-measure approach to the their family and faith.
Christian families are the cornerstone of society. It is time for them to take the Great Commission seriously, and see how their families can impact their local communities and the world for Christ.
For more information concerning how Christian Families can start their very own Family-Run Christian School visit: www.gcsapprenticeship.com
Rev. Jeremy Walker is the manager of a family-run Christian school in Bonita Springs, Florida, along with his wife, Abby, and ten children. He has lived in Florida his entire life and moved to SWFL Florida to work for Grace Community School in November 1998. He has a Bachelors and Masters degree in Christian Education from Patriot Bible University. Find out more about the Grace Community School Apprenticeship Program at www.gcsapprenticeship.com