QUESTION FOR THE DAY:
Dear Compass,
Do you know of any scriptural support for homeschooling? I am being pressured by some close friends to look at doing this with my 7 year old. All I can think about is the next ten years spent teaching at home. I guess I’m questioning the overall need for homeschooling as it seems like a knee-jerk reaction, or an overreaction, to a few isolated school incidents. I worry about the long term effects of homeschooling — what if they find out we wasted a lot of time and energy for nothing? We’ve had public schools forever — don’t you think this might just be a passing fancy? What exactly is wrong with public schools anyway?
ANSWER:
If you want us to talk you out of homeschooling, you’re barking up the wrong tree. We think that it should be a major consideration for every parent, regardless of income, education or teaching ability.The case for homeschooling far exceeds the “isolated school incidents” you referred to. Most of those who choose to homeschool do so for reasons other than concerns of bodily harm for their children at school. Believers are scripturally commanded to train up their children on scripture, all day long (Deut. 6:7). Sending children into a place that forbids the Word of God to be spoken makes a good case to find alternative means to educate them. The endless secular propaganda from teachers and curriculum that contradicts scripture should also be a concern.

The Bible teaches that proper ethics are paramount in influence for our children. On the contrary, public schools teach ethics that are opposite from scripture (homosexuality, abortion, and no absolutes). Research has shown that a person with a 6th grade education can home educate a child through high school as well, or better, than a person with a college degree.

As far as homeschooling just being a “passing fancy:” There are over 1,700,000 children being homeschooled today in the U.S. In our home state here in Idaho, an astonishing 22 percent of children are homeschooled. And, homeschooling is NOT new — public education for the masses IS new. George Washington, Patrick Henry, John Quincy Adams, Robert E. Lee, Thomas Edison, Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, and Andrew Carnegie were all homeschooled. Many homeschoolers are more confident, make better grades, exhibit less rebellion (if any) during the 12-16 year old period, understand good citizenship, excel in college, and have a Biblical grasp of right and wrong, despite what the “group thinking” may be.

We think you should do more research on homeschooling through the Internet or through local associations in your own state. As you better understand what the truth is, you can make a better decision without the questions and concerns you cite. The question you should ask is not whether you think you should homeschool, but rather, does God want you to homeschool. If He does, He’ll bless your effort regardless of the circumstances.

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I’d like to add that public school has not been around “forever.”  Actually, it has only been around since the 19th century.  Before that children were primarily schooled privately or at home.  Here’s a link to a fascinating ‘tour’ of how public education actually came abouthttp://www.johntaylorgatto.com/historytour/history1.htm

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