On Homeschooling

I find it intensely ironic that Dr. Jim West is so intolerant of homeschooling. He gives the usual caricatures of homeschooling as necessarily denying the transformative power of the Gospel, and denying that God can work in a child’s life. He calls it fear, heartlessness, and dread. He calls it “circling the wagons.” The reason I find it so ironic is that he then goes on to note how intolerant homeschoolers are of anyone with other views. How intolerant is he being of those who homeschool? Of course, he is reacting to a segment of homeschooling that does see itself as taking Christians out of the world.

My question for him (he probably won’t save my comment) is this: is that really the only possible reason for homeschooling? Dr. Jim West, you see, is a brilliant man and scholar. He could probably trust any of his children to the public schools. He could probably trust himself to go to public schools and not have their or his faith shaken by the utterly humanistic anti-Christian propaganda usually being taught there. But would all Christians have such faith? Would your average 6-year old be able to counter the theory of evolution?

A further question for Dr. West: is education neutral? Should we be training our children to think like pagans while at the same time teaching them Christianity? This could be quite a recipe for confusion in some people.

I am not arguing that homeschooling is the be-all and end-all of education. It is certainly not for everyone. But I believe rather strongly that it is quite a good option for many Christians who want to give their children a Christian education. I wish he could see that his criticisms are way too broad-brush to describe everyone who homeschools.

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2 Comments

  1. Rob Somers said,

    October 19, 2006 at 8:28 pm

    You know, my employer’s son was involved in a fight at his school – he did not start it nor did he do anything that should have started it. It was a case of a bully not liking what happened, and my employer’s boy suffered for it. But what is really disturbing is how he was not allowed to defend himself, and though he was completely innocent in the matter he had to sit in a group discussion with the the teacher, the bully and his parents, and his own parents and give thoughts on what he might do next time to avoid fights. As they sat in the circle, the one whose turn it was to speak got to hold a rock. The rock apparently showed the rest that it was not their turn to speak. Yes, my tax dollars fund this sort of thing. No, I do not have to send my children into that kind of situation anyway.

    Anyway, that is just one reason why I would choose to keep my children at home for school.

  2. greenbaggins said,

    October 20, 2006 at 1:30 pm

    Thanks for the comment. School violence is an excellent and compelling reason to consider avoiding public school, and to consider homeschooling, which (hopefully) is devoid of such happenings.


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