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.