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In an older post of mine on the Public Schools, former homeschooler and a friend of mine, Amanda, posted an interesting comment worthy of consideration, thought, and a response.
“Personally, I am all for Public Schooling, and I fully plan on putting my children into public schools! (I bet you’re having a heart attack right now [I did in Tennessee–thanks Amanda…appreciated that. Lost some sleep over this one.] I went to public school for elementary and I would never change that–I loved it! I believe it really did help make me who I am. I had amazing teachers (many of whom were Christian ladies, just like many other schools across the country.) I also believe that the Public Schools area mission field. I regret not going to Public Schools because of that. I believe I missed a HUGE chance to witness to many of my teen peers. I think of being out in California again, when you saw that group of guys, one of whom was wearing a big hat. After talking to them you realized they were Christians [or new believers I might add]. I think the same thing could be very much applied to the Public Schools. You see a group of guys and you get to know them, then you throw out Jesus. There you go–pure witnessing at it’s best…among peers. Heck yes, it would be hard because people would think you were stupid and would hate you…but what about those few, that because you went to Public Schools, became Christians because of the example you set? Public Schools are our mission fields sitting right in our backyards!”
I’ll be honest–and nice. I’m afraid that Amanda is mistaken in numerous points of her argument above. The following examination is not an attack, but an exhortation to follow the Scripture and to do what God says–not the Public Schools, not the government, and certainly not me personally. I’m basing this on God’s word, quotes, facts, lists, and statistics.
By the end I hope you’ll at least send your children to Christian school.
I won’t go too deep into examining the first part of your comment, but I did notice you inserted that you had many teachers who were Christians “just like at many other schools across the country.” That’s a somewhat general statement, without a lot of backup evidence. But it may point to the fact that a Christian teacher can have a whole lot more impact on students that a Christian student can have among his or her peers.
It’s a myth to say that students are “missionaries” in public schools. Nowhere in Scripture does it point to teen missionaries–they were always adults.
You brought up the group of guys that I witnessed to out in California. Pretty good point–the only problem was that it was I, the homeschooler, who witnessed to those guys. I’m not bragging, just pointing out that we must remember who went up and talked to them. It wasn’t a public school student. I wonder why?
“Do not be deceived: bad company corrupts good morals.”
Students may have good intentions, but being around bad character DOES corrupt good morals. It’s easier to pull someone into the swimming pool that it is to pull someone out. As I stated above, Scripture points to adult missionaries–hence Christian teachers, Christian board members, etc. Christian adults must be the missionaries in the Public School system.
You may still heartily disagree with me. So let’s move on to the 6 or more hours when you’re not “evangelizing.” Your curriculum.
It’s time for total immersion in the socialist and humanistic curriculum that you and your family is fighting and teaching against. It’s teaching your peers atheism–reversing whatever you share with them. And who is able to change that curriculum? Adults. Not you.
You must deal with all of this:
Christianity: The Sovereignty of the triune God is the starting point, and this God speaks through His infallible word.
Humanism: The sovereignty of man and the state is the starting point, and it is the word of scientific, elite men, which we must heed.
Christianity: We must accept God as God. He alone is Lord.
Humanism: Man is his own god, choosing or determining for himself what constitutes good and evil.
Christianity: God’s Word and Person is Truth.
Humanism: Truth is pragmatic and existential: it is what we find works and is helpful to us.
Christianity: Education is into God’s truth in every realm.
Humanism: Education is the self-realization and self-development of the child.
Christianity: Education is discipline under a body of truth. This body of truth grows with much research and study, but truth is objective and God-given. We begin by pre-supposing God and His Word.
Humanism: Education is freedom from restraint and from any idea of truth outside us. We are the standard, not something outside us.
Christianity: Godly standards grade us. We must measure up to them. The teacher grades the pupil.
Humanism: The school and the world must measure up to the pupil’s needs. The pupil grades the teacher.
Christianity: Man’s will, and the child’s will, must be broken by God’s purpose. Man must be remade, reborn by God’s grace.
Humanism: Society must be broken and remade to man’s will, and the child’s will is sacred.
Christianity: Man’s problem is sin. Man must be recreated by God.
Humanism: Man’s problem is society. Society must be recreated by man.
Christianity: The family is God’s basic institution.
Humanism: The family is obsolete. The individual or the state is basic.
Talk about heresy alert.
“I am afraid,” said Martin Luther, “That the schools will prove [to be] the very gates of hell unless they diligent ally labor in the explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of our youth.”
It’s kind of hard to compete between 40 hours or so of humanistic teaching versus two hours at church. Who’s going to win the battle of the mind? Even those who seem firm in their faith are at huge risk. No matter what, they will come out tainted by the teachings. Anyone can be convinced a lie is truth if the lie is told enough times.
And that’s not all–if you send you kids to school they encounter drugs, violence, tolerance, possible abuse, sexual promiscuity, evolution, no absolute values, and the degrading of Christianity, which you teach them at home and at church.
Who to believe? You or the School System?
The Bible instructs us to teach the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Would that not include education? A Christian worldview in everything that we encounter? We are told by God to provide our [present or future, depending on your age] children with an education based on His principles. Justifying attendance of public schools by saying your kids are “missionaries” doesn’t cut it. We can’t justify disobedience to God.
If that’s not enough for you, I have more: the list of famous people who were home schooled. Just think–you child could be added to this list:
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Quincy Adams, Abraham Lincoln, John Tyler, William Henry Harrison, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Rev. John Witherspoon, Benjamin Franklin, William Samuel Johnson, George Clymer, Charles Pinckney III, John Francis Mercer, George Wythe, William Blount, John Rutledge, William Livingston, Richard Basset, William Houston, William Few, George Madison, Abigail Adams, Martha Washington, Florence Nightingale, Phyllis Wheatley, Patrick Henry, John Jay, John Marshall, Timothy Dwight, John and Charles Wesley, William Carey, Dwight L. Moody, Robert E. Lee, Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, George Patton, Douglas MacArthur, Booker T. Washington, Andrew Carnegie, Thomas Edison, Mark Twain, Agatha Christie, Pearl S. Buck, George Bernard Shaw, Irving Berlin, Ansel Adams, John Singleton Copley, Rembrandt Peale, Blaise Pascal, C.S. Lewis, Charles Dickens, John Owen, Charles Louis Montesquieu, William the Silent (Prince of Orange), John Newton, and more.
That’s quite a list…and quite some men and women. Wouldn’t you think their education had something to do with what kind of people they became?
Also, I’ll add to that the popular “15 Reasons to Home school During the Teen Years.”
1. You get to see the completion of your efforts. Something is lost when you turn over your discipline to others.
2. You can customize your children’s education to provide motivation for their gifts and abilities. No one else will be able to provide the consistent and loving support that you can in weak areas.
3. You can direct them to early college entrance. Even public high schools realize many students are ready for college level courses and have cooperative programs with junior colleges.
4. You can continue the family building process. The teen years continue to be impressionable and formative. This is an invaluable time to cement family relationships.
5. You can be sure that your teens are learning, if they are at home. Studies have revealed that public high school students average 2 hours and 13 minutes of academic work a day.
6. You can continue to have influence over their peer relationships.
Teen rebellion is not in God’s plan for the family, but it is the humanist agenda for the public schools.
7. You can protect them from pressure to conform to what the other kids are doing. This pressure is so strong in the public high school. You won’t need to spend time de-programming.
8. If you send your teens to high school, there will be a diversion
away from the academic focus, as well as spiritual priorities. Be aware of the many distractions that won’t parallel the home life you have maintained.
9. Your young people will be thrown into things like boy/girl preoccupation, focus on clothes, and pressure to conform in
appearance and music.
10. Vast amounts of time separated from the family will affect their relationship with you. We have all put great amounts of our heart and time into our home-schooling years, and we want those efforts preserved.
11. Home school is the best preparation for college studies. The home education “style” is closer to college-type instruction.
12. There is greater flexibility for work/study opportunities.
13. The institutional method of public education is designed around “crowd control” not learning. If and when they learn, it will be a by-product of other priorities to maintain classroom order.
14. Home educators have the best available curriculum and greater selection. Public schools offer revisionist history and science that promotes their humanist perspective. The godly commitment of many great Americans has been deleted from public textbooks.
15. Age/grade isolation or segregation inhibits socialization. Public school children are behind their home school counterparts in maturity, socialization and vocabulary development, as demonstrated by available research.
I think this says a lot–and I pray that you reconsider. I really do. I would recommend visiting the library or bookstore and checking out “The Right Choice: Homeschooling” by Christopher Klicka. Read some of what is written there. You’ll have a hard time saying “no” to a Christian education.
Now quickly, I want to really thank you for your comment. I used to really believe exactly what you said–and sometimes I wished I could evangelize (easier said than done!). But a closer examination of academics, moral issues, and the pros and cons led me to take a stand for Christian Education.
I believe you have not missed out on anything–you’ve gotten a head start. You are more prepared to share the gospel in the REAL world. You still have that huge opportunity in front of you and I urge you to take it.
Now, to end I wish to address those of you who are rolling on the ground moaning at what I’ve said. “Spitting out indoctrination…gag…” Actually, all of this came from what I’ve thought about the subject. I researched it, and came to my own conclusion on the topic. I believe it is God’s conclusion.
I have friends in Public Schools because they have to be there for a number of reasons–and what I’m saying here is hard to say. But it needs to be said. If you’re there–witness, evangelize…do whatever you can. But for those of you who think you’ve missed out by being homeschooled–you haven’t. You are not missing out.
Addition: I believe Iâ€™ll add a quote from the Rebelution:
â€œI readily agree that there are many good teachers, students, and experiences within the public school system. I know that many young people have graduate from public high school much the better for it. Yet that does not justify the system.
I would encourage you to read â€œThe Harsh Truth About Public Schoolsâ€ by Bruce N. Shortt. In it he exposes many of the inherent dangers of public schools that you and I canâ€™t see because of our limited view of the overall system.
Please understand that [Agent Tim Online] holds no negative views towards public schoolers, public school teachers, etc. But rather towards the system itself. These views are the result of a more thorough knowledge of the inherent evils of the system and the agendas being perpetuated regardless of the convictions of teachers, students, etc.â€
*Christianity vs. Humanism, Martin Luther quote, and “Homeschooling Hall of Fame”, all from “The Right Choice: Homeschooling” by Christopher Klicka.
*15 Reasons to Home school During the Teen Years is by Elizabeth Smith, HSLDA.