15 thoughts on “Raising Dweebs for Jesus

  1. I was high school teacher 33 years , inner city Miami. However, I do respect home schoolers a great deal. I suppose the parents must have the time but your love and commitment is apparent. Thanks visit my blog.

  2. Good article. When the whole sheltering topic comes up I also like to point out that we homeschoolers may be sheltered from some content, such as Game of Thrones, that our peers are not sheltered from, but we also are not sheltered from some content that they are, such as real, living, not-just-regurgitation history. And not only that, but we also (when homeschooling is done well of course) are not sheltered from learning to think. Not just spewing forth facts, not simply restating other thoughts in different form with minor alterations, but genuine, honest-to-goodness thinking that is logical, rational, and original.

  3. Awesome post.
    1) the thumbnail definitely needs to be that gasmask picture.
    2) who says Game of Thrones and progressive sex ed is the ‘real world’ anyway?

  4. When I was a kid in the early1970’s, our housing development was between two mountains that blocked off all broadcast TV signals except for those coming off of one mountain where we had a line-of-sight view. On that mountain were two UHF transmitters; one for a PBS station and another for an independent station. All the local network stations were blocked and there was no cable service in the area. Consequently, there was never much on TV, so we learned to do without.

    Going to my grandparents house was like nirvana. They lived on a mountain. Not only did they get every TV station in the area, they also had a rotating antenna so they could get all the stations in Los Angeles as well. We were able to catch up on the popular TV programs then so we wouldn’t be left out when the other kids were talking about them during our socialization sessions at public school. ;)

  5. Compulsory public miseducation may actually be the guilty party in desocialization, i.e., in producing negative social skills, not home schooling. Many homeschooling parents have observed, as we did, the benefit of not having their children locked into a peer group or submitted to the pressure of conformity to that group. The way this plays out is that home schooled children are able to relate to and interact with the entire spectrum of other age groups, both younger juveniles and adults, including the elderly, and to do so seamlessly and respectfully. If more parents of traditional day school students – where they have no control over the input into their children for the bulk of the day – were really honest about what they mean by “social skills” they might not like their own answer when asked, “How’s that working out for you?”

  6. Thanks for this, Fred. This reminds me of how last night my wife and I were watching “The Voice” on DVR last night. Our boys joined us after they had taken their baths and my sons and I had to keep looking off to the side every time they showed Christina Aguilera because of her very immodest clothing. We have gone on-again/off-again with cable because of pricing (we don’t carry many channels and don’t have cable now), but always monitor what they watch. They have grown into actually self-regulating many times and choosing not to watch shows if the content is too inappropriate. To me, the important part is making sure they don’t look at other kids who watch certain shows and become legalistic. That takes time and lots of discussion, but it is all worthwhile.

    I do find it refreshing that they can actually carry on conversations with adults about serious topics…the main problem we’re having is teaching them not to just jump into conversations inappropriately. That’s just part of maturing, though, and I am just glad they can actually talk about real-life issues with adults instead of just looking dumbfounded.

  7. I’m going to offer some thoughts. I’ve been homeschooled, I’ve been to public schools, and my own children attend a private Christian school. I’ve also taught children in church, many of whom are homeschooled. I’ve spent a great deal of time meditating on my own experiences and what I’ve seen from others and how that affects my own decisions in raising my children. Here are my thoughts.

    The problem with the whole question of “socialization” in this context is, in my opinion, the heart of the question starts with a basic premise that a public education is equivalent (or superior) in all other ways when compared to a homeschooling education. It assumes one will get close to the same or better educational benefit from a public school. Nobody would be questioning homeschooling if they thought the education derived from homeschooling was vastly superior. The question additionally assumes that (a) a public school will adequately or properly “socialize” children and (b) there are no other good ways to obtain said benefits. As others have already pointed out, these are faulty premises. Often public schools don’t provide any tangible educational benefits and the social skills the children learn are not the ones we’d like them to learn (and this is putting it mildly in some cases). So the only option for many parents is to homeschool.

    Alternatively, I find many good Christian homeschooling parents to be startlingly naïve about their own limitations (and bad habits) and their children’s needs to have appropriate social interactions with their peers…to even develop close friendships within their own peer group. I also notice a strong lack of physical discipline among homeschoolers in general, more so in those who don’t play any sports. They’ve simply never been exposed to having to push one’s body to the limits, having to work in a team environment under stress, or having to discipline one’s self to achieve a particular goal. And yes, many of them tend to be highly legalistic.

    But in all fairness, I have a job that requires me (and trains me for that matter) to assess people very quickly so perhaps I’m just a little more skilled at seeing people’s character traits. It’s one of those things that is very difficult to turn off and makes social interactions somewhat awkward.

    Final note. I would have answered the parent’s question differently. I would have told her that the most important thing any child can learn is fear and admonition of the Lord. This should be the most important concern not whether your children are equipped with social skills. Unfortunately, most public school environments are actively hostile to this goal. Furthermore, I question whether public schools can actually equip children with appropriate social skills if they don’t do so through the teaching of Scripture. After all, it is Scripture that teaches what Paul advocates in Colossians: compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Having said that, I do believe children need to be equipped with social skills just as they are any other skill. They need to know how to interact with adults, superiors, inferiors, and peers. These are things that must be taught and practiced. A parent should be aware of this, provide for instruction, and provide opportunities for practice. Finally, children must be taught that the Bible never advocates for one to be a loner. A cord of three strands is not easily broken (and this passage was not about marriage).

  8. Just to tag onto what Aaron is saying, parents also need to realize that children need to learn how to interact with unbelievers. I don’t think the public school environment is a great environment for this, and we homeschool parents need to provide some opportunities to allow for our children to interact with children with other worldviews. I’ve been greatly encouraged by stories that my wife has told me about both of our sons engaging in apologetics and envangelism with people in many different settings (mainly in doctor’s offices). It is better that they learn the different worldviews that are out there and to be compassionate towards the lost while still standing firm upon a biblical worldview than to go off into the world unprepared for interacting with the world.

  9. I pray our kids (your kids and mine) will grow up to know Him salvifically, and also to serve Him. Nuance post by the way. Very good.

  10. Unfortunately home schooling is largely a protective and manipulative environment controlled solely by the parents. A devout religious family setting used to bring up and educate children without exposure to alternative social groups, religions, science, politics and sporting challenges is committing the children to believing in the parents personal ideologies and creating an unbalanced understanding of the real world.

    There are no problems with allowing TV programmes to assist in exposure to the world or parents taking their children to church on Sundays but the effect on a child with constant religious exposure that often includes preferential political views by the parents can be nothing more than indoctrination and it goes without saying that this is detrimental on the child’s overall development and well-being.

    State or government schools have at least a more balanced view of the world in so far as to allow the children to eventually make their own decisions in these matters.

  11. Our nameless atheist writes,
    Unfortunately home schooling is largely a protective and manipulative environment controlled solely by the parents.

    And you get your information about homeschooling families from where exactly? Someone telling you this or is this your personal experience? Or perhaps you are getting it from some secondary source? Seeing that I homeschool and happen to know 100s of families who homeschool, none of them fit the stereotype you are raising here. In fact, most of those families are exposed regularly to those alternative social groups, religions, science, politics and all of them are involved with challenging sports.

    What is different with our educational approach, however, is that we actually teach our kids to think through those alternative ideologies and evaluate them. We are not just teaching them propaganda that they must believe, like say for example the US Department of Education changing their profile picture on FB to gay propaganda, https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=845309065505479&set=a.190306704339055.35777.100000791813437&type=1&theater

    I think your criticism is not that you seriously believe homeschoolers only get exposed to their parent’s point of view but that that they evaluate the world through their parent’s point of view and reject those alternatives. That bothers you, because you probably believe in some postmodernist, multi-cultural nonsense that all truth is the same and person must think like you that all truth is the same.

    I don’t know how schools are ran where you live (I am taking it in England or Australia) but here in LA, schools are a disaster. Kids getting exposed to sexual abuse by both peers and teachers on a regular basis and never are they truly learning anything.

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  13. Pingback: BTWN: The Homeschool Vs. Public School Episode | hipandthigh

  14. Pingback: BTWN: The Home School Vs. Public School Episode | hipandthigh

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