BTWN: The Home School Vs. Public School Episode

homeschoolersI had the privilege once again to join the BTWN fellas to kick around a few topics. First, we discussed what church growth should look like for a congregation. Then we turned to Christian potheads, man. And then we spent the remainder of our time in a spirited discussion about whether or not Christian parents can send their kids to public school. Tim and I took the affirmative, Len the negative.

BTWN: Episode 174

Just to summarize my position regarding the great homeschooling/public school debate if I were not clear enough on the podcast:

– My wife and I currently home school all five of our children. In fact I have written about our views HERE and HERE.

– I do not believe God forbids Christian parents from sending their kids to secular, public schools. There is not a Bible verse anywhere in Scripture that says a parent has to home school.

– The exhortations to train your kids in godliness and so forth, found in Deuteronomy and other similar passages that homeschooling advocates often appeal to for their anti-PS convictions, are not addressing a general education a child would receive in either a public school or at home.

– Instead, passages in Scripture exhorting the teaching of God’s Word to children and raising them up in the fear and admonition of the Lord are speaking specifically to the parents role in raising their children to fear God and to obey His law. Parents can do that while still sending their kids to public school.

– That said, I do share many of the concerns of anti-PS homeschooling advocates. I understand that secular educators and education can have an agenda. Christians must not be naive regarding that fact.

– However, public schools differ from community to community. Some will be more liberal than others, while some extremely conservative than others. My family happens to live in a conservative oriented school district in LA county. Parents need to use discernment and discretion when choosing how they will educate their kids.

– It is grossly inaccurate and a ridiculous exaggeration on the part of anti-PS homeschooling onlyists to automatically charge all public schools and their teachers/administrators everywhere across America as attempting to steal the heart of children from Jesus and to turn them against God.

– Parents who do send their children to public school need to be extra vigilant in what it is their children are learning, who their friends are, who their teachers are, what are the influences, etc.

– The more the parents are involved with their kids education with such things as helping with homework, reviewing assignments and lessons, and even giving of their time at their local school, the more they will be equipped to address issues that may confront their kids and interact with educators and administration.

– Homeschooling is absolutely no guarantee that your children will be safe from worldliness and anti-theistic philosophies, or even that they will be saved. I know a number of loving, God-fearing parents who home schooled their children who never once darkened a PS door, who are now hellions and/or hostile toward their parents and the Christian faith. Anti-homeschooling blogs exist for a reason.

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3 thoughts on “BTWN: The Home School Vs. Public School Episode

  1. I share your discernment. We home school but I’m not against PS. I’m a product of PS and while I wasn’t saved till my junior year, PS are not always the problems. Like you, I know of many home schooled children who are living in sin and are unsaved.

  2. Interesting subject. In the UK, the 1944 Education Act stipulated that all children should get an education, but did not lay down how. Most went to state schools, about 7% to private schools (confusingly known as ‘public schools’ à la Rugby or Eton), and a few educate at home. You have a right as far as practicable to choose which school.

    In Germany school attendance is mandatory, with heavy fines for not sending children to state schools. In return, when it comes to religion there is a conscience clause that allows parents to opt out if they wish (true in the UK as well), though few do. You can opt for Catholic or Protestant! In our German experience, schools are pretty sensitive to parents’ concerns in this regard, but the UK is better if children are struggling with the material they are being taught and need extra help.

    There is more nominal adherence to Christianity in Germany than the UK.

    There is of course no such thing as ‘Christian’ maths, biology, history, physics or chemistry … , and in this regard I have often wondered whether it is possible to adequately impart enough information if you home-school.

    There will be areas where a secular outlook will creep in, evolution being the most obvious example. I can understand the concern about an ungodly ethos or system of ethics (or lack of them) being imparted to impressionable minds. The normalization of sexual immorality is a major problem, especially in the UK. The UK is much further down the road of making children in effect wards of the state. Surely being brought up in a believing family and church ought to be enough to counteract this. Shouldn’t Christian kids (and their parents) be salt and light even in the state system?

    In any event once school has been left behind, the world of university or work will be full of people and ideas that offspring will have to deal with like it or not, and I wonder if home-schooling may be a bad preparation for this. This to me seems the most obvious objection to it – and I have read your other pieces about this.

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