Christian Homeschool – An action that shows your Biblical convictions!
A Christian homeschool can provide many attractive benefits. Money can be saved from transportation, clothing, lunches, and fundraising projects that are required for public school. Even more money can be saved over the cost of a Christian school. Academics can be improved through individuality and a structure that allows the student to proceed at his ability. The stress of having everyone out the door at a particular minute is gone. Christian homeschooling can be more time efficient than campus-based schools that require a substantial amount of non-academic time. Eating habits can be better controlled at home. School safety and bullying issues are gone. However, these benefits are NOT the reason to have a Christian homeschool!
A Christian homeschool should be from a conviction that parents are ultimately responsible for training their children. The Old Testament is clear about this responsibility in Deuteronomy 6.
In 1962, public school prayer was banned. The following year all religious activities were prohibited in public school. Over the next ten years, the theory of evolution replaced almost all references to a “Created” universe in public schools. Posting the “Ten Commandments” was prohibited. Most of Generation X (34-49 years) had an education void of God. Most of the Millennial Generation (18-33 years) also had an education void of God, plus were likely raised by parents that had an education void of God. Both of these generations have also been bombarded with movies, TV shows, and internet media that criticizes or makes fun of Christianity. Often movies, TV shows, and news focus on religious hypocrites rather than Bible-believing, God-fearing people. The sheer volume of negative presentations make it look like the norm rather than the exception. It is no surprise the Millennial Generation is the least connected to a religious affiliation in modern history (according to a March 7, 2014 Pew Research article). The Millennial Generation is a growing percentage of our nation’s teachers. They are also a growing percentage of our parents with school aged children. This means Christian parents have to be more careful than ever about who they allow their children to be around.
Luke 16:18 says, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them…” By placing our responsibility to train our children in the hands of others, we may be forbidding our children to come to the Lord. We can take them to church for a few hours per week. We can pray when we eat. We can even have devotions. However, placing our children in a school for over 1000 hours per year can undo all the good we are doing as parents. At the very least, it causes confusion. Children naturally respect teachers and information presented in the classroom. There is a natural inclination in children to believe what they hear at school is truth. Even if your child has a good teacher, he or she may be forced to present information or curriculum that is harmful.
Some parents feel their child can be a light to others. Some parents feel their child is strong enough to hear contrary information and peer pressure everyday. If these parents are wrong, what is at stake? The child’s Christian walk for the rest of his life. Today’s children have much more difficult spiritual and moral circumstances than their parents.
What about Christian schools? Parents want their children to be around positive peer pressure. Parents also want to prevent their children from being around negative peer pressure. A Christian school is always challenged with these goals. Structure and enrollment screening can help with both areas, but ultimately it is the Christian school deciding the peer pressure the child will face, not the parents.
Many Christian schools have consolidated over the last couple decades. Many church schools have closed. It is now common to have what is a community Christian school serving a geographic area. These schools have families from a variety of standards and church backgrounds. The financial pressures of a school make it tempting to accept anyone that gives the right answers on an application or in an interview. If a pastor recommendation is required by the school, the family’s pastor is unlikely to give a bad reference. Christian schools have a “private school” social standing in many regions. Even if a family doesn’t fully meet admission requirements, most Christian school administrators are regularly pressured by pleading parents. Some administrators have a difficult time turning away applicants.
Even if good things happen in the classroom, there are other environments your child will be in everyday. The playground time, break time, lunch time, before and after school times are susceptible to negative peer pressure. Often relationships are formed with children outside your values when your child goes to a campus-based school. Peer pressure then spreads to text messaging, phone calls, and sleepovers with families that have different values. Most of these peer pressure environments will take place under someone else’s supervision, not the parent’s.
Another factor that many parents do not consider: When you place your child in a parent-promoted environment such as a Christian school, the child will assume that standards observed of other “Christian” families are okay, even if they are not the child’s family standards. For example, parents may be opposed to the concept of “dating”, but when the child sees other “Christian” parents at the Christian school allowing the concept, it creates confusion and possibly an attitude. The same thing can happen with family standards such as movies, internet, texting, video games, clothing styles and multitudes of other areas. The school handbook may state that many of these areas are not to be talked about by students, but happen anyway during the many opportunities outside of class time. It can be difficult to explain varying standards of Christian school families to a child. No matter how good the reasons offered by the parents, the child still sees other professing Christian parents allowing things he doesn’t get to do. Those observations can eventually undermine the child’s view of his family’s standards and values. A Christian homeschool can prevent this entire issue.
A Christian homeschool gives the parents more authority to match their Biblical responsibility than any other structure. A Christian homeschool can provide a Biblical perspective in all subjects. A Christian homeschool can protect the child from information that undermines the family’s convictions and goals. A Christian homeschool has a better structure for controlling peer pressure. A Christian homeschool can offer the blessed family experience that each of us desires.
Some parents understand the need for having a Christian homeschool, but are concerned with financial sacrifices, single parent situations, or the ability to educate. A family may lose a second income, but gain eternal benefits. Not only for their children, but gain benefits for grandchildren and future generations. Often, a financial analysis will show the second income doesn’t really make as big of difference as it first appears. Some changes may be needed, but the benefits to the home will outweigh what is given up. A single parent can look for another nearby homeschool family with the same values and goals that might consider helping. Or an older relative or friend may be able to supervise the student while working if using an online or self-teaching Bible-based curriculum such as ones used by Southeast Academy or Western Christian Academy. One of the good things about technology is that it now allows a parent to select a curriculum that matches convictions. There are now several online curriculum options that allow safe academic support for all grades up through high school. If a single parent, wait until you find a helper homeschool family before choosing a curriculum or program. It is easier if both families use the same method.
Please check some of the other pages available from the links such as Ten Points To Consider Before Choosing a Homeschool Program or Recommendations for online Christian schools.