June 20th, 2006

Homeschool—An Enticing Option

Three things I can think of in recent news trouble me greatly, and give me the desire to homeschool my children.

In a recent post I talked about the benefit and blessing of intertwined spiritual and secular study.

And yet in our public school system, just the opposite is occuring, and the polarity is increasing at a logarithmic rate. Three things I can think of in recent news trouble me greatly, and give me the desire to homeschool my future children.

First, a bill passed by the California Senate, and likely to be passed by the Assembly, “removes sex-specific terms such as ‘mom’ and ‘dad’ from textbooks and requires students to learn about the contributions homosexuals have made to society.” So, instead of telling stories of mommy and daddy, schools would be required to also teach about mommy and mommy, and daddy and daddy. And let’s not even venture to guess what sex-ed and health classes would be like… Under this proposed law, there would be no tolerated “discimination” based on gender or sexual orientation, and to do so would disqualify that school for state funding.

Second, there has been a relenteless war waged by left-winged nutjobs to destroy any teaching of creationsim, and establish evolution as the de facto standard and established truth. For any Christian, this should be found as appalling and unacceptable.

Lastly, I just received an email from the American Family Association saying that the National Education Association will soon be proposing that “schools should support and actively promote homosexual marriage and other forms of marriage in their local schools.” The following is an excerpt from the proposal.

The Association… believes in the importance of observances, programs and curricula that accurately portray and recognize the roles, contributions, cultures, and history of these diverse groups and individuals.

The Association believes that legal rights and responsibilities with regard to medical decisions, taxes, inheritance, adoption, legal immigration, domestic partnerships, and civil unions and/or marriage belong to all these diverse groups and individuals.

Children are like sponges, soaking up everything they come in contact with. When I have children of my own, I don’t want their sponges soaking up poisonous vile from the fountain of the public school system. I would rather invest the time, money, and energy into seeking an alternative education method, such as homeschooling, so that I can teach my child true and correct principles.

8 Responses to “Homeschool—An Enticing Option”

  1. John
    June 20, 2006 at 10:03 am #

    I think there’s more of a balance to be had, personally. I’ve had close friends who’ve been home schooled, as well as relatives, and the common thread they all share is a distinct social handicap (ranging from mild to strong), as well as a misunderstanding of the world at large.

    There is no greater tradgedy than to shelter a young person until they are high-school or college age, then to dump them into the real world without ever having heard of daddy-daddy and marijuana.

    I don’t want my kids watching porno at school, but there’s a balance and a certain amount of social experience I depend on giving them there. Bullies, odd secular notions, bad ideas about drugs and sexual behavior – all those things are better dealt with and discussed early rather than later. It gives me a chance as a parent to slowly put the armor on and teach children as they grow.

    The other drawback to homeschooling is that you are only exposed to a single opinion. While I won’t argue there is absolute truth in the world, there is *much* to be gained from seeing other’s perspectives. I use to think drug use and prostitution was a black and white issue, but after having served in the ghettos of West Jersey, the issue isn’t as simple as it had been. Shielding myself from those “bad” experiences would have robbed me of that perspective.

    As far as creationism goes, I really don’t want that discussed in school anyway. We need to remember and preserve our national heritage, but its not fair to others to force our beliefs in public places. The ten commandments don’t belong in a courtroom any more than the principles of the Koran do. How would you feel if before your trial, the clerk and judge held hands and spoke in tongues? If we open up creationism in textbooks, we open up room everyone else’s beliefs, and that’s not what science class is for.

    I don’t mind having people teach kids about same-sex relationships, but I would have a problem if a teacher told my child it was “right” or “better.” We teach kids about genocide, too. It gives kids a chance to understand the world, and hopefully gain a gospel perspective on it by talking to their parents.

    I would probably suggest you check out your school before you go – and there are probably a great deal of private or charter schools that might be a better balance for your kids if you don’t like how public schools are panning out – but I don’t think I could advise homeschooling under many circumstances.

    — J

  2. Connor
    June 20, 2006 at 10:14 am #

    John,

    Excellent points. I wholeheartedly agree with you about the social deficiencies found in kids who are homeschooled. That is the biggest detractor for me in decided to go that route. That is why, in my last paragraph, I mentioned hoping for an alternative method to public school, homeschool being only one option. Frankly, if I found a great private or charter school, that’d be perfect.

    Having grown up in San Diego, I was exposed to all sorts of opposing views and lifestyles in school. And having that exposure, I always thought kids in Utah, living in the “bubble”, were a bit weirder (and naive) for not having been exposed to the “real world”.

    I value that exposure. There is, and needs to be, opposition in all things. Shielding your children from opposing viewpoints and lifestyles is detrimental to their personal and spiritual growth.

    However, I think it is wrong and upsetting when a teacher tells a student that a theory is fact. I don’t mind them teaching about evolution as a theory, but when they teach my child that it is a proven fact, that’s when I get angry. I don’t want creationism being taught in schools (that’s appropriate for a family and church setting), but I don’t want teachers telling my children that creationism is completely false, and cannot be mentioned in any public school setting.

    Watching Hannity and Colmes last night, I saw an interview with a young girl who was Valedictorian of her high school class. The high school officials read her speech, which mentioned Jesus as her inspiration and guide throughout her studies. They told her she couldn’t say that, and then they edited her talk. She memorized her original talk, and in her speech mentioned Jesus and God. As soon as she did, the officials turned off the microphone, forcing her to continue her speech with no one able to hear. Ridiculous.

    So, I’m not a huge fan of homeschooling, but alternative methods to public education are growing more alluring as I watch our society go down the crapper…

  3. Mike W.
    June 28, 2006 at 5:46 pm #

    Connor,

    I think that the socialization aspect of homeschooling is changing. Kids are getting significant interaction with others their age through co-op groups and the public system is becoming more open to having part time students in their schools.

    I think one of the problems with the social aspect of homeschooling is primarily the reason for which parents choose to homeschool. If the express purpose for homeschooling is to keep them from being influenced by society, then the parents will do all things in their power to protect them. My reason for homeschooling is to keep alive in my children the love of learning that the public system seems to purge from students (I felt that way) and to help them learn to think for themselves and solve problems.

    So the side effects of homeschooling are rather dependent on the reasons for doing it.

  4. Connor
    June 28, 2006 at 6:09 pm #

    Mike,

    I agree with your stated reasons for homeschooling, and also agree that there are an abundant list of ways in which kids can maintain and develop social interaction with their peers. As long as that happens, homeschooling can be (in my opinion) quite a viable option for the broken public school system and its liberalistic indoctrination of children today.

    Thanks for your post.

  5. Jeff
    January 14, 2007 at 4:49 pm #

    My old high school physics teacher wrote this letter to the editor in response to the debate over evolution and creationism. He’s LDS and now teaches at BYU. In my opinion, he explains the need for teaching evolution in schools better than anyone I’ve ever read, so I won’t add to it here.

  6. Connor
    January 14, 2007 at 5:59 pm #

    Jeff,

    I don’t think that the author of that article advocated the “need for teaching evolution” very well at all. Instead, he summarized his stance of “why everybody wins” by arguing that it wouldn’t be wise for him to teach religion in his classroom. Instead of arguing why he should teach evolution (specifically), he argued why he shouldn’t teach about God. Not entirely the same thing. Simply showing why he shouldn’t teach religion doesn’t necessitate nor validate the need to proclaim evolution as scientific truth.

    Just as the author suggests that we not teach religion in schools (because it’s about “feeling” rather than “knowing”), so Darwinian evolution shouldn’t be promulgated as scientific fact, as it is in classrooms around the country, when it should be offered as a theory with supporting scientific evidence.

    Lest I promote a further threadjacking, any discussion on the topic you chose to raise here can be continued on this post. :)

  7. Crimson Wife
    July 29, 2007 at 3:58 pm #

    I just came across this post today, but I had to respond to the completely uninformed stereotyping of homeschoolers as social misfits. Research has shown that traditionally schooled children have significantly *more* problem behaviors than homeschooled children. On average, homeschooled children are involved in 5.3 outside activities such as co-op classes, support groups, Scouts, sports teams, church youth groups, and so on. You can find more information here.

  8. Carissa
    July 30, 2007 at 4:33 pm #

    Thanks for your comment Crimson Wife. I agree. I was not homeschooled but the few kids my age who I knew that were, were not socially backward for it. If people think they were, I wonder if sometimes it was maybe more in the eyes of the beholder.

    There is no greater tradgedy than to shelter a young person until they are high-school or college age, then to dump them into the real world without ever having heard of daddy-daddy and marijuana

    Funny, just the other week during R.S. the topic came up about “sheltering” our children from evil. Most people made similar comments as this (although I’m sure we’d all agree there are plenty of worse tragedies out there). But what was interesting was then, this young mother about my age stood up and talked about how she was very sheltered during her childhood (not homeschooled but no TV, strict rules of conduct and friends, etc). She talked about how, when she eventually got out on her own, she was shocked to see the things going on in the world. Anyhow, instead of being a setback for her — like you might think, she talked about how being sheltered from those things while growing up actually prepared her better to deal with it all and she was very grateful to her parents for it. She explained how she had a huge spiritual reserve to draw from and how her worldview is positive and optimistic.

    Others may have different experiences, but I don’t think we should assume that just because someone isn’t constantly exposed to homosexuality, drugs, whatever… that they won’t know what to do with themselves when they are around it.

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