Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Public School v. Homeschooling

I remember seeing a tract back in the 70’s that showed a school bus with the name Sodom & Gomorrah Public School on the side. This tract from a fundamentalist group illustrates the alarming rhetoric coming from some people that want Christians to pull their children out of public school.

We homeschooled (OK, my wife did) for a time but now my kids are in public school. Both choices were based on circumstances and both turned out to be good. I have met many homeschooled children and have been impressed by how polite, intelligent and socially adjusted they were. On the other hand, I have met a few who were withdrawn and not as educated as their peer group. I guess it depends on the quality of their education, just like public school.

It is possible that my school district might be the best in the USA. It is certainly far different than the horror stories circulated by Roger Moran, who is trying to get the Southern Baptist Convention to endorse a public school pullout. My guess is that the SBC telling parents to pull their kids out of public schools will have as big an impact as the Disney boycott.

Sadly, the inflammatory words coming from the supporters of the public school pullout, cast suspicion on all homeschoolers. Most of the homeschooling parents I have met were not fundamentalists. They included Lutherans, Catholics and Jews. In fact, my own view of homeschooling was more unschool, “Let the kids express themselves and study what interests them,” than a rigid, curriculum-based approach of religious indoctrination.

Those who are sounding the alarm that a Christian exodus from public schools will bring about the collapse of society can stop. The vast majority of Christian parents aren’t going to homeschool. Guilt trips and hyperbole will not sway them.

The truth is that homeschooling is a great option for parents who have the patience, aptitude and economic viability. Homeschooling out fear, rather than love is a bad idea. However, parents who choose public schools would be wise to be involved in the schools and not neglect moral and religious instruction at home.

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (KJV) article

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