This article was reprinted with permission of the author, Attorney David Gibbs III, President and Chief General Counsel of the National Center for Life and Liberty. www.ncll.og
Homeschooling is on the rise all over the country. While once a predominately faith-based (primarily Christian) movement, the community of homeschoolers has expanded and broadened to include virtually every religious and non-religious group in America. In fact, homeschooling now represents one of the fastest-growing movements in the country, and it is expanding to include families of every ethnic background and socio-economic status. So why are parents choosing this option? What benefits do they see over sending their children to public or private school?
Keeping the Faith
Many parents choose to homeschool because they are strongly motivated to integrate their faith in all aspects of their children’s study. As Christians, we believe that all knowledge and wisdom come from God and that He has something to say in His Word about every aspect of life. Given that God has been kicked out the public school door by legal and administrative edicts, biblical principles and absolutes are no longer taught in the public schools. In the homeschool setting, however, parents have the freedom to help their children see the world—and all of its academic disciplines—through the lens of their faith.
Home-educated students, on the whole, are entering college and the job market so well-prepared that many people today are choosing to homeschool less for religious reasons and more for academic ones. Homeschool parents have the option to customize their children’s learning by choosing various curriculum providers and utilizing teaching methods based on their individual children’s learning styles. High standardized test scores and routine admission to top colleges have become common in the homeschool community. Although viewed by many as an old-fashioned hearkening to an earlier time, homeschooling remains on the academic cutting edge.
Preserving Traditional Values
Preserving traditional values has become one of the primary motivations for parents to home-educate. In discussing the moral failure of Israel, the author of the Book of Judges says, “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judg. 17:6). Although this was written many years ago, it accurately describes our society today. We have become so sensitive about offending someone’s rights or preferences that speaking in terms of absolute values has become taboo, particularly in the public schools. If we hold to an absolute standard of truth—the Word of God—we are accused of being intolerant, inflexible, bigoted, hateful, or simply old-fashioned and not in keeping with the times. In the homeschool setting, values are not determined by the situation, by peers, or by the latest fad. Instead, parents have a unique window of opportunity to instill their deepest beliefs and values in their children. By avoiding the relative-value school system, parents can give their children a firm foundation on which to base the rest of their lives.
Children that attend public or private school are gone from their homes, on average, at least thirty hours per week. Teaching their children at home provides parents with much more time with their children, allowing them the opportunity to experience the best of times—and the worst of times—together, as a family. Furthermore, siblings in a homeschool setting have many great opportunities to work and learn together, which also fosters closeness and cooperation.
Parents no longer feel as safe as they once did in sending their children off to school. Mass shootings at schools like Columbine and Sandy Hook have awakened us to the reality that within our midst are those who would perpetrate evil against children on a mass scale. And it’s not just these mass incidents that are causing parents to fear for their children’s safety. Physical and sexual assaults and bullying are rampant in our schools, with much of it never reported in the media. As a result, many parents are turning to homeschooling as a way to provide what they consider to be a safer school environment for their children.
God gave children to parents—not to the government and not to the church. He gives them as gifts to mothers and fathers, and He speaks at length about the duties of parents to their children and children to their parents.
In our society, government is assuming an increasing cradle-to-grave responsibility for our children. From early childhood education to immunizations to Common Core, parents are losing authority over their children. In public education, there is a very real question of who has the most control over children: parents or government. Homeschooling parents are fighting back—they are refusing to cede that control.
At the National Center for Life and Liberty, we stand with your family, because we believe that as parents, you are in the best position to make decisions for the care and education of your children. With an individually-tailored home environment, children can receive a dramatically different education—one more akin to fine craftsmanship than mass production. Parents should embrace the reality that when it comes to their own children, they are the real experts—not bureaucrats, not social engineers, not researchers in the educational establishment. Our attorneys are available to serve you in your educational choices. If you’re not already a member of our Homeschool Center, learn about the benefits of joining today!