Sunday, August 17, 2008
Another Homeschool Rant
It's fall and school is about to start. It reminds me of a fun "discussion" this summer with a smart friend about home school. He's very much in favor of home school.
I know it's a little redundant to describe any pro-homeschooler as "smart", because they all pretty much are. But this dude isn't your ordinary home school cat.
But this didn't stop me from taking him on- just me and my public school education.
I'm going to re-create the discussion to the best of my knowledge (making myself sound smarter and more articulate, of course). I will let him remain anonymous, unless he chooses to weigh in with his comments, and reveal his identity... (although his initials are T.L.)
Me: "I'm really okay with home school, I just hate it when people use Bible verses to show why parents ought to home school. This lady pulled this on me at family camp this year, using Voddie Baucham's argument about letting Caesar train our kids. I don't think the Bible is pro-home school."
Him: "I think it is. For example, the command in Deuteronomy 6 is to 'teach our kids diligently'."
Me: "What are we to 'teach our kids diligently'? Geometry proofs? The Periodic Table? History? I don't think that's at all what that passage is about."
Tim (Ooops, I mean Him): "You're assuming that knowledge is amoral, and it's not. We have a responsibility to train our kids with a Christian worldview."
Me: "Yeah, but in that Sh'ma passage, the command is to diligently teach the Scriptures- God's word- not Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic."
Him: "But wouldn't you say that you've failed as a parent if you haven't taught them how to read?"
Me: "No, you haven't failed. You could be an illiterate Berber out in the Sahara teaching your child to love God with all his or her heart, soul and mind and never teach them to read or write or do multiplication tables. The imperative of Deuteronomy 6 is not to home school your kids because that's not the only way to teach them the word and ways of God."
Him: "So you're happy to send your kids to someone else for 8 hours a day so they can teach them- and that during an age when they are most impressionable?"
Me: "I think teachers are generally doing a good job of teaching what they are paid to teach- reading, writing, math..."
Him: "But there is definitely a worldview attached to what they're teaching. It's impossible for them to be objective. Moreover, grade school is when they are most impressionable."
Me: "I think my teachers through grade school had very little negative influence over my thinking. If they were poisoning my mind, it was a drop in the ocean of the influence that was my parents, church, etc. By the time I got to junior high/high school, when evolution was being taught, I was strengthened in my faith because it made me own my reasons for believing in the Creator God."
Him: "But in high school there are other real social pressures that you can't deny (i.e. drug use). Do you want to subject your kids to that?"
Me: "I want to win the high school for Christ."
At this point it went back and forth some more. He made some great points and really made me think. We also talked about how we need to foster an environment (esp. at church) where people can feel the freedom to make the best choice for them, and not say, "I'm ok if you home school (or public school)" but in your heart you still pass judgment.
So I'm cool with home school or Christian school, and of course public school, but please stop using the Bible to say, "The Bible is pro-home school."