For starters, we're already one of THOSE families... we homeschool, we make our kids say "Yes, Sir/Ma'am," we use cloth diapers, we garden, we don't wear swim suits (or other immodest clothing), we eat mostly homemade meals, our children are breastfed for the first year of life, we teach our children the "old-school" values of discipline and responsibility, we take on the roles of "bread-winner" and "homemaker" ... and we just plain enjoy it.
Our entry into this way of life started when we were saved by Christ and hopped onto the straight and narrow path to His Kingdom. So I would say that to understand any of this, you have to know that we believe in God, the Trinity, the death of Christ for our sins, the ressurection, salvation through faith alone and that the Bible is the inspired Word of God (and still relevant today).
God's Word tells us that we're not to be of this world (1John2:15-16, 1John5:19) but should stand alone (be a shining light) in our faith. So throw away all preconceptions that you have about any of the things that we do, because those views that you have accumulated are most likely from this world and not from God. Now take a dip into the way God views them.
God has very strong views on children...
- Children are given to us as a gift to watch over
Psalm 127:3-5 - Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they shall not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gates.
- But they're STILL God's - we are MERELY stewards
Ezekiel 16:20-21 You slaughtered My children and offered them up to idols ...
- Fathers (as the head of the family) are told to ensure the Christ-like rearing of their children
Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
- Teaching your children "when you're able" isn't good enough - you're meant to be with them all day
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.
- How can we raise our children in God if we're throwing them in the Lion's Den?
Jeremiah 10:2a Thus saith the Lord, learn not the way of the heathen.
Proverbs 13:20 He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
I Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived; bad company corrupts good morals
James 3:15-17 5This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.16For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
- For bringing harm to children (perhaps for throwing them in that Den):
Matthew 18:6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
- And the rewards for obeying God in how we raise our children:
II Timothy 3:15-17 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.16All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:17That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
I know that everyone is not going to agree with me (or God) because "the bible was written a very long time ago for the people of THAT time", "It's just not for US!", "What about SOCIALIZING them???", "There are private schools that teach about God...", and "What would we do without two incomes?!?" If you think any of these things... then you're in the same boat as most of the world. As homeschoolers, we're the fringe society. And we're okay with that.
So let's go the scientific route. I don't think I have the words to express this correctly, so I'll turn it over to the pros.
Public schools were widely established in the U.S. around 1890. Compulsory education was not mandated until the late 1960's. And this is by state - it is not a federal law. (What on EARTH did people do before then?) If you subscribe to Creationism (as opposed to some theory) as we do, then you believe that the world was created around 6000 B.C. So that's 7,960 years of homeschooling. I'm gonna call that a 159/1 win. Boy, don't you feel like the minority now.
"But people were just idiot, savage cavemen!"
"A considerable number of well-known Americans never went through the twelve-year wringer our kids currently go through, and they turned out all right. George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln? Someone taught them, to be sure, but they were not products of a school system, and not one of them was ever "graduated" from a secondary school. Throughout most of American history, kids generally didn't go to high school, yet the unschooled rose to be admirals, like Farragut; inventors, like Edison; captains of industry like Carnegie and Rockefeller; writers, like Melville and Twain and Conrad; and even scholars, like Margaret Mead. In fact, until pretty recently people who reached the age of thirteen weren't looked upon as children at all. Ariel Durant, who co-wrote an enormous, and very good, multi-volume history of the world with her husband, Will, was happily married at fifteen, and who could reasonably claim that Ariel Durant was an uneducated person? Unschooled, perhaps, but not uneducated." -- John Taylor Gatto
Some of the greatest minds in our history were not sent to a state-provided school and yet we're having a hard time producing minds like them now. *Well, if all of your friends play video games, I guess it's okay if you do too...* If you start by handing the education of your child over to someone else, soon you're giving over the rearing too.
I believe that we've started to confuse state-provided education with a means to success, knowledge, and common sense.
If graduating from public school is a means of achieving success, why are 61% of high school graduates entering college with only a 27% graduation rate? Because public schools are preparing the students for standardized tests, not for independent thinking (i.e., college).
According to the National Center for Home Education nearly 80% of homeschooled children achieved individual scores above the national average and 54.7% of the 16,000 homeschoolers achieved individual scores in the top quarter of the population, more than double the number of conventional school students who score in the top quarter.So it's possible to teach children a wide spectrum of information without catering to tests and to still achieve the goal of education. Who knew...
If the scientific information doesn't wow you over, put your mom hat on.
Do you remember that first day you took your child to daycare or preschool? I do... I took my daughter to daycare and it was just... wrong. My mom instinct was screaming at me that I was doing something against nature and I ignored it. My defenseless little infant was being put into the arms of someone I barely knew or trusted and it. felt. wrong. But I did it anyway, because "that's what everyone else did". I also fed my daughter formula for that same reason. And started her on cereal too early. And let her cry when she only needed some mommy comfort. Somewhere in me, I was screaming to stop the insanity. THAT is the mothering instinct that God equipped us with... and it's why, when we have a newborn, we wake up at night to make sure they're still breathing. Or when the kids get quiet, we run in to check on them. But how are any of these physical dangers different from the danger posed to their mind and spirits?
Why are parents all over the U.S. sending their children into an environment of drugs, violence, bullying, secularism, lazy teaching, sex education, calculator math, and someone else's values (and the belief that they should teach them to your children). Because the norm now is to be of the world. Everyone else sends their children to a school of the world... why not me too? It DOESN'T MATTER what is "socially acceptable" - we're told to be Christ-like in ALL things, not those that we pick and choose.
So we homeschool our children. I have quiet, one-on-one sessions and they actually learn. I know that they learn something because I'm right there next to them. If they don't learn it, we have all of the time in the world to go over it again. My kids don't compete for attention or get looked over in a crowd of 24. Our day starts off with the Pledge of Allegiance and our first class is Bible Study. We say prayers of thanks for valuable lessons and we take breaks if they need one.
I wasn't educated as a teacher. I'm just a parent. And a Christian. If God told me to do it, then He must have known that all parents could handle it.