Why We Homeschool: Public Schools

If you haven’t already read Disagreeing with Love, please read that first.

Homeschooling is not the norm. It is not the easy educational choice. So why have we made the decision to go against the grain and homeschool our children?

I’ve been pondering how to blog about our reasons for homeschooling and I think the best way is to do it over a period of time. Our reasons are many and diverse and have grown and matured over time. So I will attempt to explain where we are in a series of posts, rather than trying to cram too much information into one.

In this post I will focus on why government education (public school) has never been an option for us.

As Christians our family’s goal is to base all of our decisions and opinions on God’s word. We are not always consistent and are thankful that God still loves us and is able to use us for His glory. We realize that we don’t know everything and are  not always right. We are learning and growing constantly. My purpose here is to try to convey what we believe and a little about why we believe it.

Some basic presuppositions for this discussion:

  1. God’s Word, both the Old and New Testaments, is our ultimate standard by which we should live. Human logic and practicality do not trump God’s Word, ever.
  2. Real knowledge apart from God’s Word does not exist. (Proverbs 1:7, 2:5-6, Col. 2:3, Psalm 111:10, Psalm 53:1)
  3. According to God’s Word we should be law keepers in as much as the law does not required us to break God’s law. (Romans 13:1-7)
  4. Christians should train their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Eph. 6:4)
  5. God has given parents the responsibility to educate their own children. (Deut. 6:4-9)
  6. Education is not neutral. (Luke 11:23)

Here are some reasons that our family does not believe that government school is a valid option for us as followers of Christ:

The government school system violates the eighth commandment.

The current system is based on legalized theft. The federal government takes money from our family and yours and uses it for the education of others. The government does not earn that money, does not ask us to donate it voluntarily and, as I will explain in my next point, is using it to fund and regulate an area over which it has no lawful authority.

The government is forcing groups of people to financially support things to which they are morally and/or religiously opposed. Roman Catholics must pay for prescription birth control to be passed out to 11 year old girls, Christians are forced to fund programs that teach children about homo s*xuality and offer encouragement and support in that lifestyle choice, and Buddhists pay for required Islamic studies.

Federal involvement in education is unlawful.

The federal involvement in the government school system  is contrary to our laws. The Constitution was written to limit the power of the government. Our founding fathers knew that the natural tendency would be for the government to try to grab more and more power and so, in an attempt to preserve our system of checks and balances, the Constitution delineates which powers are given to the federal government and then to make things clear the tenth amendment says:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Read the Constitution. Our federal government was not given authority over education, therefore according to the tenth amendment that power is reserved for the States or the people.

The government schools are systemically godless.

Several Supreme court decisions and continued federal involvement and regulation in the government schools have led to a system where God, the Bible and Christianity are marginalized at best and viewed with disdain and contempt at worst. In our government schools teachers are forbidden by law to pray (Engel v. Vitale)  or read the Bible (Abington School District v. Schemmp) in class. They may not directly teach the students about how God’s word applies to every facet of education. (Read this story for one example of how teachers can get into trouble for telling students about God’s truth and love.)

Since our primary goal is that our children would love the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their soul, and with all their might and that they would examine every fact and situation in light of God’s Word, it does not make sense for us to choose to have them educated, for 30 hours each week, in an institution that seeks, by law, to exclude God and His word.

As an aside, I do not think that Christians should fight for “Christian government schools”. This goes back to the theft and law issues. Put yourself in the place of an atheist or Buddhist, or Muslim. Their money is taken to support the government schools. Why should they have to pay to educate our children about Christianity. The problem is systemic.

God gave the responsibility for training children to the parents, not the government. If parents would take the responsibility to educate their children, even though it is difficult, we would not have these problems.

You can read about the beginning of our homeschool journey (way back when I was homeschooled) in my Before the Beginning post. You may also be interested in  Why We Homeschool Part 2: Family Goals.

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52 Responses to Why We Homeschool: Public Schools
  1. Roan
    April 30, 2009 | 8:48 am

    HI! I have been so busy lately that I am only just now reading your blog (for the last few days)! Wow! I can hardly wait until tonight to take it all in. You have posted some really interesting and insightful topics. I look forward to reading all of your recent posts!
    Thanks!

    [Reply]

  2. Laurel
    April 30, 2009 | 11:21 am

    Interesting post! I, too, have written a post awhile back about why we homeschool our children, but it is for very different reasons.

    If the public school system is inherently wrong, than I am wondering what you would suggest for the families that cannot teach their children at home. There are many single moms who must work outside the home to provide for their families; and many of these mothers did not choose to raise their children on their own. (Some are widowed. Some have been abandoned.)

    I am so thankful that I do have the opportunity to teach my children at home, as I have for the past 18 years. However, I just cannot come up with an answer for what some families are to do if the public school system were to be abandoned (as some people would adamantly suggest).

    I look forward to the discussion from this post. I would love to hear others’ thoughts.

    mama of 13

    [Reply]

    Kimberly Reply:

    Laurel,

    First let me say that this post doesn’t really describe why we homeschool. (That is still coming.) It is merely expressing why we never considered government education.

    Second I do not want to get sidetracked with difficult situations, either government education is unbiblical or it is not. Difficult situations or us not understanding how everything will work out, do not change God’s law or His requirements for His people.

    Those things said, I think the single mom dilemma is has several fairly simple solutions.

    Biblically the extended family is the first source for help in times of need. The family can supply either help with the actual education of the children or perhaps financial help for a private school. We know some grandparents who are educating their grandchildren while their daughter works to pay the bills.

    If the family is unable or unwilling, the church should be the next line of defense and Biblically the church has a special responsibility to the widows and orphans. I know that if our family were in this situation our home church would do everything possible to help keep our children out of the government schools.

    Another option is for single moms to homeschool their own children. I am amazed and blessed to know several single moms who have made this decision. It takes amazing dedication, but they have been successful.

    Another option is public schools (not government schools). This is the type of system in place in early America. Private citizens got together voluntarily, hired a teacher, acquired, built or borrowed a building (sometimes using space in private homes) and provided an education for their own children.

    I also know that many Christian schools provide scholarships for families in need. When I was a girl we knew a single mom of four daughters. The local Christian school educated all of her girls from kindergarten to high school in exchange for her cleaning the facilities after her regular job. She took her children with her and cleaned a couple hours each evening while they studied or played.

    The amazing thing is that God always provides and He is not limited by what we can see or understand. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, He will provide for the education of His children.

    Thanks so much for your comment, Laurel!

    Blessings,
    Kimberly

    [Reply]

    Ashley Reply:

    I’m a Christian married to my best friend who was home schooled. My sibling in-laws home school four amazing children. I am a fan of home schooling and the results.

    However, I disagreed with one of your arguments for home schooling. I don’t think calling school taxes “legalized stealing” makes sense. When asked about paying taxes Jesus said “give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s” Matthew 22:21. He did not say give unto Caesars what is Caesar’s only if you plan to use the service he will provide with it. The government is taking your money and doing with it what it pleases. That can be frustrating, but Jesus told us not to fight our govt about taxes because they were only taking money.

    I think you are misrepresenting Christians by calling any tax legalized theft. Even if you pay your taxes, speaking against them seems like bucking the authority God allowed to be over us.

    I should also, to be fair, point out that I am a certified teacher. Currently, I do not have a teaching job, but I have taught summer school. I prayed for my students and for wisdom in instructing them & guiding them by example. This is not the norm in public school, but it does happen.

    I respect your choice to present your reasons clearly. However, I would suggest you consider the feelings of those reading your blog who don’t have a choice. Your words will undoubtedly make them feel like they are cheating their children. Some good Christian parents can’t stay home & school their children for a variety of reasons.

    Finally, my husband and I are looking into public & private Christian schooling for our two children. We believe that we can educate our children at home in addition to school to make up for what it is lacking in schools. This is the road my parents had to, and later chose to, take. My faith is stronger because of the heat it was refined under, and I believe there are benefits to Christian children attending public schools.

    In summary I respect your choices. However, I don’t think your presentation style is considerate to all readers. I also happen to disagree with some of your views. Please continue writing & raising your children in the strength of the Lord!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Ashley,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment and for doing so kindly.

    First I’d like to address your assertion that school taxes are not “legalized stealing” because of Jesus’ command to the disciples to render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s. This passage clearly speaks to the paying of taxes and I agree that we should pay the taxes that the government imposes on us, no matter what the government chooses to use them for. This principle is taught clearly in many passages of Scripture and is not being discussed here.

    The fact that we are commanded to pay taxes does not mean that we should participate, vocally support or fail to speak out against instances where the government clearly oversteps it’s biblical and lawful (see my point about the Constitution) role in its use of those funds.

    All men are called to be subject to God’s law even those in positions of authority and simply because the government has the authority to tax does not mean that they may take as much as they want, from whomever they want, for whatever they want. The Bible is rife with examples of godly men taking a stand against those in authority who practice ungodliness.

    Christians have an obligation to bring the Word of God to bear on all aspects of life. Christian should never say that it is fine for the government to use tax dollars to pay for abortions, neither should they remain silent. We will speak and fight (through legal means) against that until our dying day and that has nothing to do with the fact that we will continue to pay our taxes.

    I wonder how you would have me present this differently. I begin by saying that we’re learning and growing and don’t claim to have a corner on wisdom in this area, then I clearly state that these are our reasons for not sending our children to the government schools.

    I believe that the reasons are valid and that they must be heard in our society where Christians by the thousands are handing over much more than tax dollars to Caesar.

    [Reply]

    Ashley Reply:

    Kimberly,

    I totally agree that we should fight back on tax dollars being used for abortions. Any legalized murder of people who have not been brought to justice in a legal system (so we don’t get on the death penalty too… which I have VERY mixed feelings about) should be fought against. However, comparing tax dollars for public school to tax dollars for abortions seems extreme, as I don’t see the former as a known evil.

    My husband and I plan to use public or private Christian schools for our children when they are in elementary school. We will make the choice based on funding, our convictions, and how adequately our children can be served in the school. Our children have a high likely hood of being dyslexic like me, or ADD like my husband. So, special education needs to be taken into consideration, and many Christians schools have no special education services. Luckily by then I’ll not only be certified in English but also special education. So, IF WE FEEL LED BY THE LORD we can home school & my kids will have everything they need.

    We plan to look at each child individually. If our children are not already in public schools, we will give them the choice to “go public” when they are in middle school.

    I was in public school all through. I was never pulled out of a class. My parents always discussed classes with me, and felt learning objectivly about world religions was not a bad idea. None of them were promoted during class time, just presented.

    It was my presence in these classes in Social Studies that gave me a format to respectfully disagree & preach the gospel. (I was taught early to respect authority, but never to follow blindly.) When our history teacher (who was only there for one year before she was let go because she was a poor quality teacher) mis-represented the Jewish & Christian faiths during lessons about world religions I spoke up. She actually let me re-teach the material & what we believe since I was an “expert.” It was a great experience.

    My parents are both ministers. They actually told me they had no problems sending my brother or I to public school. From their stand points, our faiths were strong enough that we were not threatened… we were the threat. Since I am still a strong Christian, and my brother is a minister, I would agree with them. We had ministry venues at an early age, and we had an environment we could interact with without our parents. We always came back to the safety of a stable home where we ate dinner together and processed the day.

    I don’t feel that my parents gave me over to Caesar because I went to public school (which could be an implication of what you said). I tell you all this to explain the backgrounds some of your readers come from.

    As for how to word things, I agree that you start of well by explaining that this is why you made the choices you did for your family. However, that tone is gone after the first paragraph. Soon, you use absolutes about why the schools are “not a choice” instead of saying “not a choice for us.”

    By the time you get to your concluding statements your writing is not about you and your family anymore. Instead your writing is about the responsibility of every Christian parent: “God gave the responsibility for training children to the parents, not the government. If parents would take the responsibility to educate their children, even though it is difficult, we would not have these problems.”

    When I read that statement, I felt under attack. This is how I read the statement the first time: “public schools are what is wrong with our culture, and if Christian parents (YOU) would just step up and do this despite it being hard (DON’T BE SO LAZY) then we would not have these problems.”

    I checked myself and your writing though. I realized you were most likely just presenting your views in strong language, and not really (I hope) suggesting you knew what was best for every family in America. My State School College training me to be a special educator (read the only teacher who has to work with everyone in the building) taught me to do that. Not everyone is training to be a special educator, so they don’t take classes in communication with families & staff (which I just finished last week).

    So, how do you write so you don’t offend? Well, style is all up to you. However, content would need to be more “us” and “we” centered instead of “all Christians” and “all parents” centered.

    Thanks for taking the time to read my rantings. If I offended you at all, please let me know because that is not my intention. I think you are a strong advocate for homeschooling, and your arguments are valid ideas that should be considered. You will reach more folks (which appears to be your goal) by presenting ideas gently.

    I hope the end of your school year is going well. Blessings! – Ashley

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Ashley,

    In your first comment you say,

    I think you are misrepresenting Christians by calling any tax legalized theft. Even if you pay your taxes, speaking against them seems like bucking the authority God allowed to be over us.

    Which is interesting in light of your statement in this comment,

    So, how do you write so you don’t offend? Well, style is all up to you. However, content would need to be more “us” and “we” centered instead of “all Christians” and “all parents” centered. (emphasis mine)

    Why did you choose not to follow your own advice? Instead you seek to apply your standard to me (rather than simply to you and your family). Don’t worry, I’m not offended because I believe that we must seek to encourage other Christians to apply God’s standard to their lives, but we must do so in a way that we are not imposing our interpretation of God’s standard. I think that your exhortation to use certain pronouns and avoid others is your interpretation of God’s standard to speak the truth in love. So while I think stating the standard is appropriate, telling me that I’m inconsiderate because I did not follow your specific guidelines is not. :) In this post I repeatedly say, OUR FAMILY has chosen to avoid public schools. If you come to a different conclusion that is not my concern or responsibility. I have attempted to present the facts and the basis for our reasons clearly because those apply to everyone. (The law that forbids prayer in the public schools applies to every child and teacher in the system.)

    Back to the point, when I bring up abortion I’m attempting to demonstrate that what you are stating as a universal principle, is not. Christians speaking against the use of taxes for that which is unlawful (we both agree abortion is unlawful) is biblical and since it is biblical, I stand by my initial statements. A violation of God’s law is a violation of God’s law and should be denounced. In 1 Chron. 21 we read about how serious it is when government goes beyond it’s God given authority. God killed 70,000 Israelite’s because David went beyond his lawful (given by God) authority and ordered that the people of Israel should be counted.

    2. I’m glad to hear that God used your years in the public school system for your good, it is one of His amazing promises (Romans 8:28). However, since our standard is God’s Word that experience (your parents approval and/or your child’s potential learning disability) is moot. If something violates God’s Word then it is to be avoided. If something is commanded by God then it should be done even if it will put us at a disadvantage. Psalm 15:4

    3. You specifically object to this statement,

    God gave the responsibility for training children to the parents, not the government. If parents would take the responsibility to educate their children, even though it is difficult, we would not have these problems.

    First, the truth that parents are responsible for their child’s education is clearly taught throughout Scripture and is a universal command to all parents, not just to Mark and me.

    Second, it is obviously more difficult to take responsibility for our children’s education than to take none.

    Third, the principle of disobedience bringing judgement (parents refusing to take responsibility) and obedience bringing blessing is clearly and pervasively taught in Scripture. I’m far from the only one who says that parents taking responsibility will fix many of the problems that we see today. Project Appleseed

    Lack of parental involvement is the biggest problem facing public schools. ~Rose, Gallup, & Elam, 1997

    As a Christian I may not add to nor take away from the Word of God and I may not represent commands that God gives universally as applying to only our family.

    For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. ~Heb. 4:12

    It is not my goal to “reach more folks”. It is my goal to fulfill my duty as a Christian to speak the truth in love and to allow God’s Word to pierce and divide where need be.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Reading over my comment above, I hope that the first part comes across as intended (with love to make a point) and not as cheeky. :) My point is that the standard you set for ‘avoiding offense’ is your standard and that while all Christians must speak the truth in love (and love must be defined by God), we must also extend grace to actions that fall outside of our preference, but within the biblical standard.

    Blessings to you.

    [Reply]

    Ashley Reply:

    First off, thank you for correction. I have been working on this issue for some time, but I am not perfect. It isn’t easy to no say “we” and “us.” I didn’t so much choose not to follow my own advice (since I had not given yet), as answer a question about how to effectively do something without having done it effectively myself. Again, thanks for pointing that out & sorry for the inconsistency.
    I don’t think we will ever agree about the lawful/ unlawfulness of public education. So, I’m very glad it is not a salvation issue. When I’m having debates with my brothers & sisters in Christ it is a comfort to come to the conclusion that one of both of us may be wrong but (unlike many debates with non-believers) it won’t keep us out of heaven. We will get to know the truth one day. So I’m going to leave our stances on public school there… at the foot of the cross where all the answers are. I hope you don’t think that is a cop out, but I’m convinced I’m not going to “turn you” & you’re not going to “turn me.”
    Again with your statements about schools, while I understand your great concern I still have no found scripture to point me in a direction away from “going public” when my children have strong enough faith. Today my son is telling people his “name is Bruno, and he is a Beagle” (this is from a book we read him)… so I would say now is NOT the time. He is FAR too impressionable. Luckily, he is only two and we have time before we have to even look at state education.
    I didn’t so much object to the statement, as I did get offended by before I forced myself to read it from your point of view. Also, another poster who seemed rather upset said you called parents using public school “lazy” and I’m guessing this is where she got that impression. While it is a true statement on many counts, it does seem to fold in your opinion that the only way to fix this problem is if parents home school (or do Christian schools… this does not seem implied but in previous posts you have considered it a good option).
    I guess I, again, am coming from a standpoint that public school is not innately evil. With that in mind, it is hard to see people feel condemned over the issue. If you feel people getting hurt (like the woman I mentioned earlier) is a unfortunate but necessary truth because you are just calling evil evil and obeying the word of God, then we really have nothing more to talk about on the topic. Again we disagree, and I don’t think either of our salvations is on the line here. I realize you are viewing this as I view abortion. I won’t wave a sign in someone’s face, but if they ask me my stance I will say I believe it is murder and that many Mothers are mislead.
    I was confused by you using a quote about public school, but here goes… While I understand you could read this and think the writer is all about encouraging homeschooling I believe that would be taking the content out of context. The writer is assuming children are in public schools or they would not mention “boosters” and “volunteering” in the classroom.
    She is right however… a major issue in schools today is that parents seem to think their children’s education is 100% not their responsibility. It is sad, and of course not biblical. As part of “the system” I have to show people how this is wrong without using the bible & articles like the one you quoted give great stats to help with that (since no one really wants their child failing school or doing drugs). Luckily, most of the public school parents posting on your sight appear to be involved.
    So in closing… I think we will have to agree to disagree. I understand now why you use forceful language, and I think you can understand, from my view point, why I felt lead to say something. However, it is just boiling down to how we understand the scriptures. Frankly, we could go round for round all day but I think that would be a misuse of our swords. Instead, I will go back to back with my sister & we fight off the enemy with this wonderful weapon protecting both our families.
    God Bless you!

    p.s. Don’t worry… I didn’t read it as cheeky. Like I said earlier, I have to be the Queen of tact (something I am still learning). I think on some issues it is still hard for me. This issue is one that is near & dear to your heart, so I was not offended.

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I will go back to back with my sister & we fight off the enemy with this wonderful weapon protecting both our families.

    Amen.

    Blessings to you and your family.

  3. Joy
    April 30, 2009 | 2:20 pm

    Wow! I’m dumbfounded. Of course I knew NONE of this and can’t wait to share with my husband (he was homeschooled, along with his siblings). The reason his mom decided to homeschool them was way back when his oldest sibling (his sister) was in preschool.

    Instead of calling her dad “Daddy” she called him “Poppy”. The school called her mother to tell her, “Your child is not allowed to call your husband that.” When my MIL tried arguing with them the teacher said, “You are not in charge of your child, we are!”

    Yup, my MIL pulled her daughter out of there so fast and started homeschooling. In fact, she homeschools my 3-year-old one day a week. I, on the other hand, have had a hard time doing it. She’s still young yet but I just hate arts-n-crafts. I feel out of my element doing this!

    [Reply]

  4. Jamie
    April 30, 2009 | 3:38 pm

    I am slowly catching up your blog, Kimberly! I am very behind from having viciously ill children. This post made me smile as I agree wholeheartedly. Very well written.

    [Reply]

  5. Angela
    May 1, 2009 | 11:21 pm

    AMEN. I do not know why more people do not open their eyes and see this. They are teaching our children(not yours and mine obviously, I just mean the children of the nation as a whole) that we came from an ameoba, that became a frog, and then a monkey, and somehow later a man. (refering exageratingly to the evolution theory) What is more baffling is that they actually believe it! It is quite astonishing what they (the government) can actually get people to believe. (the following link clears that one up.) http://www.godandscience.org/evolution/descent.html How on earth PS (public school)parents can actually believe it is “good for their kids” to go to ps is beyond me. I sit dumbfounded when I try to imagine their thought process. Homeschooling is truely the only thing that DOES make sence. Bible says “Raise up YOUR child in the way he should go.” doesn’t say… let the government raise your child the way they see fit. Truely even I get lost in scripture now and again, but he is pretty clear when it speaks of raising and teaching your kids. I think all children should be homeschooled. No exceptions. It is the parents responcibility to raise and train their children with their own belief structures. I agree… it is not fair to the different religions to try to group teach their kids, when the religions and beliefs are contradictory one to another. (Like you where saying about the public school setting.) Having different beliefs does not make one or the other right or wrong, but what it DOES do, when you try to teach them all at the same time, in weird chopped up pieces, is make for a whole bunch of really confused, misled, and misguided children. That I do believe is one of the big reasons our nation as a whole is falling apart. The kids do not have any firm and solid foundation in which to get their spiritual footing. They do not know WHAT to believe. People ask me how I can possibly homeschool my kids. My question to them is… how can you possibly send your kids away for 8+ hours a day, and let some stranger you do not even know, fill their heads with things you do not want their heads filled with? How can you willingly subject your kids to that? Take back control of your kids, people. Be the loving, attentive, caring, and teaching parents that God called you to be, when he blessed you with that child. Sorry.. kinda went on a tangent… bottom line… I agree with EVERYTHING Kimberly said whole heartedly!! Very well written gurl! People pay attention to what this woman has to say. God has blessed her with so much knowlage and understanding. She is truely a blessing to us all!

    [Reply]

  6. Nicki
    June 25, 2009 | 1:56 pm

    Kimberly, great response to the single mother issue. I was a divorced, single mother of 2 for 2 years. Putting my kids in school (or daycare) was never an option for me. I found work that fit with my goals for my children. I cleaned the church, did part-time medical transcription, and eventually opened my own retail shop. I lived in my parent’s home, and they were glad to have me. No, it was never easy, but doing what is right rarely is. I felt without a doubt that going through a divorce was one of the hardest things my daughters would ever deal with (at least in childhood) and that changing their home life for my convenience or their “education” would compound the problem. It helped them and me to have the stability of a mostly “normal” life as we dealt with this strange new world of singleness. God always makes a way.

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Thanks for sharing with us Nicki. God is very good.

    Blessings,
    Kimberly

    [Reply]

  7. Wendy
    August 22, 2009 | 6:29 pm

    Thanks for this. I came across it at just the right time. I started school in a small public school back when the teachers prayed with us and read Bible stories to us; we then switched to a Christian school when I was in the second grade, and after that school closed it doors a few years later I finished as a homeschool student. My son has never been in a “public” school; we are blessed to be able to have him in a small Christian school where there are no strangers teaching him things I don’t know about. This school is affiliated with a church of the same denomination as our family, so their their doctrinal teaching agrees with ours.
    I don’t want to judge those who send their children to “public” schools; I just couldn’t reconcile a God-less education for my child with my beliefs.

    [Reply]

    Raising Olives Reply:

    Wendy,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    [Reply]

  8. sj
    December 4, 2009 | 1:56 pm

    Our government was given authority over education by we-the-people, who voted for it and elected respresentatives (way back when) who supported it. When we gave it power to fund and regulate education it became lawful. Mistakes might have been made by the people, but it is an error to speak of government weilding power that we gave it as being unlawful.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    Your statement makes it obvious that you are confused about the form of government here in the Unites States of America. Your comment makes the assumption that we are a democracy (a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system) The key being “supreme power is vested in the people”. If we were a democracy, then your statement “it is an error to speak of government wielding power that we gave it as being unlawful” would be true and I would have no argument against federal involvement in the government school system apart from God’s Word.

    However, the U.S.A. is not a democracy, it is a Constitutional Republic (a government where the head of state and other officials are elected as representatives of the people , and must govern according to existing constitutional law that limits government’s power over citizens). The key here is “must govern according to existing constitutional law”. This is why our president takes this oath of office,

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

    and members of Congress take this oath,

    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

    If the Constitution forbids the federal government power over education, “we the people” can not simply vote for it and or elect representatives who support it and it suddenly become lawful. Our nation is governed by law and “we the people” are not above that law.

    It is not the purpose or intent of this blog to educate people in our form of government or to explain the Constitution. I quote the relevant part of the Constitution in my post above and I encourage you to read the rest of the Constitution (it is quite short) to see what lawful power the federal government is given by the Constitution and what power is forbidden.

    If you are interested in further discussion about the lawful role of the federal government, especially relating to education, I suggest you check out Spunky Homeschool. Spunky is a talented researcher and has posted extensively about education and government. I appreciate that she goes to original sources and talks to many of the politicians involved. I also know that Nicki at 400 Things enjoys political discussions.

    Thanks again for your interest in this topic.

    [Reply]

  9. kim carrington
    April 18, 2010 | 2:35 pm

    So when I give birth to my son and he comes of age to go to school and I send him to the school in my neighborhood, am I going against god, is that what you are saying? If so, what gives you the right to manipulate the bible to prove that your choice is the godly one? I don’t fault you for homeschooling your children; its your right. I have no desire to make you feel that the choices you are making are not biblical. Don’t I deserve the same from you? You are not god and cannot speak for him. I find it scary that you might be creating a sort of cult that insists on taking gray areas and claiming them, telling people what god would want for us in terms of schooling! Scary!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    As I state in the post Disagreeing with Love referenced at the beginning of this post, I know that I am not God and that I make mistakes and hold wrong opinions. Because of that fact we welcome any discussion and disagreement that is based on the Word of God.

    You say that I am manipulating the Bible to prove that my choice is the Godly one. Which passage or passages am I manipulating?

    Since you believe my position is wrong, I look forward to hearing and discussing the Biblical support for yours.

    [Reply]

  10. […] have previously posted  our homeschool goals and the a series about why we homeschool.   In a nut shell we believe that God gives us the basis for all education here: The fear of the […]

  11. […] God has given parents the responsibility to educate their own children. (Deut. 6:4-9) * stole the wordage for this here […]

  12. Cristie
    August 4, 2010 | 10:35 pm

    I stumbled upon your blog, and read this post and felt that I wanted to make a comment to your position.
    I am the mother of 3 children. I proudly have my two oldest children enrolled in yes, that horrible public school system you spoke of. I am amazed that as believers we think that we have the authority to know what the Lord’s plan is for every parent, for every child and for every family. To argue your point, my children not only are learning their faith in great lengths at home .. including to love him with all their heart, but they also are learning how to defend their faith to others.
    My children at a young age have spent time with Mormon and Muslim friends. They have engaged in conversations that most adults (including you) would never find themselves engaged in because they have not only spent time learning their faith … but have spent time learning what it means to “Go and make disciples of all nations”. My children ACTIVELY seek friends who don’t know the Lord … and yes, already are winning them to Christ!
    I would never find myself in a place to judge a family for the education choice they make – private, public or homeschool. The Lord has entrusted our children into our lives and I am CERTAIN in doing so, he has a plan and path for each of them. In our home, we take each day and each year one at a time. We have had amazing teachers (YES … strong believers). We have made incredible friends, my children have learned that the world doesn’t all look like them or believe like them. When they come home, it is under my roof that they learn these things … and get the foundation of the rock of the word in their heart. They then take that out … and spread it!
    There is a great book you should read. I challenge you to read it. “Going Public” is it’s name. Instead of being so judgmental of other families, perhaps you should educate yourself on exactly WHY those of us in public schools feel very sure we have been CALLLED THERE BY OUR LORD! It’s not a mistake, or a second choice, or being lazy or unwilling that I don’t homeschool … I have made a an ACTIVE CHOICE to put my children in the public school. Perhaps you should consider that when slamming your fellow brother or sister in Christ. Did you hear what the Lord said to them??
    Go read Acts again, my friend. The church was scattered for a reason … to make more disciples. While you live in your bubble and exclude your children from the world, some of us are not only “Training up our child in the way he should go” but we are also teaching them how to “make disciples of all nations”.
    Judge less … get the plank out of your eye!

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Christie thank you so much for taking the time to comment and express your family’s opinion on this topic.

    This post is simply meant to point out areas where our family sees that the government school system violates God’s Word. As Christians, we are not our own, we are bought with a price, we must obey God as He has revealed Himself to us in His Word and we may not lean on our own understanding.

    I clearly state at the beginning of this post that we don’t know everything and that we are still learning. In the “Disagreeing with Love” post that I link to, I encourage discussion that is based on God’s Word. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

    If you’d like to discuss ANY of the points in my post, how you think that the government schools do not violate the eighth commandment, do not violate the Constitution or are not systemically godless then I would be happy to talk that out with you. However, you have simply accused me of doing many things that I have not done.

    I do not claim that children who go to the government schools aren’t taught God’s Word at home. I do not claim that parents who send their children to government schools are lazy and I do not claim to “know what the Lord’s plan is for every parent, for every child and for every family”.

    I do not “find myself in a place to judge a family for the education choice they make – private, public or homeschool”. If you read this blog you will see that over and over I stress that parents are responsible for the education of their children. God clearly gives parents the responsibility for their children and God is the only one to whom you must answer.

    You accuse me of judging others, but I simply lay out the reasons that OUR family has chosen not to send OUR children to the government schools. You mention in your comment that you wouldn’t judge a family for their educational choice and yet you say this about our family.

    Go read Acts again, my friend. The church was scattered for a reason … to make more disciples. While you live in your bubble and exclude your children from the world, some of us are not only “Training up our child in the way he should go” but we are also teaching them how to “make disciples of all nations”.

    That sounds a lot like you are condemning/judging us for our educational choice.

    The fact of the matter is that you do not know about our family’s and children’s efforts to “make disciples of all nations”. Our children have friends who are Latter-Day Saints and/or unbelievers, they reach out to unbelievers in order to share their faith. They are, to the best of our ability, being trained to reach the nations.

    Allow me to quote the entire passage of which you quoted a portion:

    And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

    The command isn’t merely to “make disciples”, but to teach them to observe all that Jesus has commanded. Christians are commanded not to steal and we are commanded to obey those laws which do not cause us to violate the laws of God. If you’d like to discuss how the government schools obey God’s Word in these areas I’d love to be able to learn from you.

    [Reply]

  13. Cristie
    August 5, 2010 | 1:28 pm

    I will discuss with you about your thoughts on the government and schools. Your assertion that the gov’t is stealing from you to educate others is very skewed. In reality, the first American town to set up a taxpayer-funded public school was Dedham, Mass. on the southwest side of Boston in 1643. Children needed to learn to read, it was decided, in order to understand the Bible. Bear in mind that this is fewer than 25 years after the Pilgrims landed, long before George Washington and the other Founding Fathers were even born.
    It was a seminal step for the colonists, one that would shape the kind of society they wanted to be. James Russell Lower, the nineteenth-century poet and commentator noted, “It was in making education not only common to all, but in some sense compulsory on all, that the destiny of the free republics of America was settled.
    After the revolution, one of the early laws passed by the young U.S. Congress was the Land Ordinance of 1785, which detailed how real estate would be handled on the western frontier – and effectively established the public school system. This ordinance declared that surveyors should mark off townships 6 miles wide and 6 miles long, subdivided into 36 sections of 1 square mile each. Congress went on to declare that Section 16 .. right in the middle of the township, would be set aside for yes, maintaining the Public School. From the very beginnings of our free country; the public school tax payer system was established … it was one of the very principles that set apart our country from the rest of the world that even today still struggles to provide .. the basic education to every child. Most parents simply look across the ocean and only wish. Indeed, our country was birthed with this system in place … it is one of the very reasons we are one of the most powerful countries in the world. Have you ever traveled to a third world country? Have you considered the least of these? Have you ever worked in a title 1 school and looked into the face of a child that only eats when they come to school on their “Free Lunch”? You quickly give scripture as your defense … but what do you believe your Lord would say when you say that you believe your money shouldn’t be “Stolen” from you to educate others? Have you considered those children who eat, receive an education and more from what our tax dollars provide? Perhaps you should spend some time in a school where 80% of children are on free lunch/breakfast. When he said care for the “least of these” … he meant it! That too my friend, is scriptural. And believe me, he talked far more of the orphans, widows and foreigners among us then he did of your choice in a school.

    As well, I will address your point about what the bible says about what education system you should choose for your children. In fact, The bible doesn’t .. it hardly talks about “Schools” at all. Only once in Acts 19:9 does it mention in passing that the apostle Paul borrowed somebody’s “school”. Neither will you find the words “Education” or “educate”. This does not mean, however, that God does not care about the training and shaping of our minds and children’s minds. I believe you are right when he says we should “train up a child in the way he should go” … he also says that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” Proverbs 9:10. So, as a parent then am I to believe that just because my children learn their writing, reading, science in school that I am not training them up or teaching them the fear of the Lord? No, most certainly that is not true …
    As parents, the choice of school system is one that is a personal choice. You say that you are not judging others for making one different than yours yet, you make a point of saying
    “Here are some reasons that our family does not believe that government school is a valid option for followers of Christ”. You have created many posts that you work to draw your point as to your choice vs. another.
    You do not distinguish that the Lord has called your family there … but your next points simply make a point that as followers of Christ at large we should not believe or look at it as a “Valid option”. Really, you say that isn’t judgement?
    Are you also boldly saying that you do not believe God is present in a public school?
    If that is the case, then let me ask, do you believe he is present in the hearts of those whom have invited him there? Do you believe if my child has invited Christ into his/her heart, if a teacher is walking with the Lord … then Christ is present in them? Then I will argue, indeed, the the Lord IS present in the public school system … as 88% of Evangelical Christians send their kids to public schools.
    You are correct, the “Curriculum” may not include God’s word … but didn’t he tell me that that is my role? And don’t we know that often our actions speak far greater than those words? You yourself said it is my role to teach those characteristics. So, I would argue with you then, that as a follower of Christ, I do homeschool my children … but starting at the age of 5, I also send them to a public school for additional information …
    I have MANY friends that home school their children. My own sister in law home schools her children. I would willingly take on the role myself (as one with several degrees … including a Masters in Education), however, as I sought my Lord on what he wanted for the children he entrusted me with … I heard clearly, and with great peace that right now, it’s in the halls of a public school.
    What I do have a problem with is that in creating your points as to why you have made that decision for your family, you have failed to consider that the Lord does call us into different places. He does so with reason.
    While I respect your opinions, I believe you should choose your words more carefully as you have an appearance that your choice is the ONLY RIGHT choice.

    Many of us have made prayerful, and intentional decisions to place our children in the public school. It is often in this place that the Lord (who is VERY present), can use us to effectively affect our neighbor … to love on them as we are told. While you have your reasons for homeschooling, that I can respect, I challenge you to consider that your ways are not the only way. If we are each seeking the bible as truth, and his discernment for our lives … then perhaps your neighbor who has made a very different choice should be shown the same respect you look to receive when you share your insights into homeschool here … with their insights, reasons, and experiences outside their own home – through public/private education. I don’t believe you would want me to create my blog into a place that works to destroy and give discredit to those who home school? Why then, would you feel that doing so to your “Neighbor” in their decisions to place their children in the public school is appropriate?

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Thank you again Christie for your reply.

    First let’s discuss the idea that the government school system is violating the eighth commandment. You say, “Your assertion that the gov’t is stealing from you to educate others is very skewed.” You then go on to speak of the history of the government schools, their funding and their performance compared to the rest of the world. None of this addresses the Biblical issue of the eighth commandment. Passing a law and making something ‘legal’ does not make it godly.

    Your remaining argument on this point is that we are to ‘do unto the least of these’. You are absolutely right, we as Christians are required to care for the orphan and the widow.

    According to your argument our family is actually doing more for ‘the least of these’ than you are. We are paying our taxes and funding those school lunch programs, sports programs and educational programs, but our children are not using any of those resources, 100% of our contribution is able to go to those whom you call the ‘least of these’.

    If caring for the least of these is your main concern then you should encourage all Christians, who are financially able, to pull their children out of the government schools so there will be more resources for those who are truly in need.

    You asked if I’ve been to a third world country, yes. I worked with lepers in Thailand, both children and adults, whose families had abandoned them. Perhaps if I wasn’t compelled to pay for the U.S. educational system I would have more money to support those for whom God has burdened my heart.

    Perhaps if you weren’t compelled to pay for the sports programs and marching bands of government schools you would have more resources to help those children who only eat when they come to school for the free lunch program.

    But that is all simply a rabbit trail and has no bearing on the real issue. Our responsibility to care for the ‘least of these’ does not give us license to violate God’s other laws. We are to accomplish this, God’s task, God’s way, as He has revealed in His Word.

    What I mean is that in our quest to care for the orphan and widow, we may not violate God’s law. We may not kill rich people who do not freely give to the least of these in order to pass out their money, we may not earn money for the least of these by means of prostitution and we may not take from others that which we have no Biblical right to take in order to care for the least of these.

    The question at hand is, do the government schools violate the eighth commandment, not are they doing something good with the proceeds?

    I want to try to make my next point clearly. If you choose to send your children to the government school, I do not condemn you for that. As a matter of fact, in my post I clearly state that this is the belief of our family. How you educate your children is your choice, your God-given responsibility and it is something between you and God. Bottom line, it is none of my business.

    Now, in our opinion, the government school system violates the principles of God’s Word and because of that the government schools are not a valid option for our family as believers. God calls His people to obedience. He will not call them to violate His Word. Does He sometimes allow us to follow a path that is different from His revealed will in order to bring honor and glory to Himself and to accomplish growth in those He loves? Yes. Is it something to which we should aspire? Of course not.

    What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? ~Romans 6:1-2

    I understand that these things seem to contradict each other. I am your sister in Christ despite the fact that I am often impatient. You should love me and accept me where I am, but just as I encourage my children to greater thought, consideration and obedience of God’s Word, so you should encourage me in the same manner.

    That is the heart of this post, that is my heart. If I am wrong in my application or understanding of scripture or if I am wrong in my characterization of the government school system, that is what we should discuss.

    Disagreeing as we try to apply and follow God’s Word is not being judgmental. God’s Word is the final authority. It is what will stand in judgment at the last day.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Christie,

    I just noticed that in the above comment you misquoted me.

    In my post I say, “Here are some reasons that our family does not believe that government school is a valid option for us as followers of Christ”, you left out the words that I put in bold and that changes the meaning quite a bit.

    I am not saying, as you claim,

    that as followers of Christ at large we should not believe or look at it (government school) as a “Valid option”.

    I am simply stating our family’s position, reasons and thoughts on this topic.

    [Reply]

  14. […] She also has a thought-provoking article on the public school system here. […]

  15. […] that we hold, actions you think we’ve taken or thoughts you think we think (For example, you criticize us for claiming to know God’s plan for every family, living in a bubble, not wit… all because we don’t believe we should send our kids to the government […]

  16. Kim
    August 23, 2010 | 10:05 pm

    While you both talk about not judging and such, I just thought that I would point out that the name of the “Mormon” church is The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints. We do believe in Jesus Christ as the name of our church implies. It would be nice if you both looked more into other religions before you blatantly call out a religion as being a non-believer when we are Christians and “believers” as you call it just like you are.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Kim,

    Thank you for taking the time to comment.

    I’d like to point out that I never stated nor implied that LDS did not believe in Jesus Christ. I have looked into the religion of the Latter-Day Saints, in addition to having friends who hold to it. My statements were not made out of ignorance and I chose my words carefully.

    The term ‘Christian’ is generally defined as one who believes in the teachings of Christ as revealed in the Bible. When Christians (which both Christie and I are) use the term believer, we mean the same thing. If you read the post that I referenced at the beginning of this post, Disagreeing with Love you will see that I believe that Christians are commanded to judge. We are to judge rightly, with humility and love and only after we’ve judged ourselves.

    The debate between historic Christianity and Latter-Day Saints, who did NOT want to be called Christians or classified with Christian denominations until recently {Joseph Smith said that Christian denominations were “all wrong … all their creeds were an admonition in his sight”} and preferred the term saints, comes in the view of God, the origin of Jesus Christ, means of salvation, exclusive authority of the Bible and more.

    LDS teaching about God

    Remember that God, our heavenly Father, was perhaps once a child, a mortal like we ourselves, and rose step by step in the scale of progress, in the school of advancement; has moved forward and overcome, until He has arrived at the point were He is.~ Mormon Journal of Discourses, Vol 1, page 123

    As Abra’m, Isaac, Jacob, too, babes, then men–to gods they grew. As man now is, our God once was; As now God is, so man may be,– Which doth unfold man’s destiny. . . ~Lorenzo Snow, late President of the Mormon Church, “Man’s Destiny”

    Biblical teaching about God Numbers 23:19, “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent… Romans 1:22, “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man…” and Psalms 102:26-27, “They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.”

    LDS teaching of the origin of Jesus Christ

    When the Virgin Mary conceived the Child Jesus … He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is His father? He is the first of the human family. ~Bringham Young, Journal of Discourses, pages 50-51

    Biblical teaching of the origin of Christ Luke 1:35 “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God”

    LDS teaching on the means of Salvation

    Christians speak often of the blood of Christ and its cleansing power. Much is believed and taught on this subject, however, it is utter nonsense and so palpably false that to believe it is to lose one’s salvation. ~ “What Mormons Think of Christ” (LDS tract, pages 32-34)

    Biblical teaching of Salvation 1 John 1:7 “and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” and Revelation 1:5 “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood”

    LDS view of the BIble

    many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible…wherefore because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written ~ Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 29:3,10

    Christians believe that the Bible is the only inspired Word of God and as such is sufficient for all of our life.

    As a Christian, I am not my own, I am bought with a price. I can not call those who deny clear and vital teachings of the Bible, Christians. That would be neither loving nor kind. Calling oneself a Christian does nothing for the salvation of one’s soul.

    But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

    For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ. ~Galatians 1:8-10

    Our prayer is that Latter-Day Saints will turn to the Bible as the only Word of God and will receive the salvation provided for sinners by the death and resurrection of the only begotten Son of the one and only eternal God. In the meantime we show our friends who hold to these teachings, love, kindness and friendship to the best of our ability.

    [Reply]

    JoyfulMom Reply:

    Well said!

    [Reply]

  17. pricilla
    August 24, 2010 | 12:04 pm

    As a mother of 5 small children, I have enjoyed reading your blog for a while now and found inspiration from your experience and dedication to the Lord. After reading this discussion, as an LDS person, I just don’t feel it anymore. You have many quotes, but if you talked with a Latter Day Saint you could get much more clarity. I am not saying you have to believe what we believe, I just feel a bit disrespected. I respect others beliefs and will not go back and forth as interpretations are often the only difference. I just don’t feel welcome here anymore. As for the Book of Mormon, it is the keystone of our religion, it is very sacred to us, and we do not want people to pray for us to change our belief. We are very firm and happy just the way we are. I love my religion with all my heart, mind and might and it just feels bad to read comments like this. Good luck to you and your sweet family. You are a wonderful mother.

    [Reply]

  18. Stephanie Anderson
    August 25, 2010 | 2:56 pm

    Along with Pricilla, I am also sadly feeling disrespected. As a member of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints I honor and worship OUR (meaning yours and mine) Savior. Do not pray for me…pray for those that seek our Savior and the Atonement in their own lives, I have found it. I am curious where you are getting your quotes…obviously you sighted the sources, but have you read the full accounts or are you attending religous classes where “LDS Bashing” is taught? Have you read the 13 Articles of Faith of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? We are all sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father…may I be more like my 8 year old son as he prayed last night “help us to all be more like Jesus Christ.” I am trying, but I also get upset sometimes. Would it make you comfortable to believe that most religions have good in them, bringing a person closer to our Savior?

    [Reply]

  19. pricilla
    August 25, 2010 | 3:42 pm

    Hi again,
    I have had the things that you said on my mind since yesterday and posted my full reaction on my website. http://www.petercilladickinson.blogspot.com
    I didn’t put it on your blog because I used the word unkind and I didn’t think that it would be published. I just thought I would let you know because there is a link back to your discussion.

    [Reply]

    Jenny Davis Reply:

    Please, when you use a link… Link directly to the post related… That way people who are intersested, do not have to search thru your blog looking for a particular read. I gave up!

    [Reply]

  20. Oscar At Real Life Money Management
    September 6, 2010 | 12:12 pm

    All I know is that the Public School System (PSS) has taken the place of the Church in most peoples live, even many Christians. The PSS is teaching your children to lead secular lives. Yes you teach them Christian values at home but that is sucked away hour by hour, day by day, year after year in all the hours they spend in this Godless system. The PSS has allowed the government to become God to most people, no wonder more and more Americans are out right embracing socialism. It is very sad and scary but it is very obvious that this is true from some of the comments made by many to your article.

    I deal with a boys youth group in our Church. Our Church has a Catholic School that goes up until 8th grade in which they enter the PSS. When dealing with those boys it only takes about a year in the PSS and you can see a major difference in their faith life. It just sucks them of their faith because of the environment they spend most of their time in. These are pretty well grounded boys too. Some of them do good but most don’t survive the onslaught of what is put on them when they enter the PSS. Christians need to wake up as to what is happening. I fear we won’t and our society and faith will pay dearly for this failure.

    [Reply]

  21. Jenny Davis
    November 2, 2010 | 8:39 pm

    Hi Kim… I am always a fan of your blog and enjoy reading most all your entries including this one. I may not agree completely with all of your insights on this post, but I certainly respect them.

    All of those above who commented negatively… What’s your point!? Just read it, consider it, and move on. No one is asking you to agree with anything… All of the bickering will get you nowhere!

    Make your own choice about how you educate your children and for the love of God stop all of the nonsensical arguing. I think Kim is sharing her beleifs here and that is all. If you feel convicted or wronged by something here. Just pray! Do not make enemies. If you haven’t anything nice to say, don’t speak!!!

    Kim, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have yet to write my piece on why we chose to homeschool. I am not yet inspired to write on that quite yet. But hope to soon.

    I do agree with this: The federal government has far too much control, in general, of pretty much everything in our country. Anyone who thinks your government truly cares about you and your family… Needs to take a second look at the world around you. Your government (in general) cares nothing about you. At this point, the curruption can not be undone. Forgiven, but not undone. Do not attempt to argue with me politically on this. You can not argue with someone who can not be moved.

    I LOVE when someone stands on and for something, unmovable, and with dignity and kindness and grace. Kim, Thank you for being that. A christ like quality…

    ~ Jenny

    [Reply]

  22. Amber
    March 6, 2011 | 11:11 pm

    I just want to say that I completely agree! It’s crazy to me how many Christians disagree with this, but we are actually the minority! I appreciate the way you’ve replied to those who disagreed; I think you are a great example of being wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove. :) And as Martin Luther said, “Peace if possible, truth at all costs.”
    Voddie Baucham in Family Driven Faith said something really neat on sending your children into public schools. He said that there are people who are called to be there… teachers! Not children who are still so much like clay. He said something along the lines that if you send your child into enemy territory, don’t be surprised if he comes back wearing their colors.
    Also, Kelly from Generation Cedar said something along the lines of sending your children to public school is not a sin, BUT homeschooling is obviously more biblical. In addition to the verses you gave: Col. 2:8, 1 Timothy 6:20-21.
    Thanks for this post! Just another thing to reaffirm my choice!

    [Reply]

  23. Amy
    March 18, 2011 | 2:59 am

    It’s been almost two years since this post was published, so please excuse my late comment.

    About a year ago, I was discussing my decision to homeschool with a childhood friend of mine. We have known each other since junior high. She had just completed her master’s degree in education. She said to me, “Are you sure you want to homeschool? It seems like you have your hands full.” (I only have two!) “That’s what school is for, you know, to give parents a break.”
    Of course, I was astounded. I knew that she didn’t agree with my decision, but I didn’t think that as an educator she really believed that folks send their kids to school to get away from them! What a sad commentary that would be on the state of the modern family.

    Your posts here on homeschooling are very enlightening. I had no idea that public education should not belong to the federal government, but I took the time to look it up after reading your posts and it’s true!

    Thank you for re-confirming in my heart that I belong here with my children, teaching them to love Jesus.

    [Reply]

  24. Lynn
    May 25, 2011 | 11:45 pm

    Kimberly-I completely agree with Ashley and I think this is where the people who disagree with your interpretations at times are coming from. However, you don’t seem to be accepting that at times YOU are taking liberties with interpreting some of the scriptures and presenting it as the absolute truth that a good Christian must follow when it’s really based on Kimberly’s/Mark’s interpretation of a particular verse(s).

    You say “God gave the responsibility for training children to the parents, not the government. If parents would take the responsibility to educate their children, even though it is difficult, we would not have these problems.” I completely and absolutely agree with this statement but the way this plays out in each of our lives may not look the same. You quote Deut. 6:4-9 as a reason you homeschool. There are many good reasons to homeschool and I respect one’s decision if they go that route, but to say that one MUST homeschool because it’s clearly stated in the Bible is your interpretation of those verses.

    Yes, we must absolutely train our children in the ways of the Lord when we sit with them, walk with them, lie down, get up, etc but this does not mean everyone HAS to homeschool to meet that command. Would it be easier that way? Sure, you have more time with them to do it. However, these verses are telling us that you do not leave Christian training up to Christian schools or Sunday schools or grandparents or anyone else-that you as parents are fully responsible for this training throughout the day when you are with your child. Not that you must keep your child with you throughout the day to meet this command.

    You continually say things like “Human logic and practicality do not trump God’s Word, ever” so I believe you would say it’s my logic (not God’s) when I say these verses do not mean I must homeschool and this is where you’re coming from in saying you have the right to speak the “truth” in love. But how do you respond to me saying that I believe that insisting these verses mean you must homeschool is Kimberly’s interpretation and not God’s and I’m speaking the truth in love by telling you that?

    This is where I know how Ashley is feeling-you do not see your interpretations as being incorrect so you’ll slam more scripture in my face that shows how well you know the Bible but I won’t hear anything about you praying to Jesus and him guiding you towards homeschooling as the direction he has laid out for your family. Where is your personal relationship with Jesus in all of this? He is a living, breathing savior that we can all commune with to determine how the scriptures should play out in our lives but I don’t see you presenting your life in way that allows me to see you having a personal relationship with him. I’m honestly just asking you this as it’s another piece that I’ve realized is missing in your posts-you may very well live this way but it’s certainly not made clear when you outline how your family follows all of the rules laid out in the Bible.

    The kicker is that at times you are doing what you’re telling other people not to do. You say “human logic & practicality do not trump God’s word,” but from your presentation style it also reads “unless you are Kimberly and then you can tell everyone else what this should look like in their life.” You interpret various scriptures as absolutes when they are not that clear but then you insist that people who don’t agree are just ”worldly” and are not following the scriptures. Then you wield scripture like a bat to smack people into submission-but it’s your interpretation of how to obey (for things like homeschooling or not sending children to Sunday school.)

    You also seem to believe that parents taking responsibility and being involved in their childrens’ lives cannot happen if children are in public school. I completely agree that there are a lot of parents out there who DO NOT take this responsibility seriously (or at all) and this is not how God intended for us to live (as Deut. 6:4-9 specifically says this.) However, parents like this are wrong no matter what schooling option they choose. I think a lot of the people who disagree with you are coming from a place of, I do teach my children God’s commandments and I do believe we must look to the scriptures for guidance on how to obey. I am involved with my children and walk alongside them to help them maneuver the minefields at public school, but I do not choose to homeschool to make this happen AND THAT’S OK.

    I recognize that this comment will end as Ashley’s did because I’m not going to convince you & you are not going to convince me. However, I’d like her to know that other people out there agree with her stance (if you post this.) Conversations like this are good to get people thinking about where they stand with these issues.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hello Lynn,

    You claim several times in this comment that I’m forcing my personal interpretation of God’s Word on others and to the extent that this is true I have been wrong. If you can point me to specific instances where I’ve done this I will certainly look them over, change them and if necessary ask public forgiveness.

    I have tried to be very careful to present the Bible as the standard to which Christians must submit and then to present our interpretation of that standard as just that- our interpretation. I have refrained from ever intimating that anyone needs to hold, adopt or even agree with our application of God’s standard and I’ve stated that on many occasions.

    You say,

    You continually say things like “Human logic and practicality do not trump God’s Word, ever” so I believe you would say it’s my logic (not God’s) when I say these verses do not mean I must homeschool and this is where you’re coming from in saying you have the right to speak the “truth” in love. But how do you respond to me saying that I believe that insisting these verses mean you must homeschool is Kimberly’s interpretation and not God’s and I’m speaking the truth in love by telling you that?

    No, I would not say it’s “your logic” if you say that these verses do not mean that you must homeschool. I agree with you. These verses do not say that everyone must homeschool and if I were teaching that everyone must homeschool in order to fulfill these passages then I would hope that you would speak the truth in love and point out my error.

    Here are some quotes from several different parts of my blog about homeschooling/education outside the home:

    We believe that whatever God commands in His Word in regard to education (or anything else for that matter), Christians are obligated to obey. What Christians are not obligated to do is to take our opinion or interpretation of God’s Word and adopt them as their own.

    I do not see that Scripture teaches (in the passages I quoted or elsewhere) that the there is never a time nor place for education outside of the home

    I don’t have all the answers, but a few things seem clear (and I’m very open to hearing where I’ve misunderstood, misrepresented or misinterpreted God’s Word). God commands parents to educate their children. He tells parents what they are to teach their children. He tells parents how they are to teach their children.

    There is certainly a line where parents are sinning by abdicating their God-given responsibilities and while it’s quite clear on the extreme ends of the spectrum, I think that it is less clear as you near the middle ground. I do not claim to know for certain exactly where the line lies.

    Ultimately each parent is responsible before God for the education of their own children.

    We believe Scripture is our ultimate authority and that the specifics are the responsibility of parents.

    While we do not claim that everyone must homeschool in order to be in submission to God’s Word, we do believe that homeschooling is an excellent option that meets the biblical standard and we hope to encourage other Christians to prayerfully consider it.

    You say,

    You interpret various scriptures as absolutes when they are not that clear but then you insist that people who don’t agree are just ”worldly” and are not following the scriptures. Then you wield scripture like a bat to smack people into submission-but it’s your interpretation of how to obey (for things like homeschooling or not sending children to Sunday school.)

    I would appreciate some specific examples of where I have used Scripture as an absolute when it’s not and called those who don’t agree with me “worldly” or used Scripture like a bat to smack people into submitting to my opinion. It’s easy to accuse me of these things, but in order for those accusations to be helpful to me as I seek to restore those relationships broken by my alleged sin, it would be helpful to know where those instances of sin occurred.
    You say,

    You do not see your interpretations as being incorrect so you’ll slam more scripture in my face that shows how well you know the Bible but I won’t hear anything about you praying to Jesus and him guiding you towards homeschooling as the direction he has laid out for your family. Where is your personal relationship with Jesus in all of this?

    You are right I do not see my interpretations as being incorrect (just as you do not see your interpretations as being incorrect) otherwise I would not hold them. People do not hold to ideas and beliefs that they do not believe.

    The only basis for a discussion between Christians MUST be based on God’s Word. So while in your email you said that Jesus told you that you were not wrong, I pointed to Scripture as the basis for our position. When you say, Jesus told me I’m right and then complain that I use Scripture as the basis for my argument, there is no longer any basis for discussion.

    Let me try to explain, if the ultimate authority is what Jesus tells us (through prayer or the Holy Spirit) rather than the Bible then we have no standard, no basis for discussion or fellowship. I can say Jesus told me to homeschool, you can say Jesus told you to send your kids to public school, the teenager down the road can say that Jesus told her to abort her baby and Hitler can say that Jesus told him to slaughter the Jews and none of us can argue against the other, because who is able to sit in judgement above what Jesus told someone to do?

    The reason that you will read a lot more about what the Bible says and much less of what we personally hear from the Holy Spirit, is that what Mark and I hear from the Holy Spirit is not binding on anyone else, but the commands of Scripture are.

    In the first part of this comment you criticize me for relaying my personal interpretation, (i.e. the specific guidance that we receive through prayer, our relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit) of Scripture and here you complain that I do not share my personal interpretation but rather use Scripture itself. So you object to my interpretation of Scripture AND you object to me quoting Scripture directly? May I humbly submit that reading Raising Olives may not be beneficial to you?

    Most seriously you question my personal relationship with Jesus. You say that relationship with Christ is missing from my posts. I say, what is your definition of relationship?

    He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
    Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
    Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
    He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

    Jesus says that those whom He loves and indwells (relationship) are those who know (in other passages love) and keep His commandments. This is the standard that we hold. This was the point of my email to you (re-posted below).

    Whose standard are you using to judge my personal relationship with Christ?

    If my relationship with Christ does not measures up to your standard it makes no difference (but perhaps it is another indication that reading my blog is not a beneficial use of your time), but it is of great importance whether or not it measures up to God’s standard.

    [Reply]

    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Lest other readers suppose that an arrogant or harsh tone in my emailed response to Lynn’s comment warranted her accusations in the above comment, I’m publicly posting my email to Lynn in it’s entirety.

    Lynn,

    My sister in Christ (I’ve stated and implied from the beginning of our conversation, that I believe you are my sister). This debate has nothing to do with salvation or whether we have to obey every single standard of God’s law to be sisters and have fellowship in Christ.

    It IS about love.

    It is about our love for Christ, who gave His life for us.

    We do not obey God’s law in order to be saved. We obey God’s law because we LOVE Him.

    We seek to apply every word of His 66 inspired books (the article to which you referred mentions only 27, I’m assuming because they don’t believe the Old Testament is God’s Word) to our lives because of our love and gratitude and because He says,

    “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”

    We seek to honor Christ’s command when He says,

    “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.”

    Jesus reveals to the Pharisees that their sin was not in tithing the dill and cumin, that is what they should have been doing without neglecting the other aspects of His law.

    When we begin to sit in judgement over God’s Word and to say that we don’t need to obey EVERYTHING that He commands, then we have established ourselves as the ultimate judge and usurped the authority that belongs to God.

    If we reject God’s standard of conduct and simply shout love, we have missed the whole point of the Scriptures for they teach that to love is to obey!

    “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God that we keep his commandments and his commandments are not burdensome.”

    “And this is love that we walk according to his commandments.”

    If your standard is “love” without using God’s definition of love then it is no longer God’s standard, but your own.

    Raising Olives is written to Christians who seek to apply God’s Word to every facet of their lives because we love God, not so that we can somehow earn salvation, for we are taught that that is impossible.

    “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:”

    and

    “Our righteousnesses are as filthy rags (literally menstrual cloths)”

    If you wish to find arguments for not applying all of God’s Word to every aspect of life they are all around us. I’m sure that you will find many more than you can possibly collect and perhaps you will find some that are even more convincing than the one referenced below, but I see no need to post such information on a blog that has been prayerfully constructed to do the opposite, to drive Christians to God’s Word for answers.

    I pray that God will bless you as you follow Him and that He will increase your love more and more through the knowledge of His Word.

    Blessings,
    Kimberly

    [Reply]

  25. jamithy
    August 12, 2011 | 10:17 am

    I was so encouraged and blessed by your kindred spirit! Thank you for allowing the Lord to work through you and be a light in the darkness!

    [Reply]

  26. Ginger
    September 12, 2011 | 4:50 pm

    Obviously very late in reading the orginal post! I found your blog through another site referencing freezer cooking. As a homeschool mom, I am always interested in reading about other homeschool families, gleaning what I can and applying it as needed.

    I just want to say thank you for stating your family’s reasons for homeschooling but, most of all, for speaking in terms of God’s Word as your basis. So often we try to live our lives, even as Christians, based on feelings. We sometimes forget that, while we must have personal convictions, those convictions must be based on the Truth that is unchanging in God’s Word. If not they are simply our opinions and in all instances relative.

    I am not sure I agree with your premise regarding public schools being unconstitional. Quite honestly, I’ve given it no thought at all! My reasoning (my husband is not a believer but thankfully supports our homeschooling)has more to do with the content of public education. The principles taught in classrooms across America clearly violate the Truth of God’s Word and so as a Christian parent I must make another choice in order to obey my Lord.

    In reading your responses to many criticisms, I was encouraged by your loving spirit, as well as by your firm reliance on Scripture. May God continue to bless your family as you follow Him.

    [Reply]

  27. Shelagh
    February 17, 2012 | 7:54 pm

    Amen!

    [Reply]

  28. Maria
    June 17, 2012 | 7:16 pm

    Hi, chiming in very late on an oooold discussion :)

    What I think is that, of course we can’t decide whether homeschooling OR public schooling is THE biblical choice to make. Public school PER SE *could* be a valid choice (I suppose) IF (and only if) it looked much different. If it was exempt of all the immoral/immodest behvaior and language, the worldly teachings presented as facts or desirable things to strive for (money, succes, fame etc) and all the side effects of leaving young, immature people together to fend for themselves and educate eachother – rather than maintain a healthy adult/child ratio. I am talking peer pressure, worshipping of the pop culture and star system and just the generalized unkindness and competitiveness that permeates the school system (actually whether public or private many times).

    SO, what is my point? Well, that personally, I cannot see how on earth a normal public school could ever be a place for me to feel safe in sending my children (bullying, all of the above…) AND I would also really feel that I would be working against myself by allowing my children to be under the influence of things and teaching for several hours a day that I DO NOT AGREE WITH or even strongly dislike…

    Homeschooling is NOT a guarantee of anything. But it surely does facilitate a lot of things and clearly helps to learn how to be IN the world but not OF the world, as we homeschoolers are mostly NOT just in “our own little bubble” but interact frequently and diversely with much of the outside world, probably just choosing to filter out a lot of the *crap* that comes with it ;-)

    It’s like, we still have to deal with the stuff we don’t agree with or don’t like – but I can choose to regulate the amount and importance of those influences, instead of voluntarily exposing my children to all of this, at an age where they are young, influencable and much easier targets for ennemy attacks, kwim?

    For people to be *salt and light* they have to first be firmly rooted in their own position and well trained and armed (ie the full armour of God…). Noone would send untrained soldiers into the battle field, and that is what we’re doing when we send young kids into the current school system.

    So while it may not be a sin or anything, it surely appears to be a bit hazardous.

    I wouldn’t send my children there, even I wasn’t a Christian!

    Sorry for the long comment & thank you for a wonderful blog :) I come here often and always leave inspired and encouraged!!

    [Reply]

  29. Jennifer
    July 13, 2012 | 3:49 pm

    I just wanted to comment on the civility and depth of both of your responses here. I applaud you both for giving detailed, informed, and cordial support to your positions. I enoyed reading such an informative and intelligent exchange…so rare in this internet age.

    [Reply]

  30. Ashley
    October 25, 2012 | 8:50 pm

    Thanking your for posting these hard discussions. I personally believe you to be 100% right, but I have many Christian friends who boast of their “freedom in Christ”, preference verses conviction, and other, what I call to be nothing but untruths. I find it so confusing how one Christian can believe one way and another a completely different way.

    Ashley

    [Reply]

  31. Alex
    December 27, 2012 | 12:19 am

    Thank you so much for stepping out and writing this article- and not watering it down.

    [Reply]

  32. Tamarra
    June 15, 2014 | 8:43 am

    I know this article was written several years ago, but I just came accross it and am very intrigued by the points you make (both in the article and comments). I taught for 1 yr in a public school before staying home with my daughter and I can say even more resolutley now that my children will not go to public school. My mother (who teaches kindergarten in a public school) and I have never seen such a crisis in public education as there is today. The love of learning is being zapped from the classroom and replaced with standardized testing. Teachers and students alike are stressed and unhappy. I love the idea of homeschooling and I should be more than able, with my background in education. Why then, does it seem so frightening to me to take that step? It honestly seems more daunting for me to teach my own children than someone elses! If you have any good resources for getting started I would really appreciate it! Btw my daughter is 3 almost 4 so just preschool age. Thanks for your articles and insight! It’s nice to see things I felt were true lined up with the word of God.

    [Reply]

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