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:
- 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.
- 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)
- 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)
- Christians should train their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (Eph. 6:4)
- God has given parents the responsibility to educate their own children. (Deut. 6:4-9)
- 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.