should your child go to school?
When their daughter was
approaching school age, Jeff and Lori Larson decided to keep her
with them in homeschooling. They wanted to protect her from popular,
worldly values and guide her in their own Christian lifestyle. They
wanted her to receive basic knowledge in reading, writing, math
and history, without "postmodern" ideas related to social
The Larsons were members
of a thriving church with active ministries for children. Both Jeff
and Lori had college degrees. Each was employed, but Jeffs
income was sufficient to support the family. So Lori suspended her
career, and they both devoted themselves to the many tasks of preparation.
They talked with experienced homeschoolers; consulted the library
and the Internet for information on homeschooling legislation, state
and local requirements, and available resources; registered in compliance
with local regulations; selected materials from Christian publishers;
and transformed their childs room into a comfortable, attractive
place in which to teach and learn. "It was worth the effort,"
they say. "Homeschooling was the right choice for us."
Sam and Doris Adams,
a young couple with two elementary-age children, had moved to the
city to take advantage of job opportunities. One of their new neighbors
urged them to visit his church. In the friendly atmosphere of the
evangelical service they began to understand that they and their
children had spiritual needs. They felt conviction, accepted Jesus,
and soon became members of the church.
The pastor suggested
they visit the church-sponsored Christian academy and think about
enrolling their children. They were impressed with the school. They
saw it as an opportunity to give the children Christian teaching
and a suitable peer group, along with good basic schooling. Tuition
costs were no problem for them. "Christian schools really support
young families," the Adamses say. "We made the right choice."
Way They Learn
Cynthia Ulrich Tobias
Elizabeth & Dan Hamilton
Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling
here and look for the WANT MORE? link or call 1 800 641
David and Fern Miller
were both from Christian families, and were mature Christians when
their first son was born. He and three siblings after him were reared
in the church. Their first school was Sunday school. Among their
first words was a prayer. Before the children were of school age,
the Millers visited the local public school open house. They met
some teachers and learned all they could about the schools
academic program and extracurricular activities. As each child entered
the school, both mother and father showed interest and talked with
the children about their school experiences. Today the four Miller
kids are participants and leaders in school music and athletic activities.
They invite school friends to church events. As a result of their
childrens involvement, the Millers have more opportunities
to be of influence in the community. "Im glad we kept
them in public school," David explains, "They have been
given excellent help in developing their skills and interests. And
they have learned how to face challenges to their beliefs and values."
Each family made the
"Train a child"
(Proverbs 22:6, NIV). In three syllables the writer of Proverbs
proclaims an essential responsibility of parenthood. Many biblical
passages make it clear that the home is the first "school"
and parents are the first teachers. God called leaders to form an
earthly society. Under divine guidance these leaders gave Gods
people specific instructions that included the admonition to teach
it to their children. Every symbol and tradition in the Old Testament
has two purposes: to help people know and worship God, and to perpetuate
to the next generation an understanding of Gods plan.
Every human society since
the beginning of history has had concern for the training of its
children. People always organize to form communities and nations,
and social organization always includes some reference to child-rearing
principles and methods. As populations have grown and moved throughout
the earth, ideas about education have changed and multiplied. School
systems that started in homes became attached to various religious
and political systems. Today we have an incredible array of options.
There are public schools, private schools, church-related schools,
charter schools, and various types of Internet and distance-education
has become a political slogan. But for Christian parents it is much
more than that. School choice is a matter for prayer, and for some
of the most serious thinking a parent will ever do. Many parents
are trying to decide among the three most common choices: homeschool,
Christian school or public school. As we see from the examples,
each choice may be correct in some situations. Decisions must include
consideration of childrens needs and characteristics, parents
values and characteristics, and the availability of reliable information