A Case for Homeschooling: Is There a “Biblical Model” for Education?

I’ve been criticized for asserting that homeschooling is the “better” way or the “biblical” way to educate.

I’ll go ahead and admit that I think both of those things.  But wait–I also think I can back up those unpopular assertions and should be allowed to hold them.

Furthermore, PLEASE keep in mind that my passion for homeschooling is driven out of wanting to share with other families the blessing and benefits it affords–not just a spouting of opinion.  If you would think less of me for keeping quiet about a “new cure for cancer” because I didn’t want to offend anyone who was still using chemo, I hope you’ll appreciate my efforts to share what I truly feel is best for children and families, and in no way mean to offend.

Regarding my opinion that homeschooling is a “better” way…I would hope all of us have strong opinions on “better” ways to do a lot of things–especially important things.  If we don’t ever form carefully studied opinions on “better or worse” ways to do some things, we become dangerously apathetic.  This, I think, is a tragic side-effect of our obsession with “tolerance”.

All things are not equal and to suggest such kills the human spirit, erodes ambition and unravels the very fabric of a society on too many levels to count.

And where it involves the very upbringing and transmitting of our values to the next generation, I’d say we better all study to form VERY strong opinions about such a life-impacting endeavor.

But is homeschooling “biblical”?

First, allow me to define what I mean by that:

Saying a thing is “biblical” does not always mean everything else is “sin”.  I do NOT assert that any form of education besides homeschooling is a sin. (And yet, this crime has been continually ascribed to me.)

To say a thing is “biblical” is simply to say that there are principles in Scripture to guide and offer insight into a particular area.  Just like there are biblical principles for handling money, one is not necessarily in sin for ignoring those principles.  So, if I say, “not co-signing on a loan is biblical” that is a true statement.  But it doesn’t mean that it is sin to co-sign on a loan. There would be a lot less anger if opponents viewed my stance through that lens.

Many people claim “the Bible doesn’t speak on the subject of education” and so we can’t talk in terms of what is “biblical”.  I disagree.

It’s interesting to compare the Greek (pagan) model of education to our current public school model and contrast that to the Hebrew model (practiced by God’s people) upon which the homeschooling model is patterned:

“The Greek model of education shapes our modern American educational theories. Greek education focused on content. Hebrew education focused on relationship. Greek teachers tried to shape students’ minds. Hebrew teachers tried to shape students’ hearts. Greek students were to learn what their teacher knew. Hebrew students were to become what their teacher was. The notion that one can merely teach the mind and body of a child without involving the heart and soul is the method of the Greeks. We see no precedent in Scripture for the teaching of children’s minds for the sake of academia.” (http://www.homeschoolbuilding.org/Item.php3?id=2291)

In a nutshell, the “biblical model” of education is Hebrew in nature, based primarily on relationships, specifically between parent and child.  And that’s just the starting point…

There are other principles from Scripture (and biblical history) that give us guidance about education:

1.  God told His people how to teach their children and they understood it clearly.  Why don’t we?

Throughout Deuteronomy (and other books) God repeatedly emphasized the importance of transmitting knowledge and wisdom to the next generation (i.e. “education”). There were two vital principles commanded:

  • The education was to begin, end and be inundated with “the fear of the Lord and his commands”.  (See Deuteronomy 6)

“…the Greek method of education separates the child from the parents and educates the child with teachers selected by the state with the intent of producing a citizen whose loyalties lie with the state and will therefore be an asset to its defense, production, politics, and culture, etc.”  (http://www.homeschoolbuilding.org/Item.php3?id=2291)

  • Secondly, the only way to make that possible was an education rooted in relationship. This very model was extended through the example of teaching from Christ in the New Testament.  It was done through discipleship, in a time-consuming relationship of “walking together” through the day with the “teacher” (in the OT that was usually the parent) transmitting knowledge and values to his student/child. Family was CENTRAL to this model.

“Where Hebrew education had stressed learning in the context of family relationships, multi-generational training, and the fear of the Lord as the beginning of wisdom and knowledge, Greek education and the establishment of the gymnasium emphasized the development of the child as a creature of the state who finds his identity as an individual, not a member of a family.” (http://www.homeschoolbuilding.org/Item.php3?id=2291)

Can you see how generations of the Greek philosophy has affected the family unit which has had disastrous “trickle-down” effects on all of society?  And we hardly even recognize it as a tangible result of the way we educate our children.

In the Hebraic tradition, this aspect of discipleship by parents was so important that if someone other than the parents mentored the child, he was called a “father”.

“Education in the ancient world was rooted in religious tradition and theological ideals. The goal of education was the transmission of that religious tradition, along with community mores and values, and vocational and technical skills. The by-product of this kind of education was a model citizen, loyal to family, gods, and king, upright in character, and productive in community life. More than liberally educated “free-thinkers, ” the important outcome of the educational system for the ancients was utilitarian, equipping people to be functional members of family and society.” (http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-)evangelical-dictionary/education-in-bible-times.html

2.  The Bible clearly expresses that a true education cannot be attained apart from the fear and knowledge of God.  Scripture repeats it and the historical model confirms it.  It would have been unthinkable for a Hebrew to try to provide an education for his children separated from the fact that God permeates every aspect of life.

But beyond that, it would have been a downright abomination for a Hebrew child to be instructed in a setting where God was denied, ignored and especially hated, and where other religions/idols were offered as alternative options.  They would have feared His very wrath for such an abdication of what He so explicitly commanded.  In fact, God’s wrath was most often evoked when His people followed after other gods, including the god of ‘self’ or ‘man’s own desires’ (humanism, “the doctrine emphasizing a person’s capacity for self-realization through reason, rejecting religion and the supernatural” is the overt religion taught in the public school system today).

This fact is the strongest evidence I see from Scripture to reject the government’s educating the children of God’s people.

3.  A very important part of the Hebrew education was the church and community, specifically that a child needed to “walk with the wise” and glean from his elders the wisdom and knowledge of life.  This meant that children spent most of their time with elders–parents, extended family and the community elders (during times of worship and festivities).  It was never assumed that children should learn from other children the things that would grow him into a productive, God-fearing member of society.  In fact, it was warned about.  Parents and the elders of the community were highly respected and children knew it was to them they should look for life’s lessons.

“…the doctrine of human sin and sinfulness stamps both Hebrew religion and education…educationally this meant human knowledge and wisdom were flawed and limited and that divine illumination was necessary for grasping certain truths and divine enablement was necessary for doing right.” http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/education-in-bible-times.html) (

Besides these principles, there are still numerous warnings and commands from Scripture that give us insight into how our children are to be educated and how they are NOT to be:

“Anyone who isn’t with me opposes me, and anyone who isn’t working with me is actually working against me.”  Matthew 12:30

“A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.”  Luke 6:40

“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly…”  Psalm 1:1

To name a few.

Do I believe it is a sin to not homeschool?  NO I DO NOT.  Do I believe Scripture provides heaps of educational principles and guidelines that, if followed will invoke blessing on our families, communities, churches and societies, and if not followed will invoke negative consequences?  Yes I do.

I would challenge you to consider that the breakdown of relationships between parents and children, and the precipitating consequence of our failure to pass the baton of faith to the next generation rests largely on our ignoring the biblical principles given to us as we consider how to educate and bring up our children.

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82 Responses to “A Case for Homeschooling: Is There a “Biblical Model” for Education?”

  1. Renelle says:

    Great post Kelly,
    I’ve been thinking about this alot lately being more relationship oriented in our approach to education. Thanks for the time put into your posts. Blessings, Renelle

  2. Linnie Lues says:

    Wow, thank you Kelly!
    What a refreshing way to explain the Biblical Model for Education!
    Blessings!

  3. Pam says:

    This is excellent. I am going to send this link to some friends. I love it. Very full of grace and yet, truth.

  4. Kendal says:

    Amen and Amen!! Thank you! I am going to link this on my blog.

  5. Chelsey says:

    Kelly, I love this!!Reminds me of a quote by Voddie Baucham Jr, from Family Driven Faith along those same lines:

    ” I would never suggest that everyone should educate his or her children the same way we educate ours. Second, I don’t want to make it that easy. I want you to think about what the Bible has to say on the subject and wrestle with the decision you have to make. That being said, let’s look at some key biblical passages and their implications.

    Proverbs 1:7 is foundational to our discussion. Solomon tells us, “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge” (cf. Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10; Proverbs’s 9:10; 15:33; Ecclesiastes 12:13). In other words, our educational choice has to be based on the fact that God cannot and must not be ignored in the process. Any educations system that denies the existence, preeminence, and primacy of God is in violation of this biblical principle and is detracting from, rather than contributing to, the discipleship process.”

  6. This is an excellent post Kelly! Your point about all things not being equal is something I have been pondering lately. Those kinds of “harmless assumptions” (straight from the consitution no less) have caused must frustration to people for ages. I think just because our constituion grants equal justice for all under the law we let that seep into our minds to mean everything has to be “fair” and “it just ain’t so.” Thanks for your thoughts and all the work that went into this post.

  7. Well said and very biblical, I couldn’t agree more. But hang on the opposition will be here soon and they can be vicious but then you already know that. Keep fighting the good fight!

    • Pauper, I was amused by your comments about Word Warrior’s opposition being vicious. Actually, I think the folks who agree with this blog can be just as hostile and unChristlike and even vicious in their comments as those who disagree. I haven’t seen this on this particular post, which is a good sign. Let’s keep it that way! It doesn’t need to be “us” versus “them” but brothers and sisters in Christ who each glorify God in different ways. 🙂 I’m of the mind that God’s people, in the grace of God and with the continual infilling of the Holy Spirit, can keep their words sweet and civil, and can respect each other, even though they disagree. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.” ~ Virginia, mother of four young home schooled adults (all active in world missions), one public high school student (first year in, so far so good with being “salt and light”), and five (still) home schooled students, plus a grandmother of one.

  8. Christine D. says:

    Thanks for sharing this. I wish I was able to homeschool my kids. Unfortunately my husband is against it and since he’s the spiritual head of the household, I have a bigger Biblical issue at hand. I had to decide whether to remain in submission to him or to go against him and pursue homeschooling. I chose to be a submissive wife and my little ones are in public school.

    Anyway, thanks again for the solid information. Hopefully after much prayer my husband will come around and let me homeschool them.

    PS – From my research I’ve learned that we’re actually more like the Prussian educational model which is actually worse than the Greek one.

    • Joyfull says:

      Hang in there. Pray, pray, pray. For your kids, and husband. Pray that you will not get in the way of anything God is trying to teach him. I am not certain where my husband stands spiritually. He does not attend church, and has a lot of bitterness toward organized “religion.” He was strongly against homeschooling.

      Over the past couple of years, in this bad economy, we lost our business, our home, and our savings. It has been very hard and I would not have chosen it. But, unemployed, my husband took what work he could, which was substitute teaching. Through one year of substituting every day, God changed my husband’s heart on the matter of homeschooling. He still wants us to use all state approved curriculem, but I am the one teaching them. He still doesn’t choose to join us for church. But I can trust God and teach our children to trust God.

      Hang in there. Even if you never get to homeschool your children, your prayers are effective. Jochobed did not get many years with Moses before she had to turn him over to the Egyptian royal family and schools, but I am sure she prayed for him, and God worked all according to his plan.

    • Bethany says:

      Christine – For what it’s worth, I think you’re making the right decision. Remember that your children CAN be primarily educated by you even if they attend a public school! Just be very attentive and supplement their education as necessary, especially during the summer months. For example, you could have a bible class (taught by you) over tea (or milk) and cookies when they come home in the afternoons. One of my dear friends (educated in inner-city public school systems in New York State) did this with her own mother. She and her younger sister are some of the most upstanding Christians I know, and she was a HUGE influence in bringing me to the Lord when we attended public high school together.

      God bless,
      Bethany

  9. Joey says:

    I think you have some great points. And I’ll add a post and link to this on my blog, since we just finished a series (including interviewing 3 different families) on education.

    http://differentway4kids.blogspot.com/search/label/education

    However, I also think some of your reasoning is a little dangerous. For example, the scripture you quote at the end of the post are quoted out of context. Yes, they include great principles, but they are not being used here in an exegetical sense.

    I would encourage your readers to especially read the interviews on my blog from the Keevers. These are friends of mine, and the dad is a pastor on our church’s staff, who are very intentional and missional with their kids being in public school. I love their perspective.

    At the least, I hope that we can agree that this is a multi-faceted issue.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Joey,

      Thank you for your thoughts…gee, I don’t want to be “dangerous” and am certainly open to correction in misusing Scripture. Do you mind expanding a bit on how those Scriptures are not applicable to the principles of education?

      • Kelly,
        I am not sure what Joey is referring to as being out of context since you are not using them out of context. I appreciate your humility but I encourage you to stand strong on the Word. Jesus was speaking to the education process in Luke 6:40 and his point should scare us to death – your children will be just like their teacher. If that teacher is the Sunday School of secular humanism (also known as public schools) then they will, outside of the grace of God, be and think like secular humanists. If their teacher is a sinful parent depending on the grace of God through the power of the Holy Spirit to teach the Word of God to their child, day in and day out, when they rise up, when they lie down, when they walk by the way and when they sit in their house then by God’s grace they may just grow up to be another sinner dependent on the grace of God extended through the death of Jesus who is the Christ. Which would we rather our children be?
        As for the “salt” and “light” defense of children in public schools, this is one of the weakest cop-outs around. (see here or here or here)Children are still learning their worldview so how can they be “light” and “salt”? (Never mind the theological argument of if this command was even given to children) For every anecdotal report of a child being “a light” in the public school system there are hundreds/ thousands of children suffering shipwreck of their faith through 8 hours a day of humanistic indoctrination. Are you willing to gamble that your child is the “one” in the thousands?
        The Pauper

      • Joey says:

        What I mean by “out of context” is that those 3 scriptures you quote are not in passages about educating children. Yes, they have great principles, but you have to admit that quoting them in this context is not using exegetical Bible scholarship.

        Also, especially regarding the friends of mine who shared about having their kids in public school, notice that this isn’t a thing where they “throw their kids into the wilderness.” Rather, this is a tool of discipleship. They are very intentional in what they are doing. Also, the opportunity to be involved in the public schools is not just about kids, but about them having great opportunities to connect with leaders in the schools.

        Also, I don’t buy into the argument that public school causes children to fall away from the faith. In most cases that I’ve seen (from before and during my time in full-time ministry), it’s not that kids are doing great for 18 years, growing in God, and then poof, it goes away. I actually believe it’s that they were never really rooted in God in the first place. They’ve just either been made to go to church, or they go because all their friends are going. When PARENTS do more than “go to church” — when they serve, are in community groups, give, go on mission trips, etc — that is what has a profound impact on the spiritual lives of their kids.

        Our kids need to see that our faith is real, and being lived out.

        • Word Warrior says:

          Joey,

          I would still disagree about the context issue. Granted, the first verse “He who isn’t with me is against Me” was something Jesus quoted when challenged about casting out demons. I agree-not in the context of education. Yet, the principle applies to any area of life just the same. He mentions in the passage that “a kingdom/city/house divided against itself cannot stand”, which has a broad application. So in a home where “Christ is Lord” one would expect that the highest priority is educating children in the fear of the Lord and avoiding “false teaching” (i.e. the religion of humanism).

          The other two verses are specifically pertinent to education and are not out of context, in my opinion, at all. One speaks of a “student/teacher” relationship–if it applies to adults, it would apply to children even more.

          “Not walking in the counsel of the ungodly” refers to, well “counsel”–instruction, teaching, advice, worldview, etc. Again, if this applies to anyone, how much more to our responsibility to ensure our children aren’t subject to such counsel?

          If we aren’t willing to see clear principles as these for direction to guide our choices, then it could be concluded that all Scripture is NOT “given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto good works.”

    • Christine D. says:

      Thank you for this! Reading this interview helped to make me feel so much better about my kids being in public school. The main reason why my husband wanted them in there is because they are such social creatures, and they really are flourishing in school in a way that they never did at home.

      While no educational system is perfect, it really feels good to read about a Christian family that doesn’t stand against (or discourage) public school.

  10. Whew.. Do you ever cringe and just wait for the punch, girl? 😉
    I agree with you, as usual, Kelly. I’ve been steeped in the Old Testament recently and the vehemence that God uses about staying away from other gods and the consequences of doing otherwise are very clear.

  11. Excellent article Kelly. God’s Word indeed has much to say about education, and though there isn’t a spelled out Scripture that says, “Thou shalt homeschool,” it is far more permeating and pervasive than that. Much guidance is given us.

    Sadly, even though home education is a biblical principle in itself, many that home educate do not do it from a biblical perspective and principles. Many still follow those Greek ideas within their homeschool – just bringing the Greek model of education into the home. Continue to be a voice, encouraging others to a “better way”. Blessings!
    Lisa @ Me & My House

  12. Jeannie F. says:

    BRAVO! Thank you for taking the time to write this. When we started home schooling my husband said “We are not going to copy a public school style, why copy something we do not believe is beneficial.” We have focused on relationships and life education (and of course we include all the basic fundamentals). We enjoy being together as a family and learning at the same time.

    I never understood sending children into public school as a light, where in the scripture does it say to send the CHILDREN out to witness?

  13. Thank you, Kelly, for sharing these important – yet profoundly unpopular – truths.

  14. Me, Myself and I says:

    I personally think public school is very beneficial. i think if kids are taught morals and values at home then they will be just fine at school and will also be a good example to the other kids. I’m a Christian and I’ve been in public school all my life and it has never made me question my beliefs. I also think children are supposed to be a light. There are kids who invite their friends form school to church and if they didn’t those kids would probably never hear about Jesus or have the oportunity to get saved. When Christians go to public school they can whitness to others and they also learn about other beliefs and how to defend their own. I’ve gone to school with people who weren’t Christians and being around them has made me even more sure that God does exist and that He is the only way.

    • Word Warrior says:

      I appreciate your perspective, but there are 2 or 3 problems, as far as the angle of this post is concerned, with your conclusions.

      Most importantly, as parents, it is our duty to use Scripture as our “rulebook” for life. So, as I’ve pointed out, there are certain principles from Scripture that can’t reconcile with the reality of a government school system that rejects God and his wisdom. If our educational model is to based on “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge”, then it’s difficult for a Christian to reconcile an education that outright rejects the fear of the Lord.

      Secondly, you based your summary on your experience. That’s actually the worse evidence to be used in this argument because statistically, most Christian children do not share your experience. Most either turn away from the faith completely, or spend a great deal of their years living a faith that is compromised greatly because of the influences around them and the lack of biblical foundation in their daily lives.

      Christian children witnessing to others *sounds* like a wonderful idea, but in reality, it’s not usually the case. Not that it doesn’t happen–I know it does, I’m just saying that statistically the Christian children are more likely to compromise than convert.

      Furthermore, besides the sheer number of hours children are away, in a setting that does not acknowledge the existence of God and where they are instead exposed to influences children weren’t meant to be exposed to before their time and/or outside their parents’ oversight, the added homework and extra-curricular distraction hardly leave time at all for parents to impart their values.

      And even after all that is said and done, the reality of parents maintaining the kind of intimacy and relationship needed to really disciple and transmit solid faith to their children is extremely rare when children are gone and their allegiance to others is so aggressively challenged.

      • Me, Myself and I says:

        First of all, sorry about the typos in my previous post. Second, you said the worst thing someone can do is base their summary on their experience, when in fact I’ve read several of your posts where you do just that. I would also really appreciate it if you could tell me where you got your statistics (not trying to sound rude, I just want to know). The majority of students in my school, as well as the rest of the schools in the county are Christian and do witness to others. We even have a club at school that meets during lunch once a week and is open to anyone, that is pretty much a church service led by students. In some of your other posts that I have read it sounds as if you think Christians should mostly keep to themselves; women staying home, home schooling, church geared toward believers only, ect. But if you read the Bible that is exactly what Christians are NOT supposed to do. Jesus constantly surrounded himself with non-believers and people that were considered bad, unholy or evil. I guess my point is, if you’re going to be a light for Christ and lead other people to Him, you have to get out into the world and do things without being afraid of losing your belief or having it challenged. I’m not saying you can’t show people Christ if you’re a stay at home mom or if you home school, because you can, but if everyone did that then there would be no new Christians and millions of people would never hear God’s word. One more thing, if one way is Biblical them how can the complete opposite not be a sin?

        • Word Warrior says:

          I’ll work on providing some links with statistics though time won’t allow me right now. You can look at this site though…http://www.voddiebaucham.org/vbm/Blog/Blog.html and read through the “Continuing Collapse” series for all sorts of statistics.

          I do not advocate an “isolationist” view (Christians staying to themselves). But on that subject, you confuse Jesus’ ministry with how we are to disciple our children. Jesus was mentored primarily in the “safety” of his family until he was grown and THEN He ministered to others. Even as he discipled his “family on earth”, he was with them almost constantly, to show them the “real world” through the lens of truth. As families, there are all sorts of ways to be salt and light. But nowhere do we see an example of children being sent out alone for this purpose–it’s not even sensible. Parents are to raise up disciples (walking alongside them until spiritual maturity) to THEN go out into the world on their own. (You mentioned “church for believers”…When the Bible speaks of “the church, His bride” that refers to believers. That doesn’t mean church is “off limits” to unbelievers, but that the body of people who make up the literal church can only be believers by definition. Such was in the NT, and such is now…you may a bit confused about that aspect.)

          You asked, “If one way is biblical, how can the complete opposite not be sin?” In some areas it is, and we all have to search carefully and ask the Lord to show us that. But the example about money in the post answers your question in short: some principles are simply “wise vs. unwise”. I may have stronger convictions in this area than some, but I would leave that open to individuals to weigh carefully what the Scripture says.

          The point of my post is to say that I do believe the Bible has a lot to say about the way we should educate/raise our children. And as Christians, we are responsible for the knowledge given to us through His Word. For that reason, we should walk with fear and trepidation.

          • Me, Myself and I says:

            I am not “confused”, I am aware that the THE Church is all of Jesus’ followers. What I was referring to was in one of your other posts you said
            “The physical “church” as in the building we meet in on Sundays, is one tiny part of that. The physical church building is a place of worship and equipping…The meeting of believers on Sunday is a vital part of bringing their sacrifices (both praise and tithes) to the house of the Lord, and then receiving instruction in sound doctrine. That’s all it ever was in Scripture. Once we try to make it a place to evangelize the lost, we inevitably weaken the very foundation of its purpose.”
            I agree with this, however, that can’t possibly be all God intended for church to be. We have been commanded as Christians to “evangelize the lost” and what better way to do that than to bring people to church so they can learn about God and who He is.
            Jesus was teaching His elders when He was twelve, hardly what I’d call grown. Jesus isn’t a good example in this case though, because He didn’t need to be taught or mentored, Jesus is God, He knows everything. I have been taught well at home and in church and going to school isn’t going to “unteach” me. For example; we learned about evolution last year in biology, I already had a firm belief in God, and so when we were learning about evolution and biology it only gave me more proof that God has to exist for such a complex world with complex creatures to exist. I also gained the knowledge to be able to defend my stance to someone else and if I hadn’t learned those things I wouldn’t be able to do that.
            I couldn’t get one of the links you gave to work, but the other two point to problems in the church. People didn’t start leaving the church after graduation because they started going to public school. School is good practice for the real world. There are non-believers everywhere and if you never have to defend your beliefs until adulthood, it’s going to be very hard and a very big shock when you do.

        • Word Warrior says:

          A reader sent me this link to a study by the Barna Group:

          http://www.pray21.org/press/Statistics_References.pdf

          And there’s this one: http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/life/20070807/d_churchdropout07.art.htm

          And this one…http://crossexamined.org/problem.asp

          And they’re pretty easy to find if you wish to see more.

      • interested says:

        I agree that homeschooling can be very beneficial. I also know that many of the students I went to school with at a Christian university fell away because they had no “real world” experience. You can guess they were the ones at parties and what not. I grew up in a very religious family, my grandpa is a preacher, my father a preacher, and several of my uncles are preachers… I was in public school all my life, and I learned very valuable lessons throughout it. I also was drawn to friends who were much like me, good morals, etc. One of them was not a christian when we were in school (was a good girl though) and now is married to a youth pastor, is influential in leading a children’s ministry. I’m not saying I saved her, but what if I had been homeschooled and never saw her to invite her to youth events and the like? Where would she be? Not to mention, I had more professing Christian teachers than I can count throughout my school years. I am now a teacher in a public school and it is so great to see the number of students who I can touch their lives even in the horrible public school!! 🙂 I just think you ought not to judge all public schools based on your experiences. I am not against homeschooling like I said, I think its a great thing to do if you can. But please don’t judge public schools either. There are some good ones out there!

        • Word Warrior says:

          “Interested”…I appreciate your input, but it’s “interesting” 😉 that your comment is simply your opinion of public school based entirely on your experience. This post, however, is an objective look at education, not relying on experience but on looking at the biblical model for education. But you said I shouldn’t use my experience to “judge” public school. Huh? By the way, discussing the facts of a topic, good and bad, is not “judging”.

    • Kris Peterson says:

      Blessings,
      As I am reading through the comments I am seeing what I believe the Lord did not want us to do-divide.

      I am also seeing that people tend to live in a bubble. Doesn’t everyone realize that just because “you” did great in public school that it doesn’t mean the majority did. Just because one family out many is touching and ministering others at public school doesn’t mean that every Christian child is out there doing that.

      We did not start our home school journey for spiritual reasons. We did it because public schools are not designed for the majority.

      And our we really going to wave the “socialization” flag in the air? Can I share with you all the times I got in trouble for being “social”. But that was just me. And I had a great time in school especially high school when I was introduced to drinking and pot. I was a very good kid. Loved the Lord, did what my parents told me too. Wanted good grades. And loved to be social. For the record I went to University High School in Orange County, California.

      Yes, depending on where you live, who your parents are, who you are, public school is fine. For the minority. For others, it’s not the best place. And if you feel that you are unable to home school for what ever your reasons then don’t. God is in control. It is all for His glory, His plan. Don’t feel guilty. If your feeling guilty then maybe you need to pray.

      Enough said. But thank you for this awesome website!

      Kris P

      • Valerie says:

        I agree. I also grew up in Orange County Ca. and although my mom was far from perfect and Christ following, I was raised to “not give in” to temptation, to “save myself for marriage”, and to “never do drugs”. What child can remain faithful to a parents teaching, who they see maybe a couple hours a day, to 10 hours a day of an instructional and peer pressured environment (that’s including commute, and time talking with friends before and after school)? I did drugs, believed in evolution, and was pregnant with 10 months of graduating outside of wedlock. That was my own sin. But it is hard to see sin for what it is, when you are surrounded by other sexual friends, who do drugs consistently, who have been pregnant before, and whose own teachers will not teach God’s Word, much less right and wrong. And I went to Catholic school. I think all the statistics and “experience”, mine included, can be summed up into thinking clearly about what is taking place. If you as an adult are not willing to SURROUND yourself in an environment 8 hours a day of humanistic, anti-God, evolutionary teaching, while being taught and pressured into doing drugs, going against God’s word, being exposed daily to sexual innuendos by boys and other fellow students, pornography, violence, and many other things that all public (and most private) schooled students can vouch is all around them in school, then you cannot say you are being FAIR to send innocent children, who are developing still their ideas of God and their worldview, there.
        So I ask simply to those saying that sending children to be a “light” for Jesus into that environment is a fine a noble idea……If you can answer YES to this question, even though I may not agree I will concede you are being fair in your decision. So “Do you go to a workplace at least 8 hours everyday, surround yourself with unbelievers,violence, taunting, pressure, sexual sin, anti-God remarks and false teachings DAILY, ORRRRR do you stay home in the comfort of your house, surrounded by your nice things, and your good friends?”
        I in no way want to put people down, I just want us to look at what we are talking about. WE are NOT talking about sending ADULTS, who have bowed the knee to Christ, who WILLINGLY, wish to go into darkness, and bravely preach the Word. We ARE talking about small children, who have yet in MOST cases to grasp the true meaning of the Word of God, who go into some of the most sinful places in the world, FORCIBLY. Do these little children ask their mommies at 5 years of age “Mother, can I please go into this dark place filled with false teachings and go be a light to the darkness, and incur persecution while I do it?”. Or do they think, like most sweet children, “this is going to be such an adventure of making friends, and learning cool stuff!”. Please parents, I beseech you to not require of small impressionable children, what you are not willing to do for the kingdom yourself. There is a time for everything under the sun, and there is a time for children to be nurtured and taught and raised before they (in Jesus’ OWN words in Matthew 10:16 as he sends ADULTS out to be a light) are sent out to be as sheep among wolves.

        • Michelle says:

          If you made poor choices in high school, that’s not all on your parents sending you to school. There is some personal responsibility that needs to be considered. Also, I’m sure home schooled teenagers also deal with peer pressure and everything else if you don’t keep them in a bubble.

          • Valerie says:

            Michelle,
            In case you didn’t catch the part where I said this I will post again “That was my own sin.”
            I take full and complete personal responsibility for all of what I did. However, even Jesus, speaks of the sin of tempting others to sin…
            Matthew 18:6
            “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”
            God has always demanded personal accountability for sin, and yet, He has sooo many verses in Scripture that speak like this one… “Proverbs 7:21
            With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk.”

            So, although it is true we are all personally responsible for our own sin, there IS SUCH A THING as the SIN of tempting others, or seducing others to sin. Is that not what is it sounds like when almost ALL Government schools pull children into a classroom and put condoms on a banana and describe to children how to have “safe” sex outside of wedlock?
            Is it not also wrong to knowingly send children to schools where it is taught and indoctrinated to disobey God’s laws? Where they tell Kindergartners that women who have sex with other women and men who have sex with other men, are not wrong, but right? (google the “anti-bullying” curriculum that is now provided to public schools in classrooms as young as Kindergarten. You will find the articles proving it’s true)

            You cannot just point the finger at personal responsibility to the children yet ignore the fact that there are adults teaching them to do those very things. You just cannot point and shout “personal responsibility”, and never point the finger at those who teach sin. You cannot have it both ways. You must look at all involved.
            Also look at safety. Every year children are not protected, even by loving teachers who would LOVE to protect the children. They just can’t. They cannot be everywhere at once. What about…
            * The bullying
            * The violence
            * The sexual assaults by peers
            * The sexual assaults by teachers and staff
            * The emotional and persistent teasing
            * The nude photos that are being taken of third graders by 7th graders in the bathrooms with cell phones (google “sexting”, and you will see)

            So where is the accountability for that Michelle?

            • Valerie says:

              Forgive me Michelle, I spoke in a disrespectful manner. I should have more patience and loving speech with my sisters in Christ. Forgive me. Even though I feel passionately about the subject, I still need to heed the to season my words with “salt and love”. Take care.

  15. Emily Blaisdell says:

    I’d like to thank you too, Kelly, for taking the time to invest in this important topic. I can’t imagine, (as a follower of Christ) desiring anything less than a Biblical education for our children. In my opinion, “academics” are far, far less important than instructing them in the ways of the Lord.

  16. janine says:

    “And even after all that is said and done, the reality of parents maintaining the kind of intimacy and relationship needed to really disciple and transmit solid faith to their children is extremely rare when children are gone and their allegiance to others is so aggressively challenged.”

    Do you really believe that only homeschoolers can “transmit solid faith” to their children? What about all the godly men and women who went through the public school system ? Are you saying that all the kids in public school today will not have a solid faith?

    You also believe that only homeschooling parents can have a strong “intimacy and relationship” with their kids? I don’t think that is true at all.

    So only homeschooled kids can grow up with a solid faith? Really?

    • Word Warrior says:

      “No” to all three of your questions which evidence how easily my words get distorted. Re-read the quote… I said “it’s rare”, not impossible.

      Also, there are many godly men and women who only came to repentance later and suffered tremendous, unnecessary damage from being outside of their parents’ discipleship for the better part of their growing up years.

      • SoCalLynn says:

        I was lead here by a friend to read your thoughts and I am greatly encouraged. I am preparing to give a talk about homeschooling this month to my church’s moms-of-preschoolers group. Our family is one of only 3 families that home school in a church membership of 2300. Many of your points are the same as the ones I plan to speak about. I have felt the Lord guiding me through this entire process, as I am NOT a public speaker, and it is comforting to see the same points here as the ones I have found through prayer, bible reading and research. Thanks!

  17. Word Warrior says:

    If anyone hasn’t seen it yet, the IndoctriNation trailer looks really great….http://vimeo.com/13912103

  18. Kelly L says:

    I really enjoyed these reasons you presented. Of course I believe that HSing is the best, or I wouldn’t do it. To do something I do not think is best would be nuts! But personal conviction does not equal judgement of others.
    We all have to ask God what is the best way to help Him prepare our children for the future. What world view should they learn for hours everyday? What morals should they learn based on their environment and relations? They will mimic those who they admire. Kids are sponges. Right now I notice my daughter (10) laughing just like the missionary staying with us. She even is trying to walk like her! Praise the Lord the missionary is a woman sold out for Christ!!!
    I know positively I would not have the relationship with my daughter that I have now if she were gone for 7+ hours a day. It would be impossible.

  19. J says:

    No public school kid will grow up to have a strong faith except the “extremely rare” exception?

    None of their parents will have enough intimacy with their children to disciple them (other than the extremely rare exception)?

    • Word Warrior says:

      Let me clarify the comment…”the reality of parents maintaining the kind of intimacy and relationship needed to really disciple and transmit solid faith to their children is extremely rare when children are gone and their allegiance to others is so aggressively challenged.” since you have a really hard time discerning.

      Yes, it is EXTREMELY rare that a parent can transmit the solid kind of faith *that remains intact* through the child’s life and on into adulthood. Many children stray/rebel and then come back (although that number is declining sharply too).

      But to see a child hold on to solid faith in the midst of the pressures, temptations and lack of discipleship/relationship that public school robs from them, is rare.

      When I taught at a Christian school where primarily church-going Christian families had their children, I tell you honestly, there was but a handful of kids there who had the remotest testimony of faith.

      Walk the halls of your local public schools and you’ll see that teens living out their faith are among the smallest minority (i.e. “extremely rare”). That’s just a statistical fact that can’t be denied as opinion. The fact of children leaving the faith in droves has been established many times over and isn’t even up for debate.

      Yes, J, *some* will be faithful. Stop trying to trap me. But those will be extremely rare. Besides that, that isn’t even the point of the post. The point is, what do we (Christians) see in Scripture that should be guiding our educational choices? It’s not about “the few that will persevere” or what someone’s experience is. It’s about what principles are given to us and our responsibility to heed them.

      • Kelly L says:

        Kelly, I think the problem is how most of the American “Christians” view Christianity. If you say you believe in God, check, you are a Christian. If you say Jesus is your Savior, check, you are a Christian. If you are a ‘good’ person while sometimes invoking Christ’s name, check, you are a Christian. If you mange to go to church on more Sundays than not, check, you are a Christian.

        “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

        Most “Christians” believe that Jesus will save them if they continue to live how they want. He is not their Lord or boss. Certainly not their King. Christ is not in charge, they are.

        Can people go through life with bad influences, bad company and bad character and still claim Jesus? Yes. Are they Christians sold out to God, willing to follow and serve at any cost? No.

        Matthew 7:
        15“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

        Sadly, I believe Americans will be the greatest portion of this group. The leaders of the American churches need to be prayed for to stand up for truth and not relent to cultural christianity. (lower case intentional)

      • R. F. says:

        I can tell those of you concerned with “your experience” that mine experience was similar to what Kelly is refering to with children leaving the faith. I am the second oldest of five children. Both my older sister and I left the faith for a short time during college. We are both now back in the fold. However, my three younger siblings are, well we’re not sure. One of my brothers appears to be giving church a try again. But the other two don’t even pretend to care. We were causalties of the public school system. We were in before school activities and after school activities and spent very little time at home, during high school years espesially. I thought I was a good “witness” at school. But it changed me more than I changed it.

  20. Valerie says:

    Amazing. This post is my new one to forward on that says it all. Thank you.

  21. Word Warrior says:

    Interesting quote by Dinesh D’Souza from, “What’s So Great About Christianity”

    Are You Paying for Atheism?
    “Children spend the majority of their waking hours in school. Parents invest a good portion of their life savings in college education and entrust their offspring to people who are supposed to educate them. Isn’t it wonderful that educators have figured out a way to make parents the instruments of their own undoing? Isn’t it brilliant that they have persuaded Christian moms and dads to finance the destruction of their own beliefs and values? Who said atheists aren’t clever?”

  22. Tawny says:

    First… Great Post!

    Second…
    It always amazes me how someone makes the argument ‘oh the Christian kids need to be in public school to witness’ …

    Very flawed view. Children are entrusted to parents for guidance & protection. They need to be trained up. You must (on an appropriate level) protect them until they are spiritually strong && knowledgeable enough for battle. You wouldn’t throw your children out in the wilderness for the weekend with out making certain they have the skills && supplies necessary to survive a weekend camping!! Yet, we are expected to send our children to a government institution that teaches selfishness, humanism, && that everything is coincidence && there is no God, Ect for 8 hours a day?!?! How is the young child who is still learning the necessary skills going to survive this wilderness?!? Much less witness to the other children?!?

  23. Miriam says:

    Thank you for this clear and well written post. It was an encouragement and blessing reading it. Your message truly hit the mark. Keep up the excellent work you do here.

  24. LOVE that you have the courage to post this. I spent a lot of time in prayer and research several years ago and wrote a 30 page “document” titled How Then Should We School? I really wanted my thoughts on “paper” and I wanted to see if there was any Biblical model for classroom education. I found NONE. If we only had the Scripture to base our decision on, I’m not sure how we could come up with any other way. As for being an example in public schools, I believe it was Chris Klicka who said that God NEVER calls children to be missionaries apart from the adults in their life. Yes, He may call your entire family to Africa, but He won’t ask you to send your children to live in the jungle alone. There are plenty of ways to volunteer in public schools without sending your children there. Our family led a Good News Club in a local elementary school for several years. I went to public school in the 80s and early 90s, in the South, where “everyone” claims to be a Christian. My faith was never directly attacked as far as a teacher saying “you shouldn’t believe in God.” But, what happened was that sin became acceptable to me. Drinking, drugs, sex, lying to parents, cheating – these were completely acceptable behaviors then – and I am more than positive that they are acceptable now. I cared much more about what my friends thought than my parents. I do not believe that it is a sin no to home school, but I believe with all my heart that it is God’s best plan for families.

  25. Barb says:

    I’m not clear on how the Hebrew model is biblical. It seems you’re referring more to Hebrew tradition here than to the Bible.

    Could you please provide an actual biblical basis (chapter and verse) supporting the Hebrew model of education for children, and how this can only be done through homeschooling?

    Also, is there anything in the Bible which speaks directly against the Greek (‘pagan”) model of education for children? Can you provide verses?

    • SavedbyGrace says:

      Try reading Heart of Wisdom by Robin Sampson. She explains it very well.

    • WordWarrior says:

      I’m not sure I can satisfy you, if you aren’t satisfied with what’s in the post. The Hebrew model became tradition precisely because they were following biblical precepts. I listed the references in the post (most of Deuteronomy, combined with Provers). Those passages are filled with the two basic precepts for education (I’m just repeating myself here): RELATIONSHIP AND KNOWLEDGE BUILT ON THE FEAR OF THE LORD. The model was built around those emphasized commands.

      “is there anything in the Bible which speaks directly against the Greek (‘pagan”) model of education for children? Can you provide verses?”

      LOL! The whole Bible. The Bible teaches us that we are to refuse, run away from, reject, hate, call out any teaching/doctrine/counsel that is contrary to God’s Word (i.e. “pagan”). What part of that is so difficult to grasp?

      • Barb says:

        You say its biblical, but you don’t provide biblical references except in generalities and the few verses at the end which aren’t related to the Hebrew vs Greek models.

        You didn’t mention Proverbs in the original post at all, and both it and Deuteronomy are long books. Can you be more specific? What specific Bible passages point to the Hebrew model vs the Greek model of education to make it so that you can say that one is biblical and the other is not?

        • Word Warrior says:

          Barb,

          How many do you need? If the whole counsel of Scripture doesn’t convince you, no specific number of verses will. But, since you asked….

          Deut. 6:6-9

          Deut. 6:13-17

          Proverbs 1:7

          Proverbs 22:6  (Note the commentary on this passage, indicative of Hebrew education based on this verse:)

          “The Hebrew of this clause is curious: חנך לנער על פי דרכו chanoch lannaar al pi darco, “Initiate the child at the opening (the mouth) of his path.” When he comes to the opening of the way of life, being able to walk alone, and to choose; stop at this entrance, and begin a series of instructions, how he is to conduct himself in every step he takes. Show him the duties, the dangers, and the blessings of the path; give him directions how to perform the duties, how to escape the dangers, and how to secure the blessings, which all lie before him. Fix these on his mind by daily inculcation, till their impression is become indelible; then lead him to practice by slow and almost imperceptible degrees, till each indelible impression becomes a strongly radicated habit. Beg incessantly the blessing of God on all this teaching and discipline; and then you have obeyed the injunction of the wisest of men. Nor is there any likelihood that such impressions shall ever be effaced, or that such habits shall ever be destroyed.”

          Proverbs 1:8

          Ephesians 6:4

          Isaiah 54:13

          Psalm 119–expands on what “meditation, teaching and studying makes one “wise”

          Passages that forbid a pagan (Greek model) education:

          Deut. 6:14

          The public school system is openly humanistic in religion–not neutral.

          “I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public classroom by teachers that correctly perceive their role as proselytizers of a new faith which will replace the rotting corpse of Christianity.” John J. Dunphy, Humanist Magazine

          Matthew 22:21

          Jeremiah 10:2

          Romans 12:2

          Proverbs 13:20 (regarding peers as well as treaching)

          1 Corinthians 15:33 (Note:  “communications” in this passage translates “community” or “companionship”)

          Commentary says:  “The sentiment of the passage is, that the contact of evil-minded men (anything that opposes God is “evil”), or that the close friendship and conversation of those who hold erroneous opinions, or who are impure in their lives, tends to corrupt the morals, the heart, the sentiments of others.”

          These are just *some* of the verses, specifically, that deal with what we are to pursue and what we are to reject.  There are hundreds more! (You are fully capable of studying them if you’re really interested…I have no more time left on your questions.)  But more importantly than these verses in taking the complete counsel of the Bible. Our demand for “specific proof texts” signifies a refusal to understand what the Bible teaches as a whole in order to justify what we really want to do.

          Nutshell: Pursing the knowledge, wisdom and fear of the Lord is paramount throughout Scripture.  Rejecting what is false, wicked, and opposing to the truth is an abomination and we are commanded to stay away from such teaching.  It’s really clear if you want to see it.

          Lastly, the last command we are given is to “make disciples of all nations”.  It goes without saying that disciple-making must begin with the first people we have been given–our children.

          Look at the pattern Jesus gave us for making disciples.  He did NOT gather a group of men and say,

          “I want you to follow Me and here is how I’m going to make disciples of you:  For eight hours a day I’m sending you the pagan temples.  There you will be taught false doctrine, that my Father doesn’t exist, that man is supreme, that there is no absolute truth and everything is acceptable if it works for you. Now you don’t listen to that, of course, because it’s not true. But you have to go there to be witnesses for me. (Oh, and a large majority of the other students will be involved in unspeakable things–things I can’t even tell you about, but just don’t do what they do ’cause it’s really bad.  They’ll probably make fun of you for not being like them, but that’s good.)  You won’t really have that much opportunity to refute anything that is said, because after all, you will be sitting under the “experts” all day.  But when you return in the evening, if I have time after we gather the wood and roast the fish and clean up and get ready for bed, I’ll read some Scripture to you to correct all that junk you learned during the day.  Well, that is, after you’ve finished the assignments those false teachers will have you busy with until bed time.  We’ll work it in–don’t worry.  Just remember, they’re wrong.”

          And these were grown men.  We do this with our children.

           

  26. SavedbyGrace says:

    If you want to know the statistics read “Already Gone” by Ken Ham. It’s based on the barna study and there’s tons of other resources. Look up the Deliberate Dumbing Down of America.

    Young people aren’t leaving Christianity in college they are leaving in middle school. They are leaving as a direct result of the anti-God, anti-Christian humanistic teachings of public education. There is a direct link between the two.

    It is impossible in the limited time outside of public school to counteract the humanistic teachings found in public education. Just as it is impossible to impart your faith in Jesus Christ in 3 measly church services a week.

    There is no such thing as a good public school, there is only the less evil. Public school isn’t about teaching young people to think it is about teaching young people to be dependent on peers and the government. If you think they are doing anything else …. well, you have blinders on.

  27. There is something very simple in this.
    What does the Lord require from us? That we teach our children in His ways. How is this done better, keeping our children close to us or being separated from them 6 hours a day?
    I think that the answer is obvious.

    Thanks for the post, Kelly.

  28. Natalie K says:

    LOVE THIS. I’m posting a link on my blog. A few years ago I set out to discover what the Bible had to say about education…and discovered that the entire Bible is all about education. That’s what the Bible IS. The education of the human race in the ways of their Creator. Everything that denies that Creator, denies the human race an education. It was quite a rush. It’s one of those “It-was-right-in-front-of-me-all-the-time” kind of “hidden” things. You know…the “no-brainer” that is hard to get our earth-bound feet and culture-saturated hands around? Once I saw it…there was no turning back. God just keeps getting bigger and bigger…!!!! : )

  29. Erin says:

    It seems like every time I’m discouraged and tempted to put my children back in school, you have a post that that refreshes and encourages me.

    My husband is a middle school teacher and he has gone from being VERY against homeschooling to stating that he never wants his children in public school again. We live in a small, rural and fairly high income area. Our school is not failing, the facilities are good, class sizes are ideal and our athletic teams are excellent. It is a such a great school that we enjoy a high number of kids open-enrolling from other districts. As far as the quality of teachers goes, we were always pleased with our children’s teachers–they were great! Still, he has been teaching in that school for almost 20 years and will do whatever it takes to keep his children at home.

    I find it odd that people might be upset at our choice, but never stop to ask what does he know that we don’t? To survive and thrive socially at a school setting, a meek and gentle spirit won’t cut it. Kindness is weak and laughable. Sarcasm and mocking others is the most acceptable way to be funny and cool. The character traits that Christian parents work to instill in their children will cause them to be eaten alive at school. As far as modesty goes, the school has a dress policy: If a girl is standing straight with her arms down at her sides, her shorts/skirt must not be above the tips of her fingers. He frequently sends girls to the principal’s office to put on the sweatpants they keep there for this purpose. I’ve had mothers groan about how difficult it is to find clothes for their elementary/middle school daughters that meet this standard. We live in Minnesota! There aren’t that many school days that are so hot they can’t function in jeans.

    Lest it seem that my husband hates his job and looks down at the students he teaches I want to make it clear that he enjoys the kids in his classes and there are lots of good kids there. He also works hard to manage his classroom to avoid the negative behaviors mentioned above. We believe there is a place for public education, not everyone can homeschool. I am often very impressed with the young men he coaches and we have formed friendships with them that continue long after they graduate. He just sees what is “normal” behavior in a school setting and wants our children to be taught in a place where Biblical values are the standard.

    Your post reminded me of why we brought our children home in the first place. I sometimes get so bogged down in the daily grind that I lose site of the the big picture. Thank you!

    • Word Warrior says:

      Erin,

      I love this. It was my same experience when I taught a *Christian* school. I loved my students, their parents and the people with whom I worked. But I saw the reality of trying to raise children with one set of values, immersed in a culture that fought against everything we tried to teach.

      Just from a relationship standpoint it didn’t make sense. Peers won, almost every time. I don’t know if there are enough hours in the day to “undo” what most children are inundated with at school. “Transforming the mind” against the sin nature is already a full-time job without the overt pulls of everything contrary to the spirit of Christ.

      Thanks for sharing.

  30. Amanda says:

    I just have to say that, in addition to agreeing whole-heartedly with your post, I am truly inspired that you are willing/able to gracefully put forth such a profound argument so eloquently while you’re in these last few days of pregnancy…when so many women would be sitting back in self-absorbtion! Very inspiring to me, I’m 6 months along, and often feel tempted to start playing the ‘pregnant’ card. God Bless your family!

  31. Joey says:

    While I know we do not agree completely on this topic, thank you for letting me express my perspectives. Here is a more full response (besides my comments above):

    http://differentway4kids.blogspot.com/2011/03/response-to-case-for-homeschooling.html

  32. Mark Andersen says:

    I was refered to this blog by my wife, who was refered to it by another homeschooling friend of hers.

    First of all, let me say that I agree with many of your opinons on the nature of Christian education, as relationship based, as learning from wiser, more experienced adults, and I am sympathetic to the notion that systems of public education indoctrinate their students (intentionally or unintentionally on the part of individual teachers) into being good citizens of whatever culture they happen to be in. We pulled our children out of our local public school system 2 years ago.

    But I have some significant concerns about some of the presuppositions you use to make your argument and, in fact, the way you make the argument.

    I find your argument about homeshooling being “the ‘biblical model’ of education” severely lacking in biblical text and support. The only biblical passages you cite, you cite at the end of your blog as an addition (a “besides”) to your main arguments, none of which cite any scriptural reference (save Deuteronomy 6). Your main arguments are made and supported by quotes, not from scripture, but from homeshooling and bible study websites. Where is the scripture to support your argument that homeschooling is the “biblical model” of education? Why is the scripture you do cite added to the end in case your main arguments have failed to persuade.

    And I have to agree with a previous commentor, that the scripture you do use is taken out of context and without any explanation of how it is appropriate to your argument.

    Additionally, I find many of the presuppositions evident in the websites you use as your sources fairly questionable, particularly as they relate to ancient educational practices. To name one, what homeschoolbuilding.org seems to present as commonplace Greek educational philosophy and practice was true only of the wealthiest citizens of Greek city-states, and even then, I suspect, only really of Athens. The larger masses of Greek peoples lived an educational existence much like that of the ancient Hebrews and other ancient peoples.

    It should also be noted, that while it is true that relationship through discipleship was a value of Hebrew education, that was not always done at home by parents, as you yourself noted in the disciples of Jesus, and is also true of prophets like Elisha, who were taught, not by parents, but in schools of peers by people both knowledgable and experienced in their particular (for lack of a better term) field of study. While this might support a model of discipleship, it does not neccesarily support the homeschooling model.

    The dichotomy that your sources, and therefore you, by your use of them, present between ancient Greek and Hebrew educational methods is not nearly as stark as they present it to be, then or now. As an example, in your support of homeschooling as a Hebraic (and therefore, biblical) educational method, you utilize a very Greek philosophical and rhetorical method to make your argument.

    When developing a statement about the biblical models of educating young people, you should consider passages like Daniel, chapter 1, in which Daniel, his friends and peers, are all educated as a group by a foreign, hostile, and disbelieving government (not at home, not by parents), and who excelled (by God’s grace) above all others in their gathering of wisdom and understanding.

    Not an ideal situation, perhaps, but it suggests, as I believe, that it isn’t appropriate to say that homeschooling is “the ‘biblical method’ of education”. “A” biblical method, might be appropriate, but not “the”.

    As I said, I agree with many of your opinions, but as a homeschooling parent, I find your argument unconvincing. I find that you utilize too many websites, opinions, and suppositions, and do not give enough attention to actual the biblical text for me to believe that homeschooling is “the ‘biblical model’ of education.” Personally, I think it needs more thought and work.

    • Word Warrior says:

      Thank you for taking the time to express your stance.

      Read down through the comment section and I provide quite an exhaustive list of Scriptural references. Though most people find it difficult to ascribe to something being “biblical” unless they can find a verse that says, “Thou shalt” or “Thou shalt not”. My reformed theology (I think you’re reformed too?) convinces me that there are principles in Scripture for all of life if we are willing to accept them.

      Frankly, I’m convinced on ONE verse of at least the problem with Christians sending children to public school: Psalm 1:1

      I don’t need verbatim passages. If we take that approach, we’re left rather dangling in most modern areas of life simply based on conflict of vocabulary.

      I realize some will not agree with my supposition. Aside from rhetoric, which we could bounce back and forth all day, I believe children were given to parents to disciple. Simple as that. (I don’t even believe God gives us children to instruct academically, per se, though that is a necessary part of our job in this age.) And there’s really only one effective means of truly discipling one’s children.

  33. Kristin says:

    Thank-you so very much for posting this information! Over the last several months God has called me to homeschool my children. I wanted to know for sure that it was God’s perfect will and He led me to read your blog with this post. Yesterday in church our pastor said when he was young he asked God to speak to him and God replied “I have, through my Word.” After church I asked God to speak to me using His Word and He led me to Jeremiah 6:16. After I read the verse I underlined it and realized I had read that exact same verse somewhere that week. I couldn’t remember where I read it from though so I searched my books and finally opened my “homeschool notebook” I started with various quotes and advice pertaining to homeschooling and there was the verse Jeremiah 6:16 that God led me to in the Bible! It gets even better… As I was reading through my homeschool journal I also found the verse Deuteronomy 6:5-9 so I decided to look it up in the Bible to see what it says. I then realized it was somehow the exact same chapter that I was supposed to be reading that day for my daily victory Bible reading plan!! God really does speak to us through His Word! He isn’t the author of confusion, but of peace and I have complete peace in my decision to homeschool. God also uses people and your post was so dear to my heart that I placed a tab on my blog linking to it. Thank-you so much for being bold, faithful, and preaching the heart of God in each of your posts. I am so grateful for you! God Bless.

  34. […] A case for homeschooling: Is There a “Biblical Model” For Education […]

  35. […] I just read an excellent article over at Generation Cedar called A Case for Homeschooling: Is There a Biblical Model for Education?  […]

  36. […] great post, which boils down the scriptural and Hebraic tradition of home education, is over HERE at Generation Cedar.  I encourage you to click on the link and read her post.  In believing that […]

  37. Gadgets says:

    I really like your writing style, I Know your from Yahoo search engine. figured I should take a look around. I read few content on this website. Thanks.

  38. Tammi says:

    Perfectly articulated! You put into words my very feelings. I also have had this on my heart lately. I am a Christian who answered the call to homeschool 15 years ago. I was trained as a teacher in a university that had a very strong Greek-methodology. It crippled me as a homeschooling mom for many years. I still find myself trying to weed out the “poisoned” methodology from all those years ago. I believe that God has brought me closer to Him and taught me a lot about Him during this time. I am so thankful for His guidance. It is a very “present help in times of trouble”! Thank you for your article.

  39. Joe789 says:

    I will just go ahead and be blunt. Homeschooling is the only NORMAL type of schooling. Many people do not realize that institutional learning was imposed by institutions. Just like government became what it is because people voluntarily gave up control.

    When you see the things that are truly important in life, you realize they cannot be learned or exercised anywhere but within the family. Child rearing from a parental perspective is the only real learning. All other forms of learning are based on a political model, which translates to being meaningless.

    Including GOD in our schooling completely railroads all modern forms of learning. It is because GOD is the same as He was a thousand years ago. What was important then is still what is important now. It doesn’t matter how many new buildings society constructs, or how many norms or traditions there are. GOD will always be GOD and He will always expect the same from us no matter what. If we choose to get caught up in the ways of the modern world, then we deserve to be treated like the fools we become. And that is the way GOD sees it. The Bible states this clearly.

    Today’s world has become “heart” led. A feel-good type of self happiness driven existence. GOD has informed us that the heart is full of deceit. It breeds pride which is another bad attribute. With all these things said, most of the world’s knowledge is pointless and has no value to GOD. A biblical life is a simple life. We cannot walk in humility while carrying the overabundance of material burdens imposed by society. Jesus showed us the way LITERALLY. And if you actually pay attention to Him, you will see that homeschooling can be good or bad depending on which master you are serving…God or the world.

  40. Brandon says:

    I object with this commentary. There is absolutely no biblical support for Home-Schooling you child. Even the reference to biblical passages is flawed. If Christians spent all their time surrounding themselves with like believing people, I assume that Christianity would eventually fizzle and die. Do we actually think that Jesus intended us to only venture within the confines of our Christian home, churches and social gatherings? Nope, he told us to go into all the world and preach the gospel in all nations and to all living creatures. Unfortunately, I don’t ever see anybody on the streets of my town or inside my workplace, not even at the stores and gas stations talking about Jesus, the only place I see any mention of Jesus is on the Church billboards. How can we win souls for Christ if nobody is telling people about him? Instead, we wish to safely wrap our kids in the bible at home where they can never be exposed to the sinners in a world of sin. At least heaven won’t be crowded!!

    • Word Warrior says:

      Brandon,

      Your objections are flawed on several levels. First, not attending public school has *nothing* to do with “safely wrapping our kids in the bible at home where they can never be exposed to the sinners in a world of sin.”

      That is an ignorant assumption, pardon my candidness. Opportunities abound to be exposed to sin. How about this: if we never leave home (by your assumption) we are exposed to as much sin as anywhere. We are, after all, full of sin and deal with it at every turn. Still, the assumption that homeschooling means one is somehow “locked at home” is silly at best.

      And while I made it clear that homeschooling isn’t the only acceptable form of education, there are clearly principles in Scripture that guide us to understand what is commanded and what is forbidden for us.

  41. Christina says:

    I would like to say that as someone who grew up in public school and got saved at a young age: I felt school was fine until 8th grade when a lot of my peers and those around me were doing drugs and having sex. Thats when things became real for me and since there wasn’t anyone else in my whole grade I knew that was not only saved but walking with God I stood alone. I was caught in between wanting to do what is right and what everyone else was doing. I gave in to pressure and the popular choice more often than not crying that God would give me Christian friends so I wouldnt have to stand alone and feel at war all the time! My friends at 13 and those in my school were not only experimenting with drugs they were having sex, and abortions. I am not saying every child does this, but even if your not yourself doing these things you hear about them, see them, and hear about sexual terms you never needed to know about…. and curiosity starts to happen! I finally got an answer to my prayers and found Christian friends the very beginning of high school and started to really walk with God. This is where things got even worse for me though. I spent the next 2 years dreading every day that was full of cussing, sexual acts right in front of me, and hearing about abortions, and the multiple partners of those in class with me. I had teachers go into graphic detail about sex not even during sex ed classes, tell me we all came from dolphins, and literally yell at me for having my bible in class. All different teachers mind you. I survived, I am strong, I didnt waiver, but I was miserable! I ended up buying my own home school books and starting in 11th grade home schooled. I not only hung out with friends more, was more involved in ministry and witnessing to others but school was much harder for me because public school was so easy and I hadn’t learned a lot of things that are pretty basic things. I managed to get mostly A’s in public school and came away not really knowing all I should have. As a part of homeschooling that year I helped out in 3rd grade one year and 5th grade the next year. The first year I had a little 8 year old girl come to me crying because one of the other children was telling everyone that she had sex with one of the boys in a closet. She was in tears. I was astounded at what these children already knew about and was even more aware than ever that I was a huge influence to this children. Anything I said as an authority in their lives they would have believed. It would have been all too easy to misuse that power, and we see examples of it every day with the number of teachers and coaches molesting little boys and girls. They dont say anything to their parents, because the people doing it are telling them its ok, and normal and good. The have a huge influence over then, that even something that is bad and wrong can be turned around. Likewise a teacher that is against God will be working against God and will influence the children against God. My children, and I on baby number 3 here will not do public school. Instead they will be missionaries by example of them seeing me do it in every day things. We will minister to people and have the time to because they wont be in school all day. Instead they can be more social and go out into the world, not alone but with someone who can stand with them. The bible is clear about preaching the gospel and about people not going out alone, but always with someone else. Its ok to be in the world, and to minister to those in the world, but were not suppose to go alone with no accountability, were suppose to go by 2’s. Jesus shows us this example and likewise our kids can follow us as we follow Christ.

  42. […] this belief seems to be recited by plenty of homeschoolers, including Kelly Crawford at Generation Cedar (where there’s lots of *ahem* rhetoric if anyone hasn’t had enough of […]

  43. […] value relationships over any earthly […]

  44. […] argument that that homeschooling is taught in the Bible usually goes something like this line of reasoning from the popular homeschool blog […]

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