Home: The Center of Education (Part 5)

Taking from the article that prompted this series, the third function of home mentioned is “education”.

This is a timely post as I have just begun reading Restoring America One County at a Time by Joel McDurmon (also available in Kindle).This might be one of the most important books of our generation. Go get it now.

There are too many reasons to list in a post why the home should be the center of education (which doesn’t necessarily mean homeschooling; it could mean the parents choosing private education, the point being that parents have complete authority and jurisdiction over who educates their children).

In light of the angle I’m reading from this book and its current relevance to our threatened loss of freedom, let me just focus on a few of those aspects.

Once Upon a Time

Until around the 1830’s, people understood the importance of freedom in education and contrary to what some believe, literacy rates were extremely high. Parents took responsibility for educating their children (and more importantly, helping them to become self-educators) and/or found someone they trusted to assist them.

As we have given that responsibility over to the state, we have had our freedoms slowly eroded and only we are to blame. The “free” education isn’t free at all, and whatever government funds, government controls; including our children.

Benefits

When home is the center of education, and especially where home-education is embraced, a myriad of benefits are available. (See related posts at the bottom of this post for additional thoughts.)

There has never been an easier time to take back education as now, with technology offering everything under the sun, even to the most intimidated parent. (As the article below explains, we don’t need “experts” to teach them facts; we’re already living in the information age. Our primary focus should be simply teaching our children how to use, process and communicate information that is readily available.)

But far more than academics, parents are better able to transfer their values (this is what the state is trying to avoid), strengthen their character and let them flourish in whatever areas they are gifted when they take control of their child’s education. (Think Outside the Classroom)

In my experience, this has been the biggest challenge AND the biggest blessing of choosing to come home. Education is life, and is much bigger than a classroom. My heart longs to see families embrace the blessing of this privilege–not without sacrifice, but still a privilege within most everyone’s reach. And I’m willing to speak on this hottest of topics (and take the heat) not because I want to “force my choices” on other people but because I believe, with all that is in me, that this is the best for parents and children who long to delight themselves in the law of the Lord. That He has given us what we need to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and that a nation is blessed whose God is the Lord, including the Lord of our education.

(Actually, and I don’t have time to expand on it here, a “free market education” would be better for all of society, Christian or otherwise, if we can ever become convinced and demand it. But it first requires us to refuse the socialist form of education we now receive so happily.)

Freedom

And I long to see the far-reaching benefits of such taking back of our educational responsibility. As McDurmon said,

“Do we really want a free society…? This [education] is priority number one. If we are serious about freedom, we have to start with education. If we can’t accomplish change in this one area, then forget the rest. Nothing about truly restoring America will be easier or more readily obtainable than taking free control over your family’s education. There’s nothing stopping us here.”

Are there obstacles? Probably. But there is little worth fighting for to overcome those obstacles more important than our children. I get obstacles. We have fought through many of them so I’m not speaking from a place that doesn’t touch me.

As home becomes the center of education, our minds begin to shift because we now hold responsibility again, and that’s big. It’s big in more ways than, “can we teach math?” They become ours, wholly, to educate as a person, to shape, form and prepare for all of life. We begin, again, to invest in ways we didn’t even have time for before. Most of our hurdles are psychological. But the effort to jump over them is worth it a hundred times over.

I think you’ll love this article too: Conventional Education Will Go the Way of Farming

“What schooling is for many is a 12- or 16-year sentence wherein young people are penned up, talked at, cajoled, quizzed, and tested, for the most part on facts and figures that can now be retrieved in seconds with a handheld device….”A true bubble is when something is overvalued and intensely believed,” says Thiel. “Education may be the only thing people still believe in in the United States. To question education is really dangerous. It is the absolute taboo. It’s like telling the world there’s no Santa Claus….Yes, the facts and figures are a click away. The ability to use, understand, and communicate those facts is what must be taught and currently is not. And it doesn’t take an army of 8 million and a budget of 1 trillion dollars and counting to do it.

Part 1: Hope For Society Lies in Finding the Real Meaning of Home

Part 2: The True Meaning of Home Lies in Our True Identity

Part 3: The Center of Agriculture (Or Close)

Part 4: The Center of Economic Affairs

Part 6: Home, The Center of Making Disciples

 

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20 Responses to “Home: The Center of Education (Part 5)”

  1. Laura says:

    One thing I thought about the other day is how much loving the children would miss away from mom and dad. All the hugs and kisses, cuddles and snuggles they receive that they wouldn’t if they were in school…and for small children, of even 8 years of age, that is important…They would not be loved on for 6-8 hours a day 5 days a week…that HAS to affect the child/parent bond…and eventually it affects everything else…I have heard that stress/depression in children is off the charts right now…I wonder if it’s because they are showing the effects of not being affirmed by mommy and daddy, and having to endure hours and hours of peer-related abuse and defense…(because even the popular girl may be stressing over her popularity/appearance in an unhealthy way!). I know that the days that I am purposeful to spend loving my children and hold them, read to them, talk to them…they learn much more willingly and easily…and are more obedient and cheerful…but the reverse is also true:)

  2. Katy says:

    Very well said! Thank you for being a voice for what’s best for children and families with regards to education. I know a family walking through this right now. He works with people in a grand scale and sees the good, the bad, and the ugly. He wants his children home educated. She says (and this is a quote), “I just want someone else to do it.” I think, through God’s hand, she is seeing that what she wants and what’s best for her children might be two different things. This doesn’t mean she has to do it alone, but there are other alternatives to public education for her family. It’s hard and I don’t envy her the decision. For us it was easy. We wanted home education for our children even before either of us were married, even before we met. We were both products of public education. We didn’t have horrible childhoods filled with bullying and strife. I loved my advance courses, some of my teachers are still friends today, and my husband had a wonderful time in public school. BUT, we, as adults, realize how much better it could have been. With the way education is going today, including all the junk that has nothing to do with actual learning, we don’t want that for our kids. We want the best for them, public education isn’t the best.

    My husband works in the public school system a few day a week (not as a teacher). He sees what really goes on and it sickens him. Discipline is a joke. He has seen a few students actually abuse a teacher or staff member only to be sent back to class because the administrators hands were tied. If they are finally sent out of the school they are sent to an alternative education facility with others who couldn’t/wouldn’t behave. They get even less formal instruction many times. It’s often a baby sitting facility instead of an educational one. They have children as young as 8 in there with kids as old as 18. Think about the difference in offenses between an 8 year old little girl or boy and an 18 year old senior. No thank you.

  3. Kelly L says:

    Perfectly put!

    People are always telling me how wise and mature our daughter is. I point out it is because she is not under the counsel of other 12 year olds all day. She is under our counsel and God’s. One of the biggest differences I see is that she is not ruled by her emotions. I cannot say that for most girls her age (or even a lot of women I know!)

    I’m really enjoying this series. It either gives me a little kick I need or spurs me to continue with support.

  4. Laura says:

    I will say this–especially coming from a state where the homeschool guidelines are pretty stringent…there ARE times when the push to get “180” days of school “done” is stressful…and in many ways, I’d LOVE to have my whole day to plan so that I can focus on keeping things clean, orderly, attractive and well-managed…that is a full time job too, and homeschooling and keeping track of it all does make that harder to do successfully…because no doubt I will ensure that my child can read and will study the course he/she will benefit from, but the tracking of it, so the state will be satisfied is a pressure that is frustrating…because it’s harder to think about having, say, a new baby in the house, because you know that there may be 3-4 months where you can’t devote much time to organized “schooling”…even though lots of informal learning takes place!! It can be hard to determine whether trying to manage the home AND homeschool (and the double stress of that) is better than just home managing and not worrying about all the details involved with homeschooling…because there ARE a lot of details…so while I homeschool my boys, and my hubby and I are committed to doing so, I DO understand the stress that many women DON’T want to take on…not because they are being selfish or lazy, but because they question their ability to do it all sufficiently…

    • Ruth says:

      For your reason, Laura…we send our son to a parent-run Reformed school. The parents make the decisions and everything is very transparent and you can ask questions anytime or have input(we go by the home-church-school model, where all students attend the same denominational church). For this I am VERY thankful as my pregnancies are me being sick for 9 months + iron deficiency – I think I would be neglecting my kids being in front of the porcelain bowl too long.
      We strive to do our best in the nurturing/discipling/teaching department when he is home. I ask him often if he is enjoying school and there is no doubt he does and we make home the most comfortable learning environment we can. So…I thought maybe you, Kelly, could chime in a bit more about parent-run schools. Are these worth it to you? Or is anything besides homeschooling not good enough according to God?

      • Word Warrior says:

        Ruth,

        Your last sentence made me chuckle, though I’m not sure that was intended 😉 I am not morally or biblically opposed to parent-run schools (especially reformed ones 😉

        I certainly believe parents are responsible for what their child learns, how, where and from whom. This is a great alternative for many.

        We’ve participated in co-op classes, which are the same thing on a smaller scale.

        My personal concern would be/is the peer-dependency issue. I’ve see it become a battle quickly when children develop this dependency (though not all do), and that would be my biggest caveat.

        • Ruth says:

          Yes, Kelly, I hear you on the peer dependency issue. Currently our son is in Grade 1 and doesn’t care about his peers yet! As in, what they think (although, maybe more than I know). We are aware of this issue and intend on talking about it and teaching our kids that we always have to compare our standard to Jesus…not our friends…as hard as that might be. We’ll see how things go! I find, in comparison to when we were in school the teachers are also more aware of these issues, also such as bullying and bus issues. They seem to do more grade-integrated activities as well (buddy system too).
          I have seen a lot of well-rounded independent thinking kids come out of Reformed education so that gives me hope 🙂 I think you are mostly talking about the public school system…yeah…I wouldn’t consider sending my kids there ever! Thank you for all your insights on what home should be 😉

    • Laura says:

      or they are so steeped in the idea of “school” they don’t know and can’t imagine any other way of doing things…and if they don’t know any homeschoolers, they don’t know what to aim for except trying to recreate the school effect at home…

      • Word Warrior says:

        Laura,

        Yes, that is another really great point. There are so many schools of thought on how to “do school” and I certainly think there is a harmful limitation on children when our scope is narrowly focused on the classroom model without consideration of, what is now being discovered, as many wonderful options for how children learn. (JT Gatto has been a leading authority on this and I’m thankful for him.)

  5. Ponder Woman says:

    Like the rest of this series, I love this post and agree completely with what you are saying. Over the years this is the same conclusion I’ve come to about education.

  6. shannon says:

    I am loving your series. There has been a push as of late in my state for state-funded preschool. Ugh. I read that and my heart hurts. I can’t imagine sending a five year old to FULL DAY kindergarten, let alone a preschooler.

    • Word Warrior says:

      I agree with you Shannon. The state wants more and more of our children and parents, unfortunately, are willing to give it.

    • Ponder Woman says:

      In my Canadian province they are rolling out all day junior kindergarten (four years old, in most cases). I admit to not paying an awful lot of attention to this right now so I’m not sure if it’s mandatory for parents who intend to public school to enroll at that time or if it’s just another ‘free’ daycare option.

      • Ruth says:

        Independent schools still have a choice. Our son went to part-time KG, which I liked and it was absolutely enough for him. I’m pretty sure it is mandatory in public schools, probably depending on the province. Now the push will be for pre-school. Sadly. 🙁

  7. Ginger says:

    I feel so incredibly blessed to have the freedom to homeschool. I can’t imagine a different education for my children and as stressful as it can be at times, I’m so thankful that I am so involved in their education. I know their strengths and weaknesses so much more intimately as a result, and so much better than any teacher could.
    And after experiencing public and private school myself, I’m grateful for the second chance at a quality education for ME!

  8. Carolina says:

    My husband works tu-sat and is off on sundays and mondays. if my children went to school, we would only have 1 day for the family.
    my mom and my nephew are visiting from spain in april-may. no problem in findind time to spend with them. no problem in flying to spain to see my family in the middle of the winter if i want to. and etc…

  9. […] Part 5: The Center of Educaton […]

  10. Kirsten Heath says:

    May God bless you for having the wisdom, the courage, and the appropriate words to eloquently, concisely, and accurately say such things. Again, my heart aches and breaks for mamas who have been led astray by society and culture, and encouraged by the church, even, to not make their homes and families their priorities. They miss such joy, such opportunities, that can never be re-gained once lost. It breaks my heart, but I don’t have the forum nor the words to share this, and you do, and you’re willing to!! Bless God and GOOD FOR YOU!! Keep up saying what needs said!

  11. Kirsten Heath says:

    on another note….some families feel that mama being home would be a huge sacrifice, a struggle, that they’ll be “tied down”……yet the truth is that it’s freeing! you’re free to explore your community, your family, your history, the science museum, to flex with your husband’s non-traditional work schedule, it’s a grand adventure!!!!

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