Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Homeschooling: America's Hope for the Future

I do not believe that I am overstating my case when I tell you that the homeschooling movement has the power to change some troubling trends in our society.
Homeschooling is growing and it is no accident. I see a God who is so troubled by what he sees happening in American society that he knows a radical, fundamental change is needed in the fabric of our institutions and in our families. Homeschooling will provide the impetus that is needed to cause true, spiritual change that is needed in America today.

One troubling trend in our society is the disintegration of the family. If you think that I am only talking about divorce and out-of-wedlock births, you are wrong. The truth is that even our "intact" families are often comprised of selfish parents with misplaced values and a improper emphasis on material gain. The material gain I speak of is sometimes subtle.

Recent surveys of Christian parents showed that the majority are far more concerned with their children's academic achievements than with their spiritual development. Certainly, striving for academic excellence is not a frivolous worldly pursuit yet we must ask ourselves where we place worldly knowledge in our value system. Parents continually search for self-fulfillment at the expense of their children and the children are bitter, disrespectful and ungrateful. All parties have excuses of why their bad behavior is OK.

The media and government programs reinforce stereotypes to further break families apart. Teens are expected to be surly, parents presumed to be prudish and babies are just demanding, crying sponges of neediness that are no fun at all to be around. Housework is endless tedium with no redeeming features and marriage is merely an annoying inconvenience and unnecessary relic from the past. Any attempt to protect your children is viewed as "stifling" them and akin to child abuse. Teaching them religious values is viewed as cult-like indoctrination.

We can not go on like this! Homeschoolers dare to buck these trends. By acknowledging the importance of family and how much we actually enjoy our children we are setting a much-needed example for other families. As people appreciate the tremendous financial and personal sacrifices made to homeschool, they may start to question their own dependence on two incomes. Children are held to high expectations and they look to their parents for protection and guidance in many homeschooling families. Housework is a treasured skill to be passed down to our children and providing a sound spiritual foundation is setting them on the right path for life. Babies are viewed as a gift from God and perfect in the way that they are made and marriages are viewed as the foundation for a godly family.

What I am describing of course is an average homeschooling family and although every homeschooling family will not fit the exact picture I describe, the numbers are high enough and growing quickly enough to make a difference. The key is that Americans will see that there is another way for those who dare to follow a different path.

Next up: How the growth of homeschooling will change America's beleaguered educational system.

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