February 22, 2008 by Stacy McDonald

This Little Light of Mine…

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“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
I’m starting a new discussion that was sparked from the post, Another Reason to Homeschool. I’d like to hear your thoughts on whether or not we should send our children into the public school system to be “little lights” in the midst of school shootings, drugs, rampant promiscuity, and sexual deviancy.

Will our children be indoctrinated by a godless government school system or will they rise up as little evangelists, bringing others to Christ? And if some do rise up – if by some miracle some endure 8-10 hours a day of temptation, deception, and peer pressure; if some are able to somehow avoid most of the godless, anti-Christian propaganda they are being forced to learn and memorize—what about the rest – the ones who weren’t strong enough?

Will their parents be held accountable before God for failing to carry out Deuteronomy 6:7 and losing the hearts of their children? The following is a portion of a conversation that was started in the comments section of the post above:

Kristie Said, “I believe we are fulfilling [1 Timothy 4:12] IF we have to send our children to public or private schools where they can be an example of Christ to the unsaved.”

Dear Kristie,
Paul’s charge to Timothy has nothing to do with parents sending their little children to be trained and taught by the heathen all day long (violating Deut. 6:7) – to make intimate friendships and have their character and habits molded by ungodly friends and teachers (Proverbs 13:20, 1 Cor. 5:6, 1 Cor. 15:33). And yes, I realize there are some Christian teachers left in the public school system, but their hands are tied when it comes to teaching from a Christian worldview. Those who violate the rules don’t last long.

Furthermore, Timothy was an adult – though a young one. He had been ordained to preach and teach the Gospel – he wasn’t going out under the tutelage (and intimate friendship) of Pagans to be a “light.” Paul instructed him to be an example of godliness – rather than act like the typical foolish youth – so that people would listen to him – he would be recognized for wisdom and good works – though young.

Kristie Said, “I too have seen many good things come out of public school. We, as Christians, are given the Great Commandment to go into the world and preach the Gospel …There are many parents who believe that their children can be a testimony at school…”

When we send our children to the public schools, we are giving teachers and school administrators temporary authority over them. (Remember, “A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. Matthew 10:24.) Non-Christians, with a completely unbiblical (if not anti-biblical) worldview, are allowed to teach our young children all day long. They are indoctrinating our precious ones and conditioning them for a very evil agenda.

Is it any wonder our country is in the state it is? Is it any wonder that teachers are reading abominable books to Kindergarten students like, Heather has Two Mommies and Daddy’s Roommate? Is it any wonder that school nurses are handing out condoms and counseling for abortion – all without parental permission or knowledge? Is it any wonder that 11-year-olds are being given birth control in school? Should we be shocked when Britain is teaching explicit sexual practices to 12-year-olds? Should we weep when a 3rd grade boy has decided he wants to be a girl – and the school happily accommodates him? And what should we do when we discover the secret activities of sexual deviants who have been teaching our children and winning awards in our schools.

And more…

Public School Children Indoctrinated to Accept homosexual lifestyle:
“COLUMBIA, South Carolina, Feb. 7 /Christian Newswire/ — California Governor Schwarzenegger signed legislation mandating that public school children be indoctrinated to accept as normal the homosexual lifestyle and other forms of sexual deviancy.

School Officials require 14-year-olds to attend a Secret Discussion on Homosexuality:
In what CWA called a “shocking and brazen act of government abuse of parental rights,” the school’s officials required the 14-year-olds to attend a “Gay Straight Alliance Network” panel discussion led by “gay” and “lesbian” upperclassmen during a “freshman advisory” class which “secretively featured inappropriate discussions of a sexual nature in promotion of high-risk homosexual behaviors.”

“Mom” and “Dad” Banned from California Schools:
“Only months after a new state law effectively banned “mom” and “dad” from California schools, 600,000 students soon could be following them out the door because of what has been described as the “repudiation” of 2,000 years of Christian morality, according to leaders of a new campaign assembling education alternatives.

The campaign is called California Exodus and is being headed by Ron Gleason, pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in Yorba Linda, who said while the country excels in social, economic, scientific and political accomplishments, it ‘gets low grades on the education of its children.’”

Teacher Makes Fun of Christian Students in Class:
“Corbett causes students who hold religious beliefs to feel like second-class citizens because of their protected religious expression, beliefs and conduct. He has gone as far as stating, ‘When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can’t see the truth,’” the law firm said.”Will your children believe in Jesus when they graduate from high school?
94% of homeschoolers keep the faith and 93% continue to attend church after the high school years. But a shocking 75% to 85% of Christian children sent to public school drop out of church, and do not hold a Christian worldview after high school graduation.

However, as disturbing as these public school horror stories are, they cannot be the only reason we homeschool! If all you’re after are “smarter children,” “safe children,” or “moral children,” you’re setting yourself (and your family) up for disaster.

Homeschooling will not:

  • Shield your child from sin (The sin is in his own heart Jer. 17:9).
  • Guarantee an obedient child (We are called to train him up in the way he should go – not just shelter him (Proverbs 22:6).
  • Produce instant results (As satisfying as it is, homeschooling is hard work (Gal. 6:9-10).
  • Guarantee that your child will be a genius (God has made each child different; don’t place upon him your own prideful expectations). Besides wisdom is better than worldly knowledge (1 Cor. 1:20).
Remember that homeschooling is a way of life. It takes a commitment to train up your own children for the glory of God. It takes a willingness to rely on God’s grace and strength to perservere.“Today an estimated 1.6–2.0 million children are being taught at home by their parents.” Brian Ray, Worldwide Guide to Homeschooling, Broadman & Holman, 2002, p.7

If you are ready to consider homeschooling, here are a few resources and book recommendations to get you started:

How to Start Homeschooling in 8 Easy Steps
Theology Matters: Homeschooling the Distance
Beginning Homeschooling
Homeschool StatisticsHomeschool Fact Sheet
Research Facts on Homeschooling
Homeschool Legal Defense Association
Let My Children Go by Steven Yates
A Cozy Homeschool

Here are a few books to get you started:

Home-Based Education: The Informed Choice (Video Presentation) by Dr. Brian Ray
Homeschooling Today® magazine
When You Rise Up: A Covenantal Approach to Homeschooling (my favorite!) by R.C. Sproul Jr.
Home Schooling: The Right Choice by Christopher Klicka
The Harsh Truth About Public Schools by Bruce N. Shortt
Homeschooling for Eternity by Skeet Savage
Teaching the Trivium by Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn
The Homeschooling Father by Michael P. Farris
Homeschooling with a Meek and Quiet Spirit by Teri Maxwell
Three R’s Series by Ruth Beechick
Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
The Spiritual Power of a Mother: Encouragement for the Home Schooling Mom by Michael P. Farris
The Heart of Homeschooling: Teaching and Living What Really Matters by Christopher Klicka
The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook by Dr. Raymond and Dorothy Moore
The Little Book of Big Reasons to Homeschool (and Bible Study) by David and Kim d’Escoto
The Way Home (and All the Way Home) By Mary Pride
Upgrade by Kevin Swanson
Family Driven Faith by Voddie Baucham


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79 Responses to “This Little Light of Mine…”

  1. Jennifer says:

    What do you think of private Christian schools?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great article. I would add the book Upgrade, by Kevin Swanson as a must read on homeschooling, to that reading list :)

    evy

  3. Martha A. says:

    I agree, I know there are public schools that children go to and they turn out good, there are excellent christian private schools, but even those are few and far between, if you can afford them!
    Most of the ones i have seen would bankrupt anyone with more than a few children!

    Anyhow, I have a harder time letting my children be raised by someone else so I can do what?

  4. KeepItSimple says:

    Hi Stacy…

    Something you didn’t mention (or if you did I missed it) was the seemingly subtle dissolution of the family unit when kids go to public school in the name of ‘normalcy’. When our two older children were younger, we did not homeschool. Before our oldest daughter started school, she and her brother were best friends. They even called each other ‘Sister’ and ‘Brother’. When she started school, she slowly, slowly drew away from him. I didn’t really see it at the time…it was so very incredibly subtle. By the time he started school, two years later, she informed him that he could NOT call her ‘Sister’ at school and she would NOT call him ‘Brother’. Her friends made fun of her for this practice. Before I knew it, they did not like each other very much.

    We became Christians when the older kids were in 2nd and 5th grade. We weren’t convicted to home school until they were going into 5th and 8th grade, but by then the damage was done.

    This is just another example of the glory of home schooling. Our younger children are now in 2nd and 4th grade, and thankfully, they are still each other’s best friends. (This also is an older sister/younger brother situation.) Our oldest daughter sees the closeness, and remembers what she once had with her younger brother, and is saddened by the pressures that took part in placing the wedge between her and her brother.

    Blessings -
    Camille

  5. Michelle says:

    Let me just say that I live in both worlds here. My two oldest (14 & 16) attend government high school. I also homeschool my 5yo & 7yo (we also have a 7month old baby).

    I can’t even begin to describe what a detriment government school has been on my children. In my situation my hands are tied with the older two because of a divorce 12 years ago. I homeschooled my 14yo for two years of jr high and then her father told her she had to go back to public school. She suffered from panic attacks the first week and missed 3 days. On the second day she sobbed and got on her knees and literally begged me not to make her go. She had to adjust to crude language, suggestive inuendo among other things. She literally came to me several time asking me what certain things meant. Not good things, mind you. She does excellent grade wise, but I’ve lost her heart some this year and that is hard. She has become peer dependent whereas a year ago she was not.

    My son has never homeschooled per his father’s request. He is very much consumed by the culture. He is not a wild child by any sense of the word, but I know I do not have his heart and I’m not certain he has Christ either. This has broken my heart.

    I understand my homeschooled daughters are young still, but I know I completely have their hearts. If they were in the government school system I know they too, would follow the crowd and crumble to peer pressure. It is very hard as it is to keep the worldliness at bay that my older two bring in just because they’re in the system (not because they are doing it intentionally).

    This is subject near and dear to my heart as I live it out on a daily basis & what can I do? I pray for them and trust God for His Providence to be worked out in their lives.

    My hands are tied where the older two are concerned, but I can tell you this: There is no circumstance under the sun where I would ever allow my little girls into that system. It cares nothing for their souls. I want to protect them and keep them pure and I’ve searched the Scripture over and no where does it show an example of children being sacrificed like that just to be an example to others.

    Sorry for the long post Stacey. Great subject though!

  6. Christian Homekeeper says:

    Stacy, thank you SO much for posting this. We have been in prayer for a while over whether or not to homeschool our daughter, who turned 4 recently. If we do not homeschool her, our other option was putting her in a private or a Christian school. I’ve already started doing a sort of preschool homeschool with her and it seems to be going well.

    Seeing you with many children and having homeschooled them gives me hope that I can do it with my daughter and children to come.

    I’m assured God will direct us in what we should choose next year, as we continue to seek his will.

    Thanks again for a wonderful post!

    Bev

  7. Moma Ant' says:

    Great article. I only have one thing to add Stacy and that is…when you join the military they don’t just hand you a gun and send you out to Iraq. No, you go for months of training on how to use that gun, what to do in case you are caught as a POW, gas mask training, how to instantly obey your authorities without question, comradery with your other soldiers so that you trust your very life with them, and then onto specialized training so that you will be a spoke on the well oiled machine so that no one will lose their freedom.

    Nope, I don’t buy that “light into the darkness” comment for anyone who hasn’t been trained to fight the war.

    I am linking to this today! I love it!

  8. kristie says:

    I’m going to address some few statements.

    ““little lights” in the midst of school shootings, drugs, rampant promiscuity, and sexual deviancy” – didn’t Christ GO to the prostitutes and the sinners? Aren’t those the people we need to be reaching? Who are we to say we’re better than all the sinners and shouldn’t go near them without a 10 foot pole?

    “They are indoctrinating our precious ones and conditioning them for a very evil agenda…and if some do rise up – if by some miracle some endure 8-10 hours a day of temptation, deception, and peer pressure; if some are able to somehow avoid most of the godless, anti-Christian propaganda they are being forced to learn and memorize” – again, this is complete judgement. You do not know every school system and every teacher. Here in VA, we have a congressman, Randy Forbes, hard at working bringing the right for prayer and religion back into school while he also just presented a bill for a national religious history week. I went to a public school where my creative writing about Christ was encouragement and given awards! This very appreciation for the talent Christ gave me was inspired through public school and has led to my full time career with a Christian organization. I knew right from wrong and I knew how to judge what I was taught. And temptation is not a sin, it is an opportunity to stand up and glorify God through obedience. I am thankful for the opportunities that I was given to say no rather than be isolated and not know what’s going on in the world and how to reach my peers.

    All I’m saying is that you cannot diminish the work that God IS doing through Christian teens at public school. Obviously, not everyone can homeschool and we shouldn’t make them feel guilty for not being able to.

  9. Kelly says:

    Stacy,

    Great post! I have had the “advantage” of experiencing all three types of education. My oldest sons are graduates of government school, my third son graduated from a private Christian school where my 16 dd now attends (although we are praying about bringing her home) and I homeschool my two younger sons and am committed to educating them the whole way through unless the Lord shows us differently.

    My husband and I deeply regret our older boys years in the government school system. It is one thing we would go back and change if we could. It doesn’t seem possible to truly disciple your children and have them under the influence of godless instruction during their most formative years.

    Another book I can highly recommend is “Family Driven Faith” by Voddie Baucham.

  10. Sisterlisa says:

    I’m right there with you! I grew up in the public school and am SO thankful my kids have NEVER attended one. They were in private Christian school for ten years and even there I saw my kids learning unbiblical philosophies from the other students. I brought them home one year ago and will NEVER send them to a school again, Public, or ‘Christian’.

  11. Sisterlisa says:

    Jennifer, My kids were in a private Christian school, known as one of the best in our state, I brought my kids home. Never looking back.

  12. Sisterlisa says:

    Kristie, I think you’ll find a good example of what Stacey is saying in her entry here:
    http://yoursacredcalling.blogspot.com/2008/02/protecting-our-daughters.html

  13. kristie says:

    mama ‘ant “Nope, I don’t buy that “light into the darkness” comment for anyone who hasn’t been trained to fight the war. ”

    Does “Onward Christian Soldiers” come to mind? :) As a child, I was trained to march on in victory in Christ and I knew the battle with the world that lay ahead of me. Again, I leave everyone opinions to themselves and I’m not arguing whether homeschool is right or wrong for Christians. Please hear me out – I am simply saying that some are called to homeschool and some are called to public or private school. Who are we to judge the actions by others that they take after much prayer and time spend in the Word? If God is leading you to homeschool, great! But if God is leading you to public or private school, then there is a reason and He will be glorified.

  14. Stacy McDonald says:

    Jennifer,

    I have seen some small Christian schools where the moms and dads helped teach the classes and were invovled on a daily basis. The teachers all went to the same church with the parents and it was almost more of a coop of Christian learning, than it was a formal “Christian school.” I certainly like that set up much better than the public school, but I still wouldn’t want it for my children.

    As good as some Christian schools may be, you still have the issue of peer dependencies (I want my children to be best friends with their own siblings – that’s what typically happens in homeschool). I also want to be the one to influence, train, and shape them. If a teacher (even a good one) is the person teaching my child all day – he/she is the one doing most of the influencing (as well as the peers).

    Also, some of our older children were in a private school for a bit and we were shocked to hear some of the stories they came home with (this was elementary school age) of what some other students told them about. Come to find out, the school was enrolling a lot of troubled children who had been kicked out of public school.

    No thank you; I like having my little ones safely in my home being loved, nurtured, trained, and discipled until they are strong, bright lights, ready for that (spiritual) battle to come. Right now they’re in the McDonald family boot camp. :-)

  15. Stacy McDonald says:

    Hi Michelle,

    That must be such a struggle. I am so sorry. I will be praying for you and your children. I can’t imagine how frustrating that must be.

  16. Stacy McDonald says:

    “didn’t Christ GO to the prostitutes and the sinners? Aren’t those the people we need to be reaching? Who are we to say we’re better than all the sinners and shouldn’t go near them without a 10 foot pole?”

    Kristie,

    Once again, you seem to be missing the point completely. Where does Scripture tell us to give our children to the heathen to be trained and taught (and then expect them to be “evangelists” while they’re at it)? If you send someone to a teacher, you expect them to learn what the teacher knows and believes.

    Did Christ go out into ministry as a child? Jesus was never sent to the heathen to be taught and trained. He went to the temple. We’re taught from Scripture to train up our children in the ways of the Lord night and day. How can we do that if we have sent them to the heathen to be trained?

  17. Step says:

    Stacy,
    This is my first time posting and may I say that I’ve been enjoying your blog for several months now. I recently read your new book, “Passionate Housewives…”, and it’s so refreshing to find like-minded, Christian women.

    As to the topic in this post, it’s a tough one for me because I dearly want to homeschool my 3 children, ages 10, 8, and 6, but for many reasons (I’ll touch on the major ones), I do not and they go to public school. However, I agree completely with what you wrote.

    First, my husband is not on board with homeschooling and I’m sure that this has a lot to do with the fact that his parents are opposed to it. They sent 4 children successfully through public school and all 4 are still good, Christian people who are now raising up their own families — no drugs, no sexual deviancy, church-going, etc. I guess you could call this one of the success stories, so in my in-law’s eyes, there is no reason to homeschool.

    To go along with that, if we were to homeschool, we’d get zero support from our families. In fact, it would probably damage our relationship with them greatly. My husband, in particular, is not ready to do that as he/we enjoy a close bond with his parents and siblings. So, I submit to my husband on this issue and as our children work their way through school, we revisit the topic of homeschooling often.

    So, do I think that children can go to public school and be “beacons” to other children? Yes, there is always that potential, but the challenges are great. It takes a strong child to stand up to the pressures of today’s public schools. It takes involved parents who make it their business to know what goes on in that school daily, to dialog with their child on what was learned and then re-teach and present the Biblical persepctive, if necessary. I work/volunteer at my children’s school nearly every day. This is my way of being aware of the school environment and keeping tabs on my children and their influences. It’s the best I can do, since I cannot homeschool.

  18. Diane says:

    Dear Stacy,

    Every time something morally offensive happens in our local school system, I think, “Now, Christian families will remove their children.” But they never do. Just last week, the local high school’s student-run newspaper published an entire issue about sex. Even the school’s principal was offended by the content, but his hands were tied. The students claimed “First Amendment” rights (a complete misunderstanding of the First Amendment, I might add).

    I believe that the longer Christian families remain in the darkness of public education, the less dark the darkness appears to be. They are no longer offended by the things that offend God.

    Diane H.

  19. Stacy McDonald says:

    “I am thankful for the opportunities that I was given to say no rather than be isolated and not know what’s going on in the world and how to reach my peers.”

    Kristie, are you under the impression that our children are isolated and don’t know what’s going on in the world – or that they aren’t equipped to be a witness for Christ?

    LOL! That couldn’t be further from the truth. They know what’s going on – but they are taught to examine and evaluate it from a Christian worldview. If they learned about “what’s going on” from the heathen, they would have a very different perspective.

    Also, they are able to be a more powerful witness because they DON’T resemble the world. They don’t go with the flow, and they aren’t so polluted by our modern culture that you can’t tell the difference.

  20. kristie says:

    Stacey, again, please don’t judge everyone based upon YOUR schooling experience. “Also, they are able to be a more powerful witness because they DON’T resemble the world. They don’t go with the flow, and they aren’t so polluted by our modern culture that you can’t tell the difference.” – Not all Christians who go to public school resemble the world, they don’t all go with the flow, and they aren’t all polluted. I’m done making my point that there ARE Christian teens in public school who are SET APART and who are making an DIFFERENCE and who are bringing their unsaved friends to Christ.

  21. Bonnie says:

    Stacy, this is a wonderful discussion. I believe it is a matter of world-view or philosophy as to how our children are raised and trained. A proactive view will see what the Word says and then obey, no matter how bad or good the local schools are, or how many good Christian teachers are there. A reactive view (something bad is going on, so I need to take action) can change with the circumstances, and the constant turmoil and confusion is not good for children.

    One philosophical point is that when we place our children under another’s authority, we are tacitly approving that person, whether we verbalize it or not. Our children assume, even if subconsciously, that we are agreeing with the philosophy espoused by the teacher or the system or the curriculum.

    Then when we argue or contradict the school authority figure at home, the inconsistency causing emotional and spiritual confusion for our children. They either resent us and withdraw from us, or they become resistent and rebellious against authority in general — it must be okay to sass a policeman, run a redlight, etc., because my parents, etc., because my parents say I can’t trust or respect my school authorities.

    Homeschooling is a natural, positive extension of obedience to the Word as a family, regardless of what the culture around us is doing. Life will express itself, and Life in the Word expresses itself in our outlook and actions 24 hours a day.

    As a 60 year old mother whose children are long grown and whose 22 grandchildren range from 19 years to 8 months, I urge you to be sure your “leadings” are based solely on the Scripture — God does not contradict Himself. You will not, you will not regret taking the narrow way. God bless you, ladies, in these difficult decisions.

  22. Re4mdmom says:

    I was raised in a Christian home. I went to public school. I had my struggles and I’ll readily admit that if I wasn’t in the environment in the first place, I probably would not have been exposed to have of what I encountered (although some happened with my Christian peers).

    With that said, I would like to add that one of my dearest friends credits his coming to Christ through the relationships he formed with our core group of friends at my high school. Our Christian club on campus was huge and very strong. Fortunately, my high school was all about “tolerance” and that worked in our favor. My closest friends today, 13 years later, are all the Christian friends I made at my high school.

    Can you get all those things without going to public school? Absolutely. Is it worth the risk? I don’t think so. Our children are children. They can be lights when they’re older.

    On another note, I believe that Deut. 6:7 is talking specifically about teaching God’s commands to our children at all times… not about teaching them math and French. It isn’t a command to homeschool. Could I be wrong about that?

  23. Jennifer says:

    “If they were in the government school system I know they too, would follow the crowd and crumble to peer pressure.”

    I wonder why your children would be inclined to do so, especially since your daughter hated it so much at first.

  24. Jennifer says:

    One more thing to add, Kristie: I find it surprising that anyone would consider little children as minnie evangelists or what have you, sent out into public school to preach the Word. They’re not! They’re sent out there to get an education. That’s why you have to be aware of what they’re being taught before you send them out.

  25. Jennifer says:

    Hi, Stacy. I understand your point about private school and I actually thought a lot about it and concluded that it probably wouldn’t be best for my kids. For one thing, I know that private schools aren’t perfect and if my children happened to come across troubled children, the influence of such children in the midst of a friendly environement could be spiritually confusing. I hope this doesn’t sound hypocritical, but I actually think it might be worse for children (being so impressionable) to see people struggling in a Christian environment than it would be to see them struggling in a secular environment. Children can understand from a small age that non-Christians struggle in unGodly things, but the fact that professed Christians struggle, sometimes in hypocrisy, is a lesson harder to understand at a young age and to witness firsthand.

    Besides this is the fact that, as you said Stacy, some public schools are like a Christian coop. Not only might the mold of such a school be too tight (for my taste) but it may very well be that the teachers of such a school have vastly different Biblical interpretations and beliefs than I do! What a headache that would be; the last thing I need would be my children coming home and letting me know that some older Christian contradicted what I taught them. I’d personally find it a lot easier to explain to my children the errors of secularism, than to try and untangle the various faulty Scriptural interpretations and twisted doctrine that some people espouse.

  26. kristie says:

    Jennifer – I am in no way saying children are to be mini evangelists. I simply said that our children can be testimonies of Christ’s love other children. My neice attends public school and she called me a few months ago and asked me to pray for this boy at school who picks on kids. She said, “Kristie, he’s mean but I just want him to know that Christ loves him. Can you pray that he’ll get saved?” How awesome is the faith of a child?! You say that “They’re sent out there to get an education.” rather than to be a testimony but I disagree. We are ALL called to be a testimony where ever we are. Do we drop our Christianity when we’re at the mall because we’re there to shop? Do we drop our Christianity if we go to college because we’re there to study? Do we drop our Christianity when we go to the doctor because we’re there to be checked for health? By no means! Every child of God, no matter their age, is to be an example of Christ at all times and everywhere.

    I get that homeschooling is for you. But for some people, they have see children saved through relationships at public school, they have seen children strengthened in their walk with God and we are not to be judged for the call that God has placed on their lives. I DO NOT think that children need to be sent out to preach the world (I’ve seen those 4 or 5 year old preachers and wonder how their parents can allow them that responsibility at such a young age)BUT I do think that if give our children sound Biblical teaching throughout the week and can trust that God will use them in public schooling, then He will.

  27. Anonymous says:

    “please don’t judge everyone based upon YOUR schooling experience.”

    Hey Kristie-

    Isn’t that exactly what you’re doing? Saying that public school is fine because of your experience there? (By the way things are changing quickly, and though you’re very young, things have gotten even worse, even since you were in elementary school). Did you read Stacy’s whole post – and all the links she provided?

    One more thing, maybe it’s because you went to public school that you can’t really see what these gals are talking about. Maybe you absorbed some of the philosophies? Just something to consider. I could be wrong. But sometimes when we’re around things too long we get used to them, so it seems like no big deal.

  28. Ashley S. says:

    Camille, one of the hardest things about my younger brothers entering the public school system is that ‘drift’!!!

    I was the only one homeschooled all 12yrs. My brothers are 4,8 & 10yrs younger and I have always loved them passionately. When I was invited to a church gathering for college students, I would always take my 4y younger brother. When he went to highschool get togethers, he invited me. Then, all that changed. Suddenly he didn’t want me around anymore… and it was a shock to me.

    My two younger brothers and I then became even closer. I took them to church, when I started seeing my husband we “dated” by taking them to the fair, to movies, bowling, to the zoo. It was a huge sacrifice for me BUT I love them! Once we married, they would come over and I would cook any desert they wanted and we would watch movies and often they would stay over and eat breakfast before heading home…

    2.5 years after I got married, my mom decided to enroll them in a local highschool at 14 & 16. The drift was almost instant. They started becoming too cool – all they would talk about is new school friends and who was breaking up or seeing who. They don’t introduce me to friends that drop by and at this point they bash homeschoolers at the dinner table. I just look down at my food and wonder if they realize that I’m among the people they are belittling.

    It just breaks me heart, and it makes me feel old and outdated to be around them …. I have tried so hard to communicate with them, and ask questions and all kinds of things but I can’t seem to strike up a conversation any more.

    So I feel your pain.

    step: My sister-in-law is a PS teacher and my in-laws do feel that they turned out four perfectly good children in the PS system. So I can relate! The only difference is my dh has always tended to back up when he felt pushed into anything – which I think helped him survive the system… He also has felt like he was stuck ‘inside the box’ and now that he’s on the outside he’s not going back for anyone!

    re4mdmom: My brother-in-law married a wonderful girl who was saved because she met some Christians in highschool. I think it is one thing to have a homeschooled teen who wants to enter the public school to be a missionary. I think it’s another to send my 5-6yo away to sit at someone else’s feet for story time when I don’t know what they are reading.

    If schools taught grammer & math a few hours a day I don’t see a single reason why I would have a problem with them. But they don’t! They teach science with evolution, english with questionable reading assignments, and keep children for waaaay too long.

    I remember a converstation with my dh years ago. He said he spent so much time standing in lines, moving from one room to another, etc, that he thought he could have done his studies in 3-4 hours. I stared at him, then told him that’s how much time I spent a day my junior and senior years homeschooling!

    He looked at me a bit frusterated and just said he’d always known it. He went to EXCELLENT schools, he was still held behind in math on a consistant basis (his 5&6yr older sisters taught him their math before he even started school) and he would get in trouble for helping and teaching other students in class. He will tell you he learned what each teacher wanted and simply learned the system.

    Schools keep children for way too long, and they are passing laws that says the children do not have to tell their parents what is going on. My husband was opted out of Greek Mythology, but there is a lot his parents don’t know about. A lot. Things that I learned after I made a simple gesture or said a phrase in innocence that remind him of other things he’s overheard….

    My husband had a lot of fun at school and came out of it without making many common mistakes. But there is no way he’s putting his children into the system!

  29. kristie says:

    anonymous – i have made it totally clear by my comments that i am not judging homeschoolers. Many family members homeschool. Please read back over my comments – included below

    “Again, I leave everyone opinions to themselves and I’m not arguing whether homeschool is right or wrong for Christians. Please hear me out – I am simply saying that some are called to homeschool and some are called to public or private school. Who are we to judge the actions by others that they take after much prayer and time spend in the Word? If God is leading you to homeschool, great! But if God is leading you to public or private school, then there is a reason and He will be glorified.”

  30. Stacy McDonald says:

    “I’m done making my point that there ARE Christian teens in public school who are SET APART and who are making an DIFFERENCE and who are bringing their unsaved friends to Christ.”

    I have no doubt that there are numerous Christian teens who are steadfast in their love for Jesus while in the public school – and who are witnessing to their friends. And I praise God for His faithfulness (even in the midst of our frequent unfaithfulness). But that doesn’t disprove our point. Also, you’re talking about teens now – not all children, young or older. Even still, I personally believe teen children are better schooled at home too.

    I rejoice that God is using these precious children where they are, in spite of the 8-10 hours of public school influences, but that is not proof that parents shouldn’t feel a huge weight of responsibility (and risk) in sending them to be trained by the heathen.

  31. Stacy McDonald says:

    “On another note, I believe that Deut. 6:7 is talking specifically about teaching God’s commands to our children at all times… not about teaching them math and French. It isn’t a command to homeschool. Could I be wrong about that?”

    Hi Re4md Mom,

    You are absolutely right. Deut. 6:7 is about teaching God’s commands to our children at all times. Thank you for pointing that out. It’s not a direct command to homeschool.

    However, I don’t know how anyone can teach God’s commands to their children at all times when they’re only around them a couple of hours a day. And as they get older, even less on the weekends.

    And when their children are being sent away to be trained by God-haters, how can that be reconciled with teaching God’s commands night and day?

    (And yes, I realize that some teachers are Christians; but the general teaching in goverment schools are very anti-Christian, anti-God, and anti-parental authority.)

    It’s more than taking a risk; it’s abdicating our responsiblity.

  32. Lisa says:

    “They’re sent out there to get an education. That’s why you have to be aware of what they’re being taught before you send them out.”

    Jennifer,

    Exactly! And this whole conversation has shown what is being taught in the public schools!

  33. Stacy McDonald says:

    “For one thing, I know that private schools aren’t perfect and if my children happened to come across troubled children, the influence of such children in the midst of a friendly environement could be spiritually confusing.”

    Hi Jennifer,

    We can totally agree on this! :-) It is much easier to explain to my children that the reasons Suzy and John partake in such and such (lie, swear, whatever) is because they are not Christians and people who don’t know Jesus are ruled by their flesh – by their sin nature.

    The difficult thing to explain to a child is why Mary and Joshua, who are CHRISTIANS, live a life inconsistant with their testimony.

    That was one of the difficulties we found with our Christian school experience too (both with students and teachers). So on this point, we can heartily agree! ;-)

  34. Johnny and Alisha says:

    I often hear people talking about sending their children into the public school to be “light”. I have a two year old and a 6 month old, so I’m far from school days, but we decided several years ago to home school.

    I grew up in a Christian home and I was sent to public school. I learned all about the birds and the bees in detail in 1st grade from a classmate. I was influenced and learned all kinds of naughty behavior, thoughts, dirty jokes, etc. from classmates. Things I would not have thought of on my own. Eventually my heart was with my peers rather than my parents or my God. I no longer wanted to please them, but to please my friends. By age 15 I was running around with the popular crowd, getting drunk on the weekends, using bad language, and VERY rebellious toward my parents. I slept with my then boyfriend (now husband)at age 17, and dated many other non-Christian boys. I have MANY regrets, to say the least. Praise God he brought me and my husband out of that lifestyle at age 18!

    I know that children will still sin if they are homeschooled. But, if aren’t with pagans 8-10 hours a day while they are young and still growing in their faith, I think they have a much better chance to go out and shine their light when they’re fully ready, as an adult.

    PS – Our pastor home schooled his children until Jr. High age. Two of them are college age now. They have made some terrible decisions and he has told us that he wishes he never would have put them in public school. Needless to say, his youngest will not finish her schooling in the public schools.

  35. Heather says:

    It is intereting that so many pro-public school folks are quick to point out that there are good christian teachers out there. Why are not all of these christian teachers uniting and refusing to teach evolution, s*x education, revisionist history, etc., etc, etc.?

    In the town that my husband is from, which is a very small town in Oklahoma, the percentage of teachers and school administrators that are christian is about 95. Yet while my younger b-i-l was in high school ( a few years ago) they brought someone from Tulsa to teach them how to use a c*nd*m!!

    ~Heather

  36. KeepItSimple says:

    re4medmom: You said, “On another note, I believe that Deut. 6:7 is talking specifically about teaching God’s commands to our children at all times… not about teaching them math and French. It isn’t a command to homeschool. Could I be wrong about that?”

    Here is our take on that verse as far as home schooling goes. We are to teach them diligently to our children…’them’ is the Word of God. So, when I teach Science…I am not teaching Science for science’s sake…but to show my children how mighty and wonderful and creative our Creator is. By teaching Science, I have another opportunity, in daily life, to tell my children about God and His word. When we teach Math..it’s not for math’s sake, but again it is all about teaching my children about the order of God, His precision..another opportunity to talk about His commands. Language Arts again is not about language arts, it’s about God. An excitement in teaching them to read is so that they in turn can read God’s word for themselves. So that they can partake and feast on His words. For every subject that we teach at home, we teach all through ‘God glasses’…learning is NOT about us. It’s all about bringing glory to the only one that deserves glory…our Father.

    So, you see, by man’s law and our societal view we HAVE to teach our children math, science, art, language arts, etc. etc…so if I HAVE to teach them those things I can either do it at home, where the focus will REMAIN on God because we all know where true wisdom comes from, or we can send them off to school, where God has been taken out of the equation and pray, pray, pray that our children will not be destroyed. (Proverbs 13:20).

    We also emphasize to our children that as they expand their knowledge by focusing on the Lord and learning for His sake then, and only then, will they make deposits to their wisdom bank. We also teach they need to be diligent in their studies because this is a way that God could be using to prepare them for something later in life.

    That’s just our take on Deut. 6:7.

    Blessings to you -
    Camille

  37. Rose says:

    I think we should home-school our children. I personally do not like our school system in the city in which we live.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Hello everyone,

    I have been homeschooled my entire life. I am turning twenty this year, and continuing my studies from home.

    I could argue heartily about all the reasons why public school is not the right place for Christian children, but the personal reasons are more important to me.

    For instance, I had a lot of friends that, once they were older, fell away from a Christian perspective, following along with the public school children. It saddened me, because suddenly I was not “cool” anymore, because I would not dress the same way, would not talk about the things that were “interesting”, etc. From personal experience I have seen what the public schools do to kids. It may not happen to every Christian child who goes there, but the majority fall away. That is a fact.

    Who should be willing to take that risk? IS it a risk that should be taken for Christ? I don’t think so. Sending your little one in to the public system is like sending a lamb in among wolves. Do the wolves become lambs because of that one lamb’s presence?

    My whole life, my Mom taught me. And everything we learned, whether it was Math, or Science, or History, had the underlying note that God created it, that He was in control. We could always talk about what we believed about God, what we had learned, and how it fit in with everything else. I would not have been able to do this in a public system.

    My siblings and I are certainly not “sheltered”, and we know what goes on in the world. Each one of us is sure that we would rather stay at home learning NOTHING than go to a public school and be taught lies. Our Mom and Dad have taught us sound doctrine, and we know Who God is. Does that mean we would be safe from the pressures that go on there? No. We might survive in our faith if sent to a public school (never gonna happen, by the way..), but it would be damaging, spiritually and emotionally. I couldn’t stand the thought of not seeing my siblings all through the day! I wouldn’t know my younger sisters and brothers as well as I do now. We’d be virtual strangers living under the same roof.

    I am eternally thankful to my Mom and Dad for making the commitment to teach their children themselves.

    I hope that if I have children, I can teach them from home. I couldn’t bless them a better way.

    God bless,
    Linda Billson

  39. Molly says:

    I could write volumes on this topic…maybe I will when I have time! I just wanted to comment on one idea, for now. I believe the Bible is quite clear about my responsibility to my own children.

    When people talk of sending their children into the public school to win OTHER children, I feel as if they are putting the needs of those OTHER children above the needs of their OWN children.

    Molly in GA
    http://www.counterculturalmom.blogspot.com

  40. Amity says:

    Most christian children are NOT “lights” in public schools here is my experience http://www.keepingourheartsathome.blogspot.com/2008/01/my-public-school-experience.html

    I also knew ALOT Of kids that were “christians” when I was younger and they were not witnesses in the public school..at all. I am not saying it is never possible that a child might be a witness in a public school but it is VERY rare. I would hope that nobody would want to gamble with their child!!

  41. Jennifer says:

    “Why are not all of these christian teachers uniting and refusing to teach evolution, s*x education, revisionist history, etc., etc, etc.?”

    All the ones I know don’t teach immoral topics. In my high school, only one area of evolution was taught and it was optional; our teacher told us from the start that if our parents objected, we could do an alternative assignment. As for sex education, that was only taught in classes like “Life Management” which also taught the harsh consequences of unhealthy sex, teen pregnancies, and how to spot dangerous things like breast and testacular cancer. Believe me, just because the use of condoms was mentioned doesn’t mean sex was encouraged! We had a school nurse come in and tell us in no uncertain details what happened when STDs were spread and we also had a male speaker tell us about the history of AIDS and how deadly it was. We also heard from speakers about the dangers of going to night clubs and any other parties that might feature drugs, alcohol, or untrustworthy men. Basically, our school system was realistic: they knew that some students would have sex, so they provided all the ugly truths involved in it. From the time that I was six years old in elementary school, I (and other children my age) also heard speeches about the deadly facts of drug use, straight from police officers, at least once a year.

  42. Jennifer says:

    Hi Kristie. A few points of confirmation: One, I wasn’t referring to you when I said I was surprised that some people saw children as mini evangelists; just the opposite! I was actually referring to a misunderstanding I thought some homeschooling moms had about why we public school some kids.

    Two, homeschooling isn’t for me! lol I was public schooled, and happy to be, because I went to great schools and neither my parents nor I were equipped for home teaching. Just wanted to clarify that

  43. Jennifer says:

    “And this whole conversation has shown what is being taught in the public schools!”

    I suppose that depends on which school you go to. What did you mean was being taught?

  44. Jennifer says:

    Hi Stacy. Yes indeed, we do agree on the confusing parallels that Christian private schools might offer! Our country’s education, in some areas at least, does seem to be at a crossroads right now. I was blessed enough to attend a high school with a Christian principal, but I know not every school is so blessed. I guess, if I’m living in a different town when my children are born, I’ll just have to look very carefully into what’s being taught at the local public schools. And I swear: if I find out that one of those freakish “children’s” homosexual books, “The Tale of Two Princes” or what have you is being read or endorsed at the school library, I’ll yank my kids out of that school so fast they won’t know what happened to them. I didn’t even find out about homosexuality until I was ten and I have no intention of my kids being fed that stuff. Showing Christian love to homosexuals and respecting them as human beings is one thing; embracing their lifestyle like it’s God’s ordained order is another. It’s good to know there are other options, just in case no good public schools are around. Thanks for all the resources, Stacy; you’ve given me a lot to think about.

  45. Michelle says:

    To answer your question, absolutely not. I wouldn’t touch public or private school with a 10 ft. pole! Children cannot possibly be equipped with enough of the Word and enough spiritual training when they’re steeped in socialist secularism 8 hours a day in school. There’s no way to counteract that pull and influence.

  46. kristie says:

    Jennifer – I know this is off topic but – “Showing Christian love to homosexuals and respecting them as human beings is one thing; embracing their lifestyle like it’s God’s ordained order is another. ” – I couldn’t have said it better :)

  47. kristie says:

    stacey – I agree that some Christian schools can be just as bad as some public schools when it comes to hypocrisy and open acceptance of sin. I have some friends that grew up in a private Christian school and they have told me that they cannot stand the hypocrisy of some teens in Christian schools.

  48. Anonymous says:

    First Stacy, I’ve been visiting your blog for awile now and have enjoyed it greatly. Sometimes I feel like I am all alone on some of the issues you bring up even though I attend a fundamental Baptist Church.

    I have three boys 14,7,6. My oldest was in a christian school up until 6th grade. He is now in a public school. One of the biggest mistakes we’ve made. Like Michelle said about her son, we feel like we no longer have is heart either.

    I homeschooled last year for my 7 yr. old. It went well for awile and then I completely went through an emotional breakdown because of it. I just wanted to be a joyful mother of children which I was no longer.

    Needless to say, we have all our children in public school. Alot of the teachers in our school wear clothes that are COMPLETELY inappropiate. So much so that my 7 yr. old has asked to go to a christian school. And by the way, the third grade teacher I believe is gay. The stories I hear almost daily about what the children talk about is horrifying.

    So needless to say my husband and I are going to check out a very conservative christian school in a couple of weeks. The Lord has provided an increase in my husbands pay to afford this.

    I’m sorry if this post is so long, but I’ve had this on my mind for awile now. Please pray for us.

  49. Martha A. says:

    I was going to say that in the case of the families that have no choice, but to send your children to public school, a couple of things.
    Obviously the one who’s children live elsewhere won’t work, but you can volunteer and be a part of the classroom as much as possible. I know moms who seem like they practically do go to school with their child.
    Just an idea! I am sorry!
    My husband does not care either way actually, he went to public school in Russia and hated school. Everyone went to public school as homeschooling or private school was not an option. They were riduculed and mocked for being the children of christians often. As soon as you could get out of school, they did as it was a miserable experience. Some of our friends were not able to go to college because they were Christians (over in Russia)

    this is maybe why I do not get too excited about the prayer issue in school or them refusing to talk about God, teaching bad things in school, because they are not trying to teach children to live holy and godly lives and are instead trying to indoctrinate them the other way of thinking. If i have a choice to not send them, why would I on purpose allow them to be exposed to blatent indoctrination? If we do not have a choice that is one thing, but we choose to send children who are innocent to a den of lions and say they will be a example.
    Yes, I know some children will be an example. But do I want them to experience the terrible things that happen there on purpose? In the small town I grew up in, it is like 3000 people, some of the things curled your ears! How about someone shaking someone’s hand when they had s*men on it. Drug issues, the neglect of children who were slower in reading and other issues.
    This is common even in the small towns with small schools.
    It is much harder to homeschool than send your children to school. It takes more of your time and work. It means you need to seek out and find the field trips, social times, etc, for the children. But you know, some of my best friends are people who are my mom’s age. You know why? I learned young to be best friends with my mom!

  50. kristie says:

    anon -question : “And by the way, the third grade teacher I believe is gay.” – i know that this is off topic but I have a question . Would it make a difference and change your opinion if the 3rd grade teacher struggled with alcohol or say stealing, or any of the other sins mentioned in the Bible? I feel like we place way too much judgement on individuals who deal with homosexuality as opposed to any other sin even though God doesn’t set sin levels. Yes, there are different consequences to sins, but we shouldn’t label a homosexual “worse off” than any other sinner. Just a thought.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Kristi,

    Of course homosexuality is no more of a sin than drunkeness or anything else. My point is I DO NOT want my son thinking it’s O.K. for a man to act feminine. My son is already asking very important(and mature) questions regarding the difference between men and women,thanks to the inappropriate dress of many teachers

  52. Lisa says:

    Kristi,

    By the way, I would not want a drunkard teaching my child either, especially if he/she is intoxicated while teaching. All sin is sin. Thank God for the blood of Jesus.

  53. amy says:

    I completely agree with your article. The one argument christians use with me against homeschooling is that our children should be missionaries to the public school kids. My response to that is to think of any mission field. Do we send kids there alone? NO, they are always supervised, always with a parent or other christian elder. There are reasons for this. Children need the guidance and protection at all times. They are not mature enough in faith to do it on their own, and the case is the same for being “missionaries in public schools”.

  54. Kelly says:

    Wow, lots of great comments and thoughts here ladies!

    Obviously, we all have our own opinions on this issue. Bottom line, I believe, is that as Christian parents we are all responsible and accountable for discipling our children.

    If we allow someone else to have influence (good or bad) over our children, WE are still responsible.
    Concerning the commment about taking children out of school “so fast their heads would spin” after an immoral story is read to them is, in my opinion, too late. The damage has already been done. There is no way that you can refute all the damage that is said and done throughout the day. Some your children may tell you but most you won’t hear about.

    As I said in a previous post, two of my older sons are graduates from the government school system and one of them is truly a man after God’s own heart. My husband and I are thrilled to see what a godly young man he has turned out to be. But that was in spite of his government education not because of it. Agreed that not all young people who attend government school will turn out to be godless individuals. That’s not a good enough reason, for me, to send them there.

    We each really need to be seeking the Lord and asking Him what the “best” is for our children and how He would have us use the resources and gifts He has bestowed on us to raise them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

  55. Terry says:

    I am like Michelle in that we have three older kid whom my husnabd would prefer to stay in pulic school rather than take them out halfway through their school careers (they are in middle school). We have two little ones who will most likely be homeschooled from the beginning.

    We really do take great pains to watch their friendships, limit outside commitments and stay plugged in with our kids. I am also extremely involved with the school as a volunteer. And of course, prayer is a huge part of the equation.

    I have to say that so far we haven’t seen any cause for concern or panic in their development. As for Bonnie’s comment that sending them to school is a tacit approval of everything they are being taught, I have to disagree. Our kids are fully aware that everything they hear in the classroom is not automatically true. And they often come to us when teachers make comments that conflict with what they are being taught at home. We have lots of discussion about this kind of thing.

    While I agree that home school is best and am eagerly anticipating educating our little ones at home, I think its inportant that we remember that not all Christian public school parents have abdicated their roles to the state and that many of us are doing the best we can to raise our kids according to God’s word- and that includes submitting to the authority of our husbands. I think my kids would be harmed more by being raised in a contentious home by a rebellious mother than they ever will be in a public school.

  56. Persuaded says:

    i have never been a huge critic of the public school… i generally felt that they were doing a pretty good job fulfilling the task that was set before them and although certainly not Godly, they were basically benevolent. then i had to return to work (i am a single mom) and had no alternative but to send my youngest to school. his teacher was a wonderful Christian woman, but there is only so much one person can do. i won’t bore you with all the details, but suffice to say, it was a nightmare, and i was never so glad to get a child of mine *home* again! thankfully (praise the Lord Almighty!) i am back home now myself, so we can homeschool much more easily.

    i just don’t think there is ever a good reason to put your child in the public school system if you have any other alternative. i’m sorry if that offends, but that is how i feel.

    so all that to say, i agree with you, stacy (what a surprise, eh?);-)

  57. Janet says:

    Actually, i believe the elephant in this closet is that really, in honesty, often a mom just DOES NOT WANT TO or can’t imagine herself homeschooling day in, and day out, for 18 years of her life — spending each day with one or more children, and having in reality very little time to do many of her own talents or interests for a good portion of her life. In fact, to commit to radically giving up her life for the sake of another 24 hours a day.

    Homeschooling is not easy. I’ve done it for 11 years and have 6 children. And I’ve had to deal with the above temptations, like I’m sure many do. But I’ve always realized the problem was with me –changing my attitude about what my life needed to be about. If you don’t look at your own selfishness, constantly being fed by the culture we live in, it is hard to hear God speak to you about your worldview. If you feel you aren’t “the sort of person” who could homeschool their kids, I believe that really working at inner change holds the key. There is no “personality” that is best, you simply need to possess or be working on the fruits of the spirit in a very serious way.

    I agree, it is about worldview. How important is it that your kids have a thoroughly Christian worldview? Honestly, maybe it’s not that important to you to give up your life for that. You are willing to cross your fingers and take that risk, because you believe you could not be happy and live a fulfilled life if all you did was disciple your children all day, every day.

    Though many days I doubt, I do believe I will see fruit, and in fact already see it. It is a million small ways that homeschooling has affected my kids. Our home life, though of course having problems as any humans living together do, would not look anything like it does now if my kids were away all day. It is naive to think a parent can know even half of what their kids hear all day, so how can you even respond to that which you don’t know?

    I believe that being home together every day, children learning about life, is closest to the heart of Christ, and his plan for his followers. I can’t imagine God ever speaking to anyone and saying another way was just as good. Because of an individual’s circumstance (unbelieving husband, terminal illness), living in a fallen world, He may give mercy and grace for someone to forsake homeschooling, but I can’t believe it is ever the better plan.

  58. Martha A. says:

    I would mind it more as there are sometimes other sins that go along with being gay. I would also mind someone who struggled with alcohol as well or stealing because of the example to my children. children look up to teachers and to have any of these sins, it would not be acceptable.
    Also, there are some levels of sins in the bible Rev. 21:8 lists some of them.

  59. Sheila says:

    I really appreciate your post, Stacey, and I’m enjoying the comments, too.
    I always have found it interesting the number of Christian friends I run into, from my college days, who, upon finding out that we homeschool, reply with, “We’ve considered it, but we’re really in such a good school district,” or something like that. EVERYBODY is in a “good” school district, it seems. :)
    I grew up in a staunchly Christian home where my parents truly lived out their faith, but my public school experience was awful (Jr. High on up, in the 80′s) – because of the decisions I made! It really was an easy place to make poor decisions, but I believe more because of my peers than what I was taught (I could weed out the garbage). So, even with a “good” school and “Christian” teachers, there’s all the other people! When I think back, I can only think of maybe one or two people that might have been Christians (a small school of 300 in 3 grades). Not a whole lot of salt and light going on there, apparently.

  60. Jen5972 says:

    I have not posted on here before, but wanted to comment on this. Kristie said that our children are to be examples of Christ in the public schools. First of all, kids are too young to be a light in such darkness. It is like asking someone to throw a good apple in a bunch of bad ones and expect the outcome to be good. When your child is surrounded by ungodliness, it is going to rub off. Kids are very impressionable, and they spend more than 7 hours a day 5 days a week hearing nothing but untruths. You don’t think that is going to rub off? I beg to differ, and have experiences to prove it. My husband and I worked with our church youth group in the small town we lived in. This town was very “moral”, especially compared to a big city. Many of the teachers at the schools were Christians. I can tell you that these kids did not end up being a light in their school. Even though they grew up in Bible believing homes, with Godly parents, what they learned for 7 hours a day indoctrinated them to untruths. These kids grew up in public school, and also grew up in a very strong, Bible believing church. We started learning more and more about what they really believed, and we were shocked. These kids believed that people were born gay, and that it wasn’t wrong. They believed it was okay to have sex before marriage, even though they were all taught at home and at church that it wasn’t okay. Most of the teens had already had sex. They had seen and heard so much about sex that it was commonplace to them. This was in small town America, in a more “moral” community!

    I wish I could say that they were the only example I have, but it isn’t. My brother-in-law is a pastor, so my nieces and nephew are pastor’s kids. My sister and brother-in-law are very Godly people who teach their kids about the Lord. Even though they have been taught Godly principals, they have succombed to the pressures of school. My nephew will take God’s name in vain when my sister isn’t around, and he will cuss. My sister can’t control that because he does it when she isn’t around. She can talk to him until she is blue in the face, but she can’t erase from his memory how many times he hears swearing and taking God’s name in vain every day. He is only 8. How is an 8 year old, growing up in public school and learning garbage going to be a light? Remember the phrase “garbage in garbage out”? What is put in is going to come out. A kid at my nieces school was suspended after he threatened to kill several students. The kid was 12. My niece was one of the students on his “hit list”. My niece knew all about sex before she was even 12 years old.

    I’m giving you these examples because they are what happens when Christian kids go to public schools. Putting kids in that kind of situation and expecting them to be a light is unfair. They are not adults who have the willpower to take that kind of a stand. They are still forming opinions for themselves, and learning. What they are learning at school is NOT God-honoring. They are being force fed lies 7 hours a day, 5 days a week. How is that not going to affect them negatively?

    Jen

  61. RJM says:

    Just adding in my personal experience to all this:

    I was raised by a single, non-Christian mom in Boulder, Colorado, an epicenter for eastern and flat-out anti-Christian teaching and lifestyle, and the consequences of that politically, socially and academically.

    I was in public school from kindergarten to high school graduation and had a terrible experience the entire run of my education. In grade 7, I met some friends who, by the grace and strength of God, were lights to me, and stayed so true to their faith. Once in high school, however, they both ended up home schooling. Before they left, when we were in grade 9, they invited me to a Bible study where I became a Christian and was zealous for God.

    I confidently believe that God is the One who pursues us, and that all our seeming initiation and pursuit of Him is already a response to the work He is doing in our lives and His passionate pursuit of us, so I believe that if my friends hadn’t been in school He would have found me somehow, but it might have been further down the road in darker and deeper bondage to the world.

    Because of the city we lived in, the family environment I had and my agnostic mother (who has since come to the Lord – awesome!), and the peer environment I had, I believe it pushed me to become more passionate for God and to allow Him to change me despite the influence of all the factors working against me in my life (plus, the personality He gave me to be passionate [as long as it's tempered by and surrendered to Him!] ).

    However, I know I am an exception to the rule. My heart was broken when friends I thought I could count on went the way of everyone else I knew that were not Christians.

    Of course, there are multiple dynamics at work, beyond simply the public school environment. Family dynamics can play a major role in someone’s faith. If the parents of my “Christian” friends who didn’t stand up for what they believed had been more involved in their lives, maybe they would have stayed strong. However, in my situation, my mom didn’t have a choice. She had to work and we didn’t have money to send me to a private school (I asked to go to one after I became a Christian and was flatly answered “No”. I also asked to home school on my own and she responded the same way).

    Now I am married and my husband grew up in a large Christian family but in public schools. He has always stayed strong in His faith but he had terrible experiences in school as well. We have a 19 month old daughter and we think about her education all the time.

    All spiritual factors aside (which are the most important) we both had such terrible experiences in public school that we will not send her to public school, no matter what. We also live in Memphis which has a ridiculously high poverty rate and violent crimes rate. My heart breaks for the children who come from homes where parents are drug addicted, abusive, negligent or aloof at best. I would love to have a connection in their lives to reach out to them, but my daughter spending 8+ hours in a public school environment with them is certainly not the only (or best) way to do that.

    My husband and I received some of our most severe and deepest emotional wounds from our peers in public school, as well as from teachers and the way they responded to us, our class work and other students. Of course, wounds happen anywhere and everywhere, because the enemy is against us and trying to weaken us and hinder our work in the Kingdom at every turn. But peer relationships and peer pressure grease the wheels of public school life and we in no uncertain terms want our daughter to experience the pain and hurt we did in the cut throat and senseless game of popularity.

    We want her to grow in confidence in the Lord, who He has made her to be, and the blessing, strength and assurance He has given her through our family. If half of her waking day is spent in public school, and the rest a battle for her heart, it will be working against us at every turn.

    If we have the choice to guard her heart until, through maturity, experience and example she can do so herself, we will choose to every time!

    The more I hear and read about legislation that directly affects public education curriculum and the way school staff are allowed to speak, and teach, and even the people they hire to teach because of “EOE” (which really is another avenue of Affirmative Action), the more we are confident that public school is a deadly, poisonous place for her sweet heart and soul. Nevermind the way parental authority is being circumvented and even blocked at every turn for the sake of many agendas which are rotting society to the core and trying to take it down to our little children… Not a chance!

    Peer relations and influence, and curriculum and staff structure aside – public school education is pretty lousy! Neither my husband or I felt like we were well or wholly educated and that we could have done a much better job with some guidelines and a library card! Life experience coupled with motivation for learning and interesting subjects is a much better education than droning, Godless busy work approved or disapproved by a dysfunctional grading system.

    As a last note, we personally know two students who were homeschooled until grade 9, at which point they entered public high school. Before, they were incredible boys, modest, humble, thoughtful, respectful, smart. Now they are rebellious, mouth off, disrespectful, and seem to have lost most of the knowledge they had before public school, at least their common sense, and replaced it with an unhealthy hunger for peer approval. We have both talked with great sadness about the change in these two boys.

    We know one other girl who was in public school, along with her two siblings, and after her first semester of middle school her mother pulled all of them out because they were growing increasingly more disrespectful and not going their class work, and showing less and less initiative and motivation for life and family and godliness. Now they are such incredibly bright, creative, respectful people. The girl graduated from her home schooling just before she turned 16, and her brother who was doing very poorly in school – because he was bored out of his skull! – is on the same track.

    Just our experience, we definitely won’t send our daughter to public school.

  62. Stacy McDonald says:

    “Of course homosexuality is no more of a sin than drunkeness or anything else.”

    This is not accurate. Yes, any and all sin separates us from God (without the blood of Jesus), however, there are different consequences to various sin – so some sins are more serious than others.

    Stealing a purse is not as greivous a sin as murder. One requires restitution and the other requires death. God says homoesexuality is an abomination. It perverts and pollutes the beauty and purpose of the creation of man.

  63. Jennifer says:

    I think that the comment left by this home educated young lady speaks very loud, Linda Billson. What she wrote brought tears to my eyes. Especially the part about how much she loves spending time with her siblings during the day. That is one thing I’ve noticed about my own children also. They are each other’s best friends. They have the most influence on one another. How sweet to read her comment!

  64. Jennifer says:

    “Concerning the commment about taking children out of school “so fast their heads would spin” after an immoral story is read to them is, in my opinion, too late. The damage has already been done.”

    Children are not vases, Kelly. They don’t shatter permanently after one crash and hearing a bad story doesn’t ruin them for the rest of their lives. This is what I’m talking about in regards to being vigilant; I will do the best of my ability to make sure such unBiblical crud is not taught in a school before I send my kids to it. However, if something unexpected happens and they hear anything of the sort, I will remove them and explain to them the unGodliness of it. That’s what parents have to do. They can’t, unfortunetly, prevent every unGodly thing from crossing their children’s paths, but luckily children don’t fall apart at every appearance of unGodliness.

  65. Donna L. Carlaw says:

    kristie:
    Obviously, not everyone can homeschool and we shouldn’t make them feel guilty for not being able to.>>>>>

    I am not sure how encouraging parents to home school makes others feel guilty for not home schooling.

    I have trouble with that idea.
    Most of our church friends home schooled. I love home school families. I had the privilege of teaching many of these home school kids Spanish and music.

    I also love public school kids, and have had a few of them as private music students, too.

    None of our friends made or make us feel guilty for not home schooling ourselves.

    So, I am not sure where all this supposed guilt is coming from.

    I do know that home schooling families are often made to feel like outsiders, oddities, but that is changing, too. IMO, we need to be freed from the fear of man, – the fear of what others think of us, – so that we can know the fear of God. Then, what others do will not “make us feel guilty.”

  66. Anonymous says:

    I agree that some public schools aren’t good, but thankfully in my district the public schools have been great. I have heard stories of homeschoolers who felt somewhat cheated out of their teen years because their parents had kept them isolated (not even allowing them to have friends from church friends or participate in church activites) and skipped them so far ahead grade wise that by the time they were 15 and 16 and already doing college work they felt that they couldn’t relate to anyone their own age and the fact that most of their college level classmates were 19 and 20. I know that not all homeschoolers end up in that kind of situation, but to keep their children isolated even from Christian friends was very selfish on the parents part I think. Stacy I think it’s great that you have been called to homeschool your children, but I have no idea what the lord will direct me to do when I have my first child but God is leading the way on this one.

  67. Elisa Barnett says:

    I guess I am confused as to where the heck you public schoolers went to school!

    I am a mom of five from Minnesota (living in the District of Columbia now) and was public schooled all my life. I should also mention as a disclaimer that we’re a very conservative Christian family attending an extremely conservative church here in the District. Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, I am homeschooling my children, as the terrible quality of education in the District is known far and wide. However, I cannot remember even one instance throughout my 12 years as a public-schooler where I felt even remotely criticized or ostracized or influenced by “godlessness” as a believing Christian.

    Evolution was mentioned, yes, but as a theoretic possibility. ID was mentioned, yes, also as a possibility. The mention of evolution didn’t put a bug in my ear that my belief in ID was perhaps mistaken or not the truth. Condoms were mentioned during 10th grade health class, and only in passing. Sex ed focused on abstinence; there was very little “sex” even mentioned. It was mostly focused around disease prevention (not STD’s, either; more like cancer prevention and obesity and acne and what have you). Homosexuality was not touched upon. Abortion was not mentioned. (In fact, the only solitary mention of abortion in all four years of high school was a sign-up sheet to our state’s March for Life near the library.)

    My “formative” years in grade school were full of wonderful teachers whose lifestyles or choices were not even on my radar; they were a complete mystery to both me and my parents. Perhaps they were gay, perhaps alcoholics, perhaps even thieves or adulterors. I have no idea. The fact that I had no idea is, to me, absolutely critical. They lived their lives devoted to the pursuit of knowledge and were outwardly good people who cared about the character and intellectual development of their young “charges”. My parents requested only one classroom change in all the years we were affiliated with that school (and it was quite a large number of years, with seven children…) and that was due only to the fact that the teacher had little experience with ADHD children and my brother was quite severely afflicted with the disorder.

    My overarching point is only that I have no idea where you all had your experiences with public school! The horror stories I hear of innocent little children being confronted with the evils of anti-Christian, anti-Biblical behavior are completely foreign in my experience! Perhaps my family was naive; perhaps completely oblivious; perhaps even blind to blatancy, but somehow I suspect that was just not the case.

    Christian high schoolers, especially older ones, should be well-versed enough in their faith and in their families’ belief system and lifestyle choices (if we as Christian parents are doing our jobs at home) to immediately pick out and avoid any unsavory behavior at their respective schools. If they are not, I see it perfectly acceptable to change their environment. However, I am not here to argue for or against homeschooling – I truly believe, as others here have stated more eloquently, that it is up to the parents to pray and be lead by God. I am just shocked that others seem to have had such atrocious experiences with the public school system; I have found it to be entirely rewarding and character building. By its very nature it cannot promote Christianity but then again, I have not found it to challenge Christianity either. Maybe Minnesota has it pretty good, public school-wise?

    I just don’t know…just wanted to share some thoughts. Take ‘em or leave ‘em with as many grains of salt as you see fit. :-)

    -Elisa Barnett

  68. Martha A. says:

    Schools have changed alot, I mean tons since I was in school and I am not that old. They were simply starting things that now are common in school.
    I had friends that went to public school in MN for several years before homeschooling and they had okay experiences, but there was still the things that make it so I do not want to send my children away.
    Children who are resentful, usually would be resentful whether they went to school or not. there are bad stories about bad homeschoolers too, but I am very happy I was homeschooled all my life.
    I went to PS for drivers training when I was 15, my only experience. Our driving teacher yelled at us constantly until the one girl was in tears, took us to his house which was against the rules, we were three young girls alone with him for hours sometimes. In the classroom we had to watch movie after movie about horrors of drinking and driving, driving while angry etc. which I was horrified and had nightmares about as it showed one girl who killed her friend, another the girl was crushed, I may have been naive, but I still can see it in my mind and it still bothers me. That was in a short couple of weeks in school

  69. Kelly says:

    “Children are not vases, Kelly. They don’t shatter permanently after one crash and hearing a bad story doesn’t ruin them for the rest of their lives. This is what I’m talking about in regards to being vigilant; I will do the best of my ability to make sure such unBiblical crud is not taught in a school before I send my kids to it.”"

    Jennifer, I have six children from age 26 down to 6 and three grandsons, 5, 3 and 4 months. I am well aware that children are not vases. However, I stand behind my point that there is no way that you can know exactly what is being taught, read and/or talked about in your child’s classroom unless you attended school everyday with that child and what would be the point of that? You are correct that they will not be ruined from reading one ungodly story, it’s the bit by bit over the years, evil disguised to look good (Satan can make sin look pretty good, can’t he?) that wears them down to the point that they wonder what their parents are making such a huge deal about, everyone else is okay with it.

    Today’s public schools are not the same as they were even 20 years ago. I have spoken to ps teachers who are leaving the schools because they no longer have control over their classrooms and they no longer feel safe there. I’m speaking of high school.

    I don’t say any of this to make anyone feel guilty, just to hopefully make those who think public school is an option for Christian kids take a closer look at their local schools. And for those who are in obedience to their husbands I have no doubt that God will bless that in some special way.

  70. Jennifer says:

    “I am not sure how encouraging parents to home school makes others feel guilty for not home schooling.”

    Hi, Donna. I’m sure that Kristie does not see encouragement for homeschooling as an attempt to make others feel guilty. She was probably worried about other comments. For example, Janet said,

    “How important is it that your kids have a thoroughly Christian worldview? Honestly, maybe it’s not that important to you to give up your life for that. You are willing to cross your fingers and take that risk, because you believe you could not be happy and live a fulfilled life if all you did was disciple your children all day, every day.”

    If someone were to take Janet’s words the wrong way, they might think that Janet was implying that parents who send their kids to school do so out of laziness and selfishness, and that homeschooling is the only right and Christian way. Seeing that Janet’s a Christian, however, I will assume that this judgemental message is not what she meant.

    Jesus does not describe a one-size-fits-all method in the Bible and there is no Biblical proof that homeschooling is the only right way. My parents are wonderful and Christian people, but they were not equipped to homeschool me and I was not equipped to BE homeschooled. In public school, I learned to trust other Christian adults, to warm to other children, and my years there were some of the most rewarding of my entire life. I know for a fact God blessed them and ordained them.

  71. Jennifer says:

    “You are correct that they will not be ruined from reading one ungodly story”

    You said “the damage will have been done” after such a story, as though parents can’t fix the damage once such a story is heard. I have every intention of looking closely at the schools my children will go to, before I send them.

    “for those who are in obedience to their husbands I have no doubt that God will bless that in some special way.”

    What does this have to do with schooling?

  72. Kelly says:

    Jennifer,

    When something is “damaged” it can be repaired but it’s never as good as new. After such a story is read (in this example) and our child comes home and tells us about it (maybe, maybe not) we can explain to them that this is displeasing to God and why we don’t believe this way but they still have those images/thoughts in their minds. I’m sure you can recall several verses in the bible as to what we ought to be thinking on and this would not be it.

    I was referring to those who are in obedience to their husbands who desire to send their children to ps, believing that God will in someway bless that obedience. I may not have communicated that properly.

    Jennifer, this seems to have turned into a debate and so I’m going to stop after these comments. You obviously have a very strong opinion on this topic,
    I would advise you (in Titus 2 fashion) to be teachable and glean wisdom from those who have gone before. To read some of the books that Stacy has listed and to truly seek God in what He sees best. As you have no children this whole education topic is only theory to you but it’s very much reality to those of us who must make this decision.

    Blessings,
    Kelly
    mom to 6

  73. Janet says:

    Jennifer, you said,
    “My parents are wonderful and Christian people, but they were not equipped to homeschool me and I was not equipped to BE homeschooled.”

    I am curious, what does that mean?

  74. Jennifer says:

    Hi, Janet. Thank you for your question. Just wanted to let you know I’ll be answering in detail later, as right now I have to get to class. Blessings!

    Stacy, I just saw the news! Congrats on the coming grandbaby!!

  75. Jennifer says:

    Janet, as I mentioned earlier, I had (and still have) some learning disabilities, which were far more prominent when I was little. Not only did I have trouble paying attention and concentrating, but I also have something called discalculia, a severe calculating problem that affects my math skills (it may not be severe for everyone, but it is for me!) What this basically means is that, while I’m excellent in reading and writing, my math skills are still back in middle school level, at most. I can’t recite all my times tables, I had to be re-taught advanced division and multiplecation each year when school began, and I still occasionally have to use slow mental addition, number by number, when trying to figure out a sum. Neither of my parents understood this when I was little, or even knew these problems existed until trained public school counselors explained them.

    When I say my parents and I were not equipped for homeschooling, I mean quite literally, we were not equipped. Teachers have both special training and a gift for their work which is definitely not shared by all. My parents were not equipped to teach, especially a child with any sort of learning problems. My mom often couldn’t understand why I had trouble grasping homework (when I was very small) and my father could never grasp why I struggled with math so much, especially since he’s brilliant at it; being a pilot, he knows navigation and calculus beyond anything I could ever imagine, and unfortunetly his genuis for math never passed on to any of his daughters. When I remember some of the tortured long nights I spent trying to do homework with my parents, racking both our brains, the very idea of being homeschooled and having to do that day after day gives me a headache.

    I don’t want you to think I was a mentally maimed child or anything; these disabilities are more common than many realize and there are all sorts of different levels. I don’t know what would have happened if it wasn’t for the tutors, counselors, and teachers who helped me in my school years. I now attend college classes like any other student (though I still take Adderol for enhanced concentration) and I’m currently taking a class on methods of education. I’ve learned more about different learning disabilities from this class than possibly ever before and, in fact, it was here I learned that my math disability actually had a name! This, and other reasons, are why I know that homeschooling isn’t for everyone. I know that public schooling isn’t either and that some public schools do indeed cause more harm than good, but good schools like the ones I went to would be best for my children. Considering my own academic disabilities, I know I’m not equipped to teach my children everything they need to learn and if I couldn’t, who would in my household? My husband couldn’t work and homeschool, and even if he only had to teach math to our children (because I certainly couldn’t), how would he find the time for that? And what if my husband turns out to be as stumped by math as I am anyway? I’ve considered the possibility of private tutors, or maybe there will even be a Christian adult we know who teaches children in her own home. These would be second choices, though, possibilities we can’t rely on by any means, and if good public schools are nearby our home, they will definitely be my first choice.

  76. Eirini says:

    My own story.

    I didn’t grow up in a Christian home; my father’s an agnostic, my mom involved in the occult.

    Needless, to say there was no Bible in our home and I certainly didn’t hear the gospel message at home.

    The person who had the greatest impact on my life concerning Christianity, was a friend from university, from my French literature class.

    She is a conservative Christian, and was – and still is – very active in her church. When I met her she was teaching Sunday school,singing in the choir and so on. She attends a reformed church (I do too now).

    She was always direct in speaking about her faith, but did so lovingly and with wisdom. She spoke about her faith all the time and was in truth a shining light. Her ACTIONS spoke louder than her words; I became interested in what she had to say because I saw her living out what she preached.

    We were friends for close to two years before I began to ask her questions, and she invited me to her church.

    This discussion has given me a lot to think about – and I’ll consider carefully the education of my children.

    I guess the point of this long message (sorry), is that some people would be very hard to reach with the gospel by means such as ‘hospitality’. Sorry but my family just did not associate with Christian, homeschooling families; we were never in the same environment.

    I understand that young children are vulnerable, but am a bit distressed by the idea that children should even as young adults (university age) not be educated outside the home.

    At what point are chldren old enough to go out into the world and be lights?

  77. Jennifer says:

    I was not aware, Kelly, that this was beginning to feel like a debate to you. I have no problem whatsoever with moms who homeschool and encourage others to do so; I am merely sharing my own experience.

    “As you have no children this whole education topic is only theory to you”

    This is not in the least theory to me, Kelly. You forget: I was a public schooled child. I was there for fourteen years and counting (now being at college). I’d like to learn more about homeschooling, but when it comes to public schooling, I have been there personally. Indeed, for those here who have neither been public schooled as children or sent their kids to public school, I thought my experience might be of some consideration for them, and perhaps for you, since you seem utterly set against every kind of public school.

  78. Fiona says:

    My church, or,I should say, the church my family attends, highly advocates homeschooling. It works great for some families, usually the ones with about 2-5 children.
    I am the youngest in a mixed family. The next youngest is six years older than I. We were close when we were younger, but he is now 22 and we really don’t speak much. I never had the opportunity to be “best friends” with my siblings, especially since my only sister is eleven years older than I and grew up in a completely seperate part of the country.
    My mom tried homeschooling for a year after christian middle school didn’t work out. She just wasn’t cut out to be a teacher…and I ended up doing everything on my own. I became extremely depressed and reserved, and longed to be back in a school. I’m going to be a senior in public high school next year, and though school isn’t always a walk in the park, I’ve done wonderfully academically and socially. I even met the best friend who is now the love of my life (so far).
    I just think that while not all working women are talented school teachers, not all women at home are skilled educators.

  79. Anonymous says:

    I feel that both sides of the issue have some merit and people should pray and decide what’s right for them. It may even vary from child to child. I have to make a decision about my son’s schooling next year. You can pray for me, but instead of anything to specific pray that God’s will will be done and that we’ll know what to do. Please pray also for me as I have some issues that get in my way as a mother and person and please pray for me as I have serious spiritual issues right now. I don’t agree with all your denominational beliefs, but I think it’s great that you’re celebrating motherhood and family and I’m glad you’re obeying God’s calling for you.

    another Jennifer

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