Why Homeschool? Better Yet, Why Not?

Shirley and I don’t really have an immediate stake in the issue of homeschooling other than concern for our grandchildren and great grandchildren.  However, I do have an opinion on the issue and found it supported and validated very well in this article by one of my favorite bloggers, Dr. James Emery White.  I love his wit and style.  Mostly, however, I love his reasoning and the scholarship and experience he brings to his writing.   RMF

James Emery White

James Emery White

Why Homeschool?

Dr. James Emery White

I think everyone who is able should consider homeschooling their child.

There, I said it.

Somebody needs to.

I am sick and tired of reading diatribes against homeschooling from those who have never homeschooled, don’t have children, or simply have a bias against the Christian overtones related to homeschooling.

Also, if I hear one more person talk about the lack of “socialization” as a reason not to homeschool, I’m going to erupt.

So why would anyone want to take their children out of the dominant public education system of our country and attempt to homeschool them on their own?

That’s easy.

Kids do better academically when homeschooled.

Here are the facts.  And I do mean facts:

*Homeschooled children significantly outperform children educated in public school systems in reading, language, math, science, and social studies.

*Homeschooled children’s tests scores were not significantly affected by their parents’ household incomes or whether their parents were certified teachers.

*Homeschooled children perform better overall in college—from their freshman years to their senior years.

And want one more fact that may surprise you?

*Homeschooled children do not lag behind public school children overall in communication and socialization skills.

Full disclosure:  my wife and I homeschooled our four children through eighth grade, and then used a mixture of private Christian high school and additional homeschooling throughout their high school years.

But that’s not what drives this for me.  I am not one who needs others to make the choices I made to feel better about myself.

And it’s not even the superior academics.

So why am I such an advocate?

Because homeschooling is what lets you guard and protect your child’s heart and optimally mold their character in a dark and fallen world.

I cannot say this strongly enough.  I hope and pray and that every parent will consider homeschooling their child at least through the most pivotal years, which to my thinking, is late elementary and middle school years.

It’s what allows you to optimally shape their spiritual life, and pour into it without contest during those years when there should be no contest.

It’s what lets you insulate them from the world before their maturity is ready to engage it on their own.

It’s what lets you pick their friends and control the nature, speed and context of their broader socialization.

We live in a day of under-protective parenting.  Our culture has declared war on children in so many ways.  Homeschooling is one of the ways we can fight back.

And if you want to know how much our children are at risk in terms of peer relationships, the media and more – and how active parenting must be in our day – please get hold of “The Under Protective Parent” series.  It’s available as an mp3 as well as manuscript on the Message Downloads page of ChurchandCulture.org.

To this day, I believe it may be the most prophetic series I’ve ever delivered at Meck.

I do not believe homeschooling is for everyone, nor the mark of whether you are a good parent.  I know there can be economic barriers to homeschooling.  Others may feel they are not qualified or temperamentally suited to the task.

But…

Many who say money is a factor are simply choosing to spend their resources on other things when they could spend it on freeing up the possibility of homeschooling.

Many who say they are not temperamentally suited to homeschooling are using that as a smokescreen when the truth is they are not willing to exercise the patience and submit to the sacrifice needed to homeschool.

And for those men who say, “What about sports?”  I suggest reading a blog I wrote earlier this year titled “Parents, Sports and Church.”  All I would add to its words would be that as someone who played competitive sports himself at almost every level, and saw my homeschooled kids engage them at almost every level as well, it’s a red herring.

But even if there was a conflict (there isn’t), sports don’t outweigh what’s best for your child’s heart.  And that’s what your goal should be: parenting your child’s inner world.

Please know how much I respect and value the hard work and clear calling present in the life of countless teachers and administrators in the public school system.  I know so many of you strive to bring Christ to bear on that setting.  It’s a difficult thing to advocate for what you feel may be the best for a child without unduly demeaning the good being done in other settings.

But because there are few voices out there promoting for it, let me make mine loud and clear.  If you can homeschool your child through at least the middle school years, do.

Not just for the academics, but for their protection.

If you can’t do that, take advantage of the growing number of schools that offer a combination of homeschooling and formalized classroom experience (A good example is Hope Academy in Concord, NC).

If you can’t do that, explore the many good private Christian schools that are available.

But please, consider doing something.

You will never, ever regret it.

Nor will your child.

James Emery White

Sources

James Emery White, “The Under Protective Parent,” downloads available here.

James Emery White, “Parents, Sports and Church,” read online.

“Homeschool Domination,” College@Home, read online.

“Where should religious people stand on homeschooling?” John Merritt, Religion News Service, April 30, 2013, read online.

Editor’s Note

James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which he also served as their fourth president. His newly released book is The Church in an Age of Crisis: 25 New Realities Facing Christianity (Baker Press). To enjoy a free subscription to the Church and Culture blog, log-on to www.churchandculture.org, where you can post your comments on this blog, view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on twitter @JamesEmeryWhite.

The above article appeared first on Dr. White’s Church & Culture blog site at:  http://www.churchandculture.org/Blog.asp?ID=4427

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About ronfurg

Former naval officer, federal investigator, forensic scientist, senior executive service member and pastor. In retirement serves as volunteer and life group leader at New Life Christian Church (www.newlife4me.com). Devoted to beautiful wife, kids and grandkids. Looking forward to the time when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all and that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
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6 Responses to Why Homeschool? Better Yet, Why Not?

  1. Hey Ron, thanks for this great insightful message. Definitely a goal for my wife and I, financially challenging, but we really are going to give it a good hard look.

    I clicked on the link for the Under Protective Parent. I was disappointed to see that it was another site full of very useful and important information that came at a financial cost. I fully understand it takes money to run a ministry like that, but we serve the God of Wonders, the God of provision and surplus. I know Im ranting here but I wish these large ministries all had the same heart, vision and passion of DesiringGod.org where everything is free. We are here to equip and build each other out of love and allow the Spirit to lead us in financially blessing those that we are called to bless.

    Sorry for the rant in your comments. But I strongly feel more should be said about this.

    Your Brother in Christ
    Kaaina

    • ronfurg says:

      Kaaina — I must confess that I had not checked out the links. I now see that the series of 4 MP3 downloads would cost a total of $8.00. It is too bad that financial considerations do enter the picture here and must assume that the ministry that produces the resources must need the income to remain viable. It would be nice if they could have the same policy as DesiringGod.org or at least simply suggest contributions to the ministry consistent with a person’s financial capabilities. Anyway, I appreciate your subscription to my wee blog and am blessed when I see that you have visited. RMF

      • No probs. i actually shared my thoughts and heart with with them. Claiming complete ignorance to their situation, but sharing my passion to spread Gods Gospel to as many ears as possible, with the fewest amount of roadblocks.

        Thank you for all of your sharing of these very informative and edifying articles.

        Thank you for your kind words.

        Many Blessings

      • ronfurg says:

        Kaaina — I’m glad to see that you took the initiative in contacting them and expressing your concerns. Who knows, it may lead to a change in the way they do ministry and handle their resources. <

      • Thanks Ron that was my goal to hopefully be iron sharpening iron.

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