Radical Homeschooling: So What?
This series on radical homeschooling (RH)—that homeschooling is morally required or required as “normative”—is an extra-biblical claim striving to redirect the Christian family and church into a new historical direction.
But it is a small movement. So, many may have not even heard of it. You, dear reader, may think, “so what? What’s the big deal?” I personally do not believe the narrow question of homeschooling vs. private schooling is a big deal, but then I do not believe God has bound families to one method. On the other hand, some homeschooling leaders do think this is a serious issue and are shouting it from the rooftops:
“Of course, my prayer is that every family would homeschool from birth. If that’s not you, my prayer is that you will homeschool from now on. It may require difficult changes. It may require the awkward work of repenting to your wife and to your children for how you have abdicated your responsibility.” (p.133, When You Rise Up)
” ‘Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep His charge, and His statutes, and His judgments, and His commandments, always'” (Deut. 11:1). This is why we should homeschool. God commands parents to teach their own children God’s law, and we must be obedient.” (p.9, Homeschooling from a Biblical Worldview)
“Home educators, almost by definition, have turned their heart to their children [Mal. 4]… So, there’s been a revival that’s taking place in the heart of these homeschool families. And this revival works itself out to the local church…” (“The Family-Integrated Church Movement,” Online interview)
“…’dayschools, leisure village, from tantrums by adolescence, to PMS for women of certain age, and the end of creativity of the old,’ these are all variations of evolutionary hellish thinking.” (The History of Sunday School Movement, track 13)
The above quotes represent a fair sample of leaders who think this is a big deal. It is a big deal to assert that some of the ‘modern’ (a loaded term) activities are rooted in hellish thinking. (Day schools, for instance, have been around since Jewish times.) And labeling homeschooling a revival (without any qualifications) is a big deal–it adds unbiblical pressure on families. What Christian family would want to follow a “hellish” method? Who would not want to be part of a revival?
There’s more: it is a big deal when consciences are bound by a commandment not found in God’s Word. When homeschooling pastors and leaders inform their audiences that obedience to God means parents should homeschool or that parents should repent for not homeschooling, the so what becomes obvious.
I have no ax to grind. I am not after anyone. I only want public transparency of a new public belief. I believe too few homeschoolers are aware of what some leaders are promoting as godly education.
This series will attempt to show that, in spite of some of the laudable goals of RH, its view of the history of Christian education is mistaken and its understanding of key elements of Christian nurture is misguided.