Parents have the responsibility to raise their children with the Word of God, teaching and showing them how to walk with God daily, grow in wisdom, and trust in Him. Making a decision about how children are taught academically presents difficult choices, from homeschooling to private Christian schools to public schools or a combination.
What is the Christian view of homeschool? Should Christian parents homeschool their children?
Christian parents have today a tremendous freedom and variety to choose a strong Christian curricula and instruct children at home. Many home schooling materials present a Christian worldview that children will likely not receive in a public school. For example, in Christian materials students will learn that God created the Earth and everything in it. At public schools, teaching about the beginnings of life may only include a theory of evolution and natural development.
Public schools expose children to a wide a variety of value systems, personal morals, and worldviews. Some specific values and ways of encountering life will be emphasized by their textbooks, teachers, and friends. Children and adults will eventually be faced with this variety, no matter the choice their parents make for their academic instruction. Children need preparation in how to interpret and choose wisely from the plethora of values and thinking systems they will encounter. Which method of teaching children best prepares them for these choices?
It really depends on the child and the family. Academic studies show that the more time an instructor spends with individual students, the better the student performs. Classrooms, whether public or private, only allow teachers to address groups of students most of the time. Regardless of the care and attention a great teacher can offer a single student, it will likely be less than a parent can provide. This may be an advantage of homeschooling. It can also serve as a reminder that whether a child is schooled at home or away from home, parents should be involved in the process. Knowing one's own child and doing one's best to ensure the specific academic needs of the child are met is important. Regardless of the schooling method chosen, parents should especially spend time teaching their children about God and being a living example of what it means to know and follow Him.
Though there are benefits to homeschool, homeschooling is not for every child nor family. Some family situations may make it impossible to homeschool. Financial considerations may prohibit a parent from spending days at home instructing or perhaps gift sets may show that neither parent is equipped to homeschool. Some states require specific training and certification to teach, which may be difficult to acquire. Some children thrive in a larger setting and cannot focus well at home. Some children may benefit at specific ages by homeschooling and benefit from private or public schooling at other ages. Some families may have opportunities to enroll children in private schools or programs that come alongside homeschoolers to provide a mixed academic format for instruction. The optimal schooling choice for each child in a family may be different.
Parents must pray about these choices and opportunities, remembering that the Bible tells us that children are a gift from the Lord, and created purposely for Him (Psalm 127:3–5, 139:13–16). Seek wisdom from God (James 1:5) and seek out wisdom from godly parents you know. A parent's responsibility to honor God with godly, wise, and disciplined parenting of children is one of the greatest bestowed on anyone (Ephesians 6:4).
Raising children with a heart toward serving God, toward employing His wisdom in life, and to exhibit His goodness must be intentional. And, it must start early in a child's life and continue throughout the school years. Each parent must choose how best to prepare their children to honor God with their choices as they grow into adulthood.
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