Homeschooling For World View
© 6.30.06 By D. Eric Williams
The most important goal in homeschooling is the development of a Bible based, Christ centered world view in our children. The primary reason we homeschool is not for educational excellence, but for world view; educational excellence will follow.
"World view" refers to the controlling beliefs one lives by. Everyone has a set of absolutes upon which they base all of their life decisions. The atheist's life is guided by a belief that the highest authority is human reason. The way he does his job, the way he votes, the way he treats his wife and children, his views concerning education, all spring from a foundational belief that there is no God or supernatural realm and that human reason is the absolute power.
On the other hand the life of the Christian is supposed to be Christ centered and Bible based. Everything he does must be focused on bringing glory to God. His job performance, his politics, his family life and his approach to educations must all grow out of his faith in Christ and a commitment to God's Word as the only absolute.
When working toward a Christian world view, one of the first things we need to realize is that we cannot make peace with any rival religions. Perhaps you think that it is easy to remain unaffected by a rival religious system. After all not many of us visit the local Buddhist temple on a regular basis to learn about east Asian culture. The problem is, too many Christians don't realize that all of life is religious. Every individual, every institution has a controlling belief system which acts as a blueprint for every action or decision. A person's controlling beliefs may be confused and contradictory; but the fact remains that every human being holds to a set of absolutes which determines how they will act in any given situation.
Now, this doesn't mean that we should remain holed up in our homes, venturing out only to buy groceries in the wee hours of the morning so that we can avoid contact with other world views. Obviously not. We are called to be salt and light, to be ambassadors for the kingdom of God. We must follow the examples of Jesus Christ and the Apostle Paul who eagerly met the opposing belief systems of their day head on. At the same time, we should not place ourselves or our children in situations where we are submitting to the teachings of a rival religion.
For instance, none of us would attend services at the local Mormon assembly in order to learn more about the ancient history of the western hemisphere would we? Why not? Well, because the teaching of the Mormon organization is not only factually unsound it is also theologically way off the mark. Even if their history was correct, we wouldn't sit under the teaching of a Mormon bishop because his bad theology would taint everything he said about the subject. Likewise the educational opportunities offered by the state approved church (also known as the local public school) are not open to the committed Christian.
I should not have to try to convince this audience that statist education is a rival religion. The entire system is built upon a set of controlling beliefs that are contrary to Christianity. If you still doubt this fact, then put down this article right now and go get yourself a copy of John Taylor Gatto's book, The Underground History of American Education and a copy of R. J. Rushdoony's book, The Messianic Character of American Education. After you've read those two tomes (as a start), come back and finish this article.
If, however, you understand that the state institutional system is truly a rival religious order, then I hope that you are not willingly utilizing it to "fill in the gaps" of your children's education. That includes the sporting activities. Again, you wouldn't send your child off to join the local Latter Day Saints baseball team would you? I hope not. I can guarantee you that your child would be inundated with Mormon ideas about all of life not just the fundamentals of fielding and batting. It is no different for your child when he participates in the state school's sporting activities. Your child's teammates and coaches will all be followers of the statist religion and they will consider anyone who disagrees with the basic tenants of that religion to be worthy of ridicule. Your child will be on their turf surrounded by large numbers of ungodly peers and subject to the authority of the institutional "priesthood." Don't be fooled; there is no aspect of the statist system that is like the "real world."
Obviously the situation is even worse when your child submits to the tutelage of a state sanctioned teacher. Yes all truth is God's truth, but that didn't keep Satan from quoting it out of context. There is absolutely no way that your child can learn math, science or any other subject properly when God is removed from the equation. Furthermore, while your child is learning a wilted version of algebra, they will be indoctrinated with a world view that proclaims Man as absolute and God--if he even exists--as irrelevant to anything in life except one's own personal quiet time. Your children cannot be salt and light when they are forced to submit their intellect to a rival religion. Paul was able to be a witness for Christ while in chains because it was his body that was limited not his mind. The public schools do not allow for freedom of thought. Please don't pretend that the public school has anything positive to offer you or your children.
There is a second step in the quest for developing a Christian world view in your children that you must take as soon as possible; get rid of the Christian text books. Especially the history text books. The reason you should do this is because Christian publishers typically offer nothing more than a "baptized" version of what the public schools use and baptized atheism is not the same thing as Christianity.
Now, I'll admit that I was looking for a strong reaction on your part with that statement. The truth is that there are probably some Christian text books that you will want to hang on to. Nonetheless, you do need to carefully study the text books you are currently using. Is a Christ centered Bible based understanding of the subject matter intrinsic to the presentation or is Christianity simply tacked on. For instance, does the history curriculum you are using present a whitewashed view of our national story or does it critically assess the events of our past from a Biblically informed position. I know political conservatives often bemoan the anti-American views of the public school texts; but it is also wrong to paint an overly rosy picture of our history in the name of Christian patriotism. Our views on government, politics, culture and so on must be informed by careful study of the Bible. Unfortunately Christian text books often toe a politically conservative party line rather than look to the Bible as the interpretive tool of history. The Christian approach should be like that of the Lord of Hosts when Joshua asked Him whose side He was on. His response was that He was not for Joshua or his enemies but "as the commander of the army of the Lord I have come" (Josh. 5:14, NKJV).
The bottom line is you need to carefully read and consider the text books you are using to educate your children. Your kids may be better served by tossing out the current curriculum and starting over with a series of biographies of historically important figures.
Which leads me to my last proposal in regards to homeschooling for world view. No matter what material you use to teach your children, you (father and mother both), need to spend time discussing the subject matter with your children. This is especially important concerning theology, history and current events. Let me share with you our approach.
To begin with I've put together a reading list for our children. It covers history, science, theology, education, literature and current events. The list is edited from time to time, but there is a core group of books that remain no matter what (most of the changes to the list occur in the "current events" section as you might imagine). Each of the books on the list I've read (and annotated), at least once.
The book list is supplemented by articles that I read and then email to the kids on a daily basis. Some days I'll email six or seven articles; sometimes I send just one or two. In any case, we will critically assess the daily emails and draw from the books we've read as we strive to bring a Christ centered Bible based world view to bear on the subject matter during our after dinner conversations. As you may imagine these discussions are wide ranging, spirited and very enjoyable. Oh, and they are fundamental to developing a Christ centered Bible based world view as well.
The result is that our children's education is distinctively Christian. They grow to learn that all of life is under the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no neutral ground in this universe and so it is imperative that they understand how to bring their own lives and sphere of influence under the authority of king Jesus. It is essential that they learn how to approach all of life in a distinctively Christian manner. That doesn't happen by accident. It only happens when we take our Christian responsibility to its logical end and homeschool for world view.