Ron Strom is commentary editor of WND, a post he took after serving as a news editor since 2000. Prior to coming on board with WND, Strom worked in politics in California. Married and the father of two homeschool graduates, he has served in leadership positions in his church, local nonprofit boards and in county government.More ↓Less ↑
There are many reasons my wife and I homeschool our children and have done so for 13 years now. These include reasons you might hear from typical homeschooling Christians: the ability to teach biblical values, the benefit of tailoring curriculum to learning styles and interests, the flexibility of daily schedules that enable spontaneity and special activities. But the main reason I homeschool my daughters is because I’m simply too lazy not to homeschool them.
Sure, homeschooling is a lot of work, especially for the mother, but it doesn’t compare with the work needed to effectively deprogram a child who is not homeschooled.
Christians are tasked with bringing up their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,” to raise them to embrace the truth of the Bible and live out that truth in obedience day to day. If a Christian sends his children to the government schools for several hours each week – or even to the age-segregated and peer-dependent environs of a private school – how many hours and how much effort is needed to counteract the inestimable impact of the secular worldview and cultural swamp such a child experiences in even one day?
Do the math. If a child is subject to the current atheistic indoctrination that passes for education in the government schools for six hours a day, how many hours would his or her parents have to spend to undo that influence? And, even if it were possible, are there really Christian parents who go through such an exercise? Again, I’m just too lazy to do so.
If one of my daughters were to come home from school having been wrapped up in a juvenile scenario of matching up boys and girls, and she begins to value such silliness, how many hours might it take me to counsel her through the countless broken hearts when campus romances explode? And worse, how many hours would be needed to deal with good old-fashioned rebellion when it rears its ugly head thanks to today’s pervasive youth ethic of disrespecting their parents?
Countless Christian ministries give parents tips on how to “connect” with these supposedly strange people called teenagers and how to deal with rebellion and discontent, in hopes that a reasonable adult emerges after several years of relational angst. Perhaps Christian parents should prevent such attitudes from starting by refusing to turn their treasures over to the state (or, again, even private schools) in the first place.
A press release I received recently was headlined: “WHY AREN’T YOUR KIDS TALKING TO YOU? Creators of Website for Teens, Tweens Suggest Parents Struggling to Connect with their Children Should Stay Real and Relevant.”
This was a promotion for two ordained ministers who are trying to help parents and teenagers online. They state:
As kids enter the stages of life where they are highly sensitive to peer pressure and being “cool,” the disconnect between parents and children seems to widen. Throw in the ever-changing lingo of youth and the pop culture they are exposed to, and the communication gap increases. So what are the keys to having a great relationship with your kids?
Um, one key might be as easy as not “exposing” your children to pop culture and peer pressure – no problem, no need for a solution.
As much as these two men likely are sincere about helping Christian parents talk to their teenagers, I wish their services weren’t needed. Somehow I don’t think many of their customers are we lazy homeschooling parents.
And please don’t fool yourself into believing that a couple hours at youth group and a morning at church weekly will somehow neutralize the impact of 30 or more hours at school – especially when the influence a teen receives at a typical church youth setting often imitates the style and practices of a high-school campus. Parents, and especially fathers, are called to provide their children spiritual instruction (see Deuteronomy 6: 4-9); we are not to leave it to hired professionals and expect them to miraculously wash away the imprint of today’s American youth culture.
When I see my 18-year-old senior loving and respecting her parents and walking as a devoted believer, I wonder what kind of young woman she might have become if I had allowed the state to raise her the last 13 years. Would she know more of the world’s ways and have a greater knowledge of the vast array of cuss words in the English language? Definitely. Would she buck the wishes and values of her parents in favor of the “values” of her peers? Most likely.
Of course, my daughter has become the person she is despite myriad mistakes I have made in the last few years. Only by God’s grace can any parent raise a productive, well-adjusted child to adulthood. But why handicap yourself from the get-go by yielding so much control to the state and its demonstrably detrimental system of “education” – and the damaging peer influence that accompanies it?
There’s an old saying: “Don’t work harder, work smarter.” Maybe that applies to raising children. For the lazy Christian parent: Work smart – homeschool your kids.