This article is part of our series for those New to Home Education.
Parents have many different reasons for wanting to educate their children at home. But most of their reasons probably fit within 1 (or all) of 3 categories–religious (Biblical), academic, and social.
It may be that you desire to teach your children everything through a Biblical perspective (as we do), or aren’t happy that the government schools are teaching against a Biblical perspective. Perhaps you believe the government has no business in education. Perhaps you have other religious beliefs that influence your choice.
Perhaps you know that most home educated children score higher than government school students and you want to give your child that advantage. Perhaps you want your children to be able to move at their own pace and focus their studies on their strengths. Perhaps your child has learning challenges and you want to provide the extra time for individual tutoring to help him succeed.
Perhaps you have social reasons. Perhaps your child is being bullied. Perhaps you don’t care for their daily “socialization” to be with drug dealers, rebels, and sexual deviants. Perhaps you want to develop a closer relationship with your children and want them to develop a closer relationship with each other. Perhaps you want them to learn to comfortably socialize with people of all ages.
Thinking through and gaining a good understanding of why you home educate will help you explain your position to others, and also help you remain steadfast when you’re facing tough days. The following resources will help you reason through these questions.
IndoctriNation (DVD) produced by Colin Gunn is a great place to start.
Excused Absence: Should Christian Kids Leave Public Schools? by Douglas Wilson (available on their website) is perhaps the hardest hitting from a Biblical standpoint. As Marlin Detweiler from Veritas Press put it, “In this tiny volume, Doug Wilson makes the case for Christian education so strongly that, aside from willful disobedience to God’s Word, Christian parents have no reason to continue educating their children in officially agnostic public schools.” The case Mr. Wilson presents is not specifically for home education but for strong “distinctively Christian schools or home schools.” If you are looking for a “soft, nice, relativistic, make you feel good about doing whatever” book, this is NOT it.
Homeschooling: the Right Choice by Christopher Klicka (deceased,) formerly of the Home School Legal Defense Association has been revised and updated for the 21st Century. Mr. Klicka points out the failure of public education in 3 critical areas – academic, moral, and philosophical, as well as the “rising hope of home schooling”. (available at HSLDA)
Is Public Education Necessary? by Samuel Blumenfeld presents the myths that nearly all of us have/had bought about public education and its history. Probably the grand-daddy of them all.
Let Us Highly Resolve by David Quine – not specifically about leaving public schools, but rather about resolving to equip our children to live strong Christian lives in the 21st Century.
Basic Homeschooling Workshop by Gregg Harris (available at his site) and and his Advanced Homeschooling Workshop were the introduction that “sold us” on not just removing our children from the negative influence of public schools, but to being sold out on home education.
Dumbing Us Down by John Taylor Gatto (and the Underground History of American Education). Gatto, an “insider” of public education and award winning teacher who left the system, now exposes and speaks out against it.
There are many other excellent books on this topic, many of them from the early days of the modern home education movement, that forged the way and provided the foundation for us. We are all indebted to those homeschool pioneers. A few of those titles, that are worthy inclusions if you are studying the history of government education and the rise of Christian home education, are:
- Why So Many Christians are Going Home to School by Ellyn Davis is an easy, quick read on some of the problems of institutionalized learning. It was the first book of this kind we read, and although we had deep convictions for home educating, it pointed out many reasons we hadn’t thought of.
- Government Nannies: The Cradle-to-Grave Agenda of Goals 2000 & Outcome Based Education by Cathy Duffy exposes the agenda of the NEA and government schools. If you want to take a look at the forerunner of Common Core Standards find this book.
- Who Owns the Children? by Blair Adams and Joel Stein is an excellent book that dispels those myths that it is in our children’s best interest (and the state’s responsibility and right) for the state to educate our children.
- The Day they Padlocked the Church by H. Edward Rowe is about families in Nebraska that fought the fight and paid the price to get the law that we home educate under.
- Child Abuse in the Classroom by Phyllis Schaffly
- The Bible, Homeschooling, and the Law by Karl Reed