In response to my post The Homeschooling Movement, Curt asked some interesting questions in the comments.
Having made the decision to homeschool the children that I do not yet have, can you answer me this: Why is it that Christianity is so pervasive throughout homeschooling in America? There are those of us that want to teach our own children, and not simply subject them to the public children's prisons. I want my children to think for themselves, and be creative... not to be mindless gerbils. I want my children to advance at their own pace and develop a love for learning, not be held back or pushed forawrd simply because someone who doesn't know my child has decreed that that is where they need to be. I also want my children to be able to interact with everyone, not fear adults and pick on those yonger than them.
Is it too much for me to ask to have that without having religion smacked in my face at every turn? If not, could you please point me at good homeschooling resources that are not faith based?
Here are my thoughts with a few additions:
Why is Christianity so pervasive in homeschooling? Because so many of us look at our choice to homeschool based on our belief about Christ and His Word. The Scriptures tell us, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." For many who homeschool, we desire our children to grow in wisdom and not just knowledge. Homeschooling provides an excellent vehicle for living out our beliefs and teaching them to our children.
Your objectives for your future children are valid but for many of us that would not be the ultimate goal. To be able think for themselves or have a love for learning is noble but what are they to think about? What are they to love learning about? That is just as important if not more so. A child may love science and desire to become a doctor. But wisdom says do not use your skills to kill innocent unborn babies. A child may show an interest in cameras and desire to be a photogrpaher. But wisdom says not to use that skill for pornography. A Christian believes wisdom has its foundation in the fear of the Lord. Without that foundation there is no wisdom.
Is it too much for me to ask to have that without having religion smacked in my face at every turn?If you were to talk with a Joe Paterno it would not take you long to figure out that he loves football. He's been a head coach Penn State for years. He lives and breathes football. He is a coach because of his love for football. It's who he is. The same is true for me and many homeschoolers.
We are Christians. It's who we are. We homeschool because of our love for Christ and obedience to HIM. To ask me not to talk about Christ but only homeschooling is impossible. It's going to come up. I suppose to one who does not know Christ that seems like a hit over the head. Maybe even offensive to some. But it's who I am. Not talking about God within homeschooling would be like separating my heart from my mind. Impossible. Are there non Christians who homeschool? Yes, I'm sure there are but I'm not among them. Homeschooling will lead to significant benefits but nothing eterenal unless we teach our children the wisdom that comes from God. Harvard is nice but Heaven is where I'm aiming.
There were othes who commented as well to Curt. He then said:
Thank you, Sue, Confessor, and Molly. While Spunky gave me the answer that I EXPECTED, you gave me the answer that I WANTED.
Nobody has yet answered the second part, however... Where am I to get information? To use the Joe Paterno analogy, I am asking Joe "Joe, I know you're the football coach for Penn State, and personally I can't stand football, but based on your 20+ years of experience here, can you tell me where the Gym is on Penn State's campus?" Surely Joe can tell me all about the Gym on campus without getting into a football discussion.
But Curt you didn't ask "where the gym is?". That would be totatlly irrelevant to football and easy to answer. Like asking me to give you a recipe for chocolate cake. Your question was more like asking Joe Paterno how to play football anywhere but Penn State. He wouldn't just direct you to Ann Arbor home of the University of Michigan. He would ask you why you wanted to get away from Penn State so badly. His interest is in you as much as in the game. Not just directing people to a location. He would want to know WHY?
So when you ask me where to find out about homeschooling apart from Christ, I would then ask, "Why would anyone want to educate their child without the knowledge of God?"
Then based on that discussion I might be able to direct you to the proper resources. I also accept that not all homeschool for my reasons. But I'm not going to assume WHY you live life the way you do. You see, all curriculum is based on a worldview (even the non Christian ones). I don't know yours. So I could just send you off to some site and assume that's your worldview. But I would rather probe and find out what IS your worldview. Then based on that direct you accordingly.
My blog makes it perfectly clear what my worldview is. A few comments from you and asking a question about where to find NON faith based currciulum do not a worldview make. It is not obvious in which direction to send you. There are other coaches (and blogs) out there who will just point you to Ann Arbor. But like Joe Paterno, success in homeschooling isn't built by just giving directions but learning how and why the game is played.