Are you considering Christian homeschool? Want to know more about Christian homeschooling? This article has information on why people choose Christian homeschool curriculum, and the pros and cons of Christian homeschool.
One of the reasons that people choose to homeschool their children is on account of their religious beliefs. Many homeschoolers and suppliers of homeschool materials are allied with the Christian tradition. This article considers the reasons behind Christian homeschool education and what people see as the pros and cons.
Why Have a Christian Homeschool?
A person with a secular belief system automatically has their preferences catered to when they send their children to public school or a secular private school. But for the family with Christian beliefs, the choice is different. Public schools are explicitly forbidden from supporting or promoting religious beliefs. Private schools, which may be Catholic, a particular sect of Protestantism, or follow a generic Christian approach, tend to be extremely expensive. What can a Christian parent do to enjoy the same melding of curriculum and outlook that a secular parent finds in public school without the expense of private school?
Some Christian parents have answered this question by turning to homeschooling. In a Christian homeschool, they feel, they can find the same opportunities to tie beliefs and content together that secular parents find their children presented with in public school.
Pros for Christian Homeschool
At a Christian homeschool, a number of opportunities that do not exist in the public schools become possible. These include:
- a literal interpretation of Biblical injunctions on parents to teach and raise up their children
- a day shaped by opportunities for prayer, which was banned in the public schools by the Supreme Court in 1962 in the case Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421
- secular wisdom being interspersed with Biblical wisdom from Bible reading, which was banned from public schools by the Supreme Court in 1963 in the case School District of Abington Township v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203
- the opportunity to integrate Christian values into the curriculum homeschool (what makes it a Christian homeschool)
- the opportunity to set aside a portion of the day for explicit religious education
- the ability to discipline children as they see appropriate
- the ability to remove their children from the influence of others who are opposed to their views
- the ability to keep children safe from the culture of drugs and violence which not only exists in the larger society, but has also infiltrated schools
- the opportunity to learn and grow as a family - there’s no reason that younger siblings can’t sit in on an older child’s lessons
Cons for Christian Homeschool
At a Christian homeschool, students experience some of the same situations as in private Christian schools, as well as some unique ones.
Enrolled in a Christian homeschool, students have:
- fewer opportunities to make friends outside of their own sphere
- to spend most of their time separate from neighboring friends who are going to public school
- lessened opportunity to interact with others outside of their belief system, interactions that introduce them to the diversity of views, opinions, and belief systems in the world
- less opportunity to deal with factors that Christians believe are temptations, learning how to stand up for their beliefs
- less opportunity to engage in healthy debate about belief systems, in which they might learn to argue for their standpoint with others who may disagree
Other issues include:
- Christian homeschool educators who may invest the classroom with so much religious education that students do not gain a complete, unbiased view of other subject matter, such as math and grammar
- use of materials that promotes the Christian tradition but is inadequate or problematically old-fashioned or inappropriate in its subject area pedagogy, understanding, or presentation.
For example, McGuffey’s Readers, still promoted for Christian homeschool classrooms, are avowedly Protestant, but also have been accused of bias to the point that they are inappropriate for classroom use. Teachers in Bristol, Virginia, for example, found them to be “racist, sexist, and archaic.”
Answers.com US History Encyclopedia: “School Prayer” answers.com/topic/school-prayer
Education Week: Publishing Column