Are adults raised in CONSISTENT Christian homes & home schooled more likely to walk with the Lord & stay true to the faith?

Yes, clearly so
17% (3 votes)
More so, but not overwhelmingly so
33% (6 votes)
No significant statistical difference:
39% (7 votes)
Other
11% (2 votes)
Total votes: 18
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There are 10 Comments

Ed Vasicek's picture

Nothing hurts us like seeing our kids go the wrong way, make poor decisions, or suffer.  Christian parents care more about their kids serving the Lord than they do about lucrative careers or social status. If they are walking with the Lord, that's what blesses us most. Some of us have homeschooled our children to help this be more likely.  We greatly FEAR that they will turn our poorly, and that fear is justified around us.

When it comes to how kids raised in Christian families turned out, Barna has pretty much made the case in "Revolutionary Parenting" by looking at success stories and working backwards.  I thought it was a fine read, yet he avoids comparing homeschooled children with public-schooled children with hands-on parents. The idea that the home and the style of parenting is the top factor is a given. But it is not the only factor. Kids are not programmable computers; they have a will of their own, and even perfect parenting can result in kids who abandon the Lord.  To say otherwise is to disbelieve in choice.

We fully homeschooled our two children beginning in 1990,  and they are both walking with the Lord.  We consider this the grace of God. We have seen so many other parents as dedicated and more competent than we, and some of those kids chose ungodly paths and rejected the faith. We have seen many casualties, like home schooled kids becoming atheists, shacking up, or being arrested for crimes.  The books we read back then about homeschooling years ago suggested that this sort of thing rarely happened. They promised parents control of their child's future, although not in those words.

In addition,, we have seen many kids in public schools go the wrong way (this is considered a given). But some excellent Christians can come out of the public school system, too. Obviously, this varies by school district, too.

Am I glad we homeschooled our children? Yes.  And, I think, they are, too.  Do I think that homeschooling is the way to gain ultimate CONTROL of your children's future? No way!

IMO, home schooled children do some better, statistically, but not that much --if you are comparing kids from godly, hands-on homes.  But it is far from the cure all that was promised decades ago.

 

"The Midrash Detective"

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

The crux of the matter is where we place our faith. If we are trusting an educational method, church, parenting style,,, to move our children's hearts toward God, our faith is misplaced. These things are tools of a sort that God can use in the lives of our children, but the Holy Spirit convicts and reveals truth to each one of us. 

I think homeschooling offers more opportunities for my dh and I to lead by teaching and by example, and it limits their unsupervised exposure to false teachers and evil influences. These are good things. But good things do not have power in and of themselves. 

handerson's picture

I'm surprised at the singling out of educational structure as if it were a factor in addition to a consistent Christian home. By this I mean, isn't it a given that parents who are engaged in living a vibrant faith before their children will choose their educational model (regardless of what it is) via their faith? Won't the choice and the resulting parenting be informed by their already established "consistent Christian" paradigm so that educational choices will end up simply being an application of the faith?

For example, our decision to currently send our kids to public school (and how we engage them there) is as much a result of our spiritual walk  as was our decision to homeschool several years ago.  So far, we don't regret either choice and we made the decisions through a process of serious prayer, doing our homework, and following the Holy Spirit. (In both cases, our kids were very aware that we were in the process of pursuing God's will and that we would obey whatever it was--I feel like this in itself was a fabulous teaching opportunity.) Certainly, we can make educational decisions apart from our walk with the Lord, but when we do (even if we make conservative choices), we are not modeling consistently Christian homes. We do the same damage when we homeschool out of fear as when we send our children to Christian school out of spiritual laziness or to public school out of apathy.  In all cases, the decision is an outgrowth of the parents' spiritual life. 

 

Ed Vasicek's picture

Some good thoughts, but this sort of gets into some other subjects, like the relationship of God's leading in contrast to wisdom, etc..   If you were convinced that your children were more LIKELY to walk with the Lord if homeschooled, then wisdom would dictate that avenue.

In another thread on Cessationalism, some express an idea that God does not really lead through his Spirit in a mystical way.  Instead, they believe wisdom dictates them to take the approach that promises to produce the best results.  I am not among such people; I do believe God can impress my heart with a leading.  

We reasoned and prayed both, and I cannot say we got a clear leading, but we thought it best to take the home school approach, a year at a time because we believed that our kids would be less prone to become dependent upon peer pressure.  Our kids came out fine, and we have no regrets and would make the choice again. But we have seen other public schooled kids turn out well, too.  And, sadly, we have seen plenty in both categories wash out.  But because we were not "hard core," we gave people room to choose what they thought was in the best interest of their child.  While counseling certain families, I advised in BOTH directions.

I voted, "more so, but not overwhelming so."

 

"The Midrash Detective"

Don Johnson's picture

as in, I don't have a clue, my sample size is too small.

FWIW, we homeschooled our five but their future spiritual walk was not a factor in the decision to start homeschooling. We just wanted them to actually learn something, as opposed to just learning what they liked in the school system.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Ed Vasicek's picture

Don Johnson wrote:

as in, I don't have a clue, my sample size is too small.

FWIW, we homeschooled our five but their future spiritual walk was not a factor in the decision to start homeschooling. We just wanted them to actually learn something, as opposed to just learning what they liked in the school system.

 

People that homeschool do so for various reasons.  Our reasons were more than one: godly teaching, family closeness, and hopefully resistance to peer pressure.  Although our kids did better than average academically, that was not our particular motivation.  This is a good reminder, Don, that not everyone who homeschools does it for the same reason.

"The Midrash Detective"

Don Johnson's picture

Hi Ed

I'd say we had several reasons, but the primary one was a good education. We didn't think the home schooling effort by itself would guarantee spiritual success. But we were concerned that public school or even the lame Christian schools in our area could have an undue negative spiritual effect, so that was a secondary reason.

We joined some home school groups locally for a few years. The best benefit of the one group was field trips one of the mother's organized. When she moved away that fizzled.

Within these groups there was a wide range of opinions about home-schooling. We were among those who were concerned about the lack of structure in current public school philosophy/curriculum. We were surprised to meet home schoolers who felt the public schools were TOO structured... we called these "the nuts and berries crowd". They tended to be unorthodox in many ways.

Maranatha!
Don Johnson
Jer 33.3

Ed Vasicek's picture

We were surprised to meet home schoolers who felt the public schools were TOO structured... we called these "the nuts and berries crowd". They tended to be unorthodox in many ways.

Don, I've heard a movement called "unschooling" where the idea is that if kids focus on what they are interested in, they learn to enjoy learning and then supposedly excel.  I am skeptical.  One source informs:

 

Unschooling, for lack of a better term (until people start to accept living as part and parcel of learning), is the natural way to learn. However, this does not mean unschoolers do not take traditional classes or use curricular materials when the student, or parents and children together, decide that this is how they want to do it. Learning to read or do quadratic equations are not "natural" processes, but unschoolers nonetheless learn them when it makes sense to them to do so, not because they have reached a certain age or are compelled to do so by arbitrary authority. Therefore it isn't unusual to find unschoolers who are barely eight-years-old studying astronomy or who are ten-years-old and just learning to read.

 

"The Midrash Detective"

handerson's picture

1. On following the leading of the Spirit--I tend to shy away from emotionally-based decision making (that may appear to be the Holy Spirit) but I have a strong belief in Providential leading and circumstances. For us, the decisions have come as a result of living in different places, different needs, different abilities, etc.--it's been like taking one step at a time down the road trusting that God will give wisdom at each juncture. Often I wish we could just make a one-time decision and be done with it, but each year, we have to reassess and be in tune with the needs of our children. I'm hoping this process give my kids a model for their own future decisions.

 

2. Superior education--I'm completely in agreement with the possibility of a better education through homeschooling... if the parents are committed to that. The one great variable in homeschooling is the parents--strengths and weaknesses are automatically transferred, which is both blessing and curse. I do love the possibilities for extended learning and developing the whole person--the flexibility and efficiency is very appealing to me as I think of all the things I want my children to experience that a traditional school schedule won't allow for. I also know that they are more likely to model my own bad habits of disorganization, lack of a sense of time, and general scatterbrained-ness. Smile Perhaps one of the benefits of homeschooling for those who are committed is that the parents must grow and learn as much as the children do. 

Susan R's picture

EditorModerator

It is difficult sometimes to express that one has made a decision on the foundation of Biblical principles without making it sound like everyone else who does not agree is wrong. I agree there is a strange and inexplicable balance between using our intellect, reasoning, and understanding of Scripture, and  trusting Providence. We often use language such as "God opened/closed the door" to say that we believe God used circumstances to guide us to a particular choice. Based on passages such as Romans 1:13 and 1 Thessalonians 2:18, I would agree that choices based on circumstances are not invalid, as long as they remain consistent with that which we know to be true. 

The often adversarial relationship between public/private schoolers and homeschoolers is unfortunate. I am tempted to say "They started it!" Biggrin because in the beginning, the hostility toward homeschooling was beyond the pale. The desire to opt out of the public school system was viewed as a contentious act, whether the people making that decision were being contentious or not.

Now that home education is more mainstream, the furor has died down, but some homeschoolers and public/private schoolers were scarred during those times, and have trouble letting go of their suspicion of each other. Younger parents starting out don't feel that tension, and it's a relief to me to interact with them. 

But back to the topic- we can't dismiss that people are shaped by many factors, not the least of which is their own nature. Ken and I have four kids, and each of them have different 'bents'. I can't place my faith in a particular 'method' of education or parenting except that which we glean from Scripture. And sometimes we do have to be 'pragmatic' in our choices. What works best for each child, what can we afford to do...?

We began homeschooling because the private Christian school where Seth was going just wasn't all that. They were teaching sight reading and other new-fangled approaches to learning, and whenever he had a substitute teacher, they ended up watching movies all afternoon. I could smack the daylights out of the girl who had a bunch of 1st graders watch The Wizard of Oz without checking with parents- Seth had nightmares for weeks. The public schools in our district were out of the question.

My brother had been homeschooling his kids, and Ken and I had talked about it a few times, but we were both working, and didn't know if we could make it on one income. But one day after the movie incident, he came upstairs (we worked on different floors of the same mortgage bank) and told me to hand in my 2 weeks notice if I wanted to homeschool. I was ecstatic. I didn't get a degree in education so I could work in the legal dept of a bank, KWIM?

Is it acceptable to homeschool because it's fun? Biggrin I love it, the kids love it, and we can't imagine doing anything else.