Suzanne's Second Estate

A web log of my thoughts, activities, life....

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Educational Choice Should Be Approached With Humility

For those of you who don't know, I was home schooled. I loved it. Learning at home gave me the opportunity to indulge my interests and develop my talents in a unique way. I'm also thankful (now) that I had so much quality time with my parents and siblings.

Growing up in the Northwest, I was very familiar with Gregg Harris and his family. Harris was one of the pioneers of the homeschool movement from the early 1980s to the mid 1990s, and I know my parents gained many insights from him.

Gregg's son, Josh, went on to write I Kissed Dating Goodbye. (I interviewed him about the book for my college newspaper.) Recently, Josh challenged his congregation to step away from the divisions caused by educational choices: home school, Christian school, public school. These groups seem polarized, even within gospel-centered churches. While each family needs to prayerfully consider which educational choice is God's best for them, an us/them mentality is unfitting among a community of sincere believers.

In a comment on Josh's blog, Gregg Harris points out that the true issue is not the style of education a parent chooses, but his faithfulness and responsibility to God in that child's upbringing.

The only moral issue at stake is whether we are willing to walk in the obedience of our faith in God and His will as we understand it from the Scriptures. Though wisdom and foolishness are called into play, there is no moral superiority to be found in any one educational option. Though diligence is required of all three options, only our labor in Christ will not be in vain. Then, as the relative fruit of each option is put on display in time, may we all be humble enough to change our ways as needed in order to bear even better fruit for God.

Not all options seem to be equally fruitful thus far. But as a long-time home-schooling father and Christian home-schooling advocate I can honestly say that every option, including home schooling has its problems (as you well know). So, pick your problems, and by the grace of God deal with those problems as they arise.

I agree. Like all things in life, each educational style has potential pitfalls. While each believer is responsible to decide the best way to follow God's call on his family, simply depending upon a method is not what God asks. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 says: "Test everything. Hold on to the good."

I am pro home school. I am also pro unity among believers. I think Gregg Harris is on a good track encouraging believers to exercise humility in this area and "walk in obedience to our faith in God." That's what truly matters.


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