by Matthew C. Coover
Homeschooling...... Again? Yes..... again. If you've subscribed to our magazine for long at all, I'm sure you've quickly picked up on the fact that homeschooling will be mentioned a number of times, sometimes even with the same title, with the exception of # one, two, or three. That fact is that homeschooling is an important topic, and one that deserves an important part in our thought patterns and everyday lives. Homeschool: viewed by some as an excellent alternative; viewed by others as a dangerous, destructive force which can easily ruin your children. Which mentality is on track, and which is not? ........A tricky question that deserves a well thought out answer.
I will begin by discussing those folks who believe that homeschool is something that should not even be considered, let alone dealt with. So let's see; what are some of their arguments?
Interaction. The kids need to interact with others (especially others their own age). If you keep them away from everyone and everything they will grow up to be a misfit in society, incapable of holding down a job or facing others in public environments. They won't be up on current events, and that would be a terrible shame. There's not enough to do around home. They're bored. Just look at mine on summer vacation. They can hardly wait to go back to get back with their chums. (I myself would add "get away from their mom and dad as well, but of course they wouldn't It would be out of order).
If you keep your kids stuck at home, how are they ever supposed to get out and interact with others on the ballfield? When you send your kids off to school they get the opportunity to practice teamwork by playing all sorts of sports with their classmates. It's educational for them and it's also fantastic excercise. Think of all you're making them miss out on by confining them to home. Glad I'm not them....having to be grounded my whole life.
Mom and Dad, you aren't smart enough to teach your own kids. Leave that up to the pro's. In order to survive in this high tech. society, we've all got to be white collar individuals. If you even attempt homeschooling, you are doomed. Oh well, you couldn't accept my advice. You're all gonna be eating out of the garbage can. Just wait and see. I told you so.
Homeschooling is too time consuming. You'll waste all your day. Just think of all the cool things you could be doing while you're just sitting around teachin' dumb kids who aren't listenin' to half of the things you say.
You don't know everything. You need to let your kids formulate their own idea's picking up stuff from here and there. How can they ever get a logical outlook on life if their getting all their idea's from the same source?
You're sheltering your kids if you homeschool them. They've gotta get out into the world someday. It might as well be now. Homeschooling is just being over protective. It's not that dangerous out there.
I turned out OK and so did my kids, so I'm sure it'll be good enough for yours too. (Now here's the opposite side) So what if my kids turned out rotten. Homeschoolin' won't change that. Just wait till yours are mine's age and then see what you have to say for yourself. They'll pick up every filthy rotten thing they would in school at home too. If you want to keep them "pure" you'll need to lock them in a room with no windows, no radio, no TV, no music, guaranteed earplugs, etc. and even then they'll still pick up on stuff you don't want them to.
Oh. You don't want them to know and do any of that? Well they have to experience it firsthand to know that it's trash. If they've never even heard of it, how can they know it's bad?
And on and on the list goes. Believe it or not, we've heard all these "reasonings" if that's what you dare to call them. Now it's time to respond to that big confusing list of "reasons" Ready? I am.
It is true that children need to interact with others. That's why Elohim created the family. Homeschooling by no means keeps children and teens away from everyone and everything. If fact, I am a firm believer in the fact that homeshoolers get more interacting than the public schoolers do. The kids in public school only have interaction with kids their own age. Children who are homeschooled have interaction with folks of all ages. 100 years ago folks everywhere homeschooled and everyone turned out back then. They weren't all misfits and they didn't have trouble facing others.
Now for the sports fans which abound on every corner of our planet with the exception of possibly the north and south poles. So "they" say that our children are missing out by not participating in sports. Huh? "Missing out on what?" I ask. "All the immorality that the popular sports idols of today get involved with... the problems and the unhappiness that accompanies a life of no purpose, save that of play?" Sounds to me like I want to miss out on that. Ever thought about the term "sport"? In what terminology does scripture use the word? Well I'm not going to do an in-depth study on the word, due to the fact that this article is on homeschooling, and not sports. (It is tempting though) I will however give you several references from the Strongs KJV concordance to scriptures which use this word. (Judges 16:25, vs. 27 / Proverbs 10:23 / Prov. 26:19 / Isaiah 57:4) Now here's two references to the word "sporting" (Genesis 26:8 / 2 Peter 2:13). If you want you can do an indepth study on the individual meaning of the original Hebrew & Greek words. Once again though, I am not going into all of that right now. I'm leaving the homework up to you. Now with or without the original meanings, you've got to be honest with yourself. Do the majority of these passages give the word "sport" a positive connotation? Far too many folks today ignorantly use this 5 letter word far to lightly. Guess it's not just the 4 letter words that we need to watch out for!
The argument about sports being "teamwork", is simply flat-out untrue. They are rather "team-play", a great waste of time, and a potential hotbed for many injuries. There is no work involved. An occasional game of ball for children may be one thing as long as the objective is not to win, but rather to have an enjoyable time of fellowship together. However, the scriptures say "And when I became a man, I put away childish things". We're living in a world full of "men and women who never grew up".
The current events of today are trash. The less you know about them, the better off you are. Nonetheless, in the world today, you'd have to be on the moon to not be knowledgeable of current events, and even then an astronaut would drop in and inform you of something like how they have finally found life on Mars.
To those who claim that your children will be bored if they're stuck at home, give them a copy of the last issue of our magazine.
To those who say Mom and Dad are too dumb to do the job of parenting in it's entirety, I am inclined to ask, "Well who taught Mom and Dad? It takes folks a long to before the light of common sense blinks on in their heads, doesn't it? Parents, it is your responsibility to teach your children. Elohim says it plain as plain can be in His word.
We've all gotta be high tech., white collar individuals. We do? Funny I didn't realize that until now. We're all doing fine. Of course "they" say we're plenty dumb as well, but that's just their opinion of us. Elohim's opinion is what counts, and apparently they don't care about that....at least it doesn't appear so. Besides that, who says that we have to be white collar, and even if we do, who says that we can't be homeschool white collars? It's a proven fact that most homeschooling families are doing far better than average. There are youth coming out of college every day who appear to not even know right from wrong. Now is that bad or what?
While homeschooling may consume some time, doesn't everything? Homeschool doesn't waste any of your day. According to the world's terminology you could "be doin' all sorts of cool things" instead. In Yahweh's terminology, obedience to His word is the best thing you could ever begin to do. The problem with the world's terminology is that it's just "cool".....not important or necessary, just plain "cool". Yahweh says that he would rather us be either hot or cold: not just lukewarm. "Cool" is in between there too.
Nobody knows everything, save one, but it is the world's way of thinking to say that our young people have got to get out in the world and learn every religion under the sun (if that's what you dare call them) before they can be grounded in one. Nine times out of ten that religion that they become grounded in is "self-ism", and "self-ism" is a sin. Did Yahshua think it necessary to fill our heads with lies before giving us the message of salvation - just so we wouldn't be prejudice? I'll let that question up to you to answer. Anyone know what happens if you stick your children in with a whole bunch of other youngsters their own age? There's an old saying. One boy's a whole boy. Two boys is a half a boy. Three boys ain't no boy at all. Now this saying can be true in one sense of the word, and at the same time, false in the other. One boy is a 'whole' boy only if he is firmly rooted in the Savior. If he is trying to get along on his own, he is only a 'hole' boy. The problem lies in the fact that most times when you get a whole bunch of young people together, they are out looking for trouble. Yahweh's way is not for the young people to get all off by themselves. Why do they need to be alone? What don't they want their parents to know about? Young folks, it's violating the law of Yahweh to sin and attempt to hide it. Don't ever forget that. Remember Annanias and Saphira.... Yahweh can strike you dead just as easy.
We're sheltering our "kids"? Amen! Yes we are. Elohim commands us to shelter our children, just as He shelters His. So many just itch to get out of that shelter, but don't be fooled. You can be sure they suffer the consequences for the false, make believe freedom they think they've found. You do not have to let your children out into the world. They are already in the world. The man or woman who tells you that you gotta let em out into the world really means that you just need to let go of the reigns and let them do whatever they want - go wherever they want - sin as much as they want - bring judgment on their own head as much as they want. Did not our Lord command us to love one another? Yes he did. Loving one another does not mean letting our children end up is hell! To love is to save them from condemnation, to show them the light. Today is the day of salvation. Tomorrow may well be too late. (Once you are 'saved' you can't do whatever you want either, as the "eternal security-ists" teach. If you do, or even attempt it, then you're not saved.) Homeschooling is not being over protective, and it is dangerous out there. Don't the "theys" read the daily newspaper, or do they just let it for the dog to chew on? I have seen far to many ingrossed in the paper to believe the second.
Now for those who say 'I turned out OK.' Well I'm not out to offend folks, but the scriptures prophesy the "offenses shall come" If you want to shirk you duty and hand your children over to the world to be taught, (and think that it's fine to do as such) then you didn't turn out O-K, and neither will your children. "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. I won't need to wait around til my children are grown to see that they're not going to turn out OK. I'm going to follow the scriptures and know that they're gonna turn out wholehearted Believers from the start!
It is true, I admit, that lots of homeschooled children pick up all sorts of worldly language, actions, attitudes, clothing, etc. etc., but that does not have to be. I'll return to this one in a little bit.
There's claiming believers out there everywhere nowadays that say your children have to experience sin or read about it to know that it is wrong. This is the biggest lie that could ever be told. Why do they think the scriptures were written? We do not need to know everything that is wrong. All we need to know is what is right, and we will automatically know what is wrong. "Abstain from all appearance of evil", scripture says. I guess that must be obsolete nowadays, or else people just aren't reading Yahweh's scriptures. I tend to lean strongly toward the second.
Subscribers tell us that they can't believe the purity seen in our magazine. Is this that unbelievable? Yes. Sadly, in our society it is. They say they can't see how we do it. I can. The ingredients are simple. Stick to scripture, and nothing else. Why are such a vast number of homeschoolers being lured into carnality and sin? Once again, the answer is simple. They are not following Yahweh.
An extremely important aspect of being separate from the world in our schooling and everyday lives is the language we use. There are a vast number of claiming believers out there in the world who do not use profane language (although more and more do so each year), and yet are caught up in the usage of worldly terms, words, and expressions. Let me give you a little visual aid to help you understand what I'm talking about:
"Moses is up on Mount Sinai with Yahweh, hidden by the cloud. "These are the commandments I give unto thee" thunders Yahweh." "Wow! That's was awesome!" chuckles Moses as he turns to leave. As he carries the tablets down off the mountain, he meets Joshua and proceeds to tell him the happenings of the last 40 days. "Man, sounds cool" exclaims Joshua. When they reach the bottom Moses is filled with anger at the sight of the golden calf and throws the tablets down, breaking them in hundreds of pieces. Joshua looks on with an expression of disbelief. "Oh brother! That sure is a bummer. Moses, you really blew it this time!" Language might seem unimportant to you. It does to most. You might be thinking that I'm being "too picky", but that's not so. If these are your feelings, then you're just not being picky enough. The language we use plays a major role in the impression we give to others. Our impression of Moses and Joshua might not be so great if the above example had been true. The purity of one's speech affects the success and purity of their personal life and the life of their family. It affects their success in training their children, and it most certainly will affect the success and purity of their homeschool as well.
Once again "they" say that you'd have to keep your children locked in a room without windows, without music, without a TV, without a radio, with earplugs..... in plain words without what? Without SIN. "Light and darkness cannot abide together", the Scriptures say. It's true. If they attempt to dwell in the same soul, what happens? Darkess conquers.
You ask how we do it? Want to do it too? OK, then listen up. Here's a very simple list of the necessary things you must do to succeed.
1. Get rid of all worldly influences from your home. This includes the Television and radio. You must also rid your home of all worldly music (if you read through this magazine cover to cover, you find out how to do that as well). Only music in it's original form can be allowed.
2. Un-wholesome books must be burned and Messiah-centered books be read in their place. All books labeled as "Christian" are not what they say. Rather, about 95% of them are anti-Yahweh, and who is the greatest adversary of Elohim? Satan..... you've guessed it. Satan and his stories must be removed. Now if you continue to grow spiritually as you should, this housecleaning project will last a lifetime. Either things will creep in slowly unawares or you will realize that the cassette that was OK a year ago is trash today (and not just cause it's not in style either)
3. Now you're still wondering about the locked room, absence of windows and presence of earplugs. These are spiritual. They are a "must" as well. The locked room is the heart; a heart that has a sincere and earnest desire to do as our Lord would, and nothing contrary to His commands. It is also the righteous admonition of parents and others in the true faith of Messiah. The earplugs are the word of Yahweh, and they are guaranteed to work, if worn constantly and read often. The absence of windows is the absence of evil influences in the home, which will then serve as a safe retreat from the cares that so easily can beset the earnest Believer.
So we're beginning to see that homeschooling is not all it takes. In fact, homeschooling is only a small fraction of the necessary elements. The main ingredient is Yahweh. Without Him, your homeschool will fail miserably. Elohim must be at the center of all your textbooks and activities. If you use the same textbooks the public sector uses, you are no better off. It only makes sense.
Many homeschoolers go to all these homeschool co-ops. If you could find a group of homeschoolers who believed at least similar to you and were all on track spiritually, this would be OK, but as it is, that's generally not so. Generally, if you want to be in the midst of a crowd of people just like you, you need to conform to them, and not the other way around. Take a look around you in the world. How many folks are out there who share your beliefs in general? If you're like us, they're few and far between. The world which surrounds us every day is what you're dealing with in most homeschool co-ops. The holidays for one will most likely be rampant, even if the group is made up of families who claim to follow Elohim. We have found this out from personal experience. Consequently, we decided that it was not necessary to possibly endanger our family just so we could have fellowship, and the Lord has blessed us for it. We're all doing fine without the co-op. You can too.
When it's all summed up, in order to even attempt homeschooling, you must have inspiration. In order to carry through with homeschooling, you must have conviction in what you are doing, and if you expect to succeed in homeschooling, you must be willing to stand alone. Sure, we cannot remove ourselves from all worldly influences, but we can block many of them. Homeschooling, when attempted in the proper way, with Yahweh Elohim as head teacher, is a wonderful way of accomplishing this, and with Yahweh on your side, it is practically impossible to experience defeat as a homeschooler. If you have not taken this stand for HaMoshiach yet, I invite you to join with us, and if you are already a devoted homeschooling family, I encourage you to stand firm until the end, viewing the opposition that is sure to encounter you only as an instrument to farther strengthen your faith in Yahshua.