Monday, October 23, 2017

Big Brother Does Not Like Homeschooling

Wednesday, January 1, 2014, 0:00
This news item was posted in Education category.
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The politically correct ideology says Big Brother supposedly knows what is best.  A half-century ago, the family, the church, the school, and the government all were regarded as basic building blocks to our land. There is a shift now, as the government increasingly uses education to minimize or even destroy the influence of both the church and family.

Many concerned parents are seeking to stand against much of the negative influence from Big Brother. Many families distressed about the situation have turned to home-schooling for their children – be it for mental/physical problems, instructional quality, or for over sixty percent, the general influence or religious/moral factors of the environment. (By Milton Gaither, Homeschooling Goes Mainstream, Winter 2009). In America, by the early 1990s, home-schoolers had won the right to home-school in every state, often to the disdain of Big Brother.

In 1960, church membership was at an all time high in America and the economy was vital and going well. America excelled the world in most every avenue in respect to education.  Now five or so decades later, as government has expanded its oversight over all in the public school educational system, the negative results are very much evident. We have a stultifying force in our educational system as it moves from the top down, rather than the bottom up, with achievement not only stagnant, but continually falling in respect to other industrialized countries.

Milton Gaither said: “Reliable nationwide numbers are difficult to obtain, but the National Center for Education Statistics estimates that from 1999 to 2003 the number of home-schooled children increased from around 850,000 to roughly 1.1 million, a twenty-nine percent jump in four years. Movement leaders suggest even higher estimates of around 2 to 2.5 million children currently being home-schooled. Some states keep their own figures. Virginia had 3,816 registered home-schoolers in 1990. By 2007 the number had grown to 20,694. Maryland saw similar growth, from 2,296 in 1990 to 24,227 in 2006.”  The same pattern is observable in most every state.

Recall the Lord Jesus Christ said, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32), but with the authoritarianism imposed by the state there is a real contradiction to what is true freedom.  There is a battle between free individual development and the authoritarian determination sought by Big Brother.  In the public school, the rights of parents and children are increasingly being pitted against the state’s demands, all the bureaucracy, red tape, and enormous expense coupled with governmental authoritarianism.  Home-schooling is an avenue of escape!

Gaither well observes: “Home-schooling is an act of defiance that frightens the state. It not only challenges the state’s competence and monopoly, but it also constitutes an issue from which people will not back down. How can they? The well-being and future of their children is at stake. Unfortunately, the state is not likely to back down either.” There is a battle going on for the minds of the children, and it is vital for the future of nation and the world!

The Bible gives the education of the children basically to the parents.  There is a connection between the family and the education.   Proverbs 13:1 says: “A wise son heareth his father’s instruction: but a scorner heareth not rebuke.”  Proverbs 22:6 says: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  Proverbs 1:8 says “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:” And II Timothy 2:15 says, “15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” These verses definitely point to the parental responsibility in the education of the youth, as well as youth’s attentiveness to the teaching of their parents.  And in the same realm there is the call to realize God as the true guide to all truth in all learning, something Big Brother now feels we have outgrown.

One of the basic reasons Big Brother has increasingly become involved in dominating education since the 1950s relates back to the fact that blacks have academically in general been behind the whites, although nothing is said about the whites being behind the Asians.

It has been observed that: “Several nationwide support groups have been formed by African Americans to build momentum; the newest and largest is the National African-American Homeschoolers Alliance, co-founded by Jennifer James. By 2006 the organization had 3,000 members. James learned of home schooling by watching the success of homeschoolers at the Scripps National Spelling Bee and embraced it for her family. ‘Families are running out of options,’ James told the Saint Petersburg Times in 2005.”

James went on to say, “There’s this persistent achievement gap, and a lot of black children are doing so poorly in traditional schools that parents are looking for alternatives.” Home schooling is becoming the method of choice for many, and as such “the Black home-school movement is growing at a faster rate than the general homeschool population,” according to J. Michael Smith, president and cofounder of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), the nation’s most powerful homeschool advocacy organization.  Homeschooled black children tend to even do much better in academic achievement compared to their black peers in the public schools than the homeschooled whites compared to their white peers in the public schools, although both races outstrip the public school students in academic achievement. (Gaither)

Many are today using cyber-schooling for their children. We’re in a technological age, and this can be useful. Cyber-schooling, education by the Internet, can be one type of homeschooling.  It should entail real parental oversight; however, for if unmanaged by parents major problems can develop. We might live in a technological age, but technology can destroy thinking minds, when we substitute it for our own thinking.  Have you ever been in a store when the computer went down, and clerks who knew how to push the buttons, didn’t know how to do simple mathematics?  Just learning to push the button is not to really learn to think, except in very limited ways.

Home-schooled children routinely display excellent personal development. They learn adaptability, which can give them flexibility in a continual educational experience, not just one confined to the classroom.  It opens all kinds of areas of exploration to the students, and it avoids the great waste of time of standing in line, changing classes, encountering disruptive students, or being bored while teachers try to instruct students in levels below you or being frustrated when teachers work with students beyond you.

A 2012 article in Education News called the “consistently high placement of homeschooled kids on standardized assessment exams … one of the most celebrated benefits of home-schooling.” Education News compared the quality of home-schooling to that of public schooling. “Those who are independently educated typically score between the 65th and 89th percentile on such exams, while those attending traditional schools average on the 50th percentile. Furthermore, the achievement gaps, long plaguing school systems … aren’t present in the home-schooling environment.”  (McElroy, Homeschooling: The Public Schools’ Invasive Species)

Wendy McElroy observed that, “To the government, home-schooling resembles a weed that spreads and resists control. To home-schooling parents, it is the flowering of knowledge and values within children who have been abandoned or betrayed by public schools. A great tension exists between the two perspectives. Homeschooling’s continued growth has only heightened it.” And she went on to say,  “The increasing diversity of homeschoolers and institutional configurations should not obscure the fact that many who home school still choose this option out of frustration with or protest against formal, institution-based schooling and seek to impart an alternative, usually conservative Christian, worldview to their children by teaching them at home.” (McElroy)

Dr. Susan Berry wrote an article, Send a Tip, (July 18, 2013) concerning a German family, named Romeikes, who came to America to home-school their children which was forbidden in Germany. Though the family was granted political asylum in the United States, the Obama administration appealed that decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals, and that Board decided in favor of the Obama administration, and has sought to send the family back to Germany, where they had fled because their family had been vigorously prosecuted with steep fines, threats of loss of custody of their children, and imprisonment – all for home-schooling with Christian teachings.

Homeschooling is an acute embarrassment to Big Brother’s public schools, for the federal government wants to weaken political critics. Public schools are desperate for funding, and as for the average expenditure for the education of a home-schooled child, per year, is $500 to $600, compared to an average expenditure of $10,000 per child, per year, for public school students..   Plus, access to children in the public schools allows Big Brother inculcate its values in our youth, as for example America’s second-largest school district, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), has accepted almost $1 million for a pilot program to train students how to convince their families to enroll in Obamacare.

Homeschooling is a real problem to the programming of our American children to the new worldview that is now dawning what they call the Post-Christian, syncretic worldview of progressivism.   Big Brother wishes to contain homeschooling whenever and however he can, and concerned or Christian parents should take note and take appropriate steps.

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by Joe Renfro, Ed.D., Educational Columnist, Radio Evangelist, Retired Teacher and Pastor, 5931 West Avenue, Lavonia, Georgia 30553,  706-356-4173, joerenfro@windstream.net.

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