I’ve been reading a book called Write These Laws on Your Children: Inside the World of Conservative Christian Homeschooling (Beacon Press, August, 2009) by Robert Kunzman. The book is a look at six Christian families and how they homeschool their children. Not every family fits the stereotype I know I have in my mind. Some are impressive; others leave much to be desired.
The following passage highlights a family that is about as Christian and conservative as you can get. It’s not necessarily typical of homeschooling. It’s just one glimpse of one family’s mentality about the public schools.
[Father Gary:] “I’m not a wise man in the world’s things. I’m not even academically able to teach a lot of subjects and neither is my wife. We resolved in ourselves years and years ago that if we were able to teach our children character, teach them how to read so that they could read the Bible, we would have done all that is necessary for them to survive this world. And we’re not going to put ourselves up under other people’s ideas of what an educated person is. So we’ve taught each one of them that we would be just as proud to see them hanging off a garbage truck, knowing that they don’t lie, steal, cheat, and despise God.” (p. 72)
Gary has returned to the kitchen by this point and has been listening to his daughter describe their schoolwork. “We started homeschooling back before it became popular,” he recounts. “Our eldest daughters are twenty-five years old now and they never went to a public school for a day.” He pulls out a chair from the kitchen table and settles himself in it. “The public schools are being assaulted by Satan,” he continues. “In the public schools, we’d be worried about our daughters being raped, assaulted, learning Satan worship, fighting, all the guns, the deaths in the schools, knifings. Teachers molesting children. Homosexuals, you know, demanding their wickedness be crammed into the classroom.”
[Daughter] Sharon shakes her head in disapproval. “The only reason that I would want to go to the public school,” she says, “would be for the socialization. That’s the only reason.”
“But you have that at church,” Gary points out.
Sharon agrees. “We have that anywhere else.”
“And you have that going to Wal-Mart,” Gary adds. (p. 75)