Dear Christian Home Schooling Parent
Dear Christian Home Schooling Parent,
Deuteronomy 6:6-8 is NOT about home schooling. It was not even written to you, O ye 21st century First World parent.
New International Version (NIV)
6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
To say that these verses prove that God mandates home schooling is a gross misapplication of these verses and it has to stop.
Firstly, this was written to the Israelites of the Old Testament. The ‘commandments’ referred to here, are the 613 rules of the Mosaic Law. Nobody – and I mean nobody – follows the whole Mosaic Law anymore. Furthermore, you are not required to follow the Law of Moses. You are called to follow the Law of Christ.
If you want to say that parents are required to teach their children morals and values, then fine, you will get no argument from me. Parents should be the primary teachers in this regard. If this is true, this is a strong case for removing Religious Education classes from our schools and Sunday School classes from our churches. But I don’t see any Christians advocating this.
If you want to say that these verses highlight the call to see every life situation as a learning opportunity, again, you will get no argument from me. Is a home schooling situation superior to traditional schooling in this regard? In many cases, I’d say yes. Are there problems with the public school system? Sure! Even so, there are dedicated teachers out there who take their jobs very seriously and do their darndest to meet their responsibilities.
Furthermore, these verses speak nothing of imparting academic knowledge or of physical training, only imparting spiritual knowledge. If you have ever – and I mean ever – paid for music lessons, swimming lessons (or other sports), bought DVDs to teach your children mathematics (because math isn’t your ‘thing’ and the DVDs do a much better job than you ever could), etc, then you have delegated the teaching of your children to someone else and you have, by your actions, violated God’s so-called mandate to teach your own children everything. Why, even a home-school co-op should be seen as ‘wrong’!
Even if you do happen to teach your children everything, you have no right to suggest that other parents’ choice of education for their children is wrong or ‘compomised’, or that they have not prayerfully studied Scripture and are just following the crowd (after all, if they did, they would come to the same conclusion as you), or that Christians who don’t home school are not trusting God enough to supply their needs.