A Shift in Home Schooling
Someone shared this article on my Facebook feed.
I have to say the Grammar Geek in me was hooked from the very first sentence when he ended it with the proper pronoun. Clearly, he was taught well!
I am now in my 13th year of home schooling (roughly) so I think I’ve seen many things the article mentions – or, at least, have heard of them.
The author talks about how home schooling in the 1980s-1990s were “controlled by those holding to a conservative, fundamentalist Baptist theology. The dominant curriculum publishers were A BEKA, Bob Jones University Press and ACE/School of Tomorrow.” The VERY first curriculum we used was ACE. I did not know, at the time, that it was from a conservative, fundamentalist Baptist worldview. I just went with it because someone from our church (at the time) said that she used it and that she could help me order the books and lend me the Teacher’s Guides. I also heard of A BEKA and Bob Jones University Press through other home schoolers in our small church. After that first year, I decided not to continue with ACE.
A BEKA and ACE are still very popular among home schoolers here. In fact, if I am not mistaken, ACE is THE most popular home school curriculum, comprising of more than half of the home school market.
The author says that in the mid-1990s, there was a shift from conservative fundamentalism towards Reformed Theology. In addition to staunch biblical literalism and strict conservatism, adherents also subscribe to:
- Courtship/Betrothal as a paradigm for approaching marriage
- Young Earth Creationism
- Spanking as a method of child discipline
- Complementarian views of marriage
- Modest dress (which is, of course, defined differently by different people)
- Traditional roles of men/women
- Family-Integrated Church
- Large families as an ideal
- Daughters staying at home until married
- and much more.
(list taken from the article)
Several big-name leaders within conservative Christian (home schooling) circles who taught the above ideas have been caught in conduct unbecoming of a ‘biblical man’ which in turn has caused their ministry to close down; investigations to take place; and many hurt and confused sheep in the wake, questioning the ideals. Not all adherents have withdrawn or pulled away completely, however. They still honestly and sincerely believe in the above ‘principles’ and do their utmost to promote and follow them.
The author says that there is a shift in the home schooling movement and that the above movements are becoming less popular.
Now, maybe it’s because I am in Australia and things tend to take a while to make their way Down Under, or maybe it’s because I’m usually slow on the uptake, but it seems those things seem to be getting more popular now. Within the last twelve months, a several conferences have been held here promoting the above ideals. I did not attend them and, therefore, do not know how well-attended or received they were.
But, those ideas are here. And they can be alienating for someone who is just starting to look into home schooling as an option and looking for some support and encouragement.
“If you want to do something to help grow home education, find out what the new, young families need, and provide it (or direct them to it).”
This is Marketing 101. Find out what people need and provide it. Too often, the message has been, “You are biblically mandated to home school. Here is what home schooling with a Biblical Worldview™ looks like. Buy our curriculum!”
If what the author says is true, and there is a shift AWAY from “Patriarchy” within home schooling and all the other stuff that comes with it, I welcome it. Come Down Under, and come soon!
EDITED TO ADD:
Should have done my homework!
The author of the linked article is affiliated with several big names in the Conservative Christian Homeschooling Movement and will be speaking at a Mega-Conference.
Posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014, in Home Schooling, Young-Earth Creation Organizations and tagged Biblical Patriarchy, Christian Patriarchy Movement, Modesty, National Center for Family-Integrated Churches. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.