Keeping Your Children Home

by Kristin

I’m in the middle of reading a book by Dr. Raymond Moore (namely, Home Grown Kids). Dr. Moore is a developmental psychologist and a strong advocate of homeschooling and of delaying formal education (see School Can Wait and Better Late Than Early by Dr. Moore). He stresses again and again the psychological benefits of young children staying at home under the loving care of their parents.

I find it deeply saddening to see so many parents following the popular culture in sending their precious children off to school at an increasingly younger age.

Granted, some families are in a position such that they have little choice but to enlist childcare outside the home. However, at the same time, there are many parents who do have a choice but don’t seem to realize that their personal love and care and training is far more important to their child’s development than anything the best preschool or daycare could provide.

Having said this, I realize that many mothers and fathers lack confidence to keep their children at home. We have been brainwashed as a culture into thinking that everything needs to be done by experts, most especially the delicate business of raising children. We have pediatricians, child psychologists, early childhood educators, teachers, school nurses, child psychiatrists, etc., etc. From the moment the child is born until the time he reaches adulthood, we have someone with a degree telling us when he should sleep, what he should eat, how he should play, who he should socialize with, what he should learn and when, and on and on and on, ad infinitum.

But is this really necessary? Did Abraham Lincoln have a child psychologist? Did Mozart need an early childhood educator? Did Thomas Edison need a school teacher?

The point is, No, you as a parent do not need a panel of experts to help you raise your child. This is a modern development, and quite frankly, it’s had more of a negative impact than a positive one. For example, simply compare the level of education today with what a child received 100 to 200 years ago, and you’ll see what I mean. For all their “expertise,” today’s experts don’t have much to show for their efforts.

This may be true, you say, but where is a parent to begin? How will a parent know what to do? What about specialized areas?

[Granted, there are times when you as a parent need specialized help, for example, when your child is very sick, when he has a disorder, when he needs more specialized training/education, etc.].

First questions first. Where do you begin? How will you know what to do?

Start with the Bible. Learn all of what God says about raising children. He made them after all, so He knows how they tick.

Then find solid Christian child training resources that are based on God’s Word (e.g. Shepherding a Child’s Heart, by Tedd Tripp). Remember, your first priority as a parent is always moral instruction: shaping your child’s character, teaching obedience to God, etc. This is the foundation for all other education.

Don’t believe me? Try teaching arithmetic to a child having a temper tantrum.

See what I mean? The moral training is necessary before any other training or instruction can take place. Even if you find ways to get around this, you won’t score any points in the end when you produce evil geniuses of your offspring. (Note: you’ll observe that schools nowadays are woefully lacking in any moral training [or rather, they're excelling in immoral training], which is another good reason to teach your kids at home!).

Furthermore, this moral training — or “soul training” if you will — is foundational because it is the eternal aspect of parenting. One day your child will stand before God. Preparing him for that moment is infinitely more important than preparing him for highschool, or college, or his first job, etc. We must be so careful as Christian parents not to put on the same narrow blinders that the secular parents around us are wearing. This life is not all there is, as our secular counterparts so naively believe. We need to prepare our children first and foremost for their eternal future, and equip them to do the eternal work Jesus has prepared for them to do on this earth.

If you are interested to learn more, check out my small sample of resources below, and stay tuned for my next post, “What is Homeschooling?

 

Resources:

See this website for a list of great men and women of history who were homeschooled: http://www.homeschoolacademy.com/a/famoushomeschoolers/

Repairing the Ruins, ed. Douglas Wilson

On Secular Education, R. L. Dabney

The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis

Shepherding a Child’s Heart, Tedd Tripp

Home Grown Kids, School Can Wait, and Better Late Than Early by Raymond Moore

 

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