Tuesday, February 25, 2014

MORE THOUGHTS ON PUBLIC EDUCATION

The other week in church I heard two women having a conversation about public education for Christian students versus other forms of education and it really ticked me off. I will not bother to necissarily refer too much to what the women (who were in agreement) actually said, but I will look at their arguments, which, I think you'll see, are really the same ones Christians always use when defending the public school system.

First, the argument about how Christian children can be a good influence on other students. This is perhaps the dumbest argument of all. It goes back to the argument first presented in the Book of Haggai. To put it in modern terms, if you drop a slice of cucumber on the floor, does the clean cucumber make the dirty floor clean or does the dirty floor make the clean cucumber slice dirty?

Likewise, it is also this way when it comes to the public school system. Your Christian children are more than likely going to become contaminated by all the non-Christian children in that school system.

The second argument is similar, namely preparing children for what they will face as far as the sins and temptations of this world are concerned. The so-called logic Christians who are for the public school system use in this argument seems to imply hooking a sewer pipe up to children that will feed them all the world's immoral garbage.

I would really like to say to these parents that it is not the fault of a child who attended a Christian school or a child who was homeschooled if they go off to college or into the working world naeve about what they'll face. Rather, it is the fault of either the school or the parents or both for not adequately preparing him. There are Christian children who haven't attended public school who are well aware of what goes on in the world. There parents have told them about it. It's just they've been told about this stuff from the standpoint of what God teaches us rather than hearing some public school teacher say that anything you want to do is basically all right.

Don't blame the Christian school or the fact the parent homeschooled; blame the school and/or parents' lack of willingness to bring up a subject with their child or approach it in an appropriate manner.

The third stupid argument is the one about socialization. People who are for the public school system argue that if a child is homeschooled or goes to a Christian school, they will not have access to sports, other extraciricular activities or an adequate social environment.

As far as sports and other activities are concerned, there are lots of house leagues and clubs outside of school a child can take part in.

Interestingly, it wasn't until the last few decades that school sports were really pushed anyway. Time was, kids played pickup games or found other activities to do with their friends. Sure, the kids who had their hearts set on being in the NHL got up at 5:00 in the morning to practice with the other members of the school hockey team, but other than kids such as those, children just partook of unorganized activities.

As far as socialization is concerned, the public school system is actually worse for this than homeschooling. When you enter kindergarten, you are placed with a group of other children and expected to make friends with at least some of them. This expectation more or less continues throughout high school and college or university until one day you are spat out into the world where there are a whole bunch of people of different ages from different walks of life.

Children who are homeschooled, however, end up being able to interact with people of all different ages and (I think anyway) would be more likely to make friends based on common interests rather than the shared experience of going to school.

Another stupid argument one of the women made which was mixed in with the stupid argument about sports concerned access to books. I have to laugh myself silly at this argument when I remember the propaganda we had for textbooks back when I was in school. Also, the children from the local Christian school have their weekly library time at the public library as opposed to the smaller (read less books) public school library like most of the other children so this argument really doesn't hold up.

Finally, you say your children are doing well in public school, maintaining a strong faith and witnessing to other students and perhaps even teachers. Great, but what about other people's children?

8 comments:

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

I was kept on a very short leash by our parents while they let my younger brother go and do pretty much whatever he wanted to. I finally fought my way clear of them around the age of 19, and by the age of 25, I was a genuine drunk. Whereas, my younger brother has spent most of his life living with our mom (after our dad died) and he has never showed any interest in having as much "fun" as I have had.

Now, neither one of us were home-schooled, but we were both raised in a very conservative Southern Baptist home, where it was driven into our heads and tails that drinking just one beer puts one well on the way to Hell, along with dancing is of the devil. So, what advantage was I given by being raised so strictly, and how was my younger brother harmed by being able to go to drinking parties before he graduated high school?

Alex Horton said...

Humans are definitely strange creatures.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Yes, my dear Alex, but what about our Heavenly Father? After all, can He not protect those He wants protected--regardless of what kind of school they attend? Besides, I stand as a witness to being exposed to all sorts of wickedness without suffering any permanent damage. I do bear some nasty scars, though.

Alex Horton said...

Yes, God can protect them but it doesn't mean we should expose our children to certain things if we can help it.

Evil companions corrupt good morals, after all.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Yes, we should not place ourselves in harm's way unless it is absolutely necessary, and that most certainly goes double for our children. Speaking of such, some of the evilest people I have ever known where pillars of their particular Christian communities, and I was delivered out of their clutches.

It all comes down to each situation, and most public school systems are very poor when it come to the quality of the education they offer. Still, there are some that are excellent. Many parents have no business trying to educate their children while others will have their kids ready for grad school at Harvard of Oxford by the time they turn 10.

Alex Horton said...

Look up Charlotte Thomson Izerbyt's material on the subject.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

I will when I can, Alex. Thank you for letting me know about that.

Alex Horton said...

You're welcome.