Logo Homeschool World ® Official Web Site of Practical Homeschooling Magazine Practical Homeschooling Magazine
Practical Homeschooling® :

Yes, I Am a Religious Homeschooler

By Bill Pride
Printed in Practical Homeschooling #47, 2002.

Pin It

Bill Pride


When the homeschooling movement began, the NEA and their cronies claimed there was no way a child could get a good education at home. Homeschoolers countered by getting standardized test scores way above average. They said, “Yes, homeschoolers can do better academically, but what about socialization?” What about socialization indeed! Between CAP or scouts, music lessons, martial arts classes, volunteering, etc., a homeschooler has contact with the real outside world almost every day, even more than public school kids.

Having worn out these straw men almost completely, educators are trying a new tack. “Homeschooled children aren’t being given their politically correct right to decide for themselves what belief system they will adopt.”

Rob Reich, of the Department of Political Science at Stanford University, said in a paper presented at last fall’s annual meeting of the American Political Science Association:

    Children are owed as a matter of justice the capacity to choose to lead lives—adopt values and beliefs, pursue an occupation, endorse new traditions—that are different from those of their parents. Because the child cannot him or herself ensure the acquisition of such capacities and the parents may be opposed to such acquisition, the state must ensure it for them. The state must guarantee that children are educated for minimal autonomy.

Reich suggests that, “while the state should not ban homeschooling it must nevertheless regulate its practice with vigilance.” Reich’s proposed regulations include “periodic assessments that would measure their [homeschoolers’] success in examining and reflecting upon diverse worldviews.”

Is this true, parents? Do you present your own worldview to your children as the correct worldview? If you do, you fall under Mr. Reich’s condemnation. Whatever you believe, he thinks it is wrong for you to teach it to your children. He thinks children must be instructed by the schools in the politically-correct secular worldview, relativism—that there are no right or wrong values, no black and white, only shades of grey.

Reich wants children to experience the vaunted autonomy of the schools: walking in little straight lines from place to place, regimenting their lives by the sounding of a bell like Pavlov’s dogs, being coerced by their peers to dress alike and act alike, having their unique interests ridiculed and enthusiasm crushed by their classmates and sometimes their teachers.

This is the real reason why I homeschool my children—to give them a firm moral and spiritual foundation on which to build a responsible adult character, and to spare them the pressure that will be brought to bear on them in public school to conform to the relativism of the world. I will continue to train them at home until they have the maturity and understanding to make truly autonomous decisions.

Yet, it has been reported recently that when people are polled about their reasons for homeschooling, most respondents no longer give “religious conviction” as their #1 reason. In the interest of not “mixing causes,” I also find myself listing other reasons ahead of my religious convictions when talking to people about my reasons for homeschooling. As society becomes less Christian-friendly and more Christian-hostile, it becomes easy to strategize that people will tolerate reasons such as violence in the schools and declining academic quality more readily than religious reasons. We want to keep homeschooling separate from the stereotype lots of people have of Christians as wild-eyed fanatics. But we may no longer have the time for this tactic.

Ken Connor, president of Family Research Council, wrote in FRC’s Washington Update email newsletter:

    Another FRC supporter reports that he attended a conference at Harvard University last week [late May 2002] on “Undermining Terrorism.” The University hosted a session in which the panel spent half the time talking about Evangelicals and Fundamentalist Christians with clear implications that religious conservatives were part of the problem. Dr. Jessica Stern tried to associate pro-lifers with the 9-11 terrorists.

These Harvard folks set national policy, migrating back and forth continuously between Washington, DC, and Cambridge, MA. We should take them seriously. They are trying:

  1. to marginalize Christian and other religious homeschoolers as no longer significant in number, and
  2. perhaps to make a play to limit or abolish freedom of religion in homeschooling.

Christian homeschoolers need to stand up and be literally counted.

If the schools were guaranteed 100 percent safe I would still homeschool. If the schools were 100 percent effective at teaching academics I would still homeschool. Raising my children as Christians is my primary responsibility as a parent before God and my ultimate reason for homeschooling.

If you agree with me, please agree also on this. From now on, when someone asks why you homeschool, if your real reason is religious conviction, just say so.


Was this article helpful to you?
Subscribe to Practical Homeschooling today, and you'll get this quality of information and encouragement five times per year, delivered to your door. To start, click on the link below that describes you:

USA Individual
USA Librarian (purchasing for a library)
Outside USA Individual
Outside USA Library

Time4Learning University of Nebraska High School

Articles by Bill Pride

Yes, I Am a Religious Homeschooler

Slackers Need Heroes

You've Got a Friend

Revenge of the Nerds

Getting Ready for (Gasp!) Algebra & Beyond

Teaching Algebra: The Search for X

Teaching Geometry: Measuring Up, Proving Yourself

Advanced Math: Trig, PreCalc, and more!

Calculus: The Bridge to College Math and Science

High School Science

High School Biology

High School Chemistry

Teaching Physics at Home

Calculate This!

Graph This

The Foundations of Science

Why You Need Lab Science

Middle School Science

How to Get into Medical School

The Great Probeware Scam

What College Math Majors Don't Know

Math Wars

Statistics Can Be Sweet

Getting Ready for Algebra

The National Bible Bee

It's a Wonderful Second Life

Our Children's Inheritance

Popular Articles

Bears in the House

The Gift of a Mentor

Joyce Swann's Homeschool Tips

Top Tips for Teaching Toddlers

Getting Organized Part 3

Narration Beats Tests

AP Courses At Home

Teaching Blends

Advanced Math: Trig, PreCalc, and more!

Montessori Language Arts at Home, Part 1

University Model Schools

I Was an Accelerated Child

How to "Bee" a Spelling Success

Character Matters for Kids

Combining Work and Homeschool

Shakespeare Camp

Saxon Math: Facts vs. Rumors

Phonics the Montessori Way

Teach Your Children to Work

The Benefits of Cursive Writing

Columbus and the Flat Earth...

Give Yourself a "CLEP Scholarship"

Discover Your Child's Learning Style

Top Jobs for the College Graduate

The Equal Sign - Symbol, Name, Meaning

Laptop Homeschool

Myth of the Teenager

Montessori Math

Why the Internet will Never Replace Books

A Reason for Reading

Classical Education

Getting Started in Homeschooling: The First Ten Steps

The Charlote Mason Approach to Poetry

How to Win the Geography Bee

Patriarchy, Meet Matriarchy

Don't Give Up on Your Late Bloomers

The History of Public Education

The Benefits of Debate

The Charlotte Mason Method

What We Can Learn from the Homeschooled 2002 National Geography Bee Winners

Can Homeschoolers Participate In Public School Programs?

A Homeschooler Wins the Heisman

Getting Organized Part 1 - Tips & Tricks

Critical Thinking and Logic

Who Needs the Prom?

Whole-Language Boondoggle

Interview with John Taylor Gatto

Start a Nature Notebook

What Does My Preschooler Need to Know?

Art Appreciation the Charlotte Mason Way