Daddy’s Little Girl (January ’10 Edition)

date Jan 13, 2010
author Voddie Baucham topics & issues Children, Education, Family



Jasmine Baucham


I'm going to be completely honest here:


Some of us have a huge bias when it comes to arguments about education.


You know the kids I'm talking about.


They've been educated in an echo chamber, a place where the curriculum is a unified effort to teach them one way to think.


They learn to view the world through a single lens: the worldview that they're being taught.


They don't live in the real world.


They've told what to think and how to act from a young age; their responses to certain stimuli are deeply ingrained in them.


And because of all of this, they're biased. When they speak, they're often just parroting what they've been taught.


Those poor public schoolers.


Spending 14,000 hours of their lives -from age four to eighteen- in a vehicle for secular humanist indoctrination. They're being taught to view the world through a single lens: the secular human worldview. They don't live in the real world; they live in an age-segregated society eight hours a day where they're constantly being told what to think, how to act, what to aspire to, whether through pointed curriculum or peer pressure; and their peers are all exactly the same age they are, and so they have trouble interacting and identifying with those older or younger than they. They're shuffled from class to class by the ringing of a bell (how Pavlovian can you be?), shuffled from grade-to-grade, shuffled from activity-to-activity until they graduate and are finally pushed out into the "real world" -where they tend to walk in lockstep with their peers, just as they've been taught.


I'm being a little facetious (only a little, mind you), of course. But if you're a homeschooler -as I am -and if you're planning on homeschooling whatever future children the Lord may choose to bless you with -as I am -and if you want to argue your reasoning for believing the way that you do -as I do -something you've got to get used to hearing is "I realize you just believe what you've been taught." Sometimes, it's said in an accusatory tone: "What do you know? You're just parroting what your parents have shoved down your throat since you were able to talk!" Sometimes (and, to me, this is a little worse) it's said in a pitying tone, "Listen, I realize you're just following what you've been taught."


Here's the thing: it was -and it is -my parents' responsibility to teach, train, and disciple me (Deuteronomy 6:6,7; Proverbs 1:7; Ephesians 6:4), not the state's. So even with the patronizing tone that often accompanies such a statement, there's some truth in it; I'm speaking the words that I've learned... and so are you. I'm operating from a specific worldview... and you are, too. And, according to Luke 6:40, we will both, when we are fully trained, look like our teacher; my teachers are two godly parents who have passed down a legacy of looking into God's Word for His truth. A public schooler's primary teacher? The state.


And while it does bolster an opponent's argument to imagine you in a whitewashed basement, strapped to a hardback chair with your parents standing in front of you spoon-feeding you their antediluvian fundamentalist dogma and isolating you from the outside world (after all, if they can convinced themselves you've been sheltered and brainwashed, they don't have to reason with you; they just have to pity you)... that's just not the case.


We Christian homeschool kids are usually no more indoctrinated than public school children.


As a matter of fact, I'd say, because of the freedom we have to pursue so many different interests, because we're being consistently taught the truth, and not having to fight off anti-Christian dogma at every turn, perhaps we are being "indoctrinated" -inundated with Christian doctrine.


We're being educated -not schooled. Taught how to think -not what to think. Given critical thinking skills so that we can go and find the answers and support our opinions on our own; not spoon-fed our convictions and told to spell them out on a multiple choice test with an optional essay for extra credit. By God's grace, that's the kind of educational environment I want to provide for my children: a safe haven where they can be taught about Jesus Christ as they walk beside me through day-to-day life, as I sit down and teach them subjects from science to philosophy from a biblical worldview, and as I send them out to interact with the world on our terms: to be shining lights for the gospel, effective ambassadors for Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:16ff).


I love a good discussion as much (more than? =) the next girl, and I'm not afraid to talk to someone who has a different opinion than I do (most of the time). But, do me a favor. Don't play your "I realize you're just parroting what you've been taught" card; it won't fly here -and I promise I won't play mine. ;-)