Home School Digest
- The Quarterly Journal For Family Discipleship.
Encouraging and Strengthening
homeschool families for nearly 20 years!
We are now celebrating our
sixteenth year of publishing HOME SCHOOL DIGEST and serving homeschooling
families through the ministry of WISDOM'S GATE!
So much has changed in the
last sixteen years, and yet, in so many ways, the basic issues are still the
same. After 30+ years of homeschooling, I've noticed that the most common
questions people ask regarding homeschooling are still the same now, as when
we started, such as, "Is it legal?" and "What about socialization?" One very
major change we've seen is that, at this point, almost everybody knows
somebody who is homeschooling!
We've seen many of our country's leaders reluctantly acknowledge and, even,
officially proclaim, homeschooling as legitimate and acceptable. We've heard
the testimonies of academic success resulting in student acceptance into the
top institutions in our country. We've studied the statistics from several
organizations which have conducted surveys that have proven our claims and
solidified beliefs that homeschooling is methodologically superior to the
classroom model of education.
On the other hand, we've also seen far too many families "try to homeschool"
and fail miserably. We've heard countless excuses as to why some parents
"could never homeschool" their children. We've witnessed the anguish of
parents who report that although they homeschooled their children through
grades K-12, the children grew up, and left home, (not necessarily in that
order) in open rebellion.
So, why is this? Doesn't the Bible promise that if we "train up a child in
the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it"?
I've come to realize that the key contingency to this promise does not lie
solely in where the training takes place but, rather, in the direction (the
way) and the purpose (in which he should go) of the training. The scope of
the homeschool lifestyle, and the focus of the ultimate goal, is what
determines which direction the child will take. If a child seems to be
"heading off in the wrong direction," or departing from the way he should
go, the responsible parent will diligently examine, in the clear light of
God's Word, the breadth and direction of the path on which they have
allowed, or even encouraged, the child to walk. (Matthew 7:13,14)
The truth of the matter is, there is a vast difference in motivation,
approach and end-results among homeschool families.
There are those who, driven by their overall disdain for authority, and
carried away by the spirit of rebellion which so dominates our society, have
given full reign to their desire for autonomy by subtly masking their
unbridled independence under the guise of homeschooling. In the process,
these folks have merely taken convenient advantage of the growing cultural
acceptance of homeschooling and jumped on the bandwagon of popularity
surrounding the contemporary homeschool movement. They've dutifully noted
the homeschool laws in their state and taken the necessary precautions
(whether by actual compliance or through the purchase of "legal insurance").
They've insisted that the government has no business involving itself in the
education of children, and then run the gamut of double-mindedness by
lobbying for "permission" to homeschool "legally," or demanding that the
government fund their children's education through vouchers, or cater to
their perceived "right" to have their children participate in music, sports
and other "benefits" of government programs. They've eagerly grabbed their
ever-expanding discount homeschool catalog and dashed off to the nearest
curriculum fair in search of that elusive math/science/phonics program that
offers the highest guarantee of mastery with the least amount of effort (and
They've joined the local support group after carefully studying the
"statement of faith" to make sure they won't be forced to experience
interaction with anyone who holds a different point of view. They've gone on
all the field trips and kept their children immersed in the various social
activities of the local culture so that they will easily fit in with their
peers in the "real world." The fathers avoid involvement as much as possible
and magnanimously proclaim that if "mom wants to homeschool," they "won't
interfere," and the mothers hang out on the phone, or cruise the internet
looking for chat sessions that focus on the subject of "burnout" while they
live for the monthly "moms night out."
I realize that we are rocking somebody's boat here, but I've seen too many
families needlessly shipwrecked and desperately flailing around in the
perilous waters of adversity, or hopelessly carried off by the swift and
deadly current of popular culture.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are those who, recognizing their
citizenship in a Kingdom that is not of this world, have simply made the
commitment to teach and train their own children (regardless of the cost)
out of a heart of obedience born of conviction that homeschooling is the
method mandated by God to be implemented according to God's expressed
standard of measure and the Biblical model of discipleship. These faithful
families are beginning to reap the blessed fruit of righteousness and
holiness as they continue to teach their children, by their own Godly
example, to humbly work out their salvation with fear and trembling for the
Glory of God.
Both approaches/outcomes to homeschooling prove the truth of God's Word & a
child will not depart from the way of the path on which he has been trained.
So, you see, you don't have to wonder how things will turn out with your
family a few years down the road. If you want to know the certain outcome of
your homeschooling, you must ask yourself a few simple questions. Which kind
of homeschooler am I? Who am I most afraid of offending -- God, or the
State? By whose standards do I measure myself and my children? In which
direction is my homeschooling aimed? Am I moving toward the world, or away
By the grace of God, we here at WISDOM'S GATE are committed to continue to
challenge and encourage our readers through our publications and seminars
...to bring home education to its proper place under the Headship and
Authority of our LORD ...to live in complete surrender to His will, and to
seek, in all ways, to obey God rather than men ...to come out from the world
and be truly separate -- a Holy people set apart for His use, who have
consecrated their lives, and their children, for His eternal purpose and
Savage is a veteran homeschooling mother of six (now all homeschool
graduates), grandmother of four, the Founder of
Gate Publishing Company and the Senior Editor of Home School
Digest and An
Encouraging Word. She is
a featured speaker at the Wisdom's Gate Seminars, & author
of the book, Homeschooling
For Eternity. All rights reserved.