The Power of Commitment
- Thursday, June 15, 2000
We believe our convictions give our children stability in a very unstable world. Knowing that we have made a commitment to make home schooling our children a priority gives them a sense of value that no other commitment can equal. This is shown in the statistics themselves.
The average home educated student ranks in the eighty-fifth percentile on standardized tests. Yet the educational level of the parents have no correlation to this figure. The only public school students who do this well, as a group, are those whose parents have a college education.
We attribute the consistent academic success to the tutorial method of educating. In many educational studies the tutorial method of education proves to be the best possible way to teach. Add to this the commitment home school parents make to their children, and you have a clear and decisive strategy for success.
Optimally, a couple who prays together and knows God has called them both to home educate their children will weather all sorts of storms. This kind of conviction will allow the family to live with the challenges of living on a single income, or dealing pressure to stop home schooling.
There is also the inevitable experience of teen wavering where the teenage student becomes lethargic, or longs to participate in a traditional school experience. When a couple is certain of their commitment, they can work through these times confidently. Make sure you are prepared to face tough situations by making that long-term commitment with God and your spouse.
The past decade has seen a significant deterioration of the institutional school environment. Many parents have been shocked to see the tragedies of Jonesboro and Columbine High School, among others. They fear for the safety of their children, and rightly so.
Obviously, there are many safe schools in America. But the Littleton, Colorado story showed us ther are no guarantees. Clearly, the home is not prone to the kind of terrorist attacks experienced in schools of late. The home is the place a family goes for safety. The natural response to protect our children from harm by keeping them within the home is a virtue, not a fault. When a student feels safe, they can concentrate on learning.
We are aware that there are incidents of domestic violence, to be sure. However, these incidents will arguably be more common in homes that do not have commitments to educate and nurture the children as a part of the family lifestyle. The loving support and care given to the home school children is a part of an integral approach to life.
Also a prevalent problem on the rise in our culture is the increase of teen suicide. What is it that could possibly infect the mind of teenager that could lead to taking their lives! We believe it is clearly exacerbated by the failure of parents to communicate that the child is loved, cared for, and respected as a human being. We value our children. Our decision to home school them allows them to know this subconsciously as well as consciously
We have recently read with grave concern the comments of one home school mom who leads a support group in New York City:
Parents are faced with the difficult decision of sending their children into an environment that is for some young people too hard to bear. When a child sees no way out but to take their own life - this is a tragedy indeed. At this time, I am praying that we can make their transition into homeschooling as smooth as possible.
My son who is seventeen spoke to one of the most recent victims of violence at our Geography Bee. He said to me, 'Mom, he couldn't stand still. He had a nervous way about him. He told me how he was stabbed.' That is why I was so thankful for your prayers.
As home schoolers, we may actually be responsible for saving physical lives! We can do this for many young people as we challenge parents to take back the God-given responsibility that they have unwittingly relegated to the state in their decision to accept the status quo approach of public or private education. We then have the additional priviledge of giving them the stability and reliability of the Christian world view presented in the gospel of Jesus Christ. What greater opportunity for mission is there than this!
We realize that many of you fairly new to home schooling, and some of you are just contemplating the prospect at this point. When you know it is God who has called you to direct your children's education, you will have faith to finish the task.
It is our desire that you will find the information in this column to be valuable as you explore the possibilities awaiting your children, and as you help them succeed in meeting their goals. Most of all, we pray that you will be inspired by the many options and opportunities awaiting your home school students in their future.
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