As I watch my home-schooling career draw to a close, I'm both fascinated and concerned by what I'm observing as the expanding Christian home-schooling movement begins to mature. When I began home schooling 12 years ago, there were less than a million of us out there. Now, there are over two million.


As the number of home-schooled students who are approaching college and adulthood continues to rise, I see a trend that I believe to be contrary to the original spirit of home schooling. I also sense new motives among home-schooling families that appear to be contrary to the Evangelical roots upon which home schooling was founded.


Home schooling is a predominantly Evangelical movement, and was founded in the spirit of the Salvation Army and other great social welfare movements that once embraced the world-movements that sought to bring the Kingdom of God into the world. Now, however, there is a growing fear of the world among home schoolers, a growing intellectual snobbery that is beginning to resemble a movement of selfishness and isolation.


Many home schoolers today seem to be offended by and ashamed of what is commonly referred to by Christians as "The World" -- mainstream culture and our American society. Vast majorities of high schoolers that have been raised in a home school do not take seriously -- and sometimes simply laugh off -- the views of liberal and mainstream thought. Rather than embracing the culture and trying to bring their Christian influences to bear, they withdraw from the culture.


This intellectual segregation may not initially appear to be that serious of a problem. Indeed, Christians are called to be different from the world (and, inherently, we are). However, we're also called to be in the world.


Out of the Christian Ghetto


This means being involved and interested in our culture and society. Inside the home-schooling community, there's a wealth of intellect, critical thought and productivity that may never influence our society because we, the Christian home-schooled high-schoolers who have been graced with these gifts, are too offended by the world in which we live. The product of this mentality is that a lot of society-changing potential is being burned up inside what some would call a "Christian ghetto."


I feel quite strongly about this, and I'm convinced that something ought to be done to reverse this practice of isolationism that is threatening to envelope the home-schooling community. The isolationism, as I mentioned earlier, is not a physical isolationism, but an intellectual and emotional isolationism that refuses to be involved in our culture, because of its perceived impurities.


Now, I'd better pause and qualify my argument. As I understand it, the home-schooling movement was formed so parents could actually raise their children, teach them the truth, and point them towards Christ-the intention being that after these children have been raised with a strong foundation in the truth, they would be fully prepared to enter the world and impact it with the truth.