I do not disagree per se with parents who do not want their young children being exposed to or affected by our progressive culture. However, the original philosophy of home schooling strongly disagrees with the continuation of this practice of sheltering into adulthood, and it is about this that I am speaking.


Some would argue that a lifelong intellectual and emotional isolationism is intrinsic to the philosophy of home schooling. While that may be true to the philosophy of some unique home schoolers, I do not believe that it is true, or right. For most people, I believe this continuation (into the early adult years) of isolationism is caused simply by a failure to realize that the sheltered environment of home schooling is a synthetic, crafted environment that must come to an end. After reaching an age of responsibility, these developing adults ought to eagerly enter the world, where they will be salt and light to a poor and desolate culture.


Live Among Them


In his letter to God's elect, Peter instructed us to live good lives "among the pagans" (I Peter 2:12). The key word in that phrase is "among." Notice he didn't say around, near, in sight of, or within earshot. To be among a group is to be a part of them, in their midst, involved and interested. To be among as opposed to around would be the difference between having pagan neighbors in the house next door and having pagan friends sitting in my living room, engaging in meaningful conversation.


Why ought we to do this? So that they, too, may one day glorify God, Peter says. Young adults that are engaging the world and interested and involved in the world should be  "among" the pagans. Those who laugh off the gravity of progressive American and European ideology are, in my view, not at all "among" the pagans, but looking through a glass wall as the world goes on without them.


The home-schooling movement is now coming of age. Children who have grown up in a home school are now heading in unprecedented numbers toward college. Intelligent, home-schooled young people (who score extremely high on tests) could prove themselves to be poor members of their culture if they don't actively seek to engage their culture for Christ.


If the home-schooling movement does not turn out to be influential in our society, I fear that it may one day be regarded as a well-intended, yet failed, endeavor. Children must be brought up and expected to be leaders and engagers in our culture. Our culture desperately needs this, and our God earnestly commands it.


Do you agree or disagree with this article? You can e-mail Ethan at dttef@hotmail.com


Ethan Wingfield is home-schooled, high school senior, who hopes to attend Brown University in the fall. Ethan has been home schooled for 13 years. He also maintains his own Web site "Quote of the Day," which can be accessed at http://www.qotd.net/