My House, My Beliefs

This article was shared with my homeschool group this morning:

The Third Wave of Homeschool Persecution

Essentially, the author is saying that we homeschoolers have already been accused of poor education practices and poor socialization of our children. Both of those have been refuted, over and over, and pretty well proven wrong. Homeschoolers are scoring overall significantly higher on standardized tests than kids from public schools. They’re now being recruited by colleges because of their self-sufficient natures and high academics.

*NOTE*–I am NOT anti-public school. I know PLENTY of wonderful parents and public-schooled kids. Brilliant kids, who rival any successful homeschooler. And of course there are homeschoolers who don’t do as well. My opinion is that kids need to be where they flourish. Mine flourish in a homeschool environment. Maybe yours flourish in a public school environment, or a private school environment. My point with this is simply that you can NOT tell me that homeschooling as an institution does not work. It DOES. Quite well.

Now homeschoolers are being attacked because many of us are Christians and we include that in our curriculum. YES, my kids study the Bible as part of our lessons. It’s not the extent of our schooling, of course. We learn math, reading, spelling, writing, science, history, and everything else we’re supposed to. But we add Bible to it.

What I find ridiculous is any group telling me I don’t have a right to do this. I should NOT be forced to teach anti-Christian ideas to my kids because they are present in public school curriculum. This article uses the example of intolerance–Christian parents teaching their kids that homosexuality is a sin and that Jesus is the only way to salvation.

I am SO TIRED of being told that I’m “intolerant” because of that. Guess what folks–I have gay friends. They are people I love and care about. Do I agree with their lifestyle choice? No. But I accept THEM as human beings. I don’t preach at them, discriminate against them, degrade them, or anything else. I don’t tell them that they have to change. I live my life with my choices and they live their life with theirs. They know I’m a Christian. I am here with open arms to talk to them about Christ. But I will not force Him down their throats–any of their throats, gay, straight, or otherwise–if they don’t want Him, nor will I turn them away because they do something I don’t agree with.  Because I love them, and me showing anything less toward them is not representative of Jesus’s love.

Now, regardless of this–what is stopping homeschoolers, or any parent for that matter, from teaching their kids values outside of school lessons? Any homeschooler can “teach” their kids about evolution during lessons, then turn around and say, “Lessons are over. Now, remember, everything I just told you about evolution is false. Let me, as your mom, tell you about Genesis and Noah’s flood….”

Seriously, people!

If homeschoolers can’t teach their kids about anything contrary to public school curriculum, we can simply supplement that curriculum with our own. And public-schooled kids, or private-schooled kids, can be taught Christian values at home. HOW is stopping homeschooling going to change that? Do these people honestly believe that if homeschooling is outlawed and I send my kids to public school, I’m not going to sit them down afterwards and teach them what I believe anyway? That I’m not going to arm them against falsehoods?

If you know me at all, you know I’m not a political person. I don’t post on my personal blog or Facebook, or anywhere for that matter, about political happenings or my opinions about them. I discuss politics minimally. I vote, of course. I research before I do so, as well. But it’s not something I like to debate, discuss, or dwell on. HOWEVER, when someone tries to march into MY HOME and tell me what I can and can’t teach my kids, I get riled. The cat turns into a tiger, folks.

This country was founded on religious freedom. Regardless of what you have been told, that’s the fact. And when someone tells me I don’t have a right to a BELIEF, that’s a violation of what our country is founded on. Our rights and freedoms are being violated all over the place. Follow Diane’s posts and you’ll see innumerable examples of that. It’s a scary thought, and while I’ve kept silent on much of this online I still feel the fear. And the anger.

About Kat Heckenbach

Kat grew up in the small town of Riverview, Florida, where she spent most of her time either drawing or sitting in her "reading tree" with her nose buried in a fantasy novel...except for the hours pretending her back yard was an enchanted forest that could only be reached through the secret passage in her closet... She never could give up on the idea that maybe she really was magic, mistakenly placed in a world not her own...but as the years passed, and no elves or fairies carted her away...she realized she was just going to have to create the life of her fantasies. She shares that life with her husband and two homeschooling kids. Kat is a graduate of the University of Tampa, Magna Cum Laude, B.S. in Biology. She spent several years teaching, but never in a traditional classroom--everything from Art to Algebra II. Her writing spans the gamut from inspirational personal essays to dark and disturbing fantasy and horror, with over forty short fiction and nonfiction credits to her name.

16 comments on “My House, My Beliefs

  1. Oh, the claws have come out. Get ’em! 😛

  2. Well said, Kat! As a former homeschooling mom who taught my kids right from wrong, that they should avoid perversity of all kinds (not just that associated with the gay lifestyle), and that evolution is wrong, I agree with you 100%!

    My son is now a junior at a public high school. His teachers all like him and talk about how well-spoken he is; especially his English teacher who just wishes he’d speak up more often, which he says he can’t do, or he’ll be the only one answering her questions in English class. His grades are high–often he scores at the top of his classes, which is amazing, because he started out with a learning handicap. But I taught him perseverance, and the lesson stuck! And he’s a friend to all of the kids who need a friend most, regardless of color or background, and a good witness for Christ.

    But he didn’t get that way from being pumped full of left-wing ideology. He got those values from home schooling, from the time we spent talking about every topic under the sun, because that is the real value of homeschooling; that the kids are there, and they’re listening and asking questions, and as parents, we had the time to get into the answers in depth.

    • Thanks for the comment, Krysti. And I think it’s important to point out that all parents can and should be involved in the teaching of beliefs and values to their kids. If the parents build a solid relationship with their kids, then the the kids can go to public school from the beginning and have what it takes to score well and stand up for their beliefs at the same time.

      That’s awesome about your son, btw. Congratulations :).

  3. Hah! I homeschooled my children for 19 years. My daughters both did well in college. I am currently “homeschooling” another family’s child (tutoring, if you will). He was not where he should have been due to various circumstances, none of which was his fault. In one semester, he has almost caught up, and in some subjects, he has surpassed where he needs to be.

    We did not keep our children locked up at home. We volunteered in the community, participated in the county fair with baked goods, sewing projects, and home grown vegetables. We taught them to think.

    I’ve also taught in an Ambleside School, which is the closest thing to homeschool that I have found.

    Thanks for sticking up for homeschooling, Kat.

    • Susan, it’s amazing what some one-on-one attention can do, isn’t it? I worked as a tutor for a couple of years before my son was born. I had a very negative view of homeschoolers at the time because the two homeschool students that came for tutoring at the center were really far behind and in bizarre situations. I thought homeschooling was something almost no one did because it was for, well, families at the extreme. But I realized a few years later, after I’d met other homeschoolers and was considering it for my son, that those two students were aberrations, and that the reason we didn’t have more homeschool students at the center was that they didn’t *need* tutoring.

  4. Amen, sister! I don’t know why the round-hole people get their knickers in a twist over homeschooling. As the parent of a dodecahedron, I can tell you some kids are never going to fit into any system’s tidy cubby holes.

    Besides, we live in a culture that encourages diversity and demands tolerance for everyone. Aren’t Christians allowed to get some tolerance, too?

  5. Education is the oddest topic. I brought up Marlin Maddoux’s Public Education Against America at work once (giving the briefest overview and saying I wanted to read it) and got jumped on by two moms with kids in public schools. Almost literally jumped on.
    I attended public school, homeschool for a year and private schools. One universal and often denied truth about education is parental involvement is key no matter where the classroom is. Kids learn from parents first, whether it’s how to speak, how to read or how to interact with strangers.
    When parents give up their rights to rear their own children by ignoring them, the result will be a Nanny State. No strangers can train up your child better than you can. If they could, God would have given them to the strangers.
    Thus sayeth the Turtle.

    • Well, the Turtle speaketh wisdom, in my opinion. The thing is, there is no argument from me about the schooling part. It’s entirely the parenting part. Generally, homeschool parents homeschool because they want to be VERY involved in their kids’ lives. Public school parents can be equally involved, though, if they so choose.

      I personally think that parents who attack homeschoolers don’t know enough about us. They also think we’re making a personal statement against them for some reason. I can be pro-homeschooling without being anti-school. It’s a choice. We have a CHOICE.

      And I find this really ironic: I’m paying taxes to have my kids in school, but they are not. Which means more money for the kids in public school. If you turn me against homeschooling, I’m just going to be then using that tax money that could have gone to your kid. Doesn’t make a lot of sense to me :P.

  6. Homeschool is a growing movement. In some areas it still struggles, but in others it’s becoming more common. For instance, where I live, it’s widespread and accepted. There are support groups and lots of resources in the area. It was actually one of those things that I researched before I agreed to move here.

    I married a homeschooler/private schooler and know many homeschooled kids across the spectrum. Usually the ones that seem to me that struggle are those that their parents are driven by fear and that fear spreads to the kids. It’s almost more of a teaching paranoia against the established institutions than really educating. However, these days that type is not that common, but a lot of stigmas still remain as people seek to justify their choices (regardless of what those choices are).

    I find it humorous when people hint at the opinion that we Christians (particularly homeschoolers) are brainwashing our kids. I mean if you want to argue from that stand than I say it’s all brainwashing – homeschooling, public, private or otherwise. The only question is what flavor you want.

    I don’t believe that anyone can teach a “neutral” curriculum, or teach “just the facts/history”.

    Btw, I was public school and was one of those that was uninspired by the system. I did enough to get me through, but just their reward of an “A” on my reportcard more often than not was irrelevant when compared to my chosen interests, like drawing, reading and writing what I wanted, not what they told me to.

    And like you Kat, I will fight for my right to teach and train my children.

    • My area has a lot of homeschoolers and groups as well. Florida is actually a great state for homeschooling. There’s accountability, with an evaluation needed each year, but a lot of freedom as well. A good balance. Gobs of programs, like science classes and such, available all over. More than we could ever actually participate in.

      And you’re right–the paranoid homeschooler is a dying stigma. The vast majority of homeschoolers want more control of curriculum, and of the pacing of their kids’ education–the ability to slow down when extra time is needed or speed up if the child is advanced. Time flexibility, too. And more opportunities for kids with unique interests to explore the world :).

      Ren, you and I are alike in that independent spirit. I was lucky to have some amazing public school teachers who encouraged my creativity, but I still often felt uninspired by school. So much busy work. My kids get none of that. We focus solely on what they haven’t already mastered, and their days are filled with exploration and invention.

  7. Hey, Kat, homeschooling arguments aside, I want to say that I really liked how you said that you teach your kids to not be judgemental toward homosexuals. After all, we all sin and fall short of the glory of God, and frankly all sin is equal in the sight of God, and whether we like it or not with all of our pompous Christian assurances we all sin every day still. Thanks for mentioning that in your post here. 😀

    • Thanks, David. Technically, I haven’t taught them anything in that realm, as they are really too young to even know about those things. But, I intend to raise them in such a way as to not show hatred toward any group. We have a racially diverse family, and a culturally diverse family, and my kids do understand the idea of not judging based on many things such as color or beliefs. I am trying very hard to impress the importance of loving people for who they are, for seeing people through Jesus’s eyes.

  8. Mama Grizzles, mama tigers…just plain mama’s …mess with our children and see the fire light up in the eyes. ‘As a public school teacher I knew the dangers and because I am sooooooooooo old missed out on the concept of actually homeschooling officially but did try to teach in every possible way by support, and books and actual life experiences so the children would be well rounded and actually educated. I think all three have done well. Now, the turtle could have a bit more drive but that is why she is the “turtle.” Totally my fault, loved her way too much…still do.

    Loved your thoughts and loved the determination I see in all of you…keep up the good work and continue to produce capable and thinking young people with Christian values to run this world. God
    Bless all of you.

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