Conforming to the Spirit of the Age

Conforming to the Spirit of the Age

The older I get, the stronger my opinions against public schooling become. I don’t see how sending our children away for hours every day, five days a week for most of their growing up years can be beneficial in any way. They are forced to be away from their home and their mothers for most of their childhood! How were we ever convinced that this was good? Did mothers fall for the idea so easily because it would take away the responsibility of training their children and handing it over to strangers so they could have “free time”?

There is an excellent article in The Federalist about this topic. “But the role of parents was valued less and less in the post-war economy, and capitalists and feminists pressured women to discard what remained of the home economy in favor of fuller participation in the marketplace. The home was no longer a place where things were made or children could be educated by unlicensed amateurs. Because no man is an island, the families willing to sacrifice extra income to have a parent at home were also isolated. The rest were punished by the subsequent rising cost of living so staying home was rendered economically impossible.

Thus millions of children and teenagers received their catechesis from television, magazines, peers, and institutional workers who, good as they may be, have neither the time nor means to develop the deep relationships a child requires. Generations of youth were deprived of the chance to learn responsibility by caring for younger children, while their elders were pushed out or pressured to conform to the spirit of the age.”

Many of us fell for this hook, line, and sinker and by the way the public school system is going, we can easily see that it is not a godly decision to send our children to the wolves. (Teaching our children that something that is an abomination to God is good?) Women left their homes, children were placed in government-run child raising institutions, and the home stood empty all day which is exactly the opposite of what God has called women to do: love their children, be keepers at home, and raise their children in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord.

We see the devastation that has been caused by leaving God’s ordained place for us. “This is the rotten fruit of a demographic where bullying runs rampant: we all become emotional bullies. Social media has revealed this toxic core of youth-peer culture, acting as an acid to dissolve illusions. Middle school suicide rates are horrifying, teen suicide rates are rising, and those who should be personally invested in the child are too busy, burdened, or isolated themselves.”

Let’s get back to raising our own children, as the Lord has commanded. Let’s believe him when he tells us that “bad company corrupts good morals.” Our children are our most precious treasures so let’s begin denying ourselves and sacrificing for their best welfare. This takes a lot of time, patience, and energy but what can be more important than raising godly offspring and the next generation?

Thus says the LORD, “Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths, Where the good way is, and walk in it; And you will find rest for your souls. 
Jeremiah 6:16

48 thoughts on “Conforming to the Spirit of the Age

  1. I am a teacher in a Christian school. The reason we chose not to homeschool is because we want our children taught by qualified instructors. I have a K-6 Certification with an endorsement in Middle School History. I am not arrogant enough to think I can teach my children all they need to know. My son’s Algebra II teacher is a math major, and his science teacher has a double major in chemistry and physics. They are much better qualified than me. His dad can still help him a little bit in math, but I have no idea how to do those math problems. Before you say all he needs is basic math, he wants to be a pharmacist so he will need higher math.

    I cringe when I see homeschool moms who can’t even use “your” and “you’re” or “there, they’re, or their” correctly. One of my dear friends who homeschools posted on FB about a dresser “For Sell” instead of “For Sale”. The children suffer because arrogant parents think they know everything. If one wishes to homeschool that is fine, but join a co-op group and work with other parents who have different abilities who just might have more knowledge than you.

    1. In my opinion, Michelle, that is an absurd reason to not homeschool. I have women who have angrily written me whenever I fail to use the correct word as if it’s the end of the world. They then accuse me of not having higher education and this is the reason for my misspelled words. I have a teaching credential so I had a lot of higher education but it doesn’t prevent me from making mistakes.

      The security, love, protection, and teaching her children the ways of the Lord that a mother provides at home is far superior to misspelling a few words. There are many wonderful homeschool programs that parents can use to teach their children anything they want them to learn. It comes to what parents value the most: their children’s success in the world’s ways or in the eyes of the Lord and His ways.

      Plus, many couple simply cannot afford the tuition of private Christian schools. The one we sent our children to for high school has more than doubled in price since our children attended. It’s not worth the money and the debt it would cause most families.

    2. Parents can learn right alongside their children. Or the parents can use a self teaching curriculum, that is what we do. A good number of the thousands of students who use the same self-teaching curriculum we use become engineers and scientists. Quite frankly if you look at the actual statistics homeschool kids have the highest scores on standardized tests (higher than both public and private schools). Yes there are some homeschools who don’t turn out the most educated students but there are a LOT of public and private schools who don’t either.

      But for me academics pale in comparison to doing what I believe God has called me to do. Submitting to God does not equal arrogance. God’s strength is perfected in my weakness. Teaching is definitely a weakness of mine! But God is more than faithful! Despite not explaining things particularly well or enjoying super creative means of teaching my children are thriving and learning. Twice in the last couple of months a Bible school teacher of a church we visited pulled me aside to share with me that my child knew all the answers in Bible class and one team he was on in a combined 5-7 class just let him answer all the questions for them (he is 5). The one thing better than that is how often they stop me during the day to pray for the souls of some of our Muslim friends which we couldn’t do regularly during the day together if we were all in different directions.

      God has also shown Himself strong in the less important areas too! He has been successfully pushing through the academics to them as well. My children are 5 and almost 9. I don’t have an English degree but my children are way above grade level in reading. I don’t have a science degree but they know all their planets, dwarf planets, star categories, major organs, etc. I don’t have a math degree but they both know their multplcation tables and division.

      I’m sorry your friend had a typo and that some homeschools don’t measure up to your academic standards but if they are following the Lord’s calling to teach their children continually as written in scripture than that is what you should rejoice with your friends about.

      1. Amen to both of your responses, ladies. When we, one day, answer to God for the choices we made in parenting our children, He will not give a pass to those who chose to spiritually throw their children to the wolves as long as they maintained a 4.0 and earned a college degree. The ego and priority of man is not the priority of God.

        “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” -Mark 8:36

      2. M, do you use the Robinson curriculum? I’ve just started using this with my student. Knowledge is in books, and if children can learn to teach themselves which is what all of us have to do at some point, their education is limitless. Also, children have to learn how to think which they don’t learn in school. I went to private Christian School throughout my high school years and I never learned the qualities of thinking, or communicating thoughts and feelings and healthy relationships, which would be much more valuable to me now. As for academics I did pretty well with my grades but they mean nothing now, and am learning history and science all over again, and learning how to be a wife and how to cook healthy meals just now. And I’m one of the best spellers I know. Look up John Taylor Gatto and watch his five hour interview about “the ultimate history lesson”. He was teacher of the year three times and after that stopped teaching as he realized what schools were really doing to children. He stopped hurting children, he said. After learning about this eye opening truth I got a lot of answers to my frustrations of navigating life and quite frankly feel robbed.

        1. You’re not alone, Josephine. The public school system has harmed many, many children and turned them into secular humanists which is in turn destroying our country. I will never understand why Christians would want to support such a godless institution.

        2. Josephine, yes we do use the Robinson Curriculum. You recognized it. 🙂 I’ve learned quite a few tips and tricks I’d love to share but perhaps your student is older than mine. I’m not on FB but I hear they have an active RC group and if you’re a part of it you probably already know a lot of my tips and tricks.

          I went to public school in one of the top counties in the nation and yet there are still many holes in my education. That’s not that bad of a thing because there will always be holes in education as none of us are God. But what is bad is that I learned to be motivated by grades and competition not for love of learning about the world God created. Even worse, my character was compromised by not standing strong enough and being exposed to bad things through the school environment.

          I admire the Godly parents who raised their children in sheltered environments, exposing them to the world second hand. I have met and become friends with quite a few of their adult children. They became wonderful mothers. Some became missionaries or regularly hold Bible studies and counseling sessions in prisons. Many are also successful in the world’s eyes (I’m not knocking that).

          With the Robinson Curriculum my first child is on track to complete calculus in tenth grade and my second in seventh (they do math together). But the good thing about that isn’t learning calculus, it is getting through with the fundamentals of subjects early so that they can move on to doing things in life that glorify God and show the world His awesomeness. Just this morning I was telling my husband how I don’t care if our son collects garbage for a living, I just want him to be successful in whatever God has in store for him. I want more than anything for both of my children to walk in the light and reflect God’s light to others so that they may also walk by the light.

          1. Wow, M! I’m so excited to hear this! I’m not on Facebook either, although I’m sad to not be able to participate in the Robinson group there (and Lori’s group!). My student is 12 and placed for Saxon Math 8/7 but we are starting at the beginning of the book list with The Life of George Washington. I’m also going through the grammar primer with her before starting the essay writing each day. Yesterday we learned about the spelling of possessive nouns and she said: “oh, I get it now!”, even though we covered this spelling in the more traditional curriculum we did right before Christmas. Anyway, God bless you and thank you for your encouragement!

          2. Josephine, very exciting for your daughter! The couple of tips that I have that may still work at your daughters age are these two. If the book is not interesting or difficult (Like the Life of Washington can be) you can find the audio version on YouTube and have her listen along while she silently reads. I had my daughter do that with a few books and now her reading isn’t just at a higher grade level but has great inflection and interest when she reads aloud that wasn’t there before.

            The second tip is Life of Fred! Love love love it! We are doing Saxon 5/4 right now and I must admit that I enjoy facilitating that. BUT I recently heard from another RC parent about Life of Fred. Believe the hype! My kids truly beg to do more and more chapters of the Life of Fred math series (like all the reviews said they would). You do have to start at the first book and work your way up so it will start off super duper easy for your daughter but she will fly through the early books in a few weeks. Once we catch up to where we are in Saxon I will probably switch to Life of Fred as our main book and supplement with Saxon. LOF books go through college level math (including discrete math). It is said that Saxon math is the 600 lbs. gorilla of math curriculum and is fantastic for engineers and LOF is more of the math major tract (but fun for everyone).

    3. As an engineer with a math minor I know first hand experiance that those who are “certified” teachers of math, science, or the like do not have majors in those field, what they have is a teaching education with an emphasis on teaching that subject. They have less training in those core subjects of math, chemistry, or physics than the average engineer. They do have the training on how to use the text books. I saw this first hand having been one who started his college education towards teaching math, chemistry, and physics.

      That being said. There is not a subject that any parent cannot teach. I fact the times when we had the highest literacy rates in this country we had teachers who had nothing more than a high school degree. In fact most of the best teachers I ever had only had the two year normal school credentials and if they taught a specialty in high school they had gone back and got a true BS/BA in the specific field and could go into industry with that degree. Also with many of the good programs ranging from the un-school methods to computer based education to set ciriculum from various sources (which some Christian schools use). There is no reason a child cannot be taught at home by his mother and father k-12 and even some college courses. Many of the home school ciriculum were first taking the ciriculum offered to Christian schools at their cost to the parents. These were the ACE or PACE, the Bob Jones, and a few other major publishers selling it directly to the parents.

      Once a child gets past the 8th grader even a bit earlier it is more of here is an introduction to the principles and techniques now go and start applying these. What amazes me is how many parents that homeschool with us, comment on how much more they are learning about any subject that they never learned or heard about in public or Christian schools. Also some people commented that they are starting to understand algebra and pre-calculus because they went with a different method of teaching than what they got in school.

      Also look at who is liscensing the teachers? Is it the churches? Is it Godly men? No, it is the agnostic to atheistic government bureaucrats.

    4. I’m with you on the homeschooling mothers using incorrect grammar Michelle!! I cringe, too, when I see it. I wonder how on earth they’re meant to teach their children proper grammar when they don’t even have a basic grasp of it themselves. Yes, I know there’s more to life than grammar, but seriously … if these women are that uneducated they can’t even write correctly, what hope have their children got, if they’re not being exposed to/taught correct spelling and grammar?

      The main reason we don’t homeschool is because where I live, it is very, very hard to be allowed to legally do it. It’s possible, but hard. And it’s even harder for homeschooled children to get nationally-recognised qualifications. We did consider it, even up until late last year, as one of our children has been constantly bullied at school and homeschooling seemed like the better option by far, but to enable him to gain qualifications in the subjects he needs to pursue his future intended career, was going to be next to impossible at home. I would like our qualifications framework to be changed so kids can be homeschooled more easily, but I’m not sure that will be happening any time soon.

      But also, for the most part, our schools here are pretty good. One of my daughters goes to a Catholic state-integrated school (even though we’re not Catholic) and it’s awesome. The experiences my kids are able to have because they’re at school are invaluable.

      1. So these mothers who don’t know homophones should send their kids off to the same schools where they themselves did not learn homophones ? Isn’t that the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome?

        1. M – I believe parents have the right to educate their children in the way that they think best, whether that is private school, public school, homeschool, or even a combination of those. But you have misunderstood my point entirely. Surely, a mother who is homeschooling her children is going to educate herself either before, or at the same time, as the children so her grammar is actually correct? If she didn’t learn correct grammar at school, she needs to take steps to learn correct grammar elsewhere, so she can teach it to her children. If she hasn’t bothered to do that, how is she going to provide her children with a decent education?

      2. I cringe when I see my friend, who is a *public school teacher*, post her comments online riddled with grammar errors and spelling mistakes! It is dreadful!

        1. At primary school, I used to correct the spelling mistakes the teacher used to make, writing on the blackboard! Not all teachers can spell. Fortunately, high school English teachers can.

  2. I couldn’t agree more, Lori. I picked up so many bad habits from public school that I am still trying to break today. The main thing is speaking careless words. Of course when I was little I also picked up swearing and gossiping and tearing other people down with words without even thinking twice about it. I homeschool my children now and am so thankful for the opportunity to teach them and train them myself and according to God’s Word. I am also so thankful for all the time I get to spend with them. Even with homeschooling, the days seem to fly and each moment is precious. The Federalist article you linked to is on target. I think we’ve been brainwashed into thinking compulsory education is all there is that we can’t imagine any other way.

  3. My husband and I began homeschooling because we felt the age to enter school was too young. We then decided our children would be taught at home until their teen years. Now we feel fully convinced to keep going 🙂

  4. Our decision to homeschool was out of complete obedience to our Father. His written Word commands us to do so. Even though I am not a certified teacher, I believe that our Heavenly Fathers will for us and our children mean so much more than just good spelling or good grades. Our kids will be so blessed to have parents who put money or time aside to do what’s right. It’s a matter of obedience, not arrogance. I have always thought that one income would never work, but my human reasoning has never compared to what our Fathers will is. Trust Him, and He will make everything work!

    1. Amen, Lisa! Who are we to say that we must live our lives the way the world lives in order to receive the world’s blessings? No, we live our lives according to the Word and reap His rewards which are so much richer in the end regarding relationships and a deeper walk with the Lord.

  5. I wholeheartedly agree. These are the very reasons I chose to homeschool my children . It’s always been interesting, and somewhat discouraging to me that most of the backlash over homeschooling has come from teachers who are Christians.

    1. That is discouraging, Mrs. M. but I have found throughout my life that we must follow the Lord and what He requires of us, even if it is a lonely road, because it’s the best road to be on!

      1. I believe the reason for the backlash from Christian teachers lies in the fact they have to find a way to justify their decisions to choose their career over their children. Facing the truth hurts them too much.

        I have two dear Christian friends that are teachers and both have crippling college debt that forces them to keep working. One of them curses her situation daily as knows the truth and desperately wants to stay home with her baby and the other flirts with “the world” and comes up with all kinds of reasons why it’s okay, but I can tell she’s fighting the conviction of it all. She really has no rest. If her husband were a more solid believer/provider, I think she would leave it all.

        I noticed that you left the ending of Jeremiah 6:16 off in this post. Made me think… But Mrs. Cooper says “She will not walk therein!”

        Lots of great advice and suggestions posted by others. Where there is a willingness to obey God, He makes a way for it to happen.

        Homeschooling is one of the hardest things He’s asked me to do, I’m pregnant, just finished nursing the infant, have a toddler, a preschooler, a first grader, a third grader and a fifth grader.

        All my husband and I really care about is that they learn to love the Lord with all their hearts and seek His will for their lives. All the rest of it is just tools in getting there! (Don’t freak out anyone- we are diligent about their education. We just don’t idolize it.)

        Stay encouraged mommas, stay on the narrow path. God is so good!

        1. Good for you, Marie! Your family is blessed because of your diligence and sacrifice. I left that last phrase out of the verse because I want the women to stay on the narrow path that leads to life yet I know many will choose not to do so, sadly.

          1. I totally understand that! This is a verse I actually want to put on a wall somewhere in my house… I will also choose to leave the last part off! To keep things positive! 😉

  6. I home-schooled my daughter for several years. I did not feel I was not qualified at all.
    I used Abeka curriculum. It included books and dvds of actual classes being taught.
    I sat with my daughter so we both learned and I knew what she was being taught.
    It was a real blessing to me.

  7. Michelle Cooper’s points are valid, particularly among a crowd that espouses (and I fully agree) that it is best for a man to provide a good living so that his wife can stay home and raise their children.

    As a lowly housewife, it may not matter if I repeatedly mix up “your”, and “you’re” or “their”, “there”, and “they’re” in a blog comment box. However, a young man who hasn’t been educated sufficiently to express himself well in writing could be the difference between making a good living for his family or not. It’s not just a matter of seeking success by worldly standards.

    I appreciate fully the opposition to public schooling, as well as the difficulty of financing private schooling. Neither of these things are reasons to dismiss out of hand the limitations placed on children -particularly sons- who are not educated well enough to be good providers.

    I happen to think it is important for girls to be well educated as well, but for the purpose of this discussion, I think it is worth noting that educational results matter a great deal for a man attempting to be a provider for his family.

    ~Elspeth

    1. There are few careers that men seek that actually need a college education, Elspeth. In fact, only those who want to be in the medical or dental field and a few others.

      In researching for this, I did find an article about 17 jobs that don’t require a college degree and pay over $70K a year which is plenty to provide for a family! – http://clark.com/employment-military/highest-paying-jobs-no-bachelors-degree/

      College is WAY over-rated and only those who want to specialize in a career that needs a college education should go and many homeschoolers are being accepted to colleges of their choice.

      “Harvard wants homeschoolers: … These schools don’t just grudgingly accept homeschooled students, they do everything they can to get them in the door, recognizing that homeschoolers are often better prepared for college than their brick-and-mortar schooled peers.” – http://www.onlinecollege.org/2012/06/11/the-homeschoolers-guide-to-getting-into-college/

      1. I wasn’t referring to college acceptance. Blue collar men also need to be able to produce resumes, fill in applications, write cover letters, and in many cases do math more than a basic level. There are certifications, exams, etc.

        My husband, who been the sole provider for our large family and provided very well for us, has no college degree. But he still has to read and write quite a bit in his career.

        Tiny Tim is also right that a lot of teachers are inept and ill-equipped to teach the subjects they are assigned to teach. That however, is a different matter than whether a blanket admonition to homeschool is appropriate for every mother. Especially in a forum where women are heavily discouraged from taking advantage of homeschool support outside of the home.

        For the record, we homeschool. I am college educated, and Even I recognize my limitations; so we take advantage of homeschool classes and support away from the house two days a week.

        1. “Especially in a forum where women are heavily discouraged from taking advantage of homeschool support outside of the home.” I am not sure what forum you are talking about but I certainly have no problem with mothers seeking help outside of their home for subjects they have trouble teaching. We went to a homeschool co-op where a nurse taught my oldest daughter and other homeschool students biology. It was great!

          1. The overarching attitude here is, its not wrong to seek outside help.( particularly with husbands support) its not wrong for homeschool kids to be involved in sports outside the home, but the main functions, meals, chores, daily lessons should mostly happen inside the home when possible. During my time reading the blog and its comments, i see a lot of women reading into things and making excuses for this or that. Or why certain things arent possible in their situation. It gets very tiresome after a while. (Rolls eyes)

        2. Knowing the difference between using there, they’re and their is good for sure but should not be overemphasized. Just because the mother doesn’t know the correct spelling to use does not mean the children won’t know. My kids already know more about space than I do. As a facilitator “teacher” for self taught students you just need to find good resources. You don’t have to know everything yourself. Also many curriculums teach homophones so if the mother doesn’t know it she can easily learn. Finally I know even having a “great” education I often make mistakes in informal writing so I can’t judge others who do.

  8. Take your children to community college math, science and programming classes.

    I wasn’t homeschooled, but I went to elementary school during the day and college at night (I had a very lonely childhood lol, no siblings either.)

    I’m a strange personality so I don’t recommend people doing that with their children. BUT if you homeschool your kids during the day you can theoretically attend the junior college classes with them.

    1. The junior college near us is great! I attended a few math courses there years ago and loved it. The men and women just came and went so you didn’t see garbage and the teachers are better than at most universities since they still love to teach. Two of my children attended there for a few years and enjoyed it, plus it’s so inexpensive! It was only $400 per semester.

  9. I live in Scandinavia right now and even they have Junior Colleges.

    At age 9 I took my first college class, Music Theory. My mom took the class with me as well.

    Age 11 I started basic math at the junior college and by 13 I finished Vector Calculus.

    I just demolished any Curriculum based argument against homeschooling.

    However, the one difference between my girlfriends who homeschool their kids and ‘normal’ people is the homeschoolers all have very strong family ties and friendship circles. The other people have ‘drinking buddies, fake friends and mere acquiantences.’

    I think that is the root of the problem and the root of the attitude against homeschooling. Because it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that you can enroll your kid in junior college or even university classes.

    P.S. I didn’t bother to fix my misspelling of acquaintance.

  10. I have so much to say on this subject and yet no time to really go in depth. Here are a few things, though, that I’d like to say, in response to some of the arguments against homeschooling:

    I am a homeschooling mother of 10. We have been homeschooling for going on 18 years now. We are constantly complimented on our children’s character (when we are out as a family we do get stopped by people a lot, who want to tell us how refreshing it is to see such well-behaved children). We have been told time and again how much you can feel the love in our home when they visit. I don’t say this to brag or to be prideful; I say this to make a point about the family relationships that are a natural consequence of being together all the time, as homeschooling affords. The numbers have proven homeschooling to be a superior form of education, so one only has to look at the statistics before arguing against it. However, academics are not our family’s reason for doing so, and so I mention that point only because it seems to be a moot point to me, yet it surprises me that there are those who are still in the dark about this. As far as the typos and mispelling issue-that is across the board. To narrow it to *only* or *mainly* homeschooling mothers is simply small-minded. I am often times typing on my phone which causes many errors and typos, and since I do not A) have an editor to go back and make corrections or B) have the time to devote to doing it myself, then it will stay as it is, typos and misspellings and grammar errors and all. Especially if it’s only a comment or response. If I were writing a book or article or paper, that would be different. But a comment or fb post doesn’t always warrant my 100% effort in English grammar. I don’t have time for that.

    As a matter of fact, seeing how successful homeschooling has been proven to be, I find it’s a great testimony in favor of it that some mothers may struggle with their grammar. Because, the majority of them learned their incorrect English grammar and spelling from their PUBLIC SCHOOL education, and yet, are still raising and teaching children who excel in academics and life.

    As far as raising sons to be providers, a college degree does not guarantee that. That is a character trait more than an academic trait. That stems from hard work, the willingness to work, love for family and the willingness to obey God’s commands-none of which are taught in the government schools. I don’t like to talk money, but because of the link Lori shared about jobs I will say that my husband makes well over that $70,000 a year with no college degree. He retired from the Navy last month and holds a civilian job with a government contractor. He is now taking college courses-mainly because he paid into his G.I. bill when he joined the military and he doesn’t want any of that college money to go to waste. Again, I don’t say that to brag at all-we have lived off of $30,000 take home-pay with 7 children on an enlisted man’s salary and have always had more than we needed. I say it because we have done our best to be obedient to God’s ways and He has ALWAYS provided for us,because He is faithful and can be trusted, and His ways are ALWAYS right.

    And now, I’ve spent more time on this than I intended but I felt compelled to chime in I’m sure there are plenty of mistakes in my comment, but my children need me, my life duties are calling and I don’t need to spend anymore time on my phone right now! Have a nice day!

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