The nationwide statistics of homeschooling have skyrocketed since the pandemic, so what does the future hold? As a rule, children are shaped in a more meaningful way by what they learn and experience at home than at a formal school, so should more families educate their children at home?
Only a few decades ago, in the early 1970s, the practice of homeschooling was frowned upon by many in the educational system, as only three states formally allowed parents to home-school. Beginning in the 1980s, advocate work from men like John Holt and Michael Farris helped to open the door for legal discussion within the U.S. The driving force behind this home-school coalition was Christian families who fundamentally believed in separating from the moral decay of public education. In 1983, legislation in all fifty states passed to allow families to educate their children at home. By the early 2000s, over one million families schooled their children at home (National Center for Education Statistics).
Since the spring of 2020, research from the Harvard Program on Education Policy and Governance shows that homeschooling has risen to 6% of families nationwide, nearly doubling the total tallied pre-pandemic. So, was this surge in transforming homes into education centers a temporary phenomenon generated by the pandemic, or will it become a mainstay in the educational landscape?
As members and employees of a private, Christian school, we here at Bible Baptist obviously believe in the multitude of benefits that are available for our children when enrolled in a formal educational institution. And yet, we also clearly believe that the most important training and teaching of children should take place in the home (Gen. 18:19, Deut. 31:12-13, Prov. 3:1). So what is the balance? Are there potential benefits of homeschooling that the pandemic helped to enlighten, along with negative tendencies in structured, group education that the pandemic exposed?
The primary components of education need to be carefully prayed over and discussed within every family. Those components include, but are not limited to: formal, standardized academic resources; assessment benchmarks; extracurricular activity and growth; spiritual and social development and maturity; and preparation for higher education. When considering these components, each family arrives at their own framework of ranking and importance. For some, academic instruction and training is paramount in education. For others, the ability to socially interact through a variety of extracurricular activities is of the utmost priority.
As each family prayerfully considers their goals for the education of their children, both homeschooling and traditional education provide their own set of strengths and weaknesses. As Christians who reside in the United States of America, we are incredibly grateful and blessed to have the opportunity to choose the path of education for our children. What a responsibility!
At Bible Baptist Christian School, part of our fundamental mission is to partner with families in the scope of education of their children. We feel that a well-rounded education in academics, athletics, fine arts, community service, and student leadership opportunities is a balanced, yet intense and strategic approach in training children as they mature and seek God’s plan for their lives. We believe that these elements are best taught and reinforced within the framework of a Christian school.
So what about homeschool? Within the walls of this Christian school, you will never hear us argue with someone over the benefits of homeschooling….they are many! In fact, we even developed a formal Homeschool Co-op Policy that allows us to better partner with these families as they seek to explore academic options for their own family within the construct of homeschooling.
And yet, we fundamentally believe in our mission to “glorify God within a spiritual atmosphere through academic excellence and through training in fine arts and athletics.” If the objectives of your family point to a similar goal, enrollment for 2023-24 is open!
Written by Jon Knoedler, BBCS Administrator