Making It Work - Down Here On The Ground
We have made the case for many years that ordinary parents are qualified to teach their children. We have based our claim on the clear implications of Scripture. When God said, “Train up your children in the way they should go,” He was speaking to believing parents, not the state or public school hirelings. We see also in Scripture, that when God sent forth His disciples on a mission, he first equipped them, then sent them in the power of the Spirit—not in their own strength—to accomplish it.
That’s all fine, you say, but how do I make it work “down here on the ground?” Aside from general statements in the Bible, can I do this?
The National Education Association, humanistic colleges of education, and local public school officials would have you believe that only those trained in their worldview and disciplines are capable of teaching children properly. That might be true if the goal were to produce a socialized and socialist society, but the public schools are utterly incapable of raising up a godly generation. They are philosophically opposed to it. I happen to know something about this because I was trained in their worldview. I have a master’s degree in special education, and I am certified to teach in Illinois. Those “qualifications,” based as they were in humanism and mechanistic psychological theories, were no help in educating my children. Neither did my special training impart any vital secret knowledge or skill that is necessarily missing from the arsenal of the ordinary parent.
Let me illustrate.
A while back I was involved in a case where a family had been charged by local officials with truancy and educational neglect of their children. When we were able to demonstrate that the family was enrolled with CLASS and making progress, the charges were dropped. That, of course, was a good outcome, but I will always remember the case for what I learned about a homeschooling mom.
The defense team had secured the services of a school psychologist. He had observed the family as they conducted classes in their own home. Using modern psychometric tools, he analyzed their interactions. He tested each child extensively. He commented that any list of recommendations he might have made to meet the children’s needs—this homeschooling mom was already doing! Here was a public school psychologist acknowledging that a mom who was not certified as a teacher was already doing the best that could be done for her children, some of whom had special needs!
If this mother of twelve children could satisfy a Ph.D. school psychologist that she could meet even the extraordinary academic needs of her children, I suspect there is little reason for you to feel inadequate.
Do you love your children? Do you pay attention to what is going on with them? Do you want to see them grow into mighty men and women for the Lord? Can you read? Can you follow directions? Can you put together a simple plan? Can you stick to it? If you can do these things, you will do as well as any certified teacher I know. You will probably do better, because you know your students intimately, your class size is most likely much smaller, and you have few, if any, administrative hassles.
The media delight in “exposing” homeschooling families where something appears to have gone wrong. If they can find a supposedly dysfunctional homeschooling parent, they want you to doubt that you can be successful. Further, they want to discredit the entire movement. Don’t let them discourage you. Thousands of ordinary moms and dads across the country successfully teach their own children at home every day.
I suspect that you are already a successful teacher and just have not recognized it. If you have any children over a few years old, you have taught them the English language, by many reports one of the most difficult to learn because of its complexities and endless exceptions. Be encouraged! You have begun well.
If you have older children, don’t let the spectre of higher math or other boogeymen make you squeamish. CLASS offers help with difficult subjects, and you can often find people in your local homeschooling community who will share their knowledge in a specific subject.
In summary, we know you can teach your children, because people just like you have been doing it with CLASS for decades.
By Mike McHugh