The new numbers are out this month. Pew Research provides some definitive numbers for the homeschooling population in America, now at 4.5 million. When Christian Home Educators of Colorado opened its doors thirty years ago, that number was 275,000. That’s an increase of 15-fold in thirty years! God is good.
At the present rate of growth, there will be 20,000,000 homeschooled children in this country by the year 2040. 46% of the homeschool population are evangelical Christians, although that’s still only 10% of the total evangelical population. In a world of bad news, I have to say this is good news!
In my book The Story of Freedom, I push for families to seek freedom from powerful governments that seem to want to dictate how we raise our children, how we immunize them, how we educate them, how we teach them about sexuality, and so forth. For some reason, extremely powerful governments have been very insistent on controlling the education of children for the last two hundred years. This is why at least two sets of homeschooling parents are in prison (or work camps) in Cuba today. This is why Pastor Wang Yi and many other Chinese Christians are in prison in communist China. Last week, the Washington Examiner reported that “Many Christian parents [in China] can face fines or other consequences for bringing their children to church or raising their children in faith at home. Likewise, teachers are not supposed to share their religious beliefs with children, and schools cannot use religious materials as textbooks.”
There is no difference between China and America. The battle for liberty and faith in the modern world centers around this issue—whether parents can direct the education of their own children, or whether they will raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. The battle is the same in America, Germany, China, and Cuba. It is not just a political battle. It is a spiritual battle. This calls for more courage, more faith, and more resoluteness from parents in America, Germany, China, and Cuba. By God’s grace, we have been given islands of freedom in this country for our families. For some reason, the Lord has carved out opportunities for families to take control of the education, the health care choices, etc. for their own children. We do not have to send our children to schools that will not teach the beginning of knowledge as the fear of God (Prov. 1:7), where Christ is not preeminent in every subject (Col. 1:17). We are not forced to send our children into schools that teach humanist, nihilistic ethics, the radical homosexual agenda, and the destructive patterns of transgenderism. Praise God, we enjoy a measure of liberty on these islands of freedom.
If there was ever a time that Christian families need to realize their liberties from the one-size-fits-all, monolithic statist schools, that time is now. The ideologies taught in American institutions have become increasingly self-destructive to knowledge and morality.
Some Christians have concerns that we are “separating” from the systems that are admittedly growing worse and worse. But they seem to think that their children have a duty to save the systems, or to witness the gospel. When it comes to these matters, I like to say, “What does the Bible say? What does Jesus tell us to do?” He doesn’t recommend that our twelve-year-old kids are responsible for “saving” the public-school institution. Rather, He has commanded us to “raise our children in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord” (Eph. 6:4). We are not commanded to send our children out to be raised in the “nurture and the admonition of Caesar.” Moreover, the Word of God is to be thoroughly integrated into our children’s education, as they walk by the way, as they rise up, and as they lie down (Deut. 6:7). The Word of God is to be as frontlet before their eyes, in the history class, the literature class, and the science class. The government is not committed to this form of paideia (or education). That’s what God actually wants for our children, as plainly communicated to us through Scripture.
There will be significant spiritual and often political push back, if you begin to make decisions for your children’s education. That is because there is a battle going on over the hearts and the minds of the next generation. It is a major power struggle. May God give all of us the courage and the faith to engage.
The battle for liberty continues in this generation. The exciting story of the age-old battle for liberty is told in The Story of Freedom, by Kevin Swanson, available at generations.org. Listen to the exciting story in our own day, as it plays out on Kevin’s daily radio podcast, at generations.org.