Home School Versus Church?

A little green brochure caught my eye. It was publicizing a conference for homeschoolers. My wife, Joanie, and I are committed homeschoolers. The conference was also about churches, and I am the pastor of a church. As I read on, however, I felt that I was entering unfamiliar territory. There were hints that the "traditional church" was no longer a friendly place for homeschooling families. The church, through its Sunday school programs and youth ministries, might be a place where "peer-oriented" or "age-segregated groupings" might undo some of the emphases of homeschooling. There was the suggestion that such churches as those I have known in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church might be unhealthy for homeschooling families. That brochure did more than catch my eye; it made me think: what if the family and the church aren't allies in the training of children? Should homeschooling families be suspicious of the church? I reviewed in my mind what I believed both as a homeschooling parent and as a pastor. ... Read more

Derek's Home School

Let me begin by saying that this article is not intended to be one that says that everyone should do things in the same way that I do! I believe in parent-directed education. Homeschooling is one manifestation of such education. One of the beauties of homeschooling is that each parent can decide how best to achieve a godly and academically excellent education for his or her children. Our decision to begin homeschooling our son was made when he was in the third grade. Our first order of business was to find a curriculum that would work for him and for us. In much of our reading about homeschooling, the idea of a classical education continued to appear. It appealed to us mainly because of the sensible approach to learning it provides. We began by using Covenant Home Curriculum, which is classically based and is run by Reformed folks in Wisconsin. (Their address is 17800 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield, WI 53045; their Web site can be visited at http://covenanthome.com.) However, we do not use their materials ... Read more

Home Schools or Christian Schools? A New Fault Line in Today's Churches

Oftentimes fault lines in the earth's crust are not noticeable at the surface, and shifts in them (producing earthquakes) are not predictable. Consider, for instance, an earthquake that hit southern California in 1995. The epicenter was in a northern suburb of Los Angeles, where people thought they were relatively safe, some distance from well-known fault lines like the San Andreas Fault. What a surprise it was when the earthquake hit! Similar fault lines characterize the issue of how our covenant children should be educated. Disagreements between parents over the best way to school their children can smoulder for years, and then suddenly erupt again, catching everyone by surprise and shaking a church to its knees (where we should be anyway, before God!). The education of our children is one of the most important responsibilities that we have as parents. Ten years ago the "home school movement" was embryonic, consisting of only a small number of scattered families; there was little consideration then of ... Read more

The Way of True Happiness: A Meditation on the First Psalm (Part 3)

"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish" (Ps. 1). The focus of the first two installments of this meditation was on the blessed or happy man. We considered his way of life, how he avoids all evil influences and devotes his mind to constant meditation on what he delights in the most: God's Word. This, in turn, leads to a unique prosperity, which is evident even when he is bereft of ordinary comforts and pleasures. It is, of course, God who stands ... Read more


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