5 things public schools do to children that homeschoolers should not do:
- In public school, your child will be placed in a grade. Grade levels are typically assigned by age. By assigning your child to a grade, you are assuming your child should be learning what every other child in that same age/grade should be learning. I hope that sounds as ridiculous to you as it really is! If you don’t believe every child really is different, you will assign your child to a grade. It is one thing to be aware of what your child should know by the time he leaves your home; it is another thing to assume every child should be learning certain information just because he is a certain age.
- In public school, your child will follow a rigid, programmed curriculum. Take a typical public school, graded curriculum, and put it side-by-side next to most Christian, prepackaged curricula. What do you discover? The Christian curriculum is a public school curriculum that has been “Christianized”. In the end, it is still public school curricula that drives your homeschooling. As I wrote in my book Gifted: Raising Children Intentionally,
“Most homeschooling parents will give more thought to what they will use to teach a subject than they will give to why they are teaching that subject at all, or to why they are teaching it right now.”
- In public school, your child will spend most of his day sitting inside. Only the most compliant children are willing to learn things they don’t want to know (or don’t yet have a reason for the information to matter to them). If Einstein is correct—that curiosity is the door to all true learning—then we must foster curiosity in our children, and curiosity doesn’t occur in a child’s life by sitting at a desk most of the day or by being indoors. The whole world is full of fascination and that is why children love the world and love learning about its mysteries. We must allow that to happen naturally.
- In public school, priorities are given to what the predetermined curricula considers important. This leaves precious little time for your child to spend on things important to him or her. But, if we can believe God has gifted every child differently—with very specific things he is called to do in life—doesn’t it makes sense that parents should prioritize the particular gifts they observe are becoming obvious in each of their children’s lives?
- Public schools believe these are not really your children. Here is the one concept I believe public schools have it right: These aren’t your children! Can you picture the Lord creating a child and giving that child to you to raise for a specific number of years? You are the caretaker of that child as he/she matures. Your responsibility is to be ever sensitive to the One who created this person so you will always be listening to what He wants you to do with him/her. Educational experts are not the experts in this child’s life. Parents are not the experts in this child’s life. The child’s Father is the Expert here and—listen to this—He will keep you informed as to what He wants from your parenting. But you must first believe He will do that for the child/children He gave you to raise. Here’s a novel thought: If you don’t know what to do as you homeschool, don’t do anything until the child’s Father clues you in to what matters to Him.
Conclusion: I find that most homeschooling “helps” are simply ways to keep parents from feeling insecure (a nice word for “afraid”). This is analogous to taking pain pills instead of finding why one is in pain. People don’t like being afraid so they default to what provides them with security, even if their personal security ultimately hurts their children.
Former New York State Teacher-of-the-Year, and 30-year veteran public school teacher, John Gatto, once said, “Find out what the public school does and do something else.”
Here are 5 things the public school would do to your kids. Now that you know, do something else!
You can purchase a copy of my newest book, Gifted: Raising Children Intentionally. Just click on the title and you will be taken to Amazon where you can purchase the book. If you would like a free copy of Chapter 1 of the book, go to the site where I have listed my favorite homeschooling materials and you may download the chapter for free. Go to: Chris Davis Recommends (also on Facebook).
For 16 years, I have taken homeschooling families to tour biblical Israel. Check out my travel site at Experiencing Israel (also on Facebook) and see the amazing trips we have planned for 2017!