8 Comments

Strong stable families mean Strong stable churches and communities. This will do way more good than just trying to elect the "right president. "

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A powerful point with a caveat: for this to work, the family relationship must be healthy. Constant exposure to dysfunction will lead to further dysfunction, which could be amplified to a harmful degree from daily exposure.

It also strikes me that this sense of belonging and love, this ability to learn how to value others even when you disagree with them, should be a defining characteristic of the local church. Far too many churches are bad examples of this, but those that model it well are essential in helping kids build the foundation you speak about. The church is a model for family; and for families to be healthy, they need to be in healthy churches where they get consistent, true teaching and pastoral and community support.

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Can't many of the issues around place and stability that you advocate for homeschooling also be part of a reason to advocate for public school?

If relationships are concentrated primarily around family, and if there are not deep geographical connections, often created through long-term relationships in places like your local public school, what is to keep kids geographically grounded once they complete college? Children will eventually move out of the home as a necessary part of maturity. Still, geographical connections may be better at giving them relational connections and a reason to stay locally than familial ties, which naturally must be broken as part of the maturity process.

Family is deeply important. But so are relational connections with people outside the home.

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I was both schooled and home-schooled in tandem as my mother was a schoolteacher before marriage. But homeschooling really does not prepare people for life after home - I have taught too many casualties of home-schooling who disintegrated when they turned 18. Thank God I have kept many friends from university days - now 50 years ago for me come this October. I am as close to them now in my late sixties as when we were first year undergraduates and the spiritual survival rate is very high.

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Even some teachers are catching on that conventional schooling is crap. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fe-SZ_FPZew. The video could have been a lot shorter, but the author has good info and says there's actually a movement of informed teachers going gradeless. She didn't say how to contact them. Maybe web search on gradeless teaching. I added a link about the video to my homeschooling post: https://ilki.substack.com/p/easy-homeschooling-no-vaxes.

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Really important and thoughtful distinction. I’ve felt the defense position of homeschooling doesn’t hold up because at some point our kids are going to be exposed to all the things and people we want to hide them from. I do think that even without homeschooling we can still ground relationships in family and church communities and away from the self centered pressures to base their life around “what they want to be”, in other words their career and accomplishments.

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This puts some words to what I've been thinking. Our boys are 3, almost 2, and 3 months... so not school-age (and we haven't decided on schooling to start out with).... but I've been an observer of many of the homeschool communities and content online. I'm absolutely fascinated by the change in discourse among Christian families (mostly women, in my case). To be sure, there are still going to be the conservative Christians who primarily utilize it as a defensive protective measure. But from what I'm seeing in curriculum content, social media, podcasts, communities, etc. is the emphasis on the GOODS it offers rather than the BAD it avoids. Which is far more appealing. The educational aspect, yes, as you said. (Freedom and time to pursue interests, personalized instruction, time outside, more life skills, unique opportunities to experience things, etc.) But the discourse of the GOODS also has this exact theme you've described. (Forging and strengthening life-long familial bonds, learning to work with others of various ages on a day-to-day basis, etc.) For example, I recently listened to this conversation: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTvxFfxRX80&t=623s) as well as a podcast with Michelle Garrels (wife of musician Josh Garrels) which paint a compelling picture of what a good life can be, with homeschooling done well.

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