The little postcard I loathe arrived in the mailbox today. It was from the NC Division of Non-Public Education. On the postcard, it “threatens” homeschoolers with a visit from a DNPE staff member if the postcard is not returned by the deadline.
Now, the data they are seeking from my wife and me appears harmless enough. Will we be running our home school on a normal schedule? Are we keeping student records on file in our home, such as attendance (that one always amuses me, should we have a chart with blocks checked if our children woke up and rolled out of bed each morning?), and nationally standardized test results from the last year? Then we tell them how many students are enrolled in our home school, sign and date, and the deed is done.
Simple. As government redtape goes, it just doesn’t get any easier than this, does it?
So, why am I left red-faced and chaffed every time this little card arrives?
Well, my answer is fairly straightforward: I do not believe it is any of the goverment’s business how I and my wife are educating our children. I do not think the state or federal government has any right to tell parents what their children must know at every “stage” of life (via standardized tests they foist on even home schooled kids). Both federal and state governments in this nation have far over-stepped their bounds in the past 50 years. I kindly request they get out my home with their attendance-record sniffing dogs.
Fact is, folks, whether you choose to home school your children or not, we all need to realize what is at stake as the government usurps more and more rights of parents in this country. Would it surprise you to know thousands of American educators at every level (K-PhD) truly believe they can raise your children better than you? Would you be surprised that thousands of educators believe you should not have the right to raise and educate your own children, not to mention choose the methods of discipline for your children?
“Leave the education of children to the professionals. You take them to soccer practice and to get ice cream afterwards, we’ll handle everything else. And whatever you do, don’t you dare, mom, think yourself wise enough to teach your child what is right and wrong, what is true science and what is simple human conjecture, what is absolute in this universe, and how all of life is to be viewed and interpreted. Leave that to us. We’re the experts.”
This philosophy has permeated American culture so much that today, even after so many people have exposed the obvious, anti-Christian, secular humanist agenda of the public schools, 85-90% of Christian parents still send their children to Ceasar for 8+ hours a day. While I do not think home schooling or public schooling makes a person any more or less Christian, I do lament that more Christian parents are not at least giving home schooling more serious consideration.
Now again, even if you do not home school, surely you can see the peril of continuing to allow governments to interfere, intercede, and interrupt parental rights over children. We must fight this attempt to replace parents with professionals.
The Word of God speaks plainly in this matter:
He [God] established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments (Psalm 78:5-7).
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Eph 6:4).
Raising and educating and training children is a right and responsibility given by God to parents. Would to God more Christian parents and parents-to-be would begin to view this responsibility for the amazing, gracious privilege it is.
So, North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education, if you’re listening, we’re raising and educating our children just fine without you. If for some reason we require your services, we’ll let you know. Thanks for your continued interest in our home school. Be assured we are sprinkling some math and science (Answers in Genesis-style) into our Bible-saturated curricula.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Keith McWhorter (Principal of Sovereign Grace School)