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BIBLICAL REASONS TO HOME-SCHOOL
HOME-SCHOOL VS. PUBLIC-SCHOOL: AN EXPLORATION OF DIFFERING
EDUCATIONAL METHODS WITH REGARD TO CHILD-REARING AND
FIDELITY TO SCRIPTURAL PRINCIPLES (FIRST EDITION)
BY JACEY DAVISON | ©2011
I’ve decided to write about the controversial subject of “home-schooling” vs. “publicschooling” (I’ll briefly mention Christian private-schooling as well, but not as a focus). It is odd
that I would write a paper on this subject as I’m not yet married and do not have any children.
However, I passionately believe that the conclusions we reach regarding this subject have the
potential to change the direction of a generation, and even a whole culture.
I attended public school for kindergarten, Christian school for grades 1-4, home-schooled for
grades 5-7, and went to public school for grades 8-12. I didn’t have any awful or incredible
experiences in any of those institutions, and this paper is not written based on my personal
experiences. Though in some sense it is impossible to separate my biases from my experiences
(whether good or bad), I will seek to write from convictions based upon the Word of God.
One might seek to dismiss the conclusions reached in this paper based on the fact that I have not
yet raised children. However, I believe that because the bible speaks to the issue of educational
methodology, I am therefore able to speak to the issue as well. Paul the Apostle spoke to slaves
and masters even though he didn’t have experience in either role. He also spoke about marriage
even though he wasn’t married. The issue is not experience, the issue is whether we can
understand what the bible teaches. Experience is not authoritative, God’s Word is. The
teachings of scripture proclaimed accurately carry more weight than all the experience in the
Though the popularity of homes-schooling has increased dramatically in the last twenty years,
many Christian parents still send their children to public schools. Many advocates of each
method will vigorously defend their decision, criticizing the choices of other brothers and sisters
in Christ. However, as Christians we are called to be loving and charitable, correcting one
another in gentleness with truth. I cannot force anyone to agree with my conclusions, but I will
attempt to present biblical truth with conviction, trusting that God ultimately changes the heart.
THE SUFFICIENCY OF SCRIPTURE
This discussion is all about the truth, God’s truth, the truth of the scriptures. We must submit
ourselves to the teachings contained therein, even if they directly contradict the opinions of
modern society. God’s Word must be the first place we look regarding the matter of youth
“Oh, well the bible doesn’t talk about whether we should home-school our children or send them
to public-school . . .” rings the oft-repeated refrain. WRONG. This kind of thinking reveals a
serious weakness within the modern church; the belief that there are areas of life about which the
bible is silent, that we are free to act in whatever way we think is best. This line of reasoning
leads to lawlessness, for we then determine our own standard of right and wrong.
We must acknowledge the doctrine of the sufficiency of scripture; that God’s Word, by direct
command or necessary implication, speaks to all areas of life. Whatever the situation, the bible
contains principles that speak to the issue. Our responsibility is to search out these principles
and faithfully apply them to our lives.
Though the subject of “home-school vs. public-school” can prove divisive among many
believers, most Christians seem to maintain an attitude of respect. Their respectful “I guess that
way is fine for you, but it’s not for me” attitude subtly shows disregard for the sufficiency of
scripture. This disregard often piously expresses itself in thoughts such as “that’s nice if you feel
lead in that direction, but I feel God has called us to this . . .” or “well we each have to do what
we think is best for us . . .” God certainly does lead us, but this “leading” can never be an
excuse for failing to follow the teachings of scripture. We must follow the implications of God’s
Word wherever they may lead.
That said, I think it’s due time for us to look at what the bible says about education. After all, I
don’t want to reach conclusions based on my own opinions, but based on the perfect truths found
in God’s Word.
Note: There may be times in this paper where my statements seem harsh and unloving towards
my brothers and sisters in Christ who choose not to home-school. My intent is not to condemn
anyone, for I do not think myself the ultimate judge. So please do not be offended when I
attempt to clearly and strongly portray what I believe are the necessary implications of scripture.
I do not want to soft-pedal this very important issue. For I do think that this is a serious topic
with life-altering implications.
BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES FOR CONSIDERATION
We are discussing the subject of how God would have us educate our children, or more broadly,
how God would have us raise our children. A doctrine of child education must fall within a
doctrine of child-rearing. Our doctrine of child-rearing must be founded upon both the explicit
and implicit teaching scripture. We must not only look for direct commands, but inferences,
patterns, and emphasis.
Note: Throughout this paper I’ll be speaking as if I’m already a parent simply for the sake of
linguistic, argumentative, and logical convenience.
Note: When I speak of “children,” I am referring to offspring under the age of twenty. The
books of the law often draw distinction between those under 20 years of age and those over 20
years of age. When numbering Israel, Moses was told to only count men aged 20 and over. A
looser working definition of a child (that I will not fully unpack here), is one who is unmarried,
still living in their parents’ household, and/or not fully possessing the responsibilities of
adulthood. God’s Word sees no arbitrary distinction between “kids” and “teenagers,” between
“children” and “youth.” Both age groups should be raised according to the same biblical
principles, as both groups fall within the same biblical categories.
One of the clearest passages in the New Testament regarding the raising of children is Ephesians
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father
and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise), "that it may go well
with you and that you may live long in the land." Fathers, do not provoke your
children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
This is the central text regarding the raising of children and should inform every decision we
make as parents. Ephesians 6:4 specifically references the raising of children, namely that they
(the children) should be raised in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. This truth must be
foremost in our minds when thinking about the critical issue of educational methodology. There
are many verses in scripture that address all Christians and therefore also are applicable to
Christian youth, but we must interpret these verses in the context of what the bible specifically
says about raising children in Ephesians 6:4.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the
LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your
might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You
shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit
in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when
you rise . . .”
These verses reiterate the principles found in Ephesians 6:4 and add more detailed application.
They emphasize that part of raising children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord is
teaching them His commands, not just at specified times, but as an integrated part of daily life.
Psalm 78:1-7 speaks of the commission Fathers have to teach their children the “glorious deeds
of the Lord, and His might, and the wonders that He has done.” The passage says that the laws
God has given He has “commanded our Fathers to teach to their children.”
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not
depart form it.” That is, train your children in the way of Jesus Christ (most certainly “the way
they should go”), such that their patterns of behaviour, habits, beliefs, convictions, associations,
and priorities will be firmly established upon the rock of the gospel for the rest of their lives.
If we were created to glorify God (Is 43:7), do good works (Eph 2:10), and praise His glorious
grace (Eph 1:3-12), then it only follows that those ideas must be primary in the raising of our
children. I think idea found in 1 Timothy 4:8 is a good example of proper educational
prioritization: though physical, intellectual, emotional, societal, political, educational,
occupational, and academic training is “of some value,” “godliness is profitable in every way as
it holds promise for the present life and for the life to come.” Godliness must be number one on
our educational priority list. The temporal must never be prioritized above the eternal, the stakes
are too high.
PRINCIPLES AND APPLICATIONS
The question we are asking is this discussion is not whether parents can send their children to
public schools while still obeying biblical principles. The question is not “what is permissible?”
but “what is beneficial?” not “what is good?” but “what is best?” God’s wisdom would have
us look at the biblical principles, weigh the different methods, and discern which method
exemplifies the fullest and most faithful application of the biblical principles. We must submit
ourselves to the teachings of scripture, and we must wrestle with the questions of how to
faithfully apply these principles in our lives.
The principles I will be expounding are only authoritative insofar as they are faithful to the Word
of God. If you do not find my conclusions to be based on God’s Word, then you have no
obligation to follow what I say. However, if you do find these principles to be true to the Word
of God, then your conscience is bound to faithfully obey them.
In this next section we will look at many different scriptural principles and explore how both
home-schooling and public-schooling stack up as it regards methodologically faithful
application. (The biblical support will be considered in light of and in addition to the
overarching principles already considered.)
Note: I think it is appropriate at this time to make an important distinction. I prefer to use the
term “government” schools instead of “public” schools, for that is a more fitting description of
the institution. I also prefer to use the term “home-discipleship” instead of “home-schooling.” I
don’t personally advocate the same brand of “home-schooling” that is generally promoted
amongst Christian parents (government school simply in a different location), but I endorse a
radical departure from the traditional home-school mindset. Sadly, a full discussion of homediscipleship is outside the scope of this paper. In short, home-discipleship it is not where
children do the same stuff they would in government schools, but in a different location and with
a Christian twist. Home-discipleship is a life-integrated discipleship process involving both
Father and Mother where children learn life skills built on the foundation of a Christian
worldview and Christian character.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS: WHO? WHAT? WHEN? WHERE? WHY? HOW?
In this section of the paper I will attempt to answer the following five questions regarding youth
1. What should children be taught?
2. Who should teach them?
3. Where should they be taught?
4. When should they be taught?
5. Why should they be taught?
6. How should children learn?
(The combined answers of the first five questions help to answer the sixth question)
My thesis (the answer to the first five questions) goes as follows:
Children should be taught . . .
1. Wisdom, character, and the fear of God . . .
2. Primarily by their Father and Mother . . .
3. In the context of the home . . .
4. As an integrated part of daily life . . .
5. To the glory of God.
I hope to defend each of these five statements over and against the alternatives inherent in
QUESTION #1: WHAT SHOULD CHILDREN BE TAUGHT?
Biblical Principle: The most important and central aspects of youth education are wisdom,
character, and the fear of God.
Biblical Support: Proverbs is God’s book on education. Proverbs 1:1-4 states that the purpose
of the book is to educate the youth regarding knowledge, instruction, understanding, insight,
prudence, and discretion. Verse 1:7 in Proverbs 1 declares that, “the fear of the Lord is the
beginning of knowledge.” That is to say, without a Christian worldview one cannot come to a
reasonable understanding of truth. All education, for it to be biblical, needs to be built on the
foundation of a Christian worldview, without which the bricks of knowledge are prone to tumble.
Godliness must be preeminent in education. Psalm 119:97-100 teaches that one who knows the
laws of God will have more wisdom and understanding than his or her teachers. Ephesians 6:4
commands Father’s to raise their children “in the instruction of the Lord.” Deuteronomy 6
reiterates the point of teaching children God’s commands.
Ephesians 2:10 says that God created us (and our children) that we should walk in “good
works.” 2 Tim 3:16-17 tells us that the Word of God equips us for “every good work.”
Therefore we see that the bible must hold a preeminent role in the education of our children, for
it’s teachings equip them to fulfill God’s purpose for their lives.
Home-Discipleship: Parents have an incredible opportunity to teach their children the Word of
God, to train them in a Christian worldview, and to confront sin in their lives.
Government-Education: Government schools work against this biblical principle as they teach
a predominately non-Christian, humanistic, relativistic, man-centered, pluralistic, materialistic
The more faithful method: Home-discipleship
Note: You may be offended by the terms I use to describe the philosophy of most public
educators (humanistic, pluralistic etc). These terms merely reflect the cultural opinions and
attitudes of our age. Even though there are some great Christian teachers in the public school
system, their ability to teach a thoroughly Christian worldview is severely restricted at best; the
teacher must still teach the materials written by (almost exclusively) humanistic atheists that
proclaim distinctly anti-Christian concepts (such as evolution and relativism).
Objections: a) Education isn’t religious; government schools don’t teach religion, they teach
facts and sciences. b) Christian schools can fulfill this biblical principle as well. c) Children can
learn the Christian stuff in Sunday school or at home during the week.
Answers: a) All learning is inescapably religious. All knowledge is built upon a value-system,
an ethical framework, a way of interpreting information. Our presuppositions will lead us to
drastically different conclusions even though they are based on the same set of facts. The
worldview bias of the school teacher will inevitably, if only subtly, make its way into the
classroom. Jesus said that “whoever is not for us is against us” (Matthew 12:30), and Paul
declares that “the unbelieving mind hostile to God” (Romans 8:7). There is no neutrality.
There can be raw “facts,” but all facts must be interpreted. The reason education seems neutral
to us is that most information is still interpreted through a Christian worldview, even if the
teacher is not Christian. However, society is rapidly changing as modernism, postmodernism,
deconstructionism, and relativism are gaining wider and wider acceptance. These philosophies
are thoroughly engrained in the minds of the modern university student (our future teachers).
b) Christian schools (if they want to be accredited) must also teach these secular materials taught
in the government schools. Christian school teachers do not have near the same amount of time
and flexibility that parents have to teach their children the fear of God.
c) One hour of Sunday school and maybe an hour or two (if you’re an above-average family) of
home learning a week is very little compared to the 25 plus instructional hours a week received
in government indoctrination centers (public schools).
QUESTION #2 - WHO SHOULD TEACH CHILDREN?
Biblical Principle: Fathers and Mothers should be the primary teachers and instructors in the
lives of their children.
Support: Scriptural passages such as Psalm 127:3-5 and Genesis 33:5 use the language of
children being “given” to parents. The bible teaches that God “opens” and “closes” the womb,
(Genesis 30:22, 1 Samuel 1:5). He is the one who blesses couples with children, giving them as
a gift to be stewarded.
Nine times in the book of Proverbs children are instructed to receive the teaching and instruction
of their Father and/or Mother. Proverbs 6:20 specifically speaks of the son keeping his Father’s
“commandments” and his Mother’s “teaching.” No mention is ever made of surrogate parents
(elementary school teachers) who are called to be the primary educator of children. The pattern
God has given in the scriptures is that parents are to be the primary instructors of their children.
It is the job of parents to teach their children the “way they should go.” In Genesis 18:19 God
says that He chose Abraham so that he would “command his children . . . to keep the way of the
To Think About: Luke 6:40 states that when a student is “fully trained” he “will be like his
teacher.” Whose example do we want them to imitate? What worldview do we want them to
Proverbs 23:13 teaches that children need to receive the rod of discipline from their parents.
Only parents can faithfully and lovingly use the rod to teach and train their children. Without the
rod there is chaos and disorder (most classrooms).
Home-Discipleship: Father and mother teach their children the Word of God and character as
well as academics and life-skills supplemented by teaching materials and the church community.
These Parents are able to utilize approximately 14 hours every day to train their children.
Government-Education: Naturalistic humanists (for the most part) teach children the values of
this fallen culture, usually supplemented by an hour of Sunday school once a week. These
parents may have 7-8 hours a day with their children.
The More Faithful Method: Home-discipleship choose to take responsibility to train up the
children God has given to us, not abdicating our God-given responsibility to bring up our
children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. By the hours alone, home-discipleship
provides almost twice much opportunity as government school for parents to train their children.
Objections: a) Most parents do not have the necessary qualifications to be capable of teaching
their children. b) There are biblical examples of state education. c) You can send your kids to
school and still be their main influence.
Answers: a) Our modern idea of “academic qualification” does not negate the biblical
principles previously discussed. Parents are “qualified” to raise their children (in every aspect)
by pure virtue of being their parents! God chooses every child to be born to a particular set of
parents and He equips those parents with everything they need to raise that child in the way he
should go. Even if the parent is “less-knowledgeable” in some ways than a public educator, I
would argue that a parent is far better suited to be able to teach his child.
To think about: If doubt still remains about parents’ ability to each their children, one cannot
deny the many useful technologies that we now have available. From interactive computer
lessons and video lessons, to simply reading a book, there are many ways children can learn. A
parent only needs to be one chapter ahead to teach his child the material; often parent and child
b) The only biblical examples of youths being trained by the government are negative examples
of coercion, as in the cases of Daniel, Joseph, and Moses.
c) We are not necessarily asking whether a parent can still fulfill the biblical principle and send
their children to public school at the same time, the question we are concerned with is “which
method better and more fully captures and exemplified the meaning of the biblical principle?”
QUESTION #3: WHERE SHOULD CHILDREN BE TAUGHT?
Biblical Principle: Children should be taught and trained in the context of the home (and the
church community). We see no biblical approval of any other pattern.
Support: Here are some principles to keep in mind when looking at the environment where
education takes place:
Matthew 18:5-6 speaks a clear warning to those who would lead children into sin. Therefore, it
naturally follows that it is a parent’s responsibility to keep his or her children from sin. We
should never intentional lead our children into clearly tempting, possibly sinful situations.
Proverbs 13:20 “He who walks with the wise become wise, but a companion of fools suffers
harm.” My dad says that this verse explains one of the main reasons why he home-schools.
Being a school teacher, he sees every day the foolishness of young, undisciplined children. The
peer-focused “mob mentality” is very dangerous, for the approval of friends becomes primary
above the approval of parents and God.
The Old Testament contains many warnings given to the people of Israel, that they not allow
their sons marry the wives of the pagan nations, lest they learn their ways and fall away from
God. There is a danger in allowing “foreign” friends and teachers to have a significant influence
on your children’s lives apart from your God-commanded supervision and discretion. This
danger is exemplified in the many cases where Christian youth walk away from their families
and their faith due to the allurement of an unbelieving “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.”
Proverbs 29:15 teachers the dangers inherent in leaving our children to themselves (away from
parental discipline (by the rod), not necessarily away in proximity). For parents are charged by
God to train their children, and are the only ones given the rod of discipline and instruction.
Home-Discipleship: Parents can protect their children from evil influences, discriminating
between the godly and godless pleasures that vie for their hearts. They can monitor the
companions with whom their children spend time, and can protect them from temptation. They
can always be ready with the rod, and their children can learn maturity in a safe, godly, parental
Government-Education: Parents cannot control (and are usually unaware of) the things their
children learn in school. Schoolmates are known to pass on inappropriate information they have
learned from movies, TV shows, and other siblings and friends; non-Christian homes have very
different standards of right and wrong. I recently was talking to a six-year-old girl who just
blurted out that her favourite types of movies were “humping movies.”
We want our children to be innocent of evil (Romans 16:19), and in the government-school
environment innocence (especially in sexual matters) is robbed at an earlier and earlier age.
Sexual sin, drug use, alcoholism, bullying, foolishness, and gossip are among the sins rampant
not only in high-schools but also in elementary schools. Children easily begin to care more
about what their school companions think than what their parents think, and they become
enculturated with the norms and attitudes of our fallen society. Government-schools present
environments full of temptations to sin. Woe to those who cause any of these little ones to sin!
The More Faithful Method: Home-Discipleship helps to preserve the purity, innocence, and
godliness of our children.
Objections: a) Home-schooled kids are sheltered; they need socialization. b) Our children need
to be in the world; they are called to be lights in their schools.
These are the two most popular arguments against home-discipleship; Socialization and the need
for children to be “salt and light.”
Answers: a) The argument for socialization is usually a fear and/or experienced based argument.
The critics declare that unless children is with companions their own age for 30 plus hours a
week, they will be total introverts, weird, socially awkward, and unable to interact with other
humans to any degree of normalcy; they will emerge from their home prisons socially scarred for
life. Such sentiments are generally not stated in such vagrant terms, however they do reflect the
outlook of the general public concerning home-schoolers. These claims, however, are simply not
valid. Most people “think” they know some “weird home-schoolers,” (I would often doubt the
validity of those claims), and there may be some legitimate examples. However, most people
have also interacted with many “weird” public schoolers as well.
We don’t want to make decisions based solely on pragmatism, but it is worth noting that an
educational institution in BC did a study and found home-schooled children to be much more
socially adept in the workplace than public-schoolers; more responsible and better able to
interact with adults in a mature manner.
Biblically, I don’t think that our children require more “socialization” than the provisions found
in the Word of God. The family is God’s basic unit of social interaction. This social interaction
is very important; character is built in conflict as parents train children in their relationships with
one another through godly discipline and instruction. There is no better place to teach love,
respect, gentleness of speech, and Christ-centered relationships than in the home. God also gave
us the church, the body of Christ, to live together in community as family, meeting together for
worship at least weekly. There is the much neglected biblical command towards the practice of
hospitality, a practice that encourages social interaction to the glory of God.
In reality, socialization” is a major reason not to send children to public school. As has already
been mentioned, Proverbs 13:20 declares, “ . . . a companion of fools suffers harm.” Proverbs
22:15 says that “folly is bound up in the heart of a child.” Children are naturally foolish.
Educational Institutions (both Christian and public) are full of young fools. In the school
environment, children are surrounded by foolish peers instead of Godly parents and adults within
the Christian community. Even if you teach and train your children well at home “bad company
corrupts good morals” (1 Corinthians 15:33). We would be naive to think that our children can
be immersed daily in foolishness and return home unaffected. The environment of foolishness
thrives in both public and private schools.
b) The final argument to which Christian government-school proponents usually cling is the
“our children need to be lights in the schools, where they can evangelize the unsaved” argument.
(I do not deny that there are many positive examples of where this has taken place, where youths
have been saved through the influence of godly schoolmates; I respect their faithfulness to Christ
in a godless generation.)
Biblical commands to share the gospel are directed towards all Christians. Therefore, these
commands inherently do not apply to youths who are as of yet unsaved. By “saved” I am
referring to true, biblical conversion. I do not assume the 5-year-old who says “I love Jesus” to
be saved, nor do I assume the 13-year-old who attends church every Sunday with his parents, to
be truly regenerate. We must not presume our children to be saved until we see the fruits of
biblical salvation in their life: a true love for God, a passion for holiness, a hatred of sin, willing
submission to God’s Word, respectful obedience to parents, and sincere devotion to Christ.
There will always be sin in the lives of our children, but we must take care to watch for a
lingering Spirit of rebellion in their hearts.
Too often, Christian parents send their children out of the home as goats among wolves. Their
minimal knowledge, training, and character is simply not sufficient to stand against the tide of
materialism, impurity, and worldliness. They are not sufficiently equipped to stand strong upon
the rock of Christ among the crashing waves of this world’s system.
Following the famous “salt and light” passage in Matthew 5, Jesus teaches that if the salt loses
its saltiness it is good for nothing and ready to be trampled underfoot (Matthew 5:13). Too
often the “child-missionary” strategy backfires. Youths end up losing their saltiness (sometimes
only for a season, but often permanently) and parents are left wondering “what happened?”.
They children reject the faith of their childhood is favour for the fleshly desires of this world.
Most of the time parents are caught off-guard, for they are not even aware of what goes on in the
lives of their children in the government-school system.
As I already noted, there are some truly committed Christian youths who are mature and
grounded in their faith who avoid many of the perils of high school. They may even effectively
evangelize their peers, but they will still miss out on the great benefits of home discipleship. Just
because something seems good, doesn’t mean it is best; something that is permissible may not
necessarily be beneficial or wise.
Jesus didn’t begin His public ministry until 30 years of age. Until then, He was learning
carpentry alongside His father Joseph and growing “in wisdom and stature and favour with God
and man.”(Luke 2:52). From the ages of 5-19, the focus in the life of a child should be
preparation for marriage, life-purpose, vocation, godliness, exemplary Christian lifestyle, and
kingdom mission. Though a youth may engage in different “ministry” ventures to some extent
in his young life, he is not yet to be deployed into His God-given life-ministry; the time of youth
is the time for equipping and preparation.
The time where our children still live in our homes is a God-gifted time for equipping and
preparing our children for their life-purpose. The more we as parents can pour into the lives
of our children while they are still in our care, providing them with a solid, biblical
foundation of character, piety, knowledge, and steadfastness, the better equipped they will
be to effectively further God’s kingdom. Then, when the time comes for them to step out into
their life calling, we can confidently bless them and send them off as ambassadors of the Lord
Jesus Christ. Why would we want our children to learn the material taught in governmentschools when we have so much opportunity to train them in the ways of the Lord? Why would
we want our children immersed in a godless environment when we are able to nurture them in a
Sadly, I know very few Christian youths who were not negatively affected by attending publicschool. Despite the good testimonies we sometimes hear, I do not think we are called to hand
over the raising of our offspring to the world in hopes that our children might have some impact
for Christ in the government-school system. There are some examples of Christian students who
do great things for God in their schools, but there are many more examples of students who walk
away from Christ and make shipwreck of their faith in the government-school system.
The question we are seeking to answer is “which educational approach most faithfully applies
the commands of scripture?” In seeking to have our children obey the biblical command to
share the gospel, should we then neglect all the other teachings of God’s Word regarding
the raising of children? Should we throw away the necessary implications of scripture
regarding child-rearing for the sake of this one end, that our children would be salt and
There are many ways in which children can be lights in this world, proclaim the gospel, and
share their faith outside of being immersed in the government-school environment. God has
given us a short time and season where we are able to raise up our children to be men and
women who please God. If you as a parent desire your children to reach out to the lost, first
make sure that you yourself are actively involved in reaching the lost. Be the example to your
children of how one is salt and light in the world.
QUESTION #4: WHEN SHOULD CHILDREN BE TAUGHT?
Biblical Principle: As an integrated part of daily life
Support: Deuteronomy 6:7, 11:19 - You are to teach your children when you are at home, in
town, and at work; in the morning and in the evening.
Home-Discipleship: Work, chores, learning, discipleship, relationship, and character training all
take place as a fully integrated aspect of home life. Both parents incorporate these aspects of
learning as they bring their children alongside them as they “walk by the way.” “Education”
should not be a segmented section of daily life. We need to break down the school/work/play
divide. These activities should be fully integrated into daily lives of our children as preparation
for their future life-mission.
Government-Education: Children are taken to pagan institutions developed by humanists (John
Dewey) during a regimented period of time to learn the values of a godless society. Young boys
were not meant to be cooped up in a classroom for six hours a day. They were meant to walk
alongside their dad, helping him in his business, learning valuable life skills. Government
education does not prepare children for their life work, it imparts head-knowledge without life
application. Children should be working and learning alongside their parents. The best
education is not found in book knowledge but in educational-life-integration.
The More Faithful Method: Life-Integrated Home-Discipleship
Objections: a) Children shouldn’t be involved in their parent’s work, being a kid is about having
fun. Let them do their 6 hours of school and then let them off the hook (except for a few chores).
b) The school system does prepare children well for their future vocation.
Answers: a) Where in the bible does it say that being a kid is about having fun? Being a kid is
about receiving training for godliness and life-purpose. By not teaching our children a biblical
work ethic from a young age, we train them to be lazy and apathetic, not fit for demanding
kingdom-work. Involving children in adult work prepares them for that adult work. Just talking
at children and having them read books does not teach them practical vocational skills. Girls
should learn homemaking from their Mother, and boys should learn how to work from their
Father; the whole family works together to advance the Father’s biblical vision.
Note: This life-integration that I’m talking about may seem odd to you, having children work
alongside their parents. You’re probably wondering how it works to have a boy go to work with
his Father. Ideally, I believe most Fathers should seek to work out of the home. I also think it
advantageous that a Father own his own business. I know this is not possible for every Father,
but I think it is a good ideal. To have the Father home is very healthy for a family. Even in nonideal situations, there are still many creative ways in which Father’s can integrate their children
into their vocational work.
Note: Throughout this paper I have been assuming the biblical presupposition that mothers
should be first of all about the business of keeping the home and raising their children (Titus
2:3-5). I do not think it desirable to have a mother working outside the home. I especially do
not think it proper to have one man’s wife working outside the home for another man, advancing
his business. The Proverbs 31 woman has many business ventures, but her priority is the home,
and her business revolves around the home. Ideally, a woman should be working with her
husband in his business while she keeps the home and spends time with the little ones.
QUESTION #5 WHY SHOULD CHILDREN BE TAUGHT?
Biblical Principle: To glorify God; to know Him, praise Him, and obey His commands. That
they might be equipped to become productive, God-glorifying, member of families, churches,
Support: To glorify God is the ultimate purpose of life, this truth is proclaimed throughout all
the scriptures. Our children have the same purpose in learning as they do in all other areas of
life; their learning should ultimately be for the glory of God.
Home-Discipleship: Seeks to keep these main objectives of learning in view at all times in lifeintegrated, home-based, discipleship.
Government-Education: Believes that children should learn to be productive, self-confident,
healthy, fulfilled members of society that don’t deviate from accepted societal norms.
The More Faithful Method: Home-Discipleship
Objections: Don’t home-schools and public-schools have a pretty similar view on education?
Both methods are simply meant to facilitate learning.
Answers: Even though there may be some similarities in the purposes of home-based and public
educators, there are drastic irreconcilable differences. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of
wisdom,” there is no truly successful education when the fear of the Lord is absent. Our calling
as parents is to raise children who will advance Christ’s kingdom in this sinful culture, not to
raise children who nicely fit right into this world’s mould.
The true intent behind education shines through in all teaching. If our end goal in education is to
bring glory to God, then this motive should drastically affect our methods and materials of
Note: This next objection wasn’t exactly discussed, but I think it fits best in the “why” section
Objections: Public/Private school is the only way to get a good education. You at least need to
do the home-school equivalent of public school (government-directed, government-sponsored,
“official,” home-schooling) to get your kids into university, to get them a good job.
Answers: A “good education” is subjective, there is much more to education than book
knowledge. Home-discipleship focuses on life application, with a hyper-focus on character,
raising children to actually do work, not just know certain facts. I personally think that homediscipleship provides a much more thorough and well-rounded “education.”
Speaking pragmatically again, children have a much greater ability to learn, acquire knowledge,
and think critically at home as opposed to in the classroom. Parents can accommodate each
child’s individual learning style, teaching each one at his own pace, and providing the best help
where it is most needed.
Even if you still perceive university as the all-important end of childhood education, there are
many avenues to university that do not require a high school diploma; you simply need to
research your different options (sometimes equivalency tests are required, other times acceptance
is given to “mature“ students). Personally, I think university is overrated, the statistics haven
proven it repeatedly. Most degrees end up being worth very little as they often do not lead to
good-paying jobs in the field studied.
If university must be attended, it should be very purposeful; university should be completed as
quickly and cheaply as possible, and only as necessary to a specific vocational end. As has
already been presented, I advocate home-business. The ability to work from home is an
important factor to consider when deciding on a career path. We need to have a vision that is
bigger than the secular norms. There’s more potential in our young men than we realize.
QUESTION #6 HOW SHOULD CHILDREN BE TAUGHT? (By what method should our
children be educated)
The “How?” question is the answer to the previous five questions already discussed. When
connected all together, the answers to these five questions describe the basic method of childeducation.
Biblical Principle: Father-lead, life-integrated, home-based discipleship that teaches the fear of
God and practical life-skills to the glory of God
Support: Everything discussed up to this point
Home-Discipleship: When connected all together, here is how home-discipleship answers the
“How?” of educational methodology (What? Who? Where? When? and Why?).
Children should be taught . . .
1. Wisdom, character, and the fear of God . . .
2. Primarily by their Father and Mother . . .
3. In the context of the home . . .
4. As an integrated part of daily life . . .
5. To the glory of God.
These principles of child-education form the basic building blocks of home-discipleship; they
summarize the many biblical principles discussed in this paper.
Government-Education: Answers the “How?” question very differently.
At Best: Children should be taught . . .
1. Helpful information, appropriate behaviour, and self-confidence . . .
2. Primarily by qualified, caring instructors . . .
3. In the context of the school building . . .
4. Six hours a day, five days a week . . .
5. For the good of society.
At Worst: Children should be taught . . .
1. Humanism, relativism, and materialistic self-interest . . .
2. Primarily by godless, worldly, humanists . . .
3. In the context of a government-controlled, secular, godless institution . . .
4. As much as possible . . .
5. To the glory of man.
The More Faithful Method: Home-discipleship
Objections: There are not many more significant, common objections. Undoubtedly, there will
always be resistance to God’s methods and principles, but the firm foundation of His Word will
always stand. If you still have objections and are looking for more clarity, look to God’s Word
and seek to align your priorities with His. Diligently search the scriptures and seek to discover in
them, the Lord’s will. We will be held accountable to God for how we stewarded the gifts of
children He gave us.
Answers: They’re all found in the scriptures, as we get on our knees and search God’s word in
the illuminating power of the Holy Spirit.
As is clear, I am not a supporter of home-schooling, but of father-lead, life-integrated, homebased, discipleship. I do not believe that public education is a viable option for our children. It
is a method that directly contradicts the biblical teaching regarding child-rearing. We must be
careful to uphold the biblical principles as faithfully possibly.
The biblical principles of child education as I currently understand them can be summarized in
the following statement:
Children should be taught wisdom, character, and the fear of God primarily by their
Father and Mother in the context of the home as an integrated part of daily life to the glory
There are two overarching arguments for home-discipleship. One argument is positive and the
other is negative. The negative argument is very compelling: Government-schools are breeding
grounds for foolishness where children are destructively influenced by their peers. They
inappropriately learn “what the disobedient do in secret,” (Ephesians 5:12) and they are taught
by teachers who commonly advocate a distinctly anti-Christian worldview. Many children are
drawn away from the faith by the evil influences found in this godless institutional system.
Many have probably not appreciated the way in which I have spoken of the evils of the
government school system. Though there can be glimmers of brightness in that institution, there
is much darkness. Despite the dangers of the public school, the reason I will choose to educate
and disciple my children at home is not mainly based on some fear of the world. My conviction
concerning educational methodology is much more strongly grounded in the positive argument
The most important scripture verse as it relates to child rearing is Ephesians 6:4: “Fathers, do
not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of
the Lord.” As parents, our main calling is to raise our children up in the discipline (training of
the body) and instruction (training of the mind) of the Lord. Our children are born sinners, and
we need to labour to see them come into the kingdom of God. Not only must we “make
disciples of all nations,” (Matthew 28:19) but we must look first to the discipleship of our own
children. If God has given us the blessing of children (Psalm 123:7), then we need to steward
His gifts (1 Corinthians 4:2).
The twenty-some years that we have with our children in our home is an incredible opportunity.
We have time to invest in their lives like we will never have again. We have the opportunity to
raise up warriors for Christ, children with a solid foundation build upon the Word of God;
children who hold a Christian worldview, and are innocent of evil. Our parental mandate is to
labour and strive to raise children who will stay faithful to Jesus Christ and who will advance the
spread of His kingdom here on Earth.
I want to be the main educator of my children, the main influence in their lives. I want to impart
to my children a vision for life-purpose. I want to teach them character. I want them to be with
me and to walk beside me. I want them to give me their hearts as I lead them to Jesus Christ. I
don’t want to be like the wicked, unfaithful steward who buried his talent in the ground
(Matthew 25:14-30). I want to take the treasures God may give me and increase them a
hundredfold, from generation to generation (Matthew 13:23Luke 1:50, Psalm 78:6). I want to
fill my quiver full of trained arrows that shoot from my bow and pierce the heart of the enemy
Oh that we would see cultural transformation as our children grow and enter the world, they
themselves not “of” the world. May they hold the banner of Jesus Christ and His kingdom
without compromise, partnering with the Lord in the task of worldwide disciple-making.
All godly Christian parents desire this same outcome, but not all paths lead in the same direction.
The paths of home-discipleship and government-education are diametrically opposed to one
another, leading in opposite directions. The method that is most faithful to the biblical principles
must be our chosen route. Let us seriously consider the teachings of the lord our God, the truths
found in His Word. We must believe that scripture is sufficient for our educational decisions and
that it speaks to all areas of life. We must submit ourselves to the commands of Christ.
If you are willing, God will make you able. His grace is abundantly sufficient, equipping us for
every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8). Are you prepared to walk in a direction contrary to the
path of this sinful culture? Do you desire to be faithful to God’s chosen methods? Are you
willing to make sacrifices to equip your children for God’s glorious mission? Will you be the one
to raise a godly seed? Will you rise up and be the father or mother that God has called you to
be? Will you take responsibility to steward the lives He has entrusted to you? Take courage.
Step out in faith.
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” - 3 John 4
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