Freedom to Homeschool is Worth Fighting For
By: Dick and Dorothy Karman
Dec-01

Freedom is Biblical
Freedom from government intrusion into the education is based on the institutions God set up and the responsibilities He gave to each. God gave different authority and responsibility to the individual, the family, the church and the civil government. The civil government cannot believe unto salvation for the individual. The church cannot defend the nation’s borders or punish evil doers. And civil government has not been given the responsibility or authority to raise and train children.

The family, specifically the parents, have been given the responsibility to train the children God has placed in each family. Fathers are commanded to “bring them [children] up in the discipline and instructions of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4) God specifically commands parents to teach His words diligently to their children. "And these words which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up." (Deuteronomy 6:6 & 7) "For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments." (Psalm 78:5-7) "My son, observe the commandments of your father, and do not forsake the teaching of your mother; bind them continually on your heart. Tie them around your neck. When you walk about, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you and when you awake, they will talk to you. For the commandment is a lamp and, the teaching is light; and reproofs for discipline are the way of life." (Proverbs 6: 20-23)

We can’t diligently teach our children God’s words and God’s plan just once a week at Sunday School. How can we say we are diligently teaching our children God’s precepts if seven or eight hours a day they are in government schools – schools devoid of any Christian teaching. In fact, government schools are aggressively anti-Christian in what they teach.

The family’s responsibility is immense. We are to teach our children to “take every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (II Corinthians 10:5) We are to train them (and ourselves) to think of everything with a Biblical world view – through the lens of the scripture. This includes all the academic disciplines. No area of human endeavor can be properly viewed apart from Scriptural principles.

The Biblical argument for keeping civil government out of education – especially the education of God’s children – is fundamental to the whole issue of the government paying for homeschooling. It is not within the government's God-given responsibilities. The world may not recognize this principle, but those that take the Bible seriously should not be confused on this point.

Freedom is Constitutional
Ever since Meyer v. Nebraska in 1923, the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the right of parents to direct their children’s upbringing, including education. This fundamental right of parents has been upheld many times in the last century. The most recent affirmation of this principle happened on June 5, 2000, when the Court ruled in Troxel v. Granville. "In a long line of cases, we have held that, in addition to the specific freedoms protected by the Bill of Rights, the 'liberty' specially protected by the Due Process Clause includes the right . .. to direct the education and upbringing of one's children."

The U.S. Supreme Court even recognized that children are not “mere creatures of the state.” Unfortunately, many in the education establishment and legislature look at children as “our” (meaning the state’s) children, as in “Our children are our most important resource” and “We must protect all our children” (emphasis added). Children do not belong to the state. They belong to God and are a gift and stewardship given to parents. “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord; The fruit of the womb is a reward.” (Psalms 127:3)

Freedom is expensive
Our Founding Fathers recognized this as they pledged their lives, property and fortunes to the cause of freedom from tyranny. We, too, must be willing to pay the price for our freedom. In order to be truly free to teach our children what and how God wants us to teach them we have to be willing to give our time and our money to the endeavor.

Yes, we all pay taxes that support the public schools, but so does my sister who has never been married, the elderly couple on a fixed income and the parents who have their children in a private school. Our taxes pay for a lot of things I hope I never have to use – the fire and police departments, for example. We pay our taxes and purchase textbooks for our homeschool, but it is worth it to be able to teach our children what we want, when we want and how we want.

We thank God every day for the freedom we have in this country - especially the freedom to raise our children in the "nurture and admonition of the Lord." But we never loose sight of the fact that our freedom demands constant vigilance. We pray that God will give home educators an appreciation for their freedom and a willingness to labor to preserve it for their children's children.


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