American Family Radio which is part of the American Family Association hosted a webcast on the program, Nothing But Truth last evening called American Education: Do You Know What You Are Paying For? Guests included Dr. Richard Land of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Ken Ham, Founder and CEO of Answers in Genesis and Creation Museum who joined both by phone show host, Crane Durham. In studio, Geoffery Botkin, Western Conservatory of the Arts and Sciences, William J. Federer, Author, Speaker, Commentator, Historian of AmericanMinute(dot)com, Stephen M. Crampton, General Counsel, Liberty Counsel were very informative and inspiring! Congressman Pete Hoekstra of 2nd District of MI, and CongressmanTodd Aiken, 2nd District of MS who also joined by phone. WOW! What a night!
The information flew as Mr. Botkin and Mr. Federer gave a history of public education in America. Since I love history so much, it was wonderful to hear the truth of how our nation's system of education has been put into place. Attorney Crampton shared some of the historic court cases that have established policies that effect us today.
There was no educational choice bashing on this panel, but a discussion of what has become of public education, the intent of it, and how in some ways it has changed.
The panel discussed where most Christians are educating their children. Dr. Ken Ham stated a Barna Group statistic (which is documented in his book, Already Gone, Ham's newest publication) that 90% of all church children are public school educated and that 2/3 will leave the church after high school. I knew the numbers were staggering, and it grieved me to hear them again! We have so much work to do to pass our Christian heritage on to our children, which is conversely the issue that the author of the book in my earlier post has with homeschooling. . . but you can scroll on down and read all about that. . . Educators, particularly Christian educators were encouraged to continue their efforts in their jobs of helping children in their classrooms and empathy for the battle was expressed. There are around 2 million homeschoolers in our nation we were told.
I was given the opportunity to call in and make comments concerning homeschooling into the upper grades and asked the panel to address results of homeschooling considering the concerns of some that homeschooled children are not "socialized, brought into the main stream or ARE somehow guarded into dysfunction." I asked the panel IF there are any homeschoolers in the prison system! I received a chuckle with the last part of my question, but was given a wonderful answer sending me to HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense) for statistics, that getting to know wonderful homeschooling families would alleviate fears, and that children who have been homeschooled are proving to become wonderful citizens past their homeschooling experiences. This is awesome news for homeschoolers from such a panel of distinguished guests!
Chris Klicka, HSLDA champion was lauded for his efforts in defending homeschooling rights in the nation. He has recently passed October 12, 2009 with condolences offered to his family.
If you didn't get to listen or watch, then go to American Family Radio webcast. It's a dignified discussion of the needs in education and of all the possibilities to remedy them.
Homeschooling is not for every family, but it is a viable and reasonable option for Christian families to give children a distinctly Christian education and to assure that children are educated. This is a choice our family has obviously embraced. You may be thinking about homeschooling for your family. Leave me a comment or question if I can help you in any way. Remember that life is a journey; homeschooling is part of life, a natural part of life that occurs as we rise up and lay down we instruct and teach our children. I wasn't homeschooled. It's a decision that came as part of my journey . . .
I was public and private school educated in a time of turmoil in the 1970's when segregation ended, and in our community violence made havoc of the school system. Parents protested the busing of children away from neighborhood schools. Ten-foot fences with barbed wire were erected around middle and high schools to contain the violent disruptions as students battled who, for the first time, were attending school together. I was in third grade when this began. By the time I was in the eighth grade, I had been attacked by a group of girls in the gym locker room, and inappropriately touched by another student who was not punished because as my mother was told, "he was already on probation" and this offense would have sent him to "jail." This was my last year in public education at which time I attended a private Christian school. While I am very proud of my Christian school and my years there, I want to say that not all children attending are Christian or Christ-like in their behaviors. I learned that drunken parties and other misdeeds were prevalent among my classmates as about 1/2 of our junior class was expelled for a party they attended...I don't know any more than that it tore up our class... but we had signed behavior covenants. Rules were broken. I was not involved. I won't make any other commentary about this other than that I realized that just because you attended a Christian school that taught Bible everyday and had chapel each week, there was going to be those who were there for reasons other than my own which was to get a Christian education.
Did I want this for my own children? I had lived "that" life . . . The one time dream of becoming a "Christian school teacher" had long alluded me for nursing and now motherhood. Two precious gifts needed educating. I will share more of our story another time, but God led us to home education!
Go check out that webcast. The Homeschooling Channel is coming on SkyAngel for those who like TV...