Dispelling Deception-What Is Homeschooling?
Heart to Heart

Dispelling Deception-What Is Homeschooling?
by Candy Summers

 “If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and waddles like a duck, you can be sure it is a duck!” God is a God of order and of truth, so let’s speak truth! You homeschool if you are teaching your children at home. No matter what learning centers may claim, if they select your children’s curriculum, teach them, motivate them, evaluate their assignments, keep their records … while charging you for their services, your children are being educated in a private school—plain and simple!
 Carefully examine the content of our homeschooling statute printed below, which clearly defines a homeschool, particularly noting four very important points: a homeschool can have no more than four unrelated by affinity or consanguinity to the third degree; a homeschool does not charge or receive consideration in the form of tuition, fees, or other remuneration in exchange for provision of instruction; the parent shall maintain the homeschool records; and at least 400 of the 600 core hours must occur at the regular homeschool location.

Sections of our Homeschool Statute

2. (1) As used in sections 167.031 to 167.071, a “home school” is a school, whether incorporated or unincorporated, that;
 (a) has as its primary purpose the provision of private or religious-based instruction;
 (b) enrolls pupils between the ages of seven and sixteen years, of which no more than four are unrelated by affinity or consanguinity to the third degree; and
 (c) does not charge or receive consideration in the form of tuition, fees, or other remuneration in a genuine and fair exchange for provision of instruction.
(2) As evidence that a child is receiving regular instruction, the parent shall
 (a) maintain the following records:
  (1) a plan book, diary, or other written record indicating subjects taught and activities engaged in; and
  (2) a portfolio of samples of the child’s academic work; and
  (3) a record of evaluations of the child’s academic progress; or
  (4) other written, credible evidence equivalent to subdivisions (1), (2), and (3); and
 (b) offer at least one thousand hours of instruction, at least six hundred hours of which will be in reading, language arts, mathematics, social studies and science or academic courses that are related to the aforementioned subject areas and consonant with the pupil’s age and ability. At least four hundred of the six hundred hours shall occur at the regular home school location.

5. The production by a parent of a daily log showing that a home school has a course of instruction which satisfies the requirements of this section or, in the case of a pupil over the age of sixteen years who attended a metropolitan school district the previous year, a written statement that the pupil is attending home school in compliance with this section shall be a defense to any prosecution under this section and to any charge or action for educational neglect brought pursuant to chapter 210, RSMo.

The Obedience and Trust of Parents in Their God

 We have no further to look than within ourselves when it comes to examining the unfaithfulness and untrusting nature of corrupted man, yet God provides us with a great cloud of witnesses to let us know that our struggles are not singular, nor are they without hope. Truly, as long as we live upon this earth, we will continuously face clarion calls that require extraordinary strength, which only God’s grace can sufficiently fulfill. And in truth, this is where God places us so that we become totally dependent upon Him for all things. If we truly examine even the very essence of our existence, we at once realize that every breath we take is given to us by God. “For in Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him, and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16,17).
 How can we doubt that He will direct every step we take when we dwell upon the manifestations of God’s magnificent power that brought about the great deluge, the destruction of Sodom, the miracles in Egypt, the parting of the Red Sea, the manna from heaven, the conquest of Canaan, the destruction of the walls of Jericho, the preservation of His people through the enslavement and elevation of Joseph, the shutting of the lions’ mouths … all the way to the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. Let us not trust in our feelings of inadequacy, but trust in Him who makes all things possible. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5,6).
 We need to bring to mind our noble beginnings and our rich inheritance—a calling from our heavenly Father and the confidence that He who calls will equip. How is it that we so quickly doubt the manifest enabling of His Holy Spirit that dwells within our bosom? Can we doubt that our Father would call us to such a task without providing us with the wisdom and ability to complete His task? Let us take heart and go forward to train up our own children as God intended and not to relinquish that responsibility to anyone. Let us encourage one another of the mighty God whom we serve so that we may place HOME back in homeschooling and boldly go forth to home educate our own children.
 The day after the conference we had a homeschooling mother stop in for a visit. While she was here, she told me about her conversation with a mother at our conference who told her that she was sending her child to a learning center for a science class. My friend then proceeded to encourage her that she need not send the child to a learning center when she herself could teach her own child. She then related from her own personal experience how much she is enjoying learning Biology with her own children using Dr. Jay Wile’s curriculum available through our Apologia vendor. And then she went on to tell her that not only is the curriculum concise and easy to understand, but also that it clearly displays God’s presence throughout each new concept, and she shared how much she is enjoying learning these marvelous truths with her children. This is a perfect example of what we should be doing to encourage and help our fellow homeschoolers.
 Homeschooling is ordained and commanded by God in Deuteronomy 6:6 and 7, yet God warns us that the father of lies and deception will continually try to tempt us away from Him with his subtlety. So it stands to reason that with the best opportunity parents have to learn about God and impart that knowledge to their own children that Satan would use crafty schemes to keep parents from learning more about their God and lead them off course from the greatest commission God has ever planned—the training up of their own children, when they sit in their house and when they walk by the way, and when they lie down and when they rise up.
 Whereas the enemy works to discourage and make weary so as to draw us away from God, our heavenly Father provides a way of escape by fleeing evil, by putting on the armor of God’s Word, and by prayer. “… men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1). “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13). “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end” (Hebrews 3:12-14).
 “My son, if you will receive my sayings and treasure my commandments within you, make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; for if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the Lord, and discover the knowledge of God. For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice, and He preserves the way of His godly ones. Then you will discern righteousness and justice and equity and every good course. For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will guard you, understanding will watch over you, to deliver you from the way of evil, from the man who speaks perverse things; from those who leave the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness; who delight in doing evil and rejoice in the perversity of evil; whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways; to deliver you from the strange woman, from the adulteress who flatters with her words” (Proverbs 2:1-16).

God’s Way, Not the World’s

 Education should be formed by God’s Word and not by man’s reasoning, culture, or philosophy. The biblical Hebrew method of education is where education takes place within God’s institution of the family, where children are taught by their parents to apply God’s Word to every area of their lives; which in turn equips them to serve God in this life and for eternity in the next. This is an eternal, generational vision where the family transforms society as God intended.
 Contrast this with the Greek method of education (which the American education system is patterned after) where the family is eliminated, making children creatures of the state where they are taught human reasoning in which the state transforms society. Plato’s Republic outlines the role of the family: “As long as children are doing work at home and under the authority of parents we cannot make them creatures of the state. To mold the child into the man of the state we desperately need to get rid of the family.”
 Yet God in the beginning said, “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, when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:6,7). Our Hebrew forefathers and our colonial forefathers possessed this multigenerational, eternal vision. They understood that their greatest commission was to train up a child in the way he should go.
 Alexis de Tocqueville, a famous French statesman, historian, and philosopher, toured America with the purpose of observing the American people. His Democracy in America, published in the early 1800s, was described as “the most comprehensive and penetrating analysis of the relationship between character and society in America that has ever been written.” He writes: “Upon my arrival in the United States the religious aspect of the country is the first thing that struck my attention; and the longer I stayed there, the more I perceived the great political consequences from this…. Religion in America … must be regarded as the foremost of the political institutions of that country, for it does not impart a taste for freedom, it facilitates the use of it. Indeed, it is the same point of view that the inhabitants … themselves look upon religious belief … they hold it to be indispensable to the maintenance of republican institutions. This opinion is not peculiar to a class of citizens or a party, but it belongs to the whole nation and to every rank of society. In the United States the sovereign authority is religious … there is no country in the world where the Christian religion retains a greater influence over the souls of men than in America, and there can be no greater proof of its utility and of its conformity to human nature than that its influence is powerfully felt over the most enlightened and free nation of the earth…. There is certainly no country in the world where the tie of marriage is more respected than in America or where conjugal happiness is more highly or worthily appreciated…. In the United States the influence of religion is not confined to the manners but it extends to the intelligence of the people. Christianity, therefore, reigns without obstacle, by universal consent; the consequence is, that every principle of the moral world is fixed and determinate. I sought for the key to her greatness and genius of America in her harbors; in her fertile fields and boundless forests; in her rich mines and vast world commerce … I sought for it in her matchless Constitution. Not until I went in to the churches of America, and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness, did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good; and if America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great. The safeguard of morality is religion, and morality is the best security of law as well as the surest pledge of freedom.”
 You know what de Tocqueville saw as he toured America? Fathers reading the Bible to their children, and children reading their Bibles to their fathers; sons working alongside their fathers, and daughters working alongside their mothers, with the family being about their earthly father’s business who was about their heavenly Father’s business. For from the 1600s to the 1900s, most children in America were home educated where parents fulfilled God’s mandate. Let us never forget that God’s first institution is the family, whose purpose is to train up children in the way that they should go—to glorify God and serve Him all the days of their lives.
 
Let Us Be Good Stewards of Our Time

 “So be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is” (Ephesians 5:15-17).
 If you knew that you had only a year left to live, or a month, or a day, what would you judge to be the best way to spend your last fleeting moment? This really puts life into perspective. “So teach us to number our days that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
 God has offered us an extraordinary gift to be with our children to teach them and train them and learn with them. Sadly, though, many homeschoolers fail to comprehend what God requires of them that they, the parents, should diligently teach their own children. Teach is an action verb! And when does God tell us to teach our children? When we sit, walk, lie down, and rise up—virtually all day long. For the success of learning is largely due to the active role the parents take in the learning process.
 “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:1-3).
 Homeschooling leaders across the country agree with us that learning centers are the greatest detriment to homeschooling that we have ever faced. Therefore, we must stand together and not allow others to destroy the fabric of homeschooling. For since the flesh naturally desires to take the easiest road—relinquishment of duty and responsibility—let us who understand God’s Word and who have experienced God’s magnificent blessings through homeschooling rebuke those who are aiding the enemy by luring parents from their responsibility and encourage one another in the role God has called us to—to train up our own children all day long, each and every day!