Ask the Principal

Thanks to Spunky Homeschool, we recently caught wind of a new blog, Ask the Principal.  The author is a public school principal who is encouraging Christians to pull their chlidren out of public school.  He has an interesting perspective, and seems to me to be a voice crying out in the wilderness.

Personally, I am at the point where I think many Christians should go ahead and pull out of public schools. (I cannot say ALL because one never knows what God is up to — He's too big to narrow down too much.  My friend says it like this:  He has His thumb in all the pies.)  As U.S. Christians, we have tried the experiment of sending a few generations of our kids off to be "in the world and not of it" on their own, and it hasn't worked.  Just look at the state of the church, especially our young people.  Read one of those surveys done by Josh McDowell or Barna Group that show what little difference there is in the thinking of Christian v. Non-Christian youth.

I hope it is clear that I am not saying that we should stop being salt and light in the world!  I have just come to see that we can be a salty and lit-up family, inviting the lost into our home or going out into the world as a family unit (Eric Wallace's book Uniting Church and Home is full of awesome encouragement in this area).  The kids need a few years under our wing to learn how its done, and with 6+ hours of public school each day (not to mention afterschool activities, homework, church activities, and television), there isn't much time left for discipleship. 

I propose a new way of looking at evangelism — forget the age-segregation — forget sending kids out on their own or even in packs of peers.  Simply reach out to people around you, everyone you meet.  You can shine the light of Christ to librarians, dry cleaning store owners, Albertson's cashiers, neighbors, old ladies out for walks, aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas and cousins, neighborhood latch-key kids, McDonald's workers — all with mom and dad close by, teaching and living by example.  Contrary to what I once thought, homeschooling and evangelism are not mutually exclusive.  And honestly, if your kids don't see you living out your faith, they aren't going to catch it.

Ask the Principal looks promising.  I plan to check back there often.  I know my dad will enjoy The Principal's post called Stupid in the NEA, as Dad has had to endure years of working with/against teacher's unions and the NEA.  (This principal feels your pain, Dad.) 

From comments left on Ask the Principal, I also discovered A Different Perspective (homeschooling dad who is on public school board) and Home School Geek (homeschooling dad who works at a public university).  Interesting, these dads who love the world, are in it and not of it, and see homeschooling as one of the best ways to prepare children for it.


3 thoughts on “Ask the Principal

  1. My hubby, only son in a FAMILY full of educators (both by birth or marriage) LOVES Ask the Principal. I’ll have to pass the other two on. Thanks!! : )

  2. Several times I let you know I wanted to pull you out of pub school. I always felt I could do so much better, but I recognized I lacked the time. SO, before you talk of all this homeschool stuff (much of which I think wholesome) you do need to remember how you abhored the idea of my taking you out of public school.
    You know Dad’s job is to humble you from time to time.
    Love ya,

  3. Hey Dad! Since I meshed my homeschool blog with my real blog, I am going ahead and posting homeschool thoughts here…that’s why there’s been lots of homeschool stuff lately. I am trying to come up with several encouraging posts to eventually send out as daily emails through a yahoo group to homeschooling parents.

    You know, I only went to public school for 4 years. I am VERY grateful for the preparation for high school I had in the Christian schools I attended as a small one. I think I learned more at home from you and mom than I ever did at school, you and mom taught me how to love my neighbor, how to pray, that Jesus was a real presence in our home. And I know God is sovereign, and that I was right where He wanted me, for His glory and my own good, during all of my childhood.

    I have no problem admitting that I have done a 180 degree turn on my ideas on homeschooling. Back in high school, I cared way too much about being cool to give homeschooling more than a disgusted glance. Even after high school, I thought homeschooling was pretty anti-evangelistic, and just plain silly. Luckily, Ron and I agreed (before marriage!) that we would consider all options in our children’s education. Somehow, little by little, the Lord directed us this way.

    This paradigm-shift in our thinking — over many areas of life, not just homeschooling — has been shocking. It gives me a very SMALL taste of the conversion experience someone must have when they see Christ for the first time, and He changes the way they look at everything (I know it is much different, but having accepted Christ at such a young age, this experience is the closest I’ve had to a worldview-shift as an adult).

    We feel as if He has opened our eyes to a whole new world. It is disconcerting at times, to look through everything through new glasses — to question and ponder and research and think about many things we accepted as status quo, before. But it is also kind of fun…because new glasses means new adventures…

    So, yeah, humbled I am. Who knows what the future holds. I will surely look back at 2006 and wonder about some of my hair-brained ideas. Or what new revelations He will lead me to that I’ll wonder how I missed before. But somehow, that doesn’t make me want to stop pursing truth, today. Call me crazy. It runs in the family. 🙂

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