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.