Well, I knew it would take a while for me to get back around to the Q & A that I started a while back ;)
One of the questions from the comments of my original post was more than I could take on at the time. It is a great comment and I could more easily converse about this in person rather than give a one-sided answer. Since that isn't an option I am giving it my best shot. Here is the comment:
I really enjoyed reading "Why we homeschool." It was a humble take on it. So often I feel like homeschool parents are very prideful about their decision to HS. My question is maybe more of a comment that perhaps you could respond to. I don't mean this to be a discouragement, but my observation is that the average highschooler in HS is no closer to God than the public schooler. In fact, I have noticed an apathy towards the Lord among these, and I know their parents are very upset about their children's worldliness. This is the number one reason that I am turned off to homeschooling. The public school'd kids who were raised by Christian parents seem to have so much more boldness for Christ and have had to chose God or the world in a practical sense, leaving little room for "lukewarm." I am open to being persuaded. How would you respond to my concerns in this area? Thank you
My first response would be to your comment about the lack of humility in homeschool parents. I couldn't agree more!
About parents in both camps.
Because I have been a parent in both camps ... with a huge deficit in humility.
If you talk to the average public school parent (with no homeschoolers in ear-shot) they will make a very bold and clear assertion that homeschooling is by no means a viable method of educating children. They boast in their own experiences and are quick to point out that "family" that they know who homeschooled and their kids can't read, aren't groomed, can't socialize and are building bombs in the backyard.
The average homeschool parent can be just as bold and arrogant with their assertions about the secret intentions of the government with their secular agenda (pause here to insert that I do not fall into this camp and if it weren't so bizarre it might be funny), the number of teens who are public schooled and pregnant, on drugs, can't read, aren't socialized and are also building bombs in the backyard.
I am not proud to have been so brazen at different points along this journey but I know that I have. Humility is most definitely the greatest work of sanctification in my life and I need a healthy dose every single
As far as the homeschooled high schoolers who show apathy towards the Lord ... really no evidence of conversion? The heart issue of teens is no different than the heart issue of any sinful man who has no faith in Christ. Some are better at feigning their allegiance than others but there is most definitely a very small number of devoted believers among teens ... at least as far as I can tell.
I am not clear if these high schoolers you mentioned are being observed in church or in school. If in church then it would seem to me that more homeschooled kids are being brought to church whether they choose to go or not (on average). If I were to gather 30 public-schooled kids from my neighborhood and 30 kids who are homeschooled there would be a much higher percentage of the homeschooled kids who go to church each Sunday.
Which by no means is a reflection of how many are actually Christ-followers.
However, if I were to take the neighborhood kids who do attend church faithfully (while it would be a much smaller percentage of the whole), it has been my experience that a greater portion of that percentage have a true desire to be there. I am not sure if the boldness is a reflection of being public schooled but I can see how dealing with the adversity and the demands of facing opposition could bring you to a place of greater need.
A need for Jesus.
Thankfully, neither the Christian homeschool or the government public school can be credited for our response to the gospel, because we are wretched and lost ... either way.
-Psalm 14: 2-3
For certain, I do believe that you may be able to better discern the sheep from the goats in a school environment I don't necessarily believe you will find more sheep there. And on the same note, my heart is broken for teens in the church, the lack of true biblical teaching, discipline, and parental involvement.
If we were chatting together, I would agree with you about your observations and concerns. It still does not negate what I see as a mandate for teaching and raising my children. There are absolutely no guarantees outside of God's grace. While I hope that raising my children and giving them more opportunity to study the Word of God and pray together as a family and nurture them in their relationships with one another will result in the blessing of having them believe in faith that Christ is their savior ... my greatest hope is that doing this will bring glory to God and that I am obedient in the task.
I know without question that there are people ... dear friends ... who love Jesus and their children just as much as I love mine and spend a great deal of time (more than me) praying for them and being Christ-like examples for their family ... and send their kids to public school.
And if their kids grow up and their hearts are turned to God and they devote themselves to live for Christ then it will most certainly be because of God's grace and not because their parents prayed more than me ... or because they had a more bold testimony during their high school years.
And if my kids grow up and their hearts are turned to God and they devote themselves to live for Christ then it will most certainly be because of God's grace and not because we homeschooled.
It would be prideful for a parent or child to believe that their salvation is credited in any part because of how they were raised.
Make no mistake about my heart on this. Homeschooling is without question the hardest and best decision we have made as a family. It is an incredible privilege and I am humbled to be brought alongside the Lord as He deepens my faith through the humility of knowing that ultimately they are His.
Point of Rocks
All we can really do is seek to obey Him and with faith live out that obedience with joy.
Thank you so much for asking a hard question that I am sure others have wanted to ask. I love to talk about our homeschooling journey so thank you also for the opportunity to search my heart and be reminded of the real reasons behind our decision.