The Debate: Public School vs. Homeschool - Part 1

There is often a heated debate within the Christian community as to which type of education is best for our children:
  • Homeschool,
  • Private Christian School or,
  • Public School
Parents within all positions seem to have very strong opinions regarding this topic, specifically, the parents who Homeschool their children versus the parents who send their children to Public School. Sadly, this topic has been used by Satan to divide the children of God on a matter which should unify us in much prayer, comfort and encouragement for one another. But alas, like Silly String, careless and belittling words are strewn all over the priceless and exquisite mantle of Christ’s love—rather than thoughtful, kind and considerate words of God’s wisdom (James 3:17-18).

Here's a sampling of judgmental and holier than thou accusations and condemnations that have flown out of the mouths of both parties who seem to be the most up at arms with one another: Homeschoolers vs. Public Schoolers. It goes something like this:

Public Schoolers: Our children are less socially awkward than homeschooled children.

Homeschoolers: Our children are kinder, more mature and know no strangers.

Public Schoolers: Our children are smarter because they don’t have lazy, unskilled, unorganized parents teaching them. Our children are taught by professionals who know what they’re doing.

Homeschoolers: Our children are smarter than yours because we have a smaller student-to-teacher ratio and can meet the specific needs of each child.

And on and on the debate, condemnation and self-promotion goes. If we're all honest, we'll readily admit that we've seen socially awkward children from both camps; mature, kind and thoughtful children from both camps; and mean, disrespectful children from both camps. We all know hard-working, organized homeschool parents, and we also know lazy, disorganized homeschool parents. We also are fully aware of hard-working, organized public school teachers as well as lazy, disorganized public school teachers. Neither party is perfect in all that they do.

That is why as God's children we ought to remember this:
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”
~ Ephesians 4:29
According to the Scripture above, children of the Most High God should keep corrupting (defiling, destructive) talk from coming out of our mouths, and instead have speech that is full of God’s grace (words that are “for” the person listening so that the hearer may gain the greatest benefit).

Regardless of where you stand in this debate, it is either pure ignorance or sheer arrogance that causes any person to believe that they can take the place of the Holy Spirit’s guidance in someone else’s life; or in this case, the life of other people’s children (1 Corinthians 2:13, 15).

Although it has been stated by many on both sides that Scripture specifically supports one over the other; neither party is correct. Whether specifically noted or exampled, there is no place in God’s Word that advocates one and condemns the other. And as God’s holy children, neither should we. Instead, we ought to humbly, lovingly and compassionately support one another in prayer and words of comfort (if necessary) as we see fellow sojourners of Christ, striving to live their utmost for God’s highest, no matter the cost—no matter the sacrifice.

It’s difficult enough living daily on this earth; fighting the sin in our flesh, fighting the corruption of the world and fighting our vilest adversary, the devil. Let us not, as God’s children, also tear one another apart with ungodly words based on our own personal passions or opinions (Galatians 5:14-15). Let us rather, prove to the world that we are united in Christ, united in prayer for one another, and all because we are united in our Savior’s love for us.

“By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another...

For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit...that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another...And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful...Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor...Never be wise in your own sight...If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
~ John 13:35, 1 Corinthians 12:13, 1 Corinthians 12:25,
Colossians 3:15, Romans 12:9-10, 8, 18

In the next post, I will discuss in more detail the Scriptures that have most often been misused, misinterpreted and used out of context to support homeschooling versus public schooling and vice versa. I will also share how both forms of education include heartaches and trials for parents, as well as include some insights and practical applications on how public school parents can fulfill the mandate of Deuteronomy 6:5-9.

**On a side note: we have public schooled our sons (K-12) in accordance with God’s direction to us through much prayer and studying His word; conversely, our most dearest and closest friends all homeschool their children. This is why this debate that has caused me so much pain; I hate to see God’s children quarreling like the world does. I am not a proponent of one method of education over the other. The only thing I advocate is that parents be in much prayer and remain faithful to carefully search through God’s Word for His direction for their family, rather than choosing one form of education over the other out of fear or personal preference.**