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Dear Christian Parents: An Appeal for Homeschooling Paperback – August 5, 2011
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About the Author
Stacey Durham is a homeschooling father and a minister of the gospel of Christ who currently works with the Creekview church of Christ in Gallatin, Tennessee.
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Author Stacey Durham, a homeschooling father and a gospel preacher working with the Creekview church of Christ in Gallatin, TN, has written a book consisting of 25 letters encouraging parents who are Christians to consider homeschooling. In his Preface, Durham points out that the majority of homeschooling books currently available are written for parents who have already decided to homeschool to help explain how to go about it. His book is for parents who don't homeschool to provide information to help them make the best choices for their children's education. Concerning his purpose, he says, "I want them to see the connection between a child's education and his faithfulness to God throughout life. If this book can accomplish one thing, then I hope it is to prove to Christian parents that homeschooling is the most effective means of education by which they can pass their faith on to their children." These 25 letters are divided into three sections: a Biblical appeal (chs. 1-6) based on scriptural teaching, an expanded appeal (chs. 7-16) showing the practical benefits of homeschooling, and the appeal applied (chs. 17-25) giving some foundational advice for Christian families who choose to homeschool. While Durham speaks primarily to those associated with churches of Christ, his arguments are applicable to all those who strongly believe the Bible and wish to raise godly families.
Without going into great detail, I will tell you that Durham's emphasis is that in order for education to be what God wants it to be, every subject must be taught from a Biblical worldview. His history about the noble beginning of the American educational system, the fall from its lofty goals, and the rise of homeschooling, though necessarily brief, is comprehensive and convincing, including his view that the modern return to home education may be providential for Christians. His distinction between "public schools" and "government schools" is one that I have been trying to make for years. There is useful information on the National Education Association, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the "s" word (socialization), the charge of "sheltering" ("Nothing about homeschooling requires for children to be deprived of character-building experiences that are appropriate for them....You won't shelter them from the world forever, but you will shelter them until they are ready"), even preparing for the dangers of college. This is one of the best pro-homeschooling books that I've read, and I've read a lot of good ones. Wow! I'm convinced--sign me up! Oh, yeah, we've been homeschooling for over fifteen years, so in my instance, he's preaching to the choir--but we hope that others will listen and the choir will be enlarged. Let me remind you of the thesis. "My goal is to convince you to educate your children in the best way to cultivate faithfulness to God within them" (p. 10). "...I have all confidence to conclude that God-centered homeschooling fits each point of the Biblical pattern for children's education" (p. 30). To which I can add only, "Amen!" Oh, by the way, this would be an excellent book for those doubting relatives and friends, especially if they're members of the Lord's church.
The author makes his case on the basis that, "Nothing else is as important as faith in God, for none of us can please God without it. Therefore, if a child's education fails to produce godly faith in him, then it is worthless, for it has failed to prepare him for the very purpose of his life." He shows how public schools not only fail at this task, but work against parents who would strive to accomplish this mission for their children.
The author asks, "If I told you that your children can have the best education from the best teachers in the best environment, would you believe me? What if there was a school that taught exactly what you wanted your children to learn? Would you send them there? What if this school had teachers and administrators whose sole agenda was the spiritual, physical, and mental wellbeing of your children? How much would you be willing to sacrifice to allow your children to attend this school?" He makes a strong case that home school is such a place.
I found this book useful for those who are already homeschooling who need encouragement and reminder of its importance. It provides excellent arguments to share with others who might question their decision. It would also be helpful for those who have considered homeschooling, but are not convinced. And for those who have never considered homeschooling, but are concerned about things that they see in their children's or other schools, they need this book.