Saturday, December 22, 2012

When Did Homeschooling Start?

I am afraid that the schools will prove the very gates of hell, unless they diligently labor in explaining the Holy Scriptures and engraving them in the heart of the youth.”- Martin Luther 

I fear you still see “public school” as “normal” and all other options as experiments at best. However if you study nature, History and the Bible you will discover that this is not so.

Adam and Eve, obviously, homeschooled. The Bible does not say “He created them male and female and schoolteacher.”

Some scholars now believe Adam wrote the first three chapters of Genesis. If so, God created him literate. These same scholars believe Seth and Enoch wrote the rest of the pre-flood account, Noah wrote about the flood, and Shem, Abraham, Jacob and maybe Joseph wrote the rest of Genesis. Moses compiled all the ancient writings into one book. Literacy had to be passed down from father to son during this time.

God said that Abraham would teach his child about Him. This was part of His decision to give Abraham a son.

Moses was taught in Pharaoh’s house. Some believe he became a teacher in Egypt himself. But God didn’t call him out of Pharaoh’s house. He called him out of the “Backside of the Desert University,” forty years later. God certainly gave Moses a teaching assignment, though. He was given the job of teaching all those ex-slaves how to be free people governed by God.

God dictated the “Mosaic Law” to Moses to guide Israel in this endeavor. You see, God loved Israel very much and gave them the most perfect law possible for humankind. This law was so important He commanded them to write parts of it on their walls inside their houses and outside over their doorposts.

They certainly would have had to be able to read and write in order to accomplish this task. Since God does not give us tasks that are impossible to do (with His help), they must have known how to read and write or learned in the wilderness. (Even this God-written law could not bring righteousness though. That can only come through the Blood of Christ.)

I find it very significant that God set up no schools in Israel despite a large workforce of Levites at His disposal. We know from the example of Jesus, that God loves little children very much and wants what is best for them. God obviously wanted Israel to have at least a minimal level of literacy. But He didn’t tell them to open schools. He did, however, provide for children’s education;

“And thou shalt teach them (God’s Words) diligently unto thy children and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” Deuteronomy 6:7

God told them who was to teach (parents and grandparents), where their classroom was to be (the home and neighborhood), what curriculum to use (God’s Word), and when class was to be held (every waking moment). In other words, God wanted Israel to be a nation of homeschoolers! This is, in fact the educational system God built into us. It is the most natural and the best.

Shall we look at your typical school from the view of nature? 

Someday drive by a school, especially a newer one, and then drive by a low security prison. There have been times when I honestly could not tell the difference. I had to read the sign to tell which one I was looking at.

Is this a hint of the true purpose of a modern school; “to control large groups of humans that don’t want to be there?” Sounds real natural, right? Just the place for a little kid. (Israel had no prisons as we know them either, by the way. Look it up in your Bible).

Now let us go into a classroom. If you go during school hours, you will see that the rooms are relatively small for the number of children they are supposed to hold.

Do you know what happens when you place thirty rats into a small cage? Some of them will get mean and may even kill the others.

When you put two or three horses into a one-horse stall, they bicker and bite each other.

What happens when you put many, many families in to too small of a space (i.e. Government housing)? These are always the most crime-ridden areas of the city.

Guess what happens when you put too many children in a small classroom? It certainly doesn’t bring out the best in everyone.

You will see that all the children are roughly the same age. Where in nature do you see large numbers of children the same age? I heard of a lady who had septuplets (7) once, but that is the closest I know of. “Natural” would be several children, one to five years difference in age.

You will see few if any windows in most modern schools. When I was in school, all the windows were painted the ugliest brown I have ever seen or were covered with heavy drapes. Newer schools don’t bother even building them in. This effectively cuts the occupants off from God’s nature. The Bible says that even nature tells about Him. God did not design us to be so cut off from His nature. It is not, well, natural!

Humans that do not have enough contact with nature are more susceptible to depression. This “disease” is soaring among everyone in our society, including children. Hmmmm. Results of not getting enough nature when young?

The color of most classrooms happens to be the colors used by prisons to sooth and dull the senses, making inmates easier to control. Think of the colors God used in His “classroom;” pure Sky Blue, and deep Grass Green, Mud Brown, Poppy Red, Violet Purple and of course Sunshine Yellow. Much more pleasing and intellectually stimulating.

The books schools use are written by committees and leave vast amounts of information out. After all, you can’t contain any subject in one book and the authors (committees) must be very careful to offend no one. They usually end up being boring, shallow and jumping topics frequently; (Though there is nothing wrong with using textbooks as long as you are aware of their limitations and biases. They do have their places).

What would be the “natural” books to use? Well, tell me, if you wanted to learn about auto mechanics what would be the natural way to go about it? You would find the best mechanic you could, some one who loves to work on cars, and ask them to show you.

How would you, an adult, learn about Ancient Egypt, should the desire suddenly strike you? Well, odds are good you don’t have an Ancient Egyptian living on your block that you could go talk to.

Next best, read the books and websites written by people who have a passion for the subject, rent videos, read encyclopedias, etc. You would soon develop as thorough of knowledge of the subject as you needed or wanted. Far more than any single textbook could ever give you.

This method works just as well with children as it does with adults but would be too difficult to use in a traditional school setting, at least very often. And with modern technology, most of our children have access to more information in their pocket (smart phone) than all the teachers and textbooks in their school combined!

Are teachers natural? 

Yes and no. For an older person to impart knowledge to a younger person is God’s design (read Titus 2). But Deuteronomy and Ephesians tell us God and nature intends for parents and grandparents to teach their own little children. Women, especially, have a strong instinctive desire to be with their small children at all times. It is not natural to “pop them out” and toss them to someone else to raise, especially a total stranger.

This is especially true of a daycare worker who you don’t know well enough to know if you would let them house sit while you go on vacation or deposit your paycheck into the bank for you. And you want to trust your most precious treasure with them?

Because we, the parents, know our children best and love them most we are the best, most natural and God ordained teachers for our children. Remember, God loves your children even more than you do. He wants what is best for them. That is why He gave them you.

School teachers, though dedicated and concerned, are total strangers to the child. Though fond of children, they have a whole class to be concerned about. They can not form the bond necessary for optimum emotional health and educational excellence with every child. They would go crazy if they tried.

Throughout history, most children were taught by their parents. Only large governments on their way to being oppressive have had government schools. And the more universal the schooling the lower the literacy rate!

In this country, until 150 years ago, most state laws merely stated that children must be educated. It was left to the parents to decide the best place, method, and content for each child.

Most parents simply taught around the fireplace in the evening and on rainy and snowy days, (in the south, the 100+° summer days would have been used).

Some sent their children to private or “Dame schools,” (a neighbor lady teaching 3-8 children around the same age as her own around her table).

Poor and illiterate parents (mostly immigrants from Europe), might send their little ones to charity schools run by local churches.

Public schools with compulsory attendance laws were started by men who said they wanted to remove God and individualism from society, though the public propaganda they used was “raise literacy.” The fact is their private writings say otherwise and the system they picked to import to America, the German Model, was NOT the one with the highest literacy rate. That was the English Model (Homeschooling has always been legal in England. Parents in the 19th century had the choice of homeschool, private school, or public school. Most chose home or private schools).

The German Model had the highest obedience rate among its citizens. The founders of American education believed public schools would end crime, war, and poverty (and anyway, individualists make poor factory workers.)

The public schools have nearly succeeded in removing God from our society. I ask you, were they right about the results?

And individualism? Ever heard a teen say to their parents a variation on this; “I just want to be ME and express my self! Now buy me clothes that are identical to what every one else is wearing so I can go do what everyone else is doing!” This happens in every country that has our modern, German-based, public schools. Fact is, this is the very system that produced the Nazi regime.

American literacy rates from the early 1800’s stood at 85-98% (according to the U.S. census, eyewitness accounts, and book sales figure), depending on if you counted the southern slaves that it was illegal to teach (Gee, why do you suppose slave owners didn't want slaves to learn to read? Could it be they knew people who read are usually people who think and people who think are too hard to control?).

Today’s literacy rate is 75-85% with some estimates of functional literacy (can read more than a McDonald's menu) as low as 50%!

In the 1970’s many Hippie and Christian parents became dissatisfied with what they saw in public education. Many sent their children to private schools. Some revived the art of teaching their own (The "Modern Homeschooling Movement").

This brought not only the expected results of superior test scores and more moral children, but also more stable and contented families. The movement has mushroomed ever since, now growing at an estimated 10% per year with some estimates of as many as 2,000,000 children now being homeschooled in this country.

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