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Unschooling Against God's Will?

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By Beverly S. Krueger

Editor's Note: This letter and response refer to a previously published column which is no longer available at EHO. We felt it was still appropriate to express our opinion about Christians and unschooling.

A Reader Writes

By posting this on your site (Christian Unschooling column), does this then mean that you agree with the author that a Christian can be unschooling within the stated will of God? By including Unschooling as a legitimate way for Christians to homeschool, not only are you alienating many of your readers, but you are promoting something contrary to the Word of God.

What follows? Kowtowing to pagan homeschoolers? That is the logical next step.

A very disappointed reader,

TW

I received this letter in email from one of our online readers shortly after we began posting Jeanne Musfeldtís Christian Unschooling column. I felt it important to make a public response, so that each of our readers would know where my heart lies on this subject.

First, Iím not sure that anyone can find scripture to support the stated will of God for a specific method of academically educating our children. If they can, Iíd be most happy to see those scriptures. When we talk about Christian unschooling, we are talking about a method for imparting academics to our children. We are not talking about discipline or training in righteousness. Rarely do we sit down with a book and write study questions to teach our children to share. As the need arises, we discuss sharing with our children, we quote scripture about sharing, and when needed we offer correction and discipline. Just as Jesus instructed his disciples, we follow Godís command concerning His words to "teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up." Deut 11:19 In my own home I have seen Jeanne do these things and can testify that her children are well disciplined.

Unschooling has a multitude of definitions with each practitioner coming up with his own. The essential difference between secular unschoolers and Christian unschoolers is their core goal. Christian unschoolers desire to educate their children to the glory of God preparing them to be the people that God has called them to be. Yes, they use a different method for doing that than those who do not unschool, but that doesnít mean their method is inherently wrong. Could I unschool? Probably not. Itís part of my nature to want to make lists and mark off steps toward a goal. Just as I could not follow the path of those who believe in delayed academics, despite the shining example of a child who was homeschooled that way and is now in her senior year of college.

Iím not sure what kowtowing to pagan homeschoolers would involve. If making every effort to meet their needs without compromising our Christian faith is kowtowing, then we are guilty of that. When our family ministers in India, we often provide free meals at campaigns because many come from a distance and returning home to eat would be a burden. We donít ask if they are Christian or Hindu. We feed them. If in the course of a campaign they come to know Jesus as savior, we rejoice.

It is time that all Christians become missionary minded in their own backyards. By that I donít mean that you need to start door to door evangelizing. Missionaries are led to work with a particular people because God puts in their hearts a deep love for those people. They live daily surrounded by a different culture with different ways of doing things. Even their Christian brothers and sisters will have sometimes very different ways of doing things. Missionaries are not called to condemn, but to minister the love of Christ.

Pray that you may receive a deep love for those in this country who do not know the Lord, that you may not have a spirit of fear or hatred towards them. Pray that you may be able to minister the love of Christ. In India, we are known for our acts of physical kindness to the widow and the orphan. Long before we preach the message of salvation, villagers see us feeding, clothing and educating those that are cast off in their society. Itís a dramatic object lesson of the love Christ has for them, for while they were yet sinners, Christ died for them, as He did for us all.

Copyright ©  1999  Eclectic Homeschool Association

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