Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Ultimate Question

Secular homeschooling is growing, and growing amazingly fast. Much of the curriculum is now secular, radical unschooling is on the rise (don't confuse radical unschooling with unschooling),...


The above quote is from a Christian Homeschooling group leader that started out by being 'upset' by non-Christian groups censoring 'Christian Material'. Prior to this message, she had advised upon hearing there were radical unschoolers in her group, she would have to pray about this. I remember wondering just what she needed to pray about. Whether we truly exist? If we should be burned at the stake? I pondered just what it was about 'radical' unschooling that so disturbed her. I pondered what was written in the Bible that so clearly states radical unschooling is evil. I couldn't think of one thing. Oh sure there are these verses:

"He who spareth the rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him correcteth him betimes" (Proverbs 13:24)

Withhold not correction from a child: for if thou strike him with the rod, he shall not die. Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and deliver his soul from hell." (Proverbs 23:13-14)

But think about this. Are these verses saying that we should beat good children? I believe these verses are referring to bad children and more specifically, for weighty matters that NEED to be reinforced firmly. Things like catching your two year old just before they dart into the street ignoring your order to STOP! Those are the times that a smart smack on the bottom make sense and only for the point of reinforcing the importance of listening so you can keep your child safe.

Thinking about that old adage 'What would Jesus do?', gets me thinking about how Jesus taught the little children (and others) by telling them stories. He painted beautiful portrayals of people and the choices they made. Some choices worked out well and their life was rewarded. Some made poor choices and they didn't fair so well. Jesus just put the thoughts out there and left it more as a 'Which do you choose?' instead of 'Believe what I tell you or I'll beat you!'

This all got me thinking about the many people I've met over the years. There were many who made poor choices. I looked at their lives and said, 'No, that isn't the path for me.' I looked at some truly happy people who were content with their life and that got me looking closer to just what was it that made them so happy. What I found was the truly happy people had an acceptance of life, a love for their fellow man, a walk much closer to the Lord. They tended to follow the idea that it wasn't their place to judge others. That they would leave that roll to the Lord himself. For themselves, they chose to just live a good life and do the best they could asking the Lord for guidance along the way. These are the people I've found that are content when their life is over. They know where they are going and are ready to go there. There's a peace in this.

Now, just how does this tie into why I was so surprised to hear a fellow Christian state that radical unschoolers can't be true Christians?

Well, partly, the simple fact that they were censoring someone else right after complaining about being censored, hmmm. Partly, because instead of looking and learning, they simply judged. In looking back to the stories I remember of Jesus's early life, he, too, seems as if he lived a more radical unschooling life than the conventional model most people currently tout. (Here's a list of references to Jesus's early life.)

From the above link,
McGee writes, "Jesus was subject unto His parents. This is interesting in the light of the fact that young people today are rebelling and are demanding to be heard.
Now maybe, just maybe, this is where people are getting confused with 'proper homeschooling' vs 'radical unschooling'. People are failing (or maybe just uninterested enough to look deeper) to see that radically unschooled kids do obey their parents. It's just that RU parents tend to not have so many arbitrary rules. RU kids don't tend to be rebellious because they tend not to have anything to rebel against!

According to Luke 2:40 'And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him.' One could surmise that Jesus was wise. How do children become wise?
Wisdom is generally thought of as keen insight that helps in navigating life. Believing in wisdom carries the assumption that there's a best way of doing things. There are many ways to gain wisdom and learn how to navigate the storms of life. Generally, wisdom is best gained from your own personal experience, but you can also learn by watching others and even through reading and meditation
(Read more: How to Gain Wisdom |

So my friends, I am going to leave you with a final thought. If you believe in the Lord Jesus as your personal Savior, and you believe that through Him, all things are possible, why would there be doubt that being radically unschooled would prevent one from having this same belief?

Happy Holidays to you and yours,


P.S. When in doubt, the answer is always 42.


Carletta said...

I agree with what you've said above. I can't think of a reason why Christians can't also be radical unschoolers. The discipline and instruction methods might be different than those found in more traditional home schools, but if the faith is there, then they are Christian.

goodmorning said...

Hi. I just noticed you had something to say on the same topic I blogged about yesterday!
check it out! :) I love your blog, by the way.