Indoctrination

We all have a worldview – a set of presuppositions which we believe, consciously or unconsciously, which may also be true or false, that cause us to think, speak, and behave in the ways that we do. And whether we choose to acknowledge it or not, this worldview is always operational in our lives.

When Edric and I began homeschooling our children, we became ever more conscious of the worldview we would pass on to them. I remember an instance when our eldest son, Elijah, being the verbal child that he was, asked me at 3 years old, “What if there is no God…What will happen?” It was a valid question. It was a thought-provoking question. It was not an easily dismissible question. Truly it is as Solomon said in Ecclesiastes that God has put eternity in the hearts of men (this includes our children).

If we do not pause to answer what we believe to be true about God and the universe, how will we ever communicate with clarity to our children what they must believe?

I am going through a book called, What Your Child Needs to Know When by Robin Sampson, and was particularly interested in the part where he shared the difference between a secular worldview and a biblical worldview.

The secular worldview (taught in schools):

1. Who am I? I am a human being, an accident. My species evolved from a monkey.

2. Where am I? I am on Earth, a planet that just happened by accident. The accident is called the “Big Bang.”

3. What is wrong? There is a lack of education and a lack of money; therefore, people are frustrated, disappointed, and defeated.

4. How can it be fixed? By providing money and education. The more money and education one has, the happier and more fulfilling his life will be.

The Biblical worldview:

1. Who am I? I am a human being created by an awesome, wonderful, loving God. He especially put me here for a specific reason.

2. Where am I? I am on the earth created by God. This earth is so marvelously created that if it were hung differently in the universe, one degree more or less, it would not be in existence.

3. What is wrong? Sin. Our disobedience to God. When sin entered the world it severed our relationship with god, our Creator. We need our relationship with God restored.

4. How can it be fixed? Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son, came into the world in human form and gave his life as a sacrifice for our sins. Accepting his sacrifice and making him Lord of our lives is our only hope. (Robin Sampson, What Your Child Needs to Know When)

Author James Sire proposes that there are 7 fundamental questions that everyone must answer.

1. What is prime reality – the really real?
2. What is the nature of external reality, that is, the world around us?
3. What is a human being?
4. What happens to a person at death?
5. Why is it possible to know anything at all?
6. How do we know what is right and wrong?
7. What is the meaning of human history? (James Sire, The Universe Next Door)

If we do not actively participate in the formation of our children’s worldview, we risk too much. No child is neutral. No person is neutral. This is not one of those things that we can leave to chance. We either lead our children to a correct understanding of God or we risk failure of eternal proportions.

This is why I am not willing to take a gamble with the education of my children. Homeschooling gives me the most optimum conditions to guide the hearts of my children. Edric and I do not want them to be bombarded with secular messages or worldviews that will turn them away from a God-ward orientation. So we do what we can to filter through the content of what they learn.

Together we discuss the purposes of God for humanity and the world he created. We find meaning in the development of skills like reading, writing, communication, and arithmetic because these help us to better understand the nature and character of God and enable us to effectively tell others about him.

A friend asked me the other day if I think that there are moms who are “born to homeschool.” I thought it was an interesting question. She was very sincere because she is contemplating homeschooling and fears that her personality will be an obstacle to doing so. I explained to her that Edric and I decided to homeschool because we believe that God commanded us to teach our children to love, know, serve, worship and obey Him. Once we recognized that we were given a sacred trust and we responded in obedience to teach our children, the question of whether to homeschool was easily answered. We homeschool because it provides us with the greatest opportunity to influence, direct, teach, train, and disciple our children. And in his faithfulness, God has provided and equipped us to do the task he has called us to. So in this sense, if any mom should respond to the call of God to teach her children, God will surely be her enablement.

It’s not then so much a question of whether a mom can homeschool but the why and what. Why will you homeschool? What will you teach?

Homeschooling cannot merely be regarded as a trend, a cool concept (even though Alvin Toeffler has said that “homeschooling is for futurists.”), a past ideal, or about a superior academic education. Personally, I believe that it is these things but so much more, too.

One of the blessings of homeschooling that I value is the protection our children receive from wrong kinds of indoctrination…indoctrination by peers, teachers, school curriculums and systems that promote humanism vs. theism.

“All education is indoctrination into a religious worldview. Whether it be the true religion of Christianity, or any of the myriad false religions invented by men. All education is undergirded by presuppositions about the origin of the universe, the origin of man, the purpose of man, ethics governing relationships between men, and the continuing existence of the universe in an orderly and predictable manner. It is an inescapable fact that all of these basic assumptions are fundamentally religious. Therefore we must view the schoolroom as the place where children are indoctrinated into the religion of their society. The school is, in effect, a temple.” (David Sant, The Religious Nature of Education, Patriarch Magazine)

Have we really stopped to ask ourselves, as homeschooling or non-homeschooling parents, What doctrines are my children learning that are becoming the basis of their worldview? What will become the bedrock of their belief system, the determinant of their choices and actions?

In a climate of postmodern thinking which has removed God from the picture and promoted the ideas of moral subjectivity, pluralism and relativism, there is a need more than ever before to teach our children the truths that God has given us in His Word.

No human wisdom or understanding or plan
can stand against the LORD
. (Proverbs 21:30 NLT)

He said,
“Praise the name of God forever and ever,
for he has all wisdom and power. He controls the course of world events;
he removes kings and sets up other kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the scholars. He reveals deep and mysterious things
and knows what lies hidden in darkness,
though he is surrounded by light
. (Daniel 2:20-22 NLT)

Comments

  1. Sigh, each time I read an entry here I am always so inspired to homeschooling, Joy you truly are doing a good job & it is very inspiring 🙂 this site is such a gift really, I am so glad I stumbled into it 🙂 I hope to see you again very soon!

    Jean.

  2. Josephine Gan says:

    I’m Dj’s mom, and yes we are homeschooling. Something we did not plan, but God orchestrated. I’m just so blessed by your post because like you I have a four year old boy … many would disagree if we pursue homeschooling our energetic boy as well. But it’s awesomely different, and you know what? It’s not an accident that we are indeed choosing to do what we do. We are just practicing obedience so we could model obedience. Not because we are able ,but its God who enables us. Just want to thank you for answering my daughter’s inquiry. You’re such an encourager that she would love learning from you too.

  3. Hi Joy! I love the way you are able to share and answer most parent’s questions about homeschooling. You do have a gift! COntinue to inspire others as you have been. 🙂

    By the way, do you think you can share some curriculum which have Biblical worldview for those of us who are scouting for curriculum for our kids? 🙂

    • Joy T Mendoza says:

      AOP is actually pretty complete. You can also try bob jones. But honestly, I find that having discussions with my children about the Bible and reading Proverbs together is helping a lot. It also feels like a more natural way to study the Bible.

      We just started reading the proverbs and I haven’t been as consistent as I would like to be, but the kids get a lot of content from that. Let me do more research, too.

      I am thinking of checking out this one — http://foundationspress.com/our-homeschool-curriculum/foundations-bible-foundations/

      They have an e-book version which is not too expensive. Maybe you can check it out and review it! 🙂

  4. Cathy Arro says:

    Basic Education

    Education must be in the basics of life, or else it is miseducation and impoverishment. The three fundamental areas are, first, religious education. Since the triune God is the Creator, and the most important fact of life, because He is Life (John 14:6), to neglect Him in our schools is to educate for ignorance.

    Second, the family is the central and basic institution on earth. It is our first school, church, vocation, government, and much, much more. To be ignorant of the importance of the family is to be educated as a fool. Our fundamental human relationship is all-important to our personal and national well-being. Its neglect is criminal.

    Third, education must emphasize the basic learning skills. Those skills and knowledge are the tools of everyday life. To educate a child poorly is like sending a soldier into battle without a gun.

    This is why the Scriptures stress so strongly the importance of education. In Deuteronomy, we have Moses’ summary of God’s law for families. In Proverbs, we have instruction for a young man. Throughout Scripture, the instruction of the whole man is stressed.

    Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916-2001)

    If we want to perish as a nation, we can do so easily, by neglecting basic education. This is, in fact, what many are doing. We are producing an unfit generation of drugged youth who are stumbling through life towards death. This must be what we want, because too many of us work for it, and pay for it.

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Indoctrination