First Things First:
Majoring in the Majors with Homeschooling
by Marc Carrier
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My wife and I recently engaged in a very interesting dialogue—discussing why it is that people
homeschool. We asked ourselves, why did we decide to homeschool? We also asked our oldest children why
they thought we homeschooled. The simple answer of why we originally elected this option, and why our children
thought we homeschooled, was sheltering from the worldly. This is a noble goal and a reasonable
consideration for choosing this path. However, I would argue that it isn’t the right reason.
Our conversation brought to mind a review done by a homeschooling publication that included a
caveat (subtle warning, really) concerning our book, The Values-Driven Family, that
said we were not “homeschool only.” The reviewer clearly misinterpreted our philosophy and position on
homeschooling because of a reigning philosophy that homeschooling is (in and of itself), the end, rather than a means to an end.
In our writings we focus on discipleship—and in the reviewed book, we said that it
was "good" to use public school if parents continued to fulfill their responsibility
of imparting God’s Word to their children, and did their best to counterbalance negative or cultural influences. We
argued that doing the same with private Christian school is “better,” and discipling children at home via
homeschooling is “best.” Unfortunately, the reviewer thought we were saying public school was
good—when, really, we were saying that parents taking a leadership role discipling
their children was good--and that can be done in the context of public education. I would
even go as far as to argue that homeschooling with a secular focus, without incorporating the Word, is BAD. See the
Making homeschooling itself into a holy grail, of sorts—the pinnacle of achievement and accomplishment—is a myth.
Homeschooling does not guarantee that our children will grow up serving the Lord or even be people of
character. It is not "the end." Homeschooling is simply a means to the end. It’s what we do
with this vehicle as a means for discipleship that dictates our
Now, let me be blunt. The Bible never even so much as mentions the concept of school. Are we honestly to make
something that the Bible is silent on our lead item, our raison d’etre? Should this really be our focus? I would
question the wisdom of that decision.
So you may be wondering, why does this guy homeschool if it’s not for the purposes of
sheltering? In a nutshell, the Bible is not silent on the subject of parents imparting God’s Word to their
children. In Deuteronomy 6:6-7 it talks about how this is done: through real-life discipleship. Homeschooling is
truly the best (and arguably, the only) means for accomplishing this goal. This type of discipleship is the
right reason for Christian parents to homeschool.
With this in mind, it befuddles me why so many homeschooling parents work so hard to emulate
the public school environment at the neglect of simple biblical discipleship. You'll find text books, lectures,
workbooks and worksheets—everything that you would find in public school, and none of which is even remotely
alluded to in Scripture. These tools aren’t bad. However, this majoring in the minors—focusing on the
things the Bible is silent on to the neglect of the things the Bible is explicit on--is a bit perplexing to me. I
think we really need to keep our priorities in order if we are to use homeschooling for what it is: simply, the
best tool available to us parents to fulfill our biblical mandate of discipling our children. We just need to keep
our priorities in order.
Copyright © 2008-2011, Marc Carrier
Related Values-Driven resources:
Biblical Instruction and Character Training Manual
The Values-Driven Family
comprehensive, easy-to-read-and-apply parenting guide.
Integrating Babies and Toddlers into Your Already Busy Schedule.
Project Management Essentials: A
professional training course for entrepreneurial teens and their families.
Marc Carrier is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with many years of corporate experience in
managing multi-million dollar projects. More recently, Marc has helped to equip families for greater success and
life enjoyment by applying successful project management principles to the home.
Marc has authored Project Mangement Essentials, a training program for homeschooled teens and their
families, and Keys to Kingdom Expansion. He has also co-authored The Values-Driven Family: A Proactive
Plan for Successful Biblical Parenting and Values-Driven Discipleship: Biblical Instruction and Character
The focus of Marc and Cindy's "Values-Driven" ministry is to encourage and equip Christian families to make the
most of every opportunity: that is, to serve God, participate in fulfilling the Great Commission, and raise
children who love and serve the Lord. For more information about their resources, for fresh inspiration on your
family journey, or to find practical helps-including many FREE DOWNLOADS-visit http://www.ValuesDrivenFamily.com.