361 | The Number 1 Reason Why You Should Homeschool— It's Not for the Results (Sean Allen)
If someone came up to you today and asked you the number one reason why you homeschool your children, what would your answer be? Is it because of the poor influences in the public school system? Is it for the educational benefits? For the results? These are all good reasons, but none of them are the ultimate reason why you should homeschool. In this episode I'll explore the "results" based argument when it comes to public school vs. homeschooling and I'll put forward what I believe to be the ultimate reason why schooling (see rearing) your children at home is superior to sending them off to a government run school.
Sean Allen is the founder of The Well Ordered Homeschool, husband to his beautiful bride Caroline and a proud father of eight. He has a bachelor of fine arts in graphic design and is passionate about creating materials to assist parents in the incredibly challenging, yet surpassingly beautiful, work of schooling and training their children at home.
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Sean Allen Hello. Welcome to The Homeschool Solutions Show. My name is Sean Allen and I am one of the many hosts here on the podcast. Since you're listening to this, I'm guessing you already know that homeschooling is both incredibly challenging and incredibly beautiful. Every week we're here to wing a little guidance, some helpful counsel, and a whole lot of encouragement your way as you navigate this busy, yet blessed, journey of educating your children at home. Now, even though the show is called Homeschool Solutions, it should come as no surprise to you that we do not have the answer to every homeschool-related question. But if you come away with nothing else, our hope is that today's episode will point you to Jesus Christ, and that you will seek His counsel as you train your children in the way they should go.
Sean Allen Here's a riddle for you parents: Homeschoolers love them. Enemies of freedom hate them. What are they? It's the Tuttle Twins books. With millions of copies sold, the Tuttle Twins helps you teach your kids about entrepreneurship, personal responsibility, the Golden Rule, and more. Get a discounted set of books with free workbooks (that's right free!) workbooks today at TuttleTwins.com/Homeschool. That's TuttleTwins.com/Homeschool. And now on to today's show.
Sean Allen Hello everyone, and welcome again to the podcast. Thank you for joining me today. I hope that you're doing well. Here it is, 2023. Time is just tickin' by. I don't understand it. I thought, you know, at some point something would just plateau. As you-- When you were young-- This is what I was telling my children the other day-- When you're young, time goes by so slowly. You know, you're just waiting for your birthday to come around, you're waiting for Christmas to roll around, and all these things. You're waiting for the end of school to roll around and it just seems like it never comes. But as you get older, time speeds up. And I kept telling myself, you know, "Eventually it's just going to plateau," and it's just going to maintain this constant pace, this frantic pace, but it's just going to stay there. But it doesn't, it just keeps getting faster. And I don't understand it. I mean, obviously, it's not faster, but it just sure seems like it is. I can't believe that January is-- At the time of this recording, January is almost finished. And so it just blows my mind. You know, before you know it, it's going to be Christmas again. I just...I don't know what is going to be like thirty years in the future for me, maybe it's just going to be like Christmas, Christmas, Christmas, Christmas. Haha. You know, just right around the corner. So anyway, it's just moving really fast. And I hope that 2023 finds you very happy and healthy, and that your homeschool is successful, that you're not dragging through the winter months. Sometimes we're apt to do that in our household. You're looking longingly at the future and, you know, spring's just right around the corner. "If we could just get past February and March." But, you know, we're doing fine, and I hope that you all are, too. We're blessed and we're happy. Certainly a challenging season of life-- Anybody who's homeschooling is going through a challenging season of life. There's just no doubt about it. But it's still very, very blessed.
Sean Allen And so, as to what I want to talk to you about today, it's been a topic of conversation in our household of late, something that we have had quite a few conversations about, actually. And we have older children who have long since been thinking about their future homes and their future families and their future spouses, and, you know, what will that all look like? And it's more than just finding the pretty face obviously. It's how many children will we have? And how will we raise these children? And where will we live? And what kind of a job am I going to... All these different sorts of things. And so with our oldest son in particular, he's off at college during the week and he comes home on the weekends, and, you know, here lately he's been met with-- He's been faced with lots of-- I don't want to call it opposition, but just opposing viewpoints. And, you know, he's considering these things in light of his experience and his background and his upbringing. And we're glad that he's doing this. It's high time that this happened, and this is what we tried to prepare him for. Now, for the longest time, you know, our children--as all children do, to some extent--they've been hanging onto our coattails, and they believe what we believe, and they do what we do. And as they get older, they start to think about things and they start to question things. And they should! Because they have to fashion and formulate their own beliefs with regard to any number of things. And it has to be something that's deep seeded in their own hearts, not something that's being fed to them by us and constantly supported by our presence. It's something that we want them to take on and make it their own.
Sean Allen And so homeschooling is one of the most perfect examples of this. Certainly, faith would be the thing of the most paramount importance, but homeschooling is not too far below that. It is below it, but, I'm not going to say how far, it's just it's right there. It's very important. And this is something that Caroline and I have been very sensitive about as we raise our children, is that-- And if you've listened to any of my other episodes on this podcast, I talk about this from time to time: That you shouldn't just be homeschooling for today, you should be homeschooling for tomorrow as well. And that totally changes the rationale and it changes...changes the rationale behind your homeschooling and it changes your perspective with regards to your homeschool day. Because now our homeschool has to be of such a character that it's not just effectual for my child, it's effectual for their children, my children's children, perhaps even my children's children's children, because we want them to homeschool too. I hope that you're like that, at least. Because, frankly, I know-- We know quite a few homeschooling families who are not like this. They're not-- They homeschool, which is wonderful, but they're not advocates for homeschooling. Do you know what I mean? They don't really have a very well-defined "why" as to why they're homeschooling. I don't know that they could articulate it for you. They might say something like, "Well, it's out of necessity." Or, "It's the best thing for my child." Or, "They could never survive in the public school, and so we just went ahead and brought them home." but beyond that, they really can't say much else about it. And so while we're happy that they're homeschooling, we also recognize that they're not advocates. They're not individuals who are capable of passing this vision on to other people, perhaps not even in their own children. And that's sad. That's sad to me. And so as we homeschool, we feel, not only do we have a duty to our children, but we have a duty to our grandchildren. And we hope that our homeschool, again, is of such a character that it appeals to our children. In other words, they look back on their homeschool experience and they say, "Wow, that was wonderful. I love that!" And as they get older, they can--beyond the good feelings and the good experiences--they could see the what and the why and the how and the where and all those kinds of things. And so they put all those things together and they say to themselves, "You know what? We're going to do this thing. We're also going to homeschool our children." And that's just wonderful!
Sean Allen Caroline and I would like nothing more than for that to be perpetuated in our children and in the children that they have. And another thing--before I get to this topic that I want to talk to you about--another thing that we've talked to our children about, and our oldest son in particular, is we really feel like we have an obligation to pass on this heritage that has been gifted to us by "your Mam May", which is his grandmother. We called her...or they called her Mam May, and she since passed on. (This is Caroline's mother.) And I've talked about this, too. If you're not familiar with this, I'll just very briefly go through a little bit of her history. But she started homeschooling in the early eighties, back when homeschooling was a hiss and a byword. You know, back when you were very quiet about the fact that you homeschooled. You were closet homeschooling. And back in the eighties...back in the good old days, you know, when public school was still decent--and that's a misnomer, but nevertheless-- she found sufficient cause to pull her children out of public school, and said, "I'm bringing them home. And I'm going to school them here in my own home...the protection of my own home." And there wasn't any curriculum. There weren't any conventions. There weren't any support groups. There weren't any...hardly any magazines, and the magazines that she was aware of, or that she received, were like typed up on somebody's home computer and stapled together and sent off in a...you know, just mailed directly to you. It was very makeshift. Everything was makeshift. She was just making it up as she went along. And she'd find textbooks at garage sales and find them here...and she'd just, like, scrounge it together and made her own curriculum. So that's my mother-in-law. She started that and she had no support from her family, hardly any support whatsoever, particularly her extended family: her mother, her sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents. They did not see this at all! And it was very, very hard. My mother-in-law was not a very outspoken or strong-willed person. You know, she wasn't going to-- She doesn't just set her mind to something and "By golly, I'm going to do it," regardless of what the opposition is. She wasn't that kind of a person; she's very soft-spoken. She's very meek and mild and gentle. And yet with this thing, she was committed. For her children she would do this come what may. And to go yet one step further, she was deathly ill for much of my wife's homeschool experience, or a good portion of it at least, for many years. So ill in fact that she nearly died on a number of occasions. And so if anybody had an excuse to say, "You know what, that's it. I'm hanging it up. You're going to public school. You're going to private school." It would have been my mother-in-law, but she saw it through. Against all odds, against all opposition, she saw it through to the end. And that fire that burned in her, on behalf of her children, now burns in us. And so that's something that Caroline and I feel obligated to pass on to our children as far as we're able. Now they have to decide. They have to decide of their own volition whether or not they will accept this vision into their hearts and allow it to burn there and become something that they now possess. That's up to them. We cannot force this thing into their lives, but we're going to do everything in our power to expose them to it and to present it in the light that it deserves so that it can continue on from this point forward. And on and on and on and on. That's our hope.
Sean Allen So, yes, we are advocates of homeschooling. I don't know too many people who are stronger advocates than what we are. I'm sure that there are individuals out there who are equally as...or they are equal advocates to us. There's no doubt about that, but we're just right there with them. And we don't go around browbeating people or guilting people in a whole like, "Oh, you don't homeschool your children? You must be a terrible parent." It's not like that at all. When we're given the opportunity, when we're asked, we will share what we think and what we feel in a very loving and charitable way, but it's also very direct. But outside of that, we just don't go around telling people what we think. We're not like that. But nevertheless, seeing as how I have been asked by the producers of this podcast to share what I think with regards to homeschooling, I'm going to tell you. Haha. I'm going to tell you a little bit more today. And so these are some of the things that we have been talking about, not just showing, because in years past with our children it's been more of a showing kind of a thing. We know that some of these concepts and some of these notions are a little too complicated for them to understand or to grasp. But now they're getting to the age that's like, "Why?" And, "What?" And, "How?" "Can you explain this to me?" And so our oldest son has been met with a few arguments of late, and I'm going to share one of them with you, which is actually very good. It's a very strong argument. And it's something that perhaps you've come up against or that your children will come up against. It's something that I think you need to think through if you haven't already.
Sean Allen This is how the argument goes: So he was talking with an individual and they were telling him, "You know, I think that homeschooling is good and I think that it produces good results. But I don't know that it's the end all, be all. I don't know that you necessarily have to homeschool to get these results. I see why you would homeschool because, you know, the public school is getting worse. The influences there are deteriorating beyond what they were previously"--if you could imagine that--"and so I can understand why you would homeschool and bring them home to help to...in order to avoid your children being exposed to those influences. So that all makes perfect sense to me. But, you know"--and this is where the argument comes in--"it just so happens that I know individuals, and I happen to be one of them," this individual said, "who came out of a public school experience okay. I went through it K through 12, or I'm going through it K through 12, and everything's fine, you know. I mean, sure, there were some things that I would like for them to be different, but I wouldn't trade those experiences for the world because they make me who I am and I've come out the other side okay. And I happen to know other people, I have friends and I have family, who have also come out of their public school experience okay." And this individual knew me, yours truly, well enough to also add, "You know, your father was also public schooled and he turned out okay." So this is the argument, the results-based argument to defend public schooling, and to kind of discredit homeschooling a little bit. And so this is what he brought to us. He's like, "Mom, Dad, what do I do with this? I'm committed to homeschooling. I've made up my mind. I will homeschool my children. But on the other hand, I don't know how to respond to this, and I want to be able to have an answer." And we're just sitting there thinking, "Number one, we're so grateful that you want to talk about this, and we're here to help you as best we can. But number two, that's a very interesting argument because this individual has a point.".
Sean Allen So let me try to rephrase the point that they're trying to make: The point is, if you took a hundred homeschoolers and lined them up against a hundred public schoolers, and let's say that 65% of the homeschoolers turn out okay--whatever that entails, okay, we won't go into those details--and 35% of the public schoolers turn out okay. That's probably generous, but nevertheless those are the numbers that we're going to throw out there. Okay, so whereas this individual would grant you that the results are in favor of homeschooling, the fact that there are some individuals that are able to go through the public school system and come out okay, kind of discredits homeschooling a little bit. In other words, there's a chance, there's a pretty decent chance in this individual's estimation--because, again, they're looking at themselves, they're looking at their friends, and they're looking at their family, and there's quite a few people that they know that have come out okay-- So whereas the odds may be in favor of homeschooling, it's not like overwhelming evidence or it's not enough evidence for them to discredit, or to disregard, or discredit out of hand public schooling altogether. Okay. Interesting. Well, number one, if we're going to have-- This is what I told my son. I said-- This was the first thing that came to mind, at least is: "Number one, if we're going to have a results-based argument, why would you even attempt to discredit homeschooling, seeing as how the results are far and wide superior to those produced by public schooling." Right? It might not even be 65:35. It might be 70:30. It might even be 80:20. It might be-- I don't know, it might be worse than that. Because all I know is--in my experience--is I came out of my public school experience having survived by the skin of my chinny chin chin, or the hair of my chinny chin chin. That's how close it was for me. I just barely made it. And I have a few friends that I fellowship with, that I also graduated with or around, who also survived by the hair of their chinny chin chin. And as for everybody else, they didn't make it. And let me see, if I wanted to put a percentage on it...it was, yeah, it's probably 80:20. It might a little worse than that, actually. So the majority of the people that I went to school with-- I'm talking about the people that I fellowship with-- Now, outside of that, you know, everybody else that I went to school with, no, I wouldn't consider them as having made it. Now, do they have jobs and are there success stories in the midst? Yes. But have they retained their faith? Is there any faith there? Is there any service to God? No, there's not a whole lot of that. So when you look at it from that standpoint-- I'm just talking about people in the church that I know. So from the group of individuals that I went to school with that were churched, who were considered...or came from Christian families, or who particularly go to the fellowship that I go to, that's like 80:20. That might be a little generous there. As for everything else, it's more like, probably 98:2 are the percentages that we're looking at there. So it's really bleak. It's really bleak.
Sean Allen Okay. So I don't even know why we're having this argument because homeschooling, by and large, produces better results. Okay, let's just say it's 70:30. Why would you even play around with that? That's called gambling, essentially. And wouldn't you want to go down the path where there is a better chance, or there is more of an opportunity for your child to be spared from the ills or the evils of this world than the alternative? Yes, absolutely. So that's a weak argument, but still, there is that chance. This argument is made by individuals who don't have a passion or a vision for homeschooling, and so it's easy for them to discredit it because, "Look, if there's a little chance then that just shows right there that homeschooling's not failsafe." And it's not. It's not. That's absolutely true! And they also want to go on and point to homeschoolers, or homeschooling families that they know who maybe aren't quite, you know, just...it's not all there, there's something off about them. And there are those examples. There's no doubt about it. But what I told my son was, "Look, the difference is that for every public schooler that went through the entire K-through-12 experience and came out the other side okay, they came out the other side okay in spite of the system and not on account of it. That's different than homeschooling. If you have a homeschooler or a homeschooling family that's just not quite meeting muster-- You know, that their children aren't successful, they aren't well-educated, they aren't well-adjusted, they aren't mature, they aren't spiritually in tune, and all these sorts of things. When you see that's-- That is not on account of the system, it's in spite of it. Do you see the difference there?
Sean Allen So it wasn't homeschooling that ruined these children. It was something about the homeschooling experience. It was something about the parents. It was something about the way in which they homeschooled. It was about some other extenuating circumstances. But homeschooling itself, the system itself is solid and it's sound. We're the ones that mess it up. And I've messed it up and my wife has messed it up. We make mistakes and our children suffer on account of those mistakes. But the system itself is sound. Now for those public schoolers that come out the other side okay, that's in spite of the system. And what I mean to say is the system is stacked against them. It is set up in such a way that it cannot help but do irreparable harm in the life of your child, in the overwhelming majority of instances. Do you see what I'm saying there? So you flip those things. You flip that "in spite of" or "on account of" scenario, depending on what you're talking about. When it comes to public schooling, children come out the other side okay, "in spite of" the system, not "on account of" it. Homeschoolers, when you have somebody come out the other side not okay, it is "in spite of" the system, not "on account of." Okay, I hope that's not too confusing or too complicated for you. So that's the first thing that I said to him. And then I took a day or two to chew on it because I thought, "You know, those arguments are sufficient for me. And it's good enough for me. But, you know, I've got the vision. I've got the burning in the bosom, so to speak. And so I don't need-- Those are all really all the reasons that I need. But this individual needs more than that." So I thought about this for a while: "I can see why this doesn't satisfy them." And this is what I came up with. It's really very simple. And I'm glad that these arguments come up because, again, it gives you the opportunity to evaluate, or to reevaluate, what you're doing. And you can stand ready with an answer.
Sean Allen So I came back to my oldest son a few days later, I said, "Look. Here's the thing. I was thinking about this. This is the totally wrong argument. We're missing the point." You know, when you're having a results-based argument with regards to public versus homeschooling, that's totally missing the point. Results are not the issue. We don't homeschool primarily for results. It's not about results. And when we're looking at public schooling, we're not primarily looking at results. Now, results are important and they should not be ignored. If we're not getting results, then why are we doing it? Obviously. That makes sense. We should always be considering those things, but that is not the ultimate argument in favor of homeschooling. Why do we homeschool? Because it's right. Because it's the most right or correct form of education that is currently extant on the face of the earth today. There's nothing superior to it that can be found currently. And so we homeschool because it's right, irregardless of results. Because everybody's coming to you with a results-based argument. It doesn't matter if you're talking about how to properly govern nations, how to-- you know, various financial systems and all the religions of the world or-- You know, it could be any number of things. It could be, you know, Pepsi versus Coke, or Ford versus Chevy, or all the music that you listen to and why this particular form of music is superior to the other. You can have all of these arguments, and most of the time when these arguments are being had, they stem from a groundwork of results. Like capitalism steps forward and says, "Well, this is why we are we are superior system to say fascism or communism." And all of the religions-- You know, Christianity versus Islam and Buddhism and all these different things. And so everybody wants to look at results. "Look at all the good that we've performed in the world, look at how many people we've converted, look at how many lives that we've changed. And we have donated and gifted away more money than any other religion." You know, this is results-based arguments. And homeschoolers versus public schoolers in that argument, in that arena, also employ the same methods. Homeschooling steps forward and says, "Look at how well-adjusted our young people are. Look at how spiritually strong they are. Look at how mature they are. Look at how articulate they are. Look at their test scores and how they compare so favorably in comparison to their public school counterparts. So the results are there. How could you argue otherwise?" Well, the interesting thing is, is that there is an argument to be made. That there are some homeschoolers that don't turn out so great and there are some public schoolers who do. But that's missing the point.
Sean Allen Here it is in a nutshell: When you have children, you've got a decision to make. Now, I'm convinced that my parents didn't have much of a decision because they weren't aware that there was an alternative. They didn't know anything about homeschooling back in that time. My mother-in-law just so happened upon a person who talked to her about it, and when she heard about it, it just rang like a bell in her head. Like, "This is what I've got to do!" And it made total sense to her. My parents were never exposed to that. But in this day and age, certainly post-COVID, for crying out loud, there are options: public schooling, private schooling, homeschooling. Okay. And so you have these children and you've got a decision to make: How and when and where are we going to educate them? Well, I would recommend to you that you go and you ask the Lord, "What would You have us to do?" It's a good question to ask, and certainly rightful that you ask it because they're His children. He made them. He loves them way more than you do. He's way more concerned and interested in their future success than you are. Ad infinitum. I mean, it's not even-- The love that we have cannot even be-- It's not even worthy of-- It doesn't belong in the same sentence--I guess is what I'm saying--as the love that Jesus Christ and the Lord God above has for your children. And so naturally, we should turn to Him and say, "How would You have us to educate our children?" Well, He has an answer for you.
Sean Allen Now, people look at this and they...I think that they see that there's an out because, you know, "Show me the chapter in the verse where it says that 'You shall homeschool your children.'" That verse doesn't exist, obviously. But there is a verse that's very-- It sounds almost just like that. It doesn't use that exact language, but in so many words, I believe that's what it's saying. And most of you who are listening to this probably know what I'm talking about. I'm talking about Deuteronomy 6:6-8 (or actually goes on a little further than that). So most of you all are familiar with this verse. If you're not, I'm going to read it for you now. Okay, so the sixth chapter of Deuteronomy, and starting with verse 6: "And these words which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart, and thou shalt teach them diligently into 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. And thou shall bind them for a sign upon thine hand. They shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house and on thy gates." I hope that you see where I'm going with this. So obviously, this life is about more than K-through-12 education. This life is about more than whether or not you're the valedictorian, or you get high marks on your arithmetic, or you go on to college and you earn this wonderful degree--this piece of paper that secures you a place in the working world or furthers your chances at making money in the working world, lands you at some big corporation, so on and so forth. This life is about more than that. Now, I'm not going to sit here and suggest to you that those things aren't important. I'm not suggesting to you that the goal in this life is to be as unsuccessful as possible or to be as uneducated as possible. That's not what I'm saying. But that is not-- That's not of paramount importance. What is of paramount importance is what we just read...what I just read you in Deuteronomy 6. So the Lord says, "I have made you. And I have placed you on this earth. I have breathed into your nostrils the breath of life. And I've set before you a path. And furthermore, I have died for you. I've sent my only begotten Son to die for you in order that your soul might be saved, so that you can live with Me forever. And that being the case, the fact that you know that, makes it incumbent on you that you are to pass this knowledge on to your children. How are you going to do this? Well, you are going to teach them diligently unto them. And by diligently I mean, at all times, every opportunity that you get. And so let me qualify this: I want you to teach them when you sittest in your house, when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up."--That's all day long, folks. That's all the live long day.--"And then I want you to bind them for a sign upon your hand. And I want them to be as frontlets between your eyes. And I want you to write them upon the posts of your house. And on your gates. I want this everywhere. I want you to remind them of My love. I want you to share your testimonies with them--the instances in which I showed Myself strong on your behalf. The instances in which I blessed you, I preserved you, I protected you, I saved your life, I provided for you, I sheltered you, and so on and so forth. I want you to surround your children with the knowledge of God.".
Sean Allen Now I ask you, how are you going to fulfill this commandment by sending your children off to a third-party educational structure, which is, in and of itself, designed to destroy your children? Now, I hope that you don't think that's too strong in saying that. But by and large, that is true. And it's more and more true as the days go by. It was true of my public school experience. Back in the 80s and the 90s it was bad enough, but today it's exponentially worse. Now, I'm not talking about the teachers. I'm not talking about the various individuals. There are individuals that are just grossly wicked, embedded in the public school system. But there are also those teachers who are committed and devoted and, I believe, very loving towards their students. And I applaud them for that. I had some good teachers in my public school experience. But the system itself is diametrically opposed to the welfare of your child's soul. I don't believe that there really is any debate with regards to that matter. And so-- You have children...the question is asked of you, how will you raise them? How will you educate them? You decide, "I'm going to go back to the One who made them and ask Him what He would have me to do." And He presents you with Deuteronomy 6. He presents you with those verses that I just read to you. And how can you ever be convinced that you're fulfilling the words contained in those verses by sending your children off to a government school? In my estimation, that can't be done. It's impossible.
Sean Allen You see, because just thinking very-- Let's look at it in a very simple way. It's impossible for you to talk to your children about the Lord as you rise up in the morning, as you walk by the way, as you lie down at night, when for eight hours of the day they're at a government school where you have no access to them. Now there are other entities and other individuals that have all the access that they could possibly desire. Not only do you have teachers who do not have your children's best interests in mind. And that's not all of them. I want to be absolutely clear. It's not all of them. But there's a good number of them. And I've talked to public school teachers before. I know a few. And they've told me, "Look, it's not all fun and games out there." And all of these wonderful glowing portrayals that we see in popular media with regards to teachers, you know, that have sacrificed their life to educate your children, they said, "It's just not-- It's not the way that they portray it." There are a lot of bad actors out there. There are some good actors, but there's a lot of bad actors. So you're going to send them off...your children off so that they can be around these kinds of people for at least eight hours a day, five days a week...at least five days a week. And add to that, on top of that, you have all of their peers who are themselves wandering and without an anchor to their souls, just drifting through life not knowing who they are, where they are, what they're doing, or what they're supposed to be doing, or what they're supposed to become. You send them to that kind of environment and you expect them to come out the other side okay. Well, again, let me tell you in my own sad experience, I barely survived it, and most of my peers did not. And I thank God that I did. And I thank God that I met a woman who knew what she wanted from life and had already made these plans, who already had acquired the burning vision for home education in her heart and was set, and then began to talk to me about these things. And I was just like, "Wow, number one, you've already thought about this?! You've already gotten this detailed about your home and your family?" I hadn't thought once about how many children I was going to have. I hadn't thought once about how-- Certainly, not how many I was going to have, nor how I was going to educate them. And it was just such a beautiful thing. I'm thankful that I was exposed to those things. But you know what? The public school is not exposing your children to those notions: that which is praiseworthy, that which is of good report, that which is wholesome and beautiful and pure, those things which are truly of the Lord. Those things are not to be found in the public school. So I ask you, how are you going to fulfill Deuteronomy 6:7? So it's not about results. The results are there. They're absolutely there. We've seen them. You've seen them. There's no denying them. The argument stems from what is right. And if you want to measure (and you should) the various educational constructs that are available to you and to your children today, measure those things up against Deuteronomy 6:7 and see which one comes out on top. And I hope that I've made the case that it is, in fact, homeschooling that is the one structure left standing.
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Sean Allen So that's what I told my son. That's what I told him. And I hope-- I think that it resonated with him. I hope that he can take that and be armed with that argument in the future. Because here's another way to look at it: Let's just look at making money. There's all kinds of different ways to make money. And there are good ways, and there's bad ways, and there are ways that are more efficient than others, there are ways that are just out and out unacceptable and not supported by the word of God. But, you know, if the results are what we're looking at, and if we're basing our decision as to how we're going to make money on results, well, one of the ways that we can do that is by gambling, which obviously gambling is one of those practices that is not supported by the word of God. But we can go do it. And there are results. There are absolutely results! You can go find somebody that struck it rich down at the boats one evening, made all kinds of money. Now there are that many more unsuccessful attempts, or individuals who would come to you and say, "You know, I just ruined my life." But it's kind of like the public schooling versus homeschooling argument, isn't it? You could say it might be like 80:20. It might be worse than that, maybe it's 90:10. But like 90% of the people who gamble don't make much money, if any at all. They actually come out in the negative, you know, once their experience is through, whether it's one night, or a week's worth of nights, or a whole lifetime worth of gambling. If they added it all up, they're going to have less money than if they hadn't gambled. But then there are those success stories and they do exist. And these success stories are the ones that drag people into giving it a go. Like, "Well, you know, there was that one guy that won millions of dollars. There was that one lady...millions of dollars. I mean, she just pulled a lever and boom! Tens of thousands. Hundreds of thousands. Millions of dollars. Rich. Pull a lever. You know, I think I'm going to give that a try." There are those success stories. Maybe it's just 10% of the population, but it's enough to justify that course of action because they don't have a vision for frugality. They don't have a vision for good, honest, hard work. They have a vision for getting rich in a very quick and simple and non-demanding kind of way. "You mean all I've gotta do is throw this dice on this table?" You see what I'm saying?
Sean Allen It's the same with this argument: homeschooling versus public schooling. They don't have a vision for homeschooling, so they're looking for ways in which they can shoot it down. And they would much rather have to go through, or send their children through, the public school experience because that's so much easier. Now I'm not saying that it's not demanding, and I'm not saying that it doesn't have its sacrifices, and I'm not saying it doesn't have its challenges, but when you compare it to what is required of you to be a homeschool mother or a homeschool father, it does not compare, and that is the crux of the issue. These individuals do not want to make that sacrifice. And so they're going to find something to nitpick at, and to say, "Well, I mean, look, 30%...25%...10%...I'll take 10%. I mean, it's possible. And I really do think that I'm one of those people that could be among the 10% where their children come out the other side okay." Well, do you know what a good word for that would be? Gambling. It's gambling. And oh friends, friends! Do you know what you're doing? It's one thing to gamble with your money, which is...if you lose it, that's distressing in the extreme. But you gamble with the soul of your child...I don't know what to say to you. I don't know what to say to you. But people don't understand this. They don't look at it like that. But that's precisely what they're doing. They're deceived. They don't understand that what they're doing by sending their children off to a public institution, a government-run school that has no interest in furthering the welfare of the soul of your child, none whatsoever, is in fact, gambling with that self-same soul, and they very well may end up in hell. "But because there's that 10% chance or 15% chance, or whatever it is, that they might come out the other side okay, I'm willing to risk it because, by God, I don't want to make these sacrifices." And that's what it boils down to.
Sean Allen So I told my son, "Like, look, I I'm the wrong person to talk to. Okay?" Because he said, "You know, Dad, I mean, I'm committed. But I mean, really, is everybody supposed to homeschool? Not everybody can homeschool, Dad. I mean, that's just not even practical." And I said, "Well, there are certain things that we decide to do, decisions that we make in our lives, that make things that we otherwise would or should do impractical, because of our life's decisions. But I can't use those failings to choose, you know, to make right choices-- I can't look at those failings and use that as justification to, you know, to downplay homeschooling." It's the same way with church. There's all kinds of reasons why you can't go to church and it's easy to find or to make an excuse. They're all out there. But you can't say, "Well, because so-and-so has an excuse, well, that just makes church impractical." No, you need to be in church. You've got to go to church. There comes a point in a person's life where there are certain things that are non-negotiable. You've got to die on that hill. This is one of the hills in our family that we would die on. We will homeschool our children. The risks are too great otherwise. Now, does that guarantee that our children are going to come out the other side okay? No, it doesn't! Homeschooling is not a failsafe. Why? Because our particular homeschool, much like your homeschool and every other homeschool out there, is being conducted by fallible human beings--people with sin in their lives, people with weaknesses and human foibles and all kinds of different things that come to bear upon the success or the failure of that particular homeschool. We're no different. We hope that's not the case. I would be heartbroken if that's the case, but I'm going to give myself and my children the best possible chance that I can, and this is the way we're going to do it. It's a non-negotiable. It's a hill to die on. I'm not going to gamble with the soul of my child. I just won't do it. Does that make me better than other people? No, it doesn't. It doesn't make me better than anybody. It's just something that I've apprehended and I'm now accountable, I'm responsible for, this knowledge. What am I going to do with it? Well, I'm going to do the best thing that I know how, I'm going to keep my children home.
Sean Allen And I hope that you look at this in the same way. I hope that you're just not homeschooling because, "Well, it's getting really bad out there." I mean, that's a reason, but it's not enough reason. It's not enough. Because what if somebody came along and convinced you, "Well, it's not all that bad"? I mean, "Or you could go to this particular school district that's...where it's, you know, it's just better...measurably better." And then you're just going to give up. No! You need a rock to stand on. And this is the rock, because it is the only form of education currently extant that is supported by the Word of God. Because how else are you going to surround your child with the knowledge of God? How else are you going to go about that? When you rise up, when you walk through the day, when you lie down for the night? Everywhere you go. The pictures that are on your wall, the music that you listen to throughout the day, the curriculum that you're exposing them to, the manner of your speech, the environment in which you're rearing them, all of these things ought to testify to the glory of God, as far as you're capable. And again, I ask you, is that the same kind of setting that you're sending your children into when they're going to public school? I think not. So whoever of you out there that I'm talking to, I don't know who you are, I don't know how many of you are out there, but I hope that this has been food for thought for you, because this is just one little insidious argument. And I'm not saying that the individual who made it was insidious. They're not. They're absolutely not. They're very well-meaning, and I understand their logic. But, you know, for my son, anything that causes him to question this path that we're on is, ultimately, or if we allow it to be, can become insidious. It's a notion that can distract him, or to deter him, or to cause him to veer from off of the way that he should, we believe, continue on for the rest of his days. We want him to grow up to be an advocate for homeschooling. And if you're going to be an advocate for homeschooling, you better know what you believe. You better know why you're doing this. There's all kinds of reasons why, but some "whys" are superior to others. So we need to be mindful of these things.
Sean Allen And so you might be listening to this and thinking, "Man, I just got a three-year-old at home. I don't know. This is a little much." Well, it's something for you to tuck back into the back of your mind and to pull out at a later date, because it will come. You will be challenged. Your children will be challenged. And again, I ask you, "Are you just homeschooling for today or are you homeschooling for tomorrow?" And if you are, you need to be equipped with these responses...with these answers. So I'm going to wrap it up with that. I've gone on long enough. If you've made it to the end of this podcast, I congratulate you and I thank you. But it's been good talking with you today, and I hope that this has helped you in some way, small or great, whatever it may be. And I appreciate your time very much, and I look forward to talking to you again in the future. I hope that the Lord continues to bless you and your family. And we will-- Again, hopefully we will talk again soon. Goodbye for now.
Sean Allen Thank you for joining us this week on The Homeschool Solutions Show. You can find show notes and links to all the resources mentioned at Homeschooling.mom. Don't forget to check out my friends at Medi-Share because you deserve healthcare you can trust. To learn more about Medi-Share and why over 400,000 Christians have made the switch, go to GreatHomeschoolConventions.com/MediShare. That's GreatHomeschoolConventions.com/MediShare.
Sean Allen If you haven't already, please subscribe to the podcast. And while you're there, leave us a review. Tell us what you love about the show. This will help other homeschooling parents, like you, get connected to our community. And finally, tag us on Instagram @HomeschoolingDotMom. That's @HomeschoolingDotMom to let us know what you thought of today's episode.
Sean Allen Have you joined us at one of the Great Homeschool Conventions? The Great Homeschool Conventions are the homeschooling events of the year offering outstanding speakers, hundreds of workshops covering today's top parenting and homeschooling topics, and the largest homeschool curriculum exhibit halls in the U.S. Find out more at GreatHomeschoolConventions.com. I'll be there. I hope to see you there too.