One particular homeschool speaker who often discusses topics regarding parenting and marriage once presented a metaphor that I have never forgotten. He said that he imagines his children as blank books. Each individual that his children come into contact with, hypothetically, writes in their books. It becomes evident when these children have grown into adults, that they are products of those individuals with whom they have previously encountered, those who have “written” in their books. Knowing that he was the “gate-keeper” and shepherd for his children, he was cautious and deliberate when considering who he permitted into his children’s lives. He understood that each day when his children awoke, their world views were being formed. He understood the old proverb “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree” and that if you train up a child in the right way, according to God’s commands….he will not depart from this truth when he is old.
Whether we realize it or not, each of us possesses a worldview. We all view the world in a unique way based upon our pre-suppositions and biases that we have acquired throughout our lives. Our worldview is formed by each movie we watch, each conversation we have, and each book we read. Our worldview is formed in school, in church, and around our kitchen tables each evening. It may begin in pre-school or on the lap of our Mother. If our pre-school teacher was a moral relativist who did not believe in teaching “right” and “wrong,” we may have begun to understand this point of view and perhaps came to believe this ourselves. When our mom teaches and trains us at home, we may begin to understand that there are indeed absolutes or universal truths; our worldview begins to take shape very early on.
Even though most scientists pride themselves on their objectivity and ability to reason empirically, they absolutely do possess their own set of biases and pre-suppositions that they filter through while forming opinions about the world, performing an experiment, or even observing a fossil. While some of us use the Bible as our measuring rod and view the world by considering what the Bible states and what God teaches, others come to their conclusions based upon various worldviews that they have become familiar with. Neutrality is impossible because we have all been influenced one way or another. Perhaps it is Charles Darwin, or Karl Marx, maybe all of those Beatles albums you listened to helped form your worldview. For me music was a huge part of my influence. If you attended public school you were most likely taught some variation of secular humanism and moral relativism; the “religion” of the schools.
I have several homeschool friends who have enrolled their children in the public schools system. They are quite confident that their children are equipped to deal with the anti-God worldviews and biased teaching that goes on in government schools. In fact some declare that God spoke to them…and told them to put their children in these institutions. I confess that I do not feel like my children are prepared to enter this type of environment and I am convinced that God’s word tells parents that they are supposed to do the teaching, training, and discipleship.
Being a late bloomer, I attended college in my mid- 20′s. I was 26 years old when I took a critical thinking course at a local community college. I enjoyed it…but often quibbled with my professor. This teacher was much older than I, sophisticated yet somewhat patronizing with me. Even though the class was in critical thinking, his lectures were absolutely biased and he was quite dogmatic and unwilling to acknowledge any alternate point of view. An anti-Christian bias was weaved into each lecture. His goal was to undermine the teachings we received from our parents and from living in our “Christian America.” Even though I thought I was prepared to defend the truths of the Bible, I was not. He was brainy, bold, and sophisticated. I was earnest and sincere, but not equipped to handle his line of questioning. He had the advantage and many times, I would return home quite upset. My husband would talk and pray with me.. We often joke that he would “de-program” me so that I would not be indoctrinated. Sadly I was being influenced and even though I protested in each class…..I was beginning to doubt myself and God’s infallible word. I was being brainwashed….and I was not a child but a young married woman. With this in mind, do I believe my Jr. High children are equipped to handle the school systems anti-God values? Absolutely not.
My dear children still have many blank pages in their books and my husband and I are working constantly to give them what they will need to enter the culture grounded in a biblical worldview and prepared to be used by the Lord. We continue to record in their “books” those things which are good, pure, and lovely and we also are allowing them to know about the evil that does exist in our world. We are carefully spooning this out to them though, always wanting to emphasize the good, and allow them to have an old-fashioned carefree childhood as much as possible. Our world view studies will continue on and hopefully our children will not be as vulnerable as I was in college. The days are passing quickly, and the years are flying by…my prayers are that the Lord will give my husband and I wisdom concerning the books, curriculum, and extra curricular activities we participate in always keeping in mind the old proverb “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.” Blessings to you as you train and disciple your children at home. ~Anne