Everyone has heard the quote, "It takes a village to raise a child." Opponents of the homeschool community are quick to use this as an argument that all children should attend public school. I for one whole-heartedly agree that it takes more than a child's immediate family to adequately raise a child to become an informed and useful member of society. The benefit in homeschooling is that we are able to choose the residents of the village that take part in the molding of our offspring.
A few of our village citizens include: Sunday school teachers, youth pastors, guitar instructors, piano teachers, dance instructors, our homeschool group, family friends, and grand-parents. Each "resident" has been carefully chosen to be part of our children's lives with the intent of teaching our children responsibility and discipline, helping build character, participate in the nurturing of their individual personalities and therefore enriching our children's lives. With the exclusion of "village idiots", we are blessed to be able to raise our children in a healthy atmosphere where they are allowed to grow into their full potential.
The Village Idiots
As Christian parents it is our obligation to ensure our children's well being in any given situation - not to shelter them, but to protect them. When our children are given the attention, love, and stability that they need in order to thrive, they become healthy, well adjusted adults. But if their spirit is broken by "well-meaning", yet harsh teachers, peers, or others, they will spend the rest of their lives looking for something to fill the void in their life. They will lack confidence, and they will suffer for it.
Paul tells us in Ephesians that we are to "bring our children up in the training and instruction of the Lord". And we are promised in Proverbs that if we "start our children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it". And we are instructed in Deuteronomy 6:6-8 - "These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads."
When the people we allow into our children's lives share our same basic beliefs and truly care for our child, our children are able to become all that God intends. Is there anything better?