“No generation can bequeath to its successor what it has not got… If we are skeptical, we shall teach only skepticism to our pupils, if fools only folly, if vulgar only vulgarity, if saints sanctity, if heroes heroism… We shall admit that a man who knows no Greek himself cannot teach Greek to his form: but it is equally certain that a man whose mind was formed in a period of cynicism and disillusion cannot teach hope or fortitude.
A society which is predominantly Christian will propagate Christianity through its schools: one which is not, will not. All the ministries of education in the world cannot alter this law. We have, in the long run, little either to hope or fear from government.”
— C.S. Lewis (God in the Dock, “On the Transmission of Christianity”)
Education is a pretty controversial topic, especially within the church. Public school, private school, homeschool — which one to choose? And why? (And what will the neighbors think?)
I’ve probably read every argument out there and have adamantly argued several of them at various points in my life. (Thanks to all you friends and family members who so patiently listen to my rants and raves!) However, I’ve come to see that it’s not necessarily about the format of the education — it’s about the heart.
I had an eclectic education myself. Most of my school years I spent in various Christian schools, from Texas to North Carolina. For two years, my mother homeschooled me. And then I finished out my junior and senior years in public school. Guess what? I got educated. I got socialized. I successfully completed college and got a job. I still love the Lord, and I still like other people (mostly!).
I love what C.S. Lewis has to say about education — so much of it depends on the people doing the teaching. Yes, we should choose carefully which venue is right for our own children. But every educational system has its pros and cons — every single one. You could argue all day long in favor of one or the other. In the end, take a close look at WHO is teaching your kids. What are they passing along on a daily basis? We can only pass along what we have in our possession. And remember, as parents, we are the teachers our kids learn from the most — whether they stay home all day or go out to school.