Fall 2020/ Matthew McDill
This is an amazing time in our culture when the words that people use and the causes that people stand for are taking center stage and having serious consequences. On one hand, this is nothing new, and it is always wise to be careful and considerate in the things we say and the movements we join. On the other hand, we may be tempted to shrink back from saying anything at all. It seems that if we take any kind of position on an issue, we are choosing sides in a war and are going to get shot at. Therefore, let’s choose carefully.
What are the important causes that we stand for in the homeschool community? I would like to suggest two ideas that it is important for all of us to speak for and work to protect. The first is that parents have the God-given right to determine the education of their children. The second is that homeschooling is a wonderful and effective form of education.
The first idea is primarily an issue of parental rights. Who has the primary responsibility and authority to decide what is best for our children? The main contenders in the current discussion are parents and the government. Who will protect the children? Who will care for them? Who will decide what is important for them to learn? I don’t want to suggest that there is only one answer to this question. Local communities, churches, and the government can all play a positive role, along with the parents. However, it is critical as homeschool families that we speak out and work to protect the ultimate responsibility of parents to care for their children.
When it comes to the reputation of home education, we’ve come a long way! There is enough research and there are enough fantastic former and current homeschool students to prove that homeschooling is a wonderful and effective form of education. However, there are still those out there who do not understand or do not like home education. Some are even threatened by it and are attacking its legitimacy. That is why it is important for us to clearly and winsomely argue for homeschooling as a positive educational model.
So what can we do to stand for these important ideas?
First, I want to encourage us all to speak up. We may be tempted to quietly continue our homeschooling lives until someone knocks on the door and tries to stop us. If we wait until then, it will be too late. The war on these ideas in our culture has already begun. Let’s join the cause by clearly and effectively articulating in our own spheres of influence the importance of parental rights and the effectiveness of home education.
Second, let’s keep up the good work and let others see what we are doing. In the context of encouraging Christians to submit to governing authorities, the apostle Peter wrote, “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” (1 Peter 2:15-16). One of the most powerful ways we can further our cause is by doing good. We can do an excellent job with our families and education, and we can love and serve those around us, being helpful participants in our communities.
Finally, I want to encourage you to help unify and connect our homeschool community. North Carolinians for Home Education has represented homeschoolers in NC for over thirty-five years. Would you please let others know about NCHE and encourage them to become members so that we can band together to protect our right to homeschool and present home education as the fantastic educational approach that it is?
Matthew McDill and his wife, Dana, homeschool their nine children in Creston. Matthew is the executive director for North Carolinians for Home Education and continues to serve as president of the board. Through his ministry, Truth to Freedom, he teaches and writes about discipleship, marriage, family, parenting, home education, and church. Matthew holds a bachelor’s degree in communication along with two master’s degrees and a doctorate in biblical studies.
Have you had an opportunity to speak up for home education? Share your story, and encourage other homeschool families in the section below.