May burst into random acts of sarcasm, political rants, and independent thinking.. Read at your own risk.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Why We Homeschool

On my personal blog I posted about how we came to be a homeschool family. I am writing this post to further that conversation to what has reinforced our decisions and why we strongly urge others to look into options outside of government education.

Our decision to homeschool was not really a decision at all. It was more of a realization. We were happy with our children at home. We didn't see the need to send them off to be raised by someone else. We later discovered why we felt that way. Our children are gifts from God. He has bestowed upon us a great responsibility. To raise these children in his light. How can we do that when those who seek to destroy him are the ones who are molding their minds.

As the years have passed since this journey began, I realize how blessed we are to have taken this path. Each week we are reaffirmed in our decision to homeschool. There are so many reasons we homeschool. Here are just a few

I am opposed to free education as much as I am opposed to taking
property from one man and giving it to another who knows not how to
take care of it... I do not believe in allowing my charities to go
through the hands of robbers who pocket nine-tenths themselves and
give one tenth to the poor... Would I encourage free schools by
taxation? No! (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses Vol. 18, p. 357)

There is absolutely nothing in the Constitution which authorizes the federal government to enter into the field of education. Furthermore, the Tenth Amendment says: "The powers not delegated to the United States Government are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Nothing could be more clear. It is unconstitutional for the federal government to exercise any powers over education. 
(The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 298.) 

I do not agree with social programs in this manner. As I have written in other posts, I disagree with government run welfare, healthcare and other such programs.

It does seem to me that we parents have not only lost all control as
to what our own flesh and blood - I use that term instead of children
because I should like to make the ugly fact as poignant as possible -
I say we have lost all control as to what our own are taught... and
also we are not even consulted about these matters. Now as a matter of
principle, surely we who pay the costs and furnish the students might
with propriety have some voice in what they whom we pay shall teach
those students... I am willing that every man shall believe what he
wishes, print what he wishes, and say what he wishes within his
Constitutional rights, but I am not willing that he shall exploit all
his idiosyncrasies in teaching my flesh and blood while I pay the
bill! I insist that he shall have all the personal freedom he can
carry, but I am not willing to extend that full and complete freedom
into a gross license and then pay him to abuse that license to distort
and debase the minds and hearts and bodies of those who belong to me
and are dearer to me than life itself. (J.Rueben Clark,  Prophets,
Principles and National Survival, p. 188.)

I believe this whole heartedly. This is what motivates me each day to homeschool.

The ultimate purpose of the adversary, who has “great wrath, because
he knoweth that he hath but a short time,” is to disrupt, disturb, and
destroy the home and the family. Like a ship without a rudder, without
a compass, we drift from the family values which have anchored us in
the past. Now we are caught in a current so strong that unless we
correct our course, civilization as we know it will surely be wrecked
to pieces. Moral values are being neglected and prayer expelled from
public schools on the pretext that moral teaching belongs to religion.
At the same time, atheism, the secular religion, is admitted to class,
and our youngsters are proselyted to a conduct without morality.
(Boyd K. Packer, Ensign, May 1994 P. 19)

Each parent is different, but for me, just one or two stories of children having sex on school buses, back rows of classrooms, the violence of gang rapes caught on cell phones, put me in mama bear mode. My children are too young and innocent to be put into situations where those actions are possible. They need a much stronger moral guide before they can be able to stand up for those morals against a vast sea of immorality.

Since public schools are supported by taxation, parents are compelled 
to finance them. Even though the law may allow them to send their
children to private schools, in order to do so they must support two
educational systems at once, and this the vast majority of them feel
themselves unable to do. Since the law compels them to go to some
school, the net effect of all this is to force nearly all children
into the public system. Therefore, those who favor socialized
education take the position that the state and not the parents should
have the responsibility of training children during a certain period
of their lives. Nor should it be imagined that the parent can control
the education of his child in the public system. When the state hires
the teachers, selects the courses and textbooks, and dictates where
the child shall attend, it is impossible for individual preferences to
be respected regarding these vital matters. (H. Verlan Anderson, The
Great and Abominable Church of the Devil, p. 134)

Any system, therefore, which forcibly takes from the parents the power
to control what their children are taught, and who teaches them, is
contrary to the Lord's plan. It deprives parents of their most sacred
stewardship and takes the child away from those who are most deeply
concerned with his welfare. No state employee whose purpose in
teaching is to get gain can be expected to serve the interests of the
child as well as the parents who render their service without
compensation. More especially this is true when the teacher is
prohibited by law from instilling faith in the child... Since
state-financed education is one of the principle doctrines of
communism, those who accept it have adopted much of the socialist
program... It is a widely recognized fact that public schools and
universities are the foremost advocates of socialism because they
teach it both in theory and in practice. (H. Verlan Anderson, The Great and Abominable
Church of the Devil, p. 135-136.)

Its is becoming all to obvious that the State considers our children "their" children. As someone who has seen first hand how the state will use any excuse to justify their intervention into the rearing of my children, I assure you its not "about the children". Its about the adults they will become. And independent, strong willed, individuated, Christian children are a threat to the State. They continue to take away our rights as parents. And will do so untill we as parents stand up to them.

Let us never lose sight of the fact that education is a preparation for life -- and that preparing for life is far more than knowing how to make a living or how to land on the moon. Preparing for life means building personal integrity,developing a sound sense of values, increasing the capacity and willingness to serve. Education must have its roots in moral principles. If we lose sight of that fact in our  attempt to match our educational system against that of the materialists, we shall have lost far more than we could possibly gain. (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 297)

Let us be sure our educational system turns out young men and women of character, who know the basic facts of economics, free enterprise, history, finance, and government and who have a respect for law and an appreciation of the spiritual - otherwise that educational system will truly have been a failure." (The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p.301)

Our educational system IS a failure. It has been failing for a far many years. I have come to wonder if it was every truly successful. Yes, many bright and talented children have come out of government education, but the system has failed us and our children. Our children are not learned in the ways of the world. They do not know basic facts of economics, free enterprise, history, finance, and government. They have little respect for law and are disciplined for showing any appreciation of their spirituality. 

For these reasons, and many more, we have chosen to educate our children at home.

Monday, October 10, 2011

How government welfare contradicts Christianity

"Welfare is not a program but the essence of the gospel. It is the gospel in action. It is the crowning principle of a Christian life".  Spencer W. Kimball

Having a large family we are often asked how do we afford our children. To which I reply"children are not expensive lifestles are expensive". Stop to think of the bulk of your necessary bills. Rent/mortgage remains relativly the same.. Infact I pay less now for rent than I did when I had two children. Almost 50% less. My electricity and water are the average of what most everyone else pays.. sometimes less as we do not run air conditioning and such. We are frugal with our groceries and clothing. We buy food when it is on sale and most of our clothing is from donations from freecycle or people we know or yard sale finds. We live simply.
But usually the comments arise about government welfare programs. I think it has to do with the fact that large families are a thing of the past and Satan has convinced modern day parents that they cannot afford to accept blessings from Heavenly Father. My husband and I are as morally opposed to such programs just as we are opposed to pornography, alcohol and abortion. Obviously not all on the same platform, but you get the idea. Affording our children is not all that difficult, provided we are given the opportunity to do so. 

Welfare is more than just financial needs. When a person or family needs welfare they need more than just a way to pay a few bills. Something has gone awry that prevents them from being able to take care of themselves. Whether it be illness, injury, death, divorce, job loss, or just bad personal choices they are in need. Throwing money at the problem only helps them temporarily. There is so much more that individual or family needs. They need much more than a fish. If a widow is lonely offer your company. If a person is ill or injured offer them your time and help them to do the things they cannot. If a father needs employment help him get his foot in the door. If children need help coping with death or divorce spend some time with them and help them feel speical. Do not shun the person recovering from bad habits because they made those choices. Work to inspire them to do better.
The government welfare program is dangerous to our society. It creates a replacement for compassion. We no longer seek to serve our neighbors. We just say "oh there is a government program for that" we feel that we paid our taxes we have done our part. But we haven't. In most cases the taxes you have paid barely cover your portion of basic infrastructure. The taxes that go for these programs usually comne from those in higher income brackets, those usually labeled as the "elite" or "uber rich", you know the ones who are labeled as greedy and selfish. They are demonized for their success. This is how we justify taking this money. If those who had the money are evil, then we feel better taking their property. Their money. They are bad people who don't deserve it. Somehow they haven't earned it and they owe you. This gives people the illusion that they are entitled to someone elses property... we then give the government power to seize thet property by force and violence if needed. This sounds more like Satan's plan than one designed by Heavenly Father.

So what do we do with those that need welfare. We do what Jesus Christ would do. We help them. Not by forcing someone else to do it but by doing what we can ourselves. We must become like Him. To sacrifice what we have. To give all of ourselves in service.
Welfare, charity and service all have a dual purpose. To help those in need and to help those who serve. How charitable to do you feel when filing you taxes? Now think of how you felt the last time you helped someone. I bet the feeling was much different. By allowing charity to be done via politicians and IRS workers we deny everyone the blessings of charity and service. The ones in need do not feel the humbling gratitude of asking for help. We all feel a bit powerless when in need. Many, including myself, feel weak when I need the help of someone else. Its very hard to say I need help. It is always a growth experience for me to do so. Whether its financial, spiritual or physical, I have to stop and reflect on what is is that got me to that point. If I feel entitled to that assistance, I am excused from  that feeling of weakness. And I lose the growth experience.
Its very common that when I have asked for help, charity is diverted to the government. If I am short on money for groceries it is suggested I apply for food stamps. If I am struggling with homeschool it is suggested I put them in government schools. When concered about a recent layoff we told we should apply for government unemployment.
We have come to a place where we have paid the government to do our service work for us. Its no longer our job to care for those in need. "That's what government is for."

Jesus didn't establish a government. He established a church.
If we are to be more Christlike we must take back our spiritual responsibilities from the very government that seeks to destroy His word.  We cannot allow this distance to grow between us. We need to be able to lean on each other. We need to carry each others burdens.