I ate my wafer...


Homeschooling...Homechurching...is there a home version of anything I actually like?

So, browsing the far reaches of the good old Hillsdale blogosphere, I find that there's an interesting post combining homeschooling and house churches up at "This Is Me". Rather than pointlessly hijack the comments, espicially on an old post:

House Churches:

Sure, the early Christians used the house church. They lived in a society that made it particularly practical, since they didn't have a dedicated infrastructure of churches, they were highly local community and family focused, and they, at least at times needed to keep a low profile. The big problem both for the early church, and later incarnations of house churches is that wildly stupid theology gets to spread quickly. A significant reason that western christianity moved to a more centralized model was the proliferation of heresy at the local level. Even now, this is a common complaint about current house churches. Also, everyone that likes to talk about how successful the Chinese house church movement should keep in mind that they operate with very simply theology, and under social and political pressures that make it the only viable option. I would imagine that given a shift to religious tolerance in China, many house churches would evolve rather quickly into larger, more conventional churches. Are house churches inherently bad? No, they're useful under sometimes, but outside limited circumstances there's little inherently good about them.

Homeschooling as "Tradition":

I really, really hate the argument that homeschooling has some sort of advantage based on the relatively short history of public schools relative to all of human existance. This is logically equivalent to arguing that everyone should grow their own wheat, mill it to flour with the help of their neighbors, then bake their own bread, just because its more traditional than buying a loaf from Krogers. Teaching high school phyiscs, art, english, pre-calculus, etc has been "traditionally" done in a public or private school, being that most of the above subjects have only been part of the general curriculm for the last 100 years.

Now, its not any big secret that I'm highly suspicious of homeschooling in general, mostly because it seems like an extremely large expenditure of energy to do well, and even if it is done well, it seems selfish to devote so much effort to it when simply being an highly involved parent, perhaps on the local school board would benifit ALL of the children in the community. I could elaborate ad nauseum about the benifits of a common social meme of high school, and the difficulties of teaching multiple high school subjects without resorting to merely setting kids loose with a text book, but ehh, its not necessary.

Hmm, maybe I just dislike the "home" versions of everything? Homeschooling, homebirthing, home churching? No...wait...there's homebrewing.


  • Ok, I think homechurching sucks (except out of necessity)...but I'm Catholic so my opinion probably shouldn't count.

    As far as homeschooling. Eh, I figure a good education is a good education, be it at home or at a organized school. Of course, being a man and therefore knowing everything, I will probably homeschool my kids so I can impart my incredible wisdom upon them and keep them from being corrupted by the evils of public schools...but I'm also really lazy and really enjoy bourbon...so we'll probably just send the little bastards to boarding school. I just don't want anyone to tell me where to send them. Every damn week there is some new SOB telling you can't teach your kids this, or you can't teach 'em that, or you can't beat 'em or you can't sell them into white-slavery...WTF?

    -There is no lack of void.

    By Blogger Finite, at 10:49 AM  

  • I can see the point of doing a lot of things at home, and also of NOT doing a lot of things at home. Obviously, I don't believe in house churches (except, as you point out, when circumstances require them). Homeschooling I'm more positive on (worked out fine for me), and I guess I feel about it the same way I would about home brewing. It takes a lot more work, but you get a more unique batch, with a flavor all your own, instead of something more reliable but possibly more boring from the shelves. And while I see your point about being an involved parent, the truth is that very few people have the sustained energy to throw themselves into something that they're not really seeing a lot of benefit out of. When you're working with somewhere between 2 and 8 kids, you see your impact. When you're working with a school district, one parent is unlikely to see a whole lot of change. I know I couldn't keep it up. And frankly, I don't see a problem with turning a kid loose with a textbook, although I think you need more than that for a complete education. Home birthing about the same. For some people, seems to work well. For others, not so much.
    I guess what I'm trying to say is that I can see upsides and downsides to doing a lot of things at home. The problem I really have is with the radicals: those that insist that you should have your church at home no matter what (I know one such who doesn't go to church at all because his neighbors won't come to his house for church), homeschool your kids even if you're uncomfortable with it, deliver at home even if you're a high-risk pregnancy. It's the self-appointed apostles and evangelists of home-schooling/-birthing/-churching I have a problem with, more than the things they advocate.

    By Blogger TeaLizzy, at 11:45 AM  

  • Good-grief, the double-whammy, We were homeschooled, but back then it was just called corespondence school since we were overseas - and my dad was a Baptist Minister and Missionary (Mom too for that matter) so it was like growing up IN a Church - although not the kind of preacher normally associated with either being a missionary or a minister - think American Baptist Theologian - on an ideological continuum so far to the Left of Billy Graham that despite all Dad's One-World Ecumenism they'd be in different hemispheres, and Dad would happily be in Nicaragua or some other Socialist entity.

    By Blogger DirtCrashr, at 5:40 PM  

  • Hello,
    Great site! We've done home church for a while and its been good. Relationships are some of the most precious things God can give us. Real ones! But like anything else, the more religion you let into it, the more dead it becomes. We try to let Jesus instigate everything.

    I am a musician, and I would be honored if you would check out my music. All of the music is free for download. Anyway, just thought that I'd share.

    "All my music is free for download."

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:24 PM  

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