I was random blogging yesterday - actually using my 'Friends' list - and stumbled for a second time on a post by jayfromcleveland asking for feedback from bloggers in response to some possible statistics indicating that homeschooling numbers may be on the decline. I feel certain that the homechooling spirit will never die - primarily because as homeschooling families, we are raising the next generation of homeschoolers. I know from the time my girls were little, they both wanted to be 'homeschooling mommies'. Even as teenagers, with waxing and waning convictions, I know they know why we believe that when it comes to school, there is no place like home!
Through the years we have homeschooled, we have seen waves in the numbers of homeschoolers in our county, and the tri-state area where we live. After Columbine and several other school tragedies that followed, there seemed to be a shock-wave of parents, afraid to send their children to school. Many of those well meaning parents took their children out of school and soon realized that fear was not an effective motivator, nor an effective catalyst for longevity.
In churches, sometimes when there is a large group of homeschoolers, there can be a wave of people - who my husband calls "followers". They see what others are doing, want to be plugged in with those people, and will do just about anything to be included with the "group" that is appealing to them. (Hey, we've all heard of peer pressure, haven't we?) I attend a small church in rural WV, and for several years the homeschooling families in our congregation were a majority. I remember this coming to my attention when someone who had visited the church a handful of times asked me one morning, "Do you HAVE to homeschool your children to go to this church?" (GULP! - As homeschoolers, we have to be consciously aware of our propensity toward being somewhat of an exclusive club in our Christian community.) Peer pressure also is not a good reason to become a homeschooling family, nor will it help your family go the distance.
In the same way these reasons have caused waves, many others have as well, and many more will in the future. If our country recognized how much money we save our local school systems, and began to give homeschooling families a tax break, we may see another wave. If our government were ever to institute a program to allow vouchers for homeschoolers as privatized education, we may see a tsunami! But in all these things, just because homeschooling numbers seem to swell and drop, I think overall it won't change the fact that there is a core group who homeschool our children, because of a conviction by the Lord to do so - and we intend to go the distance. In our efforts to make family the primary influence in our children's lives, second only to the Lord, we are raising up a chosen generation of Bible-believing, family-centered, independent thinking young men and women who won't be content to simply go against the flow, but desire with all their hearts to turn the tide.
As Jesus said, in the last days, just as it was in the days of Noah, people were eating and drinking, marrying and being given in marriage - it is my belief that people will be homeschooling their children, holding out a chosen remnant until Jesus comes again!
*scripture reference - Luke 17:27