What would you give up in housing, car(s), clothes, vacations, and/or toys in order to get (or keep) your little ones out of the State-run “education” system and secure for them in its place both daily on-site parenting and a Christ-centered approach to the pursuit of knowledge?

Would you be willing significantly downgrade your home in order to make it economically possible for one parent to stay home and supervise the Christ-centered home education of your littles? Maybe move out of a mid-level suburb into a smaller, less well equipped pad?

What about your car(s)? Would you downgrade your vehicle(s) in order to help make hands-on parenting and a Christ-centered education a reality for your kids?

Would you be willing to give up quality, or even mid-level vacations? What about high-end  clothes? Could you downgrade those?

Would you trade off expensive or semi-expensive hobbies if that made the difference?

What, if anything, would you be willing to give up or rearrange to secure an on-site parent and Christ-centered approach to education for your children?

These are questions that most people who claim that they “can’t afford to homeschool” simply do not want to answer (or even think about), and for good reason: The answers tend to quickly reveal the fraudulent nature of their claim.

Of course there are some who would pursue each of the above listed options and still be left in a position of seeming impossibility where homeschooling is concerned. The fact that these situations comprise a small percentage of those who claim to be “unable to afford to homeschool” doesn’t make them any less real. The good news is that even these comparatively extreme situations tend to have viable paths available to them, if only those in need would seek them out (and if only the Church would make it a priority to help them).

For the vast majority of us living and working hard to simply stay above water and economically survive in the United States (and throughout the West), the “impossible cost” of home education for our children is merely a selfishness-enabling fictional construct promoted through relentless State-directed programming and pop culture propaganda. State run systems and corporate run pop culture have spent many generations reshaping our worldviews by redefining what we are to value most, how we define “success”, and what the purpose of education is in the first place. When we strip aside the lies we’ve been pitched and take a simple, honest look at the basic facts of the matter, it quickly becomes obvious that the supposed “impossible cost” of hands-on parenting and home education is linked directly to our having been conditioned to prioritize nicer homes, better cars, finer clothes, better vacations, and more toys/hobbies over the parenting and education of our children.

Put another way: We’ve bought into a very big and dangerous lie, and our children are suffering mightily for it.

It’s one thing for unbelievers to buy into such things as the rank materialism and deprioritizing of children and family that has come to define the dying American culture.

It’s quite another for Christians to do the same.

Yet that’s exactly what we see and hear across the professing Christian subculture in America these days.

It is this group – professing Christians in America and the West who claim that they can’t afford to home educate their children – that this blog aims to address, though there is certainly application possible for unbelieving parents as well. Before diving deeper or tackling our Top Ten List, let’s consider a passage from Scripture that most American Christians don’t seem to believe at all when talking about subjects like this:

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

~ Jesus in Matthew 6:24-33

Those are the words of Jesus, who really is Lord over everything around here (and everywhere else in His creation – see: Matthew 28:18-20), despite all that the world (and its “educational” systems) might have you and your children believe to the contrary.

So when He says – when He promises – that when we seek first His Kingdom, we will be given everything that we need, we really, truly, and actually can count on that promise being fulfilled.

While to the typical American (including, sadly, the typical American Christian) this sounds like fantasyland fiction at the fluffiest, it is true and utterly reliable nonetheless. The same God who has made this promise has ordained family and church structures to play roles in helping those in this particular sort of need and, again: despite what the naysayers will tell you, there are still many God-fearing churches, families, and other groups who are happily able and willing to help meet the needs of those in this particular sort of need.

One of the primary reasons that our culture is in the dark place that it finds itself now is that we have utterly rejected and (often mockingly) dismissed the promises of God to supply our needs as we walk in obedience to him, exchanging that obedience-linked promise for a reliance upon the almighty State to provide our “needs” on its terms and as it defines them.

This is why 90+% of self-identified Christians in America seem to have no trouble looking to the State form what God has ordained the family and church to provide.

We’ve been programmed.

We’ve been “educated”.

We’ve been discipled.

By the State – a State that desperately desires us to value all sorts of things above the parenting and education of our children, so that those children might be fed to the State and perpetuate the process by which each successive generation of Americans is more State-centered in their thinking, more State-dependent in their approach to life, and more anti-Christ in their worldview than the last.

One of the telltale signs that we’ve been thoroughly programmed to value stuff and system-approved pursuits above the wellbeing of our own children is that we will, often loudly and proudly, defend our decisions to pursue lesser things at the expense of the spiritual, physical, and intellectual development of the little boys and girls that God has given us to raise in accordance with His Word.

It’s in this context that I’d like to offer for your consideration 10 REAL MEANINGS OF “WE CAN’T AFFORD TO HOMESCHOOL!”:

  1. “We’re not about to significantly downgrade our home just to home educate our kids.”
    For most Americans, the thought of moving from a nice middle or upper-middle class suburban residential situation into a much more humble, simple home is unthinkable. That is “failure”; the antithesis of “success” and The American Dream in our State-managed culture.
    Even so, housing downgrades remain a viable path toward home education for a great number of “We can’t afford to homeschool!” families.
  2. “We value nice cars above the hands-on parenting and Christ-centered education of our little ones.”
    How many “We can’t afford to home educate our kids!” families have one or more cars that could easily be downgraded – sometimes very significantly – in a manner that would preserve basic transportation functionality and safety while making a huge improvement to the family’s monthly budget and/or overall bottom line?
    Answer: A lot.
  3. “We see high quality vacations as more valuable to our family than the on-site parenting and Christ-centered education for our children.”
    How many “We can’t afford to home educate our kids!” families regularly take trips to Disney Word and the like? Not the majority, I’m sure, but many certainly do.
    What about “lesser” or less exotic vacations? How many families choose to prioritize those things above hand-on parenting and Christ-centered education for their children?
    Again, in America’s professing Christian sub-culture, the answer seems to be: A lot.
  4. “We value our toys too much to consider trading them in toward enabling the hands-on parenting and Christ-centered education of our littles.”
    Boats, computers, home theatres, iPhones, iPads, guitars, guns…how many families that “can’t afford to home educate” their children still manage to shovel tons of cash into the pursuit of these sorts of toys?
  5. “We value our pricey hobbies too much to consider trading them in toward the hands-on parenting and Christ-centered education of our littles.”
    Golfing, skiing, hunting, fishing, antiques, collectibles…how many families that “can’t afford to home educate” their children still manage to shovel tons of cash into the pursuit of these sorts of hobbies?
  6. “We’re not about to start shopping at Goodwill for clothes if that’s what it takes to secure hands-on parenting and a Christ-centered education for our children.”
    Oh, the horror.
    What would people think, right?

  7. “We would look like crazy people to all of our friends if we made all of these changes just to have hand-on parenting and Christ-centered education for our kids.”
    This is a biggie.
    The world will definitely think you’re nuts for prioritizing your family and children over your career, toys, hobbies, nice home, great car(s), and high end clothes.
    While there are many reasons why the world and its advocates will pressure you and label you a nutcase for pursuing this path, one of the primary reasons for their hostile reaction will be conviction.
    BY doing what they know they ought to do, you will put the lie to their claims of “We can’t afford to home educate our kids!”
    Exposing their lie in that area is something that they simply will not tolerate…so prepare to pay a social price for prioritizing your children.
  8. “I need to much Me Time to possibly make room for the hands-on parenting and education of my children.”
    This is both an excruciatingly pathetic and commonplace attitude that, if we’re honest, pulls at all of us each and every day. We all want to be the center of our universe, and the State-designed systems under which we live encourage us to pursue that approach at every turn.
    As Christians, we’re graced with the desire and ability to put others before ourselves; especially our children.
  9. “My career would suffer if I did what it took to home educate my kids.”
    The capstone of The American Dream is not family. It is career.
    Our career path is where we’re told to find our meaning, relevance, and purpose in life. This is the clear message of State/Corporate-designed “education”.
    In that context, our children, neighbors, family and friends are all supposed to understand why we “must” sacrifice our children’s needs for the sake of our precious career(s).
    And, of course, two careers are better than one, so twice the sacrifice is more than justified in order for the typical American couple to pursue their happiness and sense of value, all at the expense of their children.
  10. “I can’t stand the thought of being around my children that much.”
    This one is now frequently spouted openly, out loud and in public, believe it or not, often accompanied by a laugh.
    That’s a fairly neat (albeit sad and tragic) summary of where kids rate in American culture these days.

So there you have it. That’s the list. I hope and pray that it inspires some serious thought, soul searching and, where appropriate, conviction.

I know, I know…it pro’ly seems quite mean of me to even dare notice these things, much less write ’em down this way. I should know better than to say these things in a culture where emotion trumps thought and feelings top truth, right?

Which is precisely why I am writing this post and why I believe that we need to be saying and thinking about these things a lot more (not less) frequently.

What matters most is not whether feelings are hurt by these words.

What matters most is whether these words are true.

In closing, please understand that I am in no way, shape, or form against the pursuit and acquisition of high quality things and experiences.

Quite the contrary.

I believe that wealth and the luxury that it can provide can be a great blessing from God that ought to be enjoyed, and enjoyed vigorously, so long as that enjoyment centers on gratitude to God and the prioritization of the promotion of His Kingdom on His terms as recorded in His Word in accordance with His Gospel-fueled Great Commission.

May God grace His people with the desire to prioritize family and children as He has livingly commanded and equipped us to do, all by His grace, all for His glory, and all to our eternal benefit.

Thank you for taking the time to consider these important things.

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The Beginning of Knowledge: Christ as Truth in Apologetics is an approachable, easy to read introduction to Christ-centered apologetics:

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And especially this one: Never forget that apart from God’s grace you and I are complete morons.


2 Responses

  1. Another good one Scott. My wife and I both homeschooled and used our church's school for our children. We did exactly what you listed to make it happen. We drove used, sometimes very used, cars, lived and continue to live in a 100+ yr. old house, rarely took a vacation, stayed out of debt and today, 30+ years later, our children are strong in the faith and successful in life. No regrets.

    1. That is quite an awesome and encouraging report, Dave!

      My wife (Holly) and I are in the early stages of a similar path with Baby Buss #4 due in December and our other three being 1,3 and 5 years old. Holly is an amazing stay at home Momm and Homemaker.

      We live in a very small rental and drive two well worn (but still rolling along quite nicely) vehicles. The AC is out in our 163,000 mile sedan, but, thankfully, that luxury feature is intact in the minivan that smoothly delivers the family wherever we need to go.

      Hearing of your experience and the fruit that has come thanks to your faithfulness and prioritization of children is inspiring!

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