Tom Gilson

“How Homeschooling and Classical Christian Schooling Could Alter the Leadership of the Future”

My current column at BreakPoint: “How Homeschooling and Classical Christian Schooling Could Alter the Leadership of the Future.”

Featured in the BreakPoint Column
Featured in the BreakPoint Column
Related information on atheists' reasoning—Free!
Related information on atheists’ reasoning—Free!

For the record, our two kids were mostly educated in public school. The home school and classical Christian school options were not available to us, for reasons I need not share here. I wish we could have gone that route. We made sure, though, that they learned the skills of good reasoning, reading, and communication. For us it was a matter of dinner conversation–not every meal, but often enough. I’m pretty sure that for most families it would take a more intentional effort to teach these things.

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3 thoughts on ““How Homeschooling and Classical Christian Schooling Could Alter the Leadership of the Future”

  1. This is a subject with which our family has been actively engaged for the last ten years. We have come to the conclusion that Classical Education (Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric) is not a bad mechanism for teaching children, but the way it is practiced is not necessarily such a good thing. A fellow named Kevin Swanson gave a speech about the problems with such an education back in 2009. John Holzmann from Sonlight (homeschool curricula provider) wrote about the speech in a very compelling way. As a big fan of this blog, I think people here might understand this issue quite well. Here is an excerpt of the speech that captures the essence of the challenge for Christians:

    He says if you dare practice rhetoric; if you dare stand up and give an answer; if you dare to get involved in the activity of the exchange of information and knowledge–he says, whatever you do, make sure you don’t forget to do it in the fear of God, and in humility before man. I’ll tell you, guys, the No. 1 sin that seems to be rampant in our society today, among educated people–and I’m talking about pastors, I’m talking about classical educators, I’m talking about kids that are out there blogging, I’m talking about pseudo-smart people who are trying to argue their point on the blogosphere–I’ll tell you, the No. 1 problem I see is the problem of pride. It’s everywhere. It’s insidious, and it’s ripping apart relationships in churches. It rips apart relationships in this movement.

    This is followed by a quote from the speech about the conflict between Aristotelean type rhetoric and what might be a good thing for Christians to keep in mind when engaging in rhetoric:

    Now, it’s really interesting that Aristotle does an entire book on rhetoric. I bring up Aristotle because he is the grandpa of classical humanist education, so he does a huge book on rhetoric. I taught rhetoric through that book one time, and there’s so much lacking in that book that I don’t teach out if it much, anymore. But one of the things that’s lacking is any reference to fear and reverence and humility, and yet Peter – the apostle Peter – has one tiny little verse on rhetoric – on teaching rhetoric. He says, “Be prepared to give an answer to every man for the faith that’s within you, yet do it with meekness and fear.” [1 Peter 3:15 –JAH] He has one little verse on rhetoric. He doesn’t forget to include two very, very, very vital issues.

    I wrote this about the whole concept of Classical Education on my blog five years ago and I think it might still apply to many how practice it today:

    Our problem with “Classical Education” has not been so much the theory behind it, rather it has been the rigidity by which it is often practiced both in homeschool and private school settings. The end product of such systems seemed to be little lawyers. While that may be a fine end for many, we did not want that for our children.

    I, too, have hope that a return to a more Christian educational model will change the face of American culture and politics, but only if Christian is emphasized over Classical.

  2. Thanks for the link to the article. This is something that my wife and I have wrestled with almost daily as our kids enter the school system. We have them in public school, but can’t help thinking they are just a sprocket that the system is churning through. The home school and private Christian school always seem appealing due to their personalized care and attention and greater focus on building character. Thanks for the read.

  3. Homeschooling is sometimes recommended for parents who are looking forward towards paying special attention towards their child, but the fact is that classroom teaching can help kids to grow and learn in an environment where there is more communication and interaction which the child finds more interesting and feels more inclined to learn. Our Church also encourages in group activities and interactive learning which helps kids to learn faster and develop good cognitive and learning skills.

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