Education should be about grounding a student ‘in the fear and knowledge of God’, says Creech
By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
RALEIGH — Home schooling is still a growing trend in North Carolina despite state statistics that show a slight enrollment decline, the leader of North Carolinians for Home Education told the Christian Action League this week.
“The number of homeschooled students is estimated by the Department of Non-Public Education and is based on a small number of sampled Notice of Intent registrations filed with the DNPE,” explained Mike Marshall, NCHE president. “When submitting this information, you are only required to list one student name and many do just that even if they have two or more. As a result the numbers can be off by quite a bit, and there is really no way of knowing the actual numbers.”
“We see no trend that would indicate a reduction in students, especially since the number of families homeschooling continues to grow,” he added.
That number — 47,977 for 2011-2012 — is up from 45,524 families the year before, even as enrollment estimates went from 83,609 in 2010-2011 to 79,693 this past year. The number of home schools has more than doubled in the last decade and grown exponentially since schooling at home was officially legalized in 1985 with a mere 381 families registering with the state that year.
“More and more people are seeing it as a viable way to educate their children,” Marshall said. “It is becoming much more accepted as mainstream.”
That’s a trend that the Christian Action League is glad to see, especially since more than 64 percent of the schools operating this past year identified themselves as “religious.”
“Deuteronomy 6 tells us that the primary concern of education ought not to be the skills of life, important as they may be, but a grounding in the fear and knowledge of God,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “Secular education writes off this obligation entirely.”
Although Dr. Creech commended the thousands of conscientious and dedicated people working in North Carolina public schools, many of them deeply consecrated Christians, he said “as long as children are exposed 7 hours a day, 180 days a year to a philosophy of education which essentially says that God is irrelevant, it is no surprise that many of them adopt an anti-Christian worldview.”
He said Christian parents should not casually pass along the task of educating their children, without being certain of what they are being taught.
According to the National Home Education Research Institute, studies show that home-educated students typically score 15 to 30 percentile points above their public-school peers on standardized academic achievement tests. Their success in these and other areas as homeschooling has grown nationwide has drawn attention and inspired more families to choose this path.
“There are also more and more second generation homeschoolers starting,” Marshall said. “This should further increase the growth rate.”
He said one of the growing pains associated with NCHE is the logistical task of making sure everyone understands the state’s homeschooling laws.
“If they don’t understand the law, they may deviate from it and as a result, homeschooling may be legally challenged at some point,” he said.
Potential homeschool parents are encouraged to check out NCHE’s “How to Start Homeschooling in N.C.” at http://nche.com/how_to to make sure they are in compliance. Information is also available at http://www.ncdnpe.org/index.aspx