A few days ago, I woke up to the news that Ken Ham, President of Answers in Genesis, has been "disinvited" to speak at two major homeschool conventions this year. Now, I, for one, think this is a good thing. I happen to be an old-earth creationist and I think the pseudo-science and biblical literalism he's peddling is nothing short of ridiculous. But, unfortunately, the content of his message is not the reason why he was disinvited. I'm still trying to get to the bottom of what this is all about, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't kicked out for believing the earth is 6,000 years old.
So often I feel all alone out here in old-earth world. Its funny: some days I think to myself "does anybody still believe the earth is young?" and I'm totally shocked that anybody does. And some days, like today, I very much feel in the minority, which I don't mind. My fidelity is to truth, not to being popular.
But just try buying science curriculum from Rainbow that does NOT espouse young earth creationism. It can be done and there are some excellent resources out there. But its slow going. Much like the creation of the earth, har har.
Homeschool conventions are being taken over by neo-Calvinistic historical revisionists like Doug Phillips and Kevin Swanson. Very. scary. I can honestly say that I will never attend a one where either of those men (or Voddie Baucham or any member of the Botkin family) is a keynote speaker. Young Earth Creationists I can mostly deal with... but these patriocentric types... yeah, suffice it to say that putting me in a room with Doug Phillips would not be a pretty picture.
Being compared to a godless pagan guilty of committing child sacrifice sure didn't help his image in my eyes..
Yeah, I'm still working on that forgiveness thing. (I'm just being sarcastic.... I really AM working on that forgiveness thing).
The agenda these people peddle is dangerous- it is dangerous to families, to homeschooling, to our country and to the people of God. They create a problem, twist the Scriptures, make a video and sell you the solution for $29.99 plus shipping.
And yet, they seem to be the "future" of homeschooling. People are believing the false utopian images they are selling and it breaks my heart. It angers me to see them identified as Reformed Christians (when they most certainly are NOT- you can't be Reformed and be a baptist. Calvin would've had you thrown out of Geneva. Its okay. Accept it. There are other ways to pretend your beliefs and traditions are tied to history). It angers me to see the devastation that patriocentricity inflicts on families. It angers me to see so many people falling for it.
So, obviously, these are not my kind of homeschoolers.
But hey, after all, I'm Orthodox. And there are some great resources out there for Orthodox homeschoolers.
I'm definitely in the minority. I am my own kind of homeschooler. The beauty about homeschooling is that doing what works for your family is exactly the point! I teach my children about the Feasts and Fasts and the Saints. We memorize Scripture from the Divine Liturgy. We get to church as often as possible. We read a lot of living books. We use workbooks and teach concept-based math. (Hey, Singapore is #1 in the world for a reason!!). We "do school" almost every day, but we are very flexible. We teach our children that nature doesn't lie to us because God is the Creator of nature and has revealed Himself to us in nature as well as in the Bible and Holy Tradition. We teach them weird stuff like tolerance and social justice. We use a public charter school to fund our curriculum and activities. We teach them to pray and to have compassion and not to judge others.
And that's what works for us.
I'm not terribly concerned about fitting in. The homeschooling movement as a whole has no interest for me. As long as it stays legal in California, Doug Phillips can peddle his products and the Botkins can preach about the wonders of spanking all they want. Thankfully, I don't have to listen.