Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. – Charles Caleb Colton

My husband and I recently visited some close family friends, Peter and Lauren, and their boy, James. When we entered their backyard, we saw Peter’s carpentry workstation. The bench had saws, hammers and large mechanical tools with which to cut wood.

‘Does your boy like ‘helping’ you here?’ we asked. Pete enthusiastically replied in the affirmative, saying, ‘When I’m making my tables and hammering something, James gets his little hammer and starts doing the same thing.’

It was blatantly obvious Peter enjoyed his son’s company as much as his son enjoyed Pete’s company. If you saw them, you could hardly imagine a happier boy.

What we saw in Pete’s place is typical of many homeschooling parents. A homeschooling parent’s skill is usually passed to the next generation because a homeschool education has a big influence on a child’s attitude towards their parent and the child’s choice to follow in their parent’s footsteps.

The Gen2 study found that a homeschooling education meant children were more likely to follow their parent’s beliefs compared to public, private or Christian schoolchildren. They also found school had an adverse effect on schoolchildren’s

  • satisfaction with adult life,
  • Christian beliefs as an adult
  • And amount a child would follow in their parent’s footsteps

Homeschoolers follow their parents more because they are exposed to parent’s views and become persuaded by their beliefs. Homeschooling parents also have more time to explain why they do or think a certain thing. These explanations are critical to ensure children follow their parents, as children learn by seeing and hearing their parent’s examples.

If a homeschooler grows up in a God-fearing family that lives out moral, unadulterated lives, they will probably grow into strong Christians like their parents. But, if children are homeschooled in an exclusive cult church, it’s probable children will be brainwashed with cult theory and learn to exclude others who think differently.

This cult theory indoctrination was clear in an episode of the TV show, Wife-Swap USA. In this episode, a ‘Wiccan High Priestess’, with two homeschooled children, swapped lives for two weeks with a traditional ‘Christian’ housewife who sent her child to mainstream school.

Bella Thompson (bedaubed the Wiccan High Priestess) was worshiped by her husband, family and a solid loyal following of other Wiccan folk. In this matriarchal household, Bella’s children were homeschooled in the ways of witchcraft. Their education included making brooms and going on imaginary broom rides to foreign countries. The children’s sole curriculum was learning the ways of Bella (science, history, mathematics didn’t get a mention).

Apart from questionable moral and psychological practices being attempted in Bella’s household, this case study clearly shows the lack of social engagement Bella’s children experienced. It seems children raised in homes teaching only witchcraft will have few useful skills as an adult. From what the television series showed, Bella’s children might be so psychologically stunted that they’re unable to have a career or go to university after they leave home.

It appears homeschools are great places for good families to teach their children how to follow in the parents footsteps. But, homeschools can also be places that are a melting pot for all sorts of strange ideas and theories.

Sources

Brian Ray ‘Gen2 Survey’ (2015) Generations with Vision .

‘Wife swap’ Season 2. Episode 20 (Thompson:Askam) .

When considering the term ‘homeschooling’, it’s important to note that careless families who claim to homeschool, but instead release their children to the world while they drink or smoke their lives away, are not worthy to be called homeschooling parents. Such ‘education’ is not schooling, but unparenting.

Rebbecca Devitt grew up in a Christian homeschool family of five and went to church in a Christian homeschool group. She feels overwhelmingly blessed by her parents, who pulled her out of school in Year 2 (after three years in school) to homeschool. Rebbecca hopes to share the joys of homeschooling with others. The author enjoys being a keen advocate of homeschooling in Australia and lobbies state and federal governments on this topic. Rebbecca married Tristan Devitt in 2013 and has one rabbit, Chester, who live on her balcony. She has two brothers, Joshua and Neville, who are married to Nikki and Esther. Also, Rebbecca has many ‘cousins’ from her homeschool group. Rebbecca works as an Enrolled Nurse in a Dementia specific residential hostel. She’s studied a degree in the Medical Sciences, along with one year of Medical School. But, writing has stolen her heart because writing means she is able to spread the news about homeschooling. Most importantly, Rebbecca remains committed to studying the Word of God and tries to immerse herself in it regularly, finding Biblical reasons for all she does, such as homeschooling.