Part of the series The Problem
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2016-04-11.
Leadership requires a goal bigger than one’s survival.
We are generally all ignorant of what is actually happening around us. This ignorance can either be perpetuated and capitalized upon or fixed to empower the masses. It is time to enlighten home educators who have generally been kept in the dark respecting what is occurring within their community. (Ephesians 4: 11-16)
Bible Reference: Romans 12:2
It is pretty well a given that human institutions start with good reason and purpose. It seems that as long as the original founders are active, they are able to remind others of the initial objectives, but once the institution starts to move into its second generation, the collective memory starts to fade, remembering less about “why” it was created and focussing more on “how” it is to survive. Sometimes, the “how” eclipses the “why” in importance and it metamorphoses into something entirely different from the original.
Once again, it is important for me to reiterate that my purpose is to expose issues that go largely unnoticed, not to sweep everything with the same brush of negative judgements. Before we begin our discussion of home education organizations, there are a few characteristics about institutions that must first be clarified.
To start, it is important to understand that institutions are constructs of man and not God. They may appear to be the same as jurisdictions created by God, such as man’s government as opposed to God’s government, but these similarities are only superficial. Another thing about institutions is that they are mostly ruled by committee, referred to as a board, usually made up of well meaning, if not misinformed and inexperienced volunteers desiring to serve their fellow man, but occasionally also by individuals wanting to advance more self-serving causes. Either way, it is important to understand that institutions are constructed by man and led by his appointed, as opposed to jurisdictions which are constructed by God and led by His anointed.
Home education organizations can be national, provincial or local, such as home education support groups. Everyone of these levels have important parts to play within the home education community. However, in keeping with the natural tendency to lose sight of original objectives, any of these organizations may become something that was not intended in the first place. Assuming the original objective to be to advance, protect and defend parental freedom in education with an emphasis on educating children at home in keeping with a Christian world view, one has to question if home education organizations may not have lost some of their original reason for being.
If a home education organization advances questionable objectives, such as how to measure students by the world’s standards; or how to outperform the world’s schools; or that we should strive for worldly recognition or values in employment and position; or to have the biggest or best convention; or to become an arm of a particular home education provider or some other cause leading people away from truth and faith in God, does it truly have Christian home education at heart or has the objective become more a matter of maintaining or increasing membership towards survival?
As home education organizations at any level adopt faulty premises, leading to wrong objectives, do they not also lose their usefulness? If belonging to a club is contingent on being alike rather than like-minded, is it not essentially doing what the schools we are trying to escape are doing? Each level of home education organization has unwittingly created barriers to those who do not subscribe to their way of thinking. They may not beat up opponents, but are not above ignoring them or “blacklisting” them as potentially dangerous to the cause, which is usually self-preservation by the time it gets to this point. Not to worry, though. If you are one who does not ask potentially embarrassing questions, pay your dues and adopt what the leadership advises, you should be okay. However, if you are one who believes the organization is headed in the wrong direction and if you are not bashful about saying so, you could find yourself being viewed as an enemy of the very institution originally created by people who thought as you do. Such is the nature of institutions, whether they subscribe to a Christian world view or not. If these organizations put themselves in positions of leadership, perhaps it is time we ask how and where they intend to lead us!