CHURCH BASED HOMESCHOOL LEARNING CENTERS
Thoughts from Dr. Adam Rondeau and Homer Allen
The number of children being homeschooled has tripled over the course of the past two years during the pandemic. Also, recent studies have shown that nearly 40% of families with children ages 5 to 17 are considering joining the homeschooling ranks. Numerous ongoing reasons can be cited for this unprecedented shift, but many parents state that the underlying cause is their lack of trust in the public schools. This is an historic change.
In January, 2022, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute reported the results of an extensive study focused on K-12 public schools in the U.S. In their report they state: “Parents who have the means and motivation have already made other plans to permanently leave the public schools. Those who lack resources can’t and won’t. The data suggest significant numbers of students have already slipped through the cracks, ending whatever tenuous relationship they had with formal education.”
In short, many parents no longer want their children in public schools. But these same parents cannot afford a private school; nor can they afford to quit their jobs to teach their children from home.
This most certainly is a Kairos moment for Christians and for the church to pray and seek the Lord for new, innovative models to help parents “train up a child in the way they should go.” If we, as Christians do nothing, we may lose the hearts and minds of a generation of children. Perhaps Dr. James Dobson put it best decades ago when he often said, “We are in a civil war of values, and to the victor go the spoils, which are our children and grandchildren.”
Churches of various denominations are part of the landscape of every American city, suburb, town or rural area. And, these churches can be potential “Learning Center” sites for children in their community to grow their Christ centered faith and academic abilities by allowing them to be used for Christian education endeavors throughout the week. The education that a child receives is their discipleship for life and the church can fulfill the great commission by supporting families in this endeavor.
There are many Christian homeschool curriculums available to parents and organizations seeking educational materials and resources. However, who might help families that desire to pull their children out of the public schools, but do not have the knowledge or funds to create a viable educational co-op or homeschool alternative?
The newly established Massachusetts ministry, A Firm Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit Christ centered organization that exists to help churches and families interested in practical Christian education options get started. They offer FREE information designed to guide people considering homeschooling through the many options and programs available. They are knowledgeable of the growing network of organizations and ministries, such as the Home School Legal Defense Association, that can help you walk through some required steps.
They can help you: Realize the potential of your facilities, work through the logistics of hosting such a program, and establish a Christ-centered framework for the learning that takes place in your facilities.
Psalm 127:3 says: “Children are a gift from God, the fruit of the womb is His reward.” Perhaps now is the time for churches in a community to come together and protect this gift that God has given us! Perhaps now is the time to stand in the gap and rescue the hearts and minds of our children.