Kevin Swanson is one of my favorite speakers to listen to. Him, Mr. Phillips, and Pastor Voddie. I love Mr. Washer, but his shouting makes it hard for me to listen to him. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something different when Mr. Washer shouts than when Mr. Swanson or Mr. Phillips do. It’s not content, it’s not passion. All of these men are passionate about what they speak about.
At the Sufficiency of Scripture conference, Mr. Swanson spoke at the morning Key Note on Saturday. His topic? Education. Mr. Swanson was homeschooled and is homeschooled. He started off with 10 reasons why the Swansons homeschool. They were amusing, but true.
10. We don’t have to ask the school district for breaks to go hunting in the middle of October.
9. We can pray all day long (fulfilling ‘pray without ceasing.’)
8. We can teach Leviticus 26:13 as part of our high school curriculum.
7. Our children can be in 4 grade levels at the same time. (He demonstrated this with
Stranger: “What grade are you in?”
Son: “Uhhh… I’m ten.”
Mr. Swanson: “It’s alright, he’s doing Algebra 2.”
6. We just prefer pajamas to uniforms.
5. I can have a high school class reunion anytime. There. Just had one now.
4. We never miss the (jail) bus.
3. You can bring guns to school if you want to.
2. There’s always someone home to take out the trash.
1. The school staff is totally in love with each other and the students love it when they make out in front of the class.
Mr. Swanson then launched into a true story from 1844 – the Supreme Court, yes you heard that right, the SUPREME COURT argued AGAINST public schools because the U.S. is a Christian country and the Bible is infallible.
Those ideas have changed, and we are where we are today because the new ideas are transmitted in school, not Church. Ideas have consequences. Marxists desired to destroy Church and family, because they understood this. Marxists understand the battle we’re in better than Christians, and they fight it well!
What Christians have done is taken formal education and put it higher than teaching character and the fear of the LORD. Mr. Swanson challenged us to put formal education on the back burner and teach what is really important.
There’s a whole book in the Bible dedicated to education. What is it? Proverbs. It’s dedicated to the education of character.
Mr. Swanson demonstrated the way the study of Character plays out in education. His son once was doing terribly at math. Mr. Swanson told his son that if he got below 85% on a math test, he had to do the whole chapter again. After the next chapter, the son got 72%. Not exactly 85%. So Mr. Swanson made his son do it again. At this point, the son started crying. (To us, Mr. Swanson asked – now what does the word ’emotion’ have to do with math?). Mr Swanson told his son, “I’m not teaching you math, I’m teaching you character and just using math to do it.”
Character is the walls and foundation of the house. Academics is the wall paper – you don’t and can’t put wallpaper on nonexistant walls (that’s like teaching in the public schools).
The public schools (Mr. Swanson speaks with authority in this area, he taught in one), teach grammar as an island. You learn grammar away from life. We need to teach grammar as it applies to life. Don’t teach grammar, teach letter-writing and they’ll learn grammar with that.
But even character is not the greatest thing to learn. The most important thing to teach your children is the fear of God. Everything in school should cause us to worship God.
Job – God did it all. He ought to be worshiped!
Fossils? Many came from the flood – which was judgment! Fear God!
History? God’s plan. Fear Him!
Science? Can you do that? No. God can. Worship Him!
Literature? Give them the literature of the city of God! Bunyan, Calvin, Rushdoony…
The problem with America is that we have separated the fear of God and chemistry. We should be on our knees worshiping because we study chemistry!
The fear of God keeps us from pride because we realize these are the mysteries of God!
We have abandoned the fear of God, and it is destroying us!
Our motivation for schooling should be the character of the child not a good job – which brings a lot of money, so your kids can have good education, so they get a good job… repeats, but with no eternal meaning. We’re fitting our children for the city of man, not the city of God. The city of man always falls, because it is based in education, not discipleship, character, and the fear of God.
The gospel is the death and resurrection of Christ. This should bring us to our knees. Love and fear meet at the cross. The ark makes no sense but for the dead bodies floating around outside. Why have the ark unless there’s something terrible outside? Why have the cross unless for judgment?
Our passion: we need more of the fear of God in the way we educate our children.
Mr. Swanson’s talk was my favorite Key note, no question about it. And it’s not only challenged my own ideas of how I’ll educate my own children (Lord willing), but the way I’m educating myself. I stopped myself today, during literature. I wasn’t doing an exercise very thoroughly. I reminded myself “Character.” And fixed it. Biology has caused me to worship many times already, and Dr. Wile does a beautiful job incorporating the fear of God into the course.
This is what we need more of in America – the fear of God and character. Pray for the men who are seeking to do this.
Bail O Dia Ort,