Creationism, home schooling, and falling away from the Christian faith
Warning: the following statement is anecdotal and not the result of any sort of formal research: Christian kids who are home schooled all the way from pre-school through high school are only about fifty percent likely to retain their Christian faith once they finish high school.
As I said, this “statistic” is not the result of a survey. Of the dozen or so kids I know who were home schooled K-12, roughly half of them still consider themselves to be Christians.
I know, that is a very small sample size. I would be interested in seeing some real numbers based on careful research.
All of these children were raised using young-Earth creationist materials. For their science curricula they used Bob Jones, Abeka, Apologia, or other young-Earth curricula. They watched AIG, ICR, and Dr. Dino videos. And despite this heavy dose of “creation apologetics,” they wandered from the faith. This is heartbreaking for the parents, of course, who have poured their lives into their children, with very mixed results.
The publishers of young-Earth curricula present glowing testimonies from families’ success stories. Billy and Suzy used Curriculum X and Billy got a 99th percentile on the ACT science portion and Suzy has been accepted to an Ivy League medical school.
The parents who somehow “failed” in their home schooling, on the other hand, are likely to keep to themselves and wonder what they did wrong.
I know that this is a complex issue, but perhaps part of the problem is with the science curricula. If young Earth creationism doesn’t work scientifically (and it doesn’t), then we are giving our youth a poor foundation for their faith. If it isn’t necessary Biblically (and it isn’t), then we are telling them that the Bible’s trustworthiness hinges on something that isn’t required by a careful reading of the text. The results in the lives of our children, whether they get their creationism from a home school, a Christian school, or from Sunday school, is tragic.
May God in his grace draw these dear children to himself.
Grace and Peace
P.S. I write this with great respect for many, many home schoolers. We home schooled through fourth grade with some of our children, and I appreciate the dedication I see in home school families. This is not an attack on home schooling. I do question the dominance of young-Earth creationism in the Christian home school community.