Thursday, June 30, 2005

Reconstructionism and Homeschooling

There's been interesting and diverse opinions about HSLDA/Patrick Henry College on our MI neighbor Spunky's blog. I just ran into this article about Reconstructionism and it includes some information about homeschooling. I want to quote the Chris Klicka portion specifically. Mr. Klicka is the HSLDA representative for Illinois the last I looked (on one of their E-lerts). (And I have NOT read all of this. Wish I could, wish I had, but bills to pay, kids to transport, 4-H Fair, etc. I do plan to read up on the links provided under Forced Homeschooling by the Reconstructionist Movement on Ann Zeise's site as I think it's an important issue.) Here's the section I referred earlier to:
Similarly, the Christian "home schooling" movement is part of the longterm revolutionary strategy of Reconstructionism. One of the principal home schooling curricula is provided by Reconstructionist Paul Lindstrom of Christian Liberty Academy (CLA) in Arlington Heights, Illinois. CLA claims that it serves about 20,000 families. Its 1994 curriculum included a book on "Biblical Economics" by Gary North. Home schooling advocate Christopher Klicka, who has been deeply influenced by R. J. Rushdoony, writes: "Sending our children to the public school violates nearly every Biblical principle. . . .It is tantamount to sending our children to be trained by the enemy." .
Pretty harsh. There are some people in the ps system who do impossible, some might say miraculous, educational feats for kids. Great mentors like my beloved high school coach or my biology teacher who helped me LOVE the Miracles of science. Many are even Christian. So why is Mr. Klicka judging their accomplishments despite the school system? I don't like the bureaucratic system most of our communities' children are locked into, but there are many individuals w/i that system that don't deserve the Enemy Trainers label. *Correction; none deserve that. There's nasty people in the ps system that do terrible things to kids and families, but I don't like his assertions.
More from the article
He [Klicka] claims that the public schools are Satan's choice.
Ummm...not nice. Satan (ps parents) chooses public school? Charming. There are book references regarding this quote. Don't have time to chase it down now as I do like to see the primary document for accuracy.More:
Klicka also advocates religious selfsegregation and advises Christians not to affiliate with non-Christian home schoolers in any way. "The differences I am talking about," declares Klicka, "have resulted in wars and martyrdom in the not too distant past." .
Maybe he's reading from a different Bible, but a couple of Jesus's messages come to mind. This one goes both ways, doesn't it?
If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
Another one that really sticks in my mind is the Parable of the Good Samaritan. I know there's many more as being Christian does not mean seclusion with the like-minded.And finally
According to Klicka, who is an attorney with the Home School Legal Defense Association, "as an organization, and as individuals, we are committed to promote the cause of Christ and His Kingdom."

Estimates of the number of home schooling families vary enormously. Conservatively, there are certainly over 100,000. Klicka estimates that 85-90 percent of home schoolers are doing so "based on their religious convictions." "In effect," he concludes, "these families are operating religious schools in their homes." A fringe movement no longer, Christian home schoolers are being actively recruited by the archconservative Hillsdale College.

For the record, Scott Somerville (HSLDA) responded to me in a NHEN discussion:
Susan, we have 2,522 active member families in IL. If there are 2,000,000 American homeschoolers, I would estimate IL has 90,000 (based on IL's share of the US population). If we say there are about 2 kids per average homeschool family, we would compute around 45,000 homeschool families in IL. This means HSLDA's membership in IL may be more like 5% of the total (5.6%, to be exact), not 15%.

That is based on the assumption that there are 2M homeschoolers. If there are only 850,000 homeschoolers (the Census Bureau's current estimate), HSLDA's segment of the IL homeschool population would be much larger: I calculate 12.9%, using the methods above.

HSLDA's share of the homeschool population in other states can be higher or lower. Kansas, for example, is a state where there have been a lot of random homeschool prosecutions, and HSLDA's membership there is pretty high. If I make the same assumptions in Kansas as I did for Illinois, I would compute a percentage somewhere between 17% (if there are 2M homeschoolers) and 40% (if there are only 850,000).

Scott W. Somerville, Esq.

(I think even that figure is a little overstated, but I'll still give him that for the following point.)
Do I want an organization such as HSLDA with the views of Mr. Klicka fronting for me with legislators and such when they admittedly only represent 5.6% of the Illinois homeschooling population?
No, I'm sorry. I don't.

Homeschool Legislation Watch
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