published Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Tulis: Homeschoolers and liberty

David Tulis

If there is life in the educational field, it is in the marketplace. Where liberty exists among consumers of educational services, the market stands in all its human genius.

The homeschool curriculum fair set for this week at Camp Jordan Arena suggests the power of the free market to serve a sector of local economy. Education in the home is a growing phenomenon in Southeast Tennessee as more parents take their children back from the public school.

Moms and dads not only see the problems of institutional schooling, but seek the freedom to instill grace and the Christian worldview. Many individuals on staff in the state system may be Christians. But the official atheism of the party line -- its pragmatism, its zesty materialism, its denial of Genesis 1:1 and its creation account -- is a moral and intellectual acid for children.

"Our goal is to supply families with the best materials available to support them in their endeavor to educate their children in the manner that God has called them," says Jan Bontekoe, expo coordinator.

"One of the things that encourages me is that the majority of our exhibitors are homeschool families themselves, and they have developed family businesses that serve the purpose of supporting our homeschooling endeavors and provide support for their families."

The home education expo is Friday and Saturday. It features 80 exhibitors and 65 workshops. Details are available at

The moms and dads who stop by the Chattanooga Southeast Tennessee Home Education Association table take a personal interest in the spiritual and intellectual welfare of their children and are full of questions about what to do. Many of the moms I talk to have children too young to be in school -- the tykes are napping in a stroller as we chat. Veteran homeschool moms often have to tug against youthful zeal by suggesting a new mom not start too early with formal teaching.

The public school system instructs parents to be just the opposite -- to be largely indifferent to educational questions and duty. After all, state-licensed experts have care of their children. And one can't change the system. Building a misplaced trust in experts, the taxpayer-subsidized system makes parents heedless of cost and content. They don't have to pay; so they don't have to worry.

Home educators are part of the great American tradition of self-help. They resource their own decisions rather than rely on those of bureaucrats at the Department of Education in Nashville. The home education expo is an ideal resource for people whose children, or grandchildren, remain in the school system.

"We try to select a wide variety [of exhibitors] to meet as many different styles and educational philosophies as possible," Mrs. Bontekoe says. "I try to find something for the literature-based moms all the way to the curriculum-in-a-box moms."

In this way free markets are supple, elastic. Human beings create demand across a wide spectrum. Meanwhile, others of like mind create solutions and service.

David Tulis writes for, which covers local economy and free markets. He is editor of the homeschooling newsletter, Esprit.

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daytonsdarwin said...

I support home schooling. But basing a child's education in science and knowledge on the Bible is like basing dentistry on the Tooth Fairy.

While looking through the curriculum I didn't see some of the Christian Re-Constructionist's favorite study guides.

"Stoning- Choosing the Best Young Earth Rocks"

"Fossils--God's Big Joke"

"What Every Parent Should Know about Demons, Witches, and Talking Serpents"—How to Beat Satan Out of Your Child" (with full-color illustrations)

"God's Little Anatomy Book Without Lucifer's Naughty Bits" (absolutely no pictures)

"How to Show God's Mercy and Love—A Positive Look at the Spanish Inquisition and How to Torture Unclean Animals and Heretics" (ages 2-8)

" The Lord Loves a Cheerful Giver—Why Pastor Needs a Mercedes and a Jet to Spread the Good Word to the Poor"

I'm sure these will be available at the expo.

July 18, 2012 at 7:53 a.m.
librul said...

And for homeskool graduate students, there's a treatise on "Why Christian Zionism?" and "What Jews think of the Bible".

July 18, 2012 at 9:19 a.m.
lkeithlu said...

its denial of Genesis 1:1 and its creation account

Because the physical evidence does not support your mythology? Homeschooling is great, unless you substitute garbage for real science and revisionism for real history.

July 20, 2012 at 3:52 a.m.
daytonsdarwin said...

One of the heroes of so-called "Christian Homeschooling" is R. J. Rushdoony.

Here's some information about him and Christian Re-constructionism.

While I don't agree with every conclusion of the author, she does accurately present the facts of Rushdoony and his theocratic band of "Jehovah's Sadistic Warriors."

July 20, 2012 at 11:26 a.m.
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