How Are the Children? COVID-19 and Kids at Home

Paul Dean
Paul Dean

According to Gallup

Interesting: “Children may be benefiting from the stay-at-home orders many states have in place during the coronavirus outbreak in the United States. According to a Gallup poll, a large majority of children report ‘enjoyment” and “happiness’ while spending their days with their families.” On the one hand, it’s surprising we’d hear positive news concerning the benefits of homeschooling. On the other hand, its fits into the “go home and stay home, we’re all in this together” Orwellian narrative.

Massive Benefits

Of course, there are very real benefits to homeschooling. You fulfill your responsibility to train your own children; you wrest their minds from control of the State; you foster and maintain a better relationship with your children; you can spur creativity; you can teach them to think independently; you can take time to develop latent educational interests and aspirations that might not have been brought to the fore; and so much more. More importantly, you can teach them a biblical worldview in every aspect of their education and thereby demonstrate its comprehensive nature. You make them far more useful for the kingdom. And of utmost significance, while God is sovereign in the salvation of your children, your efforts are the most likely thing God will use to bring them to Himself. Statistically, 70% to 90% of children raised in church and public/private school walk away from Christ when they hit college. It’s also true that the same percentage of Christian homeschoolers do not. In fact, close to 90% of millennial graduates say they are very strong in terms of their faith commitment to Christ.

A Change is Gonna Come

An educational sea-change is coming in the aftermath of COVID-19. Many students at the university level will opt for online education which will drive tuition rates down and force numerous schools to scale back and as many others to close completely. At the primary level, an increasing number of non-Christian families have already opted for homeschooling. Some are driven by academic considerations while others are fearful in the aftermath of school shootings. The fear-factor of COVID-19 will drive many more to pull out of government as well as private schools.

Whenever governments manipulate crises there are always unintended consequences. The vast majority of those are negative and harmful to the people. In this case, it may be that more and more people learn to think independent of the State’s curriculum. When that happens, the population is harder to control. The willingness of the vast majority of Americans to accept the State’s Coronavirus narrative and the trampling of the hard-won and God-given freedoms we have is owing to government education. We can only pray that escape from that subtle tyranny is part of what God is doing in His grace. Not only will it be a boon for human flourishing, it may be a prelude to revival. That’s something for which we can pray as well.

Biblical Wisdom

There’s a reason God gives this instruction: “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deut. 6:6-9). It’s the underlying assumption of the proverbial truism: “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). Neither of these texts is talking about Sunday School.

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Originally published April 10, 2020.