Homeschooling has been somewhat popular among conservative Christians over the last few decades. But now, more and more parents are considering homeschooling since the COVID-19 outbreak began in the U.S. Of course, almost every child has had to do school from home since classes have been moved online due to quarantines. But will the homeschooling trend keep growing even after public schools open up again?
Retired Lt. Col. Ray Moore, founder of Exodus Mandate, has been involved in the homeschooling community since the 1970s when he took his own son out of public school. While the public schools back then were bad, they're even worse now. With COVID-19 forcing many children to do school from home, Moore believes we are experiencing a "kairos moment."
"That word [kairos] describes a very special moment," Moore tells me on my podcast. "It's probably a once-in-100-years event for Christian education. So right now we have 55 million—that's an estimate of new homeschoolers in America. And it's 1.37 billion worldwide. So this isn't just an American thing. It's a worldwide thing."
And it's actually an answer to prayer. Moore says he and his wife have been praying for growth in the homeschool movement for decades. When they started homeschooling in 1977, they were somewhat pioneers in the movement. When he and his wife started Exodus Mandate in 1997, they felt called by God to lead people out of public schools and into Christian instruction at home.
Now it seems like that may be happening on a larger scale—and the timing appears to be God's handiwork. If the coronavirus had hit in the 1980s, there would not have been enough of an infrastructure in the homeschool movement to accommodate all the additional children schooling from home. But now that many homeschooling ministries, publishing houses and nonprofits are in place, there's much more support for families just beginning to homeschool now.
"I don't want to say that I'm happy about the coronavirus, because it's causing health issues and a lot of people are losing their lives," Moore says. "But God will often work in a tragedy. And there's a silver lining in this dark cloud that's over the culture right now."
It doesn't make the transition to homeschooling necessarily easy, though, Moore points out. It's a difficult thing to go from public schooling to homeschooling, and it does require more effort on the parents' part. After all, the concept of homeschooling carries the implication that one of the parents will be home with the child to teach them. But even for busy parents, homeschooling is not impossible.
"There are many things you can do to satisfy that need," Moore says. "... Online education now is so strong, and many children can do it. Grandparents can help. You can have co-ops. My sister is homeschooling her four grandchildren right now because the mother has to work."
And above all, prayer is the most effective tool in transitioning to homeschooling. No matter how dire your situation is, when you pray, God hears you and will answer. Make sure you listen to my interview with Moore to hear more incredible ways God is moving through the homeschool movement right now.
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