Why LDS Parents Should Homeschool

Dana Wood, a mother of 10 who has homeschooled since 1985, explains the many different reasons why Latter-day Saint parents should consider homeschooling their children. She addresses many different reasons such as public schools not being a safe environment, educational misinformation and God being taken out of public schools and thus public education.  Dana discusses how receiving false educational ideas at public schools can and does lead to a loss of testimony in later years.  Children who are taught from the perspective that all truth is one and comes from God will actually strengthen the testimony of our children.  She also talks about how we as parents are best suited to help our children develop their God-given talents and interests so they can magnify the individual missions that Heavenly Father has for them to do in this life. 

Dana also discusses the upcoming LDSHE conference and how it will benefit both new and seasoned homeschooling parents.

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15 Responses to Why LDS Parents Should Homeschool

  1. Amanda Gedeborg says:

    Thank you this was an extremely inspiring program. My husband and I decided to homeschool our children when we got married. I have been facing a time when my bucket is empty and I found this podcast uplifting and fulfilling. It spoke true to the things I knew in my heart and I am very thankful for it’s timing.

  2. andrew says:

    From what I understand the reason why seminary and institute was created is because church members wanted to be just like the world and bring in public education so the church leaders knowing how detrimental this would be sought to combat this. Thus the church educational system was created.

    • britton says:

      The church leaders actually tried to establish a complete education system and spoke boldly against “free” government schools. It was almost as big an issue with statehood of Utah as polygamy. The saints rejected them and the church system collapsed. The current system came shortly after as a “lesser law” and was still not popular for many years.

  3. Troy says:

    I don’t have any issue with parents who choose to homeschool their children. That is their choice and I wish them the best of luck and great success. However, as a faithful member of the church, father of four, and a public educator, I strongly support public education and have found great joy and satisfaction in pursuing this path. Having been a committed public educator in middle and high school for twelve years I can say that our public school system is good. Despite a handful of boneheaded teachers who have made some outrageous choices and the imperfection inherent in any earthly system, our schools act as a force of good for the nation. I have always and will continue to invite parents and the general public into my class to take the time to actually see what is happening. I am not writing this to start an argument or debate, but I want to make sure that people know there are many dedicated, righteous LDS members who are students, teachers, and administrators and who are progressing the work of the Lord through public education. Thank you for reading.

    • C Brown says:

      Troy,
      I do not disagree that there are many LDS educators doing their best while working from within the system, but I do disagree with the statement that the system is “good” or a “force for good” in our nation. The Mormon people as a whole openly rejected what the Lord’s prophets taught about education when they brought government schools into Utah (they were vehemently opposed to it). The principles of education have not changed, but just like the Samuel principle, the Prophets have had to allow us the consequences of our choices and work from there. I would suggest a thorough study of the principles of education that were taught, since none of the repeated, most basic principles I’ve been able to find are followed within the government-school system.

      • Troy says:

        Thank you for your response. I am very interested in these ‘principles’ of education you mention, would you elaborate a little more because I am not sure I know what you are referring to?

        I understand that you disagree with my assertion the system is good; however, I speak only from my personal experience and what I have seen has been good. I also understand the early Mormons lived in a very different social context then we do today. The majority of our schools are not filled with practicing LDS, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are not good. Without public schools vast swaths of our society would be denied a comprehensive education that would empower their lives. Again if a person desires to homeschool their children I have no issue with that; nonetheless, homeschooling is not likely to provide the education we need for ALL our citizens in an ever increasing connected (and unfortunately selfishly competitive) world. Again thank you for reading.

    • Roger Kartchner says:

      Troy, we understand that most of the teachers are good, honest individuals, but the problem is the curriculum….you don’t have control over the curriculum! The parents, in tandem with teachers, should be choosing the courses. Parents have been reduced to glorified party planners and teachers are simply parroting back information that is increasingly controlled at the federal level. A suggested website for you to peruse: John Taylor Gatto

      • Troy says:

        Ah to have parents help me choose and develop curriculum would be very welcome!! It is true that the state and federal levels do have core standards that are to be met, but have you looked at the core standards for Utah’s Social Studies curriculum? Is it the core itself that concerns you and, if so, why? Or is it specific standards within the core? If so, which ones and why?

        I teach 10th grade World Civ and 11th grade US History and personally find the state core to be skeletal at best. There is a lot of latitude for teachers to teach and for parents to assist, if they would. I am grateful that there are parents like you out there who are so committed to your child’s education you are willing to homeschool. Nonetheless, homeschooling isn’t a viable option for everyone or perhaps not even for most parents, hence my belief that a strong public education system is required for those who need it. Again, I reiterate the curriculum is much more loose than most people realize. Anyway, thanks for the web site, I’ll will definitely check it out. And as always thanks for reading.

  4. C Brown says:

    Troy,
    Thank you for keeping the discussion civil! I’ll gladly share what I’ve learned about this topic. While I keep my own list (that includes these and possibly others), there is a good compilation of quotes from general authorities on education found here: http://ldshomeschoolinginca.org/quotes.html Not a ONE says “go homeschool” and I don’t think that word is even mentioned if I remember it correctly. It is VERY LONG, so will take time to read through, but I would encourage that anyone who wants to know the Principles the Lord has set forth for education read through them with a prayerful heart. Look for the underlying principles. When you find them, ask yourself if they are being followed in “public” school. If not, then ask how you can best follow those principles as parents who are responsible for the upbringing of your children. We’d found homeschooling through a different route, but when we found those quotes it really helped us to understand the Lord’s take on it and give us a more firm foundation for why we had felt inspired to take this path (and btw, neither of us would have ever thought we’d homeschool). There are a couple of examples of principles that I can think of off the top of my head: scriptures being main text, not using tax funds, and children being taught by celestial kingdom-worthy teachers which is hard to distinguish from “if ye have not the spirit ye shall not teach”, and that you shouldn’t separate “religious” learning from “secular” learning because there is no distinction. Not everyone who wants to follow those principles has the option or ability to homeschool. Though I dare say, many feel they can’t only because they think they’d have to do “public” school at home –and homeschool is quite different, and you don’t have to be an expert in each area you simply have to make resources available. There are even private schools that (from what I can tell not having met teachers) appear to follow all of the above principles. Not everyone can afford that and people like me don’t live anywhere near them. True principles are unchanging, but we often have to seek personal revelation as to how to apply them…So how a family can best follow those principles isn’t the same across the board.

    As to it being “good”, I do have some specific responses…

    First, there are multiple quotes (generally in relation to freedom) that explain what a socialistic education system will do to a civilization and how that is inappropriate. Yes, people without financial means should have an education too, but just as with the principles of Welfare, it should not be accomplished through taxation but through charity that lifts both parties. I look around my community and it is tear-jerking to see all the support that is given to people who don’t have health insurance, lose homes to fire, etc…I know that if the government stayed out of it (protecting rights and not providing them) that we would be amazed at how much more we could accomplish and how much better it would work.

    One thought that touches me is that we are sending our children out into the world to be taught of the world before they reach the age of accountability. It is also frequently before they have a solid foundation in the gospel or even in the home. Here is a good article: http://www.latterdayconservative.com/ezra-taft-benson/a-plea-to-strengthen-our-families/ and President Benson shares points in “Propagation of Atheism”, “Responsibility of Parents”, as well as “False Educational Ideals” that apply to this topic. He stated if “X” happened, the US educational system would become the “most efficient and widespread instrument for the propagation of atheism which the world has ever seen.” I dare say, that indictment in General Conference is a pretty stern one. There is a reason half our youth are lost these days, and while I believe it comes from many fronts, this is one in which Satan has the advantage and doesn’t have to…

    There are people who teach and work within the system to try and help in whatever way they can. My “hat” goes off to them –I couldn’t do it. There are parents (especially single parents and those who truly need a 2nd income) that don’t have the ability to do anything else and have to work three times as hard to do their best as parents –I applaud them. I have a choice not to be in that situation, so I choose not to. There are good teachers, there are some benefits to the system as it stands, but the system itself is not what it should be and the benefits do not outweigh the costs, IMO.

  5. Erik says:

    @Troy,

    “Even if one were to grant that there are some public school systems that have succeeded, the moral status of a policy is not determined by its success or failure. One could more easily go on and on about the many failures of the public school system, and its role in creating a fundamentally anti-conceptual population, as opposed to talking about its successes.

    But let’s not fall into the same anti-conceptual trap — rather, the public school system is immoral because fundamentally education is a personal choice, either direct or delegated to parents in the case of children who are not yet capable of making that choice themselves.

    First, and most fundamentally, education must be a personal choice because the standard of morality is one’s life. If one is to live life to the best of one’s ability, one must be free to make one’s own decisions. There can be few fields in which this freedom to choose is more important than in education itself — the field in which one learns how to live life by gaining knowledge about reality, and developing the ability to reason in order to prosper in that reality.

    Secondly, the use of government force to extract value from some, in order to benefit others, is immoral regardless of the reason.

    Therefore public education in any form is fundamentally incompatible with government. Ayn Rand’s essay The Nature of Government, while not talking specifically about education, expands further on these ideas.”—(http://objectivistanswers.com/questions/2605/it-it-really-best-to-privatize-all-government-schools)

  6. Steve Wilson says:

    First and foremost why you should home:
    1 Because the Scriptures teach its the parents responsibility to do so.( I Nephi was taught in the learning of my father)
    2 David O McKay’s First Presidency Declared Communism and the Communist Manifesto as the Church of the Devil, the plan of opposition, and Satan as its the author, the worst thing ever to hit earth… and the Church is diametrically opposed to it. ( are you ) Go read the plan of the devil, one of his principals to over through the plan of agency ie. ( The United States Constitution,the republic)is to get control of public education. Satan seceded. PUBLIC EDUCATION IS THE CHURCH OF THE DEVIL’S……CHURCH EDUCATION SYSTEM. Why do you think the Brethren
    created the seminary and institute church education program? because parents have abdicated
    their parental rights to the state…Just a note..if you pay income taxes..(which is also in the Manifesto)..your paying tithing to the church of the devil…Your a trader to your Temple Covenants..and the Faith… a trader to the constitution. But don’t take it to personally because you were born into slavery and its hard to see your slavery. The Constitution died in 1933 June 5th with signing of H.J.R 192. The Constitution( the de jsure government) was actually set aside and put on a shelf and replaced by the communist government( the de facto government)( U.S. Corporation)
    We Home schooled. wasn’t easy, Now my kid are home schooling. Also for your information i don’t pay income taxes and my bishop stared yelling at me in front of my boys and the way home from gen conf.(priesthood session in SLC UT)Bishop just lost it. Because my Boy’s who were raised on the Constitution started a conversation on how the brethren talks were on the constitution etc..then my bishop realized i didn’t pay income taxes. he threatened me with excommunication . Any way he and the stake president tried to excommunicate me. I never had a bishops court because they went to the First Presidency on how to excommunicate me for my sin against the church of the devil. and the First Presidency told them” you can’t excommunicate him and leave him a lone” …they were mad. the brethren didn’t educate them as to why they couldn’t x me just told them to back off. My bishop wouldn’t leave me alone then his wife started getting involved in persecuting my family. I didn’t care cause i can take it, in fact it was kinda fun to see them get stupid. But my kids were getting angry their testimony were still to young my wife was stressing out
    so we were forced to move. What do you do? When 90 plus % of the church( can only speak for the American Saints) Loves the plan of the devil. The moral of the story is the brethren will back you up..what if the brethren started excommunicating those who pay the income tax? we wouldn’t have a church left….LOL

  7. Reba says:

    Troy, I am thrilled that there are concerned parents/citizens/teachers like yourself. I am sure that you make a tremendous difference in your community, and a positive difference in the lives of your students. I am absolutely positive that you are just one of the majority of teachers and administrators who work tirelessly to bring the best possible education to the children in this country. You are absolutely right–not every family can homeschool their children–even many families who are LDS. Homeschooling can take a tremendous emotional and financial toll on a family, and not every family is stable enough to endure its stresses. As a result, members of the church should do all they can to support and uplift their local schools.

    Despite the dedication of the teachers, however, they can not do very much to wage an effective war against the poisonous culture that almost every public school is infused with. I feel that more LDS families should be aware of the poisonous effects of the culture at school, and do a better job combating it in the home. I have noticed that most families don’t even feel that their children’s behavior is a problem–they look around them and see that all the other kids behave in the same way. However, when you home school your children, you begin to notice by about fourth grade (and sadly, sometimes as early as second grade) that your children are very different than the other children at church.

    These are a few of the things I have noticed about public-school students. These descriptions apply to a large percentage of LDS public schooled children I have encountered. I have worked in primary exclusively for nine years in four different states, in several different economic strata, and feel that my sample is fairly representative of the church at large. Also, we have traveled a great deal, and I have lived in over 20 wards in my life time. The few exceptions are children whose parents make a HUGE effort in the home to teach and counter the culture. I would be happy to give an abundance of specific examples, but I have a large family and can’t spend all of my time responding to interesting articles I read on the internet. Please understand that I love children, I love serving them, and don’t mean to sound here as though I don’t think they are awesome children of God. I see these symptoms simply as a result of living in the last days, and an effect of the culture promoted by the public school system.

    1) They have an obsession with sex.
    2) They are very aggressive.
    3) They are hyper-obsessed with how they appear to others.
    4) They usually choose to treat others based on what they wear or how “cool” they are.
    5) They have a difficult time figuring things out on their own–they want to be told the answers.
    6) No one wants to be caught actually paying attention in class–that isn’t cool (Sunday School level usually, or in Primary–usually worse in wealthier wards–beginning around age 10).
    7) They have trouble reading, especially the scriptures.
    8) They are often unkind.
    9) They haven’t been exposed to good literature.
    10) They haven’t been exposed to good music.

    So, let us go forth and combat the culture, if we can!

  8. Edward says:

    Here is an interview with an LDS mother of 8 who homeschools! Quite informative: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGYh9KRB9LM

  9. Brian says:

    Troy, you have been a good sport. Someone said thank you staying civil. I agree. From my homeschool perspective those who cannot see these principles seem so obtuse and brai washed. And I become so impatient and over bearing. And yet I was raised in the state schools. I didn’t know these things until I was taught them. I could be a bit more patient

  10. Mark says:

    I went through the public school system and here is my perspective after years away from it and one of the few left with an unquenchable thirst to learn.

    * Public school the place where you are supposed to learn but learning is unpopular.
    * Place where social classes are taught and enforced by peers and the system. That latter part of the pride cycle that precedes strong compelling reasons to be humble or destruction.
    * Place where very few leave believing in Genesis or Moses version of creation.
    * Psychologically dependent on a teacher or other certified person. Need a teacher to tell them what to study and learn. Whats true an whats false. This makes it easy for the opposition to manipulate and control the people.
    * Most people come out not able to learn on their own. Need someone telling them what to do and what to learn.
    * Many come away hating to learn they had little freedom to choose something they like to learn.
    * Public school a form a social engineering. Its quite effective in schools.
    * How many people in public school know that the Founders didn’t want America to be a democracy. They understood it and were opposed to it. They wisely created a government limited by law (Constitution) this is called a Republic. ‘And to the Republic for which it stands’ Most don’t even know what that means even when they say it every day. Democracy representative government where popular vote anything goes for popular vote. This form of government oppresses the minorities and commits financial suicide. Spends itself out of existence as the people realize they can vote for free benefits and unlimited programs.
    * History is usually taught not to favor the truth but to favor a particular political belief and leaves out many great examples of great people whose belief in God helped them make a difference in the world for good.
    * Question after the revolutionary war who was the first President hint it wasn’t George Washington unless the question is changed a bit or an assumption is made.
    * “Abraham Lincoln” did you know he threw 30,000 people in Prison including people from Congress, New Paper businesses and other Americans that opposed the war. He trampled on the rights of the people guaranteed by the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
    * What about the Pilgrims watch Kirk Cameron’s documentary “Monumental” to get a better appreciation for their real life struggles. Cleon Skousen has far better history books than my school ever had.
    * What about school shootings and school violence. Fights are popular people run to go watch them before the teacher arrives. Is that a good social environment?
    * Most kids come out of the public school system without any idea of the proper role of government that Ezra Taft Benson has described. Youtube: Proper role of government. Our representative including many LDS government representatives don’t know Ezra Taft Bensons “proper role of government” and therefore they support many laws which sound good but are designed by the opposition to take away ‘agency.’ Wait a second that is Satan’s original plan.

    I went to one Stake Conference a few years ago they asked what are the biggest challenges your kids face. Every answer had something to do with public school. So why when they are young and impressionable would we send our kids there unless we have no other choice?

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