This past weekend I spent a day and a half representing the Chalcedon Foundation at our local homeschool convention. This year the overall attendance was less than last year, which was down from the year before. Many long-term attendees were saddened by this fact. Some attributed the smaller numbers to the economy. Others felt it had to do with many homeschoolers casting their lots with public school independent study programs that lured them with cash-in-hand for music, swimming, or horseback riding lessons. Still others felt that prospective homeschoolers were concerned that the political climate would soon turn nasty toward those who homeschool.
Although the numbers may have been less, the dedication and resolve of those I spoke with are as strong as ever. It was encouraging to see how many fathers were actively participating in curriculum decisions. (Years ago, moms carried most of the weight.) I had wonderful conversations about biblical law, the need for a Christian curriculum, and the new Chalcedon Teacher Training Institute for homeschool moms.
Many other exhibitors came to our booth thanking us for our presence, as we were one of the few booths that provided material that would equip parents to be better teachers. One of the featured speakers and Chalcedon’s good friend, Israel Wayne, expressed gratitude for our presence as he gladly picked up a copy of the newly released Sermon on the Mount. He also brought attendees from one of his sessions to our table to purchase Mathematics: Is God Silent? saying “This is the book I was telling you about. It will explode your mind – in a good way!”
For many , this was their first introduction to Rushdoony’s materials. Many homeschool dads commented, “This man wrote on just about every subject, didn’t he?” One woman who had purchased The Messianic Character of American Education last year told me, “You were so right about that book. What an eye-opener.”
So the number of attendees may have been down, but a small army is awakening – awakening to the fact that homeschooling is not an end unto itself, but an activity that is integral to seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. How do I know this to be the case? This past weekend, I saw more pregnant women walk through the exhibit hall than I see in a month in the general public. Moreover, there were more strollers being pushed around with books and curriculum brimming out the sides, which included the recently released Chalcedon Position Papers:
Education, Liberty, and the Bible, Economic Crises and the Bible Judgment, Politics, and the Bible Taxation, Liberty, and the BibleNational Defense and the Bible
Chalcedon is positioned to be an integral part of the growth and instruction of this future army, not to mention the present one made up of its parents.
To God Be the Glory!
- Andrea G. Schwartz
Andrea Schwartz is Chalcedon’s family and Christian education advocate, and the author of eight books including: A House for God: Building a Kingdom-Driven Family, The Biblical Trustee Family: Understanding God’s Purpose for Your Household, Empowered: Developing Strong Women for Kingdom Service, Woman of the House: A Mother’s Role in Building a Christian Culture, and The Homeschool Life: Discovering God’s Way to Family-Based Education. She’s also the co-host of the Out of the Question podcast, and Homeschooling Helps (weekly live Facebook event). She can be reached at [email protected].