Generation Joshua: The Next Step for Homeschooling
"The great missionary requirement of the days ahead is Christian schools and institutions," wrote R. J. Rushdoony.1
Chalcedon's founder, R. J. Rushdoony, devoted much of his time and effort to help launch the homeschooling movement in America. Twenty years later, we might ask what ought to be the next step for Christian homeschooling.
To train homeschool graduates to become the leaders of a new America — answers Ned Ryun, director of Generation Joshua, a project aimed at doing just that.
"Send Them Out"
The Home School Legal Defense Association ( Washington, D.C.) created Generation Joshua to train homeschooled students in civics and “then send them out to impact their world for Christ," Ryun said.
Today, he said, 2 1/2 to 3 million American girls and boys are being homeschooled. (The U.S. Department of Education estimates 2 million.) This is up from some 1 million ten years ago. Homeschooling has been growing at a steady 10 percent a year since then.
"I’d say 75 to 85 percent of the parents are doing it because they want to give their children a Christian education," Ryun said. "They have rejected the amorality of the public schools."
Homeschoolers aged fourteen to nineteen can enroll in Generation Joshua for $10 a year, a nominal fee required by federal regulations. They receive online instruction in civics year-round, featuring courses on the Founding Fathers and their ideals, constitutional law, and Blackstone's commentaries on English law, taught by professors at Patrick Henry College, Virginia.
In the summer, students may participate in seminars and conferences.
"The end point of the program is to build teams of young volunteers who will then be assigned to work in election campaigns for strong Christian candidates," Ryun said. "We hope to mobilize 4,000 to 5,000 volunteers by the fall of this year."
In 2002, seven teams of young Christian volunteers worked on Congressional races in several states, manning phone banks, distributing literature, and campaigning for pro-life, pro-family Christian candidates.
Of the seven races they worked in, six were winners.
"A lot of newly elected leaders come to Washington, D.C., with high ideals," Ryun said, "and they just get sucked into the system."
Ryun knows D.C. politics and culture better than most. His father is Kansas Congressman Jim Ryun, once an Olympic track star, now a long-time conservative stalwart on Capitol Hill.
"We need to elect more people who will stick to their principles," Ned Ryun said. "Look how quickly this country abandoned its Judeo-Christian roots — just in the last forty years.
"It could take ten, twenty, or even thirty years to turn this country around, but we've got to do it. We've got to have pro-life, pro-family leaders in Washington."
As Rushdoony wrote in 1977, "It is teaching” — that is, Christian homeschooling — "which alone can create a godly civil government….2
That's where Generation Joshua hopes to play a role.
"Great movements begin from the grass roots, from the bottom up," Ryun said. "With the homeschooling movement, we've only seen the tip of the iceberg so far. In another ten or fifteen years, we may see a disproportionate number of homeschoolers in positions of highest leadership."
For the time being, teams of fifty to 150 teenage volunteers will be sent out during this election year. Some 500 are signed up so far, Ryun said, with 2,000 expected by July and up to 5,000 before November.
"Christian homeschooling is giving this next generation of Americans a vision," Ryun said. "Eventually it'll make a big difference in what kind of country this is."
For more information on Generation Joshua, or to enroll, visit GenerationJoshua.org or telephone 202-547-9222.
1. R. J. Rushdoony, Institutes of Biblical Law, Vol. II (Vallecito, Ca: Ross House Books, 2001), p. 117.
2. Ibid., p. 117.
Topics: Culture , Education, Family & Marriage