Homeschoolers get a great opportunity to talk to others around them.
Some people believe homeschooling is detrimental to society and the church because homeschoolers are at home ‘all day’ and not among non-Christians in their schools or communities evangelising them (as public/Christian school children are supposed to be doing).
Perhaps some believe the reason many homeschoolers don’t go to school is because their parents care very little about spreading the Word of God because ‘God will save who he has picked anyway, and we don’t have a part to play in evangelism’. Essentially, they believe homeschooling parents are hyper-Calvinists. Many hyper-Calvinist churches are marked with 'fatalism, coldness and a lack of the assurance of faith.'
It seems difficult to believe some homeschooling parents are not hyper-Calvinists. But it’s equally difficult to believe all homeschooling parents are hyper-Calvinists and don’t care to see others saved from eternal damnation.
Despite the caring graduates home schools often produces, some still believe homeschooling families ignore the command to be the ‘light of the world’. Christian Randall Balmer recently criticized homeschoolers for this very omission in his bookThy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America – An Evangelical’s Lament. Balmer comes out all guns blazing in a stinging critique on home schools. He fires on conservative Christian home schools, accusing them of erring on the side of withdrawal and ignoring God’s command to be evangelical. Balmer’s critique (which has been critiqued itself for its ‘apocolyptic take on the Religious Right’)
Perhaps Balmer goes too far in his book by assuming the non-attendance in schools of homeschoolers equals their parents disinterest in evangelism. Balmer's arguments also assume the presence of a Christian parent's child in public school means that child is a Christian and will evangelise those around him or her. Balmer assumes Christian children need little training and equipping in the gospel before they're sent out. Balmer also assumes school children are more invincible to the wiles of the World than is perhaps the case.
Christian homeschooling parents are onto these facts. They realise most schools will have a detrimental effect on their children's walk with Christ. Like other parents, homeschooling parents are willing to invest the necessary time in their children, so they be trained effectively in the way of the Lord. However, homeschool parents believe home is a better environment with fewer distractions when it comes to training their children in the Lord.
Furthermore, homeschooling parents spend more time evangelising to their own children, as homeschool parents don't assume their children are automatically Christian as a result of being their offspring, capable of maintaining and spreading their faith on their own. Therefore, they spend less time evangelising to others, and more time evangelising to their children.
What does the Bible say about evangelism? Does it expect children as young as five to be evangelists? Are there any examples of this? I have to admit, I cannot find any compelling examples. The main evangelists in the Bible are always adults. Generally, these evangelists are quite firm and mature in their faith. These men were armed with the Word. They knew it so well. It was their protection (Luke 22:36).
Do our young children at school have this protection? Do they have the Sword of the Spirit to fight against such treatment? Do they have the the Shield of Faith to protect themselves from outside influences? Quite simply, children are not well equipped at this young age.
They have not yet been taught to give a good answer for they hope they have (1 Peter 3:15). Indeed, this takes time. It takes many years of character development, apologetics and social training. Without these tools a child cannot effectively resist and answer objections. Homeschool parents aim to grow the child in faith and character, so they are effective witnesses when the time comes for their departure from the home (this departure is dependent on their maturity level). Furthermore, they still have the ability to fellowship, given their close bond growing up with siblings and parents.