Our Homeschool Story
During the fall of 1980, my husband and I became convinced that God wanted us to remove our first-grade daughter from the public school and give her a Christian education. We began to homeschool her at the beginning of January 1981.
Later that same month, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled against an unapproved Christian church school, stating that all schools needed to be approved by the Department of Education. Among other things, that meant that all schools needed to have licensed teachers with four-year teaching degrees. My husband and I both had bachelor degrees, but they were not in teaching.
Since our daughter did not reach the then compulsory school age of seven until April, we had a little breathing room until we were technically in violation of this Supreme Court decision.
Wrestling with my conscience
For the next three months, I wrestled with my conscience. I tend to be a rule-keeper, and it went against my nature to violate any laws. It did not help when my mother wrote that no member of our family had ever been in legal trouble! But I also knew what God had called us to do.
I consulted the Bible and was soon contemplating the Hebrew midwives, Daniel and his friends, and the early church apostles, all of whom disobeyed ungodly laws. I also looked at Christian history. Many of the early church martyrs were killed when they refused to obey government edicts that went against the Word of God. And almost all of the Protestant reformers were persecuted or killed for their stand against governmental power that required them to act against their Biblical convictions.
Even our church
Even the church we then attended was part of an association which traced its history to its Scandinavian forefathers who stood up against the state church’s governmental power. In the end, I came to the place where I felt confident to say with the apostles: “We ought to obey God rather than men.” I was quite certain that we would pay a price for that stand.
What price freedom?
Obviously, our story doesn’t end there. It wasn’t until August of 1984 when Nebraska recognized the God-given right of parents to educate their own children. For three-and-a-half years, the state prosecuted Christian parents, Christian teachers, and Christian pastors for their Biblically-based beliefs. I hope to bring you many of their stories in future blogs.