The New Socialization
Fathers…Take them [your children] by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master. — Ephesians 6:4 (MSG)
Even if the name of Ivan Pavlov, the Russian Nobel Prize laureate, doesn’t “ring a bell,” you’ve probably heard of his dogs. Pavlov performed neurological experiments with dogs in an attempt to understand reflexes. He conditioned them to expect food after the ring of a bell. Then he observed that the dogs would salivate after they heard a bell ringing even though food delivery had been delayed. Pavlov believed humans could be controlled in similar ways.
Now think of the typical government-run school system with bells signaling the end of each class period. This is no different from Pavlov manipulating events by introducing what psychologists call a stimuli-preceding behavior (e.g., the ringing of a bell to produce salivation in dogs). In like manner, teachers manipulate learning environments to produce their own desired results (e.g., sit, stand, be quiet, or go to the next class). Pavlov’s experiments demonstrated a relationship between stimuli and response, environment and behavior.
This is potent. Now consider the force of peer pressure. If you’ve ever sat in a government-run school, you know it’s real and powerful. Young children and teens will follow the herd in a desperate attempt to be accepted by the cool kids or to avoid being bullied. The public institutions are designed to create peer dependence, and kids have to learn the rules of the jungle to survive. This peer pressure conditions them to think, feel, and behave in ways that may not be what they actually think, feel, or believe is right. But they’ve been trained by groupthink, and it is hard to resist.
This is socialization — obviously not a good kind. Once students conform to the rules of their peer group and respond to certain stimuli as they’ve been trained, they’ve been “properly” socialized according to public school standards. This is what people are actually talking about when they meet a homeschooling family and utter the words, “What about socialization?” Sadly, many students accustomed to a public school setting don’t know how to function outside of the four walls of the institution. The pressure to conform is too great. And it can be surprising what people will compromise under the influence of peer pressure and negative socialization.
Am I overstating the matter? Isn’t it okay if a kid simply wants to fit in and have a few friends? Let’s take a look at some of what’s at stake today.
Can men get pregnant? In a recent poll, 22% of Democrats answered “yes” to this question. Of course, the leading voices in the left-leaning peer groups are well aware that only a biological woman can become pregnant and give birth, but admitting such a belief does nothing to propel the radical gender theory they’re pushing. Rather than advance the truth, “they just prefer referring to people who say they aren’t women as ’men’ because it’s so rad and awesome to pretend” (PJ Media).
“Obviously, the overwhelming majority of Americans don’t think men can get pregnant. Nor do they believe unicorns are real or that pigs can fly. But when you put [’properly’ socialized atheists] in charge of regulating language, strange things can happen” (PJ Media).
What about transgender athletes? Should biological men who identify as women be allowed to compete in women’s athletic events? Apparently, many people see nothing wrong with this — or perhaps they do but they’re willing to allow the insanity. Either way, the emperor has no clothes and those in charge of the parade aren’t speaking up.
Then there is the issue of preferred pronouns. Isn’t this a topic for English grammar class? Apparently not when social engineering is a higher priority. Sadly, this even creeps into some Protestant and Catholic schools when money is at stake. If you’ve pulled your kids out of a crazy private school situation and started to homeschool, then you might know what I’m talking about.
Did you ever think we’d be having these kinds of discussions? I certainly didn’t. The answers are so obvious to a person who has not been trained to quietly walk to the next class when the bell rings. But someone conditioned to just cooperate, fall in line, and be a good member of the community will struggle to see the issues clearly. We must think, reason, ask good questions, and not live by lies.
Know this: they are coming for your children. The transgender movement is here. It is active and aggressive, and it will destroy many young lives. This ideology undermines and rejects the biblical understanding that we are made in God’s image — male and female. Children should never be caught in the crossfire of this phase of the sexual revolution. Parents must take a stand, keep their kids home, and bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Your children need a safe place to be raised, and a Christian home is the safest place on earth.
Assuming you are already homeschooling, I want to encourage you to take full advantage of this moment. Don’t bring public school into your home. Make your family’s homeschool experience unique, awesome, and memorable. Be intentional in all you do and in all you don’t do. Create a culture and lifestyle that is family-oriented, Christ-centered, Creation-based, biblically sound, and built on a foundation of truth. Then it can stand the test of time in a world that is broken.
Feel the freedom, direct your children’s education, keep your kids in the safe and healthy context of home, and make your family life what I like to call “the new socialization,” where boys are boys and girls are girls. A place where God is loved and worshipped and rightly feared. A place where wisdom is pursued, acquired, and treasured. Nurture your children. Get to know them. Make an emotional bond. Disciple them with intentional training and instruction in righteousness. No one cares more about the well-being of your children than you, their parents. And I can’t think of a better place to educate your kids than in the context of a Christian home.
God. Family. Homeschooling. The new socialization. You can do it. And it’s so good, true, and beautiful.
Creation-based Resources for Your Homeschool
Apologia’s homeschool math curriculum is specifically designed to work with young minds as they expand their understanding and unlock the power of numbers in everyday life. This homeschool elementary math curriculum is intentionally designed to build a strong foundation so that your child’s familiarity with numbers becomes second nature.
The Exploring Creation with Mathematics series will set the tone for your child’s math experience for years to come. Your elementary-aged student should never be asking, “Why do I have to learn this?” A well-designed elementary homeschool math curriculum will make the connections so your child can see and understand the power of numbers and how it all fits together in God’s wonderful creation.
Listen to what one parent said.
“I think I finally found it. I’ve been searching for years for the perfect math curriculum…Apologia knocked it out of the park with this one.”
Go to Apologia.com/math — a great place to explore creation with mathematics.
Walking by faith and enjoying the homeschooling adventure of a lifetime!
Davis is the president of Apologia Educational Ministries, the #1 publisher of Creation-based curriculum for homeschooling families. He believes that if there was ever a time to homeschool, it is now! You can hear more of what he has to say at the Let’s Talk Homeschool Podcast.
© 2022 Davis Carman