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Are Schools Bad for Family Teams?

Jeff:
A fun question. Controversial question. I don’t know, we’ll let you guys decide. But that is, are school’s bad for family teams? Now, of course, that could mean homeschool, post-school et cetera, but I’m guessing, we’re thinking maybe more in the traditional American institution, which would be more of a public or private school way. And so, I’m interested to hear your thoughts, Jeremy. I’m actually going to have a couple of thoughts and even talk about homeschool for a second. I think I know what you’re saying, I think is actually really, really that’s the center. And, I think that’s what we want to talk on. Because that is so critical. One thing I’ll say though is, are schools bad for family teams? I think every model has an inherent, what would I say, kind of pothole or pit you can fall into, right?

And I’ll just, I think the one homeschool one, which is more in the lane that we’re running in, is you can, sometimes you sometimes can see homeschool families no longer training and building up their family team to go on mission. They make the family the mission, right? Where homeschool becomes about protecting or insulating from the world or nothing more than just making your family look cute and awesome, right? It’s more about image. It’s more about how it is. It’s more about protecting from evil in the world when Jesus makes it very clear, that’s in our heart, not out there and that’s something you have to really, really wrestle with. So I think that’s the big pothole there, that I think a lot of us don’t talk about that homeschool is a really great option if you want to build the team, cultivate the team, steward the team to go out on mission.

And I’ve seen really powerful teams that do that. I think you guys are included as one of those. But yeah, I think, but I think public schools themselves are, or any school private schools that you have to send your kids off to, because my sister actually went to a private school. I went to a private school for some of my years. And I think the problems that you’re about to talk about are actually in both. I don’t think there’s any difference between public and private at all, which is really funny. But yeah, what would you say to that?

Jeremy:
Yeah. So this is obviously a challenging topic. So are schools bad for family teams? There’s one scenario in which they are always bad, okay?

Jeff:
Yes.

Jeremy:
So I want to really tease out this one particular problem. And if you run into this problem, you need to deal with it very quickly. That is schools are bad for family teams if it causes your child to switch teams and this can happen. So we do a lot-

Jeff:
It mostly happens.

Jeremy:
… with our kids. We’ve had our kids go into public schools. We’ve done lots of co-ops with our kids. Our Sydney’s 10th grade, she’s heading to public school this year. Kira is in fifth grade, she’s heading to public school. I’m not anti school. We did a lot of homeschool, about 80% homeschool, 20% public school. But you guys, the thing that I will not tolerate in my family, because it’s so destructive to my children longterm, is when they begin to believe they’re on a different team. And when that starts to happen, or when our kids begin to feel like they’re definitely exhibiting the signs of that, for us it’s never been worth it to keep them in school.

Jeff:
And when you say other team, you mean their peers. They start making their peers be their team.

Jeremy:
That’s right. Yeah. Basically what happens in [crosstalk 00:03:01] down in this book called, Hold Onto Your Kids, which is by two secular psychologists who have really gone deep into this problem and I think have diagnosed it better than anyone I’ve ever heard. They’ve really talked about when kids go to schools for seven plus hours a day, and there is a peer centered environment in which they feel like in order to survive, they need to figure out how to ingratiate themselves to their peers, they resent their family deeply. And this is what a lot of people talk about, this problem that teenagers have oftentimes, around middle school where they begin to really attack their family, attack their parents-

Jeff:
This is literally what it is. It’s them turning on the tribe.

Jeremy:
Right. Yeah. Distanced themselves. We think this is just a normal sort of teenage behavior. That’s not what this is. And that’s what these guys really talked about in this book. What this is, is that they have switched teams. What the family does is directly diminishing their ability to fit in with their peers. You won’t let me wear what I want to wear. You won’t let me watch the movies that I want to watch. You won’t let me go where I want to go, stay out as late as I want to stay out, use the apps I want to use. Everything you say to try to pull your child back, if they’re resisting, the big reason they typically resist at that age, usually around middle school, maybe sometimes a little before, is because what you’re asking them to do is actually going to hurt their ability to become a part of the team they actually identify with more deeply.

That’s the real problem you’re dealing with. And when schools create an environment in which children believe that that’s the team in which they need to succeed, the education and the socialization that parents think that their children are getting from the school systems, it’s not worth that price. It is not worth the price of your kids deciding to switch teams and join a peer centered team. And at that moment, in every single one of our scenarios with our kids, we began to look for other schooling options. Oftentimes, just for a year or even just for a few months, but we’re not going to let our kids be in a situation in which they feel to survive they need to switch teams from our family team into a peer centered team. And so, that’s the real problem that I see that we create.

And this can happen in a lot of different environments, but schools are places in which this happens often. And so middle school is probably the key moment. We’ve had our kids do a lot of schooling when it came to elementary, a lot of schooling when it came to high school, when our kids were very solid and very much committed to our family team first. Oftentimes, there are vulnerable years or vulnerable seasons in which for us, it just wasn’t worth it.

And we’re not really a strong homeschool family in that April and I, don’t really get into home education stuff the way a lot of our friends do. So we’ve used a lot of co-ops or we’ve tried a lot of different things to try to supplement, but guys, that was the line that we drew. It wasn’t about being a homeschool family or a public school family, it was about being a family team and whatever we thought would really make sure that that was most likely to be the way our children identified themselves as a part of our family team. First and foremost, that’s what we were trying to do and we did not want to create scenarios that would threaten that.

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