All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Atheist Homeschooling

It may seem counter norm on the "who" but not the "why". 
(RNS) When KellyAnne Kitchin began home schooling her three sons three years ago, she had difficulty finding  curriculum programs that fit her atheist and humanist beliefs.
So Kitchin, 33, cobbled together what she could. She left out one geography textbook’s description of the earth as God’s creation and another’s disdain for Darwin, and substituted her own point of view  — that no supernatural powers guide human beings, who alone have the power to improve the world.
According to the article 2/3 of home-schoolers are of some variant of protestant while only 1/4 are atheist/no religion.  They don't report on the religious identity of the remaining apx 9%.  It doesn't surprise me that most home-schoolers have a particular religious identity.  It also comes to no surprise that the parents keeping their kids at home belong to religions that the public school is most hostile towards.

I am surprised that 25% of home-schoolers are atheist/no religion.  When you consider that, again according to the article, 1.5 million kids are home schooled, the 25% represents 375,000 kids.  That's not a small number when you consider that the public school system, as a matter of policy teaches the world view that their parents profess to be true. 

According to the US Dept of ED:
2010 projected enrollment figures:
54,704,000 Children enrolled in public and private schools (k-12).
5,398,000 Children enrolled in private schools, religious and sectarian.
49,306,000 Children enrolled in public schools, includes chatter schools.
I'm not sure whose methodology is most correct however three facts are of particular interest:
1. It seems that the current number of home schooled children is between 1.5 and 2.1 million children.
2. The trend is for growth in both private schools and home school education.
3. The number of sub-literate graduates from the public school system is between 66% and 75%.

Going with the above data and statistical assumptions, 32,541,960 (maybe higher) of the kids currently enrolled in public schools are not going to be able to function at the "normal" level of a high school graduate from 1980.  That leaves 16,270,980 public school graduates, 5,398,000 private school graduates, and apx 2,000,000 home-schoolers who will have the educational skills needed; for a total of apx 23,669,000.

It occurs to me that 23.6 million educated kids is less than half of all kids in the K-12 age group.  Further, 7.3 million kids (home school and private school) is less than half of the educated kids, but growing according to the trends.  While these statistics may seem scary it may be quite reasonable from a historical perspective, to produce a population where 13.34% of the people have the intellectual ability to rule over the others, with a 35% middle class. The rest of the great unwashed masses will need to be content with their bread and circuses. Whether or not this is an advisable course of action for the USA is another matter. 

This brings me to another things which surprises me:
She also found many online forums for home-schoolers were unwelcoming. Some had statements  faith members needed to agree to. On others she was made to feel unwelcome because of her lack of beliefs.
This is a surprise to me for a few reasons:

1. IF you're a Christian, homeschooling parent, exactly how many true blue atheists do you know that are seeking to associate with you?  I'd think you might want to have one around if for nothing else evangelistic reasons.
2. Having a atheist home-schooler in your group makes easier to fight arguments against state regulating agencies who may want to paint you was a bunch of "religious nuts".
3. Education was historically a sign of one's social class.  With the sociological changes that are coming, we may be well advised to keep in touch with members of our own class, regardless of their religious beliefs. 


  1. Oh, I believe that last point. Our homeschool group is explicitly Christian, and you have to agree to a statement of faith to join. No big deal, either, because it's standard Christian fundamentals. Many of our friends are YEC'ers as well, but they usually don't make that an element of their faith.

    We recently went to the annual homeschool convention, and it was so overwhelmingly Christian that I just knew a nonbeliever would feel unwelcome there. But that's OK, because the group sponsoring it, CHEC, the Christian Home Educators of Colorado, state that this is what it is.

    I personally would like to see more "secular" homeschoolers and see them welcomed by the Christians, just as long as they don't insist on forcing out the Christians eventually. I think the seculars will have to build their own parallel conventions and groups though, and I expect to see that start happening.

  2. farmer Tom9:23 PM

    While our homeschool group has a Christian viewpoint, it is not exclusively Christian. For a while we had a family participating who the mother was a devout Catholic and the father professed to be an atheist,(although he had been raised in a Christian home).

    Last I heard the father had accepted Christ, the mother had cut her ties with the Catholic church and they were attending an evangelical church that several of the homeschool families in the group attended.

  3. I think both of you are right on. First, homeschool is about education and the kids. Second, when non-Christians are made to feel welcome, there is always the chance they will embrace the faith of those who cared enough to include them.

    Astro's last point about forcing the Christians out is very valid and is exactly what happened in the public school system. I guess maybe that is what people are afraid of.

  4. Ever hear of a guy named Rushdoony? There was a booth at the conference with a huge sign reading, "READ RUSHDOONY". I'm going to write a post about him, but now I know why leftists accuse the Christian Right of wanting to establish a theocracy!

  5. Anonymous9:25 AM

    You all fail to catch that this is about atheist "feelings". No amount of warm welcoming will ever overcome the fact that the others are openly practicing their faith. This has been the same argument about all public displays for decades. A cross or ten commandments display makes atheists feel unwelcome or uncomfortable. They will always be uncimfortable until we are like them: smug intellectual militant atheists.


  6. farmer Tom1:24 PM

    I'll be interested to see what you write about Rushdoony, Astro.

    You know that Gary North at is his son-in-law?

    An interesting theological tapestry that North/Rushdoony weave. Libertarian tendencies intertwined with theonomic principles.

    All in a world which is supposedly getting better and better.

    Makes my head hurt.

  7. "All in a world which is supposedly getting better and better."

    Which one of them says that?

  8. farmer Tom6:34 PM

    I think they are both post-millennial. I may be wrong. But, that was my understanding.

  9. I wouldn't know about the specifics of their faith, but Gary North enjoys poking fun at the pre-mill date pickers.

    I thought the comment about things getting better might apply to technology developments or economic growth etc, not the state of humans.