A few days ago a reader named Dennis Rowan emailed and asked, "I am collecting some information about Christian schooling, and wish to know if you would list 2,3, or more reasons why you think most pastors fail to promote Homeschooling/ Christian schooling. Thanks."
I replied as follows:
1. I believe many pastors are still unfamiliar with homeschooling. We attend a small church with an older pastor. Prior to pastoring our church, he spent 30 yrs working as a hospital chaplain (in other words, not in day-to-day contact with children). Our children were literally the first homeschooled kids he had met. He was deeply skeptical at first about our schooling option, but over the last eight years of watching our girls grow up, he has totally changed his mind and now applauds our decision.
2. There is still a widespread belief in America - including among pastors - that things in public schools just aren't as bad as the critics claim. They remember what schools were like when they were students and tend to believe the good parts still exist. Unless the local public school is a blatant failure, the belief is that "our" schools are okay and everyone else's schools are the messed-up ones.
3. There is still a reluctance to criticize a parent's educational choice for their child, i.e. "it's none of my business." Unquestionably a decision to homeschool has a major impact on a family. But what if both parents work? How can a pastor suggest the family homeschool when it's perceived as "impossible"? Keeping one parent at home to school the kids might mean selling a house, moving to a cheaper house, changing a job for the husband, and/or all kids of other major upheavals for a family. It is not something a pastor can suggest lightly.
4. Frankly if a family hasn't already thought about homeschooling as an option, they're not likely to change their mind unless an experience with their own kid(s) convinces them. Many parents aren't likely to listen to (or at least, take seriously) a pastor's thoughts on the matter. And many parents, like pastors, tend to see their "own" schools as fine (see #2 above) unless a dramatic situation develops to change their opinion.
Just some thoughts, hope they're helpful.
Mr. Rowan assembled all the replies he received as well as his own thoughts on the matter, and pulled together this article which makes for very interesting reading.