LAVON, Texas ? When the Adams family decided to homeschool their 4-year-old son, they were met with predictions of failure. Equipped with only a high-school diploma from the Dallas school district and Mary Pride’s Big Book of Homelearning, Connie Adams sought to equip Steven, who showed signs of a learning disability, with a Christian worldview and the tools to battle today’s culture.
“We began our journey sure of our choice but with some measure of fear of choosing something different for our children than others had chosen in our community and with some disapproving attitudes of our extended families,” Connie said. “Many predicted that we were making a mistake and that we would regret our choice. Others accused us of attempting to racially segregate our children. None of these predictions or accusations proved true.”
The year was 1989, and the legal status of home education had yet to be decided in the state of Texas. In 1996 the Texas Supreme Court required homeschools to meet the standardized regulations of private schools in the case Leeper vs. Arlington (TEA). Uninformed about their rights as parental educators, the Adams joined a national legal defense group called the Home School Legal Defense Association, based in Virginia. Connie began attending seminars on legal issues surrounding home education as well.
In 1989 public sentiment regarding homeschooling was also undecided. Much of the public believed home education deprived children of social skills as compared to opportunities in a public-school environment.
“As a result, many expected homeschoolers to perform poorly when measured against their public school peers,” Connie said, adding that time has shown the opposite to be true. “Public opinion seems to have become more accepting, but I still meet people who think I keep my children locked in their bedrooms and slide papers under the door for them to learn.”
In addition to facing criticism from the public eye, the Adams also found themselves to be different than members of their local church. The Adams were the only homeschooled family in a church where many members served as public school teachers and administrators.
“I tried to be sure they understood that I was not making a choice against what they represented, but that I chose homeschooling because it offered our family things that traditional education could not offer,” Connie explained. “Our curriculum was all Christian based, our science was always creation theory versus evolution and our history curriculum always included the Christian and non-Christian motives of our forefathers in forming our country and its progression.”
Despite a difference in education, the Adams experienced support from their church. A deep relationship between the pastors’ family formed between the two and the Adams continue to emphasize the importance of local church involvement in the homeschooling process.
“If I could change one thing, it would be that we would have had one or more families to go through this journey with us,” Connie said, adding that three homeschooling families have joined the church. “But God knows best, and because we had to be ‘pioneers,’ my children have learned to stand alone even in the face of peer pressure or the pressure of conformity. I count that a blessing and a virtue for the world they will have to face as adults.”
Due to the home education method, Connie said Steven, 19, and Mary, 17, “consider God in every choice they make and look at life from God’s viewpoint when they encounter difficult situations.”
“My son has prayed many times that God would lead him to do what he has planned for him. My daughter is beginning to look at her future and realize that there is no better place than to be in the center of God’s will.”
Steven is attending Collin County Community College in preparation for enrollment at Mary Hardin Baylor in the fall of 2004 or 2005 with a double major in history and political science. As an Eagle Scout and Cadet Commander in the Civil Air Patrol, Steven originally felt called to military service.
“When he was a junior in high school, while praying, he felt that God showed him he was to be a servant to our country through the government, not the military.” Connie said. “Since then he has sought God for ways to prepare and clear direction for paths to follow to be the man God would have him be. Steven believes that one day he will be a senator and that his crusade is to overturn Roe v. Wade and save innocent children. It is a great calling.”
Although also a Cadet Commander in the Civil Air Patrol, Connie describes Mary as an artist gifted in the areas of music, art and drama. Recently Mary attended Summer Worship University, the Southern Baptists of Texas leadership camp.
“I believe this was a week of self realization in who God made her. She was involved in the drama “track” and spent some time with the media people that were there. She is so excited about starting a drama ministry in our church,” Connie said. “She has been a different, more positive person, since she returned. She is so excited about getting the gospel communicated to y