Here begins our new Crew year! My first review for the Crew this year is for Great Commission Films and their documentary Film, IndoctriNation: Public Schools and the Decline of Christianity in America. To add to my excitement, I got to be the one to write the summary post over on the Review Crew Blog! It was pretty exciting to see my name up there.
IndoctriNation is a 102-minute documentary of a journey as homeschooling father Colin Gunn travels across the country to find out where the idea of public education started, how government-run schools have evolved, and thoughts on how it has contributed to the paganism that has taken over much of America. Gunn is a Scotland native turned Texan, a homeschooling father of seven, and a man passionate about children and about teaching them about Christ. He buys a big yellow bus and sets on a trek across America, meeting teachers, parents, former students, theologians, and others as he interviews them and opens up the world of public school, education, and the role that schools play in America today as opposed to education in years past.
As a homeschooler, I’ve researched, read, and heard much about public schools and what my children are missing by being at home schooling instead. I’ve made the decision to homeschool, knowing it’s worth it and right for us. Each year, though, I get burnout. About the time January rolls around, my resolve to teach my children at home wanes. I press on, often discouraged, beat down, and so tired of all the work that teaching school daily and managing my home and children requires. I wonder if it’s worth it, if I’ll make it, if we are really doing good things on the days that we struggle to just accomplish the basics and seem to go nowhere.
This movie arrived in my home just about then. It showed up one cold January day that I felt like I couldn’t do it anymore. We were falling behind with what needed to be accomplished for co-op homework, I was behind in checking math again, and diagramming sentences was tear worthy for one dear child that day. I popped it in with my typical half a dozen loads of laundry surrounding me and demanding attention, and settled in to watch (and fold).
Most startling by far was the statement that was made by the father of a Columbine student who lost his life in a school shooting. He states, and I paraphrase here, that while the shooter held the gun, it was the shooter who killed his son – but he, as his son’s father, was the one that put him there, that he was the one that had him in that environment.
Startling. Chilling, even. It’s my responsibility to be sure my kids are in an environment that will protect them, teach them, and show them Christ. Suddenly, my struggles to get through those long days have a far different meaning. Even those days that feel like failure – when the house is a mess and supper is late and we’ve barely waded through another day’s worth of school, it’s still the best choice for us. I’m choosing to put them here.
For anyone considering homeschooling, considering Christian school, contemplating the public school system, this is a great resource to encourage, exhort, and educate. I completely appreciated the perspective brought forth, and plan to recommend and loan my copy liberally. It is, after all, our job to make decisions as parents, pastors, and teachers, with the best information we can find. This documentary did a great job arguing for making the decision to guard our children’s hearts and lives with the utmost care and taking the job as parents seriously in every aspect of our children’s lives.
I watched this movie while my kids were up and about. While there is mention of adult things, there wasn’t anything that bothered me and my children who were old enough to catch it and understand somewhat were also old enough to discuss it and learn. It sparked many a conversation, but you may wish to watch it without children present to avoid such topics.
IndoctriNation can be purchased here for $19.95. They have a variety of other resources there as well.
IndoctriNation can be found on:
To read what the rest of the Crew that was on this review thought of IndoctriNation (and read my synopsis, since I got to write that over there this time!) head over to the Review Crew Blog.