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VIDEO: Homeschooling Surges in Russia Among Conservative Christians

What is certainly helping the homeschooling movement, is Russia's pro-family education policy. Russian law explicitly states that education is first and foremost the responsibility of the parent. It explicitly states that parents are the primary educators of their children, not the State.

This article originally appeared on a new site about the Christian renaissance in Russia, called Russian Faith. Their introductory video is at end of this article.

Editor's note: Dr. Steve Turley is a swiftly rising YouTube sensation, author of multiple books, blog writer and education specialist. He makes a compelling argument about the imminent worldwide return to traditional values in terms of culture, politics and religion. Check out his fascinating blog and YT channel

In the following video, he discusses the impressive surge of homeschooling currently being seen in Russia:


Homeschooling is surging in Russia! That's what we will be talking about on today's video. As we gauge on a daily basis the rise of the conservative age all over the world, here on this channel, one of the most important institutions that we focus on, in need of conservative reform, is of course education.

We like to say on this channel that education is always enculturation. Education is always enculturation. Education is always about initiating students into a particular kind of culture, into a particular way of being human.

And so, what we found of course, is that so much of what passes as education today, particularly here in the west, is really little more than just globalist enculturation, right?

So if you read the mission statements of most public schools here in the United States, you'll find that virtually all of them have as their goal, the formation of what they call "world citizens", right? That's the goal particularly of secondary, high-school, or upper school education — the formation of "world citizens", which is simply a code term for one who is taught to see globalism as the perfect and inevitable civilization for all peoples, times, and places across the world.

One of the most important conservative alternatives to this globalist form of education, that has arisen over the last few decades, is of course homeschooling, which has seen nothing less than an explosion of interest over these last three decades, particularly here in the States.

But what we're finding is that interest in homeschooling is growing by leaps and bounds all over the world.

And one of the places where homeschooling is just surging in popularity is Russia.

According to the US-based Homeschooling Legal Defense Association (HLDA), estimates are that upwards of 100,000 children are currently being homeschooled in Russia, which would make the former Soviet Union now second only to the UK in terms of overall European homeschooling numbers. 

What is certainly helping the homeschooling movement, is Russia's pro-family education policy. Russian law explicitly states that education is first and foremost the responsibility of the parent. It explicitly states that parents are the primary educators of their children, not the State.

Another factor that's fostering the popularity of homeschooling, is its recent endorsement by the single most famous Russian Orthodox priest, Fr. Dimitry Smirnov.

Fr. Dimitry is hugely popular in Russia. He has a widely listened-to talk radio show. He is a huge advocate for homeschooling, and has highlighted and interviewed a number of homeschooling organizers and parents on his talk show, to help get the word out about the availability of homeschooling, and homeschooling resources, for Russian families. And it has certainly worked!

We have to remember that 70% of Russians identify themselves as Orthodox Christians, and so this endorsement is only fueling the popularity of the practice, as well as underscoring the religious nature of homeschooling, and its fidelity to the Orthodox tradition.

Homeschooling underscores both the primacy of the family in society, as the foundation or basic social unit on the one hand, and the spiritual significance of that foundation on the other.

Now, one of the programs of curriculum that's being translated into Russian — that I am very excited about — is what is known as Classical Conversations, which is a Christian homeschooling organization here in the States that focuses on the classical model of education, that was normative — it was in many respects the default educational approach in western civilization for well over 2000 years.

If you're not familiar, Classical education is a pedagogical approach to enculturate students in the true, the good, and the beautiful, through the acquisition of wisdom and virtue. 

Classical education is the very kind of education that our founding fathers received, it was the education of western civilization for 2500 years, it was developed by the Christian Church, and became the foundation for the medieval university. What we today know as a liberal arts education, that's focused on the great books of literature, and great art, and great music, the classical languages of Latin and Greek, the sciences of math and geometry and astronomy, all held together by the queen of the sciences: Theology . . . This is classical education.

Of course, with its Russian Orthodox foundations, classical education is a perfect fit with the renewed vision of Holy Russia that's been fostered since about the year 2000. 

Scholars have noted that the glue that is holding together post-soviet Russian society is not so much the State. Remember the State obviously took a serious beating, in terms of trustworthiness in Russia, after the collapse of Communism, not to mention beforehand, right? It's not the State that's holding modern Russia society together; it really is the Church — the Russian Orthodox Church. 

The Russian Orthodox Church is basically filling the void left by the collapse of communism. And classical education would simply be an educational extension of this spiritual glue that's reawakening a thoroughly re-traditionalized Russian identity and civilization.

And here at home, here in the States, homeschooling just continues to blossom in its popularity. In 2003, there were over 2 million children homeschooled nationwide, which grew to over 3 million in 2012, representing an average growth rate of 7%-15% per year.

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According to the National Center of Educational Statistics, the percentage of all school-age children homeschooled in the United States increased from 1.7% in 1999 to 3% in 2009, which is about a 75% increase.

And so the return to homeschooling that we're seeing going on all over the world is yet another indicator that education is indeed going through a much needed conservative-based reform, which along with the rise of classical education and Christian education in general, is serving to ensure only a far more educated, traditionalist, and indeed conservative future.

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A video introducing Russian Faith

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