Restoring Hearts Womens Conference Blog

Passport to Hope and Healing Conference 2017
Are private christian school and home school kids protected from internet pornography exposure
11
Apr

Are private and home-schooled kids less at-risk for porn exposure?

By Karen Crawford
Women’s Ministry Director, Prodigals International

In 1980, Focus on the Family had an expert on the local Christian radio station discussing the beginning of a home school movement. I decided at that time that I was going to home school my kids because my personal experience in public school and those relationships was very negative. In the 15-year period before I had kids, the reasons for home schooling evolved.

In truth, the underlying reason was fear.

I know now that anything we do in fear is not a good thing. The Bible verse I am currently meditating on to combat this is –  

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7

My fears included seeing my kids walk away from God or being exposed to “worldly” ideas. Although there were many positives, as I’m nearing completion of my home school journey I would no longer say home schooling was the “best” thing we ever did. Why?

My husband and I were intentional about talking with each of our kids about internet pornography; we found the best internet accountability and filtering software (Covenant Eyes); we stayed educated about the issue and “controlled” our kids’ computer use; we didn’t let them have a phone until they started driving.  But while pornography wasn’t an issue for our girls, despite all that we did our boys were still exposed to pornography in their teen years. Fortunately, they knew that they needed to be accountable to a mentor in their life and talk about what they were experiencing.

Public School – Private School – Home School

Our family may be unique in our hyper-vigilance in this area, but it came as a result of our own experience with issues around sexual brokenness and recovery in our marriage. But even so, we found that pornography use among teens is similar among our kids’ peers whether they attend public or private school or are home schooled.


For more insight, you might also enjoy the following article from Covenant Eyes:


The Kaiser Family Foundation survey of 2010 (1), states that 8-18-year-old children spend 7 hours and 38 minutes on media per day. Because most teens multitask over different forms of media at one time, it averages out to more like 10 hours and 45 minutes per day. Here in 2017, those numbers have risen dramatically, especially for those who multitask.

Research experts have stated that the new average for first exposure to pornography is age 8 or 9. According to the Youth Internet Safety Survey (2), 68 % of 10-17-year-old kids intentionally sought out porn, both online and print.

There aren’t many surveys regarding pornography use among school-age students but when I asked Mike Olson, vice principal of Bellevue Christian Schools in Bellevue WA, he replied:

“Pornography is an equal-opportunity aggressor. Students are particularly susceptible to its call, as it seizes upon a natural desire to learn about and experience sex on some level. Students are particularly malleable during this life stage, and they will experience these desires, questions, and temptations on some level or another, regardless of their current environments. A student’s school setting is both insignificant and significant. On the insignificant side, temptation and curiosity are all part of a being human, and students experience these in an equal opportunity fashion. Schools can be significant depending on how they frame the issue, particularly the deeper issues behind pornography. Depending on the school’s philosophical foundation, they can frame the issue from a variety of standpoints, which can also involve varying levels of parental involvement and partnership. The school’s approach to pornography (and in a larger sense, towards sexuality in general) will vary from school to school, but any student, at any school, will grapple with the issue on some level or another. There is no ‘educational safe house’.”

What can we do?

If I can’t fully control what my kids will be exposed to, what can I do? My husband and I chose to empower ourselves and our children by being educated on what’s happening among teens, continually learn how to thoughtfully engage our kids in meaningful conversations about healthy sexuality and the dangers of pornography, and most of all PRAY!

To help moms with this process, Restoring Hearts Women’s ConferenceSaturday, April 29th at Westminster Chapel, Bellevue, WA – will feature a very special 2-session tract just for moms. Therapist Eric Gomez will lead the workshop Parents, Children and Needed Conversations About Pornography and Pure Community’s John and Anna Fort will present Parenting for Purity: Preparing Your Child for Healthy Relationships.

I hope you’ll consider joining us April 29th to gain new insight and tools to lay the groundwork for our children for a life of healthy sexuality and relationships.

 

Restoring Hearts Women’s Conference is a ministry of Prodigals International, a 12-step recovery and counseling ministry for those seeking healing and restoration from sexual brokenness.

Notes:

  1. Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds
  2. Youth Internet Safety Survey

Leave a Reply