Homeschool dad joins board, seeks to boost families

Moms throng the homeschool expo at Camp Jordan, East Ridge, an event held yearly to connect local families with a rich marketplace of curriculum, software and other providers. (Photo David Tulis)

A long time homeschool dad has joined the local homeschool board and hopes to make the Chattanooga-Southeast Tennessee Home School Association more useful to families whom he suspects face a moral and social let down from the power of digital media.

James Hindman, 42, is the father of nine children and joins four other board members of a group that sponsors extracurricular activities such as softball and overseas a yearly homeschool expo that connects families and the homeschool marketplace.

Mr. Hindman has a burden for the nation is determined to help children in area families to be educated in the fear and nurture of the Lord for the betterment of themselves and their families.

Connectedness in God

Mr. Hindman has a burden for children to be educated “in the fear and admonition of the Lord, first and foremost.”

“There is a connectness of every educational endeavor, and that connectedness is God. So every subject, every thought, every idea, every truth has its center, its core, its being — in God. Having an ability for families to be able to teach with that truth and understanding, I think, is vitally important in this day and age.”

And how might CSTHEA help in that, and Mr. Hindman with it?

James Hindman

“CSTHEA can help in that by giving a centered or connected community around which the people of God who feel strongly about His sovereign rule over the affairs of man can set up and orchestrate their educational endeavors around that truth.”

The group provides a context for godly living, he says, supports “the ability, the framework, needed to do that.”

Is social media corroding human relationships, sometimes replacing them? Is digital media atomizing society further, or helping its members come closer together?

Support groups in age of digital media

“We’re in a period where there is definitely a diminishing of physical, authentic community,” Mr. Hindman worries.

“However, I think that will change. I think as the ‘digital economy,’ as *** electronic social communities will continue to leave families wanting, as it leaves them isolated, more ‘connected’ but more isolated, I think that there needs to be a firmly established, grounded physical community that is solely dedicated to God and helping families, educating children, loving children, providing them safety, providing them a real education that is grounded not in post-modernism, but is grounded in the word of God, in truth of God, the truth of the world and His creation.

“And I think CSTHEA needs to be that anchor. So as the trend continues to move toward a social network that is grounded in electronic — the pretense or facade of strong communities — when that breaks down, CSTHEA needs to be there waiting, willing and ready to embrace that community, that role, that role of providing community.”

To homeschool with confidence’

Jan Bontekoe

Steve Duggins


He wants the freedom to educate without “intrusive government education.” The board, Mr. Hindman says, wants area families to be able to “homeschool with confidence,” banding together in mutual support. When a pernicious bill hit the Tennessee general assembly several years ago, he says, families throw a wave of objections into the general assembly so great it drowned the proposal in committee.

“I love homeschooling, I love the freedom that’s tied to a father and mother, or even a single mother or a single father, having the option of providing an alternative to post-modernism, an alternative to secular humanism, an alternative to the current, where everything is going downstream.

David Boyd

Jeannette Tulis

“Homeschoolers are the last free Americans who are saying, ‘no, we are getting off the river, or we are going to swim upstream. I have desire to see that continue, and to help that grow.”

Mr. Hindman wants children educated to “a high degree” and to be given “real community, real socialization, real service to the community, real understanding of God and his world as it relates to every educational discipline that there is.”

CSTHEA organizes sporting activities such as softball, basketball, track, plays, soccer and other educational benefits — mock trial, which help in “developing our children to speak in public or read case law and be able to rationalize and organize their thoughts around specific issues or the law.” In a Christian context, these activities for body and soul help build God’s kingdom, Mr. Hindman says.

James and Tara have eight children and have been home educating 15 years. He works in the TVA legal department dealing with contracts. Before that he worked in insurance. He is an elder/pastor at Chattanooga Primitive Baptist Church between Red Bank and Signal Mountain

His children are Autumn, 20, married; son-in-law is Jack Skiles, 21; Clayton, 16; Jessie, 11; Cora, 10; Abbie, 9; Levi, 8; Everett, 5; and Charlotte, 2.

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