Here are my reasons to send your kids to Christian School
1. Other Godly examples – One of the things I remember best from my years in Christian School was the teachers that taught me. Most Christian schools don’t pay their teachers a lot as a result the people who do teach are very passionate about what they do and the passion reaches the kids. I remember many of the Godly teachers that influenced my life. That is priceless to see another adult telling you the same thing your parents are is invaluable.
2. Christian Perspective – History from the view point of our christian faith is never going to be taught in a public school setting. I know that some of the curriculum Public schools choice is less than desirable from a faith perspective. Sending your kids to a school where they learn that History is “His story” (what a good christian school child I am, I still remember History is “His Story”). Having that base of knowledge is so important especially in the PC world we now live in. Truth is truth it’s not always pretty but if we try to change history to sound more sanitary we will never learn from it.
3. Smaller Pond – In Christian school I was a pretty good basketball player in public school I was number 235 and was you guessed it cut the second week of practice. The reality is that most kids will not play sports outside of High school. Going to a christian school your son or daughter with average talent will benefit from the ability to take part in team sports. Some kids need a smaller environment for their star to shine. I went to Christian school of 150 and a public school of 3,000 so I saw this whole principle play out first hand.
4. Lots of kids who believe the same thing – I agree with Reggie Joiner. Every kid needs another kid who believes the same thing they believe. I believe every Christian kid’s best friend should also be a Christ follower and as much as I want my kids to be friends with kids who haven’t crossed the line of faith I want their best friends to be Christ followers. Every kid need another kid, they can call, tweet or text “Am I crazy for….” and I will know that the answer will be based out of God’s word and not out of the random pile of teenage emotion. Having your kids in a Christian environment can be unrealistic but it could also be life giving it’s up to you.
Here are my reasons why you shouldn’t send your kids to Christian school.
1. Price – Let’s face it. Money makes a difference. I don’t begrudge Christian Schools charging what they charge because they get no funds from the Government. It just makes it more difficult to pull off. It is hard enough to pay school taxes as a land owner but to pay for school twice in this economy is a sacrifice for sure. If the Government would do a voucher system in my opinion it would benefit both Christian and Public schools for different reasons and the ultimate winner would be our kids. (Side rant – many schools are crunched for money let anyone in as a result the crazy kid to good kid ration in many Christian schools is Higher than Public school. I went to a Christian school that had many kids enrolled who were expelled from Public school, nice)
2. Moralism vs. Grace – I attended three different christian schools in my academic career so although I can not speak for every Christian school I have a sense of what most are like. Every christian school I went to focused more on the law, works and being a good person surprisingly enough very few christian schools really taught what the gospel is all about. I never remember hearing a message in chapel or in class that Jesus + Nothing else = My Redemption. I went to school with lots of “Good kids” many of which were going through the motions to keep their parents off their back once they graduated they were gone. I wrestled with this for many years, the conclusion I have come to is that moralism and teaching our kids to be “good kids” doesn’t make a difference leading them to understanding of the Gospel and living it out in front of them does.
3. Parent capitulation – Parents of kids who are have kids in christian school often times feel that their kids are getting all the spiritual guidance they need. Whether this is implicit or explicit it happens not with every child but many parents breath a sigh of relieve as they send their kids to a Christian school and don’t engage their kids spiritual journey like they need to. Discipline your kids is not the responsibility of the Christian school and youth pastor it’s our responsibility as parents so no matter where you send them you need to be involved in their lives daily. It looks different in Public school, and home school than it does in Christian school but the level of connection needs to be the same no matter what road you take.
4. Fairness – One of the main reasons I wouldn’t send my kids to a Christian school being a pastor’s kid I felt like unfair expectations were placed on me from teachers and I felt students perceived I received better treatment. The third Christian school I went to this was not an issue. I would never send my kids to a christian school where they knew I was a pastor. I don’t think the teachers would treat them as fairly as other kids. Weather this is real or perceived on my part is up for debate. I know what I perceived as a Jr. Higher and I don’t want my kids to have to go through that. I don’t want special treatment for my kids I just want them treated like everyone else.
Here are my reasons to homeschool your kids.
1. No one can love your kids like you – There are few things on earth that exemplify the love God has for us like the love a parent has for a child. All other loves, grow, have a starting point and to some degree are earned. I loved each of my children before they were born. When I first laid eyes on them there was a love that filled my life for them words can’t explain. I work with kids for a living but there is something special about your own children. No one can love your kids like you do. You can send your kids to public school or Christian School and they can have the most caring and loving teachers ever but their love for your child will never compare to the God given love you have for them. There is nothing my kids could do that would make me stop loving them. When my son is at school I miss him our family dynamic is different. I hate not knowing what he does all day. I think about him all the time when he’s at school I wonder how he is treating others and how others are treating him. I wonder what he is learning.
2. You can teach to their strengths – This is huge. I am officially the worst math student ever. I am a creative, English, History, Art and Drama kind of kid. When you are stuck in a school system you learn a little bit of everything. When you are home taught your parents know what your strengths are and can give you the individual treatment where they can teach you everything through the lens of your strengths. Why I love this approach as it teaches kids to be life long lovers of learning
3. You can include spiritual dicipleship as part of the curriculum – This is huge. This is what Deut. 6 is all about teaching your kids all day about who God is and the rescue plan he has for them. You MANY more opportunities for teachable moments. There is no room for Faith in the Public school, and in Christian schools what is taught is generally very basic because so many kids from so many denominations attend a given school. When kids are home taught you can teach them what you believe and live it out in front of them while reinforcing it with those God moments that come along. All three of those things working together is a force to be reckoned with.
4. Flexibility – Home schooling is massively flexible. You can teach about dinosaurs and take your kids to the Museum of natural history the next day. So much of what kids learn in Public and Christian school is 2D. Public/Christian school – Here is a picture of a fish, fish swim in water. When you homeschool you can take your kids to a fish hatchery and they can see, touch and hopefully not taste the water the fish are swimming in. You can also start and maintain traditions that will be with your kids for years because you have the flexibility to celebrate to teach and rest whenever you want. Lastly you can go on vacation whenever you want – You can go to Disney when everyone is in school and avoid long lines and get cheaper rates. Public/Christian School kids can’t go on vacation whenever they want.
If we ever feel that we need to homeschool our kids we will. I think there is a lot of value in it.
Here are my reasons for why you shouldn’t homeschool your kids.
1. Limited exposure – I know some homeschool people see this as a plus I would say it’s a negative it is very easy to be exclusive and introverted. One of the problems of surrounding yourself and your kids with people who think the same as you, is that you never allow kids to have their faith questioned. You present facts from one perpective and and doesn’t ever force kids to flex their faith muscle. I believe that faith grows from push backs to doubts you face. I went to christian school and public school I found that my trust was tested more in a setting where all I had was my faith. Did kids mock me yes. I talked to my parents they helped guide me and I learned in those situations that I can trust God when I am with my parents and when I am separated from them.
2. Weirdness – One of the reasons many parents turn to Homeschooling is they feel that they are best suited to love and understand their children. I wholeheartedly agree as a father of 3. What concerns me is the attitude many homeschoolers have. I am not sure what causes it and want to say that not all families act this way but it seems at some point some homeschool families get a chip on their shoulder and seem look at those who send their kids to other schools with distain. I have seen many blog posts online of homeschool parents ranting. I think this produces attitude produces a weird spirit which in tern makes people who aren’t homeschool glad they are not.
3. Quality of teaching – Some parents are amazing teachers others are not so great. I know that I excel in certain topics and could homeschool our kids until 6th grade 7th grade and above would get dicey. I want my kids to have a great education and I am not sure if I could teach my kids Algebra since my Algebra 1 teacher Mr. Johnson would throw erasers at me. Also if you read my blog you know I am a horrible speller.
4. Other Voices – I am a strong believer that kids need other people than just their parents speaking into their life. In homeschooling this is not an impossibility but you do have to go out of your way to make this happen. In other school environments you have other people seeing things in your kids that you may or may not see. One of the things we tell our oldest is that a man is someone who speaks up for those who others persecute and look down on. That true religion is caring for the widows and the orphans. At my sons school there is another Kindergarten who is smaller than the rest of the kids. Some kids were teasing him about his size my son spoke up and told them to stop. When I heard the story I almost cried because I was so proud. It’s one thing to stand up for your brother or sister who are being teased by another sibling it’s a whole nother thing to stand up for a stranger. Then we get his report card it said he was doing fine academically and his teacher said he is “a dependable and kind boy” That is what every kid needs homeschool, christian school and public school they need other adults that want to see them succeed. Can you have that as a home schooled kid? Yes it’s just more difficult.
Here are the reasons that should make you think twice before sending your kids to public school
1. Class size – Public school is publicly funded so it is the default choice of many. As a result there are more kids per grade than Christian and Homeschool. It is not even an option for even the best of teachers to give the individual attention your child could get at a Christian School or if you Homeschooled.
2. Wasted time – Being in a large group you inevitably wait for the kid that is the slowest in everything from lunch to class work. This leads to kids who are quick learners and eaters to have extra time to either be bored or to fill it with less than noble actions. (How do I know this I was a quick eater and quick learner)
3. Lack of personal connections – Again with so many kids in their care schools have to take measures to maintain safety. Any time you gain safety you give up freedom. I find it difficult to let my son walk to his Kindergarten class by himself and never have a chance to get to know his teacher or allow her to know us. We have gone out of our way to know his teacher and she has gone out of her way to know us but it hasn’t been easy.
4. You don’t know what they teach – It is difficult not knowing what curriculum is used but also not knowing what frame of reference a teacher may have. There are many great teachers but a bad teacher can have long term effects that are very difficult to recover from. Sort of connected to this is a huge pet peeve of mine politicians who force teachers in New York to teach for the test. Because teachers have to do this it makes it difficult to create a lifelong love of learning in kids. I hate that.