4 reasons NOT to send your kids to Christian School.

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.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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7 thoughts on “4 reasons NOT to send your kids to Christian School.

  1. Just like with homeschooling, I think that one other reason not to send your kids to Christian school is fear that public school will somehow corrupt your children.

    Having gone to Christian school and taught at one, another reason not to send your kids to Christian school is that many Christian schools do not have the resources available to public schools. While I did go to Christian school when I was younger, I went to a public school from 8th grade on. I would've never had access to the educational experiences I did if I had been in a Christian school or homeschooled.

  2. Thank you for writing this article.
    I went to an all girls Catholic school and while our school chose to go against the norm and required us to study material that was controversial and many times morally wrong – many choose to avoid it all together. Because some of us attempted to lead moral lives – following in the footsteps of Jesus – we might not have had the exposure or experience to such subject matter in life or another Catholic/Christian school – for that matter.

    I've even read about some schools that have chosen to remove Shakespeare or Poe from the curriculum for fear that the subject material may cause the kids to stumble. Seriously?

  3. Blanket statements are always dangerous. It will always depend on the school. I was offered Christian school as a young boy, and I chose to stay in the public, as I wanted to have a ministry in the secular school – and started on campus bible studies and lead kids to Christ, but my sister did attend the Christian school, and benefited from it greatly. I think it depends on the school and the child. I think your concerns are valid, but there are also kids who have been lead astray from the faith in a secular school that could have gotten a biblical foundation in a Christian school. Our son is in a Christian school while he is young because I want him to get a solidly biblical world view while he is young, especially as it relates to science and history, though I’m not sure that I’ll keep him there all the way to 12th, for the reasons I wanted to be in secular in junior high and high school. I agree on the Gospel focus and access to educational resources. As with any topic, it will always come down to the needs of the child, and the evaluation of the specific school. Parents who fail to do that, are the ones who fail their children. Blanket conclusions about Christian schools in general I don’t think are helpful, as there are many Christian schools which are far better than the secular schools in the same neighborhood, and also secular schools that are far better than the Christian school in the same neighborhood. Parents need to make educated choices, not just go with the label of “Christian” or not, for there is a lot more to a child’s education than just Christianity, as central as that may be.

    • Karl I agree but would you not agree your statements about why you send your kids to Christian school are blanket statements as well. Just because a school called themselves a Christian school does not mean they are presenting a biblical world view often times it’s an inferior education accompanied by a lame chapel service. My point in this series was to challenge our assumptions that inform our decisions make the best decision we can for our kids through much prayer, council, research and just plain knowing our kids. In the end we have to trust God with our children’s future and be involved in their education.

  4. I will start by saying neat website to make points both for and against Christian schools, now as to Point 1. You use a failed gov. policy (tax code if person A has 2 kids person B has 3 kids and person C has no kids why do they share the cost of educating 5 kids) to promote a gov. education
    Point 2.Some Christian schools don’t teach Jesus + Nothing else = My Redemption, how many public schools do? none in My area. Point 3. Parent capitulation in public schools is better? when a large portion believe that gov. is to feed breakfast, lunch for free and educate completely with no help from parents. Point 4 Is there fairness in public schools? A pastor’s kid would get a fair shake in a secular school. In closing I would agree that putting the words Private and Christian in your school name does not = no problems, but it goes back to Parent capitulation my kid is in a Christian school that is non denominational but is affiliated with the Church we attend so the 3 aspects of my child’s life are in agreement Home,Church and school

    • Cantputtalick,

      I appreciate your comment sorry it took me so long to respond. I agree with your points and understand how they could potentially be true of a specific school. My goal in this series of posts was to tackle the broader issues that I have observed. I went to a few different public and private schools growing up and what I wrote about were reasons I would hesitate sending my kids based on my experience with a few different christian schools from different parts of the country that I believe to demonstrate a trend if not a systemic problem.

  5. Here is some evidenced based data for Christian schools from Dan Krause of Graceworks Ministries and work by secular researchers:

    The profound opportunity of a Christian school is two-fold: (1) Students do far better academically in a Christian school, and (2) Students in a Christian school stay steadfast in their faith, even if they attend a secular college.

    Stronger Academic Achievement. To resolve important questions in social science, meta-analysis studies are done. Meta-analyses are studies of studies. In the case of William Jeynes in Religion, Education, and Academic Success (above), 134 related academic research studies were analyzed together by statisticians at Harvard and the University of Chicago.

    Jeynes’ critical conclusion is that all traditional academic achievement gap issues (income/race) go away in Christian schools in an intact family. In the case of a single parent, achievement gap losses are mitigated about half-way.

    In other words, no one can credibly argue that people who receive financial aid are “holding back the class.” In fact, Jeynes attributes these achievement gap gains to the fact that religious schools will simply NOT lower their standards. Why are these achievement gaps overcome in Christian schools? Jeynes’ meta-analysis found four key reasons:

    (1) More challenging curriculum / harder classes
    (2) Higher expectations of student diligence
    (3) Solid overall student work habits / learning habits
    (4) Spiritual and moral emphases

    Steadfast Faith. The greatest impact of a Christian school is the eternal one – students who remain faithful and church-attending after college – regardless of the college attended. The 8,000-pound gorilla in the room is the sobering fact that between 50-60% of our kids – church going, Sunday school / youth group attending – are no longer engage with a Christian church upon graduating from college. Five different researchers have found this percentage dropping out (or worse):

    Formerly Active Twenty-Somethings No Longer Actively Involved in a Christian Church
    Summary of Studies

    Researcher Year Sample Size No Longer Church-Going
    George Barna 2006 24,227 61%
    Steve Henderson / Gary Railsback 2003 15,895 52-63%
    Ken Ham 2009 1,000 89%
    Ed Stetzer 2007 1,023 70%

    While different researchers disagree on why church-going high schoolers no longer attend church after college, a persistent theme is lack of a personal relationship with God. Some of this research (Stetzer) suggests that some twenty-somethings will eventually return to the church, but there are no guarantees.

    For church-going kids who attended Christian school, the number of “church-going drop-outs” is a fraction of that – less than 10% according to Josh McDowell. As you would expect, the number is also much lower for students who attend Protestant Christian colleges and universities. (Only about 20% of Christian families are able to choose this option, however.)

    So what is the opportunity of a Christian education? Graduates of Christian schools are far better prepared academically, and for the lower income groups are 2-3 times more likely to graduate from college. And our graduates keep the faith, even in secular universities. Both academically and spiritually, we can send our children to the finest colleges and universities in the country – with confidence.

    The profound opportunity of a Christian school is two-fold: (1) Students do far better academically in a Christian school, and (2) Students in a Christian school stay steadfast in their faith, even if they attend a secular college.