I’ll start with public school. Here are my reasons why you should send your kids to public school.
1. Resources – Public schools by far have the best funding and because of that they can offer many programs, specialists, and academic help for your kids that you could not get at a private school or provide yourself.
2. Social setting – Unless you start your own business you will work for and with people who are different than you. Learning how to interact, deal and lead people different than you is an invaluable life skill. One I feel that is difficult to learn if you are homeschooled.
3. Our public schools need Gospel Centered kids – You can read through the bible and see how God loves cities I think it breaks God’s hearts if we withdraw from our culture and create a counter culture, just as much if not more than it breaks his heart to see us be absorbed by our culture. We as parents have a responsibility to teach our kids how to demonstrate the Gospel. If our kids are surrounded by kids or family member who believe the same thing they do all the time they never are given space to doubt. When kids do not doubt they do not believe. We have made the mistake of trying to raise moral kids in a immoral culture our goal needs to be to infuse our culture with the gospel that will never happen if he hide in the hills or if we embrace culture with a cheap moralistic faith.
4. Brave vs. Safe – I want my kids to learn to cope with situations that are difficult while they live at home. Situations will come up and I want to teach my kids how to deal with those situations from a gospel perspective when they are young. I have seen to many kids grow up unable to cope because they were surrounded in a cocoon of like mindedness known as Christian school. They graduated when to college and left their faith because they were cut from their cocoon by an atheistic professor because their parents never let their wings grow. As a parent our natural instinct is to protect that is part of our job but more than protect we need to empower. I for the longest time I used to tell my boys to be safe I NEVER do that anymore, I tell them to make wise choices because I want my boys to make a difference not to just be safe.
I first asked this question 3 years ago. I found that people very passionately defend where they have their kids. I know some people who feel public school is the only way, other homeschool and still others Christian education. One thing I found found very interesting is that often times parents want to protect their kids from the things they experienced at the schools they attended. The parents who went to public school knew what public school was like and didn’t want that for their kids and were more likely to want to send their kids to private school and kids who went to private school knew what private school was like and didn’t want that for their kids and were more likely to send their kids to public school.
I struggled with this decision for my oldest son who is going into first grade next year and I am still struggling with it for my middle boy who is going into Pre-K next year. Why do I struggle? Well growing up we moved A LOT. When I say a lot I mean I went to 9 different schools in 13 years. I went to Public, Christian, ACE school, and though I wasn’t home schooled my parents home schooled my youngest sister for a few years. Beyond that I have been a kids pastor in the same church for 14 years. So I have seen the good the bad the ugly when it comes to how parents decide where to school their kids.
We are at that place again in our home as I am sure many of you are. Where should I send my kid to school? I think this is a huge issue every family faces. What if we as kids pastors partnered with parents to help them the best decision for their kids. I don’t know how that would work but I think honestly discussing the options are a good starting point.
In the next few days I want to talk about the reasons why you should and shouldn’t send your kids where you send them.
Another blogger friend of mine who has an amazing parenting blog called EpicParent.tv talked about this very topic yesterday. He tackles this very debate over there.