Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Why We Put Our Christian Child In Public School

I really am asking the Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts here because we come from a social circle where Homeschooling is considered the only real choice for a Christian family. But I wanted to at least put my thoughts out there on why I believe it's often okay if your kids go to public school.

I think homeschooling is a great opportunity for lots of families to raise strong Christian children in the way that they should go.
I think that public school is a great opportunity for a family to raise strong Christian children in the way that they should go.

Both of these are absolutely true. If you say sending a child to public school is a sin, then you need to fully back that up with scripture, and then explain it to the millions of Christian kids who have stayed strong in the faith while being educated in a secular environment.

First of all, I think most people would agree that a child's education is critical. So whatever one decides for their child's education needs to be thought about, prayed about, and meditated upon. If you listen to the Word and the Holy Spirit and you are led to place your kids in the public school system, then you should do just that. Be prepared to receive some grief from the inner circle. Do not be deterred though. There is not a verse in the Bible that says a child is required to be educated in the home. In fact I believe that if the Holy Spirit is leading you to put your child in Public school and you ignore that so that you don't have to feel awkward around your Christian friends, or sometimes even ostracized, then you are sinning by going against the leading that God has given you.

My sister and I grew up in public school, from Kindergarten till the day we walked across the stage and got our diploma. My wife was first raised in Catholic school and then transferred to public high school. We both have extensive experience with the worldliness that is taught in public school. I can't speak fully for her.. But for me, I was taught right from wrong from the Word, from parents, at home, at church, at camps, on youth mission trips, and every single Sunday and Wednesday of my life.. to this day.

It's true..
Homeschooling your child will allow you to dictate every aspect of their education, and bring a Godly perspective throughout their learning process. They won't face bullies. They won't face religious persecution. They will be separated completely from the world. But is this always the best scenario?

SO, without further ado.. Here's why WE send our daughter to Public School.

We have very little choice. We, together, out of necessity of maintaining health, food, and shelter for our family we put our daughter in public school. My wife and I both work full time jobs and we need every drop of income that we make. Granted we got married later in life when both of us brought our own debts, car loans, and spending styles into the picture. However you shape it, we simply cannot afford private school or homeschooling. It's as simple as that. This is coming from a dyed in the wool conservative who would give anything to see the federal government abolished in almost every sector.

We were able to choose a magnet school. It's a better education. Not just everyone gets in. They have uniforms and they have structure. If she were going to a dangerous school in a seedy part of town then it might be a different scenario. Now, I did not attend a magnet school. And my middle school and high school were both in the poorer parts of town. But Christ was never far from my thoughts. He goes where I go.

Christian teachers; Other Christian students. One of my big arguments for the acceptance of public school is simple.. There are millions of Christian students and teachers that are in public schools. Yes, it's tough to block out some of the harmful curriculum. But you can find other believers that act as a support to help maintain your child walking in the faith. Encourage those relationships with teachers and students who are in the same situation. You can almost have a Christian school within a public school. If every Christian kid was home schooled then the public school system would be a dark place where God would be completely absent and would leave a lot of kids destined to die and go to hell. I can think of many friends who got saved when they came into contact with a Christian friend and ended up getting saved and even eventually leading their families to the Lord.

We are fully aware of what is taught. One of the arguments for home school is that you have no control over what things are fed into your impressionable child's head. And that has some merit. However, you have the ability to get aggressive with your child's school and demand to be in on the curriculum. In our school we don't have to. We know the teacher. We have the ability to talk to her after hours. We also know exactly what her homework will be. We've seen the billions of years stuff and the liberal global warming stuff, and we've been able to talk to our daughter about what is actually true and what isn't. And she knows when to kind of tune out the worldly stuff. It opens up dialogue. It gives us a chance to help mold her faith and prepare her for what the world is going to try to do to her beliefs when she gets out of school some day. It has been a positive in our home.

Social maturity I don't know what home school is really like. I don't know every situation. But I believe that home school could possibly stunt social maturity. Our daughter is an only child. I would be seriously concerned about her maturity when it comes to relationships and social skills. Every child is different. However, they will face bullies, but with every downside there will be an opportunity to learn compassion, and empathy for the lost. There are risks. There are risks of your child being too heavily influenced to become like the world. In other words he/she might mature too much and be pulled by the dark elements that are part of every aspect of the world. But you have to just trust in God. God gives us some comfort that is essential for parents of public schoolers.. Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. Some will take that verse to mean "educate" a child in the way that he should go. And that IS part of it. But training means spending time in prayer, reading the Word, teaching right from wrong, going to church.. etc. She can go learn her algebra over there.. but when she comes home we will take responsibility for her faith, spiritual maturity, and yes, deprogramming of whatever nonsense she was taught along with facts in school. We do not sit idly by.

If you have an opportunity and the skills to homeschool your children, you should do it.. IF it is what God is calling for you. But don't do it out of a guilt trip because you are afraid of how you will look to the ladies of your sewing group. Or because the men on the Tuesday morning men's breakfast all homeschool their kids. Be persuaded by God.. not man. And be prepared to defend your decision. The answers I gave here are a few thoughts on why I sleep okay at night with our decision. But find your own in Scripture and research.

Most importantly...

You already know what public school is going to teach. If you should go against the evangelical tide and send your kids to public school, do not be naive about what your child's little ears are going to hear. Billions of years, Karl Marx, Sex is okay, homosexuality is normal and okay, the Bible is not okay, Democrats are good, Republicans are evil, Christians are evil..etc Be Prepared!

And finally...

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--
his good, pleasing and perfect will.

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