When our first child was ready for school, we put her into a public school. We had reasons. We wanted her to be in the world, learn how the world works and be prepared. We wanted our family to be “light” in the world (for want of a clearer way of putting it) by teaching our children about the Lord and living that testimony with them before others.
But things came unstuck for us as we asked the children what they learned about at school. The answers often concerned us. Some of what the school taught as fact was not fact – it was philosophical or just plain opinion, and whatever it was, it was not in accordance with how the Bible says we should be raising our children.
After some time (probably too long) we decided to check out the (limited) selection of Christian schools in the area. We found one. This school taught the children using a rigorous and thorough teaching curriculum from year 1 to year 12. In later years, the students would be taught philosophy and apologetics – helping them to build a sound Biblical world view. Sadly, this approach to Christian education is sorely lacking – even among “Christian” schools. But in Wellington Christian Schools are rare and poorly attended. It seems many Christians in our area didn’t see much reason in sending their children to a Christian school.
…we thought that Christian schooling was the ultimate answer to the education requirements of Christians.
When our children were at a Christian school we thought that Christian schooling was the ultimate answer to the education requirements of Christians. And I was an evangelist and apologist for the cause.
When we decided we were coming to the USA to live we knew that a private Christian school on a zero salary would be hard, so we decided to home school. Once we got settled, we began to really enjoy the home schooling routine and what it offers us in terms of flexibility of education and lifestyle.
The point of all this is that we’ve experienced every main education option available to Christians today. I’ve also been on the board of a private Christian school, so having had all that experience, in one of my recent classes I did a paper outlining guidelines for Christian parents who are considering the different education options.
My goal was not to recommend one over another. There are some situations when public school is necessary. But there are many misconceptions about private school pricing and homeschooling. There are advantages to these latter options for many families also. So my paper set out to explore the benefits and disadvantages of each of the options available to most countries in the west.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to publish the paper here in parts. As I wrote the paper, I did a search and couldn’t find anything that provided a similar analysis aimed at Christian parents, so hope it will be useful Christian parents wanting to think through the issues.