I dislike being part of school based conversations within Christian circles. This probably takes you by surprise, right? Especially since I taught at a local Christian school for several years and the education of children is something I am passionate about. But, if I’m being completely honest, the ongoing debate regarding the best learning environment for our kids is exhausting and extremely frustrating.
There are several places to contemplate when it comes to preparing for school. Homeschool. Christian school. Preschool. Public school. They all have their advantages and disadvantages and there are many factors that should be considered when determining where your child(ren) will receive the best education. The dynamics of family, individual character traits of children, demographic of where you live, and so many other variables play a crucial role in deciding which is the best education when it comes to your children. For my family, that choice came easy. We love our public school.
I understand why many Christian families stay away from public school districts. Your children spend hours a day out of your home, away from your influence, and are exposed to a very worldly reality. It’s scary, yes, but it also has its own set of benefits and, regardless of what some people may think, God works in beautiful ways within the public education system.
So, dear friend, I ask you to keep an open mind as I share with you the reasons why public school is important to our family.
- Our school district is ranked among one of the best in the state. Students perform well on mandated testing, there is a high graduation rate, and the majority of those who graduate continue on after high school to achieve college degrees.
- Academic success is not the most important aspect of the day. Staff members spend their time learning about each individual student, encouraging them in their strengths while helping them grow in areas of weakness, and pouring their passion for learning into the hearts and minds of those in their classrooms.
- Extracurricular activity options are endless. Suzuki, orchestra, band, chorus, intramural sports, drama club, chess club, robotics classes, photography workshops, etc. The list goes on!
Our children are benefiting from public school in a remarkable way but perhaps the most important aspect of this is how it gives our family an everyday opportunity to demonstrate faith in action. We are called to go into the world. To be the hands and feet of Jesus. To love others. To make disciples of Christ.
As a stay at home mom our school is the place this happens for me and my kids! It is where we have the chance to pour into our community. The school is filled with staff members, volunteers, parents, and children that we have come to love. People we shower with affection in hopes that they will see Jesus in our every action.
If you are on the fence about public school let me encourage you:
- There are Christians within each district woven throughout the buildings. You will find them. They will find you. There will be an instant connection and you can leave your children knowing there is light surrounding them.
- Build relationships and get involved. The more people you know and the more involved you become – the more comfortable you will feel. Volunteer at every opportunity. Spend time getting to know the staff. I assure you, this will be a blessing to you! I couldn’t be more thankful for the relationships I have with my kid’s teachers, both past and present, our principal (who is the absolute best!), the administration staff, and the lunch and recess monitors. They jointly love on and watch over my children and they will do the same for yours!
- The Bible promises that God never leaves or forsakes us. Your children are never alone. Be assured that God is still working in their lives (and hearts!) even when attending public school.
Again, I am not saying public school is the best option for everyone. But currently it is the right choice for my family. If you send your kids to public school or attended one yourself, what are some tips you might share to someone who is feeling apprehensive?