Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Home school, private school, public school? Let me be honest here:

Today's blog post is from a discussion board response I wrote to one of my peers who greatly supported homeschooling his children. These are my thoughts, my opinions, and I am in no way saying the view I hold should be the view held by everyone, but please read:

I found your article very interesting, since I have struggled with varying opinions on home school, private school, and public school education. I admire that you home school your children, and I understand the reason why many parents choose this route. I found it interesting that the main reason parents in the study wanted to home school their children was to focus on "strengthening the relationship with their child." I think this is noble, and a good goal, but I think it could be unhealthy. For instance, I am an only child. My parents, when we moved to VA and I was about to start going to my county's public schools, contemplated the idea of homeschooling. At first, I thought the idea was kind of exciting, but we didn't dwell much on it and I ended up attending public schools. I am a Christian, and I come from a Christian family, and though my family believes in having close ties, I do not think keeping me home would have been healthy. For one, I'm almost "too close" to my parents, since I'm an only child, and because of that, I would have a hard time viewing them as my educators and not my closest friends (which they are) or my mom and dad (which they will always be to me, no matter how old I am). Also, I went through a very opinionated phase in high school that would have made teaching me very difficult. Sending me to school outside of the home was beneficial in that I saw the teachers as authority figures and not my buddies. I also think I studied harder and performed better academically because of the academic competition; I knew I was capable of good grades, and I wanted to prove myself. In a nut shell, I don't think I needed to strengthen my relationship with my parents. If anything, the attachment needed to be cut and I needed to experience the world of public school in order to grow and learn, both academically, personally, and spiritually.

You ask, "Is the public school system a hostile environment for Christian children?" I am not a parent yet, and I can only form an opinion from my own perspective, but I would say yes and no. I recently was married this summer to a wonderful man of God. We do intend to have children, and we have discussed the options for educating them. He is studying to be a youth pastor, and, as this course alludes to, I'm studying to become a teacher. We have come to the conclusion that we will send our children to public school for multiple reasons, with one of the main reasons being his future career. What kind of message does it send to the students of his future youth group and their parents if we, as spiritual leaders of their children, are concerned to send our own children to the school their children attend? How can my husband preach on "being in this world and not of it," on "being salt and light," if we keep our children from the world instead of teaching them how to confront the world and change it?

I very much respect your decision and the reasons for your decision. Like I said, I'm not a parent yet, so I may change my views on educating my children when that time comes. I did want to comment on one of your statements: "God is not welcome in government schools, and therefore they lack the values and moral character development that you can achieve from Christ-centered education." I feel that though God is not publicly allowed or accepted in public schools, His presence still resides in individuals. Not all public schools are equal, and some are more traditional, some have more Christian teachers and are more accepting of Judeo-Christian beliefs. I think, as the reading of this course has shown us, we are called to be a city on a hill for our students (as teachers). And as students and parents of students, we're to encourage them to do the same, not pull them out of an environment that so desperately needs to hear about His love and hope.


  1. Well written. Coming from a family that homeschools and in the ministry, I have to disagree a bit. I could go on for days but I will just touch on a few. As for relationship closeness, that was not really our goal. Our first goal was to be obedient to the Lord and He was calling us to homeschool. Another goal was to do as the Word says which is to "teach them diligently" all day, everyday. For me, if my child is with other people more than me, I would have a hard time reaching her heart to do this. When we made the decision, we came to the conclusion that there was no one else on earth that could teach and disciple my children better than me and my husband. I felt that whomever taught my children, discipled my children. I was not willing for "Caesar" to get to disciple my children. Do I think there are godly children in PS? Absolutely. Are there Christian teachers? Absolutely. As for pulling them out of an environment that they could be witnesses in, I probably disagree with the most. Most Christians take the "salt and light" verse out of context. That verse does not say GO and be salt and light. It says YOU ARE salt and light. You just are if you know Christ. Everywhere you go, whether school, the park, church, movies,sports activities, etc, you are salt because you have Christ. Eventually my children will be sent out, when the foundation is strong and ready. I am sure God will show us that time as He did when your parents made the decision they did. I say all of that but man is there so much more. I love ya girl, YOU KNOW THAT!!! God will direct you and show you guys His will when you have children. More than anything be open and do your research. Be informed and really pray for God's direction. You are going to be an amazing mother, I know!! I am so blessed to have been called to homeschool. I truly wish every parent could experience this life.

  2. Nice post! I liked what you had to say, and I definitely respect your opinion and the reasons you plan to send your children to public school. Quite honestly, I think everyone is different and every family situation is different, but the important thing is seeking to honor God in whatever way we educate our children, whether that's public school, private school, or home school.
    As for homeschooling an only child, I actually have a very good friend who was an only child, and her parents homeschooled her up until graduation. Every child and every family situation is different, but the relationship I witnessed between her and her parents was awesome. Also, the flexibility of her homeschool schedule allowed her to travel with her parents and to spend extra time pursuing her dreams of being a dancer.
    As for me, I went to a classical Christian school. Because of my parent's decision to send me there, I believe I got a better education than most of the public schoolers and others in my community. I was pushed to realize my potential there, and I honestly owe more to that school than I do to my college experiences. Personally, I don't think I would have done well in a public school. I was very shy as a child, and also very trusting. I really think going to a Christian school helped to shape a lot of who I am and the way I view the world.
    I have already decided that I will not be sending my future children to public school, but not because public school is bad. I have a feeling that my children, like myself, will probably do better in a Christian school or homeschool environment, and my husband, a homeschooler, feels the same. I plan to homeschool, due to the fact that not all Christian schools are equal (or affordable), and I feel that, given my experiences, I am capable of providing my children with a quality education similar to the one I received.

  3. Marvel-
    I remember having this conversation with you in person :) . I do think a good quality private school is worth looking into, except for the cost. But as we know, there are ways to have the costs reduced (which would be wonderful). I, being a perfectionist and feeling my public school provided a solid education, do not feel qualified to teach my children. Especially in anything other than reading and writing, and maybe history :P Each one has its pros and cons. I do think that is really neat about your one friend who was able to pursue dancing because of being homeschooled. :)

  4. As a wife of a minister and a public school teacher, I understand both sides of the issue. For me, I found it very important to send my children to public schools. First of all, I felt that I would be hypocritical to send my own children to private school yet be a public school teacher myself. Home schooling was not anything I ever considered for myself and my family. I always felt that I could not truly provide everything my own children needed to learn both academically and socially through their education experience. I was an excellent student in all areas of study in my own school experience; nevertheless, I felt that I was too limited to truly give my children the best education they could get. As God's people, we are called to live in this world but not be of this world. Separating them from the world was not the answer for us then. My children have both grown into well rounded and fine young adults. My son is planning on going into the ministry, and my daughter plans to pursue a career in education. Both of them maintain their faith and are able to live and work well with others, and they both found success in public schools and in their further academic studies. Public school was a great choice for them, and I am so very glad that we made that choice for them and for their education.