I’ll begin with a little bit of my family’s story. I was educated in a private school first through fifth grades. It was not exactly a Christian school, although the principal-founder and his wife were religious people. In the morning, our teachers would read a portion of the Bible or a devotional thought, there was prayer, and we recited the Pledge of Allegiance. In sixth grade, I transferred to a public school and remained in public schools until college. My brother is two years younger, and his schooling was much the same. Our sister is quite a bit younger than we are, and she had the opportunity to go to two different Christian schools in grade school, and another for high school. This was back in the 1970s, when the Christian school movement was in its infancy. All three of us studied at a Christian university.
My mother taught in public schools all her life, except for when I was very small when she taught in a school for the blind. My brother taught in a Christian school. My sister is a public school teacher. She has taught in Christian schools and in private academies as well. Our daughter is teaching in her second Christian school. Our son teaches in a Christian college. I homeschooled both of our children, using Christian materials.
Some of the best teachers I ever had were my public high school teachers. One was a born-again Christian. Most were not. They were gifted teachers who genuinely cared about their students. Even today, I think of them often. I believe a Christian teacher in a public school can make a huge impact on his students for good. I do, though, know that a teacher today is limited in what he is allowed to say about religion of any kind. He has to be very careful how he broaches certain subjects. Science teachers, especially, are having a hard time in public schools. If they introduce the option of Intelligent Design (that there has to be a Creator, since the world is so intricate and so obviously designed) they are persecuted. Other Christian teachers might face challenges like the required reading or some of the new, altered history textbooks. I believe it is a difficult place to work, but a Christian teacher can truly make a difference. For those who are called to do just that, you have my respect.
Let me share some of our thought processes in choosing Christian schooling for our children and why I believe Christians should pray about and consider Christian schooling for their own children.
- The most important thing we can teach our children is the Bible. A school that teaches the Bible and the core subjects from a biblical viewpoint will help our children learn the practicality of Bible principles. Most private, charter, and public schools do not teach any Bible.
- A biblical worldview is an essential foundation. When we see history as God’s plan, math as logic and design, language as a means to communicate Truth, and science as the study of God’s magnificent creation, we have a biblical worldview. When we recognize God’s eternal existence, His moral standards of right and wrong, and that our purpose in life is to glorify God in all that we say and do, then we have a biblical foundation for life and faith. Unfortunately, in public schools, children are taught that Truth is relative, the Big Bang actually happened, and that humans are nothing more than a series of chance mutations. Public schools teach tolerance for every kind of thought and act, without considering moral absolutes. Public schools teach children that they are animals.
- Children are vulnerable. They are not yet mature, and their thought processes are in their formative years. They need an education based on Truth so that they understand absolutes and their life purpose—to glorify God. When some little children are exposed to false teachings at school and Truth at home and church, they become confused and begin to question the Bible.
- Our children needed a good English education. (We live in Spain, so English isn’t available in many places besides at home.) Another “language” reason was this: our children would hear only clean language in our homeschool. Whether you choose homeschooling or a Christian school, your children have the advantage of having only clean speech around them. That includes clean teaching, clean jokes, clean-speaking friends, and all the rest that comes with Christian surroundings.
Back when I was in public high school, it was a good school. It was conservative. I never heard a curse word from any teacher but one, and all the teachers were dedicated to teaching. I never was required to read a dirty book, and life was good. Three years later, my brother experienced a different story. (This was back in the 1970s.) I’m very aware of the changes in public schools since then. Today, I can’t imagine kids reading the required books and coming away unscathed.
If you are a born-again Christian, you highly value the Bible and a biblical worldview. I know you want your children to know the Lord themselves and to be brought up to be able to discern between Truth and falsehood. Deuteronomy 6:5-7 tell how you can do this: And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. This sounds like an all-day teaching assignment to me!
How can we instill biblical teaching in our children? A Christian education is a good way to do this. If you have school-age children and have never given Christian schooling a thought, please consider praying about this option for your child.
Come, ye children, hearken unto me:
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:
and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.