Why Some Christian Families Choose Public Schooling
by Alan Melton
Many Christian parents today are deciding to place their children in public schools, in spite of the growing trend towards homeschooling. These parents deeply care about their children, and thoughtfully armed with information available in their churches and communities, they choose the local public school. In this article we will examine these reasons, and offer alternative considerations.
“My children need to be properly socialized.” There is no doubt that our children need positive socialization. This is precisely why they don’t need to be placed with a group of other fools their age! Doing so hinders the child’s ability to socialize in a setting that they will interact in the future; with people of all ages. When parents choose settings for training that are inclusive of people of all ages such as the family integrated church and other parent supervised social events, children learn how relate in settings that better reflect life in the real world, while being instructed by the watchful parent. By training our children to communicate and interact with people who are older and younger, they learn important lessons from the wise, and learn how to care for and love the young. Proverbs 13:20 says, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, But the companion of fools will be destroyed.”
“I don’t have the ability/education to teach my children.” While this seems like a logical reason for the trained educator, this is a fallacy. There is no way a trained teacher with 25 children can be as effective as an uneducated but loving parent with a few children. The parent knows the child, the institutional teacher does not. The parent can address issues of the child’s heart, the trained educator cannot. The child is likely to have similar learning styles as the parent. The parent can administer one on one tutoring. The parent can slow down or speed up the process to meet the child’s needs, while the child may be left behind or way ahead while the public school uses the “cookie cutter” approach in an attempt to teach the large class. One of the best byproducts of homeschooling is the joy of relearning with your children! Deuteronomy 6:7 tells us God’s standard.
“I want my children to have the same experiences that I did.” Just a few decades ago the number one problem in school was chewing gum in class. Today the problems are rape, murder, drugs, pregnancy; the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, we read every day about some news of violence in government schools. The experiences children have today are vastly different than experiences that we had. Last but not least, many of the experiences we had in school are not the kind we want for our children; we want better!
Romans 12:2 admonishes us “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
“If I was with my children all day, I would go insane.” Although scripture tells us that our children are blessings, many Christian parents don’t feel this way. Although this complex problem can’t be adequately addressed in one paragraph, a solution is possible. It involves both parents working together to discipline their children, building stronger relationships through more family time, and removing negative influences that work against the family. Although this is hard work, enjoying your children is worth it!
Proverbs 15:20 shows us a solution, “A wise son makes a glad father, But a foolish son is the grief of his mother.”
“We can’t afford for my wife to quit her job.” This may be a legitimate reason for a two income family where the income of each wage earner is below poverty level. However, the question that must be asked is the following, “Would God help us to live if we step out in faith to obey Him?” In the same way that tithing brings blessings from God, obeying His word regarding training your children will be sure to bring blessings. The blessings may not necessarily come in terms of financial wealth. But with sound planning, virtually any family in America can create a lifestyle that is sustained by one wage earner. One of the blessings will be family memories that money cannot buy!
Psalms 37:3 instructs, “Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.”
“We are in a great school district; the teachers are Christians.” This may be true, but schools, like individuals must conform to the laws. Today it is unlawful for schools to teach your children the things that you value the most, and it is a requirement for the schools to teach your children what you consider to be harmful to their spiritual wellbeing. Christian teachers are required by law to deny their faith. Read Deuteronomy 11:19 to see God’s command to parents.
“Most of the other children in my church go to public school.” That is true. This is the reason that 85% of all children who have been public schooled for 12 years are leaving the church, never to return. Why not let your child play Russian roulette? The odds of winning that dangerous game are 83%. The odds of winning at public school are only 15% or less! This can be “the promised land” as explained in Acts 7:3, ‘Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.’
“My pastor says we need to be salt and light.” According to law, a teacher or child cannot be salt or light. They are forbidden to tell about their faith. There are many recent examples of teachers and children who have been sanctioned for attempting to witness. Why can’t we find some legal, less dangerous, less harmful, less costly ways to be “salt and light” to our community? Ask your pastor to find better ways than sacrificing your child to grow his church membership. Matthew 10:16 says "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”
Alan Melton is a home schooling parent and the director of Family Together Ministries. FTM is a non-profit organization that uses biblical principles to strengthen families through articles, workshops, and coaching parents. Mr. Melton may be reached at FamilyTogetherMinistries@yahoo.com.
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