Christian School, Public School, or Home School?

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So Jen and I have been discussing this for the past year or so – where are we going to send our kids for school? Miles has been going to a local Christian Pre-School, which has been amazing (and expensive!). He’s been loved so much by his teachers and he’s not only learning the normal preschool & pre-K stuff, but he also gets to learn Bible stories, sing worship songs, and have a little chapel each week. He’s really growing spiritually.

Jen was saying the other day that there is just a positive spirit on that campus – people smile, they go the extra mile, they seem to really care about each other.

Next year Miles goes to full on Kindergarten; yup 5 days a week all day long. Now we’re not worried about the fact that he’ll be gone every day – in fact I think Jen is looking forward to a little time with only 1 kiddo. But we have gone round and round with what’s best for Miles, and how we want to raise him.

There’s tons of opinions on this subject. Here’s some thoughts we have had:

– Home School allows for a super flexible schedule – which goes along with my line of work
– Christian School teaches Biblical perspectives
– Going to Christian School doesn’t mean you’re Christian, by a long shot – in fact I’ve seen just as much junk there as Public School
– Christian School is a financial sacrifice – or an investment depending on how you look at it
– Our Public Schools are some of the highest rated in our state
– Our Public Schools have lot’s of Christian teachers
– Will Home School challenge our kids enough?
– Will our kids get lost in the shuffle at Public School?
– Will our kids be ready for the real world when they are done with Christian/Home School?
– It seems like our culture is pressuring kids to grow up way too early (sexuality, independence, family values)
– Our kids should get the majority of their morals and views from our home, not school, or even church
– Shouldn’t our kids be the salt and light in their world too?
– Or as parents should be be using this time to protect and prepare them to be the salt and light in this world?

I guess the list goes on and on. One thing that I’ve struggled with is that I went to Christian School until I was in High School. Now I saw a lot of junk in the Christian School – and I was part of some of it. But I also have what I consider a seminary education under my belt from it, that is priceless to me today. When I transferred to Public School it wasn’t as hard a transition as I thought it would be. I did a little rebellion, a little teenage depression (mostly because if girls and Simple Minds), but I ended up ok (I think). So that’s my experience in that area.

As far as Home School goes, I’ve known a lot of parents who have chosen this for their kids. I’m not gonna lie – some of those kids are a little weird. But they are always polite, hard working, committed, dependable, and close with their families. I think their immaturity might be attributed to the fact that in the Public School, kids their age have been forced to mature faster than their bodies and emotions are designed to. And most of the time these kids assimilate into society through college.

One thing that has always fascinated me is that almost every youth pastor I know rips into this group of kids pretty harshly – not really respecting the parents choice, not including these kids in their events, leadership, etc. when these kids are usually the most committed and have all kinds of time throughout the week. When I was a youth pastor I had one family that had three boys in Home School – they were a little crazy, but over the span of a few years, these young men took on leadership roles within the youth group and later in the church.

Anyway, the argument continues… I’m looking for more opinions & thoughts. What are your thoughts – what have been your experiences?

BTW – this post was inspired by a post by David Foster.

11 thoughts on “Christian School, Public School, or Home School?

  1. inWorship

    Our kids were at a Christian school for about 2 years. After some time there, our daughter came up to us and asked us why we she goes to a Christian school and not a public one. Her comment was, “If I am supposed to reach out to people who need Jesus, shouldn’t I be around them?” Holy cow from a 1st grader.

    this is not to say that people in Christian schools need Jesus just as much(sometimes more) than others, but we had always taught the kids to shine the light of Jesus to their friends. The Christian school had ther teaching down(biblically wise), but we saw an opportunity for our kids to integrate into the public school system and bring something into it that they didn’t already have.

    The kids often have questions and will come with learning opportunities, but I see that as an privilege to teach them.

    All this to sat, I agree with you that the teaching Biblically and socially has to come from home. we are comfortable with that and in return, sending the kids out into the public school system to share what they are learning.

  2. bobby

    You said kids “should” get their morals and ideas from home. I’d go a step further and say that one way or another, they will. Even if their in a school all day, the home is the greatest reality they know.

    I think public school is in fact more work for parents than the other two options. It means sitting down regularly to find out what their learning and help them to see what their doing from a Christian worldview. But I just can’t see the benefit in removing all the Christ followers from public schools and removing all the salt and light, parent involvement included.

  3. ERIN

    We have been having this discussion for a year now too. (I loved it when our daughter was at Sunshine.) My oldest is in 1st now at public school. After much prayer and discussion, we’re going to give homeschool a try for second grade. Never in a million years did I think I would say that! God has transformed my thinking for this and I know is preparing me. I have my concerns, but for me, I feel its what I’m called to do for now. I’ve been reading a great book, though a little old. It’s respectful of both sides of the spectrum (learning from home or from school). I could share more as well of my personal thought and opions. I’ve already received opposition with some family and friends. Some people have a pretty big opion about it. We go back and forth with all the things mentioned above. There are so many different rasons and aspects as to why we came to this decision for now. But we’ll start in the fall. I’ve found a great ISP for support and guidance and have met some wonderful Moms who have inspired me. We just need to keep praying God will provide financially for us for me to be available to do this. And then just take one year at a time.

  4. ERIN

    I meant to give you the name of the book.. Home Style Teaching by Raymond and Dorothy Moore.. I’d like to share more when I have time..

  5. Henry Cate

    My wife and I greatly enjoyed “The Well-Trained Mind” by Jesse Wise and Susan Wise Bauer. It shows just how powerful an education could be if done right.

    Your post showed up in a Google alert. When I first read it I thought it said:

    “As far as Home School goes, I’ve known a lot of parents who have chosen this for their kids. I’m not gonna lie – some of those kids are a little weird, they are always polite, hard working, committed, dependable, and close with their families.”

    🙂

    When I reread it I realized you meant something slight different.

    Good luck in making your decision.

  6. Mike

    If you home school your kids get them out of the home daily and don’t shelter them, make them be social, and just love on them and they might not be as weird as the next home school kid. All three of mine are home schooling and two of them have been in public school, not a good experience for one. They are turning out pretty good, even though I’m their dad.

  7. Chris Stout

    Alex,

    I’m by no means an expert and will be asking the same questions in the next few years, but here’s my two cents…from Bahrain…again.

    I grew up in public schools and if I hadn’t goofed off most of the time I think I received an excellent education. That’s if I hadn’t goofed off! Anyway, the plus side, it’s much cheaper and you get a lot of interaction in “reality.”

    We are very lucky to live in a very blessed valley. Every where you go, you see NOTW, or a bumper sticker or window decal for a church. Now I know that doesn’t mean they’re automatically Christian, but it’s saying something that you might not see in many other communities. Believe me, I’ve been to a few. If we were in LA, Chicago, or Bahrain, I might select a Christian school. (Good luck finding one in the middle east.)

    With the back ground and network that you have, I think that the ability to instill Christian values and morals will be so easy. Knowing Miles, he will be so receptive and I think will grow into a wonderful, well educated, person.

    We do have one person who is home schooled and I don’t think that he benefited all that well if you know what I mean. Obviously we’re in the military and the environment is tough, but this kid just doesn’t get it. I don’t know how hard we try. He once said he was a Christian youth leader, or maybe a Christian worship singer, but I don’t know. Sometimes I think he’s just trying to make me like him. Anyway, he was home schooled and just has no concept of reality. Now, I’m not saying that Miles or Macy would every have this problem, but one thing this kid could have used was some interaction with other people.

    Well, those are my two cents.

  8. WorshipCity

    Rae and I are in the similar predicament. However, home schooling isn’t an option for us. Ours is the debate to stay in our parish and send to her to Private school (Christian School) or move to another parish where the public schools are really good.
    This post has been a great read.

  9. WorshipCity

    HAHA sorry. For the rest of the country you call them “counties” we have to be obnoxious here in Louisiana and do everything differently, we call them “parishes.”
    🙂

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