Why Christian Education?
Parents have many choices for their child’s education – public, private, cyber, charter, homeschool. The choice of where and how to educate our children is more varied and accessible than ever before. With these choices comes the pressure to determine the best environment for your child to succeed and grow. While there is no “one size fits all” answer to this question, there are some underlying questions that can guide the discussion within your home.
What is the purpose of education?
At its core, a school is equipping children to understand the truth about life, the world, and their purpose in it. The educational process goes beyond developing an understanding of concepts and ideas. At a Christian school, the answers to these fundamental truths are found within God’s Word and can be looked at in an open, systematic way. The curriculum of Christian schools while typical to public schools in their scope and sequence are able to tie all truth to a Biblical context and perspective. This allows a child’s education to be holistic rather than segmented. Within every school, there is an underlying worldview that influences the idea of what a student should become. Neutrality in education does not exist. In a public school this worldview is based on secular values and the latest psychological trends; in a Christian school, this worldview is based on the eternal truths of Scripture and one’s relationship with Jesus Christ. A Christian school is focused on developing the mind, heart, and soul of each individual student and equipping them to be a transforming influence on the world for God’s glory.
Who will be influencing my child?
No school is perfect, as it is made up of human beings. However, in a Christian school, there is a shared value system between parents and teachers that informs how we interact with and direct students. While it is the primary responsibility of the home to “raise a child in the way he should go,” having other adults who have a relationship with Christ daily interacting with your child reinforces what is being taught at home and gives them a variety of role models to look up to. This also supports the truth that Christ is not merely compartmentalized to specific areas of our lives like church and home but is central to every aspect of our life. Another crucial area of influence that occurs within a school is the community. More often than not, the students within your child’s school determine who your child will socialize with. Christian school students are in no way innately better than public school students. The decision of whether to follow Christ daily is the same for Christian school students as it is for those in a public school. The difference lies in the fact that Christian school peers are receiving the same Biblical education and Godly influence in their lives on a daily basis. The ability to find a peer group who are following Christ and sharing similar values is more readily accessible in a Christian school.
What are the benefits of my educational choice?
The stigma of education deficiencies that have been associated with Christian schools in the past is outdated and unfounded. In fact, national studies have shown that students in Christian schools have outperformed those in public schools (nces.ed.gov). While the Christian school can provide comparable rigor, choices, and opportunities as other school choices, there are many things that a Christian school can provide that many other school choices cannot. These include: staff invested in the discipleship and success of the individual student, a smaller setting that give students a sense of belonging and more opportunities to be involved, protection from the humanistic agenda that is prevalent in public education, a Biblical worldview that is incorporated into every aspect of school, and an active teaching of God’s Word that will help ground them for life and provide context for all learning.
Proverbs 1:7 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.