If you have stumbled upon this blog, there is a good chance you are trying to make a decision about your child’s education. Should you send her to a public school like most everyone else you know, or should you spring for a Christian school? Make no mistake, this is one of the two or three most important decisions you will ever make. No pressure, right? If you are a Christian, there are a lot of reasons you should consider a Christian education over a secular one. Here are three that top my list.
1. Children are Like Sponges
I am often amazed at children’s capacity for learning. At Trinitas, our kindergarteners always learn their memory passages before the older students do, and that holds true even when the passage is a whole chapter from the Bible. Their minds really are like sponges, soaking up not only what is taught but also what is only caught from those around them. Think about language for example. Ever try to learn a language? It is difficult! But babies begin learning a language almost immediately and most speak it fluently by the time they are three or four years old just from being around people who are speaking it. Children who spend their days learning from other Christians catch a lot of the Faith in addition to what is being taught. In a secular school, children just as easily catch a lot that is not necessarily being taught. The environment is not inherently Christian in a secular school, so even when children in those schools are taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, they may be catching a way of living— a way of being, really— that is at best indifferent to Christianity and at worst hostile to it. Whatever the environment, they will soak it up because they are like sponges.
2. Children Spend One-Third of Each Day at School
Not every day is a school day (and all the children said, “Amen,”); nonetheless, children will spend about eight hours a day at school for roughly 180 days each year. You can do the math, but it is plain to see that over the course of thirteen years children spend a lot of time at school. If school is reinforcing the teachings from home and church, children will catch a consistent message throughout their formative years, helping them avoid the inconsistencies of reconciling competing messages from the three main authority structures in their young lives. If on-the-other-hand, children are getting a different message at school about the faith their home and church hold so dear, well, who can blame them for coming out a little confused. Children that attend secular schools and then go home to a Christian home have a lot of unlearning to do every single day. It is a no-win proposition for parents because they don’t get as much time with their children as the school does.
3. Education is the Transfer of a Way of Life
Finally, the years before a child leaves home are the formative years. Everything is education for children. Not only what is taught but also what is caught forms children into the persons they will become. Certainly, children should get the best reading, writing, and arithmetic available, but education is far more than that. Their teachers, their friends, their daily routines; what their school community pays homage to and what it ignores, all these work together to form what kind of people they will be. All of these things and more dictate what children will love, what they will be indifferent to, and what they will hate. Think of the school you choose as a kind of marinade for your child. What do you want to soak in to her? Because whatever soaks in is going to flavor that child’s life forever.
You have an important decision ahead of you, one that will change your life and form your child’s life forever. If you are a Christian, you want to raise your child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Christian schools are here to help you with that. Before enrolling anywhere consider these and the myriad other reasons to send your child to a Christian school.