The place to start is at the beginning, with the first nation, the first educational system. When deciding how to manage your children’s education, it only makes sense to ask the One who invented education.
“You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul …. And you shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 11:18-19)
What we have here is a clear biblical mandate to saturate our children’s minds with the Word of God. It’s a difficult task under any circumstances, but virtually impossible in a public school setting. Once inside those doors, children spend 30 to 40 hours a week being told that God, if He exists at all, is no longer relevant. No matter how spiritually grounded your child may be, the repetition of such destructive ideas can’t help but have an adverse affect.
The harsh reality is that our Supreme Court kicked God out of the public school system more than 40 years ago. A generation later, scientific naturalism and a host of other anti-God values are not only being taught in American classrooms, they’re being championed.
Christian schools offer a refreshing, biblical alternative. Not only is the Bible taught for what it is – the inspired Word of God – but it forms the foundation of all other texts. In math, in social studies, in biology, all academic roads lead to God, in whom all knowledge has its origin. Your children won’t travel that road in the local public school.
GOD COMMANDS US TO TEACH KIDS THROUGH THE WORD
It is a sad but true irony: public schools, the self-proclaimed shapers of the human mind, have chosen to ignore the God who created the human mind. To their chagrin, they have robbed themselves of their most valuable “textbook,” and the only available source of absolute truth.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” writes Solomon. “And knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10). As students pursue the knowledge of math, biology and music in a Christian setting, they’re chasing after the knowledge of God. And the by-products of such an endeavor – wisdom and understanding – are the God-given rewards for which every good student strives.
God expects you, as a Christian parent, to plant and nurture His Word in the hearts and minds of your children. This is best accomplished in settings where home, church and school all send the same message, teaching God’s truth with clarity, conviction and consistency. And while the benefits of such a commitment are often realized much later, here’s one you’ll notice in relatively short order. An education that uses God’s Word as its foundational text does more than produce spiritually-mature Christians. It makes them wiser and more knowledgeable. It forces them to be better thinkers. And isn’t that the goal of education in the first place?
THE SCHOOL SHARES YOUR VALUES
If you’re like most Christian parents, you’ve taught your children about God since the day they were born. You’ve taken them to church, read them Bible stories, sung “Jesus Loves Me.” Imagine their shock and dismay when they’re thrust into an environment in which God is hated, ignored, or both.
Even the best public schools are prohibited by law from reinforcing the values you teach at home. They either compete against them or disregard them altogether. And because you care about the mental and spiritual development of your children, you may spend countless hours trying to bridge the philosophical gap between Christianity and humanism – a gap that would never have existed had they attended Christian school.
By entrusting your children to educators who share your values, you’ll have more time for ball games and bike rides and meaningful conversations. Instead of debriefing your children, you’ll be getting to know them.
With thousands of students roaming their halls and taxpayer dollars funding their bankrolls, public schools can only go so far in the area of discipline. The result? More frequent occurrences of theft and physical violence, not to mention course profanity and open rebellion in the classroom.
Simply put, Christian schools are a safer place for your children to receive an education. While not devoid of problems – even severe ones like drug and alcohol use – they are far less likely to occur, and far more likely to be met with firm disciplinary action.
In addition to physical well-being, Christian schools offer a much safer emotional and spiritual environment. Verbal insults and hazing, things that go largely overlooked in a public school setting, are less likely to be tolerated. And the politically-correct, socially-tolerant attitudes that pervade secular classrooms never see the light of day at distinctly Christian institutions. Anti-Christian behavior such as homosexuality and abortion is exposed for what it is, which helps guard your children’s minds against the licentious attitudes fostered by popular education.
Contrary to popular opinion, students at Christian schools consistently out-perform their public school counterparts. Their standardized test scores are way above the curve, and they’re better prepared for college upon graduation. Even in the areas of math and reading, subjects that are prepared for college upon graduation. Even in the areas of math and reading, subjects that are “less spiritual” in content, students at Christian schools have proven their superiority.
The sad truth is, despite their claims of excellence, our nation’s public schools are far less academically rigorous than they once were. Only 67 percent of all public school students entering ninth grade graduate with a regular diploma four years later. United States competency in math and graduate with a regular diploma four years later. United States competency in math and science lags behind a host of other countries. And despite the vast amounts of government money being funneled to public education, our SAT scores continue to slip.
Christian schools are far from an academic liability. In fact, in the aftermath of 2002’s “No Child Left Behind” Act, college recruiters are more likely to view public school transcripts with a skeptical eye. The best colleges are likely to pay your children more attention, not less, if they attend a Christian school.
TEACHERS LOVE AND FEAR THE LORD
Part of the reason why Christian students perform so well in the classroom is that they have a higher percentage of teachers who genuinely care about them. Most of these dedicated men and women sacrifice greater monetary rewards to serve where they can do the most intrinsic good.
In addition to the passion they feel for their students, the vast majority of Christian educators love God with equal intensity. And unlike some of their well-meaning public school colleagues, they are not prohibited by the United States government from making overt claims to that effect.
Teachers are a school’s heartbeat. Its pulse. They are also among the most influential role models in students’ lives. And while you can certainly find Christian educators at a public school, the best of all academic worlds exists when everyone – the school board, the principal, the teachers and the parents – is operating under the same educational paradigm.
In addition to having a higher percentage of caring teachers, Christian schools can almost always offer more individual attention than public schools, many of which are overcrowded and hopelessly understaffed.
Even in cases where the ratio is virtually identical, class size is not. Christian school classes generally have fewer students. They’re smaller, more intimate gatherings that encourage students to be participants rather than spectators. Students learn how to think quickly, and gain valuable experience sharing their thoughts and opinions in a public forum.
SUCCESS AFTER GRADUATION
Because Christian school students perform at a higher level in the classroom than their public school counterparts, it only makes sense that their options upon graduation are more abundant. Therefore, they are more likely to be better prepared to handle the rigors of higher education. They have also received the spiritual foundation they need to excel in areas of ministry, whether they are career or volunteer-oriented.
In addition to these practical advantages, there is at least one intangible benefit. Students who have been grounded in the truth of God’s Word day after day during their formative years – both at school and at home – are better-equipped to handle discrepant ideas upon graduation. Whether in a secular university or in the work place, young adults with a solid biblical foundation are far less likely to fall victim to the subtle lies of our post-modern culture.
The question remains however, how do you define success? Does success equal an Ivy League education for your child, or a certain salary level, or even a prestigious title? Then again, how does God measure success? A healthy marriage? An understanding of biblical truth? These are important issues to pray about.
If only the Bible had told us that good company improves bad morals, many of us would have a welcome reprieve. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Bad company corrupts good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33), the Apostle Paul tells us, and we can assume he was writing to a predominantly adult audience. You can imagine what he might say to a group of impressionable children and young teens.
Make no mistake: your kids will be exposed to bad company no matter where they go to school. Sometimes they may even be the bad company. But in a Christian environment, they’ll be much less likely to find themselves surrounded by destructive influences, and far more likely to find positive ones.
THE STATE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION
One final reason to consider Christian schools can be found by taking an even closer look at the alternative. If you study the origin and history of modern government-sponsored education, you’ll find some alarming facts. Its founders were atheists whose hatred of Christianity is a matter of public record. Its current agenda – the propagation of humanistic ideals that render God irrelevant or non-existent – can be easily spotted in its curriculum.
The Nehemiah Institute has put together a list of nine reasons why Christians shouldn’t place their children in secular academic institutions. It may be useful information as you consider the educational future of your children.
This article was originally posted on DiscoverChristianSchools.com.