I am a fan of Tim Challies, am a frequent reader of his blogs, and have learned a great deal through his “Discerning Reader” site.
As a Christian family with two kids in public school, we have often found ourselves having to defend our schooling choice. It was not a choice we made without great, ongoing consideration and we have never regretted that decision, but it is nice to have someone else articulate our position.
We have thoughtfully and deliberately placed our children in public schools. Our oldest will graduate – strong faith firmly intact- with top academic, music, and volunteerism honors next year. Our youngest will start high school in the fall. Yes, there have been a few bumps, but that’s a part of growing up. We have had mostly wonderful, caring, and competent teachers – and have yet to encounter the radical “indoctrination” so often claimed to be the norm (typically) by those outside the public school system.
One of the greatest blessings we have seen is that our children are both regularly commended for their character and leadership among their peers. They are both bothered by the hypocrisy they see among peers who claim Christ one day and deny Him with their behavior the next – some of those peers are in public schools, some attend Christian schools, and some are home schooled.
As a “retired” secondary teacher with a degree in English, a Master’s degree in curriculum design, and various specialty endorsements, I am probably well-equipped to home school, but we did not feel called to that. However, I have told many friends who have had a desire to home school that God always equips those He calls – rather than always calling those who feel equipped. I wish the same grace would be extended to us.
I have always contended that the most successful kids come from loving homes with engaged, involved parents – regardless of where they learn algebra. We know some fantastic, smart, lovely children who have been homeschooled – as well as some amazing public school kids. We also know homeschooled kids who are arrogant and condescending as well as public school kids who are disrespectful and lazy…all products of their home environments.
Every time there is a shooting at a school, at least one homeschooling friend will typically post something like, “That’s why we home school.” Really? Is that also why you don’t go to malls or movies? This infighting needs to stop. Supporting families raising kids in the admonition of the Lord should not lead to intramural insult.
So, thank you, Tim Challies. Honestly, I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Thank you for sharing your experience and thoughts about public schooling your kids. It does seem that Christian parents are often given an inaccurate picture of public schools and also sometimes shamed for their choice of public school. As a mom who is planning to send my oldest to public kindergarten this fall, I appreciate knowing there are others who have successfully walked this path.
Thanks Elizabeth! God’s blessings as you begin your schooling journey!