Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The School Wars

I had the privilege of being a part of a panel today about education at a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) Group.  I represented Christian school along with another mom, and then there were 2 moms representing public schools and another 2 moms as homeschool representatives.

Can I be honest here?
  I was scared to death. 
I hate conflict.  I hate that gut-wrenching feeling I get when people are getting testy and angry ....I didn't want this discussion to turn into defensive, angry opinions or criticism.

I LOVE my Christian School, y'all know that. 
And I think it is a fantastic option for many, many Bible-believing Christians. 
 But I also recognize the fact that education is not a one-size-fits-all situation. 

The beautiful thing about this talk today was how our entire panel spoke with grace, love, and encouragement to these moms who are at the very beginning of the journey.  I was excited to see all 6 of us recognize the fact that we all want the best for our kids and it takes prayer, humility, and wisdom to select the education scenario best for each child. 

We are our children's first and primary teachers.  Always.
If our children do not know the word of God or Who He Is, we cannot blame anyone or anything else except ourselves. 

Shame on us if we hold others responsible for our children's view of God. 

We all agreed that no matter where or how your child is educated, you must be extremely involved in their school/classroom.  Don't trust their opinions -- get in there and get to know the kids and the teachers.

There is no cookie cutter recipe for turning out godly, mature young men and women.  I have seen positive and negative aspects of EVERY educational option!  I'm sure you have, too. 

Here is what I think it comes down to:

1.  Pray for wisdom months and months before your child even reaches school age.  Ask the Lord to make it clear to you how your children should be taught.
2.  Talk to your husband and pray together.  (Hopefully you talked about it before you even got married!)
3.  Search what the Bible says about knowledge and wisdom.
4.  Know your child!  How does he learn best? 
5.  Don't let others' opinions sway you from doing what God has called YOU to do.  There are negative people in every camp - that's life.

What about you? How do you decide your children's education? What are your fears/worries?


Susan said...

I love this post. We never even considered Christian education before we had kids. I think there are many reasons for this. We didn't go to Christian schools ourselves, and didn't know anyone that did, was the main reason. As we've grown in our faith's and had exposure to the Christian schools through the kids going to preschool at a Kalamazoo Christian, we've had a strong desire to continue educating our kids there. Unfortunately, because we financially weren't prepared for this, it isn't possible at this time. One of the reasons I am going back to school is to be able to get a better job so we can send our children to K Christian. In closing, I add this dialogue between Matthew and I yesterday on the way to school, he asked me, "Mom, am I still a Christian even if I don't go to a Christian school?" to which I responded," What do you think?" he says, " Yes?" and I said, " Yes, you are and why is that?" " Because I believe that Jesus was God's son and He died on the cross!" To which I said, " Yes!" but inside I was saying AMEN!! We then talked about how he is able to let his light and his faith shine in the public school. We do feel that ultimately the Christian schools are where we want our children to be and we're working towards that. For now, we're doing our best to equip them to let their lights shine no matter where they are!"

Jeannie said...

Thanks Susan! It's such a personal, touchy topic...I even debated about posting it. But Christians can get so annoying about how their choice is the only right choice for everybody and have hurt others in the process.

My prayer is that we can "major in the majors" and give grace and freedom to others who choose differently.