MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

A Christian in a Christian School

November 8th, 2006 Visited 1218 times, 1 so far today

Studying Late

As an answer to parent’s desire to send their children to a place where they could receive better and more Biblical training, churches and other organizations created private schools with a Christian curriculum.  These schools vary in purpose from those that are primarily an edification arm of a church to those that are independent and funded only by tuition to those that are evangelistically minded.

Parents have varied reasons for sending their children to Christian schools:

  1. They are a part of their church and have peer pressure
  2. They want their child to have a solid Christian education with Bible training
  3. They want an unruly child to be “straightened out”

Peer pressure effects parents too– I know, you’re surprised to hear me say it, but you know it’s true.  When your church has a Christian school there is significant pressure applied to the individual to send their child there, even if nothing is said.  This is definitely a wrong reason for any option of schooling, but I believe it’s strongest in this camp.

The second of the wrong reasons is to straighten a child out.  For one thing, the problem probably has a root much deeper than just the outward rebellion.  That problem wasn’t caused because the child didn’t have a Bible class or a dress code.  The problem was probably something that probably came from the home, and the home is probably the only place that it will be fixed.  If anything, you may have caused more rebellion because a child that is poorly disciplined at home and is at school is just a recipe for more trouble.

The middle reason is a good reason to send a child to a Christian school.  The logic’s pretty clean: My child will get to hear the Word of God taught, instruction will be from a Biblical perspective (i.e. they will teach Creation, the Flood, sin and the need of a Savior, …), he will see Christianity modeled by his teachers, and I shouldn’t have to worry about his peers because they should be Christians as well.

How well does the Christian school do at meeting the goals of the different reasons?

One of the “double edged swords” that a Christian school has is the number of students it has.  On the one hand, a Christian school with a few kids with a heart for the Lord can grow and develop in ways that are amazing.  On the other hand, one “bad apple” can effect a significant portion of the school quickly.

If a child is in the school to cure rebellion or just because his parents made him, I would believe that they are probably not that involved in the education of the student the first place– and that spells trouble not only for that student but his classmates as well.

If a child is in the school to grow, o be constantly challenged in the Word, then he has a good chance to do it– if the teachers aren’t too busy trying to keep everyone at the same spiritual level.

Of all solutions, the Christian school solution seems to be the weakest in that the expectations from the parents cannot be met because of the expectations.  To say that in another way:  The parents believe that they don’t have to do as much work with the children because they’re in a Christian environment, and therefore they believe that the school will do their jobs.  In this instance, the school as at a handicap, and even those parents who are involved have to deal with the student’s peers– they say their Christians, and their in a Christian school, bt they certainly don’t act like Christians.

If done correctly, a Christian school has the ability to turn out people passionate for Christ, but this seems to be only accomplished through a strict enrollment policy and control of the atmosphere.  The really sticky part is that it’s hard to weed out kids from the Christian school that are part of the church– which, unfortunately, tend to be a primary source for misbehavior and rebellion in the schools.

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  • Mary says on: November 8, 2006 at 10:16 am

     

    I grew up in Austin, TX and my parents found a small Christian school to enroll me in. The teachers were amazing, I have so many memories of their godly example, and excellent teaching. They really made us work hard and had high expectations. Actually, most kids in public school would come to our school and be a grade or more behind their public schooled peers. When I transferred to public school in my junior year (we moved to my current small town, no Christian schools available) I hardly needed any credits, and felt like I was killing time there. Now this doesn’t necessarily reflect on me as much as it does on the quality of our small town schools. I say this, because a friend recently moved here from NY and her daughter (had been public schooled her junior year, homeschooled before that) also had more than enough credits and actually graduated the December of her senior year here.

    Also, my Christian school always started the day with devotions…girls with female teacher and boys with male. Then we had Systematic Theology, OT and NT classes, etc. Problem was, I didn’t appreciate it at those ages. My old books are full of doodling. I think it’s so important to homeschool, if only to get the right attitudes in your children as regards their education. I thought it was all about the grade.

    A problem with Christian schools, is what MInTheGap alluded to in his post, people send their kids there to straighten them out. We “good” kids learned a whole lot of bad from the “rebels” that were sent to our “reform school”. And there were a lot of them. It was like the parents were so fed up and sent their problems to our school hoping desperately for a cure.

    But all in all, it was a good experience for me. I was pulled out from time to time (went to this school from 3rd grade through my sophomore year) to be homeschooled (when we couldn’t afford the high tuition) and I truly missed my friends and my school. My homeschooling experience was that of an only child, as all my siblings were grown and married or in college…by the time I was 6 years old. That said, homeschooling an only child is a large task. It’s much more fun with several!

    Wow, so my ramble is over. Almost. :O) I’ve often been glad we don’t have a Christian school near us. If we did, I’d be so tempted to homeschool my girls to a certain age, say high school, and then stick them in the Christian school. Knowing myself, it’s a decision I’d regret. Homeschooling has knit our family so close to one another and to the Lord. Anything else would have robbed us of this blessing.

    Can’t recommend homeschooling enough.

  • Mrs. Meg Logan says on: November 8, 2006 at 9:58 am

     

    Seems to me most Christians Schools are a gamble. I would love to see a school that taught Christianity and reliance on the Christ and the Word as it’s primary curriculum, and taught it as deeply and thoroughly as a Jewish school teaches the Torah. I think there is great value in having a great knowledge of scriptures. But even Christian schools are secularized. They teach just like a regular school with only slight modifications to the curriculum. The Bible becomes just one class, among many. I would rather teach all the math and science and music and other peripherals at home and send my kid to an intense half day program that covered the Bible, History, Memorization, Interpretation etc. I don’t think there are any programs out there like that. It would be nice if the school could teach Greek or Hebrew too in a half day program. And the only reason I would send my kid to a school like that would be if the school really could do a better job teaching the Bible than I could. I don’t have a lot of historical information or great knowledge of the Word, but there is quite a bit I could learn and teach at home. And of course this would not exempt a parent from teaching in the process of life, when we get up, when we go out, when we come in, etc.
    Just an Idea,
    Mrs. Meg Logan

  • MInTheGap says on: November 8, 2006 at 2:16 pm

     

    I also experienced the whole “have too many credits” thing in High School. They had to place me and others into accelerated classes because of my grades that transferred from my private school life (my grade was the last one to have accelerated classes like that, and it was also the result of another private (Catholic) school in the area closing).

    It was definitely different being placed in the public school, but at least there my mom told me not to listen to the people around me and to stand against it. Looking back, there are definitely some things that I could change since I really didn’t need to be against it (which I did when I was a senior), but I benefited from the whole concept that this was the world and I was to resist.

    Still, there is something that I missed because I wasn’t in a Christian or homeschooling environment as far as gross Biblical knowledge, but I was applying my faith.

MInTheGap

Standing in the Gap in a Society that's Warring with God.

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