Faith & Learning Blog
The Importance of Christian Education (repost from 10/2014)
I was the youngest of three children. I had two sisters, both much older. My dad's job moved us around a lot. I attended 12 schools and countless churches by the time I was in high school. "Hi, I'm the new girl..."
In 1988, my husband and I married and we settled in Vista. Several years later we had a baby girl. Mothering was my calling. I loved every minute! When it came time to put her in Kindergarten, I was horrified to find that the local elementary school had ALL-DAY Kindergarten. They expected me to give over this precious little child to strangers - all day! All of a sudden it was monumentally important to me to know what she would be learning and with whom...and why couldn't I be a part of it??
I couldn't do it... It was the second week of August and my sweet 5 year old was supposed to be enrolled in school for September. I pulled out the yellow pages (remember yellow pages?) and I remember begging God to show me a different way. I prayed as I turned the pages and He led me to a little Christian Co-op school that was PK-8th grade. It was truly a "God Thing".
She started Kindergarten and, when our son came along, I took him with me on my helper days each week. As he got older, he loved going and, from the time he was two he begged to be in school. When he was enrolled into Pre-K, I began teaching in the classroom. I spent the first ten years teaching first grade and I currently love teaching my third grade class.
Well, eighth grade came quickly and our daughter graduated. She was fully equipped to go on to any high school and we chose a local charter high school for her. She had a good experience but it was not Christian education. Please hear me...Having a Christian teacher at a public school is NOT the same as having a teacher at a Christian school.
Months turned into years and now our daughter is a junior at a Christian University. She is engaged to be married to a wonderful Christian man. She is strong in her faith and God is faithful to those that are faithful to Him.
Our son graduated from the eighth grade in June and he is loving his first year at Calvin Christian. Calvin has so much to offer; it has all of the benefits of a large school, but it is small and personal. It has been a very easy transition for us and we are so thankful that we found it.
I believe that Christian education is a gift straight from the heart of God. Education with a Christian worldview and high academic standards is priceless.
As a parent there are so many things I love about Christian education. The teachers are committed to God and to their students. My kids have made Christian friends and their families have the same values we do. While we may parent differently, there is a consistency in beliefs and moral character. There is accountability as our children are taught to respect the rules and live by them. I love that discipline and work ethic have been instilled in my children as "everything you do, you do it as unto the Lord..." And I love that they memorized Bible verses and presented Chapels.
I love that my children have been taught Apologetics, why they believe what they believe and how to defend it. My daughter has called on more than one occasion and told me of situations in which she was able to defend her Christian views in a public setting. This does not happen by accident. It can only happen if you have been purposefully taught what the world view is and how to defend your Biblical view.
As a Christian school teacher, I have the opportunity to instruct little people in the usual subjects but also to point them to Jesus. Each school year I fall in love with every one of my students (I must admit it takes longer for some than others) and I want each of them to succeed. Success is different for each student. For some it is measured in steady progress academically, for others it is in attitude or behavior. I am not a babysitter; we work hard and there is satisfaction in it. The great thing about Christian curriculum is that it is rich with God's truths and His Word is woven throughout every subject. The goal of learning to read is ultimately that they can read and understand the Bible.
The public schools try to strip every mention of God out of learning, but how can you talk about history without mentioning God? How can you teach science and matter without speaking of the One Who created it?
As a teacher in Christian education I am not required to read my class stories about how "Sammy is lucky because he has two dads" (or worse). I have friends that teach in public schools and they are required to teach to an agenda, whether or not they themselves believe it. God's Word, the Bible, is very clear about right and wrong and His truth won't be swayed by social winds.
Christian education is a gift. Is it expensive? I guess it depends on your perspective. My belief is that it may be more expensive if we don't choose it...
-The new girl
(a repost from the Connecting Faith & Learning blog - 10/24/14)