Is it a good school?
What do you know about ___________________ school?
Is it a good school?
Questions like these come my way often…
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…and to be honest, I struggle with how to quickly respond.
Do they really want to know what I think?
Inquiring individuals are usually looking for a quick and clear-cut answer, but the truth is that the response to these kinds of questions depends on what you are looking for when it comes to an education for your child.
You see, my heart, my passion as an educator, is for children – all children – to receive an education that brings them face-to-face with their Creator and provides them with a lens that allows them to see the world through His eyes.
So if I were to respond honestly to those who ask my opinion regarding whether or not I think a specific school in my area is a good school, I would have to say that:
if the school is committed to partnering with you to go after the heart of your child and impart to them a worldview that holds Christ at the center, then yes, it is a good school; but if not, then the program being offered is at best, incomplete.
For me, this is not simply a bend toward Christian education but an all-consuming passion for Christ-centered education.
There’s a difference.
As a former classroom educator, I was passionate about helping my students understand that in God’s Word, the very foundations of language, math, science, history, art, and music can be found.
Because this was the lens, each lesson naturally centered itself on truths found in Scripture.
- Why does God want us to be strong communicators?
- How can we recognize God’s hand in the order we see in mathematics?
- In what ways do we see God’s overarching plan unfolding throughout history?
- Do you see it? Do you see God’s fingerprints as we study the intricacies of the human body?
- In what specific ways did God design each plant or animal to live in the habitat where it thrives?
- Isn’t the creativity of the Creator so clear as we explore various forms of artistic expression?
- How can we use our talents to worship the One who gifted them to us?
Our journey in home education has looked much the same. Only now, my students and I have been gifted with more time to delve deeper into these foundational principles.
I am a mother of four, and I wake up everyday committed to the task of bringing my children face-to-face with Jesus…in everything we do – but most importantly in our learning together. Do I walk this out without fault? Absolutely not. There are many, many ways in which I struggle as a wife and mom. There have most definitely been days when my attitude and actions have done little to exemplify Jesus to my family, but what perfect opportunities for me to show my children how the Gospel of Jesus Christ can radically transform a heart and life – my life, their lives, and the lives of others in the world around them.
In my opinion, a school is not made good because…
…the principal is a Christian
…a teacher is allowed to keep a Bible on her desk
…traditional mathematics is taught
…patriotism is permitted
…the sports teams are winning
…friends attend there
I believe a school is good when the program it offers is rooted in a desire for students to fall in love with Jesus and grow to know Him deeper as they learn and as they serve.
As I respond to God’s calling on my life to steward my children in a way that honors Him, I feel strongly about partnering with individuals whose lives are committed to pursuing this same Jesus we know.
Members of Our Family’s Team
When inviting others to join our family’s team, we are looking for fellow Christ-followers who will speak truth into the lives of our children. We are seeking individuals who will reinforce what we are teaching our children at home….ultimately passionate about reaching their heart and molding their character.
Is this so we can – together – shelter our children from ideas with which we may disagree? Absolutely not. In fact, one of the things we’ve loved most about educating our kids at home is that we have been gifted with the opportunity to expose them to MORE: a wide variety of different people, places, things, and ideas, yet they’re able to experience all of these things – not through a humanistic lens that places man at the center of all things, but through a different kind of filter.
In a practical way, what does this look like? It includes:
- answering their very real questions about life,
- combating cultural norms with truth and helping them understand the why’s,
- allowing them to see the realities of Christ’s difference in our lives and how that is lived out in our day-to-day,
- encouraging excellence, independence, and creativity with Christ at the center of it all.
I am so thankful for the many like-minded educators who are making a difference in gospel-centered organizations all throughout the world. They are not simply teaching academic knowledge, but reaching hearts – teaching all areas of the curricula through the lens that God is God and man is not.
What an honor it was to serve in this way in a classroom setting and now at home with my own children.
Curriculum for Our Learning
We seek curriculum that is complete, excellent, and consistent with our philosophy of life. I Corinthians 8:6, There is only God the Father…everything comes from Him, and He wants us to live for Him. Everything is for His sake, including us. When it comes to educating our children, we are looking for fellow team members and curriculum that will reinforce these truths:
- There is only one God.
- Everything comes from Him.
- We exist for Him.
Our culture has attempted to replace these truths with:
- character-training workshops,
- self-esteem seminars,
- D.A.R.E. assemblies, and
- anti-bullying programs,
…and while these may groom children behaviorally, they will never bring transformation of the heart.
Maybe you have visited my site today because you are struggling with a decision related to this topic and you’re longing to hear from someone who shares your perspective. If so, may I encourage you to wholeheartedly pray about the people you choose to invest in the lives of your children? May I plead with you to seek to investigate and understand the curriculum with which your kids would be interacting?
- What is being taught about the origin of life? One’s purpose for living? The definition of success?
- What is being taught about truth? Does absolute truth exist? OR Is all truth relative?
- Is an accurate account of our nation’s history being portrayed?
- Are students learning the value of human life or is nature held in higher esteem?
- Have disciplines you value been omitted from the curriculum?
While there is no doubt that the public education system includes many Christ followers who love their students well, the government’s academic offerings are not an option for us.
Because their underlying philosophy of education stands in direct opposition to God’s truth.
I realize this is a very personal decision – with many factors that play into the choices each family makes, but I would encourage Christian families to look closely at their unique decision and consider:
What has been my definition of a good school?
Am I stewarding well?
You may have a different opinion, a different drive within your heart, a different passion that motivates you, and I love that as the Holy Spirit of God is working in my life to guide my decisions, He is also doing the same for you.
When it comes to questions like Would ___________________ be a good school for my child? each of us can take those questions to Him knowing that He will respond to our desire to honor Him with our family’s choices. When we do this, the thoughts of others matter none. We can simply rest in our obedience to Him – even if someone else sees things differently.
Note from Elizabeth
I realize that homeschooling is not an option for some families, and I also understand that attendance at a faith-based institution can oftentimes come with a high price-tag. For quite some time, there has been a stirring within me to be a part of SOMETHING BIG that provides more families the ability to access a gospel-centered education for their children.
I’m not sure exactly what this looks like. I simply know that I have passion for it!
I know the sacrifices that so many parents (including my own!) have made in their efforts to prioritize this, and I want to be a part of there being more options…more accessibility…more affordability – while, of course continuing to offer excellent opportunities for students and excellent pay for teachers.
If you know someone who is already paving the way for opportunities like this…or if you have an interest in partnering in this way somehow, I would love to chat with you!
If we want to see children learning through the set of lenses I’ve described, we MUST consider ways to make putting on the glasses easier!
Amen! to everything! Absolutely every word you wrote. I feel the same way. Thank you for sharing. I’m interested in this thought of yours to help other families. Or to do something.