Thursday, June 30, 2011

If I Had to Send my Kids to a Public School

Does the style of schooling we choose for our kids really matter? Of course it does. Instead of taking up a “hot” debate that the Scriptures do not speak clearly to, let’s ask another question: What are the essential Biblical principles Christian parents can and should use to guide their children, regardless of their choice in schooling?

Since Maki and I are planning to home-school and then gradually work our kids into the Christian bilingual school I work at, I was wondering, “What would I do if I had to send my kids to public school?“ What if we didn’t have the option, financially or otherwise, to send them to a Christian school? And what if Maki and I felt we were not being called or able to do homeschooling? Here are some general steps I would take as a parent in this situation:

1. Plan to disciple my kids at home regardless

Proverbs 13:20 says, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

Walking with other unwise children every day at school will do my kids some harm. Yes, even if they are from Christian homes. It is always easier to be pulled down than to pull others up. With little sinful natures kids are primed to go astray - especially if they are constantly surrounded by peers. That is why I must invest quantity and quality time with my kids. I must do this intentionally, with a plan. I must take time to “walk with them” through life, asking how they are doing and opening up to them about my life as well.

2. I, the dad, must take the main responsibility for teaching my kids about life and about God.

The buck stops here in God’s eyes. Men, we are to lead, even when we don’t feel like it. We are to lead in our labor of love and service not only at work but also in the home. We are to model to our kids what Jesus is like (Eph. 5) and serve our wives. In the same way, I must not leave the teaching of my kids mainly to the school or to the church. I must take primary responsibility for making sure that my kids know and love God and His Word. This is best done through life-on-life mentoring and adequate time spent reading and discussing the Bible together. For a good resource for very young kids, I suggest – Keys for Kids. My kids love it!

3. Finally, I would make sure that I know what my kids are learning at school.

Don’t be naive, our kids in public schools will be picking up some garbage. Along with the good and the great things they will learn, they will also learn that God doesn’t have to be the center of learning. They will learn (I’ll just say it) sheer lies about the beginning of the universe and lies about themselves from peers and teachers alike. As a parent, I need to ask my kids about what they are thinking about, what they are learning, and know how to guide half-baked learning into something more helpful, full, eternal and glorious. Proverbs 26:4 says, “Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes. Without the fear of the Lord there is a lot of foolishness that is going to be happening at school. (Prov. 9:10) However, with these commitments in mind, I believe almost any school can be attended to unto the glory of God and the good of our children.

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