Monday, September 22, 2008

Christian School Advantages

When I decided to use my right to free speech to blog about my concerns & issues with homeschooling, I expected I might get a few comments disagreeing with me. What I didn't expect was the vicious tone and wording of some of those comments. A friend of mine who is not a home school enthusiast was reading my blog and emailed me "man, those home school moms are vicious!". I emailed some comments that I didn't publish to another friend, including one by Buckeye Mom (who I think I have run into on another site) - in it she told me I needed to be more Christ-like. My friend's response to me was it sounded like she was the one that was having the problem - he saw her comments I didn't publish.

Why this vicious attack on someone for pointing out weaknesses in home schooling? I fully admit there are places in Christian Schools that could use improvement, why can't they face the same thing about home schooling? I jokingly referred to it as almost a "cult", so someone of course replied that Christian schools are a cult. Funny.

Since I made a bunch of dragon breathing carnal women so ticked off with home schooling comments, I am now going to address some advantages of Christian Schools. All you haters don't have to read this. :-)

I feel it gives them more discipline and structure. They have to get up, get dressed, and go to a school building 180 days, approximately 8 hours a day. Yes, in some schools, they don't work all day, whether because of study halls, or due to ACE (which I am not a big fan of) - but they are there under someone elses' authority other than their parents. It helps them learn to respect authority and realize there are other people in the world they have to obey (unless the parents are the type to always take their kids' part).

It gives them some social structure. They are around other kids than just their siblings. They have to learn to get along with other kids besides the ones they live with.

Chapel services. Sure, there is religious training in the home, but I have seen and known of many times in Christian schools that young kids sought God in a chapel service, something that might not happen as quickly at home.

Field trips. I know, parents can still do this, and some may even get with other groupies and do it, but for the most part, I don't believe most home school kids get as good of an experience in that area.

Homework. A nasty word, but it is all part of school, and it sounds like most home schoolers don't have much, or any, in some cases.

Then the extra stuff. Like the school picnic the other night. That was fun for adults and kids, but especially the kids. Christmas programs. Thanksgiving banquets. Gift exchanges and Christmas parties at school. A normal graduation. Awards banquets. PTA meetings for the parents.

I really think parents are robbing their children of some important things they will miss out on my staying home all day with Mom. They can try to substitute and make excuses, but home schooling is a poor imitation of the real thing.

One last advantage that may not hit until the kids are grown, but personally speaking, it has made me appreciate all the years my parents sacrificed to send us kids to a Christian School. I am sure it wasn't always easy. Public school or home school would have been cheaper, more convenient. Some years, it required my mom driving us a few miles to meet a ride to school, then picking us up in the afternoon, but for 18 years, they sacrificed so we could get a good Christian education at an actual school. And it isn't over. I know my parents help out with my nieces' tuition and other school expenses. (Joey's is paid by his church since he is the pastor's kid).

I have said it before: I was picked on a lot and bullied in school, but still would go back and pick going to a Christian school. If I could change anything, I would fight back, and would not have made myself an easy target. Thank God for the Christian School, and for those who have sacrificed to make them possible.


teacherprincess said...

Way to go Mark,
As one who teaches at a Christian Day School, it was interesting to find someone willing to be so vocal about supporting our school...

And thanks for the royal treatment at the picnic lol!!!

The Pastor of a Small Rural Church said...

At the risk of being lumped in with all those "carnal women" who have already commented on your blog, and against my better judgment.... I am going to add my thoughts.

My history: I attended a well known Christian day school. I have much respect for its teachers and administration. When I attended there, I received a quality education. When I attended my teachers were educated in particular fields and then taught those subjects. Not anymore.

I graduated with honors. I went on to college. Actually I attended college while in my Jr. & Sr. year and upon high school graduation I had a little over a year of college ed under my belt. I graduated from Kent State U. in the top 10 of my class. So, I am no dummy. I went on to hold down a very lucrative and challenging (ie. fulfulling and exciting) job as a risk analyst in Pittsburgh.

I quit that job to raise my children myself. I did not want to send them everyday to a surrogate mother to teach them how to talk, walk, etc. Perhaps she could have done as well as me but it wasn't a risk I was willing to take.

When the time came to put my child in school we educated ourselves with our alternatives. We could drive 45+ min away to another well known Christian Day school. We could send them to our local (excellent) public school.

I kept coming back to the thought - God gave me this child to raise. Has He released me from my duties? Does being a mom only include feeding, bathing, dressing, etc.

Deut 11:19 instructs me ...."And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up." This sounds to me that I should be teaching them pretty much constantly. I see no leeway given to send them to a surrogate for 6+ hours a day. Christian or otherwise.

I have one chance to raise my children for God. One chance. When I stand before God and He asks me if I did my best to raise my children, I, personally, do not believe I could honestly say yes if I know that the majority of my child's instruction was given by someone other than myself.

I am not perfect. I am not brilliant. However, for our family, we are called to homeschool our children. And God has promised to give me the resources and the strength to do His calling. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me"!

The bottom line is this: God has called us to parent OUR children. It is our God given responsibility to raise them according to how He leads. That may or may not be the same way as my friends family, your family or your neighbors family. That does not make me right and them wrong or vice versa.

The divisive dialogue in the posts you have submitted does nothing but cause stress and frustration. How you educate your children is none of my business. However, calling mom's who feel a divine call to raise their own children and teach them, names such as dragons and hypocrites is probably not going to advance your cause much.

If God has called you do something - something that there is clearly more than one choice about, no matter how odd I may feel it to be, I would not find it to be God honoring to make blog entries ridiculing you for a choice that you felt God leading you to do. Example: I would never make a whole blog entry ridiculing adult children who live at home. For one reason, its none of my busines. For another reason, clearly there are legit reasons for some to do this and 3. doing such would not be upbuilding to anyone.

So, in conclusion I have 2 thoughts.....

1. Never criticize your fellow man until you've walked a mile in his shoes.

2. Gal 5:22 - 26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

vs. 26....Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

Julia Gurnee
A God called homeschooling Mom

Mark said...

Don't worry, I don't label someone carnal for disagreeing with me, or for saying they homeschool, but I did get some really nasty comments. In among it all, it got lost that I think homeschooling is ok if a person has a good reason, and if there are no other good options. I don't think my opinion is God's Holy Word, it is just my opinion, and concerns I have with that type of schooling. :-)