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The thing I appreciated most about your article is that you said you put your kids into this school because you felt God leading you to. it seems to me that every parent should inquire and ask God where and how they want their kids educated. God will direct some to public school like He did you, others to private and some to homeschool. It was also very evident that much of your positive experience was likely because of your involvement as a parent. The key to any education for our kids is exactly that - to be fully involved no matter what kind of education they get or where they get it. I appreciated that you spoke from your experience, which was positive, instead of degrading those who have received a different directive from God. Some say we would do well to have our children exposed, others say we would do well to shelter our children, but the truth is none of us do well unless we educate our children the way God directs and in the places He directs. Thank you and blessings!
Sarah, thanks for your column. I appreciate your willingness to write about this issue, which has been a divisive one among Christians for some time (as Dewey's comment unfortunately illustrates). Your irenic approach provides a gentle corrective to the escapist strain in private schools, while (I think) allowing room for those of us who see our work in private schools as gospel work, too. We are opening our doors wide and fostering community renewal alongside public schools, and hoping to influence teachers and educational practice. (For an idea of how a school can do this, check out the work of the Oaks Academy in Indianapolis: http://www.theoaksacademy.org)
@Dewey: I have spoken with many parents and teachers in my school district who would disagree with your "even playing field" statement. On the contrary, the scale of most public education demands radical standardization. In other words, if your child doesn't fit the basic school mold, you will quickly find him on the fringe.
There is only one thing left to do Sarah...run for school board. My story is similar in advocacy on behalf of my kids in the public schools. Then someone said, "you should run for a seat on the Board of Education" I did and have served for 8 years. It had been very fulfilling and allowed our entire family to bloom where we were planted. BTW, my daughter is leading a bible study in the school by following the rules of a club and even though some tried to protest, the "club" is growing and blooming!
Aaron T. S.
For some of us Christian parents whose children go to public schools, this is a validation.
I spent 38 years as a public school teacher, after which I volunteered my time to teach a class to a group of homeschoolers, and now I substitute often in a Christian school. There are certainly advantages & disadvantages to each form, and a lot depends upon every realtor's favorite three words, location, location, location. No one setting is ideal for every child or every family. However, public schools must be approached with great caution, particularly in this day when everything is politicized and radicalized. (Oh, and I'm sorry that Christine finds Christian and homeschooling "saddening." She really shouldn't. In many cases, they are the better options.)
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