The Christian school movement is the fastest growing educational movement in America today. The U.S.NEWS AND WORLD REPORT and CHRISTIAN LIFE magazines have referred to the rapid proliferation of Christian elementary and secondary schools as the “Boom in Protestant Schools” and “The Christian School Explosion.” Christian schools are currently being established across the United States at the rate of two new schools a day.
In California we average one new Christian school each week. Obviously parents by the thousands have opted to send their youngsters to Christian schools as opposed to secular public schools. As a parent who sends my children to Christian schools and speaks to thousands of parents on the radio and on tour, permit me to share ten reasons why you should send your children to Christian schools:
ONE: You are accountable to God for what your children are taught in school. Proverbs 22:6 is a direct command to parents. It says, “Train up a child in the way he should go…” What your children are taught in school should be a direct extension of your parental views. The teachers under whom your children are taught should be the kind of teachers you would personally hire if your children were being educated in your home.
TWO: Christian schools offer a better level of instruction. There is no question about it. The test scores over a long period of years are conclusive. The annual Stanford Achievement Test administered to first through eighth grade Christian school students in the western states shows these students to be seven to nineteen months ahead of the national norm in reading, and seven to thirteen months ahead of the national norm in all subject areas.
THREE: The Bible does not teach that children should be exposed to all kinds of sin. We are to train “up” a child, not point him downward. Children do not grow spiritually stronger in a negative non-Christian environment.
Students do not become stronger Christians by being taught non-Christian thinking, but by being taught Christian thinking, and there is no such person as a “neutral” school teacher who neither advances nor inhibits religion. School represents 16% of your child’s time. It is prime time, a training time, and Christian school education represents a positive Bible- centered form of instruction that will build a child up in the faith- -not tear him down. Proverbs 19:27 says, “Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.”
FOUR: The Christian school is right for your child because the Christian school has not cut itself off from the most important book in the world–the Bible. Without the Bible, education is nothing more than the blind leading the blind. Standards for morality must be taken from Scripture alone, not from situations as often taught in secular schools. As Theodore Roosevelt stated, “To train a man in mind and not in morals is to train a menace to society.”
FIVE: The Christian school provides an opportunity for your child to witness for Christ. This surprises some people because they assume all students in a Christian school are Christians. In most cases a majority are Christian; however, in every Christian school there are always some students who need the Savior. Christian students are trained and encouraged to reach these youngsters for Jesus Christ. Witnessing in a Christian school has the support of parents, students, teachers, administration and the school board. Presenting Christ as Savior is not illegal in a Christian school.
SIX: Christian school educators teach all subject matter from a Christian context. They put the Bible at the center of the curriculum and ask students to evaluate all they see in the world through the eyes of God. To quote Dr. Roy Zuck,
The secular vs. Christian school issue is really a question of whether a child will learn to view life from man’s perspective or God’s perspective. From man’s viewpoint, history is purposeless; from God’s viewpoint, history has meaning. From man’s viewpoint, science is the laws of “nature” at work; from God’s viewpoint, science is the outworking of His laws.
In a Christian school, a student is exposed to the centrality of God in all of life. In public education, a student is legally “sheltered” from this important dimension of education.
SEVEN: Christian schools support the family as the number one institution of society. Christian school educators train students to respect their parents. These educators agree with the early American patriot, Noah Webster, who said, “All government originates in families, and if neglected there, it will hardly exist in society.”
EIGHT: ”The atheists have, for all practical purposes, taken over public education in this country.” Shocking words, yes, but they were spoken by a prominent public school educator, Dr. W.P.Schofstall, former Arizona State Superintendent of Schools. Paradoxically, many public school personnel openly support Christian school education.
As a matter of fact, the largest group of parents who send their children to Christian schools are public school teachers and principals. I conducted a nationwide survey among these public school educators. The following statement is typical of the responses I received:
I prefer to send my children to a Christian school because Christ is central to all information taught and caught. The public school is basically humanistic and materialistic in its approach to life and the fundamental questions of human existence and purpose. The Christian school holds a unique position with the home and the church.
NINE: Christian school educators maintain discipline in the classroom and on the playground. Without a reasonable standard of discipline, the process of education is severely hampered. “For whom the Lord loves, He disciplines…” the Bible teaches. And it is within that context of love that discipline is carried out in a Christian school. This important feature of education is rapidly disappearing from the public school education. According to the recent GALLUP POLL OF PUBLIC ATTITUDES TOWARDS EDUCATION,
Lack of discipline in the public schools again heads the list of problems cited most often by survey respondents. Discipline has, in fact, been named the number one problem of the schools in seven of the last eight years. New evidence of its importance comes from the special survey of high school juniors and seniors. An even higher percentage of this group names discipline as the leading problem faced by the public school.
TEN: ”We believe that our children are gifts of the Lord. We are responsible to train them according to His Word not only at home and in church, but in school as well.” This statement was made by a parent in response to a question on an application form for enrollment of his children at Delaware County Christian School in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania.
More and more parents, especially Christian parents, are coming to the conclusion that secular public education and most of its teachers and principals no longer represent their personal parental views. These parents are exercising their freedom of choice and sending their children to Christian schools and colleges.
TEN REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD SEND YOUR CHILD TO A CHRISTIAN SCHOOL by Paul A. Kienel The author, Paul Kienel, is the Executive Director of the Association of Christian Schools International.