Sweeping statements abound. "Home schoolers are socially awkward." "A public school education produces secular humanists." "Those students who learn Latin are snobs." "That school doesn't prepare kids for the real world." "There is only one biblical method."
As a ministry woman and parent, I felt the conflict between making the correct decision for my children while hearing from others who did not agree with our choice. These principles helped me keep a balanced view.
- Parents are responsible before God for training children. See Proverbs 22:6. However, you don't have to do all the training yourself. Formal schooling, the home and the church all play a role in your child's development.
- This is a joint decision. Both you and your husband should be involved in deciding where you will educate your children. Some criticism is warded off if you are able to say, "We agree that this is what God wants for our family."
- Talk to others. Ask other Christian parents about their children's school experiences to hear pros and cons. But, don't be pressured.
- Tailor decisions to the child. Pray that God would show you what is best for a particular child. For example, we knew our daughter would not compromise her Christian beliefs in a public grammar school so we sent her without worry about that issue.
- Consider your circumstances. Think about your financial situation, transportation needs, characteristics of the school that are important to you, if you are equipped to do the job yourself, support systems, etc.
- Change is possible. No school decision is irreversible. If one school is not challenging him enough, consider a change. This was the case with our math whiz son when we transferred him to public high school.
- Mistakes are made. You have to make the best choice you can with what you know. Don't be too hard on yourself if you think you made a mistake. The wrong kindergarten is rarely life altering.
- Be charitable. Love other Christians in spite of the schooling choices they make for their children.