These posts on private school seem to be like taking a breather before we get into my thoughts on public schooling and from the sound of it will be even more interesting when I put up my post on "Why my family has decided to public school our children." Before we get into that discussion, I wanted to put forth some ideas on some common misconceptions on private school for you to chew on.
My Kids Have to Be Private Schooled No Matter What
Someone brought this up on facebook and was something I was going to mention in this post. Private school is expensive for some families. Some families decide to put all other biblical principles to the side and do whatever it takes to private school their children. They get second jobs, lose a conviction on the wife staying at home, and become just bad stewards of their money. This is one of the ways that God is telling you that He doesn't want you to private school. Are we to sacrifice sometimes for the kingdom? Yes, of course, but we should never sacrifice biblical principles for the sake of our kids.
I am not saying that all those who private school their kids are idolizing their kids at all, but when you start laying aside other responsibilities as a parent to send your kids to private school, you have now made your child an idol. These responsibilities could be from over working the parents to where they have no time for the children, to giving up other convictions (such as mom staying at home) in order to put the kid in a private school.
Sometimes expenses are God's way of saying, "no". I would love to go to Africa to aid my friends in Mozambique at their orphanage, but the tickets alone cost $3000, and my family is no in position at this point for me to lose time at work and the cost of going. At this point, my wife and I have prayed and understood that God is telling us "no, stay where you are, this is where I want you."
Know your expenses and know what God is telling you. Listen to God's calling for your life, but also know that God will never have you lay down one biblical principle to follow another one. Will God sometimes ask you to sacrifice monetarily for his calling? Of course he will, this happens all the time, but if you have to get there by ignoring other parts of God's holy Word, know that it may not be God opening the door, but Satan.
Screw Private School, They're all Just Spoiled Brats
I hate to bust your bubble, but God loves rich people too. Now, not everyone in the private school system is rich by any means. But, the idea from non private school people seems to be sometimes jealousy of the fact that these parents have the means to send their children to private schools. Remember, that all through this series, I am trying to get you, the reader, to get to the base of why you should be schooling your kids the way you desire. If it is for God's glory first, and you feel that God's mission to you is private school, that is awesome. There are many who never hear the gospel out of mere jealousy of them having greater means than others. Jesus rebuked the rich young ruler, and many other money idolators need the same rebuking and Christ centered living shown to them right in front of their eyes. Some of these kids will never listen to a poor kid who doesn't know their situation, but put someone of their own "status" in front of them, on mission for Christ, and the ears could be opened.
We cannot forget that the private schools are a mission field, and we need missionaries to be within them showing the glories of Christ through the way they, and their family, lives.
So, know that even if most of the kids are pompous that go to some of these schools, they need Jesus.
*I feel like I need to keep qualifying my statements. Know that I don't think that all kids that go to private schools are pompous or that their parents are rich jerks. This can definitely happen though and happens often. If you aren't a rich pompous jerk, this is not speaking to you...so don't take offense.
I Want to Private School Because it is a Safer Environment
This depends on the situation. It depends on the area and the school. It depends on what you mean by safe. I don't have statistics, but to think that your child is safer just because the school is private is a misnomer that I would hope the parent understands. You have to remember that sometimes private schools are filled with some of the worst kids, because they have been kicked out of the public schools and have no place to go. Do these kids need Christ? Yes. Does this sometimes remove the thoughts of safety from the private school? It definitely can.
The problem with churches, private schools, public schools and even the home filled with homeschoolers is that they are all filled with sinners. What studies have found is that what sinners do best is...sin. So, the same precautions and underlying teaching and discipline that goes for the public school parent, has to go for the private school parent. The scary thing is when a parent who decides to private school, just puts their child in the school thinking that it is "safe" just because it has "Christian" in the title. Parents must not be ignorant to these facts and must keep on top of what is happening with the child, the teachers and the administration. Hopefully, if you have chosen a good school, you will have the administration on your side if things go astray.
Not only do you have to make sure that you fight against the immorality of the sinners, you must also fight against the morality of the perceived righteous. What I have also seen within private schools is that the children are raised like Pharisees sometimes. Seeing themselves on a higher level than the public and homeschooled kids. The parent needs to continually discipline the gospel to these children and continually remind them of God's provision and the reason that God has put them on mission in the private school system.
These are the most common misconceptions that I have seen. I also hit on some in my first post when I spoke on teachers and professors that have different convictions on the Bible than your family. This is especially important to remember, but even moreso, remember that just because your child is in private school, this doesn't give you the right to not train them. You are utilizing other resources to teach your children certain subjects, but you are still the primary source for their training. You must not forget this. You must continually put a God centered vision in front of your children so that when they go off and are taught, they can see how the teaching does or doesn't fit into the plan that God has established through his word.
This is vital. We are told in Deuteronomy 6 to train our children, and we must not merely hand them over to a school and act like that is enough. The school system is not primary, but secondary, even if it is a great Christian educational system.
I have seen this done in another way. I have seen parents who have decided it is the church's responsibility to teach theology to their children. I teach and I teach them, and then when I speak to the parents of what is going on at home, I find that I am their primary theological teacher for their family. This is not okay. I am not the one primarily responsible for your child's training...you are.
The same is said outside of the church in any place that your child goes for training and discipline.
Know the mission God has put you on, and don't let others tell you differently. Listen to God through prayer and His word and go to others who actually know who Jesus is, so that they can help you in making decisions for the sake of the glory of God alone.