EDIT: Due to my inability to think through things and my lack of not properly proofreading and editing – I need to add a disclaimer – my church is a wonderful church, and pays me more than well enough to do all we need to do and more. Some of you may misunderstand my purpose behind this post, so let me make it perfectly clear – this is a post that is trying to let you know its okay to send your child to public school. I know many who struggle with this decision, and its a hard one.
My parents sacrificed A LOT to send all three of us (my brother and sister) to a Christian school. I’m better for it. I hope in the future we will be able to send our child to a Christian school. But for those of you who struggle with sending your child to a public school – I want you to know from this post – that its okay.
I have rewritten this post to emphasize my point – which is, we should take every opportunity to share the message of Christ with people we come in contact with. 99% of the comments I have received on this post have been very, very positive.
I just did not want this post to reflect poorly on my wonderful church family or elders – who take care of us beyond imagination. After re-reading this post, I felt like it might be best to say that, and to edit it. Note to self … ALWAYS EDIT and PROOF!
On Thursday, August 1, 2013 my 5 year old daughter will start Kindergarten.
I don’t know if you all realize how big of a deal this is – Kindergarten! It seems like she just learned how to say her first word, use the potty, sleep in a big girl bed, eat with a fork, and all the other simple things you learn in the first few years of life.
She’ll be dropped off on Thursday morning for a half day here in Davidson County, and I know when my wife drops her off, she’ll be bawling for the next few hours. She is, after all, our little girl. She’s the only one we have. She means the world to us.
But I have to stop and tell you something. I’m not scared at all. We’ve done what we can in these first five years to prepare her for this moment. And now, its time for her to grow some more. The hardest time I’m going to have over the next few weeks/months/years is reading about whether or not we should have put her in public schools.
You have to understand, we are a blended family. Not only am I an Alabama fan and my father in law is an Auburn Alumnus, but I grew up in Christian education, and my wife didn’t have that until she went to college. From Kindergarten till the day I walked across the stage at Friendship Christian School in May of 1996, I went to the same Christian School, followed immediately by 5 years at a Christian college.
When we moved to Nashville, people told us that Davidson County schools were awful. We were told to live in Williamson County, but it is getting further away from our church family, and we don’t want that.
So we’re happily sending our child to the public school near our home. (For security’s sake, I will not disclose what school our child will be attending.)
I simply don’t know what to expect.
Now,I am going to have people reading on Facebook, Twitter, news channels, family events, and other various venues, telling me I should have homeschooled my child.
Understand this – I have nothing against those of you who have chosen to do this. If you have the knowledge, the means, and the ability to do this, more power to you. But I believe there is a reason why there’s an old saying that goes “It takes a village….” I have minister friends, church friends, and family that homeschool. I respect them beyond imagination. But homeschooling is not right for us.
My wife is the product of public schools, and I think she did just fine – going to college on an athletic scholarship and graduating with a nearly perfect GPA. In fact, she finished a lot better GPA than me, the product of the Christian School.
I’m not scared to send my child to school. She knows God, she knows what is right, she knows how to be a good influence, and she knows that there are people out there who don’t believe in God – and she’s prayed for them. No, I’m not saying she’s a little missionary, but she has a heart for God that I didn’t have when I was 5. She will have a chance to influence the boys and girls in her school for God.
On top of that, we live out of the area where many of our church family goes to school. We will be in a school where we know absolutely no one.
We’ll be going to parent meetings, teacher meetings, and school events in a place where there will be a great opportunity to share the love of Christ through our love and actions. Sure, it would be easier to send my child somewhere where I knew the people, and felt more comfortable, but that would take away a great ministry opportunity God has put before me.
I’m not certain why some people are so afraid of sending their children to school. We can’t keep them in a bubble forever. The world is changing, and I want my child to know what she’s up against.
Many of you who are hardcore homeschool advocates won’t understand this. I have family members who homeschool that won’t understand this. Is there a potential for her little mind to be scarred by things she wouldn’t see if she stayed at home everyday? Sure. But she’s going to experience the world one day, and I would much rather be in control of it now at the age of 5 when she heads off to college at 18.
On top of these things – know this: I know that God is with her. I believe in prayer. I will pray for her daily. My wife will pray for her daily. With confidence, we will be able to send her off to school to learn, play, and become assimilated with society – and we will still be in control of her every step of the way. If the school teaches something we disagree with, that’s fine. Because we’ll still be teaching her at home, and still be teaching her at church.
So many who homeschool say the problem is that they have no control over what they are taught. I don’t plan on just turning my child over to the system and then check back in with her every May at the end of the school year. We will go over things. We’ll discuss things. We’ll take time to teach alternative things to evolution and liberal government.
I’m not scared. I’m proud. I’m proud of who my little girl has grown up to be in these short 5 years. I know God will take care of her. May God bless all our children as they start school over the next few weeks.