One of the most difficult decisions a parent ever makes is how to educate their children. Do we send them to a public school? Do we send them to a Christian school? Do we homeschool them? There isn’t a right answer for everyone. Every family has to figure out the right path for their children while weighing many factors, including the quality and environment of the schools available around them and even the personality of their child. So you may be disappointed to know that I’m not going to make a case for any one option, thus missing out on angry comments from ⅔ of you (people feel pretty strongly about this). What I am going to make a case for is having a Christian schooling, public schooling, and homeschooling mentality all at once, no matter where you send your kids. That’s right, I believe that every parent needs to have all three mentalities in order to raise children who are strong in their faith and ready to make a difference in our culture.
Christian school mentality
Christian schools are founded on the idea that every subject should be taught from a biblical worldview. They also systematically teach the Word of God to students. No matter how you educate your child, you should take it as your responsibility to talk about how the Bible relates to science, math, and language. You should see it as your responsibility to teach your children the Bible. Nothing is stopping you from ordering the same Bible curriculum Christian schools use and working through it with your children. You may be homeschooling and the curriculum you use doesn’t include Bible curriculum. Add that to your educational plan, and search for creative ways to bring a biblical worldview into the other subjects. Your child may be in a public school, but you can take that same approach. And even if your child is in a Christian school, you should still make it a regular practice to talk through what they are learning at school. The investment you are making will go so much further if you are having practical conversations about these things at home.
Public school mentality
The big difference between public school and the other two options is that it’s where the “world” is. Even if your child goes to a Christian school or is homeschooled, they need opportunities to use their faith in the “real world.” Christian schooling and homeschooling are great options for intentionally pouring truth into your kids, but they shouldn’t be chosen to keep our kids totally away from the world. For your kids to become mature disciples they need opportunities to influence others who disagree with them. They need opportunities to even be challenged at times. Our goal is not to just raise kids who know a lot of Bible verses and generally stay out of trouble. Our goal is to raise true disciples that will be leaders and know how to stand for Christ in a culture that does not respect our faith. Our goal is to raise kids who know how to take the Gospel into the world and have those hard conversations with grace and truth. That won’t just happen because we taught them the right content for 18 years. It will also take on the job practice now. So no matter where they are schooled, find ways for them to use and share their faith in the world.
The great thing about a homeschooling mentality is that the parents are taking total responsibility for their child’s education and training. Every parent needs to take that mentality. No matter where your children go to school, we all need to take the approach that everything our kids are being taught is our responsibility and that their progress is our responsibility. We don’t send our kids to get an education and just assume that it’s going well unless we get an email from the teacher. We don’t send our kids to a Christian school and just assume that the theology being taught is solid. We have constant follow-up conversations. We don’t just take our kids to church and assume that they will get what they need. We oversee making sure they are getting what they need, and they are understanding and accepting the truth. We also can’t just send our kids to a public school without being on top of what they are being taught and having intentional follow-up conversations. And those conversations will need to intensify as they near graduation if they are planning on going to a secular college (or any college, because eventually, they will face the same issues in their jobs). You will need to make sure they are solid on everything from the accuracy of the Bible and the historical proofs of the resurrection of Jesus to a whole list of biblical worldview issues. They will need to be able to spot unbiblical mindsets from a mile away. We can’t hand this responsibility off to any other entity. That may intimidate you. You may not feel prepared to disciple and direct your child in all these areas. Let me say two things about that. First, this process is going to grow and disciple you. You are going to have to push yourself to learn and stay on top of what the Bible says about a lot of different issues. Second, it just starts with asking a lot of questions. Half of the battle is just staying on top of what they are learning. The conversations flow from there.
https://www.liberty.edu/lp/ember/ lets you pay for just the Bible course
Preparing your child to face secular worldviews (these are all High School resources)
Preparing your child to lead others spiritually (these also are for older kids, but if you read them now they will help you start introducing these principles to them earlier)