With a little over a month left, the 2016-2017 school year is quickly coming to a close. As we prepare for re-enrollment and open enrollment, it’s an excellent opportunity for us to share with our friends and family why we believe in Christian education, and more importantly, why we believe in Shoals Christian School.
The choice you make for your children’s education shapes them academically, spiritually, and in their worldview and skills. At Christian schools, the faculty and staff are equipped to address each of these developing areas of a child’s life. These schools take seriously the responsibility to develop children’s minds, but they don’t distance God from academics. They know that developing skills in young people is essential to helping them reach their God-given potential.
– From ACSI “Why Christian Schooling”
Whether you’ve been committed to Christian education for years or whether it’s new to you, I’m sure you’ve heard the debates about Christian education. I’d like to take the opportunity to respond to four of the most common preconceptions or misconceptions about Christian schooling and speak out on behalf of Shoals Christian School, a school that I have been a part of for fifteen years and have personally witnessed the success of many graduates.
Preconception/Misconception #1: “I don’t want to shelter my kids from the real world.”
Our students are not sheltered from the real world. In fact, they are better prepared for it because of the biblical worldview from which they have been taught. This twenty-first century real world is one informed by secularism. Therefore, it’s vital now, even more than ever, that our students are taught to become discerning Christian thinkers. A true Christian education prepares rather than shelters them from the secular culture.
Preconception/Misconception #2: “I want my children to have better educational opportunities. The options are more limited at Christian schools.”
On the contrary, the options are not limited. At Shoals Christian, for example, our college-preparatory courses are rigorous and challenge students to a high academic standard. Students have an opportunity to take college (dual credit) courses, AP courses, as well as participate in athletics and the arts. Without a doubt, rewards are reaped and students enter college more than prepared for what lies ahead in their college career.
Preconception/Misconception #3: “I want my child to be a witness in public schools.”
Personally, I think this is an honorable thing to say. Of course, we want our children to be witnesses in the world, to be salt and light. However, they need to be equipped. Becoming a disciple requires the student to become a learner. To be disciples of Jesus, students must learn the doctrines of Christianity, be ready to defend the truth, and recognize heresy a mile away.
Christian schooling is an extension of Christian churches and good parenting. It simply allows the infallible Word of God to penetrate all areas of students’
lives, including their education. At Shoals Christian School, students are equipped with the ammunition of God’s Word to aid them in witnessing to others.
Preconception/Misconception #4: “Christian schools are hypocritical.”
This is one preconception/misconception I hear the most. And why is that? Christian schools do not claim to be perfect or without their share of sinners anymore than churches do. The same issues that plague public schools affect Christian schools as well. But, what makes us different is how those situations are handled. Christian schools have a unique opportunity to deal with
these issues by enforcing accountability and encouraging repentance and restoration.
Christian educators help cultivate a worldview in which God has His rightful place, and they look to the Bible for guidance in answering life’s big questions. These teachers enhance children’s spiritual development in an intentional, nurturing manner.
– From ACSI “Why Christian Schooling”
Don’t get me wrong. I am not responding to these ideas because I believe public schooling is of the devil. I am a product of public schooling. And yes, I turned out just fine. However, I do hope to create a clearer vision of the purpose of genuine Christian schooling: to integrate God’s Word into every facet of students’ lives, equipping them with the knowledge to boldly use their God-given talents to impact the world for Jesus Christ.
Head of School
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