This post was prompted by an article I read on another blog about how that author does public school with her children. Read it here – http://yourmomhasablog.com/2016/06/20/raising-christian-kids-in-a-public-school/ . As a dad currently homeschooling our four kids, two of whom were in public school for their initial schooling I have two thoughts that would like to add, one in agreement and one in addition, though not exactly in disagreement.
First, the author makes the point that her family life centers around church with everything they do being centered around church and this provides the anchor for their public schooling life. I cannot agree with this point enough for families with kids in public school, private school, who homeschool or for Christians of any age. At its heart it simply echoes the Biblical mandate that no matter what we do we do in life we do it for the Lord as vessels sanctified to Him. Our whole life should be dedicated to the Lord, His service and on being part of His Body, the church, whether we are children in public school or adults in the workplace. I have seen parents who public school really well focusing on leading their kids in that atmosphere while serving Jesus. I have seen parents do it very poorly as well, saying that they are serving Jesus but having their kids so barraged with non-Christian sports teams, friends and activities that the majority of the children’s world is devoted to the secular. If you are in the world 166 hours a week and only spend 2 hours a week to going to church there really is going to no contest between the pulls involved. The sad result to the sin saturated mind of the child is that church is a boring foreign laborious break in their otherwise activity filled and self entertaining week rather than a place of joyful fellowship with brothers and sisters in the Lord. In other words, if we feed the flesh all week, the flesh is going to grow until it takes over completely. No matter where we are in schooling or work our eyes should be fixed on Jesus alone and our life should be centered in our fellowship.
Second, while I respect the public school families, understand their decision and the multitude of factors that go into it and know that you can raise Christian kids through public school system, in my experience it is just a harder path than homeschooling. I know easier is not necessarily better and God will take you through it if that is His will for your family, but it was just hard to keep our kids sweet, innocent and Jesus loving in that awesome childlike way little ones are blessed with once they hit public school. This may vary regionally as I am told by my Bible belt friends it is different there, but even at a young age making every effort to lead our children in the Lord it was difficult just about every day to undue the damage done by well meaning but non-believing teachers and administrators and wade through the junk brought into class and recess every day by classmates whose lives and beliefs reflected their home situations. From subtle earth worshipping influences used to teach the kids to shame their parents to recycle to teachers open disapproval of God related projects in Art class or free time or even simply the interactions with kids who were not being taught to respect others, the enemy came at our children from every conceivable angle attempting to influence them away from the Lord. Yes, this can be dealt with and God bless those parents who are fighting this battle but we were blessed with the ability to put off this battlefield until our kids have been prepared and have reached an age where they are mature enough to handle it on their own. They are going to spend the majority of their lives in workplaces that are most likely not Christian and where they will have to give an account for their faith, we feel that it is beneficial and we are called to keep them at home for now. It is not a remedy for not following Jesus personally as parents and it is not a magic potion to make your kids little Billy Grahams but it does make things significantly simpler.