A guide for parents new to Christian Schools. Why choose a Christian school

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1 A guide for parents new to Christian Schools Why choose a Christian school

2 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. Proverbs 1:7 Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not. Proverbs 4:5 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it. Ecclesiastes 7:12b Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6: 1-4 A choice for education and Biblical values Among the first concerns Christian parents have as their sons and daughters approach school age is this: Will my children s school teach the same ideas, concepts, precepts, values, and belief systems that we, as their parents, will be teaching them at home? If the schools you are considering are either public schools or secular private-independent schools, the answer to that fundamental question is No. Thus, if you are like most Christian parents, your choices are but two. You can decide to home school your children, or you can select a Christian private school that matches well with the Christian perspective that you hold. Home schooling is a formidable challenge. Most parents conclude, upon prayerful reflection, that they cannot provide a quality education on their own, and that this will become increasingly true as their children mature. A choice for the future Graduates of Christian schools typically enjoy a wide range of choices upon graduation from high school. Many matriculate at selective public universities; others at selective private universities; others at nonselective colleges and universities, both public and private. Still others attend community colleges, technical colleges, or Bible colleges; and yet others decide to work in the family business or on the family farm. All these choices are commonly available as realistic options for those who graduate from Christian schools.

3 Further, according to a recent large-scale survey,* graduates of Christian schools tend to be more generous and more focused on their neighbors well-being than those of public or secular schools. That is, the generosity of spirit taught in your home is much more likely to be reinforced in the Christian private school of your choice than in other school settings. * Cardus Education Survey of Canadian Christian and secular schools. Peer pressure works for education Students in Christian schools are there because they and their families have chosen to be there. Bound by common beliefs, goals, and aspirations, students find an environment where peer pressure works toward education, toward an atmosphere where academic achievement is valued, and where studying hard doesn t conflict with social acceptance. And while intellectual curiosity can t exactly be taught, it certainly can be caught. Your child s individual interests are likely to be encouraged and rewarded, laying the foundation for a lifetime of achievement. Your child is in a disciplined environment Self-discipline, responsibility, and self-motivation are among the benefits of an environment that is both nurturing and structured. A Christian private school is able to provide a disciplined environment because it has control over who is admitted, who stays, and how students are expected to behave. Teaching the whole child is a priority, and lessons in courtesy, respect, and responsibility will be part of your child s daily life throughout all the years he or she studies in a Christian private school. Your child can develop sound values Christianity is integrated into the very fabric of a Christian school s curriculum and instructional practices. Teachers are selected not only on the basis of what they have studied and their mastery of subject matter and teaching methods, but because of the nature and depth of their own Christian commitments. Classes encourage the discussion of faith in practice, and of the importance of the formation of Christian habits, in thinking and acting. Your Christian school takes its teachings out of the classroom and into the real world. Students take what they learn and apply it to everyday life through projects, activities, and clubs that emphasize service to others. As students learn to be stewards of God s truth, they in turn grow in spirit. When the lessons of right and wrong that they learn in their homes are reinforced at school, the impact is much greater.

4 Look beyond the facilities When you are looking for the right school for your child, look most closely at the student programs, the teachers, and the guidance a given school can provide for your children and your family. It is these factors, combined with the school s leadership and vision, that create an outstanding educational experience for your child and for your whole family. Your child won t be lost in the crowd In a Christian private school, teachers get to know every one of their students well not just in the classroom, but on the athletic field, in drama productions, and during before- and after-school sessions. And, of course, students and teachers share their faith during daily prayers and at regular worship services. Seeing your child in many different lights gives teachers insights that enhance the whole learning process. An outgrowth of the close teacher/student relationship is trust. Students feel free to discuss ideas and problems with their teachers and coaches adults whom they look upon as trusted mentors. As a result, your child s school becomes an extension of your family. It provides a safe environment in which your child can explore ideas and feelings, while at the same time it provides the guidance that ensures your child won t get lost while exploring.

5 Christian school teachers are committed Christian private schools attract teachers who look upon teaching as a true vocation: a lifelong endeavor to which they have been called. You will find that your child s teachers are unswervingly committed to developing both the spirit and the intellect of your children. Christian school teachers are chosen for their ability to serve as Christian role models, as well as for their teaching skills. As well, they are selected for their knowledge of subject matter and for their ability to teach it, not merely for the kind of degree they possess. Christian schools are accountable Your Christian school is accountable in its performance to the families it serves. Parents select the school and keep their children there on the basis of the solid academic preparation and Christian growth they see in their children. Academic performance within a Christian framework that s what builds and maintains your Christian school s reputation in the community. Christian schools are uniquely equipped to assist parents and the church in training children in Godly ways. Working together, the Christian home, church, and school present a triple braided cord (Ecclesiastes 4:12) that is not easily broken. Source: emporiachristianschool.org

6 Christian schools are responsive Part of accountability is being responsive to the changing needs of students and to the changing requirements of parenting in the context of the real world. Your Christian school responds to your needs as a parent by attempting to supply the kinds of services that make your life less complicated. Such services may include, for example, beforeor after-school enrichment programs, bus or van transportation to outlying areas, or summer sports or arts programs. Choose the Christian private school that will best fit your family s needs. Your participation is important, too Your Christian private school welcomes and expects parent involvement. You will be asked to oversee your child s study time at home, and to review routinely his or her homework. You will be invited to participate in the social life of the school and help the school advance. Your school may hold family worship services for the school community and will celebrate special occasions such as Christmas, Easter, graduation, and awards assemblies in ways that are fitting in your particular Christian community. Which school is right for your child? As a parent, you know that all children are not alike. Each child has his or her own special talents, interests, developmental patterns, and emotional needs. A school that is right for one may not be the best choice for another. When you are selecting a school, ask yourself questions such as these. Is the curriculum appropriate for my child s talents and goals? Will the school challenge without overwhelming? Will my child be comfortable in the school s environment? Will I? Are there opportunities for my child to pursue special interests? You are invited to visit The selection of a school shouldn t be made lightly. Study your options. Send for information; check the Web site; tour the school; observe in classrooms; sit in on a worship service. Let your son or daughter experience a day in class. Talk to administrators, teachers, and current and former parents. Then you ll be in a position to make the choice that best reflects your Christian perspective, your Christian values, and your own child s needs. Copyright 2013 by Independent School Management. All rights reserved. This material may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form whatsoever.

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