Common Objections Attending a Private Christian School

Can my children get a quality education at a Christian School?

Time and again, students in Christian schools have proven their academic mettle. Their test scores exceed the national average. Their grade equivalency soars high above the curve. But inasmuch as education is a two-way proposition, with students shouldering part of the responsibility themselves, we’d like to offer a word of caution.

It’s true that, generally speaking, students at Christian schools out-perform their public school peers. Reliable statistics bear that out. But that doesn’t mean every child in a Christian school will excel. The important thing for you as a parent to remember is that attending a Christian school in no way prohibits your children from getting a quality education. In many cases, it will enhance their experience, because in addition to solid academic training, they’ll be continually reminded of the spiritual foundation upon which all intellectual pursuits are built.

Regardless of the academic setting – public, private or distinctly Christian – there are no guarantees. But there are opportunities. And almost without fail, your children will be given plenty of them at your local Christian school. Much of the rest is up to them.

Christian education is divisive.  It isn’t what everyone else is doing.  It marches to a different drummer and is out of step with the nation’s agenda for modern public education.

This is true and we consider it a selling point rather than an objection.  Christian education cultivates excellence rather than conformity.  Educational markets are highly competitive and there is a lot of pressure toward homogeneity and conformity (i.e. common core, AP, IB, GT, etc.).  This pressure to become “like other schools” strikes at the very heart of the Christian movement, which thrives on its “deliberate heterogeneity.”  Christian schools seek not to “conform” but rather “reform” the way education is practiced in our country.  We are 100% confident in the intrinsic value of what we offer to each student in our care.

Christian education is small, private, and grassroots.

It’s true that Christian education is small, private, and grassroots. The bigger the school, the more standardized, impersonal, and institutional it becomes and the more children get lost in the system and stereotyped by their race, economic class, gender, sexual orientation, or political party.  We think small is beautiful and when it comes to helping each unique student reach their God-given potential, a small school is what is most needed.

Christian education is religious.

Yes, it is … and so is every system of education.  Modern public education isn’t “less religious” because they pretend to be neutral when it comes to ultimate questions about God, the nature of the universe, morality, and what it means to be a human being.  Secularism isn’t religiously neutral and neither is pretending God doesn’t exist.  The exclusion of God from education sends a loud and clear message to students that He doesn’t matter and isn’t important and that life can be lived and things known apart from Him.  This is secularism and atheism, NOT religious neutrality.

I went to public school and I turned out okay, can't my children do the same?

The short answer is yes. Just like you did, your kids can turn out okay, maybe even better than okay. But our arrival at a place called “okay” does not necessarily mean that all our choices along the way were the right ones, or that our educational experience was the best one. The real questions are these: Are you the same person today that you would have been had you attended Christian school? And what about the journey that brought you here? Might it have been a little more joyful, a little less troublesome? Is it possible that God could have used you for His glory even more than He already has? These are questions only you can answer, and if you haven’t already, why not do it right now? Give this issue an honest, thoughtful look, and then ask God what His will is regarding your children’s education.

If I put my children in Christian School, will I be sheltering them from the real world?

There’s no denying it. You’ll be sheltering them from part of secular society. But even Christian adults have been instructed to keep the world at arm’s length – to be in it but not of it. How much more should we endeavor to protect our children, most of whom are nowhere near ready to withstand the more sophisticated worldly temptations. But make no mistake. We haven’t bought into the common misconception that Christian schools shield children from every temptation and all exposure to sin. This is not only untrue, it’s impossible. Christian schools have the same type of kids non-Christian schools have … Sinners. They’re all prone to offensive behaviors such as selfishness, anger, and malicious talk. And no matter where your children attend class, they can hardly escape the worldly influences found in movies, books and television.

Is a Christian School a safe place?

There’s no question about it. Christian schools are a safe place for your children to spend eight hours a day. While not devoid of problems – even severe ones like drug and alcohol use – Christian schools are far less likely to tolerate this kind of behavior. At a public school, your child will witness more frequent occurrences of theft and physical violence, not to mention of course profanity and open rebellion in the classroom.

In addition to physical well-being, Christian schools offer a much safer emotional and spiritual environment. Because teachers approach all of life from a biblical worldview, the politically-correct, socially-tolerant attitudes that pervade secular classrooms never see the light of day at distinctly Christian institutions. Anti-Christian behavior such as homosexuality and abortion is exposed for what it is, which helps guard your children’s minds against the licentious attitudes fostered by popular education.

How safe is a public school vs. private school?

A private school has a great deal more ability to deal with these sorts of issues than a public school.  The public school is required to provide an education for all children.  They usually do not have the luxury of dismissing students who are disruptive or who pose a threat to fellow students, unless there is proven criminal activity.  A private school, on the other hand, will establish clear policies regarding dress, smoking, drinking, bullying, etc., and has the absolute ability to prevent, control, and eliminate these types of behavior, resulting in a SAFE PLACE for children to learn and grow.

My children attend Sunday School and Youth Activities, isn’t that enough?

Youth pastors can have a big influence and Sunday School teachers can lead your child to the Lord.  However, how does God fit into your child’s day-to-day learning?  Knowing God’s perspective on Science, History, literature, and Math completes the circle of knowledge. 

Science, English, Math… it is all the same whatever school you go to… the religion part can come from home and church, right?

This objection comes straight out of the Modern worldview.   Modernism separates reality into public and private categories.  The public sphere is where reason guides political, economic, educational, (etc.) discussions.  The assumption is that reason is neutral, and out of this value neutral position, we can dialogue on how we can best organize society.  All the non-rational, things, like beliefs, opinions, religion, etc. are relegated to the private sphere.  Society works if these things are kept in the church, the mosque, or the bedroom.  The public school is such a place.  Reason directs the curriculum and, in the absence of beliefs, it is value neutral. Many Christian parents also accept the neutrality of reason and, therefore, of a public education.  The church and the home add the religion component and the overall experience of the child tips toward the religious.  The problem is that the public sphere is not neutral at all. 

Private Christian School A Beka Book curriculum vs. the Common Core ideology.

Many Christian school educators and homeschool parents are inquiring about the sweeping national education standards known as Common Core State Standards (CCSS). While CCSS have only been written for English language arts and mathematics, they have quickly been adopted by most state departments of education, and future standardized testing appears to be aligning with them. Meanwhile, there is much controversy over the imposition of national standards, the loss of local control over education, and undesirable philosophical implications.

Because A Beka Book has historically met or exceeded recommended content standards, especially in primary grades, it is not surprising that when compared to current CCSS, the A Beka Book language arts and mathematics objectives were found to already meet almost all Common Core content standards. With its rigorous phonics approach to reading instruction and basic arithmetic instruction, A Beka gives students a superior foundation on which to build future knowledge.

However, a few differences were found. For example, in English language arts, A Beka Book fulfills or exceeds many of the standards at an earlier grade level than outlined in CCSS. Further, in mathematics, A Beka Book has chosen a different sequence of topical representation because it is more logical in presentation than what Common Core proposes.

Standards in education are often very useful when they inform content in an effort to ensure that subject matter is age appropriate, sequentially meaningful, and academically rigorous.

While it is healthy to be informed by educational trends and performance data, it is not our practice to adjust or change our curriculum to align with each new reform that is presented in academia. We will continue our commitment to seek content and best practices that provide students with the tools they need for both academic and personal success.

Christ the Cornerstone Academy teachers are first and foremost Christians who process knowledge through a Christian worldview. The variety of textbooks used in our curriculum has been chosen to best meet the needs of our students by these professionals who meet state credentialing requirements and have decades of teaching experience. Concepts taught are aligned with Biblical teachings, state standards, and best practices of many schools, classrooms, and teachers. We’ve all seen the winds of educational progress come and go, but proven principles of teaching and learning are always the best choice for classrooms and students that thrive.