Monday, February 11, 2013

choosing a school (1) why our kids go to local schools

Sometimes I'm asked about our children's schools:
  • What kind of school did we choose (local, Christian, private, homeschooling)? Why?
  • How did we choose our kids' schools?
Today I'll answer the first question; next time, the second.

We send our kids to local schools, both primary and secondary.

We want to be part of our local community. We want to get to know local families, share our lives with them, pray for them, and chat with them about what we believe.

We want our children to learn to live in a non-Christian world. We want to equip them to relate to and reach out to their classmates, who are from all kinds of backgrounds and religions. We want to talk with our kids about the issues raised by secular philosophies and practices.

We have friends we greatly respect who school their kids differently, and I can see the advantages. Given different circumstances, we'd make a different decision. But local is our preference.

You might also like to read
Here are some great posts about why other families went local:

Now it's over to you. What kind of schooling did you choose? Why? 

Tell us here. 

Next time I'll talk about how we chose our kids' particular schools.

image is by UGArdener at flickr


Petrina said...

Our kids aren't at school yet, but planning to go local, for reasons very similar to yours. And already dealing with shock from some quarters that we don't have their names down for private schools. I'll be watching this series and the comments.

mattnbec said...

atm we too have our kids at a local government primary school. Our reasons are similar to yours too. I'm also keen to support a local church (which isn't our own) who run a kids' club at the school and a Friday night youth group for primary aged-kids and are doing a great job :-)

We may well revise this decision for high school - largely for educational reasons. The local government high schools are pretty oriented towards vocational training and given our family background, we'd like our kids to have a wider range of options made available to them. So for that reason, we may well send them to a nearby Christian School, or perhaps another government school, should they be able to get in.


Anonymous said...

We have chosen to send our kids to our local Christian School for all of the same reason but we feel that we as parents we will be supported and helped by the teachers to encourage our kids to think Christianly/ from a biblical perspective about the world. Our kids still have local non-christian families in their classes. I personally have had many opportunities with parents and being in a christian school they seem a little more open to talking or at least listening!

Rachael said...

We had our children in the local school while we were back in Australia for 6 months, and for the same reasons you outline.

I was really struck by just how little christian influence there was in the school... by how few "church" families there were. It was quite disturbing. It is a difficult thing as it is a big concern for parents and I can understand why they pull their children out and put them into christian schools. And the more families that go... and the more teachers that go... the bigger the problem gets.

Both my husband and went through local schools ourselves. One of the biggest struggles we both face in our christian lives is thinking with a christian world view. Our default is always to think with a secular view of the world... one in which God doesn't exist or have any significant impact. We really want our children to have a different "default".

I'm not convinced that being at a christian school would necessarily change this default in itself because our world view is formed by more than school (and often before we start school) but also don't want do deny the impact that education has on our world view.

Jean said...

I think of all things your "the more families that go... and the more teachers that go... the bigger the problem gets" scares me the most, Rachael.

Yet there are local schools I (and most Christian parents) wouldn't send our kids to, so I get why Christian parents do this, though it saddens me. If there was no decent local school, I would probably do the same.

I guess you could get a gang of families together and go to the same school, as we have done with our local primary school. Then pray and work and watch!

But sending kids to a local school is not always an easy decision, and the impulse to protect one's kids is huge - rightly so. And, as you say, to give them a Christian world-view.

So sad that it means leaving those schools with little Christian influence, though.