As parents, we want our children to be happy and prosperous. We also want them to be ‘good’ people and positive societal contributors. Considering kids will spend roughly 14 of their first 18 years in some form of school, what they learn there matters.
In the mid-1970s, at least two-thirds of the country had confidence that the public school system was giving children the academic and ethical foundations they needed to thrive as adults. This year, however, a Gallup poll shows that confidence in public education has eroded to a paltry 28%.
There are several reasons why an increasing number of parents wants to pull their children out of public education. Some of the main ones include:
- Poor academic performance
- Bullying and other forms of school violence
- A secular environment often hostile to religious observance
- Rampant drug, alcohol, and tobacco use
- Lack of individualized, empathic teaching
Looking for alternative options, many parents are turning to Christian independent schools to give their children a safer, smarter, and more values-driven education. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the benefits of a faith-based education:
Christian schools have repeatedly proven that you don’t sacrifice academic rigor or success when you add religion to the educational mix. According to a National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) 2019 report, an overwhelming majority of private schools have some religious foundation.
It’s also well-documented that Independent school students regularly outperform their public school peers in college placement testing and other secondary school achievement standards. Adding a religious perspective doesn’t detract from student success, and anecdotal evidence suggests it might even increase it.
Focus on Integrity, Character Building
Philosopher Samuel Johnson said, “Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful.” More than a century later, the great Mahatma Gandhi echoed that sentiment, including “Knowledge without character” as one of the seven deadly sins of humanity.
Once upon a time, Bible teachings formed the bulk of character education in public schools. Scripture stories taught kids not to cheat, to tell the truth, to love their neighbor, to treat others fairly, and to work hard. But when these were deleted from the government-run curriculum, many important character lessons went with them. What followed has been a steady rise in school violence, absenteeism, bullying, cheating, and moral relativism.
Independent Christian schools believe that for children to succeed in life, their education needs to include a fundamentally religious foundation and accountability to a higher power (God). Many schools supplement their curriculum with daily prayer, Bible study, and church services to create unity and promote a sense of family within the student body.
Supportive of Religious Values Learned at Home
Parents have the right and the responsibility to pass on their values and morals to their children. For Christians, that includes teaching our kids about God and the truths in the Bible. That’s difficult to achieve when administrators, teachers, and even fellow students constantly antagonize, belittle, or outright attack what you are trying to teach your kids in the home.
A public school science teacher might openly call out your child for being “stupid” or “naive” to believe that God created the earth (yes, this happens more often than not, unfortunately). However, a faith-filled educator might instead discuss how creation and species development fit in with the idea of a supreme creator. At the very least, private school teachers don’t have to limit their religious expression according to state and county dictates, which means children will feel comfortable sharing faith experiences.
Overall, private schools typically have smaller class sizes, which allows teachers to get to know and mentor their students. In a Christian environment, teachers can guide young scholars to learn how they can strengthen their knowledge and deepen their faith at the same time. Parents also know that educators will address their kids’ questions and concerns through a lens of similar values and core beliefs.
Strong Emphasis on Service
Service, the idea of giving back to the community, represents the cornerstone of any Christian education. After all, we are teaching our kids to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ and to do the things he did. And while public institutions have placed a strong emphasis on service learning in recent years, community involvement is practically second nature to kids in private Christian schools like The Academy of Scholars here in Atlanta.
And when so encouraged, youngsters show amazing creativity in coming up with ways to serve. We’ve seen Christian school students help beautify campuses, make and distribute reusable shopping bags, and organize Special Olympics tournaments.
If you would like to learn more about how a private Christian education can benefit your child, please call us at 678-632-6001 or visit our Contact page.