Christian education, like most public school alternatives, has gained its fair share of stereotypes and misconceptions over the years.
“It’s like Sunday School five days a week, right?”
We understand that, as parents, you want to ensure your children receive a high-quality education. Many parents have come to our Atlanta private school skeptical and full of questions regarding Christian education. They’ve heard the concerns from well-intended family members or friends who believe public school is the best and only way to give your children a good education.
So before making such an impactful decision, you want to determine whether or not there is any substance to those claims and concerns.
We’ve spoken with our Georgia private school teachers and parents about the most popular myths surrounding Christian education and are here to address five of the biggest misconceptions.
Myth #1: Students in a Christian school only study the Bible or Bible-based curriculum.
We believe that the Bible should be an essential part of each believer’s daily life, so it’s no surprise that we find it a crucial part of education as well. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (ESV).
However, the Bible is only one among many elements that make up a well-rounded education. Christian schools are still required to follow state education standards. Much of the curriculum we use is the same that you would find in a public school classroom. But when paired with a Christian perspective, students can combine biblical wisdom with textbook knowledge.
Myth #2: Students who attend Christian schools are more isolated and have less fun than their public school peers.
The average private school class size may be smaller than that of a public school, but this is an advantage in more cases than not. While students can still connect with a diverse group of peers, it’s less likely for them to get lost in the crowd and overlooked. We find that students in a private school setting develop stronger friendships that last a lifetime.
Additionally, students can engage in safe, age-appropriate activities. While no school can completely control each individual’s choices, students at a private school are less likely to engage in dangerous activities such as sex, alcohol, and drugs. A smaller student body allows faculty to build stronger connections with each student and be on the lookout for concerning behavior.
Does this mean that students in Christian schools live rigid lives void of fun? Absolutely not! Christian schools encourage the right kind of fun–safe, uplifting, and inclusive fun. Through extracurricular activities, field trips, and groups, students are given plenty of opportunities to build enjoyable, meaningful relationships with their peers.
Myth #3: Christian education is unaffordable and only for rich people.
We understand that, compared with public education, tuition costs for private schools can seem insurmountable. However, most private schools offer scholarships that can be put toward your tuition, and we firmly believe a quality, faith-based education is worth the investment. Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” We encourage families looking into private education to commit themselves to prayerfully seeking the Lord for guidance and provision.
Myth #4: Christian schools only create an over-religious life, eventually driving students away from the faith.
We’ve all seen it happen: despite being brought up in a Christian home, going to church every Sunday, and attending a Christian academy, so many students go off to college and suddenly walk away from the faith. It’s a story that is far too common among young people today, and many wonder if it might be the result of “too much” Jesus. Did they feel suffocated by religion? Did they feel that the standards were too far out of reach to live up to? These are valid questions.
However, we firmly believe that the answer to combatting the lies that the world will bombard students with is not “less” Jesus. Rather, Romans 12:2 tells us that the way to avoid conforming to the world is through a transformation that comes by the “renewal of your mind” (ESV). This transformation occurs when believers are saturated with biblical truth and through the work of the Holy Spirit.
The best way to equip students to stand firm in their faith is by helping them to develop a solid Biblical worldview. When students know and can articulate what they believe and why they believe it, it’s much harder for the world to convince them otherwise. By placing your child in a Christian school that understands the importance of a Biblical worldview, you’re helping your student grow in the knowledge and wisdom needed to form that foundation.
Myth #5: Christian schools take the Christians out of the public school system.
During their formative years, we believe that children are the mission field, not the missionaries. While many argue that their children should be lights in the public school system, it’s important to remember that Jesus’ desire for children differed from his commission to mature believers. While he instructed his disciples to “go” (Matthew 28:19), he told the little children to “come” (Matthew 19:14).
Perhaps instead of asking where the light in the public schools will go without Christian students, we should first ask where the light in our own children will go when immersed in such an anti-Christian environment and saturated with vehemently anti-Biblical worldviews. 1 Corinthians 15:33 cautions us, “Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals” (ESV). If this warning applies to mature, adult believers, how much more careful should we be with our children?
We agree that the public school system desperately needs the love of Jesus. But is that the job of young children who are still in the process of forming their own worldview? It is our prayer that God would call wise, mature believers to teach in the public school system and carry the torch of Christ there.
Choosing where your child will spend 35 hours each week is a huge decision. Because you want what is best for your child, you want to make sure your decision is well-informed. And while there is no one-size-fits-all approach for each child’s education, we believe that a Christian education is one of the best ways to help your children build the foundation they need to live as salt and light and to grow in both knowledge and wisdom.