Why We Sent Our Kids To Christian School

This week we begin a new series featuring posts from three of our pastors wives describing what influenced their decision for their children’s schooling. This week, Karen Helmer shares why she and Pastor Doug chose to send their kids to a Christian school for their high school years. Krista will contribute the next post in this series detailing why she and Pastor Eric decided to send their kids to public schools for this season. In the final post, Amy will share why she and Pastor Nate have elected to homeschool their children.

by Karen Helmer

What a wonderful time we live in with so many options available for our children’s education! But, sometimes having options can be confusing, can’t it? I want to share with you why we chose for our kids, Luke and Emily, to attend Christian school for their high school years. 

There is no “right” or “wrong” decision that you can make regarding your children’s education. Every family is different and each child is unique. You will need to seek the Lord for what is best for your family and your children. 

For our family, we chose to put our kids in public school during their elementary years and Christian school for their high school years. Here are a few reasons for the choice that we made:

Public School – Elementary Years

1. School System and Personal Involvement

We were in a great public school system. I was highly involved in their classrooms and also volunteered in the school office, so I was in the building at least once a week. The teachers were so grateful for parental involvement. I could have been there every day if I wanted!

2. Influence of Parents

As parents, we were still the biggest influences in our kid’s lives. They were making friends, but our voices were still the “loudest” and most influential. We spent lots of time discussing what the Bible says about friendship, who they should choose as friends, how to love their unsaved friends, how to live for Christ while living in the world, and how to make all sorts of different decisions about movies, TV shows, music, etc… We wanted to instill biblical values in them while they were young (laying a foundation for the years to come) and we wanted them to learn these lessons while the stakes were “low” and where we could quickly intervene if needed.

Limited Options – Middle School Years

For their middle school years, we were living in Pennsylvania while Doug attended seminary. There was no option for Christian school, so we put them in the public system. In hindsight, we wish we had thought about homeschooling them instead. It was a pretty crummy school system, and we’re pretty sure they got an “education” on the bus that we didn’t want them to have. As a side note:  think long & hard about having your kids ride the school bus in middle school & high school!

Christian School – High School Years

1.Influence of Friends

We knew that friendships would become much more important for our kid’s during high school. Since we knew that our influence would be waning and the influence and opinions of their friends would be getting stronger, we wanted them to have a large pool of Christian friends to choose from.

We also wanted them to have Christian friends who (for the most part) shared our philosophy of dating since that can become a huge issue in high school. We taught our kids that the purpose of dating was to find a godly marriage partner. If you’re not ready to get married (and VERY few people are ready for that in high school) there’s no point to dating.  We were so blessed that their closest friends thought the same way!

2. Common Goal

We wanted them to have the opportunity to develop their closest friendships with others that centered around Christ. We wanted their best friends to also be seeking Christ just as they were.

3. Influence of Teachers

We wanted them to be surrounded by teachers who could influence them for Christ. And we wanted them to have teachers who would bring a biblical perspective into the subjects they were teaching.

Whatever option you choose for your children’s education, take it one year at a time and one child at a time. What might work for one child (public school, homeschool, Christian school) may not work for another. What worked last year may not be what will work this year. No schooling choice is permanent…you can change mid-stream if you need to! Immerse yourself in prayer, talk to others, and be assured that God will direct your path!