Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Why Do Many Christians Allow the Secular Government to Educate Their Children?

Now this is a question that gets some folks riled up. It's right up there with the issues of non-violence and modesty when it comes to making Christians angry. "How dare you question the way I choose to educate my children?" Well, I'll question it if it involves letting secularists have day-long access to your kids' minds during their formative years.

God has given all parents, regardless of their beliefs, a tremendous gift and responsibility. We are caretakers over our children. He has made us stewards for a few years over their minds. We also have a massive impact upon their souls. Children do not simply reside in a house with parents. Every aspect of their lives is, to some extent, the responsibility of the parents.

That said, why would Christian parents depend on government school to educate their children? (This question comes from the post "Sorry, But I Can't Stop Asking Questions").

Full disclosure: I worked in the public school system for six years as a school psychologist. Also, we have been home educating our kids for the past thirteen years.

Back to the question. Five reasons come to mind as to why Christians send their kids to government-based schools:

1. The parents still trust the schools, thinking that they are largely similar to the way they were many years ago.
2. The parents want two incomes to support a certain standard of living.
3. The parents do not believe they have the skills to adequately educate their kids.
4. The parents want their children to get "socialized" in public school.
5. The parents are simply doing "what has always been done."

My response to all of the above reasons is that none of them are valid. None. All are pragmatic to one degree or another. None are based in theological reasoning whatsoever. My challenge to all parents of kids in public school is to ask whether or not they truly know what their kids are being taught and exposed to in that setting.

I realize that some parents want to homeschool but are in a situation where they simply cannot do so (such as some single parents). That is a different situation from what I'm discussing in this post. In this article I'm questioning the reasoning behind the decision to send kids to public schools when parents are in a position to home educate.

I've never heard a solid theological argument in favor of public school. I'm still waiting.


Brian said...

We now send our son to the public school here where we live. We home schooled for the first 7 years, but the opportunities that were offered through the school in math was really a good deal so we sent him (and it has been the best decision we have made). We are a close knit family and we talk about everything. We are involved with the school and know what is being taught and we discuss stuff all the time together as a family. I really think the choices we have between private, public, or home school has nothing to do with our relationship with Christ. My son got to take Calculus 3 at the University of Louisville through the school as a sophomore.. and has some other opportunities coming up in the next couple of years.

Eric said...


I'm glad you have had a good experience. I think this is the key to what you've said, "We are a close knit family and we talk about everything. We are involved with the school and know what is being taught and we discuss stuff all the time together as a family."

Aussie John said...


Our own experience was as Brian records his. Our five have grown to be everything we,as Christian parents,could wish. Our baby is now 45.

I don't think we would do the same in today's educational climate in our country.

Mark Turner said...

Public schools are one of the largest mission fields in the USA.

Eric said...


Yes, things have changed a great deal here as well.

Eric said...


Thanks for commenting. Will you please expand on that a bit?