My child will attend his first year of school in the public school system this fall.
I have to admit that I have enjoyed my son going to private school for preschool, but after a serious discussion with my husband we have decided that Izaak will be attending public school in the fall.
I do admit that I am feeling scared and unprepared.
I am aware of the dangers of my son attending public school. I know that often times the curriculum isn’t neutral. Christians are often persecuted in public schools and I’m sure that my child’s faith will be tested.
By the time is he is teenager, I’m sure it will become even more difficult being a teenage Christian (hopefully he will be a man of faith) in the public school system.
One thing is for sure though: It is becoming harder to be a Christian in our country, the one that USED to be one nation under God.
To teach my son that the best thing to do is shelter himself from the outside world and persecution would not prepare him for the real world. Izaak’s faith NEEDS to be tested in order for him to have a strong connection with God.
Preparing my son for the real world
Worldly sinfulness is everywhere, slowly introducing my son to the reality of our secular world seems more sensible to me than to throw him out there at the age of 18.
Furthermore, I know that I cannot guarantee my child’s innocence just by enrolling him in a Christian private school. And I do not have the teaching bone so homeschooling is out of the question for me.
I know that I have to not only prepare my son for public school, but I also need to be there every step of the way to guide him, give him strength and to be open to questions as well as ready for discipline and anything else that comes my way. I also have to make sure that I let my child know that he can come to be with any question and concern and I will not condemn him.
I’ve prepared a guide below to help christian parents that are sending their kids to public school. You can also download the Ebook version of the guide here.
Christian kids in public school
In this guide:
- Christian Kids In Public School
- How to handle negative influence in the school system
- How your child can connect with kids outside of the school
- How your child can convert their friends
- How to talk to your child after tragedies and other news events
- How to get your child’s faith to withstand tribulation
- Public school prepares a child for the real world
How your kid can flourish in public school
With the moral instructions given in the Bible and how people’s perception of Christianity, it can be quite challenging for kids in public schools to hold fast to their religious morals and beliefs.
Being a place where kids from different backgrounds, beliefs, experiences, and morals converge, it is very easy to do away with Christian values which are quite restricting.
In this guide, we shall explore a number of scenarios and how to go about them for parents and guardians. Let’s begin with:
How to handle negative influence in the school system
In childhood, influences are more powerful than in adulthood which makes it a must to teach your, child, how to handle negative influences, especially those in public school. How can you help your kids avoid these influences? Here are a few tips:
- Approach the topic with open-ended, non-judgmental statements rather than close-minded questions: Known as friends to them, teens are quite sensitive to parents judging their friends. Instead of asking, “isn’t it bad when he does that?”, a better way to ask the question would be, “do you ever get bothered when he does that?”.
- Take careful caution about setting arbitrary rules on negative behaviors: Gather as much info as you can as regards the ” wrong crowd”, and also your kids thought about them. When you feel it’s right, share these ideas with your kid and match your tone to their feelings.
- For difficult discussion, prepare what you are going to say: Get them to understand that they are going to meet with different types of kids. Let them open up to you and from there, share ideas on how best to face each of them.
How your child can connect with kids outside of the school
While it’s easy to make friends online and in their own school, is their comfort zone, it can be quite difficult to do the same with kids outside those areas. To help your kids find the process easy, here are some useful tips:
- Teach them to enjoy the difference between other kids. It’s very easy to get along like-minded kids and difficult to do so with those who don’t hold the same view about the world. Get them to enjoy moments with those with other views.
- Let others speak. While we all like talking about ourselves, it is cool to let others also tell us about themselves.
- Interested people are interesting: people who want to hear about our lives are also very interesting. Teach them to ask other kids questions about their school, class teacher, new mathematics topic, etc.
- Stand for something. Because they are with a new set of kids, they might want to hide some of their beliefs and go along with the group’s own, which squash their self-esteem. Teach them to take a stand for what they believe in.
How your child can convert their friends
It is a very difficult thing for an adult to do let alone a kid. Meanwhile, the easiest way for everyone to do this, especially kids, is to follow one simple key:
The key is: make intentional relationships.
Our mission as Christians in all of our relationships is to be:
Being loving, kind and caring means that we desire a life of God for everyone we have a relationship with.
A good way of demonstrating how to evangelize is to walk the walk. Evangelize in your life so that you aren’t coming across as a hypocrite to your child.
Once you are walking the walk, you can also share stories from the Bible. If you pick your points from the Bible, you can also show clear cases of how God used ordinary people to preach his word.
It’s also necessary to share with your child the importance of praying and continually sharing the word of God with their friends. You can even encourage your child to invite their friends to Church.
How to talk to your child after tragedies and other news events
In this day and age, it’s virtually impossible to control the amount or what sort of information your kids get every day.
From classmates to radio, television and cell phones, your range of control is limited. The only time and place you can control are at home or whenever you are around. To be able to access this information, do this:
- Ask your child what they have heard.
- Ask your child what questions he/she might have.
- Keep the conversation straight and direct.
Don’t just unload your thoughts on your child. Let their questions direct your answer.
How to get your child’s faith to withstand tribulation
In a school with different types of kids with a different religious background, it is sure that your child’s faith will be tested. How do you get your child to stay strong?
The best way to do this is to show them what happened to the disciples in the Bible. Give your kid an in-depth exploration of the persecution of the apostles so that they see their heroes also faced the same thing.
You can also share how tribulation is necessary for strong faith.
Public school prepares a child for the real world
In the real world, you are always coming across different people whose perception of the world will challenge your own. So also it is with public school as new students (rich or poor) will often get transferred to the school from time to time.
Meeting these kid who came from another school and has experienced a totally different sort of life will be interesting as your child will understand different perspectives.
This seldom happens in a Christian private school where every kid you meet is (most of the time) a rich kid with the same beliefs.
Private schools are essentially a gathering of like-minded children with the same values and a part of the same class system. Public schools are a gathering of both rich, middle class and the poor. And anyhow you choose to look at it, the public school is how the real world is.
Attending a public school is a test of skills for the real world in its actual sense.
Giving your child the adequate lessons on how to live like a Christian even when they are in a highly complex and sensitive place like a public school will lay a solid foundation for their Christian journey.
What are your thoughts on public school? Please share in the comments below.
-Holly, the imperfect momma