Two years ago, after several months of virtual learning, our oldest child completed the first grade and we said goodbye to public education for good. At the time we weren’t leaving the school system because of a philosophical change of heart. Honestly, it was purely pragmatic. My wife rightly predicted the coming year of public school would be like volunteering for logistical whiplash (in-person this week, virtual the next). So, she took the entire Summer, worked her tail off investigating our options, and enrolled our two oldest children into the Lake Wylie coop for Classical Conversations.
I see a similar scenario playing out regularly today. Many parents are running from the public school system, or they are at least questioning whether they ought to run. But it’s not because of the logistical nightmare we were running from. Something else has happened. The COVID response of 2020 and 2021 demonstrated how little influence, awareness, and power the average parent has in the public school system’s direction, decisions, and curriculum. As parents pushed back, asked questions, and investigated what was happening at school, they learned that more was happening than poor disaster management policies.
They learned that many school systems and individual schools have been revealed as propaganda arms for leftist ideology. I don’t know any other way to put it. They undermine everything from accurate history to the definition of a human being to the authority of parents. Mind you, I didn’t say *every* school system and school. But there is no denying that the institution of public education has undermined its own credibility and tens of thousands of parents are looking to bail.
Now, come back to my own family’s story: we left, not because we were philosophically committed to homeschooling. We left because we didn’t want to deal with a logistical nightmare. That being said, we have become increasingly convinced that Christian parents are to give their children a Christian education. Chelsea has become convinced through the practice of educating. And I have become convinced through the practice of study. In the last two years, I have read around 10 books and essays all related to the responsibility of Christian education. Yesterday, I attended a day-long practicum because I intend to begin tutoring a class in our local coop. I hope to share more about the need for Christian education (in the home, at private Christian schools, etc) in later posts, but I want to make one massive point right now.
If you are a parent who has become disenchanted with public education, it’s ok to leave because you see the problems. You don’t need a robust understanding of how ships work in order to realize the one you are standing on is sinking. So jump. Get out. Do it now. But you can’t stop there. Children are weighty blessings and responsibilities from the Lord, and you need weighty goals for them. You, as a parent, are not just called to rescue them from sinking ships. You are to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And you are surrounded with opportunities to pursue educational excellence. Not every child will be an Einstein, but every child must be pushed to honor the Lord with faithfulness.
So, here’s my invitation. I’m a pastor who has only just begun the journey of Christian education. I’m a novice. But I can also see the present and future need for solutions to a growing problem. The mass exodus of Christians out of public schools isn’t going to slow down precisely because the revolution of irreverent babbling in our culture isn’t slowing down. We will need more homeschooling. We will need more private schooling. We will need one another. So, if any of this interests you, I’m open to conversation. We have several parents in our church who are homeschooling. We have others who have vetted local private schools. And as we run, with our kids, out of moral insanity, we don’t wander in a wilderness. We want to build a positive Christian culture that can be salt and light in the world.