School Choice

Parents have options when it comes to school choice, to select the best fit for their family’s educational needs. Choosing the source of our children’s education is a serious decision that parents must consider wisely. In America, we have the option of public schools, private schools, and homeschooling to meet these needs. While most children graduate with basic reading, writing, and math skills, education covers much more than these fundamental abilities. Ultimately, education provides individuals with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their goals in adulthood. To gain a deeper understanding of education, it is recommended to read Noah Webster’s definition.

History of Education in America

Children’s education in America has undergone significant changes over the decades and centuries. Initially, children were taught at home, but later on, communities started providing public education, and teachers were hired to educate the children. The curriculum typically included the Judeo/Christian teachings, with students beginning their day with a school prayer and the flag salute. Their primers included Scripture as part of their daily instruction.

However, in the early 1960s, the Supreme Court banned Bible reading, the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, and prayer in public schools. As a result, Christian schools began to emerge in the 1950s and increased in the 1970s and 1980s. Homeschooling emerged and gained momentum by the 1990s as another schooling alternative where parents educate their children at home.

The decline in the quality of public education led to the push for school choice, as parents wanted more options for their children’s education. Now, families in America have numerous school choices, and parents strive to provide the safest and best educational environment for their children. Many parents sought to include religious education, which Webster’s definition of education says is indispensable.

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The Bible contains instructions on training and educating children.

The Bible says it is the parent’s responsibility to train and provide education to their children. So, the parents still need to be involved wherever their children are placed.

 The LORD is our God, the LORD alone.
And you must love the LORD your God
with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 
And you must commit yourselves
wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today.
 Repeat them again and again to your children.
Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road,
when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 
Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders.
 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NLT

Parents’ responsibility is to instill knowledge and values in their children through their daily tasks and activities. Education is not just about memorizing facts and figures but also about shaping their worldview and character. It is important to prioritize finding educational options that align with the family’s beliefs and values; fortunately, many choices are available today.

Nowadays, information is easily accessible everywhere due to the internet. Parents no longer have to physically go to schools to acquire educational resources for their children. However, it is important for parents to consider the process of learning and where their child will be learning. They should ask detailed questions: Is the environment safe? Will the school cater to their child’s learning style? What will it cost in monetary needs, travel distance, and time commitments? Will their child have access to sports and arts?

There are pros and cons to each school choice. Public schools are free and accessible, but parents may have to work to undo negative aspects like worldly and godless worldviews, peer pressure, bullying, and unfiltered agendas. Private schools offer rigorous studies but are costly, and parents may put a financial strain on the family to afford them. Homeschooling involves parents being fully involved in the educational process, from picking out the curriculum to teaching and paying for classes their children need to take. Charter homeschools involve parents teaching but may have less freedom in curriculum choices, and the charter school pays for most outside classes.

Regardless of the school choice, parents must remember that it is their responsibility to train their children. Each option may require different levels of parental involvement, but the main goal of education is to know God, worship Him, contribute responsibly to society, and live a flourishing life.

Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

May God bless you and your children this school year. -Kim

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