The Third Way

It’s a bit ironic how, in this context, the public school is sometimes considered the “third way,” when that used to be the obvious first choice for all families. I realize our research has been focusing primarily on what kinds of materials GWP can produce to enable parent and classroom educators to better equip their children/students as they grow into more thinking, discerning Christians.

I also realize the goal of developing children into thinking, discerning Christians is not limited to families who have chosen homeschooling or Christian schools for their kids.

I’d like to ask the parents who have chosen public school for their kids what you feel like you could use to help you and your kids view their educational experiences through a biblical lens? What kind of publication would really encourage your family as you seek to raise your kids for the glory of God? Does it look different from what we’ve already been talking about here the past five weeks?

11 Comments

Filed under How Kids Think

11 responses to “The Third Way

  1. I’ve never really thought of using an additional “publication”. We really count on our church to come alongside us in helping with this.

    Thank you, Megan for recognizing that “the goal of developing children into thinking, discerning Christians is not limited to families who have chosen homeschooling or Christian schools for their kids.”

    We specifically have chosen public school BECAUSE we feel like it will best help us in the above aim. We’ve gotten a lot of flack for it.

  2. Megan

    Thanks, Shannon. I’ve heard from a very small number of folks who do get GWN for their kids who are in public school to better address some of the issues that are hearing at school at home. I’ve also heard these parents get uncomfortable sometimes because public schools get so much criticism in the Christian press.

    Would you have any interest at all in a kids’ magazine that presents relevant issues for kids from a biblical slant while simultaneously doesn’t give a negative tone to that family’s schooling decision? And I’m not talking about Brio here; something a little more meaty and less hormonal.

    I don’t know if we haven’t done much for this realm because there simply isn’t any interest, as you say – families depend on their churches. But I have to say this – I can’t count on my church to do this for us, so if my kids were in public schools, I would feel an even GREATER need to so something more at home. Our church children’s stuff is very moralistic and does the traditional stories about the people in the Bible, but don’t do much to talk about God’s role in those stories. Drives me nuts, but also reinforces that I can’t depend on the church to train my children for me. I’ve got to take that responsibility myself.

    I’m not saying you’ve done this, but still, I wonder if parents could use a bit of help here. Maybe not. That’s why I’m asking!

  3. Yes, Megan, I’d be really interested in that type of publication, but only if it didn’t approach it as a “given” that the kids are homeschooled.

  4. We have chosen the public schools for our daughter for a variety of reasons.
    The first is that the public schools are simply the best academic fit for her. We did her kindergarten year at Central Christian School in Clayton. It was wonderful, creative and academically rigorous. We moved and put her in another Christian school-total nightmare. Oppressive, focused on her faults, academically average. We went to look at our neighborhood school-my daughter looked around and said “I want to go to school here.” She thrived at that school-they recognized her academic and personal abilities and accepted her for herself. We have been in the public system every since. My daughter is now 14-enrolled in honors classes and the gifted program. I don’t think that would have happened in the second Christian school.
    We are involved in an outreach ministry to the international community in our town. Being in the public schools is one more link to this population.
    I think that the key is communication. We talk about every thing in our home-no topic is off limits. When my daughter’s lesbian teacher had a baby-we talked about it. When her friend started to do drugs-we talked about it. We have not protected her from the realities of life, rather we try to put them in biblical perspective.
    Ironically-Brio has been a great help to her!
    However, I would like something like “Ransom Fellowship for Kids.”

  5. Kevin

    Megan,

    Have you seen the materials from Summit Ministries? I just recently discovered them. I don’t know how good they are, but you might find them of interest.

    Kevin

  6. Charliam

    We have sent our kids to public schools. We may have chosen private/christian, but the cost was prohibitive and where we currently live such an option does not exist. Being United Methodist, I have heard a great deal of criticism about the material from our denominational publishing house (Cokesbury). The criticism, however, is the opposite of what Megan raised above. Typically folks feel that the material focuses too much on dealing with everyday life and situations with a Christian world view and does not contain enough of the typical “bible story” stuff. Perhaps the folks at Cokesbury are not receiving enough credit??

  7. I’m not sure if this helps, as I am not a parent, but MY parents decided to send me to a public school. I know they thought a lot about this decision since they were big advocates of Christian schooling and it was something they felt strongly about. However, when it came time for us to go to high school, the Christian high school options in the area were just not that great. To get to a great Christian high school (or at least one that was passable) we would have had to drive probably over an hour each way. And that just didn’t seem like a great option. Plus, there was a very good public high school only about 15 minutes away that had a very good reputation academically where most of our friends from church attended. Although it certainly wasn’t perfect and I’m sure I was exposed to things that I wouldn’t have seen in other settings, I truly believe I got a GREAT education there. I graduated with something like 30 hours of college credit with all the AP classes I took, and in college I found many of the classes fairly easy because of the good background I had gotten in the sciences and English. I’m sure that some sort of news magazine that deals with current issues kids face (like CT for kids or Touchstone written for high school students) would be great, something that, as you have said, is meaty but written on a level that high school students would enjoy could be very good. I know that probably would have helped me be better able to articulate issues with some of my friends who were not believers.

  8. So, when does the Charter school conversation come into play?

  9. Megan

    Tell me what you think, Sheri! I was operating under the assumption that the Charter schools were still public schools and really can’t purchase items from a Christian publisher for their classrooms. Is this not the case?

  10. It is definitly a public school but just like public school they can teach different sides to education. Rylan is learning how the earth was “made”. His teacher taught creationism along with the big bang. I think a lot of teachers at TCA (since most are believers) would love materials that talked about a Christian world view along with materials that balanced that out. It is a very thin line and they need to be careful but the opportunities are available.

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