It’s hard to believe that in just a few short weeks we will be trading in swimsuits for school clothes and beach time for books. Summer seems to go by quicker now than it ever has before. For some parents the return to school cannot come soon enough, but for others it brings anxiety. This is the first (official) year that my wife and I will start schooling, and I must admit that it is a little scary to think about my children’s education. I want them to get the best education that they can get while being in an environment that fosters godliness. For our family, we have chosen to homeschool. I know that this is not the best choice for everyone; but no matter your schooling choice, we can all use some encouragement as the new school year starts back. Over the next several weeks I am going to be publishing a series of blogs aimed to do just that . . . encourage the parent on the upcoming school year.
I have asked three guests to write on their preferred schooling option (Public School, Homesschool, Private Christian School) and give we parents some hopeful words on the upcoming school year. Each one has sent their children through all 12/13 years of schooling with great success. Among those now adult children are doctors, teachers, nurses, authors, computer-techs, farmers, actuaries, musicians, and a whole host of other things. More importantly than their vocational success is that almost across the board, they all have grown to be godly men and women. This is ultimately what we as Christian parents are striving for. A good job is great, but a godly heart is what we all desire. They get there not just through reading, writing, and arithmetic, but also by knowing and serving God. That may seem daunting, but I believe we can be encouraged by those who have walked through it before and have come out on the other side.
For your benefit, here is a quick bio on the guest writers so that you can have a little info on the people who are writing.
Dale Slater (Public School):
Mrs. Dale Slater taught in the public school system for more than 30 years. She and her husband were blessed to have 3 children who all went though this school system. Dale was the single most influential teachers for me during my schooling years. While she taught me much about math, she taught me much more about the Lord. She was a daily godly example to her students and anyone that was around her. Both she and her husband did not just teach their children at school, but more importantly, at home. There is no one else I can think of who would be better able to encourage families who have chosen this option to school their children.
Desiree Sheats (Homeschool):
Desiree is one of the godliest and humble women I have ever known. She and her husband were blessed with 12 children of their own plus one that they adopted. She has just recently graduated, after 30 years of homeschooling, her last of 13 children. When my wife and I need direction or affirmation on our choice of education for our children, this is who we run to. The Lord has given her a heart for the homeschool community and the wisdom to encourage many generations to come. While never formally obtaining more than a high-school diploma herself, with the Lord’s guidance she and her husband educated their children in not just math, science, and English, but also in the things of God, which has had the most lasting impact on her children.
William “Bill” Butt (Christian School):
Dr. Butt saw fit to send all 3 of his children through 12 impressionable years of Christian education. Not only did he send his children through a top-notch Christian school but he also taught at this school part-time in subjects such as systematic theology and apologetics in order to prepare the future generation to be able to defend their faith. Dr. Butt is a doctor of medicine, but his heart is geared toward teaching the things of God. This is most evident for anyone that has ever been around him for very long. All of his children were the benefactors of such a school system, and I believe his words will be an encouragement to families who have chosen this avenue of education for their children.
No matter what educational choice you make for your children, we all need encouragement to press on. I hope this series of blogs will help you to do just that. It is not meant to be a debate on which system is better, but rather to encourage you as a parent where you are. If you are still struggling through this decision for your children, let me suggest this little book called “Perspectives on Your Child’s Education” which gives a very well balanced view on the four potential types of education choices that parents face.
I pray as school starts back soon, you will find comfort in these words and any anxiety that you may have will be placed at the foot of the cross. We are all commanded to educate our children, whether we delegate that responsibility or not. So in doing so, pray for them, play with them, and participate in that education process for the glory of God.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Adam B. Burrell