Is This a Sane Way to Rear Children?

by Tammy Drennan


My brother John and his wife Jill* have had their kids in Christian school for fifteen years. Their school bill at its peak was $15,000 a year – not bad for four children, but still a big chunk of money. They remained true to their commitment even the year John was hardly able to work due to some surgery.


This year their bill is lower – only $5000 – but times have been tough and they weren’t sure how they’d raise the money. Then someone from their church heard about their need and footed the whole bill.


I’m deeply thankful to that donor and extremely proud of my brother for his long-term commitment to his children’s education.


The school my brother’s children attend is clearly doing something right, as I recently learned first-hand. They found themselves in a financial crisis to the tune of $250,000. I helped the fundraising effort by setting up a donation web site. I was immensely impressed by all the comments and pledges submitted to the site by parents of students (people already paying tuition), former students, and teachers (who are already working for far lower than market wages).


Private, Christian education is not a matter of “if we can manage it” to these people – it’s their top priority for their children. It’s an integral part of their lives.


School isn’t someplace they send the kids off to in the morning and pick them up from at night – it’s an extension of their homes and the principles and values they wish to instill in their children. They expect their school to reinforce their values and they facilitate the process. School is hands-on for these parents. And the time they put in is not in trying to keep the school from harming their children; instead, school and family are engaged in a joint effort toward the same goals.


Now look at the typical Christian interaction with public schools. The kids are in state schools and the parents and their churches and endless Christian organizations and activists are working their fingers to the bone trying to counteract the effects of their children’s schooling. For twelve+ years of their children’s lives, public school parents do battle with the people they’ve chosen to help shape those children’s intellects, emotions, social and moral practices, and worldviews. The battle rages on year after year, the children pulled one way then another. Legislators and unions and courts and social activists and psychologists and the medical profession and thousands of other organizations and individuals weigh in on the conflict.


Does this sound like a sane way to rear children? It seems we’ve drifted so far from sanity that when we see it – when we see a situation where school and parents respect one another and have identical goals – we view that as odd, even as unnatural.


And in the meantime, we continue to run our children through the gamut of state schooling where grasping hands claw from every doorway and try to dig their nails into innocent minds and souls and drag them into their camps to devour them.


Some good soul cared enough about my brother’s children to make a sacrifice for their future. Many of us cannot manage such a large contribution, but I think we can all find some way to help a family choose independence. If we have no money at all, we can encourage, share a story about a dedicated family, help with chores or babysitting, tutor, teach a skill or class. If we have money, we can contribute some where we think it will do the most good.


It’s going to take all of us working together to slay the many-headed monster that’s eating our children alive, but I believe we’re up to the task.


*Names changed for privacy purposes.


One Response to Is This a Sane Way to Rear Children?

  1. wintertime says:

    There are likely hundreds to maybe thousands of issues on which government schools must make decisions that are not religiously, politically, or culturally neutral. Why should any parent on either side of these issues “work their fingers to the bone trying to counteract the effects of their children’s schooling?”
    Why should parents who want “King and King” in the classroom go to political war against parents who don’t?

    Why should parents who want modest decorum and the school prom wage a political campaign to crush the will of parents who think “grinding” is OK?

    Why must parents who want traditional math or phonics be forced to set up webpages, You Tube sites, and form political action committees? Why should parents who feel differently be forced to fight them?

    Why should parents who think A “Vagina Monologues” festival is “edgy” do battle with parents who would prefer a Jane Austin full week festival?

    Government schools from the very beginning are a freedom of conscience nightmare! The voting mob dictates how children ( the next generation voters) are indoctrinated.

    Most of the political battles being waged in our government schools are over issues that are binary. The government school must make one decision. One side wins. One side loses. For example, “King and King” is in the classroom or it is not.

    And…NO!…Compromise is impossible. For either side to compromise is to deny what they see as the **truth**! To do this is to lie to one’s very soul!

    As for Christian teachers:

    *Why aren’t you building up schools that would rescue your children and your congregation’s children from the Secular Humanist hands “that claw from every doorway and try to dig their nails into innocent minds and souls”?

    *Why would Christian teachers cooperate with or take money from institutions that force parents into “deprogramming” afterschool?

    *Why would you accept money from a institution whose very product and reason for existing is filling the minds of children with ideas that you know are not true? This not like Mc Donalds whose product is hamburgers and may incidentally have health insurance for gay partners. McDonald isn’t sell gay insurance to the public, but government schools are selling a godless Secular Worldview every minute of every school day to the children.

    *I would think the Christian teachers would be trying to build up schools that would rescue as many Christian and non-Christian children as possible from Secular Humanist schools that “drag ( children) into their camps to devour them”? Why aren’t you doing that?

    *I would think that Christian teachers would be creatively working to build up private voucher foundations so that every child in the U.S. could have the opportunity for free voucher to attend a Christian school. Are you and your church working on that?

    *I would think that Christian teachers would be creatively exploring alternatives to expensive brick and mortar schools. They would be setting up dame schools, one room school houses, homeschool cooperatives, virtual schools, tutoring centers, and possibly even evaluating off-shore telecommuting schools. Is this happening among your Christian teacher colleagues?

    *Christian teachers aren’t you concerned that your student may conclude that Christians will sell their principles for a paycheck?

    *Students may conclude that Christian beliefs are not accord with the textbook, and the course material. Students know that Christians evaluate all things through a God-centered worldview but their Christian teacher teaches from a godless worldview. Are you concerned that they may conclude you are a hypocrite, or a fence sitting lukewarm Christian?

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