My Experience Choosing a Private Christian School

Two years ago my wife and I were making a major decision for our daughters about their future…what school would they attend? We differed in our approach…partly because we had very different experiences growing up. I had a positive experience with the public schools. My father even taught for over 30 years in the public schools. That was many years ago. Much has changed in our world and culture since then. Public school teachers face some big challenges.

My wife’s experience with public schools was extremely negative. She was labeled as slow and lacking capability. At one point in her education a teacher singled her out and presented her to the class as “the one that you never want to be like…an incredibly poor example of a person”. Soon after, Brenda was removed from that school by her mother who began home schooling her. Within a year she was reading many books and went on to become an excellent student. In fact Brenda became the first female in Minnesota to graduate with a post-secondary degree before she would normally graduate from high school. Because of her personal experience, she has a passion for making sure kids are taken care of in school.

My heart really changed when I saw the high school graduation party for some close friends that had attended private Christian school and home school throughout their education. The vision I saw of a community of supporters that would be there for them throughout their next phase of life through college and beyond was so important. I saw that they knew they were not alone in their faith. The way they communicated their past experiences, goals, and dreams to others showed something that I had never seen before in kids graduating from high school.

We investigated several private schools and eventually found one that fit for us. A few of the many reasons we chose a private Christian school for our daughters were:
* Integration of faith and prayer into everyday life. It’s a big deal for kids to see this modeled as a way of life. Many Christian kids only get to experience this 1-2 hours a week at church if that. School adds in many more contact points with excellent role models up to 30+ hours or more a week.
* Smaller class sizes. Having less that 18 students in a class gives kids a huge advantage. Teachers are able to be so much more effective and give kids the kind of attention they need to succeed.
* Excellent curriculum that incorporates belief that the Bible is true and reliable. The reason so many kids leave their faith when they get older is because they haven’t been instructed on why the Bible can be true with their real questions being answered.
* Celebration of Christian holidays including Easter and Christmas without apology.

The biggest negative factor was the cost. How would we make it work financially? This was a sacrifice…because public school is “free”…although we pay for it in taxes of course. I knew that others were able to do it. In the end, we felt it was the right thing to do to give our kids the best chance possible to succeed.

Propeller’s tuition point really makes it possible for so many more families. At $4,500/year it’s about $375/month over 12 months. Many people pay $20,000+/year for child care, $900/year for coffee, or over $2,000/year for pets. We need to make our children’s education a priority. Can a grandparent help with tuition? Could you drive a more economical car?

I’m not saying that everything or everyone that chooses to attend public schools is bad. It’s just that for our values and the outcomes we want for our kids, the cost is worth it. Our children have so much potential and we want to see it come alive. This investment is in their future. It is especially important to start them out early in the right way as it will prepare them for obstacles and opportunities that life presents to them as they get older.

As you make your decision we want to share this blessing with you “May God bless and keep you; May God smile on you and gift you; May God show you his favor and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

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