private vs. public school

>> September 30, 2009

As pastors' wives we often feel pressure from all sides, our husband's, church members, church boards, etc. about a variety of issues. Have any of you ever felt (or feel) pressure to send your children to a private Christian school vs. public school? Or even to send your kids to a particular private school or preschool (maybe one closely associated with your local church)?

Where do you have your children? How did you make decisions about your children's schooling and was the decision influenced at all by your husband's role as a pastor?


Tanya September 30, 2009 at 7:32 PM  

We chose to home school. Living in Los Angeles, in our minds, it was either that or private school. But we received some flak for not putting our kids in public school.

Anonymous,  September 30, 2009 at 7:40 PM  

We chose public school. We felt that it was the best way to meet the people we are to be ministering to. I had a lot of doubts along the way. But I have to say that I am now very confident that we made the right decision. I am meeting a LOT of parents and praying for them. I have yet to tell any of them what we do, because I want to build relationships with them first. And I kind of like that no one knows yet! It is fun to pour into them and love them without them thinking it is because I have to.

SKA October 1, 2009 at 7:15 AM  

We're just having our first baby, but we plan to start out homeschooling. It's what we'd do whether he was a pastor or not, so when we get flak about it as I'm sure we sometimes will, we feel comfortable just explaining our reasons. That doesn't mean we'll necessarily homeschool forever, but at least to start out. But my family homeschooled too, so I'm used to smiling and nodding at the naysayers without feeling pressured to change. :)

Ami October 1, 2009 at 12:20 PM  

I was a pastor's wife and am not now. But we chose to home school our children. Would have liked to partially use the church school as a resource, but they didn't grasp that concept. We got pressure to send our kids to the church school and at the time it wasn't right. Now the school is much better. I think we made the right decision. Children need guidance until of age (post college) so they don't get confused by all the messages out there. They need to be firmly established in Biblical truth before going out to minister. My children always bless me by their interest in reaching out to others. Our daughter now has an outreach to young adults getting advanced education. They have 25-50 young adults studying the Bible and having fellowship Friday evenings. And our son is a local elder learning to serve others at the church, he has a web page of Bible verses. Of course I pray daily for them and my husband and I that we will truly be in love with Jesus and share Him to those in our circle of influence. I praise God for His leading.

Kate October 1, 2009 at 3:19 PM  

Our daughter is only 2, but we will be sending her to public school. We feel like that is a great way to reach the people in the area that we live in. Our church meets in a movie theater, so we have no school options there. As far as pre-school, she will probably go to one that best suites her needs whether it's in a church or not.

Teri Lynne October 1, 2009 at 3:42 PM  

Every year we pray about what God would lead us to do. We started DD in a wonderful Christian school at age 3 and she stayed there through 1st grade. We loved it but felt very led to move her to public school in 2nd grade. She's now in 4th grade in that same public school ... so far she has blossomed and we are thankful. She has had and taken opportunities to share her faith with others - though we put no pressure on her to do so. We know a lot of homeschooling families and are often looked down on for placing our daughter in public school ... it's frustrating. I'm amazed at how judgmental people are on all sides - public, private, homeschool. I'm always shocked by the notion that there is only ONE WAY to provide our children with a Biblical education and worldview.

Star Forbis October 2, 2009 at 12:15 PM  

My husband and I are both products of public schools. And we have always felt very strongly that if you take all the Christian kids out of the public school, what do you have left? There is no one to shine the light. And we are called to be the light to the world, and the world is in public school.

Our 4 kids have always gone to public schools. And have been used by God while there. I now have a son in Bible Collage and a graduating senior who both feel called in to the ministry.

In one of the states we ministered in there were a very high number of people who home schooled their kids and strongly believed all Christians should, especially pastors. We've also had pressure to put our kids in Christian school, because of the "evils" they would learn in public. But, we stuck with our convictions. We have always been involved in our kids lives and in their schools.

We were youth Pastors for many years and would watch our students before we ever had kids. We have seen great kids, on fire for God, who have come out of all 3 types of schooling, and we have seen kids go astray, from all 3. There is no guarantee that by keeping your kids home, or putting them in Christian schools, that they will be stronger Christians, sometimes the opposite happens. We each have to do what we feel is best for our own kids. And we need to do it with out judging those who feel differently than we do, or make different decisions than we do.

jill rosalie October 2, 2009 at 6:15 PM  

We are very pro-public school for reasons already mentioned by others. It's the most natural and easiest way to connect with one's community.

bashtree October 3, 2009 at 5:55 PM  

We don't have kids yet, but if we do, they will be in public schools. My husband is of the mindset that ministry to the community is a 24/7, 100% commitment, and he is frustrated by 'Christian bubbles' - of which he thinks Christian/private schools are a part. While I don't necessarily share his frustration, I do support his commitment to investing in the community and not hiding in safety. I went to my church's school through 8th grade and then went to a public high school. It was a tremendous benefit for me to have the solid faith foundation from the years in the church school. My hope is that we would be able to provide that kind of foundation for our kids outside of school.

Melody October 4, 2009 at 4:45 PM  

We do the public school thing right now because we feel it's an incredible opportunity to share Christ in our community......okay, AND because we are in a rural town with no (good) christian school. Our son has had the chance to share Christ at his school and he seems very solid in his faith at this point. There are times when I do a freak out number because of the things he is exposed to that he wouldn't be if he were in a christian school but those are just great platforms to flesh out why we believe what we believe and to have further conversations about real life situations. Each year we will make the decision based on what seems best for his spiritual walk at that time in time.

Mom's In Touch is an incredible weekly prayer group for mother's of children in public school and it's a great way to reach out to others.

Sisterlisa October 6, 2009 at 8:20 PM  

We used to have our children in a private school associated with the church we ministered in, although my husband pastors differently, he is a missionary/evangelist. We later decided to homeschool because God lead us to do so. Now that my husband travels on some weekends it's great to know we can go with him and not worry about a school schedule. I understand how this could be difficult for some ministry wives though. If they choose not to private school, while their ministry offers one, that can bring questions. However, I feel that up front honesty is best. If you share with the people that your family's decision is to homeschool, while the private school is there for those who choose that, then it should not be an issue. I have only really seen it become an issue if the pastor is sold out on building a private school.

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