3 Reasons I Don’t Send My Kids to School to Be Salt and Light

And how we can spread the gospel without putting our children on the frontlines.

When Jesus sent His disciples out to spread the gospel, they were fully grown men. Public schools are no place to send children as "missionaries."

As a Christian homeschooling mom, one query I often get is why I do not allow my children to go to school as their mission field. Their reasoning is typically that the children in public schools may never have been introduced to the love of Christ, and my children just might be the ones to do that.

I’ll admit that this certainly seems like a pretty sound reason to consider sending my kids to school, and there are many who do so, but these three reasons have kept me convinced that keeping them home is the best thing for our family. 


Why I Don’t Send My Kids to School as Missionaries

#1- I’m fairly certain that Jesus’s apostles would never have considered sending their children to the pagan temples.

I know that many people aren’t willing to admit this, but our schools do embrace pagan philosophies. At the very least, however, I would hope that we could all at least agree that public education no longer stands for biblical principles. If our children are going to be given the opportunity to grow in their faith, the best place for this to happen would be in either Christian schools or in a homeschool environment where they will learn the values that are true to the Christian upbringing.


#2- Children need to be given the time to develop into mature Christians before being confronted daily by situations opposed to their beliefs.

 I think we all know that kids are prone to falling for peer pressure. You may not believe that your child would, but there’s no way to know for sure. As an adult, I know that I often feel intimidated when I am faced with an environment in which practically everyone opposes everything I stand for. It’s uncomfortable, and sometimes downright scary. Imagine, then how a child feels under the same circumstances.

In 1 Corinthians 3:2, Paul exhorts the Corinthian church with this verse:

“I had to feed you with milk, not with solid food, because you weren’t ready for anything stronger. And you still aren’t ready,”

Remember that Paul was addressing adults here! I think it’s safe to assume that most young believers are still “drinking milk” and may not be strong enough in their faith to stand up against the inconsistencies they are being taught and personally witnessing in the public school setting.


#3- Children in school are exposed to, let’s face it, secular humanist teaching for six hours a day, five days a week, 36 weeks a year.

Consider this quote from Charles F. Potter, author of Humanism, A New Religion, and a humanist himself:

“Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American school is a school of humanism. What can a theistic Sunday school’s meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children do to stem the tide of the five-day program of humanistic teaching?”

If that doesn’t stop you in your tracks, I don’t know what will. And, yes, you could argue the point that this was written in 1930, but think about the state of our schools. Consider the sorts of teachings that are being promoted. To this day, the educational system is doing everything it can to stomp out any sort of Judeo-Christian ethics it has left.

I am not willing to allow my children to spend more time learning about things contrary to our beliefs than they do learning about the most sacred source of wisdom there is, the Bible.

Proverbs 1:7 says:

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

That verse says it all for me.


So while I’m certainly not against my children witnessing to those who haven’t been exposed to the love of Jesus, there are so many other places this can happen without ever entering the school setting.

  • athletic programs
  • extracurricular activities
  • the playground
  • neighborhood children

There are, of course, also other areas this can happen, but I want to point out the one crucial thing all of these situations have in common:

The possibility of parental guidance.

This isn’t possible at school. Ever.

And lest you think I’ve completely ruled out the possibility of spreading the gospel at school, you’re wrong. This can happen through programs like the Good News Club and even through teachers or other school employees who are believers. And although they may not be able to be upfront about this, they can imitate Christ through their actions.

When my kids were still in school, two of their teachers were such wonderful, loving ladies that I used to call them the “light” of the school. At the time, I was not yet a Bible-believing Christian, and yet I could sense that there was something different about them. Imagine my surprise a few years later after I was saved and decided to try a new church when I found these two ladies there in the parking lot. Everything clicked for me, and I realized that the reason they were different was because I saw Christ in them.

This is how we can fulfill the Great Commission in our schools. In my opinion, it shouldn’t be up to our children.

It’s a risk I’m not willing to take.






Author: Shelly Sangrey

I'm Shelly, a Christ-following, homeschooling Mom of eleven children ( okay, not ALL children. My oldest is 23.) I met my husband right after graduation, and we've been together ever since. Though my life can be hectic at times... okay, ALL the time, I wouldn't change it for anything.

68 thoughts on “3 Reasons I Don’t Send My Kids to School to Be Salt and Light”

  1. Bottom line is, kids are more likely to be extremely swayed and temped as they are being bombarded with influences. However, I am not against Traditional school (public or private). I just realized that it wasn’t a good fit for my youngest kids and now our family enjoys the freedome that comes with it. It is not for everyone, but it fits us just fine.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are some people who feel, as I do, that the education system focuses on things contrary to our values, but they send their children there anyway to be a light to other students. It’s a noble undertaking, but I think parents should think about the repercussions.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. One of the hardest realities I face as a mature Christian, a pastor, well-trained in biblical doctrine, and being a teacher in the public schools is the overwhelming humanism bordering on paganism. The typical Christian has a hard time identifying this, we can rest assured our children are clueless to these idolatrous views.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. I am truly blessed to have found a good, Bible-believing church. In fact, the other week an associate pastor was preaching, and a good portion of the sermon was about the secular humanism in schools, and he repeatedly urged the congregation to either put their kids in a Christian school or homeschool them.


      1. You have very good reasons for your decision. The other reason I would urge you to present here in writing is to pray and listen to God’s leading before and at a higher priority than our sound logical human reasoning. There are times when God calls us to a path that may not seem at the outset to make sense but He always knows what He is doing – and we will later. My only concern with your well-written article is that it may contribute to a believing parent’s difficulty in hearing (or believing) God’s direction when it is to place a child or children in public school. Also, I know Christians who have been accused of not being “real Christians” for following God’s leading for their child’s education.


        1. Yes, of course, all believers should pray to seek God’s will in all they do. I would just add that we need to be careful to not confuse our will with His. Although homeschooling/Christian schools are never mentioned in the Bible (of course), I do believe that an education that is set apart from unbelievers is biblical. If you look at all of the instances of godly families throughout Scripture and the Gospels, I can’t think of a single instance that a godly family sent their children to learn with the pagans/gentiles. Now this doesn’t mean that I don’t consider those who send their kids to public schools as “not Christians,” but I do believe that many families have overlooked what God’s Word says about our responsibility as parents because they take for granted the normalcy of government schools.


    1. You’re welcome. This question is brought up so often for many homeschoolers. I think that by being able to voice why we feel the way we do, we may even help other people to think differently about sending their kids to public school. As parents, first and foremost, we need to protect our children- physically and spiritually.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I wholeheartedly agree, Shelly. When my two oldest were in public high school, they would tell me it wore them down to have to stay so spiritually strong in such a worldly environment. I am proud to say they were leaders to their peers, but at a price. I won’t go into all that, but I will say that I now see my time to train them up as too precious to give away.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. There you go again: trudging through a topic no one else wants to touch. A great argument and I agree whole heartedly. One of my points is that either we train our kids in the way that they should go, or our schools will. When kids are at school all day, they come home hungry, crabby, and tired. That is not a great time to train them up. I am reblogging. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol. You know I like to do that. 🙂 Seriously, though, I think it’s really important that we as Christians start voicing our opinions. Our “opposition” is very vocal, and we always kind of sit back and take it, but look where it’s gotten us. I might make a few people unhappy, but some things need to be said.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yup, very good points. I know someone mentioned train your child in the way they should go above, that verse and Deutoronomy 6 – teach your children verses converted us from thinking homeschoolers were insane to big homeschool advocates. How can you do that if you give them to strangers 7 hours a day?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Amen! Our pastor has been reminding us lately how much we as Christians need to stand up, stand out and not be afraid to call sin sin where we see it. You are bold in your convictions and I so appreciate the points you brought to light here— We are in a battle and it does truly start at home with how we are shaping and training up our children the way they should go– secular schools will always fall short. Honestly I had never considered some of this before but you have really made me think today! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. While I certainly have seen Christian kids who do well in public school, I have to agree with you. We had our kids in Christian school and/or homeschooling most of the time (once we became believers). We did allow the youngest 2 to finish at a public high school with mixed results. In retrospect, I would have continued to homeschool. Pinning and sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi! Stopping by from small victories sunday link up 🙂 As a pregnant lady (with no children) who is ALREADY considering homeschooling, I gotta say, I liked this post. I also think that when the Bible says “train up a child in the way he should go” it doesn’t mean “send them out into the world to learn from the world they way he should go”… I think it’s ok to take a VERY active role in teaching your children, so that the WILL be better salt and light in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, that is exactly right. You’re so blessed to have a head start on your desire to homeschool. Several of my kids were in school for years before I ever even considered it!


  9. I don’t want to be critical, but I just had to comment this. School is secular because it’s supposed to be, under law. Teachers aren’t allowed to indoctrinate their students, no matter what belief it is. It could be religion, political view, or even if they like summer or not. So they’re following the rules, really. The US may be a Christian nation, but that’s only because the people who founded it (and were considered people at the time) were Christian. The US is not inherently a Christian nation. It can’t be, because all walks of life are welcome here. So then, it makes sense that our schools can’t spread a certain religion around. Because we all have different views. Also, the Christmas tree was started as a pagan tradition.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes you are exactly right. This post was directed at parents who send their kids to schools as “missionaries.” My point was that Christian values are not taught in schools, so public schools are probably not the best place for Christian children.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I see. I was just wondering because I’m a Catholic and those values certainly weren’t taught in schools. So I assumed, or rather questioned, what would be the reason for you to keep your children away from school whereas my parents didn’t really mind. On the basis of Christianity/Catholicism, of course. Like what might be their argument. Because they didn’t say anything about secularity and I think you bring up an interesting argument.


        1. Mbti – in a perfect world of public schooling, the school would teach the basics, reading, math etc and leave the parenting to the parents.

          That is not the reality of most public schools or at least the ones that I grew up in and those my children attended. They were filled with the agendas of the administration and the teachers which were at times anti-God and ant-religion but always pro-school as the ultimate authority in all things good rather then being pro-parent. They also pushed whatever agenda the state had at that particular moment. So when you hand over your child to the school to be taught, you are subjecting them to the agenda and messages of the teachers, administrators, politicians and other parents of the kids in each class many of whom reject God and oppose your values.

          As a small example my daughter on one occasion was treated badly by the teacher that she loved for drawing something in class about God during her free time just because it was about God. The teachers agenda was either against God or against God in schools and she imposed it on my daughter and harmed her expression of her relationship with God. We as parents were very much in favor of her expressing that relationship and would encourage her to do so in an appropriate manner. The message she received in her little kid mind from the teacher she loved was your parents are wrong, God is bad and shameful, you are in trouble. It is super confusing for little ones in particular.

          Our friends daughter of the same age who was raised as a Christian attending church every week now thinks faith is stupid as she enters 8th grade after years of teachers and peers telling her that it is stupid to believe in God. Every day 6-8 hours a day of influence and peer pressure have that effect.

          The secular part of school is fine and I would have no objection to that, but it is the secular humanism, the morality and goodness of man without God, a religion of sorts all by itself that presents a problem and is constantly pushed.

          Not sure what the Christmas tree is from, but there is strong evidence that the Christmas tree is not of pagan origins — it is said a lot but the practice comes from 16th Century Germany. It is not exclusively “Christian” as it is not in the Bible, but is a very Christian tradition with simple origins.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ah, I’d heard about the Christmas tree. But I’d also read it was not accepted immediately by Christians? Somewhere in the Bible, I forget where. I’m not trying to accuse anyone of anything, I just find it interesting. I’d like to know the exact origins. And yes, I do agree with you that it is not right for the teacher to do that. Despite it being a law it is not okay. The law should exist as a lofty goal, not an absolute. Like, if she believes in God, let her, but certainly don’t discourage her. That’s not how laws are to be followed. Or enforced.

            Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m curious, what precisely are the pagan influences of public school and when is secular humanism taught? I’m a Christian who was educated in public school all my childbood and I never encountered such things.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was educated in public schools, too, and I agree that things weren’t as visible as they are now. But if we just take a look at things such as evolution (which is not science but scientism), age of the Earth (again, scientism is being taught), alternative lifestyle curriculum that parents often can’t opt out of, birth control being offered at some districts without parental consent. The list goes on and on. John Dewey, considered to be the father of modern public education, was a signer of the Humanist Manifesto, the “Bible” of Secular Humanists. And make no mistake that Secular Humanism IS a religion- it obtained 5013C status as a religion form the courts- and, thanks to people like John Dewey, it is now the religion of the schools. They admit it themselves on their website. This quote comes directly from there:
      “Secular Humanism is an attempt to function as a civilized society with the exclusion of God and His moral principles. During the last several decades, Humanists have been very successful in propagating their beliefs. Their primary approach is to target the youth through the public school system. Humanist Charles F. Potter writes, “Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American school is a school of humanism. What can a theistic Sunday school’s meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children do to stem the tide of the five-day program of humanistic teaching?” (Charles F. Potter, “Humanism: A New Religion,” 1930)”
      Here is the link if you’d like a better look. http://www.secular-humanism.com/
      There is no such thing as the separation of church and state in the public education system. Make no mistake that religion is alive and well in the schools. It’s just not Christianity.
      I hope this answers your question. I could write an entire post on this, and I just might someday!


  11. This is an interesting article with some very valid thoughts. Yet, I do believe it is possible to train your child up in the way they should go in a public school without expecting them to treat public school as their mission field.

    We have one student in Christian HS and one student in a public MS. We do not expect the one in public school to treat his school as a mission field so much as ask him to consider how he might love those that Jesus loves when situations arise that are challenging (and trust me, they occur in both school settings: Christian or not)!

    Ironically, as a high achiever, he is often placed with struggling kids. I cannot tell you how many times as Christians and parents we are challenged to learn how to find compassion, in yet another challenged group work project, where he is being asked to step up and encourage a struggling learner, and he just wants to be with his friends and work with them. So yes, public school can be a mission field, but it rarely comes in the ways people may anticipate.

    Regarding the specifics of his education: it is being tailored and we have been working with the district/school to address things that are a concern to us. Our student does not take some of the classes we disagree with, and we work with his teachers to change book content if it goes against our values. We do so kindly and respectfully and have found, while it is not always easy, we have been able to live our values and not compromise either our values or his education.

    Like his sister, he will probably land in Christian HS, but we take each student’s schooling one year at a time with prayer, and we are trusting God to show us the path forward.

    My story is just one drop in a bucket, but I hope it helps share the fact that not all Christians who go the public school route are compromising their values or sacrificing their children to paganism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very well said, thanks. I am not as good with my words but here it goes.

      Our kids attend the local elementary school on the Reservation we live on. A lot of these kids here have little to no hope at home. I know I am potentially exposing my kids to different values then what we teach at home and what the Bible teaches, but my prayer is that my children will become friends with these lost kids and bring a bit of joy into their lives. That they would love as Jesus loved. And surprisingly, a lot of the teachers are amazing people with good Christian values. I know own that God can move in the lives of the kids here on the Reservation without my help or my kids, but I do believe that He is mighty enough to protect my kids and use them in wonderful ways.

      And I agree, this is just my story, but I have not compromise my values. We spend lots of time reading the Bible (and not just on Sundays), talking about Jesus and giving lots of grace while we learn Biblical values. And no, I am not sacrificing my children to the wolves.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I agree wholeheartedly. Samuel was chosen as a child but he spent time being taught and learning not thrown out into the field, David was chosen as a child but then was sent back to tend sheep until he was older. The only child I know mentioned in the bible that interacted with adults by teaching them was Jesus in the temple at 12 and well my kids aren’t Jesus. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Typically, when churches send out missionaries into hostile, socialist cultures, they make sure they undergo specialized training, often years of seminary, and that they are mature believers. So if people send out 5 year olds to the mission field, how do they know that all of them are mature and well trained enough to handle the onslaught?

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Shelly would you be comfortable sharing your journey on how you became a believer? Perhaps on you YourTube channel? 🙂 I’m early on in my journey towards Christ (as well as in homeschooling my two boys) and I’m always very curious about other’s journeys.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Ok..so i may be the only one with a different opinion here..i understand the perspectives of everyone and they are great points however for my family we choose to be the salt and the light. 2 daughters ages 9 and 14..they go to a public school and yes they learn very secular and paganistic things to which i dont agree with but i choose to ask what theyve learned and pay attention to their homework and refute the things that dont line up biblically..my opinion is that if i keep them from these things in a public school then how will they ever learn to stand up for what they believe in the world with their careers and people they meet if they dont have the expierence now while growing up. I can only shelter them so much before it becomes harmful to them in the long run bc inevitably they will at some point hve to interact with the world. I diligently teach them biblical values and speak w them about Jesus when we are at a store or at home or walking dwn the road..we pray and read the Bible and go to church..my older daughter runs a cell group from home and my younger one preaches Jesus to everyone she meets at school. those children may not fully understand what shes talking about but seeds are planted and Gods word never goes out void. And God has led quite a few children to be saved thru my little one preaching the gospel. She even preaches to the teachers lol..i am a proud mother of my girls for handling the issues that come up at school the way they do with unbelievers. Trust me there is much prayer going up for many of the people at the schools my girls come in contact with but truly it starts at home. Heaven forbid my girls had no one to iron these issues out with at home then im sure they wld not b the effective salt and light that they are at school. We choose to be the salt and light wherever we are bc a light cannot be hidden or shaded. We have to accept that just as Jesus had to seperate Himself in the world so do we and we listen to the direction the Holy Spirit gives us and thats where our success is..allowing Him to be Lord over all aspects of our lives and being obedient to what and where He leads..for us its public school..for some it may be homeschooling..God has plans for each of us and we are all called to be witnesses where He leads us..be blessed as you go where He leads ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank you for this! This is actually something I struggled with when I felt called to homeschool and the Christian homeschool books I read never addressed it. My thought was: I know we are called to be in the world but not if the world so how do we do that with “sheltered” children? Two more points: Jesus is telling his disciplines to be salt and light. They were adults and had been disciples by Jesus directly! Also, Jesus was sent into the world to start miracles at 33. Again, not a child. Thank you again, this needs to be addressed and discussed because it doesn’t seem to be addressed very often.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. So touching! And loved your ending of this article about your touching salvation. Praise Him! I can’t imagine homeschooling 10 years ago (age 25), but after turning into a parent with 2 children and one the way, I can’t imagine it any different than homeschooling. God’s word spreads his message through the Bible that the parents should be the leader, teacher/educator, guidance, etc. Too many parents are so blind and simply give their rights and responsibilities to the government through public school. Okay, I have more to say, but going to post something instead on your “about” link. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. There is a fantastic book called “Education: Does God Have an Opinion” that clearly spells out that the Bible does, indeed, teach that parents should be responsible for everything you described. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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