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.

children public school 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.

39 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.

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        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.

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    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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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?

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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    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.

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      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.

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        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.

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