A few weeks ago I lied to a guy at church. I didn’t mean to, I wasn’t planning on playing him like that, it just happened.
I was in the hall getting my daughter L.E. out of Sunday School. He and I have talked before about the private Christian school his kids go to. So while we waited in line, he made small talk and asked, “Have you guys decided on a school yet?”
The truth is, we have. We’re sending our daughter to Kindergarten at the public school down the street. But what came out of my mouth when he asked that question was, “No, we haven’t made a decision yet.”
Wow, Jon Acuff = liar. And when I talked later with my wife about why I lied to my friend, I realized, “I feel guilty for not homeschooling or sending my kids to a private Christian school.”
Where did that come from? My friend certainly never said or did anything to make me feel that way. He’s one of the kindest, nicest people on the planet. I don’t think I’ve read anything in the Bible that says, “If you want to be a real Christian you have to homeschool your kids or send them to private school,” so how did I end up with this belief?
I’m not sure, but I think it might be because I tend to buy into stereotypes. When my neighbor said to me, “The public schools are great here except for the middle school when you have to start worrying about the street gangs” I started to believe in my head, “Great, every public school on the planet is riddled with gangs. It’s not hard enough to be a teenage girl, why don’t I send my daughter to a school where in addition to puberty, she will one day have to wrestle with gang affiliation in the eighth grade.” And then when I meet a teenager that is homeschooled and polite I think, “If I want to have polite, God-loving, awesome kids I have to homeschool them.”
I tend to accept the extremes as the rule, but I’m finding that the more I can put my stereotypes on the table, the easier it is for me to laugh at them and then move on to the truth. So today, I thought I’d throw out my favorite stereotypes for public schools, homeschooling and private Christian schools, giggle at them and then move on. Here goes:
Public School Stereotypes
1. If you send your kid to public school they’re going to be constantly learning about evolution. Even gym class will have some sort of Darwinian dodgeball kind of game they play. Every class they take will be evolution focused and eventually they will hate the Bible and creation.
2. When they’re not learning about evolution, your kids will be taking sex ed classes that Larry Flynt, Hugh Hefner and the satan himself funded.
3. If you send your kid to public school, they will “grow up fast” and walk away from the church.
4. If you send your kid to public school, you can look at it like a mission field because they’ll have a chance to witness to so many people.
5. If you send your kid to public school, you’ll have to supplement the Bible they’re not getting during the day with round the clock Bible study at home from the moment school gets out until the second your kids go to sleep at night.
Private Christian School Stereotypes
1. If you send your kid to Private Christian school, they’ll study the Bible all day and form a lifelong relationship with Christ that no man can tear asunder.
2. If you send your kid to Private Christian school, they’ll eventually go wild if they go to a non Christian college because suddenly they won’t have all the same restrictions they are used to.
3. If you think public school kids are fast, send your kids to a private school where the kids actually have money for the big, serious drugs and have the time and financial freedom to really get crazy.
4. If you send your kids to a private Christian school, you can worry less about family Bible time because that’s the school’s job, not yours.
5. If you send your kid to private Christian school you’ll never have to worry about mean kids, or your kids having enough friends or any of the other challenging things that come with being a teenager because everyone at a private Christian school is a Christian and loves one another.
1. If you homeschool your kids, you have to become “pseudo Amish” and your wife has to grow her hair down to her waist, learn how to make her own clothes, grow your own food and churn your own butter.
2. If you homeschool your kids, they’ll be so socially stunted that they won’t know how to handle any social interaction outside of your own family.
3. If you homeschool your kids, you can take family vacations whenever you want because you’re no longer a slave to the school system’s calendar.
4. If you homeschool your kids, they can’t go to the prom, play sports, and have friends with last names different than your own.
5. If you homeschool your kids, they’ll have to go to a small Bible college somewhere in the woods because “homeschool valedictorian” doesn’t hold a lot of clout on a college application.
Those are the stereotypes bouncing around my head right now.
How about you? Have you ever felt guilty for not sending your kids to private Christian school or homeschooling them?
Where you homeschooled?
Did you go to a private Christian school?
What’s your take on the whole school thing?
Did I miss any stereotypes?