There are several big questions that hang out in my head all the time as of late. How we will school our children is a big one. Homeschooling is the choice of most of my friends and seems to be the most obvious choice for us. And yet, I really don't want to homeschool. And so I wrestle with my options...
OPTION 1: Public School
Someone recently suggested to me that Christians do not send their children to public school out of fear. I have had to chew on this idea for awhile. Does fear keep public school from being a viable option for me? I attended public school first through ninth grades. I went to "good public schools" in "good neighborhoods". For the most part I enjoyed my teachers, got good grades and made good friends. My parents tried to make sure my friends were "good kids" which wasn't hard because I was a "good girl." Here's the problem: much of my innocence was stolen and there is little if anything my parents could've done to stop it.
By the end of the second grade I could give you detailed descriptions of various sex acts. Second grade! Seven years old! Some older boys on the bus found it hilarious to tell the little girls all kinds of raunchy details. Another little boy would run up to me on the playground at recess and blurt out something he had seen in his dad's porn collection. I suppose my parents could've driven me to school and asked my teacher to not allow me to go on the playground with the other kids at recess, but since this wasn't really a reasonable option, a lot of my innocence was lost just as a matter of course.
Fast forward to middle school. I was student body vice president and had more friends than I could count. Sure I knew who smoked, drank, did drugs, had sex, but it wasn't any of my closest friends. Sure there was pressure. All the cool girls were supposed to make it around third base by the end of eighth grade, but there were enough of us who didn't, that I didn't stand out too much.
By the time I left after my freshman year of High School, I had almost no friends. Because all the "good girls" who I had been friends with since first grade, were now going to the cool parties with drinking and drugs, and trading tales about their "first time". I had nothing in common with any of my lifelong friends anymore. In my high school of 1600 kids, I knew of about two dozen Christians and the 4 or 5 that hadn't cashed in their faith, didn't share any classes or a lunch period with me. I took my stand and stood firm. I wasn't dating non-Christians, I wasn't going to go to parties with drinking or drugs. I even tried to share my faith. And I was totally alone. Sure I had friends outside of school, but there were a lot of hours in the school day to have no one.
I was a kid that kept my faith in the public school system. But I want more for my precious ones. I don't just want them to survive, I want them to thrive. Is that fear? No, I think it's just wisdom.