Welcome to our Wednesday “Ask Beau” post. The purpose of this weekly feature is to provide you, our readers, with biblical responses to questions you have about practical issues that you face.
As always, you may submit questions for future “Ask Beau” posts by contacting us at email@example.com or by leaving a comment on this post.
(NOTE: This post originally appeared on thefrontieratgrace.com on October 5, 2011)
Nowadays there are a number of ways in which children can be educated. A child can go to a public school, one of many private schools, or a homeschool (or some hybrid of the three). Each of these schooling options has its supporters amongst sincere, godly people. As a result, it can be a little daunting to make schooling choices for our kids. Each of the educational options has advantages and disadvantages, and it is not my desire in this answer to discuss these advantages and disadvantages. My desire is to explain that schooling decisions are a personal choice before God, not a matter of biblical orthodoxy.
Despite the dogmatic and even obnoxious views of some people on this subject, there simply is not a biblical mandate for or prohibition against any of these educational options. Proponents of each option can find support in biblical principles. I went to a public school and believe my exposure to and interaction with non-Christians was quite constructive. But I’m sure I would have benefitted also from having teachers whose Christian worldview saturated their instruction (in a private Christian education, say), and I would also have benefited from the customizability and family-centricity of homeschooling. To have a strong opinion on the value of a particular schooling option is not wrong, of course, but it is flatly sinful to communicate to others, either explicitly or implicitly, that they are second-class Christians because they have chosen a certain schooling option for their children (see the discussion in Romans 14:1–13). Don’t do this, men.
Some children are best suited for a particular educational option, and it is our job as parents to know our children well enough to discern this. A man for whom I have tremendous respect lived this out when he, a strong supporter of homeschooling, chose to send one of his children to a private high school. Why? He and his wife felt that the private high school environment was the one in which his child, with his unique makeup and gifting, was most likely to thrive. And it appears that they absolutely made the right decision.