A Concrete Case for Christian Education
WRITTEN BY KATE HARTLEY - REPOSTED VIA BLACK DRESS | RED WAGON MAGAZINE
You’re a great parent. Just skim through your Facebook mobile uploads and an array of magical memories (pumpkin patch, summer vacations, special outings) will reveal your parenting prowess. You love your kids—which is why you coach them, teach them, play with them, and pray for them.
It’s also why you’ve likely thoughtfully weighed where your children will attend school. After all, children will spend more waking hours at school than at home between the ages of 5 and 18. That’s a big deal.
“Where young children spend their school hours, and under whose guidance they spend them, has a great impact on who they will one day become,” affirms Tawanna Rusk, the Assistant Head at Mount Paran Christian School (MPCS). So the question then emerges: With whom will I partner to make that happen?
According to the Council for American Private Education, 10 percent of American parents (representing over 5.5 million children) have opted to partner with private schools — the majority being private Christian schools — to mold their children.1 Why? Well, let’s take a statistical look at how a Christian education impacts long-term success for children.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), students in private schools (most of which are Christian-affiliated) consistently score well above the national average on the National Assessment of Education Progress, a test that evaluates the nation’s fourth, eighth, and twelfth graders. These students outscore their public school peers on reading, math, and science achievement tests, too.2 These academic advantages are credited in part to smaller class sizes and to more teachers holding advanced degrees.
But does the more rigorous academic experience in Christian schools really matter for student success in the long run? It does. NCES studies show that students who attend private Christian schools through eighth grade are twice as likely as their public school peers to complete a bachelor’s or higher degree.1
Focusing on Others
Children enrolled in Christian schools from a young age also tend to be more outward-focused, as supported by a NCES study revealing a significantly higher level of community service done by private Christian school versus public school students.1
At Mount Paran Christian School, this fact is exemplified in an annual “Family Serve Day,” during which students of all ages volunteer throughout the community. “We emphasize servant-leadership to all students, from our young preschoolers to our high school seniors, focusing on how to be a strong leader while also putting others before oneself,” explains Rusk. “This principle defines everything we do, from community service to classroom instruction to the ball field.”
This type of direct moral instruction has been found to have big benefits when it comes to students’ decision-making abilities. Statistically, students who study Christian values and principles at school are much less likely to engage in activities like carrying arms, underage drinking, and promiscuous sex.4
“The Christian values taught in the Christian home and reinforced in the Christian school enable a child to deal with a troubled world without succumbing to its troubles,” explains Dr. Charles Walker, former education director of the American Association of Christian Schools.
In addition, according to a study by the Barna group, a child’s spiritual foundation is set by the age of 13. And — even more critical — a person’s moral foundations are in place by age nine.5 “This is why, at MPCS, we believe in getting to the heart of the child early in his/her school career,” affirms Rusk. “It makes the difference in who they become in their teens, and ultimately as adults. Placing your child in a Christian school may mean a financial sacrifice, but watching your child grow academically and mature spiritually makes it all worth it.” 3
Article reposted with © permission from Black Dress | Red Wagon Magazine serving northwest Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1976, MPCS is fully accredited (SAIS/AdvancED) and located near Kennesaw Mountain on a 68-acre collegiate-like campus.
Want to know more? Schedule a personal tour using the form above.
3 Nowland, Harvey. Is Christian Education Worth the Cost? http://www.christianpost.com/news/is-christian-education-worth-the-cost-7100/
5 The Barna Group https://www.barna.com/research/research-shows-that-spiritual-maturity-process-should-start-at-a-young-age/