Why We Left Public School

In April of 2012 we took a step of faith. We walked through the doors of a private Christian school 35 minutes away for a tour of the school with the headmaster. Nine months before, I knew God was leading us in a different direction where our son’s education was concerned.

For nine months I prayed God would give us clear direction and open our son’s heart to making the change. He has never liked change and at twelve and a half years old change is a big deal. I knew that it would be God changing his heart and giving him courage if this was to happen.

As we walked out that day after our tour, I knew with a peace I can’t explain that God was working it all out. Three months later this amazing gift I call my son found 20 seconds of insane courage and said “I just can’t let them see me sweat,” as he walked into his new school. I still can’t help but smile when I remember him saying those words that August morning.

Decisions about your child’s education are hard to make. It was for us. Maybe a better title for this post would be why we didn’t move our child out of public school.

There are many reasons why we decided private school was the better choice for our son, but sharing those in such a public way is not helpful. I don’t have a solution to those reasons either, and I don’t want to add noise to the already complicated issue of education.

But here is what I want people to know about our choice of private school over public:

We didn’t move our child out of the public school because of the teachers. If anything this was the reason we hated to leave. It was a difficult choice knowing our son would not experience the classes of teachers I know personally and who give 150% to their profession. The majority of teachers in our public system give more than they can humanly be expected to give. But somehow they do, and they have my utmost respect and gratitude.

We didn’t choose private school because we think we are better than others. If anything, I know that it is all because of God’s grace, and I am still in constant amazement that God opened the doors in order for this move to happen. There are too many details to list here, but I look back and can see God’s hand in each step. I have no doubt He was working it all out even years before we realized that public school was no longer working for our son.

We didn’t choose private school because we think others should leave the public schools also. Each child has different needs and each family has different circumstances. What is right for one child can be completely wrong for another. What works for one family will not work for another.

The decision to enroll our son in private school was a decision we felt was in the best interest of our child. A decision made with God’s leading. It was not a decision made to offend others.

We never thought we would leave our public schools, but after months of prayer we knew God had a different plan and there has been such peace in following that plan. His plan looks different for every family.

The transition from public school to private was difficult in many ways. Socially the transition went very well, but we are still adjusting in other aspects.

Choosing private school over public school has meant sacrifices, but each and every one have been worth it. God has provided in every way. The hours spent driving to and from school and the hours spent away from home can be exhausting. The hours I spend helping him study can drain me.

But please hear me when I say I wouldn’t trade it for anything. The sacrifices, the time I spend driving, the time I spend helping him study, are worth every moment. When I hear about his day and see what a different child he is now and how much happier he is, I have such peace.

I knew there would come a day when God would prompt me to share part of our education story, and there are still many parts yet to be shared. I’ve tilted my head perplexed when others chose differently than I did on matters of parenting and education. God has a way of showing me a different perspective when I become too opinionated, though. Too often I’ve had to eat my words as the old saying goes.

I don’t share any of this with you to defend our choice. When it comes to the decisions we make regarding our son we do not owe anyone an explanation. I wanted to share part of our story in hopes that God would use these words to help others understand and respect the tough decisions families make in regards to the education of their children.

Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. – James 4:11

Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ. – Ephesians 5:20-21

Have you had to make difficult decisions about your child’s education that perhaps others didn’t understand?