Monday, November 22, 2010

what makes "Christian education" Christian?

A friend sent me the question: ‘What makes Christian Education Christian?’ and I’ve been pondering over it for a week now. As I write this my kids are asleep in bed while other families around the neighborhood are getting up and getting ready for a short week at government school. The younger students might make turkeys tracing the palm of their hands while older kids might be learning about Squanto or Miles Standish. Or perhaps the students are only being taught what they will need to know to pass the California high School Exit Exam.
Here in our house we have been learning about fractions and percentages in the morning at all kinds of specialized social studies in the afternoon. The kids spend considerably less time waiting in lines or doing busy work at their desk so there is more time for other things like sleeping in a bit and eating every meal as a family.
Christian Education can at its very simplest be said to be any education with a Godly worldview. So if I remind my children what the Bible says about the origin of man I am easily giving them Christian Education. But my answer is not that simple or I would have not addressed the question.
Suppose a child is in a grocery store and takes a candy bar off the shelf and bites into it through the wrapper making the item unsellable. A conscientious parent will purchase the candy bar under the ‘you break it you bought it’ rule. The parent may so this stealthily so the child hopefully never sees that candy bar. If the child is handed that candy bar to eat then something has happened. That child has been educated. The simple ‘if-then’ formula and the reward of for a deed done is one of the best ways to train anyone or anything. My point is this: Education is everywhere and everyday. If I’m in that same grocery store with my children and there I have to make a decision on whether of not to be rude or polite my children will observe and learn from what I do. If the kids and I are looking forward to a day off playing Monopoly all morning and we find a list of chores left for us my Prajna I will insist that the chores are done with a cheerful attitude because love and respect must be modeled first and foremost here at home. The children are corrected for attitude and reminded to pray for thanks and forgiveness.
So while I teach math I don’t really go into how God created numbers and they didn’t just evolve from alphabet soup. But their Christian Education takes place in more than our humble classroom setting.
Many homeschooler will tell you at the drop of a pencil what sad shape the world and nation are in and don’t get them started on government schools. I try not to go there because I know a lot of great parents who send their children to these schools and they have great kids too. We choose to homeschool. But Christian Education less of a choice because as soon as we became parents we understood our obligation to God to bring up our kids according to His ways.

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