By Kathryne Oates, Director of Development & Community Relations
Deciding where you will send your children to school is one of the biggest decisions parents will ever face. The “public, private, homeschool” decision is one that should be thoroughly investigated, intentionally pursued, and prayed through earnestly.
We aren’t here to bash public schools. We aren’t here to shake your confidence in your ability to homeschool. God can lead each family to the choice that is right for them. (We used all three at some point with our now-grown children!). But as a Christian school and school choice advocate, I want to share some things that you may not have considered before. This “10 Great Reasons” is blunt. I hope it is helpful as well!
- Parents are accountable to God for what their children are taught in school. They are your children, given as a gift from God. The decision rests with you…not your child, other relatives, neighbors, or the government. What your children are taught in school should be a direct extension of your parental views.
- At Isaac Newton, the Bible remains the most important book in the education of your child. Only through a biblical lens can all subject content be seen in its right light.
- At the Academy, we talk a lot about the three main institutions in a child’s life…the home, the church, and the school. We believe that a child is best served when all three institutions are pointing your child to Jesus Christ. Children need a consistent message. When God is out of the equation for 35+ hours per week, it teaches children that there is a secular/sacred divide…that the education arena can be compartmentalized. That bringing God into academics is irrelevant.
- At Isaac Newton, children are taught how to get along with others, how to ask for and receive forgiveness, how to collaborate, participate and how to build the disciplines that will make them good employees one day. Things like…arrive on time. Listen. Take turns. Meet deadlines. Go the extra mile. Be polite! We view being a student as their current vocation!
- We strive to maintain discipline in the classroom and on the playground. There are less distractions at a Christian school because parents have invested hard earned money in the education of their children and one of the expectations is that there be less distractions! We can get down to the business of learning, and students are held accountable for their actions. And that is a good thing! We will correct students and show them how to make amends, extend and receive grace, and that His mercies are new every morning!
- At Isaac Newton, we are proud of our academic success! We believe God has blessed our efforts here because we have put Him in His rightful place…at the center of all learning. Although standardized test scores are only one indicator of student success, we do point to them and will put them up against any public or private school in the area. Our students generally score one to two years beyond grade level and that gap widens the older the student gets. Our 8th grade class consistently scores at a 13+, which is post high school. In addition to core subjects, students take music, art, computer, gym and library.
- We use some traditional teaching methods that we believe reinforce absolute truth and prepare children to engage in deeper academic disciplines. We have a formal grammar program that lasts through high school! We teach cursive writing, and have underlying research to support its importance (http://www.incaonline.org/schools/cursivewriting.cfm#detailid_300037 ). We expect students to memorize math facts (http://www.incaonline.org/schools/mathsuccess.cfm#detailid_300036) We are all about critical thinking skills, however, we want students to have a body of knowledge from which to think critically!
- We teach from a biblical worldview. Ask us about that process…I think our teachers do this in such a fascinating way. They have undergone rigorous training in all aspects of biblical worldview teaching. They are highly trained in leading group conversations and stimulating their students’ thinking and analyzing skills. They’ve taken graduate courses and have been mentored by a leading worldview educator, all of which was a three year process. New teachers go through this training as well. In public settings, humanists and moral relativists lead the conversation. God is not mentioned, man controls his destiny, and objective moral standards are viewed as silly at best, dangerous at worst. This can confuse children at a vulnerable time when they are “soaking it all in.” Quite simply, just as we train soldiers before sending them into battle, we believe a child should be well trained in a biblical worldview before they can be effective “salt and light” in the minefield of culture.
- At the Academy, talking about spiritual issues is not only allowed, but encouraged. I’ve had people tell me before “but isn’t Christian schooling like putting your child in a bubble?” Far from it. In our “connected” world, you cannot hide your child away from “the world!” What I love about Christian schooling is that children are free to bring ALL of their questions, including ones about God, His Word, morality—and they are on the table for discussion.
- At Isaac Newton, the children you have entrusted to us are taught and loved by teachers who share your values. They reinforce the values you are teaching at home. They encourage church participation. They have been called by God to work in a Christian school, and they are passionate about the work they do here!
Want to learn more? We would be happy to send you a portfolio on the Academy as a first step. Ask us about our needs-based scholarship programs, and about setting up a private appointment/tour! http://www.incaonline.org/admissions/admissions.cfm