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3 Ways to Afford a Christian School Education

Posted on Jul 19, 2016 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch

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A Christian school education is a sound investment that can prepare a child both academically and spiritually for life.  Unfortunately, while many parents may dream of sending their children to a Christian school, finances may prevent some from even considering this educational option.   By doing some homework, these families could discover ways to obtain the necessary funding to make the cost more affordable and the dream of a Christian school education a reality.

If you are considering a Christian school education for your child but are concerned about the cost, here are three options to explore:

School Tuition Assistance and Discounts

To help families afford the cost of attending, most Christian schools offer various discounts, such as early registration, multiple-child or multiple-year enrollment incentives.  Ask the schools in your area what types of discounts they offer to determine which discounts you might be able to take advantage of.

Many schools also offer needs-based financial assistance.  Those interested in participating in this type of a program are typically required to apply by a specified date and provide financial information in order for the school to determine financial need.

computer research

Grants and Scholarships

Conducting online research may uncover leads for grants or other awards you could apply for to help finance the cost of tuition.  Entering a phrase such as  “private school grants” or “private school scholarships” could bring up possible options or provide the initial information needed to further guide your search.  

Family and Friends

Lastly, prayerfully consider asking family and friends to invest in your child’s future by offering financial support.  In addition, check with your church to determine whether they can provide support as well.

Don’t let the cost deter you from considering a Christian school education.  If this type of an education is a priority for your family, prayerfully considering and working through these options may help your dream become a reality.

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Prayers, Choices, and Couches

Posted on Feb 6, 2016 6:00:00 AM by Pam McKee

 red couch

My friend and her husband have lived in their three-bedroom one-bath row home, raising their three children, for the past 20 years or so.  As the kids have moved into their teenage years, their parents have renovated the basement somewhat into a bedroom and finished off a partial bath in order to accommodate this growing family.  And give Mom and Dad a little privacy.  I have asked my friend several times if they’ve considered moving to a larger house (one with a dishwasher!), but her continual reply is that she and her husband have chosen instead to send their kids to Christian schools. This might not be for everyone, but it is for them.

One day she was telling me how their whole family is sharing one computer.  All three kids use it nightly to help them with their homework and she isn’t able to log on until everyone else is in bed.  That makes for a lot of late nights.

I said to her,  “You need another computer!”

She sighed,  “Actually, what we need is another couch.  Ours has recently bitten the dust.  So our family of five doesn’t have enough seating in our small living room.”

A few days went by, and I don’t know how to explain it, but I began to have an overwhelming urge to pray for God to provide an affordable couch for my friend’s family. So I prayed.

One Monday, a couple of weeks or so later, my friend and I were exchanging family weekend sagas with each other and she told the harrowing yet hilarious story of how they managed to get this couch that they had found on sale from the store and into their living room.  And how one of the kids (who shall remain nameless) was totally embarrassed because this couch was a not so subtle shade of red.

I said,  “Wait -  You got a new couch??”

She nodded yes with a questioning look on her face.

“I’ve been praying for God to give you a couch!  And He did!”  I think I was more excited about her new couch than she was. I’ll have to admit though, I hadn’t prayed for a specific color.

So maybe I should now pray for an additional computer for her family.  Or a dishwasher.

A few years later when my friend’s daughter (the one who was embarrassed by the red couch!) became engaged, she and her fiance were collecting furniture for their future marriage.  Ironically they stumbled across a “free” couch.  So my friend rented a panel truck (90 inches of couch was a little long to fit in their mini van), drove halfway across Baltimore, through the tunnel, picked up the “free” couch, and delivered it to her daughter’s future home.  

Too bad it wasn’t red.

Questions to Consider:

  1. When we pray, do we really expect God to listen and answer?

  2. Are we willing to sacrifice and look different to what the world expects in order to be obedient?

  3. Is there really anything wrong with a red couch?

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3 Important Reasons Why Your Child Should Memorize Scripture

Posted on Jun 27, 2015 6:00:00 AM by Kim Schlauch

boy reading bible

There are many good reasons why children should memorize Scripture.  To encourage them to do so, it is helpful for them to understand why Scripture memorization is important.  Here are three compelling reasons:

1.  To Know Jesus.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)  Scripture memorization opens the door for children to experience God’s love and how He demonstrated that love through Jesus’ sacrifice for us.  This leads to the opportunity to learn more about Jesus and to develop relationship with Him.

2.  To Fight Sin.

“I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You.” (Psalm 119:11) Children young and old face temptation each and every day.  God’s Word offers the ammunition to resist that temptation.

3.  To Glorify God.

“I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify Your name forever.”  (Psalm 86:12)  We were put on earth to glorify God in all we do.  Scripture helps children better understand this concept and offers a means to do so.

girl holding bible

While the act of Scripture memorization is a head exercise, through faith and obedience, that head knowledge can become heart knowledge when children come to understand the Bible’s life-transforming message.

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A Christian Parent’s Guide to Understanding Common Core

Posted on May 5, 2015 3:00:00 PM by Kim Schlauch

apple and school books

A major “hot button” topic in education today is the Common Core initiative.  Like it or not, most states have adopted it and the resulting implementation of this initiative has led to much debate.

The purpose of this article is to explain the controversy surrounding Common Core.  And, rather than persuade you to adopt a particular point of view, our goal is simply to arm you with knowledge to help you form your own opinions and make your own decisions regarding Common Core and your child’s education.

Common Core 101

In an effort to improve U.S. educational performance and to prepare students for college and career, a group of state governors expressing a desire to create learning and educational milestones came together to develop educational standards designed to help students become college- and career-ready.  These standards were meant to act as a guideline to assure that the education received by U.S. students was uniform from state to state, specifically in the areas of mathematics and English language arts.

In theory, the idea of improving educational performance sounds like a good one.  But somewhere between inspiration and implementation, issues both practical and philosophical in nature have resulted.

Common Core Concerns

Here are several of the major concerns with Common Core:

  1. Centralized Approach Threatens Individual Needs.  Many are worried that the establishment and management of standards at the national level takes the decision-making power away from those who have a much greater pulse on the needs at the local level, including parents and taxpayers.

  2. Government/Business Involvement in Schools.  Local governments are dependent upon federal funding to meet the educational needs of their constituents.  As a result, some fear that Common Core adoption may be more a result of the threat of monetary penalties for non-compliance as opposed to agreement with the initiative.  In addition, some worry that private businesses have unduly influenced the development and implementation of Common Core through the offering of monetary support and incentives.

  3. The Impact of Standards on Curriculum and Testing.  While Common Core was designed to be a set of standards and not a curriculum, these standards are indeed affecting curriculum and subsequently the supporting learning materials.  For example, textbooks and tests are being written to reflect the standards.  Concerns abound that there is now an overemphasis of skills over content knowledge.  In addition, these standards have affected teaching methodology.  As an illustration, to support Common Core goals, methods of teaching math that are more reliant upon theory than rote memorization have been introduced and have sparked much controversy.

  4. Standards Do Not Guarantee Educational Performance.  Along with the impact the standards are having on curriculum come the following questions: Is the quality of education being compromised?  Is Common Core forcing educators to teach to a test and not for the sake of learning?  At the end of the day, will the education our students are receiving provide them with the skills, knowledge and experience required to survive and thrive in the real world?

A Christian Approach to Common Core

So how as Christian parents are we to respond to Common Core?  Before we answer that question, let’s take a step back and take a look at education from a Christian perspective.

What is the purpose of education?  Ultimately, a valuable education will help students develop their reasoning capacities so they can discern truth and live according to it.  Whose truth?  God’s truth.  The reading and writing skills children learn give them the technical knowledge necessary to communicate in this world, God’s world.  The study of literature provides cultural knowledge of His world.  The study of mathematics and science fosters an appreciation of His world.  Study in these areas leads to a development of critical thinking skills and to a better understanding of God’s world and God’s laws.

“Train a child up in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”  Proverbs 22:6

“Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”  Deuteronomy 11:19

As Christian parents, our children’s education ultimately rests in our hands.  As such, it is our responsibility to take an active role in our children’s education to ensure what they are learning renders them capable of understanding truth, loving God and reflecting His goodness.

Knowledge is power

All that said, here are some suggestions on what Christian parents can do in response to Common Core, especially if your child attends a school where Common Core has been adopted:

  1. Do Your Homework.  Do the necessary research to aquaint yourself with Common Core to identify which aspects of it may be beneficial or detrimental to your child’s overall education.

  2. Discuss Questionable Content With Your Child.  As curriculum content taught in the classroom may be designed by others who do not hold Christian beliefs or values, it is important that you be aware of what your child is learning in the classroom and ensure your child understands how to view that content through a Christian worldview lens.

  3. Supplement What is Being Taught in School.  If the curriculum being taught to your child does not approach learning from a Biblical perspective, provide your child with additional learning opportunities outside of the classroom, such as at home, through your church or other Christian organizations.

  4. Seek Alternative Schooling Options.  First and foremost, understand that you have a choice.  If you’ve done the due diligence in researching Common Core and discover the minuses outweigh the pluses, prayerfully consider alternative eductional options, such as homeschooling or enrollment in a private school that does not follow Common Core standards and whose curriculum is aligned with your Christian values.

Regardless of the latest fads or trends in education, as a Christian parent, it is your right and responsibility to train your child up in the way he or she should go.  In doing so, you will help your child discern God’s truth and live a life that glorifies Him.

Resources for further research:

http://www.acsiglobal.org/wp-content/uploads/Common-Core-public-statement-8-13.pdf

http://www.corestandards.org/

http://www.summit.org/blogs/summit-announcements/what-should-christians-think-about-common-core/

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