There have been some interesting comments on my post about Public Schools. In that post I laid out a case for why our family believes that Christians should not send their children to the government schools. I know that sounds harsh, I’m honestly sorry, it is difficult to convey an unpopular position gracefully in one sentence. Please go read the full post for a more gracious explanation of our position. If it still rubs you the wrong way, please read disagree in love. Feel free to believe that we are dead wrong on this one and then let’s discuss it prayerfully and learn from each other.
This is also a good place to mention that, while my name is on this blog and I do most of the typing and composition, my husband is very involved in reading and editing all the posts that are anything more than pictures and stories about our day. He decides whether he wants me to post about a given topic, what I should or shouldn’t say and always reads before it is posted to make sure that it conveys the point properly. This is why many times I write with the plural tense, these are not just my thoughts and words.
Here is a comment from Laurel on my post on Public schools:
If the public school system is inherently wrong, than I am wondering what you would suggest for the families that cannot teach their children at home. There are many single moms who must work outside the home to provide for their families; and many of these mothers did not choose to raise their children on their own. (Some are widowed. Some have been abandoned.)
I am so thankful that I do have the opportunity to teach my children at home, as I have for the past 18 years. However, I just cannot come up with an answer for what some families are to do if the public school system were to be abandoned (as some people would adamantly suggest).
Here is my expanded response:
We do not want the conversation to get sidetracked with difficult situations; either government education is unbiblical or it is not. Difficult situations or us not understanding how everything will work out do not change God’s law or His requirements for His people. Those things said, we think the single mom dilemma has several fairly simple solutions.
Biblically the extended family is the first source for help in times of need. (see 1Timothy 5:3-8) The family may be able to supply help with the actual education of the children. We know some grandparents who are homeschooling their grandchildren while their single daughter works. The family may also be able to provide financial help for a private school.
If the family is unable or unwilling, the church and other Christians should be next to step up. Biblically Christians have a special responsibility to the widows and orphans (James 1:7). Our family was once approached by a single mom asking if we would educate her children with ours. There are many other ways that the Christian community can and should help single moms with the training and education of their children.
Another option is for single moms to homeschool their own children. We are amazed and blessed to know several single moms who have made this decision. It takes amazing dedication, but they have been successful and their children have been blessed.
Another option is public schools (not government schools). This is the type of system in place in early America. Private citizens got together voluntarily, hired a teacher, acquired, built or borrowed a building (sometimes using space in private homes) and provided an education for their own children.
Many Christian schools provide scholarships for families in need. When I was a girl our family knew a single mom of four daughters. The local Christian school educated all of her girls from kindergarten to high school in exchange for her cleaning the facilities after her regular job. She took her children with her and cleaned a couple hours each evening while they studied or played.
The amazing thing is that God always provides and He is not limited by what we can see or understand. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, He promises to be a “father to the fatherless” and says, “let thy widow trust in me”. He tells His people, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widow in their affliction”. He will provide for the education of His children.
Then recently Nicki had this to say:
I was a divorced, single mother of 2 for 2 years. Putting my kids in school (or daycare) was never an option for me. I found work that fit with my goals for my children. I cleaned the church, did part-time medical transcription, and eventually opened my own retail shop. I lived in my parent’s home, and they were glad to have me. No, it was never easy, but doing what is right rarely is. I felt without a doubt that going through a divorce was one of the hardest things my daughters would ever deal with (at least in childhood) and that changing their home life for my convenience or their “education” would compound the problem. It helped them and me to have the stability of a mostly “normal” life as we dealt with this strange new world of singleness. God always makes a way.
What a testimony to God’s faithfulness. Thank you Nicki!