Discussing
What my family gained when we lost our Christian school

Caryn Rivadeneira

Caryn Rivadeneira
April 8, 2014

I cried when I realized we’d have to pull our kids from Christian school, but the change became one of my family's biggest blessings.

Bethanykj
April 8, 2014

Caryn, this came at such a good time for me. I don't have kids yet, but we've been looking into home buying, which brings a lot of questions about school districts, budgets, and future kids. I've felt nervous about making such decisions that will have ramifications for our family in the future, and it's so comforting to hear that you've been blessed when things didn't work the way you planned.

Trent DeJong
April 8, 2014

An important aspect to school is the resources and programs. Schools also build community in that it brings people together around a common purpose. Public schools don't cost as much money. But up against these one must also place a Christ centered education. Some things are gained and some things are lost. Both sides of the equation need to be taken into consideration. More thoughts here: http://trentdejong.com/why-christian-education-part-1/

Alexandra Kuykendall
April 8, 2014

Yes! Public school is the place that has best introduced us to the families in our neighborhood. It has opened conversations with our kids about why we make the decisions we do (that are often quite different than their schoolmates), and why we love people that are indeed different than us. I consider it a joy and an honor to send my kids to our neighborhood schools, that God has placed our family here for this time.

Mario
April 8, 2014

Christ-centered education is still the best education for children and young people. Of course, parents are responsible for the education of children that God has given them. And if a small Christian school does not offer the curriculum that one's children need, parents will need to make a decision. It is too bad that the gov't does not provide the finances for all children but rather just for gov't school children. And sometimes parents need to make a school decision based on finances. What a grave injustice!

Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira
April 8, 2014

Thanks for the comments. Even tonight I'm blown away by God's grace and goodness in this decision.

@Mario: It's hard for me to agree that Christian education is "best." Especially since our switch to public school was totally God orchestrated. I believe that this is where God wants our kids to be. And I also believe he wants what's "best" for our kids. Of course, what's best to God doesn't always seem like best to me or you.

Kelly Ve
April 8, 2014

I really love this, thanks for sharing. We recently moved our kids from Christian education to public because of extreme financial losses (think house or education). I believe now it was the best decision and God may have brought us through the extreme circumstances to further His purpose in our lives. Without going through losing almost everything to keep our 4 kids in private we NEVER would have pulled them. Now, they are happy, thriving, sharing their faith, and with the beautiful weather that has finally appeared, our house is becoming "the house" to be at. Such an exciting time for us in developing relationships with our neighbors. Love that you point out that this IS God providing for us, he has different plans for all His children, and we can rejioce with one another in that.

Kelly Ve
April 8, 2014

I think it's also important to mention the downside our kids have mentioned and that we have recognized. Having grown up in the Christian school, K-12 + 2 yrs of college, I have a tremendous circle of believers to depend on. This is something I don't think my kids will have the privilege of having. It was also so beautiful that they prayed multiple times a day with their friends and teachers. I think that is an important piece of a child's faith development. And lastly, they have mentioned on multiple occasions that they really miss worshiping with their friends during chapel. Unfortunately we have a very small church without many kids so this is an area of their lives that we have a hole to fill since switching to a new school. But in the end, I know this is where God wants us right now.

Mario
April 9, 2014

Caryn, I am not questioning your decision. I respect it. But it is still sad when Christian parents who want Christ-centered education can't have it because of the injustice of the gov't funding system.

Amy Modderman
April 15, 2014

Caryn, You have the right to make decisions that are in the best interest of your family. I understand the agony of not being able to send children to Christian School due to unforeseen financial barriers. However, when we were faced with the same dilemma we had to decide who and what philosophies we were going to allow to be taught to our children. After much prayer the Lord lead us to homeschooling. There we could make sure our children were learning from a Biblical World View. When Children go to a public school they are attending a school which is driven by government based agendas and the content is not from a Biblical World View. As a Christian parent you can discuss these things with your child but often they are very subtly introduced into your child's learning. I am so thankful for Christian teachers within the public school system who can answer questions that are brought up by fellow Christian students to give another perspective other than the worlds. My concern with the blog post is that the message reads if it relieves us of financial pressure than the worlds philosophy is okay. We do need to be part of our communities and we definitely can have a positive effect but we have to be diligent in knowing what is being taught to our children. I am afraid so many just put them on the bus and that takes care of that without knowing what their child is reading and being exposed to every day. I am sure by reading your blog your not that type of parent but I felt the urge to post since others may be struggling with this decision and may need to consider other alternatives as well!

Caryn Dahlstrand Rivadeneira
April 15, 2014

Thanks for your feedback. Even when my kids were in Christian school, the world view wasn't "biblical" but "Reformed." Here's what I mean: there isn't a "biblical" view of 2+2, per se. But the Reformed world view lives into Abraham Kuyper's famous words: "There is not one square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!” (Of course, we could argue this is biblical..ha!)

So, therefore, God is the God of Math, of Literature, of Art, of Science and each subject drips with his presence. Thankfully, this is true no matter where the subjects are taught--whether this view is articulated or not, God still cries "mine!" over all of it. Yay!

And to be honest: I haven't noticed a huge difference in the day-to-day world view. The schools are all trying to raise decent kids who live up to the best of their ability. One place publicly acknowledges Jesus, the other doesn't (except during the entire semester study of Spirituals...). God's still there--bidden or not, as they say.

Val T
February 9, 2016

Thank you for this. I am allowing myself to cry now for the first time since we made the same choice for the same reason. I am not less of a Christian because I didn't have enough faith-I am simply a human trying to do the best thing for our family. Thank you so much and God bless you and your family.

Amanda Garcia
March 6, 2018

Hi there. This is an old post, so not sure if you’ll receive my message but our story is rather different than any of yours and I’m conflicted. I stumbled upon this blog by googling. My husband is active duty (Air Force) and we’re relocating to northern Kentucky in a few weeks due to military orders (Cincinnati) we have bought a house. We live in Oklahoma now and the schools are awful. We didn’t raise our children up right, we weren’t born again believers until way later in our marriage. Our children are sometimes very rebellious, disrespectful and do things they shouldn’t, like lie, hit one another.. I’m so overwhelmed. My girls have awful friends at school at some bully and pick on my younger daughter. It’s always been my desire to have them in a Christ centered school since I became a Christian. I’ve been on tours and we just can’t afford it. No way. I recently looked up the Christian schools that are near our new house. I emailed a few asking questions. I understand nothing in this world is free. I get that. But I just don’t know what to do. I’ve been praying and will continue to pray. I’m not sure what the public schools are like there, but I do know the ones here have made a huge impact negatively on my children. I wish I could go back in time and change things because I would have taught my children when they were smaller to love God, to pray, to respect others. Now it’s as if they’re desensitized by my constant talking to them about the gospel, the peers they surround themselves with etc.

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