Ten Ways to Love the Public School

8.13.2022 | No comments

There are many ways to extend care, compassion, grace, and proclaim gospel hope to the members of your community. Here are ten ways to love the public school to the glory of God.

  1. Prayer walk your neighborhood.  As you walk around the block, ask God to strengthen the believing children in your neighborhood. Pray for the neighborhood children you see at the bus stop by name. Pray that the parents would love their children well after a long day at work and school.  Ask God to give you opportunities to share the gospel as you are on your walk.
  2. Make your home available for before/after school care.  Hop on your neighborhood Facebook page or Nextdoor app and just let your neighbors know you're home is available for children before they get on the bus and that they can hang out at your house after school.
  3. Bring class treats for a neighborhood kid or a child from church.  There are few things more exciting than having someone you know bring in treats for class snack.  There is a sense of belonging when a child knows they are provided for by a loving and caring adult that is not their parents.
  4. Think of the bus drivers. You see the big yellow buses throughout your neighborhood.  You know where the bus stops are. Give thought to the bus drivers by writing them a handwritten note of encouragement and gospel hope packed with some kind of treat or or goodie. I promise it will blow their mind.
  5. Donate Christ-centered books to the public school library.  You will be surprised what school public libraries will accept. There is a great need for new and age appropriate material. If you need some recommendations, I would be thrilled to point you in the right direction depending on the age you need. 
  6. Attend sporting and creative arts events. Take your family to a Friday night football game or a Saturday morning tennis match. Your children will love watching a track meet or cheering for a basketball team, laughing at a drama or being wowed at an art show. This is a great way to start and maintain relationships you make in the community for the purpose of sharing the gospel.
  7. Show up with breakfast for your local public school's office staff. When I was a teacher, there were few things that better set the tone of my day than when we were provided breakfast by members in the community.  Write a note. Sign it from your self, or if possible, sign from your church to let that school know that there are people from said church that are willing to champion the efforts of caring for the school-aged children.
  8. Assemble teacher packs.  These don't have to be much, but let me tell you, teachers spend hundreds of dollars of their own money to make sure students have the supplies they need and to make learning more effective.  Grab some pens, paper clips, sticky notes, tape, and K-cup.  Tie it in a baggie with some ribbon and deliver these to your local school.  Add a note for follow up and get ready to start making gospel investments.
  9. Send a letter to the superintendent or principal.  The saying is "Bad press is good press." Well, superintendents get ripped into every single day by disgruntled parents and upset community members.  Why not break the cycle and send him or her an encouraging note? You don't have to agree with them or their policies to encourage him to work diligently and to remind him of the children he is impacting. Let her know there is one Christian in the community that isn't blasting her on social media; because I can assure you there are plenty of Christians throwing stones at her without thought, grace, compassion, or humility.
  10. Talk to the public school teachers at your church. Ask them how they can be served best. Ask them how they need support in the classroom. Ask them how you can relieve any of their burdens.  It might be a late night to help grade papers, or purchasing a bookshelf for a class set of Bunnicula or Where the Red Fern Grows. It could be picking up their own children from school or being asked to faithfully pray for boldness in the classroom.  I promise you your believing public school teacher friends wish you could see what they see: for better and for worse.  They wish you would take time to really understand how much they love their mission field, what these little image-bearers mean to them, and how they really do get opportunities to share the gospel within the four walls of their classroom.

I hope these ten ways serve as a good start for homeschooling families to pour out a fragrant offering of love, support, compassion, grace to the public schools. This list is by no means exhaustive. I am sure I could make this list 25 things very easily.  That's another list for another day.  

"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." 

Next article posted will be: Ten Ways to Love the Homeschooler. I hope you continue to follow along.

Academic Freedom and The Call to Love Jesus

7.25.2022 | 4 comments

School is around the corner and once again, burdens are heaped on and judgement is exacted on those who swim against the cultural current we ride—and make no mistake—it spews from homeschool and public school proponents alike. O believer, may it not be so among the body of Christ that we would put academic freedom in a works-based balance to test the genuineness of a Christian.

Love Jesus with all of your heart.

May we be so confident in how the Spirit is leading our brothers and sisters in Christ that we are not just okay with, but are actually thrilled at the possibility of Him calling, allowing, and enabling others to make different schooling choices than us.

If you pack your child’s lunch and drop them off at the bus stop —
love Jesus with all of your heart.

If you have entered into the lifestyle of teaching your children at home —
love Jesus with all of your heart.

It couldn’t be simpler, yet here we are shackling ourselves (and imprisoning others) to our preferences.

I have talked with moms who are paralyzed at the thought of telling their friends they have chosen to go the public school route for fear they will be left out—the wrath of homeschooling moms descends. I have talked with another who is convinced that public school is the only real way to live as a light in the world—the public school mom’s public shaming spills over. 

Burdens are heaped, needlessly.
  I have met others, like myself, who never in a million years dreamed of homeschooling their children, yet here we are because we feel it is what we have been called to in this season. Still, I have met parents who have initially homeschooled, but have now chosen to send their children to school, because they feel it is what they have been called to in this season.

May we not draw a line where there isn't one, believer. May we not elevate the freedom to choose how our children are educated to the level of first importance (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). May we not allow our identity in Christ to be overtaken and swallowed up by our academic preferences.

Homeschooling is not the gospel. It often presents many opportunities to regularly serve others in the community and learn catechisms and memorize verses —but it can not save your children.

Public (or private) school is not the gospel. It often provide endless opportunities on fields, classrooms, and performances to stand for truth and shine brightly in a dark world—but it can not save your children.

Whatever your choice may be, it is not a blanket statement or a “one size fits all.” Schooling choice does not transcend the culture you’re born into, point in time you live, or the circumstances surrounding you. But the gospel is and the gospel does. The gospel is a blanket statement for those who believe, a “one size fits all” who come to the Lord. No one is cast out. No one is rejected if they truly want Jesus. The gospel does transcend the circumstances we find ourselves, the culture or country we are born into, and the point we live on a timeline. And it is only the gospel that can actually save your children because it is only the gospel that is the power of God for salvation—your academic decisions are not (Romans 1:16).

So homeschool family or public school family, love Jesus with all of your heart. That is our aim. And may we be found faithful to teach our children to live out the kindness of Christ and have the freedom of the gospel on their lips in the locker room or at the library, in passing period or at poetry tea time, at cross-country practice or at co-op.

Love Jesus with all your heart, and encourage the parent heading to the carpool today. Love Jesus with all your heart, and encourage the one who has her curriculum on the kitchen table. We are not wearing different uniforms nor are we on a different team. We are one, if you are in the body of Christ. And what a blessed thing it is when believers dwell in unity, especially over the diversity of education.

Quote on my blackboard taken from Melissa Kruger's children's book, “Wherever You Go, I Want You to Know”

Click the picture to add this 
book to your library!

So if I can adapt the poem for us today : 

"...However you school,
No matter your part,
I pray you love Jesus
with all of your heart.”

"One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to god, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God."

A Short Poem of Gratitude : Rain

6.23.2022 | No comments

The rain was right on time
For me, anyway.
For my tired and anxious soul—
He promised if I come to him
He will give me rest.
At times I feel like that’s all I do,
Sitting at the Savior's feet,
My to-do list hangs condemning.
Oh! what a blessing when it came,
The rest I mean.
The prescription of precipitation,
An opportunity to pause.
What joy comes from seeing the blessing from His hand
When I could otherwise complain.
Rest came with rain today.
Oh praise the One who generously provides!