Questions You Should Ask Yourself About a School

Enrollment season is in full swing, and it's an exciting time for all of us. For ACA, it means another opportunity to witness God's faithfulness via growth. For many of us, it means an opportunity to meet new families this fall, and to recommit to educating your children well according to God's life-giving truth.

But as parents, you should be regularly re-evaluating your educational choices. While there are few things so important as a long, single-minded commitment to your goals, usually through a single church or school, no church or school is perfect, and your children are far more important than a place.

As you annually re-evaluate your educational goals, ask yourself these questions:

1) What are your core non-negotiables for your kids' education? In other words, what 1-2 features of a school or its curriculum are you not willing to compromise on? 

2) What does God's word say about how we should educate our kids? What practical value does scripture have on our school choices, and does it exclude any schools or systems?

3) What level of importance do sports, extra-curriculars, and other social opportunities have? Is it possible to over-emphasize academic programs and create socially awkward or reclusive children? On the other hand, is it possible to over-value a school with an array of non-academic programs at the expense of your children's academic future? Where is that line for you, and why?

4) What value do you place on a school that emphasizes lasting and beautiful accomplishments in art, science, mathematics, and politics versus emphases on interpreting education through the lens of race, gender, identity, and sex?

5) What place does a school's political correctness have in your educational choices? How do you define for yourself which schools are woodenly traditionalist on the one hand, and which are driven only by fashionable political trends on the other?

6) Is it possible that a school's culture -- and not just its academic programs, or its impact on our finances -- will have a lasting impact on our children's hearts and minds, for better or for worse?

7) Wherever you go, there you are. Are you re-enrolling at ACA, or perhaps considering a different school, reactively or from discontent with the status quo? 

These are important and sobering questions, but worth wrestling with. We love our children, and we cannot ever undervalue the profound influence of our educational choices over time. But don't we have a merciful Father who loves us? He gives us this task of raising our children, full of consequences in real life, and yet he extends us his love and assurance.