Creating A Spiritual Growth Plan for Your Child


Shepherding your child’s heart with a spiritual growth plan is a profoundly high calling. As parents, our primary responsibility to our children is teaching them about the astonishing love of Jesus Christ. But with so many young people turning away from the faith they were raised with, we need to carefully reevaluate the approach we take in helping our children grow spiritually. Here are some ideas to think about as you shepherd your young ones:

Spiritual Growth Plan

Make sure you’ve dealt with your own baggage.

Many of us have been hurt by religion or religious people. Sometimes, these wounds inflicted by the church go very deep and last for years. Be sure to acknowledge your own baggage and begin to actively pursue healing as you begin the process of leading your children spiritually. This may mean having some difficult conversations, forgiving difficult people, and/or seeking counseling.

Pray often.

Pray for your children and with your children as often as possible. Your prayers don’t need to be fancy or eloquent. Children need to learn from a young age that they can speak to Jesus like they would to a dear friend: about anything, and at any time.

Fill your home with the Word.

Raise your children in an environment that is saturated in the Word of God. Deuteronomy 11:18-21, “So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors.” Simple ways to do this include reading a Bible story before bed, or listening to the Bible while driving to school or running errands.

Teach your children to serve.

If the core of your religious teaching to your children is about the love of Jesus Christ, you are doing it right. Jesus loved people completely and served them selflessly. Teach your children to develop a servant’s heart as early as possible. Feed the homeless. Seek out the marginalized. Show kindness and attention to those society has rejected. Be willing to get messy and be inconvenienced in your day to day life to serve people life Jesus did. In these ways, your child will learn to behave like Christ.

 

If you’re thinking of sending your child to a Christian school, contact us today! We would love to speak with you.

5 Benefits of Going to A Christian School


What are the benefits of going to a Christian school? Before making such a significant investment, you may be wondering if it will be worth it for your family in the long term. Here are five benefits of Christian school that you may not have considered.

Benefits of Going to A Christian School

1. A Christian school will surround your child with healthy role models.

The formative years are a critical time in your child’s life for establishing relationships with healthy role models. Take steps to ensure your student is surrounded by Christ-like, individuals who want to invest in their lives. These healthy attachments will put them on a more stable path than their peers who lack such relationships. The more positive influences who can be pouring into your child’s life and reinforcing Godly values, the better.

2. Benefits of going to a Christian school? A proven academic advantage.

Private Christian schools not only offer small class sizes, highly educated and caring teachers, and top-notch extracurriculars. They also have been scientifically proven to provide academic advantages. The Council for American Private Education states: “Students who attend religious schools score at an academic level about 12 months ahead of their counterparts.” Another key finding in the study is that the achievement gap, as measured both by ethnicity/ race and socioeconomic status, is roughly 25 percent narrower in faith based schools than in public schools.” Why are students more successful in religious schools? Jeynes believes that such schools “have higher expectations of students and encourage them to take hard courses,” adding that religious schools subscribe to the notion that “students are often capable of achieving more than they realize.”

3. Values-based education.

A Christian school is not just a haven of learning, but a place where children can start to forge their morals and values. It’s the ideal environment to learn the truths of Jesus Christ during key foundation-setting years. Studies have shown that what a child believes by the time they are 14 years old is often what they will believe for the rest of their life. If you can set a Biblical foundation for your child as early as possible, you are setting them on a path for both academic and relational success.

4. Studied behavioral benefits.

The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) also states in the summary of their report, “Although academic performance was a key focus in the report, the study also examined student behavior and found an even larger advantage, or effect size, for religious schools.” As Jeynes told CAPE, “Students who attend religious schools have fewer behavioral problems than their counterparts, even when adjusting for socioeconomic status, race, and gender.” That translates into fewer gangs, less drugs, and greater racial harmony in religious schools than in public schools. This translates to safer schools, healthier students, and better outcomes overall for their future success.

5. One-on-one attention

Small class sizes combined with excellent educators allow your child to have the kind of individualized attention that simply can’t be found in a public school. Your student isn’t just a number. Each child is a treasured human being with unique gifts and talents that will be carefully nurtured in the classroom environment.

If you’re considering sending your child to a Christian school, contact us today! We’d love to speak with you.

What are The Long-Term Benefits of A Faith Based Education?


If you are considering investing in a faith based education for your child, you may be wondering what the long-term benefits of such an education may be. Private Christian schools can be a significant financial investment, so how can you know your dollars have been well spent? Here are some potential benefits to consider:

A faith based education encourages a global worldview

A well-taught faith based education will give students a broader, healthier perspective on life than their peers. A worldview that is based on Biblical principals will be one of selflessness, acceptance, and love for their fellow man. As articulated by the Notre Dame School in the UK, “In a school that offers a Christian education the principles of welcome, nurture and compassion should be evident as you walk through the door. […] This is part of the mission of a faith school, where all are welcome, and encompasses an ethos that stretches throughout the world, because faith organisations seek to bring stability and compassion into an uncertain world.” Students whose education is built on the teachings of Jesus Christ will not grow up into self-centered, ethno-centric adults. Quite the contrary. They will grow into a loving force for the greater good of mankind.

A faith based education is rooted in compassion and empathy

As a parent, the number one thing I want to teach my child is how to have a compassionate and empathetic spirit. There is no greater principle that a person can develop in this life. It will serve them well in every single aspect of the human experience. An education that is based upon the Word of God will have a central focus on developing compassion, leading students to long-term relational and professional success.

A faith based education has strong academic benefits

In a report published by USA Today, they found: “in 12 studies over the past 15 years that relied on the research method of random assignment, 11 showed that students using vouchers to attend private and faith-based schools had higher reading and math scores and higher graduation rates and college attendance than students who remained in their public schools.” The correlation between a faith based education and long-term academic success is a strong one. The Council for American Private Education (CAPE) stated, “Students in religious schools enjoy a significant academic advantage over their counterparts in traditional public schools and charter schools, according to findings from a meta-analysis of 90 studies on the effects of schools conducted by William Jeynes, senior fellow at the Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, New Jersey, and a professor at California State University, Long Beach. The study was published in issue 3 of volume 87 of the Peabody Journal of Education. “The results indicate that attending private religious schools is associated with the highest level of academic achievement among the three school types, even when sophisticated controls are used to adjust for socioeconomic status.’”

If you’re considering a faith based education for you child, please contact us! We would love to speak with you.

How to Afford Private School on Any Budget


If you’re a parent on a tight budget, you may be wondering how to afford private school for your children. Choosing the ideal education for your children is no easy task. How can you, as a parent, know which scholastic environment will be the most ultimately beneficial to your child? Private Christian schools have so much to offer, but the price tag often seems daunting. According to a 2006 National Association of Independent Schools study, 32 percent of the general public would prefer to send their children to independent schools if cost and distance from home were not barriers. Here’s how to make a private school education attainable on any budget:

How to afford private school? Start saving now.

Even if your children are very young, it’s never too early to start saving for the future. Start a special saving account just for future expenses, or open an education savings account (ESA). This investment program allows parents to withdraw money tax free as long as the account’s beneficiary uses the money to pay for qualified education expenses. ESAs, which are available through most banks, can be used toward kindergarten through 12th grade tuition, as well as college. However, the account can only accept $2,000 in contributions a year. The earlier you get started, the better.

Figure out your family’s priorities.

Give your finances a good, hard look and see where your priorities lie. Keep in mind, it’s not advisable to go into debt or dip into retirement savings to pay for private school. After a thorough examination, determine if you truly want to invest in a private school education for your children. If so, see where you’re able to trim the fat in your budget. If private school is a priority, be willing to cut out non-essentials.

Cut back on unnecessary expenses.

Speaking of non-essentials, choosing private school for your children may mean less fancy vacations, eating out, and home remodeling projects. Keep careful track of where your dollars are going each month and see where you can reel in non-essential spending. This will involve making some sacrifices, but many families find the tradeoff to be well worth it in the long run.

Explore financial aid.

Many private schools offer financial aid and variable tuition programs based on need. Sit down with a financial advisor at your school of choice to explore what options may be available to your family. A private school education may be more attainable than you think.

 

If you’re considering enrolling your child in private school, contact us today! We’d love to speak with you.

How to Afford College? Thinking Ahead.


Even if your child is only in elementary school, you may already be haunted by the question of how to afford college. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably painfully aware that the costs of a college education have skyrocketed in recent years. So what is the average parent to do? Starting planning now to ease the burden later. Here’s how to get started: Read more…

What to Expect From an Early Learning Center


The time has come: you blinked, and now your little one is ready for an early learning center. How did this happen? While you’re busy hyperventilating, let’s try to put your mind at ease by talking about what you and your child can expect from a great pre-k program:

Learning through play.

Young children primarily learn through play, so don’t expect a hard-core academic program for your little one. A great early learning center will include play-focused learning in a variety of imaginative settings. Some examples include play domestic activities such as cooking, playing house, and cleaning). Dress-up and dramatic play, like playing with puppets. Sensory play, such as a sand and water table. And of course, creative arts. These kinds of interactive activities are very important for a young child’s development and socialization.

Literacy prep.

Expect lots and lots of reading at an early learning center! Students will have ample time to “read” independently, as well as plenty of group story times as a class. One of the most important aspects of language development for young children is being read to, so this will be a big part of an early learning center’s program structure.

Large and fine motor skills development.

An early learning center should provide carefully curated learning centers for the development of both large and fine motor skills. Large motor skills can be worked on with lots of physical activity, such as a playing with balls, climbing, crawling through tunnels, and working on balance. Fine motor skills will be sharpened with activities like stringing beads, assembling puzzles, or building towers with blocks or legos.

Ample time to play outside.

Time spent outdoors and away from screens is absolutely essential for early childhood development. A great pre-k program will ensure ample time for students to play outside, both in structured and unstructured settings. Many schools are including outdoor classroom space in their programs, making the outdoors an even more critical part of the day!

Early exposure to the sciences.

Science in an early learning center looks a bit different than microscopes and laboratories. It might include planting a garden, taking care of a class pet, examining leaves and rocks, or going on an outdoor bug hunt. Science for a young child looks like exploring the natural world. A early learning center will help nurture a sense of curiosity and a desire for exploration in your little one.

What are you looking for in an early learning center for your child?

Why Christian School Values Matter


When choosing the perfect educational environment for your child, you might be asking yourself, “Do Christian school values really matter? Will a Christian school really make a difference in my child’s life? Is it worth the investment?” These are all valid questions. So pour yourself a cup of coffee, settle in, and consider these thoughts: Read more…

Daycare vs. Preschool: Which is Right for My Child?


When trying to decide between daycare vs. preschool for your child, only the best will do. The selection process can seem intimidating, but rest assured, it doesn’t have to be. How can you know what environment is ideal for your unique little one? If you’re debating between daycare and preschool, ask yourself a few simple questions that can help you make a choice that both you and your child can feel great about.  Read more…

Christian School Curriculum: What’s The Difference?


Is there really any major difference between Christian school curriculum and secular school curriculum? The short answer is yes, there absolutely is. When choosing a Christian school for your child, you are choosing both an excellent education and excellent values. Each lesson is not just about the books, but about where that information fits within the scope of God’s Word. When you look at it in this light, Christian school curriculum actually takes a much more holistic approach than most secular programs do, integrating information, morals, values, and critical thinking into every nook and cranny. Here are some key differences to be aware of: Read more…

Finding A Christian School Payment Plan That Fits Your Budget


Coming up with a Christian school payment plan can seem like a daunting task, but with some careful planning, it doesn’t have to be. You might be surprised to learn how many options for tuition assistance, tax breaks, and scholarships are available to you! Choosing to invest in your child’s future is always a wise idea, and there are many ways you can make it happen on any budget.

Christian School Payment Plan Options

1. Explore variable tuition options.

Many private Christian schools offer variable tuition, (tuition options based on income), which can open up education options for your family that you may not have thought were possible. See if the school of your dreams offers scholarships or tuition on an income-based sliding scale, and explore how you can make those programs work for you and your family to provide your children with the best education possible.

2. Take advantage of tax credit programs.

Several states, including Virginia, offer tax credit programs to families who are paying private school tuition. The Alliance for School Choice has done the homework for you by creating a comprehensive list of state tax credit programs, which will help you find the information you need for your area.

3. Be willing to negotiate.

This is a little known fact, but many private schools do not have their tuition rates set in stone. If they need to boost enrollment rates, you may be able to negotiate lower tuition that fits your family’s budget. You never know until you ask!

4. Utilize a Christian school payment plan.

Most private Christian schools will allow you to come up with a payment plan that fits your monthly budget, rather than dropping a large lump-sum one or two times a year.

5. Choose your school with care.

Fancier does not always equal “better.” When considering a school for your child, spend some time there in person. Meet the faculty and staff. Get a feel for the culture. See where the dollars are really going. A more inexpensive private school may have less frills and amenities, but still have a stellar academic program. Know what your priorities are going in, and don’t be fooled by a shiny facade. Is the money being spent on gorgeous buildings and fancy marketing, or are they investing in top-notch teachers and excellent academics? Private school tuition can vary wildly, but more expensive doesn’t always mean better.

6. Look into church assistance.

If a private Christian school is where your heart is set, see if your church can help. Some churches offer tuition assistance or scholarships to members who wish to send their children to a school of the same denomination.

If you’re interested in sending your child to a Christian school, contact us today! We would love to speak with you.