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Has anyone been to a christian school, what were your experiences, was there too much focus on religion and not enough on academic studies? Did it equip you for the 'real world'?
Or does anyone have children in this sort of school, have you been happy with the education your child has received?
i went to a catholic high school for two years.
i did religious education two hours a week, and went to church on all the 'holy' days.
other than that, the standard of education is very much geared towards university entry studies.
and they have a much better extra curricular selection, often including musical programs and a wide variety of sports.
and i hate to say this, but if you go to a very good private school, then you get the 'old boys' club going, so better chance at some higher end jobs because you went to their school.
but the choice is ultimately yours.
I went to a private Christian school for a few years (high school) as well as the state school. In the private school RE was compulsory as well as morning assembly which had prayers etc, however the education was geared towards being more academically minded (towards uni etc) and not all the students were Christians.
I liked it much better than the state school system but you will find that private schools in general have some form of religious background.
Interestingly my friend used to work in a Jewish school and while she was not Jewish she still had to follow the school's Jewish rules including not eating meat on certain days (ie. not bringing meat to work to eat on that particular day) but I found with my experience not all the teachers or students were religious but the basis of Christianity was there and everyone just respected it.
My dd started school this year at a private christian school and I dont think that we will ever regret our decision to send her there.
She is in a class of 26 students, has a fantastic teacher who is encouraging, funloving and sensitive to the kids needs. The kids all have settled really quickly and are doing extremely well academically already.
One of the things that I looked for in a school was if the kids were happy ... well, every time I have had cause to be walking around dd's school in between classes, before and after school etc, I see the kids giving teachers respect and all have a broad grin on thier faces ... they are happy to be there!
The academic side is important ... dd's school has consistently produced the highest hsc results for years in southern NSW and has a great representation in the arts and sport as well.
The "religious" side of school ... all teachers at this school are Christians and the teaching is a normal part of every day life. I think that it gives the kids a sense of security and belonging and an understanding of who they are. There are no great religious demands on the kids and not all of the families that send thier kids to the school are church affilliated. The only thing the school asks of the parents is that they uphold a few basic values and principles at home.
I have a few friends whose kids were rapidly going off the rails in thier local public schools, so they have transferred them to this school and the kids actually want to go to school each day! They have blossomed not only in an academic sense, but in personal growth and self control also. Basically, they now believe in themselves!
I don't want to knock public schools as I know that there are some amazing ones and the teachers are mostly really great teachers ... it is the large classes and not enough funding/resources that often tie thier hands behind thier backs and leave them helplessly watching students drop by the wayside. I am just happy that I found this school as the alternatives were not very appealing.
OK, so it costs a lot of money and as a result we struggle, but I wouldn't think of taking her out of there and luckily, this school will not kick anyone out for not being able to pay thier fees ... they will instead set them at a level that you can afford. Which reminds me ... I must fill out the form and get back to the bursar some time in the next week ...
btw ... my dd competed in her first eisteddfod last week ... her school put the entire kinder, grade 1 and grade 2 in as a choir - they came second! I am so proud of them ... I have never heard a better rendition of "3 blind mice" and "Frere jacques" in my life ... biased???? not me!;)
I went to Catholic schools from year 1-12.
My primary school was co-ed, highschool was an all girls school.
My honest opinion - no I don't believe I received a balanced education.
My only exposure to religion and spirituality was from a purely Catholic perspective - I never learnt about what other people believe and I think that is really important in teaching basic tolerance. What I know about other religions I have learnt myself since I finished school.
I don't believe the environment they provide is conducive to the questioning and inquiring minds most of us want our children to have. I was always asking questions in religious classes that were never answered to my satisfaction :( . Just the same old lines they trot out in response to everything.
In highschool in particular, I never had the opportunity to associate with kids of different cultural and social backgrounds to my own. Everyone was the same middleclass, white background. Kids come out of these schools with little understanding of the challenges other people face.
It's not what I want for my kids, it also played a major role in my turning my back completely on Catholicism in my early 20's. In a way I thank my lucky stars it only took me that long to work out it couldn't give me what I need.
I respect people's decisions to send their kids to these schools, but this was my experience in terms of how I think it affected my life and spirituality.
Thank you so much everyone for replying to my thread it is greatly appreciated. I have read each reply with a lot of interest as we are thinking of chris ed as a possible middle/high school option and I really wanted to know the pros and cons. I was concerned that there would not be enough focus on the academic side and that the environment might potentially be intolerant and may cocoon a child too much and not prepare for the outside world which can be a harsh place.
Thank you once again everyone:)
Hi Easterlily, not sure if you are still deciding but I thought I would add my own experience to the pot:
I attended an Anglican girls school in Melbourne, my brothers attended the brother school down the road.
We had students from tons of different backgrounds and religions, very strong school acedemically, athleticaly, and socially/ethically. We had formal chapel once a term in primary, a bit more often in senior school (though it was available at all times). There were academic extension programs for gifted students (though in their infancy, so not too exciting!). Lots of music and art, sport was great and we were encouraged to start/source funding for, new sports such as rowing if we were interested. Awesome outdoor ed and camps, the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme was optional.
From the very beginning of Primary school we were exposed to many different cultures and religions and sponsored both children in underpriveliged circumstances and animals at the zoo. We had toy and food drives for charity several times a year and were well educated in the need for community involvement.
In senior school the formal RE classes had a broad focus, including social responsibilities, and one priest would give us intensive study on a different religion each month (and he was passionate about this, wanted us to be educated and informed as ideally, Christians are tolerant and not bigots)
A great experience, and one I will continue in my family if I don't home school (my kids would be 4th generation at the girls and boys schools which I think it lovely)!
Financially: By the final year of brother #2 parents couldn't pay full fees, so waived, #3brother the school asked if it would be OK to waive his fees entirely, my school, I had a 1/2 scholarship but fees for final 4 years lessened and at some times waived entirely:eek:. When Dad paid them back a few years later, they were surprised, they had felt it was a gift for being active members of the school community!
A great experience, I always feel welcome there, and academically fabulous in preparation for a university education (preparation for autonomous working, and respect for our opinions/beliefs/talents)
Sorry for the :ecomcity: but I wanted you to hear one of the really great ones:D
Thanks Blue Gin for replying and sharing your experience:) DH and I have decided that we might go this way for middle school from year 6 or year 7 unless something changes, ds should be able to catch the bus provided by the school then and we might transfer my dds at the time, guess we will see about that. In the meantime we are sticking with a State School.
Before kids I never guessed what a big decision schooling is, the more choices the harder it is:confused:
I could have written Kyra's post word for word - except for the choir part...LOL but her experiences have been the same as mine but we are obviously speaking about different NSW Christian Schools.
I actually pulled my son out of a local public school at the end of last term - he is in Year 1 and started him at the local Christian College! My son has his zest for life back! It is fabulous!
I am loving the fact that he will be there all the way through to Year 12... and although our school is only young... 7 years old... we are fast making a great name for ourselves!
I love the values of a Christian Education :) As a firm believer in the Public System up until my son started school... I am now sorry I ever held any beliefs in it... :( It just is not what it used to be when we went to school... and I was publically educated from Kinder to Year 12.
Good Luck with choosing... it is a very hard decision - no buts about it and it is one that could very well affect your child for the rest of their lives.
hi i went to both a public school then a private catholic girls school. i think the idea of christian education is great, i had happy times there. The school supported me and i ended up at sydney uni and am now doing my masters, which can all be attributed the the morals, values and great education i recieved there. i will be sending my son for sure.
Both of my boys go to a christian school. They have only been going since last year. I think it is the best thing I have done for them.
They really enjoy it and the disappline is so much better. They respect the teachers and they learn to respect the other children as well.Good manners are encouraged.
They get taught little things like, the boys have to wait for the girls to go into the classroom first. Their morals are just so different.
If you have a choice I would definately give my kids a christian education.:yes:
i went to a private christian school for high school and i had a excellent education but i did feel the religious side of things was abit over the top but it obviusly didnt make much of a difference considering me and dh met at school and dd was born 6 months after we were married lol any way i still wouldnt change my experience at high school for anything the school dd was accepted into is anglican based but not over the top religious as we dont go to church or anything and that is one of the things that made me and my friends in hs different to the rest of the kids
I went to an all girls catholic school for yrs8-12. I found it a wonderful place to be! I was very shy and timid and really came into myself while attending the school. The school didnt shove religion down our throats however it was included in the curriculum and celebrated mass once a fortnight. My parents would have loved to send us to private primary schools as well - however we really couldnt afford it!
Our children will be attending private schools and we have already starting putting money away to fund it. I work for a non-profit / independent educational workplace that looks after all the schools in the state. It is a amazing workplace to work in and I see the love that people have for their work and the programs that are run to help children with learning difficulties...
I think the private v public debate is a very personal decision and comes down to your priorities, finances and what you want out of a school for your children. I dont think this a blanket school for every child - as each school is specialised in different areas.
Good Luck with your decision!
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