John and I both are products of the Public School system. And when our kids were getting to school age we really thought about what we would do with them. And we got all kinds of advice from many different people. People who feel that all Christian kids should be in Christian schools, or home schooled. Then there are public schools and charter schools of every shape and size to consider.
We prayed about it. I knew right away home schooling was not for me. Either I or my oldest son would no longer be here if I had home schooled him! ; ) And Zach was already a better speller than I am when he was in preschool. Ouch! I knew that was not an option.
We also had the advantage of being Youth Pastors at the time and having a pretty large youth group, where we had the vantage point of having students from each of these kinds of schools: home, private, public, Christian, you name it. And we carefully observed all of them. And let me tell you we found pros and cons for EVERY kind of school! We weighed them all, and came to the conclusion that each family has to do what is best for them and their children. And no one else can tell you what that is.
Some of the things that were (and are) important to us are, number one Music, with John being a musician and worship pastor it was important to him that our kids have band available to them. He started playing drums in forth grade and played all through school, and got a full ride collage scholarship for drumming! And on a pastor's salary we knew private lessons would not be a permanent solution.
Also having two athletic boys, we wanted P.E. and sports teams to be available to them. Again probably not being able to afford joining long term private teams that travel, and cost an arm and a leg. (Besides even the best athlete can't do their best without an arm and a leg!) They played soccer in elementary school. And have played basketball, football and ran track in Jr. high and high school.
So, obviously our choice was public school. Which also offer foreign languages, and skill classes as well. We also felt, and feel, that if you take all Christian kids out of the public school system, there is no one left to be a light in this dark world—which is what we are called to do. But again, what's right for us may not be what is right for you and your children.
But, back to my original thought. . . Zach started playing Saxophone in band in 6th grade, and played into high school. But in Jr. high he took a one semester class on acoustic guitar. And fell in love with the instrument. He is now a Junior and plays guitar on his dad's Worship team on Sunday mornings, and is the worship leader for the youth group. And he now plays in the top Jazz Band of one of the largest high schools in Arizona! He feels called to be a worship pastor and so (like his dad) will probably make a living making music. And also like his dad, it's all thanks to public schools!
Leading Worship in Church
Playing with the Jazz Band
It breaks my heart that many school systems are cutting back and even eliminating their music programs, sports programs and other things that greatly benefit our kids.