Category Archives: On Family

The One Thing I Learned this [School] Year


I don’t admit it that often.

But I do obsess over my decisions.

Especially the ones I make regarding my boys.

Especially when it comes to their education.


Like most parents out there, the hubby and I take our sons’ schooling seriously.

Back when they were younger, I got them ready by teaching them to read, write and count—all before they even turned five. And while making the decision to put them in public school was a bit complicated, we came up with a simple plan: Go where the good schools are.

And so we became a one-income household in a two-income community.

That means a whole lot less in many things, but a whole lot more for our school-aged boys.

But there has always been this worry in my head, brought to roaring life by the things I hear and read.


I hear God is no longer allowed in our public schools.

I read there are agendas being played out in the classroom, under the guise of education, and my children will end up morally corrupt.

So, I am led to conclude, if I am a good mom, I should take my sons out of public school and find safer alternatives to educating them.

Because I chose not to, so the more I hear and read, the more I tend to worry and question.

Until this school year, that is.


My son J plays the violin in his school’s award-winning orchestra. For their Spring concert, they played On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss.

As the music filled the air, people in the audience closed their eyes and relaxed.

Some started humming along.

I heard someone singing under their breath.

I found myself worshiping the God who has made it possible for me to say, without fear, “It is well with my soul.


Because Horatio Spafford wrote from the depths of his pain and loss,

because Philip Bliss took those words and gave them [musical] wings,

and because David Holsinger translated it to honor a retiring reverend,

the gospel story was told one evening in a public school auditorium.

[This makes a great case for making good art.]

God is everywhere.


About ten years after we first took our oldest son to his Kindergarten classroom, I am finally letting go of any lingering doubts I may have had over our decision.

God is in our public schools.

[Maybe it’s our version of God who isn’t.]

No walls can limit him.

[He is there because He is everywhere.]

And we see evidence of His presence when we show up.

[Raising my boys in a sanitized world will not exercise and grow their moral muscles.]


It all goes back to the home.

Maybe we parents drop the ball when we get caught up in outside causes because we think the world is out to get us, but we haven’t spent enough time teaching our children how to be men and women of character, preparing them for the future. So maybe if we make good parenting our cause, then maybe the world we worry about won’t be a match for them.

So maybe we parents hurt our children when we become culture’s morality police without taking the time to be vigilant at home. Maybe it’s more about accepting the enormity of our influence on our own children, and the responsibilities that come with that.

And maybe it isn’t right to expect teachers and administrators to teach our children our values. Maybe it’s about spending more time with our children, and helping shape them to reach their utmost by intentional activities. And maybe we need to admit our children could learn so much more from us than from a teacher they see for only a few hours each week.


The fact is, it’s on us, their parents. However one chooses to educate their children–homeschooling, public school, or private school, maybe the hours outside of school carry more weight.

So maybe we expect too much from others and not enough from ourselves. Maybe we should stop passing the buck and start buckling up.


This has been my one main takeaway for this school year.

Now, here’s to summer!