If you homeschool or your child attends a private Christian school, God is hopefully a part of your regular school day. You and/or the other teachers can not only teach an entire class on Bible, but your child may also hear God’s teachings and principles in numerous ways throughout the day. If your child attends public school, you may believe your children have no rights to be exposed to God at school – even if you would like them to be.
A lot of misinformation floats around every year about how “much” God is allowed into public schools. The reality is our God is bigger than any person or group of people who may want to get rid of Him. Over the years, I have done a lot of research to learn what we can and cannot do to remind our children of God throughout their school day. In spite of all of the depressing reports you may have read, there are several ways you can make sure your children are still exposed to God – even if you have enrolled them in public school. (Please be aware I am not an attorney. Double check your child’s school policies if you have any concerns. There are groups who will help you fight illegal anti-God school policies.)
Whether your children attend public school, private school or you homeschool, there is nothing more exciting than those first days of classes. New school supplies, books full of interesting new things to learn and time with friends for kids and moms all add to the promise of great things this year.
Unfortunately, not everything about school is great. All sorts of things can happen in the course of a school year that can pull your children and even your family farther and farther away from God. The school day can be full of temptations for everyone. Your children’s teachers or textbooks can give them false or slanted information that will begin separating your child from God. Peers can influence your children to experiment with things better left untouched. It’s enough to send even the most excited parent back home in tears of anxiety.
There are a couple of quick things you can do each morning before school to help keep everyone connected to God during the day. They only take a couple of minutes, but can help remind your children of the really important goals in life.
Rarely a week goes by without hearing about some teen who committed suicide or a terrible act of violence because of bullying. Bullying isn’t new. In fact, I would imagine everyone reading this was teased or bullied to the point of tears at some point in their life.
Parents have struggled for years to find ways to help their children deal with the inevitable feelings of sadness, fear or worry that often result from the behavior of bullies. You probably heard “They are just jealous.”, “Ignore her” or “Stand up to him” from your own parents.
If you have been following our one year plan for Teaching Your Children to Live More Like Jesus, you know I am posting this at the end of the month instead of the beginning. Our family left town for three weeks, school started and we have several older family members in ill health. I felt guilty at first, but realized this gave me an opportunity to encourage you.
Often, we start programs or ideas or Bible studies with the best of intentions. We do really well for awhile and then life sort of explodes on us. Maybe you have one of those weeks when the car and two major appliances break down at once. Perhaps you had to go out of town or sit in the hospital with a loved one. Maybe you were just too tired to move.
As I am writing this, the news is focused on yet another horrific tragedy. When horrible events happen in our world, it is easy to become glued to the television to try and somehow wrap our brains around the terrible thing that has happened. I believe it is especially hard for those who love God to see the results of hate and evil played out in such dramatic and life changing ways. It may even shake our faith on some level.
The hardest part is helping our children deal with the harsh realities of a fallen world. Especially, when at times, we feel like we are barely hanging on ourselves. I think that if we combine the advice often given by psychologists, with scripture and a little common sense, we can follow a few tips to help us and our children process traumatic world events with a godly perspective.