10 Reasons You Should Send Your Child to a Christian School

10 Reasons You Should Send Your Child to a Christian School

Why choose a Christian school? A Christian school provides your child an education that encourages the flourishing of their physical, mental and spiritual well-being. If you’re searching for an alternative to public school, homeschooling or online learning, consider some of the reasons why Christian school is important.

1. They Focus on Character Development

At an age where children discover their identity, a Christian school can help facilitate the shaping of their character by blending wisdom and knowledge in the curriculum. Some of a Christian school’s fundamental beliefs include learning about character development, morals and ethics in light of the Gospel. Christian schools integrate service opportunities into coursework and spiritual development opportunities.

We want to encourage your child to remember they have a purpose in this world, even at a young age. For students in kindergarten through fifth grade, we offer week-long J-term programming focused on career exploration, networking with professionals and vocation consideration so your child can start discerning how God has created them and how their interests and talents may line up with future career goals.

2. They Teach Your Child the Bible

At a Christian institution, your child will learn the truth about God’s Word and will use this foundation as the start of all subjects, including math, science and history. Even though the Bible is thousands of years old, it’s filled with timeless truths that can help children navigate the challenges they’re facing today.

Children in Christian schools are often familiar with Bible stories when they’re young, and Christian principles become part of their worldview as they continue to learn and grow in school. With this information, they can graduate from our institution with an improved understanding of the world around them, relating it to the Word of God.

3. They Share Your Moral Values

Christian education provides a biblical foundation for your child, with spiritual and moral formation at the forefront of everything. These schools focus on developing a caring community where students, faculty and staff encourage one another in both the good and difficult seasons of life. A healthy learning environment involves authentic relationships, and education should develop character and intellect, equipping students for lives of service.

At our schools, we’re mission-driven to sharpen student minds, deepen their faith and develop their talents. Part of this sharpening includes establishing behavioral expectations that help them mature during their time in the classroom. Since we’ve created a school district from our two campuses, we’re able to establish consistent standards regarding student behavior and expectations.

They Have Teachers Who Model Christian Principles

4. They Have Teachers Who Model Christian Principles

Throughout their life, your child needs positive role models to influence their future. Since your child spends most of their day at school under the supervision of their teachers, those in authority should be people who share your values. Our teachers will mentor your child and give them the attention and care they need to thrive now and in the future.

In a Christian school classroom, teachers openly model and demonstrate Christian principles, so your child can learn from an early age how to practice their faith in their daily life. Our teachers will pray with your child and encourage them to succeed in school and their everyday lives.

5. Their Curriculum Aligns With Christian Values

Christian schools promote academic excellence while being intellectually humble. Even though the curriculum prioritizes academics, a Christian institution can integrate their biblical values with the required teaching material. Your child can explore concepts like science and math through a Christian lens to develop their worldview in a safe environment. When they learn academic topics, the conversation can transition to discussions about God, the Creator of all things and concepts.

6. They Include Prayer as Part of the School Day

One of the benefits of Christian schools is that they promote corporate prayer as an integral part of the day. Prayer is a path to a personal relationship with God, but it also strengthens our connection to one another. Teachers and students pray for each other — in times of blessing and times of challenge — to foster a loving, inclusive learning environment. We incorporate the habit of prayer in our classrooms, dining areas, weekly chapel services and extracurricular activities.

7. They Provide a Safe Emotional and Spiritual Environment

Along with your child’s physical and mental development, we also seek to foster a secure spiritual and emotional environment. We do not tolerate bullying, and we’ll nurture your child in a caring, safe atmosphere with responsible, positive teachers and staff as role models. A Christian school provides a place for students to express their ideas, explore new adventures and be themselves in a judgment-free zone.

8. They Give Your Child Individual Attention and Instruction

Why send your child to a Christian school? A faith-based institution can provide more individual attention than public schools are able to give. Our teachers and staff view every child as a unique person created in God’s image with talents and gifts that we seek to develop for God’s glory. With our small class sizes, students receive one-on-one attention from their teachers, allowing our teachers and administrators to know them personally.

They Promote Positive Peer Pressure

9. They Promote Positive Peer Pressure

The friends your child makes in their early years of life could influence their future decisions. Having peers who have similar values helps your child thrive, so they can make wise choices as they get older. At a Christian school, students reinforce positive habits and attitudes, so instead of pressuring each other to make mistakes, they’ll encourage each other to do their best.

Teachers at Christian schools can be mentors, and even friends, who know their students and want the very best for them. Our staff has the freedom to encourage, influence and support their students.

10. They Encourage the Development of the Whole Child

Is a Christian school worth it? Christian-based education aims to develop well-rounded individuals through the integration of faith and academics. The classroom should be a space for character and intellect, equipping students to be servant leaders, as Christ exemplified during His earthly ministry. Students can participate in various co-curricular opportunities, from athletics to art to music to robotics to forensics. All the usual advanced options desired at the high school level are also available, such as dual enrollment, advanced placement (AP) courses and online college classes.

Contact Us About Enrolling Your Child in a Christian School

The Christian School Association of Greater Harrisburg offers two locations where you can send your child, depending on where you live. Both schools provide a place where children can learn how to impact the world for Christ by deepening their faith, developing their gifts and sharpening their minds. Contact us online for information about Harrisburg Christian School in Harrisburg, PA, or West Shore Christian Academy in Shiremanstown, PA.

How to Choose a Private School for Your Child

How to Choose a Private School for Your Child

Considering your child spends around eight hours per day in the classroom, it makes sense to be discerning about the type of school to which you send them. If you want more from your current schooling situation, it may be time to explore the many options available.

No matter your reason for searching, there are several pivotal questions to ask when choosing a private school. Although the sheer number of choices can be overwhelming, taking the time to find the perfect fit for your child is worthwhile. To assist you in the decision-making process, we’ve put together a list of the crucial aspects to consider before making your final selection.

Here are the primary characteristics to consider when choosing a private school for your child.

Mission and Values

The primary criteria to consider when choosing a private school for your child are the school’s mission statement and values. Everything a school does flows from its mission and core values, so make sure those cultivate the kind of environment you want your child experiencing. Time spent in the classroom is critical in forming a student’s worldview and shaping them into young adults, so you must find a private school with values that align with your beliefs.

Use a school’s mission statement as a lens through which to evaluate everything from the textbooks it uses to the people it employs. For example, does the private Christian school you’re considering root all its teachings in biblical principles? Some other aspects to examine when assessing a school’s values are whether the school’s curriculum incorporates faith, centers all course material on its religious beliefs and includes a weekly chapel service.

Be sure that your child's future school hires teachers who adhere to the school's values

Leadership and Faculty

The quality of a school’s leadership and staff is essential because your child will learn just as much, if not more, from the people who instruct them as the curriculum they’re following. We can all easily think of an influential teacher we had growing up, which demonstrates the significant impact teachers have on students’ development. Be sure that your child’s future school hires teachers who adhere to the school’s values, take the time to connect with kids and set a good example. This factor is especially crucial for smaller private schools in which students often form close bonds with their teachers.

On a larger scale, make sure the school has a leadership team and board you can trust to make morally sound decisions to guide the school in the right direction. Find a school with leaders who are invested in the school’s community, transparent about the board’s actions and bold in their vision for the school’s future.

Academic Rigor and Reputation

The primary function of a school is, of course, to educate students. Therefore, it’s essential to find a reputable school that’s scholastically rigorous enough to equip your child for college and beyond. Your child’s school should supply them with the tools to succeed academically and challenge themselves intellectually. Ask the private schools at which you’re looking whether they have any special accreditation or certification to validate their institution.

Remember that meeting students’ scholastic needs may mean both offering AP and dual-enrollment courses to stretch them, and providing adequate academic support like tutoring when a student falls behind. A smaller classroom setting could give your child the individualized attention they need to excel. Along with a high-quality core education, try to find a private school that offers a variety of electives so that your child can explore topics they’re interested in, like robotics, writing or video production.

Athletics and Arts Programs

Time outside of the classroom is equally as critical as time within school walls, and extracurriculars can play a vital role in any kid’s personal development. Look for a private school with exceptional programs for the after-school activities your child is most passionate about. Whether your child loves the theater or is more athletically inclined, make sure their future school offers the right team or club.

If your student has a broader range of interests, it may be best to choose a smaller school that offers the opportunity to be part of many different teams or activities and explore various interests. Instead of looking for a private school that specializes in performing arts or that has a reputation for its state championship soccer team, find one that lets students do it all. Participating in an array of extracurricular activities will allow your child to gain teamwork experience, leadership skills and close friendships.

Price

Finances are a major factor in any school choice. The advantages that set a private school apart usually come at a price, so be careful not to fall in love with a fantastic school before knowing the cost of tuition. When thinking about your family’s budget, account for whether the private school you’re considering would be a sustainable option to send your child to through graduation, especially if you have multiple children who would attend.

However, don’t let sticker shock deter you. Many private schools offer generous financial aid or tuition assistance when necessary, so students of all economic backgrounds can attend. At some private schools, merit- or achievement-based scholarships may even be available.

Look into whether the school you're visiting provides bussing to your area

Location

Finding the perfect private school won’t mean much if it’s too far away for your child to realistically attend. Narrow your private school selection pool down geographically before beginning to visit any of the candidates. When you do start going on tours, pay attention during the drive and take note of factors like traffic and timing.

Many private schools offer bus services for their students. Look into whether the school you’re visiting provides bussing to your area, while keeping in mind that you don’t want your child to have to spend half the day commuting to and from school. Remember that buses won’t be as beneficial to your child if they choose to stay after school for a club or sport, in which case you will most likely need to make the daily drive to pick them up.

Contact West Shore Christian Academy or Harrisburg Christian School

Thankfully, whether you’re closer to Mechanicsburg or in Harrisburg, you can find a Christ-centered campus near you. At West Shore Christian Academy and Harrisburg Christian School, we believe in preparing students to impact the world for Christ by helping them sharpen their minds, deepen their faith and develop their gifts. The aim of all our academics, student life, athletics and arts programs is to encourage students to grow both personally and in their walk with the Lord.

If you’re searching for a community you can trust both academically and spiritually, contact West Shore Christian Academy or Harrisburg Christian School today. We’re more than happy to talk through any questions you may have or schedule a visit for you!