Articles public_school

Published on August 11th, 2014 | by Rachel Seo

I Go to Public School, And I Like It





I find that homeschooling, many times, is the norm in the Rebelution movement.

While scrolling through author bios of the stories and articles on here, I often smile to myself as I see “homeschooled” or read about plans to graduate early.

Not that I think it’s absurd. On the contrary, I applaud these people. They are the ones who go above and beyond, the ones that dare to think outside the box of catty high school fights and the four-year island-like community.

However, what about those who attend public school?

My own schooling experience has been unique. I have been homeschooled, have attended a University Model School, and now, I’m a freshman in public high school.

And I find that I’m slowly but surely drifting away from the world of homeschooling.

And with it, my needs and problems are changing, and I relate to homeschooling less and less with every day I face. Including living out my faith for Jesus Christ on a less-than-receptive campus.

Although I sometimes miss homeschooling’s safe, tailored atmosphere, there are benefits to attending public high school as well. Here are three benefits I’ve discovered for myself:

1) Public School Gives Me More Compassion for the Lost

Because I’m a Christian, and because I’ve never done anything truly β€œbad” in my life, it was easy to feel smug as I saw everyone else doing “bad things.”

I was sitting in my secular-free zone, looking down on everyone.

But as God worked away on my pride, I realized that I am no better than the worst drug-hazed ditcher on campus.

Attending public school has grown me and broadened my view of the world. It has helped me realize: I’m no different. I just have Jesus.

2) Public School Has Strengthened My Faith

I live in a very affluent area. Many people attend church and resemble the good All-American family.

Yet I see aspects of sin all around me.

There are cheaters, druggies, and broken people all around, and all of them are consciously or unconsciously trying to swerve you off your path.

I had to learn evolution in biology, and while I accept it as a human theory, I had to hold firm to the truth of Genesis 1:1. To be honest, it was harder than I expected.

There are also little tests of your faith, tiny ones. Temptations like copying homework. Raising your eyes and seeing the quiz answers of the person in front of you. Talking back to the teacher.

But the good thing is, God is with me the entire time. He knows what I do, what I say, how I act. When I face a struggle, He nudges me in the right direction.

No matter what I do, He is and He will always be there for me.

3) Public School Gives Me Opportunities for Evangelism

High school is generally the time of life that kids are searching for their identity, and many times they unleash their insecurities through alcohol, drugs, and sex. These failed pathways can often leave young people searching for Jesus.

But how can we reach those kids without any Christian students who actually go to the public school campus?

We cannot rely on teachers because, let’s face it: many teenagers in this generation refuse to respect and listen to authority figures.

They need people they can relate to. Like us.

They need kids of their own age that are willing to be there for them, to encourage them, to stand up for them, to share the Good News with them. They need US.

And this is the one point in life that we are going to be this age. This is the one point in life that we can make a difference for Jesus on high school campuses.

Are we going to take advantage of it?


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About the Author

is a fourteen-year-old freshman with an affinity for writing. She enjoys eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, listening to Andy Mineo, and living life in general. Aiming to publish a book before high school graduation, she also hopes to make a Christ-filled difference on her public school campus.



  • programguy

    I’m homeschooled (big surprise ;). I intend to graduate homeschooled, but I like this article because it reminds all of us alike that we have a position of influence now. What about in a youth group? Don’t the students have a potentially greater influence than the youth pastor/leaders? I think they do. By the way, if any of you want to be one of those, I specifically advise that you do not waste your time in the youth group. Actually, everyone should be doing that. Let’s face it: high school Christians need each other. Will you be there for them? Come on! Let’s rebel against low expectations!

    • Awesome sauce

      that is an aweome answer programguy. I just had one little question. Why not go to youth group? i don’t understand that part 100%.

      • Ezra Walls

        I took it to mean: don’t waste your time in youth group…use it to be a positive influence!

        • Awesome sauce

          Use your time in youth group to be a postive influence, not, like, goofing of with your friends? That makes a little more sense

          • programguy

            Oops. I guess I wasn’t very clear! I LOVE YOUTH GROUP! I don’t have very many friends aside from the ones in my youth group. And I do like goofing of, but if that’s all we do in youth group, what good is it? What do Christian goof-offs have that others don’t? Christians of all people should care most deeply for their friends. See, what I meant about not wasting our time in YG is to not be so busy goofing off that we don’t take time to care about the lives of our friends. As I said earlier, we need each other. We should be involved in the lives of our friends, always ready to listen. I also think that we need to be open, honest, genuine, and real with our friends. We all have a sin problem, so why don’t we admit it? Friends should be able to keep each other accountable. Now I’m just rambling, but I hope you understand what I mean :)

            P.S.
            Youth group is amazing πŸ˜€

          • Awesome sauce

            Yeah, i understand what you mean. I love my youth group-even if i don’t get there as often as i would like.

            I have made some awesome friends, and…. um (sorry, trying to word this)… gotten to know some people who really need Jesus at youth group. anyway, thanks for answering my questions!!

            Awesome Sauce.

            PS. I totally love the way you said: I also think that we need to be open, honest, genuine, and real with our friends. We all have a sin problem, so why don’t we admit it? that is awesome and i think that Chirstians need to take off the preverbial mask.

          • programguy

            The danger is that when we take off the mask and everyone knows that we struggle, sometimes we stop fighting the sin and become complacent.

          • Awesome sauce

            programguy,
            I agree, some people do get complacent. that would be where your friends would come in and whip you in shape:)

            But if you don’t take of the mask, then people don’t know who you really are.

            Like, i’m a PK, so i feel like i have to act a certian way. People look up to me because i act and pretend that i am something that i’m not. (perfect.)

            There litterally are people at my church who think that i’m perfect. If i were to take of my mask, people would know that i am not who they think that I am. It would rock there world that *gasp* Awesomesauce is a (Oh horrors) human.

            When i have stuggles, it is very rare that people (Yes, even my parents.) know what is going on in my life. Although, yes, people need to know that we sin, i think that there is a fine line between “the perfect life” (or a very alaberate mask) and being complacent with our sins.

            So, programguy, i think that people do need to know that we sin and that our lives aren’t “Perfect” (persay) because they come up with very unrealistic expectations for those with masks.

          • programguy

            Well stated! I’m can tell we’re on the same page.
            We definitely need to take off the mask. There are dangers either way.
            I’m don’t understand we always think of MKs and PKs as perfect. I realize that I do. I’m not a PK or anything, but I should understand that “perfect” people aren’t perfect. Most people in my church probably think I’m perfect, but boy are they wrong! Come on, even pastors are normal humans simply called to a special job. I think God may be calling me to be a youth pastor. Does that make me perfect? No! Will I be? No, not until I go to heaven. So what’s the use of looking perfect and living a lie? Thanks for giving me something to think about Awesomesauce. Looks like I’ve got some work to do.

          • kelcie ford

            Wat is a PK/MK?
            Just curious plus I liked ur conversation it’s so nice to have deep conversations like this. I pray my dear Father God in Heaven bless u all with a wonderful school. I pray WE ALL take advantage of every chance to minister and to be Gods Holy Light into the world. I ALS I pray He shop to keep up with hw while shining bright like Him. It really is a Joy to be Gods special servant and I can’t wait to see my mates!!!! High School GOOOOOO!!!!

          • kelcie ford

            It’s He help, not shop!!!
            Sorry and God bless u all to be such wonderful Beautiful Light/Love-filled ppl. We may not be perfect, but we still can mature. And maturity is wat every parent wants for their kids. So let’s be mature for our Heavenly Father. And understanding and kind and well, full of Love. Love is the way.

          • kelcie ford

            Scratch that, LOVE MAKES THE WAY AND IN THE NAME OF JESUS LETS GO FOLLOW OUR WAY WE R MORE THAN CONQUERORS WE WONT GIVE IN WE R UNSTOPPABLE SO LETS GO BECUZ WE R!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HALLELUJAH THANK U JESUS HALLELUJAH PRAISE THE LORD HE LOVES ME HE LOVES ME HE LOVES ME HE LOVES ME!!!!!!!!!!:):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)::):):):):):$:):)

          • programguy

            An MK is a a missionary’s kid. A PK is a pastor’s kid. And a YP is a youth pastor. Hope that helps :)

          • mimeforJESUS

            I’m a PK myself, but the people at my current church don’t know it. I’ve been asked if I am though, because I’m so much more conservative than most people πŸ˜‰

          • Ezra Walls

            Great explanation!

          • programguy

            Thanks

          • Nick Lesko

            Oh nvm, i didn’t read this one before i replied to the other one πŸ˜‰

    • Nick Lesko

      Awesome answer! However, I Agree with Guest that it is important to go to youth bible studies. I mean, if we want to “be there for our friends” (as another person posted :P) we should meet up regularly at a church. And Its not like I don’t get it, I’m homeschooled too.

      • programguy

        Just so you know, the “Guest” is Rachael Schaus. She deleted her hacked account so now it shows up as guest.

      • mimeforJESUS

        I’m with a group of teens who gets together once a week to meet, do Bible Study, and then practice being mimes (Yeah, it sound weird… I din’t even want to be part of the group when I first saw them perform). That’s been my youth group for two years now and it’s the best ever. No drama like in the other youth groups I’ve heard about (my family doesn’t do youth group in the regular sense of the phrase), and the teens in my group are a lot deeper than the teens I’ve met at church. Just a thought…

  • Sarah Spradlin

    I’ve been both homeschooled and public schooled. I’m actually going to graduate from public school and I agree completely with this article! While there were a lot of benefits of homeschooling, I really feel like public school helps to prepare us for the “real world” ahead of us. Thanks for the article, Rachel! Keep making a difference!

  • Elisabeth

    Great article, Rachel! I go to public high school and I definitely agree with your points. They were some of the reasons that I decided to attend public school. This article is a good reminder to keep reaching out to people who don’t know God. Thanks again for writing! Keep up the good work :)

  • Jediah

    Great article Rachel! I’m really glad you pointed this out. Cause all I’ve heard about really is homeschooling on here. Which I don’t necessarily mind seeing as I was home schooled from start to 8th. But now that I’m a sophomore and over a year into public high school I also feel that public school needs to be spoken for.

  • Sophia

    True! Although one doesn’t have to go to public school to do all those things, it’s definitely a plus being around so many people without having to try! And for we who are homeschooled, it’s a call to action to get around more people besides just church and family! (coworkers, homeschool groups, elective or college classes, sports teams, band, etc).

    And no matter how you are educated, be prepared to defend what you believe and why you believe it!

    “but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared
    to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that
    is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…” 1 Peter 3:15

  • Skyla

    This was a really amazing article. I’m currently in a Christian school though I’ve been in public previously AND I’ve been homeschooled. I’ve seen all three realms and each has it’s pro’s and con’s but this was a spectacular way to put it and it’s so true.

    At the the school I’m in now it’s MEGA against public school. It’s very hard to try to explain what you did in the article. It’s another lesson in patience! But this article hit home and I really appreciated it!!! Thanks so much!!

  • Fantastic article, Rachel! I’ll be graduating at the end of the school year having completed all 12 years as a homeschool student. While I believe that homeschooling is probably the wisest education method for most people, the public school sphere (just like any other venue) can certainly add many positive aspects and can help to grow a Christian’s faith. Being homeschooled all of my life, I never had very many non-Christian friends. That’s actually good, but once you’re grounded enough in Christ, you can effectively be a light to the darkness in those around you. For me, that venue came through Scouts and a job. For others, it may be in the public school. The point is that, wherever you are, you have the opportunity and responsibility to live out your faith that others may come to know our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Keep on proclaiming the Name of the Lord!

    • mimeforJESUS

      You remind me of me! Homeschooled, only really Christian friends, my only contact with the “outside world” is now through a job (no Scouts). Question: how do you deal with people who just don’t get your outlook? (I assume you grew up more conservative than most people, being a homeschooler… ) My co-workers just don’t get a lot of why I do what I do.

      • Where I work, things have been pretty fast-paced, so we don’t always get much time to talk (plus I’m the only guy so…). But they do know that I am a Christian, that I won’t sacrifice church to come to work, and that I like to play Christian music (which sometimes annoys them…). Most of the things we stand for as conservative Christians are based on our belief in Jesus Christ, so nonbelievers would think them really odd. The goal is not merely to win coworkers over to your values, but to win them over to Christ. So when your ethics are questioned, just use it as an opportunity to point to the gospel. They’re not going to get your outlook, so just follow Christ and let your example point them to Him. The fact that they notice you’re different is great!

        • mimeforJESUS

          Yeah, I guess I’m talking about explaining wy I’m like I am

        • mimeforJESUS

          What sort of place do you work at?
          Yesterday I think I confirmed my status as a goody two shoes when I told my manager about a serious breach in the codes governing the bakery where I work :). My family is known for that.

  • J Gray

    I love your blog
    post! I think it is important for young children to be homeschooled so their
    parents have the time to teach them their Christian worldview. It’s hard to be
    the salt and the light if you are untrained and can’t tell the light from the
    darkness. We don’t send our soldiers to the front lines without training. My
    husband works in a public high school and I’ve always admired the Christian
    teens who attend and who work so hard to share the gospel and to stick to the
    narrow path. As teens, I firmly believe you are mature enough to chose your own
    educational paths and to be that salt and light!

  • cjg51895 .

    Great insights! I never went to public school myself but I can totally see how each of those would make it a challenging, but worthwhile place to be. I was wondering if you, or anyone here has heard of the Life Book before. It’s a huge movement where Christian teens reach kids at their high school by handing out Gospels of John that are created specifically with teens in mind. I have been giving them out to teens I know and meet and they are such an unbelievably wonderful tool for reaching lost teens for the Lord. I just wondered if that was something that you or anyone here might feel led of the Lord to do. Here is the website where you can find all of the information: http://thelifebook.com/

  • Tim Slippy

    I find this to be the exact conclusion I’ve reached in my life. However, I was homeschooled through High School, and now I’m at college. I can’t tell if there’s much difference, but if I were back in High School, I’d be practicing my evangelism for the ‘big leagues’ that I’m in now. A couple books I found helpful: “Tactics” by Gregory Koukl, and “I don’t have enough faith to be an Atheist” by Norman Geisler. Also brushing up on some other big religions “Islam, Catholicism, etc…” would have helped immensely.

    Not to start a completely different topic, but one question I’ve found difficult to answer was, “What makes Christianity any better than ?”

    Thanks for your article Rachel. I was surprised at how accurately it described my very feelings. Keep up the good work, and good luck in your endeavors!

    • Rachel S.

      Wow, that question you posed is a tough one! I certainly can’t answer it; however, I do know one thing that makes Christianity *different* from other religions: it preaches a loving God who gives grace to those who repent. Other religions (like Buddhism, Islam, & Hinduism) say you have to earn your way to heaven. Jesus embraced the brokenhearted and weary and gave them rest and peace in knowing that He was with them wherever they went. Not that we should be passive and lackadaisical, but rather Jesus gives us strength because we know He sacrificed for us on the cross.

      That was kind of a different spiel than what you asked, and I’m not quite sure if that’s what you were looking for, but what were your responses to that question?

      • Tim Slippy

        My responses to the question “What makes Christianity better than all the other religions in the world?” varied from “I don’t honestly have an answer to that” to “Christianity is the only religion that is not ‘works-based’. In Christianity, God is the instigator and sustainer of faith. For it is by grace you have been saved… Not by works, so that no one can boast. (Eph. 2:8-9)” depending on what year in college I was.

        Public education has been a big challenge for me in my walk with Christ. I’ve stumbled many times. Every time someone has a new question that I can’t think of an answer to, I feel defeated. Later, I go research their question and equip myself with an answer for next time. What I’ve realized is that it’s not up to me to have all the answers. That would be impossible.

        One of the best tricks I learned from “Tactics” was to stay in the question-asking seat. Passively stay in control of the conversation by analyzing their answers and pointing out logical contradictions, asking more questions, and having a sincerely curious demeanor.

        One very fun way to play the evangelism game is to never let on that you’re a Christian. Pretend you’ve never heard of religion or beliefs. Be a Vulcan, as it were. We have the truth on our side. Let them answer the question: “What makes your way of thinking more right than another?”

        These are some of the most useful things I’ve learned. I highly recommend reading “Tactics” by Gregory Koukl for more great tips.

        • Liam

          Tim Slippy,

          I would suggest reading The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel. Somewhere along that book is the question you were talking about.

          God Bless!

          Liam Siegler

          • Rachel S.

            Yes, The Case for Faith is a really good book for apologetics. Also, I’m reading The Reason for God by Tim Keller, and that book is blowing my mind. Both books are really good for defending your faith.

    • mimeforJESUS

      Question, Tim: Why does Catholicism count as another major religion? I’ve asked some others, but they haven’t really been able to give me an answer.

      • Tim Slippy

        I don’t remember exactly why, but Christianity, Islam and Catholicism were the three religions that the book “I don’t have enough faith to be an Atheist” focused on as the “most likely to be true”. The book also used them in general terms to also describe other works-based religions.

  • Madison Hexter

    I was homeschooled through high school and now attend a public state university. I totally understand your thoughts, especially about it strengthening your faith. I’m a science major, and all my classes are steeped in evolution, etc. It was quite a shock, coming from having been taught creationism, but honestly, it gave me a chance to really trust God at His word. I also appreciated your comments on the “little tests of your faith.” You are so right. It’s so easy to use Chegg and just copy the answers rather than doing the work yourself, get annoyed at your teacher, or start using language you’re not comfortable with (and God’s not comfortable with). But He says that when we come through the fire, we will be refined, so I’m looking forward to my remaining two years here at the university. :)

    • Tim Slippy

      Hey, that’s my story! Haha! Props to you Madison, for standing strong in the midst of one of the most verbally violent battlegrounds today!

  • Ezra Walls

    Excellent point! As a homeschooler, I have often thought about the many opportunities in a public school environment for evangelism in particular. What I need to be careful about is using “not mandatorily being around unbelievers everyday” as an excuse; I need to take the initiative to get out and be bold with the gospel. That’s one area where I think christian homeschoolers have to be especially careful; we need to have strong relationships with fellow christians, but not neglect to make alot of contact with unbelievers we can minister to.

    Props to you for stepping up to the challenge, keep using wherever you are to your/His advantage!

    ps. your other points were great too, number three just kind of hit me the hardest πŸ˜€

    • Dominic

      I’m also a homeschooler, and I have thought the same thing, but here is another thought. Yes, we do need to minister to our unbelieving friends around us, but also our Christian Brothers and Sisters around us. Recently I have been sending emails to my fellow Christians, asking them how their Christian lives are going. I know that one of them, (He goes to a public school) is finding it hard. I have been encouraging him and helping him. Sometimes we look around at all of the unbelievers that we need to help, and miss the most important thing, to support one another. I just want to ask you guys if you could send an email or a text, or even a letter, to some of your Christian friends.

      ===============
      Dominic

      • Ezra Walls

        Hey Dominic, very good thought….
        I wholeheartedly agree! Both witnessing and Christian fellowship are vitally important. After all, as Christ said “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” So you’re exactly right; loving and encouraging fellow believers is tops (after our relationship with God Himself, of course), and all else should follow.
        Great idea about taking time to get deep about personal relationships, so we can know better how to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Thanks for bringing up this angle! God bless,
        Ezra

  • Sarah Phillips

    I agree, Rachel. The topic of education methods can be quite…touchy, to say the least. You’ve done a great job of describing oppurtunities in public school here. I used to attend one, but I became a home school student because I was under very secular (and sinful) influences and I was not being taught on an appropriate level. Now that I’m homeschooled, I see it was the best option for me, but I’m so grateful for those years in the public school system. They taught me a lot about the “normal” social system (cliques, bullies, the not-everybody-likes-you concept) and “normal” accepted beliefs (anything from evolution to party forever myths). But they didn’t just leave scars. They left some memories of loving teachers, kindergarted fun, and recess. And there are some perks, even in the public high school system. For me, that wasn’t the best option.There are many others that can make a great impact for Christ in that area. I encourage you to keep your mindset and not waste your time while in public school. I wish I had made more of an impact while I was there. But now, I find I have an opportunity to reach out to my former classmates! When they see me, they think, “Wow, there’s something different about her. She’s not the same girl she used to be.” That’s precisely my mission, and I love having that chance to say, “This is Jesus in me. This is how He changed my life.” To all the homeschooled, don’t waste your chances to share the Gospel. To all the public schooled, don’t waste yours either. :) We’re called to do hard things, no matter our education method.

    • Rachel S.

      That’s an awesome story, Sarah! I hope to give Jesus the glory in everything I do for these last three years of high school, and I know I’m called by Him to do hard things, no matter what anyone says. Thank you for the encouragement!

  • I agree with just about everyone else on here who said, “Wonderful article!”
    I’m home-schooled, but I’ve been thinking recently about the different opportunities there would be in public school to share the faith. Not that I could be public schooled even if I wanted to. We have too many kids in the house and it would be too expensive. πŸ˜›

    • Lily

      How many siblings do you have? I only have 5.

      • I have 7.

        • Lily

          Holy cow! :)

          • Lol, it’s kind of chaotic in our house sometimes. But we love it that way. :)

          • Lily

            Haha. I feel the same way. Especially since I’m the middle of them. I can’t imagine being a only child now! :)

          • Lily

            It’d be SO quiet!

          • Yeah. I’m the 2nd oldest and we’re all under the age of 16!
            I can’t imagine being an only child; I think I would hate it. :)

          • Rachel S.

            Oh my gargoyles, that’s a lot of kids! I can’t imagine having 5 siblings, let alone 7!

            I have 3, and even then it’s a struggle for me.

          • Haha, yes it’s pretty busy at our house. :)

          • Lily

            Haha, the more you have it sometimes just gets easier. Because the older ones take care of the younger. It’s still pretty tough though. :)

          • Lily

            By the way, I love your store! I think everything is SO adorable. :)

          • Lily

            Haha, me too!

          • Abby M.

            I know what you mean. I have 10 other siblings, but I don’t know what I would do without them. πŸ˜€ It is really fun when we play games….

    • Liam

      I’ve been reading the comments, and I see some people have forgotten this very very real fact that is a major resistance in evangelizing.

      We can’t say or talk about Jesus in the public schools, period. Doing so will get you kicked out.

      Now that complicates things. And if we try to preach the gospel to public students outside it, and are found out. Well, you could get in trouble even then.

      I’ve been homeschooled since 2nd grade, and I have come to understand the world and its brokenness even here. I dont believe you have to be exposed to the public schools to realize it. Look at the Apostles. They were trained in spirit before they set out to reach the world, as should we. But when we are trained by the schools 7 hours a day, we are getting a secular, humanistic education.

      I don’t want to start an argument, I just wanted to put out my opinion. :)

      God Bless,

      Liam Siegler

      • I’ve been homeschooled my whole life and I’m going to be honest and say that I really don’t know all that much about public school. I know talking about Jesus openly in a public school would get you into trouble, but people can show Jesus through their actions.
        Can kids really get into trouble for talking about Jesus outside of public school? This is an honest question, but I didn’t think you could.

        • Lily

          No they can’t, not in this country. But some schools don’t allow talking about Jesus in school. Thankfully, mine does.
          I have a question (since I wasn’t home schooled very long). Are there people, in your home school group, that aren’t christians?

          • Liam

            In our homeschool group, you don’t have to be a Christian but you have to sign a statement of faith if you are to teach or lead something. I don’t know for sure but there probably is one non-believer family in our group.

            God Bless,

            Liam

          • Lily

            Okay thanks!

          • I’m not in a homeschool group. πŸ˜›

          • There definitely are unbelieving homeschoolers. I knew a family who used to homeschool who are complete atheists. They just homeschool for a different reason than most of us.

        • Rachel S.

          Not in the U.S., thank gargoyles. People might ridicule you and persecute you, but it isn’t a federal offense. We have religious freedom.

        • Liam

          We should show Jesus through our actions yes.

          In the US you can get in trouble. (Not the violent trouble) The worst that could happen is that you get expellled out of that school and if your a teacher and you talk about Jesus you get fired.

          • Rachel S.

            So that’s kind of the issue–do we share the Gospel directly? Or do we walk the walk? Many times in public school I find myself walking the walk. I don’t try to push the Gospel on people, but I try to encourage them to attend FCA and Bible Club. You have to give people a manifested real reason WHY they should believe the Gospel that backs up the stuff we say when we share it.

          • Liam

            Agreed Rachel!

            God Bless

            Liam

        • So I know I’m about the 4th person to answer your question, but I just wanted to add that there are some schools that do ban talking about God in school. However, this is completely unconstitutional and therefore actually illegal to enforce – that is, if Christians point it out. Many schools have gotten away with punishing students who talk about Christ because no one says anything about it. One of my friends got in trouble that way, and her father went to the principal. The point is, our culture hates Jesus Christ. Literally. Do schools prohibit Muslims – or any other religious sect – from talking about their faith? Most do not. Not that everyone’s out to get us, but we have to understand where the line is between honoring authorities and letting the gospel be silenced.

      • Lily

        Hi Liam, that’s the thing though. Us public-schoolers need to stand up, and not listen to the evolution that is in our books, we need to show our schools and teachers what we are made of. I now teachers who are christians. Even science teachers who don’t dig deep into the theories from evolution. We just have to remember who we are and what we were made for. Us public-schoolers have it rough, but we were born in this environment. I was home schooled until 2nd grade. I know both sides. The thing is in public school you have the chance to show more people who Jesus is. I’m not trying to go against home schooling, I just am more comfortable with public schools. My best friends are home schooled and will be until college. I understand your love for home school. But sometimes you have to actually experience it to understand our opinions.

        Please don’t take this offensively.
        Lily

        • Liam

          I am not against Christians sharing Jesus in the schools. Not at all, in fact I am totally for it. I was just pointing out the possiblity for envangilizing in the schools aren’t very high.

          Not to be offensive but I have to disagree that public schoolers were ‘made’ for the public schools. We are not made to be educated by a godless system which teaches many things against the Christian worldview. The Bible is totally against that. Psalm 22:6 , Ephesians 6:4. We are made to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strenth. Mark 12: 30

          :)

          I understand how being in the public schools might give you a higher chance to envangilize when you are in your teens. I respect that. It’s just all the other things that go on that I’d rather not talk about here.

          Thanks, you given me some things to think about! πŸ˜€

          God Bless

          Liam

          • Lily

            I wasn’t trying to say we were made for public school. Sorry! Yeah I know what you mean. Let’s not share. Yup no problem! :)

      • Rachel S.

        Actually, not ALL public schools are like that. I’m very blessed to be at a high school where many of the administrators are Christians or conservative/traditional people. We have a really active Fellowship of Christian Athletes (not just for athletes, either!) and our Bible Club is allowed to hang up posters saying religious things. One time the Bible Club went around and handed out tracts! It was really awesome :-) I also know a person who started a Christian club at a nearby school and was evangelizing to other students.

        Needless to say, I know not all public schools are like that, but it’s not really a universal thing. It just depends. Although public education IS a secularized system, we as Christians should stay grounded in the faith and still take advantage of the opportunities we have, whether they’re big or small.

        Thanks for your comment, Liam!

        • Liam

          That’s great! It is very rare though, for that type of stuff to happen. But I’m glad you have the opportunity to do it!

          I didn’t mean all schools are like that, I just wanted to point a very large majority tend to be anti-Biblical.
          :)

          God Bless,

          Liam Siegler

  • Lily

    So cool Rachel! I love public school too! I think it helps you grow and understand a lot more in different areas. We need to see what God wants us not to do. We need to see the world as it really is, not as a perfect world, but as a broken and beaten world. We need to fix our world through Jesus Christ. Stars can’t shine without darkness. We need to be that light, in our dark world. Don’t take pity or judge o r put down those who are different. Some people don’t have a lot of parental guidance, so they don’t know what they are doing wrong. We need to be the teacher s of those people, no matter them be friends or foes. We need to be the change in our world. I know now there are a lot of “we need”, but we have a big responsibility on this Earth and we need to be serious with that responsibility. We can’t go back and fix every little thing, like you can on an assignment. Another thing is pride. God tells us not to be prideful, but to be humble. I like the parable of the two prayers. Luke 18:9-14 is were it is. I like Luke 14: “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” We need to be the tax collector in that parable. We need to show our light through Jesus Christ! Let’s be the change this world needs!

  • Jess jesse

    Right on! totally nailed it! while i was home schooled all the way thru i also work at a tire shop full time and have for some years. I find that many (not all) home schoolers have no real sense of what ‘real life’ is. sure there up to date on all the pop culture stuff but it seems to stop there. theres something about working or going to school where not everybody likes you and theres totally not cool infulences that you have to stand up against that kind of matures you and gives you a strength not found elsewhere. every day i deal with people who irriate me or get ticked off at me for problems they have caused or just are really crude and nasty to be around. but Jesus is always there no matter where i am. so awesome point here and while im not in school anymore i think its important for especially home schoolers to kind of get out a bit even if thats just getting a job in a normal working enviroment or whatever. the real world can be quite harsh and shocking at times

  • I wish I had read this article a year ago. I am in my first year of homeschooling after going up to grade six in public school. This is a great article for anyone in public school. I like that Nathan pointed out scouts as a venue for evangelizing. I am in scouts, and now that I am not in public school that could be a major evangelistic opportunity for me.

    • Rachel S.

      Yes, Scouts is also a great opportunity to walk the walk! I personally don’t participate in any activities like that, so it’s really kool to see how Christian teens can serve their peers in different ways.

  • Hana

    Great article. I have never been home-schooled but I have man friends who are or have been. I have also attended a public school until Grade 3. Since then I have gone to a private Christian school. I agree that public schools can do a lot to help build your faith but I have also seen a lot of negativity. Even in early elementary, there are a lot of broken people. I have found that the happy medium is in a school setting with friends and classmates while the word of God is being taught in every subject. It is hard to follow a curriculum that teaches evolution but we all know Genesis 1 (it was our memory verse one month) and so we compare the two, watch debates between creationists and evolutionists and then throw everything we know about the beginning of the earth into what we are working on. It works. The teacher support and care for you and even love you. Students respect them and yes, even love them in return. It is a safe place but even still is a mission field. It’s amazing to walk down the hall and see students and teachers praying for each other. It can be like a public school but it is also so much more.

  • Ok, I’m finally hopping in. I’m going to bring out a point not yet mentioned.

    How does God feel about all this?

    Just because you are whitnessing doesn’t mean you are where God wants you. c’mon, Jonah might have, “walked the walk,” in front of the crew on his ship to Tarshus, but it didn’t change the fact he was disobeying God, and in essence not where God wanted him.

    God invented homeschooling! Yes, God invented homeschooling a long time ago, he didn’t design public school, he wanted parents to teach their own kids and teens. You know why he wanted parents to teach their kids?

    Parents are the best! Think about it, your mother and father love you more than any teacher ever will, they will be more willing to pray with you than anybody else, and the reason for this is, God specially designed your parents to fit your needs, and to be the best at what they do.

    Of course comments and reply will be appreciated ~Grant

    • Liam

      I agree with you all the way Grant! πŸ˜€

      God Bless,

      Liam Siegler

    • I’m glad you brought up this point, Grant. I agree with what you said. While I could list dozens of reasons why homeschooling is the better option both biblically and practically, I don’t want to start the whole Homeschool vs Public School debate. Frankly, I don’t believe that was the subject or purpose of the article.

      Yes, God designed homeschooling. But if all the Christian public schoolers jumped the boat, we would leave the *greatest influence* in thought and worldview in this culture and generation without the Truth of the gospel!

      Homeschooling is the more biblical method of education. I totally agree. But the point is that we have to make the most of where we are. Just as God didn’t send every convert in the Bible out of their culture, so God doesn’t call every public schooler to leave the schools.

      So if you’re public schooled, spread the gospel. And if you’re homeschooled, spread the gospel. It’s all about what you do with the influence God has given you.

      • Yes, Nathan, if I would have had more time this morning, I would have mentioned this. My main peeve is homeschoolers that become public schoolers for high school. The reason behind this is that I’ve see it before and I’ll see it again, homeschooler joins public school, and a couple years later leaves the faith. Don’t get me wrong now, I’ve seen people make it through without losing their faith, it’s just more common to see them lose it. That’s why I personally generally don’t care for it, I don’t want them to lose their faith. An illustration my dad often uses is this, “it’s easyer someone to pull you off a table than for you to pull someone onto the table with you.” ~Grant

        • Rachel S.

          Here’s how I see it: you can’t leave Jesus. (I mean, if you truly experienced His grace, you’d never be satisfied with anything else!) If you “left” the faith, you never were in it to begin with. And it IS sad to see others reject the faith that their parents raised them up with, but ultimately homeschooling won’t solve the problems if the students are truly not believers. Only God can change hearts, and the journey is up for Him to decide.

          The purpose of this article was to shed some light on how Christian public school students can use their school as a platform to elevate God’s name. I’m not saying it’s the only way, and it doesn’t justify the bad things that happen in public school, but there are different ways of education and different pros and cons to each of the methods. Public school is one of these methods.

          Thank you guys SO much for commenting and debating–I’ve learned a lot about myself and your mentalities, and it’s opened some mental doors for me. Thank you :-)

          • I’m sorry, Ratchel. But there is no but about it, you are wrong about leaving the faith. Here’s why: you can’t come to an answer to the question of losing your faith by simple reason.

            “You gotta dig dig dig a little deeper in the fathers love,” I personally really like to dig, you learn many interesting things.

            Many use the verse
            Joh 10:28 β€Šβ€Š And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

            Nobody can pluck you from the hand of God, but you can walk right on out of it.

            If you don’t understand please let me know, sometimes it’s hard to get. Please not that I’m not arguing and have no intention of it, I’d call it a debate or conversation. Hope to hear from y

          • I know exactly what you were talking about when you said that you’ve seen people walking away from the faith. I see it too, even in those who have been homeschooled all the way through.

            Public schooling alone does not cause someone to walk away (though it does little to help); it’s their own heart. And most times, when we see people “walk away,” they’ve been gone the whole time, even before public school. They were never “there” to begin with.

            To address whether or not you can leave God, the answer is: you can. Firstly, no sin can separate you from salvation. We’re not saved by works, neither can we be “unsaved” by works. However, people can turn away from God through blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

            So yes, you can in fact walk away from God. But like I said, many who we think do were never actually “with Him” in the first place. I’ve seen this in homeschoolers and public schoolers alike. It’s more than an education issue. It’s a belief one, a heart one.

          • kelcie ford

            And I pray that Father God will continue moving on our behalf to bring back those “Lost” Sheep. Ik one kid who stopped believing becuz he didn’t like his results. He turned to me and well…I’m praying he stuck to God over the summer. And Lord, plz use us in whatever way, watever way Dear Father God. Lord plz hold us and help us to be Ur Children, and help us to mature steadily in U. Lead us by Ur Light and Keep us by Ur way. Wat an honor it is to serve The Lord. And God forgive us of our sins. Oh Dear Almighty Lord I repent of MY sins God plz Lord, give me a brand new day and a brand new fresh start. A start to Glorify U over my enemies over my family over my friends. Glory be to U Almighty God, and Lord no matter wat, from this Day forward, there’ll be a new Kelcie a new Kelcie who’s not afraid anymore of doing new things and in believing. A new Kelcie who’s willing to go out work hard and follow her God. A new Kelcie that knows that no matter wat, no matter wat, NO MATTER WAT SHE IS MORE THAN A CONQUEROR AND SHE CAN DO ALL THINGS THRU CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS HER SO LETS GO AND DO WAT GOD PUT US ON THSI EARTH TO DO GLORIFY HIM!!! HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!! Thank U JESUS for once again reminding me WHO I AM AND WHO I AM NOW IS NIT WHO IM GOING TO BE WHICH HES STILL GOT BLESSINGS FOR ME OH YES HE OH YES HE DOES HE STILL GOT BLESSINGS FOR ME PRAISE THE LORD JESUS AND NO MATTER WAT COMES DOWN MY WAY I WILL TRUST U LORD
            HAVE IT UR WAY IN ME START THE CHANGE IN ME!! LET ME BE LET ME TRULY BE THE VERY BEST THAT I CAN BE THANK U JESUS I CANT WAIT TO SEE WATS IN STORE for me at school!! Thank U Lord God bless and be with EVERYONE!!!
            AND TOMORROW LET US SEE WAT HE CAN DO HALLELUJAH!!!!!
            Believe See DOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO IN JESUS NAME AMENNNNNNN!!!

          • mimeforJESUS

            Can I quote you where you said “Nobody can pluck you from the hand of God, but you can walk right on out of it”? My older brother and I often have “once saved always saved” debates :)

          • Um, sure.

          • mimeforJESUS

            I just wondered if that really came from a “rebellious teen” or if you were quoting someone else.

          • I’ve actually heard it from my pastor.

            I resent the statement “rebellious teen” when referencing Grant Bingham (don’t even like it in the same sentence).

          • mimeforJESUS

            That’s why I put it in quotes… being a Rebelutionary you’re not likely one of those stereotypical teens. (Is that an oxymoron, too?)

          • Ezra Walls

            Hey Rachel,
            I don’t mean to get off topic of your article, but thought this might be helpful in addressing the point you brought up in this comment. (Now, none of what I’m going to say here applies to people who were never saved in the first place, because I think we are all on the same page with that–not saved=not saved, period.)

            I agree with all of you to some extent :)

            First off though, let me just say scripture shows very clearly that once saved, you have eternal life, and that is that. I won’t write down all the verses here for the sake of time, but here are just a few references- Look them up! John 5:24, John 6:47, Ephesians 4:30, Rom 8:38-39, John 6:40. So yes, in that sense, you can’t leave Jesus. However, the New Testament also makes it very clear that people who are saved can live as if they are not. The apostle Paul new what he was talking about when he said “For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. The person who lacks these things is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins.” Other times, he refers to people who “Depart from the faith” because their “consciences are seared” (see 1 Tim. 4:1-2). Also, in 1 Cor. 3, he calls the believers “carnal”, and tells them how to build on their faith, but still affirms their salvation regardless of how they live their lives after being saved.

            So in other words, look out! Don’t let the world’s influence cause you to doubt, don’t let it cause you to be useless or unfruitful! God is faithful- will we be faithful to Him?

            The best advice I can offer comes directly from Gods Word: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” ~Romans 12:21

            Can’t say how much I appreciate you all sharing your thoughts and concerns, this is mental and spiritual exercise at it’s best! Thanks everyone!

    • Rachel S.

      To be honest, I don’t know how God feels about public schooling. But I do know that He didn’t say directly, “All Christians MUST be homeschooled and MUST be taught by their parents.” He didn’t specify that He wanted the parents to teach their kids; He just said that the parents should bring their children up in the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4)

      My parents, as far as I can tell, are bringing me up in the Lord right now, even as I attend public school. This was part of their plan in sending me to public school: to help me navigate the channels of the “real world” before I head off to a possibly secular college. They wanted to guide me through every ditch and pothole that I hit along the way before I had to face them myself. So even though my schooling journey has been weird, I know that I’m growing in the Lord as a result of seeing human depravity in myself.

      • Elizabeth

        I agree. God does require parents to “raise up their children in the way they should go” but in his letters to various people and churches, Paul emphasizes community within the church; older believers are supposed to teach younger believers (not only the parents were to teach the children). Jesus also spent three days in the temple with the teachers of the law,”listening to them and asking them questions (Luke 2:46)” when he was twelve years old. The teachers of the law were not Jesus’s parents, yet he found no problem with learning from them.

        I also think that it is true parents are required to teach their children the Law and life skills such as cooking, cleaning, or young boys learning their father’s trade; parents are also to remind their children of past events in the history of God’s people, and direct them in finding God’s path. However, there is nothing in the Bible that mandates who is to teach a child things like mathematics, sciences, or languages. Just as a theologically unsound parent should not teach their child about God, so a mother who does not understand math should not be teaching her child math.

        If a mother (or father) is knowledgeable in academics, and does not need to get a job to support the family, it would be great for them to teach their children themselves, but the purpose in doing so should not be to make the child or teenager believe the same thing as they (the parents) do. A high schooler should be given enough interaction with people of differing beliefs, so that they can make a good decision on their own, concerning faith.

        I know that was slightly rambling, but I wanted to make it clear that there is no utopic way to do education, because everyone is different, and thus each student does better with different strategies for education. I do not think that God requires a single type of education, either.
        The End of my opinion. Please correct me if I have anything wrong, and let me know if you disagree with anything I wrote. Thanks!

  • Nikki Grossman

    I was homeschooled up until this past school year. I started public school as a Junior, and will be graduating a semester early this December. I’m not sure that 3 semesters in a public school setting gives me quite enough of a true picture about how life as a Christian really works there. Starting halfway through high school was a rough transition friend-wise. I have made a very good friend, but as it turned out she is a homeschooled Christian, and only comes to school for one class! Interesting how that worked out.
    Besides her, I have made a couple non-Christian friends, and I’ve even explained Easter to one friend, (who had no idea what it was about except the Easter bunny and that it had something to do with Jesus!), but I’m pretty shy at school and mostly try to do my best to demonstrate Christ through my actions.
    I agree that all three of the listed things have happened to me as a result of going to public school- I definitely try to think about how people feel more and not judge them by their “scary” or secular appearances or behaviors, my reliance on God has grown, and I’ve been forced to leave my Christian bubble and spend my days with people who have differing world views than I do. Yet I also believe you can experience those 3 points of growth as a homeschooler as well, just maybe in a different way or setting. While I definitely prefer homeschooling personally, it really depends on each individual. There are pros and cons for both schooling options, and Christians can benefit and grow differently in either situation. :)

  • Hannah

    Wonderful article! I’m a senior in high school and have been in public school my entire life. There are many challenges, but I do enjoy it. Attending a public school takes me out of my comfort zone day after day. I am forced to stand up and defend my faith in front of my peers every single class period (which, let’s face it, isn’t easy, nor fun.) Being public schooled has allowed me to grow in my faith. I see God at work in the lives of my classmates and teachers. Seeing that work (and being part of it) is an amazing gift God has chosen to give me, for which I am thankful.

  • Trent Blake

    Rachel,
    This is amazing! I am so happy that you’re carrying out mission A-1:7 (Acts 1:7). And remember: “If God is with us, who can stand against?” As well as “Greater is He who is in us, then he who is in the world.”

    God bless,
    – Trent

  • Abby M.

    Thank you for your post. I don’t know that much about public school. I have been home schooled my whole life. My mom (who teaches our entire family, which isn’t always easy with so many children) goes by the the scripture in Deuteronomy 11:19 “You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.” How can you teach them anything when they are gone all day long? I don’t have anything against public schoolers, I have friends who are public schooled. I am just stating my opinion.

    • Liam

      I, along with my mother share the same opinion Abby! πŸ˜€

      God Bless,

      Liam

    • Amber Mason

      I completely agree.

  • Katie Ward

    This is great! I, also attended a public high school, encountering the same situations as you. Keep plugging along!

  • RestWeary

    Homeschooling offers no guarantees of Godly children although it is touted by many homeschool proponents. I have graduated 2 of my 7 from homeschool. One is fine ghe other is a mess; he says he is an atheist. Now i have the rest of mine in school. After 19 years, i am tired. God is bigger than any form of education.

    • As I High School student that is home-schooled, I agree with you. No type of education guarantees Godly Children. In the end, it boils down to the child, themself. They have to choose on their own, to believe or not to.

      Now, with that being said, I see huge pluses and huge minuses to both public schools and home schools.

      Public School pros:
      1. You are in the field, with the opportunity to evangelize.
      2. You get to see your friends often.

      Public School cons:
      1. As a student, you have to filter out truth from opinions/lies, even from teachers, especially in the sciences.

      2. You have very little free time to get involved with the church. I have friends who probably only get 5 hours of sleep each night because of school. That is not healthy for a teenager, who are supposed to get (not kidding you) 9.5 hours of sleep each night.

      Home School Pros:
      1. You can be more confident that what you are hearing is true.
      2. You have less hours of school, and yet learn the same amout as public school children/teens.
      3. You can more easily get involved with the church.
      4. You can take off from school when you want to (for a Missions Trip Family Vacation, etc)

      Home School cons:
      1. Your contact with the no-Christian world is limited to mainly your neighborhood, thus makes it harder to evangelize.

      Private/Christian Schools are sort of in between, providing more balance but are very costly.

      God bless,
      – Trent Blake

  • Lauren Spencer

    Thank you for addressing this Rachel!
    Its great to hear the perspective of someone who has also experienced a diverse education. Personally, I have attended private school, been home-schooled and attended public school in my high school career.
    I agree that public school can be a challenge, but a good challenge. Homeschooling is an amazing way to enhance your education as a student. It gives great opportunities to learn outside the box, our secular world creates.
    While attending a public high school this year, I have learned a lot more about my peers and how I can better relate to them.
    God puts us in the places He needs us to be. He chooses to have some of us home-schooled while others attend public or private school. We have to grow where He places us and maybe help others grow toward Him in the process.

  • Allie Blue

    Well , I think you’re awesome! You are just where God wants you to be and doing just what God wants you to do, being a light to those that need Jesus. You can make a HUGE difference on your campus and in the lives of so many teens by being a ” Jesus example.” Let God lead and then watch amazing things happen. :)

  • Emigb4

    Rachel, wow. I am also a freshman in public high school (go class of 2018!!!) and I totally agree with absolutely everything you just said. I sometimes feel self-conscious about my way of life when I read comments about people eating lunch with their families or making comments at crazy hours of the night because they don’t have to get up at 6 for school. Obviously, those are not options for me. All forms of school have pros and cons, but personally, I love high school! It’s given me great friendships, the ability to join marching band, and I’ve met great people. It’s difficult and depressing sometimes, and it can be exhausting (especially for me trying to find quality friends) but overall, I love it.

  • Linda Jahner Quiggle

    Don’t forget that the reason you are able to see it this way and be the person you are is because your parents raised and schooled you to be strong in the Lord. Do you think you’d be the same person if you’d been in public school since Kindergarten?

    • Amber Mason

      I agree. I was thinking the same thing.

  • Suzan D Reed

    Well considering the school we are zoned for is an “empowerment” school and is able to offer a “warm body who showed up occasionally diploma” along with the plain old regular diploma I don’t figure our family will be sending any kids there as full time students any time soon. My kids get to interact with great masses of the un-churched, non-churched, anti-churched crowds of friends at our open homeschool CoOp. Why get a second rate education just to be able to witness to the masses. And if they really want to be “salt & light” to the public school kids they can do that as they participate on the school’s various sports team, 4H club, and other outside groups. Plus no one has to suffer sleep loss, or follow truly whacked out dress codes. I mean seriously no red, black, dark green, most shades of blue, some shades of orange, checks, plaids, logos, patterns, designs, and only collared shirts. Since most of our clothes come from events, activities, and groups we participate in my son was reduced to 2 shirts and a pair of tan shorts to wear every day to a part time class he took at the school. He lasted 2 1/2 weeks before he quit, sad, depressed, & over stressed at how the students in the school treated the teachers and always worrying if what he was wearing that day would get him in trouble or beat up. The after school sports and club kids were better and nicer to be with, they were the reason he decided to try out one of the school’s classes in the first place. So unless you are getting a stellar education in a awesome environment steer clear of those juvenile indoctrination prisons.

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