Growing up, my educational experiences in school were diverse. During those years, I was enrolled in public school, homeschooled, attended a private Christian school, homeschooled again, and finally graduated from a public high school. Having the opportunity to experience each of these options has given me a unique understanding of what each type of education has to offer. Since you are reading this for Southeast Christian School, it is obvious what choice I made for my children. Give me a moment to tell you why.
I was raised with a father who was not a believer. My mother was a devout follower and lover of the Lord. I do not have a testimonial about how I became Christian or came to faith. I remember praying and feeling God in my spirit from my earliest memories. I have always known He was there. I have always known that He rules over all, and that He died for me. However, I kept that belief tucked in my heart as I walked through the world, not always living a life that reflected that knowing.
I attended public school from kindergarten through third grade. These were not good years for me as I was a child with dyslexia. This was before teachers were ever taught what that was or how to deal with it. Literally, I was told I was stupid and they couldn’t fix that! This was the very good reason for me being homeschooled the first time. My homeschool experience was good. I was homeschooled with my cousins. We joined a homeschool group with many other kids and were able to participate in many activities. Also, we had a large social group. I began to get some of my self confidence back.
Fifth through ninth grade, I attended a private Christian school. The world tells us that believing in God is for people who just need that comfort, that there is no scientific proof that God is real or that He created the universe. Also, they teach there is no evidence that the Bible could be factual or that it was not changed over the years. I learned that many great scientists, theologians, historians, and many brilliant people have a applied logical thinking and found scientific evidence that supports the Bible and God’s creation. Historically, just as we know King Tut was real, we know that Jesus walked on this earth and was crucified. During that time, I had no idea that seeds of truth were being planted firmly in my soul.
I was homeschooled again for 10th and 11th grade. My senior year, I attended, and graduated from a local high school. These years taught me the difference between the quality of education between private and public schools. When I attended private school, I was a solid B student. This was not from a lack of effort. I studied longer and harder than all of my friends. The grades just came harder for me. During my senior year of public high school, I was an A student. The problem was, at that time in my life, I had decided that school was not important. I didn’t study, never opened a book, and skipped class. Unfortunately, I wasn’t miraculously smarter. School was easier. I still remember being completely shocked when I got my first report card from public school. I honestly thought they screwed up!
I now have three children that attend Southeast Christian School. Madison in sixth grade, Brent in fourth grade, and Luke in kindergarten. During the last seven years with this school, I have seen my children grow into kids with an understanding of who our Great Father is. I have also seen many teachers pour confidence and self-esteem into them. That is not saying that my children have not struggled in some areas. However, to see the intentional attention the teachers and staff have poured into them is beyond amazing. With all this said, I truly did not see one of the greatest things about the school until a year ago.
Last December, I was in a horrific car accident. I was in hospitals and rehabilitation centers for around three months. This time was so hard on my family. There was so much fear, emotion, and uncertainty. My children lost their lives as they knew it. Instantly, their child like security was gone. The community of Southeast stepped up and became a large part of the miraculous care and blessings that God was performing in each one of my family members lives. They provided meals to help my husband and kids. This made just a little bit of their day easier. Parents helped with rides for my children. The school has provided much needed financial help for my children which allowed them to continue attending. Teachers, staff, and classmates came around each of my children so specifically with a heart to comfort and serve each of them as individuals. To have a community love your family with such intention is truly amazing and humbling. Now, one year later, this still has not subsided. My two oldest children begged me to sign them up to be baptized this year at Southeast. Dozens of my children’s friends and classmates came with their parents and families to celebrate with my children. To learn what the family of God looks like to one another has been a true phenomenal blessing in my life this year. This school has irrevocably changed my family and who my children will be forever. They changed how they will live and their view of what God‘s family looks like.