- The belief that bats are blind: Bats have eyes that see and use echolocation.
- The belief that dogs sweat through their saliva: They do regulate their temperature by panting, but they sweat through their paw pads.
- The belief that we lose heat through our heads: Babies lose more body heat through their heads, but for adults, that’s only true if your head is the only part of your body that’s exposed.
- The belief that there were three wise men: The New Testament does not specify that there were only three wise men who visited Jesus after his birth. There were, of course, three gifts mentioned in the text, but not necessarily only three gifts or persons.
- The belief that toilet water flushes differently in the northern and southern hemispheres: The Coriolis effect does not impact which direction water drains from a toilet.
- The belief that chewed gum takes seven years to digest: Gum does not take any longer to digest than any other substance.
Misconceptions are believed and accepted as facts to many people until they are refuted by the real truth. When it comes to private education, there exist myths and misconceptions that give parents pause and cause them to rule out what could be a great experience for their family.
When you are weighing school options for your child, you want to do all the research you can to develop a database of facts. You want to make an informed decision. The danger of private school misconceptions is that they are accepted enough that you might not question them. We want to make you aware of these dangerous false facts, so you have the truth you need to make the right decision.
The misconceptions and myths we will cover in this article include:
- Private Schools Are for Wealthy Families
- Private Schools Are Kids with Behavioral Issues
- Private Schools Are Homogeneous in Ideas
- Private Schools Employ Unqualified Teachers
- Private Schools Do Not Excel in Subjects Other than Religion
- Private Schools Have Subpar Athletics and Extracurricular Activities
- Private Schools Isolate Students from the Real World
- Private Schools Stifle Christian Witness
Here is what you need to know about private school misconceptions and the truth regarding Christian education.
Eight Misconceptions and Myths About Private Christian Education
1) Private Schools Are for Wealthy Families
Private schools are only accessible for rich, snooty kids.
Private schools do not receive funding from government entities in the same manner as public and charter institutions. That means they have to take other measures to raise the money required to keep the lights on, pay high-quality educators, and provide top-notch programming. The primary way most schools provide for their budgets is by charging tuition.
Private school tuition is what makes many people believe that this form of education is reserved for the wealthy. However, tuition is often much more affordable than families might realize. Additionally, many schools provide access to financial assistance because they believe in their mission and don’t want tuition to be an obstacle. From our website:
“ELS is aware that the cost of Christian education can be an obstacle for some families, so we have tuition assistance options to help lessen the financial burden.”
Before you write off private school due to the supposed costs, investigate each institution’s financial policies and tuition-assistance options.
Christian private schools like ours are committed to communicating the gospel with their students. We go to great lengths to show that Jesus humbled himself for the sake of all people and encouraged his followers to do the same.
Our students are taught to serve one another and their communities. Private school is not for the snooty; it’s for the humble.
2) Private Schools Are Filled with Geniuses or Kids with Behavioral Issues
One common misconception is that private school student populations are filled with kids who were kicked out of public school. On the other side of the coin, some believe private school is only for kids with the highest IQs.
The truth is that private school is for everyone. Most private schools have smaller class sizes. At ELS, our class sizes are upwards of 40% smaller than public schools. That means that teachers have the flexibility to offer individual attention, care, and correction in a manner not possible in public schools.
Students who might be struggling in a particular subject benefit from teachers being able to take more time, provide additional explanations, and even cater their presentation to a child’s learning method. Similarly, children who are excelling in subjects are recognized by faculty and afforded more opportunities to advance.
3) Private Schools Are Homogeneous in Ideas
ELS is a private Lutheran school, so one might assume we only allow ideas and teaching from a Lutheran perspective. However, that is simply not the case. We are a school for all children, churched and unchurched, without distinction to socio-economic status, race, national or ethnic origin, or religious creed.
We strive to make sure each and every student gets the chance to hear and believe the gospel every day. That said, we also interact with a wide range of ideas and philosophies.
We are convinced the gospel provides the best answer to the most difficult questions people have asked throughout history. Interacting with other philosophies helps demonstrate just how powerful God’s truth is over all things.
4) Private Schools Employ Unqualified Teachers
While it is true that private schools are not obligated to require the same licensures as public institutions, that does not mean their teachers are unqualified. Many private institutions still do require licensure, and some of the most qualified teachers choose private education themselves. At ELS, you will find some of the best minds in each subject.
Emmanuel Luthern is the first and only Christian parochial school in western North Carolina to employ a STEAM-based system of learning. STEAM reintroduces the arts to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). Our small class sizes help facilitate cooperation and collaboration among students as they work together to find creative solutions to problems.
- Improved Test Scores: The emphasis on creative education has been reintroduced in STEAM schools, which has helped students excel. After just seven years, arithmetic performance at a Vermont school climbed from 17% to 66%.
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: The STEAM process requires critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The STEAM curriculum promotes projects in which students must solve challenges in order to achieve their objectives.
- Collaboration and Innovation are Key: Students are taught to assume responsibility for themselves and others through a variety of diverse projects within STEAM-based education.
- Where there is Art, there is Imagination: The arts foster the imagination in students that makes education worth experiencing.
5) Private Schools Do Not Excel in Subjects Other than Religion
As we have demonstrated in this article, private schools often employ the best teachers in each subject. Of course, there is an emphasis on Christian doctrine at ELS, but not to the exclusion of other academics. Many of our students find that they have advanced knowledge of other subjects when they graduate from our program in eighth grade.
6) Private Schools Have Subpar Athletics and Extracurricular Activities
Some believe private schools do not have the size or resources to offer a wide range of athletics and extracurricular activities. The reality is private schools are often able to offer unique clubs and sports and plenty of the things for which colleges are looking at their applications.
We offer a high-quality athletic program that focuses as much on building character as increasing skill. At the same time, we strive to make sure we are competitive, and our student-athletes are having fun. In addition to athletics, we have a number of electives and extracurricular activities:
- Middle School Electives
- Service Projects
- Eliada Home
- Homeless In Our Community
- Academic Fairs and Competitions
- History Fair
- Science Fair
- Art Fair NEW in 2022!
- International Night
- Spelling Bee
- Geography Bee
- Student Council
- National Junior Honor Society (NJHS)
- Academic Field Trips
- 4th Grade Outer Banks Trip
- 8th Grade Washington D.C. Trip
- Music and Drama
- Music Classes
- Christmas Programs
7) Private Schools Isolate Students from the Real World
People often believe private school isolates students, pulling them out of the real world and sheltering them such that they will be ill-prepared for the pressures they will experience in college and beyond. That could not be farther from the truth.
Private education gives faculty and parents the opportunity to control the narrative. Students are exposed to challenging topics when the adults in their lives feel like the time is right and kids can properly process them. At ELS, because we are a Christian private school, we are able to demonstrate how topics relate to Scripture, the gospel, and Christian doctrine.
8) Private Schools Stifle Christian Witness
A common misconception about private schools is that they pull Christian students away from public schools, stifling the Christian witness. However, those same students remain involved in other civic groups, rec sports, travel athletic clubs, and every other facet of society.
Furthermore, Christian schools equip students to contend for the gospel and answer the questions their friends will ask. Students who attend private Christian schools are better prepared to share their faith in middle school, high school, college, and beyond.
The Truth About Private Christian Education
There are many misconceptions about private Christian education, but the benefits outweigh any potential concerns:
- Private Christian schools have smaller class sizes.
- Private Christian schools have disciple-making teachers and administrators.
- Private Christian schools have a tight-knit community.
- Private Christian schools teach Biblical doctrine in addition to the other subjects.
- Private Christian schools practice excellence to the glory of God.
- Private Christian schools are a great alternative to public schools.
Will your child thrive at a private Christian school? We would love to help you answer that question and any others you might have. Please reach out to the team at Emmanuel Lutheran school for more information about how your child will thrive here.