Why A Lutheran School?
By Diane Frusco, 1st Grade Teacher
I was educated in a public education environment, my Kindergarten through senior year of high school being exclusively spent in a public-school system. My advanced education comes from my years in a Lutheran college. That’s my background. Conversely, my two children were brought up with a Lutheran education in their earlier years and then moved into the public sector for middle school and beyond. Most families are familiar with the public-school sector, but do you know why you should consider choosing a Lutheran school for your child?
Small, intimate environment –Whether your child is at the top of the class, is strictly ‘middle of the road,’ is facing some challenges, or is just exceptionally timid or shy, there’s certainly something to be said for growing up in a classroom environment that consists of sixteen or less students. Children who spend their formative years in these more intimate settings have many opportunities to shine. A smaller student body means that your child has the advantage of getting to know the children in the class on a more personal basis, whether they plan for play dates after school or just form strong bonds within the classroom setting and during the classroom day. Giving your child the opportunity to thrive and succeed in a small setting may help ensure that he is better able to move with confidence into a social setting that consists of more friends and greater opportunities later in the formal education process.
Focus on others –Children who are raised in a Lutheran or smaller private school setting have plenty of opportunities to learn firsthand about shifting the focus of their consideration to others, rather than upon themselves. In our school we collect weekly Chapel offerings to support a variety of groups: local, national, and international. Children learn about helping others who have suffered loss and are in need. By being taught to serve and give, children are learning to empathize with others who are less fortunate and to open their hearts and minds to the needs of others.
Social Interaction –Students in Lutheran schools are taught from a young age that their actions affect others. Differences in opinion between students are handled in a much more intimate way than simply sending children to their own corners. Even the youngest ones learn to phrase the words “I’m sorry” and to own their words or actions that may have hurt a friend. And the child who has been wronged is taught to respond with the words: “I forgive you” rather than simply reply, “It’s okay.” Sometimes it’s not okay, and children need to understand the consequences of words and deeds. By offering forgiveness, children are ready to move on from a conflict, knowing that while it may not be immediately forgotten, it has been resolved and they are free to release it.
Embracing Diversity –Attending a public school, your child finds classmates from the same neighborhood or from the same section of town. In a private school, the children surrounding your child in class arrive from a variety of different communities and may even be from more diverse ethnic or cultural backgrounds than your child. Spending time in their small class settings, children learn very quickly to embrace one another’s differences and learn more about the rich heritage of those whose lives are unique from their own. It’s more than simple tolerance; children learn to celebrate these differences and often times cherish them in the friendships they forge.
Increased Participation from Parents –Getting involved in your child’s public-school classroom isn’t impossible, but you may have to get in line, and there may be an involved process at work. In our smaller schools, parents are afforded much more ability to be a regular part of their child’s educational day. Opportunities to assist in the classroom, attend field trips, plan for activities and special events—all are available options for the parent who wants to be an active partner with the teacher in educating the child.
A Full and Balanced Education –Receiving a Christian education often ensures that your child will receive a marvelously balanced and fuller academic education. While public schools have strictly imposed guidelines of what must be taught and when, Christian and private school counterparts often have great freedom to cover a variety of topics, both at grade level and beyond.
Don’t rule out providing your child a Lutheran school environment. We go beyond No Child Left Behind, we give EVERY Child a Chance to SHINE!