Navigating Your Child's Education: Ages 3-K

38 min read

Counting the Cost

Feb 9, 2023 8:00 PM

Private Christian K-12 enrollment has experienced a notable increase in the last few years. With the many changes that have occurred in public health, politics, and cultural agendas recently, I believe many parents of younger students are choosing to invest in private education that aligns with their values and priorities.  

In contrast, enrollment at many Christian colleges throughout the nation has been on the decline in recent years. In my current role as Executive Director of the North American Coalition for Christian Admissions Professionals, our researchers concluded that approximately 70% of our member institutions did not meet their enrollment goals for the fall of 2022.

With nearly 30 years of experience in the realm of admissions for a small, private Christ-centered university, I have had countless conversations with students and their families. There are several common questions and concerns that have surfaced in these conversations:

  • Is a college degree worth the financial investment?
  • Can I get a job?
  • Can I work right away?

Liberal arts institutions, in particular, have come under scrutiny as students and their families wonder:

  • What's the end result of a liberal arts degree?
  • What's the return on investment?

I believe that as a result of the pressures families face in considering these questions, more and more are opting out of private Christian liberal arts colleges and universities. 

This type of decision may feel lightyears away for parents of preschoolers and young children, but the significance of educational choices cannot be overstated, no matter the age of the child or level of schooling.

Whether a family is weighing their K-12 educational options or in the college search and selection process, my cause remains the same: A Christian education is worth it

Some of the key questions I challenge parents to consider in their decision-making process include:

Young girl with magnifying glass

Does it matter to you, to your son or daughter, that they go to an institution where someone who is a committed and dedicated follower of Jesus Christ is in front of your son or daughter, teaching them every day?

When it comes down to it, there's no secular math or religious math. Math is math--it's all the same. Two plus two is four, no matter where one studies math. There's no difference in that in terms of principle or truth.

But to families, I ask, "Does it matter who the person is standing in front of your son or daughter? The person that's investing in their life? The person that's mentoring and shaping the way they think about everything?"

And what's the cost of that worth to say, "This person is a committed, diligent, dedicated follower of Jesus Christ and has committed their life to doing it"?

I also challenge parents to consider questions like, "What's most important to you? What's the end result for your son or daughter?" If the answer to those questions sounds anything like, "I want my son or daughter to have a vibrant, active relationship with the Lord. I want them to be good decision-makers and critical thinkers. I want my children not to be progressive but to be open-minded to things while remaining firmly rooted in the truths of Scripture," then, it is my conviction that Christian education is the best option.

I count it a unique privilege to sit down with a family one-on-one and look a son or a daughter in the eye and talk about these matters. I don't think it's an exaggeration or hyperbole to say that it's the most important thing I've done in my life. I'm not wealthy, and I'm not retiring early. But I do believe that when I ask myself if what I've done matters, I think about the two drawers of notes I keep. These drawers are full of thank you notes from families who have written to tell me, "I met you. You talked to me. You helped me. What you said was true; it is worth it."

[Editor's Note: This blog post is adapted from a podcast episode with Dr. Phil Cook on Navigating Your Child's Education, a podcast for parents. To hear more on that topic, check out the full episode.]

Worthington Christian School
Written by Worthington Christian School

Founded in 1973, Worthington Christian School (WC) is central Ohio’s leader in Christian education offering a rigorous, college preparatory kindergarten to 12-grade academic program, dedicated to developing the mind of Christ in students through rigorous intellectual, creative, and physical pursuits.