A peek inside this post: If you’re feeling frustrated or disheartened with things that are going on in your child’s school, read these tips so you can be an involved Christian parent. Learn what rights you have in your school as a community member and be proactive to make a difference in the things you believe in.
We’ve all seen viral videos this year of parents at school board meetings getting fired up about an issue their child has had in school.
Between covid protocols, questionable literature in school libraries, concerns about how to best teach kindness and acceptance, to curriculum that has political bias…we’ve seen these issues come to the forefront of our news lately.
Does it make you wonder how you can be an involved Christian parent and protect your child from certain issues in school?
Schools are designed to allow for parental and community involvement. The administration should work hand in hand with the school board and community to determine how to approach educating their children and keeping them safe.
This local control is supposed to allow parents to attend school board meetings, voice their concerns with board members or administration, and have a voice in what their school decides to do.
Since we are in a pandemic, some schools have lost some of their authority in making local decisions.
For example, in Illinois, we’ve been unable to have local control to make school mask wearing optional. The governor has put in a state-wide mandate saying all schools must require mask wearing and social distancing.
In light of all this, let’s talk about ways parents can get more involved.
Why Parent Involvement is so Important
The goal of sharing these ideas with you is to let you know how you can get involved as a concerned Christian parent.
Like I said, schools were structured to allow for parent and community involvement, and it’s important that we reach out in a kind and respectful way so we are represented in our children’s education.
No matter which side of the aisle you land on with these major issues, it’s important that you are aware of what your school (or state) is teaching, and that you represent your child when you feel passionate about a topic.
5 Ways to be an Involved Christian Parent
If you’re a Christian parent, the most important thing you can do is pray. Thank God for the blessings in your life, read The Bible daily to seek His direction, and ask Him to help you in your parenting.
When you know His truth, you will have direction and purpose when standing up for your kids.
No matter if it’s an issue at school, a struggle of your child’s that you’re working through at home, or any matter in your child’s life, The Bible and The Holy Spirit will guide you as you seek after truth in God.Suzanne, Just Homemaking
Humble yourself, recognizing that God is perfect and all-knowing and you are a work in progress.
2. Learn & Teach
Learn all you can about what is being taught in your child’s school. Pay attention to new curriculum and activities so that you can be sure your child is being educated appropriately.
Learn about what’s going on with laws and mandates locally and in your state. Join pages on social media that align with your views and follow along on important news they discuss.
Learn the other side, too, and have an open mind to listen to people who don’t hold the same views as you.
There are many podcasts and other outlets you can seek out (Twitter, YouTube…) where you can begin learning about the things that are important to you. It can take some time to find what information you’re looking for, but keep looking and learning so you can be informed.
Teach your children about what matters to your family. Give them age-appropriate information so you can train them up to seek after truth and they can also make a difference as they grow.
When we talk to our children about important things going on in our town, state, and country, it helps them understand life better.
It gives them stability. It eases their fears when they hear about these things from friends, because they already have an understanding from home.
They can also know what to tell you about if something is going on that they know you disagree with.
Teach your children to think critically and with common sense. We know we can’t believe everything we see online or hear from our neighbor, so we also need to equip our children to know how to find true answers to questions.
>> Don’t miss 8 Practical Tips for Building a Strong Christian Family
3. Build Community with Like Minded Families
When you gather with local friends, talk about issues that are important to you. Talk about new things going on at school or decide to go together to the next school board meeting to get information on a topic.
Ask some friends to join you for coffee and prayer. Pray over your children’s school together and discuss some concerns.
If you feel led, start a local chapter of an organization that fits your beliefs. This can help you gather like-minded community members to discuss topics together.
4. Meet with Administrators or Attend School Board Meetings
If you know a teacher or administrator at your child’s school and feel like there are some important matters to discuss, ask them to meet with you.
Talk with them about your concerns in a positive and respectful way. Ask what the school is doing about these things.
It’s important to first expect that the administrator is doing their best to teach and protect the children to the best of their abilities.
If you approach a meeting with an open mind to learn what the school is doing on a topic that is important to you, hopefully you can get a good understanding of how it is being addressed in the school and voice your concerns.
Another thing you can do to be an involved Christian parent is attend local school board meetings. In Illinois the meetings happen once a month on a certain day of the week. You can find information on these meetings on your school’s website.
The locally elected school board members discuss important matters and vote on new things going on at the school. It’s good to know how their processes work to know how you can be informed and get involved.
If you’re unable to attend a meeting, schools are required to upload their school board minutes (notes) to their website for public viewing.
If you decide you’re unhappy with the decisions your school board is making, you can talk to a school board member or even run for school board office during the next election. Encourage others who are knowledgeable and passionate in your community to do the same!
If you know a school board member who is doing a great job, be sure to tell him/her! They probably hear more bad than good in this volunteer position they signed up to do.
5. Have a Hard Line
This tip on being an involved Christian parent may be the trickiest. We all have matters that are important to us.
If you’ve read through this article looking for ways you can be more active in your child’s school, then there must be issues that are weighing heavily on your heart.
I believe God will put things on your heart as you seek after Him. If you’ve prayed over these issues, and feel led to draw a hard line, I encourage you to pursue that.
Maybe your hard line has to do with curriculum that you don’t agree with. What will you do to protect your child?
Maybe it has to do with a recurring issue you’ve had in your child’s classroom.
Or maybe your biggest issue is about the pandemic and issues involving your child that you disagree with how your school (or state) is handling it.
Talk with your spouse and decide what lines you won’t cross when it comes to protecting your children. Make an alternate plan to say, “This is what we will do if this doesn’t change at our child’s school.”
Sometimes, as parents, we have to make sacrifices and tough decisions to do what God calls us to do. I pray that you will take time to pursue the things that God has put on your heart and the courage to do what He calls you to do.
What will you do to be a more Involved Christian Parent?
I hope that you’ve learned some different ways that you can get active to protect your child in school.
Know that if God has put something on your heart, and it aligns with His word, that you can take action by doing something about it.
Pray first, learn as much as you can and teach your kids whatever is appropriate, build community with like-minded families, ask teachers questions or meet with an administrator, attend school board meetings, and have a hard line to protect your children.
Please share your thoughts or ideas in the comments below.