Private schools- beliefs vs. education

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
1043 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

What are your reasons for choosing private? It seems as though in your area, parents choose private to integrate faith into the curriculum. I would thus assume the public schools in the area are decent acedemic and sports wise….

if you send your kid to a jewish school, and dont practice judaism at home or go to the masses and celebrate the holidays your kid is going to feel VERY isolated in his peer group. Even more so if he seperates himself during torah studies.

if you choose this route for whatever reason, you should immerse your entire family in the religion and culture.

Post # 3
9137 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

gingerkitten:  Any religious school is going to teach your child religion.  Remember the Torah is just the Old Testament which is also taught in Christian schools.  The main difference between the two is Jesus and I think you could easily explain that as your child gets older.

1. Yes, it is difficult to get a child with parents who are not members of a church into a religious school.  This is something you need to consider now.  The best church schools in our area have waiting lists that start when a couple gets married (before they TTC or are even pregnant!) and they only accept members of the church.  You’re also going to run into that at Jewish schools.

2. So long as you and your child are respectful of the religion and religious teachings at the school, you should be fine.

3. Nope.  You enroll your child into a religious school and they will receive a religious education as part of the curriculum.

Personally I have studied both Christianity and Judaism and found Judaism to be more accepting of discussions of their ideology.  As a result of your concerns, I would highly recommend a Reform Jewish school if that is an option.

Post # 4
3016 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2014 - Prague

I’m also wondering what your reasons are for sending them to a private school over a public one. Maybe you should research your local public schools. THey may have more to offer than you expect.

Post # 5
1762 posts
Buzzing bee

gingerkitten:  Most religious private schools accept students that aren’t religious or are members of different faiths with open arms (money talks ha!). My siblings and I went to catholic school, and we are by no means catholic! I’m sure some schools do allow for curriculum customization if you aren’t necessarily interested in religious studies, but I wouldn’t be surprised by those that don’t. Personally I just viewed those particular classes/lessons as educating me on another form of Christianity. It was enjoyable, and I never felt weird or out of place despite being a non-catholic. With that said, there are a few catholic rituals that I learned in school that I still do as an adult… mostly from habit!!! Lol


This is a great topic! My FI and I live in a very Jewish neighborhood, and actually have discussed whether or not we would send our future children to the Jewish pre-school on our street! 🙂

Post # 6
9526 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’m also currious about how you came to the decision about private schooling?

I do think that religious schools are religious for a reason. Most don’t have a strict policy that you have to be that religion to attend, but most have mandatory relgious studies. I also think that in many religious schools there is social pressure to be a part of that religion. It also may make involvement in parent groups more difficult.

I feel like all this is more likely to be an issue in younger grades. I have friends who were not particularlly religious but went to Catholic high schools and while they were annoyed by the constant relgion, they got through it.

I would also think about the teachers and the standards they are held to. Often the rules about educational qualifications are less stringent in religious schools but they are held to religious moral clauses that you may not agree with. I had one friend who was fired from a Catholic school after her boyfriend picked up the phone early one morning when a school official called. And another that turned down a job with a Baptist school because his contract said he could be fired if he was caught drinking – not at school, like a beer at Applebees on a Satruday night. 

Post # 7
2387 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

gingerkitten:  I went to public schools, private christian schools, and was homeschooled. If you are not religious I would not send your child to a religious school. Granted, it’s different for each school, but I had to spend an hour a day every day in bible class memorizing bible verses, another hour once a week in chapel/church services, and expected to have the same beliefs as other students. When I finally told the teachers I was not christian I got an “intervention”- they invited all the teachers to come in and lay hands on me & pray for the fate of my soul. Alot of my classes were very restrictive- we only had one foreign language class so it’s not like I could choose what language I wanted to learn- spanish was default, period. I doubt any religious school would let a student swap out religious clases for non-religous classes as many view the religious portions of the ciriculum just as important as the meat & bones education…. 

Like I said, it would be a little different for each school, but most would 100% rather admit a child /family within their religious beliefs over a child/family with secular beliefs. Have you looked into charter schools? They may be more along the private lines you want, but without the religious aspects….

Post # 8
2800 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

This is coming from my background in going to a Catholic school, and working with my parish on our Catholic school.

1. Will it be difficult? It really depends on the school’s policies.  My Catholic school if you could pay the money, you could be admitted.  The church I go to now has a cascading list of who get’s first shot, and in your situation, you would be last on the list.

2.  Backlash?  No, not really.  They will be left out of some things as they will prep for relgious rights at school, but in a large city like Denver, I doubt that they will be the only non-religious student at school.   Even in my little town, there were non-Catolic kids at our school. It wasn’t all about accademic superiority (which we had)   Disciplin was just always better (meaning kids didn’t get into fights on school grounds and bullying was 0 tollerance) 

3. Custome circilum?  If you are sending them to a religious school, there will be religion time.  Sorry, that is kind of the end of the story.   By high school, they will be able to pick and choose some classes, though.   We could take World Religions, and other such classes.  Why they assumed you started at Catholic, they were not taught as Catholisim is the only answer. 

Post # 9
851 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013 - The front lawn of our church

gingerkitten:  I attended a Christian school and am now a teacher in one. The bottom line is, private schools are private schools because they don’t want to be the same as every other school, so you’re going to find that every one is different. I only have experience in Christian schools, so I can tell you what I know of them. Christian schools generally either have closed enrollment (church members only) or open enrollment (anyone is welcome as long as they are willing to comply with the school rules). I know of only 1 or 2 schools with closed enrollment.  I wouldn’t expect too much backlash as far as people not accepting you or your child because you are not Christian, but I would be prepared to be invited to church a lot:) Honestly, you probably will be viewed as an “opportunity” to show you why Christianity is true.  All of the Christian schools I know of have Bible class as a requirement. Most Christian schools were started as a way to allow the children to learn the Bible in school. One thing to be aware of is that the great majority of the students will probably be Christians so your child will be in the minority unless you were to convert. Also, as I mentioned before, the whole purpose of the Christian school is to be able to study the Bible and promote Christianity to the students. Be prepared to feel like it is constantly being taught and pushed to you and your child.  Lastly, in the Christian school I teach in, we very openly teach the Bible and we are unashamed about the fact that we want every student to believe and trust in Jesus as their Savior. But along with that, our principal (who is also the pastor of our church) stresses to the teachers that he wants us to instill in the students basic morals and manners. For instance, the students are expected to refer to adults as ma’am and sir, they are required to say please and thank you, and they are taught to appreciate hard work, not give up, and get along with others. Basically, we try to prepare them for the life ahead of them.  As I said, every private school is different, but this is the experience that I have. 

Post # 10
9207 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2018

I went to a private school, religion was a very big part of it. We had chapel once a month, and in our twice weekly assemblies we would sing a hymn, say a prayer and there would be a reading from the Bible. Religious Education was also one of the subjects, had it twice a week. You couldn’t opt out of anything. But in my school, we did learn about other religions in RE, although the underlying religion, the main belief taught was Christianity. We studied the other religions for education purposes. I don’t remember if there was an entry interview, possibly was. My name had been down since I was born.

Post # 11
851 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013 - The front lawn of our church

Sorry, not sure what happened to my spacing and paragraphs in my previous comment.

Post # 12
1287 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

gingerkitten:  I went to private schools my whole life – before college, that is.

1) Since I did not enroll myself as a Kindergardener, I have no clue what the ‘rules’ were behind being a member to the Catholic Parish, or not.  I do know we were avid Church goers to that Parish while I was growing up, so I would assume in order for us to maintain enrollment, they needed proof we were ‘active’, as a family (which, looking back, is BS).  NOW, the grade school I attended shut its school doors last year, while keeping the Church intact.  I know two neighboring private schools opened their doors to those students, and increased their enrollment.  I have to believe that not all parishoners ‘jumped ship’ from the one that closed, however.

For high school, I went to an all girls “Catholic” high school. However, they welcomed and celebrated ALL religions via monthly events, etc.  It was pretty cool, in my opinion, that I learned about so many different religions.

2) Would it have been frowned upon?!  Grade school, yes, probably.  Especially because – in Catholisicm – there are two major sacraments you would make during those formative years.  There was not ONE person in my class whom did not participate.  I am guessing it was ‘mandated’, lol.  In high school, they were very open to doubts/concerns students may have had about religious beliefs, and never shunned anyone for voicing them!

3) Same answers kind of apply in this situation as above.  I do not think a parent could have opted for a different class during religion studies – in grade school. Why?  Well, again, it would have been frowned upon, and two, the benefit of private schools are the small class sizes.  I was with the same kids from kindergarden thru 8th grade.  There would not have been a different ‘option’ as far as a different classes goes.  In high school, we did need to take a Theology course all 4 years, but again it was not to shove religion down our throats, but to discuss different ideologies, etc.  

For what it is worth, although my mom was true to her Catholic roots, and raised us in that religion, she honestly chose and PAID – BIG BUCKS for a private school because our public school system was lousy.  Low test scores, very little attention, lower percentage of graduates, etc.  She wanted us to have the better education, by electing a different option.  

I now live in that same city, and the school has barely improved.  FI and I talk A LOT about the ‘what if ‘ we are still living in our house, which we love, would we choose the same path my mother did?  Probably.  I think you ask some good questions, and certainly is worth pursuing your answers.


Post # 13
7664 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

I find all of this so interesting because it is very culturally specific…

… where I am then RE is mandatory until you are at least 11, but in most areas it is mandatory until 13. You learn about all the major world religions and also do some philosophy.

The main difference between public and private here, IMO, is that private schools can expel pupils and public ones can’t. The net result is that all of the worst and most disruptive students are removed, and people can learn much faster, and get better results.

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