Why I Chose a PSP over Charter School

I often get asked why I chose a PSP over a Charter and every time my heart speeds up just a tad before I answer. You see this topic can be a touchy one and opinions can be strong about it, as they should be this is our children’s future. I have multiple friends who chose Charter and love it because it has worked best for their families. I still adore these friends, still value their opinions, and am still amazed at the work they do in their lives for the Lord. That choice was right for them.  My decision to go with a PSP had everything to do with the convictions the Lord laid on my heart, in regards to my family. This is my truth, my answer to that often asked question.

I didn’t always know that I would homeschool. I knew of homeschooling long before my girls were born through my closest friend who was already homeschooling her children.  I had honestly thought I was not capable to educate my children, but that is a topic for another day. My husband and I did know with absolute certainty that we did not want to send our children to public school so we planned on sending them to a private Christian school, God had another plan. Between pricing out local schools, watching my friend home educate her kids, and consistent prayer I felt the Lord lay the calling on my heart to home educate my girls.

Now that we made the decision to homeschool I dove head first into praying and researching my options, and there were so many options to wade though. My first order of business was to figure out where to go for support. See I already knew that I did not want to go at this homeschooling thing on my own. Of course I had my friend who was there any time I needed her, but her kids where much older than mine.  I wanted my girls to have friends, and I needed the support and friendship of other moms that were in the same stage of life I was. So that lead me to the state Charter Schools or Private School Satellite Programs (PSP). As followers of Christ we knew that our children belong to the Lord, He has entrusted them to us to train up in His ways so they are fully equipped to follow His calling on their lives. We also knew that children learn more from examples, and as their parents it is our job to be that example, this weighed very heavy on my heart the entire time I was researching the local charter schools. I’m not going to lie, the charter schools were very compelling because money was tight and charter was free, including the curriculum. Through my time researching and praying there were three main factors that I just could not get past.

First, it felt like I would be lying. In researching the charter schools I found out that they are directly connected to the state public schools. The charters get their funding from the state so in turn they need to follow the states rules. Which meant that all the curriculum I got through charter would have to meet public school standards, so I could not use faith based materials. Now I know that there are charters that will tell you it is ok to use faith based curriculum, you just have to purchase it with your own money, and print out non-faith based worksheets to turn in to show your children’s work. However, all the curriculum I wanted to use was faith based. I wanted to instill in my children that Christ is the foundation for every area of our lives, not just Sunday school at church and Wednesday night bible study. He is the foundation to our grammar and mathematics, He is the God of order. I wanted them to grow up seeing how God was at the center of every moment in history and the orchestrator of science.  So I would have to purchase my own curriculum, which was fine. But I couldn’t get past the part about printing off the worksheets and turning those in as my children’s work because the truth was it would be a lie. Those worksheets would not have been the curriculum we were going to use. Not only would I be lying but in the end what would that teach my girls? That lying was ok when it meant we could benefit from it? That whole thought just put a pit in my stomach.

Second, I could not hide Him under a bushel. This one hit a me a little harder, by choosing to not turn in the faith based curriculum we were using was in fact denying Christ (Mark 8:38). When my children were still in diapers one of the first songs I taught them was This Little Light of Mine. You know the one, talks about letting your light, the Lord, shine so that you can be a Light for Him in this world. The song makes a point to demonstrate how we are not to hide our light, hide the Lord from the world. And that is exactly what it felt like, that I would be denying Christ, just hiding my light under a bushel because the State told me to. Just like lying, I felt like I would be setting the example that denying Christ for money was ok. I knew I couldn’t do that.

Third, Which King do I serve? We all have grown up hearing our parents say things that at the time just seem random or silly. My father was a big fan of the saying “If you take the kings gold, you do the kings bidding.” I used to roll my eyes and just nod and say “I know Dad, I know.” Well that saying slammed to the forefront of my mind years ago while I was trying to decide between a PSP and a Charter. If I took the money the charter was offering then I had to follow their rules. And who knew what changes could come up later down the road. What requirements on curriculum would be passed on to those that schooled through the charters, they are directly linked to the public schools after all. But what truly sealed my decision was a question that came screaming through my mind in the middle of the night, “Which king do you serve, which kings bidding are you going to do?”

Now I am not saying charter schools are bad, or that Christians should never join a charter school, that is not for me to say. Everyone has to make that decision for their own family. I’m just saying it was not the right fit for our family. It did not line up with what our goals were for our homeschool.

Of course choosing a PSP did have its own challenges, mainly money was still tight, and I honestly had no clue how we were going to swing it. But here’s the thing about following the Lords calling, if He calls you, then He will provide for you. And that is exactly what He did, and is still doing six years later.

The Lord lead us to Revival Christian Academy and we have called RCA home ever since. If you are still trying to decide what is best for your family, seek the Lords guidance, I promise you He will lead you to exactly where you are supposed to be, and He will provide the way for you to get there.

Millie Hickman

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