Why Christian Education Matters
All quality preschools are sensory-rich, play environments that encourage learning through exploration. But in addition to the learning that takes place in this age group that helps prepare a child for kindergarten, have you considered the spiritual aspect of development?
A quality Christian preschool goes a step further than sensory play, ABCs, and smiling faces. Teachers help children and families build a strong, Christ-centered foundation that anchors all learning back to the God who created our world. But adding a Christian title on a school should mean more than teaching morals or singing cute songs about Jesus. Christian early childhood teachers should be spending time developing a biblical worldview that is incorporated into all aspects: cognitive, fine and gross motor, social-emotional, and spiritual development. A biblical worldview refers to the belief that the Bible is true and seeing the world through the influence of the Holy Spirit. “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).
How special they are to God. “Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these'" (Matthew 19:14).
- That God has a plan for each one of them. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
- What sin is.
- Why they need a Savior.
Children should also become increasingly confident in praying and begin to tell others about Jesus. It is so important to lay this foundation early. Seventy percent of people who make a decision for Christ do it between the ages of 5-12 (Barna group). Laying a biblical foundation during preschool years holds significant weight!
In a Christian preschool, teachers and staff should come alongside families to work together to encourage all areas of development. Teachers should be vigilant in understanding a child’s developmental level, learning style, and the way she/he is motivated. Teachers should pray for families and students to elicit the Holy Spirit’s counsel. Some of the best ideas in the classroom come about after times of prayer.
As you think about where your child might attend preschool, or even whether to send them to preschool before kindergarten, I pray this encourages you to select a Christian preschool in your area. This may also give you some ideas for questions to ask prospective schools. My three children have been so blessed during the 18 years we have been involved in the family of Christian education.