By Carrie Robillard, Mother of a First Grader
I loved school as a child. I loved the teachers, the friends, the subjects, the structure, and the rhythm of the day. Long before I had any children, I would think about what kind of schooling my future kids would have.
I grew up attending a public school in a small town. While I found my experience there to be enjoyable and adequate, by the time I was married and actual kids of my own were much closer to being a reality, I knew public school would not be an option for our family. The reasons for that are many and would take another entire article to chronicle. That left two other options: we could either homeschool or find a private school we liked.
I am fully supportive of homeschoolers and have many, many friends who do so. However, I did not feel it would be something I would enjoy. I had so much fun attending school that I wanted my children to have that experience as well. As our first child started to grow and we got to know her personality, we felt she also would prefer attending a private school to homeschooling. So we began the search for a private school for our family.
Our first priority was a sound, biblically-based school. God’s Word needed to come first. We wanted an environment where the Bible and truth about God was integrated into the fiber of every subject and interaction. I also had been hearing from some friends about something called Classical Education. I started doing a little research and was excited about what I found. I liked the rigorous academics and the way the curriculum works with the learning stages of children. I liked that it is a tried and true method of educating, and I liked the emphasis on communication and leadership. I especially liked that logic and clear thinking are emphasized, as I feel the ability to discern is generally lacking today, and it is so important to be able to pick out truth in a world of overwhelming relativism.
One day, my husband came home from work and said he’d heard a radio interview about a Classical Christian school in the metro area. It was like a bell went off in my head. Of course! Christian AND Classical! Perfect! Unfortunately, that school is in White Bear Lake, which is REALLY far from where we live down in Farmington. I did end up talking to a teacher there, and she told me a new school called Agape Christi Academy was starting in the next year in the southwest metro. I immediately located the website and began finding out more about the school.
A year before our oldest, Jemima, would start kindergarten, my husband and I went to an Open House at Agape Christi. That was in the spring prior to their first year of operation. We were both so impressed by the information presented, the families who were developing the school, and the work that had gone into launching this wonderful institution! It was clear from the start that the leadership was focused on the same priorities that we held: a strong biblical stand, love for God and children, and a passion for teaching about God’s world in the most exciting, effective way possible. We felt such assurance that this was where we were supposed to be, that Agape Christi was absolutely the right decision for our kids and our family!
When Jemima started kindergarten in the fall of 2014, we were so excited. She loved going to school and was learning so much! We’ve been overwhelmed by the staff, the teachers, the board, and the other families that attend Agape Christi. It really is like a second family. The time the faculty puts into planning and helping each child achieve his potential is amazing, and the love that comes across for the children is beautiful to see!
While there can be challenges in choosing a private school in the form of financial sacrifice and driving distance, we do not regret the decision to choose Agape Christi Academy for our kids. I often come in and join Jemima for assembly in the morning. For me, it’s a little like coming home.
Interested in reading the perspectives of other current families? Click here for their stories.