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TEN KEY REASONS WHY

YOU SHOULD CONSIDER CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

TOP TIPS FOR ONLINE SECURITY

WHO IS INFLUENCING YOUR CHILD?

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what every parent needs to know

Why Christian sChools? Parents & teachers answer common questions about Christian Education. Watch the videos online

Your 'To Do' List

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What tyPE oF WisDom Will my ChilD BE taUGht in sChool?

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Explore www.covenant.nsw.edu.au Read news stories Watch videos & enjoy the photos Request a DVD Book your school tour online or call Wendy (02) 9450 2688

212 Forest Way Belrose (Enter via Dell St) 2 | Find a Christian Schoolwww.covenant.nsw.edu.au Magazine 2015


06 Top Tips For Online Security Keys on how to keep your child safe online... 08 The Role Of Parents In Christian Education Choosing the right school is the first step but your role is still crucial...

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11 10 Key Reasons Why You Should Consider Christian Education A must-read comprehensive list for all parents... 14 Who Is Influencing Your Child? Your child will spend the majority of their childhood in a classroom surrounded by peers and being taught by somebody that you don’t know...

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TOP TIPS FOR ONLINE SECURITY

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echnology these days provide students with such incredible access to information, and the ability to connect seamlessly with others across the globe like never before. In my day, it was all about hitting the books, but today it’s all about hitting the internet. The internet is such a wonderful place, and provides far more advantage than disadvantage overall, yet despite this we’re still faced with some serious issues like cyber-crime, privacy breaches, bullying and harassment. Our children rightly deserve the best head-start in life, and to compromise that by exposing them unnecessarily to some of the evils that lurk online means we need to tread carefully. Communication and awareness are the keys. There are many risks in computing,

from security issues to hardware problems, so it’s really important to consider the backup solutions and security you use. As a recent school parent, I’m impressed by the dedication of teachers and parents alike, and I’m seeing firsthand how setting some high standards within a school community can make a real difference to our peace of mind online, and usually it is as simple as following some simple guidelines. Upgrade old computers, and keep them up to date As computer operating systems age they inherently become more secure through regular updates, but it is also necessary every few years to upgrade to the latest major versions as well – for example, if you’re still using Windows XP you are well overdue for an upgrade!

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It is also critical that you have automatic updates enabled at all times. Install Internet security software and keep it up-to-date Anti-Virus solutions provide good basic protection against viruses, worms, trojans, spyware and adware. However, to keep your school and students safe online today you really need additional layers of protection provided by an internet security software suite, like AVG Internet Security. There are many risks in computing, from security issues to hardware problems such as hard drive failure. It is really important that you consider using one of the many mature solutions available to backup your data files automatically to a remote offsite location – think of all the digital photographs, documents and other important files. A good starting point


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Security

Be vigilant, and do not allow students to sign up for social media sites until they’are ready; the consequences of exposing them before they are ready could be dire is Carbonite Online PC Backup at www. carbonite.com.au If you are a Mac user you will need to follow the link on their website to their USA site.

until they’re ready; the consequences of exposing them before they are ready could be dire.

Teach students how to set strong passwords, and keep them private This is especially needed on social networking web sites like Facebook. Also make sure they know how to properly set the privacy information on social networking sites so that their personal information can only be seen by those they trust and give permission to see it. A recent New York Times survey found that up to a third of teenagers will share their passwords with close friends, so it is important to address this issue as well; passwords should always remain private, at all times.

Never use a computer with the ‘Administrator’ account privilege Affecting mostly people using older and insecure operating systems (like Windows XP), up to 90% of all security vulnerabilities can be mitigated against simply by setting up regular user account with a strong password for normal daily use - thus eliminating the need to have administrator rights. Access the administrator account only on those rare instances when you may need to install software or change system settings. Ensure all school computers are set up this way, and educate parents and students about this simple measure.

Don’t allow peer-group pressure to influence under-age social site signups Did you know that Facebook has a minimum age requirement of 13? Yet, in research we conducted late last year we found an alarming number of 10-13 year olds are already using Facebook. Be vigilant, and do not allow students to sign up for social media sites

Teach everyone to stop and think before they click Through social media and other sites, we share information at a rapid pace these days, and so we’re confronted with links to websites and files all the time. Be sure that you understand how to ‘roll over’ a link to view the real destination first, and please make sure you have good web scanning software, like the free AVG

Link Scanner which will work on both Windows and Mac computers. It will do a real-time check for any malware payloads that may be lurking on the web page. Don’t forget to secure mobile devices, like phones and tablets Computing no longer happens only at desks or in the office or classroom. It happens on public transport and in busy cafes. Mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets these days are as fast as computers were 5 – 8 years ago – we are all walking around with computers in our pockets. These need to be protected, so ensure you enable PIN number locks, activate phone tracking features like Find my iPhone for iPhone, or the free AVG Mobilation for Android) for lost or stolen devices, as well as security scanning software. Most of all remember the keys to security are: communication and awareness within your school community. Discuss issues with students, teachers and parents together, and work as closely with one another to develop your own standards about what you consider to be acceptable, and stay safe online.

Michael McKinnon is the Security Advisor at AVG AU/NZ. At AVG we’re all about protecting our Community of users, and we help schools with discounts of up to 50% on our award winning protection software – backed up with unlimited, expert technical support from the AVG (AU/NZ) team based in Melbourne, free of charge.

6 | Find a Christian School Magazine 2015


Responsibility

THE ROLE OF PARENTS IN CHRISTIAN EDUCATION by Gerald F. Kastens

Times Have Changed All of us are aware that the family is not the same as it was 100 - even 50 years ago. The situation of the family has undergone some dramatic changes in the past 20 years. How are children and parents different today than they were when you were a child? What changes were for the better? Which for the worse? The Role Which God Has Given to Parents Remains Unchanged Just what is it that a parent does? Well … a parent parents. Right? And beyond that the answer that probably comes most quickly to mind is one that has the words ‘takes care of children’ in it somewhere. That is probably the most modern version of a parent - someone who takes care of and provides for

children. In our parental role we are expected to feed our children and house them, entertain them and, in some vague way, give to them the emotional support which they need to grow into ‘healthy’ adults. We certainly want children to have what they need to grow up and to ‘fulfill their potential’, as they say. And so we get the best house we can afford, the best clothing, the best entertainment, and the most enriching food that we can find. We send our children to doctors to get their teeth straightened, to piano teachers and ballet lessons to get their talents developed, and to a Lutheran elementary school to get their souls cleansed. After all, one of the most important provisions we make as responsible parents is to see to it that our children

attend a ‘good school’. We recognize that an important part of preparation for life comes through school, and we expect a school that challenges, informs, and trains children for life. But is that all of it? Is that all we have to do with the growth of our children? Study the following passages from Scripture to answer the following questions. • What does God expect parents to teach their children? • Who is given the primary responsibility for the spiritual training and disciplining of children? • What role does your Sunday school or Christian day school play in the nurture and disciplining of your children? Deuteronomy 6:1, 2, 3 - These are

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The home and school need to mutually cooperate if Christian education is to come about.

the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all of his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers, promised you. Ephesians 6:4 - Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Deuteronomy 6:6, 7a - These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Deuteronomy 4:9 - Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that

you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Proverbs 22:6 - Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it. Colossians 3:21 - Fathers, do not embitter your children or they will become discouraged. Hebrews 12:7 - Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? Proverbs 22:61 - Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not turn from it. Isaiah 38:19 - The living, the living - they praise you, as I am doing today; fathers tell their children about your faithfulness. Goals of Christian Education - Home

and School Symbiosis The term symbiosis is a biological description of a relationship which may exist between two or more organisms for their mutual benefit. The home and school need to mutually cooperate if Christian education is to come about. The welfare of the one is dependent upon the condition of the other. What does the statement â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;parents and Christian teachers are partners in ministry to childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; mean to you? How can that sense of partnership be strengthened? List some of the common goals which Christian parents and teachers in your Christian school are striving towards. Parents and teachers sometimes fail to meet their goals - does this mean that they are failures as parents and teachers? What can be done when parents or teachers perceive failure on their part? On the part of others?

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Responsibilty

As specialist gardeners, parents and teachers know they cannot change a rose into a tulip, and they don’t want to. They respect God’s gifts and wait with patience to see how each plant will grow and bloom differently, entirely becoming its own special self. How can this strengthen the need to foster a caring and active school/home community. Conclusion - An Analogy In a sense, parents and teachers together are helping children grow. They are not unlike cooperative gardeners of young plants. But how do we help plants grow? Successful gardeners know a great deal about plants. They know and share with other gardeners information about how much water and sun and shade each plant needs. They know and share which plants grow best in acid or alkaline soil. Truly creative gardeners use and give their information happily. And the reward of good gardening is in the joy of watching healthy growth. As specialist gardeners, parents and teachers know they cannot change a rose into a tulip, and they don’t want to. They respect God’s gifts and wait

with patience to see how each plant will grow and bloom differently, entirely becoming its own special self. The gardeners know that they cannot just sit and watch, allowing the garden to grow wild. They prune the ivy, thin the seedlings, and pinch off the misdirected shoots. The gardeners - the parents and the teachers - know that His plants - their children - are gifts wondrously unique and growing into what Christ wants them to be. What Parents Can Do Write down helpful observations and take them along to a conference. Send notes routinely to your child’s teacher. Know what you child is studying. Let the staff know you read the newsletters. Celebrate staff birthdays.

10 | Find a Christian School Magazine 2015

Include the teachers in a family activity. Pray for the principal and teachers. Build up, support, do not tear down your school. What Teachers Can Do • Communicate - communicate communicate - communicate. • Welcome parents. Involve them, you need them. • Share the encouragement of God’s Word with them. • Be a caring, compassionate person. Parenting is hard. • Pray for the parents and children of your school.

Gerald Kastens served as Administrator for the WELS Commission on Youth Discipleship (CYD) from 1991-2000.


Consideration

10 KEY REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD CONSIDER CHRISTIAN EDUCATION

Finances. Location. Perceived academic deficiencies. These are just some of the reasons parents spurn Christian education in favour of its public school counterpart. Here are ten solid reasons why it is worth you considering Christian education for your children. There are plenty of others, both biblical and practical, but these are the most compelling. 1. GOD’S WORD IS TAUGHT The place to start is at the beginning, with the first nation, the first educational system. When deciding how to manage your children’s education, it only makes sense to ask the One who invented education. “You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on

your soul .... And you shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 11:18-19) What we have here is a clear biblical mandate to saturate our children’s minds with the Word of God. It’s a difficult task under any circumstances, but virtually impossible in a public school setting. Once inside those doors, children spend 30 to 40 hours a week being told that God, if He exists at all, is no longer relevant. No matter how spiritually grounded your child may be, the repetition of such destructive ideas can’t help but have an adverse affect. The harsh reality is that our Supreme Court kicked God out of the public

school system more than 40 years ago. A generation later, scientific naturalism and a host of other anti-God values are not only being taught in American classrooms, they’re being championed. Christian schools offer a refreshing, biblical alternative. Not only is the Bible taught for what it is - the inspired Word of God - but it forms the foundation of all other texts. In math, in social studies, in biology, all academic roads lead to God, in whom all knowledge has its origin. Your children won’t travel that road in the local public school. 2. GOD COMMANDS US TO TEACH KIDS THROUGH THE WORD It is a sad but true irony: public schools, the self-proclaimed shapers of the

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“To commit our children to the care of irreligious persons is to commit lambs to the superintendency of wolves" Timothy Dwight human mind, have chosen to ignore the God who created the human mind. To their chagrin, they have robbed themselves of their most valuable ‘textbook’, and the only available source of absolute truth. God expects you, as a Christian parent, to plant and nurture His Word in the hearts and minds of your children. This is best accomplished in settings where home, church and school all send the same message, teaching God’s truth with clarity, conviction and consistency. And while the benefits of such a commitment are often realized much later, here’s one you’ll notice in relatively short order. An education that uses God’s Word as its foundational text does more than produce spiritually-mature Christians. It makes them wiser and more knowledgeable. It forces them to be better thinkers. And isn’t that the goal of education in the first place? 3. THE SCHOOL SHARES YOUR VALUES If you’re like most Christian parents, you’ve taught your children about God since the day they were born. You’ve taken them to church, read them Bible stories, sung “Jesus Loves Me.” Imagine their shock and dismay when they’re thrust into an environment in which God is hated, ignored, or both. Even the best public schools are prohibited by law from reinforcing the values you teach at home. They either compete against them or disregard them altogether. And because you care about the mental and spiritual development of your children, you may spend countless hours trying to bridge the philosophical gap between Christianity and humanism - a gap that would never have existed had they attended Christian school. By entrusting your children to educators who share your values, you’ll have more time for ball games and bike rides and meaningful conversations. Instead of debriefing your children, you’ll be getting to know them. 4. SAFETY With thousands of students roaming their halls and taxpayer dollars funding their bankrolls, public schools can only go so far in the area of discipline. The result? More frequent occurrences of theft and physical violence, not to mention course profanity and open rebellion in the classroom. In addition to physical well-being, Christian schools offer a much safer emotional and spiritual environment. Verbal insults and hazing, things that go largely overlooked in a public school setting, are less likely to be tolerated. And the politically-correct, socially-tolerant attitudes that pervade secular classrooms never see the light of day at distinctly Christian institutions. AntiChristian behavior such as homosexuality and abortion is exposed for what it is, which helps guard your children’s minds against the licentious attitudes fostered by popular education. 5. ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT Contrary to popular opinion, students at Christian schools consistently out-perform their public school counterparts. Their standardized test scores are way above the curve, and they’re better prepared for college upon graduation. Even in the areas of math and reading, subjects that are 12 | Find a Christian School Magazine 2015


Consideration

‘less spiritual’ in content, students at Christian schools have proven their superiority. The sad truth is, despite their claims of excellence, our nation’s public schools are far less academically rigorous than they once were. Only 67 percent of all public school students entering ninth grade graduate with a regular diploma four years later. United States competency in math and graduate with a regular diploma four years later. United States competency in math and science lags behind a host of other countries. And despite the vast amounts of government money being funneled to public education, our SAT scores continue to slip. Christian schools are far from an academic liability. In fact, in the aftermath of 2002’s “No Child Left Behind” Act, college recruiters are more likely to view public school transcripts with a skeptical eye. The best colleges are likely to pay your children more attention, not less, if they

attend a Christian school. For more information, including some test score numbers that may surprise you, click here. 6. TEACHERS LOVE AND FEAR THE LORD Part of the reason why Christian students perform so well in the classroom is that they have a higher percentage of teachers who genuinely care about them. Most of these dedicated men and women sacrifice greater monetary rewards to serve where they can do the most intrinsic good. In addition to the passion they feel for their students, the vast majority of Christian educators love God with equal intensity. “For by wise guidance you will wage war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory” (Proverbs 24:6). Teachers are a school’s heartbeat. Its pulse. They are also among the most influential role models in students’ lives. And while you can certainly find

Christian educators at a public school, the best of all academic worlds exists when everyone - the school board, the principal, the teachers and the parents is operating under the same educational paradigm. 7. INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION In addition to having a higher percentage of caring teachers, Christian schools can almost always offer more individual attention than public schools, many of which are overcrowded and hopelessly understaffed. “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). Even in cases where the ratio is virtually identical, class size is not. Christian school classes generally have fewer students. They’re smaller, more intimate gatherings that encourage students to be participants rather than spectators. Students learn how to think quickly, and gain valuable experience sharing their thoughts and opinions in a public forum.

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Consideration

8. SUCCESS AFTER GRADUATION Because Christian school students perform at a higher level in the classroom than their public school counterparts, it only makes sense that their options upon graduation are more abundant. Therefore, they are more likely to be better prepared to handle the rigors of higher education. They have also received the spiritual foundation they need to excel in areas of ministry, whether they are career or volunteeroriented. “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). The question remains however, how do you define success? Does success equal a university education for your child, or a certain salary level, or even a prestigious title? Then again, how does God measure success? A healthy marriage? An understanding of biblical truth? These are important issues to

pray about. 9. PEER PRESSURE If only the Bible had told us that good company improves bad morals, many of us would have a welcome reprieve. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Bad company corrupts good morals (1 Corinthians 15:33), the Apostle Paul tells us, and we can assume he was writing to a predominantly adult audience. Make no mistake: your kids will be exposed to bad company no matter where they go to school. Sometimes they may even be the bad company. But in a Christian environment, they’ll be much less likely to find themselves surrounded by destructive influences, and far more likely to find positive ones. 10. THE STATE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION One final reason to consider Christian schools can be found by taking an even

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14 | Find a Christian School Magazine 2015

closer look at the alternative. If you study the origin and history of modern government-sponsored education, you’ll find some alarming facts. Its founders were atheists whose hatred of Christianity is a matter of public record. Its current agenda - the propagation of humanistic ideals that render God irrelevant or non-existent - can be easily spotted in its curriculum. IN CONCLUSION None of this is meant to be a criticism of parents who place their children in public schools. Nor is it an indictment against well-meaning public school educators. But the fact remains that public schools are not allowed to give your children the educational experience the Bible demands. Regardless of what you may think about Christian school, we encourage you to seek God’s thoughts on the matter before choosing an academic home for your children.


Influence

WHO IS INFLUENCING YOUR CHILD? Your child will spend the majority of their childhood in a classroom surrounded by peers and being taught by somebody that you don’t know. The decision on schooling is probably your most crucial...

When our children are young – as in the pre-school years – we have the potential to be pretty much their sole influence. Aside from a few ‘outside’ influences like the Wiggles, High 5, and potentially Veggietales and Colin Buchanan, we have full control over what they hear and see. But come the school years, that influence slowly dissipates and it becomes the school’s teachers and students that start having a major say over what our children hear and learn. The Importance of Christian Teachers Who is influencing your child? A child’s early years lay a spiritual foundation for life. In our modern society many things

will influence your child. The Barna Group study found parents were still the major influencers of children. This position was however now being shared with media and laws. School came in at the second level. The 1,200 hours spent each year in school over roughly 12 years are seen as very influential. Christians may be surprised that church was further down the list. The 100 hours or so a year in church can be very significant, yet other influences are seen as greater. Your child’s teachers will have a significant influence. Jesus said: A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher Luke 6:41

Teachers are significant role models. Your child will imitate, or become like, their teachers. As parents it is important we help ensure our children have suitable role models. The Apostle Paul himself encourages us to Imitate me as I imitate Christ 1 Corinthians 11:1 In selecting a school parents are choosing who they will partner with for the education of their child. Education is more than gaining knowledge about the world around us. It is learning how to respond to and live out that knowledge. Different teachers do have very different understandings of what is important in life. The Apostle Paul highlights the foundational differences between Christians and non-Christians when he asks the question:

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Influence

What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:15 Paul urges Christians to not “be yoked” together with unbelievers. He urges us to still be in the world yet to avoid situations where we are obliged to follow, or adopt the values of unbelievers. Non-Christian teachers can be dedicated and passionate yet they cannot lead our children into biblical truth about our world and their place in it. Jesus also points out

the obvious: Can a blind man lead a blind man? Won’t they both fall into a pit? Luke 6:38 In Christian schools parents, teachers and church members can work together to positively influence children. Other parents in the Christian school community will generally share a similar view of the world. They will become additional role models to your children. This sense of community and common values can make the role of parenting

much easier. The Bible says Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it Proverbs 22:6 Choosing a school which employs practising Christians as teachers gives parents a greater say in who will be a role model for their children. Christian teachers are not perfect. Nor do they have all the answers. Yet they are part of a wider Christian community working together with, and on behalf of, parents.

Penrith Anglican College [PAC] PAC is a co-educational day school from Pre-K to Year 12. We are committed to academic excellence and growth in Christian values. PAC provides an imaginative, purposeful, caring and enjoyable learning environment, enabling students to progress in accordance with their individual needs and abilities. Address: 338 – 356 Wentworth Road, Orchard Hills Phone: 02 4736 8100 Email: enquiries@pac.nsw.edu.au Website: www.pac.nsw.edu.au

Southern Cross Baptist College Our K -12 school is a local church based, discipleship oriented ministry that seeks to partner with like-minded parents in training young people to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ. We are Biblically conservative and pre-millennial in our theology and take a stand against charasmaticism, the church growth movement and other erroneous beliefs that typify the church of the last days. Address: 104 Anzac Ave, Engadine, NSW, 2233 Phone: (02) 9520 4037 Email: principal@scbccs.nsw.edu.au Website: www.scbc.org.au/christian-school

The Cathedral School of St Anne & St James – Townsville The Cathedral School is Townsville’s only Independent Anglican School for boys and girls from Early Childhood to Year 12 and boarding students from Year 7 to 12. At Cathedral, we are ‘educating for life-long success’. Students are continually challenged and encouraged to take advantage of the exceptional opportunities available at Cathedral. A careful balance of academic, sporting, cultural and spiritual activities produces confident, well-rounded individuals who are prepared for the challenges of life. Address: 154 Ross River Road, Mundingburra, Townsville, QLD, 4812 Phone: 07 4722 2000 Email: tcs@cathedral.qld.edu.au Website: www.cathedral.qld.edu.au 16 | Find a Christian School Magazine 2015


Find a Christian School Magazine 2015