What is it like to go from
Public School to Columbus Christian?
The moment has come when public school may no longer be an option for your family. Be encouraged! There are many CCS families who have been in your shoes. When they were faced with this choice, they looked for a place where their kids would receive a solid educational experience centered on Christ.
Is private school something we can afford? Is it the right decision? Will my children be able to transition well? What does a Christian education really look like?
While each family circumstance is different, two new CCS families share what it was like for them to transition from public school to Columbus Christian. As these families trusted and followed God’s lead, their children not only survived – but thrived!
Why did you choose CCS?
We’re Columbus natives and knew about CCS. We always wanted our kids to have a Christian education, but truthfully never thought we could afford it. Up until this year we had our three kids (one in high school, one junior high and one elementary) in some of the top public schools in the area. While we didn’t have any major problems at the schools themselves, we wanted a Christian environment and education for our kids.
When we thought about private school, we thought it was going to be too expensive. We want others to know it’s actually more affordable than people think! CCS asked us to submit our financial information and they were able to give us an estimate of what we would pay each month. Because we wanted this opportunity for our kids, we reprioritized some finances on our end and made it work. We would have come to CCS sooner if we knew we could afford it.
At the time we came to CCS we had three kids that were elementary age in a great public school. Our oldest had recently been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome and though we had some accommodations in place, he was really struggling with the amount of over-stimulation in his classroom. We knew this wasn’t going to work for him. He needed a smaller class size and a calmer environment.
We began looking at private Christian schools and initially had him signed up for another school. In our hearts we didn’t feel peace about it. We believe that God has specific plans for our child and didn’t want to just shove him in a classroom and hope for the best. We needed to be intentional and we needed a place that would help him learn to “live in his own skin”. When the voucher option became available, we decided to go with CCS because of the class size, Christian teaching and the fact that it went through high school. At that point we kept our other children in the public school where they were.
After seeing the difference in curriculum and how well our oldest was doing - the other kids asked if they could tour and attend CCS too! We prayed hard over it - asking the Lord to provide for us if this was where He wanted our family. We have a great God story to tell and now have all four of our kids at CCS.
How was the transition?
The schools our kids came from were project/technology based. Because of that, there was an academic transition to the teaching style at CCS, which is set up like a traditional school. This format does include homework, which at the high school level we found to be more than before. Junior high and elementary were pretty much the same. The class size is much smaller than we were used to - which we love! The other schools had 25-30 kids in a class. We feel like our kids are getting quality attention and the teachers really know them well. One teacher in particular came alongside our high school son as a personal mentor. That was huge in his adjustment and success.
Our oldest, not liking change in general, did struggle a bit to get into the routine of a traditional school compared to where he was before. The approach to teaching and homework was different, but as soon as he got into that routine, it was better. Our other kids transitioned beautifully. The biggest change I noticed in them was that their attitude changed drastically - for the better. The Christian teaching, expectations and influences really had a noticeable effect on them and truthfully, I don’t even think we knew they needed it.
Do you have any advice?
The family atmosphere everyone talks about is definitely there, but we needed to do our part. Like anything, if you want to get to know people, you need to make the effort. Our kids found that to be true too. We let them do more extracurricular stuff than we ever have because we knew it would help them to make friends quickly - and it has. All of our kids are in sports and have participated in music and drama. As parents, we also volunteer when our work schedule allows it.
Overall the transition was very smooth, the school is meeting our expectations and we’re really thankful we made the switch. We do think it’s helpful for families (students and parents) to approach the school for what it is – a small Christian school. Since the space and resources are shared with a preschool-12th grade and a church, there is a necessary level of flexibility required. Some of that might go against personal preferences, but having a positive perspective goes a long way.
We love Columbus Christian and the impact it has already had on our kids! They came home the first week talking about being able to pray in every class. It has really helped our kids develop their own personal prayer life and confidence in praying. The teachers talk about God and how it relates to the academic lessons they are learning. They also have Bible class every day and a chapel service once a week. Coming from a public school - this was the biggest shock and blessing!
Coming from a big public school to a small private school is definitely different. CCS isn’t a perfect school - there are some good things and some challenges. We learned keeping things in perspective and extending a level of grace and flexibility is a necessity. CCS does a great job of stewarding it’s resources - but they simply don’t have a large staff and administration like you would find at a public school. That being said, we’ve found it is much easier to approach teachers and administration directly if something needs to be adjusted regarding our kids. We’ve also loved seeing families use the gifts God gave them to serve both in the classroom, as coaches and at school functions. And we love being some of those serving!
I would recommend new families get involved, get to know the teachers, parents and their kids’ friends. Ask questions and definitely take advantage of chapel! It’s an incredible opportunity for parents to worship alongside their kids and have some great dinner conversations about what they are learning about God at school.
The biggest thing we’ve seen are all the ways Christ is at the center of CCS. I’ve noticed a true heart change in my children, not just behavior change. We've learned to depend on him and see how He provides in unexpected ways. Having our kids at CCS is a faith journey - for our whole family!