I was discussing with a bunch of men the other day that there are certain private schools in our city (Nashville) that cost over $20-25,000 for a year in their high school. They are definitely prestigious names; places where you’ll rub shoulders with the blue-bloods of our state. And if you can afford it, if for you $20-25,000 is pocket-change, then I say go for it. But here is what I’ve discovered; a dirty little secret that no one wants you to know: the education is simply not worth it.
Yeah, I said it. I’m bold enough to admit it, and I dare anyone to challenge it. It just simply isn’t worth it. I’ve seen too much evidence over the years. I’ve lived in Nashville over twenty years and dealt with those who have gone to public school, Christian school and private school. And what I’ve found is that the education itself really doesn’t differentiate much. That’s why I’m a big advocate for public school education.
I’ve put my money where my mouth is on this one. All three of my daughters graduated from public school here in Nashville. They’ve all gone to state universities. And guess what, they’ve all got quality education by really good people.
Yeah, in public school there are a lot of buffoons, a lot of people who are burnt-out and don’t need to be there. But guess what, they are also in private school and you’re paying $15-20-25-30,000 for it! And here’s the problem: too many families are going into debt to send their kids to private schools and private Christian schools. What do you think you’re guaranteeing? Absolutely nothing.
Here is the point. Send your kids to a good public school and engage in their lives. Be their mentor, be their model, and be their motivator. You cannot hire someone to educate your children for you. If you’re not a reader, you’re not a leader. If you’re not a teacher, you’re not an influencer. Just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you automatically have influence and sway over your children. Sending them to a private school, letting them rub shoulders with others may in your mind give them a leg up. But my experience teaches me it does not.
I’ve seen way too many young kids who have $60-70,000 of college debt working for $1,000 a month with no prospect of anything better. I’ve seen graduates of Vanderbilt and elite schools of our town working in restaurants waiting on other people who are making more money, living more of life, more fulfilled, more impactful, and they went to a state school.
Wake up. This education is not worth it. It gives us the false sense that our children are getting a leg up on life when the truth is, it takes a mom and a dad together, loving each other, loving their kids, totally engaged, excited, prayerfully, carefully teaching, instructing, leading, challenging, and guiding your children for them to be a success. You can’t pay someone to do for you what has been given by God to you as a responsibility and the highest honor you’ll ever achieve.
Of all the things I have achieved in my life, the books I’ve written, the places I’ve spoken, the degrees I’ve earned, nothing is higher on the mountain of achievement for me than being able to woo, wow, and win the heart of a good woman and to have three amazing daughters who are now women themselves. Let’s stop asking other people to do for us what is not just our job, but our joy.