Building Identification 101: Church vs. School

I always wonder how my kids are going to react when they are doing their math and one of the word problems asks them something like this: “Count the number of windows in your classroom.” Or “Make a graph showing the birthdays of everyone in your class.”

I get nervous for a second, wondering if this will lead to a discussion about how they wish they were in a real classroom right now and how they wish they had more than five people to count — includes the baby and their mom!

But they happily start walking around the house, counting windows. And I get annoyed at the curriculum writers for saying this is the “home school kit” but not changing the question so my child has more than five people to add to her birthday chart.

We could imagine, I suppose, how many windows might be in a classroom if they went to a “real” school. The problem is, the only time any of them attended a “real” school was when my boys went to private school and that met in a church.

I’m glad they had that experience, though, because at least now they understand what the inside of a real church would look like. OUR church actually meets in a high school. Often, when we are driving around the suburbs and they see a huge new high school, they ask me if that is a church. I try to explain that, no, THAT is a school and a church looks more like the place with the big steeple on the top where they used to go to school.

They are going to be disappointed some day when it finally sinks in that most churches don’t have a lighted football field or vending machines in the lounge.

Once in a while, their writing curriculum will ask them to write about their favorite teacher. Of course, they only have one choice and the teacher is really their mom. And she’s not a teacher. But she does work for a church. And the church meets in a school. So, that sort of makes her qualified, right?

Things haven’t gotten much clearer this year since we started our academic co-op. We still home school, but they go to classes and have teachers who give assignments, report cards and tests. So, when we get ready to go, they fumble around trying to say it’s time for “school… I mean, co-op.” I finally told them it’s perfectly fine if they want to just call it school!

And by the way, the “school” meets in a church. But the church doesn’t look a thing like a church. It has a gymnasium and a cafe, and it really reminds me more of a school, which makes sense because they are used to going to church in a school and now they go to school in a church that looks like a school that reminds them of a church.

Got it?


Discover more from

Subscribe to get the latest posts sent to your email.


Leave a Reply