“My husband and I have seven kids, all of whom were born uneducated. What a pickle!

Our family lives in a strong public school district, which can make a private school a tough sell. Caveat taxpayer: primary education is within the reach of everybody; superior instruction is scarcely to be obtained by any (or so says Alexis de Tocqueville). Even when compared to the local schools our neighbors have had the foresight and generosity make strong, St. Paul Lutheran School puts superior instruction within our family’s reach. How shall I count the ways?

  • Study habits are not “taught.” They are a way of life in St. Paul classrooms.

  • Math instruction is there to instruct, not to impress. All skill levels are welcome and served.

  • My kids come home chortling over hilarious stuff from Samuel Butler’s translation of the Iliad. Then they explain it to me.

  • Every child in the school plays an orchestral musical instrument.

  • Resourcefulness and problem solving are built into the school economy. An extracurricular St. Paul doesn’t host is one it will help you find (my kids have participated in sports, robotics, advanced musical instruction, etc.)

  • Science is real, because God is real. St. Paul kids start learning the scientific method in kindergarten, and use it through eighth grade by way of live experimentation.

  • Our family visited Mount Rushmore this summer. The evening lighting ceremony was preceded by a playlist of patriotic songs dating back to the Revolutionary War. Our kids could sing nearly all of them and were familiar with their historical context, thanks to St. Paul’s tradition of actively observing Veteran’s Day.

  • Latin. St. Paul does it, it’s worth it, details available upon request. I promise the benefits are not all spiritual.

  • Tests are a part of life. St. Paul is wise and effective in teaching kids how to take them.

 But these things are secondary. Here is what matters most:

  • The devotional life at St. Paul is extraordinary. Prayer is the breath of this school, and loving instruction in the Christian faith is the top priority of each teacher and pastor. Every word, thought, and endeavor is to honor the name of Jesus.

  • Every teacher and pastor understands that his duty is to assist Christian fathers and mothers who are striving to raise their children in the one true faith. Parents are welcome in this building.

Martin Luther was a 16th century comedian. Like all good comedians, he knew that the funniest things are the true ones. So he wrote, ‘Where a father is unable alone to educate his rebellious and irritable child, he uses a schoolmaster to teach the child.’ (LC 1:141) If you know any rebellious and irritable children--or any compliant and delightful ones who were born uneducated--I do not know a better place for them than St. Paul Lutheran School, Hamel IL.”

-R.C., Parent

“St. Paul Lutheran School is the best! We have five children and have tried everything from public school to homeschooling and now St. Paul. St. Paul captures everything we have been looking for in our children’s education. Students receive God’s Word daily, both at chapel and in the classroom. The classical education gives them the critical thinking skills that they can use in their everyday life, and this begins the first day of kindergarten. The Latin classes are useful in building vocabulary and learning grammar skills. We especially love the weekly presentations in the K-3 classes. Students are given a topic and are at ease speaking in front of a group. Finally, the staff teaches respect for authority and for each other. Our older children, who did not have the opportunity to attend St. Paul, are in awe and wish they could have attended this amazing school!”

-E.S., Parent

“My husband teases me for the amount of sleep I have lost over choosing an education for our children. I spent my childhood in a Lutheran grade school, attended a large public high school, and finished college and grad school at a large Catholic university; each had its share of strengths and weaknesses. So where to send our own children?

We live in an area where the public school system is phenomenal, and I firmly believe that public schools are a vital backbone of a strong community. But St. Paul has captured my attention in a way I did not anticipate. Several years ago, I volunteered to take photographs for the school website. Right away when I entered the school, I was greeted by an older student happily helping a younger student with her spelling words. I quickly noticed that there was an unmistakable sense of camaraderie throughout the school. For example: at chapel every morning, the older students help the younger students through the liturgy and the hymns. The entire school eats lunch together. Everyone participates in orchestra performances together. On Fridays, students end their week with a hymn sing together. There was a great sense of family among the students and teachers. I was struck by the feeling that no one was left behind.

This year, we enrolled our oldest in PreKindergarten and she has really thrived! One of my favorite details of St. Paul’s PreKindergarten curriculum is the outdoor classroom. As a physical therapist, my greatest concern for this youngest generation is their lack of physical activity. Many modern children spend 8 hours a day in a sedentary classroom followed by multiple hours at home doing homework, and the remainder of their day is often spent in front of a screen. St. Paul addresses this by sending the kids outdoors, and what better way to learn about God’s creation and the sciences than through a hands-on lesson every week!

The staff at St. Paul are genuinely caring and have made our decision much easier than I anticipated. We look forward to the many years ahead we have at this school!”

-m.w., Parent

“One hundred sixty-three years of educating children not only in reading, writing, and arithmetic, but in learning and living the Word of God: wow, what a legacy! We have all benefited from the dedication and foresight of God’s people at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Hamel, IL, who have continually made Lutheran education for young people their mission and priority.

My family has been a part of St. Paul Lutheran School for many years. My mother and I both attended school at St. Paul, and my grandmother was the school cook for many years (Farmer’s Delight or Cheese Rarebit, anyone?) All four of my children attended school at St. Paul, and now my grandchildren attend as well. The methods and teachers have changed dramatically through the years, but one thing has always remained the same: the church and school’s steadfast dedication to educating God’s children in the gifts of His Word and His whole creation.

These days, when I speak with my friends from grade school, we often end up saying, “Remember when…”. My own children also reminisce about their days at St. Paul with those who remain not just acquaintances, but friends. My hope and prayer is that St. Paul Lutheran School continues to educate and train many generations of children to come, teaching them to be faithful to the God who gives them forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.”

-R.E., grandparent and alumnus