Kids and School

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Well it’s that time again! School is back in session this week for a lot of students. My four year old, Eleanor will be attending Pre-K this year and that means I only have one year left to decided what I’m going to do; send her to public school or homeschool her.

I have several friends who homeschool their children and so they make it seem as though that is the right choice, but I’m not quite sure. Being in youth ministry, we have seen our fair share of homeschool and public school students. It seems like there are pros and cons to both. No, I don’t concern myself with the homeschool myths such as: they will be socially awkward if you homeschool them; they will have no friends; they won’t have the same opportunities. I know these to be myths because I interact with several homeschool kids right now that have plenty of friends, are very mature and athletic.

So here are my areas of concern. I have noticed that less homeschoolers go to college than public schoolers, at least the ones we have interacted with. This makes me sad. I’m not sure why, one guess is that they are introduced into the work force earlier because they control their schedules; therefore, they have less desire to go to school and would rather continue working and making money.

There are many benefits to homeschooling though. Being a family in ministry, it would help to homeschool because we could travel as we needed, it wouldn’t matter if we got back from church at ten p.m. on Wednesdays and Sundays because they could just sleep in a little longer the next morning. Also, I could control their curriculum and their social setting.

I have been a public high school teacher for five years so I know what public schools are like. Some can be amazing, I taught at one, and some can be horrible, yep taught at one of those as well. Both however struggle with large classroom size. Coming from the teachers viewpoint, it is near impossible to teach a new concept to a room of 35 students who are all on different levels. Either you end up teaching to the lowest level, and the high level students get bored and are not challenged academically, or you teach to the middle or high level students knowing there is not enough time to answers all questions or give enough time to practice before you have to move on so you can get in all that’s required for the year.

Also, I hear the conversations that happen among public schoolers, they are scary. I had one kid flippantly talk about being upset that his phone was taken away because now his source of porn was gone, and the amount of sexting that happens in high school is insane!

But public school does offer some awesome advantages. Students have to learn to work in a diverse group of people. They gain a lot of personal responsibility and they realize that a Christian lifestyle has to be a genuine personal desire or else they will fall into a dozen of temptations that are before them at school.

I don’t know which is right, I pray God will speak to my spirit about it over the next year and give me a peace in what is right to do. But I can give those of you who are parents and reading this some advice and this advice is coming from a teacher; be very involved in your child’s education. Go to parent-teacher meetings. Know what they are studying. Know who their friends are. Don’t be a stranger at the school. I have seen a close correlation over the years of teaching; students do better when their parents are involved. Almost all of the straight A, well behaved students I have taught, had very involved parents. These parents wanted to know when tests would be so they could make sure their kids studied. They would email me and ask how their child was acting in class.

So the answer to homeschool vs. public school may not be simple, but the no brainer when it comes to this next school year and all after is to be involved in your child’s education!

God Bless! Hope you have a great rest of the week.

Coming up on Friday: Flirt or Friend

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