Off to Public School

Posted by  | Friday, May 29, 2009  at 1:30 PM  
My friend Karen prepared this post. I want to put in the disclaimer that her daughter fell and suffered a pretty harsh concussion last weekend before she had a chance to finish, so it isn't exactly how she wanted it to look. But I thought what she said was really good and wanted to share it with you all. And after a few scary days of no short term memory, it looks like everything is going to be okay.

Sending our two girls to public school was not the original plan for our two daughter’s educations. Both my husband and I had attended public school. Our experiences with public education varied greatly, his being good and mine was, well, awful. It was through our Sunday school class that homeschooling was introduced to us. We absolutely loved the way our Sunday school leader’s children behaved and were taken back as to how much they loved the Lord. Both my husband and I definitely wanted that for our future children. With the former introduction in mind, we opted for the home school route with the understanding that we would only commit to one year at a time.

When our oldest reached 3rd grade, our strong willed child was tired of being different from her friends who went to “real school”. In addition to our oldest discontentment, I was frustrated with the lack of time & money to provide our two right brained children with music & art opportunities. We had discussed the real possibility that home schooling might not work for us and had decided that private Christian school was not the answer due to the outrageous price and driving distance. Knowing ahead of time that we were only committing one year at a time to homeschooling, we had our “insurance policy” in place by previously moving to a school district with which we were both comfortable sending our children.

We loved most of the teachers and the few that were difficult we taught our children how to respect them regardless of “feelings”. We wanted our children to learn to respect authority even if they didn’t completely agree with their opinions. As for the lack of Christian atmosphere, it did take some toll on the girls as they watched their friends throw their lives away with drinking, drugs, and sex. On the flip side, both of them have had the chance to witness to their friends verbally and with their life stile.

Did public school give our daughters a good education? Yes, the school gave them an amazing education. We never wanted the school to raise our kids.

If you are considering public education for your child/children, I can’t stress enough how important it is to choose a school district wisely. Make the effort to talk to other parents who have older children or children who have graduated from different school districts. Weigh the pros and cons very carefully before making a decision.


Chris, Crystal, and Weston said...

I've been waiting for the "public school" post all week. I myself attended public school (and loved every minute) and now I'm a public school teacher (and love it).

I liked what you said about "we never wanted the school to raise our children." Though I attended public school, my mom and dad did an amazing job teaching me values, morals, and about leading a Christian lifestyle. Though I had many teachers that I LOVED and will never forget...when I think about who taught me to be the person I am, it's my parents. You can still be the one who teaches values to your children, even if they attend public school.

As far as drugs, sex, etc. Will your child hear of these things in the public school system??? Most likely, at some point, yes. Will they hear about it in a private setting?? Most likely, yes. They will hear about these things, and very likely will be forced to make a decision about them at some point.

My parents taught me to surround myself with Christian friends...that's what I did...and I know I was faced by far fewer temptations because of my "Circle of Friends". My parents were an open book with me and making the right decisions were pretty easy for me. Was I perfect? No...but I don't think I would have made any other decisions just because I was educated differently.

As far as the public school setting...schools are filled with AMAZING teachers. Are there any "lemons"? Sure....but aren't there always? I work at a pretty diverse school....children from wonderful backgrounds, and children from unthinkable situations....however, I have no questions about my child coming here because I know the staff here will love him and do everything in their power to prepare him for the next step.

I think you just have to decide what works best for you. Right now, I feel confident that my son will attend school with me. Could that change in the future? Maybe...but I do know that no matter where he is educated, I will be talking to him daily about making smart decisions, what it means to be a Christian, and assuring him that no matter what, I will always be here for him.

wow that was long!!!!

Lauren said...

I've really enjoyed this week! We're still debating/praying through our options regarding schooling, but with our oldest still not quite 3, we still have some time.

I think the original post today and the first comment make some really great points. The thing that I keep reminding myself of is that no matter what we choose, we're not locked into it! We have made the decision that however we start the school year is going to be how we finish it, barring any dramatic outlying circumstances.

From where we stand now, I can really see some wonderful pros and some road-block cons to public, private Christian, and home schooling. (We don't have charter schools where we live, but we do have a great fine arts magnet high school.)

We have a lot to consider, but we have some time! One of my wise friends says that our job is to insulate our children, and I think that, as we seek Him, God is happily faithful to show us in what ways our families will best honor Him and serve that purpose! :o)

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