More Schooling Options: Public School

Posted by  | Thursday, November 5, 2009  at 6:00 AM  
This post was written by Leah's friend Pam. She is married to Sam and they have four children (so far!). She has a son in high school, a daughter in middle school, a daughter in elementary school, and an almost 1 year old at home. She often describes herself as less of a Stay at Home Mom and more of a Stay in the Van Mom. Here are her responses to the questions:
1. What are the top three reasons you decided to send your kids to public school? Hmmm, I think that sending your kids to public school is still pretty much the norm and, as such, the choice I came to given that I didn't feel strongly about pursuing either a Christian school education or homeschooling for my children.

2. Why didn't you send your kids to Christian school? Why didn't you homeschool? I think I was also strongly influenced by the fact that I'd grown up in a Christian home, but had never been homeschooled or attended a Christian school, so I knew it was a viable option. There were also concerns about the cost of a private Christian school. As far as homeschooling goes, I'm a strong supporter of those who choose that path, but I don't feel it's for me. I don't know that I had the patience or organizational skills for it and I believe it's an option that has to work for the whole family. I think to decide to homeschool one typically has to feel strongly that homeschooling is what you want to do or anti-tradtional schooling and I don't fit into either category.

3. What is the best part about public school? and 5. What is the biggest benefit to your child by public school? I love the fact that our school district is incredibly diverse. Our kids have friends from multiple cultural backgrounds and friends who are Evangelicals, Catholics, Jewish, and Muslim.

4. What is the worst part? and 6. What is the biggest deficit? Public schools can (and do) encourage values, morality, etc., but without the foundation for those beliefs. Also, encountering kids who's values are radically different than ours can be a challenge. Educationally, there would certainly be benefits to the personal attention that homeschooling affords, but personally I feel that I'd also be wondering if I were missing things that I should be teaching them.

7. What advice would you give to a family with preschool-age children working through this decision right now? I LOVE that we live in a time and state where there are so many options for educating our children. Although we've chosen public schooling for our kids I love that I have the option of going with a Christian school or homeschooling if our family's needs change or we detect a significant problem with where we're at. So I guess my advice would be to remember that it is a blessing that we have this choice and that the choice is something that really has to work for the entire family.

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