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the school conundrum
I realize that I have a few years yet before Raeca goes off to school but I’ve been finding myself thinking about the topic a lot lately, especially after talking about the options with a few friends over the weekend.
The debate going around my head is: public school, Christian school or homeschool? We agreed on the weekend that there are positives and negatives to each aspect (though apparently I am the only one crazy enough to even consider homeschooling). Ultimately Jared and I will discuss it and figure out what is best but in the meantime I thought I would break down a few of my thoughts and would love to hear what others are thinking!
Just a little rundown of my school experiences so you know where I am coming from:
I started out in public school as a child and was moved to a Christian school at the beginning of grade 5. I was not very impressed with the move at the time but a large portion of that had to do with the fact that I didn’t make friends for a while (funny side note: one of the girls who decided she didn’t like me in grade 5 has ended up being one of my best friends. Oh how things change!). Looking back on the school switch now I know my parents made the right decision for me. When I was in grade 4 I started to care about being popular and getting into the “right” (aka cool) crowd. I think I would have easily caved under peer pressure as the years went on and would not be where I was today had I stayed there. Let me just say: this is not a bash against public school, I’m just saying that it was right for me.
Now as a substitute teacher I work in public schools and a Christian school and I have to say, the kids in the Christian school are much more respectful as a whole.
I don’t have any personal experience with homeschooling but I know of many people that were homeschooled as well as know of some who are homeschooling.
Now onto my thoughts about the different kinds of schools:
– I like that my children could be a witness to their friends and be able to invite them to Sunday school, kids clubs, etc.
– If my kids get to know other kids in their class that gives me an opportunity to get to know their parents and maybe witness to them
– It’s free
– It’s close
– More chances of my children hearing things I don’t want them to hear at such a young age (it’s amazing the vulgar things that can come out of the mouth of a kindergartner)
– Won’t be taught from the Bible
– They are taught from the Bible and have chapel each week (chapel was always my favorite part)
– They would probably be in the same class as some of the kids from Sunday School
– It’s a smaller school
– It’s expensive
– Teachers slip through the cracks that don’t necessarily teach from the Bible
– Many parents seem to believe that because they send their kids to a Christian school they think they don’t need to teach them from it
– I can teach how/what I want to (no, it’s not a power thing, but it is nice to know what your kids are learning, I think that’s the teacher in me)
– They could go through the lessons faster since we wouldn’t be waiting for 20-30 kids to finish the assignment
– If any of my kids have any delays or developmental problems I would be able to spend extra time working with them
– I could go on every field trip 🙂
– We could travel the world and still educate our kids (the couple behind Blue Lily Photo will always be my heroes for that)
– I would always be with my kids (everyone needs some time apart)
– I wouldn’t be able to go back to work full-time
– I would have to make sure they are good at socializing because a problem that I have seen with many homeschooling kids is that they aren’t able to socialize well since they don’t see a bunch of peers each day
Okay, there are my (current) pros and cons lists. What do you think? Do you have anything to add? Where do you plan on (or currently) send your kids? I would love to hear your answers!
hey girl, just some thoughts on your con list for public school:
It’s the job of parents and the church to teach children the Bible and my husband learned everything about drugs and stealing at a young age when he transferred to CHRISTIAN school, haha! most children aren’t believers (they may be moral or not, but the decision for Jesus to be Lord of ones life isn’t often, authentically made at age 6-10), it’s more their parents and teachers at the Christian schools, so the kids taught him all sorts of bad things that he later got rid of when be got saved (at a secular university).
I’m definitely biased since Brad and me are strongly opposed to Christian or homeschooling (unless there are special needs of the child that public school can’t meet) and are in fact excited to enroll our kids in public school (the same school as all of our neighbors kids that we’re hoping to reach), so take this with a grain of salt, but do consider it, since I know you and Jared are missional believers too 🙂
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Emily!
We don’t have an option based on where we live, but we have discussed it and I am pretty sure our kids would still go to a public school. Kind of along the same lines as Emily’s statement above. If we teach our children from the Bible at home and continue taking them to church, then maybe they can have an influence on the kids around them. I know it can easily turn around and they could be influenced the other way, then I guess I just have to work harder as a parent. Good luck in your decision either way.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Janet! I love to hear what others are thinking on this topic!
Such a great post Chantel! I have actually started thinking about this myself. I know, though, that I would not be up to homeschooling as it’s just not in my personality to do so. I think for our boys, I would be happy for them to go to the local public school for their primary years (kindergarten to year 6) as it’s meant to be a good school, and we’ll be able to connect with non-Christian parents/families in our area. (Plus, it’s free.) For secondary schooling though, I’m probably more inclined to send them to a Christian school (for the very same reasons as you’ve listed above) if we’re able to save up the money. Obviously, four boys will not be cheap but I’ve just found out that you get an increasing discount with each subsequent child at our nearby Christian school, so that’s encouraging for us.
Hey Ronnie -I love your thoughts on this. I think this is the way I am majorly leaning!
I have been thinking about this a lot. For years. Now Alexander is approaching school age, and it’s decision time! For us, it’s got a lot to do with where we live. If we stay in Denmark, we’ll send him to the local public school. There is a very good Christian school in our area, which we would probably consider for secondary school (grades 7-10 here), but you just can’t downplay the advantage of a good local public school, in terms of being part of the local community. Running over to play at the neighbours house is invaluable in my opinion…I grew up on a farm 20km from my school friends 🙁 If we decide to go to Africa, we’ll homeschool, as that will be the best option in that situation. It simply wouldn’t work here in Denmark. They would be too isolated socially. I guess the most important thing, in my opinion, is to choose what you think is best in your current situation, and to not be afraid to change with a new situation. No matter what, I think it’s always our responsibility to be passing on our values and Biblical truths to our children. Good luck with your decision!
I love this Fiona -and the fact that you have thought about homeschooling if you move to Africa. I’m intrigued to hear more about your whole situation. I know when we were in Uganda there was a really good school for missionary kids but a lot of people still chose to homeschool their kids. I’m secretly hoping we’ll be living in Africa when the time comes to make our decision. 🙂