home school vs. public school

I go round and round with what to do with my children for the first few years of their schooling. I dread taking my child to kindergarten. I dread leaving them all day there without me there to protect them. Cayden started MDO last week and that was hard enough for me.

I worry that he will be made fun of. I worry that teacher will belittle him. I worry that he’ll be bored. I worry that he’ll fall between the cracks and not get a good education. I worry that he’ll be too smart and not get the attention he needs (yes every mom thinks their child is a genius!). I worry … I worry … I worry.

Here are my reasonings for home schooling. I want to be the one to teach my child to love to read. I want to be the one to instill values into him. I want to make sure we have lots of family time. I want him to learn the birds and the bees from his mom and dad and not the 5th grader at the lunch table. I want to be there when he needs me. I want to love him all throughout the day.

Here are my reasonings for sending him to the local public school in our neighborhood. I would love the break during the day. Hey, I can be honest, right! πŸ™‚ There would be diversity there. He would be around kids his age. He would hopefully have a great teacher that would be another great role model in his life.

Aaron and I are not on the same page about this. We are not in an argumentative state, but we just have different “ideals” for our kids schooling. We are both open to talking and praying about what to do. To be honest I’m very open to either. There is a great school here in Austin that would be great for us. I do school with the kids 2 days a week and he’ll go to school 2 days a week. Sounds perfect to me! It costs money though, and it looks very “white”.

I met a mom today that sends her kid to the public school in our neighborhood. She made me at least think about public schooling for Cayden. Honestly when I think about sending my 5.5 year old to school it makes my stomach hurt. YES, I am that mom that wants to shelter her children. Not forever, just until they are grounded in who they are and a little bit older.

I value people when they say that their children are in public schools so that they can be “light in a dark world”, but I don’t want to ask my 5 year old to be light in a dark world. Seriously is he ready for that? I don’t want to home school forever either. I have no desire to school them at home until they graduate. NO desire for that! I want to send my kids to school to be “light in a dark world” when they are ready and I am ready. I want them to play sports and do activities in jr and high school. If you really want to know something weird about me, I hope that one of my kids plays some sort of college sport!!! I know it’s shallow of me, right?! I will be THAT MOM (michael phelp’s mom) at every game and be their biggest fan!

So, I’m once again debating in my mind about what to do next Fall. It seems so far away, but it will be here before we know it. There is an information meeting for the college prep school that interests me in November. I think that we’ll continue to pray about this, go to the meeting and see what happens. I may even ask to meet with the principal at the local elementary school. Will she think I’m psycho?

Is this a dilemma for anyone else out there? I just can’t take lightly the education of my children and the surroundings in which I place my 5 year old!

I’d love to hear how you came about deciding on how to school your children. Was it even a battle for you, or a simple easy decision? I am very torn over this and the last thing I want to do is hurt my child with either decision.

Home School for a few years and then public or private.

Public from the begninig.

Private all the way.

Home School all the way.

What did or do you do?

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46 responses to “home school vs. public school

  1. oh Jaime I feel your pain! Unfortunately for me I am not apt to homeschooling (and I work full time). We weren’t really happy with the public schools in our areas (previous and current). Although public schools can provide a good education, our son did better in smaller settings and we were told that he would best thrive in a private school (this was when he was in daycare.. young age). He is now 4. He has been both types of settings thus far and we have seen the best results from the smaller settings (i.e. private school). Thus we have chosen to go that route for now. Next year however, we may move him to a charter school that is ran by the same private school he current attends (mostly due to the cost of the private school). Charter schools give you the best of both worlds (if you can find a good one). Private education without the private costs (it’s free).

    For us private would work best however we will be looking at the charter. Class size is key and we want personal and individual education. Right now his private school offers that (there are 12 kids in his class and 2 teachers). The charter school offers the same: small class sizes and personalized education.

    Education is top priority (besides God and our family) when it comes to our kids. That’s my 2 cents…

  2. Hi Jamie,
    We have now been officially homeschooling for 5 years, but the decision was made when our first was probably about 3 years old. All of her little friends headed off to pre-school and I hadn’t even given it that much thought. So I started driving by our local public and private schools and imaginging what that would look like. I had gone to private and public schools and I actually really liked school. My husband did public school for his entire education and was one of those kids who was so bored he just pretty much gave up. We laugh now about his school career as he prepares to graduate this December with a Phd in Education..if only his teachers could see him now. Anyways nothing at all felt right as we discussed all the options. My husband and I used to make tons of jokes about homeschooling/homeschoolers so when one of us finally uttered that possibility out loud it was very strange, but it somehow felt strangely right. My husband came home the next day with a homeschooling basics book. I actually think my hands were shaking when I took the book..I guess I knew something big was about to happen. And thats how it started…it has totally transformed our life. The bond our kids have to us and to each other is like nothing either of us ever had with our parents. The time we have together is amazing..and there is no way with my husbands schedule he would have close to this much time with the kids if they were in school. He actually gets to participate in their learning journey. We have studied in depth different learning styles and we feel so blessed that the kids are able to learn at their own pace and in their own way. Three of our five kids have joined our family through adoption and have some special issues…and I feel so blessed that we are able to address those in such a unique way. I never would have imagined that I would be a homeschooling mom…and I think that might have been the hardest adjustment…what about doing “my thing”. And at times that still pops up a bit, but Bill and I have worked hard to make sure I am getting what I need so that all is well πŸ™‚ Oh and by the way my kids are all club swimmers…and homeschoolers play college sports all of the time! Its amazing whats out there now…there is very little off limits to homeschoolers. And I actually have found a much more diverse homeschool group then my kid would have had in our neighborhood public school. Since we have a multiracial family this was incredibly important to us. So basically if this feels right there is a way to work around all those cons. πŸ™‚ Oh and vacations in off seasons are the best!!!!

  3. JG – yes there is a charter school very close to us that i would like to check out

    Dominique – when you talk it makes me want to sign up!!!

  4. I’ve been part of the half private/half homeschool school (university model school) for all of 4 weeks and so far I LOVE it. The two days at “school” are a great break for me to work, clean, have lunch with my daughter, shop, nap, etc. The two days at home are SO great because I get to see first hand the things he loves, where he struggles, and where I struggle. πŸ™‚ The lesson plans are already done and the faculty and staff are fabulous about making it fun yet educational for my son. They also provide great training for the parents. My hubby has a bit of a busy schedule too, so the time together on off-days (Fridays or Mondays) is so fun to hang out, do some school, and be together. There is plenty of time to be involved in activities that are a great place to be missional – sports, scouts, etc. – because there is no homework in the afternoon! When you walk out of class, you’re done for the day!! I love that the weight of planning and making sure I get everything in (reading, math, writing, Bible study, memorization, ….) is off my shoulders! They learn to have a Christian worldview, which means learning about things that Christians don’t believe in order to test and know what it is about (poorly worded, sorry, but they learn about evolution so they can discuss it in light of intelligent design). Of course, we’re only in Kindergarten, so I’m sure it will be challenging in years to come! But so far, it’s just right for us!

  5. Jamie,

    While I am not a parent I am an educator. In the past schools in the Austin area had one of the most successful programs for teaching reading.

    I have seen a lot from teaching public schools that make me very distrustful of them.

    I have also taught in Christian schools for many years. Some are good and some aren’t.

    Due to my background in teaching I have in the past been very cynical about the effectiveness of homeschooling. I realize that was because for many years I saw only negative examples of homeschooling. The either parents were extremely overprotective and trying to shield their children from the world or they accomplished little.

    Since then I have had some friends who were excellent homeschoolers and my opinion has changed. Currently, I am the editor for HomeschoolBenefits.org. I know several families that use the 2-3 day private school and 2 day homeschool. That seems to be an excellent method.

    As an educator I am a firm believer in finding the educational placement that best meets the needs of your children. For one child public school may be the best option but not for another.

  6. public school…….because i don’t want to home school……and while i want brent and i to be the main influence in our children’s lives i also want them to experience life outside the home(and not just church)…….we have a great school district…….so far i feel good about our decision…..but who knows when our son is older he might want to cyber school….he might want to go to christian school…….i agree it is all about the child and what is best for him or her……honestly i am one of those protective mom’s….and even though my 10 year old goes to public school there is still an innocence there…..i think a lot depends on what goes on in the home and taught and discussed when the child is not in school……i think we as mother’s are never ready for our children to leave the nest……..and you can always start one way and change your mind….

    keri

  7. we have been struggling with this for the past couple of years. we always put it off because we had time, but now we have to make a decision. we are going to the christian private school open house next week. my neices and nephew went there and it is so close to home. i am 50/50 at this point and i don’t know what to do. we have decided that we are going to make a prayerful decision after the orientation and just stick with it! we could keep going back and forth forever!!

    keep us posted on your research and decision!

  8. Boy, can I relate to what you’re going through. My oldest just started kindergarten but it wasn’t without months of agonizing over what to do (here’s my original post on it http://www.sabennett.com/wp/?p=2618). I had the same exact worries as you. I wasn’t, however, considering homeschooling. I work and just don’t feel called to teach her at home. We went on tours of the local private schools and prayed and prayed about what to do. Finally we just got to the point where we didn’t have peace on going to the private school. After we made the decision, we found out the private school only scored an Average score while all the public schools near us scored Excellent. I actually was able to teach my daughter to read before she started school and we are responsible for reading every night. I feel that love for books might only happen at home whether it’s public, private or homeschool. It has been a bit hard with Emma gone so much. But it’s good because then the time we have together is even more special and I make sure to pay attention to her where normally when she was at home was there but not “there” if you know what I mean. It has been great for Emma so far. I realized I think I was overprotecting her and she has had a hard time doing things independently at school. Just walking to class was really hard for her. I think it’s been a good time for her to stretch her wings a bit and I would not have encouraged that as much had she stayed home. But I don’t knock what anyone chooses to do after going through this. It all boils down to what God leads your family to do. So no matter what, seek Him first and when someone asks why, it’s easy to say, that’s what God wanted. Who can argue with that?

  9. I’ve been lurking on your site for quite a while, but you summed up my feelings exactly today. My daughter is only 10 months old, but we are exploring education options for her now. My husband really wants me to homeschool (I am a SAHM and I love being with my daughter all the time), but I have a lot of feelings of inadequacy when it comes to teaching. What if I am just not good enough at it? What if she doesn’t learn what she needs to learn because I can’t teach it to her? We are Catholic so I have requested some information about Catholic faith-based curricula and my aunt homeschooled my 4 cousins so I know she would be a resource. I love to learn and I do get excited when I start looking at the curriculum and checking out the books that go along with it. I think you just know what is right for your family. We are just beginning to explore our options, but I do feel a pull to homeschool. Probably not forever, but at least to give her a good start and a love of learning. Who knows where it will lead us!
    I absolutely love your blog. We are hoping to adopt a few kiddos in the next few years and I love your insight. You have made me love Haiti too! Thanks so much.

  10. We, also, went through the AGONY of deciding where to send our kids. Without being long and drawn out, we came to a place of having to decide between two great choices- a magnet school and a private school. As you know, we are not rich, but after months of prayer, conversation, debating, we came to a place of asking, “What is God’s plan for Parker?” NOT what do we want for her, but where does He want her? We felt that was a private,Christian, classical school, not because it is Christian or private, but because, to us, it the best education we can give her. We want to set our kids up to be Influencers and world changers, and we felt like this was the school to do it. All her friends from church are at the magnet school, which leads to some issues, but she is loved, challenged and encouraged in her school. I don’t question, at all, what she is being told. IT IS A SACRIFICE for us to send the girls, but we knew if there was ever a reason to sacrifice it would be for their education.
    Don’t get caught up in the fact that you are making a 12 year decision. Take it one year at a time.
    You guys will make the choice that is best for YOUR FAMILY!
    Kelly

  11. For us the decision was not difficult. We had an AWESOME publie school system where we live. I think it really boils down to what is best for your child. I have a friend who home schools and it works great for her.

    You know your child and you know what you want for your child. Go with your gut.

  12. Jamie,
    i am an 8th grade student at a public school and here are my ideas…. i love my skool and i love being with all my freinds, exspecially my sport freinds, and i personally think that it will be easier to make a decision if u trust that cayden will not do things that i absolutely promise u will happen, even at his age. i dont know him but i c him as an honest caring little boy and as long as u know his faith in christ and ur trust for him, he will not be tempted for that stuff. only him and god have an idea about this, but assumption are not cut out so home-schooling is fine if he does do extra cirricular at the public school, but otherwise public is a way to learn yourself and wat u are capable of. i am in no way, shape, or form, trying to tell u how to raise ur kid, i would never, ever do that in my life because i have to much respect for u. these are just my ideas being a 8th grader myself!

  13. We homeschool. This year marks the beginning of our second year. I don’t know how long we’ll homeschool our kids. We just take it year by year. But I’ll pass on to you what a dear friend of my said to me when we were first considering homeschooling. She said, “Pray, pray, pray, pray, pray, and then pray some more.”

    We did just this. I approached my dh about homeschooling (our oldest attended a good public school for 4 years). He initially was against it. I just asked him to pray about it & I left him alone. At the time I was unsure as well. Our oldest is strong willed and we tend to butt heads. πŸ™‚ He was the one to come to me & say, “let’s do it.”

    I would encourage you to research different homeschool support groups in your area just as you would research public/private/charter schools. A previous commenter mentioned the option of a school where the students goes to school 3 days a week, and then is homeschooled the other 2 days. My best friend does this & loves it. It’s a great fit for her family. I think it’s a great option for first time homeschoolers b/c it simplifies homeschooling. My best friend doesn’t have to decide what curriculum to use, the teacher/school sends the work home for the “off” days.

    As far as sports go, I understand. I’m personally selfish & I want girls to exceed at sports b/c I didn’t have that opportunity as a child. Having said that I don’t sign my kids up for every sport imaginable. πŸ™‚ Since we began homeschooling, we have had opportunities to participate in sports programs that aren’t offered in our public/private schools. Our oldest learned how to snow ski last year through a winter sports program at our local ski *resort* (It’s not really a resort per say). She loves to ski now! This year our youngest & I will be joining her on the slopes and we will learn to snowboard (I know, a house divided πŸ™‚ One of the support groups I belong to has a rugby team. This typically isn’t a sport offered in public schools in our area.

    So, at this point, I’m not really sure where I’m going with this my comment. Homeschooling works right now for us. I don’t know that we’ll always homeschool, although I’d like to for a while. I’m not one of these homeschoolers that think everyone needs to homeschool, b/c frankly everyone doesn’t. I would just encourage you to pray, pray, pray, research all of your schooling options including homeschool, and where necessary, debunk common homeschooling myths (there are some that I roll my eyes at). I also wanted to add that given the area that Austin is, you’ll probably find some very diverse support groups. I belong to two support groups in my area. One is very diverse and another not so much. I’m glad that we are active in both groups and for the friends my girls have made.

    I’m glad to see that your still considering this & I can’t wait to see what you and Aaron decide.

  14. Jamie- we have always done public school… though I have my teaching degree- and have no problem home schooling if I felt things were not going well at public school.

    Someone said it earlier- it all depends on what goes on at home…. I kind of think of us as homeschooling publicschoolers…. we teach our kids SO much at home-
    there has rarely been anything social that happens at school that we haven’t already talked about at home. We also do LOTS of fun educational activities
    at home- there is nothing that says that just because our children go to public school that we can’t be extremely involved in teaching them lots of stuff!

    I am also an extremely overprotective mom- my kids rarely do sleepovers unless we know the parents VERY well- I am a freak about even letting my
    kids walk over to the neighbors house- and until my oldest daughter was almost in second grade- she had only watched PBS- she didn’t even know what commercials were πŸ™‚

    And the whole being a light in a dark world…. while I have never once asked any of my children to be a light…. when you instill in your kiddos a love for Jesus and the desire to love and be kind to others…. NOTHING can keep that light hidden. I don’t know how many school assignments I have seen of my children’s that referrenced Jesus, church, God, loving others, helping orphans, helping those in need….. That love will just leak out of your kids- without you telling them anything about needing to be a “light”.

    I have many many homeschooling mom friends- and they are awesome- but I in no way have ever felt like I was slighting my children in their education or socially- We would never leave our kids education completely up to the public school anyway.

    I never put any of my kids in preschool- not even the mom’s day out things (though that would be awesome- we have just never had the extra $ to do that) we kind of used church as our guide to see if our kids were ready for classroom settings- and luckily they all were. So far, my three oldest are all in gifted classes in their schools, my oldest son is one of the top students in his class for math and reading….. and even Stevenson who has only been home from Haiti 2 months is already learning to count and knows some letters (and he had zero schooling- and had he had any- it would not have been in English)

    Mommies can do anything πŸ™‚ You have to follow your heart. I cried like a big huge baby as soon as we dropped our oldest daughter off at kindergarten for the first time- I thought the world would end that day- and she came home so excited and couldn’t wait to go back. I had to keep my “control” by bringing her to school rather than letting her ride the bus πŸ™‚ I couldn’t give it all up at once! But I have slowly given that over as well- the guilt over polluting the environment with more car exhaust won πŸ™‚ My oldest is now in 6th grade- and I have not regretted our public school decision even once. She is growing into an awesome young lady, her heart is big- she loves being able to interact with all the different types of kids.

    We have many conversations about choosing friends, and how we think God wants us to love all people, but that we need to choose our friends wisely. My kids like being able to interact with the special needs children as well- not sure
    how that is duplicated in a homeschool environment.

    I have a friend who did public school in the very early years, homeschooled for late elementary and middle school, and then public school for junior and senior year. Others who have homeschooled until 6th grade- and then sent their kids to school. And other friends who have pulled a child out of public school when they saw their child looked like he was falling through the cracks. And many many friends who have done public school from the beginning.

    We even moved from one side of town to the other because our other schools were mostly “white” and it seemed as though the diversity money wise and ethnicity wise was lacking big time. We made that decision before we even knew God had plans of us adopting brown skinned children! We knew that a diverse environment was VERY important to us.

    The number one factor in how your child will do no matter where they are is your (and Aaron’s) involvement. You reserve the right to change your mind πŸ™‚

    So far public school has worked out awesomely (hmm is that a word?) for our family- but I have always said I would pull a child out if I felt the need.
    My kids even play school at home on the weekends…. they love to learn!

    Homeschooling families have so many networks these days, that getting together socially with other homeschooling families is pretty easy. And there are so many different curriculum choices- it is pretty easy to find one that would work for your family. So the problems that homeschoolers used to face, don’t really seem to be issues anymore.

    This got way too long- but I have so many friends who homeschool- and I have always felt like they were a little judgemental about our family choosing public school- I always tell them that I would never leave all of the educating up to someone else anyway, and I feel like my kids get the best of both worlds.

    I think either way is wonderful as long as the parents are involved! πŸ™‚

  15. This book has really been working on me about this subject, as well as many other things related to raising a Godly generation of kids.

    Family Driven Faith
    http://www.amazon.com/Family-Driven-Faith-Doing-Daughters/dp/1581349297

    It is a pretty quick read and well worth your time. Definitely some “controversial” topics but God has really challenged me in some areas. I would recommend it to Aaron as well. Willing to send you my copy if you like. In my opinion it is a must read for any Christian family, if for nothing more than to spur some healthy discussion in your house about some very important topics that Christians probably don’t discuss enough…in my opinion.

  16. Another homeschooler here. πŸ™‚ Frankly I think you need to do just what you are doing, sit down and weight out the pros and cons, and then pray like crazy. Remember, you can always change courses later. We did.

    We started out in the local private school. Our girls all did fine there. But I knew also that God was calling me to homeschool. Dh was initially neutral, but he has flipped and is very pro-homeschooling now. Our oldest stayed in school and is now a junior in High School. Our 14 year old was in school until 4th grade, then homeschooled through 8th grade. She is now a freshman in the same High School as her sister. She transferred easily and has a rock-solid base from homeschooling! πŸ™‚ Our 12 year old attended school until 2nd grade, and is still homeschooling this year in 7th grade. We will let her decide about highschool when she gets there. Our youngest two are in TK and pre-school at home here. They will homeschool through 8th grade as well (at this point, but we are always open to God’s leading).

    On an interesting note, our homeschool group is THE most diverse place for our children. Although our public school is heavily hispanic, that is basically the only diversity in it. The private school is mostly white. Our homeschool group on the other hand, is split almost half white and half other races. We have children that are Chinese, Guatemalan, and Black (I say black because they are from various countries). They compromise half the group and we have a very large group.

    Through the group, my kids participate in field trips, library internet programs, sports programs, homeschool classes (art, music, PE, science), and I am able to attend Mom’s Night Out. I love my moms from the group and our kids are very much socialized. πŸ˜‰

    We take it a year at a time and pray each year for what is best for that particular child. God has never steered us wrong. πŸ™‚

    dawn
    PS-Jaime, you can email me anytime with questions you have ok?

  17. Honestly, it wasn’t hard for me to make that decision. My son was ALWAYS Mr. Social. Give him the chance to go somewhere or do something with someone and he was all about it and quickly waved good bye to me. So when it came time for me to make the choice, I knew that he’d be happier surrounded by kids that he would call friends.

    I didn’t like the schools in my area at the time, so I sent him to a private school. At the time, I was a single Mother and it cost quite a bit to be there, but I was happy he was in a good place with good people. Pre-K was great there and then he went into first grade. At this time I was thinking about moving about 40 Min north of downtown LA but was struggling with the commute idea into Burbank. It was at a parent teacher conference when I made my mind up. The teacher had the audacity to say that me being a single parent was a choice that I should reconsider. I was so frustrated – didn’t she think that I had tried with my ex that cheated … didn’t she think that I was doing the best with what I had … didn’t she think that I deserved the respect that I was doing what was right for my kid? Apparently not. I realized that every school has good and bad teachers.

    That’s when I made my mind up to go to the Valley in the burbs and put Zac into a blue ribbon distinguished school. Best decision I ever made. His teachers have mostly been awesome (with the exception of one) and now he’s in Junior High and is just about a straight A student. He is Mr. Popular, plays many sports and everywhere we go, he knows everyone. Do we have to deal with the kids being too fresh … well to be honest … he just had his first french kiss (yes he came home excited to tell us) and he’s an 8th grader.

    So again … for us … it was a no brainer that has worked out magnificently. Zac is very social … very smart … very good at sports and excels in anything he puts his mind to. A well balanced kid.

  18. wow! lots of good comments. 1st – meet with the principals of the schools and ask for a tour and talk to the teachers…if they think you’re crazy, then run the other way. It’s never crazy to want to be involved in your child’s education! 2nd – take it one year at a time (like Kelly said). You’re not committing yourself for 13 years.
    Just remember that whatever you decide, you choose how involved to be in your child’s education. If you choose public, private, charter, magnet…you can always volunteer in his classroom or just in the school in general…you could even sub at his school depending on the requirements for that.
    just my two cents. πŸ™‚ p.s…glad you’re loving Austin so much.

  19. I am not a mother, but one day I plan to be. πŸ™‚ This is a very interesting dilemma, and I think I know what I will do when we get there. However, we are not totally sure yet. All I know is what I have experienced. I went to public school for my entire schooling days. My parents chose a neighborhood to live in that is very diverse. I can safely say that I was always in the minority, at least through middle school. I think my middle school had 60+ countries represented. I LOVED it. I would not take any of it back for the world. While my schools (through middle school at least) were primarily in the low socioeconomic level, I had an excellent education. My teachers never failed to amaze me.

    Things were not always perfect. I did hear cuss words and not such great stuff at a young age, but the values that my parents and church family instilled in me thrived. I was not culture shocked when I hit college. I love that I learned how to live in the world but not of it. In church and at home, we always were told about how to love people in the world. At school, I had the opportunity to apply that.

    You need to do what is best for your family. I am confident that God will show you what to do. I guess overall, my opinion is that public school is a great option.

  20. Hey Jamie.
    I thought a lot about this too. Syd is in public school and she loves it! Shes thriving there, has wonderful teachers and is in an EXCELLENT school. There are definately public schools that are less than desirable though and if we were zoned to them home schooling would definately be an option. But if you send your kids to public school, might I suggest finding time to be an active member of the PTO. Not only do you get to be involved in what goes on in school, you get a chance to know the staff very well and I think that is a great thing.

    Every school is different and every child is different. Sydney’s in public school, but I’ll likely homeschool Riley for at least a year. She’ll be nearly 6 when shes slotted to start K- like Cayden. Shes only 3 now, and with the schooling we do at home now I think she’ll be ready for K before shes allowed to start. Plus when shes 5 she’ll be having mulitiple ear surgeries and I want to make sure that shes gotten through that and adjusted to her hearing changes before I send her off to school.

    All of the things you listed about wanting to teach and do for your boy can still be done even if he’s in public school. The key here is to let go of that worry. You can not always protect him from mean kids or anything else that will come his way. But you can continue to teach him to be like Jesus and pray for him, and watch him grow up. He;s gonna do that no matter how long you keep him at home, friend.

    love ya
    jen

  21. Just in case no one has mentioned it already…. or in case you haven’t used this site already…. http://www.greatschools.net is an excellent resource for checking out the public and private schools in your area. It might not give you a good picture of the social climate at the school but it will give you a solid summary of the school’s academic records and ethnic and economic makeup.

  22. One more plunk in the penny bank… We send our kids to a VERY good public school. This school has a long record of academic excellence, teachers want to transfer to this school, people move to this area so that their kids can go to this school, etc. But one KEY ingredient in the school’s success is parent involvement. The parents are this school are committed to regular volunteering and fund raising. A parent’s regular presence and committed involvement can have a tremendous effect on the social climate of the school.

  23. You’re already homeschooling. Is it working? If not, then is God specifically asking you to change?

    That’s what people don’t realize. If you are at home with them, you’re already doing it. If you’ve taught them anything – you are homeschooling. You just teach them more stuff as they get older. The resources, the sports, the lessons the experiences … are so unbelievably endless for homeschoolers. You live in Austin. ENDLESS!! Way beyond what the public schools offer. I live in psychotically rural Oklahoma, and we have a huge area-wide homeschooling group that is always doing stuff.

    Also, you can do so much of these things during the day, which opens up the evenings for building community and having more time with the parent that is gone to work.

    I have five kids. I’m in my sixth year of homeschooling. I spent years saying I would NEVER do it – ya’ know, cause homeschoolers were social freaks (at least the TWO that I knew from a small west Texas town). Yeah … I was such an expert on the subject! I’ve discovered that like produces like. Doesn’t matter if they go to school outside their home. I will produce freaks in my own special context! heh.

    Are your kids being socialized now? Do you have a cornucopia of friends? I’ve “read” you for months now. So, I know the answer to that question. I know you seek it out. I know you will do whatever it takes to enhance the lives of your kids.

    I know that you will care about balancing learning with experiencing (um … because you already DO!).

    I will say that you should address your own protectiveness first. I don’t think anyone should homeschool first and foremost to protect their children. It is a wonderful benefit, yes! But if it’s a motivation, it can be detrimental. I love that my kids have more time with me, so that there is more opportunity to say, “Mom when (neighbor kid) talked about ‘humping’ today, and was bouncing one pencil on top of the other, what exactly did he mean?” (an example from just last month) I can make corrections to misinformation and then have a nice talk about the subject before sending them right back out. That is a good thing. My kids benefit from this. However, part of parenting is building them up to release them. That’s my focus. I shelter when they’re weak, but I release more and more as they strengthen. I had to pray through that so that I could WANT that.

    Sending your kids to school outside your home doesn’t change that. It’s something you just have to deal with internally.

    I don’t know why people think homeschooling is so sheltering. I really don’t. I mean look at me. Seriously! Our neighbors across the street are an elderly Hispanic couple – and my kids sprint over to help them out anytime they’re in their yard. My best friend in town, whose kids play with my kids all the time, is PAGAN! I could go on. Yeah, my kids get diversity.

    If your intent is to shelter, then it gives you opportunity to do so. However, the vast (underline: VAST) majority of homeschoolers I know are always seeking to broaden their child’s worldview.

    I could write for days, because I’ve been doing this quite a while now. However, I’ll try to wrap this up:

    I wouldn’t dare to presume to know if we’ll do this forever (I once presumed that I would never do it at all!). Our lives are always evolving. Who knows what will happen four years from now. What I do know is that the homeschool teenagers on our block have been able to take free tech classes in a nearby city that will transfer to the nearby Junior College (one girl has focuses all of hers on computer design and video – she’s getting sooooo ahead on her college requirements). They do their basics when they want (one guy just does his three basic classes all day on Fridays – most of them spread them out). All of them have parttime jobs in the afternoons and evenings – working side by side with real people living in the real world. One kid volunteers at the airport to earn free credit toward flight lessons. Two homeschool teens in town are interns at a local radio station. They all hang out with their friends regularly – not just homeschoolers – because amazingly enough, we all live in neighborhoods with tons of kids that go to public school. Weird, I know! πŸ™‚

    There are homeschool proms (yet a lot of homeschoolers date public schoolers and end up going to both!). There is a homeschool band. We have a kick-butt basketball team that romps all over the private schools every year. There is a homeschool track meet every year. There are science fairs. There are field trips. There are Share Days (where you just bring something – anything – to share with everyone else – whatever you want!). We turn down opportunities constantly. We have to work just as hard at balancing our social calendar.

    Okay. I’ll stop for now (no, REALLY!). Seeing how I could talk about it all day, never hesitate to email me and badger me about other aspects. I love to be badgered!

  24. YIKES! I can’t believe it didn’t make it in!!

    I homeschool first and foremost for educational reasons. Colleges fight over homeschoolers now. I honestly believe that my kids are getting their best education right here.

  25. I will preface my post with the fact that we live in an area that is known for their public schools. Many, many people (including myself) move here for that very reason. My boys attend these public schools and we have never been disappointed. They have also attended public schools in two other cities. I was equally pleased with those schools. Public school has been good to us. I bathe each school year, each child and each teacher in prayer and He always provides. Public school, to me, is not a scary place (I’m sure that there are metropolitan areas where they may be); our innocent, precious 5 year old children are going to school with someone else’s innocent, precious 5 year old children. Teachers who teach in Public Schools are taught and trained in the same colleges where teachers who teach at Private Schools are taught. I believe in public schools; however, am open (if they ever let me down or if I have a reason to) to changing should it ever be necessary. For my boys (and I am not implying this should/would apply to anyone else), I like the idea that they are in a school environment that more closely resembles the world. Not that I want them to be “worldly” but, at some point in their life, they have to learn to get along with all types and all circumstances. I feel that sheltering them from “realness” (to the extreme)isn’t always a good thing because, no matter how much we’d like to, we have to let them go at some point and my job, as a Mom, is to make them able to be independent. If I do not, I have failed. However, accomplishing that will vary from child to child. And, by the way, I have had instances where my boys have been the “light” in the darkness (my 15-year-old is very strong in his beliefs and opinions and my 10-year-old carries a Bible in his backpack…because he wants to) but it’s not something that I’ve told them they must be. I don’t think that they feel the pressure of that but it is just the role that they’ve been given. Best of luck to you!

  26. I am going to make it simple for you … (just like me right) … You know each child is different, so you pray what is best for C or D and then A and S … Both my boys adore school and now that they are public school and not w/ Scott, it has given us a great opportunity to discuss some issues taught in school vs what is taught in the bible and I think really helps them to understand what they are facing in this world … Ex. … how the mountains were created … Jeremiah came home w/ a very scientific answer and then Scott asked, “well how were the first mountains every created” … His answer, “God spoke them into being there.” … good answer Jeremiah … We have talked about the things in his science book that say millions and millions of years ago …

    You will do what is best and sometimes there is really no wrong answer … Love ya girlie !!!!

  27. Hey-
    I had my kids in a Christian School — then a public school — then homeschooled for three years — then back to an MK Christian school — and you know what???? People that say there is only ONE way (either of the choices) are TOTALLY CRACKED … base it on the need of your kids — Paige NEEDED to be homeschooled for a while because she was believing negative things about herself based on comparing herself to others — now – after three years at home — she is confident and is doing GREAT in a traditional school setting.

    Some kids are more suited for one than the other and to say that a parent is unloving, uncaring, disengaged or whatever — based on what they choose for their kid — well that is just a rude and ridiculous notion. In some cases if you’re not a patient parent with the skills needed to work with early learning — it could actually damage your kid to school them at home — it is a personal decision and there is no one right or wrong.

  28. Oh my goodness. I lose sleep over this issue, and our oldest is not even 4 yet! DH is not into homeschooling at all. I would definitely do it up until probably 3rd grade or so. I don’t know that I will be able to convince him. We do have a Montessori school here, which is a huge consideration for us although it is $$$. Big sacrifice. I love their teaching/learning style. I worry more because they’re boys I think. How many times do you read about boys having a hard time in school? It really scares me. Really. I wish I had an answer for you, but I don’t even have one for us!

  29. Jafta is only 3 and I am already agonizing over the decision!!

    Okay, some thoughts for you, since we have a few things in common. As you think of where to send Cayden to school, you may want to think about what school is best for ALL your kids. And as a transracial family, that answer may be different than if it was just decision-making for your oldest. (I know you already know this). In our area there are some amazing private schools that my friends send their kids to, but I can never send Jafta to a school where he will be the only “brown” in a sea of “white”. Maybe Austin has more diverse private schools than we do . . . but around here, if we want diverse, it means public school.

    For me, knowing that we will have four kids, I know that private school is off the table. I am not judging anyone for their decision on paying for private school, but *for me* it is not good stewardship of our money to pay $20k or more a year in school fees when I have all four in school. I wouldn’t feel right about spending my money that way.

    I have may friends who homeschool. Some do it well and their kids are thriving. Others have put their kids back in public to find out their kids are grades behind. IMO, I think it takes certain traits to homeschool well. I think you have to be organized, and I think being extroverted helps, too. If you are the type that tires easily being around other people, than you may need that break of having the kids at school, so you are refreshed and present when they come home. Which is OKAY. πŸ™‚

    Just remember that there is no right or wrong decision here and your kids will do well no matter where they are! Your love for learning will influence them in any setting.

  30. Hi, Jaime. I read Aaron’s blog and found you that way. I’m a career mom to a large, multi-racial family with umpteen children. We have home schooled for over 25 years as well as having various kids at various times in public schools, private schools, cooperative schools (two days in school, three days at home), homeschooling co-ops (Friday classes), tutoring, vo-tech, community college, and university. Most of our children are adults now; their IQs have ranged from EMH to Mensa material.

    To answer your question about whether you’re the only one who agonizes over this question, I say “of course not.” Many mothers agonize over it. It’s a big, life-changing decision. And since children are not “one size fits all,” neither can any educational plan fit any one child.

    I agree with you about a 5-year-old not being ready to be light in the world. After you have been in church for a long, long time and seen enough pastor’s daughters pregnant or families in chaos because of too much too early, you start to think. Likewise, homeschooled children who are ill prepared for the rigors of university life or who have been terribly sheltered tend not to fare well. Raising children is difficult. But they are so young at age 5. For this reason, we have home schooled most of our children until they were old enough to hold onto their consciences, which is by around age 9-10.

    This year, for the first time, we have all of our children in private school. My 9-year-old we already had to move due to a belittling, spirit-crushing teacher (read all about it in gory detail on my blog =P). You’ll know what to do if that ever comes up, because you’re that kind of a Christian.

    There’s a verse in Isaiah that says “they will go out with peace and be led forth with joy,” and I think of that when I make decisions. If you don’t have joy and peace about it, don’t do it. I know you know to do that, but this is just a reminder to do what you know to do in spite of your emotions.

    Some of your readers are encouraging you to take care of yourself, saying it will be “OK” no matter what you do, etc. etc. I disagree. I think it will be OK when you do what is right without being frightened by any fear, like our mother Sarah. This may require sacrifice. You may have to lay down your life (imagine that!) for your children. Either way you go, as long as you follow Jesus, there will be persecution, difficulty, trial, training, discipline, dying to self, and great, great joy. There will be great victory as you follow your the Shepherd of your heart. He loves your children far more than you do; He’ll give you grace and peace.

    I’ll close by commenting too about you and Aaron not seeing eye-to-eye. This is good for a marriage, for two are better than one; iron sharpens iron. My husband wanted me to home school, and I didn’t want to. I wanted a day to myself (yup, I admit it). But I am so, so, so glad that I home schooled. The time went by so quickly. The days were so leisurely. With my kids in school, the days are far more stressful and busy, the evenings doubly so, and it feels like we are on the world’s big treadmill or hamster wheel. You still have 2 hours of homework some nights, more laundry, lots of driving. It’s not that “easy.” It’s no vacation. For us, it’s the way God has led us this year. It’s not heaven (nowhere on earth is, is it?). But I can say that I’ve never regretted following my conscience. I’m sure you’d say the same. Follow your conscience, your heart and the Lord and you’ll be fine.

  31. I didn’t take time to read all the comments. I’m sure this has been said. But I think this is a highly individual choice. I couldn’t home school because I can’t focus for the life of me. We’d be eating cookies and watching PBS all day in the name of learning. Not good. But some moms have the gift of teaching, structure, etc. Some moms don’t even have that gift but they are patient and present enough to home school.
    A home schooling mom told me (my kids are too young for school) that if I didn’t home school, I wasn’t following a biblical guideline for teaching. I didn’t agree with that. I think it’s one of those choices God left us to make in our freedom and we can know He will be there no matter what we decide, on the other side, forking over all the grace and mercy that we’ll need.
    Peace to you.

  32. This was a huge, painful ordeal for me as well. I oped to homeschool for the first few years. Wonderful. Feel glad that I did that every day. My kids and I are very close, I feel proud that I taught them how to read, and I protected them from bad language, innuendo, etc. until they were a bit older. (also, we had a TON of FUN!)

    When my oldest reached seven, it was clearly time to send her to school. She was ready, I was ready, and it felt right. No hesitation. Also, she was hungry for the bigger world that school can offer. Today, all three are in public school and while it’s not perfect and I still anguish from time-to-time, overall it’s going very well.

    GOOD LUCK!
    Spring

  33. Your kids would never be facing school alone for Christ goes with them, someone reminded me once that MY kids really weren’t mine they belong to HIM and HE cares and protects them more than I could ever. I think the school thing is a tough decision But don’t make it based on fear ,ASk your self How big is your God? Do you trust HIM with HIS children? Then make a decision based on what is best for your kids education. Just my thoughts, I can tell you are a awesome mom trust your instincts.

  34. We went back and forth with this as well. Ultimately (after LOTS of prayer) we realized the best decision for our family was public school. In that decision God has blessed us with some amazing teachers. We could not have planned it better. David has had the best teachers we could have ever imagined. We knew it was the right decision for us becuase of the blessings we continuously receive from it. What it boils down to is what works best for your family, and what God tells you through prayer. I will tell you, I was physically worn down by the time my oldest was school age. I knew I didn’t have the patience to handle the load. We know now that was God preparing us to let the boys go to public school, but when we were deciding what to do and waiting for God, my exhaustion only added to the frustration of what to do. If you’re feeling bogged down by the choice, take a break for a bit. God will reveal to you what he wants you to do when the time is right. πŸ™‚ And do what works for your family. If public school doesn’t work out, homeschool might. If that doesn’t work out, private school might. And even if your kiddos do go to public/private school, you will still have many teachable moments and will still be the main reader to your kiddos. David and I read a book together every day. He loves it, and he loves reading because I taught him the importance of reading. We take fun trips to the library each week and find new books, and we order books from Scholastic that we give him on “milestone” days. Most recently he got a “Froggy” book for getting his first 100 on a spelling test. I guess what I’m trying to say is that you will always be his first and best teacher. No matter where the kids go to school. They will always come to you for learning and understanding. I hope all this makes sense. πŸ™‚ We will be praying for you guys, and for God to make the answer clear and comforting.

  35. Hey Jamie!
    We have experienced public, private and homeschool. Love all of them! In my opinion, it isn’t about trying to weigh which one is best, its just about seeking what God’s will is for your family during this season. Savannah and Maveric started their Kindergarten years in public school, Josh went to a private pre-k, and Ali started in our homeschool. All of them went great! I honestly can’t say that one was better than the other. But I do know that each was God’s plan for us. It was more than just an educational option, God used the circle of influence that our family had in each school. So, don’t stress. Pray and seek God’s plan and he will give you AND Aaron peace about which option to choose:)

  36. Wow. Lots of comments here.

    I am currently doing all three: home/public/private. πŸ™‚ I struggled from the beginning about what was best for our kids and my husband and I were not always in agreement which makes it tough.

    Each child is different. My oldest did not do well being homeschooled. So we sent him to a Christian school for middle school. I know him. He should not be in public middle school…too many temptations. We will revisit the options for High School.

    My two girls did so well at home. I really didn’t want to send them to public school this year but after prayer, it was the right thing to do. Thankfully we live in an awesome school district where most of the teachers are Christians. If we lived down in the city, I wouldn’t send them, I would homeschool. Caroline (8) has a hard teacher this year for 3rd grade. Much harder than I was!! It was McKenna’s (6.5) first time ever to go to school so I taught her how to read last year. Her teacher says she is a strong reader and can already read up to the highest level for first grade. (Yeah for me! πŸ™‚ )

    I am homeschooling Jeff and David because they are not fluent in English yet. As soon as they are ready, we will send them to school with their sisters. We’ll see…we have even discussed sending David to the Christian school because he needs more individual attention.

    I would love to send them all to Christian school but it cost too much.

    I think it’s been said over and over here, YOU and AARON must seek God for what is right for YOUR family. While we all want what is best for each child that God gives us, we are to be their primary teachers regardless of where they get an education. We are the ones who help them develop their character, spiritual life, and virtues. We can’t live in fear or worry. Kids can learn that quick.

    You will know you are doing the right thing when you have that peace that passes all understanding.

  37. OH Jamie,
    First hello, i was checking to see what is up with your adoption.
    Second about school. Ok we moved from Antioch to Rutherford County just for the school district. I heard CGE was great so I found a home in that area. Karly is a 5th grader and Madie is a 3rd grader. I have never been to public school but Karl only knew Public school. I wanted private to shelter and protect. He wanted public for them to be the light and us. I did not want to throw them to the wolves as I thought I was doing. We agree to take it year by year. It has been a great great experience. In kindergarten we invested in a family and it took two or three years but now they are saved and go to our church. That is just one story of how we feel God has used us at their school. They are so don’t know the things I knew at their age and I was in the private, christian school. They do not ride the bus because that is unsupervised time and they will never.
    Now I am stressing about 6th grade Karly at a middle school but we will take it year by year. Home schooling may still happen in the older grades only God knows or private school.
    My kids have learned so many great lessons at the public school, they don’t see color at all, they have special needs kids in their rooms and love them.
    They are so thankful for being in a christian home with two parents. Karly loves to share her faith with her friends. OH did I mention that all summer I pray for their teacher and every year both girls have gotten Christian teachers.
    Sorry for the book. Oh did I mention the pressure and critism from our families that we let our kids go to the public school. Whatever you decided just cover them with prayer every day and with the school. I always pray a bubble of protection around them from harm and bad inflences. Again, sorry about the book.

  38. Hi Jamie!

    I am going to give you a perspective on a kid who did both. I went to public school almost my whole entire education. Of course there are pro’s and con’s EVERYWHERE. But for elementary it was great! Loved my teachers, loved my classmates. Junior High got a little sketchy. Lets just face it- no one likes Junior High. I did fine academically and socially. Then I went to high school where they combined two JH’s for a total of 900 kids (just in my class!). No one connected with the teachers and the school was so large you couldn’t touch base with your friends. I fell through the cracks and no one cared.

    My last two years I went to a small private Christian school.
    Pro’s: It was the first time that I loved going to school everyday! My classes were fun and challenging and I instantly made friends. It was really weird the first day when we prayed before every class (God and school had never mixed for me). Teachers saw my strengths and weakness and worked with them. I loved uniforms. I was able to do regular teenage stuff (teepee friends houses, hang out 24/7 with friends, flirt etc.) without feeling peer pressure to become a party animal or a drug user. Honestly, I don’t think I would have appreciated and love my little private school if I would’ve been there for ten years.
    Cons: I’m just going to say it. Some parents were involved too much (completely opposite of public school). “My child hasn’t been getting enough minutes in basketball so I’m not coming to the games.” Whatever happened to teaching children good sportsmanship? The parents gossiped more than the kids. Very sad. Very weird when the gossiped to me (a student) about others (students or parents). There can a be a different kind of pettiness between parents and students when they have been going to school together for many years. Small or big private school. You also find that even at a small public school.

    One last thing: I know many people who switched school either late Junior High or in High School, and it was the best thing they did. You get to shed yourself of the box your classmates thought of you and become whoever you want. You don’t always have to be the kid that needed special classes in 4th grade and pucked in the hallway during passing time in 7th grade.

    Its a big decision, I have thought about where I would send my future children. EEK! Let me know how it goes πŸ˜‰

  39. April’s situation illustrated what I was saying bout choosing what is best for the child.

  40. Hey sister…moms can’t turn this one down. God unexpectly led us to a private school while Lane was in a public school that we all loved. We fell in love with the private school b/c of the diversity, academic strength, and the hearts of the teachers. We KNEW it was right for her.
    A few months after clearing showing us the private school, I also knew God was asking me to pull Lane out of this public school (which we loved and her grandmother who we also love taught there and was my oh so convenient ride for her after school) and school her at home until the following year…yikes. We were stepping all over some toes. This was a ridiculous idea to me because I did not see myself qualified to homeshool (yes..we slept in, we were at Starbucks and antique sales regularly..but I told God that would happen and he still insisted). I did NOT see the point of changing her environment for 6 months..we knew the upcoming year she would change to the new school so this seemed crazy. I did not want to pay for curriculm that I would only use part of the year…it was the middle of the year.. come on, can’t we just ride this out a few more months …but I finally gave in and schooled her at home from Christmas until this Fall. It was the sweetest time!!!! I am SO thankful we had that time. I didn’t teach her anything she couldn’t have learned at school, but we had the most fun together. It was most freeing for both of us, and I was able to influence her and connect with her in such a sweet way over that time . I say now I wish I had homeshooled her at least through early elementary…but really I just want whatever God wants for her. I said all of that to say, I didn’t ultimately have to make the decision which was best, he just changed it when I did:). He will lead you…and sometimes nag….which was a good thing for me. SO relax and know that he will change your course if need be because you are looking to him. If homeschooling is ever a part of your journey…the Benson’s led me to order an awesome catalog for curriculm http://www.veritaspress.com. Jeremy researched and researched, and this is what they have schooled their children on as well.
    oh and are you getting mail at jamie@aaronivey.com I sent a few, but didn’t know if they got through.

  41. I think it is a very personal decision, and there is not a right or wrong answer, except what works for your family. I’m in my 5th year of homeschooling, and I love it. We don’t participate in any homeschool groups or organizatons. All of my kids’ friends are in public or private schools. They get plenty of contact with other kids through theatre and sports, etc. Most of my close friends do not homeschool. I don’t consider myself overprotective, and my kids are both pretty independent, and do well following the rules and structure in the various activities they participate in (even though we DON’T have much structure at home :). They also play very well together. I use The Well-Trained Mind (Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer) as a curriculum guide, and have found it very helpful. Kindergarten took about 45 minutes to an hour a day, and at this point (one in 4th, one in 2nd), school for both kids takes about 3 to 4 hours at most. I have them take standardized tests every year to make sure they’re getting what they need. I always suggest that people who are considering homeschooling, give it a try starting with kindergarten. If it doesn’t work out, put them in school, and don’t feel guilty. If private school is an option financially, but you want to try homeschooling, consider using some of the money you would put toward tuition for a little extra help aroud the house, or with younger children. If that’s not an option then be creative about when and how you do school, and enlist your husband’s help with the housework. We’re in the process of adopting 2 kids from Ethiopia, and plan to continue homeschooling, with the help of a tutor, but are keeping an open mind. We have always taken it one year at a time, and do plan to eventually send our kids to public school.
    This is my 2-cents-worth about my personal experience. Whatever seems to work best for you and your kids is the best choice. And, don’t panic! No matter what you choose, you can change it at any time. Good luck!
    Emily
    BTW, I found you via Heidi’s blog πŸ™‚

  42. I Have been home schooled my entire life, and yes I am socialized, yes I do well on Star testing and yes it has sheltered me from a lot of the worldly views I would get in the PS. My mom and dad feel that it has been a good decision so far but just this year I’m taking 2 classes at our local middle school before I go into eight grade full time. They both thought I was ready for it and I love it so far. There are many networks and groups you can get with to supply curriculum and classes. My parents are very thankful they have been able to teach me about God and ground me strongly in good morals and values. They don’t regret any of it, but felt I was ready to try it since they always knew I would go in for High school. Don’t sweat it, God will show you what to do. But I definetly would suggest what my parents did. Home school until they’re ready…it’s worth it !!

  43. I hope this has been helpful to you! Even now I was researching home vs. public school for a LA project and stumbled upon your blog. If you decide to home school, you will get slack even from family sometimes … but they eventually came around and support us sincerely now. Good luck with your decision !!!

  44. I’m not sure if you and I have blogged with each other before, but I found you through Christine and have you linked on my blog because we are adopting from Haiti as well. Our daughter is from China. She started Kindergarten six weeks ago and it was not without lots of prayers and tears. For THIS year there is no doubt that she is to be in the public school. God hand-delivered a speech therapist job to me so that we could fund our Haiti adoption. My last day is June 5th! ; ) (That’s a whole different issue which I have blogged about…the adjustment of working full-time–YIKES!!) However, last April/May?? I did several posts about homeschooling. With all my heart I want to home school in the Classical style. BUT—for whatever reason, my darling, fun-loving daughter becomes an stubborn little turkey who gets mad and frustrated at the slight utterance from my lips to try and teach her to read or anything else!!! Talk about heart-breaking!! I had our whole kindergarten year “planned” out in my head and had done tons of research, had SEVERAL friends who are the successful, fabulous home schoolers and then I was realizing that my little miss wasn’t learning very well with me. That is not to say she won’t do well later with some maturity and learning to read from someone else. It did open me up to working full time this year to get the money for our little man waiting for us. We have a FABULOUS Classical Christian school literally down the road from us, but it is VERY expensive. My hubby is a Children’s Minister so we are not flush with income. I love that the time she’d spend there would be quality education taught in the Classical Style (I LOVE THIS!!!) and she’d be home for two days and then Fridays are for labs, field trips, etc. Sounds perfect, except for the money. Hmph. We have “great” public schools here, but I have major issues with “teaching to test”. Where do you live? We are in Texas. I work in the public school this year. I have known for a long time that the teachers are made to teach ONLY what is covered on the standardized tests, but I honestly didn’t know it was THIS bad. Seriously, if it isn’t on the test….forget it. What kind of education is that??? SURE–they will be able to take a standardized test and have the knowledge to be successful with that kind of info, but what fun is that? Where’s the broad range of all the amazing experiences available to them in that? I just abhor the ridiculous tests. I have worked in private Christian schools as well and if it isn’t a school that is purposefully focused on being different than the world, then you just have a school who prays and has Chapel once a week with mostly the same things going on there as you do in public. It is all relative and you do have to do what is right for your family. I know. You’ve heard that already. This is just my two cents and I don’t have our own answer either. For this year, it’s taken care of. Public. We’ll see about next year. Smile. ; ) FYI: I don’t really have any blogging time anymore now that I am working, but that ends in JUNE! WOOHOOO! I just happened to click on you today and was, of course, lured in by those little words: home school.

  45. PandaMom hit on why I got out of teaching in public schools in Texas over 10 years ago — teaching to the test. To make a long story short as a part of my job I had to monitor teachers giving tests. I caught more than one teaching taking changing answers on tests. Not only was nothing done about it I was reprimanded for not certifying that the tests are reliable.

    OK, this a little off topic. I am the editor for a homeschool site and am looking for people who would be willing to share why their reasons for homeschooling.

  46. We are in the same position. My husband and I have been praying over this for years and still do not know what to do. There are so many pros and cons to all of our options. School is starting back up after the holidays and we don’t know if we should send our 6 yr. old to public or continue to homeschool her. She started this year in private then we pulled her out to homeschool and now we might put her in public. We have four kids ages 6, 4, 2 and 1. Things are tough for me at home. The homeschool part is not difficult it is the rest of the day that gets hard for me. They just get so bored at home and fight all day long. NOt to mention that it is very difficult for me to get alone time, even during nap time. This is why we are considering going public. It may just be too much strain on me and yet I feel that parenting is a sacrifice. A sacrifice that may mean I homeschool for the sake of my kids education. The public schools in my town are not very good. My neices and nephews are in school here and the results leave much to be desired. I pretty much go back and forth several times a day with this decision.

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