Monday, August 8, 2011

Hot Topic: Homeschooling

Okay...there's more to this post than homeschooling. And I want input! So please comment! I've been carefully considering, and reconsidering all of the educational possibilities once Little Miss is "of age" - which is a couple years off, but I want to make a decision by then, so....

Here are the options...public school, private school, charter school, home-school...or just leave her to her own devices and see how far she gets in life on play-doh and dollies...pretty sure she could make a career out of that. =)

I've been researching and I think it's pretty safe to say that for us, private school is off the list. Kind of pricey and not a lot of good options where we live. So - public, charter, or home...

Here is my list of pros and cons - please feel free to add to it or argue it, especially if you've had experience in one of the scenarios yourself - or with your kids.

  • Pros
    • social interaction
    • super easy for me
  • Cons
    • influence of dumb kids
    • exposure at a young age to things I wouldn't want my kids exposed to
    • the pace of learning can only go as fast as the other 25+ kids, for Little Miss this would be a problem - she'd get way bored
  • Pros
    • student paced learning
    • social interaction + home more often
    • tighter values & expectations for students
  • Cons
    • higher expense
  • Pros
    • I would get to be WAY involved in the curriculum
    • My innocent babies wouldn't be exposed to anything I didn't deam appropriate
    • Nice and cheap!
    • Peace of mind
    • My weird obsession with school supplies would be useful...I know I don't need new pencils and notebooks every August - but I just can't help myself!
  • Cons
    • Less social interaction
    • I wouldn't be able to teach them how to play the tuba - just saying. I don't know how...
    • I might go crazy never getting a break from my little darlings
    • The fear of completely failing & not being able to keep up
    • Housework and all hobbies might go out the window - would I end up feeling like I lost myself?
So my dear readers...what are your thoughts and feelings on the options? Your experience? I might end up getting some guest posts from differing views on this one...I need help!


  1. Just a few thoughts:

    A public school education can be awesome only when teachers AND parents work together to ensure students are learning. It is so important for parents to be an active part of their child's education. So many parents just leave it all up to the teacher. The teacher only spends 6 hours a day with his/her students. That isn't enough to teach them everything they will need to know. Parents must be actively engaged in their child's education from volunteering in the classroom to knowing what their child is supposed to be learning.

    Charter schools: These are public schools that are not subject to the same rules and regulations as public schools, but must demonstrate certain results in exchange for looser regulations. There is no tuition and enrollment is usually based on a lottery system. I was a little confused about how you said a charter school would be more expensive. I have heard of charter schools stipulating that at least one parent of a child must volunteer a certain number of hours a month at the school in order to attend.

    Home school: My degree is in Elementary Education and I love that I will be able to home school my children if I feel the need to (although it doesn't take a degree to do so. But it's a lot more helpful!) But, I do think social interaction is vital to a child's growth. There are homeschool groups that get together which is nice for those who have chosen this option. And let's be honest, a little break from the kiddos is nice. But it's nice to have the option of doing home school if we as parents feel it's necessary.

    One last thing: Unfortunately, our children will be influenced by all sorts of things in this world, whether they go to public school or not, and not just by "dumb" kids (do you mean poorly behaved children?). I get nervous when I think about my baby as a teenager who wants to watch shows that his friends watch, but our family deems inappropriate. While his circle of friends will have a huge influence on his life, we as parents must do everything in our power to make sure our influence is more powerful and longer lasting than the influence of others.

    Sorry this was sooooo long! Good luck on your continued search!

  2. Whitney - thanks for all the info! And by dumb I meant naughty, misbehaving, rude...

  3. I haven't ever really considered home school as an option just because I don't feel like I have the patience or the know-how to really do it. But we have talked about public vs charter schools for when our kids go to school. My nephews go to charter schools in Colorado and they really like them. They actually prefer them over public schools. They don't have to pay to go, they just have to get on a waiting list and sometimes it can take a while to get in. The class sizes are smaller and the school overall is smaller. My oldest nephew tried out for the basketball team and the public high school and didn't make it but when he transferred to the charter school he made it on to their team because it's smaller. So if the school has sports everyone who wants to have a chance to play can. But we have also talked about public school and I agree with the comment above. We want to make sure we talk to our kids every day about what they're learning and what's going on at school. They're going to be exposed to things that you don't want them to be exposed to whether they go to school or not but it's all about what you're teaching them at home that will make the difference. As long as you make sure you're involved and teaching them how to make the right choices at home they'll be fine.

  4. Hey Barb!

    Sorry I’m slow to respond! I have so many thoughts on this, but to be honest, my thoughts are really random, and vary depending on the day! I think it is 100% about the child. 100%. I went to public school K – 4, and again for part of 7th grade. We moved around a lot (4 schools in 4th grade alone), and we had good friends who home schooled, so it seemed like a great idea for us! I always had the option of going to school, but I chose to be home schooled, and my family was of course, supportive! My mom ordered curriculum from Ben Franklin Academy, and later, through BYU Independent Study (I swear, being home schooled is MUCH more expensive than public school!). To be honest, I worked on my own most of the time- sure my mom was there for me, and I had a tutor for a little while in high school to help with math, but basically I was self-taught. I loved it! I’m not sure if it made me really self disciplined or motivated, or if I was already that way and home schooling just pushed me in a good way to stand on my own two feet? Either way, it doesn’t work if you look at it with the perspective of “Hey! I can sleep in!” I spent some time with at a home schooling “academy” of sorts around 9th grade- that was a good experience, but really expensive and was quite a ways from our home. I had a lot of social interaction with friends from Church, dance, and volunteering. I participated in school dances and activities thanks to my friends who went to public school. I feel like I had the best of both worlds, but I have yet to decide if I’d home school Elle… again, it will depend on her, her personality, and if she can be independent enough to put in the effort. I don’t think home schooling is necessarily an “answer” to a lot of public school issues, but it definitely can be a great option to consider when the time is right!

    I hope that helps!!

  5. So here are my thoughts about charter schools since that's where I've been for the past couple of years. Charter schools are a great option for parents who want to be more involved in their student's education because that's why they were created. Parents are more involved in the school board and in making important decisions about students. I think when looking at charter schools it is very important to do research. Although charter schools are required to teach and test on the same curriculum as public schools they have more freedom to focus on different areas as well. If the school is set up well, has a steady administration, and enrolls many students it is probably a great place to send your students. I say this because charter schools are like a business. They receive their money from the state based on number of pupils enrolled. The school works to keep their parents happy because that is who "keeps them in business." Charter schools are also not affected by teacher unions, so teachers can be fired at anytime. This means that students won't be forced to have crappy teachers that the school can't get rid of. I love charter schools and I think that there are some really awesome options out there. However, there are a few out there to watch out for. Just make sure to do your research!


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