Saturday, July 13, 2013

When public schooling is just as good as homeschooling

Been thinking of you all over here... always hate to leave my readers long on a sad note, just been busy. :)

I (happily) have more kids home right now, so I'm doing stuff like this:

And... I'm doing more laundry!  Right now, I'm wishing I could be at the Beth Moore conference downtown, instead of here with a laptop watching "How It's Made" out of the corner of my eye.  But perhaps I'm where I'm supposed to be tonight.

I love having my kids home.  I do.  My main complaint is that I can't keep enough food in the house.  But I truly enjoy having older kids around with the younger ones.

It seems very counter-intuitive to pack up the more rational and helpful kiddos off to sit for six hours of school a day during the school year.  Where they really, truly, and completely aren't learning for six hours a day, 180 days a year.  Where they are spending more time being formally taught by people I don't know.  I mean, where's the sense in that?  Prior generations would really think we're nuts...

But, overall, public school (yes public school) has worked for my family.  My kids are fantastic, moral, sensible, intelligent, kind and well-mannered human beings; I can assure you of this subjectively.  :D  But you'd like them, really you would.  They even mingle well with homeschooled children, I promise.

I want to homeschool my eldest next year.  You see, in the inscrutable wisdom of my city, the little neighborhood school she just finished is K-5th grade, so they mean to funnel her to the 6th grade of a 1st-6th grade school, and from thence to the middle school called "Park View" (known as "Park Zoo" to many).

Confusing, particularly for adolescents?  You betcha.

But my daughter is unsure... she thinks she may want to try one more school year.  I understand why: it's a nicer school than the one she was in even.  Big gym.  Nice playground.  Cool lockers.  If you're 11, these are serious considerations.

Ultimately, I'm going to pull rank as "Mom" but I'm considering her take on it... when I was homeschooled through high school, I was pulled out without warning or choice.  I only vaguely understood homeschooling as something you did if you were missionaries in Alaska.  It was... an upsetting change.  And actually, in the 90's, there really wasn't much socialization... Even though that's not the case today--now homeschooled children are often better socialized than their regular schooled peers--I want to go into this homeschool experience with as positive an attitude as possible on the part of both mom and child here...

As for me, I'm super excited at the prospect.  There is so much I want her to learn that her current schooling doesn't offer.  Favorite literature and poetry I want to share with her.  Relearning with her by teaching history, apologetics, and--okay, fine--Algebra.  :)  So many places I want to take her on educational outings. To look at more advanced courses in what she excels in and take time to strengthen the areas she struggles in.  To give her an individualized education based on the needs of herself and my family.

I'll be batting this decision around all summer.  But in the meantime, as a previous homeschooler who has her kids in public (gasp!) school and is planning to (gasp!) homeschool one and have the other in school:

When is public school as good as homeschooling?  Well, when it's God's will for the child to go to public school, of course.  :)  (And while I have no infallible assurance of this, I earnestly hope I'm following His will for my kids.)

There are pros and cons to both methods, for sure. Despite the obvious advantages to homeschooling, a child from a Christian home can learn in a public school.  Can actually thrive in a public school.  And can be a needed example in a public school.  I like to think my kids have (at least sometimes) fulfilled this role...

"In all things, show thyself an example of good works." Titus 2:7


  1. The beautiful thing is that neither solution has to be permanent. If you decide to pull her out and it doesn't work, she can always go back to school. And vice versa.

    Public schools are not the enemy, though they are often made to be one by the homeschooling community. Your daughter will grow into a wonderful young woman, not because of her schooling, but because she has you for a mother.

    1. I totally agree about the flexibility, which is cool; I do intend to pull her out if she starts having a repeat of this year (lots of bullying, excessive homework, etc.) sigh. Thanks for the encouragement! :)

  2. Looks like your having a fun filled summer! Its exciting that your thinking of bringing her home. I love that your thinking about what she wants. Like Melissa said above it doesn't have to be permanent. Do what works. That is the best thing about homeschooling or really any schooling decision if its not working change it.

    I never got the whole public schools are the enemy that many homeschoolers feel. I homeschool Samantha as you know. But she takes classes in our local school too. Do I feel that her school is bad. No. I don't like our system in my city and the lack of learning in the older grades. But we have such a wonderful working relationship that many of my homeschooling friends don't get. I love that my daughter gets both worlds open to her. Its funny how many were very fearful when I agreed with the principal to put Sam into their school for classes. She has made many friends there that have carried over into her outside our home activities that she feels welcomed everywhere we go.

    Good luck with your decision and your homeschooling years ahead or even public school years ahead. I fully believe a child will thrive in any environment as long as they have loving parent who is willing to be there for them and support them. for some children that is homeschooling and others that is public or private schools.

  3. one more thought if your daughter wants to attend school for this year why not try what we are doing. Most of the academics at home and a few extra classes at school. Will your school system allow that? In MA they have to. Not sure what your laws are

    1. Jen, I would LOVE to do that!!! Would you message me more info on FB? I've always thought that would be a great compromise...

  4. Follow God's Will. Period. And He tells you and Dan what is best for your children, not your friends, not your parents, no one else. While I plan to homeschool through HS, we take it year by year, and the two eldest boys were in school this year. We were convinced that it was where God wanted them to be at the time. While I don't like public school "on the whole", there are good points and things I can't offer, and there are always "oasis"-- that teacher or group that God directs your child to while in PS, or any school.

  5. Very true about them having an "oasis." I like that imagery... thanks A! :)