Family, Homeschool

Public School—Is It Really ‘All That’?

As our kiddos approach the end of the first quarter of public school this Friday, I’m reflecting on their education now compared to our 3 years of homeschool.  There is no such thing as a perfect school, whether homeschool or “brick and mortar.”  The key is following the Holy Spirit’s leading as to what’s best for your child and your family as a whole.  We have a 6th, 5th and 1st grader.  The last time the two oldest were in public school was 4 years ago in northern California.  Our daughter stayed home with me and last year she homeschooled Kindergarten.

I posted previously about two of my children needing to “prove” their way into the next grade by testing out of the one they’d just completed with me.  Admittedly, I had some concern about how they would test. For the past 3 years my children didn’t sit for any formal standardized tests and I hadn’t strictly adhered to the Common Core scope and sequence.  Did we cover enough?   Well, by God’s grace, we covered what was necessary by Texas standards, and more!  Other than a couple of questions he guessed on, my 5th grader felt very prepared.  In fact some of the 4th grade test covered things we did in 3rd grade (in case you’re wondering, my kids enrolled in a top school district in Texas).  God is faithful!  If the Lord has called you to homeschooling, be encouraged and trust Him to lead you in teaching your children!

This go round, our public school experience is quite different from our previous one.  Homeschooling families know there is still a stigma surrounding homeschooling.  I got my share of pitying glances and condescending questions during the school registration process, as if the public school experience would be “superior” to our homeschooling one.  Instead, our children found they were already utilizing independent learning strategies their new classmates were just being taught.  You could also imagine my surprise to find our children’s schools using teaching strategies quite common to homeschooling families.  Our children’s teachers not only teach to different learning styles, they’re also receptive to particular aides our kids find personally helpful while learning (such as our kinesthetic 5th grader squeezing a small ball during individual work time or our middle schooler chewing gum in class).

Overall I’m grateful our children have teachers who seem to compliment their learning styles.  They’re enthusiastic and creative, often presenting the material in ways our children are most receptive. That didn’t just happen; we committed this transition to prayer just like we committed homeschooling to prayer.  I’m also well aware our experiences thus far this year in these two schools are NOT indicative of public schools across the country, nor are they perfect.  There is no perfect schooling scenario, but I’m thankful God has led us to a school district that realizes a child’s education should happen in partnership with parents.  Is public school really ‘all that’?  Is it the benchmark of education?  No, it’s not better, just different and has its own drawbacks depending on how you define learning success.  Effective teaching in public schools requires school officials dedicated to meeting every student’s educational needs and child-advocating parents who expect no less.

Your thoughts?

4 thoughts on “Public School—Is It Really ‘All That’?”

  1. I think your kids are extremely lucky that you are willing to do this for them. No doubt there’d be more money in the purse if you went out to work and sent them to public school. I understand that homeschooled children tend to do better in standardized tests. Perhaps you could find a good Christian school for one of them to try out at a time, just so they don’t miss out on the experience of attending school althogehter? For social situations it could be a bit awkward never to have experienced what everyone else has. With the types of values that prevail in public schools, and the behaviour I think you are right to put the safe before the unsafe and school them at home. There’s no way the experience could be worse in terms of what they learn. And they don’t have to experience unhealthy peer pressure, vulgar language and ideas, gangs, negative stereotypes, bullying, sexual molestation and everything else that goes on in the average school.

    Spare a thought for countries where homeschooling is essentially not allowed. Germany, Sweden and several others. Kids must be subjected to the state indoctrination whether they want or not. People who are really committed had to move to other countries so their kids wouldn’t be seized by social welfare because they didn’t send them to school.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. My kids actually returned to public school this year. They are doing well academically, although our homeschool challenged them more. The social piece that every one is so concerned about them missing out on, is the WORST part of them being in public school. What they’ve learned from their peers is distasteful at best. My husband and I know what we’ve taught and continue to teach them, we pray, we believe Proverbs 22:6 and we trust the Lord.

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  2. Haha, that’s what happens when you try to cook and read a blog post at the same time!
    Sorry!

    You’d best keep praying it works out then! I only know about American schools from movies and TV. But our own are bad enough.. In the States the contest about being “popular” seems particularly seductve and destructive.

    It just doesn’t seem like a healthy environment for somebody to grow up a Christian.
    I was actively taught atheism in a public school. My parents didn’t care.
    For me, it took as long to get that out of my system as it took to get it in there.
    At least you got in there first with your kids, with a health dose of faith and God.

    Once someone’s been taught contemporary science as the standard against which everything else must be compared, you are almost innoculated for life against Faith. Most people can never break out of that, and they don’t want to because they believe they are more enlightened than the “backwards and deluded” religious person.

    Liked by 1 person

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