It goes without saying that everyone wants their children to have the best education...the question many parents face is where will my child receive the best education, public, private or home school?
When I grew up, this choice belonged to only the very wealthy families. At no point was where I would go to school a topic of discussion. Public school wasn't even referred to as "public" school. It was just school. Everyone I knew just went to school...period!
Occasionally, in junior high school, we would notice that certain kids that had always attended school with us, didn't return after the summer. We would hear through the "grapevine" that they were "sent" to private school. It never seemed like something that was a good thing, at least not from our point of view.
I never heard the term "home schooling".
Today, educating our children...where and how is a major decision.We are all faced with choices.
My daughter (age 31) went to public school for all 12 years. She was diagnosed with ADD in the second grade. Because of her situation, I had to be a very "involved" parent throughout her school years to insure she received the best education possible. I saw her struggle constantly to stay on task and keep up with the class. Pre-teaching and tutoring was a must.I became a fixture at her school!
When my grandchildren (who I am raising) were ready for school, we happened to live in a town that had a small private school. I had seen a lot of things in the public school when my daughter attended that concerned me...drugs, violence but most of all extreme peer pressure and cruelty between the children.
I chose to send my granddaughter and grandson to private school. They attended the private school for 6 years. Although many things were much better than what I had experienced with my daughter in public school, I was not pleased with the pressure to perform placed on my grandchildren at the private school.
In my experience, private schools are very concerned with their "appeal" to the public to attract more students. Their best advertisement is to be able to boast about the above average academic accomplishments of the students. This of course works fine for the above average students, but can be devastating for the average or below average students. Regardless the pressure is on!
Although both of my grandchildren maintained honor roll status each year, I could see the price they were paying to "perform". Each day after school, they would spend an additional 2-3 hrs on homework. They were not able to participate in outside activities like sports or clubs. I also wondered how valuable it was to them in terms of education or were they just behaving like parrots...taking it in only to repeat it back...retaining little or nothing.
Last year, after much discussion with my husband and my grandchildren, we made the decision to home school.
We are now into the second year and for us, it was the absolute best decision we have ever made. Their grades have risen to high honor status and both are reading a grade level higher. Our day begins at 8:30 am and we are finished with academics by 12:30. We alternate days for science projects, book reports, research papers etc.
My grandson is finally able to play on the sport teams at the local YMCA and my granddaughter has joined the 4-H and is taking riding lessons! As we live in Florida and love to spend time at the ocean, we have the flexibility of time to take long weekends.
The most important benefit for us is that we have time to "talk". We have time set aside each day for what we call "Life Lessons". During this time, the children suggest any topic they wish to discuss and research if necessary.
Last week, my grandson wanted to understand why some people call other people names! (My psychology background comes in handy sometimes!) We were able to discuss in depth how people treat others and why some choose to mistreat people.
For my family, we are pleased to be home schooling because my grandchildren are receiving a top notch education in academics while being able to experience the value of family and life.