Home schooling vs. public schooling

[deleted account] ( 19 moms have responded )

Our daughter is five and will starting school this up coming September. This is my first child going to school and I'm basically scared spit less, lol!
We've dabbled with the idea of homeschooling, but my husband has decided the public school in the town we live in is good for our kids to attend. And I don't disagree. We live in a small town that's still very Bible based, but the school is still a public school and obviously teaches evolution, and secular life styles (that my husband and I don't agree are right) are okay. We have several connections to the school. My daughter's kindergartner teacher may be a woman from our church going back to school from maternity leave (which makes me feel so much better about letting her go, lol)! Another woman from our church also works at the school, I think she teaches grade 5 or something like that. Yet another woman from our church has a sister who is on this school's board of directors. She's a strong Christian woman who takes great pride in the school's Christian morals! And yet another couple from our church told me once that if they hadn't been able to get their kids into the private Christian school they go to they'd have moved to our town and sent them to the public school here because they too had heard of the school's stronger Christian's morals.
All these things make me feel better about sending our kids to this school, but for some reason I still feel like we're making the wrong decision. The private Christian school in our area isn't an option because it's not possible to send what will be four kids to that school on only one income, as I'm a stay at home mother. So the only other option we'd have is home schooling. I don't know if I'd be good at home schooling. Everything in me tells me I wouldn't be, but at the same time I'm so scared to let my kids go into the public school system. All the evolution crap and secular life styles they learn about there give me the jitters! Am I just lacking in my faith? Do I just need to pull up my pants and put more trust in God? Or I am justified in how I feel? Could it be a bit a both? Am I just being an over paranoid first time school mother? Any feed back anyone?

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[deleted account]

Well, thanks for all the opinions ladies! I think I'm going to close this conversation down. I've gotten some feedback that has put at ease about this situation, other feedback that made me feel not so good about this situation, but I know this: Our kids will be fine in this school for now. If anything comes up in this school that causes us or the kids great distress I WILL NOT hesitate to pull them out and start homeschooling!
Thank you everyone! :D

Cheryl - posted on 03/02/2010

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I agree with the gals here- while your school may be good now, it can change and quick! It is at the mercy of the federal and state goverenments. When we first moved to our area- the superentenant and many teachers went to our church but by the time our oldest was ready for school- most of them had retired!! Fortunately we had never concidered public schools.

Let me share what had happened to some good friends of ours. She was convinced that she couldn't stand it if her oldest was home all day- they're too much alike. So they sent him to preschool and K at the local school. They qualified for free breakfast and lunch. Quickly they told our friends that their son had ADHD and wanted him to see a doctor- which they anticipated they would say. They knew he was a wild boy but had controlled it a home with a very healthy diet. She had to really work with him on not having poptarts and cocco krispies drowning in chocolate milk like his friends were- he needed to chose a banana, apple or bagel with jam. That helped alot and she could almost pinpoint which days he did make a poor choice because he came home still wild. Next came K, he was not learning to read a way that made sense to her. She would try to help him and he'd say "Its okay Mom, I just need to look at the pictures and make up a story." Then after Christmas, they switched seating around and he was by a boy who was very mean. For a whole month, she couldn't figure it out- FINALLY he told her. She talked to the teacher and got his seat moved.

Now you take all that and add in how they were constantly correctly his "Oh My God"s becuase all other kids said it (and how that will just get worse and more new words to come as grades progress), come home sometimes sassy and disrepectful and would have to almost switch gears to homelife, etc. When they went to the office to notify them that he would not be returning for 1st grade, the secretary cried! She said he's the only kid who ever said hello to her or thank you when she gave something to him!!

This year has been great, she's even doing preschool with her daughter. Her son is reading well and they are truly enjoying their time together!!

User - posted on 03/02/2010

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It sounds like the school is a good one! But, if you feel like God is putting it on your heart to homeschool, then do it by all means - because if God wants you to take that step of faith, then only good can come from it. Just make sure that's the case and it's not fear or doubt that has influenced your decision to avoid public schools. That being said, my son is in the third grade this year - this is our first year of homeschooling. I don't know what your child is like but mine has a bad habit of trying to do everything the easiest way, the fastest way, and sometimes has a meltdown when I make him do things correctly (especially if he's wanting to go play). That has been a real challenge and somedays I long for summer break LOL. But, we keep on keeping on because I know WHY I'm doing it. He came home a few months after school started and asked me what sex was. I was SHOCKED to say the least! I asked him where he'd heard that word and he said that at lunch a boy said he wanted to have sex with one of the girls - WHAT?!?! The conversation that followed is a whole other story lol. Later, he came home and asked me what gay meant - I felt the best approach to that one was to lay the Good Book in front of him and show him that God says it's an abomination to Him - it disgusts Him. I was just.....dumbfounded - that's the only word that explains how I felt. I knew these conversations were coming - but SEVEN years old?! Anyway, bottom line is, it doesn't matter what school they go to, anytime there is a large group of kids together for an extended amount of time, things get said, and things are learned. A Christian school may have prayer time, Bible study, and great Christian teachers - but they can't be everywhere at the same time. If I had known I would be homeschooling, I would have started with kindergarten because he was used to school, the friends, and little things that happen at school that are hard to recreate at home. Sometimes he says he misses it, sometimes he loves homeschool - it will just take time, I guess. We are also a one income family and I tried to save money but wearing out the library (and I was lucky enough to have a neighbor that had leftover school books from when she homeschooled her kids a couple years ago). One thing I can say is, buy a curriculum if you're not an extremely organized person or you are very busy and don't have alot of time to plan things and get resources together. The books my neighbor gave me are Abeka books - they are good, and have reviews and comprehension checks but I have supplemented with library books, the internet and educational videos because it seems that the book sections (like a chapter on plants, or one on John Smith, for example) are a little short. Homeschooling advantages are, you can find things your child loves are really dig into those and learn about them - things they don't, do what you need to do and move on. Also, you can take your own field trips (even a day at the park) and you can count vacations or parts of vacations as school time as long as you document it. I also have a son that is in first grad this year - he still goes to public school. I didn't want to overwhelm myself the first year. However, as the school year progresses, I don't know if homeschool would be good for him. He is very social, the leader of the class, and has had two awesome teachers in a row. I worry that pulling him out next year would be worse for him (like I said, he tends to lead the children - he'll come tell you if someone says a cuss word - so I worry less about him being influenced to do wrong than I do my oldest - he is a follower, very sensitive and a kind heart.) All I can say is, I have a lot of praying to do in order to make the right decision. One other thing (didn't mean for this to be a book lol), In kindergarten through second they teach phonics and all that....kindergarten sets the stage for letters, reading, and writing. First grade expands on that and they start writing/typing short paragraphs and reading stories on their own. That part scares me, I wish I would have started in kindergarten with both of them, but at the same time, I'm glad I already have that base to work from. Oh, and routine is KEY - at least for my son...most children thrive on routines. And since you only have one and it's the first year of school, it's perfect for you to sit down, write out a schedule you'd like to have, and stick to it (adjusting to what works best of course, but always keeping a routine). I'm sure there's more but I've already written way more than I planned on lol. Any other questions, don't be afraid to ask! Hopefully this will help the others I saw that were considering homeschool. Okay, I'm done - over and out lol.

[deleted account]

Hi Sheelah,
I really enjoyed reading all of the posts on this topic. I have homeschooled for 10 years. I never homeschooled out of fear, but out of obedience. If you are feeling called to it, don't ignore that.
I watched my sister homeschool her 4 kids during the 1980's when it was TRULY taboo. Those veterans paved the way for us to school our kids in freedom!! Anyway, my sisters kids are all adults, and have gone on to earn masters degrees. Both of her boys are teachers, which I think is great! It is so awesome to see the success. My sister created a love of learning that is often lost in school because of pressure to get the test scores up.
I said I would NEVER homeschool, even after watching my sister's success and seeing the close bond she has with all of her kids. "It would be to much" I told myself.
I had my 3 older kids now ages 22,21,17 in both public and private school before we homeschooled. I was working to pay for private school for our 3 older kids when I became unexpectedly pregnant with my 4th. That is when I finally listened to the Lord, and pulled them all out. It was insane! I had 2 in junior high school, one in elementary, and a new baby. I thought I would lose my mind! BUT...I stuck it out, and now, 10 years later, I feel more blessed then ever to have schooled them. I am now only teaching my youngest son at home. It is such a blessing and privilege to raise our children. Watching my 9 yr. old LOVE learning is such an inspiration to me. He loves history, and we have been able to "run with it", so to speak. He thanks me for homeschooling him, because he hears stories from his schooled neighborhood friends, and realizes how he would be missing out on all of the fun things we are able to do. I pray that you will always keep your heart open to hear the call he puts on your life. Blessings to you and your family.

Nancy Jo - posted on 02/28/2010

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One last thing.... In Texas homeschools are considered private schools and are not regulated. You must teach five subjects: reading, spelling, grammar, mathematics, and good citizenship (which is basically to follow the law). So if you live in Texas, say a big Amen. God is protecting our right to homeschool our children.

Nancy Jo - posted on 02/28/2010

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I am a homeschooling Mom in Texas. If you believe in the Bible, then Homeschooling is your only option. God has given parents the exclusive authority over thier children. In Deut. the word of God says to raise up a child in the way he should go... and when he is grown he will not depart from it. God is speaking about teaching our children about Him. They will not learn about God in a public school, no matter how great the school is. Homeschooling means that your child is with you all day, no one can harm the child while out of your sight ect.. I use Christian textbooks from Rod and Staff Publishers. The books have great Christian values while teaching academics. Pray. Seek God. Check out the homeschooling option with all sincerety. You are not paranoid. I love that my child has never been in a public school. She has respect for herself, her parents, other adults at our church, she is well rounded and socialized (with the right people). Homeshcooling is a lot of work, but absolutely worth every moment. I will pray for you and your family. You are the only person on this Earth that is qualified to teach your babies... no one knows a child better than its Mother, and God will give you the strength you need to accomplish homeschooling. I hope I have been an encouragement to you. Trust how you feel... God gave us Motherly instinct to protect and preserve our children. God bless you.

Francinne - posted on 02/28/2010

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HI there. Im thinking of homeschooling my wee one when he is old enough ( he is only four months at the moment ) Based on the fact that I was homeschooled and then I went to school. I guess it depends on the child and how easily influenced your child is too. I learnt better at home and still had great interaction with other children which is the most important part. I was bullied at school when I did start going due to my mother falling ill. because I stood strong in my faith, AND I went to a private Christian school.
Dont ever think you wont be good at it, My mother did it a single mum without her own education. and when I went to school I was well ahead of the other children.

Keep praying God knows what is best for your children, and remember if you do decide to homeschool its not you alone its you in Gods strength with his Wisdom.

Ali - posted on 02/28/2010

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I was fortunate to have a friend that was a teacher when my daughter was 5. She was very bright and my friend told me she would be bored to death in 1st grade. I homeschooled her. Since I have only a high school education myself it was terrifying!! I found there is a whole community of homeschoolers where ever you live and they share everything with each other!! It was wonderful for both of us. Having Christians in the school is wonderful but there is only so much by law that they can do. Also, check on the web for your schools scholastic standing in the state and the states standing in the nation. Where we lived it was very low on both levels.The teachers have to follow the curriculum of the school. Because most homeschoolers have the same concerns you do they are usually Christians and my daughter got a much better education from home than she ever would have at a public school. There are many sites you can go to that will show you that homeschooled kids are ranked very high scholasticaly compared with public school kids. We put our daughter in public school in 11th grade because we did not want her to be terrified when she went to college. She is now a sophomore at Georgia Tech majoring in forensic science and doing very well. It was the right choice for us. Do your homework. Find out if there are other homeschoolers in your area they will be very happy to share their experiences with you. And PRAY! PRAY! PRAY!

Linda - posted on 02/28/2010

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My girls went to public school and did pretty good. My second daughter did struggle, I homeschooled her in 5th grade and she went back to PS and did great. She is graduating college this May. My oldest is married, in college for nursing and works. My son, who is 10 is homeschooled. He went to private school for PreK and K and I have homeschooled him since. All of the options have pros and cons. I love homeschooling. My son does very well and loves being at home. There's a lot I can say about it, but most of the cons you hear about homeschooling are myths from people that have never done it. That said, school can be a fine option. Each state has different laws regarding homeschooling, and you can go on the HSLDA website if you want to look at them. LIke another person said, you could try it either way and you always have the option to change your mind and try the other way. Some children prefer a more formal school setting, and that's great....still, others like being home and excel that way. It's really good if you and your husband can agree, so if he is leaning toward Public School, I'd say put them in and try it and see how they do. You can get involved in the school and keep on top of what they are being taught. They will do fine, I'm sure!

[deleted account]

And the decisions will never get any easier! I have a 16 year old son that is now in private college prep Catholic high school. He went to public school thru 8th grade. We are Christian but not Catholic. It just turned out that was his favorite of the schools he toured. And yes very expensive! I have a teaching license and also felt that I wouldn't be good at homeschooling. Our daughter was a preemie and now is special needs and at the time of kindergarten I just didn't have the energy level to take care of her and his educational needs.
I say this so you know where my thoughts come from... so you know I have thought this out so many times. Yes it is nice that there are so many Christian teachers. The state curriculum is still in force and has to be taught. Remember also that there are a l ot of non Christian and the "oh so I profess to be christian" parents and children in public schools.
There are two ways to see this. One is a way to live the Great Commission and allow your child to attend public school and maybe show fellow students how to think about evolution as a "interesting" idea while he/she write essays about what he/she believes to be true. Also as a way for you to reach out to other parents. You will never lack an opportunity to do so!

The other is to try homeschooling. One year won't hurt one way or the other. You will have to register as a homeschooler and be monitored by the public schools anyway. If it doesn't work then you can still send your child to public school.

I am glad I didn't do homeschooling. For one, I know that when the kids were little it just would have been too much for me. Any by the way, buying curriculum also costs money. I also have met some teenaged homeschooled students. Some are well prepared for their future. Some really are not. Each are strong in their faith: but to not be really ready for college or post secondary training is not good at all. If your child goes to public school you can assure that both academics and faith are both strong.

I can say, that I do somewhat regret not doing private Christian/ Catholic schooling. I wish I had looked into alternative ways to do our finances to make it possible.

At any rate, if you stay strong and involved and keep your hand in your child's studies-- nothing will overcome your bond and teaching of faith values! Good luck.

[deleted account]

Those are some good ideas Jeni, though I don't think my husband would look upon me too favorably for making our kids do schooling in the summer, lol (He's just never been one for being an education fanatic, but I think that's mostly because he's parents never cared how they did school. And that's obvious since only two out of the six graduated from high school while they were in high school). But I have thought of casually keeping up with their school over the summer months so they don't leave anything behind! I just don't know how faithful I'd be with that though, haha! Summer is a fun time and I believe it's meant to fun! Especially where live, it's below 0 here 7-8 months out of the year so when it's nice out we like to be out and about before hibernation season comes!!!
The Christian school in our area is a good school, not perfect but I know it's solid...I graduated from it myself so I know exactly what's going on there! It's only down fall is the cost! The only people who can afford to send their kids to it are dual income families (my parents). And the only single income families who can afford it (who aren't well to do) are the Bergthalers who own and run the school (Bergthalers are basically the same difference as a Mennonite out here, we're just a little less traditional). If your a member of a Bergthaler church you automatically get a...discount, I guess it would be, on tuition, and we're not Bergthaler. We're part of the Mennonite church!

Amy - posted on 02/27/2010

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My daughter is only 7 1/2 months old, but my husband and I are looking to buy some land to build a home on. School districts are my concern...One suggestion is to look into a pre-k homeschool curriculum and work on that until it's time for your daughter to start school. This will give you a chance to see if homeschooling really is something that you might seriously consider or not. If nothing else you can learn a little about your daughters learning style. It sounds like the school that your daughter would be going to has some great qualities going for it. The times when she comes home talking about evolution and other things that you do not believe or agree with offers a wonderful opportunity for you to share your beliefs and why you believe that way. Best wishes to you!

Jeni - posted on 02/27/2010

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I hope this helps!!! I have four kids! The oldest is in the 5th grade, second to oldest is in 4th grade, then comes the Kindergartener, and the baby is 2. I have fought this battle for a while until about a year ago. We also live in a very small town, I would guess that about half of our school staff is from our church. although that is important the things that our children will come incontact with is not something we can control. Yes we can keep them in to be homeschooled but at some point they will face the world. Second, option you said was to send them to a private school. I attended a private christian school(in the bible belt) there was more going on there then in the public schools. You were prepared for college better than a public school and you had to attend a bible class that was the only difference in education.I think you do need to pray about this situation and have faith that God already has a plan for you little ones. If you are questioning the education!!! Here is a suggestion. My children attend a public school that still has prayer every morning. But, I do know that public school system does not challenge every child. So I also homeschool. For instance, my daughter who attends K, will be homeschooled during the summer on a 2nd grade level. My 4th grader has a little harder time so he will be homeschooled on a 5th grade level just to have a small jump on the upcoming year, and my oldest in 5th homeschools on a 7th grade. All the kids are in the GT program at school and they are more educated than most kids at there level but they still get to be kids with friends there own age. hope this gives you some ideas!! Good Luck on your journey

[deleted account]

Sheelah,
I am so glad I could help you. I always tell my kids "God's love casts out fear and it's like a light going on. The fear will flee when God's love is there, just as darkness flees when a light is turned on. You can't have both in the same place." I hope your daughter has a fantastic year in Kindy.

[deleted account]

Thank you Amy, you just gave me my answer. My concerns are about 98% fear based, and you're right. Fear is not from God. I know our kids will do just fine in this school, I know it a good school, and I know my husband would not want to send our kids there if he thought it wasn't! Thanks for reminding me :D

[deleted account]

Hi Sheelah,
I have done public school and homeschooling. Next year will be a combination. The biggest thing I learned is not to homeschool out of fear. Fear doesn't come from God. Take your fear out of the equation and what do you feel GOD is telling you to do. I took my oldest out of public school after a perfectly awful grade 1 year. I had no doubt we were to homeschool. Then just before her grade 4 year we moved to a small town and my daughter actually WANTED to go to school. We prayed about it and it come down to only my fear of a repeat of grade 1 that was stopping me from sending her. I prayed for God to take my fear away and He did. So with great trepadition I sent her to grade 4, my son to grade 2 and my next daughter to kindy. While it has been great for my younger 2, it has been a hard year for my oldest. However, she has learned things and learned to deal with things she wouldn't have encountered if we had moved. This coming fall we will likely homeschool her (she struggles academically and a classroom setting doesn't help), but we will keep the other 2 in school and the youngest will go to kindergarten as well.
Our school sounds like yours, the Kindy teacher has been there 30 years and is a strong Christian as are several other teachers. It is a small town with good values.
Pray and God will show you what to do. Confusion doesn't come from HIm. If you have doubts about either choice, only you can say whether they are fear based, or legitiment concerns. There is no "right" answer, it is as individual as each child is.

Katrina - posted on 02/26/2010

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I am going through the same thing right now. My son will be starting school this august and I am extremely nervous about it. I don't think your being over paranoid at all. Where I live the schools are not good and very liberal. Some have even started some homosexual curriculum in elementary. No public school here is bible based so you are very lucky. We to can not afford private school so home school is our only other option but I don't have much confidence in myself to do it. Our kids at this age are very vulnerable and they no it, why else do they try and stuff there ideals in our kids so early. I went to check out the school my son would have to go. I told them I had lots of question about the school, curriculum, etc. They looked at me like I was weird. I think I was the first parent to have such concerns. After I meet with someone from the school I will decide whether I'll do public or home school. It is a tough decision. Do you research on the school thought it seems like it's pretty decent and pray about it to.

Carol - posted on 02/26/2010

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I homeschool my two oldest boys. I do have several people in my church that are teachers in the public school as well, but I didn't like the fact that all I heard from them was they were teaching a standardized test. It sounds like you have a good school system, but I have to say it is still funded by the federal gov't which has a say in what is taught. It was a difficult decision for me to take my son out of public school and homeschool, but I did it for my boys. One concern I had was that my oldest son came home and told me some of what I was doing was "bad". I wanted to teach him tolerance according to the bible, not the current political environment.

I encourage you to research what your school system does. See if you can take a look at their curriculum, tour their school and classroom. Pray constantly to do the right thing for your daughter.

Cari - posted on 02/25/2010

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Hi, Sheelah. I really don't know all that much about this since my oldest is only 2. I'm considering homeschooling her instead of sending her to preschool when she turns 3, which is the average age for pre-K. I know it's a tough choice, but just keep praying for God's wisdom about the matter...and for peace of mind when you do finally make your decision.

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