Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Education of Children

So, I realize that Chick is only 2, but I find myself thinking a LOT lately about her schooling. I don't know how she should be educated, and thought I'd ask why you all have chosen the schooling choices that you have. I'm not going into great detail, but here are the three main options for us & the pros & cons.

Public School
Pros: Cheap. Social. Easy.
Cons: Lack of morals. Bad student/teacher ratio.

Private Montessori School
Pros: Individually-paced progression. Nice learning style (I agree with it a lot).
Cons: Completely out of the question due to cost.

Pros: Sounds like good resources & help from school district. Individually-paced.
Cons: Takes work & dedication that I maybe don't have. Less social.

Ok, I'd like to hear your thoughts....


Heather, Rex, etc. said...

I'm very shocked by the mentality that if you send your children to public school, you do not teach them yourself. They are in classes for only 6.5 hours a day. It leaves ample time to teach them as well. It is certainly possible to do public schooling and homeschooling at the same time. Why not get the best of both worlds? No, you wouldn't teach them for an additional 6.5 hours a day, but even an hour of one-on-one time with mom (can be split up) is so valuable. They learn a lot and can soak up so much when they are young.

Annalia Romero said...

Wow. They're only in school for 6.5hours a day? Add the 12 hours that they sleep, 2 hours that they want to play with their friends, and you end up with what?...four hours that you can maybe spend time with them? Yes, that's a very shocking mentality.

Even if your children are in public school, you really do need to work with them, especially in the beginning, when they're learning to read. I can't think of any children I know who learned to read well without the help of their parents.

Annalia Romero said...

Homeschooling can be as social as you want it to be. It's also important to look at quality of socialization rather than just the huge quantity of it that you get in public schools. If your children are learning proper social interaction, do you want it to be from a mob of their peers. I remember learning lessons like: if someone is different, make fun of them, or what you wear is really, really important.

nikko said...

Our kids go to public schools. There are several home-schooled families in our ward and I have thought long and hard about it. I could really go into it, but I don't want to debate and argue. Some of my "pros" for public schools:

--Opportunities for positive involvement in the community (kids and parents). This could include sharing the gospel/being good examples/showing the community that Mormons aren't a bunch of weirdos. We run into people everywhere we go that are either teachers/secretaries/bus drivers/moms of classmates. I've also had a chance to be more involved in PTA this year by being a room mom.

--Kids learn to deal with different types of people from an early age. Teachers are all different and some years are better than others. I never "request" certain teachers, I figure that's life. You can always learn something from someone. That being said, we have always had wonderful teachers.

--I like the idea that my kids are making choices (hopefully righteous ones) independent of me/parental involvement. M or K have both come home this year with jokes, etc., that were borderline appropriate. It gave us a chance to talk about it and discuss why or why not we should tell jokes like that, etc.

Paige... No matter what you decide, everything will be fine because you are/will be an involved parent who is concerned with your childrens' education. I really think that's the key -- homeschooled or public schooled.

The Higham Family said...

We've been thinking about this a lot too. Tyson was home schooled for most of his school years, and still turned out pretty good, so we've been considering that. My hangup is the same as yours- also, how will I get anything done if they dont leave for a couple hours every day! Its definitely something to consider.

jeannie said...

My sister in laws kids (Ages fom 11,9,5,and 11months) go to public school. Yes, they are in school 6.5 (or whatever) hours a day, but the amount of work they actually do and the amount of actual learning is less than that, so then they just end up doing a lot of busy work to fill the rest of the time. She ended up having to suppliment teach them herself anyhow. Also she found that she had to teach them herself because a lot of what the teachers were teaching in school was the teachers own opinions, the books were out dated or the things being taught didn't go along with what she wanted her kids to learn (I suppose depending on your politics etc... she also thought the schools were way to liberal) My sister in law also is very involved in her kids education and even helped change the math curriculum for the next year.

I guess it may all depend on where you live, what the schools are like, and how good the teachers are etc. Also, it never helps to be involved in what your kids are learning so you can help them think for themselves and develop the values and characteristics that you want to help them have.

Rachel DeFreese said...

I am not a mom, but have you thought of charter schools? They are fairly cheap, if not free, and parents are very involved in their education, classrooms, etc... I have only heard of positive things from charter schools.

Paige said...

I appreciate the comments made thus far. Definitely some things to think over. For instance, Nikko's comments in favor of public education did raise some new pros on that front--I do think it's important to get out and serve in the community and rub shoulders.

Rachel's comment made me do a little research--I didn't know what a charter school was...turns out they aren't approved in Washington yet (but sound wonderful).

I have found some alternate ideas that are really exciting. Not in my school district, but it sounds like I can be adopted into a different district. One local district has a parent-involved co-op style program (essentially a charter).

Another district has an alternate education center. It's for homeschoolers, but you can actually have your child go there full-time (as little or as full as you want). The classes sound wonderful-- a little more Montessori & inter-disciplinary & creative than the usual public school, but it's free (because it IS public school.

Anyhow, Please keep letting me know what you think. I love hearing the different viewpoints.

Sarah said...

Coming from a homeschooler, I say homeschool! :)
Whenever people ask me why I homeschool, I have a hard time answering. There are so many reasons and they have changed from when I started it 7 years ago. I could go on, but I will just say that I love it. Your house might not be as clean because of it, but beyond that, it rocks. I feel like we have had countless opportunities to socialize, to interact with the community at large through service, sports and girl scouts and my only drawbacks are the dirty house and the fact that I would love to sew all day long somedays and I just can't. (well, I could call it a teacher inservice day, right?)

nikko said...

I think it all depends on what the options are specific to where you live. There isn't a lot of formal support for homeschooling families (like you described) here where we are, and I'm sure the schools aren't nearly as liberal as they are on the west coast. There are school districts near us that we particularly avoided when looking for our house, too. It sounds like you have lots of good options.