Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Education Dilemma

To homeschool or not to homeschool...that is the question I have been asking myself for the last couple of years.  The preschool decision became easy.  Attending preschool was both costly and inconvenient and seemed unnecessary.  Holly had mostly completed the kindergarten readiness checklist by her 4th birthday.  Preschool at home was the obvious choice.  The kindergarten decision has been more complicated.

Positives for Public School:

  • There is a small public elementary school within a mile of our home.  It is the pride and joy of our small town.  It is part of a larger school district that is well respected in our community.  My husband, his father, and sisters all graduated from the same district.  Just this past May we attended the graduation party of a lovely christian young lady.  Her father assured us we were blessed to be in this school district. 
  • We are relative newcomers to our small town.  (We have only been here 15 years.)  Over the years we have been assured we would get to know our neighbors "once your kids are in school."  Since we were not born here, the school is the golden ticket to be included in community life.
  • I loved elementary school!  I would cry when I missed it because I was sick.  I graduated from public school.  I am successful, and learned so much.  I have fond memories of many of my teachers and classes. 
  • I believe my daughter would get a good education in our local schools.  I believe she would likely enjoy school and develop friendships and fond memories.  I also desire for her to be exposed to people who need Jesus, especially kids her age who still have some innocent ways and sweetness.  I want her to realize her blessings and develop true compassion.
Positives for Homeschool:
  • My girls would receive an individualized education at home. We can spend time on the topics they struggle with. We can fly through the topics that come easily.  If they are interested in birds or baseball we can take the time to research and delight in learning. 
  • My girls can learn from a Biblical perspective.  We can show them how God is in everything.  I don't have to explain that things their teacher says might not be true.
  • Home education is so efficient.  Our public Kindergarten is 7 hours at school, plus homework.  We can cover the academic work of kindergarten in less than 2 hours at home.  I am a firm believer in free play and family time.  Homeschooling leaves time for that.
  • Homeschooling fits our schedule.  My girls stay up until 9 o'clock and get up around 8 am.  When Daddy is working in the field we go out and ride with him, sometimes we get home late.  During tax season Daddy comes home around 8pm.  He wants to spend time with his girls.  Daddy is free for vacation in the middle of April, and the end of August. 
Right now homeschooling is winning.  At this point I am planning on homeschooling for kindergarten.  I have concerns; how am I going to introduce my girls to people who are different from us and the "church folks" we mostly spend time with, how am I going to protect them from legalistic homeschoolers who we will meet.  I remind myself we would have similar types of problems in public school, just dressed differently.  So I am still praying, waiting for God's complete clarity through my husband's full support.  But though I mourn some of the things we may lose by not choosing our local school, I am excited about the possibilities at home.

No comments: