Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Schooling Questions

***First, a disclaimer. This post is just my personal thoughts. It is not meant to be offensive to anyone else's opinions. If you comment, please respect my views as well. Be nice.***

Ok, I know Grayson isn't even 2 yet. But lately I've been thinking a lot about how to have him educated. There seems to be four options:
1. Public school
2. Charter school
3. Private school
4. Homeschool
I have been hearing so many horrible things about public schools lately, and the more I think about it, the more scared I get to send him to public school. It seems SO much worse than when I went to school!! I don't know much about charter schools -- they sound a lot like public school to me. Except Ogden Prep teaches in Spanish and English -- I like the idea of learning bilingually. Private school always seemed snooty to me, plus almost all of them are Catholic schools -- which I am not. So that leaves me with homeschooling. Which is WAY intimidating to me. But Steve and I have talked a lot about it, and he is very FOR homeschooling -- something about how on his mission, his mission president encouraged them all to homeschool, and he keeps bringing me quotes from general authorities that he interprets as pro-homeschool (though I know no one in the church has officially come out as pro-public school or pro-homeschool, just pro-good education). But it seems I can't count on public schools to give my child a good education. And the more I think about it, the better homeschool sounds. I can have complete control over what my child learns about (about creation, not Darwinism, for example), the environment he learns in (no swearing/immorality, and I could incorporate gospel principles in what we're learning -- seems like public schools can't teach about virtues/morals at ALL), I will be able to focus completely on him, and tailor lessons to suit his learning style. Plus we could do things that normal schools just can't do: we could have school at the park one day, or go on field trips to the places we're learning about: go to the dinosaur museum when we learn about dinosaurs, etc. And we could go at HIS pace -- I remember being SO bored in elementary school when we were doing reading -- because I was always 3-4 levels above the other kids, so I never felt like I LEARNED anything. I wouldn't have to worry about him missing things when he's sick. Et cetera!! I think I really may be leaning toward homeschooling him. We could enroll him in sports, music, other extracurricular activities, and he'll have friends from church -- so I think we could get the social interaction part -- which is really the only thing I'm worried about him missing out on with homeschool. And I think I'd just homeschool until Junior High or High School, so he'd still get that experience.
I just don't know if I can do it for sure. Does anyone have any thoughts about schooling options? What have you decided to do for your kids, and why??


Becky said...

Those are some good things to think about, and it's not too early, trust me! He'll be school-age before you know it. Here are my thoughts:
I understand your concern with public school. I am terrified to send Ian there next year! It's scary for me. But I know it's a lot safer than we think. And a lot of elementary schools are doing "immersion" programs where they learn bilingually. The elementary school Ian will be going to has a Spanish Immersion program that I am going to sign him up for, so he will be learning everything in Spanish, and a little in English. I am way excited for that. You might want to check out what elementary schools offer that around you. They are getting pretty popular.

As for private schools, I know quite a few LDS kids who have gone to Catholic private school. You just need to make sure Gray doesn't participate in any religious rituals they might have there. Other than that, they teach good values/morals, etc. I've heard they are really very nice to attend. I don't know anything about charter schools.

If you want to home-school, I don't think you should be intimidated by it. I know there are lots of great materials and plans out there to help you home-school. I think the hardest thing about it would be to stick to it every day, but that's just me. I don't think it would be hard for you though.

Good luck, and let us know what you decide! :)

Carley said...

I really, really, really wanted to homeschool Savannah, but Jesse said no way. Now that I see how this year has gone, I think that maybe sending her to school was a better choice because between me working now and all of Lincoln's appointments (we are at 3 therapy appointments a week now, and should be increasing that soon)I just wouldn't have time to give her the education she deserves.

We decided to go with a magnet school. I'm not really sure what the difference between a magnet school and a charter school is. We are really lucky though that in our school district there are something like 15 magnet schools and over 50 charter schools. We decided on Savannah's school because Jesse and I both feel very strongly that we want our kids to be biligual and since I can't teach them that, and he won't a language emersion school seemed like the best option. I love her school, and she is getting a great education. (Seriously 3 months into school she can completely read in both English and French, can write whole stories, can add and subtract, speaks French... I could go on and on) but I am bothered by a lot of the things she has picked up from other kids at school.

If you do decide to homeschool look into the K12 program. That's what my mom did with Christon. You get a metor teacher from the school district that you meet with to make sure that Grey is learning what he needs to learn to pass all the required tests, and they can help you too. I think the school district helps pay for most of the materials, but I could be wrong on that. Also around here we have homeschool charter schools where they give you money to either put him in classes there a few times a week or to put him in pretty much any extracurricular activity you want. I have a friend who uses one of those and she loves it because her child goes to science class at the charter school and takes dance and ice skating lessons paid for by the school district. And they have a built in support system.

And another thing to think about is if you are going to have more kids, will that change your homeschool plans? If you were on bedrest again, how would that affect your homeschooling? How would you homeschool an older child with a toddler around? Its totally doable, just something to think about.

Ok, sorry to write a novel, just something that I've thought a TON about.

Ashley said...

Becky is right. It's all about the schools around you. My husband and I talk about this and we don't even have kids yet!

I have a younger brother who, because of anxiety reasons, did not attend public school after 8th grade. He did just fine. My parents put him in an LDS co-op kind of school that was the equivalent of home-school. They were not accredited but it did him good. That ended after 10th grade. Then he took a few classes at the high school the next two years. Like Math and then Seminary. That helped him a lot too. I think you just need to pay attention to how Gray reacts to the situations he is put in and look at how combinations can be used for his benefit.

We have neighbors who have put their kids in charter school. Their kids are doing well. The father told me he likes it. Part of what they do is require each parent to put in time at the school. It is heavily parent involved and he said he likes that, knowing that the parents at the school are well vested in their children's education.

I also think that we survived public school, right? It can't be that bad? I would make a list of pros and cons on paper and go with your gut.

Good luck in the decision. It isn't an easy one.

anne said...

You are already HOME schooling - and off to a great start. It would be a hard choice but once you commit you just work hard at what ever choice you make. You ALWAYS have to "home" school - we know you will be a great teacher whichever you choose. Talk to different people that have made various choices and how it worked, what they liked and didn't - get some research going RIGHT now - and keep doing your home schooling already - never too soon to start - and see how you like it a even this stage - and how much time it takes already - - you will pray and study together as his parents -and you will know what to do - I know you are both so capable of following the guidance from your prayers.

Sarah and Trent said...

Yeah Manth, tell me about it~ did you know that Las Vegas is like #50 out of 50 for education programs? SCARY. We'll see where we are when our kids are school age, but I definitely think it's awful. I think Joy school type options are great idears... trade with other moms with different specialties. It's too bad education is taking a turn for the worse and good teachers can't be hired!

Jennifer said...

I've seen different blogs where homeschooling mommies get together and do "field trips" so you could look at that as an option for the social aspect if you decide to homeschool.

Blake and Jessica said...

For me personally Sam, I am going to either go the Public School or Charter School route. First, the area you are in makes a HUGE difference. Brody will go to Plain City elementary which I have honestly heard very few negative things about. It's a new building, good teachers, I have even some people in our ward who moved into there homes so their children could go to Plain City Elementary.

I think that Public Education can provide him with so many life learning situations and opportunites that home schooling and even private school could not provide. I know you said you didnt' want him to learn like Darwinism but what a good learning moment when he comes home and tells you about a theory he learned that day and you can explain to him what we believe actually happened and use that as a "home schooling" moment.

Just a thought.

The Rice's said...

Very hard choice and thank goodness you still have time to research and think about it. Of course there will always be pros and cons to any option. I worked on the youth program here for over a year and one of the things we saw over and over with home schooled children was how behind they were in their learning. Of course that completely depends on the parent who teaches them but it has been very sad to see. One girl was supposed to take her test to get her high school diploma and found out she was at a 3rd grade level. We saw another kid who was at a 6th grade level in the same situation. Obviously those parents did not have the discipline or the knowledge to do home school and should never have taken it on. On the other hand, I have a great friend of mine that home schools all three of her children in Idaho and does amazing at it. I know she has some fabulous links on her blog and could probably give you some great ideas. Bottom line, if you decide to do it then commit completely and watch Grey to see how he does. Some kids just don't thrive in that environment. I know you will be fantastic as his teacher though. Good luck with your decision!!

harmony marie said...

I would look at charter schools more, Derek's sister has her boy in Charter school and it seems to work out well for him, while the other boy is in public school. I've thought a lot about this too, we don't even have kids. I've known home school kids, private school taught kids and public kids, from what i can tell i tell, it comes down to being well rounded. Our neighbor kids are home taught and aren't really weird, but I think it's mainly because they have church activities and are in other community events. I've also known kids that are really weird. They had a hard time dealing with general problems, even though the were really smart. I dunno either, but just being well rounded seems to be the best.

jamielynn said...

me and josh have talked about homeschooling at least for the first few years of school or so because we are on the road off and on all year (mostly when he would be in school) for work so i dont think it is all that bad anymore they have lots of good programs online for homeschooling and even social activities such as dances and sports and band for jr high and high school and field trips for all ages so they would still get to be around other kids their age.