Let me preface this by saying I am not against homeschooling. There are numerous ways to homeschool and do it well. I have several close friends and family members who have chosen to homeschool their kids and they are rocking it. It’s the perfect choice for their families and their kids are thriving in it. I support them 110% in their choices (as they do mine) but it’s not right for our family, so we’ve chosen public schooling.
Here are a few reasons why after careful consideration, we chose public school instead of homeschool.
- I was homeschooled – I know that most adults who were homeschooled end up homeschooling their own children, but this is not the case for us. Now that I’m an adult I see that there are huge gaps in my own education that were not covered by my homeschooling. I don’t want to leave my kids with similar gaps where I’m limited to what my husband and I know. Note, this is not a problem with homeschooling itself, but in the specific way that I was homeschooled.
- Personality – The personality of myself and my kids both come into play. I’m not a very structured person and I know firsthand how important structure is to a good education. This is certainly something I could try to force myself through if I thought keeping my kids home was the best choice for them, but I think their personalities are an important piece of the education puzzle too. They are both very social children and being around other kids excites them. They have good incentive to attend school, and do well there simply because they have friends doing it.
- Risk – I’m not completely confident I could do this and do it well. My son is absolutely brilliant, and I don’t think I could challenge him enough at home. While I recognize that public schooling has it’s own share of challenges and shortcomings for gifted kids, I prefer giving him the chance to excel there than to struggling to keep him learning and engaged at home. The education of both of my children is too important to me to risk it on a “maybe I can do this”.
- I don’t want to – I simply don’t want to do it. I didn’t have the best experience with it personally, and I’m not confident that I could do it well myself. I know that it wouldn’t be something that I love to do and would require a lot of sacrifice on my end. While I would be willing to make those sacrifices for my kids if I truly felt it would be that much better for them in the end, the truth is I don’t think it would be. I won’t force myself to do something I don’t think I can do well, if I don’t see it having an overwhelmingly positive impact on my kids.
- School district – We live in a neighborhood within an excellent school district. The kids around here are all pushed very hard to succeed and excel in school. I love that they will be in an environment with lots of other kids who are also trying their best and learning as much as they can. There are good GT (gifted and talented) programs that my husband was in and I suspect our son will be placed in as well.
In short, I believe a variety of methods can provide great education for kids. I don’t think that a child’s education should be taken lightly or decided by default, be it for homeschooling, public schooling or private. There are so many factors to consider and it’s an important choice for each family to make on their own.
Are you homeschooling, public schooling or private? How did you make your choices?
If your child is going off to school (public or private) check out our tips to help the transition go easily.