My parents are/were public school educators. For both my husband and I, public schools were ideal. We consider ourselves successful products of the system. Now that we have school-age children, we’ve found ourselves questioning if schools are really the best place for our kids. (Just as a point of reference, we currently have a 1st grader and a kindergartner.) We are at a cross-roads with one of our children deciding which method of education is best for her….and it’s a toughie, I’ll tell ya’. There are pros and cons to both sides of the fence.
Here in Central Texas, our school system isn’t known to be “broken” as many other parts of the country claim theirs to be. I think there are wonderful districts and/or private schools in the area with top-ranking schools to which I could send my children….however, it begs the question…“What exactly is my job as a parent concerning my child’s education?”
And this is what I’ve concluded so far. My job as a parent is to raise my children to be the best humans they can be….in the widest scope possible. My job is to protect my child from circumstances that could leave permanent and detrimental effects or repercussions. My job is to allow my child to learn anything and everything they desire. My job is to cultivate in them a compassionate attitude towards others. My job is to enable my kids to do things for themselves. My job is to do what’s best for my child.
When attempting to fulfil those parental duties listed above, could some things possibly be gained at the expense of something else? Maybe. But I don’t think it has to be an “either/or” situation. In terms of homeschooling, a child doesn’t necessarily get their education at home at the expense of falling behind their public school peers. In my research so far, I feel that stigma is grossly dated. Over the past decade, there has been a huge cultural shift and advancement in homeschooling options. So that argument loses wind.
And as for other stances against homeschooling…well, I think many of those are unfounded as well, provided that you are actually trying your hardest as a parent to facilitate learning, socialization, utilizing resources, etc.
Austin Moms Blog contributor, Ashlee Krause weighs in on the matter as well:
“I spent soooo much time trying to pick a school for my boys. Our house and neighborhood were chosen based on the school I wanted. For the most part I am happy with my choice…there are things I wish were different, but my boys have been blessed with amazing teachers, friends, and an overall great experience. However, if for any reason at any point I become very unhappy with our school I will not hesitate to pull them out and homeschool them. I know the stereotypes with homeschooling, but those are not concerns of mine. I have no doubt if I needed to do it that I could….especially since that is what I wanted to do when I “grew up”. I like that homeschooling is becoming more popular and widely accepted. There are so many schools that are not all that great and I am over the top picky. Do my kids go to the #1 school in the Austin area….um no….but the experience we have had so far makes up for that. My best friend homeschools and is going on her 3rd year, she and her kiddos LOVE it and are thriving! They don’t miss out on social activities either…they are actually involved in more than my kids because they have the time. They don’t have any of the “stereotypes”, and my best friend has done an amazing job so far. Until her kids decide they want a change, she will keep rocking it. Each family has to weigh out each option and do what is best for them. I certainly think some people are cut out for it and others aren’t, but that is for them to figure out. Our job as mamas is to do what we think is best regardless of what others think!”
This post really isn’t to endorse homeschooling or not. It’s mainly to start a conversation. A conversation that I believe is already underway with many of our Austin Moms Blog readers. For my family, we still have a lot of discussing, praying, and researching to do before we make a decision….but ultimately, I echo what Ashlee said above….No matter what, our job is to raise our children, whom we know better than anyone else, the best way we possibly can. And if we do that, then we can consider it a job well done at the end of the day.
Has your family contemplated homeschooling? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts!
*Disclaimer: The above opinions of are solely my own (and of Ashlee Krause respectively) and not of Austin Moms Blog.