1.26.2010

Educating our Children

I've been contemplating home school lately. While Grasshopper was home over Christmas break life was going fairly smoothly. She has grown up enough to be more reasonable and I can at least imagine that home schooling her would be possible. I'm not sure if I am going to do it, however little twinges inside of me continue to keep my mind conscience of the possibility.

It is our right and responsibility as parents to educate our children. Most families in the United States place our trust in public and private institutions to carry a lot of that burden (much of the time without a choice). I just wonder if the institution cares enough about my child to make sure she is stretched, prodded and challenged to be the very best she can be.

Our school is small and a good majority of the students come from families where things such as education and success may not be a priority. I may be being judgmental, but it seems that the trust of the parents, and even their demand, is for the school to raise their kids. It may be because they rely on the "state" for most everything and education is no exception. It seems as if these families do not feel empowered to take an active part in the education of their children and so many of the students are spending time just catching up. I find myself taking a back seat as well. It's easier to let someone else worry about my child's education.

Then I start to worry and wonder if she will get what she needs from this kind of educational environment. It's like having a farm dog inside a small city yard. She may do just fine inside the fence, but what more could she be doing? Maybe she could be rounding up cattle (I'm not sure that a dog was the best comparison to my little girl ;).

I don't want to be a slacker when it comes to educating my children. If we had the option of a good, private school (Catholic preferred) in our area, we would probably be sending our children there. We do not have that luxury and so here I am wondering if I should do it myself. This is not a decision I am going to make hastily and these thoughts have just begun to occur. I could be years from a firm decision and our situation could always change.

I wonder how other parents make these kinds of decisions and how a child in a rural town with limited resources would fair in the real world after being educated at home? What really is the success rate of a home schooled child? Am I just being too critical of the public school system (because I am critical of most anything "public")? All these are questions I must ponder, research and take to prayer.

2 comments:

  1. I am thinking to do the same thing for Vincent...

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  2. YardleyMommaJanuary 27, 2010

    Similar thoughts have gone through my mind, especially as I worry about funding in education next year. If additional areas are cut such as library and music, even pe, what is left to stimulate and keep the interest of our children when they are bored with school? If the goal is to meet the needs of mediocrity, home schooling may be a good alternative. At least you can take your child to the art museum or ballet, music festival or opera, science or historical museum or event, etc., to enrich their lives and vocabulary. My little boy was tested this week and as a Kinder he is reading as an end of year 2nd grader and doing his math at the end of first grade, and bored in school. He tries to be good but he deserves more than just waiting on students whose parents leave it up to society to be raised, he does deserve to have his needs met, too. This along with his spiritual needs have us considering options for next year, too. It is hard to know what to do but I hear your voice and share your concerns.

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Thanks for the comment. I really appreciate it!