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.