in Education, Reflections

School Choice – What’s YOUR Opinion? UBC Day #3

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School Choice…

Your Thoughts?

 

 

I am participating in the Ultimate Blog Challenge (UBC) this month, and the writing prompt for today is to talk about something potentially controversial. I’m not really a fan of controversy or confrontation, and truly attempt to steer clear of discussing politics, for instance, or religion aside from my own personal spiritual beliefs presented on this blog . So I thought I’d choose a slightly less heated topic (I hope) and discuss the idea of school choice, and ask you readers about your preferences as well.

 

 

When my oldest child was school age, we started him off in public school, probably the “normal” choice for most people. Partway into his second grade year, he became the target of frequent bullying. In addition to that, he was bored in school. My husband at the time decided “we” (and that really meant “I”) should homeschool our children. We also had three younger children, all girls, at about ages 5, 3, and 1 at that time. So for the next 11 years, I homeschooled all four kids as they became old enough to understand and process instruction at various levels.  My youngest daughter actually began to read at about the age of 3 or 4, simply from observing and absorbing knowledge along the way!

During that time, I became a major proponent of homeschooling and an opponent of public schooling, mostly due to religious or spiritual convictions. I led a local homeschool support group, served on the board of two different state homeschool groups (in New Hampshire at the time), and even taught workshops at conventions.

Things changed when my husband and I divorced, and I had to go out to work after being “just” a homemaker for 20 years! My oldest two kids eventually completed their GEDs to officially graduate from homeschool. My youngest two ended up going to public junior and senior high school as their first introduction to public schooling. They tested a grade level above their peers, which was rewarding to me.

Now, about 15 years later, I have become thoroughly ensconced in public education, having earned my Master of Education degree in 2008,  and very soon, my Doctor of Education degree, all through public regionally accredited online universities.

I’m not 100% convinced that the controversial Common Core State Standards, “new” math, and all those things are really ideal for education, nor right for every student. But I’ve also changed my opinion that “everybody” should home school their children, as I’ve seen too many cases of it not working out very well.

So now I believe school choice is exactly that: a CHOICE, and parents have to make the choice that’s best for their kids and themselves, whether it’s public or private school, home school, religious or secular school.

 

   

   

Now for a relevant inspirational thought–whether you choose home school, public school, or any other school for your kids – or yourself – you will eventually reap the rewards of your choices and enjoy the fruit of your labor in raising well-educated children or increasing your own knowledge.

 

“Looking to the reward helps us to endure the difficulty. I encourage you not to look merely at your work, but look also at the promise of reward.

Take time to enjoy the fruit of your labor, and be energized to finish your course.

It will also build confidence as you realize that you are worth enjoying the reward of your labors, and it is indeed God’s will for you.”

–Joyce Meyer in “The Confident Woman Devotional”

My Reflections

 

I am thankful for life lessons and the wisdom that eventually comes from maturity. We never stop learning, but at least the lessons seem to sink in a little faster!

 

I just have to believe it’s OK to “enjoy the fruit of my labor” and I definitely look forward to being energized to finish my course where my Doctor of Education program is concerned! 😉

So What Are YOUR Thoughts?

 

Have you ever debated school choice with anyone? Do you have a preference?

 

Do you think lessons of life become easier as you get older?

 

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4 Comments

  1. Andrew James

    As you know, I was homeschooled from grade 3 through graduation. Throughout my homeschool education, I was exposed to greater knowledge and information than most of my public school educated peers: For instance, reading college level psychology textbooks. I was also reading books such as Moby Dick, Romeo And Juliet, War And Peace and many others by nine years old. Though math was certainly not a strong subject for me, writing became a great love, and due to my fascination with words, the dictionary and the thesaurus, my vocabulary went off the charts.

    This came into play later on in my life as I proceeded to enter the world of secondary education. Within the first few weeks of the mandatory Intro To Psych; and after our first written assignment; my professor approached me privately, convinced that I had, in her words, “at least a Masters in psychology.” When I assured her that I did not, she was astounded. This trend continued in every other course I had, including Law, Writing, and Technology. Because of what I had learned during my time in homeschool, and the voracious appetite for learning developed there, I continually tested higher than my classmates.

    My intention in relating this is not to brag; rather, I hope to point out that when done right, homeschooling can advance a child far and above their peers. With this being said, I have many friends who have had their schooling in both public and private sectors- And many of them grew and blossomed into extremely intelligent and highly functioning members of society.

    Thus, my point in this comment is as you said: That school choice is just that- A Choice. No government should mandate specific schooling options, and conversely no parent should utilize a single option to the exclusion of all others without properly researching every choice available. Some public school districts have a truly poor standard, and in these districts private, charter or homeschooling options may be a better fit; in other areas, the opposite may be true.

    I think the rule of thumb for education is simple: Find the best educational offering in one’s area, and do what one can to provide it to one’s offspring.

    03 . Apr . 2017
  2. Jennifer Worrell

    I totally see where you’re coming from. As a public school teacher, though, I support what public schools can do for kids. Homeschooling is a wonderful option for willing and able parents. I just want to make sure that our public schools continue to garner the support they should for kids whose parents can’t afford choice.

    03 . Apr . 2017
  3. Maribeth Alexander

    I am a retired public school music teacher, having taught for 24 years. But, my husband’s grandchildren were both homeschooled. I saw that his grandchildren greatly exceeded the students in the public school setting in their test scores and overall knowledge. I was shocked at the level of some of the subjects they studied. They both went on to college and graduated with high honors. Would that have happened if they received their education in a public school? I don’t know. I do believe there are a lot of advantages to school choice, and also to public and homeschool education. The public schools can offer the specialists for students who have learning disabilities. I don’t know how that is addressed in a homeschool setting. But is public school even better for those children? I don’t know. Ultimately, the parents have to make the decision as to which is best for their child/ children. I am glad that school choice is an option for parents in this decision.

    03 . Apr . 2017
  4. Kandas

    Yes, education should be a choice but for most Americans that choice is public school. Every child in America deserves the same opportunities and we as a society need to ensure that our public schools are offering the absolute best education in the world.

    03 . Apr . 2017

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