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”
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?