Friday, August 27, 2010

Educating Children Pt 2: The Pros and Cons of Public Schools, Private Schools and Home Schools!

OK, my 2nd post on 'Educating Children.' Today's title:

"The Pros and Cons of Public Schools, Private Schools, and Home Schools"

Hopefully, I'll be able to portray a pretty good picture of what I experienced in my own life as a public school student for 12+ years, and now a homeschooling Dad for 12+ years.

What I present is no way meant to be an exhaustive list of pros and cons, and may not accurately represent what you've experienced and have seen in your neck of the woods.

I understand that public schools in wealthier rural areas out perform public schools in poorer urban areas. My portrayal is based on national averages and overall behavioral patterns in general, not one district in particular.

We'll start with the pros and cons of Public or Government Schools, and end with the pros and cons of Home Schools.

Public or Government Schools:

  • Already paid for by your tax dollars. Out of pocket expenses are kept to a minimum, and limited to such things as field trips and perhaps fund raiser events. Depending on school, you may have to purchase uniforms as well.
  • All the work is done for you. All you need to do is get 'em there. Either drive them yourself or have them ready for the school bus rain or shine.
  • Your days are just that, YOUR DAYS. No kids to disrupt you while watching TV, surfing the web, making calls, running errands, etc., etc..
  • Frees up Mom to pursue a career outside of the home where she can find her perceived happiness and true liberation from what the Lord says matters most.

  • Unbiblical world view is taught to your child for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, 9 months a year, for 12 years of their life.
  • Negative and evil peer pressures surround your child for time stated above.
  • Child is faced with all types of sin that most children are unable to walk away from because of immaturity and lack of time being trained by parents.
  • Innocents of child is lost at an age when unable to process the things they hear and see such as: sexual misconduct, vulgar language, homosexuality, immodest dress, poor character, rebellion to authority, rebellion toward God, hatred of God, etc.
  • Parents sin against child by placing them in an environment that is hostile toward what they believe and where the child will almost always be the one who's converted. A lack of charity toward our children is to sin against them.
  • Class sizes are about 1 teacher to 30+ students.
  • No biblical or jurisdictional authority over the education of your child.
  • Parental authority in the life of the child is almost completely obliterated.
  • Unnatural surroundings (age segregation) leave children ill-prepared for real world.
  • One size fits all approach to curriculum, learning styles, etc.
  • Virtually no one on one time with teachers unless they're deemed 'special need' or 'underachieving.'
  • Slave to schools calendar and schedule.
  • Child is forced to violate the commands in Psalm 1 which reads:
1 ¶ Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

Private Schools:

  • The Same as for Public Schools, with the following added.
  • Teachers try harder because they're paid better.
  • In Christian Schools, at least the Teachers are suppose to have a biblical worlview. But according to the Barna Group, only about 20% of Evangelicals actually have a biblical worldview.
  • Facilities are better maintained than at public schools.
  • The sins of the students are more white-washed, giving the appearance of 'not-so-bad.'
  • The same as for Public Schools with following added.
  • Students at Christian Private Schools act and think like their public school counterparts sending confusing signals to your child who you tell that the kids there are better because they're "Christian."
  • With so many "Christian" students doing 'it', 'it' must be ok for your child to do it, or so they think.
  • Many students there are there because their parents are hoping that private school will 'get out' what public school 'put in' for 8 years.
  • No biblical or jurisdictional authority over the education of your child.
  • Parental authority in the life of the child is weakened by time apart and by who the child views as "intelligent."
  • Financial Costs. Can leave many families financially burdened, especially larger families with multiple students attending.

Home Schools:

  • Controlled environment.
  • Environment conducive to learning.
  • Child is taught by parent or co-op leader who is under the authority of Jesus.
  • Parent-child relationship strengthened throughout school year.
  • Authority of parents in child's life is established and strengthened .
  • One on one time of student/teacher.
  • Class size limited to number of children in family.
  • Curriculum tailored to child's' learning style(s).
  • Supremacy of God in academics upheld.
  • God's relevance in the world is taught to child throughout school year.
  • Superior academic performance on SAT, ACT.
  • Higher level of performance per grade level compared to public and private school students.
  • Hebrew method of discipleship (walk beside, talk beside) established in child's life.
  • Obedience to commands to "bring up" children "in the Lord". (Deut. 6: 4-9; Eph. 6:4)
  • Family vision impressed upon child without negative influence dissuading child from it.
  • Negative or ungodly behavior can be dealt with swiftly while still trainable.
  • Complete control over calendar and schedule.
  • Children mature much quicker.
  • Adapts much easier to people of all ages and genders.
  • And everything else I missed!
  • Children can suffer if parents are lazy and undisciplined.
  • Parents don't take the eduction of their children seriously enough and leave child ill-prepared for life outside of home.
  • Some parents who opt for the "relaxed" method to home educate their children are so relaxed that they sleep thru entire year of school.
  • Boys can suffer identity issues and become feminine with Mom doing all the educating, if Dad isn't pro actively discipling his boys on how to Men and making them work hard outside of school.
  • Added cost of curriculum per child every year.
Again, these aren't exhaustive lists by any means. Just what I've seen and experienced in my own life and in the lives of those around me.

Share your thoughts and add to any list you'd like via a comment or two!