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You Have Educational Choices: Here are the Pros and Cons of Each

 

 

Pros and consWhat are the pros and cons of the various educational opportunities available to us? Let’s find out!

Public Education

Pros:

-It is “Free”
-Most teachers are fluent in the subject they teach
-Transportation to and from school is “free”.
-Your children have access to school sanction sports, activities and clubs.

Cons:

-“Free”- isn’t free, it is paid for with tax payer dollars… And when it comes to “free” remember, you get what you pay for….
-Common Core is mandatory and soon Next Generation Science Standards will be. Click here to learn more about Common Core and here to learn  more about Next Generation Science Standards.
-Testing. At a minimum, the average student in the public schools will take 5 high-stakes assessments a year. This means the focus on chapter quizzes  and unit tests are being overshadowed by the “need” for teachers to prepare children for the assessments (read: teach-to-the-test).
-Teacher evaluations because of the strings attached to Common Core (Read: $$MONEY$$), are tied to test scores, meaning the pressure is on the  teachers to make sure all students do well on the assessments.
-Public education forces all children into a one-size-fits-all box.
-Absences and Truancy prosecutions. The school districts will prosecute you and/or your child if they feel your child has missed too much school. -School districts encourage parents to violate school policies and send children to school ill, so the school nurse can determine if a child should or  should not be in school that day due to their illness. *This would have been fixed in HB221*
-Parents should make that decision not the school. You, as the parent know your child best and are capable of knowing whether or not they should be  in school when they are ill or not feeling well.
-This is about money, not the child’s education, a child who doesn’t not feel well is not going to benefit educationally from sitting behind a desk all day  while not feeling well.
-Parents should be able to take their children on a family vacation when they have the opportunity. Many educational opportunities present  themselves on family vacations.
-Again, the emphasis on attendance is not for your child’s benefit, it is about funding.
-Bottom line Public School may be “Free”, but it is all about the money.

Charter School/Public School Online

Pros:

-These are also “Free”
-Charter Schools and Virtual Public Schools offer an opportunity to have a little more individualized education.
-Your child will have access to school sanctioned sports, activities, and clubs

Cons:

-Again, “Free” isn’t “Free”, Charter Schools and Virtual schools are paid for with tax payer dollars, and again, when it comes to “free” remember, you  get what you pay for….
-Charter schools and Public Virtual Schools may have to align with the Common Core Standards, and are subjected to the same barrage of    assessments  that the public schools are.
-Attendance/Truancy issues are the same, and in many cases worse (specifically with K-12 and Virtual Academy, parents are misled and feel they have  the flexibility of homeschooling, but find themselves in trouble when their children “fall behind”. Virtual schools are public schools at home, not  homeschools, do not be fooled.). *This was addressed in HB221*

Private/Religious Schools

Pros:

-Parents are generally more involved, and are required to volunteer a set amount of hours each month, quarter, or semester.
-Parent involvement in their child’s education tends to yield more positive results.
-The classroom sizes are generally smaller, allowing for opportunities for a more individualized education.
-Private schools do not have to participate in statewide, district wide, or national assessments*
-Private schools do not have to implement the Common Core or Next Generation Science Standards*.
-Many Private Schools offer scholarships for families that cannot afford the full price of tuition.
-Religious schools offer the opportunity for your values and beliefs to be incorporated into the curriculum.
-[In MOST school distrcits] Your child can still participate in public school sports

Cons:

-Cost, at over $200/month for one child (some schools do offer discounts for sub sequential children, for example, the tuition of one private school we -looked at has monthly tuition broken down as: $285 for the first child, $205/month for the second child, $145/month for the third child, and  $55/month for the fourth child. That means a family with 2 children would be paying $490/month, a family with 3 children would be paying  $635/month and a family with 4 children would be paying $690/ month) As I mentioned above in the “pros” some private schools offer scholarships,   however, it is not a guarantee that the entirety of your child’s tuition would be covered.
-Some private schools have decided to implement the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.
-Some private schools accept federal and/or state funding, and must adhere to certain guidelines, including participation in high stakes assessments.    The government never offers “free” money, all government money always comes with strings.
-In the “pros” I mentioned that your values and beliefs could be taught within the curriculum. With religious schools, there can be doctrinal issues  that are not in alignment with your beliefs concerning certain doctrine (mainly essentials) that are taught to the children.
-Some school districts only allow children attending public school to participate in school sanctioned sports and other extracurricular activities,  despite the fact that your tax dollars still go to public schools you are using. *This was addressed in HB221*

Homeschool

Be sure to check out our homeschool resource page if you are considering or would like to learn more about homeschooling.

Pros:

-You get to spend each day with your children. You get to watch them learn and grow. You get to watch them struggle and watch them overcome those  struggles.
-You can fully customize each child’s education based on their interests, abilities, likes and dislikes.
-You can move at each child’s individual pace, you can move as fast or slow as your child needs to move through their curriculum.
-You do not have to implement the Common Core Standards or Next Generation Science Standards into your homeschool [at this time].
-You do not have to subject your children to high stakes assessments [at this time].
-You can see what works and what doesn’t work for each of your children, and try something different when you see something isn’t quite the right fit.
-Homeschooling allows for an out-of-the-box education.
-You can learn alongside your children
-You can focus on instilling a life-long love of reading and learning, as well as the ability for a child to be self directed in their learning. Homeschooled  children tend to learn how to learn, not just memorize what they need to know to pass a test.
-Life is full of educational opportunities, homeschooling allows for real world education, not just text book education
-There are many curricula, methods, and styles to choose from, and you can decide which are best for your homeschool, your family, and even each  child.
-You can take a family vacation at any time during the year without fear of being prosecuted for educational neglect.
-Your children can still participate in school sanctioned sports and activities, and can even participate in dual enrollment. (Some homeschool classes,  some public school classes) in MOST school districts.
-Your homeschool does not have to be a gun free zone.
-Homeschooling allows parents to spend more quality time together, especially for military families, families where one or both parents: work in the  oil field, a mine, drive over-the-road, or have another job that keeps them away from home for extended periods of time. Time that if a child attended  public school wouldn’t be spent as a family.
Religious freedom. No matter your religious views, homeschooling allows you to teach your children according to your beliefs.
-You are the main influence in your child’s day to day life, not a teacher.
-There are lessons and classes available to homeschoolers
-No data mining
-Homeschooling is great for different families for different reasons, at the risk of having a very long “pros” list, I encourage you to talk to different  homeschoolers to find out what they would consider homeschooling “pros”

Cons:

-Homeschooling isn’t always easy
-There will be bad days
-Cost can be a factor, some curricula can be expensive (however, homeschooling can be productive on a very minimal budget)
Some districts will not allow homeschoolers to participate in school sanctioned sports or activities even though your tax dollars still pay for those  things. *Addressed in HB221*
-You have to report your curriculum to your local school district each year. Some districts treat this as a “request to homeschool”, which is not how the  law reads, but the boards of trustees in some districts will go through and “approve” “requests” to homeschool. –The curriculum submission form is  not a request, you are telling the school district that your children will not be attending the public schools. *Addressed in HB221*
-You have to figure out what to do with the kids for appointments scheduled during the day
-Financial sacrifice. Generally homeschools are one income families, this means some things may be sacrificed, vacations, new car, maybe eating out    less, etc…
*Not a con, but pertaining to a single income family, I personally know 2 single mothers who homeschool and work. It is not easy, but they have found a way to do it.
-Your home may not be clean and organized 100% of the time and at times may look like a tornado blew through. –Taking breaks for everyone to do  chores can help-
-Your home will be very much lived in.
-Everybody will quiz your children to make sure they are learning and try to measure them up to children attending public schools.
-Your family and friends may not be very supportive, in fact they may be the exact opposite of supportive.
-Your friends and family –though they may mean well- will say some very hurtful things concerning your decision to homeschool.

I support your freedom to choose the education that is best for your child.

And while I encourage you to “starve the beast” by pulling your children out of public schools if you feel the public school system is failing, I still support your right as parents to make the decision that is best for your child.

 

Be sure to check out our homeschool resource page if you are considering homeschooling.

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