There is a large homeschool community in the city where we live. And by large, I mean gigantic. I'm not sure what percentage of families here homeschool, but it is a lot. I am thrilled that families who want to homeschool may do so and feel supported and surrounded by other families with similar priorities.

A lot of my blog friends have children younger than my own, and they are beginning kindergarten next year. Others are in the midst of school, like me, and wonder if they're doing the right thing trying to choose between public and private, Charter versus Montessori, Catholic versus Protestant. You get the picture.

For me, the homeschool issue is compounded by our faith. Other families who practice the same faith as we do are leaving the public school system and choosing to keep their kids at home. They feel called to do that. They feel responsible for instilling their values in their children. They want to make sure that their kids are not exposed to parts of this world. I get that. I do. Read my post from a few days ago.

David and I, however, feel called to send our children to public school. They're getting a good education. They love the structure. They have a lot of opportunities there. Is it perfect? Uh... no. Has every teacher been their best friend? No. Have mistakes been made? You bet. But it's where they should be. My faith teaches that my children are to love everyone, share with others, help the underprivileged, make sacrifices, befriend all, and shine God's love. They can't do that if they're home with me. {Hear me loud and clear right now, though. If you homeschool, I'm so happy for you. I'm just explaining what works for us.}

As I dwell on how I want to intentionally raise my kids a colorful, vibrant world, public school is one of the puzzle pieces that fits perfectly for us. For those of you with little ones not of school age yet, get ready. It's some of the best fun you'll ever have, no matter where they go to school!


Bridget said...

YEA public schools! :) xo from a completely non-biased public school teacher ;)

hotflawedmama said...

Ah, the perfect way of explaining why we don't homeschool as well (that and I have no patience in teaching).

Well said!

Michele said...

Ha--Bridget-- I was just going to make a very similar comment. Is public school perfect? NO WAY. But I completely agree with the idea that it helps kids learn to navigate the world in which they will live. Thanks for a supportive post (I'm feeling the lack of love for public teachers these days)

Old Men Reflect said...

I try to hire problem solvers. Part of learning how to solve problems, is working with others to solve a common problem. Unless you were trained as a Jesuit, I would doubt if you can home school effectively about working with others. Tough to teach cooperation, listening, exchange of ideas with with a six, nine and eleven year old who all beat the crud out of each other from time to time. How do you learn to cope with bullies, gossip, suppressing hysterical laughter during class, bad cafeteria food, hiding things in your locker, learning how to deal with bad teachers, learning how to love good teachers the rest of your life?

Life is living with others, not isolating one from all but your own kind.

Other wise, who would talk to me?

I can spot home schooled in the work force. Not a pretty sight.

cathy said...

i would love to hear from a homeschooler... because i know they read this and i don't want this to turn into "bash the homeschool" crowd. there's a time and a place for everything. if for some reason our kids could not handle public school for one way or another, then homeschool might have to be an option for us. i just wanted to write about what works for us. and michele, i totally agree with the lack of love for public school teachers right now. it's a travesty.

Old Men Reflect said...

You arre fool of love and kindness. And I am sorry that I cam across as a mean old man. (Which I am) You are right.

Old Men Reflect said...

Early morning spelling problems. Fool = Full
cam= came.

Public school education