If you want something done right…
Information. That’s all I asked for. Since I didn’t get much I figured I’d do my own research.
Reasons to place your children in the public school system…
Better education? No.
In an independent study it was discovered that homeschooled white children (8th grade) tested in the 84th percentile in math while minorities scored in the 77th percentile. The same age range public school children had the white children scoring in the 58th percentile (for reading) and 57th for math. Minorities scoring in the 24th-28th (depending on ethnicity) in math and in the 28th for reading.
Perhaps public education is “less expensive”?
National averages specify the cost to publically educate a child is $5,325. A national average for homeschool? $546.00 That’s far more than I spend, that’s for sure!!!! In Oregon, the average yearly cost for ONE child is upwards of $11,000. What I could do with $22,000 to put toward my children. Unfortunately, whether or not I utilize the services of the Dept of Ed. I do pay for it. Another post for another day…
Incomprehensibly to most liberals, although homeschoolers spend a fraction of what is considered “woefully inadequate” according to the latest levy, homeschooled students test in the 85th percentile, as opposed to the averages of public schooled children who test in the 50th.
Is public education superior in socialization?
Well, it depends on how you define socialization. Oregon State Education defines it as “the process by which culture is learned; also called enculturation. During socialization individuals internalize a culture’s social controls, along with values and norms about right and wrong.” If you really want your child to “internalize” our cultures “social controls” be my guest. Not what I want. Certainly not. I would rather have my children influenced by their parents first, their extended family and spiritual community second and by carefully selected friends and companions until such a time as they are able to responsibly make those decisions for themselves.
Theodore Roosevelt once said, “To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to create a menace to society.” However, secular humanism and evolution have defiantly replaced moral direction according to Judeo-Christian values. Survival of the fittest, peer pressure and coping mechanisms are the primary goals of most children in the school system. Those with whom your children spend 36-54 hours a week will become their primary influence. It’s just basic math and logic.
Sports? Perhaps the sports are better… Hm. On a purely anecdotal note, it is seems to me, as I see all these specialized clinics, personal trainers, intramural sports and local leagues that perhaps the public school system offers something, but falls short. At this point that doesn’t surprise me anymore.
The arts? Again, not so much, huh?
Maybe you see something different but I see the elimination of these types of programs in school districts all over the nation. Every parent I know of whether a homeschooler or public school parent are sending their children to private lessons, tutors, etc.
Better trained teachers?
Consider that 25% of PUBLIC SCHOOL teachers are choosing to home educate or privately educate their own children. I think that makes for a tough sell. When you can utilize ready made curriculum with DVD instruction by “trained professionals”, have routine standardized testing and follow the “national guidelines” explain to me again why I should put my boys in a place to meet the next LeTourneau or Trench Coat Mafia?
So, why is it important to know these things? Who really cares about the facts?
When I am given the opportunity to explain or defendmy choice to home educate my children spirituality and emotionalism carry very little weight. Especially among non-believers. You know, the people who consistently tell me how “lucky” I am to have such pleasant children? The one’s with whom I rub shoulders at the store, the park, the concert. While I’m out there being “light”. Doesn’t carry much weight among believers either. Too subjective.
When I am asked about homeschooling, as I am frequently, it is much more beneficial for me to talk about impersonal facts than share a testimonial for 20 minutes. I don’t believe anyone should participate in an endeavor of this magnitude without as much information as possible to make the strongest decision they are able to make. They need to define and defend if necessary the choice they made. My life story is irrelevant to their decision.
The numbers matter. The information matters. My witness matters. My determination to follow the “road less traveled” regardless of public opinion matters.
Coming off as some touch-y feel-y nut job who screams platitudes, bible verses and tear jerking stories matters. Why? It matters because it does my children a disservice and reflects poorly upon the provision G-d has shown us. A disservice because it devalues the lifestyle they are living. A lifestyle over which they have very little say. It reflects poorly upon G-d’s provision because hysteria implies a lack of faith and conviction. Do I believe He’s called me here to do this task or not? Calm debate, reasoned discussion, intelligent discourse glorify Him.
I believe home education is superior. I believe it is a safer environment for your children and mine. I truly do. I will happily and sincerely share this belief with anyone who asks while at the same time offering to do everything I can to support whatever decision they may make. I don’t have to agree with every aspect of my friends lives in order to respect their freedom to make independent choices and live differently from myself.
But I’ve already said that 145 different ways already. I don’t suppose it matters if anyone believes me or not. My belief may challenge your status quo. Good. I’m ok with that. When iron sharpens iron sometimes sparks fly.
There is a greater witness in a civil disagreement than everyone head bobbing and goosestepping into the party line. There is a greater witness from gracious responses, humility and learning from one another than being Right at any cost.
A Greater Witness. Only one of the many specialized and personalized classes I offer in my homeschool. You won’t find that at any government run education center in the US.
That’s for sure.