With the private and public institutions, as well as home schooling competing in the educational arena, it can be difficult to make the right decision. This is due to the fact that each type of education has its pros and cons for children. The goal is to provide the best possible education for them, with the least amount of stress and spending involved. So, does the private education justify the hefty price tag? Are home-schooled children unfit for the world? Do we still need to pay public schools when we have other options available?
Public schools have been around for quite some time. Their price is not something that pleases people, but you know what you are getting for your money. Certified teachers will educate your children in a school that is accountable to higher, state authority. There will be many kids from the neighborhood with whom your child can socialize and share some extra-curricular activities and after school programs.
One of the disadvantages involves little choice when it comes to choosing school. Furthermore, despite tax revenues, some public schools are underfunded. The emphasis is put on standardized testing, and both the gifted and slacking students often get lost in all the shuffle of overcrowded classrooms. Some parents are also rightfully worried that school environments are not safe.
A family affair
Homeschooling is the option which provides the level of educational and physical freedom that private and public schools cannot compete with. Parents are able to nurture stronger and lasting relationship with their kids, and tailor the program to their needs. Home-schooled kids tend to be self-sufficient and score better on standardized tests than their peers.
It is reduced costs that make many parents take on educating children on their own. There is no need to spend a ton of money on school fees, field trips and school supplies. Still, when non-teachers are involved in the learning process, there are some possible drawbacks. Moreover, teaching is time-consuming and parents must show incredible commitment to do it right.
A private question
Some parents argue that private education costs a fortune, and does not spur the desired results. While the first claim stands, the second one falls short. Many private schools have prime lecturers and unparalleled learning conditions. Students receive better supplies, and the focus is put on specific topics and challenging curricula.
Yet, private school teachers do not need to possess teaching degree and choices in subjects are less diverse. And yes, private schools are accessible primarily to those with deep pockets. That is changing, however, and there are some new solutions like the school easy pay system. This simple payment method allows parents and grandparents to split costs and pay the amount they choose on a monthly basis.
What about a price tag?
Before sending your child to school, you should do your homework and weigh all the advantages and disadvantages. Get the kids involved in a conversation as well, and do not throw their school years away by picking program that does not interest them. Pay special attention to financial reasons, and consider your own schedule. Education is too important to be seen through money alone, but too valuable to be left without a price tag in a modern world.
Did you home-school your kids or send them to public school?
I went to public schools for my K-12 education. Some of my teachers were good, some left a lot of room for improvement. On balance it was a positive experience.
I wish homeschoolers the best, but homeschooling would not be for me: there are some subjects (e.g., English literature) I would not feel comfortable teaching. IMO a better approach is to seek out and settle down in a locale with good schools in the first place.
I know what you mean. I’d probably be an awful teacher. My patience isn’t always the best.
To be honest I am opposed to homeschooling.
I believe school does more than educate, it exposes our children to new situations. Some of these are positive, others are negative.
The positive are being able to socialize with other children, and then to other cultures.
The negative, is there is a social order in schools, even for younger kids. As for me, when I grew up I had a bad speech impediment, which caused me to be taunted and bullied.
It was this negative experience, which caused me to dedicate myself in removing this speech impediment. If I was homeschooled, I might not have that constant torment, I might not be motivated in removing that impediment.
I do however, think homeschooling can be done to a certain age, such as 8 to 10. Allow the child to build more self assurance before they are sent into the world of public education.
Thank you for sharing this with us.
I had a boyfriend who’s parents homeschooled him up till high school and then he went to a private school for those years. I think it was a good balance for his family.
I would consider private school for my children. I believe in giving a child the best possible opportunities that you can. As it so happens my daughter attends a good state school (public school in America) and we are pleased with her progress. We take an active role in her learning as it not the sole responsibility of the teacher to educate children – parents should participate.
Whenever I think of homeschooling, I imagine a large house in America where a classroom style room is set up and there is lots of outside space for the children to run around and explore. I doubt I would consider it – it is a major commitment. I take my hat of to parents who do.
I would consider private school too if it was ever in my budget. Maybe day one 🙂
From my experience in the classroom in public schools, homeschooled kids tended to come in with skills either far above or disastrously below their peers. Not much middle ground existed. Ditto on social skills as well.
Yes there’s always such a difference between the kiddos in public schools. It has to be so hard on teachers to find the middle ground yet still advance everyone to their abilities.
I don’t have children myself but my sister chose to home school here two daughters, and now that they are grown they are homeschooling their own children. Money had nothing to do with their choice. My sister used to be a teacher’s aid but they had a lot of problems with violence in the school and one day one of the “kids” pulled a knife on the teacher. The next day my sister quit and pulled her kids out to begin the home school journey. She worked hard at it, had them tested regularly, and they always scored very high, so I’m really proud of her. Still, you are right about the time involved, it’s not a decision to take lightly.
The knife incident sounds scary! I’d probably be thinking of other options too if that was my kid’s school.
Meredith @ The Palette Muse
This is a question that I ask myself every year, as my two daughters move through our public school system. I’ve decided that for us, it needs to be answered on a year-by-year and kid-by-kid basis. Both my kids have such different needs that I’m open to all possibilities, even though I’m pretty sure that homeschooling would be the hardest thing I’ve ever done! 🙂
Homeschooling would be super tough I am assuming. I know one of my friends plans on doing it when her daughter gets to that age. Hopefully it’s a great experience for her!
My daughter went to public school. I don’t know how the system we have in Manitoba compares with what you have, but I think she received a very good education. But I was appalled to discover how much variation there could be in the quality of education from one public school to another. I always saw home-schooling as an ideological choice, not a economic one. I think it is very difficult and requires a lot of commitment and work, plus a lot of knowledge. A parent may need to give up a job to do it. To do it well and give a broad education, I think you’d want to include your own field trips to museums, etc. With that and the cost of supplies and materials, I have a hard time grasping how it would be significantly cheaper.
I agree homeschooling would require a lot of well everything. It’s something that just never really crossed our minds.
Great post! I know many of my friends choose to do a variety of these options. Some of them were teachers and wanted to home-school, others preferred private school and there were some that preferred public. I totally agree that the kids need to have a say, especially in high school. I asked my teens, if they wanted to continue on in the school district and they preferred to stay in the district. I did too but wanted to give them the option.
I have a feeling we will have to be asking our kids what they think if we decide to move back home to our home state. It’s a toss up because it’s home but doesn’t have that great of schools while here the schools are awesome but it’s not home. Dilemma!
It’s great to have the options, although I find it sad that schools like the Montessori schools are accessible only by the well to do. There are many gifted students who would be able to achieve to their full potential there but their parents can’t afford the steep fees.
Home schooling is an option and I know several people who are doing it or have done it amazingly well. You’re absolutely right about the patience angle though.
The public schools unfortunately are a mixed bag – some are great while others are basically a waste of time. Tough decisions for parents to make.
I’ve heard great things are Montessori schools as well. I wanted my son to go to a preschool one when he was younger but they charged way too much for my budget.
Both my wife and I went to public schools (and state colleges for that matter). So we were pretty committed to having our son go to pulbic school which we thought was important for the socializing aspect of his education. But we did do research on the quality of public schools and moved to a town that we thought had a very good school system. We are lucky in that we have a magnet school system and had a choice of 5 different elementary schools and three different middle schools. That’s been very good for our son who is very interested in music and art and has been able to attend a perfoming arts themed school. While we don’t pay the kind of tuition that private schools charge, we do end up paying because we have very high property taxes.
I hear you on the property taxes. Ours are crazy high too! My son has been doing great since moving here though so I can’t complain too much.
I live in Los Angeles where most of the schools are horrible underfunded. Most parents I know send their kids to private school, or move out of the city for better quality schools. Neither is an easy choice. I don’t know anybody who home schools their children. That is a hard one because one of the parents must also give up a paycheck to be home all day to teach So it wouldn’t necessarily be cheaper than private school depending on whether both parents work. You are right that it is an important decision and there is much to weigh in making a decision.
It’s sad some schools are so underfunded. Our children need a good education but private school isn’t always in the cards for everyone. Like you said home schooling is a whole other ballgame too with losing possibly a paycheck. A lot of it boils down to what you can afford. It’s a dilemma alright!
All my girls went to a public school as do all my grandchildren, home schooling isn’t something I think I would have the patience to do but think it is a great option for those who do but have to say the cost of a public education is a joke parents now days have to fork out a lot of money for education compared to what it was like when I was a child or when my girls were at school
I don’t have the patience or know how to deal with homeschooling. I find they our public schools are always asking for money one way or another. Nothing is mandatory though but I feel bad sometimes when I don’t contribute.