Every parent wants the best for their children, right? This includes a great education that will provide a foundation for their success. Sometimes deciding on what constitutes a great education can be a difficult part of the process. On one hand, you can send your kids to public school – at least you’ll know that they will receive a “standardized” education. Or you can homeschool… and customize the curriculum to your family standards.
There is something to be said for going with the public schools. First of all, it is easier than spending the time necessary to develop your own school system. You won’t have the time-consuming task of deciding what should be taught to your child, not to mention what the best way to teach it to them is.
If your children attend public schools you can rest assured that they will be occupied for a set number of hours per week too. They will interact with various people from different walks of life. Public school ensures that your children are receiving the same information that everyone else in the neighborhood is. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on the way you view things.
If you homeschool you can expect to deal with developing your own curriculum or purchasing a ready-made set of courses that you will work with. Ready-made versions are nice, but you will also have the flexibility of creating your own as well but where do you begin? Our boys and I like to create our own materials, but they are still young. Not sure how we’ll handle that as they get older.
Developing your own curriculum definitely takes time. You will need to determine what courses are essential and which ones you will include to make the learning experience fun. After all, part of the reason people homeschool in the first place is to make sure their children retain the love of learning.
The unique thing about homeschooling is that you can take one educational experience and run with it. For example, if your child is fascinated with bugs you could use that topic as a theme for many of your courses. That could include art, geography, science, math and more. By creatively incorporating things that interest your children into what you are studying you will find that they will be more likely to enjoy the work.
Perhaps your kiddo would like to read about bugs but hates reading regular school books. If you are homeschooling, you can go down to the local library and get books on bugs that interest them. Art class could be about drawing bugs. You could even buy an ant farm to study how they live. Field trips could include studies of bugs that are native to your area. You could learn how quickly the bugs multiply and use that for math equations. You could even watch nature programs on TV about bugs and then write a report.
The choice between homeschooling or using the public school system is an individual one. It is quite obvious that homeschooling will require much more of your time. Public schools, on the other hand, will take charge of your children and their education so your life is free of that stress, leaving you time to work outside the home if you need to. See also this post about the Homeschool Foundation.
Personally? I would rather have our boys learning here at home until they are old enough to make their own choices about education. Well, the controversy continues… Later they can consider all the options and decide what they think is best for them. My boys may choose to go to a public school system at some point, but so far, both of them think homeschooling rules!