Public school is the most popular school choice and has been around for many years. One strength about public school is that most materials are provided free of charge. Another strength could be that most of your child's neighborhood friends will probably be there. If your child adapts well to a crowded environment and is not easily distracted, public school could be the right choice. However, not all public schools are crowded, so it may or may not be an issue. Check with your neighborhood school about student to teacher ratios before assessing that particular issue.
Look into the teaching methods to see if they are well-rounded. If your child has a hard time processing oral information, you'll need to be sure the school you choose teaches in other methods, besides the teacher standing in front of the class speaking. If higher learning is your concern, you may want to check national public school averages. While all schools will vary, this is something to consider.
Private School or Religious school
This choice is usually made by parents searching for better student to teacher ratios and higher learning standards. In many cases, private schooled students do have a better advantage. Although, you must be careful with this choice. Just because a school is private or tuition-based, it does not necessarily mean that the test scores are higher than those of a public school.
You should interview teachers and staff at public and private schools and determine, if based on your child's needs, they are best. Review private schools you are considering and compare them to each other in all areas. Keep in mind that if you want to make sure your child receives knowledge based on religious preferences, this will not happen in public school. They may be allowed to say a prayer, if they wish. However, religious-based instruction is generally found at a school specific for that.
Homeschooling or Private Tutors
Homeschooling is growing immensely. Much of it has to with growing parental dissatisfaction with public schools or the need for alternative methods on an individual basis. Some parents who choose to homeschool are tired of their children's individual needs not being met. This not to say that public schools are inadequate, just that the setup does not always allow for this extra attention.
While the teachers in public school are mostly wonderful, with classes so large, it is virtually impossible to pay individual attention to every child every day. Even the really good teachers can still face problems with this. There are just too many students for this to happen. If your child seems to fall behind due to lack of attention or if your child is way ahead of others his/her age, homeschooling may be the right choice for you.
Homeschooling can be done many different ways. One way is to teach all the core subjects at home and to send your child to public school for electives. Another way may be to hire a tutor for all subjects. There are many different ways to homeschool. There are even "virtual schools" online for homeschoolers. Choose from varied curricula or choose to form your own, based on your child's needs and abilities. Our family uses a combination of various resources. If you are looking for a flexible method, homeschooling is probably a good choice for you.
Making the Decision
Whatever method you choose, be sure it is right for you and your child. Your child only has one chance at school. Sure, a GED can be earned later in life, but wouldn't you rather your child receive a high school diploma? Also, keep in mind that when your child submits college applications, the grades throughout his/her life will be looked at, so be sure that whatever choice you make, it will be an environment in which your child can thrive and succeed well.
It is possible in the early years to try more than one method to see which works right. Just be sure your child makes any transitions gradually. Try using each method one school year at a time, so as to provide your child with security and stability.
*This article was written by a homeschool mother based on her personal experiences and is meant for informational purposes only. Be sure to do your own research as well.