Choosing the right type of school for your children is very difficult. This decision will ultimately determine your child's success in the future. So, how do you choose? Each family and child is unique and has differences that play a role in this decision. In our family's case, homeschool was the best option when weighing all the factors. However, you may decide something entirely different. Here are some tips to help you choose between public school, private school, homeschool, or other options.
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.
When you choose to homeschool your child, you may be wondering if the public schools will help you with curriculum. Can they give or sell you you textbooks and study guides? If you are pulling them out of the public school, will they give you the books and learning materials where your child left off? Will public schools provide homeschoolers with a curriculum?
Will public schools give you a curriculum?
It depends on the rules in your area, as well as each situation. If you have registered as the homeschool teacher, most states do not allow the public schools to administer tests or curriculum to your students. They can only do this if the students are enrolled with them. Some public schools offer homeschooling programs, in which they provide the materials. However, in this case, you are not the one who makes the final rules and your children will still be technically in the public school program. If you prefer it that way, then go ahead and register in this type of program. But if you'd rather be responsible for all aspects of your child's education, you will need to seek the curriculum elsewhere or create it yourself.
Should the public schools give your child curriculum if you homeschool?
No. Unless your child is registered in a program with the public schools, they should not be involved in the educational aspects of your homeschool. Laws change all the time, so keep up to date with your local laws on homeschool. However, in most cases, public schools cannot and should not be distributing you any learning materials unless your children are registered as their students.
Why wouldn't I want to accept curriculum from the public schools?
t's not really a matter of whether you have the desire to accept the materials. But as the homeschool teacher, it is also your responsibility to abide by the law. By allowing teaching from someone not authorized as the homeschool teacher, you could be getting yourself and the school into trouble. If you would prefer they provide the curriculum, you need to either enroll your child in the public schools or in a home-based program with them. This ensures that you and the school are both abiding by the appropriate laws regarding the education. If you would like more control over your child's education, you need to take charge of the curriculum yourself.
Why won't the public schools give me the unused materials where my child left off?
In some states, it is actually against the rules for them to help you, unless you are registered in a homeschooling program through the public schools. As the parent and homeschool teacher, all the responsibility is on you, unless your child is enrolled in a program that relieves that responsibility. The decision to homeschool is not one that should be taken lightly. By choosing to homeschool your children, you are choosing the responsibility of anything involved in their education. As such, you must make a decision on curriculum and many other things. In homeschool, no one does that for you - or anything else for that matter. That's right. It's all up to you and the public schools will likely not help much or at all.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans Content Community. Services include ordained soul therapy and healing ministry, business success coaching, business success services, handcrafted healing jewelry, ethereal and anointing oils, altar and spiritual supplies and services, handcrafted healing beauty products, and more!
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