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Why not a private school?

 
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a101mjo
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Joined: 27 May 2007
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Location: Montana

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2007 10:11 pm    Post subject: Why not a private school? Reply with quote

As I skim down through the reasons for homeschooling here, I have to appeal to those who are Christian (or even those who simply are looking for high morals) and ask why aren't people considering Christian or private schools? What about searching nation-wide for people who want out of their "school's education" what you want? I have to think of my best friend's family who moved two states away to put their kids into a Christian school. There the kids encountered solid academics, and participated in team sports and extra-curricular activities that fit within their parents' moral belief system. Both children went on to college to pursue careers and are happily married --a direct result (I believe) of two parents choosing to move to a community where they could find people with a similar educational philosophy in a credible private school. Was it a sacrifice? Yes. Did it save their kids from a public school system containing garbage? Yes. How tied are some of you to where you live? Is that more important than your children's education and future? Is moving an option? Have you considered it? --just some questions to think about. I don't have kids, but I teach them. I believe the public education system is seriously broken and out-of-control. Parents need to explore alternative choices. It's cool to see so many of you who are stepping out to do just that! Smile
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Calla_Dragon
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not Christian so I don't homeschool my kids for religious reasons, but I do know a lot of Christian families so I can give some insight about their situation. Most, if not all, of these families cannot afford the tuition for private school. Where I live, private school costs anywhere from $8000 -$17,000 per year, per student and usually increases as they go up grade levels. That's at least $600 per month, per child that has to be spent on their education and most people cannot afford that nowadays - not to mention if they have more than one child.

As for me, even if I found a secular private school in this area and could afford it, I wouldn't send my kids there. I think that private schools are horrendously high in their tuition costs and I don't think education needs to cost that much. I also don't want to be tied to someone else's schedule. I don't want someone telling me when I can and can't schedule family vacations due to school calendars.

Also, for a lot of people (Christian included), homeschooling is a lifestyle. We don't want our children gone 7, 8, 9 hours a day at school. We live our day to day lives and we learn at the same time. We live to learn, we don't learn to live.

Not all people have the luxury of moving locations in order to attend private school, that is, if you ever get off the waiting list (which it can take several years to do here). Our family won't move to a location that makes my husband's commute hard or nearly impossible. His job is tantamount to our family and without it, we don't survive. Private school becomes a very unimportant thing in the light of that, especially when homeschooling is such a cost effective and very viable option.

Private schools may have stronger academics, but you are still mostly tied to what they teach. You don't have the luxury of deciding what to teach and how or when to teach it. This may work fine for some, but this is one of the reasons why I and many others homeschool. Many homeschoolers like having this kind of freedom over their curriculum choices.

Private school are not all they seem to be on the surface either. A lot of the problems that exist in public school also exist in private school. There is less of it, true, because private schools are generally smaller communities than public schools, but it still exists - even if more covertly.

Private is not the end all, be all answer to public school and our complaints or dissatisfaction with it. It is another method of education, but it is not the "answer" to homeschooling. Homeschooling can speak quite nicely for itself.
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ccrdh82
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Joined: 29 Apr 2007
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

very nicely said. Very Happy
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a101mjo
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply Reply with quote

Hey, so glad someone replied to my post. What a solid reply too. I can tell you've done some thinking this through. Private schools ARE expensive –as to whether or not they need to be, I've been on the inside of such schools and tuition seldom covers operating costs (of course, I haven't worked in a school that charged $600 –I think we were in the $200 range in the various schools I'm familiar with). It's incredible what it can cost to pay qualified people to operate a credible system. The public systems get a set amount per student from the government (usually a few thousand) and a private school starts with $0 per student –a staggering difference. And true, cost IS often a deciding factor in so much of what we have to choose –not really something most of us can change. What's encouraging is that private schools are becoming more prevalent so we may see costs begin to come down.
And yes, I certainly agree problems exist in private schools –as in any organization that is composed of people. Let's face it –it's composed of human beings who do have their flaws. But most private systems should have a way that parents can be very directly involved in what they teach and how things are done. Often that's the purpose of the school –a group of people who wanted something done a specific way.

I guess I want to simply give HOPE to someone who may be getting that sinking feeling that homeschooling is NOT for their family. Not everyone can do a good job of "teaching" their own kids –--though many DO, …. not everyone does. Crying or Very sad
I've encountered some parents who shouldn't have tried it on their own (perhaps that was the key "on their own"). Their kids were behind others their age both in academics AND in social interaction skills. The parent truly had no idea what a "5th grader" should know. Let's face it, some parents will make good teachers and some won't --(PLEASE be willing to recognize it early if your children are falling behind because of a homeschooling situation.) Again, I applaud those who are seeking out an alternative. GO FOR IT! And yes, there will still be those of you who just can't venture into the private school realm---due to scheduling, work situation, whatever. I then applaud you then for choosing such a daunting task as teaching grades 1 through 12! I'm a teacher with a master's degree and KNOW I would have to pass on a few of those grades! Some parents are awesome though. I do believe it can be done.-- –just not by all. And no, I don't believe private schools are the answer to homeschooling, but I think sometimes people jump on the homeschooling bandwagon before exploring all their options and there are those whose "best" option might be a private school. …Just food for thought. This is fun. I don't want to argue against those who choose homeschooling. I want to help people think about things. I hope others share their thoughts too. Smile
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Calla_Dragon
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PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2007 8:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think anyone who is at a point where they could potentially choose homeschooling has, in most cases, already explored their options - including private school.

My family is very "american" in its structure and function. We have a husband, a wife, and two dogs. We live in a typical middle class suburb in a typical middle class house, just like many other Americans do. My husband works a 40-50 hour a week job and I stay at home to take care of the house, the kids, etc. Typical middle class family, right? There is no way on this green earth we would have the money for private school tuition for both kids - even IF I had a full time job. The combined total of two salaries is STILL not enough to cover private school tuition x2 for the area we live in. The montessori schools in our area also were not an issue as they also run $650/month for my 4 year old and $550/month for my 6 year old. So, when weighing educational options for our kids, private school and montessori weren't even on the list for financial reasons alone. My point is that when your income falls in the "average" ranges for your area (here average household income here in MN is about $57k - national average household income is $50k), private school isn't even an option for most middle class families - not by a long shot. I understand that you're trying to offer an option to families who feel they are fed up with public school and maybe shouldn't be homeschooling, but an educational option with a price tag that large isn't really a viable option when it's only accessible to a small percentage of people.


Quote:
What's encouraging is that private schools are becoming more prevalent so we may see costs begin to come down.


That depends. Private schools will only multiply once the existing private schools find their student base at or over the capacity for their present facilities. Private schools aren't just going to pop up because someone suspects that if only more schools existed, people would come. People may WANT to come, but it'll be a good long while before there are enough private schools around to bring the cost of tuition down to where the average middle class family can afford it. Then we have the problem of financing - since private schools receive virtually no governmental subsidies, they must heavily rely on donations and tuition to foot the cost of running the school. How much can the cost of a school really go down when you have to support the majority of the overhead for running that school? There could be 5 schools within a mile of Bob's Private School that charge less than his school and if Mr. Bob cannot run his school for less than $500/month/student, that's what he's going to have to charge - or do some rockin' fundraising or go out of business. There aren't a lot of options for poor Mr. Bob.

I'll agree that there are some people who shouldn't be homeschooling their kids - those who are lazy, apathatic or not dedicated to their child's education should not undertake something such as homeschooling. The people who let their children fall behind in homeschooling are in the vast minority of homeschoolers. Kids fall behind in public and private school too and it's usually because of the same reasons why some parents shouldn't homeschool in the first place. Kids will fall behind in education, some kids will get a lesser quality education than other kids will. It's sad, but it's a fact of life. The way they get their education has nothing to do with that. There are tons of resources for homeschoolers these days. You don't have to know what a 5th grader should know because there are several different places to look it up. There is no excuse for a homeschooler to receive a poor education except for poor parental involvement, which can happen regardless of which educational option a family chooses.
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mdsmomct
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Joined: 30 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Tue May 29, 2007 11:28 am    Post subject: Re: Why not a private school? Reply with quote

a101mjo wrote:
As I skim down through the reasons for homeschooling here, I have to appeal to those who are Christian (or even those who simply are looking for high morals) and ask why aren't people considering Christian or private schools? Smile


We are Catholic and the Catholic schools IMHO are teaching "watered down" Catholicsm so that they can get more people, Catholic or not, to attend their schools. I want my son to know our faith as it truly is. Also, as pp said we couldn't afford it even if we wanted to send him to a private school.

We are very tied to our community for many reasons- family, almost 0 crime rate, a community full of like minded people and tons of homeschoolers to make friends with. We also have wonderful neighbors on all sides and they all support us homeschooling. Why would we want to leave that for a school that may or may not teach our son the way we want him taught and risk living in a community we don't love. Our state is also very hs friendly and that is not the case everywhere.

Finally our son is advanced and from what I have heard about most private schools is that even they cannot always meet the demands of a highly gifted child and with hs you have many more options available to you.

I agree that not all people should hs - but I do believe it is in the best interest of most kids to receive an individualized education.
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elliemaejune
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course many hsing parents have considered Christian schools. Why would you think they had not?

We prefer homeschooling over Christian schools, because we believe that it is God's plan for us, the parents, to have the most influence over our children's lives while they are young. In fact, we took our older dd out of a Christian school to teach her at home because we became convinced that her education was our responsibility, not the school's.
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Mark
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We also removed our children from a christian school to teach them
at home. There were many reasons involved in that decision and cost
was a part of it, although not a large one.
I am glad that private schools are out there as one of the alternatives for
people in search of an education solution. They just are not for us at this time.

mark
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frogguruami
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Joined: 23 May 2007
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2007 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Private schools have the same problems as public schools. Over crowding (although in their case it is chosen), single learning style, over stimulated classrooms, rushed academics, peer pressure, inflexible curriculum, etc. IMO private schools are worse than public. Not to mention I would have to go back to work and get a full time job to pay for it. Then they would be in after school care until I got home from work and I would see them 2 hours a day. I did not have children to have someone else raise them! There is also the issue of private schools being religious, at least all in my area. Except Montessori, but at 20,000 a year the price is ridiculous.
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