My pros and cons list of each

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Postby Redhead » Thu Jan 11, 2007 3:52 pm

I've been reading these boards for a while now and finally decided to post. I actually have taught in public school and private school and am now starting to homeschool my preschoolers.

Frankly, I think all 3 have their own sets of pros and cons--- and those are going to differ from family to family. For example, families in large communities will experience very different situations from those in smaller, rural communities. Also, each family has to decide for itself just what things are really important in education and what things can be sacrificed.

I think no matter what, you'll find that you must generalize if you intend to apply pros and cons to schooling; there will always, always be exceptions.

That said, from my own personal experience with all 3 types of schooling, I'd say the following pros and cons tend to stick out to me with regard to the schools in my area:

Pros - Variety of social activities provided; Opportunities to deal with a variety of different teaching styles and to learn to adapt to varying expectations; Sense of community
Cons - Exposure to negative socialization greater; High student-teacher ratio; Inability to tailor subjects to student's abilities

Pros - Generally smaller student-teacher ratios; Opportunities to deal with a variety of different teaching styles and to adapt ot varying expectations; Variety of social activities generally provided, though fewer often than public schools; Sense of community; Scripture-based curricula often applied; Spiritual guidance often available
Cons - Exposure to negative socialization still exists, though to a slightly lesser degree than public schools; Student-teacher ratios higher than homeschool; Financial hardship for many; Secondary teachers often spread too thin in terms of subjects, thus dividing their time and attention

Pros - Superior student-teacher ratio; Insulation from some of the more negative socialization issues, though there is certainly not absolute protection from them all; Curriculum driven by the student and teacher rather than the curriculum doing the driving; Sense of community possible, provided parents are conscious to provide it; Socialization opportunities available and varied, provided the parents and student seek them and are able to find them in their area
Cons - Financially burdensome to many; Can create family issues (however, for many families, homeschooling brings them closer); Can result in lack of socialization if parents and student make little effort to find activities outside the home; Time consuming, even if the time is worth it in the end

Those are from my own personal experiences. I realize that these are not even applicable points to the person next door to me, let alone to all of you.

We're homeschooling because we wanted a classical education with emphasis on reading, writing, rhetoric, and math/physics. Since I'm certified to teach and we live in a large community with several co-ops in the area, we weren't too concerned about my ability to teach or our ability to ensure our kids are properly socialized. Thankfully, finances are also not a concern.

I guess I just think that people need to look at the things that will affect their child's education - time, money, physical location, emotional issues - and then take a good look at what's available to them.

Thanks to the OP for the interesting post. It allowed me the opportunity to revisit my decision to homeschool.
"Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil." C.S. Lewis

Against Homeschooling
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Postby Against Homeschooling » Sat Jan 13, 2007 9:17 am

Kudos to a well written post by a caring parent. I believe that with your range of experience and obvious willingness to step back and do what is best for your children your experience will be a success. Good luck!

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Pros and cons from a newbie on this forum

Postby rafismom » Sat Feb 03, 2007 7:18 pm

I have also taught in both public and private schools. In addition I am a seasoned homeschooler, having taught my 4 oldest kids at home years ago (the eldest is now in grad school for individualized curriculum, the second an honors University grad managing a retail store, the third a soph majoring in Japanese, the fourth about to graduate from a public high school and planning to major in child development. All of them went from homeschool, to private religious school, to public high schools of different kinds. We live in the (evil-lol) city.

I will be going back to homeschooling because I am seriously dissatisfied with what both public and charter schools have imposed upon my youngest child who has special needs. In the name of FAPE, they have pretty much concentrated on limiting him even more than need be. My list of pros and cons is:

Public -
Pros- Exposure to diverse students (if you are not in a small homogeneous town)
Have to provide special services
More likelihood of advanced curriculum offerings
Free child care for young kids, and some supervision for older ones.
Some level of public accountability

Cons - MOST are far too regimanted and their attendance policies are draconian
Breeding grounds of disease (also lice etc)
Extracurriculars are falling by the wayside as are arts and other non-academics as budgets go to heck'
In most but not all, kids are only seen as numbers and cogs, as the class sizes are too big
I have found all too many totally incompetent teachers. But maybe that is just me.
Bullying is endemic
Majority culture for the school rules, if you aren't it, it is a constant battle.
Usually have smaller classes
May have teachers who are more than minimally competent
Parents usually have some clout if things are not going well.

I have found much negative peer pressure and bullying
Poor at providing accomodations for special needs - and do not even have to pretend they are
Majority culture for the school rules, if you aren't it, it is a constant battle.

Charter Pros
Usually smaller class sizes than public
Provide most of special services that public do, and can do them better
More parent imput than in public
Often have a specialized focus so students can pursue interests

Less accountability than public schools
Most have really high level of hype - hard to tell what is real
Parent complacency since it is not a public school
Majority culture for the school rules, if you aren't it, it is a constant battle.

Home Pros
Students can pursue interests
Workload can be tailored to physical abilities of the student
Closer to real life - students socialize with a wide range of ages etc not just a limited group of kids their age, and many options available
Costs can be controlled through used materials, library use, etc.
Parents can easily incorporate personal ethics and minority cultural norms

Challenging to fit in paid work with the schooling
costly - re: childcare and work time
Can be tiring
Need to look for some resources for special needs and extracurriculars.

Jane in MN

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Re: My pros and cons list of each

Postby carsmom » Tue May 22, 2007 11:29 am

"True, but except in a few places, they still haven't gotten rid of the vending machines that dispense candy and soft drinks. Not to mention the persistent problem in some places of people dispensing cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs."

Seriously, do you really think that teachers stand outside after school to lure your children in with drugs. Give the teachers and administration a little credit, they might actually want what is best for the kids as well. It is our job, that is right, I am pointing the finger at the parents, our job to educate our children on the dangers and risks with drugs and alcohol. And to tell them, and show them by example, that drugs are "bad" and they should not use them. Kids don't leave their values and morals at the door, talk and they might listen. If your kid is confident and taught well, they will be able to stand up to the peer pressure.

And as far as the vending machines go, haven't you ever heard the quote "guns don't kill people, people kill people." Same is true here with candy and obesity. Besides, what harm will a soda do every now and then.

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Postby Theodore » Tue May 22, 2007 2:14 pm

People make the choices they do, that doesn't mean you have to go out of your way to cater to their addictions just to make a few extra dollars. Schools without candy / soda machines do not see a drop in grades, but they do see a drop in obesity, and unless you're willing to throw in the towel and totally dispense with Phys Ed, it seems rather pointless to have gym class on the one hand and candy on the other.

By your logic, we should allow beer and cigarette machines in school too, since kids can always be trusted to make the right decisions, right?

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Postby carsmom » Tue May 22, 2007 7:45 pm

No, but kids are capable of making the right decision. I just find it all a little ridiculous. The purpose of phys ed is to get kids active, even if they eat candy. When I was in school, public school, drugs and alcohol were accessable, but I never did drugs or drank. My parents taught me better than that. And not all peer pressure in public school promotes drugs and alcohol. Sometimes our peers encourage us to do better. I don't think we need to provide it, but we have to understand it exists, and no matter where our children are educated they may be faced with decisions we don't like. We have to teach them better, eventually they will have to do things on their own.

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Postby StellarStory » Wed May 23, 2007 1:16 pm

Cons of Public School:

Hearing my kids complain and be miserable.

Taking the kids to the doc frequently because they were so unhappy.

Having them in an institution that wasn't really about doing what's best for the kids or education but funding and self perpetuation.

Being over scheduled.

Having the kids gone into a place in which I didn't know what they would encounter and believe as "true."

Pros of Public School:

I only had to write out a check, volunteer and show up for programs.

My daughter got a lot of special recognition that I wouldn't have given her as gifted writing and good behavior are the accepted norm in my mind.

Learning to hate PS helped them beg for and appreciate home school.

I had a solid block of time each day in which to work without missing out on time with them.

Cons of Home School:

Worrying about making sure we are giving them all that they need well enough.

Crunching grades and grading, I hate it but think it's important to qualify and quantify.

Doing intense research on each subject to find the best materials for our kids in any given subject. I love to research but worry I'll miss something.

Getting them everywhere they need to go can be a problem!


Less stress.

We can set our own daily and yearly schedule. This results in our being more effective and more satisfied with life in our waking hours. It also helps us with discounts on our vacations while most are in school.

The kids are learning far more and far better than they did in PS.

The kids are picking out the exact things extra curricular things they want to do and not being forced by school to do them.

My son's self confidence has increased as has his ability to see himself as competent and able.

Seeing them follow their learning passions is a beautiful thing!

They are more content within themselves. They get along better with each other. Our family gets along better and is closer.

Watching them become more in charge of their own education and world!


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