Public versus private school?

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by Trishandthegirls, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. Meximeli

    Meximeli Well-Known Member

    I agree whole heartedly with the sentiment behind Rachel's (sullivanre) post, which is why my girls are currently in a public school. The public school here has some very serious drawbacks that don't necessarily affect public schools in the US. But first and formost I support every child's right to a FREE education. If we pull our children from that system, we remove ourselves from that system. As an active and vocal parent who happens to be very interested and involved in the field of education, I serve not only my own children, but all the children in their school. The ones whose parents either can't or won't fight for their right to a quality education. While it has been a very frustrating year for me so far as a parent of two Mexican public school first graders, I'm not yet willing to give up on that system.

    DH and I were even asked by our daughters teacher and another teacher--Why did you send your child to this school? (when we questioned a school practice) this was not asked in a sincer manner, but asked like you choose this school you have to accept our practices. Our answer--because it is our children's right to a quality public education. (as stated in the Mexican consitution.)
    2 people like this.
  2. AmberG

    AmberG Well-Known Member

    We will choose public schools (including a public preschool, if we can afford to send them). We moved to our new neighborhood partly because the school district is very good. Plus, I figure that my tax dollars are funding these schools so I may as well send my kids there. The only way we would do private would be if I taught at a private school and we received reduced or free tuition. I also like the idea of homeschool. However, I expect that I will have to work when my kids are school age, so homeschool would not be an option for us.
  3. TwoSprouts

    TwoSprouts New Member

    I was just telling my husband last night that it seems like education is becoming just as controversial a subject as politics or religion - and I think this conversation is a good example of that.

    We've been putting a lot of thought into the kids education lately and after some reflection here is what I've decided to do:
    1. Make a list of what is important for me in the kids education. Find out about the different styles of schooling (e.g., classical vs. progressive)2. Make a list of the options in our area, including homeschooling
    3. Start collecting info on each of the options
    + Talk to neighbors, etc. about what they do and find out what they like / don't like
    + Visit the facilities - try to talk to teachers / administrators
    + Go to school board meetings or read the minutes they post online
    + Go to school events that are open to the public - sporting activities, plays, etc.
    + What teaching style/pedagogy is used? What curriculum is used?
    + Find out the cost
    4. Weigh pros and cons of each option.
    5. Decide on the top options and begin getting involved

    Our children's education will lay the foundation for the rest of their lives. No one choice is right for every family. My Bro/Sis in law have very different ideas about education than we do. You may find that your family and friends have strong opinions about the subject. Listen, but ultimately do what you know in your gut to be right for your kids.
    3 people like this.
  4. mama_dragon

    mama_dragon Well-Known Member

    Not sure yet. Our boys will be two tomorrow and are attending a private pre-school. They offer K-3rd grade as well. Both of my parents taught in the public school system. My father held many job positions from high school principal to teaching self contained behavior disorder middle school students (his favorite of all his jobs). My father passed away this fall after retiring (health) in August. My mother is still teaching grade school. Both have always been firm supporters of public education.

    However the stories my mother now tells are disturbing (teaching the test etc.). It is not the same public school that I attended many years ago (my mother teachers at the same grade school I attended). In fact my mother said if her kids were going to be starting school now we would be going to private school no matter what the cost. And for my mom to say that means it is bad. She is encouraging us to keep the boys at their private school at least for K.

    My nephew recently graduated from the same high school I attended. He was in gifted. He made 1 B from 4th grade on. He took every AP class that was offered (chemistry, English, history etc.). He earned a full ride to college. He has really struggled his first year in college. His high school classes taught to the tests. Even in the Advanced Placement classes. He took Advanced Placement calculus and the whole class was about taking and passing the AP calculus test. The school district wanted to be able to say “look we have all these kids passing this test”. He took honors calculus last semester in college and realized how very little he learned. He made it through the class and is taking honors calc 2 but it was an eye opening experience. His education in the public school system was very lacking even taking honors and advanced placement classes. His public education did very little to prepare him for college. Luckily my nephew is truly “gifted” and able to learn very quickly. If he were just an average student he would be incredibly discouraged after his first semester in college.

    I no longer live in my home town and the schools are supposed to be better in my area however I am in the same state. So for us I just don’t know yet. We will see what is going on in public schools when the boys are ready to enter 1st grade.
  5. Dielle

    Dielle Well-Known Member

    My mom was a public school teacher and has said that if she were raising kids today she'd homeschool them. Obviously not every teacher feels negatively about public school (quite a few don't just in this thread). But it's interesting to me, how often I hear of school teachers who end up homeschooling their kids. There's a public school principal in my area whose kids are homeschooled.

    We're another homeschooling family. I was an army brat and went to 5 different grade schools, 1 middle school and 3 high schools. All different sizes, mostly public, private school for 6th grade, numerous states and a couple DoD schools in Germany. Some schools were fine, some good, some lousy. It varied in so many ways. Frankly, most of public school was a complete waste of time for me. I was just telling my kids this morning about a few years when the teachers would write all assignments on the board for the day, each morning. I'd be done by 10-11am, and spent the rest of my day in the library. I got a scholarship to a very good private school for 6th grade and was actually challenged for the first time in my life. Then Dad got stationed in another state and I went back to public school. 7th grade was basically a repeat of what information (even some exact text books) I'd had in 6th. And I had an English teacher who really didn't like me because I often corrected her (showing her the info in the book to back me up). I admit I was probably a little snotty about it sometimes. The only classes in high school that challenged me at all were honors and AP science classes (including AP physics which I had to drop 1/2 way through the year to take an extra art class to graduate), and an AP English class. Most of my honors classes weren't even very challenging, and certainly not interesting. I had a history class my senior year where the teacher would hand out a worksheet with short answer essay Q's every day and go through the answers with us. Then a day or 2 before a test, she'd tell us exactly which questions from each worksheet were going to be on the test. I just feel like I can give my children so much better than that. For classes I don't have the expertise to teach, I do have the ability to find a good teacher. My 12 yo is taking 2 classes right now (both with 10-12 homeschooled teens), a class on gov't/civics and early American history where this term they're doing an in-depth study of the Constitution, and a Shakespeare class. She read 17 Shakespeare plays last term, and has such a good grasp of the plots, story lines and is even learning history and background for many of the situations in the plays. I know many adults who wouldn't understand 2 lines in a Shakespeare play. She considered going to the middle school for choir and/or orchestra, but decided against it this year because these classes were more important to her. These are the things I love about homeschooling, being able to facilitate my childrens' education in a way that they will reach their full potential. My oldest son is dyslexic and not one to stand up for himself very well. He's small for his age, too. I really think he'd just get trampled in so many ways in public school. He was very slow getting started with reading (didn't read at all until about 8yo), and this year is finally taking off. In May he tested above average on everything, and his reading comprehension has improved dramatically since then.

    I do believe in a free education being available to everyone. I also believe in our rights to do what is expedient for our own children. We support our public schools through property taxes, we go to the local grade school carnival, high school football games, etc. My SIL is president of the PTA, so she keeps us in the loop. But homeschooling is the right answer for my family.
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  6. ldrane

    ldrane Well-Known Member

    I hope and pray that this will be the way it goes for us. We (DH and I) are both hoping that he makes tremendous strides in the next 2 years. DS is alot like DH. DH really struggled in school and I don't want that for DS.
  7. ECUBitzy

    ECUBitzy Well-Known Member

    Dielle, our experiences were very similar. I'm an army brat and attended four elementary schools and two middle schools before enrolling in one private HS. My dad took an unassigned tour for the last of my HS years so that I could finish up at the private school I was attending.

    Like you, I had very mixed experiences. The DoDs schools were OK. There were no discipline problems that I remember, but I remember the TAG program being little more than supervised reading. The NOVA schools I attended were great, I thought. Amazing electives, a great deal of diversity... The public middle school I attended in Fayetteville, NC was not a good school. I was introduced to gangs, sex, drugs, alcohol, and fighting (to name a few- and this was on campus). There were some good teachers and some bad, but the discipline problems were outrageous. I did not do well in this environment (there were many who did perfectly fine, though!) and was put in a private, college prep high school.

    What a difference. We were introduced to a thesis our freshman year and wrote one major research paper every semester until graduation. We had community involvement hours. We had active debate. College professors came to our campus to offer intro level college courses. We were actually taught to study (in a course). We were also given gradual freedoms like office campus lunches and study halls. We were not required to take electives as filler and could instead elect to move on to community college courses. It was a totally different ballgame.

    That was the environment that I did well in. If my girls are anything like me we may take the same path for them, as Greenville has similar problems in its schools that Fayetteville did. If they're like their father, public school with our (or a tutor's!) help may be just right. We'll see.
  8. Jen620

    Jen620 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    My girls go to a public charter school. I chose it for my oldest simply because they offered all day kindergarten and the public school didn't. It's a small school, one class per grade, which could be good or bad depending on the mix of kids. Although I taught in Catholic schools for 10 years, I didn't send them to the local Catholic school because it was too small. It was PK-5th grade, and only K and 1 weren't split classes. It always had low enrollment and it actually closed this year for that reason.

    I see the charter school, at least mine, as Catholic school light. They are taught morals, value, and character without the religion. It works for my girls.

    Our school is PK-8, so eventually my girls will all go to the regular public schools in 9th grade or earlier, whichever is best for them. There's talk about opening a charter high school, but I want my girls to have the typical HS experience (sports, class choice, etc.) so they will most likely attend the public high school no matter what.
  9. Suffmann

    Suffmann Member

    Of course, private school wins because all the parents want the best for their child. We all know that children get crazy tasks in public schools sometimes and they even have to read reviews and choose a writing service to do them.
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