Education- Home Schooling versus the classroom

I am willing to say that most parents have gone through a time in which they have agonized over their child’s education. There is no doubt that we all went the best for our child, whatever it may be. And when it comes to providing a solid education for our children there are many questions.

  1. What school provides the best education?
  2. If it is private can I afford to send my child there?
  3. If it is a public school, how can I get my children enrolled there?

Those are really the most basic questions, but they miss all of the other tangential areas, at least from my perspective.

I want the following for my children:

  1. Teachers who care about teaching and love the children.
  2. A safe environment in which a love of learning is fostered and children are encouraged to learn.
  3. Students who love to learn, and push my child to keep up. I don’t want it be a competition for the sake of competing, but I do want my children to feel some pressure to keep up and excel.
  4. I want school to be a place where my children make friends and learn how to interact with others.
  5. I want exposure to different peoples and thoughts.
  6. I want my children to love school.

So the question is how do we find this type of education. Where can they go and be assured that they’ll receive it. Some people I know believe that homeschooling is the way to do this. They see it as a means of providing more one on one time than the students would receive in a school. They argue that it provides educational opportunities beyond school because they can schedule vacation field trips.

In other words if you are learning about the Constitution you can take the children to Washington D.C. and walk them around the Capitol, the Smithsonian, show them the Supremem Court and sessions of Congress etc.

And in principle I think that there is merit to this argument. The problem that I have is the lack of interaction with other children and the lack of exposure to other teachers. I think that both of those are very necessary and that they help to build a solid foundation for our children.

School should not be solely for imparting “book smarts” but it should include the opportunity for life skills too.

I’d like to take a moment here and brag about my son. I think that he is smarter than I am, and it makes me happy. I hope that he proves himself to be far smarter. I’ll love him either way, but it would make me happy to see him and sister outpace me in everyway.

She is only 12 weeks, so it is too early to say whether she is as smart as I think she is, but I have no doubts.

Children, they make me smile.

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  1. Grace October 16, 2004 at 7:27 pm

    at the end of the day, we pray that the choices we make will be what works best for the individuals we are responsible for….in 4th grade my son had a horrible 1st time teacher…he had no leadership skills and was teaching as a college prof. – from a podium and with occasional slides- to a 4th and 5th split class- oh my- I ended up spendng a lot of time in that classroom, as did many other Topanga parents…my son explained one day “At least I am learning to be patient, mom” and i learned how productive/beneficial parental involovement in the classroom can be.

  2. Anshel's Wife October 14, 2004 at 8:00 pm

    Our latest dilemma is whether we should move out of state for the sake of the chinuch of our children. They are currently going to an orthodox school. My oldest is in 4th grade, 2 are in the preschool program and the baby is not old enough to go yet. I am pretty happy with the school so far. Some of the teachers are amazing, but my husband worries all the time about the secular studies. We are considering moving to Chicago where they have an excellent boys school, an excellent girls school and then higher education for both sexes. This means we wouldn’t have to send our kids away when they hit 14 or so. This is a hard thing for us to discuss. We need to do what is right by our kids. But I’m 39 and my husband is 44. It’s not that easy to just pick up and start all over. Finding a place to live and work. Let alone friends.

    Anyway, it’s good to know that you care so much for your kids’ education. I love that your son is in Hebrew immersion. That’s great. My son is also learning Hebrew (although not immersion) as well as Yiddish. The joke is that he and his friends will be able to speak Yiddish together so that their PARENTS won’t understand them.

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