Friday, March 24, 2006

Friday Questions

Hopefully this one won't get too heated. Since I am a former teacher and have a degree in education, I feel strongly about this subject. But, let's see what each other thinks too!

1. Are you for or against homeschooling? Neither - It's up to the parent and the circumstances they are in.

2. Do you there are more benefits from homeschooling or public/private schools? Why? Each has their pros & cons. I was both homeschooled & taught in a Christian school. The homeschooling had the pros of easy schedule variances, but the cons of lack of social integration (even when joined with a homeschool group) and the lack of accountability. Christian schools have the pros of having trained teachers, Biblical based education, and the social integration, but the cons of peer pressure, apathetic Christian lives, and sometimes a mediocre education depending on whether the school could hire a qualified individual for the subject.

3. Would you homeschool your children? If I had to.

4. Do you think it's better for children to adhere to a fixed curriculum or let them follow their own interests (unschooling)? Why? Fixed curriculum. Everyone needs a plan to reach objectives which are considered as necessary to society.

5. Homeschooling has increased rapidly in the past few years. Do outing it'll continue to be popular or is it just the current fad? I think many parents are dissatisfied with public schools, so it will continue to grow only if one parent is willing to stay home & give up their career. Christian schools are on a downhill slope attendance-wise, possibly due to the high tuition. Many Christian parents are homeschooling for this reason.

Let me know your opinion - doesn't matter if it disagrees with mine!

5 comments:

Heather said...

Pam - great topic of discussion! There are so many views on this subject...my husband and I have really been hashing this out lately because Victoria is getting closer and closer to the school age. I believe that a lot of it is preference and the Lord giving each parent peace about the issue.

1. I am not against home schooling, but ultimately I would like my children to go to a private school outside of the home.

2. Pros and Cons of home schooling...this is just my outside look at it since I have never been in a home school environment....
Pros of Home schooling - you plan the schedule, you are in control and hands on. Cons - LACK of being around other children, lack of true classroom environment and lack of accountability.
Pros and Cons of private/public Schools...
Pros - Good strong teachers that can teach children foundations that they will carry with them forever. Those teachers will be remembered. Social interaction with other students and the ability for students to have to learn to make their own decisions.
Cons - Peer pressure! The education may not always be in agreement that I would want my children to learn.

3 - Only if I had to.

4 - Fixed curriculum. Children need to learn consistency and to see that goals are good!

5 - I would have to agree 100% with Pam on this! Our Church/School is in the same situation! Attendance way down and tuition keeps rising.
Public schools are not the place for my children. They do not need to learn in the 2nd grade that homosexuality is a choice! If it came to this I too would be home schooling my children!

Alicia said...

Hey Pam, sorry I'm late on your Friday discussion questions. :) I too am a former teacher (secondary ed - math & science) so I understand the strength of your feelings. Here are my two cents:

1. I'm very for homeschooling - for our family that is. Both me & my hubby are teachers so I think we're qualified to administer homeschooling. Biblically, parents are responsible for their children's education but that doesn't dogmatically mean homeschooling.
2. I don't think there is a clear cut answer to this one. I've known some families do an amazing job with homeschooling and their children are turning out great. Other families have had the same success (especially academic) with public schools. Both my hubby and I are products of public schools and the academic standards are (unfortunately) much higher in the public school than in any Christian school I've seen. What's important is that the family is VERY involved in education. Sadly, we'd never consider sending our kids to a Christian school. Spiritual apathy and a familiarity with Christian things that gives false hope are rampant in that arena.
3. Totally.
4. Fixed curriculum. States have standards and homeschooling parents shouldn't abandon them. To be good respectable citizens of society our children should be academically prepared.
5.Seems to me it will continue to grow. Almost every Christian school I know of is losing enrollment. More and more resources and networks are available to homeschooling parents making it an accessible choice with many options for socializing.

Sorry to be so long winded! Guess that was more than just 2 cents, eh?

Katie said...

1. I'm certainly not against homeschooling, although I think sometimes there might be a better option. On the other hand, there are many schools that I would be "against."
2. I think the pros and cons of homeschooling really depend on the situation, location and family involved. I think that in many situations, the cons of a lack of social integration are eliminated with homeschool co-ops, community sports and activities (not to mention church). An obviously pro of homeschooling is to use the exact curriculum that I want and emphasize the things that I choose. In a school, my children would be subject to a host of other "teachers" (their peers!) that might influence him more that the actual professional teacher.
3. If I had too. My first choice wouldn't actually be to homeschool. I would LOVE for my kids to be able to go to a school and be in that environment. I think it would also give me to valuable time to tend to my home and other duties as a wife and mom. But, to be realistic, I'm not sure how great our chances of finding a school that we really like and can afford are.
4. Defenitely a fixed curriculum! My children won't know what all of their interests are unless they're introduced to them; and unfortunately, sometimes we don't always get to follow only our interests.
5.I don't believe that homeschooling is a passing fade. I think it's going to increase in popularity (especially among non-evangelicals) as the school system continues to decline. Americans are (hopefuly) becomng increasingly uncomfortable with being known as one of the stupidest countries in the world (according to students' test scores).

TwoMuths said...

Pam,
What a great topic!!! As you can see by my huge answer for #2, I feel strongly about this topic as well, perhaps because I taught for a few years, or perhaps because I grew up the daughter of two teachers...??

1. Are you for or against homeschooling? I'm for parents making the best decision for their kids without being swayed by convenience or others' opinions (or anything else but God's leading.) Homeschooling is a valid option for some people.

2. Do you think there are more benefits from homeschooling or public/private schools? Why? Again, I think it depends on your family and on your kids! I'm a product of a Christian school that I believe strongly in. It's an excellent school with high academic standards and fabulous Christ-honoring teachers. I would send my kids there if that is what would fit their needs best. Some kids are better suited to Christian School environment, and some can't handle it. BUT I would also send my kids to public schools in Midland if that is what would be a better fit. The community here is very conservative, and the schools follow suit. They're rated among the top in the nation. Again, some kids can't handle this environment either. Homeschooling is something we are thinking about doing especially for the preschool and lower elementary years. A good foundation is key. And again, some kids can't handle homeschooling. I know this sounds HORRIBLY child-centered, but this is really not the case. I strongly believe God gave parents the responsibility to assess each child and meet help them grow, meeting needs according to their spiritual, emotional, social, and academic tendencies, natural bents, etc. I think it's about finding the option that fosters spiritual, academic and social growth for the child, then making sure that WHATEVER option or school the parent picks, it is still the parent's responsibility to make sure the child is being educated well, and it is their responisiblity to be constantly involved in making sure the child is being educated well and in the way the parent wants the child educated. In my mind, both homeschooling and traditional education done well are equally parentally exhausting.

3. Would you homeschool your children? Yes

4. Do you think it's better for children to adhere to a fixed curriculum or let them follow their own interests (unschooling)? Why? Definitely a fixed curriculum. They can pick studying their own interests AFTER they do their set curriculum!!! (if I'd been unschooled I'm sure I wouldn't know how to add or subtract!!!) :-)


5. Homeschooling has increased rapidly in the past few years. Do you think it'll continue to be popular or is it just the current fad? I definitely don't think it is a fad, but some states' governments are actively working to restrict options for parents, so who knows what options will be available in the future?!

Karen said...

Great topic, Pam! You're sure to get LOTS of responses! I have so much to say that I wrote my own post about it! :) Thanks for making me think--again--about it!