After my six years teaching at
As a student at
A few days ago a friend of mine told me about her home-schooling and how wonderful that was. They received everything they needed for free, all the way down to art supplies and computer, got support from a mentor teacher, and had their daughter reading like a fiend. With all these other wonderful school options and Brielle’s social nature, we hadn’t really considered home school, but the more I listened the more it sounded like a perfect hybrid of the accountability and economy of public school with the spiritual nurture and individual attention that Christian schools offer.
After four years in the public school system, I’m discovering it has its own benefits beyond being free. For example, my district offers a “dual immersion” program where English-only kids learn Spanish and Spanish-only students learn English—together. With that double-dip in language, students from programs like this rock on their SAT scores. I would love my kids to be bilingual from the get-go, to marinate in a truly multicultural setting, even to be an ethnic minority for a change. The academic opportunities for advanced learners are outstanding compared to a small Christian school trying to be all things to all students.
If she attended the public elementary school we live near, right in the mountains, she would get the whole riding-the-yellow-school-bus experience, never go into the smog, and be close to home so Rachelle could easily be involved. And in a multi-grade classroom, Brielle’s bright mind could be challenged at a level beyond kindergarten whenever appropriate.
As for religious instruction, I actually see advantages to them attending a school that is not associated with church. When they’re sick of school, it wouldn’t mean they’re sick of God; when their classmates or teachers inevitably fall short of their expectations, it wouldn’t be God’s fault. Maybe I’m a little jealous or paranoid about delegating to unsupervised others the serious fun of leading my kids’ faith walk. There’s a part of me that invokes the ethic of “If you want it done right, do it yourself” when it comes to their religious education. Yet whatever I say about considering the pros of public education, I can’t escape feeling like Rachelle or Whoever thinks that I’m just making a case for being cheap. I’m really not—if anything is worth paying for, education is. I just want us to look at all the options.
Aaaaah, the options. If there were only less flavors, maybe I would be munching on a cone by now instead of dazed, nose against the glass, paralyzed by choice.