Archive for November 3rd, 2007

Nov 03 2007

Education Options: Public, Private, Christian or Home School?

At almost every single parent workshop I give, someone will ask me “Stacey, how did you decide between public, private, Christian or home school?”

My answer seems to shock many, yet inspire others. 

As a family, back in February of 2004, we visited all the schools in our area:  public, private, Christian, and even tried a few days of home schooling so we could make our decision as a family.  On our visits, we would ask to sit in and visit with every Kindergarten class.  Every principal commended us for making this a family decision and we were shocked when we found that we were in the 1% club—only 1% of parents ever actually do what we were doing.  I was shocked!

We walked the halls and ate lunch in every school cafeteria as a family. My husband was a strong supporter of his Christian Lutheran School that he had attended as a child. But, the 30-minute drive one-way was less appealing to me, especially during a Wisconsin winter, as I was the designated bus driver. 

I was a product of public school because I lived in a rural setting with no other options within 50 miles.  We discussed each school, looking for input from our soon to be 5 and 3 year old daughters.  It was a surprise to my husband and I, that we had unanimously selected the public school, three minutes from our home.  Heidi selected Mrs. Neitzke as her Kindergarten teacher, so we sent the school a letter for teacher request and completed her pre-Kindergarten screening and enrollment paperwork.

Because I was a stay-at-home Mom, I promised my family that I would embrace our new public school with a home school, Christian mentality:

  • We would, as a family, become involved in the PTA.
  • I would be the driver in charge of dropping off and picking up the kids.
  • I would volunteer every month.
  • I would travel and be involved in all class trips.
  • I would get to personally know each child’s entire class because studies show children are less like to bully your children if you know their name.
  • I would “do lunch” everyday of that first week of Kindergarten with my child and then plan a lunch “date” with them every quarter staying to play at recess time too.
  • I would work with my school to help find funding and grant opportunities. It is much easier than it sounds. Simply search the Internet for “educational grants” and your city or your state. Then search “community grants” and your city or your state. Then, work with your teachers to write the grant or pass it to your school’s grant writer.
  • I know that I am my child’s first and best teacher!

Whichever method you chose to school your children, as long as it is a family decision, you (as a parent) are armed with confidence, and are actively involved in the education process; your children will succeed academically, socially, mentally and physically.
Copyright 2007, Stacey Kannenberg, Cedar Valley Publishing, Author of Let’s Get Ready For Kindergarten! and Let’s Get Ready For First Grade!

Care to share the steps you took to select your child’s educational path?  Perhaps your ideas will help make the process easier for another family.

293 responses so far