School Choice

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Remember the days of the one room school houses where a 21 year old neighbor girl taught grades K through 8th grade all under one roof?

The kids would walk miles to school each day with cute little lunches packed in buckets with their books held together by belts?

Well, neither do I.........but it always sounded so charming to me, in theory.

Education has changed SO much since then.

We recognize now that children do not all learn the same way.

Children connect with the learning material in so many different ways. There are visual learners, and auditory learners, kids who learn well with one on one instruction, kids with learning disabilities, kids who thrive with experiential learning and so much more.

Children's needs are so very different and in this day and age, we are so very lucky to have so many choices about where and how to educate our children!

In our city alone, you can choose to homeschool, and there are a wide variety of private schools, public schools and a dozen charter schools.

And even in those choices, there are SO many choices!

Homeschool

If you chose to homeschool, you can go through the school district who will provide you with on-line instruction, you can purchase your own curriculum or you can choose to be a part of a homeschool Co-op.

There are a wide variety of benefits to homeschooling. 

With homeschooling, parents are in control of the curriculum, what their children learn and when they learn it. 

Homeschooling is a wonderful way to build strong relationships with your children and tailer their education needs to fit them.

Homeschooling provides children with 1-on-1 instruction and the ability to focus on their child's natural talents and interests.

If you are interested in homeschooling.....check out our Homeschooling Expert Jen Wieber here:
http://www.multiplication.com/our-blog/jens-blog

Private Schools

Most cities have a wide variety of private schools to choose from. Many of the private schools in our area are affiliated with a church and provide religious instruction in addition to a basic education. 

Our oldest daughter spent her first 4 years of elementary school in a private school setting. We appreciated the smaller school environment, the family feel, and the expectation for parental involvement. 

We liked the access we had to teachers, the families being a tight knit group and the community feel.

We loved that it was a faith building environment where community service was a part of the curriculum.

Unfortunately, private school can get expensive when you have more than just one or two kids, so this is not a choice that every family can make. But many private schools provide scholarships or opportunities for parents to exchange hours for partial tuition.

Public Schools

The quality of a public school can vary depending on where you live.

In our city, we have have excellent public schools and enrollment is open, meaning you can request your child be placed in a particular public school that is not your "home" public school.

Our 3 children have been in public schools for the last 6 years. It has been a great experience!

We appreciate the large amount of resources available in a public school. School Counselors, Reading Specialists, Teachers Aids, School Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapists, Occupational Therapists, etc. are all available to children who need them.

Public schools are a wonderful place for not just the mainstream population of children but also for children with learning disabilities, special needs, and children who qualify for the gifted and talented programs. 

We love the diversity that can be found in public schools.  

I love that my children are classmates with children with special needs and are learning compassion and friendship through these interactions.  

Although we have had a wonderful experience in our local public schools, not all cities have such an amazing public school system. 

Some public schools have low test scores and do not allow open enrollment. Researching your local public schools is important before you make a decision.

Charter Schools

Charter Schools are independent public schools. They are allowed more freedom for curriculum and learning models while still being held accountable for student achievement.

Charter Schools are funded by local, state and federal taxes and therefore are held accountable by local and federal academic standards.

Charter Schools place an emphasis on parents and teachers working together to give students the best education possible. 

Public schools are free and are open to all students, but are typically very popular and therefore interested students are placed in a lottery pool and selected randomly.

To learn more about Charter Schools and to look into Charter Schools in your area, check out the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. 
http://www.publiccharters.org/About-Charter-Schools/What-are-Charter-Schools003F.aspx

Choosing how and where to educate your child can be a VERY stressful decision and one that shouldn't be made lightly.

But, we are so lucky to have so many choices on how to educate our children!

Our family reevaluates at the end of every year how things are going and if changes need to be made. Children's needs change with age and as parents, we always want them to be at the best possibly place for them. 

How have you decided to educate your child? We would love to hear about it!