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Well, it's Friday, and I'm thinking about school

All day long.

I've been thinking about if I want my children to enter the public school board here, or if we should suck it up and either homeschool them, or send them to one of those weird private catholic schools.

I'm an atheist, and the Dorf is agnostic, but both of us went through both systems, preferring the catholic schooling. I can counter the religious issue, but I found the quality of the education, and many of the moral and ethical teachings preferable to my public school experiences, which included, and I quote:

" I don't care if you get high. Just don't come to my CLASS high."

Even at 17, I found that ODD.

We don't find that the results of the educational system around here are all that high. Don't get me wrong, there are MANY intelligent people here, if you look.

But there also seems to be a higher than average volume of not smart people, and we're a little scared of that. I want my children to be challenged by more than the number of bad words their friends can teach them. I want my kids to love learning like I once did, before high school stamped on that. I want them to enjoy school, and not come home with notes from the teachers saying they have "anger problems" when all they really have is energy to burn with no outlet.

So I'm wondering, for those of you with kids in school, what kind of school are you using? How do you find your kids are doing? Are they happy? Are they learning?

Public schools.

Catholic schools are okay, but I find them to be elitist and expensive around here. I raise my kids Catholic, but they get their morality and ethics served up at home or in catechism class or at Mass.

I have always considered home schooling to be a last resort if I found the public schools were failing my kids in some way. But, quite frankly, and I say this with some pride, I think my kids would do well in any school. They would be able to rise above a crappy environment.

The good news is, I like our local public schools and have had very little problems with them. I guess not everyone can say this. You have to check it out with other local parents.

For the record my kids are in grades 11, 9, 7, 6, and Kindergarten.

For the record my kids are in grades 11, 9, 7, 6, and Kindergarten.

WOW. Do you ever sleep? :P

I just want to have my own moral code upheld outside the home as much as possible. But I love your comment I think my kids would do well in any school. They would be able to rise above a crappy environment. I don't think I give my kids enough credit...

My daughter is not yet public school age, although she does go to a private daycare/preschool. She's not quite 3. She'll be eligible to start the public pre-K program next school year. I share your same dilemma.

The public pre-K gives preference to 'at-risk' kids, determined by a one-time test. Basically the lower your kid's score, the better chance you have of being accepted. People actually hope their kid does bad on the test so they'll be accepted because it's basically free daycare. There are tricks like keeping your kid up late the night before testing so they are so zonked they score low.

Needless to say, our public school system does not impress me. Its one saving grace is that my hubby is employed by the school system. Our hope is that we might have an advantage through his insider contacts. At the very least it may help us keep better informed than the average parent.

The only private schools available here are either Catholic or Fundamentalist Christian. I am neither of those and neither system goes past elementary age. They are also prohibitively expensive.

I don't think I have what it takes to homeschool. At least right now, we could not afford to lose my income either.

I agree with you, that I probably don't give my kid enough credit. Most kids with a supportive home environment can deal with whatever other environment they must.

I homeschooled. Not, as many Americans immediately assume, for religious reasons, but for social and paedagogical. (You'd think after all this time I'd be sure of the spelling of that word, but I'm not...)

I wanted my kids to know who they were before they had to defend themselves to/from the hordes. I wanted them to have a framework of values established first. And, remembering years of boredom, I wanted them to learn that learning is FUN before I sent them to the place that too often sucks all the fun out of it.

I kept them home till fourth and fifth grades.

I think it worked, because they're all kids who have no trouble going against the flow if it isn't right for them. (Even my son, who can be worrisomely passive in many ways.)

How did the transition to school go? For the first two, it was seamless. The third had more trouble initially, but they're all three doing just fine, socially and academically. (They're now fourth year university, grade 12, and grade 8.)

i don't have school age kids (just a 2 year old) and i went to public school (i came out just fine) but my husband and many many many of his friends were homeschooled and most of them don't have any socialization issues (from not being around other kids enough), but to a person they all wish they could have gone to a public or private school for thier high school years. it's a little harder to set up playdates for a 14 year old.= )

Good thing I still have a few years cause I'm still not sure...

I went to a public school and I hated it when I got older. My parents did a lot of supplemental education outside school, so I was always pretty far ahead. If you were passing your standardized tests with high scores, the teachers pretty much ignored you.

My husband went to Catholic school, and although he bitches about it, his education was so much better than mine. He graduated in '92, and actually had 4 years of real computer science on current computers. I graduated in '97, and our "Computer Literacy" course consisted of figuring out how to beat the Oregon Trail (on Apple IIe's from the mid 1980s) once in 18 weeks and not bothering the teacher.

I have a friend who homeschools because the schools in her county are pretty crappy, and I'm sure her children would be the first to be sent home with prescriptions for Ritalin. They're thriving at home, and are way more interested in history because they can do field trips to one of the many Revolutionary War, Civil War sites, or museums in the DC metro area. They also have 2 mandatory extracuricular activities of their choice to improve their social skills.

I don't enjoy being a stay at home mom and have been counting the days until Paul goes to school, so homeschooling isn't really an option for us. We'll give public school with supplemental education a try first, but if that doesn't meet our standards, we'll likely find a good Catholic school. (I'm not too worried about them converting Paul. My husband made it through Catholic preschool to high school, and never paid more than lip service.)

That's what our experience was like Caitlin.

I'll likely end up putting them in school mostly because I don't think I could hack it. But there is already teaching going on here, and I plan on them being advanced when they start.

Keeping them awake at school will be another matter entirely.

I don't want them in school until real school starts-preschool just seems so odd to me, but I want them to socialize more. So everything is a freaking toss up for me..

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