Spring is finally here and it’s time for playdates in the park and fun in the sun.
One of the things I love most about a playdate, is chatting with other moms and learning the ins and outs of other families.
I love swapping recipes, natural remedies, and discipline strategies, but cringe every time the subject of education rolls around.
As my kids get older and education is discussed more and more, it’s evident there is a big controversy going on in education.
To homeschool or not to homeschool, appears to be the hottest question around.
I’ve nicknamed it the “Great Homeschool Debate.”
The battle line seems to be drawn and moms seem to strongly be in either Camp Homeschool or in Camp Traditional School.
As an educator for 15 years, I am often dragged into the conversation kicking and screaming.
Having worked in both private and public education, both in a general classroom and a special education classroom, my opinion is strong on this topic, and many may be surprised by what a career in education has amounted to.
I believe that both educational models have value and purpose, and there is not a solution that is one size fits all.
Each family has their own set of needs and circumstances to consider when choosing an education for their children.
When my daughter Joy was first born, I knew without a doubt that I would homeschool her, and dreamed of our days together laughing and learning.
I believed that homeschooling was the right choice for our family because it would allow us to build Christian principles into her curriculum, to help steer her towards peer choices more easily, and guide her heart on social issues with a biblical worldview.
Knowing the amount of down time in the typical school setting, I cherished the thought of working hard at home, but still having margin left in our day to develop talents, sports, and serving others.
Plus, homeschooling would allow me to foster her academic gifts and remediate her areas of weakness.
But when she was three years old, our Joy was diagnosed with Autism, and that changed everything.
She is currently in the public special needs preschool, thriving and progressing in all areas, thanks to fabulous teachers and therapists.
While I didn’t want to choose a traditional school, I wholeheartedly believe this is the right place for her now.
This cemented my theory that the great homeschool debate is personal, solely depending on the needs of the family.
For our family and many, a traditional school offers free access to therapists and teachers who are constantly undergoing training and updated on research.
For many families, monetary concerns are a main reason why a traditional school wins out over homeschooling; simply because a second income is needed, or lunch is free or reduced.
The socialization aspect of traditional school has the opportunity to either enhance or detract from a child’s education.
I’ve known socially well-adjusted and socially struggling students from both models of schooling, and so much of a child’s rearing comes from the home, regardless of the education.
In our home, it’s been important for Joy to have daily socialization and interaction with other students, which is another reason why traditional school has been a solid choice for us for now.
So when I’m asked about the great homeschool debate, I lovingly remind parents that smart, Christ-centered children can come out of both education models with the proper guidance at home.
I’ve seen the child in a traditional school stand up for Christian values and minister to a dark and sinful world, because of a conservative biblical upbringing.
I’ve witnessed a homeschooled child passionate about serving others because of growing up with a solid foundation in Christ-like service.
Parents, the next time this debate rears it’s ugly head, remember to lavish grace upon other families.
Each family situation is unique, as are the needs of each child, so be respectful of what others choose and what works for them.
Let’s vow to stop judging families and instead mentor children to have both a growing relationship with Christ and a solid academic foundation.
Do you agree that there’s a debate between homeschooling vs. traditional models of education? Regardless of which camp you’re in, how do you show grace to others in this situation?