Homeschool Versus Public School: A Few Thoughts

FSA school in Alabama
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum / Foter.com / Public Domain Mark 1.0

The school year is wrapping up. I’m finishing my tenth year of homeschooling. This is also the second year that my oldest has been in public school and the first year that my middle child has been in public school. This is the time of year that I tend to take stock.

Since I have kids in both schooling situations, I sometimes feel like a woman without a country. I get frustrated when homeschool proponents act as if nothing good can come out of public schools, but I get angry when public school proponents act so surprised that my previously homeschooled kids can function so well, both academically and socially, in the public school setting (I’m looking at you, homeroom teacher). In other words, I’ve heard both sides trash talk the other, and I think both sides are wrong. Having a foot in each world has given me a few opinions.

My situation is homeschool and public school. Private or Christian school is another middle ground that has its own advantages and disadvantages. Since I have no experience with Christian school, I’m leaving it out of this discussion. I’m also looking at this from the view of the Christian parent, because that’s what I am. And like everything else, your experience my vary from mine. I’m not putting these thoughts out there as the final word on anything, just discussing some things that I’ve noticed. If these things don’t apply to you, feel free to discard them and move on. But you may want to at least think about them.

1. Good kids emerge from all schooling situations (or, bad kids emerge from all schooling situations)

Homeschooling is no guarantee of righteousness. Nor does sending your kids to public school guarantee that your kid will be a light to the world. In other words, raising kids is devoid of guarantees. Yes, there are principles we should follow and choices that are clearly more wise than others, but there is no formula for raising the perfect child.

I know of kids who accepted Christ early and never strayed from the path. I also know kids who rejected everything their parents held dear (and broke their parents hearts). I know people faithfully serving Christ who became believers at all different life stages. Two of the most faithful kids in our youth group are only there because a friend invited them to a youth activity. Some of our youth leaders (and some of our pastors) didn’t become Christians until they were adults.

I don’t say this to encourage parents to become lax in their parenting, but to remind them (and myself) that salvation is a work of the Holy Spirit. I encounter so many ideas that imply, either deliberately or indeliberately, that raising “good” children is merely a matter of following a certain formula. God can work in those situations too, but we set ourselves up for failure if we think our children’s righteousness is anything we did or didn’t do.

2. The public school can do some things better than you (or, you can do some things better than the public school)

In the past week I’ve attended a public school track meet, band concert, and a choir concert. All of those are things I could not have duplicated in my homeschool community. Now, before you write me about your awesome homeschool sports team or band (or community sports team or band), please remember that those activities, while certainly possible, require a commitment of time and money from parents and/or volunteers, not to mention a pretty large community to draw from. For a lot of us, that’s not our reality.

It is the same thing with education. Some of the classes in the public school are doing a far better job than I could do at home. Some of them are doing a far poorer job than I can do at home. I am quite glad that I am not the one setting up the science experiments or explaining how to factor polynomials. I’m also sad that my kids would be reading a whole lot more books if they were still home with me.

It may be that the advantages of homeschool so drastically outweigh the benefits of public school that it’s an easy decision for you, but please own that. It may be that homeschooling your kid would be so difficult, stressful, or such an impediment for a good relationship with your child that it’s not worth it. Please own that, too. In other words, if you’ve settled your family’s schooling decision in your own mind, slamming somebody else’s choice will not make your choice more right. It may hurt someone who really needs your support. It also may make you look like a jerk.

3. All mothers have regrets

Every mother of an adult child has regrets. Every one. I’m very grateful that God uses our mistakes for his glory, because otherwise I’d be sunk. So would you. In fact, if I ever did encounter a mother who thinks she did everything correctly, or that her kids turned out well solely because of what she did, I’d assume she was in denial. I know mothers who are glad they homeschooled but can see a few things that they could have done better. I know mothers who sent their kids to public school who wish they could go back and pull them out. In my two oldest, I can see a few areas where having them at home in the early years benefited them. I also see some areas where my weaknesses magnified weak areas of their own.

4. All mothers (and people in general) have to guard against pride

One of my kids should have been sent to school at least a year sooner. There are a lot of reasons why it worked out this way, but one of them is that I wasn’t ready to admit it was time. That’s pride. When homeschooling moms pump me for information about the bad, scandalous things going on in the public schools, that’s pride. When public school parents scoff at “weird, backwards homeschoolers,” that’s pride.

As Christian parents, we should all be on the same team. We should want everyone’s kids, regardless of their home and school situation, to walk with the Lord. If you catch yourself delighting in seeing another kid stumble because it makes you feel better about what you’re doing, you’ve slipped into a very dark place, and you need to repent. Even if you don’t delight in another child’s struggle, but merely think that it could never happen to you because of something you’re doing, you may be standing on the edge of a precipice. Our first thought should always be “there but for the grace of God go I,” not “God, I thank you that I am not like other men.” (Luke 18:11)

Remember who is really in control

God has been good to me. I love my kids, and it’s fun watching them blossom into young adults. They’re also all sinners. (They also read this blog. Hello, sinful children.) I pray for them a lot. The verdict is still out on whether they’ll grow up to be happy, productive adults who walk with the Lord, but I have great reason to hope. I hope you do as well, regardless of how your kids are being educated.

Comments

  1. Keith says

    I will throw my 2 cents in. Take it for what it’s worth. I am glad that my kids are in public school. I choose this for my kids, just like I choose what they eat for supper. I have friends that homeschool. I have seen students struggle and students succeed in both settings. For me, my view of any schooling is up to how I hold my kids accountable. That’s my responsibility. It’s not my teachers responsibility to parent my child. They are conduit to knowledge. Too often, people blame teachers (even church leaders) for what is produced. It’s up to us to mold and shape our children’s lives. Regardless of what a family chooses to pursue is up to the parents. I think some parents lack the ability to teach just like I do some teachers. Shoot, i have been a public school teacher and a youth pastor and some don’t see me fit to do either. If there wasn’t division on how to school a child, maybe there wouldn’t be a debate. However, this is life as we know it. The goal is to teach a child the way you see fit. I will support it.

  2. says

    Well said, Staci! If our kids turn out well, it will be because of the grace of God, not a particular form of education. I’m also thankful He is faithful to His children where this freedom and opportunity do not exist.

  3. says

    Thank you, Staci! I was just looking for something like this last night. Our oldest will start Kindergarten in the fall and we are leaning toward public school, but it has not been an easy decision. It’s just encouraging to see such a refreshing, grace-filled look at the issue.

  4. Laurie says

    Thank you for this, Staci. I’ve homeschooled for 20 years but still have a 15 year old at home. He will start public school next fall. Of course, this was a traumatic decision for me to come to but it’s in his best interest. I can’t offer him what he needs in these next few years to get him ready for the career that is evident that he will follow. But we are still his parents and will watch over him and be involved in his schooling. And yes, I’ve had to repent of terrible pride to get to this point. It’s possible that one of his older brothers should have gone, too, but there were also very good reasons to keep him home. Neither option was perfect. That’s the hardest thing for me to get my head around…that nothing I do will produce a perfect child. So glad that God is working through all of that.

  5. Gayle Gilyeat says

    Wow! What a great read, Staci! …and I don’t even have and kids. God has given you great insight and ability to write!

  6. Tony says

    Staci,
    Please meditate on Deuteronomy 6:1-9: Fear the Lord your God to keep all His statutes, commandments, laws, and teach them diligently to your sons…

    Psalm 1:1-6: How blessed is the man who does NOT walk in the counsel of the wicked but his delight is in the law of the Lord.

    How does a public school honor God’s exhortations in light of these verses? Does God tell Israel to bus the kids back to Egypt for the great programs? Did Israel send their kids to Philistine Public School?

    Remember the foolishness of God is wise than man. 1 Cor 1:25

    • says

      Tony:

      I am not Staci, but I have been where she is, using both the public school system and homeschooling another. I understand and agree with many of her observations. I have seen the best and the worst of homeschooling. Every education system has its holes.

      I can also tell you that when a parent determines that it is time for the family to pursue public education, the decision is made with a lot of prayer, angst, and difficulty. We know what’s coming. We know what people are going to say to us. We are grown men and women who suddenly find our parenting decisions questioned by everyone. Many parents feel guilty about what they are doing, and when they are given Scripture verses to review in light of their decisions, it implies that they have not already considered the situation biblically. It implies that the only biblical decision is the decision to homeschool. Homeschool families cringe when people question their parenting decisions, but then often turn around and to the same in the other direction. It isn’t a happy situation.

      One of the most discouraging things one can do to a homeschool parent about to transition into other educational options is to challenge them that they haven’t thought it through. I know Staci personally, and I can assure you she and her husband have thought their parenting decisions out carefully. To question them and imply they haven’t used Scripture in their decisions is actually not helplful.

      • Sandy says

        Thank you for posting this Kim. My comment to Tony’s poor interpretation of scripture would have not been as gracious as yours.

    • Michelle Barber says

      Neither am I Staci, but would like to respond.

      The verses you have quoted above says for YOU to teach your children the LAWS & COMMANDMENTS of God. This is what you do at home. This is the foundation upon which you raise your children. These verses do not mean the the public school will honor God’s exhortations. Neither does it mean that the public school = your children.

      John 17:13-16 (KJV)
      13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
      14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
      15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
      16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

      We all have to live IN the world, but we do not have to be OF the world. We have taught our children the foundation of God’s laws & to abide in His Word. It’s now up to them to LIVE it. (They are 15 & 16.) We have actually had more family discussions BECAUSE of the struggles of school politics & sports in the last few years. Our job as Christians is to be a light to the world. This gets really tough when you see your kid being hurt by coaching decisions made without regards to ability or fairness. It’s really hard when it seems as though the kids who smart off to the coach, goof around, lack hustle, curse, throw temper tantrums, make tons of mistakes & are disrespectful are the ones who get rewarded with playing. (PS…kids who are better players, as proven in stats & awards, are the ones sitting out.) It would be so easy to tell my kid to just tell the coach to go fly a kite, just go to the end of the dugout & play around with the other guys, just screw around in practice…it’s not going to matter anyway. But, what if…

      What if my son’s attitude is what shines through to those around him?
      What if my son is the only glimpse of Christ they will ever encounter?
      What if this is a lesson in patience?
      What if this was for an opportunity to lead a teammate to the Lord?
      What if this was to prove that we are not in control…that we don’t always get what’s fair or right?
      What if this was in order to show the coach, who attends church, what a personal relationship with Christ is truly about?
      What if this was to teach us parents that our kids CAN stand up for what is right, honorable, & good through tough times?
      What if this was to teach us parents that we can let go because God has got him?
      What if this was to teach us humility & looking at Christ through a child’s eyes?

      Our son, who is in the top 5 in nearly every category on the team, who was the pitcher of the year last season, who works harder than anyone else on the team, who is the sole cheerleader in the dugout many times b/c his teammates are goofing off, who knows every happening on the field, who has a great attitude, is not getting to start as he has in every other season since he was born. We don’t know why. We can’t figure it out. But, you know what he said to us after one of the games? “It’s ok. If God wants me to play, I’ll play. If He doesn’t, I’ll be the best teammate from the sidelines.” Wow! Here we are as parents, & former coaches, forgetting Who’s in control, Who we’re playing for. Because, ultimately, it doesn’t matter. What matters is how we react to the situation; how we control ourselves; what kind of witnesses we are being to those around us.

      I have to thank Staci for the slap-in-the-face for the part about “if we delight in seeing a child stumble…” In wanting my son to be the better man, I’ve secretly been thinking, “Yes! That kid just struck out. Now my son’s average will be even higher than his.” Dear Lord, I am so sorry! I do not truly desire to see another kid fail. I love these kids. I’ve coached these kids. I harrass these kids every chance I get. These kids, as my son put it last night, “love me to death, but I don’t know why.” (Yes, he was joking.)

      All that being said, brings me back to the point: our job as parents is to teach our children the laws of God; to teach them to follow the will of God; to teach them to be a light to others. I don’t think it really matters who teaches them math or history. Math teachers, history teachers, students, parents…they all need the Lord. Sending our kids to public school doesn’t mean we are breaking God’s commandments. I, personally, think it is quite the opposite: we are LIVING OUT that we are IN the world, but do not have to be conformed TO the world. The school itself is not called to honor God’s exhortations…we are. Training your child begins at home, but it does not end there. Math will be math no matter where it is taught. Science will be science no matter where it is taught. Following God’s will; honoring His commandments…those are things they will face the rest of their lives…& no amount of homeschooling or public schooling can fully prepare them for the tests they will have to their faith.

      • Zack Skrip says

        Michelle,

        Thank you for your comment. And I especially thank you for sharing the stories about your son. It is encouraging to hear about Christian character developing in someone so young, no matter where they are schooled.

        I struggle with the idea that it doesn’t matter who teaches “math or history” (etc.). I mean, will all of the students understand basic dates and patterns? I hope so (they should). But can you have accurate history that denies the Great Historian? Isn’t it in some way deficient?

        This is how I struggle: First, I recognize that secularism is far from the great neutral ground it declares itself to be. It is just as religious and dogmatic as any other religion. Would I send my son to an Islamic Madrasa? Secularism is all pervasive. I’m not worried about poor reading or writing abilities, I can teach that at home after school if I need to; I’m worried that the water they swim in is completely against the gospel, and the environment, far from simply assuming it, is built around the desire to inculcate this worldview into our kids. It just makes you thank God that His Spirit is alive and transformative in the life of our regenerate kids! Second, but I also recognize my poor ability to teach my son some subjects, like advanced math. Of course, there is no promise that his math teacher would be a good one, but I would at least hope they did better in math than I did! :-)

        Staci, I think dealing with pride was the most important part of your post and you have given me much to think about.

        As someone who grew up in the Denim-Jumper Forest, I know not all homeschooled kids turn out ok. In fact, many of the ones I know turned out quite poorly, but I would associate that more to legalistic fundamentalism than homeschooling itself.

        • Courtney says

          Zack,
          I appreciate your concerns about keeping God in the curriculum. As a middle school history teacher myself I can tell you most of my fellow teachers and I are Christians working in a public school. Being in the south I believe this is probably more common than in other areas of the country, but I am from the midwest and most of my teachers in public school were Christians too. I attended private Christian College so I have had a foot in the door of that type of schooling as well. I also had Homeschool friends.
          The curriculum I teach actually has me teach the 5 major world religions to the kids. I explain to them just like my college teachers explained to me that learning about each religion is not against your religion it is a way to fully understand other people’s religion so you can talk with them about it and evangelize. The kids always say “you can’t teach us religion.” I always tell them, “Not true. I can’t tell you which is best, but I have to teach you religion. It is one of my standards.” When students have questions for me I can’t answer by law I point them to their religious leaders and parents. When I teach culture to the kids, religion is part of that.

          • Zack Skrip says

            Courtney,

            Thank you so much for your comment, and for your work in the public schools! My church, too, has many devoted public school teachers that are impacting the lives of their students.

            After a conversation with one of my elders yesterday, I realized that I had made an error in how I posed my comment. I was not talking about your school, his school, or the school down the street from my house, as much as I was talking about the structure of the institution known as “Public School,” both as it is now, and how it was imported into our country and for what reasons. I’m excited that there are many Christians working and sacrificing in America’s public schools and I hope more continue to do so.

            My biggest concern is that parents who do decide to put their kids into public school don’t it just because that’s what we as Americans do, nor do they believe that the school is neutral. There is no neutrality. If, after considering these things, they decide they want to be part of what God is doing in the public schools, knowing that (depending on the location) it may be quite the uphill battle, then God bless them!

            I apologize to all who may have thought I was adopting or defending the “there is only one way” mentality that some espouse. This is an area of Christian conscience not law.

            In Christ,

            Zack

      • Patrick says

        “What if my son’s attitude is what shines through to those around him?
        What if my son is the only glimpse of Christ they will ever encounter?
        What if this is a lesson in patience?
        What if this was for an opportunity to lead a teammate to the Lord?…”

        This responsibility should not be placed upon our children. Where in the Bible does it say that its a child’s job to evangelize and be the light or that we would use them in that way? If you are going to send your kids to public school the above reasons shouldn’t be what motivates you.

        • Maggie says

          Interesting, I just went to a day at Compassion International where they were talking about children, the need to protect them, God’s value and love for children, and how to reach them. They had everyone in the room raise their hands if they accepted Christ when they were younger than 18. 95% of the room raised their hands. The speaker who teaches all over the world said this is very typical. The number is something between 85-90% of Christians become Christians before 18 years old. The number one reason they come to Christ is from a friend who asked them to church or shared with them about God. His message was that children are actually our best evangelists and our most critical ones. If they aren’t being taught and invested in to invest in their peers, then we are missing a huge opportunity of the most fertile fields. So, all of us are called to be lights in the world and children may have a very special role in that. We cannot mandate or pressure our kids to be used, but if their hearts are given to the Lord, like anyone in love with God, it will overflow out of their spirits and be noticed by those around them. The only way any one who doesn’t yet know God comes in contact with this overflow of His spirit is if we are friends with and out in the midst of people in the world. Sometimes it is sticky, sometimes it is hard, but Jesus walked that journey and must have been the life of the party eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners. He did not live a lifestyle that the religious people of the day thought was godly or even good, and yet His love for people drew them to a good God that could bring about their righteousness and transformation.

        • Michelle Barber says

          It is every Christian’s job to be the light to the world. I DO NOT USE THEM IN THIS WAY!!!!! GOD WORKS THROUGH THEM IN THIS WAY. I don’t use my kids for anything.

          At what point do kids become responsible for their own actions or their own thoughts? Both of my kids accepted Christ at age 7. Soon after, they wanted to be baptised…(public profession of faith!) None of our pastors wanted either of them to be baptised at that age, saying they were too young to understand what it meant. Being that I became a Christian at age 7 & baptised, through my own decision, I completely disagreed. I knew exactly what it all meant. I wasn’t doing it because others were doing it. I did it because Christ put it on my heart to do so. I will NEVER forget that day.

          The pastors decided to meet with my son. They did so & never really questioned his sincerity because he was so mature, they didn’t even realize he was only 7. He can tell you the exact date he became a Christian & he can tell you the date he got baptised. My daughter on the other hand, was very shy. She floored me on a drive home from a kids program with questions about becoming a Christian. She then walked in the door & asked her dad, who was the director over that program but was home sick, to pray with her. We weren’t going to say anything about being baptised. About a week later, she asked when she could get baptised. The pastors wanted to wait, but she was adamant that she wanted to be baptised. They finally agreed to meet with her & ask her questions. She answered their questions without missing a beat…better than any adult could ever answer.

          At the point where they accepted Christ, they met the age of accountability. We still teach them & guide them toward God’s will, but it became their choice of whether to follow it or not. Kids know right from wrong at age 7. The Bible teaches us to come unto Him as a child. Kids get what it means. Adults like to fuss & feud & bash each other over petty stuff such as where to send your child to school.

          There is a huge difference between teaching your kids scripture & showing them how to live it & decipher for themselves what God wants them to do in any given situation. I cannot shield my children from worldly things. If so, we wouldn’t be allowed to watch tv; couldn’t go to the grocery store; couldn’t go to the zoo; couldn’t play sports. They are going to encounter worldly things everywhere they turn. I would rather prepare them & have them think about what God would do in that situation than have them go off to college some day & experiment with drinking, partying, sex, gays, or cults.

          I read this blog to my son, along with some of the comments. He was actually quite angry. First he couldn’t believe that people who are claiming to be Christians would be so intolerant of another Christian’s choices. The Bible does not say anywhere, “Thou shalt not send your children to public schools. Thou shalt hide them away from the world. They shall not talk to non-Christians because they might be told about the Big Bang Theory.” Whether it is public school, private school, Christian school, or homeschooled, there will ALWAYS be something taught that we don’t agree with or believe in. Even in homeschooling, there may be things taught that are more opinion than commandments. I grew up in a very strict home & very strict church. It has only been as an adult that I’ve realized a lot of what I was taught was my parent’s or my church’s interpretation of scripture…not necessarily mine. I wasn’t taught to discern for myself the meaning of scripture & how to apply it to my life. I was taught rigid laws & rules & punishments.

          My son also couldn’t believe how supposed-Christians would be so judgmental of others’ beliefs. He couldn’t believe how many of these comments infer that if you send your children to public school, then you must not have prayed about it; you must not be following God’s will; you must not really be a Christian; you are breaking God’s commandments. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH SENDING YOUR CHILD TO PUBLIC SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!! Not everyone is cut out for homeschooling. (In fact, my son’s exact words were, “Oh no…we’d kill each other.”) Not everyone is qualified to homeschool. Not everyone is financially able to homeschool, even if they wanted to. Not everyone can homeschool due to health. There are all sorts of reasons for sending/not sending your child to public school or for/against homeschooling. But, it really doesn’t matter…if you are teaching your child the commandments & laws of God, whether that ibe all day at home or whether that is in the morning, after school, on the weekends, or in the evenings. Nobody teaches 24/7…except by the way you live…and that can be done at home or at school.

          For the record, there are plenty of Christian teachers in the public school system. Are they sinning as well? That’s not for anyone here on earth to decide.

          By the way, I am HONORED that God is choosing to use my children for His Glory, to be a Light for others to see because…THEY ARE NOT MY CHILDREN. THEY ARE HIS! He’s just letting us borrow them for a while. I am BLESSED to watch my children grow in their faith, have that faith be tested many times over, & see them stand firm. It is very humbling to have your son or daughter put scripture on the mirror with a note that says, “maybe this will clear things up on why we are facing the trials we’ve been enduring.”

          It is my desire that everyone stops all the bashing, finger-pointing, judging & arguing on this blog. That is not what Staci intended, nor is it the way Jesus would handle it. “Let ye who is without sin cast the first stone.”

          • Autumn says

            That was a pretty angry sounding post from someone who wants to stop the bashing! :)
            As a homeschooling Mom my goal is not to hide my children away so that they never encounter the world…. That is actually extremely insulting and ridiculously generalizing! My children encounter more of the REAL world then any child who goes to public school. They are not hidden away. We discuss ALL issues and differing points of view. BUT it is introduced and talked about from a biblical standpoint FIRST. That is the key….. I am not finding out that the 3rd grade teacher told my little girl that it is AWESOME to have 2 mommies or daddies, just another kind of Family.. And then having to undo that damage after the fact! You can all try to justify it away as much as you want….. It just doesn’t event make COMMON sense, let alone Biblical sense, to put your children under the discipleship of a secular, godless institution if what you hope and pray for them is that come to know Christ!
            BTW… Homeschool isn’t the only valid, Biblical option… Christian school is there as well. And before anyone says “Christian schools are just as bad”….. No they aren’t … They are not starting from a premise that there is no God or absolute truth. So they cannot be considered “just as bad”.

    • Abby says

      I am not Stacey but when I read your post I just had to comment. I have senn homeschool parents so overdue trying to indoctrinate their children that the did not leave space for the HolySpirit thus when the kids moved to college they went crazy trying everything behind their parents back. The were not prepared to deal with the temptation of freedom. You can still honor the verses you mentioned in public school by parenting as Keith shared, helping our kids think critically and process what the world is going to tell them with the Bible. Also some kids need the challenges that public school presents process and pray and come to understand their faith and also be a light to the other kids. To say that parents who send their kids to public school are not parenting biblically is a harsh and untrue statement. I think Stacie did a great job sharing a gospel mentality to the education of our children! I hope as my boys get older that I would be open to see their individual needs, strengths, and weaknesses to make individual choices that is best for each. We have a creative God who is not limited only moving in homeschooling, church, public or private school.

    • Keith says

      I assume that you also strap scripture to your forehead? Jesus came to help the sick not the righteous.

    • john jones says

      We homeschool our children and enjoy it, though I always reflect and hope we are doing all things correctly, but were probably not. Though Deuteronomy 6 is important to consider, that fact is we are not living in Israel, an agrarian society or in a theocracy. As Fathers we are not taking our children to work with us, and this would specifically be the picture of Duet 6.

      Secondly, Israel’s obedience in Canaan wasn’t any better then when they were in Egypt. Without public school, the liberal press, or processed foods, Israel entered into egregious sin and idolatry. I think that is what we can learn from the article is humility regardless of what people choose.

    • Nathan Wiebe says

      So… basically you are okay with your cardiologist receiving no training but from his/her parents, pastor, and church-mates? (Not counting ‘Christian’ universities, which do exist in a very narrow slice of the world.)

    • Staci Eastin says

      Thanks for your comment, Todd. I disagree with you, but I believe strongly in a free society where we are allowed to have different opinions and express them freely. We also have the freedom to fight to change laws that we think are unjust.

      As a public school teacher, I would venture to guess your opinion is the result of seeing “homeschool failures.” It’s true that some parents don’t have the dedication and ability to homeschool, and that’s a fact I would be a fool to ignore. When they’ve tried homeschool and not succeeded, the public school is where they turn, and an already burdened public school system is left to try and fix it.

      I could also point to examples of homeschool parents with no training in education who have done an outstanding job. But continuing to trot out isolated examples gets us nowhere at the end of the day.

      I do ask that as you encounter homeschool families you try to keep an open mind. Most of us take this job very seriously. My kids have done extremely well academically and on the all-important standardized tests. But we certainly had to prove ourselves when we entered the public school system. Many local homeschooling families refuse to consider our public schools because it’s not worth the scrutiny to enroll when they can go down the street to the parochial schools and be welcomed with open arms. This not only keeps some of the best students out of the public schools, it also causes families who are doing an okay job to soldier on longer than necessary because they don’t want to deal with all the hassle.

  7. says

    “I don’t say this to encourage parents to become lax in their parenting, but to remind them (and myself) that salvation is a work of the Holy Spirit”

    I’ve been shouting this for years – this is such a good article Staci! – every bit of it resonated with my personal experience. We did a (very) little homeschool, a stint in a private schools- but mostly public schools because we couldn’t afford private school and I didn’t have the patience to homeschool. They all had advantages and disadvantages but salvation is 100% of the Lord. Funny how so many reformed folks still don’t get that – I’ll just blame it on too many “how to” parenting books.

    Thanks for this!

  8. RK Sanger says

    Eloquently and gracious! Thank you for your balanced perspective. I have a foot in both worlds as well – half are in public and half are at home – and I definitely resonate with your sentiment about being without a country. It is also a HUGE eye opener to the idols of the heart on both sides. Bless you for sharing!!!!

  9. says

    We homeschool our kids, but last year I also spent a season where I taught at a private school, and I worked for the public school system — all at the same time.

    What did I learn? That education, for the most part, is what you make of it. I’ve seen great kids come out of home, private, & public schooling, and I’ve seen kids (and their parents) waste opportunities in home, private, & public school.

    I especially like what you have to say about pride & laziness.

  10. says

    Yep. As someone who attended a private school for Kindergarten, was homeschooled through 8th grade, attended a public high school, and went on to a private university… I’ve settled on saying, again and again, that homeschooling is a great option.

    ~Luke

  11. says

    While I wouldn’t disagree with anything you said, I think you’ve missed the ultimate point of education. Education, from God’s perspective as found in the Bible, encompasses our learning about Him and His creation. Any education, be it public, private, or in the home, that leaves the Creator out of the picture—will lead to chaos in society. That’s not my opinion, that is a historical fact and one that is backed up by all of Scripture. America (currently) is a case in point. If the public, private, or home school that we send our children to teaches them the truth about God – then that would be the kind of school our Creator would approve of. The opinions of human beings are usually silly and misdirected. God’s opinions, on the other hand, are not.

  12. Abel says

    I disagree with all the reasons used in this article and in the comments to justify sending children to government operated public schools.Mostly because they are not biblical and there is no biblical support for Christian parents sending their children to Caesar for training.
    Most of us have been indoctrinated to believe that the most important thing for our children is their future job employment.The biggest goal I have for my children is that they grow up to love God and are trained by people who love God.While I understand that only God can change the heart and nothing I do will guarantee that they grow up to be genuine follower’s of Christ,I don’t think that takes away my responsibility to raise them up in the way they should go.
    We can pretend like we can counteract all the godless indoctrination that children receive 7 hours a day,5 days a week by going to church a couple times a week for 2 hours and the few minutes left at the end of a busy day.But we can’t.Simply pointing out that some kids go to public school and come out just fine is not an excuse.I know kids who have grown up in the worst situations and turned out better than those who have grown up in the best of circumstances.The ends do not justify the means.
    I don’t homeschool because I prefer it or because I think I can do a better job than public school.I homeschool because training my children is my responsibilty and it is what God has commanded.Can you imagine the Israelites sending their children off to the cananites for their education?

    • Chari says

      My thoughts exactly!

      I went to public school until 6th grade when I begged my mom to homeschool me because I hated school. I was homeschooled through 12th grade and absolutely loved it. My brother who is 2.5 years older,hated homeschooling and ended up going to a private Christian school during 11th and 12th grade. I can tell you numerous stories about what went on at this school and adult supervised trips that would curl your hair. Some private schools may not be as bad as this one but I won’t be chancing it with my own children. My sister is 7 years younger and was always homeschooled. She greatly excelled more than my brother and I which I accredit to being homeschooled.

      During my high school years I noticed that I was different than the majority of the other teens at church. I spoke differently, dressed differently and was not obsessed over the typical more worldly aspects of life. Never once did I feel cheated of the public school experience and missed out on activities.

      Once I graduated highschool, I attended the local community college. I did find a couple Christian friends (who weren’t homeschooled) while attending. However, mostly I associated with the adults in my classes because the majority of the people my age lacked the maturity to focus on their classes.

      From my experience I believe that you also have to take in consideration your child’s personality. The ones who are more of the people pleasers are the ones who will bend with who they are surrounded by. Also, they are typically the ones who don’t enjoy being homeschooled as much. There are plenty of homeschool groups to keep them interacting and making friends.

      Homeschooling is for the most part difficult. Very difficult. My oldest will turn 5 years old this summer, but I know this from watching my mom. It’s a constant change to figure out your child’s learning style and learning to change their curriculum from year to year to work on strengths and weaknesses. However, what in life that is worthwhile is not difficult? There are also homeschool coop groups to help teach your high schoolers the subjects that you may not enjoy or excel in. If you don’t live near a coop group there are teachers who would tutor your child in the subjects they may need help with.

      I believe that our society puts too much emphasis on education. They teach you to go to college and get a ‘good job’. A college education does not guarantee a ‘good job’ and also does not teach you how to think for yourself and be an entrepreneur. And from a Christian perspective, what should be our main goal in this earth?

      Another aspect that public schooling and society emphasizes is that extracurricular activities are important. I know I am one of the few that thinks this, but I just see this as one more thing to pull the family apart. Families are so engrossed in sports that are extremely time consuming and leave very little family time together (which is usually filled with other things such as tv). The more kids you have the less time you have at home as a family. I don’t even need to go into details here because everyone is aware if this and just choose not to accept it.

      (I’m typing this on my phone with my 4 month old on my lap so there may be some typos lol)

      • says

        Hi Chari. I, too, was homeschooled for several years and there were many aspects of this that I enjoyed. So I understand a lot of what you’re saying.

        One thing I’m unclear on, though, is your statement in the next-to-last paragraph. You wrote, “And from a Christian perspective, what should be our main goal in this earth?”

        I appreciate you raising that question, but wondered if you might answer it as well. I think leaving it unanswered creates more questions, rather than answering them.

        Thanks!

        • Autumn says

          Hmm… Well, If I was a christian, Public school parent, I would LOVE this article… :) The problem is, you are starting from the wrong premise…. Most Christian families who Homeschool their children, OR send their children to Christian school, do so because they believe there is no way to justify a secular education Biblically!
          Homeschool pride? Ummm no…. I am a homeschooling Mom and I can assure you I have no pride…. I am sure there are great teachers over at my district that would do an awesome job of teaching my children reading, writing and arithmetic. I am SURE of it. BUT, in order to have them do that, I would have to send my children to a Godless, secular, institution where the basic tenets of their belief system are challenged on an hourly basis!Believe me, it would be so much easier for me to NOT Homeschool my children…. to say I had prayed about it, and the Lord led me to relinquish them to the public system to be little lights for Him… But I just don’t have that luxury…. There is absolutely no Biblical justification for it. Do Public schools acknowledge our Creator? Have they started teaching Creationism?

  13. says

    Thank you for sharing these wonderful thoughts. Especially those on pride. I too had my feet in both schooling worlds, and what you shared shows a balanced look at some of the benefits of both paths. If I had to describe myself I would say I am a homeschooling mom who allows her children to go to a public school, but do our homeschooling around that time period. Education, even for parents who only do public schools, doesn’t end when their kids come home from school. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It is in our homes that the most important education takes place, the education of our values.

  14. Rachael says

    Yes, good thought that people should all be on the same team in wanting everyone’s kids to walk with the Lord. Ultimately it’s not the choice of schooling system that will promise the fulfillment of this goal, of course.

    I’m a ‘product’ of both the homeschooling and public school systems. I was homeschooled in my elementary years through 8th grade and went to a public high school, college, and universities. When I was in high school, I did try to incorporate my faith into my coursework to an extent.

    God is ultimately in control and can achieve His ends through or in spite of any educational means. Sanctification is a lifelong process. High school and homeschool seem so long ago now. I don’t really think about either of them very much. I do have a strong respect for my mom’s faith, but I think much of our communication about the Christian life that subconsciously influences me has been in my adult years. Also, it’s not just the kids that are going on the ‘spiritual journeys,’ but the parents and perhaps mainstream spiritual emphases of the cultural times are, too. It could take time for parents to reach a deeper spiritual maturity…I’d imagine that what’s more important then the educational method of choice is the deepening of one’s faith and sharing it with the child. Yes, one way to do that could be through home school. But there could also be very good communication happening outside a public school’s walls that helps equip a child for the public school life.

    As for me, I think the biggest or one of the biggest ‘life schools’ has been marriage. And I have so many lessons to learn.

    BTW, I like this phrase you allude to in this article- “there but for the grace of God go I”…thanks for that.

    Rachael

  15. Linda says

    Great article Staci!
    As a homeschool Mom, whose 4 children are now young adults,I can certainly agree with you. I have seen other kids fail (spiritually) in all types of schooling, and other kids excel spiritually in all types of schooling. My own four have different levels of spiritual development and academic results. Three received college scholarships- one to a secular college and two to Christian colleges. The fourth had no interest in college. I can see from all this that Salvation is definitely the work of the Holy Spirit. Most of the homeschool moms from our support group would agree with me as we have seen varied spiritual and scholastic results in our children. I used to say “anyone Can homeschool, but not everyone Should.”

    I am sorry to see some scripture bashing about people’s schooling choices, but the same thing happens about family planning choices or wearing the proper clothes to church or singing new or old hymns, etc, etc. A (homeschooling) friend just posted this quote, “The legalism of a weaker brother should not make us legalistic, only gracious” ~ MacArthur I am trying to keep this in mind right now…

  16. Josh says

    The issue is not whether one or the other “turns out better kids.” That’s sheer pragmatism. The issue is what is RIGHT to do, according to Scripture.

    • Michelle says

      I agree that scripture is the final arbiter of what is right and wrong, but where scripture is silent, we have liberty according to our consciences and before our God. Where scripture is silent, we cannot impose our convictions on others.

  17. Michael says

    What’s being passed over in most of the discussion here is that all kids eventually reach an age where they are essentially adults, and that age is probably younger than our society would acknowledge. Once a child reaches an age of responsibility, sending them into the public schooling world isn’t that different than sending them to college. It may be time for them to start navigating this world outside the loving protection of their parents, which we all have to do eventually. At least with public high school it is a more gradual process than just sending them to live at college.

    But I would have a hard time being convinced that public schooling is in any way better for children under the age of responsibility (an age I’d imagine is anywhere from 13 to 16). I’m not saying that public school is horrible for those kids, just that I can’t come up with any reasoning that it would be better than home schooling under most circumstances.

  18. Virginia Nelson says

    Being a paraeducator in public schools for over 10 years, I’ve noticed that the world’s values, or lack of morality, becomes more and more evident in the classroom and with peers the higher the grade level. K-3rd are pretty neutral. However, the waste of time in all grades is tremendous. One-on-one is so much more efficient for teaching and learning. In my district, parents can do a mixture of home and public, allowing the kids to participate in particular classes and extra curricular activities, but doing others at home. It’s a good solution for older students.

    • says

      My daughter, a product of homschooling is in her first year of her PhD, and has already been asked to have her worked published alongside one of her professors. She will participate in the biggest academic conference for the humanities offered in this country. My two other kids are in college, and maintain 3.8 grade averages.

      I also have three children who are very independent. This is a generalization.

      • buddyglass says

        I think you may have understood the reverse of what he meant to say. Steve was saying that *public schooled* children are woefully undereducated, are indoctrinated, and are taught “what to think” and not “how to think”. Presumably he feels the reverse is true for homeschooled children.

        When I said he was generalizing I was referring to his thoughts on *public schooled* children, many of whom are *not* undereducated, indoctrinated and taught “what to think” instead of “how to think”.

  19. Rachael Starke says

    Staci,

    You are my hero today. I had scanned this article while on a break from my own schoolwork yesterday and didn’t have time to do more than say a quiet “Amen!” But today I had time to reread and read the responses. Thanks for being such a model to me of balancing grace and truth as you encounter some of the same attitudes I have over our choice to not homeschool currently.

    One other, equally difficult/painful one to combat is the one when I say something like you say here: “It may be that homeschooling your kid would be so difficult, stressful, or such an impediment for a good relationship with your child that it’s not worth it.” That’s a factor for me for sure. And yet when I’ve mentioned that as a reason, what I hear back is some veiled iteration of “well, those are just sin issues and you need to repent.” IOW, my kids will have to settle for a second rate education because their mother is too selfish, impatient, disorganized.” I try to laugh it off and be all gospelly about the fact that they don’t know the half of my dark heart, but the guilt weighs heavy. Thanks for making it a little lighter.

  20. Hudson says

    There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to schooling our children. My wife and I have homeschooled our children for the past 15 years and one of our children attended public high school. We have had to use wisdom to refrain from rationalizing our decisions. It is too easy to say that we are making a decision “in the best interest of our child” when in reality we are making a decision based on our desire for material comfort or less strife in the household.

    We should ask ourselves:
    – Am I choosing this education option for my child because it benefits ME or MY CHILD? Am I making this choice because it will somehow make my life easier? All too often, parents make the decision to send their child to public school solely for financial reasons. Would you send your child to a class on “how to be a terrorist” if there was a financial benefit involved? Yet how many parents send their children to a school that they know will indoctrinate their children in political, ethical, and religious beliefs antithetical to their own primarily because it is “free”? – Am I making this decision because I don’t want to deal with strife in my home? One of my children went through a stage where he despised homeschooling and wanted to attend public school. For this child, putting him into a public school setting would have been setting him up for failure. Ultimately, this child changed his perspective and was able to take advantage of entrepreneurial business opportunities that would not have been possible had he been enrolled in a traditional school. For him, keeping him homeschooled was the right decision. For other parents, the public school route may be the best option. The point is, are we making our decision based on what is in our child’s best interest even if it means aggravation for us personally?
    – Am I willing to invest the time into my children regardless of where they go to school? Public schools have lots of good teachers, but they also have many teachers with views that are in stark contrast to my own. Am I willing to maintain consistent, routine contact with each of my child’s teachers? What worldview do my child’s teachers hold? Am I willing to review my child’s textbooks, identify any flaws, and discuss them with my child? When controversial topics like abortion, evolution, homosexuality, and political views are discussed in class, will my child be ready with answers that I’ve already discussed with him/her in advance? Homeschooling has the advantage of a parent choosing the curriculum. Parents of children attending public school ought be willing to put in the time to know what’s in their child’s textbooks and class notes.
    – Is my child more likely to influence others for the good or are they more likely to be influenced by others for the bad? Many parents argue that they send their children to public school to be salt and light in the school system. Think back to your own time in school. Did you see more people influencing others to do what was right or what was wrong? I particularly remember a few spitball fights that started with one person, but quickly grew out of control. As the Scripture states, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.'”

    I am a strong proponent for homeschooling. I know how it has benefited my children. However, I also know many who have come through the public school system who have thrived. Either way, success can be attributed primarily to parents who play a very active role in the lives of their children. The danger comes when parents disengage and put their children’s education (both secular and religious) on auto-pilot.

  21. Lee says

    Public education is wrong on so many levels. I just pray that Christian’s seriously consider the implications of the educational choice. I do appreciate the tone of this author and there are many things to consider. However there is too much pragmatism in all of the considerations.

    1. It steals from everyone through taxation to benefit others without the consent of those individuals. This is against he 8th Commandment. It is purely socialistic and communistic idea.

    2. Education, is literally from the etymology, “Child-rearing”; we have incorrectly reduced it to merely knowledge. Education encompasses everything in raising children, you cannot separate morality, faith, from strictly facts or knowledge.

    3. Proverbs 1:7: The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Knowledge.
    Proverbs 9:10: The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
    What does this mean? All knowledge and wisdom find their basis within the Decree, Character, and Law of God. So 2+2=4 isn’t correct because of some neutral natural law, it’s true because God is true and created it to be that way. It is logical because it reflects God’s character. If you look at these things from the perspective of public schooling, 2+2=4 is only true because of random acts of chance in an evolutionary worldview. Or it has to be true for reality to existing (which is viciously circular)

    4. Deuteronomy 6:7 and Ephesians 6:4 and much of Proverbs give the Parents the responsibility of instructing their children in righteousness and knowledge. Morality and Knowledge cannot be completely separated. The public school definitely doesn’t separate them, they teach pluralism, moral relativism, origins with out God’s creative purposes, man’s ultimate athority (humanism) and many other un-Biblical anti-Christian perspectives. Why do we think we can compete with the agenda of secular humanism and the 35 hours a week of indoctrination?

    5. The history of Public Education goes back to Plato’s Republic and more recently, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Emile, Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto, Horace Mann, and John Dewey’s Humanist Manifesto. These men hated Christ and His Church. They saw Public education as a means of abolishing the need for God in society (basically they hated the law of God). Read up on their material and you can see why Public Education is evil.

    6. You can see from the worldview of the individuals above that the worldview of Public Education is actually a religion in and of itself. It promotes a combination of Neo-Pagansim, Pluralism, and Secular Humanism which are all religions and worldviews. So I ask, would any Christian send their children to a Muslim school when they have the choice? Of course not! So why do we send them to the religion of Man.

    7. Public Education fosters a mentality that Children belong to the collective or state. This is anit-Christian and un-Biblical. Clearly Children belong to the parents and thus to God (for the Christian).

    Please consider these things. I’m not saying delegating can’t be done, but it must always be subjected to the authority of Christ and not replace what is the responsibility of the parents.

    • buddyglass says

      1. This is how government works. I’m taxed to pay for a fire department (and benefit from that fire department) even though I might have preferred to manage my own fire control. That’s not theft.

      2. Most parents, including those whose children are in public school, recognize there’s more to bringing up a child than what he learns at school. They train their children accordingly. That one delegates the teaching of certain areas of knowledge does not necessarily imply one has abdicated the rest of a child’s training.

      3. 2 + 2 = 4 because it follows from the arbitrary rules of a man-made mathematical system. Be that as it may, one could certainly delegate the teaching of arithmetic to someone else while providing the broader context (i.e. “all knowledge comes from God”) on your own.

      4. Deuteronomy 6:7 deals with teaching God’s commandments. Ephesians 6:4 talks about bringing children up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Teaching them who God is, who they are, and what are the implications thereof. That task can (and should) be performed regardless of whether a child is home schooled or in public school.

      5. The motivations of some of the men who popularized the idea of public education has little bearing on the “goodness” or “evilness” of public education itself.

      6. “Public education” is not a person, ergo it cannot have a worldview. Individual public educators have world views. The institution of public education may be premised on certain assumptions, but it does not itself have a world view.

      7. I don’t believe children belong to the state. Moreover, I don’t feel pushed to believe this by the existence of public education. None of the non-believers I know whose kids are in public school believe this either. Children do not “belong” to their parents because children are not property. They are under the authority of their parents, but they enjoy many individual rights not afforded to mere property.

    • Courtney says

      So as I am a Christian Public School Teacher how do I fall into what you have mentioned here. I teach social studies and I don’t teach any of what you mentioned here. In fact teaching religion is part of my standards. I teach the 5 major world religions and it comes with a discussion of how no matter what your religion is understanding others’ religion is important for tolerance and evangelism. No one is going to listen to people who are disrespectful to them, so understanding is the first step.

      The verses you mention here to me I agree with you on, just that they are talking about us all as individuals, not the school as a whole. I grew up in private preschool, public school, private Christian College, with a few classes in the summer in a public university. I even had some Church friends who were home schooled. I have seen kids from each type of schooling turn out great and succeed and be faithful people and I have seen kids in each do the opposite.

  22. Elizabeth says

    So appreciate the balance and humility in this post! Thank you.
    Wish every Christian parent who is thinking about schooling options would read this. It is like a breath of fresh air.

    There does seem to be a lot of pride/scorn around these issues.

  23. Michelle says

    Thank you for the reminder that we have to guard against pride – how quickly I become full of pride and look down on the choices of others to feel better about my own. Our circumstances are so different, every Christian family and every child is different and how we choose to educate our children is a very personal decision and is between us and God. We have to be careful not to become busybodies in the parenting of others.

    My husband and I have four children and our greatest desire for each of them has always been that they would come to know Christ personally (understanding that it is God alone who draws sinners to Himself and opens their eyes to the truth). This is the main goal of our parenting and so for us it naturally followed that whatever form of schooling we chose needed to support this goal.

  24. Elizabeth says

    Thank you so much for this article, Staci. As a widow who must work to support her son, this has been a huge encouragement for me.

  25. CZ says

    I, too, am a mom with no country. I have been homeschooling/public schooling at the same time for about 10 years now. This was very well-said & well-written. Thank you.

  26. says

    I appreciate your article… I have four kids and all have gone to “traditional” public schools. All have accepted Christ at a young age and all I have taught to “think for themselves” One of them continually stands up for his beliefs and opposes teachers at times he sees necessary. All public education is not wrong and it should be a family decision based on prayer and your situation. For us at the time I had no help from any home-schoolers and we prayed and prayed and God helped make our choice. That does not mean we gave up on teaching our kids as some would suggest. What is best for you and yours is not best for ours. My son plays football on his high school team, he does not party, he is a leader and got a 31 on the ACT without even trying that hard. I believe our choice was the best for him and our other three children. Thanks again. Maybe you can be a guest blogger on my site soon!

  27. says

    Wow!! This is so well written!! A friend posted a link on facebook…this is my first time reading your blog. (I will be returning!) I was brought to tears while reading this…it was so encouraging, and just what I needed to hear right now! I also have (have had) my feet in both worlds so to speak. We started out with public school, then home school, then Christian school, then back to home school, then back to public school, and now will probably be like you and have one in public and one at home. We’ve had many reasons for all of our decisions, and have felt the Lord leading us in each one. And yet, it’s still easy to second-guess and wonder/worry what others think. And just like you pointed out here, there are pros and cons to each situation and there’s no guaranteed formula for producing the perfect child/childhood. I really appreciate you challenging all of us to not be prideful in our decisions for ourselves/our families! I just really appreciate EVERYTHING you had to say in this post!! Thank you!!

  28. Seth Fuller says

    Anytime one writes an article without clear guidance of Scripture on a topic so incredibly important….one should be on guard.

  29. says

    What a great post! I’m a teacher at a Christian school who has seen lots of kids come in (and leave to) homeschooling or public school. I also taught in public school, so my fingers have been in a lot of pies. I’m the mom of four boys (who graduated from Christian school) and one of my boys is a public school teacher now. Looking at the issue from all those sides, I’d have to second what you’ve written here, Staci! I’ll be directing some of my readers right to this spot.

  30. Jacinda says

    Thank you sooo much! So true from the heart! I am a homeschooling Mom that is looking for what the future years will hold! Thank you for your support and perspective!

  31. Across the Sea says

    A great post. And one to which I can relate- one child completed school at a private school (and is now studying at university), one is doing his final years at a christian school, and still have 4 schooling at home. God blesses Christian schooling. God blesses and equips christian kids in public schools, and public schools need christian teachers.God gifts teachers and they thrive in whichever school He has placed them.God also calls some families to homeschool their children, and equips parents to do that. Public schooling – while nowhere near perfect, or in many cases barely adequate – is still a necessary institution. Free, compulsory schooling is essential for societies to flourish, however flawed they may be. When christian homeschoolers declare all public schooling evil, they are being very short sighted, and fail to see beyond their own driveway. Spend some time with those less fortunate than yourselves. Don’t live in a cocoon. The world is a big place (I have travelled to various countries and found those in the US seriously ignorant of anything beyond their own state – or even city, which was truly shocking to me) There are many different types of people, and christians can live and thrive and bless others in many ways, homeschooled or otherwise.Homeschooling is a tremendous privilege and I am so thankful that God has equipped me to keep going for a bit longer. Please, let’s encourage our fellow christians (and christian teachers) wherever God has placed them.

  32. Keith says

    I’m gonna chime in again. No I am not. I just deleted my thoughts because this Blog is about what Staci suggests. I am not to criticize others responses. Thanks, for posting so we can all understand our convictions. (BTW….my kids are public school kids….and they love the Lord!) Oooops. :D

  33. KB says

    Everyone who is criticizing public schools as godless, heathen institutions–has it ever occurred to you that there are Christian teachers who teach in public schools? I’ve been pleasantly surprised with our experience in public school–my kids aren’t being indoctrinated or corrupted–and lots of their friends from church are in their classes! No schooling is perfect, and I know that a lot depends on where you live, but I agree with Staci that we have to stop jumping all over each other for school choices. (And I’m starting with myself–I’m just as self-righteous as everyone else). By the way, Staci–I loved your book The Organized Heart, too. Just wanted to give that book a shout out!!

  34. mmclassics says

    Thank you for a well written article. We have three children and have been fortunate to have a VERY strong homeschoool community for support. Homeschooling is HARD WORK. It exposes all of our character flaws throughout each day, but it allows us to work on them. Character Matters! We also have some great christian schools nearby. My oldest has attended one that fits him quite well, for three years. We have more friends that are in public schools.

    Our family watches and evaluates where our kids should be each year. So far that has not included the public schools, but my blessings and support are with those that choose this plan for their children. We are here to give a strong foundation to our children and reach out to a lost world, not to hide from it. ALL of us need to love and support each other in this challenging journey of parenting. I think the more kids you have, probably the less judgement you have in your heart for other parents – at least I hope so. In the meantime, I get to watch my first grader dance and sing history songs, and learn amazing math facts. I can see my 7th grader amazed that she has learned to draw a map of the world and its countries beautifully, when she actually perseveres. Hooray for the choices that we still have in this country. We must all strive to protect and support each other in ALL of them.

  35. Suzanne says

    Great points, and spot on about the criticism on both sides. Have one child graduated public school, one child pulled at 9th and homeschooled thru grad and two home from birth. My biggest regret? Being a single mom and having no homeschooling choice with my oldest. Choice makes all the difference.

  36. says

    I love that you share your thoughts from both sides of the coin. I have been on lots of sides of a few different coins:

    I was homeschooled AND public schooled.
    I was a public school teacher and I am currently a homeschooling mom.

    While my kids have never attended a public school themselves (during grade school) all three of my bigs have been to public-preschool (Head Start).

    I have been pleased with all aspects and it hurts my heart when I hear of others bashing another family’s decision.

    I appreciate you writing this and I will be sharing this with my peers, both the homeschooling moms and the public school teachers I am still friends with. They kept being my friend even after I quit teaching and became a homeschooling mom! GASP!

  37. Staci Eastin says

    Wow, everyone. I didn’t expect all this.

    I will probably be shutting comments down soon. At over 70 comments, I think we’ve all said about everything there is to say.

    Thanks, everyone, for weighing in.

  38. Amy says

    Thank you, Staci, for sharing your thoughts. I shared the article on FB and its has already encouraged many of my friends. I must point out that, for the most part, you have very intelligent, articulate readers. The comments have been great (mostly). :)

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Public School vs. Homeschool… Are We at Odds?: What a great piece this is! I was encouraged and challenged by so many points that Staci makes on the heart between the educational decisions we make for our kids. I highly recommend this post with practical insight from a grace-loving woman who has done both homeschool and public school. This was one of my favorite lines: [...]