Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before Public School:

IMG_1657I just picked up the kiddos from their last day of school before Christmas. We have a few fun days planned over the next couple weeks and they are happy to sleep in and binge Netflix on the other days. Before the vacation mode gets underway, though, I wanted to take a moment to express some thoughts one semester into the public school experience.
Like a lot of people who have only had experience in Private/Christian and Homeschool education, I was somewhat apprehensive to place our oldest two in the local public school system. I had heard the horror stories from every Christian education proponent and homeschool queen bee and was concerned about entrusting my two treasures to a place where the end result of their character couldn’t be assured. Turns out, I was worrying based on fallible information. My fears surely would’ve been relieved if someone had pulled me aside and told me the following:

  1. Your kids will have loving, highly-qualified teachers.
  2. Your kids will meet and make friends of all races, economic statuses, and beliefs.
  3. The school leadership will welcome your input and act on it to make things better.
  4. The public school actually isn’t inherently evil, substandard, or inferior to other forms of education. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Teachers are at the cutting edge of education and technology, and curriculum is progressing constantly to be sure that kids learn how to survive in a rapidly changing world.
  5. Your kids will be offered extra-circulars like learning Spanish, learning music, etc. as young as five years old.
  6. Your kids will enjoy world-class facilities that provide the highest versions of safety and technology.
  7. Your kids’ teachers will take a personal interest in your kids and develop a plan to help them succeed in areas where they are found lacking.

We have Christian schools in our area, but they either have low academic standards, facilities in ruin, or just a lack of ability to offer the well-rounded education that the public system can. Now that I have learned these things for myself, I wanted to pass them along to the parents who haven’t reached this place in their journey yet. I am aware that not all schools are the same and that we landed in a good situation, but let me encourage you to live from faith instead of fear and to do what is best for your kids regardless of outside pressure. We are especially grateful to God this Christmas for Central Elementary, the faculty, the PTA, and all the Panther Cub community.

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8 thoughts on “Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before Public School:

  1. The experience we’ve had in our Christian school is quite the opposite of what you’ve experienced in one semester of lower elementary school. I think you are on a soapbox speaking prematurely about things that only years of time will tell. The problem with that is that is that it may be too late for your children. We have only had one or two children transfer in from public school who weren’t grossly behind. The funny thing is, most parents tell us on the front end that their child was in the “gifted” program in public school and are totally taken aback when their children are 2-3 grades behind! I hope the experience you have had up to now continues, but I’d be extremely surprised if that’s the case. By the way, I went all 12 years to public school–not a good experience at all! I believe that many if not most of the teachers in public school love to teach, are well trained & have a heart for children, but are bound by laws, bureaucracy, testing etc… Not to mention, who are these people over your children? What are their lifestyles/ moral values? Like it or not, that will spill over into their teaching. It is sheer foolishness for Christian parents to place their precious treasures in such a place when there are Christian schools and multiple home school options at your finger tips!

  2. I am glad for your good experience but would like to say that I have known several hundred homeschoolers in our time and would maybe only label two or three of them a queen bee.
    You may have a presupposition in place about homeschoolers, which is fine, but just be prepared to be honest about it when you address the issue of homeschooling.

    • If you reexamine the context of the statement, I was referencing the home-school evangelist. Amy homeschooled last year, so I’m certainly not labeling every homeschooler ever as such. Thanks for the comment!

  3. As a dad having 3 of his 5 kids in P. S. (One is in community college, and one isn’t old enough yet), I appreciate this and agree whole heartily.

    We live in a very conservative district , our schools rank 25th in the state. We’ve yet to have any problems , even with common core (which may be in its way out). Yes , we get the occasional “evolution theory” stuff, but our kids are already grounded in that areas

    It’s been a huge burden both financially , and academically , seeing as the Christian schools we’ve used , and the few years of homeschool (we are not equipped for teaching.) , was a huge disappointment , spiritually and academically.
    So dR for us P. S. has been a blessing. Are there things I still worry about? Sure, but these drive me to prayer and being proactive.

    Good article Josh.

  4. Happy to read this. My sister is in 9th grade at Christian school where she’s been her whole life (and both my brothers and I went k-12) and she desperately wants to leave, and my parents have been agonizing over the decision. Definitely showing them this and hoping it’ll qualm some of their fears. Looking back on my own Christian school experience, I do wish I’d gone to public for a number of reasons. Funnily enough, Christian school wasn’t too helpful for my Christianity.

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