Public -vs-Private -vs- Homeschooling

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Public -vs-Private -vs- Homeschooling
453
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 1:43pm
I've been kinda skimming through the sub-debate of another debate, and have been really surprised to see some of the disdain towards those who do not put their children in public schools.

Now, from homeschooling my kids in the past, I KNOW there are a lot of people who take issue with it (though I completely disagree), but I have never run across anyone IRL who had this kind of disdain for private schools in general. So, with that in mind, what are YOUR views?

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 1:46pm
I am down on private schools for their symbolism. Elitist or religious-fanaticism is what they imply to me. But we have tremendous public schools here.

What a joke - my next door neighbor was the youngest of 5 kids. All of her older siblings went to public schools. But they decided they could afford to send my next door neighbor to private high school. But then there wasn't enough money for a private college, so she had to go to our (very excellent) state u. I mean, really, what was the point of the snooty private high school?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 2:25pm
Do you feel all private schools are snooty? Do you not feel there can be anything valuable in a private school education?

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 2:27pm
I know many are going to disagree with me but I prefer public schools. My child goes to public school and I went to public school. I went to public school in rural KY and managed to score above average on the ACT and successfully pass 2 AP tests for college credit. I had a great public school education. My DH went to a private boarding school for high school. He was taught by PHD's etc. He scored lower on his ACT and had no AP class credits. Of course, he did get into better colleges but with no scholarship. I attended college on a academic half tuiton scholarship.

Also, in the South, private schools are sometimes here just because of segregation. I was astounded when I went to college how many people had gone to private schools. Most of them had to take remedial classes in college. They were not academic private schools but schools to avoid public schools. I have to admit I am prejudice against private schools because I have not found a privately schooled adult that had a better education than I recieved.

As far as homeschooling, I would not do it. I have several friends that do and that is their decision. I am not a teacher because I never wanted to be. I also think children have to learn to get along with others of different faiths and different beliefs. I think Dave Ramsey put it best on his radio show. He said, "As Christians, I believe we should be a light onto the world not segregate ourselves" In a nutshell, that is what I think too. I want my child to be with other children of different social-ecomonic levels and I want him to learn from others-not just me. It will make him a well-rounded individual. Of course, people that home-school have groups and do girl scouts and etc but, generally, those groups are filled with like-minded people. It is just not what I want for my child.

My friend that homeschools was shocked when I told her that Zak (6) asked me if 2 men could marry. She said she homeschools so her children will not learn about "such things". My philosophy is that my child is going to learn about controversial subjects eventually. I want to make sure he can talk to us about such things. I just do not believe you can protect your child from adversity and from learning things you do not condone. They grow up. The lines of communcation just have to be open.

I think, though, that you can add to public school education. It does not have to be either-or. My eldest child wants to be president one day. Just call him Alex P. Keaton Jr. Next summer we are going to work on a presidental campaign so he can learn about it. If he expresses curiosity about something (which is quite often), I try to answer that curiosity. Right now, he wants to learn to count in German. I have found a German exchange student to teach him.



As far

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 2:32pm
Yes, there certainly can be value in a private education and not all private schools are snooty. But a lot of them, especially in the greater DC area, are.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 2:40pm
Whatever is the best education in the safest environment. We are not happy with our public school system, it was great when we moved in this house 7yrs ago. Not now. So we are doing private school for a few years and then we are moving to a better school system a county or two over.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 2:57pm
In my area there are some good public schools, some there are some truly awful ones. The Catholic schools are safer than those public schools but academically inferior to the other public schools. The private ones ARE snooty but offer things the public schools can't - smaller classes,more foreign languages,more advanced level classes,etc. Remember - I'm only talking about the ones in my area!) My cousin was just put into one because it IS better academically but he also had to be interviewed THREE times to be accepted into another. HE'S 5!! I truly believe the private schools here do more to help the older children be prepared for college and they provide better opportunities. BUT I think an interested student, with supportive parents, can do great in a public school. I would send my daughter to private school if I thought it was worth the additional expense (anyone have 12-20K to spare? PER YEAR?) or if I just had the money to spend. But I don't and am happy knowing I moved into a very good public school district.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 2:57pm
I have always been for public schools.

Private schools, though, may have stuff to offer.

-In my district, many public school programs are being cut (music, art, sports) due to the state budget. Private schools will still offer all those things

-I went to public schools and when I compare what I learned in HS (especially writing and critical thinking) to what my dh learned (college prep private school) or what my brother learned (academic magnet public school), I learned less. I graduated in the top 10 of my HS yet still found myself struggling my freshmen year in college. Though it may have been just *me* and my academic abilities, I think you are challenged less in a "regular" public school than in an academically rigorous college prep private school.

Having said that, I am torn about what to do with my dd when she reaches school age, precisely because I believe in public schools and the benefits of interacting with people of diverse backgrounds. Luckily, the elementary school in the neighborhood is good, but the middle school and high school aren't great.
Avatar for 1969jets
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 3:11pm
This is not an easy subject to generalize about. When I lived in NY I did not believe I would ever consider private school for my children. We had an excellent public school system and I feel that a good public school offers so many different learning opportunities that private schools were for 2 types of people, those who wanted a religious education and those who wanted to prove to the world how much money they had.

Since I have moved to an area with HORRIBLE public schools I no longer feel that way. The public schools here (S. Florida) are just awful. Some schools are not having art, PE, or music at all and others have those subjects only once every 10 days. There are over 30 children per class in most of the elementary schools and the curriculum is backwards. Plus there is so much emphasis on standardized testing that the kids don't learn anything other than what is on the tests. Ugh.

My kids go to a charter school. I am happy with the school. The curriculum is very advanced, there are 25 kids in a class. The kids have PE every day (starting next year) as well as visual arts, and performing arts. The library has not been turned into a classroom and there is a computer lab in addition to computers in every classroom. Our school is more like a private school than a public one, although it is tution free. Private schools offer all these things.

That said, public schools offer more to students that have special needs. Private schools are usually not as accomodating. So-I think that the decision really needs to be made with the needs of your child(ren) and the resources available at each facility in mind. There is realy no one right answer to this issue.

Homeschooling is intriging to me. As great as it sounds on paper I can't help but think that it would be difficult to teach my own children. The thing that I am afraid of is that my children will feel so much pressure if they disappointed me academically that they would learn to always take the safe road and never challenge themselves. I think that it can be difficult to take risks if you fee that your relationship with your parents is on the line should you fail. Nobody's children are exactly the same but my kids put alot of pressure on themselves to excel academically.

Jenna

Avatar for mrs_braindr
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-25-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 3:17pm
I went to them all. Private (k-1), Public (2-6), Public Academic Magnet (7-12) and I know I was better prepared for college because of my magnet school experience. Many of the other women in my college (Small Private Women's College in the South) who went to public school did not do as well as those who went to private and magnet schools on entrance exams and placement tests. They also did not have the study skills or critical thinking skills we did. Now this is a gross overgeneralization based on the students I knew and the research the admission's office provides. There were several public school students who did well and flourished in the college environment. It is really based on where you live. I live outside of Atlanta, GA and there is no way I would send my child to the public schools around here. They are awful! (High pupil to teacher ratios, low Iowa Basic Skills Test scores, low SAT/ACT scores). We plan to move into a better district or send our dd to a private school. If we move it will cost us about the same in more mortgage or rent as the private school and the towns with better schools are just as snooty as the people who send their children to private school. But either way the top priority is the best education for our dd wherever we can get that within our means. I honestly believe that is the priority for most parents who care about their children. I would never have disdain for someone for their choice of school. That is non-productive. I guess to answer your question I don't have a preference other than I would not homeschool because I believe in the value of socialization with children who are not all just like you (particularly in the middle school and high school years). The homeschooled children I have come across recently are more snooty and snotty than any private or public school child, but that is definitely a parents choice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 3:28pm
I have no bias towards private schools, if they happen to provide the best education and someone can afford them, great. What I do have a bias towards is the attitude that private schools are better than public schools. That is simply not true. There are some great public and private schools, and some lousy public and private schools. And the private schools for special needs kids are in their own catagory, and can be very beneficial.

Now, homeschooling is a whole other ballgame. I personally see it as wrong on so many levels that I don't know where to begin, but if someone else chooses this route, well, that's their business. It truly depends on the reasons for homeschooling

Often times people homeschool because they don't want their children exposed to the general public and it's immoral influences. Very, very dangerous. That attitude is fanatical and isolationist. If you are afraid to subject your children to society at large, well, I think you and your kids have problems.

Now if you choose to homeschool because the public schools where you live are deplorable, you can't afford private school, and you can't move, I guess that's your only option. I want the benefit of many experts in their field rather than thinking that a layperson (parent) could possibly be as knowledgable and qualified to teach all subjects.

I personally prefer a really excellent public school. Why pay upwards of 50K (2 kids)for the same education I can get for free?

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