Soapbox Sunday: In Defense of Public Schools

Disclaimer: This posting is not meant to be a slight at homeschooling or private schooling. I love home schoolers! One of my best friends was home schooled and is a fantastic, intelligent woman. I pour over homeschool blogs on a regular basis because that is where the BEST arts and crafts are. The mothers day out I work at is at a Church that has it’s own preschool through 12th grade private school. So I have nothing against these forms of education. This is about the choice my family is making and why we are making it.

Our children will attend public school. First off, we probably couldn’t afford private school even if we wanted to. Secondly I’m not sure I have it in me to be a homeschool teacher to my kids. Even if we could afford private school and I felt confident in my abilities to homeschool we would still choose public school.

Why? Because good parents NEED to choose public school. Involved parents NEED to choose public school.  An education, no matter how it is achieved, is only as good as the parents that back it up. Without involved parents in the public school system, all children suffer. It’s a “greater good” thing to me.

I believe strongly in the public school system that we have in this country. It’s a gift and a blessing that we have access to free education for all of our children. But it’s only as good as the time and energy we all invest in it. I think of it like a church. A church is nothing but a building without the people that fill it. Those are the people that make the church a progressive place, a place to be saved, a place to learn and be educated. If there aren’t dedicated members of the church who truly believe, the church would cease to be anything but a building.Our public schools, our children (and not just those we brought into this world) need this investment from us. Not every child is afforded the opportunity to go to private school or for a parent to stay home and educate them, they need the public school to learn because they do not have any other options. These are the peers of my children. They will serve and work alongside these children and than adults in the coming years and I feel strongly that we need to make an investment in them as well.

Some of the arguements I’ve heard against public school are:

*I want to give my child a strong base of knowledge in our faith before I send them out into the world– I get this, I 110% get this. I feel the same exact way.  I want my children to be strong in their beliefs and as a Christian, I feel very strongly about what I desire those beliefs to be. I want their faith to be organic though. Like mine is. It’s hard for me to explain this, but I’ll try. It is my duty as a Christian parent to raise my children to know Jesus and to have faith. BUT faith is grown through experience, adversity and opposition. I can lay the groundwork, but if their faith is never tested or challenged? How will they grow? I went through a LOT of adversity early in my life. I lost my mother and my sister at a very early age within 6 months of each other. Because of the trials laid throughout my path, my faith is now unshakable. I feel strongly that sheltering your kids from outside beliefs can actually backfire. In fact I’ve seen this firsthand.

*The public school system won’t give my child the education they deserve, they’ll fall through the cracks-You know, this is a big fear of mine? In fact, we are currently going through the process of enrolling our son into the public school district for early intervention (speech therapy) and when we went to the initial evaluation, my biggest fear was that they wouldn’t help him. That he would fall through a crack in the system that said he wasn’t worthy of being helped. I am not naive to think that my children will not have a bad teacher here and there. I know it will happen. I had a few bad teachers (although honestly? I think there were really only 2 in 12 years of public education). This is where my husband and I come in though. No matter where your child is going to school, you are their primary advocate. You can’t just send your child off to school and they are someone else’s problem for 8 hours a day.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are some incredibly valid arguments towards home schooling or private schooling. My younger sister was cyber bullied for a time and it was so bad my parents did consider moving her to private school. Bullying is real, and nowadays it can go far beyond pulling a ponytail on the playground. There are some areas of this country where it actually is unsafe to send your children to the public school in your district. If a child fears for their safety, they can’t learn.

Now like I said, I am by no means bashing alternate forms of schooling.

If you choose to send your child to private school or homeschool, you know your reasons and I’m sure you feel very strongly about them.

I just want more parents INVOLVED. I don’t want to hear that our public school system is broken. It is too much of a privilege to give up on. We can’t give up on it. Sure there are flaws, but if noone works for change? If noone stands up and gets involved? Talk to any public school teacher and they will tell you that what public school needs is parents willing to stand up, get involved and support the education that they are working so hard to give to our children.

*steps off soapbox*

Published by

Heather

Heather is the creator and owner of Family Friendly Frugality. She calls Texas home and is married to her best friend. With 2 children 22 months apart, she has her hands full. So full that she decided to start blogging as a hobby. That hobby blew up into a full time job. Now she's got the husband, the kids and the blog. We're not exactly sure what she was thinking, but she's too busy for us to ask. Find Me On Google +

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