F.T. asks from Southfield, MI on June 12, 2008
Christian Parents Dilemma: Private Vs. Public?
I'm writing to solicit thoughts, input, testimonials. Backdrop: my husband and I are both non-denominational Christians. We were educated, K-12 in Catholic schools, so we have never experienced public school. We have a son beginning school in the fall and had planned on sending him to a Christian school (not necessarily Catholic). However, we have recently made some life decisions that don't put private school tuition in the budget (we also have 2 more that would come behind our son) for three kids. I have heard the horror stories about bullies, peer pressure, and the lack of personal attention -- any believers have the experience of private and public or public only? I know other Christian women who have their kids in public school and they keep their kids out of school for Halloween, and express dismay that from middle school on there's nothing but sex and drugs. I know we can't shelter our kids from the realities of this world, but kids spend the bulk of their early life in school, so I know it will profoundly impact them...I welcome any thoughts even if you're of a different faith.
1 mom found this helpful
S.S. answers from Detroit on June 15, 2008
I hope that by now you have been given some excellent information about the public schools. On the outside chance that you haven't...they are not all bad. Not even close. I am a strong christian woman who happens to work in the schools on a pretty regular basis and have been very pleased in most of them. I guess you need to look at a specific district.
Good luck. Remember, the foundation that you are giving your kids in your faith will go with them where ever they go!
M.K. answers from Detroit on June 16, 2008
I am a mom of adult children; my kids started school in a small private Lutheran school way back in 1985; my first oldest, daughter, went there for Kindergarten through 2nd grade, my youngest daughter, went there for Kindergarten and my son never went there; we then decided to homeschool (during the dark ages when nobody was doing it!!) and that was the best decision for us at the time. I would not trade those years for anything, esp now that they are adults! We had such fun learning and making memories together. Very fond times. We homeschooled them through eighth grade. My daughters then transitioned for grades 9-12 to an all girls Catholic school and both got full rides to college. My son went to a small Christian school for 8th grade because we felt he needed a year to get used to the rigors of "traditional school" before entering an all boys Catholic school - he too did very well and was successful. They are now 27, 26 and 22 years old. So you can see, we did a mix of education.
I also now have many friends with kids in the public schools and they have had very good experiences. They are not all the devils den as some people make them out to be. I do not believer that God desires for us to make "fear based" decisions.
I encourage you to remain in prayer and start walking in a direction that you think God is leading you. I call it "getting out of the boat"....if you keep your eyes on Jesus, He will be faithful to lead you in the direction you are going, or He will lead you down an alternative path that He desires you to be on.
There are no wrong decisions when He leads:) God bless you.
M.D. answers from Detroit on June 15, 2008
I don't know if there is a lot of difference between public and private. I have one son who is going to public kindergarten next year. I am also a non-denominational Christian. The bullying even starts before kindergarten! My son was in a Christian Preschool. There was one child who always picked on the others and said nasty things!
I think sometimes the way to go is just to homeschool. From all the homework I hear kids get these days, maybe for some people it would be easier just to homeschool.
As far as sheltering kids, I wouldn't worry about that. You are just trying to protect them. I think a stable and loving home life is the most important.
A.V. answers from Detroit on June 13, 2008
I have a 4 year old too (yesterday was his birthday) but we decided to homeschool him for preschool and see about K when it comes. You ask another question about your son and if you feel he is ready then put him in. My son is NOT ready -- he will not sit still and for school that is a must. I have helped in my sons Sunday School Class where he is the youngest with 5 year olds and a boy that is almost 6 -- there is a lot of differences between those ages. Again you know YOUR son better than ANYONE else. Your involvement in his education and school is the key - don't just leave it up to the school, Christian or not.
B.M. answers from Detroit on June 13, 2008
Hi F. - My son is 20 and went all through the Troy public schools. It was a wonderful, caring, supportive, encouraging educational environment for him. Being involved at the school is a crucial piece of the puzzle, I think. It gives you a chance to see your child interact with their peers, lets the staff know you are interested and involved in your child's education and life, and it is really, really fun. I know there are some wonderful public and private schools, and there are some bad ones of both. You need to really know what's available.
I have a good friend whose 2 oldest went to Catholic schools their entire school life. She also has a much younger child who is enrolled in our neighborhood school now. The daughter is happy as a clam to be going to school with the pals she's had her whole life. The mom is thrilled to be two minutes from school, able to participate in carpools, and not taking her daughter to play at a pals house that is 30 - 45 minutes away, but just up the street. With a wonderful neighborhood school this has been a wonderful thing for all of them.
Good luck with this big decision, monetarily and personally.
S.R. answers from Detroit on June 13, 2008
I imagine that kid will be kids, no matter what school they are in. There is sex everywhere. There are drugs everywhere. The best thing you can do is educate your children about all things they'll encounter in their lives and raise your children with a strong sense of confidence and self esteem so they'll have the strength and willpower to abstain from activities that may be harmful to them (and not succumb to peer pressure). I went to a pretty rough high school but I was still much more innocent in my personal behavior than my college friends who went to parochial schools.
J.L. answers from Detroit on June 13, 2008
I went to Catholic school my whole life, my husband went to public. I had a "thought" about public schools. I was completely against my kids going anywhere else but Catholic schools. Especially since with in the past ten years there seems to be even more changes with the "God tolerance". WE started two of our three in Catholic and found ourselves in a financial situation. I cried and cried I was so upset. WE went to a few schools checked meap scores and ect...I did like the public school nearest our house so we went down a bit. Well we love it. We all agree here its better. They have more funding than most private schools and they have a lot more hands on projects in the class. My oldest has learned more this year than he did at the other school in 4 years. Its amazing.Now could it be the old school we had them in wasn't that good. Could be or it could be this is just a really great school. And by the way. NO they do not do bible based studies there but they do talk about God. They also discuss many religions during the holidays and explain where everyone comes from. I liked that. Its not at all the "thought" I had as I previously said. My advice to you. Set up appointments at a few schools do walk throughs meet the teachers at both Christian and Public and you never know. But realistically we as parents have to do what we have to do and make the best of every situation. We can't always afford everything we want. Good Luck Keep us Posted I am curious to know what you decide.
J.H. answers from Detroit on June 13, 2008
I am the product of public schools myself and can attest that a strong home environment is more cruicial than anything. Looking back, I'm glad I had such a diverse experience that I may not have gotten through a private school. Not to say private schools are bad - my husband attended a very elite private school and it was a wonderful experience for him and gave hime amazing study habits and a good foundation to succeed in college. Neither of our experiences was better than the other's - they were just different. But if finances are giong to be a problem, perhaps (like another poster mentioned), you could find a solid public school and then make sure that God is in your home. I was active in my church's youth group growing up and that experience has influenced me greatly (for the good). Like you said, we can't shield our children from every bad thing out there so as long as you keep an open dialogue with your children, you are doing so much more for them than any private school could ever do. This way, they can experience the "bad" things by watching their peers but you can teach them to make positive decisions - a skill that will come in handy for the rest of their lives! I hope I'm not coming across as anti-private school - that's not the case at all. But if it's something you can't afford, then it may be better for your family to maintain financial security while finding a solid public school. Best of luck!