Public or Private - Fort Worth,TX

Updated on June 21, 2010
B.H. asks from Fort Worth, TX
36 answers

Are your children in public school or private or home school? Why did you choose this route?

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So What Happened?

Wow. I did not expect such a large response! It is my first question on mamapedia and I think I like you all MUCH better than any other social network. Everyone had great background information and everyone was nice to everyone else. Very cool! I agree the decision is very individual and dependent on the child's temperament. I think it is interesting that so many understand that parent involvement is key to student success. I have a Masters in education and I have taught for many years (public and private) and I have had parents say to my face that it is my responsibility to raise them. Or they have said they took the "easy route" - meaning they worked full time so they could be in daycare and then school the whole time and they wouldn't be bothered by their children. Right now we attend a private school under a parent organization called the National Association of University-Model Schools. I think I am about as happy as I can be with this route for my family. There are some things I would change, but like many said, nothing is perfect! I was just wondering because many of our students have left and gone to public school. I wanted to see why families would leave our school for public school. I went to public, took honors & AP, and did fine in college. However, I was not challenged until about half way through my Masters degree. I often wonder how much more I would know and understand right now if I had other options.
Just to say, having taught in the Fort Worth ISD, and knowing what I know about textbook adoptions, hiring practices, general disregard for parents, wasted class time, and the like, I want to do as little with the public school as I can. I harbor no hard feelings for paying taxes for schools. I advocate education in any way that someone can get to it. And I am proud to contribute to that. Thank you for your comments!

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A.B.

answers from Dallas on

Public. We pay enough in property taxes here in Texas... we are paying for the schools! I know here in Denton, the public schools are great. EVERY school, public or private, has issues! There are always strict teachers, a bad administrator, or whatever... there is no "perfect school". However, when you see schools getting exemplary ratings, after growing up in a place where if 60% of the kids passed a standardized exam, that was considered "great"!, well, I see no reason for the complaints about public schools in this area! Go public and stay involved.

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N.W.

answers from Dallas on

My kids are in public school and it is good for my typical daughter. Private school would be so much better for my special needs son though. Taxes are high and so are tuitions for private schools so it is a difficult situation.

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C.M.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter is still in preschool, but when she begins elementary then we will send her to private. I went to a private school until the middles of my 9th grade year and loved it. The second half of my 9th grade year at public school I learned about sex and drugs. It was a super rude awakening. Luckily, with my good upbringing, those kids were not my regular friends and I still hung out with girls that were similar in personality to me. Plus, I had the benefit of religious education before we went to a public school.

My husband went to public and didn't do any homework his entire high school career and passed. He also wasn't required to take a certain amount of classes, so he couldn't have attended a 4 yr college right out of high school.

I have several reasons for disliking public schools, but my main reason for wanting to send my kids is because it was a great experience for me. That being said, I have vowed to never send my kids to a school just because it is private. To pay the extra money for a private school it has to be everything that I am looking for and much better than the public school that we are zoned for. Now if we lived in Southlake, Colleyville or Grapevine I would send them to public.

Not a big homeschooling fan, but that is just me.

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L.F.

answers from Dallas on

Dear B.:

My daughter has been in public school except for one year of a private Catholic school. I was very happy with her grade school, but was concerned about the middle school and high school she would be going to, (we lived in Dallas at the time), so we switched to the private school for the fifth grade, for one year. It was awful!! It was a poor fit for my daughter. The school was very small, with a very strong athletic program and next to no music. My daughter has no interest in sports and lives for music. I also found it was extremely clique-ish, with a lot of "mean girl" type things happening.

At the end of that year we knew something had to be done, so we ended up moving to Allen. The public schools here are excellent. This move turned out to be the best thing we could have done. My daughter is a straight A student and LOVES school. The schools are large here, but my daughter does not get lost in the crowd. She loves the music program and the huge range of classes.

The bottom line for what type of school is right for your child is knowing your child's personality and learning style. What is right for one kid is the worst choice for another. Check out the website Greatschools.com for different school ratings and, more importantly, ratings by parents.

As for home schooling, with the caveat that I have never tried it myself, I have been around home schooled kids through Girl Scouts and dance classes. An alarming number of them I found to be extremely immature and unable to deal with their peers.

L. F., mom of a 14-year-old daughter

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D.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

My son goes to the public elementary school. It is rated fairly high and he likes it. He's in first grade.
I am a huge believer in a school being what you make it. Unless the public school is in a very depressed area and is lacking basic resources, I feel a child can get a good education at a public school. It takes the teachers, the parents and the child working together for success.
My niece was sent to a local, private, pricey Christian school and her last 2 years (7th and 8th) were a nightmare because of "mean girls"! She hated it. Bullying can happen anywhere! She now attends our public high school and loves it compared to her Christian school.

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N.M.

answers from Dallas on

My son, who's in kindergarten, is currently at a charter school. We went that route because he has a summer birthday and I wasn't sure he was emotionally mature enough for kindergarten, and the charter school has very low teacher/student ratios and much more parent involvement (I've been able to get to know his teacher and fellow students very well). We like his school a lot and he's done very, well. I've been especially impressed with the amount of time his teacher spends customizing lessons for him, as he's reading on a 5th grade level and needed more of a challenge than the kinder curriculum provides.

All that said, next year he'll be in our local public school because we have a very good district (it's why we moved here) and he'll be in the Suzuki Strings program.

I grew up in a small town where private schools weren't even an option, so to be honest, it never occurred to me to send my kids to one. However, if I lived in an area with poorly performing schools, I might change my mind.

I'm not a big fan of home schooling, especially in Texas, where there are very few regulations to make sure kids stay on pace. I'm sure there are a ton of people who would disagree with that position, but I've run across too many homeschooling parents who didn't even go to college themselves. I have a BA in English, as well as a masters degree, but I don't think I'm qualified to teach my kids every subject they need to know, so I know there's no way the average high school graduate is qualified.

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L.C.

answers from Dayton on

Wow, good question.

I have five kids, three of them in school. One is getting ready to graduate from public school. One is going into 4th grade in a public school. One is going into the 11th grade and we have decided to homeschool him. We are considering homeschooling the 4th grader.

We went the public school route because we can't afford private school tuition. Private school can offer a great education. I was in private, Christian school until I was a junior. If you have a child with a learning disability or a child that is gifted/talented, many private schools don't offer services to meet the child's need, so that can be a deterrent.

We decided to homeschool our son because he does have a learning disability and his needs weren't being met in the public school. With his current skill set he will not be able to attend college even though he has an above average IQ. It has been disappointing to see him not getting the tools to help him learn independently and we are wanting him to be able to focus on how he learns and being able to learn without someone to intervene.

We are considering homeschooling our 4th grader, because as a military family we move alot and each state has different criteria for passing. It is traumatic to move to another state and find out you have to be held back, when in the old state you were at the top of your class. Homeschooling her will allow her to learn at her pace (which, for homeschoolers, is often faster than public school because one student is being taught instead of trying to teach 25) without being constantly compared and graded in relation to OTHER students as opposed to her mastering skills and doing her best.

If I had it to do over again, I would probably homeschool the one graduating, too. :)

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G.W.

answers from Dallas on

the short answer is, I think it all depends on your school. I would prefer my kids be in Private school, but the ones we can afford don't give a quality education. Some public schools do a better job than some private schools. We also want religious education for our children, so that would also affect our decision. My personality, I don't think i could homeschool.

I don't think there's any one right answer; I just think it depends on the individual situation.

Me personally, we had our kids in private school but now we have them in public. We aren't completely happy with that either, but it's the best of the solutions we have.

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K.B.

answers from Dallas on

For many people, there is no other option but public school, because of the cost. I am not sure how old your child/children are, but this is a question you need to ask yourself before you move into an area. Most concerned parents that cannot afford high priced private school or don't want to home school, choose where they live based on the public school available to them. Both of my children are in public school and we chose to live in an area that we knew good things about the schools. I know of many people that home school and that is a very difficult thing to do, unless you have the desire and temperament to handle it. I for one, would not want to have the responsibility to fully educate my children. At ages 15 and 11, they are already so far ahead of me that I can hardly help them with their homework. It takes a great deal of discipline to be your kid's full time teacher.

I have several friends that could have afforded the most expensive private schools, but chose public school because they felt that was a more true to life experience. They wanted their children to be able to succeed in a multi-cultural, diverse environment that would be similar to the "real world." I also have friends whose children have gone only to private school or some of both. Obviously there is no "right" answer. All are viable options for educating kids and you have to decide what is right for you and your children. Do they have special needs or talents that would only be met in a certain environment? My kids are both academically gifted and we chose a public school that offers full time curriculum for gifted children. Regardless of what you chose, you are your child's number one teacher/advocate and you need to be actively involved in their education.

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S.K.

answers from Dallas on

I think that it REALLY depends on the public school district in which you live. I can tell you that if it happens to be the H-E-B ISD, I wouldn't even consider a private school. If not, then, again, you have to decide what learning environment is best for your child. I can't comment on private school, as my experience with it is minimal. As for homeschooling, I don't personally agree with that venue, especially considering the amazing opportunities my daughters have within H-E-B. They'll both graduate at least bilingual (maybe trilingual) with many college credits. If you'd like information on the H-E-B ISD, please don't hesitate to contact me. My e-mail address is [email protected]____.com. I wish you the best of luck in your decision.

S.

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R.J.

answers from Seattle on

We did:

- Montessori Preschool
- Public K
- & Are now in our 3rd year of homeschool

We started homeschooling for academic reasons (in our -very good- district his preschool education wouldn't be met/surpassed until the 3rd grade! Oy. Mind blowing that the academics that 4 year olds were doing with ease were considered 3rd grade material. Mind blowingly sad. Education in one of the most important things / 2nd highest priority in our family (1st being health/ happiness/ well being)... so we pulled him from public school. We had the choice between 2 phenom private schools (at 15k a year) or homeschool. We decided to budget 1/3 of what private school costs and homeschool. Why we homeschool (in no particular order):

- Academics

- Love of learning

- Future goals (homeschoolers have a major leg up in their educational or vocational careers... whether he wants the ivy league or mechanics or sports or/ or/ or/... he can get a better advantage to do so by schooling at home)

- Health (he can actually SLEEP HIMSELF OUT during a growth spurt, which is so huge -I've yet to meet an elementary school kid who can sleep 12-15 hours a day when they need to unless they're HS'd. Not to mention eat several small healthy meals a day -as nutritionists recommend. As well as be physically active all day -as I personally believe children in particular, but people in general are designed to be. He also actually gets to rest and recover when he's sick for as little or as long as he needs... instead of us trying to meet/adhere to an absence policy).

- Social Aspects. He has sooooo many friends, teachers, & mentors in his life that we would lose if we away-schooled. His friends also run the age gamut. In his "peer group" he has a 3 year grouping on each side. So 4-11 year olds, instead of just 7/8 year olds or 2nd graders. He has teens who act as big bros/ big sisters & teachers, and adults who act as mentors. His life is filled with such a wealth of amazing people. He already had a strong foundation in this from his montessori school (modeling the behaviors of older kids, and being the model for younger kids)... but it's really been cemented in HS'ing.

- Activities. We can and do provide about a gazillion times more activities than he would be able to do since we HS. From organized things (like having 3 sports per season being relaxing instead of crazymaking... gymnastics and swimming are year round, and then we add a seasonal thing... soccer in the fall, snowboarding in the winter... baseball in the spring.. and sailing in the summer), to daily music and art, to week long drama/acting/film camps/classes, to staying up until midnight to at the observatory, to weekly -or even multiple times per week- field trips, to seminars like Kids in Medicine or Kids in Opera. Pure and simple we have the TIME to be able to do all of these things because we don't away school. On average, kiddo spends 1-4 hours a day away in an activity (summer and winter are a bit different as both sailing and snowboarding are all day affairs... but we just bring our books with us). Vs 8 hours away at school + homework + an activity. (btdt... and note that "an activity" is singular... and often expensive).

- Money. All of the above costs us apx $150 a month. Which is peanuts. We DO get a lot of homeschool discounts, as well as mid day/ mid week discounts. We also budget about $100 a month for curriculum resources and materials. Which totals out to only about 3k per year. Remember how I said we budget 5k per year?

- Travel (where the other 2k goes). We travel as much as possible. And can... since we're not tied to school bells and breaks. We can go spend a month in Argentina, or kiddo can come along with me on a quarter abroad while I'm in school in Italy, or we can go on a season long archeological dig, or we can head back east to go to Colonial Willamsburg while we're studying colonization (or civil war battlefields for the civil war, or the oregon trail, or, or, or... just fill in a historical event and a place), or go watch a shuttle launch, or, or, or.

- Real life intervenes. Like a lot of people things have been really tight this year. But being broke didn't hijack kiddo's education (aka we didn't have to pull him from private school because we didn't have the money)... we just put off a couple trips, and toned down some of the "extras".

- Family time. I mentioned before that we have a LOT of time, since we HS. One day a week (mondays actually) he has a "nana & papa" day that he spends with his grandparents. I'm with him 2/3s to 3/4s to 12/12s of every other day.

The list just keeps going. We started HS'ing for academic reasons... but we've found far far too many other reasons :) that have turned out to be just as valuable.

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L.C.

answers from Washington DC on

My children are in public school. You can get a decent education out of any public school in the nation providing you are an involved parent and you motivate your student.
here are bad apples in every environment, so don't think that private schools have better kids. Trust me on that one!
The other thing you need to remember is that public schools require their teachers to have or be working on their Master's degree. Private schools do not. Public schools require teachers to continue their eductions. Private schools do not. The list goes on...
You are paying taxes. Your taxes pay for you public schools.
If you have children with special needs of any kind, the public schools are much better equipped to meet their needs.
I teach at a private school. I would never send my children to the school where I teach because they don't have the music program (or a lot of academic choices) that the public school has.
YMMV
LBC

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M.P.

answers from Portland on

My daughter is grown but I looked into putting her in private school and decided upon public school. I adopted her as a special needs child. I found that private schools (I looked at 3) were not flexible enough to meet her needs. One required that she not eat Top Ramen or fast foods even at home. The other, a Catholic school, required that she wear a uniform. She visited that school for a day and felt out of place. My sense was that because the school was organized for Catholic families in a middle income neighborhood their life style focus was much different than what she was used to having.

It turned out that public school was the right choice. There were a variety of different lifestyles. The school had a counseling program to help girls such as mine learn ways to develop friendships and get along in school. Both of the private schools seemed to have a mostly homogenized group of students and were without and special programs for the "misfit."

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L.I.

answers from Dallas on

We did our homework and moved into a very good school district. Unfortunately, we didn't do enough homework, because about 2/3 of the school district are awesome and a 1/3 is borderline scary. Guess what - we moved into a house that feeds into the borderline scary schools. So, in other words do A LOT of research! So then we were faced with do we send her to public anyway or send her to private. We are a Catholic family, so then answer was sort of natural to us - we are sending her to Catholic School. She has gone to Catholic preschool the last 2 years and loved it and is starting Catholic school rather than public school this year and we are happy with are decision. We are happy she will have a faith based learning experience. She had a heart transplant at age 2 and we always want her to know God is with her. I also don't really like the direction the public schools have taken - my teacher friends have told me everything is based on teaching for the Taks tests. I want my child to have a real learning experience, that is why I think private is best. I also think private schools keep the parents involved more than public schools, which I welcome and look forward to - I think parents are a vital part of a child's education.

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L.M.

answers from Dallas on

My children attend Christian private school. It's not easy to afford this but it's worth it. For me, I would never consider public schools and that has absolutely nothing to do with being "superior". It has everything to with that I believe it's wrong to take God out of education. So, not only are my children taught everything from a Godly viewpoint but they are receiving a superior education from the local public offering. And, many believe our local public to be strong. Let me put it simply, my private school kindergarten is on par with the public 2nd grade. It's your choice that only you and your husband can make but don't just look at the facilies of a school and assume it's good. Look at what is actually being taught. Up until now, the Wright Brothers weren't being taught in TX social studies because there wasn't room in the books because so many other special interest demands were being made. It's not just about the teacher, its about the substance. I hope you can peace with whatever decicion you make.

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M.R.

answers from Columbus on

We picked our home because of the school district, and found a place that was not growing, a small district with no extra area to build new houses and and high property taxes that support terrific schools. When schools are not building new buildings, they have more to spend per pupil, and can support high salery for staff to retain good teachers, which bennefits all children who live there.

The reason we chose a district like this specifically, is that we have special needs children, and the last staff that is hired in growth districts is ancellary staff for these children, and they are typically streched thin while districts grow and cover too many children at too many schools; static growth is better for special needs children.

Public has another option also, after a few years in the great district, our special needs children were better off in a charter school for kids with ASD, and have been lucky enough to get in as there is a long waiting list. We have one typical child who is thriving in the very good public school. The charter is one of a kind, but I hope that the concept spreads. Half the children are peers (who get a terrific private school type education) and half the children have ASD.

Charters are public schools, and we are fortunate to have this option. Surprisingly, all the children do substantially better on standard tests than children in more traditional and ofthen segregated learning situations. The children who bennefit the most at the charter are the peers. This trend is true for all children, when they have the opportunity to be educated with children who have disablities, they have proportionately higher standard scores than children who are simularly educated in settings with only typical peers.

We found that private options for kids with disablities were very, very expensive, and do not offer diversity (typical peers.) Competitive traditional private schools do not offer accomodations for even very intellegent children with learning differences.

M.

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D.W.

answers from Indianapolis on

My husband spent his entire upbringing in private, Christian Schools. I grew-up almost entirely in Public schools (one of the nation's best school systems outside Washington, D.C.)

We have decided to do public with our kids. We investigated the schools well before buying our house, but at the end of the day, we realized it's out job as parents to make sure they're doing well and are on track with where they're supposed to be. We are fortunate, though, to have some of the state's best schools in our local area.

The issue, though, is that my in-laws are putting money towards putting my brother-in-law's kids through Christian schools. It raises the issue of inequity as our kids will not be the benefactors of the generosity, and I hope it's not a blatant slap in the face for our decision not to follow the same route.

A.A.

answers from Enid on

Homeschooled! We have an active homeschool group that offers group learning activities (p.e., choir, photography, art, etc...) Our public schools Kindergarten program was anything but developmentally appropriate (I have never seen so much pencil, paper, ditto sheet, nose to the desk grind for little ones) I wanted to see more floor time, hands on learning centers, music playing, and when I didn't see that...I chose homeschooling!
[email protected]____.com

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M.C.

answers from Detroit on

My kids go to public schools. The reason we chose the public school system is because in the area we live in, our public school district has a high ranking and the schools are great. A majority of our high school graduates go on to college and grad school. While I was growing up, I lived in the city, and I attended a private school because the inner city schools were horrible.

M.

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N.S.

answers from Chicago on

We do an online homeschool, which for us is the best of both worlds. She is enrolled in the online school so we have certified teachers monitoring her education and helping to make sure she's making the state requirements and later on they will chart a course for college prep. She will also receive a diploma from her online school instead of having to get a GED. We have the benefit of homeschool and learning on our schedule and at her pace. We also help create what she wants to learn. As a member of a homeschool group plus other activities such as gymnastics, soccer and swimming she has more friends now than she ever did at public school. Plus they are all friends that we approve of (she want to invite 23 kids to her birthday party...YIKES!)

It does take a lot of my time to homeschool and it only works if the parent is willing and able to teach. I have found that every school is different, and every teacher within a school is different, every child is different and every parent is different so I don't see how giving a blanket statement like "public schools are bad" or "homeschooling is bad" ever works.

Good luck with your decision!

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K.H.

answers from Naples on

Mine will go to public. I am a public school teacher and I actually think our public schools are way better than the local private schools. It really depends on the schools in your area. There are good and bad teachers in every setting and good and bad students too.

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M.A.

answers from Dallas on

We live in the Dallas ISD and chose the Magnet School route. Private schools were beyond our budget. All of my children went to the Montessori Magnet from K-8 and to the Arts Magnet for High School. Part of what makes the magnet schools better than others is that it is a choice, not a default, made by the parents (or a highly motivated child). Therefore you have a much higher percentage of involved parents. This worked well for us.

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T.T.

answers from Dallas on

I know this is a very late response, but wanted to give my answer.

Right now we have both our boys (will be in K & 3rd next year) in private school. I NEVER considered private school until we had sent my older son to this particular school for their kinder-readiness program. They were so good with our son and he learned so much we just couldn't bear to put him in public. He does has some issues with ADD/ADHD and sensory problems, among other things, so it was a difficult decision for us. The private school has done so much for him, we just couldn't bear to take him out. He is performing above his tested potental and we don't have to worry so much about him being bullied. We LOVE our school and have been blessed to find a private school with small classes, good cirriculum and teachers but priced well below other private schools.

That being said, our plan for our younger son is different. We are planning on sending him to public school starting with 1st grade. I forgot to mention before that one of the reasons we chose private was because of the public district we are in. We are planning on moving to a better district and hope to send our younger son to public while continuing our older at private. This is mainly for monetary reasons. Sending two kids to private (even a less expensive one) can get VERY expensive!

I hope this all makes sense!

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K.S.

answers from Dallas on

My children will be home schooled as they reac school age. I want to be able to control what my children are exposed to. My oldest does not learn the way the school system teaches and I am afraid that he will be "lost" in the system, where if I teach him I can adapt it to his style of learning. Plus I want my children to have a Christian based education but can not afford private christian school. Also I feel very strongly that I want to influence my children, not peers that may not do the right thing or have parents that let a 5 yo watch a pg-13 movie.

Also there are scholarships out there for homeschooled kids. Some schools give $1,000 for every year homeschooled. Check out the center for home education in Watauga. They have a first time homeschooling seminar each month that gives all the info for homeschooling. their web site is http://centerforhomeeducation.com/

C.M.

answers from Dallas on

Homeschooling and loving it!

I wanted my kids to learn the Word of God everyday and be influenced by His truths and not the world's view.

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J.F.

answers from Philadelphia on

Public school. I don't think there is a better option it depends on the teacher you get and you have to be on top of what is going on no matter where your child attends school.

J.S.

answers from Chicago on

Public. The public schools in our area are highly rated and spend more per student than the surrounding school districts.

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R.R.

answers from Dallas on

I work in a private school in FW, so I am a bit biased. My son attends the school I work at. FW has many very fine private schools. The public school system here is quite challenged, having to cover laguage barriers and kids all along the learning spectrum. A private school narrows down that focus, making it easier to give a higher quality education. My son is about a year ahead of his public school peers. When his friends from the neighborhood come in our home, I can really see it.

My suggestion to you is to call the private schools admission offices and make appointments to come and learn about them. October and November are when the schools around here have their big open houses, but all of them are happy to meet with you privately also.

As far as the public system here, you can look up the individual schools on the internet and see their ranking on the TEA system.

Good luck in finding the perfect fit for your family! pm me if you are interested in information and/or advice about the schools in fort worth.

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H.F.

answers from Dallas on

We homeschool. We have our crazy days, but we love having the children home. We love that we are in charge of what they learn and when they learn it. We did virtual public school for a couple years. It was good; it helped us to get started, but we pulled them shortly after Christmas. We found a curriculum that we believe will work well for us. Do lots of research on all the options before deciding. Find a curriculum that you like for homeschooling and research the private and public sector. Make sure that the school that you choose is going reinforce what you are teaching your child at home. Also, as one mom mentioned, be involved and engaged wherever they go.

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K.C.

answers from Cleveland on

We reside in Hunterdon Cty NJ. This is the second most expensive place to reside in the USA. We have great schools systems. Although our school budget was recently not approved and was cut a drastic amount. We have not felt the sting yet..probably next school year.
My children are walkers. Which means many mornings I drive my older son sometimes we bike in the morning. Every day my kindgartener and I bike to school. I really enjoy the fact that we are walkers around here their are not many school that offer that option.

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

I am in Plano. We chose this area because of the school system. It is a great system (you have a few bad apple schools in every system) overall.

We are not opposed to private school. There are times when Private can be better, especially for certain children.

We do pay higher taxes by choice to support the Plano schools. We feel like our daughter is getting a well rounded education, diversity among peers, excellent options for extra activities and college options.

Our daughter is very active, very social...... advanced high school orchestra group, cheer co captain, honors and AB courses.

The bottom line is what is best for your children. Every family is different and you just figure out what is best for yours.

Good luck

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H.O.

answers from Dallas on

My children go to public school and I am glad I made that choice. My son had focus issues and each teacher has helped in different ways. The schools counselor has chosen who both of my children got and have been very pleased. They are exposed to other children and know how to act and behave. Both my children recieve exemplery marks in school.

I did not choose Private because of cost alone. As much as I would like Christian teaching for my children the cost was astronomical.

I chose not to home school, because I think my children need to be exposed to daily life and not shut away. I have seen children that were home-schooled and they did not know how to act around other people. I am not saying that all children that are home-schooled are like this, but that I think it is harder to expose children to "life" if they are home-schooled.

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M.M.

answers from Jacksonville on

My oldest graduated from the public school system and my 2nd will too. A;though she attended a Christian school in VA for two years. The Christian school was ahead in Grammar and writing but not in the math and sciences. She needed a more challenging math curriculum, so the last move she went back into public.
I homeschool my 3rd and 6th grader and we chose that route after much angst. I wish I had done this for my oldest and I wish I had pulled these two out before they ever hit the public school system.

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M.L.

answers from Dallas on

My daughter is in a good private Catholic school in Dallas. My main objection to public school is that its been high-jacked by the lawyers and the left such that the school officials and teachers themselves no longer seem to have the ability to make decisions at their level. I believe you have to empower your principals and teachers, not limit them at every turn. Also... my daughter is a high achiever and she works incredibly hard at her school work. I don't want her being made fun of for being a straight A student. Its something to work toward and be proud of, not belittled for. I also love that she gets her religious education as part of the school day. Not needing to take CCD classes on the weekends is very freeing. And... she can play any sport she signs up for... no "try-outs". This is great because I'm not sure she would have found what she's good at and enjoys the most if she didn't get to sample the sports. She's turned into a very physically active girl and is keeping her weight and health in check. We couldn't be happier than at St. Thomas Aquinas.

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K.W.

answers from Dallas on

I know you have received quite a few answers to your question, but that just shows that this is a very individual choice. You have to take into consideration your child(ren)'s needs as well as your goals. We have three children, ages 14, 9, and 7. While I would love to give you a "pat" answer, there is not one. My 14 yo son is in the public high school and while he loves the atheletics, he wants to do so much more academically rather than be held to the class's speed. He is in pre-AP classes and has been relatively happy until this year. My 9 yo daughter is homeschooled but through a federally funded online charter school. She is meeting all the same academic milestones that any other 3rd grader has but at her pace without the irratation of having to be bored. She also does better in an atmosphere where if she needs to stop because of overload, she can with no problem. We just pick it up again when she has settled. My youngest is have difficulty with reading, but is excelling at math. The public school is unable (unwilling) to adjust for his needs. We are in one of the best school districts in the area (Keller ISD), but exemplary rating do not mean good teaching. I believe that they mean that the school teaches "to the test" well. We are looking into pulling him out and homeschooling him.
Bottom line, you just have to decide what works for you, your temperment, and your child. That's what parenting is all about, isn't it?

D.K.

answers from Sioux City on

I homeschool all of mine. We tried private and public. I like that I get to choose the curriculum and move at the pace that best meets the child. The children I have home-schooled from the start have taken to learning much easier than the ones that had a start in the public or private. I love the time with them and watching them grow. Over all it has turned out to be the best fit for us.

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