Public School or Private School or Homeschooling

Updated on October 14, 2013
S.S. asks from Seattle, WA
24 answers

I had the opportunity of putting my child in a private school since last year and well so far I see its not that different from public schools, except that teachers are under paid and don't like being there. This is just MY OPINION and What I saw. I am not saying one is better than the other, but I figured if I am paying for it, the education will be better. The opportunites and one on one time, but no. The classrooms are just as overcrowded and the teacher's seem exhausted.
I am considering home schooling next year because its cost way too much for private school and its not what it use to be 10 yrs ago.

Just opinions no bickering please.

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for your feedback. Cost is a major factor and I am looking at public school as well as doing a curriculum afterschool with them at home. All Schools are not the same and I do feel like the public school In our area has more funding then our private school and has more to offer at no cost.

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answers from Lakeland on

I choose to homeschool this year. My daughter went to private school for K and first, her first year was great and the second year not so good. She is more advanced then the rest of the class and they wouldn't move her up. Learning from home I can let her advance (or not) at her pace.

I would not send her to public school for many other personal reasons. It has been a bit of a transition but worth it, we have many other home schooling families around to meet with so socialization is not a problem.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on
Meet the family (of homeschoolers) who sent 6 kids to college at age 12.
Look up this family and other articles.

I wish I could homeschool. DH is opposed to the idea. My 9-yr-old daughter notes that her 9-yr-old friend who has been homeschooled from day 1 is more advanced in academics (knows more) than she does AND has a very busy social life.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

There is no way I'd even consider home schooling unless it was a last ditch effort and no other options. I just don't have the patience to have the kids around all day. I like quiet time to do my stuff and I also like being able to make doc appointments, go shopping, do sewing, read a book, clean, do laundry, etc...without a bunch of kids running behind me making as many messes as they can.

I also don't think private school is all "that". They usually don't go all the way through high school so the kids all end up in the same school, no matter how advanced they may or may not be they are in the same classes as any other kid so why spend all that money to get them educated and advanced. They still have to eventually be in the same classes as all the kids who didn't get special school.

So we do public schools. They are so much more regulated now with all the nation wide testing. If the kids don't pass the tests for their grade they stay back. If they pass those tests they pass and advance.

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answers from Houston on

As a seasoned educator I tell you home schooling, private, and last of all public schooling is the order that I would choose. I also disagree with the mom who says private school teachers are more bitter. My colleagues who teach in private schools opted for less pay because of fewer discipline
issues, less bureaucracy and more involved parents.

Student bullying, peer pressure, and overt sexual pressure is more than most parents know. I thank God my son is out. When I have grand kids, I hope to live near enough to drop in, substitute, or even work an hourly position in order to be there daily in their schools.

9 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i was in exactly your situation. i took my son out of public middle school where he was getting lost in a sea of mediocrity, and put him in a small private school where i was confident he'd get more individual attention. he did, but from grossly under-qualified teachers and a ludicrously dumbed-down curriculum.
i started homeschooling in despair, figuring i couldn't do any worse, and to my surprise it was way, way better. so much better that i pulled my younger out of elementary and started homeschooling him too. best decision i ever made. my only regret is that i didn't do it sooner.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I've been involved with education my whole adult life, know many current and ex-teachers and homeschoolers.

There are wonderful examples of schools and terrible ones. There are some very poorly-educated parents who are not good homeschoolers, and others who are the best thing that could happen to a child. Even within a school, there are inspired teachers and bored or stressed teachers.

The short answer: Always be aware of the trade-offs.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Homeschooling is a good alternative if you're the type of family that is willing to put the work into it. Your child can get a GREAT education taylored to his/her needs and can learn at his/her pace. Following your child's interests and learning style is a great advantage. It does depend on your state laws and how much time and patience you have to put into it.

We homeschool and have been for years. My daughter loves it and has learned so much. We are members of several homeschooling groups so she has plenty of social opportunities.

It's not without its trials and tribulations. There are days that we both are tearing our hair out over it! For the most part is has enriched ALL of our lives and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Really, it's a decision only YOU can make. Research it thoroughly, look up your laws, contact HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense) if you have questions and look around your area for support. I do have to say it sort of takes a village to homeshool--I would never be able to do it without the support of my homeschooling friends.

Good luck with your decision!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

IMHO private schools are way too expensive and do not necessarily bring out the best in the child. Homeschooling is of course the best possible option however it requires tremendous amount of discipline and commitment from both the parent and the child.

With help from online sites like IXL, Khan Academy and iPad apps like the 1 Minute Math Gym Series (, it couldn't be any easier to homeschool our children and give them the values and best customized education.

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answers from New London on

I 100 percent agree with B. Our personal choice is we home school because we enjoy it and it works. My kids interact with other kids and I see major improvement in my sons confidence in learning. If public school works..awesome. If private school works...awesome

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

Mine are 19 and 16, and both attended private school - one Catholic school and one very exclusive non-denominational school.

We started homeschooling with younger son in 3rd grade, and older son in 10th grade.

If I had it to do all over again I would homeschool both sons from day one (and they have quite different learning styles and personalities). I frequently lament all the tuition dollars that we blew through for mediocre experiences, at best.

The one exception, imho, is if you are getting lots of good services and support from public school for special needs (or sports/drama/band etc.). But as I understand it some districts are great with services and others not so much. Not having ever been in public school with my own kids, though - I cannot form a solid opinion.

Good luck -hope you find what works best for your family!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I liked our public school k - 8th but I love my daughter's public high school. There are so many great clubs for the kids to join. The honors and AP classes are great and our district has a $50,000 post prom party that nearly every Junior and Senior attend. My daughter is actively involved in the theatre program and the quality of the productions are superb! Far superior to the private school IMO.

In general, if you live in a good SD, the public school is going to have a lot more money to spend than the private school.

I guess like a lot of things though you get out of it what you put into it.

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answers from Springfield on

I don't think it's a simple as public vs private. And I really don't know much about Home Schooling.

I went to private schools, because my family is Catholic and wanted me to go to a Catholic School. The public schools in our area were fine. They definitely offered opportunities that I didn't have. There were more courses offered, and one could advance much faster if there was a subject they were good at. At my school everyone in the same grade took class together. We didn't have advanced anything.

My kids attend the local public school. We are fortunate to live in a very good school district, and the nearest Catholic school is not very close. I want my kids to go to school with the neighbors.

It's not a simple question. You have to make a decision based on the schools in your area and what you are looking for.

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answers from Chicago on

Try homeschooling while your child is young.

We live in a very good district but public school was still not a good experience for my son. In first grade he was learning words that no first grader should know about. The school lost his lunch twice and didn't even know he had no lunch while sitting at the lunch table. They didn't let him go to the rest room three times when he asked because they didn't think he really needed to go, which resulted in him urinating in his pants each time. My son is as quiet as a mouse and very polite, he was not a troublemaker at all, so I was beyond mad about him not being allowed to use the restroom.

We ended up going the private school route and he is now in 4th grade and loves school. Majority of his teachers has master degrees, and they are all wonderful. I have spoke to several of them about why private instead of public. All of them said they know they are underpaid and overworked. Their reasoning for private: love the smaller class room sizes, theres to much pc in public schools, kids are not disciplined enough by the parents or the schools, this is just a short list of why they chose private school teaching.

My girls asked to try a homeschool coop this year (1st & 3rd). The homeschool coop has class on mondays. The coop provides me with a rigorous curriculum to do with the girls for the rest of the week. Fridays are extracurricular days. On fridays my girls take sewing, cooking, Africa Animal adventures, American Girl reading, clay art. At the park district they are in dance and gymnastics. All the teachers at the coop have masters to doctorate degrees.

We are so busy with learning but also have fun socializing. We will take it year by year.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

Public school varies. We have many friends for whom it has been great. It was not great for us. I could write a book as to why, but I won't. Suffice it to say, when my daughter's teacher answered my husband's concerns about our daughter's struggles in math with, "After all, she is a girl..." we decided we were done.

Four years later, I can say that home school has been the right answer for my family. My kids can soar in the areas in which they excel and get all the one-on-one help they need in areas in which they need extra help. If one approach isn't working, we are free to try whatever we need to try until we find something that works. One of my children is developing into a serious musician, and he gets all the practice and rehearsal time he needs. My kids have more freedom than most young kids to follow their interests wherever they may lead. My daughter has become interested in sewing, and is learning with her best friend and her friend's mom. Both my kids are interested in electronics. Last weekend they carved jack-o-lanterns and wired them with LEDs. Our schedule is completely under our control. We study when and where we want to. School at my house starts at 9, often with the gang still in their pj's, eating breakfast, drinking tea, and doing reading/writing work at the table. Sometimes school extends into the evening. Sometimes it happens on Saturday. Sometimes it happens in a museum. Sometimes it happens at a coffee shop. We are also able to take school on travel. Road school adventures have been fantastic! Studying the American Revolution? Head out to Williamsburg. Lewis and Clark? Drive their route and camp along the way. Marine science? Head for an ocean.

That's not to say it's all sunshine and roses. Home school is WORK. As a parent/educator, you will need to choose and purchase your curriculum (or build your own) and decide what your style is going to be. You will also need to be adaptable enough to change what you're doing if your style doesn't work for your kid. Your child will be with you ALL the time. You will need to be directly paying attention to your child much more than you are now used to. Your housekeeping will likely suffer. My house looks like a book-and-lego bomb hit it most of the time. Your spouse will need to step up and get involved, or take over some of your responsibilities so that you can devote your time to school. Preparation, scheduling, monitoring, instructing, checking work, and testing (or whatever you do to evaluate progress and assess what needs reinforcement) will be all about you. You will also need to understand your state's laws regarding home school, and fulfill your legal obligations. Since your kid is at home, you will need to think through lunch. Your kitchen is now the school cafeteria.

If you'd like to ask questions or hear more about what our homeschooling experience has been like, please PM me.

Added: S., I just noticed your location. If you are actually in Seattle, you may have the option of enrolling in a home school/public school partnership. We used to live in Vancouver, and our district had it. Many in districts in Washington do. In our district, my kids could enroll in classes much in the way one enrolls in college courses, and we took our classes at a central location 2 days a week with other home schooled kids. We did science, math, book club, music, and swimming at the school. I taught more math, language arts, art, and social studies at home. We really did have the best of possible worlds there. I met with a partner teacher once a month (which is how the state makes sure that you are covering the stuff in the state curriculum). I kept records of what we had been doing. There were textbooks and other resources available for those who needed them, and as much or as little support as I felt was necessary.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

I'm sure there are lousy public, private and home schooling situations just like there are also wonderful public, private and home schooling situations.
What do you want, what are you able to provide, what's available in your area (or can you move to a better area) and what do your kids need?
Define some goals and work toward them.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

It is obvious that you are not in the right Private school. Homeschooling is a good way to go, just be prepared for all the changes it will cause. There are many groups out there for support. Take the time to research them that are in your area and ask them for ideas on curriculum and daily schedule. If I had kids it would either be homeschool or private. Fellowship Academy in Kenndale is a great school and the teachers love to be there...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

My younger daughter is in private school and my older daughter went to public school. Both in the state of Nevada.

The school are not wonderful here, however, we live in a good area of the school district.

As I am sure you are aware, it depends on the private school and then the teacher. Not all private schools are bad. This is our daughter's third year in priv school and so far everything has been good. If I had to rank the years so far, I would say first grade was not the best. Her grades were not wonderful and I didn't care for the teacher. Not her personality, but I just didn't feel she captured my daughters attention. There were a few complaints from our daughter about not understanding and the lines of communication, but overall, she thought her teacher was pretty cool.

This year, we have recently had our P/T conference and felt the teacher gave some good suggestions and our daughter seems to be keeping up pretty well. So far, the teacher has answered all of our questions and we have an open line of communication via email.

So overall, we don't have any complaints. As for first grade, it could have just been a maturity level for our daughter and lack of experience for the teacher. She had been teaching for about 4 or 5 years.

As for homeschooling, I think that is a huge responsibility, beyond parenting. My belief is that kids or everyone for that matter learn from several different people. So our daughter learns from us, her school teachers, the priest, her coaches, her friends, television, and reading. There are just some things I could not teach or times that I cannot get the point across to my own child.

I am not an ice skater, but I will look things up online and show her (haha), she will tell me to stop because it is ridiculous. As well, last year I tried to assist her with reading. It seemed easy enough to me because I know how to read. The teacher tried too and so did the special reading teacher. It didn't work. We put her in Kumon and she can read. Whatever we were doing, it was not working. If I were homeschooling, I don't know what I would do when I hit that wall.

As for my older daughter who went to public school, she wishes she went to private school, however, she is smart and talented. She makes good money at what she does and excels when the opportunity comes about.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

If you have the patience to home school, and can teach your child/children better than the schools, then try it.
If it is not working out for whatever reason, then you can always enroll your child is "school" again.
I know many families, that did that.

I thought of home schooling once. But I am a SAHM and a part-time working SAHM and I am just too exhausted, doing that. LOL
But aside from that, we always just teach our kids lots of other things too, in ADDITION to school. My kids don't only learn, what they learn in school. As parents, we teach them lots of other things too.
So in a sense, that is home schooling too.

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answers from San Francisco on

I am very pro public school if the schools in your area are good. They are free, so you're not spending money unnecessarily. It's a great way for your kids to meet and make friends with other children in your neighborhood. You're paying taxes for the public schools anyway, so you might as well take advantage of them.

Otherwise, go private. I personally do not think homeschooling is the best option for most children. I think kids need the time apart from their parents and I think that many kids learn better from teachers (or any other adult) than they do from their own parents because they may tend to push back more or resist when their parent tries to teach. It's also a huge undertaking for the parents and one that will require a lot planning and confidence in your ability to teach them correctly. I don't mean to nitpick, but you made multiple grammatical and spelling errors in your post, so you may need to brush up on the curriculum yourself before you're ready to teach your child.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Our public school district is very good.
It's kind of like paying for private school--just with property taxes! Lol
My niece went to a pri$y private school and had a hellacious experience. She blossomed & thrived in public school.
I'm sure her parents thought the private school was going to be superior. It wasn't.
Are your public schools there that bad?

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answers from Washington DC on

Home schooling is a very big commitment and I think kids really need to learn how to deal with all the social stuff before they go out on their own. If you think about it, most people succeed in life not just on intellect but on how well they deal with people and social situations whether it's at work or personally.

If you think you can provide your kid with the social aspect elsewhere and you can commit to the rigorous educational schedule, then you can try homeschooling.

Success in public schools is frequently dependent on student motivation. Most schools have advanced placement options if that's applicable. You can also look into whether or not you can go to a nearby school of you don't like your neighborhood school

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answers from Miami on

What was wrong with the public school your child was in?

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answers from Detroit on

This will depend on the school. Our public schools are very good. The private schools? They cost a lot and offer less. They pay less to the teachers. They are crowded, and they don't offer a better education. Here, the public schools do a much better job.

I would chose public school with supplemental homeschooling.

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answers from Miami on

Not all private school are the same. I did not like the public in our area. First private was horrible but the second one (which was a montissorri) has worked great. She has been happy for years now. Sometimes the big fancy $$$private schools are not any better than the public. I'd try another private before giving up But I really feel smaller classrooms are better and have learned to aim for them.

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