It was only a matter of time before I tackled this touchy subject. I know there are people who have strong feelings on the matter, but please feel free to comment and share your opinions.
Why this is such a controversial issue, though, is beyond me. I guess it's because people have strong feelings about it. I personally feel strongly that my children will fare just fine in the public schools. I think they will have valuable experiences by attending public school in which they will learn important life lessons--such as learning to get along with many different personalities, realizing that it is not all about them, but that they are one of many, and even certain types of failures that come in a public school setting that will make them stronger.
There are also many good reasons to homeschool a child. Many parents don't want their children exposed to certain "gentile" beliefs and attitudes that abound so plentifully in the public schools. They don't want their children exposed to inappropriate ideas or actions nor do they want them to learn that something is acceptable when it really isn't. Some parents homeschool their children in an effort to challenge them more and keep them motivated to learn. Some simply want to spend more time together. Some homeschool because the public school programs weren't doing enough for their child--perhaps that child has special needs that weren't being met. Whatever the reason, the beautiful thing is that parents are entitled to have their children learn whichever way best suits them.
The only problem I have ever seen with homeschool is when the homeschooled pupil is behind his or her public school peers for certain grade level benchmarks. That is when clearly homeschooling isn't working either.
I don't necessarily believe that "it takes a village" and that's the reason I feel public schools are best for my children, but I do know from life experience that there are many topics I know nothing about that another teacher perhaps does and can generate interest for my child. For example, if a certain 3rd grade teacher my older brothers had hadn't been so fascinated with Germany, my brothers may not have ever gotten so interested in the country, culture and language themselves. Both of them eventually studied the language to fluency, spent time in Germany, and even got degrees in German, which probably wouldn't have happened had that teacher not generated the interest. Since neither of my parents speak German nor had visited the country then, there was no way for my parents to generate that interest. How different my brothers' lives would have been had my mom chosen to homeschool them instead of putting them in the public school.
It's merely a matter of preference and choice. I choose not to homeschool. I'm not saying there won't come a day, however, when homeschooling might become the better option. But I am going to do my best to contribute my time and effort into making the public schools better places first before falling back on homeschooling.
What do you think of homeschooling?