While we wanted to make the right decision for us and we looked at all the options in our area we considered the public schools, private schools and even homeschooling. In the last post I walked through some of the benefits and hazards of each of those options and wanted to share with you which one we actually decided on.
My wife and I have been talking about this for a good amount of time. As we began looking at the options that were available to us we looked in our immediate area and the area we had been looking to purchase a new home.
What we Found. We found that the public school in our area is in the top districts in the state and would be a viable option for our kids. As we looked at the christian school in our area, they are doing well and while it would hold a significant financial sacrifice we could not make it work. The whole idea of homeschool is not a far reach for us as my wife has a degree in elementary education and is, simply put, an excellent teacher.
So which option did we choose?
We began talking through the issues that we would have to navigate and we decided that there are a few that we would rather wrestle with then others. While my wife spent some time in a christian school, public school (overseas) as well as homeschooling I was in christian school the whole time. We looked at our live experiences and then made a decision. We choose the public school in our area.
How exactly did we come to this conclusion? Well, we took into account the fact that my wife did her student teaching in this very school district to earn her degree and knew the teachers as well as the teaching. She has a solid handle on some of the issues that are presented in the public school district. We also looked at the fact that though I was not in the public school system I spent four years in the infantry of the Marines and not much will be new to me. While there are many good reasons to be cautions about the public school system I believe that my wife and I are being very deliberate in the way we are raising our children and that we will engage the bumps and holes as they come. Some we may try and avoid while others we will allow our kids to hit head on and teach through them.
As an Added Bonus
We are looking forward to the opportunity to engage the pubic school system for multiple reasons. Some being the level of education and the interaction with the increased amount of sports and other activities. More than this though we wanted to have more opportunities to interact with those in our community that do not know Jesus as the forgiver of their sins and leader of their life. This is important to us and we want to be in the world to provide opportunities to share our faith. When you are so busy with family and church activities sometimes it can be difficult to interact with those who need Christ the most.
This all being said, I will acknowledge that we have to be careful to not focus so much on those in the community that need Jesus and look past or take for granted the little ones you drive to and from school every day who are young and impressionable. My wife and I want to be sure that we can interact with the community but we are going to navigate this decision in a few simple ways that will help us spend time with those who need Jesus, and the little ones who eat at my dinner table.
Navigating with a GPS
We sometimes can wing it when going down a certain path. This is not difficult when we have taken that particular path numerous times but what about when you have never been there before? When you are heading down an uncharted path it changes everything when you have a GPS. In this case it is not mounted on the dash but the same principle is true. We can have a guideline based on wisdom and the guidance of others who have walked this path. Even though this is not without its changes along the way due to all the variables, it is easier to notice when you are off track when you had a plan to begin with. When you have no target or desired plan and direction it is impossible to determine when you have stepped off track or missed a turn or opportunity.
In the situation of our kids attending public school there are a few principles that we are using to help us stay connected and will put us in a position to make changes when needed and to seize teaching moments that arise along the way. I will lay all these out for you in the next post.
What about you? What choice did you make? Where did you place your kids and Why?