07 April 2008

Bachelorhood


117/366 Yucky I
Originally uploaded by csquard

I assume this is what I would look like if I was a bachelor all the time (or I would become a bachelor if I looked like this most of the time). Not that I'm a looker by any stretch of the imagination, but Yuck!

Nothing quite like a post about a recent California judge's ruling that home schooling is illegal if a parent is not a certified teacher to get the juices flowing on a Monday. The case will be reconsidered by California's appeals court.

When we first started going to our church here in the ATL, education discussions would always shift to either the church's school or home schooling whenever we were with other couples. Home schooling was viewed as a matter-of-fact superior option to public education, as was Christian schools. It seemed as the force rankings were Home School, Christian Schools, Private School, and Public Schools.

My wife and I have always been public school folks, each of us coming from public schools in the South (hers surely a better school than ours in my town of 18,000 in Mississippi, although mine was highly rated in the state). Like many arguments, it is easy to have an opinion on the matter until you have children impacted by those choices. Then, the decisions become more real and pressing.

I still come out strongly in favor of public education. The schools are the single most important criteria for our decision to live in this subdivision. I would say the quality of schools is probably 75% of the importance as to where we live, with the nearest other criteria being 10-15% (and I don't even know what that criteria would be).

My wife has two Bachelor of Science degrees (Chemistry from Furman and Chemical Engineering from Georgia Tech), and I'm sure she would be a great teacher to the boys or to other children if it was something she wanted to do. It would seem to be much easier to manipulate the morals and values of our three boys if we home schooled them or had them in a Christian school that shared most of our values. And believe me, it isn't an argument to be taken lightly with so much personal risk confronting our children, much less the academic development relying on their eduction system and capabilities.

Yet it is precisely for the diverse and challenging environment and students that they go to school with that we've decided to have them in the public school system. We want our boys to grow into men that share our values and excel academically. To that end, I feel that putting them into a big pond with ongoing involvement by my wife primarily (and me to a lesser extent) gives them the best chance to excel.

Of course, I've never really investigated alternatives very seriously, so I may simply be naive. Still, I'm very happy that our boys are in great schools where they are challenged and enjoy themselves.

Thoughts?

3 Comments:

Blogger Standing Around Breathing said...

As someone who graduated a "homeschooler," I have to say that parental involvement is the key, period. My parents basically turned me loose and let me work at my own pace, which meant as fast as I could, doing what I had to to get by. They were not involved in the process beyond grading my papers and getting me a tutor when I needed it(I still hate math). On the other hand, I am not interested in the slightest in homeschooling. Four of my six are in public school and are excelling. One is in Christian private school because it fits our schedule for her and the baby is in daycare. She'll follow into the same private school, but both will end up in public school because we feel that more opportunities exist there, both academically and socially. We are very hands on, involved in whatever activities that come up (requiring alot of gritting of teeth on my part). We are involved in our church as well, so we try to be as rounded as possible.
I hated being homeschool and feel like it contributed to me taking flight at the first possible chance, going off into the deep end. That isn't say that it fails for everyone but I know more kids who have been homeschooled and end up as "wild child" or worse! The end result among a great many of the homeschooling families resembles inbreeding and cults.
Just my thoughts. . .

9:19 PM  
Blogger CC said...

"I have to say that parental involvement is the key, period." 100% agree, and I think this has to supersede most other criteria when it comes to excelling in education. We're fortunate in that my wife is at home and able to be intimately involved in the details of the boys education. We talk frequently about how difficult it must be for the children and parents of dual-income households, as well as single parents.

Thanks for the perspective.

12:13 AM  
Blogger The Wife said...

I'm with you - I think public school is fine as long as you're involved in what they are doing/learning. It is hard to be involved, especially with two people working. . . . and you look much cuter when your wife is around. Just FYI.

12:52 AM  

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