It's coming up on that time of year again. I just received the paperwork for my first child to enter kindergarten. Isn't that crazy?! During back to school shopping, meetings, and filing paper work, I found myself doing something else: Defending my choice to use our local public elementary school.
We're practicing Catholics that attend church weekly, pray as a family, and raise our children based on our morals and values. Our families and friends are largely faith based as well. I've been challenged as to why I'm choosing public school vs. Catholic or Homeschooling. First, I'm an NJ and PA certified teacher, so I know a little of what I'm doing ;)
I've been asked if I'm afraid my children will turn away from our faith if they attend public school. I don't think schooling methods has a lot to do with that. I think parenting does. My husband attended public school his whole life and wasn't brought up in the faith, but I married him because of his strong faith. I know many that attended public school and are strong Catholics. I know many that were strictly homeschooled and have turned away from their faith.
I was homeschooled and attended a private Catholic college and you know what? My faith was most tested in college! That's right. I went to a Catholic college and there met the most challenge to my beliefs from both other students and professors. If my children are questioned on their faith in elementary school, I hope and expect them to defend their faith (on their level) the same way they will in high school, college and the world one day.
We live in a very good school district. That has weighed heavily in our decision. We pay almost $9,000 a year in taxes. That's a great deal of taxes and I plan to enjoy the benefits for a few years. We have already talked and decided that we may have our kids attend private middle/high schools. We're not sure about it yet, it will depend on the quality of education offered at that time. At this present moment, our kids will attend our local public elementary school which goes to sixth grade.
I go for orientation later this month and school starts September 4th. I'll be sure to post honest updates evaluating our kid's education our through the years. Right now, I'm excited and can't wait to be involved in the school community in our area.
What type of education do you use/plan to use for your child(ren) or future children? What educational experiences have you had that you would like to share?