Friday, September 24, 2010

What's Good About Public School?

After I did my "Thank You Public School" post, it occurred to me [after reading my friend Michelle's comment] that I wasn't being fair and balanced in sharing about public school.

So, this post is about what I LIKE about public school. There ARE some things.

The first positive thing I have to say about our local public school is that we have had *fantastic* teachers. While we did have problems with two teachers last year in the beginning when we first started [specifically with their attitude that my children were somehow socially deprived mentally retarded morons because they had been homeschooled], over all, my children have been blessed with amazing teachers. My son's second grade teacher from last year qualifies for Sainthood as far as I'm concerned - she went so far above and beyond to help my "late reader" boy that I just love her. If I ever win the lottery I'm sending her a million dollars just in thanks for her sheer awesome-ness. :)

And ALL of the teachers we've had have been good. With four kids in school and this being our second year of public school, you'd think we'd have had at least one stinker in the bunch - but so far no. I've been amazed and very gratified at the quality of teachers my children have had. They are wonderful. [OK, not including the PE teachers in this... we know I have issues with those guys.... :) ]

Second, the principal at my children's elementary school has been amazing. We have had two incidents of bullying, and she has been INCREDIBLY and IMMEDIATELY responsive - and has nipped the behavior in the bud both times. In fact, as my grandma would say "she snatched them bullies up and jerked a knot in their tails so fast it made my head spin!". When schools say "zero tolerance" these days, they MEAN it. I am very impressed with my children's principal.

Third, I LOVE how many "extra curricular" things my children have access to through the schools. My children all have art and music and computer science and the list goes on. Most of the teachers in these classes have been outstanding too - my children's music teacher in particular I adore. In middle school, my oldest child has the opportunity to play many different varieties of sports as well as participating in competitive chorus and all manner of other things - the opportunities have abounded. These are, frankly, the kind of extensive opportunities that I could NOT have provided for my children in a homeschool environment - it would have been too expensive.

Fourth, I LOVE the way the Gifted Program is handled at the Middle school level. My oldest child is in an "all gifted" track - meaning all of her academic classes are gifted classes and she is in class only with other gifted kids. This keeps her motivated to learn in a way that I could never do at home - she is challenged by her gifted peers to always do her best. In her case, competition has been very good for her academic growth. I like her gifted teachers and I think the whole program has been excellent. I'm very happy with it.

Fifth, I will end by saying that I love the fact that I don't have to teach math any more. This is not so much a strength of public school as it is an admission of weakness on my part - I just flat hated teaching math. ALL of my children, thus far, have been excellent at math - which is alien to me. LOL! But my oldest, while being gifted at math, HATES it. We would spend HOURS sometimes with her whining and complaining over a single math assignment for her homeschool day - it drove me NUTS. Oddly enough, in public school, she does not whine and cry when they give her very difficult math assignments. :) This is better for all of us I believe. :)

So, there you have it. My BALANCED report on the "other side" of our journey from homeschooling to public schooling.

Would I go back to homeschooling if I had the financial means and the social support to do so? Yes, I would. I do believe it is superior, and I miss it.

But in my actual situation, public school has really not been that bad - and some parts of it have been very good.

God bless you!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing... I currently homeschool, but have been considering public school for them.