you are correct, sir... I did mean #2 :)
Of all the posts you put up in this series, I think this one is the most important. Great way to sum it all up and emphasize the importance of seeking God and doing what is best for each of your children.
I'd agree with these. I have a bit of an issue with #3, though. While I do think we need to instill in our kids a Christian worldview, I think that some of the major Christian school textbook publishers have made it out that truth can only be found in Christian contexts. Truth is truth wherever it's found. Also, much of what is taught in those textbooks come from one stream and understanding of Christian interpretations of history, science, etc. It is implied that anything that disagrees with the publishers' interpretation of what is taught is outside of Biblical truth. It's not just the "liberals" who paint science and history to fit their "agendas." Christian educational publishers do the exact same thing.
Just like with homeschooling, I think that one other reason not to send your kids to Christian school is fear that public school will somehow corrupt your children.
Having gone to Christian school and taught at one, another reason not to send your kids to Christian school is that many Christian schools do not have the resources available to public schools. While I did go to Christian school when I was younger, I went to a public school from 8th grade on. I would've never had access to the educational experiences I did if I had been in a Christian school or homeschooled.
I think 2 and 3 are good reasons to homeschool. I'm kinda weird that #1 wouldn't be a reason for me. I want people to experience my kids. I think they are so awesome, and I like to share them with everyone :) When our first son was born, I kept handing him off to people because I wanted them to experience holding him... really :)
As for #4, I would caution flexibility as a reason. Depending on what you use for curriculum, you may end up having less flexibility than if you sent your kids to school. Also, you need to make sure that you read up on the educational requirements for your state when it comes to homeschooling. All states have some sort of required record keeping and even application to homeschool. It's easy enough to find all that info on Google, though.
If you've never homeschooled, I would recommend K12. That's what we've used... and most states have public charter schools that are virtual academies. And since they're public charters, everything is paid for!
Again, I appreciate you posting your thoughts on both sides of the different school choices out there. I think with me, one reason to not homeschool is what I would call the "fear factor." We chose to homeschool our kids this past year out of necessity because of moving and such. Our daughters decided to go back to school, and we are finishing out the year homeschooling my son... but I digress. As I've interacted with different people in the homeschooling world, I've found that while the issues you bring up can be overcome... there has been one overarching theme that I hear from homeschoolers... they have a fear of their kids getting a bad education or bad influences or something else. It just seems that the decision to homeschool is made first out of fear. I'm not saying that this is true of all homeschoolers.
I agree that these are concerns to take into account, but I see them more as "counting the cost" rather than reasons to discount a public school education. In my experience as being a student in the worst junior high in my district as well as now being a parent with kids in a school that does not rank high in our school district, there are hard working teachers doing their absolute best to teach kids being creative with the resources available to them. The key in making a difference is what happens at home. Whether or not parents can be directly involved within the school, they can have influence in the life of their child and how they view learning, what they learn and know their kids well enough to step in when needed. My parents did that for me, and I am doing that for my kids.
Great thoughts, Sam... can't wait for the rest of the posts!
Yes, Yes, Yes, and Yes! I echo all of the above. I attended both Christian and public schools. For all of the reasons above, we have chosen to send our kids to public school as well.
The only thing I'd add is that it gives me an opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and belief systems as well.
Also, I love that you've stopped telling your kids to be "safe." Much better to tell them to make wise choices! One thing that I've done with my kids (and I stole this from Erwin McManus) when praying with my kids at bedtime is not to pray that God would protect them in their dreams from scary things but that God would make my kids big enough to beat up the scary things in their dreams :) I, then, reinforce that God is bigger than their fears in real life, and He makes us bigger than those fears, too!
I'm with Cindy. You have to take it one step at a time :) I think that we, as parents, get too freaked out about this. While the school your child attends and what kind of schooling is important, what is FAR more important is parental involvement with your kids and what they are doing. It's not even necessarily involvement in the school... if a parent is engaging their child, has taught them how to be responsible and passed on a love of learning and has their child's back, then a child has the deck stacked in their favor.
Sam, I think we could compare notes about schooling experiences :) I, too, went to private school, public school, and a small private school which was almost like being homeschooled :)
As a children's ministry leader, what I've done to help parents as they sort through all of this was to approach it from a coaching perspective. I did my best to empower the parent and encourage them as they thought through their options. I tried to keep the ball in their court and help them to consider all options as objectively as possible. Of course all of this flowed out of a relationship of trust that had already been established with the parents.
I look forward to reading the rest of this series.