197: Parents Must Consider Disadvantages Before Public Schooling

Is there something in the water? This is in response to the op-ed piece Parents must consider disadvantages before home schooling from THE OLYMPIAN, June 12, 2009

Public schooling has become an attractive alternative to homeschool or private school. Parents feel they will be giving their children a better education by sending them to government run public schools.

For many, public schooling is a poor choice because the schools fail to provide an atmosphere that is truly conducive to learning. Parents do not take into consideration the irreversible injustice they can place upon their children by sending them to a public school. There are significant disadvantages to public schooling which outweigh the benefits. After having direct contact with at least five people who have been public schooled, I have been able to identify some serious disadvantages to public schooling.

And, after consulting with employers, public and private school teachers, college instructors, church leaders and a host of other professionals, I found that my findings about public schooling are not uncommon.

According to the professionals I interviewed, it is easy to identify those individuals who have been in a pubic school environment.

Some of the most significant disadvantages to public schooling are cost, time, teachers’ inability to instruct, inability to socialize with anyone outside their age group, interpersonal skills, communication skills and being overprotected from the real world outside the school walls.

One disadvantage is the financial burden or hardship it can impose upon a community. It is the responsibility of the taxpayers to purchase the curriculum needed for public schooling where the homeschool provides it at no charge to the tax payer.

This means communities must purchase books, materials, computer software and other resources in order to teach the lessons. Taxpayers must fund all field trips, outings or special activities. Often, one of the parents must give up parenting so the children can be in public school. The loss of an engaged parent in the household can be detrimental. This can be a significant disadvantage and it can disrupt the harmony of the home.

Another disadvantage to public schooling is the amount of time it drains from family.

Many parents don’t realize the time constraints involved with sending their children to public school. Public school can be emotionally and physically draining, leaving the children little time or energy to engage with their families, communities, or the world.

A parent must be motivated and exercise laser focus if their children attend public school. It can be very challenging to follow an arbitrary schedule, set by the school, that the children as well as the parents must follow. It becomes even more challenging when parents try to balance everyday chores with public schooling.

It has been my finding that a large number of teachers are not equipped to be public school instructors. While many teachers have formal training, they lack discipline, or lack organization skills. Without structure and consistency, children can be easily distracted.

Children in public school not only have the time and space in school for study, but the school often demands that they should have an area in the home specifically dedicated to schooling. Most of the time, there is not a set routine. Teachers assign arbitrary, and increasingly time-consuming, amounts of homework that eat into the family’s time. In public school, children must report to school at a certain time and their day is mapped out. They are unable to deviate from that schedule, even when they have a deeper interest in a particular subject.

The lack of parents in a public school can be a serious disadvantage. Sometimes, children have issues or concerns that they don’t feel comfortable talking to a strange counselor, guide, or mentor about. In public schools, students cannot choose to deal with their issues with their parents in a safe and loving environment; they must wait until after school hours, bottling in their fears, anger, or sadness. Public school children don’t have their parents to talk to and provide support. It is important for children to have family they can confide in when necessary.

The biggest disadvantage to public schooling is the child’s lack of socialization which does not provide them the opportunity to interact with anyone other than other children their same age. For some children, especially children in early years, this can affect their development of social skills. It can also hamper interpersonal and communication skills. This will result in children feeling isolated, passive, lethargic and alone or ill-equipped to handle situations where interaction with people of other ages is required.

There is research that states that the self-esteem and confidence of children who have been public schooled is lower than those in private or home schools. Public educators often overprotect their charges from the real world.

Every parent who is considering public schooling should consider the disadvantages I have outlined. If you are unhappy with home schooling or your private school, public school might be a viable option, but it might not be the right solution. I encourage parents to talk to other parents who are public schooling or have public schooled. You should find out all the pros and cons before making a decision that will likely have an adverse effect on your child’s life.

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4 Responses to 197: Parents Must Consider Disadvantages Before Public Schooling

  1. Marjorie says:

    turnabout is fair play, but I wonder where it’s going to get us. I suppose we need to consider first where we want to go — and of course, being homeschoolers, I expect that’s a whole bunch of different and diverse destinations.

  2. Kay Alina says:

    It is time that the truth be told. I would love to see your articles posted in the newspaper Jen. Actually, I would love Arnold to read them. California is about to go bankrupt and since we currently have the highest paid teachers in the nation with the second to lowest scores in overall success of schools, for the children’s sake I want this message to be shared with many.

    I appreciate your blog responses very much to the ignorant abd uniformed dribble I have read regarding our chosen lifestyle. As a homeschooler I know the benefits and I want the general public who have misguided notions to know these benefits as well.

    I think we have all taken the high road long enough.

    Turn about is fair play after all.


  3. Tammy Weston says:

    AMEN SISTER!!!! Couldn’t of said better myself. My kids do more activities with friends and being in sports, music and dance,rather than the kids across the street who go to public school and come home and sit in front of the t.v. or computer in a mindless zone out. Keep up the great work homeschooling families!!

  4. paula ron says:

    I loved this, it is so funny, well written and unforttunateley true,
    here is my post to the same article… not this funny, but same principle..
    olympianpaula wrote on 06/12/2009 01:31:40 PM:
    Public school is free?
    I want to address the public school is free statement, because that is so misleading.
    We pay 1424 dollars a year for the school in our district as part of our property taxes.
    With that money, If I did not have to pay it and was able to use it, I could buy 2-3 years worth of homeschooling curriculum.
    That said I rather write about why I love homeschooling:
    1., I choose the the teaching material
    2., I choose the time, and since my attention does not have to be divided by 25-30 children I can finish the schooling in 2-3 hours
    3., and after that there is SO MUCH MOE time to go and play, and socialize with other kids, by just playing, or participating or participating in sport, music, 4 H, and any kind of creative activity we can think of.

    While kids in public school sit in class for 7-8 hours a day.
    WOW, it is pretty said that our newspaper publishes such a badly written and not researched at all article…

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