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It is probably a good idea for a couple to consider the pros and cons of different education options for their children before they start having them. Ideas are the public school system, a private school, or possibly homeschooling. Additional ideas are welcome, and I am specifically looking for reasons in favor of and against.


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closed as not a real question by Beofett Jul 12 '12 at 18:03

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

What is the question? I can't think of any cons in regards to doing research on education options. – DA01 Jul 11 '12 at 22:08
Testing scores would be in favor of homeschooling as would studies about socialization in homeschooled children as they come out typically more confident and better socialized. (see my answer for links about both of these statements) However, public school requires the least financial investment and that is critical in a lot of choices. Many pros and cons that could be listed are specific to certain values sets and your own preferences. Can you tell us more about what matters most to you? – balanced mama Jul 11 '12 at 22:32
I think this is too broad as-is. Please edit to focus on one specific aspect of the question. As @balancedmama mentioned in her answer, this is a broad enough question that entire books have been written to address just one portion of it. That is a clear sign the question needs to be reworked. If you can edit to focus it in, please flag or comment with "@Beofett" and we can see about reopening it. Please see our faq for more information. – Beofett Jul 12 '12 at 18:03
This may also be country dependent. Some countries have great school systems, others don't. – Dave Clarke Jul 12 '12 at 18:08

THIS is a SUPER BROAD QUESTION, entire books have been written about just the choice to homeschool or not, let alone other options that are out there, so I'm mostly going to refer you to my website where you can find at least four articles on the matter.

I had to think through this choice very carefully because of some peculiars in our situation myself. I happen to have a blogged all about it. You can check out the articles, "Decision #1: to enroll or not to enroll", "Decision #2: Is Homeschooling Right for you?" and "Decision #3: Choosing a mortar and brick setting" for all the details, there is also an article, "Pros and Cons of Homeschooling" you may be interested in if you are seriously considering homeschool. Before I write a summary answer I'll say our eventual decision was virtual homeschooling and we've been pretty happy with it. There is a search bar you can type these titles into to find them once on the site which is linked at the bottom of the article.

When thinking about education, it makes sense to consider your kid (and his/her temperment), your environment, your financial status (options are not neccessarily better the more money you have, but they are certainly more diverse), and Your own temperment. Considering schooling options before your child is even born might be a little soon unless it is a part of dicussions about where to locate yourselves because of a desire to be near a school you think is likely to be a good fit.

Types of schools mortar and brick schools and thier comparisons: There are all kinds of figures and statistics centering around testing (at least in the US) that compare school to school. You can go online and type in your public school district to compare it to other school districts. There is a list of websites that adress this question at the bottom of the page. In addition I've read about it, "Your first year homeschooling", "The Homeschooling handbook" and at least three others for which I'm afraid I cannot remmeber the names. There are also scholary journals on the subject but you'll need access to a fairly large public or universtiy library for some of those (links to others at bottom of page).

When considering whether or not to use a public school, private school or one of many varieties of homeschooling (including virtual schooling which can be arguably categorized as any of the three above depending upon the program), Homeschoolers usually test better than their mortar and brick peers in academics and social skills tests (see the articles on my website for graphics, citations and further detail because yes this is backed by research).

Comparing what school type is the right choice for you though should NOT be only about test scores and that is where things get really tough.

Some things to consider: Environments for Values and Differences Education core values and the environments that can be provided in your local area that will either be a support to you or a hinderance. Even if the public school doesn't fit with your values it might be that you have a great church, temple, or synagogue community that will be. OR if you decide to homeschool how will you make sure your child is introduced to other's belief systems so they can learn how to politely and respectfully deal with difference?

In what other ways do you have a particular type of environment for your child in mind? Would you want him/her in a "rigorous" setting fairly traditional in how it opperates or would you want something a little more "outside the box" with a focus on teambuilding, speachmaking or teaching the kids a second language from a young age? If there is something more specific you have in mind a magnet, charter or private school might be the way to go.

Temperments Some people will say if you have a child that is extra social homeschooling is a bad idea, but there is actually TONS of evidence to the contrary. There is another article on my website called, "Homeschooling and Socialization" about this with additional links to numerous other resources. My little social butterfly wouldn't be able to do all the theater she loves doing if she had to be up for a regular start schedule in the morning.

Rather, will your child be stressed out in a large public school environment? Perhaps a smaller private school or homeschooling will allow him/her to focus more on the learning rather than just the environment. Do you have a visual learner? Traditional school settings probably aren't a great choice, but a school that focuses on teaching the visual learner and specializes in their peculiarities might be.

Are you creative about academics and in love with learning? Will you be creative about lesson planning and passionate about teaching your child or is it best you leave this creativity challenge to a professional so you can be creative with your child in another realm in which you are more confident?

How patient will you be? In a homeschool setting the reason this question is asked is probably obvious because children do require a lot of patience, but parents need to have patience in a mortar and brick setting as well - it'll be patience required for homework, patience required when there are frustrations with a teacher (and there will be) AND patience about how limiting the school schedule can be.

Unfortunately, Financial Status More money does mean more options and whether you like it or not, this is likely to be part of the discussion for you as it would any one else.

Depending on which choice you make in the "broader" decision of whether or not to go public, private or home for school, there are follow up questions to ask. Let us know.

Public School Vs Homeschool Socialization By Joan Vasquez Homeschool Provides Better Socialization by Mary Peterson Nuh Uh! Homeschoolers Are Too Socialized! By dreahwrites Homeschooling: Breaking The Myths About... by Paula Sloan Socialization Does Occur Within Homeschooling Families by Brenda Hoffman Public School Vs. Homeschool:Who Can Do A Better Job At... by Brenda Hoffman Socialization: Why School Is The Worst Place To Get It by Nan Got Socialization?: A Homeschooling Father's... by Robert Keating Socialization In School?: Is Socialization A Reason For Or Against... by Karen Kaiser For a good laugh on the subject, check out "Messy Mondays, Seven Lies about Homeschoolers" by Blimy Cow. on You Tube (not full of statistics but true in a sarcastic and funny sort of way every highschool homeschooler I know loves it)

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Please avoid long conversations in comments. It's better to discuss the topic in the Parenting Chat and then distill the value into the answer itself. Please note that comments are not considered permanent and may be removed or limited to increase the readability of the overall question page. If there's anything worth mentioning in the actual answer, please move it there. – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Jul 13 '12 at 7:28
I have removed all the comment discussion. As Torben said, please take it to Parenting Chat if you feel the need to continue the discussion. – Beofett Jul 13 '12 at 11:58

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