For months now, Jason and I have been wrestling through what to do for Silas' education. Why does this feel like such a difficult decision? I know it's not a 'life-long' decision and you can re-evaluate. I also know that there is no wrong or right. No perfect education system. And each one will have its triumphs and difficulties. So, how does one decide?!
I mean, this is obviously a first-world problem. In Canada, we are especially blessed. We can literally choose between at least 7 different types of schools in our area (home schooling, public school, traditional school, french immersion, christian school, environmental school, fine arts school...) Isn't that ridiculous? In most areas of the world children are lucky to get to go to school at all. And we have that many quality choices in education? Makes me almost sick to think that we are that blessed.
And yet, the choices are what is paralysing us.
I have seen many people doing every kind of schooling well. I see those christian families rockin the public system, I see Jason's entire family rockin' the homeschool thing, I see french immersion and private school and traditional school and fine arts school...I see everyone in their niche and they all proclaim how amazing it's been for them.
But how do I get from here, to there? How do I be confident what is right for Silas and what is right for our family? We can't ask other people, because everyone has their own opinion and everyone says what they chose is what works for them. So really, it's up to us. But who are we? What do we value? What is most important? AH!
The problem is, I love the idea of each kind of schooling. I love the flexibility and creativity that would go into homeschooling. The fact that you can make it what you want it to be, work it around work and family life, and focus in on the things your child loves- sounds amazing. No getting the kids in their carseats and rushing off for 8 am? Sign me up. No peer pressure, no bullying, no small shy child getting lost in a class of 30 kids? Perfect.
But I also love the idea of being involved in a local, public school. Getting to know the families in our community better, running into them at the playground, getting involved in their lives and stories. I love the idea of having an outside mentor for your child (their teacher) who can partner with me and be an objective helper to educating our kids. They might see things in Silas I don't see. They might be able to encourage or inspire or offer him instruction in areas in which I am weak in. Music class, field trips, learning how to be a friend and be in a group setting, all sounds awesome to me. The classroom setting was full of inspiring and bright and shiny and wonderful things for me as a child, that sounds amazing!
And Christian school- where they help teach my child about values we believe in, who instruct in culture and missions, and provide awesome music and art classes, I love it! Sounds amazing.
See the problem?
I am crippled by the idea that Silas might miss out by not being involved in one thing or the other.
I realize that most families switch around and probably most families end up doing a bit of each type of schooling. But where do you start? How do you decide?
Each type of schooling has it's down sides to me too.
Theoretically homeschooling sounds amazing, but being isolated a bit more at home, as a family? I've been home-bound (relatively) for 5 years and I don't know if I want to spend most of my time at home. I don't know that I want the pressure of my child's entire education on my shoulders. I don't know if I could manage it with the needs of our household and other children and still work at the same time. (And stay sane).
Public school? I don't really want the values of the world influencing Silas at such a young age. Mouthy kids? Materialism? Bullying? Social drama? I don't know that I want that for Silas. Dropping off and picking up every day, the busyness of full time kindergarten and after school activities running our family life? No thanks.
And I don't know that I agree with completely sheltering Silas in private school. And the cost, don't get me started on the cost! It's like the same cost as Jason's university degree per year! Who has that kind of money in the lower mainland!
See the problem?
We are crippled by this decision. We don't have a feeling or an inclination towards one or the other. I just don't know. I see the benefits and down sides of each choice. So what then?!
Someone give me more advice about how to decide.
Anyone else find this decision very difficult? Or does everyone else see it clearly for their own family and we're the only ones wrestling with this? Or do you just put the three ideas in a hat and pick one out? Maybe it should come to that. Pick one, try it, trust God and carry on...?
P.s. I don't need any more comments about why their type of school is the best because it's not actually that helpful. HOW did you decide is what I want to know. What type of person do you find works best with each type of school? That's what I wanna know. Do I have what it takes to homeschool? Help!