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Public school is never an option-- is that true for anyone else?


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That sounds reasonable to me.  I mean I've had people tell me that every other year it's a different situation for their kid.  One year they homeschool, then they go back, then they come home, then they go back, then midyear they are home again, by the end of the year they are back.

 

No joke.  I think that's nuts. 

Wow, that seems extreme.  And disruptive.  But I am not in their shoes so maybe it worked out better that way for some particular reason?  Not what I would want for mine on the surface of this though.

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Barring death, it's not an option here either.

I was deeply opposed to public education for my kids when they were babies - and then I found myself as a low income single mom of a baby and toddler and had no supports and no idea how to make that work out. So they went to PS. I was still unhappy about that but I saw no way to make homeschooling happen.

But as soon as we were in a position where homeschooling did become a reasonable option, I pulled them. And having had them in that system for a couple of years and seeing what it did to them, they will never go back barring any extreme life circumstances.

I know from experience that sometimes stuff happens. But I don't ever want to do that to them again.

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People homeschool for MANY reasons. It stands to reason that PS will NEVER be an option for some.

I agree.  People homeschool for MANY reasons.  And for some it is a lifetime commitment.  For others it isn't.   And that's just fine by me.  :)  I have friends who are avidly committed homeschoolers, some who are trying it out, some, like us, that got thrown into it unexpectedly, and some that tried it and it didn't work for them, and some that would never even consider homeschooling.  And many in between...  They are nice people (mostly ;) ) who are trying to make the best choices for their families.  I respect their choices.  I hope they respect mine.

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My children are not an extension of my ideology. I do not make political statements through how I parent my children. Regular public school is not a viable option for my older son in any way shape or form but I am still in the never say never camp. Locations change. Finances change. Needs change. I homeschool because it is the best option for my particular child, not because it is homeschooling or not public school.

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Barring my death, PS is not an option for dd. Our PS here are horrible, and even worse for SN kids. DD is Gifted & an Aspie. Not a good fit at all. The only possible way dd might go to private would be either A. one of the charter / magnet high schools {and I doubt that honestly, as we are not the right race to get in most of those - not being racist, just stating a fact}. Or B. If I could either get her a ride daily or move 1.5 hours north to Austin & put her in the private school of my dreams {Austin Peace Academy, for those wondering} with a full scholarship. I do have a local friend who is considering carpooling it with me when our kiddos get to high school - she wants to homeschool but has 6 kiddos under 8, so the oldest {my dd's age} goes to private school. But we have no private Islamic high school, so Austin would be closest.

 

I've been through everything else - I'm a single extremely low income mama with severe chronic health issues running my own business. And I still manage to homeschool {most of the time}. DO I get burned out - heck yes. But I just keep pushing on. Sometimes we take "mama mental health" days, where dd doesn't do school & we just relax at home. Or once in a blue moon I leave her with a friend for the afternoon and have some me time.

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Locally, there are 3 private schools that specialize in learning disabilities and other special needs.


The only private school that specializes in my son's particular situation costs more than our annual income (and almost as much as if we both worked FT) and is so new there are essentially no scholarships. It is also the only such school in the whole state. Even the very affluent families I know who use it can only afford it because they work for a company who includes it in their self funded health insurance plan as therapeutic for kids with ASD. Pretty much all of the kids have a parent who works for this one company or are from independently wealthy families. Sending my son there would mean we'd both need to work and drain all assets we need for college and retirement. It's very nice for you that you have other options. It doesn't mean you need to be obtuse about why others might not have those options.
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I don't understand the opinion that all private schools are better than any public schools. IF we put our kids in school I'd pick public hands down over our local private schools and ours could attend our church school for free. We only have religious schools though. If we had some of the options that others had and we could afford it we'd really strongly consider it.

 

Personally *I* despised many aspects of public schooling and cannot imagine that being the preferred option, other than serious circumstances, but my children are their own people and quite different than me. My children's opinion about their lives matters, increasingly so as they get older. Some kids really thrive in public school and others are not served well by hs'ing.

 

As of now I'm not looking to enroll the kids in ps but I have an open mind towards the future. Barring emergencies I could see putting my children in school because (1) I felt it would be the best emotionally and socially for that child and the family (2) the ps offers(ed) things I could not/can not do but in order to consider those things I'd have to believe that they could thrive there. When my son was small I knew that ds would do wretchedly as he is getting older I can see that it might be a good fit for him at some point.

 

I hated ps for many reasons but I also hated living in the country and being so isolated as an adolescent. I can understand how hs'ing could be very socially isolating for a teen without a lot of work by Mom and Dad- and I wasn't even super social. I think many hs'ers downplay the social needs of their kids. I have to look at all their needs and there will be trade-offs trying to meet them all and we will do the best we can to make the best decision for our family.

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I'm in the never say never camp. Not everyone can afford an expensive private school or even lives within driving distance of one, let alone several! (Ok, I guess we do live within driving distance of some Christian schools, but I personally would not consider those)

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I agree we need to do what is overall best for each individual kid, but I am baffled by how many people put their kids in school, pull them out, put them in, etc.  I get that stuff happens and things don't go as planned or whatever, but this strikes me as extremely disruptive.

 

Not meaning to bash anyone...just wonder why I hear about this sort of thing so often and what the thought it behind doing that.

 

My aunt did this to her kids. She was always bouncing them back and forth between PS and HS. Sometimes even partway through the year. She also sent them to a Christian school for a couple different short periods of time. It was not a good thing for my cousins at all. They would have been much better off sticking with one or the other. This isn't to say you can't switch but I think consistency is a good thing for kids. :)

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There are special needs situations that private schools (costing less than $50K/yr) can't handle.

Emily

 

Our state doesn't recognize dyslexia as a special need, and provide no related special services in public school - at least in our district (children with dyslexia who qualify for an IEP can get general resource classes with a general special ed teacher - but they do not even keep reading specialists on staff, much less someone with the OG experience a dyslexic child needs).

While the local private schools have even less funding to play with, and virtually no specific resources to help with special needs, it has been our experience that they are much more helpful than the public schools - they have smaller class sizes and are more willing/able to dedicate one-on-one time to the student, and it's easier for them to side step "policy" and be more accommodating and flexible to an individual student's needs,. Had we not put DD in a dyslexia specific private school this year, our first choice would have been the underfunded, but very small, very friendly, very student invested Catholic school at our parish.

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Public school would be a last resort. My dc did attend public school last year, after ds was severely bullied at 'the best' private Christian school in our area--and the school did nothing about it. IME, private school is not always a much better option than private school--at least in our area. And public school, while not my top choice for a variety of reasons, really wasn't the horrible place I'd assumed it would be. We just think homeschooling fits our family better.

 

I'm glad we have choices about where our children receive their education and think every family needs to make the best decision for their own family.

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I'm not Sheldon, but I live in SC. Within 10 minutes of me, there are two private schools for dyslexics, one for autistic children, and another for children with autism, ADD/ADHD, or other learning differences. There are no waiting lists, that I'm aware of - largely because of the cost, I imagine.

I will also say that almost all of the private schools here (and we have many, many, many private schools - almost all religious, but for the special needs specific schools; Catholic or protestant), are on the "special needs friendly and willing to work with" list, even if the have no specific resources.

Where do you live?  That is not the norm to have that many within reasonable driving distance.  Even for the ones near me that are 1-2 hours away, the waitlists are long.  

 

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I'm not Sheldon, but I live in SC. Within 10 minutes of me, there are two private schools for dyslexics, one for autistic children, and another for children with autism, ADD/ADHD, or other learning differences. There are no waiting lists, that I'm aware of - largely because of the cost, I imagine.

I will also say that almost all of the private schools here (and we have many, many, many private schools - almost all religious, but for the special needs specific schools; Catholic or protestant), are on the "special needs friendly and willing to work with" list, even if the have no specific resources.

 

Here the schools are so pricey but they have waiting lists.  They can also pick and choose what disabilities they take.  For example- the one for autism will not take kids with behavior issue or certain LDs.  The private schools for typical children will not take special needs kids or the few who will charge an extra fee (over 10k for a school over 1hr away from me) to cover the cost of taking on a SN kid.  I live in a HC area so the prices don't really bother people.  You are very lucky to live near a private school for special need kids.

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I'm not Sheldon, but I live in SC. Within 10 minutes of me, there are two private schools for dyslexics, one for autistic children, and another for children with autism, ADD/ADHD, or other learning differences. There are no waiting lists, that I'm aware of - largely because of the cost, I imagine.

I will also say that almost all of the private schools here (and we have many, many, many private schools - almost all religious, but for the special needs specific schools; Catholic or protestant), are on the "special needs friendly and willing to work with" list, even if the have no specific resources.

That is a very, very different situation from ours regarding sn.  That is amazing.   There are even doctors where I live that refuse to acknowledge that dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, etc. even exist.  

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That is a very, very different situation from ours regarding sn.  That is amazing.   There are even doctors where I live that refuse to acknowledge that dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, etc. even exist.  

 

Well, I think the reason we have so many special needs private schools is because our state doesn't recognize dyslexia as a special need, to be frank. They haven't even reading specialists in the public schools - much less OG tutors - so those with children needing help (and the dyslexia schools take any child with expressive language differences, I believe), flock to these schools, often from an hour + away.

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I don't understand the opinion that all private schools are better than any public schools. IF we put our kids in school I'd pick public hands down over our local private schools and ours could attend our church school for free. We only have religious schools though. If we had some of the options that others had and we could afford it we'd really strongly consider it.

 

This is what I was going to say. I went to both private and public school, and I would really have to have a good reason to put my kids in private school over public school. I begged my mom to let me leave mine. If the time came and we felt we needed to put our kids in school, we would strongly consider all our options; we also try really hard to not use the word "never".

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Here the schools are so pricey but they have waiting lists.  They can also pick and choose what disabilities they take.  For example- the one for autism will not take kids with behavior issue or certain LDs.  The private schools for typical children will not take special needs kids or the few who will charge an extra fee (over 10k for a school over 1hr away from me) to cover the cost of taking on a SN kid.  I live in a HC area so the prices don't really bother people.  You are very lucky to live near a private school for special need kids.

 

It's pretty typical for special needs school to be specific - after all, they hire their staff based on that need and the high cost is associated with things like have a private OG tutoring session daily, every teacher in every subject having OG training, etc; our school doesn't take any child with a main dx of anything other than an expressive language difference (dyslexia, dysgraphia, etc) - no autism, no ASD as a main dx, because that isn't what their staff specializes in, kwim? They are very accommodating to those with ADD/ADHD too, though.

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It's pretty typical for special needs school to be specific - after all, they hire their staff based on that need and the high cost is associated with things like have a private OG tutoring session daily, every teacher in every subject having OG training, etc; our school doesn't take any child with a main dx of anything other than an expressive language difference (dyslexia, dysgraphia, etc) - no autism, no ASD as a main dx, because that isn't what their staff specializes in, kwim? They are very accommodating to those with ADD/ADHD too, though.

 

Not really.  Certain disabilities can go together.  Like with the autism school- they will not take kids with certain LDs but the LD schools will not take kids who are ASD (mild or not).  It is very pick and choose.  ANother autism school not near me will not take a child with ADHD/ADD. It doesn't have to be the primary diagnosis just if it is listed, no admittance for you type thing.

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Where do you live?  That is not the norm to have that many within reasonable driving distance.  Even for the ones near me that are 1-2 hours away, the waitlists are long.  

 

A city that has over 1.5 million people and the greater area has well over 2 million.  It also has a large Catholic population which accounts for a significant number of the private schools.  10 minutes or less from my home, there are 5 private schools, 20 minutes and that number goes up to 20.  There are also 2 University Model Schools minutes from my home.

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A city that has over 1.5 million people and the greater area has well over 2 million.  It also has a large Catholic population which accounts for a significant number of the private schools.  10 minutes or less from my home, there are 5 private schools, 20 minutes and that number goes up to 20.  There are also 2 University Model Schools minutes from my home.

 

You are very lucky to have such a group of SN schools.  I live in a very populated area with a huge Catholic population and we do not have such SN schools.

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You are very lucky to have such a group of SN schools.  I live in a very populated area with a huge Catholic population and we do not have such SN schools.

 

The schools were all started by determined parents.  One has been here since 1989, the others are newer.

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Not really.  Certain disabilities can go together.  Like with the autism school- they will not take kids with certain LDs but the LD schools will not take kids who are ASD (mild or not).  It is very pick and choose.  ANother autism school not near me will not take a child with ADHD/ADD. It doesn't have to be the primary diagnosis just if it is listed, no admittance for you type thing.

 

I guess I disagree. Seeing the way dd's school runs, it would detract from the goal of the school to take children with other major dx's; everything from the assignments given, the teachers hired, to the way classrooms are structured, the field trips taken, and the tutoring services offered on campus are geared towards a dyslexic child's needs and specific services. My daughter has a secondary dx of ADD (although this school happens to also take children with a primary dx of ADD/ADHD alongside a primary dx of dyslexia); I can't imagine her functioning in a school for ADD/ADHD children, but with no services for dyslexic children, even if they did technically admit children with LDs.

 

ETA: I don't disagree that some disabilities can go together, I only mean to say that that doesn't mean the school has resources for every possible mix, and in some cases another primary dx can detract from the school's primary goal, making the learning environment for their specific target students less than desirable.

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Ok, this is what I will say "never" to regarding ps. I will never give it a try to see what happens. I will never send my kids there just because someone else's family loves it, or because I feel burned out, or because I want to pursue my career for non-financial reasons, or because my child wants more time with other kids, etc.

It would be a case of desperation, "we have to do this so we won't be hungry or homeless" kind of thing.

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Here the K-8 private schools are generally on par with the public schools so there is no incentive to pay for private school if my kids go back to brick and mortar schools. We are an agnostic atheist family though.

If I won the lottery, my kids would be in private school. I'm a completely reluctant homeschooler.


If I win the lottery, I'll hire individual subject tutors instead :)
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Mom being burnt out is a reason to send children to a school for some but not an excuse.  Some of us burnt out moms want to homeschool but value our sanity and our relationship with our children/spouse over how the children are educated.  It is not about being tired of it, lazy, or just wanting to get out of work.

 

 

I was specifically speaking about myself not anyone else.  For other people, of course it can be a reason, but for me it is not a reason that I could ever justify putting my kids into public school.  I'm sorry if you assumed that I was referring to anyone other than myself.

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I'm usually one who sticks with never-say-never, however....DW's 27 years in PS has made her conviction to avoid PS iron clad. You have to thow terminal illness into our story, which is already unusual, and we still aren't planning on PS. With the support network DW has, she could actually pull that off.

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Considering our less than wonderful public schools in our town - it is not an option for us. There is a decent private school but we couldn't afford it for all the children. I will say, unless there was a dire situation (like both of us died) we would never send our children to public middle school.

 

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I agree we need to do what is overall best for each individual kid, but I am baffled by how many people put their kids in school, pull them out, put them in, etc.  I get that stuff happens and things don't go as planned or whatever, but this strikes me as extremely disruptive.

 

 

When we decided to put the children into school, it was a commitment to that changed life: I went out and got a job to help pay for it.  It would have taken a great deal (not the normal teething problems, including sorting out some bullying issues) for us to go back.  The children needed that stability.

 

L

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This is what I was going to say. I went to both private and public school, and I would really have to have a good reason to put my kids in private school over public school. I begged my mom to let me leave mine. If the time came and we felt we needed to put our kids in school, we would strongly consider all our options; we also try really hard to not use the word "never".

Yep. I went to a small public school, very small, and I know everyone thinks small schools are the best but there are many downsides, In a small school there are cool kids (aka rick kids and jocks), not cool kids and the total losers. Sometimes as a teenager especially you want to be able to not be noticed all the time but in a small school there is no privacy. A few kids can really set the mood of the school and that can be really good or really bad. There isn't room for all the diversity and not near the opportunities as there are in larger schools. In our local private schools they pride themselves on being traditional, well great for you but my ds doesn't fit in that box and denying things like ADHD doesn't make them any less real. 

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I don't particularly care for the public schools here, but the option is always on the table for my family. Right now we are lucky enough that we can live on one steady income, and my children are little so we haven't gotten too far into our homeschool studies for me to feel like throwing in the towel just yet. If the time ever comes that I think one or both of my children will do better in public school, then off to school they go!

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"A year at a time, a child at a time," was our motto. 

 

This is our official motto. I don't know if we will ever put a kid into 'the system' - whether public or private. (My first option would be to opt over to a neighboring school district over the private school 30 miles away. Last option is the school three blocks away.) I don't currently see it happening, but am not completely closed to it. I hope that as long as I am open to it, it won't have to happen. 

 

However, were we to move, my outlook could change in a heartbeat. Too many variables to say "never" to.

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The one time that we might consider it is if we moved to a foreign country for a spell.  We would possibly put her in school just so that she could pick up the language much easier.  I would then see us doing serious after schooling.

 

For us PS in the US is not an option.

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Is anyone else thinking: "Where's Bill?" :D

 

I really like everything about my youngest son's public high school. He's a junior. So far, I haven't been disappointed and several times, very pleasantly surprised. I prefer the public high school to the private high schools here. Almost everything is better, IMO. Others have different experiences and valid reasons for choosing to do otherwise, though, and keeping their children away from public schools is perfectly understandable.

 

Regarding moving kids in and out of school, I ran across this article the other day explaining how that can affect children.

 

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140218110525.htm

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Once we found homeschooling to be a good fit for our family, we never intended to put ds back in public school. However, I would never have stated it so strongly. Now that he is a Junior in high school, I can say for sure, he will never go back :). I really thought dd would probably go back for high school. She is almost finished with her freshman year and is adamant that she will not. It is hard to imagine that changing at this point either.

 

We have savings, disability and life insurance, well documented plans for the kids education for if something happened to either dh, me or both of us. I still recognize what a big word never is.

 

OP, I would just say, we feel homeschooling has been and continues to be the best choice for our family. Continue repeating that to friends who are sending their kids off to school. Continue saying it to anyone who is intrusive enough to ask. Continue doing what works for you. If you feel alone, stop by the high school board and see how many have stuck it out. Jump over to the college board and read this years list of college acceptances. You aren't alone.

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I think DH feels that public school is not an option, or only a distant one. He's talked about the local SDA school as preferable, and we're not SDA, or even Christian.

 

I don't consider public school not-an-option, but would prefer to try other options first, whether it's changing how we're doing things, online charter, or B&M charter or private school (not many options with either where we live, and I really don't feel we can afford private, especially with multiple kids).

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Once we found homeschooling to be a good fit for our family, we never intended to put ds back in public school. However, I would never have stated it so strongly. Now that he is a Junior in high school, I can say for sure, he will never go back :). I really thought dd would probably go back for high school. She is almost finished with her freshman year and is adamant that she will not. It is hard to imagine that changing at this point either.

 

We have savings, disability and life insurance, well documented plans for the kids education for if something happened to either dh, me or both of us. I still recognize what a big word never is.

 

OP, I would just say, we feel homeschooling has been and continues to be the best choice for our family. Continue repeating that to friends who are sending their kids off to school. Continue saying it to anyone who is intrusive enough to ask. Continue doing what works for you. If you feel alone, stop by the high school board and see how many have stuck it out. Jump over to the college board and read this years list of college acceptances. You aren't alone.

 

Thanks!  We are almost 8 years into homeschooling, so I feel confident in being able to finish it out.  The high school board is a great idea.

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The public schools in our district are not an option -- both middle schools and the sole high school are so low-performing that students here have the right to state funds to attend other public -- and even selected private -- schools instead. Not many parents use this option, since that leaves them transporting their own kids across a few counties, but it does say something about just how lousy our schools are.

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I will not put my ideals ahead of my relationship with my children nor ahead of their education.  If homeschooling is harming the relationship with one of my children, I will not hesitate to put him or her in public school (we do not have the money for private school), even if they end up receiving a sub-par education when compared to what they would have received at home.  If I become mentally/physically/emotionally incapacitated, I will not hesistate to send my kids to public school so they can receive a better education than they would at home under those circumstances.  Right now homeschooling is the best thing for my children, but circumstances beyond my control can change the situation.  I refuse to worship at the altar of homeschooling and sacrifice my kids' education or our relationship in order to homeschool them.

I read frequently but seldom post.

 

I could not read your words and let it go unsaid that they moved me.

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Since the OP specifically asked, here are my thoughts.  I only detail them when some specifically asks me.

 

Public school is philosophically not an option for us from a political point of view as I'm a staunch Libertarian when it comes to the role of parents. I believe parents are responsible, including financially,  for the education of their children. (If you insist that the desperately poor can't do this, read The Beautiful Tree by Tooley and we'll continue this conversation after that.) From an educational philosophy point of view I'm fully on board with certain aspects of Classical Education and believe less than that isn't really an education. Socially I believe, with both parents living and functioning normally,  younger children are designed to learn best in their own family structure. So, private education is an option if our family was no longer in tact or functioning normally and they have certain quality content. It's also for people who simply don't want to educate their children themselves.

 

I don't get upset when other people disagree. I'm not entitled to their approval of my views just like they're not entitled to approval of my views. This goes for religious/denominational views, lifestyle choices, parenting style, political views, etc. etc. etc. etc.

 

 

For those of you who insist no one should take a position about homeschooling generally, as opposed to what works for each individual family, you need to get over that. Some people really do have general opinions about education and they are not required to abandon them for your  individual/situational view. Neither are you obliged to abandon yours for theirs.  The world is full of different people with different ideas.  I have seen way too many people upset and bothered that some people take a hard line or decide year to year and kid to kid.  You're wasting your time trying to convince anyone who has already formulated their opinion  otherwise.

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Well, since I have one that went to public school except K and 1st in Catholic school (for the full day kindergarten mostly), I certainly wouldn't say never to public school for my younger two.  We live in a very good district and could see sending them to the local high school IF we were living in the same district and IF they wanted to and IF we thought it would serve their educational needs better.

 

We actually gave serious thought to whether the kids (or at least one of them) should go to public school when I had to return to work.   Instead we hired a private educator/nanny to teach them during the day so I guess that shows that continuing to homeschool is important to us, even when there is unusual circumstances.

 

We do have contingencies in place in case something happens to dh or I, so it's unlikely the kids would HAVE to return to school at any time, but I've lived long enough now to know better than to ever say never.

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