I just had to write a blog on the different types of schooling out there. Let me start by saying that we were very blessed in that when my first two children were tiny my husband was a Principal of a Catholic school which had a full day pre-K program. So our boys were able to attend pre-K in a Catholic school for a few years before my husband relocated jobs. After that time, I opted to homeschool my oldest for the first half year of Kindergarten. I was pregnant with twins at the time so after the twins were born we opted to put our children back in (a new) Catholic school for the second half of Kindergarten as well as for my second child to go into the pre-K four program. Ever since then all of my school aged children (8) have been in Catholic school with the exception of this past year my oldest being in a Public Online School.
Let me start by saying that if you are a devout Catholic or Christian I firmly believe that homeschooling is the best option. Actually even if you are not a devout Catholic or Christian I believe that our children can learn more and at a faster pace if they are homeschooled. It is just my personal belief after having watched my nieces/nephews be homeschooled as well as for the short time that I homeschooled my child.
Here is my personal list of pros and cons for homeschool:
- You can pack more into a day teaching one child from home since it is usually 1:1 attention.
- Your schedule can be flexible.
- This is ideal if your child has a hard time learning because all of the attention is on him/her.
- Your child could potentially finish school earlier than most kids.
- Cost: low cost for materials and virtually saving a ton of money by not having to buy many school materials and/or school clothing and etc.
- Long-term it seems that homeschoolers get great stats on their SATS and etc. thus getting them into better colleges and getting grants and etc.
- Your child can still attend sports and the like in a public or other school.
- No transportation needed!
- You and only you form your child in the way that you want to morally and ethically.
- If you are not an organized individual this could be horrific. You have to be organized to be a home schooling parent!
- Social aspect. I personally disagree if you have many kids at home or if you find a co-op BUT I do that children who do not have co-ops or siblings could run into lacking a social life or etc.
For me personally Catholic School is next in the running for me. Here is my personal list of pros and cons for Catholic Schools:
- Catholic Education. For me this has always been more important than anything else for me. While I appreciate academics I was not into school and I (think) I turned out OK. I am more worried about my children being good people vs being A students.
- Uniforms! While people think they may be more expensive they can actually be cheaper than regular school clothing! This is especially the case if the school has a uniform swap. I personally have saved a ton of money this way.
- Education. Depending on where your student goes the education could be better in a Catholic School but again this depends on where your child goes. Not all Catholic Schools are the best academically.
- More individualized attention depending on the school. Some Catholic Schools (especially privately run non-diocesan schools) have very small classes which can result in better individualized attention which can result in better education long-term.
- Cost. Usually Catholic Schools can be expensive. Not only do you have to pay for the tuition but many times there are other fees like HSA/fundraising fees.
- Education. Some Catholic Schools may be great for teaching ethics and morals but the education, the academics could be lacking.
- Bullying. As in any environment which is not in the home or online you have the big chance of encountering bullies. What I have noticed in some Catholic Schools is that some children are raised in very privileged ways and because of that they can come off as snobby and/or outright bullies.
- Sometimes you have to drive your child/pick your child up from school which can stink!
I have never had my children in Public School but I have visited them to check them out. Also, I attended public education my entire life so I can only speak to this from that aspect. Here is my personal list of pros and cons for Public Schools:
- Education. Depending on where the school is located I have seen some fantastic education within the public schools.
- FREE. Did I say free? What could be better than free? Lol.
- Better options for special needs children. Some Catholic Schools simply cannot offer extra classes or individualized programs or instruction for special needs children.
- Transportation. If you are lucky you don’t even have to leave your driveway!
- Better Anti-Bullying programs. It appears to me that Bullying is taken more seriously in the Public School system and that teachers/staff have better training and programs around Anti-Bullying efforts.
- Education. Some public schools are just not rocking it because unfortunately sometimes tenured teachers are just lazy and do not want to actually teach the children.
- Bullying. I think the bullying seems to be worse in public school. Not too often do I hear about children bullying or killing themselves in Catholic Education but I do hear about it a lot in public education.
- Free-for-all when it comes to trying to protect your children from things like sex, drugs and rock-n-roll in addition to things than may go against your faith as a Catholic or Christian like homosexuality and etc. I do realize that some of these issues are already in the Catholic Education system but it is not as prevalent as in the Public School system.
I have only had my child in Public Online School since September but here is my personal list of pros and cons for Public Schools:
- FREE. Did I say Free?
- Free materials! Not having to buy not only the books but zero supplies is truly amazing! I absolutely hate supply lists. I dread them like the plague. In addition, who can complain about getting a free computer, free head set, free printer, free printer ink and no rules about that computer? Meaning they do not block any site from the computer so in personal time the child can do what he/she wants on that computer.
- Recorded sessions. If a child misses a class all classes are recorded so the child simply watches the sessions later that day. If a child needs reinforcement on a topic this is also great.
- Free tutoring after school. Yup! You got that right. Teachers and staff have open hours after school online for help with grades, getting grades up, and tutoring in general. This is a huge plus for someone like me who is not good at helping my child with things like Math!
- Recorded chats. This goes hand-in-hand with lack of bullying. All chats – private or not- are recorded. So, for example if my child says, “I was bullied today.” All I have to do is go and look at the chat. It is a perfect trail!
- Lack of bullying. Because of the above and because most likely a good amount of children who attend Public Online School were likely bullied there is a mutual respect for the students amongst each other. I have had ZERO bullying issues since September and I find that miraculous.
- Opportunity to get better grades. In the school that my child is in he is allowed to retake tests and quizzes. This is huge for those children who may be great at school for participation and etc. but not so much when it comes to testing.
- Personalized coaching for the parents. Each family is assigned a coach and it is truly amazing. The coach meets with you weekly in the beginning and eventually monthly. They go over your child’s academics, attendance and etc. This has been a Godsend!
- Social events. They host regular social events that the kids can meet up with each other and either learn or have fun together. These are basically glorified field trips but it is nice when you are in an Home Schooled Environment.
- Online one-stop shopping teacher conferences! Oh yes, from the comfort of my own home I jump online and am able to meet with ALL of my children’s teachers at one time. It is great to hear what they say individually but also collectivity.
- Convenient in that it can be done anywhere. I oftentimes send my son to my parent’s house for him to do school there.
- Asynchronous days. There are days when the student does not have live sessions so he/she can work at their own pace.
- Personal learning time which equates to extra time for students who need it or extra free time for students who don’t. I love this because some children learn faster than others so if my child is done why should he have to wait for others? That’s when personal learning time comes into play and those that need help get it and those who don’t have free time.
- No transportation.
- You get reimbursed for Internet! That is right. They pay for your entire Internet Bill during school months!
- Getting used to it and being disciplined for parent and child can be rough. The first few weeks were rough for me because I had to be with him all the time. Then in became a little rough in trusting him to be on his own and do everything he needed to do.
- Discipline. Kinda of like the first bullet but more so in that just like anyone who works in the real world or from home you can be distracted by technology. So it may be easy for your child to get distracted by people at home, the TV if there are near one, or technology.
- Education could be less received. I do not say the education is lacking for I have witnessed the classes BUT because it is in online learning environment some children may not receive the amount of education they could because they may not learn the best that way in an online activity.
- Social aspect. Needless to say my child has 8 siblings so he does not suffer in that regard but obviously I have to make more of an effort to get him together with other friends because he is missing that social aspect. He doesn’t miss it in that he asks for it but the fact is that he is not physically present with other children on a day-to-day basis.
- If your internet goes down and you do not have a back-up plan it stinks! Attendance is strict so your child can’t use poor internet connection as a way out of class. It just won’t happen!
- Sometimes there are technical difficulties and that does disrupt class whether it’s your internet that is lacking or some issues the teacher is having.
- Attendance is NO JOKE. No snow days for you! Lol. And if you miss a certain amount of days (3) without a valid excuse you can get kicked out. Attendance is very strict in the online world!
With all of this said some people may think that I believe that Public Online School is the best. That is not necessarily the case. I believe if one can do it Home Schooling is the very best. After that if you have a great Catholic School with a great Priest leading it with great academics and a serious anti-bullying program in place and practiced then that is wonderful. After that I firmly believe that Public Online School has a tremendous amount to offer our children especially in this day and age of technology. I always say if my children have issues where they are they will also go to Public Online School. I personally am too busy with my job and my other children and household chores to home school but I can definitely be a help to my children who attend Online Public School.
I hope this blog gave you some insight on the different options of schooling out there for you. This is just my personal opinion so take it or leave it for what it is worth!