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Finley Robinson

Family Friday: The Public vs Private School Debate

published2 months ago
3 min read

Hi there, it's Finley šŸ‘‹šŸ¼

Happy Friday to 221 parents this week.

Today's story takes 4 minutes to read.

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Every Kid. Every Year.

With the month of August arriving on Monday, a lot of families will be sending their kids back to school (or their first kid to school) in a few weeks.

For parents like you and me, the decision on how to educate our kids each year is deeply personal.

There are various values, fears, time commitments, and beliefs all in play.

Public School. Private School. Homeschool. Online.

I grew up going to public schools. Both of my grandmothers were public school educators.

In 7th grade, my parents and I decided that private school would be a better choice for me going forward.

My wife was a public school student and went to a public university.

We have been a public school family with all three of our kids, so far.

They have friends who have only attended private school.

As a parent, it is normal to bring your own school experience into your family. That will inform a lot of your view of what is best for your kids.

But, I want to state a reality that every parent of school age children will face this year...

Whatever school choice you make for your kids, you still need to step in the gaps to help them prepare for their future world.

I'm not talking about their education; their reading, math or science project. Parents should always come alongside their teachers as partners.

I'm talking about the soft skills that develop in a school environment and the worldview that is shaping your kids.

How Much Time?

If your kids enroll in a 5 day a week school experience do you know how much time they will be educated and influenced in that environment?

It amounts to 1100-1200 hours per child in school each year. That is roughly 7hrs per day x 170 school days depending on the state.

I share that not to scare you, but to inform you on how much time they will are surrounded by teachers, coaches, and peers.

One question that I get asked by families with young kids is: How did you decide which route was right for your kids and family?

Growing up in a private school, associated with a local church, I knew that I was being more sheltered than other kids in a larger school system.

Sending our kids to public school, I knew that they would witness more of the popular culture's ideas than I wish they would somedays.

When younger parents ask whether public, private, home, or some combination is the right way, I never give a clear answer.

Why? Because every family and every child and every community is different.

What doesn't change though is this: parents need to step in the gap, no matter what school they choose, to help their kids prepare for their future world.

Push or Pull?

Practically speaking, here is what I've seen work among families that I respect and trust.

If you send a child to public school, you will be wise to pull your son or daughter back closer to your family and values.

Their exposure to a large amount of diversity is great in many ways. At the same time, parents should be proactive in processing what their kids are reading, learning and hearing at school.

What they gain in diversity, they often are lacking in clarity of what is true for your family's belief system.

If you send a child to private/home school, you will be wise to push them into a world that thinks and believes differently than you do at home.

We have a responsibility as parents to protect and raise our kids as we see fit. But we do them a disservice by not preparing and equipping them for a world that thinks and acts in a way counter to our homes.

Teach your kids to think.
Show your kids how to display grace.
Infuse your kids with a sense of conviction.
Applaud your kids when they ask questions about their world.
Equip your kids with the ability to disagree without being disagreeable.

It is easy to fall into the ditch of protecting of our kids and want to hide them from exposure to ideas we don't hold.

It is also possible to fall into the other ditch of being too naive about the things our kids see and hear and not engage them from the start.

I remember when our oldest daughter went to kindergarten.

The first week of school she came home and told us that some kids were "sexing" on the playground.

I asked her what that was and she said it was when two people lay on top of each other.

Not that far off, and it nearly did me in as a dad that she heard that term her first week of public school.

I knew from that day that we'd need to engage as parents every year, with every kid.

No matter where they get their education, parents need to step in the gap to help their kids prepare for their future world.


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Play to Win

ā€‹David Morris

"If parenting is a long game, measured in decades, not years, parents need to have a values based family.

Families need guiding principles that are used as the basis for praise and discipline.

Parents must define them, articulate them, and uphold them.

If you slip and refuse to be accountable to your kids, you undermine them.

Give your kids an internal compass."

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That's all for today's writing of Parenting: what we've learned (so far)

If any of this was engaging or you had a small take away,
it always helps when parents share with others.

ā€‹Here is a link to this page on the web you could copy & shareā€‹

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