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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Educational Options - What's a parent to do?

The advertisements are everywhere.  The stores are bringing in new stock.  It's officially Back to School mode.  How can that be?  Summer barely started!  Oh well, with that reminder, let's think about some of the options you and your children have.

In the olden days, kids went to the local school and that was that.  A few children went to parochial school but they were few.  If you didn't like the school in your neighborhood, you either just lived with it or moved to a more desirable neighborhood and school.  Those were your options.

Now, it's infinitely more complicated.  Not only is the local school an option, but you can also choose from charter schools, magnet schools, alternative schools, online schools, homeschool, private schools, Montessori schools or a combination of any of the above.  What's a family to do?

The key to finding the right educational fit for your family is to educate yourself.  (Funny, huh?)  Every family, every child and every family's situation is different.  What works for one family might be totally wrong for another.  Originally, we chose to homeschool our children because my husband's work required traveling to different parts of the country.  We wanted to go with him, without disrupting our children's school work.  The answer?  Homeschool them and keep their curriculum consistent.  It worked for us.

Your job as your child's parent and advocate is to see that your child is learning what and how you think is best.  You need to know who your child's teachers are.  You need to know who their friends and their friend's parents are.   You need to know what is being taught in your child's grade.  Volunteer in the school.  Be informed and involved. 

You can't sit back and leave the education of your children to someone else.  Parenthood isn't for the lazy.  If you send your child to school, your job isn't finished.  Know what is going on.  If you homeschool, you can't sit back and do nothing.  You need to be actively involved and see that your child is learning according to set standards.

You can't assume that because your school worked for you that it will work for your child too.  Times have changed.  But, there are now far more options than there ever were when you were growing up.  Find out what they are.  Do what's best for YOUR child and YOUR family. 


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