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Thursday, October 3

What Public School Taught Me (A Daughter At Home)


I am a product of the public school system. My parents were some of the millions of Christian parents who bought into the politician-union leadership concocted lie that parents are unqualified to teach their own children. I like to say that I made it out with my faith in spite of the public schools. Although at times I've questioned why my parents sent me to public schools, today I truly believe that the Lord sent me there to be a unique witness for Him. I've attended conservative, rural schools, a public, southern college, and a nationally ranked magnet high school for gifted students. Yet, I still desire a home education for my children. No one can accuse me of being brainwashed.

My public school experiences allow me to enter into a variety of social circles that would be closed to me otherwise. When people find out that I'm a future homeschooler, they're flooded with negative homeschool preconceptions.

I conflict with almost every stereotype people have about homeschooling and 'conservative' Christianity. I look, talk, and dress 'normal.' I'm educated, well-spoken, and socialized. So how could I possibly desire to homeschool.

But then I can explain why and how I believe what I believe. Every American likes to think the public school are a success. But when they hear from a product of the best public schools in the nation about her experiences (good and bad) they often leave the conversation with a new perspective.

After leaving my high school for college, then returning home the next year to finish out my studies at Liberty University Online, the Lord has given me a whole new package of experiences to share with others. For instance, I encourage other young people (Christian or non) to recognize the lies dispersed by universities that they must spend 4+ years and $80,000+ on a degree in a field they may or may not go into. I encourage them to look into the variety of other non-traditional options like internships, online schooling, community college, small business ownership, certification, and volunteering.

Most importantly, I encourage them to assess God's biblical plan for their life instead of blindly submitting to their parents, politicians, or the world.

** I don't intent to judge, insult, or criticize families who make any educational choice for their child. In the end, it's a decision between you and the Lord. For some families (poor single mothers are the first to come to mind) there are few options other than public school. Let's increase scholarships to Christian schools, encourage 2 parent-traditional marriage households, and most importantly, share the Gospel!

8 comments:

  1. Hear, hear! I went to EXCELLENT public schools... and it took me a long time to return to the faith I had as a child and pre-teen after the rebellion instilled in me (oh, I took right to it, my own bad choices, my own fault, but definitely led by my high school teachers and peers)... My mom is even a substitute teacher, so when I insisted on homeschooling our kids, she was livid. (She's still trying to talk me out of it and our oldest is grown and married! We've been homeschooling in some form for over 16 years, you'd think she'd have gotten used to it by now.)

    Keep up the good work!

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    1. I can relate- my grandmother is totally opposed to it. But you can't please everybody! I also substitute occasionally at my former high school and when people there find out I support homeschooling they give this really confused look and stutter, "But why?"

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  2. What a wonderful, insightful post! I, too, am a product of the public school system, although my experiences are not as good as yours. I homeschooled my two sons and graduated them from homeschooling and it was a great experience it was for all of us. I just loved how you share about college and so forth. I totally believe this, too.

    I'm so glad that you linked up to my Counting Our Blessings link up! I just love your blog and enjoy your wonderful posts.

    Blessings - Julie

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  3. As a Christian and a teacher, I find your very first line extremely offensive. I am a proud union member that has never lied to the public. Our union is made up of teachers. Real, hardworking people who care for the children in our community. You talk about politicians and not being blinded yet I believe you've been blinded yourself by the judgmental statements you've made here.

    I would like to say that I went to public school and had a wonderful experience. It was the church kids who dragged down my faith as they were all having sex and doing drugs. Not all public schools are bad and not everyone will have the same experiences as you. I am not judging your decision to home school at all. I would have loved it if you had explained your position without putting down union teachers.....

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  4. I'm sorry that you found my post so offensive. Thank you for being a Christian teacher in our public schools. I have several friends whom I respect greatly who are Christian, unionized teachers in local public schools. My mother and grandmother were trained educators, and I'm a student of early childhood education. Growing up, it was always my dream to be a public school teachers. I don't doubt that you (or the majority of unionized teachers) ever lie to the public, and only want the best for your students. However, one can't deny that the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers support liberal policies that secularize and federalize public schools. What I should have said, it that my parents bought into the lie propagated by union leaders that trained teachers are the only ones qualified to teach their children.

    The level of hypocrisy you experienced at your high school is unfortunate, however I'm sure you'd agree that not all Christians are like that (just as you'd agree a wide range of beliefs exist in a union). I agree with you that not all public schools are bad- I went to the 14th best high school in the nation and attended a blue ribbon elementary school! Thanks for sharing you viewpoint- Blessings!

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  5. I think the most important thing is for every family to make the right decision for their family. After prayer and much research, each family needs to do what is right for them - and I believe sometimes that will mean public school. Every family is different - I hope you're future as a homeschooling mom goes great, and that you do what is best for your family!

    Blessings,
    Nicole @ WKH

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  6. I loved most parts of high school (and I went to a public high school), but I still think I'd like to homeschool. I like the idea of getting to choose your own curriculum, integrating faith and church into everyday life (not just something you do on Sundays), and building a strong family culture. I think one of the best "negative" (as in homeschooling for a keeping-away-from reason versus a because-of reason, though I think most people, myself included, have both reasons) reasons I've heard for homeschooling is that public school teaches kids to care more about what their peers think than what their parents think. Plus, while high school may have been good, middle school wasn't - way too many kids eager to prove how mature and edgy they were!

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Thanks for commenting!