This is a time of year that is filled with hope for many children. Unfortunately, it can be a time of dread for others. But it doesn’t have to be. Parents have many other options.
Last year, my wife and I joined the growing number of families that homeschool their children. It was a wonderful experience, and we are continuing it this school year for our youngest two children and our oldest daughter.
And we aren’t the only family in our neighborhood to do so. There used to be just one homeschool family, but now we have five or six families that homeschool.
Homeschooling was not the best fit for all of our children. We chose to send our junior high student to a private school that focuses on a classical educational style. Our daughter, now fourteen, loved the experience of reading multiple books from different perspectives, comparing them to one another, and using logic to discover truth. She loves this school, even though the workload is much heavier than what she did at the public junior high. She, along with our eleven-year-old daughter will attend this school this year.
As a school teacher and principal, the first day of school was always one of joy and happiness. I loved seeing the excitement and hope on the children’s faces as they came to school that first day. Many knew that they were going to have a great year.
Other students came with trepidation. Would they make any friends this year? Some students learned that their teacher wasn’t going to be a good fit or that they were in class with the kid who picked on them all last year. Some felt dumb because they still couldn’t read like the other kids. This doesn’t have to be, but is an unfortunate reality of our one-size-fits-all public schools.
Luckily, other options are springing up all around us. There is a growing number of micro schools, online schools, homeschool pods, and other forms of education. Traditional private schools grew by 25% in 2020. Parents want more options because they know that their child is unique.
Education entrepreneurs are joining the market to provide different methods of educating our children. But that’s not all; families in many instances can mix and match these different offerings and styles to create a truly individualized and tailored education for their children.
Education doesn’t have to follow the public school style.
To all of the students heading back to public schools, I wish you a wonderful school year. To those of you beginning a new educational journey, I hope it meets your needs in ways public school couldn’t.